Sunday, December 31, 2017

Annual Review 2017

Lifeline 2017: In summary, 2017 has been awesome. There are more good times than distress times that I could remember.

Theme of the year: Value. When you are working for a corporate company, you are small as compared to the size of the organisation. Your salary is insignificant to what the CEO earns and what the company is making. Looking at the cost items as my job, I no longer know how to differentiate if millions are a small value or big value.

Work: First official year in the corporate world, I am still seeking for some answers. I still don't really grasp the concept of career yet. Weird I know, it's just a confusing state of mind where I question is there no other option other than work? But the year turned out to be well, I have an amazing team and great exposure. I am learning. I am experimenting. And I got a surprise towards the end of year.

Lifestyle: I think I managed to crack the work-life balance. I like how my weekends are always family first. Part time work or some special occasions do come in once awhile, but my weekends are usually home and family, laze around with Youtube, rest and some beauty sessions. Work is not consuming me. I have a decent amount of interests and an annual project to work on.

Health and Fitness: I fell sick pretty often this year and I have some annoying infections. I have also gained a couple of kilos (ugh!!), I think this is the fattest I have been. I worked out really often but I don't think it's the the right fitness regime. On the side note, I started running. Poor form but pretty proud of attempting and finishing a half marathon! Getting the AIA Vitality Platinum status was sweet! 

Friendship: There were some unexpected friendships blossom. There were change of approach in some of the existing friendships. It's a year I realized I have no time for bullshit and negativity - I got no patience. I learned the three things I could not stand from people, in order - inconsiderate/ignorant, selfish and rude. 

Fear: Last year I realized I can be a person with low confidence. This year I realized I can be a person with weird fears. I do not like walking down the stairs and driving, because I have this fear in me that something bad would happen. In November realizing the amazing 2017 is coming to an end, I have a fear that something bad would happen to ruin it. Thankfully, it went by smoothly.

Relationship: Unsurprisingly, not a year with development. Still dancing on my own but there were a couple of noteworthy stories. I had a good time and I had some bad times. I am so used to the feeling anyway. They say I will get stronger after each experience. If I have to conclude the love story, I come to realize that I can't be just wanting the happy and best part of being with someone. I have to learn to endure and accept the heartbreak that comes with it. Perhaps the best thing you can do for a person you like is to let go and wish the person happiness. On a separate note, there is still a special person who need no definition on the relationship. It took me awhile to accept and enjoy but deep down, I am too grateful to have this person with me. It's an unconditional thing which I think is rare.

Travel: I wanted to do one overseas trip and one big local trip each year, it didn't turn out as planned. Locally, I visited Penang, Malacca, Port Dickson, Cyberjaya and Lumut, checked off Batu Caves too. Nothing too new I have discovered, still wishes to visit some non mainstream places in Malaysia. I went to New Zealand with my girlfriends which it started off with an unfortunate incident but finished off well. And I went to Cambodia with my family which was absolutely stunning. 

Annual Project: Minimalism turned out to be super amazing. I enjoy it tremendously that I wish to make it another year of Minimalism 2.0. But I wanted to focus on the other thing. Minimalism is a great lifestyle change for me and I am positive that it will be with me forever. Here's another blogpost if you wish to read:

Overall: I am grateful that it is an eventful and peaceful year. Thank God for the blessing. Thank you to family and friends who made 2017 a good one. There is an indirect expectation for 2018 but I will play it as it goes. I have some resolutions I want to work on, which I have yet to draft it out.

Wen Xin 

Annual Project 2017 - Review

Why Minimalism as the annual project?

I was a shopaholic - I spent a lot of times at malls and always got lucky in getting sales items. I remembered being proud about this back then. I was also a shoeholic - I really love shoes, and I had almost 30 pairs of shoes. When I moved to Australia in 2013, I packed a lot with me and decorated my single studio gloriously. It took 2 months to hit me that the rent was too costly. I moved out and had moved 5 times in 3 years. Each time I was both amazed and ashamed on the amount of stuff I have. And the process stressed me out. Midway through Annual Project 2016 on Italy, I discovered the concept of Minimalism on Youtube. I couldn't get my head off it and couldn't stop watching videos about it. Reflected on the past 10 years on my spending habits and items owned, I knew I needed to change. It was clear to me to make Annual Project 2017 on Minimalism.

I started with decluttering..

Probably the ultimate first step in the Minimalism journey. I decluttered my items and filtered out clothings and items which I didn't need. I made a pledge to sell it on a secondhand items platform and donate the monetary gains to charity. To my surprise. It worked. I donated RM1,000 to Borneo Alliance who are committed in saving rhinos in Sabah, and to Save the Children on emergency relief. I am proud with the RM 2,000 donation, it worth the post office runs, shorter lunch or work hours, the effort and time. I still have a lot of items and still have a lot to declutter. It will take more rounds until I can minimise the items I owned.

I learned to use less than before..

I knew every single piece of item in my closet. I am still finishing up my skincare products. And I have reduced my beauty products significantly. While it could be easier to just dump everything. But to me, that is not the right essence and the right kind of transformation. I think it needed to be slow and (slightly) painful for me to learn. There are also some significant lifestyle habits change such as adopting the No (Sham)Poo and ditching the tampons.


Incorporated Minimalism into Travelling..

I traveled quite a fair bit this year - locally to Penang, Lumut, CyberjayaMalacca and Port Dickson which are nothing new to me; overseas to New Zealand and Cambodia. In 2016, I went to Italy for a month and carried a 17kg medium sized suitcase with me. I was a blur kid, and only packed it 6 hours before my flight. I was determined to learn how to travel light and easy. I planned ahead each time and reviewed my items. I invested in travel cubes and learned to pack the essentials. Comfortable is key, and I don't need to look glamorous. I also focused on getting inspirations and experience during trips, instead of doing things I can do while not travelling.

Unplanned, I dived into Sustainability..

There is a common labels/practices/beliefs of minimalists. Generally, not all but minimalists tend to share the same sentiments on being vegetarian/vegan/healthy, fitness conscious, monochromatic/nude and environment conscious. Unintentionally, I find myself feeling strongly about sustainable practices. Businesses and corporations would want profit maximisation, the environmental consequences are often being ignored. Personally, I don't think it's right that my purchases or choices hurt the environment/animals/earth. While I can't save it, but I would love to at least minimise my own impact or carbon footprint. I invested in reusable and sustainability items such as reusable bags, bento boxes, cutlery kit, reusable straw, cotton and makeup remover pads. I also tried to reduce waste and plastic usage. While sometimes I do have a distaste on friends and families who used plastic, I guess I need to just lead with examples and share while it is okay to.

But I do wish I explore more...

I could have refer to more resources...

Similarly to Annual Project 2016, I wish I have read more books, or simply watch more documentaries on the topic. It would be nice to get some formal learning.

Digitalisation can be helpful in the journey...

I am not a big fan of technology but technology does do wonders. My company is all about digitalisation and digitalisation can be a good aid in the Minimalism transformation. Some life aspects such as certificates, important documents, photos, books, etc can be digitalised. I understand this category is personal. While I love physical books, I do think an e-book reader is amazing (and I can't wait to get mine soon!).

I wish I incorporate the concept in health and fitness..

The first half of the project has quite a focus on minimalist food - simple preparation and healthy eating. I didn't get to cook much for the second half. I have been working out diligently but I have yet to see any results. I managed to get back into semi-vegetarianism but I still struggle and fall to temptations easily.

After 365 days, Minimalism to me..

Overall, I think I did quite well. Annual Project 2017 is all about challenging and changing the lifestyle. It definitely changes some big aspects and loads more to work on. I was even tempted to make a Minimalism 2.0 as Annual Project 2018 (because there is so much more to do). But I know I want to work on a new topic.

Minimalism, like a lot of minimalists say, it has no official definition. Minimalism is about knowing what's best for you and focus on it better. Most of time, it's common to agree that working your lives away is not the most important thing. Minimalism is also not about owning x amount, but rather knowing what you need and only get what you need. Minimalism is not about just owning black and white or ditch physical items completely, it's about knowing getting the right things for the right purpose.

For me, Minimalism helps me to establish a strong foundation for balance - the work-life balance, the family-friends balance, the people-me balance, the financial balance etc. I understand more on things that I need and want, take some time to evaluate and research. Minimalism makes me aware on my interests - health, fitness, sustainability, travel, baking. Minimalism helps me to focus on gaining experience and pursuing new interests such as running and zero waste.

Next annual project..

I am pleased with how the Annual Project has turned out which I have learned so much. While AP2016 has challenged me on learning a new culture, AP2017 has challenged me on lifestyle change, AP2018 will be something to do with the thinking. I don't know how it will turn out, but we will all see it together :)

Thanks for reading and following my journey.

Love, Wen Xin

Saturday, May 27, 2017

This Time

Last time
When I couldn't
Look into someone's eyes
It was too painful
I was left feeling
Stupid, awful and disrespected
I needed no words
To know that it ended
And it ended
On a nasty note

This time
When I couldn't
Look into someone's eyes
It was difficult
It was a mixed feeling
Relieved yet upsetting
It's only words
And words are all I need
To know it will end
On a good note


Last time
There was hope
Room for exploration
Feelings for development
With the uncertainty
It was exciting
And killing
At the same time
Then God was kind

This time
There was hope too
Time for recovery
Opportunity for another
Faith is not shaken
It was familiar
And expected
Short and sweet
And God is kind


Wen Xin

Sunday, January 15, 2017

I Love You

This chapter is probably something worthwhile to be in 2016 review. I guess now I feel inspired to write this down.


You turned to me, after 'Good Night' and you said the three words. It was a long night after a pour of emotions. I was caught by total surprise and I did not know what to react. It was too flattering, I felt the need to thank you, kissed you on the cheek and we fell asleep holding hands. The heat from summer probably contributed to our chemistry during the short time we had. Till this day, talking about you still gives me butterflies. A small part of me knows that you are always going to be special to me, vice versa too. 

Things had changed since we first met. We were like before but it was not the same anymore. What was new, was the honest communication about our relationship. We were clear with our directions and intentions. What had changed, was our emotions towards the relationship. We were not in sync with each other lives for months, and a lot of additional stuff had been introduced into our lives.

It had been a long while since I last heard your voice. Hearing your voice made me emotional. I have found calmness and security with that tone of voice. And to be assured of the appreciation of the friendship from the other side of the globe, made me happy. 

All of the sudden, I miss you 


We were holding onto our struggles in setting grounds for the relationship. I wanted so much to give us a try. I tried to please, I tried to adjust, I tried to change. On the verge of calling it a break, I said the three words. It was out of desperation but it was not a lie. For me to say it for the very first time, I think it was huge for me. 

Like the harshness of winter, you brushed it off. These words to you can be gone like the wind. At that very moment, I knew it was over. Maybe I felt slightly embarrassed. But I could not take the amount of negativity anymore. Till this day, it still hurt recalling the end of it. 

Determination held me on, not even curiosity can fight it this time. When a woman made up her mind, it was almost impossible to change it. The love might be there, but we were both holding to our identities strongly. The love might be there, but perhaps it is not meant to be. And those were our last communication.

Sometimes, I miss you.


It is funny. Both firsts, with so different outcomes. That's life isn't it, filled with decisions, happenings and outcomes. I wish I could keep it simple and straightforward most of the times. Hopefully the Minimalism project can teach me something in this.

Inspired by La La Land and my true events,
Wen Xin

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 Year in Review

Here we go again, 365 days later and an annual tradition kicks in, an annual review.


1. Graduation and Work

Major events of 2016 got to be the degree’s graduation and the commencement of the first official full time job. I took a longer and complicated education path, it felt surreal to be able to realise a teenage dream. The foreign country dream became true and the day was a huge relief. To me, all I have ever dreamt of is to wear the mortar and robe. The ceremony, though was just an event, was something I looked forward to as a mark to the end of a journey, for now.

Then it comes an obliged commitment, to commence work with my sponsored company. Working has not always been sweet to me. For some reasons, I have never felt belonged in a workplace. It has its ups and downs, I love the tasks and the challenges, and I am still adjusting. It will be home for at least 3 years. I would like to grow learning it and to give back to this company who made the dream came true.  

2. Travelling

The wanderlust is still in me ever since I discovered it in 2015. I did a local trip to Tasmania in Australia. Tasmania was overrated but the campervan experience was great for me. I felt I was overly ambitious in leading the road trip. But I was grateful to have supportive travel partners with me. I will never forget the Cradle Mountain hike, toughest hike and a mentally challenging one.

Then with the financial support from my family, which was guilty-charged; I travelled to Italy for a month. I wanted the graduation trip and it would be a great part for my Annual Project. I had 8 stops, I tried Couchsurfing for the very first time, I met my travel and language partners, I had some incredible travel adventures, I saw the beauty of Italy….. If there is such thing as falling in love deeply with a country, it is Italy for me. I learned that I would do two trips each year, one locally in Malaysia and an overseas trip.

3. Relationship

So much relationship development this year. It started with a bitter note, unexpectedly heart-breaking. It took me long to accept and recover, till this day while it no longer bothers me, it does resurface once awhile. I met someone whom I thought were life-changing for me. Though how ridiculous it sounded, I did fell for this one and it turned out to be toxic and unhealthy. While it was short, it was real to me.

Part of me was confused and lost, I confessed for the very first time. I was driven by ‘I lose nothing’ mentality and I got an unexpected response. The sweet dream remained as it was, and life moved on. Someone special did appear, it was spontaneous, it was wrong yet it felt so right. The tale was like the movies; the tale is still in progress. While there are struggles in this relationship, I feel grateful to have an angel in my life. While relationship has been so interesting this year, but I am still dancing on my own.

4. Annual Project 2016

It was a first trial, and I love this personal project of mine. I have some ambitions and plans for this but I know I have to take things slowly and discover the true spirit of this annual project baby. Italy turned out to be really amazing for a first topic. I was almost obsessed with it. Learning a new language was intriguing, I have not been learning a new language for so long. Travelling is always great. Cooking, baking, watching and breathing Italy for almost a year were good. Experience with the Italians were pleasing too. For more information, follow my Instagram and read my review for Annual Project2016!


1. Financial Misfortunes

I didn’t set resolutions for 2016, but I probably would do for 2017. But I remembered telling myself that I will have to have better financial management for myself in 2016. It turned out to be the worst. God seemed to be testing me about my 2015 theme: Letting Go. So much were taken away from me, a handful of gadgets, jewelleries, memories (my external hard drive!), cash and wallet…. I handled each misfortune calmly, with slight regrets. A couple of them were the result of greed, some of them were a lil harsh. I learned that I didn’t want to hold on to so many things. The 2015 learnings were working, I moved on quickly but it did some damage to my faith, as half of that were done by horrible people.

2. Mentality

The twenties are filled with self-doubt and uncertainties. While I tend to not know what I want, I always know what I do not want. As you grow older, the responsibilities grow with you. Part of me has great expectations towards myself and I allowed it to overcome my self-esteem. I forgot how or when did the self-esteem get so low, and how and when I am so conscious about the surrounding. It always feels like I am not good enough in things I do. But I am grateful that I can always find a way to heal. It takes time but I will heal.

3. Trust
2015’s theme was ‘Letting Go’. 2016’s was ‘Trust’. Unlike the Annual Project, theme of my year is not chosen. It’s a trend that I noticed from strings of life events in that particular year. In general, I trust people to not harm/hurt me intentionally, whether the person be a stranger or known. Sometimes, words can be a powerful weapon that the actions, the year started with someone so dearly to me hurt me with words. 

Then a couple of encounters with some strangers on the financial misfortunes. Then the process of trying to love someone hurt when I was being brought down by the person whom I thought was special. I trust the thief would not want to steal my precious things. I trust people to not deliberately leave me out of things that I should know. I learn to trust to allow a relationship to work when the odds are low.

4. Diet

The diet business was as usual for the year, except I cooked more than usual without a student body commitment. I cooked Italian-inspired food and made more desserts. Then I found out about my bloated stomach issue and realised my vegetarian-inspired food combination was too carbohydrate-based. I quickly switched it to hi-protein diet and back to non-vegetarian diet after 4 years. The guilt does kick in once awhile and I really wish to work on a better diet for 2017.

In summary

There goes my review for 2016. To be fair, the year was not too bad, it was not particularly great but it really wasn’t too bad. It was eventful with a couple of milestones and a huge life transition. Not too sure what to expect in 2017 but I am drafting my resolutions soon, just as something to look forward to. Thanks for reading this.

Wen Xin

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Annual Project 2016 - The Review

Finally, I penned this down: the story of how my Annual Project is borned…

The Origin…

A lil background information about myself, I have a lot of interests, just way too many interests. I have yet to find my passion and I guess a part of me wanted to me a renaissance kind of person. Well, of course I am no Leonardo Da Vinci nor Michelangelo. But the wide range of interests have developed over time, some were short term, some were around for years – this could be explaining my commitment issue.

A throwback to somewhere in mid-2015, I saw a shared Facebook post by my buddy, Sumin on a Taiwanese performance artist, Tehching Hsieh who is famous with his One Year Performance. I remembered being inspired by his dedication on delivering a year in producing his performance artwork. This probably planted the idea for this Annual Project in my head…

Another throwback to 3rd November 2015, I remembered it was during the 5th semester’s exam period. I always get inspired during exam preparation - one of the result from my procrastination! I decided and penned this down immediately in my iPhone notes: as a birthday gift for myself: to document an annual project each year in dealing with my many interests. I will dedicate a year to learn/embrace a topic/lifestyle and draw inspiration from it. 

The Topic and Structure of Annual Project…

The inspiration poured in too quickly that very one night, I now have a list of projects to do which could last me for two decades. The chosen topic is purely any topic which I have a great interest to explore at that time, as long as it makes sense to me. There are no rules in the project, and there were no expectations. But I will be restructuring this for 2017’s.

I was going to go with Project Fear in 2016 which includes drafting a Horror Production. Then ITALY came up as the greatest interest at that point. The rest is history. An Instagram account is set up to document the learning journey. I immersed myself in the project and am pleased with the development.

2016: ITALY – the Review…


The food – Italians held great pride in their food and I learned to not start argue on food with the Italians. I tried to cook and bake a handful of Italian dishes, the experience was amazing, apart from a few failures. Who knows Tiramisu can be easy and frustrating at the same time!

The graduation trip – one month in Italy was the highlight of the year. I was so unprepared but it turned out to be a beautiful experience. The food, the people, the attractions, the lifestyle; everything was almost perfect and as usual, I pushed my boundaries – trying Couchsurfing and not planning almost anything.

The Italian friends – Thanks to the amazing language app: Hellotalk, I made a good number of Italian friends. I had a language partner whom I had regular Skype sessions with. I had a travel partner whom I met while travelling in Australia. I have a handful of Italian friends whom I am keeping in touch with. I have some unpleasant times. But I also met a Roman angel, another highlight of the year.

The culture and the lifestyle – From the friends and the obsession with Italy, I learned a fair bit about this beautiful country. The summer lifestyle, the pride with food, the flirty but romantic Italian men, the family culture, the university lifestyle, the beauty of the language… It is amazing to learn about culture from the other side of the world, it was fresh after the Malaysian and Australian experience.

The not-achieved:

The language: I took a 3-month elective course (Level A1) in basic Italian and excelled in it. My command is good enough to survive introductory conversation for 3 minutes. And point to an object and name it. But I did not manage to self-study and get to Level A2. I have invested enough of materials but can’t seem to find the time or the drive to study it when work has started.

The Italian entertainment: I was hooked to an Italian drama (Gomorra) for a while, and some Italian pop songs. And I watched a couple of classic Italian black and white movies. It is a good platform to improve the language but the motivation is not there.

In summary for Italy and the Annual Project

For a first, I am pleased. I am crazy about Italy than any other thing. I love the overall experience and I hanged on for a year with Italy. And it gets emotional to move on to a new project as the year ends. But Italy will always live with me. And Italy is definitely my favourite country and is now the only country I know I would want to return to. What’s next is a new annual project for 2017 but I am aiming to continue to master Italian and I am sure the Italian elements will appear in the 2017 project.

I have some plans for the Annual Project and I hope I can develop it as a side commitment, it’s one of my 2017 resolution. If you are interested in doing an Annual Project, I urge you to jump into it, and share it with me! 

Wen Xin

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fun with Fours

Tagged by Shao Qi on Facebook, and I feel like writing: the stories behind this

Four names I go by:

I'd prefer Wen Xin, but it seems like a tough Chinese name. Wenz is the name I had during high school. Xin is an exclusive one to my parents. And Wendy, is just an easy name I don't want to bother repeating my preferred name. When my mother adopted the similar fashion in getting an English name, I frowned. Then it hit me, I adopted her password style anyway, so we are even.

Four places I've lived:

I was born and bred in Selangor. My grandmother babysat me in Perak. I spent 3 years in Canberra. And I am currently living in Kuala Lumpur.

Four things I love to watch on YouTube

So I do start spending a lot of time on Youtube when I was in Australia. It is a good platform and opportunity for ordinary people to present extraordinary things. I followed a number of beauty youtubers, and realised the amazing stuff you can do with those beauty products. The industry itself transformed a lot lately, it's booming with females wanting to enhance their beauties with it. Then minimalism, which is likely going to be my next annual project! It is tempting to not watch it as much so I can proceed with discovering more next year. Short films, though not as much as before. Then baking videos, another booming sector. A number of my inspirations came from Youtube.

Four places I wanted to visit:

New Zealand! Because I have booked a trip for next July with my girls! That's going to my annual overseas trip. Philippines! The top country I want to visit in South East Asia, inspired by a travel video on Youtube. USA, I want to do a 6-month honeymoon camping trip there, if no honeymoon, it's cool too, Then Italy again! It's a country I know for sure, I would return. And I can't wait for the day to come. Maybe I can add it up to the next place to live.

Four things I love to eat:

I defined it with food that I would never resist. I am generally picky. There are food that I like but it is not a craving every time. If these food are present, not even 'I am on diet' can be a excuse not to have that. And I never be on diet anyway. Need no introduction, there you go: Chocolate, Fried Chicken, Fries and Avocado.

Four favourite drinks:

Similarly, drinks I would never resist. 3-layer milk tea, my Sunday breakfast's beverage. Hot chocolate, which I have been abusing the office's machine. Ice Lemon/Lime Tea, the substitute when I want something light and non-milky. Starbucks Frappuccino, the reason I would resist is when I need to have 2 meals instead of burning the money on a drink.

Wen Xin

Sunday, October 9, 2016

4 Words, 1 Story [Happy Edition]

In August 2015, I wrote a post on the saddest stories in 4 words: look HERE. Then I stumbled across this photo.

I miss you too.
I really want you.
You left a legacy.
Am attracted to you.
You are very sweet.
You have beautiful eyes.
You have been selected.
I really wuv you.

Inspired by true stories,
Wen Xin

Saturday, July 9, 2016


 I woke up in a studio with my dad whispering Happy Birthday, I was too blurred to acknowledge it. I proudly cooked up a storm, presenting him one of the Australian breakfast while proudly showing off my poached eggs skill. We went for a short walk along Bondi Beach and tried out a chic cafe with almond milk as its best product. I enjoyed the free and easy part where we took things easy. Dad had a dinner appointment with his friend and we hit the CBD. It seemed so familiar yet foreign to me to walk on the streets of Sydney, which made me missing Canberra even more. 

The unhelpful weather had both me and dad walked for 25 minutes under the rain until we reached The Star. While my dad was excited for the visit to the casino, I was more excited in getting scoops of gelato from Messina. The coconut and pandan flavour turned out to be a disappointment but I was pleased with the Italian nougat. I was glad to add some Italian touch to my special day, apart from a brief research on my trip. 

Before meeting my dad's friend, my risk-taking action might have caught on fire this time. While it is still too early to judge, it surely did not feel alright. Definitely a lesson to remember, to take measured risk or perhaps I should be taking less risk. Oh dear. Oh well. That is for later to find out. 

The rest of the day was not much. Tiredness had crept into me as I was having dinner, taking the train, taking the shower and now typing this on the bed. With a beer and a conversation going on, I started to reflect.

Just one more year to the mid twenties, I am not too sure how I feel about this. I do not want to complain about getting a year older but like last year, I did not feel like my age. I do not feel like 24. I am truly grateful for all I have this birthday, with my graduation as a (so-called) milestone and an upcoming trip. My parents being here with me on this significant period of time. 

But somehow I am still a mess, in terms of mentality, future career, financial management and relationship. Part of me still feel rebellious, irresponsible, irrational and inconsiderate; the traits which I do not like. There are still works to be done and I hope I can pull this off one day, to be the person I am pleased to be. Let's shut the negativity, shall we?

As my yearly tradition, I shut myself off the social media today, notably Facebook, but slightly active on Whatsapp, Instagram and Messenger. These three are the platforms which my close ones are able to connect with me whom I am truly grateful of having each of them with me on this special day of mine. Thanks to the 27 of you who were with me with your wishes and conversations.

To the 61 people who wished me on Facebook, Skype and email, thank you for taking the effort. To the family who were always there, I love y'all. I wish one day I would be able to be the person I am satisfied with and to have gotten all the experience I want. I sincerely thank you if you have been with me for the past 23 years. For the 24th year, I do have a couple of things in mind. A new adventure, a new chapter, a new direction in life, and hopefully a better me. Happy Birthday to myself :)

Wen Xin

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Letter of Gratitude

Warning: emotional piece ahead. 

I just knew it would be. I am an emotional person and even if I am letting go my emotional attachment towards items and memories, I don't think I am able to let go of feelings.

A few knew the story of how I made it here. All in all, it was not smooth sailing at all, and it cost me an extra 1.5 years with tonnes of scholarship applications and disappointments. 3 years and 3 months ago, I received a news and it was life changing. I stormed out of the lecture hall, half way through a Mathematics lecture, to take a breather. 3 months later, I was here. 

I found myself in a similar position as 3 years ago, in the same gloomy and chilly weather at this old but not ancient looking campus. It was not a fancy campus and it was not  a vibrant city as compared to where I came from. But it was all I need for a change, somewhere down to earth but still reputable, somewhere quiet but still have all I need. Canberra and the Australian National University became home for three years.

Like all phase of life, the moments were both bitter and sweet with its ups and downs. I had ventured into a couple of experience I wanted to try to form some perspective. And I had also been through some emotional roller coaster which had probably shaped my mentality. I cannot be prepared for everything but I think it is important to be mentally prepared with a strong mindset in facing almost any upcoming challenge. 

I lost my mojo to strive for the best result, somehow becoming the best student or being studious was not what I was chasing anymore. While my time in ANU had not been the best in adding rainbows to my resume, and it was not a collection of High Distinctions. I had gotten some failures and challenges which had shaken some of my confidence. At some point, I thought I would not be able to make it. At some point, I did doubt myself if this is the right choice at all. I was grateful when I heaved a huge sigh relief while peeping through one eye on my result. Overall the academic performance was not shining brightly, but I was certainly grateful that I am now done with it. 

But I would like to say I had gotten all I need from this 3 years, on personal development. Australia was special to me in a way that two of my life-changing moments were related to Australia. I got to experience the Aussie lifestyle - laid back, family oriented, of higher standards, leisure and happiness maximising. The time here had allowed me to have the freedom to discover. I discovered some lifestyles and I will be bringing it back with me to Malaysia. 

I also had the freedom and the opportunity to made mistakes. Some stupid mistakes, irrational decisions and measured risks. Things that I should not be doing, which had some detrimental  effects academically, financially and morally. Some cost me, a lot, of which I do not think I deserve the heavy punishment and the emotional abuse but I learned to take it as lessons which God want me to learn.

I worked randomly, for the money and experience. I found myself not having the sense of belonging to this community, bringing up my Year 11 English theme again. Despite subconsciously developing some Aussie accent and being in this Aussie environment, I never once felt belonged. I had known this while studying in the Australian International School Malaysia. I was a local student in a foreign environment. Here in Australia, I was a foreign student in a local environment. Similarly, both were strangers in strange lands. Despite this feeling, I enjoyed working, more than studying as always. The frustration of bureaucracy, the ethnic of service industry, the interaction with people, the exchange of goods and services, etc; still fascinate me.

I travelled extensively which was a dream I made before coming to Australia. I had never gotten the chance to travel. With Australia, I learned how to travel. There were a lot of first times for me, which I loved to try. I didn't credit it to being courageous. Even if it was a brave thing to do like many had commented, I did not particularly feel it. I just wanted to try and experience, at that point, it felt like it was the right thing at the right time at the right place with the right person to do.  

Other than being emotional to this city and this country, I am also attached to the experience with the people. I am glad that I have created some memorable times with the people here, whether it was just hours, days, months, or years. From my involvement in the Malaysian organisations, to my time in Davey Lodge and Fenner Hall, to my studies in the courses, my workplaces, the Canberra community; I could not thank each and everyone of you enough and personally, for being part of these three years which I know I will miss dearly.

To people whom I had cheated on or hurt, sorry, I did not mean it at all. I had always wanted to be kind and sometimes I missed the track. To the people whom cheated or hurt me, financially and emotionally, thank you for making me stronger, I am still in the midst in figuring out the distrust issue but the lesson I learned will be remembered. To people whom I shared a friendship with, thank you, thank you for the memories, thank you for your time, thank you for the love, thank you for everything.

If we will meet again in the future, take care till our next catch up. If our paths do not cross again, all the best with life. I am excited for a little adventure right after this and another three years of chapter will be unfolding. 

Wen Xin

PS: Despite having access to five libraries with amazing collections of books, I did not manage to make good use of it. I had always wanted to read more and write better. Thank you for reading this far, perhaps one day I would really learn to write properly. One of the annual project, maybe?