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