Thank you, 2015!

This year, love and time definitely prevailed......


This time last year (2014), my family from the States all went home for the holidays. There was apparently a family reunion and I was not sure if I was going to make it. I was gutted because I was caught between spending time with my family whom I haven't seen for more than a decade and sorting out my finances. Yes, I didn't have much money back then as I spent a ridiculous  amount of money the whole of 2014 trying to  get over a break -up. But that was not the point really. Anyway,  I have learned my lessons the hard way since and have become a little more sensible with money (I hope).

And so I went home, thanks to my friends who patiently made me realise that family is far more important than money. Although I went home with less money than usual, this was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Really, there is nothing more important in this world than to spend the New Year with the people you love.
Mi Familia
My cousins from Montana


Of course, I fell out with some people again this year but that really didn't faze me. Although I believe that I was judged unfairly,  it doesn't really matter because at the end of the day their opinion of me doesn't define me as a person. I am just grateful for the few friends I have left in London for they are the ones who inspire me to become a better person. They're the friends who are strong within reason.

With Kristy, loyalty doesn't mean having to choose between friends. Her loyalty simply means being a good friend (equally) to all her friends regardless of whether they are divided or not. Kristy is one of the most genuine friends I know. I love her to bits.
The photo bomber though

Mr S and Katie are two of the people I admire the most. Mr S for his dedication to his profession and his wisdom,  and Katie for her maturity and humility.  They are two of the most beautiful people I have ever met. Their friendship means so much to me and I am very grateful to have them in my life. And this year I am glad that we were able to do more  fun things together outside work, like watching "The Lion King", dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant and random dancing at a club in Soho until 3 o'clock in the morning (on a weekday). These are simple things that definitely make life more worthwhile.

Marvie is one of my best friends in university. And although we have lived in the same country for 13 years, it was only last year that we started hanging out again. I am very thankful that this year, we both have made more effort to spend more time together and be there for each other. This lady is definitely a friend that is worth keeping.

My colleagues T and H represent the whole of the V@ST (Vascular @ St Thomas') team. I am so blessed to have been a part of this amazing team. To be honest, they are the best team I have ever worked with. And yes I can say that after just 3 years of working with them. 

I can only be thankful for these girls for putting up with me. I know I have my days and I am not always easy to work with, but these girls have been fantastic. They have helped me and supported me all the way through.

Finally, my new found Filipino friends at work. It's always nice to have friends that remind you of home. With these girls, chika only means updates on our own lives and food. 

Special shoutout to Charlie Boy (who took the photo below) for always making sure that we are all well-fed whenever we are together (which is only once a year by the way). And to my Ate Elvie for simply being there for me.

I will forever be grateful to these girls.


After a year of hiatus from  travelling, I finally went to Italy this year. And one thing that I am most grateful for is the fact that I was able to travel with my adopted family in Bristol for the first time. 

I am simply blessed to have been a part of this family. I have been friends with Mama V for more than a decade, and now they have become my family away from my family. I know I can never repay whatever goodness they have shown me through the years. They are one of the kindest and the most caring family I know. They are such a blessing.

My trip to Paris was indeed unexpected. I wasn't planning to go to Paris at all (not even in the next few years), but a special person called  Aida (my sister from another mother) made me go back in no time. And I'm so glad I did.

God knows how much I love this girl. She has always been my rock even if we don't actually see each other very often. I guess almost 30 years of friendship says it all.

Little Detours

I only have 7 months left before I hit 40 and as much as I am embarrassed to admit, so far I have only managed to cross out 7 from my 40 before 40 list. This has made me realise that we can't really plan our lives sometimes because the universe almost always has a better plan for us. 

Most of the good things that happened to me this year were unplanned. I finally went to some places that I have always wanted to go to, but never had the chance. I also went to places that brought a different meaning to my life.

Take Cambridge for example. I have heard a lot of beautiful things about this city in the past but really didn't make an effort to go. In fact, it has slipped off my mind until one day J reminded me of it. I'm glad he did because Cambridge is such a beautiful place to miss.
Trinity College, Cambridge

Newcastle on the other hand is a completely different story.  Of course I have heard of it before but I really didn't have any reason to go there. Honestly? It was never on my list of places to see. But mind you,  I have been there twice this year - not because of the city itself but because of some really nice people. 
Gateshead Millennium Bridge, Newcastle

Making dreams come true

When I turned 38, I promised myself to make most of my dreams come true before I turn 40. Although I didn't achieve that much this year, I am still happy that I was able to do two things that I have always wanted to do- watch The Championships and see the sunflowers in Tuscany.

I am grateful to J and his parents for giving me the opportunity to watch The Championships. I got more than what I expected and it was such an amazing experience.
The Championships

And do I need to say more about the sunflowers? I suppose by now, anyone who has been following my blog and my social media accounts would know  how much I love sunflowers.
Sienna, Italy

The Journey

In Spring 2014 while having an afternoon tea with a friend in Liverpool Street,  I dreamt of  "the guy in light blue shirt" who would give me all the Balenciagas and the Bottega Venetas I want. That guy in light blue shirt who would do everything and anything that I ask him to do. The guy who would love me more than I love him and prove it to the whole wide world (or web maybe) . I came up with this idea because at that time I felt like I was deprived of all the love and affection that I deserved. I felt that I didn't get all the material things that I wanted because I was far too ambitious or perhaps I simply wasn't worth it I suppose. But then I woke up one morning and realised that my idea of the guy in light blue shirt was purely an illusion. I realised that the girl looking for that guy was not really me. Perhaps I created him because I wanted to take revenge and prove to some people that I deserved to be treated better. But in reality, all I really needed was the guy who will love me the way I deserved to be loved, the guy who will not hurt me and the guy who can see my worth.

And then one day I may have done something right because the universe took over and gave me exactly what I needed- Mr Grey aka "the guy in light grey t-shirt".  See, in this life you don't always get what you want. Most of the time you are given what you need. 

Eighteen months since I first met J and now we are about to embark on a new life together down under. Ha, perhaps there is nothing more to say to that,huh?! But honestly, this opportunity came at the right time. After I came back from the Philippines in January, I felt like I needed to go somewhere unfamiliar where I can start over again. Don't get me wrong, I love living in London but after all the not so good things that happened  not so long ago,  I felt like I  needed a break from all the hustle and bustle of the big city. Only then I thought would I be able to find myself again and hopefully live a better life. But then J came along and that's when my life turned around (in a very positive way). Perhaps the universe really knew what I needed to start a new life as he didn't only give me J but also the only Christmas gift I asked for this year - FREEDOM. The freedom to properly start a new life.

2015 has definitely been a better year for me. I am very blessed to have all these people in my life. Of course there are other people I failed to mention on this blog who were a big part of my 2015 and who has helped me in one way or the other. I am equally thankful for them.

So, as the new year approaches, let us carry the fire inside us - the fire that burns inside the heart of those who love, who get hurt, who sacrifice and who fight. The fire that lights up inside those who are kind, selfless and righteous. 

tintin x


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