2017: The Highs and The Lows

Reflecting on my life in the past year made me realise that despite the challenges, 2017 was indeed a great year. I am beyond grateful that I was blessed with so much more than I prayed for (except for a baby hehe). As much as I'd like to write every single blessing that I received in 2017, it's quite impossible so here's six of them:

1. Living in Soho with J
Nothing really compares to living in the very heart of London with the most amazing partner. It's been the best London experience so far and I am glad I am sharing this experience with J.

I love living in Soho because I feel like I live in two different worlds. Despite our neighbouring streets being so ridiculously busy, we could still have that sense of "sub-urban life" when we are inside our top floor flat. Of course, we hear some occasional screaming at night, and the most annoying sound of revving engines but majority of the time, it's peaceful and quiet. I also love the fact that we are surrounded by pretty amazing things: restaurants, cafes, shops, theatres, most sought-after tourist attractions - you name it, it's in the neighbourhood. 

I know sooner or later, we will be moving out of Soho, so I am making the most out of it while I can.

2. The handful of people who chose to stay in my life
Through the years, people have continuously made me feel less of the person that I am. So in 2017, I have disconnected (yet again) with some people and I honestly don't feel bad about it. In my life right now, I need people who will lift me higher and help me become a better version of myself.  I have a handful of those and that's all that matters. I'm truly grateful.

3. Those little dreams
From hosting my first ever three-course sit down meal at home, to owning my most coveted kitchen appliances and cookware, to finally starting to grow some herbs in my kitchen- it's those little dreams that got me all inspired and excited in 2017. So yeah, I am going to make all my dreams come true in the years to come, one little dream at a time.

4. Travel
I thought that we didn't travel much last year, but looking back, we actually had some amazing holidays in and out of the country. 

I finally reconnected with Farrah after a few years of not being in touch, and it was the best thing ever. Our trip to Edinburgh in March strengthened our relationship and provided a foundation for our future adventures.

In June, I joined J's annual family holiday in the Lake District for the first time and I had the most relaxing holiday ever. Then in August, we visited beautiful Cornwall which was the travel highlight of our year. 

Our unexpected trip to Seattle in October was the best surprise of my 2017. It was a memorable trip because it was our first trip to America together, and for just two days, we managed to do quite a lot of things. I was also able to spend time with my cousin. And then there was that day trip to Paris which gave me the opportunity to catch up with the most neutral person I know. :)

5. Giving up my job
One of the things I promised myself when I came back from New Zealand was not to let anyone take that inner peace away from me. Unfortunately, I failed terribly in protecting my own peace. For a few months, I was surrounded by unwavering negativity. It was far from my intentions to live my professional life that way, so I took the first possible opportunity to get out. So a week ago, I finally left my job after almost a year of uneasiness. What a relief!

6. That Interview
Recently, I went to a last minute job interview. The interview required me to give a 20-minute presentation on Leadership and what it meant to me. To be honest, I didn't have enough time to prepare for the interview. Hence, I was very nervous to a point of dropping my memory stick and almost knocking the laptop down. After my presentation, the interviewer reassured me that there was really nothing to be worried about and that I should be very proud of myself because my presentation was amazing. Then I nailed the interview after that. I knew then that I got the job but with interviews, you can never be sure. Unsurprisingly, I was offered the job and I couldn't have been more prouder of myself. It felt so good to be back in my old form - confident and capable.

But of course, 2017 wouldn't have been that exciting without going through some seemingly minor but unpleasant and emotionally challenging experiences.

1. My family

For the past few years, I have been trying really hard to keep my family together but I don't think I will ever succeed. It breaks my heart to see my family slowly fall apart, but I know I have done everything I could and I don't think there is anything else I can do. I am the only one trying to hold the broken pieces together but I don't think it's worth it anymore. Until now, I am unable to live my life fully because of guilt. I feel like I can't be completely happy knowing what's going on with my family back home. I am tired. I want to be happy without feeling guilty. I just want my family to live in harmony. I want them to be more understanding of each other. But perhaps that's too much to ask. So be it.

2. The first three months back at work

I had the most difficult three months at work early last year. Everyday, I went home hurt and feeling really incapable. Perhaps people didn't realise how they made me feel, but they sure did a good job in making me feel really bad about myself. I will never forget those three months. But thanks to these people because they made me realise how fortunate I am in so many ways. Because of them, I now have a better understanding of the people who are not genuinely kind.

3. My mother's stroke
I was hit quite hard when my mother had a stroke twice between October and November. I was preparing for the worst thing that could possibly happen. Fortunately, my mother pulled through and made a fast recovery. Thank God.

4. The Oxford Street false terror attack
Being locked down in a dark basement because of a potential terror attack was the most terrifying experience I had to go through last year. Definitely one of the most unforgettable moments in 2017.

With all the highs and the lows, I can honestly say that I've maintained a balanced life in 2017. I am very proud that my life in however many years has never been boring. It has been constantly changing for the better, one aspect at a time. Whilst I still wish that one day, every aspect of my life will be just the way I've always wanted it to be, I also believe that I can't have everything in this life. So for now, I am grateful for all that I have no matter how imperfect some of them are.

So as the New Year begins, I am hoping to live an equally good, if not a better life in 2018. I will continue to work hard to become a better person. I aim to spend more time doing the things that I love, and only with the people who are truly worthy of my time and effort.

And because 2017 gave me more than I asked for, I am hoping to give back a little bit more in 2018. I am hoping to be able to help make this world a better place to live in, one confidently beautiful person at a time. :)

To the universe, thank you for all the wonderful blessings and  the valuable lessons. 

And to you, dear family and friends, thank you for being a part of such a great year. I hope and pray that your 2018 will be filled with so much love, peace and happiness. Here's to a healthy 2018!

Tin x


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