2016

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I learnt a lot this year. I came across a quote somewhere that 2016 wasn’t a bad year, it was just a year filled with tough lessons. That sounded too optimistic although I do know we’re supposed to husnuzhon (think positively) all the time. I aspire to be like that. My optimism is slowly dissipating and I think I have no one to blame but myself. Yikes, let’s not sound too down in the dumps. Here are some of the things I learnt in 2016:

Take good care of your family. Everyone’s getting older, so provide some time for them. My sister got married this year and my dad fell ill soon after. He’s getting better now but still heads to the hospital for check-ups once in a while. His most recent visit was on my birthday. I realized the importance of talking to everyone in your family whether you have time or not. Converse before it’s too late. I remember when I was so cooped up in my study room, just mugging like crazy that I barely talked to anyone in the house. My dad eventually said it: “Come out lah. You’ve been so caught up in your own world that you’re not talking to us.” That was then it hit me that even though I have my own things to do, it’s crucial to set aside some time for the people who will definitely be there for me till the very end. I love my family so much but always find it awkward to express my love. Funny how that’s the case for the ones who are permanent. I’m sorry I haven’t been the best daughter. I’ll strive. I won’t stop, I promise.

Sleep is important. I don’t procrastinate. I’m the type of person who will feel restless if there’s any school work and I put them off till the last minute. This year though, I sacrificed a lot of my sleep to finish any workload. There was a time (when I had to stay in school for a CDS: Transnational Studies, if you must know) when I had to rush to do so many assignments. My schedule was hectic. Taking two additional subjects was insane but I’m glad I did pretty alright at the end of the day. I need to work on this a lot because I’ve been staying up late–not to study, but rather just reevaluating my life. Heck, I’m writing this at 3 am. I’ve been falling sick a lot too because of the lack of sleep so I definitely need to leave this bad habit behind.

People will come into your life in unexpected ways. Sometimes again. There was a particular someone whom I have always wanted to know but never got the chance to until this year. I’ve learnt a lot. I even got to make a new friend because of him so thank you. I also managed to talk to my primary school friends again. We didn’t cut off ties; we were just busy with our own lives. Due to recent events though, we managed to reconcile and I’m glad. They’ve given me a bunch of advice that I am thankful for.

Keep photos and videos. Cherish but don’t perish (haha I just wanted to rhyme. But seriously. Don’t ‘die’ from the overwhelming feelings). I think when circumstances have changed, it’s nice to look back at the photos and videos you’ve taken to reminisce but only do it once in a while. Doing that often will only make you sad or even angry that things aren’t the same anymore. Save yourself the heartache.

Get some ‘me’ time. I barely did things for myself this year. I went the extra mile for others but not myself. They were done out of sincerity, just putting it out there, but I’ve also been so hard on myself because of that. How I’d go through lengths in a jiffy for the ones I love but not myself. Doesn’t that mean I don’t love myself as much? There’s a fine line between being so full of yourself and respecting yourself though. Don’t be selfish, just cut yourself some slack. I have been on a journey of self-love since 2013 and I’ve to say, this year the self-hatred was at its maximum. I hope I’ll improve in 2017. So yeah, self, give yourself a break. Remember when you used to roam around the mall alone just to relax? Do that more often.

Spending is such a guilty pleasure. To alleviate all the sad feelings I’ve been getting, I’ve been spending a lot. Retail therapy works wonders. They were mostly done out of distraction though. Despite that, I realized I didn’t splurge as much as I thought I did so props to me!

The gym is great. I think people’s perception of the gym is intimidating and I can’t deny, but honestly, 98% of the people there are just focusing on themselves. Don’t be too insecure or how you’re not on the same level as them (yet). They started off just like you too. If you don’t like it though, it’s always fun to workout at home too. Get yourself the necessary equipment. Start slow, do things at your own pace. Gradually increase the intensities and you’re good to go. I’ve been feeling good lately solely because of working out. Doing it with a friend’s a plus.

Don’t hold on to words. Never. Just don’t. Actions will always overpower. Words are nice to see, but remember: if the words don’t complement the actions, don’t even bother clinging on to sweet nothings.

Attachments won’t do anyone any good. I think I forced my feelings too much. I exerted it all at once and that only ended up putting the other party under pressure. Take things slow. If God has chosen the two of you to be together, then you don’t have much to worry about. Of course it’s important to try and put in some effort but if it’s not reciprocated, just get some distance. If it doesn’t work out, it’s not your fault. Don’t be so down about it. Besides, you’re still young. Life isn’t all about finding your other half.

Birthdays are just normal days. You turn a year older. Be more mature about it if some people don’t wish you.

Count your blessings. With all the trials I have faced in 2016, I overlooked all the good things that happened. I went to Japan with my friends, one with whom we promised to go there once we’re older but we achieved that when we were 18. I also went to JB recently with The Happies. Besides that, I had a pretty good birthday celebration–surprises will always leave me taken aback. The efforts involved were immense and I cannot thank my girls enough. I also managed to work out again. I finally summed up enough courage to say no to people. I even asked bluntly. But the greatest thing I am proud of this year? I took a lot of risks. I went ahead with what I believed was right. Sure, some things didn’t go the way I wished them to but that shouldn’t stop me from taking more risks in the future. Without it, life will only be stagnant anyway.

Here’s to a better 2017! Thank you to the people I met this year. I hope I’ll still see you in the next.

Loads of warm wishes.

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recall

I’ve been running from the pain
Trying not to feel the same
But it’s a shame that we’re sinking
See, my confidence is shaking
And my heart is feeling vacant

My own words echoing in my mind, when I told my friends back then who were going through heartbreaks like it was easy, like they saw it coming because relationships in the teenage years are generally difficult to last, and they should’ve been prepared for it. I didn’t blame them, no, I felt the pain too. But I kept on telling them it’ll pass and we were young anyway. Naive, so naive, 16 year old me.

We never got together so why am I experiencing this?

I came across a poem about how we lose people not just once but every time we see things that remind us of them. I don’t have any of your items with me which is a good thing–it would be weird anyway, but I have the souvenir you got for me in March and the photo strip we took at the museum back in July. I see the unsent messages in my drawer. I see the edited ones too. Coming across all those, I guess I could safely deduce–

I caused it all. I brought this all upon myself.

I see your favourite chocolate. Is it still your favourite? Your scent is everywhere; it sucks that your cologne’s an overrated one but it’s that for a good reason anyway. I see shops or places that remind me of you. We didn’t get to go out much, but each place holds a special value–at least to me. I see the benches in school and will be overwhelmed by the memories of you and I, having our study sessions that weren’t even entirely fruitful (haha), but I enjoyed every second of it. I hope you did too.

I see everything.

I don’t want to forget it all because that would mean pretending more than half of 2016 didn’t exist. I don’t want to forget it all because even though it hurts, it puts a smile on my face that hey, I had them all with you and I wouldn’t have it any other way. You always know how to make me smile too. How do you do that?

How