Given it’s almost the end of the year, I thought it’s apt to recap 2013 with a list of my most and least favourite moments. Here’s hoping I’d savour the best ones and learn from the worst ones.
Visited my nephew and held a baby for the first time in my adult life. I’m still proudly childfree and have the best and worst (politically-incorrect ones) comebacks when I get asked the stupidest questions on when I’d fulfill my duties as a woman by birthing a child. I still don’t understand the need to be a parent but have come to accept that there are all sorts to make the world go round. There are those who yearn to parent and there are those of us who are happiest not parenting a child. I love that I know and understand myself so well. I’m also madly proud of myself that I’ve not succumbed to societal expectations that one must birth a child for a life to be complete. My life is complete as-is.
I launched a design that I built from ground up. From acquiring business requirements to development to usability testing to inserting bits and pieces of agile project management to functional testing and finally delivering it. It was truly a moment of pride for me to watch it come to life and my users loving it and telling me how it has made their lives so much easier. To be perfectly honest, it was more satisfying than receiving the “well done, you!” emails from the CEO and CIO. For a product that serves more than 5000 users across the state, I’m over the moon!
Coco turned 1. From a mental, hyper pup, she’s now calming down and her true Labrador genes are more apparent. She responds to commands and she’s brilliant at offleash parks with recalls. I’m insanely proud of her and everyday, I’m grateful I have her in my life. Nothing makes me happier than running wild with her and chasing her in our local footy oval. Nothing gives me more joy than seeing her bound up to me seeing me after an absence of only 8 hours. No one, no human will ever be capable of replicating the unconditional love and loyalty she’s displayed to me.
I took an extended leave to recover and recuperate. The stress from work took a toll on my health and it was a rude wake up call that I’m no longer 18 doing the usual crap, eating the nonsense, drinking copious amount of wines. I had a full check up and realised how blessed I was that my doctors caught everything in time and taught me to take better care of myself.
Made a rather drastic decision to cull Facebook from my life. I was getting depressed by the amount of disparaging and downright stupid posts I see on my timeline. These posts either make me fly into a mad rage or despair at what humanity has become. To make myself feel better, I decided to completely cut it out from my life. My reasoning is that the people that I actually enjoy speaking to are all at my finger tips – Whatsapp, Hangout, Twitter and Instagram. That’s more than sufficient. The only downside to this is I don’t get as much goss from work folks on the other side of the world but that’s the perfect excuse for me to head out into the country more often! My life is a lot simpler and cleaner now without the crap I see on Facebook.
I learnt a lot more about my passions in life. And fortunately for me, they extend beyond makeup, shoes, bags and scarves. I realised I’m extremely lucky to be doing something I’m passionate about and I enjoy. I may be jack of all trades, but I’m most certainly NOT master of none. I may not be the most talented programmer but I’d like to think of myself as a pretty decent mentor to the younger ones. Watching them blossom and grow is one of the greatest joys of my job. I also derive a lot of joy seeing my seemingly hare-brained schemes come to live and come to be implemented and accepted at work. I take a lot of pride in what I do and how I contribute to the community.
I turned 34. I bought a bag for myself to mark the occasion. Given it was the Speedy that started the slippery slope of luxury bags for me, it was only apt I returned to my roots of Louis Vuitton. However, I’m glad that this time I steered clear of the epi range I usually gravitate towards. I picked the SC and it was one of the most wonderful bags I’ve ever purchased for myself. Cobalt blue and almost black in certain light, the gold hardware contrasted it wonderfully. Ms SC is a genius and it was evident in the design how closely she would have worked with Marc Jacobs to deliver this design.
I travelled out of the country for the first time this year with the heaviest heart. It would be the first time I leave Coco behind and it was hard. I landed in hot and humid Singapore to catch up with some of my favourite relatives. My heart broke and I cried myself to sleep night after night seeing with my very own eyes some of the horrible family drama I’ve chosen to block out from my life. The sense of frustration grew exponentially because there was nothing I could do and the sense of helplessness added with homesickness for Melbourne made it possibly to be the worst trip out of the country ever. I longed for Melbourne.
I landed in KL for KBBW. I was reduced to tears watching Bee walk down the aisle. I was thankful for Tine as my roommate and we’d fall asleep chatting about the most mundane things. I would have never survived this trip if not for her. I met with a lot of the evurl girls for the very first time ever and felt like I’ve known them for forever. I was in Ipoh for a week and as much as I loved sleeping in the room I grew up in, I was so glad it was just temporary. I bid farewell to Malaysia and Ipoh and firmly vowed to use my annual leaves on some place a little more exotic. I’ve got Prague, Munich and Vienna up my sleeves. Perhaps Berlin too. That bit of Europe is just too delicious to pass up. Perhaps one day, when I get my long service leave, I’ll spend a month in Italy catching up with old classmates and spend hazy, lazy days in Rome, Tuscany, Florence sampling wines, olives and the lovely delicious Italian cuisine. One day.
Attended an awards ceremony for deliverables in my industry. Saw first hand what the rest of the world does and deliver innovative solutions and reminded myself that hey, what I did was not that far off. Vowed to participate and nominate my solution within the next 5 years. Fingers crossed for me!
My folks visited and although it’s not the first time but having them over elevated my stress level to the sky rocket high kind. I still can’t be certain why but having left home since I was 18, living with your folks again can be trying. It was interesting to say the least. It was also a time where I became acutely aware of certain trends and I reminded myself my parents are ageing. I have an unenviable talent of projecting too much into the future (just a fancy way of saying I think too damn much into everything) and struggled with multiple internal battles I seem to go through each time I’m with my parents. I’m thankful for friends who go out of their way (despite shitty time zones) to assure me I’m sane and I’m OK.
I submitted a topic to speak at at a worldwide conference the day it was due. Needless to say, I was pretty pleased to have been shortlisted. I must say I do NOT advocate last-minute work. I’ve had thoughts bubbling in my head for a bit but I only settled down to pen it down shortly before it was due. I’ve not heard from the organisers that I’m selected and to be honest, I don’t think I will be. This is the first time I’m attempting this. Submissions come from all corners of the world so competition is stiff. But hey, to be actually shortlisted – that speaks for something!
I began shopping for Christmas presents about 10 days before Christmas. For people at work, it’s more to say thank you for putting up with my crap for one year and there’s more crap to come next year lulz. (Believe me, I wrote that in one of the cards for the guys at work). For a few other close friends, it’s just to thank them for being my sounding board when things are harried. Christmas has gotten rather commercialised and I’m not comfortable with giving gifts just because society and culture expects you to. It’s really more to say thank you for a few people who have impacted my life in the past year.
To those who are still reading this, I don’t know why you do given how sporadic I update but I’m grateful you’re still taking this journey with me. I won’t promise to be more diligent next year because there’s no way I can commit to this.
So, Merry Christmas, happy holidays and hope you have a safe one with your loved ones.