2016 – in hindsight.

Hello, this post is 4 days late but we’re gonna overlook that. In my defense, I was working 3 days straight over the New Year’s weekend and went home feeling even more tired than the previous day. But I’ve had a day to recuperate and even though I have a pounding headache now (hopefully the panadol I just took will take effect by the time I finish writing this post), let’s do this.

2016 has been a mixed bag for me. It has its highs and lows but the second half of the year can definitely be described as: stagnant. I haven’t made any credible improvements on the permanent job hunt – but I do have one right now that hopefully will come to fruition.

This list will be in (mostly) chronological order, thanks to my Instagram since that’s where I share most of my life’s memorable moments:

In 2016, I…:

  1. Made hummus for the first time! One of my favourite foods and it’s really simple to make. I should definitely make more of it this year.
  2. Went to Coney Island with #foreverkambengs minus Amira. Got chased by wild monkeys and cycled (really slowly). Didn’t see the Cow though (RIP). But we chilled by the beach and that moment is really vivid in my recollection of that day. I love how our friendship has survived through the years and we’re still very comfortable in each other’s company.
  3. Went on a lot of walks around my neighbourhood by my lonesome. I love discovering hidden gems, especially in streets that I frequent every day.
  4. Bought succulents! Which has subsequently died (cries). I really tried my best to keep them alive and they were so cute in the first few months but I don’t know what happened.
  5. Went to an Istana Open House! Scratch that off my Singaporean bucket list haha. Definitely an experience and the gardens were beautiful but brace for the crowds, guys.
  6. Decorated my room’s walls! There’s now a motivational poster, a Captain America cutout shield, and BTS’ Young Forever poster 🙂
  7. Met Sarah J Maas at a meet and greet when she was in town! Definitely a plus for my bookstagram and it was cool meeting an overseas author. I can now say I’ve read a book of hers haha.
  8. Went to the Sakura exhibition at Gardens by the Bay! One of my best days of the year. I just loveeeee flowers.
  9. Worked for the Singapore Forum. This was definitely a new and enlightening experience being a Liaison Officer for Dr Natalegawa. Made new friends and Dr Marty was a really nice person who made my job so much easier even though things started off bumpy. Also guys, please go to Shangri La hotel just to have a look around. You can get free tea in the bar-ish area and it was delicious haha.
  10. Went to the GoT exhibition when it was in town and took a photo on the Iron Throne. Very, very cool. Even though the exhibition space was smaller than I anticipated.
  11. Made new friends in PS! Honours Year, despite being an academically heavy year, was really good to me cos I made so many more friends that made classes more fun. Special mention to Amanda cos she and I really clicked well but there were also others (eg. Jeraldine, Fabian, Derrick etc.) that made classes memorable. Especially Malaysian Politics lolololol.
  12. Went to #teamcap’s premiere in MBS! SAW SEB AND CHRIS IRL and omg they looked so good. Also played hide-and-seek with the security guards lol. Security was really ridiculous.
  13. Went on my dream grad trip to Tokyo <3. Those five days with Amanda were short but they were the best. I honestly felt so at home and there are few cities I can confidently say that about (London, Edinburgh).
  14. I finally have a Totoro of my own T.T I am so happy. I also have more Totoro-themed things now thanks to me, my family and my friends hehe thank you guys (plush toy, phone case, wallet, socks, 2017 Calendar)
  15. Ate at a lot of ‘hipster cafes’ in Bugis. Most were good but some deserve special mention: the burgers at I Am Cafe are extremely juicy and delicious, the tacos at Afterwit.
  16. Early morning Blogilates in the CBD area with Jacq and Fangy. Sweated it out but it was worth it.
  17. Planned and executed and almost-failed birthday surprise for Jacq at her place haha. This is another highlight of my 2016 hahaha. It was just so hilarious how it all turned out. Thanks to Jacq’s mom for playing along *insert sunglasses emoji*
  18. Raya 2016! Aka the last year I can get duit raya T.T
  19. GRADUATED FROM UNI. In all caps cos not only is this the highlight of 2016 but it’s also one of the highlights of my life. I’m so thankful for all my friends who showed up and showered me with love (and gifts hehe).
  20. NDP show with Val! It was the first time the parade is back in the National Stadium and it was great. We thought our high seats would suck but it actually was better cos we could see the whole show. Indoor fireworks were great but I really wanted to catch the big firework show outside over the Kallang River.
  21. Amira’s graduation! So proud to see my secondary school best friend don on her robes and earned the degree she dreamed of since JC. Also, this was the day she told us she was engaged and getting married in December lol.
  22. Played Pokemon Go. Honestly when it was first available on the App Store I was so excited to catch Charmander as my first pokemon (obviously) but now I’m like…meh. Doesn’t everyone feel the same way about the game?
  23. Ibu’s birthday. The first time I was able to afford buying a birthday cake for her hehe.
  24. JB day trip with Aishah, Amanda and Fifi (who I hadn’t met before). It was cool going around JB searching for the chicken chop restaurant, buying banana bread from a well-known bakery, eating hipster yoghurt and visiting an abandoned theme park in a car that was blasting M Nasir songs lol. We also got stared at by hookers lololol.
  25. Spent Aidiladha with the grandmother at Gardens by the Bay. She’s been wanting to go for so long and we finally had an occasion to go. Also I finally know where I get my love of flowers from haha.
  26. F1 weekend with the dad! Got free tickets to the preshow in a lucky draw and besides getting the opportunity to walk the track, there wasn’t anything much. The live cover band was good though.
  27. Got a part-time job at Coffee Bean. Not the best pay but at least it’s halal-certified – unlike Starbucks who wanted at least a 6 months commitment. Am learning on the job but I’m really more than ready to move on now. Universe, please work with me here.
  28. Zip-lined for the first time! The drop is really something else. I thought I was prepared but gurl I wasn’t haha. Something else off my bucket list though. I’m proud that I gathered my courage to do it. I would have regretted it in the long run if I wussed out.
  29. Went to Singapore Writer’s Festival for the first time! Caught some amazing panels but also got locked out of some due to the crowd and not being early enough. Learnt my lesson and hopefully this won’t happen this year.
  30. Taught myself the Korean alphabet. With all the Korean content I’ve been consuming lately (music, dramas), it was bound to happen. I’m happy that I can read stuff now even though I don’t really understand most of it hahaha. Which brings me to…
  31. Going to Lee Jong Suk’s fanmeeting! First time going to anything Korean related and it did not disappoint. I loved how intimate the whole thing felt and even though this wasn’t a concert, I couldn’t help comparing how different it felt going to a Western gig.
  32. Ate Nasi Ambeng with #foreverkambengs! The last time where all of us are unmarried women. It was just so nice eating from the same big plate with the others and sharing cake later on just talking about how life has been. Some things will never change ❤
  33. Family BBQ. I love the Watercolours executive condominium my grandaunt lives. I would definitely laze by the pool every day and read if I lived there. But yes, the BBQ was fun cos even though it was raining everyone pulled their own weight to make it a successful event.
  34. Went to Melaka for a short retreat with the family! Melaka has really developed a lot in the past 10 years (the last time I visited was during a secondary school trip) and there’s malls there that are comparable to Orchard’s. Tried Bingsu for the first time (thank you Malaysia for having halal food everywhere) and loved it but the other meals I had were meh. Special mention to chicken rice ball though cos that was amazing.
  35. A bridesmaid for Amira’s wedding! I think I was the equivalent of ‘maid-of-honor’? I ended up helping the Mak Andam a lot by holding Amira’s trail of a wedding dress haha. We also helped out with the photobooth props! She was very pretty on that day though. Still can’t believe she’s married but also it lives to our expectations haha since she was always the most mature out of all of us.
  36. Went to the Avengers exhibition with #teamnoblindside minus Fangy plus Sya haha. The best day to celebrate my birthday since I love Marvel a lot and I love how my friends were willing to indulge me ❤

And that’s it! I’ve been blessed to be in great company – family, friends – and I don’t want to sound greedy but it would be great if things work out on the career front too. I know 2017 will work itself out for me (17 is my favourite number) but I can’t wait till I get to that point. I’ll write another post on my New Year’s resolutions too but for now my main goal is to get a permanent job that I love (though I will also realistically settle down in light of this poor economy) so that I can start providing for the family. In shaa Allah, amin.

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