While 2014 was a year of unexpected changes which turned out to be a blessing in disguise, 2015 has been a year of putting my plans into action. Procrastination is no longer a friend as I broke free of its toxic chains. It is definitely rewarding to be able to fulfill some of my goals that have been left on the back-burner for ages. One of my proudest achievement for the year is to finally get my driving license (at first try!), something which I have put off for close to a decade. I might have received my license 10 years later than the average SG driver but knowing that I have beat this long-held procrastination and am now a certified driver is extremely gratifying.
Introspection, 2015 has provided me with many opportunities – both professional and personal – to challenge myself, grow and develop a stronger self-identity. I’m more capable of accepting myself for who I really am and being comfortable in my own skin. No longer do I feel the pressure to constantly appear as “perfect” for others and thus, I’m less afraid to say “NO” to people or situations that do not resonate with my core values/ beliefs. They say that 30s is one of the best decades in one’s life and while I’m not hitting the big 3 (YET), I can see why life gets richer in many ways as we grow older and collect more years of meaningful life experiences under our belt.
Thank you, 2015 – You have been great to me!
Highlights of 2015:
- Starting 2015 with a bang – Getting drunk and having an elderly lady flashed her boobs @ me during my 1st solo trip
- Leaving the comfort of my first job and taking on a much more challenging role in the highly competitive e-commerce industry
- Passing the driving test on my first attempt, after 9 long years of procrastination
- Conquered Macau’s highest summit at 338m tall (Macau Tower Climb)!
- A year of adventure: Getting my Sports Climb and Abseiling Level 1 licenses & embarking on various kayaking, trekking and water caving expeditions
- An amateur designer in the works: Having my handmade leather wallet being displayed at the SG Design Week
- Being selected as an Enable-A-Family volunteer, working alongside with children under the care of MSF
- Most importantly, receiving the love and support from a particular Mr. M
< CAREER >
The last few months at my previous company has been nothing short of a massive Taiwanese drama. My ex-boss tendered and I was running a one-man show, handling multiple big projects, for a couple of months. Those days were definitely not easy – Tight timelines, long hours, last minute changes. And it didn’t help that I suddenly found myself embroiled in a messy situation with a particular trouble-maker who played politics and tried making life super difficult for me. Thankfully, with the support from my ex-colleagues (especially XL and Joel), I survived those challenging times and became even more resilient. Presenting my “baby project” – FairPrice’s involvement in SEA Games 2015!
In my new role in Z, I’ve learnt a great deal about the ever evolving e-commerce & start-up landscape, collaborated with partners from all industries to come up with marketing campaigns and taking on ownership of multiple projects. In a short span of 10 months, I’ve spear-headed no less than 30 campaigns, was part of a team that created 2 gamification contests from scratch, participated in the Singapore Fashion Week 2015, mentored 4 interns and flew to Manila for an offsite meeting. The greatest job satisfaction? Achieving 8 x the average transactions and 73% growth for a recent campaign that I’ve worked my ass off for! 🙂 But, of course, every job does come with its downsides. For many months, I felt as if I was swimming against the currents – 12 hours work shift is a norm, my health took a beating and frustration has become my frequent companion at the workplace. Was I a happy camper? Well, the answer is obvious. Nonetheless, I have no regrets with my decision and if anything, my stint has made me realised what I truly look for in a job.
< FAMILY & LOVE LIFE >
I’m extremely blessed to have a loving family who stands by me, regardless of the shitty situations that I get myself into at times. Thank you Pop Daddy, Mummy, Popo, Ginette, Amanda, Ah Boh and Ah Mai for your unconditional love and support. Let’s also not forget the 3 rascals in my life – Archie, Frosty and Simba! 🙂
2015 also saw me bidding farewell to a happy singlehood as I jumped on-board the “Puma” bandwagon (a younger version of cougar) and started dating Mr. M who is 3 years younger than me. Cougar-in-training, lol. Being single had served me well – Living a commitment-free life, freedom to date guys who probably ain’t my type, rediscover my creativity and pick up new hobbies – and I’m thankful for the chance to be alone and re-connect with myself. But being able to find someone whom you have great chemistry with is a rare find and despite the naysayers’ take on how a younger man will be too immature for the older lady, I found myself falling hard for Mr. M. Sure, we may have our differences but more importantly, we bond over our quest for adventures and meaningful life experiences, love for our family and dogs and shared moments of joy and pain.
For the first time, I also feel a sense of belonging and connection with his close-knitted family … Something which was lacking in my previous relationships. I used to think that the significant other’s family doesn’t play a pivotal role as long as both parties love each other but now that I’m accepted as a part of his family, it’s amazing and takes our relationship to greater heights. PS: We suspect that my granny loves him more than she loves us (the grandchildren)!
< HOBBIES & ADVENTURE >
I might have had a broken neck but that doesn’t hold me back from embarking on a series of adventures. If anything, I’m probably more active now than I ever was. Carpe Diem. Rock climb, kayak, waterfall trek, tree-climb, abseiling … You name it, chances are I’ve probably given it a shot. Somewhere along the way, I’ve also befriended many like-minded people who share the same excitement to travel to every nook & cranny in search for a bigger adventure. Always more fun to do things we love with good company!
In spite of the busyness of life, I always try to squeeze in the time to make these matchbox cards for my Carousell giveaways. Crafting allows me to unleash my creative juices and get in touch with the inner wannabe artist in me. Plus, it’s heart-warming to receive comments from the other Carousell members on how my sharing of life stories has inspired them to a small extent.
< TRAVEL >
Bali: Casting my initial apprehension aside, I confronted my fears and made the decision to go on a solo New Year celebratory trip to Bali. In my own version of “Eat, Pray, Love”, I found myself getting drunk on NYE, celebrating countdown with a room of lively expats and locals and having a too-close-for-comfort goodbye hug with the local waiter. Definitely, one of my most unforgettable New Year’s Eve Countdown.
Hong Kong: 48 Hours. First couchsurf with my very cool Mum (perhaps, the 1st couchsurfing of its kind). Walk on the wild side of the Macau Tower at 233m high. Scaled the world’s highest urban climb at 338m. Mad? Maybe.
Manila: I was there for work so my trip pretty much revolve around travelling from hotel to the office. Repeat that routine for 3 full days. Nevertheless, I had a blast meeting the Partnerships teams from the other 7 countries and bonding over a competitive game of laser-tag and finger-lickin’ fried food.
Hokkaido: Many Firsts – My First White Christmas. First time on snow-mobile and feeling like a pseudo F1 driver on snow. First time dog-sledding. First time trying whale meat (also, the last time due to the effects of whaling). Feeling like a kid again in Tokyo DisneySea. Failed attempt at skiing. Pigging out on fresh seafood, sashimi, sushi, beef and ramen. The most expensive breakfast ever – $600 on seafood and Hokkaido Snow Crab. Making more memories with my beloved family. 🙂