I welcomed 2017 with bittersweet hope, looking down the road full of uncertainties. In my last post, I spoke of never-ending brick walls in my way. I was nearly in despair, only to be reminded of the love & support I am surrounded by. It was the one bubble keeping me hopeful & pushing me on. Continuously whacking at that brick wall with my battered hammer.

And today, I am happy to announce that I have finally broken down that brick wall! Made a huge hole in it, and watched it crumble. Then proceeded to climb over it; now I’m seated on the remnants of that wall, sipping on my iced lemon tea, and staring at yet another brick wall a little further down the road. But that’s ok! Nothing can dampen the triumph I feel right now. The sense of achievement, the appreciation of just how much I have accomplished, & the cognizance of how far I have come.

The most important lesson I’ve learnt in 2016 is perseverance brings progress. One step at a time, things started to work out. There was always something in the way, rocks, boulders, rivers, you name it. All the damned time. I started wishing so hard for things to be over, for everything to come together already but all I experienced was the seconds ticking by like they always have, speed unchanged despite my fervour prayers.

I had to learn, that there is a time and place for everything. And there was. Every action, every decision, every turn led me to where I am right now. It wasn’t always easy. But I always remember believing in the magic.

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“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

 

Like how I’ve wished so hard for snow to come falling and, finally I got to see snow woo-hoo!

I honestly believed in that. It is one of those things that I keep telling myself over the years whenever I come across adversities. It is one way of letting myself discover how much I really want something. Because one can only have so many dreams, and one can only achieve all of them if they really want to. Don’t you think?

 

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

 

I promised myself I wouldn’t let the fear of failure stop me. Even if I think it almost did. My mom never lets me forget that it’s ok to try again (& again & again & again…). It’s not the end of the world.

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 “The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”

 

And that, my friends, is how perseverance brings progress. Because by the eighth time, you would’ve set fire to the rain.

I did.

After two long years of paperwork, exams, and bureaucrazy, I am finally a registered nurse in this country I now call home. It was just yesterday that I was reminded that it has been 2 years since I graduated, since I made the decision to make my dreams a reality.

I don’t think I have ever been more proud of myself.

Right. Off to tackle that brick wall down the hall. Beyond that wall lies my new phase in life & I can hardly wait to begin.

To my first success of 2017.

 

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Toodles. ♥

Christmas has come and gone, so did Boxing Day. How’s the shopping going, guys?

It dawned upon me on Christmas day that what I actually enjoy more than Christmas itself, were the days leading up to it. The anticipation, the excitement, the surprises. That said, I had a wonderful, quiet Christmas with the boyfriend & his family. I helped put up the Christmas tree aaaaaaannnnnnnnndddddddd I also got a bunch of Christmas presents (yayyyyyyy!) – total kid at heart here. My first proper English Christmas & the boyfriend wanted to make sure I enjoyed every single bit of this festive season. And I did, I really did. ♥

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In the short month that I was away (from the blog), there have been a couple of happenings. Things that I won’t be thoroughly detailing out. Let’s just say that as much as I can hardly wait for the new year to begin, I am wary, so so wary, of what will be in the new year. I am uncertain, and so is my future.

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”

I’d like to believe that. After all, tough times never last, tough people do. Right?

I ran into yet another brick wall and once again I am stumped, almost defeated & kneeled helplessly in front of said brick wall. Despaired as I was, I actually have so many things to be thankful for. I am surrounded by friends & family who love me, applauding me for my successes as of date. They held out their hands and told me it is not the end of the world. Their words of encouragement mean so much to me, what would I have done without them? I admit I was tired, it was a stupid brick wall that shouldn’t have been, but yet there was. In the darkest corner of my heart, I felt the little flame of fight went out. It was scary, I honestly felt like I was already defeated and the worst is simply yet to come.

It was then that I realised that it wasn’t the fear of failure that paralysed me, it was the fear of not being able to stand up again after the fall. That was the fear I felt in the darkest corner of my heart. It was that fear that gripped my whole heart and turned it cold. And still, I have more things to be grateful for. The fact that I am here, with people I love, still able to go on and celebrate Christmas. It really wasn’t the end of the world for me. My friends reminded me: “You have come this far, you mustn’t give up now. You are so, so close. Closer than anyone has ever been.”

And they are right. I am SO CLOSE. Closer than I can ever imagine. I am here, & I am going to complete this journey. I just got to keep trying.

One of my closest friend said to me: “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.”

I want it so bad.

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It is painful for me to share that Bobby, the family dog, had left us and went seeking for dog heaven yesterday. We are all shocked & devastated, and I worry for my parents the most. Bobby had been such a joy for them both, they are still in denial. Maybe I am, too. We still can’t accept that he’s gone. I hope my sister is okay too.

Grief. Grief has not hit me this hard in such a long while. But with grief, there is also love.

And life goes on, like it always does. Life always goes on.

May the new year bring new beginnings. One can only hope.

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Happy New Year, everyone.

 

Toodles. ♥

 

Last half hour of 2015.

Another year coming to a close. I’m starting to get flashbacks of myself around this time of every year, sprawled in some corner typing out the epilogue of my year and end up being overwhelmed with everything.

It happens every single year.

Instead of going out there, partying, & getting drunk in the real world, I snuggle into my spot, accompanied by my favourite mug of steaming hot tea (or coffee), and attempt to summarise my year.

And I get terrible writers’ block.

And I get clouded by all the emotions and events that took place over the entire year.

And I start over.

Only to realise that I am left with a minute to midnight, or completely gone past midnight.

Not always successful, but at least I tried. And this year, I am trying again.

 

Just like every year, I’ve had my fair share of trials and tribulations. This year has indeed been a wild roller coaster ride, & I’m not entirely sure how best to word it. While most friends I know went through their quarter life crises, I was just so busy with life that I basically didn’t have time for a personal crisis. In fact, I found clarity in such uncertainty, it basically opened up my heart, mind & soul to so many possibilities.

Let’s list it:

  • I’ve graduated (beautifully).
  • I fell in love. ♥
  • I’ve gotten myself into a long distance relationship. It’s crazy and I love it.
  • I realised I actually do love my job, I love what I am doing every day, I love my old people. I love being their nurse.
  • I experienced the whole “moving on with the rest of your life starts with goodbye”, again.
  • I have to accept that you can never make other people understand everything you do, neither do you need to justify for it.
  • I may have burnt/scarred some bridges, but only because I know I cannot keep up. I’ve been completely let down by people whom I’ve held so dear, and if I may be completely honest, it has been so absolutely tiring to hold on. What else can I do, but to let go.
  • I made peace with myself – I wrote an entire dissertation on myself, as if I was trying to get to know me all over. It was kinda fun. I don’t think I’ve gotten to the end yet.
  • I allowed myself to cry buckets when I needed to.
  • I pampered myself, love myself loads & never let myself justify the nice things I do for me. Basically bought a lot of nice things for myself.
  • I’ve made big girl’s decisions that I never thought I’d have to make, just yet.
  • I am still queen of procrastination, sadly.
  • I also allowed myself to be a complete antisocial hermit, and spend all the time I needed, to be alone, to bask in the loneliness, to accept that some things you just got to do alone & to learn happiness in that solitude. Before you can brace yourself to face the world again.
  • I have to live with the fact that my LDR is like a constant countdown – always counting down to when we’ll meet; and when we finally do, the back of our minds counting down the days we have left together.
  • I got to travel a fair bit, thanks to the LDR.
  • But I also found home. 🙂
  • I am halfway there, a work in progress to make my dreams come true.

 

A bittersweet, amazing year overall. I have been waiting for this moment to pass for so long, only too excited to rush into 2016. I wouldn’t have made it through without all the wonderful people in my life (near or far) who chose to stay by my side despite my flaws and shortcomings. You know who you are.

& of course, to my amazing best friend & boyfriend half the world away – it is ridiculous because I cannot express just how much joy you have brought into my life, especially even when we are constantly apart. Truly, distance means so little when you mean so much. Here’s to all the adventures we will have together. ♥ I honestly can’t wait.

 

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Happiness comes in the form of a dog.

 

So there you go, 55 minutes past midnight. Never on time.

 

Hello, 2016. I’ve been waiting for ya.

No regrets.

 

Toodles. ♥

I am absolutely crap at keeping the blog updated in the recent months. I’ll admit, besides complete exhaustion post-work and the need to have a social life during the days off, I was lazy. I was consumed with work and work and more work. I don’t take home work, that’s one good thing. I can lock it all away the minute my shifts end. But the long hours. The mental exhaustion. The worrying I sometimes find myself do. To the point that when I do actually sit down to start a post, I find my fingers resting just very slightly on the keyboard and the air hung still. The only words that I could form in my mind were work related and I couldn’t possibly be sharing things about wounds and deaths on my blog, can I, they do sound quite depressing and a little inappropriate, I would think.

So I’ve been putting off blogging, day after day, week after week. My apologies.

I have wanted to write this post for a while now and here I am, typing away furiously because it’s already New Year. This is going to be a rather personal reflection of my year, just so you know. By the time I post this, I would be completely late but who cares, I still fully intend to recap this past year.

At the start of 2014, I admit I dreaded for the year to end. But now that I’m right at the end looking back, I cannot be more amazed and thankful for the past year’s events. 2014 has ben such an interesting year for me. I daresay it might just be my most memorable year in the last 5 years.

I have had my happiest moments, and my greatest (emotional) downfalls. I have travelled to more places in the year than I can ever imagine. I picked up another sport that I come to really love (DODGEBALL!!!). I allowed myself to let my hair down and really enjoy my youth. I learnt how it really is like to be alone, but not lonely. To enjoy solitude, and making the best of my time out of it. To appreciate cups of coffee and people watching.

I have had my mental breakdowns when my fears and self-doubts ate me up and spat me out – when I believed, at one point, that I was not good enough, and that one thought nearly killed me. It took great strength to disbelieve that of myself. But I survived that phase.

I have also met the most amazing people and made the most wonderful friends in the very short time I was in London. I discovered & believed in fleeting connections with strangers on the street.

I took risks, I took leaps of faith; and I made life-changing decisions. I put myself through a terrible heartbreak, because I believed that sometimes moving on with the rest of your life starts with goodbye. Yes, I was hurt; yes I cried buckets. Because I had to let go of some things that I really love to get to the other side. But because I know I am determined to discover what the other side is, I picked myself up, brushed off the dirt and faced the world one more time. A different person, no doubt. And not without the help of some of my dearest friends. I wouldn’t have been this strong without them. I would’ve been completely broken, if it wasn’t for them.

I challenged myself, and I have unlocked some personal achievements. Took my parents around Paris equipped with only a map and without the need of a tour guide (although eventually I did put them on the daily tour bus because they were complaining too much about having to walk, lol) and we DIDN’T get lost/kidnapped/killed. 😀 Then I threw caution to the winds, booked a one-way ticket to see (part of) the world on my own, and figured out the rest of the trip(s) along the way. Best decision I have ever made. #YOLO. Even if it wasn’t a long journey (because I was getting poorer and time was running out), it was definitely a journey I will never forget. These two last points were important to me because I’m not the greatest kid to handle maps or directions, what more in foreign countries with maybe 1% understanding of their languages.

 

Then just as I thought my adventures were coming to an end, just as I was getting stronger day by day; the one thing I least expect to happen, came along and found me. It just happened and it took me completely by surprise. And life has become a tad bit more interesting that it already was ever since. 🙂 So, hey you. Thank you. ♥

All good things come to an end, so did my year in London. I came back, steeled myself for the real world once again and promised myself that I won’t come back the same girl. And that promise, I still hold. I know I am no longer the same person. 🙂 I also told myself that life is going to be “now, or never”. If I want it, if I really want it, then hell yes I should go ahead and do it.

So I started dancing. Again. When I felt the stirrings in my heart telling me to dance once again, I knew it was a “now, or never” moment. I went for it. It has been amazing. Not that I am all that good in dance, but the fact that I have achieved some rather interesting moves that I never thought I would be able to do i.e. a handstand! 😀 😀 😀 I also started running. Know that I actually dislike running with all my heart because blehhhhh. But run, I did. I did pretty good, I must say, hehe.

About a month into the dancing and the running, I came across this post on Tumblr. I thought it was very apt, like it’s a sign for me to keep going.

I can tell you proudly that so far I have been brave enough to start. 🙂

 

Looking forward now, I simply know more amazing things are about to come and my first good thing for 2015 is just around the corner! 😀 I am uber excited *squeeeeee*! While I definitely miss my life back in London and all my friends there, credit must be given where it’s due. To my lovely family & friends here who have patiently awaited my return and loved me all the same, you guys are my angels, adding the sweet finishing touch to the end of my 2014.

 

So, farewell 2014. You have been a wonderful, magical year but it’s now time to welcome 2015. I cannot turn back time to relive the year no matter how much I want to, but at least I will have the memories. One thing for sure, I have measured my 2014 in daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, & in cups of coffee.

 

So here’s to you, 2015. Have a chimney cake and some Bailey’s hot chocolate. You will be a fantastic year, I just know it.

 

2014, I have no regrets. 🙂

 

 

Cheers, all. Have a joyous New Year! Toodles. ♥

I was updating my Facebook profile picture just the other day when I paused, backtracked and clicked open my “Profile Pictures” album. I started going through it one by one, from the very first picture of myself I have posted on Facebook to the one I have just put up. I realized all these photos weren’t just random selfie photos I have taken out of vanity – each and every one of them had some sort of story to it. And what better to do in the very last few days of 2013 than to reminisce? 🙂

When I was much younger, I used to believe that I will grow up looking rather different than I was then, maybe turn into a gorgeous Disney princess, lol who knows? Of course, the years passed…and I still look very much like myself. The chubby cheeks which have been (and always will be, I gather) chubby all my life; my little buttony nose very much unlike my dad’s (or sister’s) tall and finely sculpted ones; and my eyes…(rather large eyes for an Asian, may I immodestly add). I sure didn’t transform much over the years, much less look like a Disney princess today. But that wasn’t the only thing I have noticed from the 31 pictures of myself. I saw different persons, inside, at each stage. Some innocent youth has been shed off in the process while the harshness of reality aged me and the fine lines it caused have never really gone away. It shows, it really does. But in each stage, I have always managed to find happy. And I am so thankful for that.

My latest happy – sun, sea and Italy. 

As with every year (and everyone), I have been doing a little recap of 2013. Facebook has been nagging me to “See My 2013 Year in Review” and to “look back at my 20 biggest moments from the past year”. Indeed. 2013 has not come short of its ups and downs. I probably have more than just 20 big moments! Just like every year, there have been much tears, laughters, joys and sorrows. But the lessons learnt in this past five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes are invaluable and never the same. I have made wonderful, lovely friends and strengthen some familiar bonds. At the same time, I wonder if I may have lost one very good and dear old friend. *sigh*

I survived the work place with awesome friends who guided and supported me throughout and with strong realization that I have much to learn. So much, it will never end. I became slightly more aggressive (no thanks to nursing, really) and knew I needed to be firm and fierce if I were to withstand the rest of my nursing career. Yet at the same time, it was so difficult for me. I can hardly say no to almost anyone on a daily basis, what more be a fighter and growl back at people/things I disagree with? But I gotta be assertive, I must. And Life in every way has been throwing out obstacles for me to practice but I just haven’t overcome that fear of saying no and hurting someone. I will, I promise I will. 2014 will see that. 🙂

I am not entirely lost, though. 2013 also saw the day I stood up for my dreams. I couldn’t be happier to have been accepted into King’s College London to pursue my nursing degree and for a while, I thought I had to give up that dream. While they try to assure me that I am still young and will have other opportunities, I disagreed. Second chances don’t always come by. I wanted it bad enough, and fought tooth and nail for it. Victoriously, here I am, in London, counting down to New Year’s (while my 2 soon-to-be-due essays lay abandoned wtf zunny). I couldn’t be happier.

But do you know what is even more blissful? To be able to share this dream with my dear soul mate and yes, traveling the world while we’re at it. Life has seen us singing on top of Empire State building and frolicking in front of the Statue of LIberty in New York City in 2011. Now Life is seeing us leave our footprints at just about every other iconic architectures there are in Europe. We are terribly blessed and I am terribly grateful. 2014 will be an amazing year indeed. 😀

Our selca needs are insatiable. Lol. There is an entire album dedicated to our vanity but let’s not go there now. 😀 

 

On a more personal note, 2013 has reminded me that opportunities are everywhere, we have to be brave to reach out and grab it. 2013 has also shown me that love can happen just about anywhere and any time, if you let it. Be it at the airport…or at a local weekend market. Sometimes, even while getting lost in the streets, in the rain or under pretty fairy lights adorning trees. Any time, anywhere. 🙂

 

So, here’s to 2014: 

 

To new beginnings; to new friendships; to love; and to more globe-trotting adventures. Not to mention, of course, to great results and graduating with flying colours, LOL!

I don’t have any resolutions (because I no longer believe in making them) but I can still make my wish: May I not let my fear hold me back from my wanderlust, whirlwind romances, and a lifetime of memories. 2014 is looking bright for me, for I have so many grand plans I wish to carry out. I will definitely keep you guys posted on the progress, just need to kick start them! 😀

kushandwizdom:

Everything love

 

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes,
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year in the life?

How about love? 

 

How did you measure your year in the life? 🙂

 

Happy New Year, everyone.

 

Toodles. ♥