Recap of 2018 & Resolutions of 2019

2018...the most confusing, emotional and horrible year of my life but it's the year that made me grow the most.

I know it sounds really cringe-y and cliche but that's really how I would sum up my 2018.

Before the end of 2018, I caught up with a few friends who I hadn't seen in a few years and they all asked me, "What happened throughout all these years? The way you talk, the things you talk about, your mindset on life are so different."

I also recently went through my old journals and social media posts...From there, I found many interesting things. The things that I used to complain as if the sky was about to come crashing down, now I can totally laugh about it. The old doodles in my notebooks...after I pieced them together, I finally understood why I created my brand that way (keep reading for more). The books that I read during my soul-searching process actually turned out to be a form of wisdom (unconsciously) that I can now share with my friends or even strangers.

The things that didn't seem to make sense - be it your mistakes, the life dramas, the hobbies that made you happy but weren't exactly beneficial, they all played a part in shaping you to who you are today. You might have been wounded, shattered, lost and emotionally exhausted but just know that even not being able to see any light in all darkness is a part of growth. YOU AND I WILL GET TO THE OTHER SIDE UNSCATHED.

Now here's a list of 2018 flashbacks:

1. I switched to a new branch and got a new position and had my very own office. (I was a banker at the start of the year). 

2. I traveled to Hong Kong for 36 hours without planning in advance to watch Yong Hwa oppa's concert before he (and the other CN BLUE members) got enlisted into the Korea army. I booked the concert ticket, the hotel, the flight ticket all in less than 15 minutes and off I went!

3. Traveled to Bangkok twice (Feb & Aug).

4. I set out to create my own brand Duo Emblem, from scratch on my own. Without any financial aid from anyone, I came up with my own design ideas, bounced ideas off them, worked with self-sourced freelancers, got conned by a supplier, hunt for new suppliers, learnt about Facebook ads on my own, made new entrepreneur friends...It's not an easy process. I cried a lot. I got frustrated a lot. I wasted some money. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the process of it so much! I thought I would've achieved a lot in 2018 but I lost my emotional stability ever since I got back to Malaysia from Australia and some other dramas in life. After taking a few months of hiatus, (though I was still constantly seeking for new inspirations and reading and learning more about business during that period of time) I am much more prepared to focus on it in 2019!

5. I got a domain for this blog - finally a dot-com after so many years! Also, got a new template for this blog! You are looking at it right now.

6. Quit my job and moved back to Penang (but it was caused by my visa in Australia). After several months back in Malaysia, I still feel Melbourne is more of a home to be rather than Penang. However, I constantly remind myself the importance of having inner peace. I learnt that everything should be coming from the inside and not be affected by external circumstances (still learning to master this more).

7. Started working as a freelance social media producer at home.

8. Started to discover myself more and be more in tuned with my own emotions, thoughts, desires and life goals. I finally took the initiatives to heal myself in the inside after trying to suppress everything throughout these years. I braved myself to face my anxiety disorder head-on and be open about it (my first step was to blog about it). I found a community online and made a lot of friends. I started learning about psychology, self-help, self-development, Law of Attraction, spirituality, a little bit about neuroscience and quantum physics.

9. Sort of "debuted" as a blogger in Malaysia after nearly 7 years of blogging. I was blessed with event invitations and brand collaborations. Thank you to all of my clients who trusted in me and wanting me to be part of your marketing campaigns. The best thing that happened was being able to work with a Korean brand, Althea (they invited me to a Christmas party and that's my 1st ever Christmas party in my whole life!). I am giving credits to Law of Attraction because I wrote down 'to collaborate with a Korean brand' in my diary and that happened in December 2018!

10. Traveled To Singapore twice (Sept & Dec). I wrote this on my resolution list too, who would've thought I would end up there 2 times in less than 6 months! Ate the most expensive meal that I had ever had in my existence!

11. Traveled to Dubai - first time stepping foot in the Middle East. Also, first time flying with Emirates Airline in A380 plane.

12. Attended an international exhibition in Dubai. I was given the opportunity to attend this event that's in relation to an industry that completely bored the shit out of me but I met many people and got to listen to stories of other company founders and of course I did make some new friends too!

13. First time organizing a charity giveaway with my friends. As a kid, I used to do this from time to time with my mom and her friends, like bringing necessities to donate at the orphanage and old folks home. I had been wanting to organize something like this on my own with my own friends. Without any prior planning, I decided to tell a handful of my friends about this plan and surprisingly they said yes without hesitating at all. Then off we go for a good grocery shopping and I drove everything to the orphanage.

14. Nearly stopped shopping completely - clothes, accessories, knick knacks, stationery since February. I (nearly) didn't buy anything despite traveling to a few countries.

15. The habit of working out started to grow in me. I don't have to force myself to go to gym or roll out the yoga mat anymore - if I didn't work out for more than 3-4 days in a row, I would feel extremely guilty. Finally, it became a 'habit' instead of a 'resolution'.

16. Grew some abs and a little bit of booty. AND, I still maintain a 22-inch waist (unless I'm PMS-ing). Finally ditched the idea of admiring skinny bony girls. Now I look up girls who lift, squat, do their crunches and planks, dance, jump, cycle and run.

17. Kept my hair shorter than usual. Throughout 2018, I had mid-length hair for most of the time. I cut it as a 'ceremonial' purpose for myself before I went back to Melbourne to resign and pack my things to come back to Penang. I grew to love the length of it because it's much more convenient and less annoying in such hot weather.

18. Learnt about self-care and self-love more intentionally. I wouldn't say that I'm a master at this yet, but I'm in the process of getting there. It's not about manicures, pedicures, spas, massages or high teas (though if they make you truly happy, by all means, do it for yourself, not for show on social media).What I am talking about here is different - be it friends, relationships with my closed ones, work or even my goals and resolutions. I just want to prioritize myself than the others (not in a selfish bitchy way but in a self-loving way) and not force myself to act a particular way or do something just to satisfy another human being in the sacrifice of my personal happiness and inner peace.

19. I took more initiatives to get to know more people. I might look like a downright extrovert on the outside but nope! Though in 2018, as I let go off some friendship, I also made an effort to meet more new people. I reignited old friendships and also made several new friends. 

20. I read 15 books in 2018! I fell out of the habit of reading for the longest time ever and I finally ticked that off my 2018 resolution list.

Despite all these "highlights" that happened in 2018, the biggest takeaway was definitely my mindset shift. I focused more on my mental health. I scrapped away a huge chunk of my "to achieve" material goals of 2018 and put my attention on having peace from within. I had a lot of hit-and-misses of course but I did improve over time.

The interesting thing about life is that when you are feeling thankful and contented with whatever that you have in life, you will get more coming your way too.

I used to be the type of person who has a long-ass list of resolutions and goals for the year but after 2018, I think I just want to keep it minimal but mindful. Instead of focusing on achieving this and that in 2019, I just wanna prioritize on my own growth, being true to myself and being genuinely happy, and not be affected or swayed by other people's dramas or opinions.

For 2019, my resolutions are sort of like habits that I want to develop:

♦ Start posting on Youtube. At least 3 Youtube videos per month.

♦ Blog more consistently. At least 4 blog posts per month.

♦ Grow Duo Emblem locally and internationally. Spread more positivity, comfort, warmth, support and encouragement to people. For those who don't know the story behind my brand, here it is~

♦ Learn investing in the the stock market. Read, study, take practical actions to really invest.

♦ Read 20 books, minimum.

♦ Improve my Korean language skills. Take time out of everyday to learn, even a little bit counts too.

♦ Travel and explore more - South Korea (really want to cover Seoul, Paju, Jeonju and Daegu again). Hopefully, Japan too.

♦ Move back to Melbourne. I put my hopes on the Law of Attraction as I write this here.

♦ Meditate every day. Or the very least, every other day.

♦ Write more - be it on this blog or in my journal.

♦ Build lower abs. Tone my arms, shoulders and back. 21-inch waist. Practice my split.

♦ Practice my latte art and coffee making skills more before they got blown away by the wind completely. I just bought a milk pitcher on Taobao and a Daiso milk frother - now I can make a home cafe!

I'm ending this blog post here with a piece of graphic that I found online which I thought was pretty inspiring! Have a great 2019 ahead, namaste <3 

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