I’m not going to give you that ‘time flies’ nonsense today. I mean obviously time flew this year but I think I’ve done so much in these last 12 months that if I look back, I can actually account for the time. Anyway, I wanted to wrap up this year by giving you guys a little run down of my year because some memories are worth documenting.
I got my drivers licence
In January, I finally passed my driving test (after three tries) and I got my driver’s licence. I honestly don’t know how the heck I managed to hypnotise anyone to let me be on the road legally if I’m being honest.
Anyway, in less then a month, I will be taking off the triangle that we are required to stick on our cars in the first year of getting our license and I will be officially off probation.
I won’t lie. Driving has been one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I can drive but I hate it because it terrifies me to no end. As a result of that, my dad has had to literally force me behind the wheel as often as he can so that I will practice.
And while I still do have a very very long way to go, I am making progress. In fact, just last week, I took the car with my brother (who can’t drive yet) and I drove to the airport to pick up my dad who was flying back home from a business trip.
I consider that to be my first solo drive because obviously my brother could not help me if I ran into trouble. This was the first trip I’ve done without another licensed driver in the car and I couldn’t be more proud of myself.
I did my first internship
This year, I did my very first internship. I did six months at Youth.SG and I enjoyed my time so much. I really grew so much in that time and I made so many friends who I still keep in contact with today.
I honestly can’t believe how much my internship shaped me. In a way, I think it forced me to grow up and to face a lot of the things that I’ve always found to be quite terrifying like meeting new people, going to new places and doing new things.
Another awesome thing was the people. As I mentioned, I made so many new friends in my internship and I really feel like we all became a sort of family. In school, I was so used to toxic people that I just expected that from Youth.SG. But instead I found some of the most genuine and loveable people ever and I am so grateful for the six months where I got to feel wanted and important.
I mean everything I did was celebrated while I was at Youth. Yes I got into trouble sometimes (for not keeping to the house style mostly oops) but I felt really valued there. Like what I wrote was important.
In fact, I went back to visit the office a few days ago and everyone was so happy to see me and it made me feel so good.
All I can say is that I am so grateful to Youth.SG and I really owe them a lot.
I covered loads of concerts
Because of my job, I got the opportunity to go for many concerts this year to review them. I saw The Sam Willows at the Music Run, Greyson Chance, Jay Chou, Sam Tsui and Kurt Schneider, Tiffany Alvord, Gentle Bones, Selena Gomez and Simple Plan. Yup. Looking at that list I really do realise how blessed I’ve been.
I also got to meet and interview Greyson Chance, Charlie Lim and Jai Waetford which was incredible.
I covered loads of events and met loads of people
One of the best things I did this year was to freelance. I wrote for a number of other publications after I left Youth.SG and because of that (and also Youth.SG), I managed to go to a lot of very cool events and openings this year.
This year, I got to cover the Illumi Run, the launch party of the Music Run, the opening of the Friends cafe in Singapore, Singapore Writer’s Festival, the media preview of a new gameshow, media previews of movies and so much more.
These events were so much fun but above that, it really helped me to build my confidence. I can now attend an event and if I’m alone, I don’t really care. Many times, we are sent to cover events alone and because of that, I have been forced to learn how to function on my own. A skill that I previously did not have.
I put out my Working on the Dead series
This year, I pitched a very adventurous series. If you’ve been following me for a while, you would know that this series was the Working on the Dead series. Essentially this article led me to some very crazy places.
I ended up watching two embalmings, going for a Buddhist encoffining, watching an embalmer clean and place a foetus into a coffin and even following a funeral director and a coffin to the fright terminal to watch them load the coffin into a plane. I talked to so many amazing people in the funeral industry, had some creepy experiances, broke down many times and achieved one of my biggest successes to date. It was epic.
I got two of my articles promoted on social media
One of my proudest achievements this year was that two of the articles I wrote for Youth.SG got promoted on their social media. That means that they paid Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to have my article pop up everywhere. It was really surreal especially when a friend found one of my articles being promoted on 9Gag.
I experienced my first relationships
Okay here’s where I come clean. The boy that I was all messed up about a little while ago was the second guy. Earlier this year there was another guy who liked me and we went out and texted and that kinda stuff.
Unfortunately I just felt like he and I didn’t really get each other in the way I wanted us to so I ended it with him. Very uneventful in my opinion because I wasn’t even upset which yes, I do feel bad about because I think he actually liked me but yes. It happened.
Anyway, this year I experienced my first brush with relationships. Yes they both ended before they really began but it’s given me a lot of perspective when dealing with guys.
I read 61 books
Last year, I read 114 book. So this year was quite an insane drop to 61 books but also I know that with my internship and my cousin’s wedding, I barely had any time at all so I’m not too disappointed. I’m just glad that I reached my Goodreads goal (even though I had to tweak it here and there along the way).
I went clubbing for the first time
A while ago, I made the decision that before I turned 20, I wanted to go clubbing at least once. That very day, I got an email inviting me to cover the soft opening of Zouk’s new location in Clarke Quay.
So I went with my best friend and she and I had such a good time. We drank and I got so high and we danced and we got hit on a couple of times and I had such an incredible time. Certainly a night I’ll remember (kinda haha) for a long time to come.
The best part was that I got home at 5.30am, had breakfast with my parents and then we went straight to church without sleep because my parents’s rule (really my grandma’s rule) is that you can club till all hours as long as you make it to church still. So that was really fun.
So there you go. My year in a nutshell. Obviously a lot more happened this year but these were some of the highlights. I truly am so happy with how much I grew and learnt this year. You know a lot of good and a lot of bad happened this year but I think I can still very proudly say that this was one of the best years of my life.
I mean ever since I was 10, I’ve been working towards becoming a writer and this year, I finally got to see what it really means to be a journalist and I am so happy with my career choice. I have so much passion for what I do and this year really showed me that I can really do this for the rest of my life.
Emotionally, I grew so much stronger as well. I think getting my heart broken this year was the most devastating thing to happen and I still am feeling the aftershocks. You know every time I see a picture pop up on Instagram or when I see that he’s liked one of my pictures or that he’s watched my snapchat story. There’s always that jolt. But I’ve grown so much stronger for that and it’s only because I’ve grown stronger that I don’t regret him at all. I’m just a really sentimental person.
In some ways though, I think I’ll never love as carelessly again and that is something that I both resent and appreciate. With him being my first real something, I think I threw myself in and I allowed myself to love him with everything I had. I don’t think I’ll ever do that again. I think I finally get why people say that once they’ve been hurt, it’s hard to learn to love again. I’ll never let myself be so vulnerable again.
Aside from that, meeting so many people and getting to see such cool things as part of being a journalist was such a huge part of my year. I feel like meeting all these people just opened my eyes to a world that I would have never gotten to see if I didn’t do what I do.
Just this week, I got to see a 16 week old foetus who had died a day before Christmas. I watched an embalmer wash the foetus and place her in a coffin and it was so sad but also so fascinating. I mean who gets to say that they’ve seen that? I am constantly discovering new things about my world and I love it.
2o16 will always be the year that I grew up. It will be the year that I formed some of my closest friendships. It will be the year that I learnt what it means to push yourself to your limit. What it means to be brave. What it means to be kind and gentle in the face of extreme cruelty.What it means to be mature. What it means to carry on even though your world is shattering. 2016 will always be the best year of my life and I hope it was yours as well.