What Happened In 2016

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My blog (internally cringing at the usage of this word) operates on trends. I like starting my posts with the generic 1H4Ws (who, when, what, why, how), so whenever someone clicks on a specific post, the title goes ‘Of Word Dumps and Why Am I Still Miserably Single’, for instance.

Secondly, this very post is a trend. I’m not sure if having two ‘What Happened in 201X’ posts is considered valid to be a trend, but I’m planning to keep it. If one day, I get too busy to even think about writing posts, I would at least make time for this trend. It’s only one post per year- wouldn’t be too hard, ainnit?

Can we all ignore the fact that I just love to digress and hop on to what really happened in 2016-

In a nutshell, 2016 was my recovery period. It’s not an easy year (though I’ve said the same about 2015 but oh well, life is not meant to get any easier, according to realists), but this was the year that I started out and came out of as two different people.

In 2016, I sat for four out of four sittings of ACCA exams. It was, for the lack of a better word, insane. To begin with, I am terrible in exams. I simply don’t have the art of memorising topics just to vomit them out in structured answers. I learn things better the practical way- projects, case studies, on the job trainings… you name it. Considering that ACCA was already an expensive and not a retractable mistake, I simply had to go through with it. I can’t even recall the amount of tears I’ve shed, the amount of weight I’ve gained (and lost), and the amount of anxiety I have to deal with just thinking about ACCA. The fatigue that follows sitting for a major paper every once in three months is practically indescribable. Yes, it was one hell of an experience. I learned a lot of things- learned to be more patient with myself, to persevere, to accept and swallow the taste of failure, and of course, to not let all of the stress and pressure consume me. And hey, it’s already the end of December and I’m not exactly proud of my journey, but I’ve just finished my last ACCA paper and I’m still here. I survived!

This year was also the first time I had a taste of what adulthood feels like: job hunting. Job hunting is not easy. I started searching for jobs way back in February, and I was juggling between ACCA classes and attending interviews at the same time (job interviews have multiple stages these days), and as a result, my weekends are sacrificed because I had to replace the classes I’ve missed during the weekdays. It was a tiring period for me, and as if that wasn’t enough, dealing with the dilemma of picking between jobs was even worse. I guess I was fortunate enough to land myself between a few jobs that I really wanted. Picking CIMB over the other two jobs took me a long process of weighing out the yesses, nos and what-ifs. To add more complications to my already complicated life, I failed an ACCA paper. Also, I got the overseas job that I casually applied that one time (but ended up turning down as well). But eh, I’m still working at CIMB- still alive, well, and living. This should be another story for another time, but let’s just say that if something’s meant for you, no one else can take that away from you.

Speaking of CIMB, I’ve just completed my third month as an employee, and despite the stress, the long nights, the stale McDonalds, Subways and KFCs (we only buy them whenever we have to stay late in the office), I have to say that it has been enjoyable thus far. I came in as a naivete, thinking about how hard can work be from my horrendous exam papers. And if there’s one thing I should learn in 2017, it’s definitely the art of not underestimating a challenge. I don’t even know where to begin about how much of a challenge work has been. My first two months were the toughest for me- besides the technical knowledge I was supposed to grasp in such a short span of time, there was also the tight deadlines, the competition, and making sure I didn’t drown in the pressure. On top of that, there was a lot of ‘making sure you survive till the end’. Again, this needs a post on its own (And guess where’s my progress? Nowhere, obviously.)

Amidst all that, I also tried to slot in some travelling into my schedule. It was of course difficult: already juggling classes, interviews and study sessions, also wanting to travel at the same time? Ha, funny. But, I believe that if I really do want something, I’ll make it happen. And it did! I managed to visit a few cities before I started work, and despite the time and financial constraints I was under, it wasn’t too bad of a try too. Currently, I am saving for Melbourne since a really good friend of mine, E is residing down there and has been telling us to visit her for ages. The current state of my ‘travel tabung’ is rather sad, but it’s always good to have aspirations, they say.

Also, I decided to put my guard and inflated ego down, and admit that moving on can be quite hard, and 2016 taught me just that. There were a few things- people, events and opportunities that I had no choice but to move on from. Before, I guess I never regarded the things I’ve lost being truly important to me, and I was proud of it. I guess God wanted to teach me a lesson. One of the reasons why it was hard was also because moving on is easier when that person or thing or memory is out of plain sight. But what happens if that person is right there? What if that person is just a call away, a text away? What if that thing you’ve always wanted is just there for you to grasp, but you can’t cause that would hurt others in any form? So many times, my fingers hovered over that Call or Send button, silently gathering all of my guts to bite the bullet and just send that goddamn “hey how are you?” message, but my ego and pride took over. Albeit that being the right thing to do, it honestly hurt.

2016 was also the year I vowed to spoil myself more than anyone else. 2016 was the year I became selfish and put myself before anyone else. I think I’ve spent too much time hurting myself to fix others besides dealing with a mental health that was going nowhere but spiraling down south, and as much as I don’t want to, this did affect me. So, I did my best to put myself first. I traveled, made new friends, tried new things- I tried my best to find things to make myself happy. And let me tell you: the payoff was great. At the end of the day, I soon realised that no one else can make me happy but myself, as cliche as that sounds. I stopped being so reliant on others to make me feel wanted or needed, and this, I dare say, is the biggest lesson I’ve learned throughout 2016.

It’s near the end of page 1/365 of 2017, but I guess it’s not too late to make resolutions for the new year. What’s in store for 2017?

Most seem to have a tough 2016, myself included. Here’s to a wonderful 2017!

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