After the tumultuous years that dominated the 2010s, 2019 was a surprisingly chilled / balanced year. I have never sat down to recap a decade, let alone a year before – I don’t have any compulsion to wax lyrical about another year older, wiser blah blah.
I’m still not going to go on a rambling discourse…and true to our snappy generation, here is a bullet list (more for my reference, so when I am old and 80, I can have something to look at).
Was working at one of Singapore’s largest infocomms companies for my 2nd stint. Absolutely different from my 1st stint in the early 2000s when I felt as though my job was my life and I loved it with a vengeance.
Thinking back, I know why I focused so much on my job. It was my escape from having a schizophrenic brother and all the accompanying troubles at home. I poured all my energy into work and partying.
The second time round, my job was not everything. I would like to say that my being older and being more aware of my impending familial responsibilities got in the way, and well, yes, my mind was often occluded.
Started trying for a baby, and realised that I had (still have – it comes back) endometriosis. Had a major surgery in the hopes that 6 months later, we could try again with the internal systems all “cleaned up”.
Nope, surgery didn’t work. Ended up doing IVF. Me. The one who is deathly scared of needles. Spent an entire month with needles, whether they were the drugs, the blood tests, the anaesthetic, the acupuncture… I would have put a junkie to shame.
Oh it didn’t work by the way.
That’s about all I could stand for my 2nd stint at the company. 4 years was enough, and I was outta there. With all the shit that had been happening personally as well, it was time for a break.
Hunted around for a job, but gone were the days of being headhunted. Heading into my 40s, it was appearing mighty hard to land something, no matter how accomplished my CV was. Nearly a year had passed and then I found a job at a super fancy French company that was opening a private museum, but with the boss that I had, I dropped it like it’s hot after just 3 months. Just in time for year-end festivities.
Also 2014 was the year that I turned 40, and to mark it – I wanted to challenge myself. Always thought I hated the cold, so decided to hotfoot it to the Arctic Circle. Specifically, Abisko in Sweden. And that was that. Now, I dream of being Elsa and running away into the unknown.
Oh yeah, this was the mid-decade f***ed up year. Had the shits scared outta me by a doctor who made me think I definitely had breast cancer (I didn’t in the end, geez), my uncle died of cancer, I still struggled with finding a job, and my mind was a major mess. I am glossing over it, but this year nearly did me in. Thank the stars for a couple of good friends.
One of whom told me to channel my energies into creating a food blog. Since you know, I am such a foodie. And I did. And it did. Save my life.
Not as depressing but still rough. 1 Jan 2016 – launched my blog, the thing that gave me focus and a sense of relevance in today’s world.
There were many nights of darkness, but shared with my one true love, I didn’t have to bear it all on my own.
As luck would have it, got a great gig as an online editor for a top travel publication, it was nice to be working with editorial / creative colleagues who were just… so… fabulous.
Things were starting to look up. The editorial gig expanded and I had more responsibility. Kept me busy and fulfilled. Until mid-year when they had to cut costs. Ah.. just when I said things were starting to look up.
But, as I said, it was a pretty good year because as soon as one opportunity ended, another popped up. Joined another fancy French company (what’s up with me and all these atas French companies?) as their Digital Content Director where I learnt so much about not just the latest in AI, Content etc but, more interestingly, about wine.
Which is an interest I am still happily nurturing (hic).
If there was just one year in this whole decade that had many “big” things happening, it would have been this one. And the most significant being the one below.
I said bye to the place in the east of Singapore that I had moved in to when I got married. Oh, this one is kinda big. This is the place I had stayed the longest at in my entire life.
No, my family weren’t nomads. My dad was an extremely successful businessman when I was growing up and we moved a couple of times to bigger and shinier places within the same vicinity.
The area of Bukit Timah near Balmoral is where my childhood years were spent, so I still feel a strong connection to it. Even though this is where my brother’s illness started, and I started noticing my “strange” family situation, I still have very fond memories of my childhood homes, especially the condo with the weirdest name that all my dear school friends would make fun of! It still pops up in my dreams.
But, my place in the east is the longest (14 years, the same number of years I have been married) that I had stayed put in one house.
We moved to be nearer to family, specifically my mom, since she is getting older and needs more support.
Now, I am in this unfamiliar hood. I love my spanking new apartment but I don’t dig the hood. I want my eastside back. I will go back one day.
Also, I left the atas French company in Sept, and didn’t regret a minute after. Had too many things to deal with and help my mom with at that time.
As I said, after the biggies, good and bad of the decade, this was a strangely mild (by my standards) year. I love it.
I decided that I should give my own business a fair chance, and have been embarking on building up my marketing consultancy and content creation business. This is important. It means focusing on this, no matter what other corporate opportunities come my way. It’s giving myself a fair shot.
More importantly, I am finally doing what has been at the back of my mind for so long. Something to do with creating awareness of mental illness and the shit people who are surrounded by it have to deal with. There were thoughts of writing a book, a play, being involved in organisations etc, but in the end, I decided to start this blog.
This isn’t some feel-good initiative. It’s a blog about keeping it real, telling it like it is.
I hope it helps somewhat. Maybe me, maybe you, maybe someone out there.
Yes of course this year, there was shit I had to deal with (I have a schizophrenic brother whose sole caregiver is my ailing 72-year-old mother who is divorced from my estranged dad – does that give an indication of the level of shit I have to deal with?) but I saw a little light.
I decided that I could and would only do so much, and started saying no and focused on self-care. And this is what I am going to bring into the new year, maybe the next decade too.
Hello tiger, I think you’re going to like it here.