Sunday, January 3, 2016

Checking up on myself.

As the year’s just beginning, I thought to take some time to reflect on the year just gone and see if I’m where I wanted to be in 2015.. Just glancing through my resolutions from the year before, it’s remarkable how many I’ve forgotten but ended up doing anyway. I guess it’s true that when you decide on something, even long after, you’re subconsciously geared towards achieving it.

2015 Resolutions!

1. Travel to 5 new places

Travelling has been a part of my resolution for years now and I’m so fortunate that I’ve been able to do so loads this past year, going to more places than I planned.

i) Korea

Wrote a little about Seoul here for the trip there with my mom and grandmother. I had an incredible time there and got a taste of such a wonderful and unique country! Also tried Korean Fried Chicken for the first time and I have to admit – it is worth the hype and more.

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ii) Oslo, Norway

Oslo was a short getaway with the law girlies for a little respite from all the readings and work we’ve been up to and it certainly did the trick! For the first time, I also spent the night at the aiport. Quite an experience, I must say. Would love to blog about it because it was such a treat, but we’ll see if time permits.

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iii) Malaga, Spain

Took this trip really early on in the year, when London was cold and gloomy. In sharp contrast, Malaga was all sun and blue skies which made for a perfect winter getaway. I would recommend a trip here for anyone who likes to take their holidays slow.

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iv) Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen was so much fun, a highlight being our visit to Tivoli Gardens. Paid Denmark a visit with my best friends and our boyfriends and had a really good time together (although the food was meh!).

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v) Edinburgh, Scotland

Wrote about all there is to do, see, and eat in Edinburgh and it marked Seth’s and my first trip together!

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vi) Dublin, Ireland

Got tickled silly by the accents, realised my favourite beer is Heineken, and had amaaaaazing food in Ireland!

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Except ^ this meal. This meal was mediocre.

vii) Birmingham, England

Paid a quick visit to Birmingham for a few hours which may not really be considered ‘travel’, but as I visited their famous Christmas market, which is a pretty touristy thing to do, I say it counts.

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viii) Cirebon & Jakarta, Indonesia

Headed to Indonesia as part of my work experience over the summer break and though I’ve been to Bandung before, it was my first time in Cirebon and Jakarta. The hospitality in Indonesia is incredible and the food was delicious. Definitely a country with loads to offer.

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2. Update my blog regularly

This is self explanatory. And most certainly did not happen hahaha. I’m off to a promising start for 2016 with this post!

3. Reach 1000 followers on Instagram

As a joke a couple of years ago, I said I wanted 1000 followers which would mark the pinnacle of my Instagram career lolol. I was promised an Instagram party (which has not happened yet cough cough) and although I’ve gotten there, I realised it didn’t mean as much to me as I thought it would. But don’t suddenly all unfollow me lah!

4. Learn Mandarin (ie put effort into it!)

I don’t recall if I even tried. I did attempt to speak a little more and have been told I sound fluent by non-speakers? Although if you listen closely, you’d realise I only know the same few words.

5. Daily devotion

Started a habit of reading something and praying every night and although I did forget every now and then, I would do so more often than now. The thing about Christianity is that you can’t forget why you’re doing it, or do things just to go through the motions. Once it becomes a ritual, there’s a danger of it becoming nothing but one, and like any other relationship, there has to be a genuine connection. So gotta learn to quiet my heart a little more when I turn to God.

6. Learn to cook! - food diary them!

This definitely happened! The learning to cook part, not the food diary bit hahaha. I’m so much more comfortable in the kitchen than I used to be, and even enjoy it for the most part. You can check out my recipe for some Gochujang chicken and steamed egg here, hopefully not the last of them to feature on this blog. Open-mouthed smile 

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7. Do something meaningful

I’d like to think my small involvement with Backpack of Blessings was a way for me to do something meaningful, but rather than be satisfied with it, we could always do more!

8. Try something new

Signed up for the gym and starting boxing this year! I love it! Contrary to what the number of exclamation marks I end my sentences with may imply, I’m actually not a very physically aggressive person! LOL or so I say. But boxing is really fun for releasing tension; being able to throw punches is surprisingly liberating. Although I lose feelings in my arms and shoulders after every class for a bit, it’s still so satisfying!



9. Make use of LSE better - speak to my teachers, read library books, whatever.

This didn’t happen as much as I would’ve liked. Although I did borrow a couple of library books, I hardly read any of them, and I only booked one office hour to meet a teacher. But, it’s still a better use of the LSE, and I have one semester left to make the best of it.

10. No phones at the dinner table - unless relevant or necessary

For the most part, this worked out but I still do find myself reaching for my phone when conversation lulls or people turn to theirs. Gonna try leaving my phone at home this year every now and then, just to get accustomed to not being tied to it.

11. Regularly sleep by 1am

My sleep pattern definitely normalised in the past year, which is fantastic! But I’ve become so dependent on sleep now that when I have less than 8 hours, it feels a little strange. I’m not used to this, especially since I used to function on much less. Just need to be consistent with my sleep schedule and it should be fine!

12. Save money!

Didn’t actually do anything practical to achieve this besides go out less, so I would hardly call it an achieved resolution. I did manage to almost completely quit online shopping, but spent a fair amount on travelling so I would say it cancels out.

13. Read a book a month?

I probably only read 7 books this year and definitely not once a month, but will probably try this again for 2016! But here are some quick reviews for the ones I did read.

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls – Really opened my mind as to the kinds of people in this world. Read it and realised how differently people value things. The narrative is easy to follow and is definitely worth a read.

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell – If you’ve read Malcolm Gladwell’s work before, it’s told in his usual analogy style that’s scientific yet story-based, making it another easy non-fiction read

City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare – Forgot about The Moral Instruments series after the movie butchered the plot and characters, but I’m glad I picked this up again and very quickly found myself lost in the world of Clary, Simon, and Jace, with its cast of lovable characters and pulling plot. This is the 5th and 6th book in a series of 6, and I have to say that I definitely preferred the first three. If you’re looking for a series to follow and you’re into those fantasy-type stories with vampires and werewolves and more, Mortal Instruments might do it for you!

Paper Towns by John Green – Didn’t enjoy this as much and found every character unlikable. Felt the same about the movie, but considering how it’s such a big hit, maybe it’s just me.

How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer – A fun read about how we make up our minds over the smallest of decisions and gives insight as to why we end up making terrible decisions over big issues. Filled with analogies and little facts, which make for good ‘Did You Know?’ moments when trying to not touch your phone at the dinner table.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – A delight to read from start to finish, that made me long for the creativity of my younger days. To me, it’s a story about people and about love – very highly recommended. It’s such a short read, you’d take less than a day!

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And just because I recently found this buried deep in my hard drive and thought it was hilarious, maybe you’d also like to see baby Tiff from many years ago. Ahh, to the good old days when being round was adorable..

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Just a week till London and work beckons. Yikes! Wish me luck and keep me in your prayers!

2 comments:

  1. Happy New Year! What brilliant achievements last year - hope you enjoyed your time in Brum when you visited (even if it was brief!!)

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    1. Hey Emily! Yes, I did! Thank you and happy new year to you as well! Thanks for dropping by ;)

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