We are 9 days into the new year, and I still cannot believe we are already in 2015! The past year had gone by like a whirlwind, with little time to stop to think much about what I was doing, much less write about it.
With that said, I want to take this time as a chance to reflect on the past year and think about what I hope to achieve in the year ahead. It might be cliché, and there might be a growing movement of people against making new year resolutions because they are too hipster for their own good, but in my opinion, any reflection at all is better than none! So here goes…
2014 was a year of transitions.
I bade farewell to University and entered the big world of work and corporate life. I moved out of my internship with Mondelēz and moved into my first official job ever. Things have been rocking ever since – in a good way, of course.
While every job comes with its inherent challenges and pursuant “complications”, I am thankful that I can wake up every day to a new challenge or some new learning. The empowerment I am given at work is also incredible, almost unbelievable at my experience level. I am thankful that I have a superior who is more than just a boss and who has faith in my capabilities.
I am also thankful that I have colleagues that I enjoy working with. Going to work every day is a joy because of the conversations I have and the sharing that we have on a daily basis. I know I am quite spoiled by the job in this sense – it is rare to find people who can click so well with you, much less colleagues.
I still remember my job search process and all the signs along the way. Looking back, I can’t help but feel that God has prepared the way for me and led me to this job 🙂
In 2014, I resolved to find a job that I will love. I am glad I achieved that.
2014 was also a year of many overseas trips for me.
Perhaps too many for my wallet’s comfort, if you ask me. Because of that, my resolution to save up more suffered and fell through. Hopefully 2015 would be different! Nevertheless, the trips were good times of bonding with both friends and the girlfriend. Here are some photo highlights 🙂
New Year Celebration in Taiwan
I don’t think I will ever go back to Taiwan for 跨年 (New Year’s Eve countdown) again since the fireworks was so disappointing, but I definitely will want to go back to Taiwan. The people are just so incredibly friendly and there is this sense of familiarity about it, possibly stemming from the fact that I am a closet cheena-pai person 🙂 Not to mention the amazing street food and weather!
The girlfriend and I went for a short trip to Gold Coast to learn surfing. Wicked fun! The thrill of feeling the water beneath your feet and conquering the waves are hard to describe.
With this trip, I also fulfilled my resolution to go for at least one beach holiday with my girlfriend to make up for our previously horrible beach experiences over the years (think: rainy Bintan and overcrowded, tanker-filled horizon Sentosa).
With both of us being lovers of water, it was a great time doing what we loved too!
The girlfriend was on overseas training for a long time, and so I decided to spring a little surprise on her one morning. I managed to catch her at 6am while she was still groggy. I still remember how comical it was to see her stare at me for a good 5 minutes before she could confirm that it was really me and not some weird stranger knocking at her hotel door.
Hong Kong was different this time around as compared to the past few times I have been. Partially because the Occupy Central protests were going on, but also because we spent a lot more time hunting down the good food.
Particularly memorable was our trip to the über authentic Hong Kong dim sum restaurant, Lin Heung. I experienced dap toi (sharing a table with others) for the first time, and snatching dim sums before they ran out was pretty refreshing too. Not an experience everyone would enjoy, but still! Of course, we also visited the famous Ichiran Ramen which had absolutely delicious ramen.
Finally, 2014 was a year of learning.
Having worked for a good 9 months, one of the key things that keeps me energised is the fact that I get to learn new things on the job almost every day. I went in thinking I knew more than most about what marketing was about, and realised that there was so much more out there.
Recently, I have been learning more about digital and paid media optimisation. It is fascinating how far the technology has come and how much media buying has changed over the span of a few years. I am quite honoured to be at the forefront of all these, honestly.
I am also glad for my analytics internship at Mondelēz that really prepared me for a lot of my work. It is incredibly useful to be comfortable with data sets and to be able to see insights from the information that others present to you. On a big picture level, it is also about being able to take a step back to see what the whole story is about rather than focusing on KPIs and individual metrics.
That more or less ends my (hopefully) short summary of the year that has passed.
Looking at my 2014 resolutions, I managed quite a few ticks after all.
One thing that I really didn’t manage to do was to write more. I allowed my work to take up most of time and neglected this space quite a bit in the past year. There are also bits of this site that I want to brush up on, especially now that I have moved on to a different stage of life. Watch this space for changes to come!
And now, for my 2015 Resolutions!
I think 2015 will be a year of consolidation and focus for me. I want to keep doing what I am doing, and start to stabilise my life again. I also want to rediscover my interests and do the things that I have kept saying I want to do but never did. Starting with….
1. Go on a kayaking expedition with Kayakasia.
I have been wanting to go for so many years, but somehow never did either because of cost or timing. This year, I really want to take time out to go!!!
Kayaking was always a passion of mine, but I never found the chance to pick it up again properly. Does anyone know how I can just go kayaking on my own and not use one of those gigantic plastic boats that Water Venture has? Your sharing will be much appreciated 🙂
2. Save up.
This is an unaccomplished resolution from last year. This year, I want to be more watchful of the way that I spend my money and be able to set aside funds for longer term plans. After all, I am not getting any younger, and it’s time I start saving up for a nest of my own.
I always feel old being so sensible, but I should lah right!
3. Lose 10kgs!
This is something I promised the girlfriend. I think it’s also high time I put in some discipline into my lifestyle and health choices, therefore the concrete metric.
4. Surf Again
I enjoyed myself tremendously in Gold Coast, and I definitely want to try the sport again, albeit at a lower price tag. Been thinking of going back to Wave House to see if the feeling is similar, or going to a nearby island… Hope I can do that this year!
5. Learn Japanese/French
Again, something I always wanted to do but never found the chance to. I am rediscovering this interest and recommitting myself to doing something about these latent interests of mine. Let’s see where that leads me this year.