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Everyone has their reason for living and for me, wanderlust is what keeps me alive. What reminds me that I am alive is by carrying out the act of traveling. Now that is important because many times I forget to breathe, or that I am breathing, or how it would feel like to fight for a gulp of breath before the heart’s last beat.

Every year I make a list of 10 new year resolutions with the purest intention to achieve at least 70%. One of them from 2014 (as you can see clearly in huge font size below) was ‘Find A Job I Love’.

Before 2014, I toiled for the sake of fattening up my piggy bank to afford my own voyages. As I approached a slightly later stage of my 20′s, I started to wonder: If I have to toil anyway, why not do something I actually enjoy?

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{2014 New Year Resolutions list}

Regardless of which company or organization I was in, I found myself thinking and doing things peeps in an agency would. Yet I never dared to try it out. All my life I hear my mates telling me to steer away from that life because:

  1. - You will have NO life.
  2. - Everyone smokes and you WILL be one of them.

I was an idiot for believing exactly what I heard without testing it out for myself to judge. What I learned is:

  1. - Whether it’s an agency or the client’s side – it’s the same thing. It’s about knowing how to ‘fight’ to preserve your life after work, which you rightly deserve.
  2. - How strong my stand is on being a #1 fan of anything anti-smoking.

In December 2013, I went job hunting and found myself at a place where I dedicated most of my time to grow and build a career rather than just a job.

As I went along, I realized all the while that the lessons are always in the people – I’ve never observed the way mortals work so much until now. How common sense is actually not common. And that sometimes you are all alone and you better mother-fucking train yourself to be your own Mahatma Gandhi or start meditating.

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If my life was a pie chart, the slice flavored ‘career’ had dominated a huge chunk of it last year. Although I am where I want to be, every now and then I look at my Tiffany blue list feeling upset that despite my efforts to be a lady full of inspirations, I am just a girl who finds her head lying on her desk at 1am with an aching neck trying to blog, but the page is only 20% scribbled. Multiple Flickr pages opened yet untouched. Leave alone ‘learning PhotoShop’, ‘take vocal classes’, ‘reply emails spontaneously’, or ‘celebrate International Friendship Day‘.

No career in the world can be built without time and sacrifices, and 2014 has outdone it. Thank you.

This year, instead of simply putting down a list of 10 things, I’ve decided to draw a pie chart with it to weigh my life priorities and what I should must achieve before 30. (I am now 28.)

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Here is the decoded version:

1. Giving: Be a better friend / bridesmaid.

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A friend of mine got married last November. Eri is my best friend who has always been there for me during my worst times. What I feel really ashamed of is for not throwing her a hen’s night she deserves.

I was so busy chasing deadlines that I pushed it from one weekend to another, and in a blink of an eye her big day has arrived. All I did was wear the bridesmaid dress and walk the bridesmaid walk. I wouldn’t want a friend like me on my wedding day.

There is a Chinese belief that says you can only be a bridesmaid 3 times this lifetime. After 3, you won’t get married anymore. This year, I would be a bridesmaid for the 3rd and 4th time; with the 4th being my soul sister’s, Ai Rene, in Turkey.

Be it about remembering birthdays better or sending random surprises across the globe, I want to put greater effort to be a better friend to those who are worthy of my time in 2015.

2. Explore: Travel 4 to 6 countries this year

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The beautiful inevitable is flying to Istanbul for Ai Rene’s wedding in June. Cappadocia has been a place I must go or die ever since I discovered its existence. From there I would either marry myself in Santorini, or visit 3 beautiful cities namely Prague, Vienna and Budapest in 1 go.

The challenging inevitable is completing my South East Asia voyage by ticking off Myanmar and Laos, my travel resolution last year, which was replaced by France and Japan. (Lucky I can live with that.) I mentioned ‘challenging’ because it is gonna be tricky with my annual leaves, but this trip is something I must do nonetheless. To visit Nepal too would be a priceless bonus.

3. Responsibility: About Family

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I managed to call grandma once a month from January to October 2014. Obviously that is not good enough. This is a resolution made to be preserved for many years to come. The top up would be to practice more patience when speaking and listening to my parents.

4. Be Connected: Self-Improvement (a)

This slice is divided to two parts, what I’d call ‘internal’ and ‘external’.

‘Internal’ involves everything that makes you more grounded to earth. i.e.

  • - Be connected with own self by practicing to be more alert with my surroundings and to give ample attention to my instincts / sixth sense.
  • - Involve less emotions at work – to speak softer, seek solutions > see problems and to be even more organized / productive.
  • - Read at least 6 of these books this year (a continued resolution), starting with Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg after completing the complex mind-wrenching Cloud Atlas.

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5. Growing: Self Improvement (b)

‘External’ involves taking classes or courses to learn new things that won’t come as magic from within. Rather than going all hard-core like 2014, I’d focus at one skill at a time. Either:

  • - Learn PhotoShop, or
  • - Take vocal classes to satisfy my passion for singing.

6. Fix: Tone Up

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Let me share with you a story about health and fitness. See those Hollywood celebrities working out with their personal trainers? If you live in Malaysia and thinking to get one too; be it Fitness First, True Fitness, a big gym or small, CHOOSE and don’t hesitate to CHANGE your trainer if necessary.

In my efforts to achieve resolution #6 last year, ‘Have Victoria’s Secret Abs’, I spent more than RM7k in total to sign up at an established gym with the help of a personal trainer. The result? He became a salesman trying to sell me his external fitness plan outside the gym, supplements, vitamins… Don’t bother.

This year, I’m investing in a trusty exercise mat and a pair of colorful dumbbells to do my 300 daily crunches at home, etcetera. Can’t wait to start my first run of the year and to fit in some good swims with mum after work too!

7. Indulge: Maintaining Beauty 

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As I grow older I realized that beauty is all about maintenance. Once it is destroyed, it takes ages to (or never) heals back.

My idea of loving myself is to at the same time pamper my confidence. For a while now I’ve been squeezing my own face and walking around with a peeling red nose the next day. With that, I am going to:

  • - Go for facial once a month.
  • - Get a hair treatment at the saloon every quarterly.
  • - Experiment with more hair do’s and inspirations for the fun of it.

8. Manage: Miscellaneous

  • - Spend less time on Facebook.
  • - Control wine intake.
  • - . . . to be figured out.

9. Celebrate: Creating moments with passion to be remembered

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When I was blogging full-time, I noticed that I was a much happier and passionate person. My calendar was constantly circled with occasions and plans to surprise those around me. If wanderlust is what keeps me alive, the fuel to drive me there or anywhere at all is the word called passion.

This year I’m looking forward to cherish old traditions and make them new, namely moon cake festival, winter solstice, throw the cat a pretty birthday party, or even celebrate Thanksgiving. After all, what’s the meaning of life if it carries no moments worth cherishing?

10. Love: Build My Own World

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To be honest with myself.

To feel the sincerity after filtering out spoken words.

To differentiate love given from desire versus responsibility.

To understand that love can be everything or nothing at all at any time, so teach yourself to be able to standalone.

To remember those who truly love and to give back whole heartedly to those who are worthy of love.

To know what not to take and where to draw the line.

To accept the fragility of love.

To build my own world.

 

I hope everyday of your 2015 is filled with patience, wisdom, and the courage to look both outwards to expand the mind and inwards to know thy self better.

 

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