I’m probably two days late in doing this 2016 round up thing cos everyone seems to have already posted theirs on the last day of 2016 haha.
2016 felt like an exceptionally long year for me. I guess it’s because a lot has happened in that year. For one, it is the year I left my first job after graduation, entered and withdrew from a PhD program, and got a new job. It really feels like so much change in just one year.
(photo heavy post ahead!)
Right at the beginning of the year, Anny, my crossfit partner left for exchange for 6 months T_T So during that time, I either worked out alone or was assigned a random partner when necessary. There was no longer anyone to push me to lift heavier or go faster haha! For the first half of the year, I also had no cafe companions cos she’s the one who’s probably the most likely to, and most free among all my friends (cos student lol) to go exploring new cafes with me :P
(P.S. I still had blonde hair then hahaha)
I had a mini JC class gathering in Feb (which I would consider quite fail HAHA). Still, it was fun to catch-up and talk to these old classmates!
Participated in my very first Restaurant Week with Ray in March and had some really good French food :) I actually blogged about it earlier in 2016!
This was also the quarter when I was attending interviews for my PhD program. I had two – one Skype and one phone interview. Phone interview was new to me. I remember leaving my work cubicle around 10am to do this interview at a quiet area outside my office building haha! And the interview lasted 30-40min so I was MIA for that long. Thankfully, I had a boss who did not come into office till 1030-ish xD I didn’t tell anyone at work about this phone interview.
After CNY in Feb, I got news of acceptance into the program. I was really excited but hesitant at the same time. I shared my concerns. But people around me encouraged me to just give it a shot and just leave if I really didn’t like it. So, I accepted the offer.
Celebrated Ray’s birthday at Hotel Jen (which is on the Entertainer app)!
I went to JB for the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE hahahaha. And ate all the cheap and good food. (Thanks to Jon being the tour guide for us :P)
After going with these friends and sort of knowing where to find the good food, made a trip to JB again with Ray!
This quarter also saw my first long overseas trip with him, which was so much fun
Then in June, I went on a trip to CHINA with my mum; cos she thought it would be interesting to visit there. We went on a tour! It was not too bad, except that the food catered during the tour was reeeeally boring – ALWAYS “rice with dishes” -.- I was so sick of this “cai fan” thing by the end of the trip haha.
This was the quarter in which I tendered my resignation and left my job (my last effective working date was 30 June). Sort of explains why I managed to travel so much in such a short span of time – cos I had leave to clear before I left :3 I was all ready for a month long break before my PhD program started in August.
Anny is back!
Watched Les Mis with Ray; our first musical together :)
Celebrated my birthday; Ray got me a fitbit! :D
Participated in AFT 2016.
This quarter, I started my PhD program journey. Went for an orientation, started classes, started a research project with the profs, started reading so so many academic papers – some of which I could not understand at all. I met new people and forged new relationships (that just happened simply because our circumstances were the same – not exactly friends). The social aspect of being in this program (vs. my job) is much better.
But the work was B A D. So early on, I already started to feel like this was not a program for me. Things started to get so bad in Sept, I was crying almost everyday. I felt like I was sinking into depression from the sheer workload and stress from the program. It was nothing I ever felt before. And I like to believe that I really am a pretty determined and resilient person, so the way I felt was really not normal, and it wasn’t a “getting-back-to-school-after-working-for-a-while” (hence cannot cope) issue.
So, I made a decision to withdraw.
I was officially out of the program around the 2nd-3rd week of October. This was a quarter of spending lots of time at home, searching for jobs, attending interviews, occasionally going for coffee/cafe outings with my mum, and picking up activities I enjoy (both from the past and new ones).
I was really happy to be out of the program. As terrible/boring/demoralising job hunting was, and regardless how much I dreaded attending those job interviews, I can honestly say that I have never once regretted leaving my program. Though I was not 100% happy as a whole cos of the lack of direction after quitting, I was still happier than staying in the program.
This was my happiest and most eventful quarter of 2016 :)
Cafe dates with mum. Once or twice, dad or my youngest brother (after A-levels) tagged along too :)
Attended (possibly) my first immediate friend’s wedding.
Went on a double date and played escape room for the first time, which I found super fun! :D
Went for Cedele’s Food Market at Star Vista! This is worth mentioning cos it felt so much like a farmer’s market overseas and I LOVE Cedele bakes and food! It was just at the small open area of Star Vista but it was so fun for me :D
Baked PB cookies that Xin somehow decided to buy from me for Christmas! So I guess that counts as the very first sale of my bakes! It was stressful. I baked the same thing so many times just to improve it to the desired texture and get it consistent! Personally, I liked the end product :)
Went to JB again, but with a much bigger group this time (Jon and his church youths + Anny and I). So I had the chance to play paintball for the first time in my life! I got shot by Jon though… and till today the mark is still there :P It’s fading haha.
Attended a half-day watercolour calligraphy class and managed to produce that work of art hehe ^^
Went for our yearly family 21km SCMS run. Youngest bro not included this year cos he was on a post A-levels trip to Langkawi with his friends.
Some days toward the end of the year, Ray was on leave so we went out for some good food and fun!! We really did quite a number of things –
- Cafe hop/eat good food (esp those with entertainer app promos!)
- Beach outing
- Rock climbing
- Visited Botanic Gardens for the Christmas lights
- Visited Kranji Farm
Had a year-end dinner with the crossfit crew before Anny left for Taiwan/Japan and I’ll only see her again the next year (i.e. Jan 2017)!
And, I travelled again this quarter! With my family this time – holiday in HK :) It was so damn crowded but the food and company was gr88 so it was still not a bad trip!
Ended off 2016 with a nice family Christmas party (including +1s) :) Ray brought some cheese, crackers an wine over and made a simple cheese platter that we all loved! :D And I baked this cheesy pull-apart bread that’s so commonly seen in social media hehehe :) Turned out great! It was such an enjoyable night <3
So yes, overall a pretty fun-filled and eventful year :) On top of all these highlights, other times were filled with lots of good food and meet-ups with my oldest friends
Now, let’s move on with 2017! Please be kind :)