Balloons make the world go round — Graduation 2014

To see Life, To see the World

Through a new lens in 2015.

This post came a bit later than everyone’s hype with New Year’s Resolutions since I had exams at the beginning of the month, but as they always say, better late than never.

I love those first few weeks of January too, when I feel as if I were venturing in the desert with nothing but a vast expanse of time ahead of me. The possibilities seem limitless and I am at complete freedom to make the year ahead the best year of my life. Too optimistic? Maybe, but more importantly, I am thankful that I still possess the motivation and energy to make things happen.

Review of my 2014 resolutions

They can be found at my post this time last year.

  1. Spiritually: 2014 has been a good year in terms of deepening my connections with my wonderful church. I did complete the 2:7 discipleship course, albeit missing a couple of classes here and there owing to scheduling conflicts. I met some wonderful people and started serving at the church’s Connect Counter as well, which I really enjoyed. My regrets are that I still haven’t found the right care group for myself and I haven’t been able to serve on the worship team yet. I learned that I must be proactive in seeking out opportunities for myself and building connections whenever I can. I also learned that priority is everything — no matter how busy I am, I can always make time for activities I enjoy. On top of all, I am immensely thankful that my sister is becoming more attached to the church community and has started serving with me.
  2. Financially: I am thoroughly blessed to be joining an employer which offers stipends for its prospective employees, i.e. a sum of money to support me in my final year of legal training, exclusive of my school fees. Therefore, I have been officially financially independent starting from October last year. I also took up a new tuition job which allows me to teach my favourite English writing again to a lovely student who only lives a few blocks away from me. All in all, I am definitely in a much stabler financial position compared to last year.
  3. Artistically: This facet is not so easy to conclude in one or two sentences. I am still keen on photography and I’ve had marvelous opportunities to travel to Myanmar, Vietnam, Taiwan and Japan in 2014, which provided ample inspiration for my photography in their own unique ways. However, I did not spend as much time as I’d like to improve my skills. It’s easy to forget my passion for seeing the world with new eyes when I am too bogged down by work and other mundane details. As for my writing, I managed to stay on Medium throughout the year, despite some self-doubt on how to gain a wider readership following Medium’s abolishment of Collections. A good reminder for myself again: “Keep writing on this platform, even if I am writing for myself only.”
One of my favourite photos taken in Myanmar, June 2014.

4. Academically: I guess I did manage to get by as a student and successfully graduated from my Bachelor of Laws degree. Graduation was an emotional moment for me — I spent ages obsessing over my academic dress and makeup before the ceremony and I was awestruck by the solemnity of the congregation during the real thing. For the first time in five years, I felt the weight of the graduation diploma in my hands and I was proud to be a graduate of this established faculty. I might not have been the brightest in my year, but I am thoroughly grateful for the education I’ve received (thoroughly humbling in every sense of the word). Outside of school, in terms of general information management, I stuck to Mailbox and Pocket throughout the year, and also added Sunrise Calendar and Todoist along the way, but I gave up on Feedly gradually because I was suffering from information overload. I’ll still have to figure out the best method for me to become well-read on the Internet.

My family and I on the day of the Congregation

Thank you, 2014. It hasn’t been a year of amazing surprises unlike my 2013, but it has been a year filled with blessings, allowing me plenty of time to explore my own identity and what I truly want out of life. 2015, hopefully, will be the time to realize my goals and take my life experiences to a new level.

My 2015 New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Continue to deepen connections with my church community. Definitely join the Worship Team this year, and possibly explore for a new care group or a new class to join.
  2. Try something scary and push myself out of my comfort zone as much as possible. In the past I’d been too concerned about what people might think and hesitated too much at the door thinking whether I should go in alone. This year, I’ll have a direct answer to that voice in my head, “DON’T THINK. Just do it.”
  3. Make the last summer holiday of my life meaningful. Right now I’m thinking of either doing a UNDP Internship or traveling to South America.
  4. Take one photo a day. Continue to polish my skills in photography.
  5. Write in my journal every day. Try to publish on Medium at least once a month.
  6. Love myself more. Tell myself every day that it’s okay to be different.

All my life I’ve wanted to explore the kind of lifestyle that I truly aspire to, and the people I admire most are always those who stay authentic to their true selves. However, partly because of academic obligations, and more because of my self-consciousness, I’ve let so much time pass me by over the last few years when I could have experienced much more out of life. 2015, I decided, is the time to change all that. Because posters always know better, I’m going to live life like what my favourite poster tells me to in 2015:

“To see Life, To see the World!” -Henry Luce 1936, on my bedroom door to remind me of the importance of living my life

May everyone live life to the full in 2015.

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