December 31st, 2015

Radiance

Reflections of 2015: A Year of Growth, Opportunities & Love

Hey everyone.

Before I wrote this entry, I read my past new year reflections, which I have tagged all entries here and realized just how much I've grown in terms of blogging, personality and physical appearances.

Most importantly, I realized that I am happier as the years go by. It's not because I'm leading a good life or that my life became smoother with time but largely because I've been more optimistic and got better in letting go of things that don't matter. So it's true what other people say - you can control your own happiness by changing your mindset and emotions towards things.

This year, the greatest growth in my life came from this blog, Dainty Diva.




As the blog's readership grew tremendously and Dainty Diva becomes more recognized in the blogosphere; so were the opportunities that I had the blessings to receive. Brands were starting to approach me directly for collaborations and I had the opportunity to be an advocate or a brand ambassador for some of them. I was a social media advocate for the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run and recently became one of Expressions Blogger Brand Ambassadors. Interestingly, I started to also develop a social media presence by appearing on Nestle Fitnesse's Facebook as well as Burger King's e-poster.

Dainty Diva went on to Singapore Blog Awards 2015 as a finalist for the Best Health & Wellness Blog. I've never dreamt that this little space of mine can become a blog read by many but it's platforms like these which tell me that dreams can come true. I know for a fact that I have unknowingly created a sphere of influence and that my words held importance. For the first time, I had emails from fellow readers telling me that they enjoy reading my entries; that they find me inspiring and to keep on blogging. I also got to represent my blog to meet international influencers which was, in my opinion, one of the best moments in my blogging life.

I have been immensely busy this year juggling blogging and my hectic day job but I have also been very happy to be surrounded by rich experiences and the people I've met along the way. It's an experience that I wouldn't trade for anything else.

Another change that happened this year was getting into a relationship.




Shen came into my life at an interesting point when I've lost hope in love and was prepared for a lifetime of singlehood. Yeah, I know this sounds pessimistic but when you've dated a couple of guys and none of the relationships work out, it's inevitable that you will feel that you will never find someone who will love you and treat you special.

To put it simply, Shen's presence repaired a broken heart that I've talked about in detail here and saved me from unintentional self-blame for my lack of attractiveness.




The start of a relationship is always sweet and loving. With him, I didn't have to try so hard to impress him or to guess whether he has feelings for me. I already knew why he liked me by our 2nd to 3rd date.

Of course, I would be lying if I were to say that meeting him is like meeting my soulmate and that life has been romantically blissful since then because like any other couple, we also have our problems. We started off having common interests and similar wavelength but gradually, we discovered each other's flaws and differences. There were those days when we quarrelled because we didn't agree with each other. There were also the times when we contemplated whether we would still want to be together.

This year, I learnt how to be in a relationship and I surprised myself by how much I do not know. Being single for a long while, I tend to base the 'success' of my relationship by measuring it against my friends' until I realized that every relationship progression is different and there is no reason to compare. Comparing only leads to distress and unhappiness. The best advice I've gotten instead was to enter a relationship without expectations and to enjoy getting to know each other better as well as the dating process naturally.

The thing about being in a relationship and acknowledging each other's imperfections is also learning to work around each other's differences. It's learning to understand what your partner wants and needs versus what you want and need to reach a compromise. Because of him, I learnt to see things from another person's perspective and to think beyond myself. I learnt to say 'I'm sorry too' when he apologizes after a quarrel. Most significantly, I learnt to understand his way of expressing love and appreciate it.

In essence, both of us are not perfect people. We came into this relationship with our past experiences of failed ones, uncertain of whether ours will blossom. We had our fears and insecurities of being with each other but at the end of the day, we knew that we wanted to learn and work things out. Love is a choice, not a feeling. So Shen, even though we are not each other's ideal partners, I thank you for sticking with me, tolerating my flaws and being that cheerleader in my life.




In other news, I've been very active in fitness this year. I've been gyming, pole-ling on a spinning pole, hip-hopping (ad-hoc), yoga-ing and running.

Fitness is one of the best things that has happened to me in my life and it has brought me far so I hope that it will continue to transform me over the years. I want to keep on leading an active life and inspire people to join me in this fitness journey along the way.




I also managed to go on a short getaway to Hoi An, Vietnam early this year despite being busy as hell and it turned out to be a memorable trip because Hoi An was a hidden gem.

Next year, I'll be going on a longer trip to New Zealand and I'm definitely looking forward to it.

2015 was a year of growth, opportunities and love and I hope that 2016 will be even bigger and better. Next week, I will be swarmed with work but I am not afraid of the difficulties that might come by because I also anticipate that there are exciting plans and adventures awaiting me at the same time.

I will like to take this chance to count my blessings and express my gratitude for what I have received so far. I have gotten more than I need and I am very grateful. Thank you, thank you and more thank yous to everyone around me who have brought opportunities and joy into my life.

Have a happy new year everyone and may we continue to live our lives with hopes and dreams. :)