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Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018!
Sunday, 31 December 2017 at 00:18 | 0 Comments
2017 has been a year, similar to many others I've lived through. It was with no doubt filled with ups and downs. Nonetheless, I feel that this year is a tad special to me.

The highlight of my 2017 is definitely my virgin trip to South Korea. As an avid fan of K-pop since I was a young teen, well, 14 to be exact, South Korea was my dream country to visit. During this gap of 11 years, there were countless of times where I've planned to go but failed due to the lack of financial support, in-dependency, and other factors. Finally, in May 2017, everything fell perfectly in place and I was able to take off to the land of Kimchi with my best travel mate, my boyfriend.

This trip to Korea was definitely the happiest, and the most memorable one we've taken so far. It was the very first time we got to travel to a country, 4,669km away from home, all by ourselves. We stayed in cosy Airbnbs which felt like home and the experience of having no one else but each other, made our relationship grew stronger. Getting to explore a country we've both never been to before was fun and thrilling. You can watch my Korea vlogs here, but I feel like the vlogs didn't quite capture the fun we had as most of the enjoyable parts were very candid and off-camera, especially towards the end because I was getting physically tired of filming. The biggest joy of this trip was definitely having my boyfriend by my side. Growing up with strict parents, being away from my family for 12 days was not an easy task, but my boyfriend made Korea feel like home.

When we went to Jeju, I was having second thoughts about driving in the island because I only had my license for 5 months, but his support made me step out of my comfort zone and I'm so glad I did it. This trip made me feel truly blessed to have met someone like him, and I think it's crazy how we make such a great team. I often hear that boys don't enjoy Korea, but I'm positively sure my boyfriend enjoyed it as much as I did because up till today, he still expresses that he wants to go back again one day.

During the 2 weeks in Korea, I've experienced many first-times including driving in a foreign country, driving for nearly 2 hours straight, which is something you can't really do here in Singapore, staying in a Hanok (a Korean traditional house), wearing a Hanbok (the Korean traditional costume), having a conversation in Korean with a Korean, visiting a public bath house (and being completely naked in front of so many strangers!!), and many more! All these experiences are what I cherish and treasure the most from my trip to Korea, and I am more than happy to be able to strike "Visit South Korea" off my bucket list.

In 2017, my channel definitely grew as I've gained a total of nearly 3,000 new subscribers which is insane. When I first started, I've never thought anyone would be interested in the videos I make, moreover work with me for videos! Therefore, I am so thankful to be able to work with so many new companies in 2017. Apart from the free goodies companies send me, I am also extremely grateful for the kind people I've met in my Youtube career. I now have a sponsor for my hair and it feels so surreal. The team at Hair Plus Korean Salon has been too kind and sweet to me. Thanks to them I also got to attend an event as a Youtuber! It was nerve-wrecking for sure, but they accompanied me throughout the event which made me feel at ease. As a frequent user of Ezbuy, I am so surprised that they approached me to work with them, and I also got my very first clothing sponsor from SthSweet.com which is an amazing online Korean clothing shop! Another new and fun experience was definitely filming for Avone Beauty Secrets. That was the very first time I was being filmed by someone else (the team from The Film Smith were very humorous and easy to work with). The proper filming equipment and lighting really fascinated me and it was also the first time I got to wear a clip-on microphone which was pretty cool! Not to mention, I got to work with The Body Shop and LUSH which are huge brands that I love way before I started my channel.

After I uploaded all my Korea Travelogues, I started feeling very unmotivated to film and edit. As my channel grew, I started to become more aware of the quality of the videos I upload and because of that I ended up filming a lot of videos, but only a few managed to pass my own standards and get uploaded. I am definitely trying to change this thought of mine because it defeats the initial purpose of why I wanted to start a channel, and that is to document my life. I noticed how I used to post chatty videos of random things like updating you guys about my job, etc and I wish to continue doing the same as before. Other than having a higher standard of what videos I upload, it was never easy, juggling a full-time job, a Youtube channel and a blog. I barely get enough rest during my rest days as those are the only days I get to film and edit. Thankfully, Youtube and Blogging is something that I genuinely enjoy doing, and that is one of the main reasons why I'm still keeping up with it.

Of course, I wouldn't be as motivated without my own little community of supporters and viewers who always take the time to watch, like, and comment on my videos, as well as chat with me on Instagram! As a small part-time Youtuber, every ounce of support means so much to me as it shows me that my efforts are being recognized, appreciated, and it doesn't make talking to a camera meaningless and one-dimensional anymore.

At 25, I've come to realize the importance and value of time. Therefore, 2017 has been rewarding for the fact that I managed to step out of a few toxic friendships. I didn't want to address this anymore, but I can't deny that this is indeed a huge change in my life that happened in 2017, and it is something that affected me for awhile. Prior to making the big step, I did hesitate a lot. I was scared and constantly tried to convince myself that they are friends worth keeping. I hovered around that thought for about 2 months, until it got really mentally tiring for me. It was not an easy decision to make, but I am glad I went with it.

Not many knew what happened because a lot of things we see on social media are molded to give the illusion like we are living the perfect life. We always appear to be 'friendship goals', but in real life, are we really? It was only until this whole thing happened, that I took a step back and think, do they really love and care for one another? No, they don't, and I didn't just assume that they don't, they proved it to me. For those of you curious souls, here's a 'summary' (my boyfriend always say I probably failed my 'summary' section in secondary school because I'm so bad at summarizing haha!) of what happened.

I've had a group of friends for the past 10 over years and despite drifting slightly apart from one another due to adult life, we still make the effort to meet up from time to time and especially on holidays such as Chinese New Year, and Christmas. They've always been an important group of friends to me and I believe how much they meant to me can be proven by the fact that I am always one of the few who makes the effort to organize and plan our gatherings despite being the lazy person I am. Everything appeared to be going well until mid-2017, when the girls started to exclude me from their gatherings because they, apparently, has been disliking me since 'a long time ago', as they said.

After I found out via my sixth sense (hahaha), I've tried multiple times to find out why and what I did wrong to deserve the hate from them. In response, they couldn't give me any reason. The worst thing was, before I prompted them for the reason, they were still pretending to be okay with me...*inserts snake emoji* I've thought about it over and over. What exactly have I done?

There is no such thing as a perfect friend. Heck, there's no such thing as a perfect sibling, a perfect parent, a perfect boyfriend, a perfect girlfriend, etc. It's okay to be lacking. There are bound to be things we dislike about a person but it all depends on whether you choose to keep it in your tiny heart, or be forgiving and let it go. Do I have things I dislike about them? Sure I do. But do I gather all these petty hate in my heart? No, because I don't expect people to live the way I please, I don't rule the world, and in other words, I'm not self-entitled. There's a saying that we're a good judge for the mistakes of others and a good lawyer for our own. I don't know what mistakes I've made relating to them to deserve the hate, but I know what I've done. I've done my part as a good friend and I'm confident and proud to be able to say that.

Haters. I've concluded, is what they are. When you hate someone because of a valid reason, it's most likely that you wouldn't want to have anything to do with them. But when you're a hater, you feed and thrive on hate. When you hate someone, you start to nitpick every little thing they do. You try to manipulate and gather more people to hate on that person, you twist and exaggerate situations to put that person in a bad light, and you keep yourself updated with that person's life just to see if there's anything more you can hate on. When a hater hates someone, it's not because that person has done something that deserves it, but because that person is most likely a billion times better than who the hater is.
"What you say about a person reflects what kind of person you are." 
After I found out the minority hates me, I was still keeping in touch with the majority and we talked a lot in private because I was struggling with the loss of this friendship. It affected me like a bad breakup, basically, it felt like my feelings were cheated on by an asshole. During those private talks, I found out a lot of truths about this group of 'close' friends. I have tea, but I'm choosing not to spill it. Let's just say that it opened my eyes to all the internal conflicts I didn't know existed. When I see them hanging out together now, I don't miss them, but rather, I feel glad that I'm no longer a part of them.

When it comes to relationships, I've always been a straight-forward person, to the point where I've once texted a guy and ask "hey, I heard that you like me, is that true?" in Secondary school (it's true by the way, and I turned him down because I was only 15 and grew up with strict parents). When I don't like someone, I don't, and I can't pretend that I do. When my boyfriend does something wrong, I tell him what he has done wrong and not be childish and say things like "don't you know what you've done?". I'm 25 and I'm too old for relationship games, or at least that was what I thought all 25 year olds would think. They still call each other a "clique" and they still insert heart emojis in their captions, but remember, I was once in the picture but was secretly hated on for 'a long time'.

That said, there are still a handful of fun, amazing, one-faced (hahaha) people in the group and we once had a lot of fun when we were together. It's just unfortunate that we didn't grow up at the same pace and some people just loves drama because their life isn't interesting on its own. Like I've said in this blog post here, I really hope one day them haters will find their inner peace and learn that we all have our unique strengths. Focus on that, focus on improving yourself, instead of constantly trying to grow hatred in your heart.

Many of my current friends have told me to not mention my 'ex-friends' anymore because they are not worth my time and emotions. But I don't think there's anything wrong to admit that you've been hurt and affected by a toxic relationship. To many of you, I might just be pixels on your screen, but in reality, I'm still a regular human being with feelings and the first thing I've learnt in 2017 is to not be ashamed of how I feel.

I recently chanced upon a video on Facebook and it talked about how people who cries in movies are stronger. I am one of those people who cries in movies, and dramas, and series. I've always felt embarrassed about this, so whenever I cry in a theater, I would always look away, blink like a thousand times per minute, and attempt to subtlety wipe away my tears so no one would notice. But apparently, according to that video, if you do cry in movies, it proves that you have a heart, is empathetic enough to relate yourself with the characters in the movie, and you're the kind of person who'd always put yourself in the shoes of others. Why was I so embarrassed about that?

I've also learnt how important it is to have an opinion of my own. I believe when many of us were younger, we used to hear the phrase 'peer pressure' very often, because it is a real thing. I grew up keeping my opinions shut in my heart whenever it differs from the majority. But in recent years, I've learnt that just because the majority thinks a certain way, it doesn't mean they are right and it doesn't mean I'm wrong to think another. Everyone is entitled to have their own opinions and it's normal to have a different one. At 25, I believe it's time to quit being a blind follower and start having your own stand. One of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite books in 2017, How To Kill A Mocking Bird is,
"The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."
This simply means that (source) 'although the majority may agree, each person knows in their heart what the truth is. Each person has the responsibility to step up and do the right thing. This is especially poignant when we consider the Tom Robinson trial.'

In Tom Robinson's trial, he was wrongly accused of raping a white girl, simply because he is black. Even though majority voted him guilty, in their hearts, they all knew that he was innocent. Still, nobody dared go against the majority's vote, sentencing Tom Robinson to jail.

Another thing I've learnt in 2017 is, money is the easiest and laziest way to show someone you love them, especially for a capable working adult like myself. No amount of money and material items can replace love. Here's the simplest example, a person can buy me a 10-course meal in a fanciful restaurant as long as he/she can afford it, but it will never compare to a simple meal cooked by my mum. Something that involves effort and love, is always more valuable than something that only involves money.

The last thing I've learnt in 2017 is less, is more.

In 2018, I hope to be an even better person. I mentioned in my 'How to be a happier person' blog post that I am hoping to do some volunteer work. But up till today, I have yet to do any. I nearly went for one on Christmas Eve... But the slots were full, so hopefully better luck in 2018! Apart from being a better person to the society, I also hope to be an even better daughter, an even better sister, an even better girlfriend, and an even better friend.

In 2018, I hope to be a healthier person. Also in my 'How to be a happier person' blog post, I mentioned about taking care of my physical health and honestly, I was working out so much during the period I wrote that post, and it felt so incredibly good. Not only did I feel less lethargic, but I also felt confident about myself. I haven't worked out in ages because not long after I did that blog post, I fell sick for 2 whole weeks and pretty much lost my motivation and drive. I've constantly tried to get back on track but I always fall sick just when things are starting to get easy again. As for my mental health, 2017 was definitely a happier year for me since in 2016, I was really struggling with my anxiety disorder. In 2017, I tried really hard to keep my stress levels controlled by taking my de-stress routines very seriously, and so I hope to keep up with that in 2018.

As for my Youtube career, towards the end of 2017, I started to vlog more and I really enjoyed filming little snippets of my weekends! Prior to that, I would always laze around in bed after I've filmed my 'sit down' videos, but now, I find myself heading out and exploring even more thanks to vlogging! I've recently got myself a new camera for casual vlogging, so I look forward to more weekend vlogs. As I've mentioned, Youtube is something I genuinely love, so frankly speaking, I don't really need motivation for this, but I do hope to grow my channel even more.

Via my Youtube channel, I managed to step out of my comfort zone a number of times in 2017. I am an introvert, and a socially awkward person. I can be very loud and talkative when I'm around people I'm familiar with, but once I'm home, I'd feel so drained and exhausted. I absolutely hate meeting new people because of how awkward I am, but in 2017, I've met so many new people like the team from Hair Plus Korean Salon whom I met to discuss collaboration projects with, I've also turned up at the public event I mentioned above with Hair Plus Korean Salon as a Youtuber, I've met with the marketing team at Avone Beauty Secrets, the videographers from The Film Smith,... All these made me learn that stepping out of my comfort zone simply means expanding it. I'm still not the most positive when it comes to meeting new people especially for work (i.e. Youtube), but I hope in 2018, I'll be able to feel more comfortable about that and meet even more people!

So that sums up my 2017 and my hopes for the new year. As usual, if I can only have one new year wish, it'd be good health for all my loved ones. If you think this post isn't lengthy enough, I did a similar post at the end of 2016, so if you'd like to have a recap of my previous year, click here.

Happy new year, and I'll see you again next year!