2010-2019: A recap

Since everyone is doing it, I thought might as well right?

And in true last minute fashion, here’s my quick entry about the last decade. Figured it would be easier to go by my photos and to write the impressions down… Looking back it’s been one heck of a wild ride.

2010 Photo

2010: Of vanity and body

Took a gap year of full time work. Thinking back, I also had my first (recorded) anxiety attack here relating to careers. Lost my grandmother in December. Felt like it was the fresh start in some ways.

Devices acquired/used:

Sony Ericssion K810i
Prolink Glee UW2 (my second laptop I bought myself!)


2011: Stabilising career, missing photos

After the gap year, this was “reorienting” myself. I began a new career as a “Social Media Specialist.” Health-wise, looking through my entries, it was also the same year I was diagnosed with episodic asthma, in which shortness of breath can be triggered by specific allergies.

Devices acquired/used:

Upgraded to the Xperia Pro because I needed to do more things on the go and the K810i was no longer cutting it.
Desktop PC and laptop. The latter was used when I went out during Nanowrimo to write on the go. It was wonderful (also I was a huge fan of Ubuntu Linux then!).


2012: The travelling begins!

They say that whatever you are doing in the first 12 hours/first day of the new year is what you will be doing for the rest of the year. My family had a trip up to Genting the night before to catch the fireworks, but it was too cloudy and so it was cancelled hahaha.

In Feb I went for the first ever overseas travel trip without my parents (yes it’s laughable it took this long). Went with Neon, Priest and Windy to Japan, thank you so much for being patient with me, girls. I learnt a lot about asking for permissions, boundaries and things I should have learnt long before were it not for overprotective families.

Friends/colleagues-wise, it was the beginning of the “business shutdown” or “Sau Kong” tradition for me, where my colleagues (and ex-colleagues) would have an informal dinner to celebrate surviving another year before CNY.

I also attended quite a few client-related work events this year – I think this was when I was beginning to feel the fake-ness in advertising very strongly. Also this year could be known as the year I began amassing a small BPAL trove. I also ran a small name card contest and ended up paying the five people who joined money anyway, because their namecard designs were really good. I’m still using the winner’s version after all these years.

Another first: I was bridesmaid to a friend (aka NOT a blood family member, so that was nice). Also this was the year the company sent me for First Aid training. Besides the actual techniques, I remember tweeting about what a misogynistic POS the fireman “chief” was. This was also the year I dyed my hair purple I think.

A lot of interesting things happened in 2012, but if I don’t wrap up this section we’re never going to get through, so moving on…

Devices acquired/used:

CM Quickfire Pro (Cherry MX Blue), my very first mech keyboard – don’t use it as much because I now need a fully backlit keyboard but I rotate it with other keyboards in my collection
ASUS Transformer Pad (it lasted only 18 months and died after warranty ran out cibai)
A LOT of IEMs (in-ear headphones)


2013: More travelling, settling down

It didn’t feel like it, but looking back at my 2013 photos there were a lot of things happening. There was my second trip to Japan, which included the first time I ever slept in an airport (I’ll only do it in Japan and no other countries) and a lot more exploration.

I also continued my gaming journey by getting a 3DS I named Sachiko. FE: Awakening turned out to be my gateway drug, and I love it so till today. I was also into Ingress A LOT this year. Though more of the fun of claiming portals and not so much the rest of the gaming mechanics. There was also a breakup during this year – we both knew it was coming, just… didn’t want to let go which led to a lot of issues.

For the first time in forever, I caught my very first fish on a family trip. It was really my first, as before this during family trips I rarely landed any. Though I caught the fish on the gills and it was painful for both fish and me. I’m sorry fish!

Politically this was my second time voting and wow was it a mess. Not a mess that 2018 would be but still kinda mess.

Devices acquired/used:

ASUS Transformer Book
Pebble Watch


2014: Same old, some new

I… didn’t realise how many devices I upgraded in this particular year till I started going through my photos. This was also the year that Google Photos introduced auto-gif/making moving photos out of a burst of photos. Since my phones could do an auto burst capture, my 2014 is filled with photos of that happening.

Most of the devices bought were to either cover deficients in devices I already owned (Miband for the step counter because Pebble’s didn’t have a good one, Nexus 7 and the Logitech to replace the Asus for on-the-go writing…).

I fell in love twice this year – once with a man who would eventually become my husband, and the second with life again. Both were very tentative in the beginning, but I didn’t realise until then just how I felt. Creatively, it was the first time I tried Inktober and that was a fun experience. Though I didn’t last as long as I’d have liked hahaha.

Looking through my photos, it feels like 2014 was a very innocent year. Where there was still that clear line between online and offline, in the sense that the circles hadn’t melted together yet. Before the toxicity of GG and various other stupidities.

Also cutting this section short because I’m in May and there are STILL photos OMG self.

Devices acquired/used:

Miband (the original)
Nexus 7 (second-hand)
Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
Logitech K480 Bluetooth wireless keyboard


2015: Alive outside, dead inside

I hit a slump here. My photos reminded me a lot of things happened here, but at the same time, there is a lot of “dead” feelings here too. This was when I started looking for a way out, because I felt like I was running on repeat aimlessly. The funny thing is that creatively, this was one of the best times, as I was writing and submitting stories everywhere. When it came to lucky draws, I would generally win something substantial (like a new phone or device) so I… really didn’t have much to complain about.

Every time I think back to this year, and the trips I took, bittersweet memories fill me. This year I took my parents to Taipei, and it was the first and last time I footed most of the bill for my mom and dad. I am very glad I got to treat my dad to at least one overseas trip, and to show him that I could do this for them (he passed away the year after).

Devices acquired/used:

No change, same like the year before. Only thing I did was change the casings.


2016: New Start

Jumped into advertising because I wanted to go back to pure copywriting. This was also the beginning of my second podcasting kick – I had an hour long commute either way and podcasts were the best way to pass the time. I put on weight despite walking almost every day, because I was eating badly.

My dad passed away in February. The family took it, on the surface, well, but each of us mourned horribly in our own ways. I suppressed my feelings a lot during that time, and so my job became one from starting with fresh promise to one of insane disappointment to everyone involved. I think I fell into depression but didn’t want to admit it to myself.

I’m still unpacking lessons from this year, because there were a lot of things I could have done better about. I also bought my first property, but decided not to move in and rent it out instead as I didn’t want to leave mom on her own.

I met a lot of people here and reassessed quite a few friendships here. Some I tried to maintain but slipped away, and others well… I finally cut off.

Devices acquired/used:

OnePlus 2 – I inherited my dad’s phone as mine was showing signs of age AND the waterproof cover came off.


2017: We cheat people!

Heard this at the beginning of the year. Someone who I admired but soon came to learn was actually an abusive, insecure leader said this to us creatives. Specifically, what she said was “We work in an industry of lies. We CHEAT people!” Looking back, I can’t deny that she was right, advertising is an industry of lies. What made me pissed off and angry was the hypocrisy – especially for an agency that utilised a lot of “influencers” trying to make brands seem authentic.

I was lucky enough to find a new job as I was heading to Singapore for a talk. They paid me well and I gained breathing room, financially. I also had to adjust to waking up early as my new job began from 6am to 3pm. Due to this, I finally bought a new car (previous cars were hand-me-downs).

I travelled to Bali on a company trip and fell in love with the island. This trip also marked the first time I was sharing rooms with people whom I consider as strictly colleagues, and not friends.

Looking back, it would seem that this was also the beginning of my stationery addiction – I bought cheap notebooks and pens from Taobao via ezbuy.

Devices acquired/used:

Samsung Galaxy Note FE (because the OP2 was getting too slow for my needs)


2018: Things coming together

Career-wise, it felt like things were finally stabilising in 2018. I felt like I was in a much safer and growing place. The team also expanded, which meant that all of us could breathe easier because it was not just one person handling the load. I was reminded again why I love writing and began dipping my feet again into writing for myself.

Junior, the family dog, started showing signs of age and frequently could not find his way back to the house. I should have been more sensitive at this stage but I was very much still in my own land.

Also began a monthly Tai-tai thing! This was also the year I began upgrading a lot of my devices.

Devices acquired/used:

HP ENVY x360 – A new laptop because my desktop was showing signs of age and I wanted something portable
D-LINK AC1200 – WiFi signal in the house was getting stupid slow and we could confirm it was definitely a router issue
TP-LINK AC1900 – Used this to replace the older WiFi dongle I had on the desktop BEFORE I got the new laptop
TWS Q18 and the KZ ZST Hybrid – to replace the dying Mi headphones in the office (yes those are TWO in-ear Bluetooth headsets)


2019: Where we are

Looking back, I feel kind of proud that I managed to survive the 2010s. This year was a very eventful one – I was hospitalised, underwent my first op, got a new phone, got married, and am now writing here. I also did a podcast series, attempted to lose weight and travelled to Vietnam for a team meeting.

On a fun note, you could also say this was the same year I stepped deeply into the Samsung ecosystem (see why below).

Devices used/acquired:

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 – replacing the FE
Galaxy Watch Active – replacing my Pebble which was dying from buttons and notifications
Galaxy Buds – better connectivity and sound quality with the phone

I’m kind of glad that we survived the 2010s. Here’s to surviving the next 10!