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17 2011

11:21 PM


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2010 in a nutshell

Yes, I know. It’s already March. So why am I summing up 2010 only now? Well, part of me feels like I haven’t quite concluded the year properly if I do not write a post like this. And I’ve been busy. Though I have a bit of time to spare now so, yeah.

For me, 2010 had been significant because it was the year I’ve been dragged out of the little hell-hole I’ve been digging myself into over the course of the last two years.

For the uninitiated – I’ve been irreversibly sick since July 2008, and I didn’t take it well. So I basically lived almost two years feeling down and out … until three of my friends decided to band together to knock some sense into me. That was in the early parts of 2010.

Ever since then, the days just seemed brighter, and are continuing to be so.

So, here goes. 2010 in a nutshell.

(+) Partial solar eclipse visible in Singapore. making astronomy-crazy me a really happy girl indeed.. Sky-watched with one of my favourite girls on the rooftop balcony, while battling overcast skies and the occasional drizzle.

(-) Down with persistent nausea since December 2009, doctor suddenly drops an axe after a blood test – that I may have a potential brain tumour. Sent for MRI scans (the very FIRST time in my life I had an IV line inserted – obviously, I freaked out and basically gave the nurses a hard time), the result of which eventually gave me the all clear – but it was enough to leave me shaken.

(+) Officially started freelance work with Foound (a Singapore-based start-up that develops an app with the same name which allows you to organize hangouts with friends) which was started by a friend, Danny. Met a lot of great folks in the team such as zen UX extraordinaire Aen and artsy fartsy YY.

(+) Chinese New Year with the extended family. As it was me and my dad’s zodiac year (2010 was the year of the Tiger – which is my Chinese zodiac), my dad insisted both of us don red underwear for the day. I went one step further by arming myself with a cutout of a red underwear, amusing people everywhere I went.

Hello, Happy Chinese New Year 2010 to you!
Hello, Happy Chinese New Year 2010 to you!

(+) My first road-cycling trip around the Eastern parts of Singapore with one of my favourite girls and her other half. Went off the beaten track looking for pet farms and fish farms off Pasir Ris, which was awesome. Later on, we completely lost track of time and could no longer return the rented bike as the stand was already shut. Had to endure a high-speed cycling chase to the next-closest stand (about 4 kilometres away) that shut only very slightly later.

(-) Squirt the guinea pig fell sick for the first time – having developed a high fever of 40 degrees celsius.

(+) Also the month where my friends kicked some sense into me. See story at the beginning.

(+) Squirt made a miraculous recovery, which stunned the family, the vet and I. Because all of us were almost certain that she wouldn’t make it.

(+) Marshmallow night with my longest lasting group of pals from Junior College Days. All of us had marshmallows with our names (or our shorter nicknames) written on them with chocolate fondue. Yums.

Marshmallow night!
Marshmallow night! (And one of the last few pictures of me with braces.)

(+) Bid adieu to my braces on the 27th April 2010 … after a solid 11 years of love-hate relationship with it. Yes, 11 years. I’ve had braces on since I was twelve.

(+) Another favourite girl Mithi briefly returned from her overseas studies stint, and Liz and I grabbed every single opportunity to spend time with her.

(-) Squirt fell sick again due to the rising temperatures in Singapore. This time, she wasn’t so lucky and passed away early in the month.

(-) Caught on an airplane with a bomb threat (Cathay Pacific CX 838) while en route to Vancouver from Hong Kong. You can read all about it here.

(+) Despite the above, the trip around Vancouver, Seattle and especially Alaska was nothing short of exhilarating. Alaska was awesome, breathtaking, peaceful, abso-beautiful, exotic and oh em gee, I doubt I’d ever run out of words to describe it. One thing for sure, definitely going back there again.

On board a cruise to Alaska.
On board a cruise to Alaska, late May 2010.

(+) Went on a tour around the Ontario/Quebec provinces of Eastern Canada from Vancouver. It was during this tour where I met two fellow Singaporean kiddos’ like myself, who I am still in touch with until today.

(+) Began going on bike trips by myself around East Coast park in a desperate bid to stay active.

(+) Threw a birthday surprise with Mithi for our very dear Liz – candles, flowers and sparkling juice included. At one of our favourite places. (SMU -.-)

Candles that spell your name at night.
Candles that spell your name at night. We love you, Happy Birthday!

(+) Started my full-time stint at Foound as the community manager (a.k.a. ‘User Evangelist’) and web programmer. The only girl in the team – honour or sheer torture? I am still undecided until today.

(-) Brazil lost 1-2 to The Netherlands during the World Cup 2010 Quarter Final. Nearly broke into tears at the pub where I was watching the match with the guys.

(-) Blood test results sounded another potential brain tumour alarm. (The MRI scan came out normal previously but doctors and radiologists were throwing suspicions left, right, up, down, centre.) Went to another doc’ for a second opinion which confirmed the abnormal blood test results (though she didn’t do another scan). I was supposed to go for a re-test earlier this year (2011) to follow-up but honestly, I’ve stopped bothering.

(-) Pretty much down for the month because I had a root canal to go for mid-month which I was absolutely dreading. I eventually underwent it with IV Sedation. The overall procedure took two visits with the second one in September, also with IV Sedation.

(+) Exciting period at work, as we were launching at a prestigious event overseas. Basically, biological clocks were turned topsy turvy as the team in Singapore (me included) provided support for the other half of the team in San Francisco.

Monkey at work.
The monkey at work. Oh, hello!

(+/-) I cut my hair short … the first time in a very long while. Hasty decision? Not quite, I’ve been planning it for quite some time already.

(-) The month where I was going through a period of increasing self-doubt. Loads of what-ifs being thrown around in my head, and questioning myself about whether I am really up to this.

(-) And as if it was an affirmation that my self-doubts were true, I received notice that I would be leaving the team. It left me with mixed feelings and a slightly bitter taste in my mouth. But I got over it quickly. Just move on, I guess.

(-) My chronic autoimmune illness acted up in the middle of the night, potentially triggered by consuming an allergen … which landed me in the A&E three times in the next 36 hours for repeated injections. Subsequently, I’ve never gotten back to stability (without the help of three times my usual amount of drugs) since then.

(+) Shared my birthday with new-found friend etay. Same birthday, different year. I turned the big 2-4, and she turned the big 2-3. Plus, I received a birthday email that left me smiling for the rest of the day.

(+/-) Left my previous job. As mentioned, pretty mixed feelings about it – but otherwise glad that I had a couple of months off to do my own stuff and for a spot of traveling. (Plus, I already had a job lined up for the next year.)

(+) New identity to start the new year 2011 with, perhaps? I decided to get a red streak in my hair. But hold up – it’s just an extension.

The red streak!
The red streak.

(+) Traveled to New Zealand with my extended family, surrounded by cousins who’d never fail to make me laugh. Not everything went smoothly though, having almost missed our flight and briefly caught in the mayhem caused by the aftermath of a Christchurch earthquake aftershock which struck while we were there. I returned on New Year’s eve, which nicely ended the year on a good note.

On the whole, 2010 has been a pretty mixed year – but it’s had more than its fair share of positive moments. If given the choice, I doubt I’d want to relive this entire year all over again but I hope 2011 has a nice, exciting ride in store.

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