2013 in a nutshell

I know its still 2 months before we can officially end 2013. But looking back, 2013 has brought about tremendous change in my life. So many milestones were achieved during the first 10 months of 2013 alone. The changes, drastic, the transformation never-ending. Full of ups and downs, but remarkably, I’ve still kept most of my sanity in check.

The first half of the year through May was the final lap in my tertiary education. Final Year Project at A*STAR. I love the place and the lab that I worked in. The people there were incredible and I enjoyed every second of it. Then comes the poster presentation that would officially mark the end of your school life in NTU. I was so happy when it ended. It was incredibly festive in school, when the presentation concluded in the late afternoon. Along with my friends, we celebrated the occasion. Taking lots of photos congratulating each other on going through 4 years of education, challenging and rough sometimes. But we all made it through and there is always that sense of satisfaction and closure on that day. It was a magical feeling.

Then came the dreaded National Service. I disrupted my NS so that I could continue my studies in NTU 4 years back. I did not go back and serve during the holidays. And now, I had to serve my remaining 6 weeks in the army. But life is full of surprises. Before I could completely wrap my head around as to what was happening, I was posted to another camp. And before long, I was introduced to so many people, whom I got the privilege and honour to work with. And that is not all. I was thrust in the middle of commanding an entire section of recruits sometimes the entire platoon. It was extremely challenging. I had my worries and doubts on whether I could handle it. But I did well because of the incredible support and help I get from my other fellow platoon sergeants and section commanders. They were just like me when I enlisted, 20, 21 years old. The youth and energy that they bring to the dynamics of the team, reminded me of my old days in the army. Sometimes I feel old around them.

Then came the chalet, to celebrate as friends who went through so much together during our time in NTU. We bought and prepared food, booked the chalet and some of us stayed behind overnight, getting drunk, playing silly games, walking down to the beach doing some nifty long exposure shots with fireworks. We created lots of words in the air using fireworks, and smartphones flashlights to make incredible pieces of art that is captured through long exposure photography. Those photos are golden and precious, and I will never forget them.

Then came the job hunting phase. I am still in the job hunting phase after nearly 4 months. It has been tough. The calls for interviews were too few and far in between. I am still trying. I am not giving up. In fact, I have an interview next week, and I am going to do my all to clinch that job. You never know, just like my days in NS, life is full of surprises and I always believe that at the end of it all, it it always the good and wondrous surprises that life gives you. You only have to be positive about it and look at things from a different perspective.

But with all the job hunting and the rejections that I have received so far. I feel truly blessed this year. My friends, without them, life would be dreary. It is exactly because of them, that my life has been made much more interesting. Take my birthday as an example. I had an incredible day out with them, going to Sentosa, playing frisbee and volleyball under the scorching sun, and then heading to Fish n Co for a wondrous dinner that came at a cost. I had to dress up as a red lobster in a lobster costume, in front of all the diners while my friends sang happy birthday song to me. But it was fun. I was like.. what the hell, just go along with it! They were happy, and entertained, I was happy with how the day turned out so far and so that was all that mattered.

And they gave me a gift. It was extremely unexpected. I was shocked and surprised that they actually bought me something. A million tons of gratitude to all of them.

Then came RWS USS Halloween Horror Night. I felt like a 10 year old kid when I entered the theme park. And it was a special halloween themed themepark, full of haunted houses, scare zones and outdoors areas revamped to look spooky with vampires, witches and monster lurking at every corner. The fact that it was my first time in USS, it made it the best day of my life. Period.

And there are still lots of things to come. Paintball event is coming up. I have never played paintball before. So I expect it to be fun, and painful. Another chalet is coming during the christmas holiday season, and this time we will be exchanging gifts. Everyone is looking forward to that.

So there you have it. Incredible 2013. Precious memories created and shared, friendships forged and strengthened and I experienced so many new things along the way. The journey is tough, but along the way, the respite is worth traveling to.

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