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2016 in Review

2016 has been the biggest year for me, and certainly one of the best years of my life. We designed our engagement ring, bought a townhouse, and got engaged!

In all my years of blogging, I think I have always complained about my lack of independence. My parents would always set me limitations and treat me like an incompetent child. I had curfews, always scolded at about minute living habits (ie. cleaning my spaces in the house), and I always had to report my expenditure – whether or not I earned the money myself. This year, it was finally different.
As much as a new year means new resolutions, it is also about reflection.

  • I learnt, truly, how hard it is to earn a living. If I collected money for every time I was told about how lucky I am to be a teacher, or how many great holidays I have, or how they too wish to be a teacher, I would maybe be as rich as every other teacher I think deserves to be. Although every day of teaching consisted of work and after hours study, and each day with their unexpected challenges, I have learnt that instead of only being self-critical, I should also remember how many positive things came from just my first year of teaching. After having a student tell me I was an inspiration to him, and a teacher reporting that another student (known to be ‘stuck in her ways’) said she hopes I would be back teaching at the school the following year because I opened up the way she perceived things…made 2016 even more precious to me. It’s so incredibly rewarding when students themselves recognise you for your hard work and (as corny and repulsive as this sounds) completely surreal to know that you have made an impact on their lives.

  • I am continuing to learn about how many more things outweigh material objects and desires. And although I still have to work on recklessly spending, I do admit that I am getting better. I also acknowledge that when comes the time where I really need to save, I will. And it’s only taken me till now to realise that you don’t really understand the extent to which we need to save until we’re in such circumstances. Ever since buying our own place and getting engaged, I realised the sheer enormity of having a mortgage and how important it is to save for the basic necessities to live comfortably in our own home. As many of my close friends are at the same stage of their lives as we are, I see how vital it is to develop good spending habits, and that we cannot take anything for granted. Despite the heavy burden of financial responsibilities that comes with #adultlives, it is so absolutely thrilling to know that we can settle into a home after the wedding! So many girls have dreamed about their weddings since they were young, I don’t know whether I’ve really had this moment. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, I think it’s neither. Rather, I find myself being so much more excited about our place and to hopefully have money to decorate our own space, a couch to sit on, and a bed to sleep on…quite literally. Of course none of this is to say I don’t care about the wedding, it’s simply about reminding myself to keep my priorities in check.
  • Speaking of money, I also learnt and continue to learn that although money is important, I cannot be greedy. Sometimes enough, is really just, enough. If you have enough to get by, it’s a good amount to help you remember what and how to value things, experiences, and people. It’s true what they said, #moremoneymoreproblems. Yet, I do concede that my understanding of this is still a work in progress.
  • This year I also learnt a lot more about myself and the relationships I have with other people. I’ve learnt even more how they require work and good, regular communication!

It’s been a blast 2016. I hope that 2017 can be just as awesome (and hopefully less stressful).

“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they make the best of everything.”