Firstly, blessed and happy new year!
Today is the second day of 2016, and my husband of one year and a day is still snoring in bed beside me.
It's been a few days since I got back from the USA, and I haven't quite settled back into regularity yet. But I take the excuse of a festive season and the start of a new year to justify my own languidness and inertia.
2015 is now over, and stepping into a new year always means new dreams, new hopes, a fresh start.
But let me think back on 2015 right now and decide what to make of it.
I started 2015 with such a memorable day! YZ and I wed and I moved into the 白家族.
I should say at this point that I'm probably very fortunate that my in-laws are all wonderful people, and in this one year of living together, there has been no unhappiness, and I love it that the family is so closely-bonded together.
Marriage improved many aspects of my life too, for instance, YZ's relationship with my own family has become so much better now that my parents accept him as part of the family.
On being married itself, sometimes it's easier than simply being in a relationship, and sometimes, it's harder.
The commitment of a marriage that is legally-bound is far greater than being engaged or even having been together for 7 years: at the same time, it is the same relationship and yet vastly different.
I say that because when you have pledged to spend your entire lifetimes together, it is no small matter.
How do I put this, it is like buying a house to call your own and knowing that you need to treat this house with love and sacred attention, because what you make of it and in it, you will have to live in it and with it for a life time. No matter what the reason, if you destroy your own house, damage its walls or foundations with thoughtless actions, you have to bear the exacting consequences of it, and some kinds of damage are irreparable. If that makes any sense to you at all.
At the same time, having a "house" to call your own feels so different because you have somewhere to return to every night, a safe abode to call home.
I've seen my husband grow to become more mature and responsible, now that we have to plan a future together (and I'm not much of a planner), which is a wonderful thing.
We still fight and quarrel, and it is really challenging at times.
Marriage is not a happily-ever-after fairytale, that's for sure. But it's been a year of us learning to live as husband and wife, and molding our separate selves into the promise of one life time ahead together.
So I'd say in terms of love and relationship, 2015 has been a year of understanding and growth.
On a personal level, 2015 has been a struggle to find myself, and meaning in what I do, in the bigger scheme of things.
Social media as part of work and my life is both a boon and curse.
I honestly find a lot of joy in connecting to friends and readers online, it is the core of what drives me to write, post on social media and my blog, especially Dayre.
Yet at the same time, it's hard not to feel increasingly disillusioned and stressed, because in a small part, my personal value and self-worth has now been placed on the number of likes I get on a pretty picture, or the amount of followers I have.
My entire life, I've never felt like I was good enough.
While I refuse to let numbers define me, I still need to upkeep a certain image somehow, because I still do need jobs and income from my blog and social media. So Instagram has become somewhat of a stifling place for me. I see gorgeous girls posting gorgeous pictures and I think that I need to try to be like that, but I know I'm not gorgeous enough for it.
I still enjoy it lah, to a certain degree.
When you're in beautiful surroundings, you definitely want to take a beautiful photo. And I enjoy the aesthetic process of photography, and editing my photos too.
But you know, everyone's getting tired of pretty photos, and the likes are getting lesser and engagement is non-existent on IG now. Unless you're an IG superstar, which means you need to spend hours everyday being gorgeous and taking gorgeous photos and thus social media has lost some of its meaning for me.
And so in a way, I find that I'm re-calibrating to social media and it being part of my life and that has been quite unsettling, because in the last few years of becoming established in this scene, I've been spending so much time doing things like attending events, posting/writing about experiences, products, and all that stuff, and suddenly, a lot of it has lost its appeal to me.
It's all getting rather superficial and no longer as enjoyable as I used to find it.
Perhaps part of it is that 2015 has been somewhat of a stagnating year with no real growth. I've tried and done many things, but I didn't actually get anywhere in terms of life. As such, there has been no great journey, no memorable documentation.
It sounds rather silly, isn't it?
One of the best parts of 2015 though, was the personal freedom I had to travel.
Taiwan in January ❤️
Bali in March ❤️
Japan in April ❤️
Phuket in June ❤️
Hong Kong in August ❤️
Japan again in September ❤️
Hong Kong again (and for work) in October ❤️
And finally the beautiful USA in December ❤️ I haven't finished documenting the last bits of USA on Dayre, I hope I can do that soon!
I'm so so so so blessed indeed for all these opportunities to see the world and marvel at the beauty of it. It's really a luxury that doesn't come by so easily for most.
On a work-related note for 2015, I can only say honestly that the year was a huge challenge for myself as I realised that it has become abundantly clear in the year that I am not cut out to run a business all by myself.
Over the years, my biggest struggle has been to be structured like how a real business should be like.
A flair for creativity, yes. Effort and hard work into photoshoots, curating designs, I try to. But I fail miserably on the business-end of things, and it has become a huge stumbling block in growing TVD into a business, and I'm ashamed about my incompetence.
I mentioned that I wanted to plan and organize a private TVD event for 2015 but it didn't happen. I wanted to file for my claims but I didn't. So many things I could have made happen, with the right tenacity and grit in doing the tediously boring things I hate to do, but I did not press on, and did not do what I ought to have done.
I made excuses for everything I couldn't and didn't do, but in the end, I have to admit to myself that I really failed in this one. The stress is mounting up on this end as well.
It is a new year to make things happen, and there has to be some good that comes out of a new year right?
The failures aside, I'm very proud of one thing TVD did in 2015! #tvdbridesmaids started in 2015 and both of my personally-designed bridesmaid pieces have gotten so much love from all you dear customers 😘
It truly makes me happy to see beautiful photos of such a joyous occasion, with my dresses being part of it! It is extra special and meaningful, really. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside, every time I see photos posted by happy brides and bridesmaids, and receive those thank you emails.
In 2015, I have been greatly blessed by the multitude of love and friendships.
This is something I am so thankful for year after year. I believe in good karma. Kindness begets kindness. Honestly begets honesty. Love begets love.
I have never gone out of my way to make friends, but I believe in being genuine to the people around me.
I know that I am surrounded by a great number of beloved souls and I just want to let you all know that I love all of you, be it in little ways or great ways!
Sometimes, I meet new people, and they think that my industry is full of fake people who try to suck up to you and talk to you and pretend to be friendly so that they can climb higher up the ladder, or they think that everyone treats everyone else like an enemy. But I don't feel so!
I'm happy to get along with most people, and happier to be surrounded by all the wonderful people I can call friends with 100% conviction and trust.
Some other people that I really really appreciate and need to thank too!
Nuffies!! Thank you for taking care of all the shit behind trying to get me to submit all my adverts and drafts in time!
What a bad photo~~
All the nuffies in ops and sales who have been working round the clock, thank you for all the opportunities to work on great campaigns! 🙆🏻 And helping me negotiate with clients when I miss deadlines 😂
I'm very indebted to all the sponsors who have been taking care of me throughout 2015!
It may seem like no big deal to be sponsored and although I get sponsorship requests every other week, I really treasure all the sponsorships I have now and all the great people I've worked with for the longest time!
Thank you Salon Vim for my hair, Graceous for my lashes, The Nail Artelier for my nails, Nu Reflections for aesthetics, Slim Couture for keeping me svelte! 🙊
Team TVD deserves a big thank you too for being awesome!!! We have much to strive towards and more to improve on, but nothing is impossible with some positivity and lots of hard work 💪🏻
While I was away during Christmas in the US, I received so many marvelous packages at my doorstep! I haven't even unboxed them all, but I am seriously so blessed with favor!
Thank you to all the brands who kept me on Santa's list and sent me a little something!
Shiseido (Thank you Ariel!)
Urban Decay (Thank you Mel!)
Shu Uemura (Thank you Zee!)
Sulwhasoo (Thank you Isabel & Touch Comms!)
The Body Shop
Dior (Thank you Sihui!)
The Face Shop
I think there are more, and I'll add them to my thank you list once I can unbox everything!
Please know that it is my great privilege to be able to know and work with so many amazing brands I believe in. It's not possible for me to post every single product and brand I receive, but I am truly appreciative and thankful for all the love received!
And to all of you Dayre-ians who take the time to tap into my posts and read them, sometimes comment on them, and like them, yes you reading this right now!
You don't know how much I value and cherish the kind of special relationship we have ✨
Being able to connect to and touch the lives of others in however small a way makes my own life a little bit more meaningful and a lot more special.
Dayre is my personal sanctuary that has seen all the best and some of the worst parts of 2015 🙂
To sum it up, 2015 wasn't a bad year.
There were lots of wonderful moments, my own wedding, more happy unions of close friends, there was a lot of quality time spent with people who matter to me…
I travelled a lot and that was amazing. I worked on some great campaigns, I made new friends, I learnt more about business building and how to better myself.
I forged a stronger relationship with my husband and grew to love each other better with every stumble and fall…
2015 wasn't bad at all, but I look forward to what 2016 will bring. A brand new start to life, another clean slate to begin on.
Bring it on, 2016!