2016 has been the best and the worst year for me (and I have a feeling that I say that every year!). It has also been the most hectic year of my life. Challenging, rewarding and often tiring. On the other hand, 2017 is going to be a more ‘chill’ kind of year, at least at the start (and at least that’s what I think).
When the semester starts, I won’t having any particular responsibilities. It would also be my last semester, which is actually more relaxed because I finished all my core units (subjects) this year. I’ll also be graduating and will either be working or applying for a Honours year after that. This part looks hectic, but to me, it is more like a time for me to do some introspection and take a break. Reflect on what I have done so far. Choose my next move wisely.
Therefore, although I’m not a usual ‘resolution list’ person (despite my very very old posts here in this blog haha), I’ve decided to focus on a few personal goals for me to work on and achieve in 2017.
Disclaimer: This was written on Saturday 26th November, on the way back home. A short piece, unedited, that I just felt like sharing.
I’ve forgotten how to be alone.
I’ve forgotten how it feels to appreciate a meal outside of my home with my own company.
I’ve forgotten how to take solo adventures, like little trips to the city, and reflect on myself.
This year has been the least lonely year I have ever lived. From being part of a committee, to a community to a family. I’ve constantly been surrounded by friends. I’ve been left with very little time to myself.
So when the last semester of the year was over, I was left with mixed feelings. I was eager to go back to a tranquil lonely life, yet I was also apprehensive of it.
Malaysia has those 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites/towns which preserves colonial buildings and celebrates art. First, I went to Penang (several times in fact), as many readers of this blog would know, and fell in love with it. Then, I challenged myself to have a one-day trip to Melaka with my significant other, did it; it was amazing. Finally, I was able to complete the list by going to Ipoh on the 17th November this year.
I just love those kinds of places. They connect me to my… roots: art.
I’d thus like to share some of the beautiful art I’ve seen there. You’ll immediately understand what I’m talking about. So here it is, the art gallery of Ipoh town:
Yep, just a short post for today. Hopefully, I’ll be able to post more on this blog now that holidays are here!
Actually An Evil Nymph’s Blog blog anniversary was on the 1st August and it wasn’t until WordPress congratulated me on that milestone that I realised it. I knew 1st August was something special! Dang it!
Anyways, at that time, I had just published a post a few hours earlier and so I decided to wait a little more before putting up a proper ‘Happy Blog Anniversary’ post. However, yes, since I’m back to school and new into my third year, my responsibilities got in the way. In fact, I would have completely forgotten about blogging it if it was not for my Google Calendar, in which I have set a goal to blog once a week.
That’s how crazy life gets when the semester starts and you are involved in many things, including being a (High, sometimes) Distinction student. I literally need my phone to remind me of everything, haha!
Anyway, it’s been five years, guys. Five years since I started blogging. I can’t describe how much it has opened my eyes to the world… and my own. My blogging style has changed a lot throughout the years, but I believe that the main reason I got so immersed in blogging was not only my passion for writing, but my search for who I am, an identity, to find myself.
Back to one year ago, when I had this 1-month internship in Penang Island and got to live in the capital city, George Town: there were so many things to see and eat and experience that I would go out and do something pretty much every day!
This year, when my one month of school holidays came (ending today!), I decided to stay in my current town, having no particular plans in mind, no internships. However, it wasn’t an excuse to not do some local exploration and further create memories either with friends or on my own. Although it was mostly a ‘chill & board games’ holiday, I did manage to experience new things in the city, such as shopping at a huge book sale, going to an escape room and even becoming an eskimo in a theme park attraction!
The main point is, especially if you are still at school, to make the most of your holidays outside of your computer screen, and it doesn’t matter whether you are on a budget or lack transportation: there are so many ways to GOMO (get out more often!) and enjoy it… and nope, I’m not talking about Pokemon Go!
These past few weeks have been the most hectic ones out of all my semesters in university: juggling among school work, extracurricular work and being a freelancer. I was able to manage it all in the end, but I did neglect something that I consider very important in my life: reading.
I used to read, on average, 30-50 books a year, and we are more than half way into 2016 and I have barely reached 10 completed read books. Shame and horror, I have not even been able to keep up with my daily 25-minutes reading time. Is this what I am becoming/what society is making me become? It reminds me of the time when my friend once said that her mom told her in her teenage years that she should make the most of her reading time while she is young, because once we reach the world of adults… it’s over. I was hoping to contradict this saying, but I believe this year got me.
I also realised that I have been on social media for more hours than I wish I did, however this is how I teamwork in my activities and how I learn about current events for my freelance writing.
When I was a young carefree teenager, my dad would often tell me: “You should lose weight.” I was criticized for my fat belly and was told that if I didn’t do anything about it, I would never find a husband.
Thank god, I didn’t give a damn about ‘looking good’ or ‘finding a man’. I had read and learnt countless of times how girls tend to fall under the illusion that they are not beautiful enough and that they never will, unless they resemble those super thin top models in magazines. I’ve seen how detrimental of their self-esteem it was to constantly compare their bodies to those Photoshop’ed ones… or to their prettier (a.k.a. more socially acceptable body types) peers. I’ve heard about very strict diet that could potentially lead to death.
I learnt from an early age to love my body and to eat all the things I love (in moderation, of course) and to not be defined by someone else’s perception of ‘beauty’. I encouraged myself to be an independent woman, and to be aware that if I wanted a man, that man would not have the right to shape my body to fit his ‘ideals’ (impossible ones indeed), but would instead accept me as I am.
Although some might say the opposite, 21 years is a pretty long period of time. 21 years feels like a lifetime, for all the positive and negative experiences I’ve gained and endured. 21 years is 252 months of existence on this Earth. It is around 1,095 weeks. Approximately 7,665 days.
It is freaking 6.623e+8 seconds.
Of course, in comparison to the time of the universe, this lapse of time is very very very insignificant, but it is all relative anyway.
Without further ado, here are 21 lessons that I learnt (most of the time via the hard way) during those 21 years and that will probably stay on with me for a very long time. Moreover, I wanted to make this post a little special, therefore, each lesson is presented to you in a picture-text form, designed and personalized by me.
*I know that my birthday was on May 3rd and that this post is therefore late, but oh well, better late than never! Enjoy!*
I am usually the one that organizes birthday surprises for my friends, but I never had a surprise for my birthday. It did not really matter either. We were in the middle of the semester, filled with assignments, thus I told myself not to expect much. I did however hint at my boyfriend that I would like something special, but I knew I was still better at surprises than him (haha).
Yet, I did not see it coming when my friends actually surprised me for my birthday this year!
I can’t believe I fell into their trap. They successfully surprised a typical Birthday-Surprise organizer. And here’s how they did it (in advice form):
This title is misleading only because I have not had one career change, but several ones, since… forever. Today, I’d just like to share with you my surprisingly consistent career changes throughout my 1.5 years in university so far, because I realized a weird pattern out of it.
I would have an epiphany about my future plans after every single semester at that very moment when we are all revising for exams. I am currently ending my third semester, therefore, I have had three career changes so far.
Those of you who read my blog last year, you might remember that, after reading A Beautiful Mind, I was completely into becoming a researcher. Yes, that was my first change of career plans. It’s true that, apart from being a writer, which is a dream I will always have faith in, I did not have an exact fixed career path that I wanted to take in conjunction with my studies in Psychology and Arts.
As I was sipping my Starbucks drink, I was dreaming about becoming a researcher in a fusion of arts and psychology, thus I was determined to finish my degree (a double major in Writing and Psychology) with High Distinctions so as to enroll in the Honours year, which would eventually lead me to my PhD. Perfect linear plan.
But the whole idea started becoming quite boring as I already knew where I would go.
It was this Friday July 17th that marked my one-year anniversary with Malaysia. Yes, I have been living in Malaysia, as an undergraduate student, for more than a year now. Not once did I go back to my home country, Mauritius.
How does it feel?
Someone told me that I would change after having stayed abroad for so long. Someone else added that while I would change, the people back in my country, my family, would not, which will give off a weird feeling if I go back one day. Today, I can say I completely agree. I’ve changed, no, I’ve grown.
This post comes a little late, but it was only after my last exams on the 24th June that it really hit me; that is, my first year in university.
The amazing but terrible thing about doing a Bachelor of Arts is that it is so flexible that almost no one undertakes the same unit sequence. In my case, no one else is majoring in psychology and in writing simultaneously.
First year was the year of getting familiar with the field of Arts therefore I studied a little bit of everything, from cold war politics to Game of Thrones analysis. I also met a lot of people but eventually only a few became what one could call my School of Arts gang. We met one another on the very first day of school and until the last day, on the 24th, when we had our last first year dinner…
I’m on my last week of exams and I’m able to squeeze in some time to finally announce that I ended up eating all of my Japanese snacks! Therefore, here’s PART 2 of ‘Discovering Japanese snacks!’, which involved buying lots of Japanese sweets and try them out, because eating has become one of my dominant hobbies here in Malaysia. 😉
If you haven’t read Part 1 and want to go through it before scrolling through this post, click HERE to have a look!
Here we go for my mini reviews of the last 4 Japanese snacks:
1. Lotte Koalas March Cookies
Classic Japanese’s definition of cookies, filled with mouth-melting chocolate. This definitely reminded me of my childhood favourite: Hello Panda! I love how the cookie part was crunchy and actually quite easy to break due to its surprising thinness, but without being too soft. It was cooked just right. The chocolate was as enjoyable as one would on biting on any Hello Panda cookie.
It might be because the NBC series Hannibal has started, that makes me want to indulge in exclusive fancy/expensive foods (last year was berries). (Because Japanese foods are pricey in Malaysia T.T except the Daiso quality ones haha).
It might also be because I want to explore another dominant aspect of Japanese culture, knowing that I’m still especially completely in love with Japanese food, and the fact that the more I dived into the semester, the less time and thought I put into cooking, so I only ended up repeating the same easy recipes I had learnt (busy and heavy university life, guys).
Anyway, on one evening, about one hour before the shops would close, I had a crazy Japanese snacks shopping spree!
(If you are on a budget, like me actually oops, don’t do this at home, unless you’re in Japan, I guess? Or unless you don’t mind spending your savings on food.)
Oh I bought all of this just in time for the exams period 🙂
The stores I went to were the famously Japanese shop, Shojikiya, and the typical AEON supermarket.
By the time this post is going to be published, I would have tried all of them and therefore, now, I am going to review every one of them down below!