2019 rewind

Dear Joy,

It's been awhile.

How did time go by so fast? 2019 was definitely a year of adventure- the lack of updates here is not reflective of the life events that were flashing by. I lost the drive to write and record because of multiple factors. At some point I thought maybe I've outgrown this altogether. But seeing how I am back here again, and it's been about 5 years since I first started, I think maybe it's time to accept that recording and writing is something I may never outgrow. There may be breaks, but I always come back to this space where I am free to express my thoughts in whatever ways I desire.

This time I'm back with a ton of photos and a string of words. Here's a recap of my 2019.

January- a blessed start

The same as every year- it starts with my birthday. Even though I was thousands of miles away from home, I felt so loved anyway. I received the most beautiful bouquet I could ask for and messages from loved ones back home, shout out to my housemates who made it all happen.

February- homed

I came home for Chinese New Year and spent time with my loved ones. I didn't realise how much I missed everyone until the 10 days were over, and I felt tears in my eyes thinking about only being able to see them in 6 months time.

March- The peak of FUSE

Fashion week was in March- April and it was intense. It was all hands on deck for FUSE and this was the most tiring month for me at work. From attending tradeshows to contacting designers and working late into the night for the pop-ups, it was exhausting but also rewarding seeing it all come together. What a dream to be part of fashion week.

April- The start of my travel adventures

April marked the start of my series of travel adventures in China for 2019. I took a short trip to Guangzhou with my 'sunflower sisters'. I ate so much I think I could have turned into a BAO but it was a much needed break. Thank you girls for humouring me with your bimboness yet genuine conversations.

May- highs and lows

Chengdu- This was the most memorable trip for me in China.... it was beautiful, exciting, adrenaline pumping yet painful and torturous all at the same time. I met my family for a few days and explored the city, before embarking on an adventure with three trusty mates. 四姑娘山 was a trip of a lifetime- I don't think I can ever forget it even if I wanted to. Thank you boys for looking after me HAHA and for bringing me back to civilisation in one piece.

Nanjing with sister Vivian. Thank you for taking trips with me and listening to me go on and on about my own thoughts. You are very special!

I reached back to Shanghai for some heart-breaking news, realising my company was closing. There's not much to say about it but it was definitely shocking and I wish it didn't have to end that way. But here are some photo of the good moments and also my bosses' dog who I still miss alot.

June- Baos came to visit

Hangzhou with Cho!!! Funnily this was one of my favourite trips in my whole year even though it was a short one of 3D2N and it was nearby Shanghai. I had the shock of my life when I couldn't contact Cho and had no idea where she was upon her arrival late at night. Thankfully she made it over safely and we ordered Waimai to ease the stress. (Bless the 酸辣汤 and lychees).

Headed back to Shanghai with Cho and met JH! It was 3 days of non-stop eating and we demolished an unfeatured 小龙虾 meal. These 2 girls mean so much to me and I'm so touched that they came all the way to spend time together (-':

I hope you guys enjoyed China as much as I did/ do and had a memorable time.

July- a month of travelling

Yunnan- definitely a favourite city of mine. Made some beautiful memories here and Lijiang and Shangri-la will always be a special place to me.

Xinjiang- the final trip of my one year stint. The amount of lamb I ate on this trip was probably more than I've ever eaten in 22 years. Lots of sand and sun with great company- a great way to end my one year journey. I will never forget the 40h train ride back to Shanghai- what an adventure.

July- saying goodbye

Goodbyes are always the hardest.

How do I thank a place for hosting the most beautiful memories? It's even harder because I know that we will never get these moments back again. We will never all be in the same time, same place or same situation again that we can relive such days. Here's to the many late night suppers, home cooked meals, waimais, late night runs, black mirrors, crashing each other houses, hotpots, karaoke, chuan chuans, tsingdao beers, 番茄炒蛋s (!!!) and xiao long baos.

-A special thank you to my 3 housemates who lived with and took care of me for a year. It was only so good because of you guys and you all will always always hold a special place in my heart-

Also goodbye to a dear friend I made. I don't know if I'll ever see you again but I hope you are doing well! Thank you for bringing me around and for introducing me to snail noodles. For not laughing at my shitty Chinese and making my last days so memorable.

August- holiday again?

As though I haven't been travelling enough, I headed to Bangkok just 2 weeks after getting back from China. This was a trip with the Vals during our 1st week of school HAHA. I spent most of it sleeping, they were quite done with me but I had fun!!! S P I C Y

October- oh no

A difficult month but I got through it with the helps of lots of friends and time to myself. In particular, mee hoon kueh making was very therapeutic. Also started my cross stitch project on the 23rd- that was a great decision. Good job joy!

November- back to work

Went back to work at The Missing Piece. What an upgrade! Now there's a studio and a proper workspace. I'm so proud of my boss and all that she's accomplished and I'm glad I got to see her through from the very beginning.

December- finally!

Ended up spending Christmas with a new group of friends. They kind of came out of nowhere and up till now I'm quite surprised at how much I've grown to like this bunch. I can only say that God is really full of surprises and is the one writing this story for me.

2019 was really rough and towards the end I was just counting down the days to 2020. But even as I write this and look through all the photos, I can see that there are so many things to be thankful for amidst the struggles of life. God has been really kind and if anything at least I can depend on Him. You did well Joy! 2020 will be better, because you are stronger- I am proud of you.

Here's a verse that I kept close to my heart even as the year was ending and it got me through the dark days 'Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.' - Matthew 6:34

With love,

Joy x

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