2016 Recap & Reflection

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Happy New Year everyone! Hope you guys had a great holiday!

Looking back at the year’s recap video, I feel happy about my decisions on a couple of things. Which are:

  1. Started filming / vlogging.
  2. Travelled more.
  3. Did more artwork and gave it so much more time of my life.
  4. Made effort to spend time with friends and fam.
  5. Getting back to gym. Twice.

Now, this is going to be a looooooooong reflective post on a couple of things


On Vlogs

As you can see, the entire video is basically wrapped around a few things, Food, Travel, Art and People. And that’s because that’s what I chose to make my life about. Looking back at all the pretty places, faces, important/random moments and experiences through the video clips and pictures, makes me feel, happy. I’m glad I started recording them.  Time really just passed by me like hours were seconds. Sometimes I wonder where entire months went. So much hard and happy moments kept coming and going, and I feel like it would be such a shame if I hadn’t recorded these little bits of it. I think I would also feel very differently today if I haven’t had all these records to look back on. All the investments that went to my camera and accessories were definitely worth every cent.


On Love

Throughout the year I’ve also been very grateful about one thing, which is, Love (as corny as it may sound). Thoughts about this always drop by my mind every now and then and makes me smile and feel warm inside. I’ve constantly been thankful for having such a positive, logical, up-to-date and sweet partner. He always shares things like YouTube videos, apps, and inspiring, creative comics and stories with me which really helps me keep up with my industry. We also have many pretty intense discussions about general matters over meals which surprisingly, trained me to be more outspoken and more confident with sharing and discussing opinions. He always has the right advice and/or inspiring comic in hand to show me when I’m facing tough life decisions. He probably doesn’t know it, but he allowed me to be a much more stable, stronger, and happier person by just being the simple, chillax, funny, dark, yet deep person he is This is also the first time I realised how good just plain compatibility with another person can be for a relationship. We really don’t have to try too hard at all. By just being ourselves and allowing each other to be whatever they want to be and supporting it all, can really make being with another person very easy.

Apart from that, felt a lot of love from friends, colleagues, family, acquaintances and audiences as well. There are those whom are always there to lend an ear. Then there are those who literally lent me their hands. There were some who were great fun. There were also some who were so supportive and confident in me that they were willing to share with everyone else about me. Some even offered me opportunities. Others comforted me or told me the bright side of things when I saw them as problems. Some gave advice and constructive criticism. Some ‘liked’ and ‘commented’ on my social postings. And some just simply think of me because they saw some cool art work. To all of them, I am forever grateful. They all played a role. And they all made me smile.

On Career

I never ever thought about art being anything close to a career until the recent year. This has never been a possibility of a thought having been brought up by a strict middle class conservative family whom are second generation migrants. My elders worked very hard, and this was all we knew about life, “suffer first, enjoy later, be prepared”. There is no wrong in that. Working hard, the safe route, stability and all that, it is all there because it worked. Because it has helped us survived before. However, it is often confusing when this logical route clashes with our emotional route. And this was what I’ve experienced this year.

Having only known of one way for my whole life, and suddenly discovering and then realising that another route might work, completely flipped my boat over. There were so many “what if’s” that go against “should’s”. To conclude, I left my comfort zone in 2016. Toughest decision ever. Took me an entire year. I sometimes still wonder if I made the right choice. And question where my decisions come from. Is it a place of unsettlement? Greed? Fear? Temptation? Whatever it is, I guess it’s better to change things and find out than to sit at one spot and wonder.

Working two jobs and your own freelance is tough as hell. I cannot imagine life with a second without purpose anymore. Every minute matters. Every “yes” is a commitment. I sound so uptight sometimes, I probably am. Learning to chill a little every now and then, but time is so precious!

On Time and Balance

Talk about time, balance is something I try very hard to prioritise. It’s as if the world is imbalance naturally, and our ultimate goal is to go against it. There can’t be too much of a good thing and too much of a bad thing. There is no true right or true wrong. There is time to eat, time to socialise. time to work, time to rest and time to exercise. It is almost impossible to allocate a fair amount of time for all these 5 essential activities in 24 hours already, what about time for hobbies and and personal growth? That’s where a timetable comes in useful. It took me an entire year to figure out a schedule/routine for myself since I don’t have a proper office space on most days. You know how people say it’s useless working out a timetable because we’ll never follow it? Well, perhaps we’re being impractical with our timing, like how we want to suddenly change our diet to some random workout program. Things like planning and timing takes, well, Time. I firmly believe we shouldn’t give up on that timetable and take our time to establish the most efficient routine that’ll help us reach our own goals in our own time. I think I’m almost there with scheduling mine for 2017. The rest is about discipline!

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New personal record on nye for the skinny me. Bench 10kg yay. Have to leave the ladies only area soon 🙁 . Was super dramatic when I realized I couldnt do martial arts anymore earlier this year when I discovered my herniated cervical disc. Health care professionals asked me to take my activities more easily to reduce nerve pains and take time to strengthen my back muscles. The thought of not being able to do stuff you enjoy because of unfortunate incidents really suck big time. But the truth is, it's not the end. The world is large, there's lots more things to indulge in and learn to love. So, mourn it, get over it, and start something new. Start with loving ourselves. Happy 2017 #progress #strength #fitness #motivation

A post shared by Daphne Siaw (@daphnesiaw) on

On Self

“Love ourselves, but don’t take ourselves too seriously at the same time.” That’s how I chose to grow. From climbing mountains with alto-phobia, to scuba diving with the fear of drowning. I’ve managed to speak awkwardly in front of hundreds with my introverted personality & lifelong shyness, twice. Despite having physical injuries, I chose to make myself stronger by frequenting the gym. When I make a mistake, I cringe, I laugh at my idiotic self and try my best to reimagine a different way to deal with things next time. All this because I love my life and really want to make the best of it. Laugh off dumb moments and just try to make each next moment better.

Next year I hope to improve myself more with newer experiences and an extra language or two!

On 2016

Truth is 2016 has had some pretty tough moments. Big life changing decisions were made. But all that really can’t compare to the great feeling of knowing that there was a purpose to everything, and that I managed to pull through it all, and still had so much laughter in between. I feel grateful for the struggles and fortunate about the achievements. Hence, I am able to move to 2017 on a positive and excited note.

I hope what I shared will connect with someone one day. Would love to hear experiences of others. How was your year? Thank you for reading!

Scribbled with love, daphnesiawsign-copy

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