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31 January, 2023

Dear Diary | January 2023 Edition

Hello 2023 | Let’s make it worthwhile 

Surpassing the 30-year-old mark just two months ago, 2023 will be a year where I am determined to recalibrate myself and make little yet impactful changes to my everyday life, so that 2023 will be more meaningful.

In the past, I used to think that life has not been interesting enough for a monthly recap. But now I kinda shift my mindset and I think it would be good to take a pause, refocus and evaluate my happiness bar every month (hopefully). This also reminds me to live a life, to count my blessing and be grateful for the little things that make the sojourn of life interesting.

1 January 2023 | Fireworks by the Bay

January kickstarted with the spectacular 80-minute fireworks display and state-of-the-art lightshow during the New Year Eve countdown at the Esplanade, overlooking the picturesque Marina Bay Sands. The last NYE countdown I had was right in front of Taipei 101 in the year 2019 (going into 2020) before the pandemic kicked in and put a halt to such mega celebrations for two consecutive years.

I am glad that after much consideration, I chose to fly back to Singapore for this NYE countdown and experience such wonderful moments with my best friend. Nevertheless, experiencing NYE countdowns in Sydney, Paris or London are still in my travel wishlist to-date – looking forward to realizing these dreams soon!

Mental health check | Getting close to nature

Ever since moving to Singapore, I love going hiking during weekends albeit on my own, because it gives me an exceptionally rewarding feeling. Spending a couple of hours here not only calms my mind and soul, but also enables me to slow down and be in the present moment (that includes disconnecting myself from social media). My favourite hiking route thus far is the MacRitchie TreeTop Walk and Reservoir Park, but I am excited to explore more hiking trails around Singapore soon.

Light to Night Festival 2023 @ National Gallery Singapore

It is fun to experience different local happenings here, and one of the key highlights in January is the Light to Night Festival, a district-wide visual arts fest – an opportunity for spontaneous and ephemeral encounters with art.

And my favourite is the Ephemeral @ Padang, an immersive light and sound environment that aims to capture the concept of ephemerality in a visual form: the bubble. The idea behind these magical bubbles is to remind us that the world is a transient and fragile space, much like that of a bubble. Love the colorful vibes it exudes especially during the golden hour! 

兔(Tu)gether @ Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC)’s Roof Garden

You know the festive season is nearing when you see plenty of rabbit art installations in town. Among the cute ones is the “兔gether” rabbit-themed art installation exhibition to welcome the Year of the Rabbit using several characters from Chinese New Year mythology. Although the space is pretty limited, it is worth spending a good half an hour or so here to relive the inner child in me.

Tamashii | Abalone Truffle Donabe 

January is also filled with several memorable dinner dates including this one at Tamashii. It is an intimate counter dining experience seeing the chef cutting and cooking the seasonal ingredients right in front of us. While the food is good, all in all it is still the dining companion that matters most 

Chinese New Year 2023 | Year of the Rabbit

Spending 10 days back in Malaysia home for the festive season is not a bad decision after all. It takes me a few days to complete the social media work (P/S: Thank you brand partners for sending festive stuff to my Malaysia home!), then the remaining days are all well-spent with the family. ❤ That's the most precious thing to do ever. 

My precious ones in life. 

This Chinese New Year reminds me to treasure the family time – the tiny moments with the people I love, the home-cooked meals that I savour every bite, the places that make me feel whole and alive. It feels amazing for being present, immersing myself in the warm and soul-filling conversations that are becoming rare these days. Deep down in my heart, I enjoy seeing the jovial little one growing older each day, but there are also unavoidable, heart-wrenching moments to watch how my parents age day by day. 

Again, CNY reminds me to always count my blessing. While I often think I need to focus on big things in life, actually the things I cherish most are the smallest of all.

On a side note, CNY also gives me some room for self-reflection. I secretly make the same wish every year and somehow still get disappointed in the following year - and the cycle repeats. It’s okay, I will continue to try harder next year :’) 

❤ ❤ 

Anyway, January has been an eventful month and it marks a pretty good start of the year.
Looking forward to a more fabulous year ahead!

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