The first few months of 2015 were the hardest for me. I'm sorry to start with such a negative and depressing vibe but it's these moments that make me a stronger person.
In January, my grandpa was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with TB. In March, he left us, with my mom and I by his deathbed. He taught me to be selfless, to be careful, and to always think of others before myself. I know people say this about the deceased all the time, but everyone who knew him would agree that he always put others before him, never complained, and was just the kindest man anyone ever met.
I struggled with his death over the past year, even until now, there isn't a day I go by without thinking about him. It made me truly thankful for everyone in my life, particularly my grandma who is, too, getting old and starting to forget names and people.
However I know that this is the circle of life, and at some point in life we lose the ones we love. It will indeed, make us a stronger person and cherish the ones who are still around.
I still miss my grandpa, but I feel like 2016 is the year to move on and resume my normal life. Nothing will bring him back, but I know one day we will reunite. At least he died peacefully with his loved ones by his side and I think that was the biggest gift God has given to him.
Mid-year I decided to push myself further with challenges and I opened a pop-up store for my online shop Beauty Bricks. It was a huge challenge and lest to say, a burden. The burden of paying rent was greater than I thought. I find that people mistake my job as an easy one - but when you're a one-man company, it is harder than you think. I found myself in debt, and finally paid it off in November. A lot of people mistake me as coming from a 'rich' family, and that I don't have any worries at all. But I like to see myself as independent. Although my parents live comfortably, I make my own living and this is a challenging path I chose myself. They have no reason to back me up or help me out and I would never ask for that. Sure, I get to live at home and have my dinner prepared for me by none other than my lovely mother - but all my expenses, my business - it's all me, under my bank account. The struggle is real guys.
Nevertheless, it was an incredible experience being able to finally meet my customers in person, getting feedback on the products we stock and helping customers buy what they want from overseas. The looks of satisfaction and happiness when they come pick up their products are priceless.
I also opened an Etsy store selling planner-related supplies and stationery. It then proved to be an even harder job to keep up - still working on my own (with my boyfriend helping me every once in a while), still having to pay rent, be at the shop during opening hours and update inventory every single day.
Thankfully, the pop-up store ends at the end of this month, and I can finally breathe a sigh of relief.
This all still sounds very depressing so lets move on to the happy moments!
There were a lot of weddings this year, the biggest one being my brother's wedding in Phuket. It was a magical moment. I'm not sure if you guys know this, but I was never really close to my brother since my early teens. I left Hong Kong to study in the UK since I was 13 years old, and since then we have grown apart and never really spoke, nor did we have much in common as we grew older.
However I'm thankful he asked me to play a huge part in his wedding - helping him film snippets for his wedding video, edit his pre-wedding video, take part as the emcee, and I ended up surprising the newlyweds by singing on their wedding day. There was much to be thankful for that day, and I finally felt we were bonding again and we let each other know we loved each other, which meant a great deal to me. It is so important to tell the people around you how much you love them.
I also got to travel a lot the past year. I went on my first Press Trip to Japan with Covermark and had an amazing time there. I also visited New York for the very first time to go to Gen Beauty, and met a new friend Tiffany, who is also like a big sister to me now.
Because of Tiffany, I got to meet the woman who inspired me to blog and create YouTube videos, Michelle Phan. Hanging out with Michelle Phan is not something I shared much of to many people, however it was one of the most eye-opening and inspiring two days spending time with her. I certainly learned a lot especially during the drive to the airport. The way she talks and the things she says just opens up your mind to a million different possibilities when in the beginning you only thought of one. I told her I was lost with what I wanted to do, and she told me, "Don't forget your roots. Remember where you're from, who are you, and where are you going? If you feel like you took the wrong road, find another way. You have to keep trying different routes to know which one works for you the most in order to get to where you want to be."
She also gave me a handful of advice on my blog, YouTube and even with personal relationships and I am SO thankful to Tiffany who made all this happen. If it weren't for Tiffany, I'd probably be stuck in the same box still asking myself "What am I doing with my life?".
Visiting the US was another magical moment. It definitely took my mind off things, particularly my grandpa's death. I began to see the world differently, especially being on a helicopter above the Grand Canyon. It made me feel very little, looking out on God's vast creation. I assured myself, "He has a plan for me, He knows way more than I will ever know."
And here I am. 3rd of January 2016, planning out my first month of the New Year.
I am no longer lost. I have a clearer vision of where I want to be because now I remember where I'm from and know where I want to go.
M Y P L A N
In February 2016, I will be blogging full time (very frightening) and I am so excited to dedicate all my time to producing better quality content, whether it be videos, blog posts, instavideos or vlogs.
You guys may have noticed a slight change on my Instagram and Twitter where I'm posting more and more short clips of swatching/demonstrating makeup products. This is just something new that I wanted to try out, and if it doesn't work out, hey at least I tried. All I know is I will hold on to my integrity as if it were my life, and I would never jeopardize that, whether people believe it or not is up to them. I cannot change what comes out of people's mouths. Negativity doesn't hit me like it used to. Since my grandpa's death I felt nothing worse, and thus why I've become a stronger person from that incident.
I used to worry a lot about the future, but for now, I know it's all safe in God's hands. He has everything planned out. As the saying goes "Do your best, and God will do the rest."
This coming year, I really encourage you guys to step out of your comfort zone and try something new that you've been wanting to the past year.
Whether it be trying a new sport, a baking class, photography, a new language perhaps... I urge you to go for it because life is too short! "One day = Never", just do it now!
Wishing you all a joyful New Year and remember, have courage.