The End of 2006 — The Beginning of a New Year!

As 2006 has ended, now’s the time to look back and reminisce over the past year!

Whereas 2005 was the year of intense organizational activities and social events, 2006 was the year of the self, career and a simpler lifestyle.

The first half was turbulent with yours truly experiencing a lot of self-doubts and uncertainties due to not-so-recent breakup and dead-end job. I’ve asked myself questions like, “Where is my life heading? Shall I even stay in Taiwan?” and “Why am I still single? Is there anything wrong with me, or is it the Taiwanese/Asian society in general that do not smile upon women with strong personalities?”

I was restless.

My close friends accused me of being lost and unhappy. Basically, I felt my blossoming life felt empty. And though my life was a flurry of social activities (hence, people coined me as being “Miss Social Butterfly”), looking back, I admit that there were certain truth ringing in that observation. In defense, I unconsciously lashed out to a lot of people I cared the most, masking the numbing hurt and loneliness I felt with just being plain busy, going to one party and club after another and laughing along with the crowd.

However, the second half of the year was the turning point of 2006.

With the start of a new job dawned a new beginning — my career picked up and my life went a 180-degree turn. Instead of being busy attending parties, my life was mostly spent at work, doing over 12-hour days on weekdays, and overtiming on the weekends — and I absolutely loved it!

On my spare time, because of the nice diners that are one of the many perks of this job, I went wallclimbing with Top-Climber once/twice a week, or worked out at the nearby Alexander gym to shed the increasing weight. In addition, I joined Toastmasters and increased my public-speaking skills. And of course, still keeping up with my obligations as chair of a social organization, we as an all-male-sans-me group (I love my boys!), managed to churn out an average of 3 activities per month.

What’s more, I just plain got over my ex.

Weird but I just woke up one day and felt nothing for him anymore. Instead of looking into myself and asking, “What’s wrong with me?” I’ve finally accepted that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with me. Instead, we were merely incompatible and when I look at him nowadays, I nod and do agree that our breakup was indeed for the best.

Aussie guy is another story, but heck, we should move on, shall we?

Bottomline is, though I had a rough start, by the end of 2006, I finally learnt what being happy and content truly was. And I am… truly happy.

So 2007 starts with an optimistic note.

Work-wise, I count myself lucky to be one of the few people lucky enough to be doing something that she loves, and suits her personality. Who can really say that they’re spending over 8 hours of their lives doing something absolutely worthwhile?

Love-wise, I’ve had my ups and downs but after a series of blind and not-so-blind dates, I’ve finally come to terms with my blessed singlehood and becoming more comfortable in being with myself. Whereas before, I abhorred being alone, now I’ve entered a phase where I actively sought alone moments as it meant getting more things done and investing more time on things that can provide me with more direct returns.

I realized that there’s no shame in being single in a city that never sleeps, and actually, the longer I am single, the more I realize that the choices in my dating pool just get better and taller! When you think that you’ve found the best one there is, another pops out to prove you wrong. Hence, at present, am enjoying my sweet time waiting for the best guy who can best appreciate me to resurface!

Plus, after seeing my friends go through the emotional roller-coaster ride, am quite relieved to have this breather, enabling me to rest in between emotional turmoil. My turn should come up very soon though, so yeeha!

And lastly, though I start with less this year (have the ill-fate of having less “close” friends this year), at least I console myself in thinking that at least the friends I have are those of quality, of whom I can count on through thick and thin (and vice-versa); those who respect me and my opinions; and whom I’m more compatible with.

To end, I’d like to highlight the year that was 2006 by pinpointing several factors that made all the difference:

1) My not-so-new job – Dealing with important clients and developing relationships on a day-to-day basis are perfect fit to my more sociable and outgoing personality. That’s why I don’t mind the long hours and stressful environment. In fact, I thrive in it! Love my job! Need I say more?

2) Traveling – After being bitten by the traveling bug during my Cambodian trip last December 2005, I’ve carried on the momentum by going to Thailand (Phuket), Myanmar (Burma), (Hong Kong/Singapore (for business trip), and the Philippines twice (to see the family) this year. Hopefully by the end of this year, would’ve visited Vietnam and one other country! Locally, also visited Alishan, Jade Mountain and Kenting. Not bad!

Lesson learned — Choose your travel companions well as they’ll seriously affect the outcome of your trip. On one trip, needed a vacation from my vacation as my travel buddies bickered too much about money. They’re no longer friends. Big sigh.

3) Top-Climber – Our simple acquaintance blossomed to a blown-out friendship this year. Similar interests helped as we would meet once/twice a week for wallclimbing, and as this year has been full of ups and downs, this guy has always been there for me as a cheerleader, confidante and friend.

4) Aussie guy – Ah, what’s 2006 without him? From our humble beginnings in meeting at a houseparty and the holding hands debacle (I politely rebuffed his advances to hold hands before we were steady), to our up-and-down relationship and constant brunch-only meetings, this guy has unconsciously toyed with my heart and filled my thoughts in 2006. Finally, I’ve seen the light and asked what I saw in this “not-so-reliable yet sometime-sweet chap.” Heck, he’s not even my “type!” To date, the tension is still high when we meet and I cannot call this person my friend, but he is still indeed a meaningful part of my 2006.

5) Fine dining and red wine – Perks that come with this new job is the opportunity in dining in the best (and oftentimes expensive) restaurants in the city. From Ruth’s Chris, Peony, Aoba, Cheers and Pearl Liang at the Grand Hyatt, Peony, Mitsui, Lawries, Sonoma, La Petite Cuisine (one of the most expensive French restaurants in town), Sowieso, among others, have sampled so many good eats these past couple of months that it’s going to take a lot of dieting and exercise to shed the weight off! But who’s complaining? 🙂

As for the wine, am still an amateur, but 2006 continued my momentum on discovering the intricacies of red wine. Burgundy, anyone?

6) Working out, staying fit and being active – Remaining true to my athletic self, 2006 was full of regular times at the gym and wall climbing. Also succeeded in climbing Taiwan’s tallest mountain, in addition to trying and loving surfing and wakeboarding. Should see more of these two latter activities come 2007, and none of the former. Climbing Jade Mountain is indeed a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Never do it again, never! But I’ll definitely give Taipei 101 another go! 😉

2006 was full of changes — in addition to changing jobs, I’ve also moved somplace closer to work (7-minutes walk baby!), changed my lifestyle and changed my roster of friends. Fortunately, they were changes for the better and come 2007, my resolution is to keep up with the productive and positive momentum. In particular, they are:

1) Study and pass my Level 1 exams – my primary goal for the year

2) Keep fit and reduce my weight to the early 50s by working out and climbing more, and

3) Travel to at least 2 foreign countries I’ve never been before

Doable? Seriously hope so! And to start of changes, I’ve committed myself in letting go some social obligations this month. It would be a poignant goodbye, but least, would provide me with more time to study for my certification.

So now, we celebrate the end of 2006 — and the beginning of 2007! Last year I’ve said that it would be so hard to top 2005, and it was. But 2006 was such a period of changes that it brought to life a lot of interesting moments I couldn’t do without. Won’t really say it’s better, but it’s indeed different, and changed me for the better.

Happy New Year! Onward to 2007!

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