How are you? You have had a year filled with challenges and with achievements of sorts. There were school shootings and there was the London Olympics. For me, you prepared something slightly different compared to other years.
You first sent me to Melbourne for some family time over Chinese New Year. It allowed me to touch base with my aunts and cousins, and also to meet my nephew for the first time.
Then there was the frenzy over getting an approval from the HREC board in uni. Without their green light, I would not be able to purchase that flight back to KL for the first part of my research.
When I arrived home, you gave me a slap in my over-confident face with setbacks in participant recruitment. Very timely slap, I would have to say, as it brought out the worst in my stubborn self that needed some fine-tuning. This fine-tuning received support in the form of emotional support from family and friends like Max, Jeunn Fuh and Edwin. Also, there were references that came from unexpected people, like Miss Chia, Miss Yong and Raymond.
I was fortunate to attend the Holy Matrimony of my best friend, Jon, the wedding receptions of ex-classmate, Yew Fon, of CPU juniors, Alan and Lian Shien, as well as the whole wedding day fun of ex-high school juniors, Guek Ming and Hwee Lee.
You gave me the honour of flying on the flight that my ex-student, Chee Kin, was first officer. I had the chance to visit Singapore after my first visit 18 years ago.
There were new people you introduced into my life, too. There was the AsiaWorks bunch of good buddies, like Evon and Henry. There were the two new additions to our Honey Bee family in the form of Rainey and Carrie. Not only did you introduce new people, there were new cats! Elphar and Remy, and then Bubur and Chacha.
You graciously gave me the opportunity to celebrate (for the first time) the birthdays of Jeunn Fuh and Rick Kee.
Being part of cousin Samantha's graduation was also an event that meant quite a bit to me. It was my first attendance at a graduation of a family member. It felt really good to see her all grown up and pursuing her own interest.
I was also given the chance to re-visit Malacca and Penang, both being 2-day/1-night getaways in Dad's oh-so-comfy new car. Speaking of cars, you allowed me to ride in many of my friends' cars and if I get to take my pick, I would rate Ray's my favourite ride.
After returning Down Under, you gave me even more support in the form of friends like Xin Wen, Jenny and Michael. Housemate issues really did not bother me much and even that was a learning curve that I have benefited much from. I look forward to welcoming Karen, who is replacing Ai Vee to live with Jie and I.
I cannot thank you enough for the privilege to have my abstract accepted for and to present at the TASA Conference. And because of the trip to Brisbane, I had the chance to see Jwu Yng's place and also catch up with ex-student, Li Xin (even made friends with her friends).
Despite all the happenings, reconnecting with old friends and their families would have to be the best gift you prepared for me. A big thank you goes out to all that has been part of my life in 2012.
all my friends in my professional network, especially scott, ah boon, steven, miss chia, mrs. pang, ah wei
all my 'virtual' friends, especially boey, brandon, melissa
all my cpu friends, especially justin oei, justin mong, alan, lian shien, benjamin, wan feng
all my asiaworks buddies, especially henry, evon, alicia, kein, bocao, phylicia
all my herbalife friends, especially sonia, brent, michelle, charlie, jenni, oscar, sandy, yiran, leo, charles
all my friends in serdang, especially sook fong and jason, ken lie, peter, chin dy, mohas, eniza, kimberly, jason, king mui, kian fei
all my sydney friends, especially jenny, michael, xin wen, stellina, shaun, thaddeus, may, rachel, othilia, ai vee, jie, keith, elvin, jeng yie, edison, dominic, galven, audrey, ming yow, diane, pek lynn, vanessa, daniel, ta seng, selina, ke xin, terence, karen, eugene, alex, charmaine, michaeline, shannon, jeff, elvan, evelyn, victor, alvin
all my friends, colleagues and mentors in uni, especially jocelyn (and family), nicholas, heather, kelly, lisa, nanditha, dora, rosemary, grace, helen, zinnia, sanobia, doranna, sally, jennifer, alex, julie, rebecca, marina, sheila, shirley, marianne, jane, manjula, belinda, amanda, cathrine, clare, fay, jackie, ellie, peter
all my research partipants in sydney and kl and my usm mentor, prof. anna christina
all my ex-teachers from desa, especially mr. bong, mr. karuna, puan wong
all my friends from desa, especially jeunn fuh, paul, max and cathryn, yew fon, su ee, yee teng, dorothy, hui wei, natalia, kean giap, weng lok, rick kee and felicia, kenny and lee chin, yuen chai, eva, lee sih, han hsuing, kin seng, wai seng, robin, tommy, yan loong, raymond loh, edwin, jon and ee lane, yin lee, ai ling, chee kit and sandra, soo ting, mei yen, sabrina, guek ming and hwee lee, swee fong and queenie, jwu hoe and chai ling, fuh ming (and his mum), raymond chong (and his family: aiwee, nelson, simon, rhyann, aeris, kingston, aunty and uncle), yun hau, how ran and siew ching, pin kean, yee khai, voon khong
all my current honey bee students
all my ex-honey bee students (and their families), especially lih herng, lih jie, wan xin, wan qin, li xin, jian jun, munn yee, charl yee, shin yee, chui mun, chui yee, jie hui, chee kin, justin, chon seng, chon jun, siu suan, siew qi, yew weng, ruihan, ming suet, yuk khey, zhi qiao, su xin, su ting, vincent, vivian
all my ex-honey bee staff (and their families), especially miss yee, miss ng, miss ong, miss lew, miss lee, miss wong, puan emi
all my current honey bee staff (and their families), miss yong, miss chang, puan nora, miss puanes, puan nisma, miss teoh, miss saras, miss chin, miss nancy, miss yam, miss tai, miss ang, miss foo, miss carrie, miss rainey, uncle chow, aunty yen
my extended family, especially aunty pat, cousin petrina, jason, brianna and olivia, cousin lik shan, aunt yoke wan, aunt yoke mooi, cousin woon bing, aunt yoke chin, cousin meng cheng, uncle ah fong, aunt siew peng, cousins pei shan, yon tian and pei qi, aunt shiu ying, cousins pei shin and pei yiun, aunt shiu yeen, cousin eunice, uncle sim fatt, aunt siew choo, cousins samuel and samantha
my two cambodian domestic helpers, who absolutely adore the cats at home
my four-legged furry cuties, remy and chacha
my fantastic family, bro, mum, dad
For better or worse, each and every one of you have helped me become more of who I am today, become a better me in future.
"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." - BuddhaAnd therefore, 2012, thank you for everything.
Happy 2013, everyone...