So here goes my illustrated review of 2014!

For the first half of the year, I struggled in school. I didn't understand how to communicate my thoughts and ideas well and it led me into little spirals of despair.

Coming from an animation background, I was completely new to design studies. All the terms like kerning, leading and all that were so foreign to me seemed to come so naturally for everyone else. 

I didn't want to speak up and ask for help either, so it was a vicious cycle of semi-understanding and utter confusion. I read up as much as I could from online tutorials but I ended up winging my way through the last semester of Year 3, not actually sure of anything but acted like I've done all of it before.

I would stay up nights working as hard as possible, believing that even if I had no prior talent or skills in design, hard work would definitely make up for what I was lacking. 



Things started looking up in the start of May. I had a student exchange program that would be seeing me off to travel through UK & Scandinavia for 50 Days and I was so pumped to go.

And because my birthday would fall on a day that I was already in Glasgow, I decided to have an early celebration. We had cake, lots of food and exchanged puns and it was a fabulous evening.
I thought that things were going swimmingly and that 2014 was going to be a spectacular year.

However, tragedy struck. A personal tragedy occurred and it was something I could never foresee would ever hit so close to home. I was devastated to say the least. I didn't know how to deal with it, didn't want to talk about it. Just shut myself in my room all day and hid from the peering eyes of the world. Why, why, why. All I could ask was why.

But I was about to embark on a major travel trip, something I was looking forward to all year, and so I cast it aside.
To the back of my mind, the recesses so dark, I would shine no light upon it. I was determined to have the best time on my trip and to have great memories and laughs to look back upon.

And so I left, with worries buried far far down in my heart.

As if nothing changed, I kept my grief in limbo. 

It was my first time in the UK and it was fantastic. I was worried that it might be awkward, being just two of us travelling and that I felt that the silences between us were going to be weird. But surprise surprise, it wasn't.


Hays was the best kind of travel buds I could ever hope to travel with. (HELLO BUBBLEBUTT.)

We made the lamest jokes and had a ridiculous amount of fun while we gallivanted around London with our backpacks, discovering this foreign land. We spent a few days in London before hitching a plane ride to Glasgow to meet up with the rest of our classmates for our exchange.

Glasgow. So much more happened within the span of three weeks there. 

Apart from Hays and Lou who I knew better before the trip, I started to get to know my other two dorm-mates there, Buns & Leo.
They were hi-bye/casual conversation kind of friends before we all actually decided to group together for the dorms, so once again, I had my qualms and worried if it would be awkward. Surprise, surprise, for the second time. It was a good time where we spent nights cooking, grocery shopping, feeding the fox (which we named Donian after our dorm, Caledonian Court) that came by our dorms nightly and bits of conversation here and there.


While in Glasgow, I also had the best time on my first road trip. A bunch of us rented cars over the weekend and so a little crew of 4-5 cars drove up 6 hours from Glasgow to the Isle of Skye and stayed there for a night. It was a life-changing experience and I'm thankful for every bit of the trip. We were delayed for over 3 hours on the way back due to a road closure, and while frantically searching for alternative routes was spontaneous, it was a kind of panic-funny which made the trip even more memorable.



Through all the great memories, deep down, I knew that all I had done was to push things aside without confronting my problems. Bits of the "un-okayness" was starting to leak out.
I felt like I was walking around with a giant hole in my chest. A cavity that was filled with seething darkness, just poised for the right time to strike.

Still, I kept the silence.

Perhaps it was pride, perhaps it was fear of reaching out and touching nothing. 

And so I convinced myself, once again, that I had moved on. That I was alright with everything. About this time, it was early September. I was at the height of my lows. It was a horrible time, I did nothing but to come home from school, lock myself in and stare at the ceiling.

By the end of September, I was in the darkest place of the year. I rejected all forms of help, no matter how kind the intentions were. Everything was a brutally exaggerated form of what it actually was.

I would sit in class and feel like I was drowning. It was claustrophobia in an empty room.

All I could do everyday, was to wake up and convince myself that things were going to be okay for that day.

I was tired of everything by now. 

But I knew I had been through worse and I was determined to get past this as well. With the support from some kind souls, I got my footing back. Bit by bit. I got to know three other classmates better. Since we were always in school till late, we slowly became better friends.
(CLAYPOT RICE. (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ )

Like the seasons, things started to move. I decided to stop lying around and feeling sorry for myself.

"All of your wallowing is unbecoming. You gotta take it on your own from here.
It's getting pathetic and I'm almost done here."
Enough was enough.

I started to focus on the goodness of each day, seeing the colors seep back into the days. 
Normalcy came like a surging tide and I ran out to sea, so glad to see it.

November and December was a blur of laughter and work. And now, it's 2015. 

I'm eternally grateful for the support of my family for always supporting my decisions and hi-fiving me even when I tell them I didn't do so well in school.

"It doesn't matter, let's go celebrate anyway!"

For the hugs & never second guessing me with my constant moolah-spending on pens, paper, games & miscellaneous artsy stuff. 
For indulging me in my spontaneous travel plans, loving me unconditionally through my occasional whining sessions, funding me in throwing little food-parties, and giving me the best kind of home to come back to everyday.
And finally, for bringing me up with a kind of spirit that seeks out hope in every dark corner, always facing the sun and that hardwork will always prevail.

It's been an amazing journey and I'm excited for what 2015 will bring.

Thanks for always sticking around. <:

With love,