Monday, January 6, 2014

Chapter 1

Happy new year everyone!!

I have labeled year 2013 as Chapter 1 of my life. Am not too sure why but it just is now.

Year 2013 was an amazing year for me as it was filled with life changing experiences. Also, the places I have been to last year was just surreal!

A little recap (and appreciation/gratitude kind of post)

1. Sabah team 11/12 trip

Last year in March, we, as a team went for our very first holiday together. Richard is from Sabah so we stayed with him. I'm very grateful for his hospitality and the amazing time we had together as a team. This includes the late night talks we had, random memorable moments and my first snorkeling experience.

2. Tracy's achievement

My younger sister's name is Tracy. She's two years younger than I am and just like any other younger siblings she has an elder sister's shadow to step away from (me). Though I don't show it but I'm very proud of what she has achieved last year. She was the Managing Director of AMCHAM's Young Enterprise program in her school and was awarded best entrepreneur  of the year (an award I myself strived for before but never gotten myself).

Also, she obtained straight 7A's for her SPM examination (I took 10 subjects but scored 7A's 3B's so technically it is also something I did not achieve myself). How not to be proud of her? I'm grateful for her. She's always given me occasional praises and she has boasted about me in front of her friends on several occasions. Unlike many younger siblings, she is one that is proud of her own sister and like to tell the world about it. (You have no idea how happy I am) Ah, yes and she's studying a Law degree now, awesome, right?

3. Valentines Day in Malacca

My dear Wei-Lim brought me to Malacca last year for Valentine's Day. That should say everything on it's own already, right? I'm grateful to have him in my life and that was one of the best Valentine's I've ever celebrated.

4. L'Oreal Brandstorm 2013

Semi-finals (Malaysia)

National Finals (Malaysia)

International Finals (Paris)

L'Oreal Brandstorm was an amazing journey. I have learned a lot in the course of 8 months from preliminary round all the way to international finals. I learned that if you want to achieve your dreams, you have to have the right attitude towards it. You have to work hard for what you want and FOCUS.

I also learned that having someone to share the pain and joy with you is better than having it all to yourself. Obviously, it isn't pleasant to face hardships on your own but it isn't fun either to enjoy happiness on your own. It isn't happiness for me if I'm having it alone.

Lastly, it still is surreal to me that we did indeed win national finals and had the chance to represent our country, Malaysia in Paris. It is still surreal to me we were praised by top CEO's in Paris for our hard work. It is still surreal to me that a dream of mine has been fulfilled.

I'm grateful for all the people that has supported us along the way such as Leon (our hyper bunny mentor), Dr. Vicki (our cool lecturer), family, team 11/12 and friends. I'm also grateful to the people who has given us the opportunity to join this competition. Lastly, I'm most grateful to my dear Wei-Lim and David who has embarked on this journey together with me. Who has had to put up with my stressful and pressuring meetings and endless arguments that I have initiated. I will always be forever grateful to them.

(Oh yes and my first visit to Paris Disneyland as well, I love Disney and Disneyland even more now)

5. Hong Kong with my family

Another family trip and last year we went to Hong Kong in August right after my trip to Paris in June. I have always loved traveling and from time to time I have to remind myself to cherish each memory I can create with my family. We don't express our love for each other very well, especially myself but I love them like no other. I'm grateful we had the opportunity to create such wonderful memories together as a family last year.

6. Team 11/12 graduates

Wan Sin graduates

Alex graduates

Richard and Carmen graduates

David graduates

All of us in team 11/12 met while we were university students pursuing our degrees. However, last year almost half of us has ended one chapter of our lives by graduating and stepping into the working world. I'm very proud of each of their individual achievements. Wan Sin, Alex, Carmen, Richard and David are now on to bigger dreams in their lives. I'm grateful we get to celebrate and commemorate all these special events together.

7. Dutch Lady's Inspire Tomorrow CSR project

The semester after I have ended my L'Oreal Brandstorm journey was focused on studying. I rejected a lot of offers to participate in and organize a lot of various events and programs as well as the opportunity to run for student council elections.

However, hard work paid off as I obtained straight distinctions for all my units. Also, right after my final exam I was given the opportunity to be part of Dutch Lady's Inspire Tomorrow project as a youth mentor.

My job was to deliver sessions designed by Yuber in a three days workshop across five locations throughout Peninsula Malaysia. We went to five different children home that consisted of children who were abused, abandoned or of poor family background. There were good and bad times but at the end of the program I could only remember the smile on the children's faces after we conclude each workshop.

I can only remember them calling me "teacher" and asking me to come back for them. As a youth mentor, I did not only inspire them but was inspired by them as well.

In addition, I had the opportunity to work with new people in the team, which includes Wai Yee, Felicia, C.S., Shayne and Hannah. Also, I had such an amazing time with Yen Li on our various workshops together.

After the project concluded, we have impacted at least 300 children in three weeks. Furthermore, I was invited as a guest speaker on Capital FM's hot seat segment. First time on radio and that is an experience to remember!!

Overall, year 2013 was one of the best years I have had in my life. Not because of the things I have achieved but rather, the things I have done made me feel alive again. To be honest, there were some occasions in my life that has left me feeling like life is meaningless. As though, we are chasing a carrot that is tied to a stick, held by a string that will always have a 5 inch distance in front of our face. However, what has happened to me in the past year has opened up my vision of what I want to do in life.

Here's to another great year ahead!! May everyone have a wonderful year 2014, filled with thunderbolts and storms, rainbow and sunshines alike.

God bless, with love.

Amy Lim Su Yen

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