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2017 in Review

Super late to the update, but at least, it's only 10 days into 2018 and I am still doing a lot of the Reflect and Regret (LOL) thing, R&R, as I'd like to call it. 
2017 has been a particularly challenging year for me.
It's the year that has seen me through most emotional roller coaster rides. 
Many times in the year I had felt like I was suffocated and I needed an escape, 
but with great support from my now, fiance, 
I managed to see lights at the end of the tunnel, 
or even halfway through the tunnel. 

In the beginning of the year, I went to Chiangmai, a place I never thought I would love but I fell head over heels for it. 
The laid-back lifestyle, the people, the occasional cool breeze, and the amazing shopping opportunity, it couldn't have been a better start to the year of 2017. 


Then, I went on with the struggle of getting my experiments going. 
It was the year where I had pushed myself to the limits. 
I knew I had to work beyond the mere vision of my supervisor if I want to keep it going at the pace I desired. 
It was months and months of failure and not giving up, months and months of self-doubt before I found myself in the lights of hope. 
All these struggles taught me one simple lesson which has been told by many, but you would only learn it if you experience it, that is, 
as long as you don't give up on hope, hope will find you

Whilst I was fighting one of the biggest war of my life, yet, my Ph.D, I was faced with another equally great challenge, family issues. 
Well, as they said, every family has a skeleton in the closet. 
I guess everyone at some point had to handle challenging family problems, 
and I am no exception. 
I am too much of a gentle(wo)man to divulge the details. 
In short, I wish that my sister would look back and realize her own mistakes.
Unfortunately, this problem hasn't been resolved to date. 

When I look back at what has happened, it still ached me. 
I still yearn for the trust and faith I was never given to; 
I still long for the day where justice finds the right person; 
and I still as hell wish she had learned her lesson the hard way. 
None of these wishes were granted. 
But two great lessons learnt
1. what goes around comes around; 
2. be impeccable with your words. 

But I am utterly thankful for this experience as it got me a new friend, life mentor, Dr. Diana. 
The wisest, calmest and most patient person in the world. 
She helped me to see things a little clearer, she encouraged me and helped me to find lights. 

All these, which what may seem like the biggest challenges at the time, made me made the biggest decision of my life, to live independently. 
At that exact time, my then bf, was admitted to the hospital due to extended fever and week-long of vomiting. 
We spent about a week in the hospital, it was a week-long of rushing and worrying but I am glad that it's all over and he's safe in the end. 

Then it was a great milestone for us, more specifically as he earned his first "bucket of million" which at that point, we thought was a total blessing. 
We celebrated with great joy! 
First ~million ringgit worth property and first luxury car of his life, which he gladly shared them with me. 

At the same time, we upgraded our camera to produce greater content for our blog. 
Just immediately after we upgraded our camera, we got an amazing invitation for a 2D1N staycation at an incredible family-owned hotel in PD. 

When we were overloaded with joy with all achievement we had made thus far, I was having a rather difficult time with my experiment. 
My cells wouldn't cooperate. 
I was pretty depressed. 
With my hopes so high that I would finish everything within the year of 2017, 
with my prof's contract ending before the third quarter of the year, 
and the hindrance from the difficulties of growing my prostate cancer cells, 
I was stressed out every single day. 

That was also the first time ever I have started working properly with mechanistic study expert, Dr. Ong. With me being new and unfamiliar with cell line studies and the frequent failures I was having with my experiment, it was a tough journey to getting recognition from Dr. Ong. 

But with hard work and determination, Dr. Ong finally admitted that it was not due to my limited skills after all. 
We started working in a team and since then he's been extremely helpful and our collaboration has been amazing (and still is!). 

We went on a trip to Melbourne, which was filled with great memories and inevitably, some sorrow thrown in between. 
Nonetheless, thankful for the amazing opportunities. 
The highlight of the trip, though, was definitely when I was proposed to. 
Although it was not a world-shatteringly touching event, he touched my heart. 
It will always be one of the sweetest memories of my life. 


Came back working even harder than I ever have with Prof's service drawing nearer and nearer to the end. Worked on my paper and pushed myself harder in terms of experiment designing. 
Many many many papers reading later, I finally felt like I got the hang of things. 
I felt more passionate than ever about my research, I finally felt like this is where I belong! 

With this old but new love I found for cancer research, my hard work in blogging has received its greatest recognition this far. 
We were approached by a company to write for them for the long term. 
It was an absolute dream come true! 
I have never thought that my sheer passion for writing would have landed me in such an amazing place. 
Lesson learned: 
If you are passionate and consistent about something, your work will be appreciated one day. 

Then, prof left UM. 
Leaving me alone. I knew I had to "adult". 
Working as the only student of my prof with no senior to ask questions to have always been tough, 
but imagine without a mentor, it was hell. 
But, in my toughest time where I felt hopeless and lost, 
Dr. Diana gave me a helping hand. 
She was willing to guide me and support me to the end of the journey, which I will be forever thankful. 
Lesson learned: 
Always be courteous, always be genuine to people you meet in life, if you are sincere towards the people you meet, they would do the same too. 

And, while I was thriving on this journey that gets harder day by day, D was faced with the biggest financial crisis of our life. 
The excitement of our first life milestones together was (and is still) suffocating him. 
Times like this gave us the biggest realization of our lives, if something is not given with a genuine heart, the receiver won't enjoy it

We ended all the misery with an amazing holiday to Hanoi and it was definitely one of the best times of 2017. 

Overall, 2017 is a year of "adulting". 

We are looking forward to having all of the unresolved problems resolved one by one, hand in hand, in 2018! 

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