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【2021 Reflections】

Updated: Dec 23, 2021

Goodbye 2021, Hello 2022 ~

In 2021, I juggled a number of responsibilities in life. That included: my (super full-time) work, (not so part-time) masters, wedding preparations and got a beautiful new house, amid the tumultuous times with covid-19. All of these four events (and more) took place in full swing, together.

Some close friends, colleagues and my bosses probably knew that I was trying hard to stay afloat.

I struggled to juggle both work and studies, after I finally got accepted into NTU after 7 rejections in 8 years. In the process, I was preparing to embark on a new journey with my partner - managing the new house renovations and wedding preparations. It was madness, indeed. I constantly find myself running out of time and having deadlines to meet.

I was always caught up in a vicious cycle.

On weekdays, wake up, chiong @ work, end work and rush to school, chiong @ school and then sleep. On weekends, wake up, rush to school, chiong @ school, end school and chiong assignments, and then sleep. In between all these madness schedule, I strive to keep up and have quality family time with my loved ones and family, as well as with my partner and his family.

However, 2021 wasn’t just all stress and unhappiness, for sure.

In the last two weeks of November, my partner caught me off guard and proposed to me. I got surprised by bosses that I was recognised for my hardwork (while juggling everything in life) and secured a promotion only about 2.5 years in the company.

These happened when I was about to break down. I was on the verge of falling apart from all the sleepless nights, panic from work and studies plus crazy deadlines, as well as the emotional and mental turmoil about the financial debts from the new house, renovations, wedding preparations, masters school fees and more.

I was working so hard, mentally, physically and psychologically.

Deep down, I realised that I am more than my work and responsibilities. And I wanted to create many more meaningful memories which I can look back and be happy and proud of, other than all the heavy responsibilities I carry on my back.

As many knew, I write a lot at work, and also for school, in both the English and Chinese languages. However, I didn’t stop writing after work. I continue to write, as my hobby leisurely. Sometimes it feels like I ran out of things to write, but I also found sources of inspiration from life.

From merely writing and sharing my thoughts on my website and social media account, I craved for more growth.

I knew that there was more which I could do. I started dabbling into designing, content creation and curation. Then, I passionately started a bilingual passion project @decipheringk since March 2021 and even followed through my planned social media calendar.

So, four things at once wasn’t enough (I KID), and I brought in so much more things to my plate.

Life is a process of learning new things everyday and there’s always something to work on and be better at. I believe that today, I really am working harder to be better than I was, yesterday. It has been really challenging trying to cope with many different roles at work, on top of my masters, new house renovations and wedding preparations.

Looking back, I wouldn’t have expected myself to achieve all these amazing things in 2021.

I am grateful to have the support in everything that l do. I will never take it for granted. I earned every day, living by a purposeful life, keeping mentally and physically healthy and having my family, friends and someone special to share life with.

2021 has taught me so much, especially to value: Time, Health, Loved ones, Mental health, Opportunities, and the Present Moment. The list could go on and it's not all been negative. And as 2022 slowly creeps in, there’s more to come. More challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities.

2021; another year of pandemic - discovery, growth and reflections.


And here are my goals for 2022:

Stay motivated and keep growing.

Forge stronger bonds.

Be the inspiration for work and life.

Thank you for supporting me and also giving me more strength and hope to pull through all difficulties, with your little acts of kindness.

Thank you for reminding me the value of these precious gifts - time, relationships and freedom - so priceless in the world, today.

Thank you for taking time to finish reading this post too. Stay happy and healthy ~



It has been a year since I created my portfolio website and secured my personal domain. I have been consistently posting a minimum of 1 article a week for the past year. Looking back, it has been a journey of progress, filled with loads of determination. Today, I share my growth as I conclude 2021 thus far, with this post.

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