THE YEAR 2014 started out epic.

With my best friend having flown in from the States, we decided to hang out at a local pub for the New Year’s countdown. Only to be stranded past midnight because neither of us had driven to town, and the taxi queues were really long. So we spent the wee morning of New Year’s Day eating expensive satay and lounging about the grass at empty Raffles Place waiting for the first train home. A good laugh and one we would look back promising we would have better plans for future countdowns 😅

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For me, 2014 has also been a year of much personal growth, surprising moments and the experiencing of new things in life.

PS. I am spamming this post with emojis. Apparently, the ‘most popular word’ of 2014 was the heart emoji. 

1. The most amazing Eurotrip. Yet. ✈
It was my second time in Europe, but a first vacation with Danial – and it came at a time when he was away for 4 whole months. Aside from the memories of spending my 24th birthday in beautiful Barcelona and experiencing Paris with my love, it was also a journey to discover how living with Danial really was. And I am glad to see it has gone a good step forwards in our relationship.

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2. Virgin first-time experiences 📷
Like wakeboarding, stand-up paddling, windsurfing and quadbiking. Oh, 2014 also saw my first time attending an Indie music festival (Laneway in January) and doing a night race (Skechers Electric Run in April).

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3. A substantial amount of local cafe-hopping ☕
Speaking of virgin first time experiences, I have never had so much coffee indulgence before. Aside from patronising these new pop-up cafes, I got to wander into parts of Singapore I otherwise don’t normally head to… like Everton Park or Mountbatten. The local cafe culture and young entrepreneurial spirit is booming, but it takes good businesses to stay in the market.
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4. Becoming an award recipient 🏆
I was blessed to have been given the prestigious Gold Award by Trinity College Dublin upon my graduation last year. This was followed by MENDAKI presenting me with their Anugerah Cemerlang (Excellence Award), alongside other Malay-Muslim graduates who have obtained first-class Honours degree. 

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Aaaaaand I got to rub shoulders with the Minister, meet the Irish ambassador to Singapore, and embarrrasingly appeared on the local Malay news for a week 😊
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5. Stamp of approval from Tyra Banks 👍
Don’t even ask me why or how!
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6. Makeover (Part 1): Sported a bob-haircut after many years 💇
Nothing to do with the above-mentioned Tyra’s approval of the accidental shoot.
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Makeover (Part 2) Removed a 0.5cm-width mole on my forehead 💉
No better emoji to be used, but the removal surgery only took 20-minutes and it hurts like crap after the local anaesthesia wore off. Rewards = A) No need to have bangs no more, B) No more worrying if it was cancerous

Makeover (Part 3): Had the courage to put braces on 😬
I have always had crooked teeth (did not stop me from playing the clarinet for 4 years in the school band) and hence suffered difficult flossing. Finally had the courage to put braces on. Which brought its fair share of funny moments – elderly patients comparing mine to their dentures and my discovery of needing liquid/soft diet over fried chicken wings.
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7. Opportunities at work 🏥
The year started with Occupational Therapists’ Week celebrations, where I got to emcee the opening ceremony. 2014 has seen me with two ward rotations after General Surgery – into Orthopaedics and the Acute Stroke Unit. Each with its own challenges and learning experiences; all in all moulding me into a better therapist. Made new friends and colleagues with each rotation. Everyday a new experience, crossing paths with patients and their unique life stories. Hard to believe that it’s been 1.5 years since I was a newbie fresh out of graduation. But of course, I couldn’t have done it without the supportive team and dedicated mentors. So very blessed.
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8. Loss some, gain some 🎭
After the passing of both my paternal grandparents and maternal grandmother, granddad was the only other elder we had in the family. The past July was our first Eid without granddad. Loss a family member, and gained new ones with the addition of my niece and nephew. Family gatherings are different now, but nonetheless merry. And I can only hope we remain one in years to come.

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9. Weddings and engagements 💍
It is official. This year marks the age where the weddings and engagements I attend are of people closest to me. I feel so happy for all the blessed moments I get to be a part of. Yet at the back of my mind: Oh my gosh, it will likely be my turn soon!
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10. Some serious savings 💰
As per point above, Danial and I have been having a lot of adult conversations lately. From life goals to wedding costs to considerations of buying property. I have started beefing up my discipline in savings too, though I can definitely improve on that still hehehe.
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Farewell 2014. As much as you have been a youthful one, you have taught me the ropes to growing up. I am grateful.

As the year comes to an end and a new chapter begins, I welcome the coming 2015 with open arms. Looking forward to bountiful wisdom and growing up, beauty and life, adventures and experiences… kickstarting the first week with a trip to Japan! Till next time, xx

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About Nani Adilla Zailani

Essentially, living in the moment and loving all things beautiful.

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