My year in review

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I would say 2015 has been a pretty good year for me, all things considered. Here are the key things that have been a major part of my 2015.

  1. My new job
  2. My relationship
  3. Healing from my wound
  4. Hobbies

1. My new job

Oh, my current job is great. I’m a quantitative UX researcher in a consulting capacity. It’s the perfect intersection of data, psychology, and design for my proclivities. I occupy the “Research” bubble in the Venn diagram below and it’s just right for me.

There’s a variety of clients to work on so I’m never bored. The smaller sized nature of the company also means that the company’s employees can be more deliberately curated. Geeky, curious, and thoughtful are how I’d describe my coworkers – a large proportion of my colleagues have PhDs in psychology. I feel like I have finally found my groove  at a workplace where my coworkers enjoy playing Sporcle during our office happy hours.

A digital advertising agency was not as good of a fit for me. Yes, creativity and liberal attitudes abound, but for all that emphasis on being a special snowflake, a surprisingly large proportion of my coworkers aspired towards Longchamp bags or Tory Burch flats. I can’t even.

Also, digital advertising agencies (or at least the one I was at) pay really poorly for the amount of work they wring out of you – the pay bump and the increment in free time at my job now has made my quality of life so much better.

2. My relationship

My relationship has also been another significant event of this year. Most of you who have been reading my blog for a while might have witnessed the evolution of my feelings from dating to falling in love and agreeing to exclusivity. As we close in on our one year anniversary, I quote the words of Marshall and Lily of How I Met Your Mother: “As we mature, the relationship matures with us.”

Milestones have been passed – exchanging I love yous, intermingling social circles, revealing our dreams and vulnerabilities, meeting family – some more smoothly than others. Still, my fondness for him grows and there plenty more milestones ahead of us to look forward to.

3. Healing from my wound

It’s been almost exactly one year from the fateful day that I got mauled by a dog. Indeed, it was that fateful event that led to the birth of this blog. It’s been a large struggle both physically and emotionally. My ring finger is permanently swollen and crooked and occasionally mildly arthritic from being bent 24/7. My grip strength and my ability to put weight on my wrist during pushups and yoga is compromised due to the dysfunctional ergonomics of misshapen hand. The thick scars make my palm feel taut, while the keloids on the back of my hand rub against the knob of my watch.

Then there’s the emotional aspect. The dog attack nightmares have ebbed considerably, but they do occur every now and then. Visiting home is now a decision fraught with emotional distress that I have no need to be reminded of by the callous and unsympathetic.

4. Hobbies

The combined effect of: a) having an increase in disposable income, b) a decrease in work hours, and c) having a first-year resident for a boyfriend meant that I had the wherewithal to engage in several hobbies. Unfortunately I’ve neglected this blog in the past few months, but well, I’ve been pouring my energies into other things and I *do* have something to show for it!

First up – jewelry-making! I took ring-making classes at the 92nd St Y, and part of my motivation for making rings is to adorn my broke-ass hand. I never wore rings prior to the incident and now I do. It kinda sucks that rings that fit my swollen joint are too large for my ring finger, but whaddyagonnado.

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The rose gold ring with a little moissanite stone is a favorite. (FYI, moissanite is much more brilliant than diamond, whose prices are artificially inflated by the industry – IT’S ALL A LIE PEOPLE) I made it in silver and got it plated in rose gold for $12. Seriously, I would highly recommend gold-plating as an option for cheapo silver jewelry you see on Etsy or wherever. Knowing that I can modify things on my own really widens the array of options. The silver ring in the middle was my first ever project. It was meant to be a silhouette of the NYC skyline, here’s a poorly lit, upright video of it (I’m ashamed of not obeying video-taking conventions, sigh)

Then I made these dual-sided dangly chain earrings, which were the BANE OF MY EXISTENCE as I had to drill 0.5mm holes into a 1mm wide wire and I can’t tell you how frustrating it was to work with something so tiny and delicate. I’d say these took me about 6 hours of bench time and a couple more for getting the jump rings laser-soldered shut outsourced (since the studio torch melted the chain, grr).

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Then I also made these earrings that were simply just three silver rods placed at an angle. It’s quite delicate and pretty, but it did take me two attempts, and the final pair took me about 3 hours.

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Outside of jewelry-making, I’ve also engaged in weekly yoga, group classes at Crunch, and pole dancing. My upper body strength has increased tremendously, and it’s rather empowering to be using my hands in such a strengthening way.

I’m not a New Year’s resolutioner, but in 2016, it would be nice to visit Europe, lose body fat, and maybe take French classes again.


The Author

Singaporean in NYC, analyzing relationships with a boozy brownie in hand.

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