The last few weeks have been a crazy whirlwind. But as per my annual custom, I want to take some time to reflect on what a year 2016 has been, and what has happened in the past 12 months.
I left BFM (again) early this year. It was a good one year of part-time arrangement with them, but I decided to leave this year as, on top of my TV3 engagement, my church offered me a part-time role as well. After weighing my options, I decided to go for my church’s offer instead of staying on with BFM.
And so far, I am enjoying my role at church. I’m helping out with the creative department, so I get to be really involved in the drama ministry – in conceptualising, training, and directing. I enjoy this a lot, because now, beyond just acting, I get to have hands-on in the entire storytelling process. I also get to stretch my capability by producing videos with the media team. It was something I openly told my pastor that I did not know if I could do, as I didn’t think I was a very creative person in that sense. But I’m learning on the job! Apart from that, my role also requires me to write a lot: scripts, devotional materials, etc. So far, I really have no complaints, and I’m very blessed that my pastor decided to offer me this job.
Besides TV3 and my church, I’m also open to other freelance job opportunities. This year, I am very fortunate to have gotten a few blogging jobs and partnerships. I got to work with Kidzania, MOF, Robataya, Lazada (and here) and Sothys (and here). It’s not a lot, but those are all great opportunities.
I also did one emcee job with Publika, and one voice-over job with Omesti. It’s been an interesting year!
I decided to re-launch NatalieSia.com this year, due to several reasons. Some reasons can’t be revealed just yet. But overall, I was feeling like I was at a crossroad, and one of the ways I wanted to ‘start the phase’ was by redoing my blog. I also had a new direction for where I wanted my blog to go, hence, the re-launch. (Unfortunately, my old posts also disappeared, but it’s OK! Let’s start fresh!)
This year I had my first viral post. While writing the post ‘8 Years After I Do’, I was actually going through quite a challenging patch in my marriage. I was reminding myself about my vows and my commitment, and how a marriage should be built. Interestingly, a lot of people connected with that post, and it was shared massively on Facebook. I think I had over 90,000 views on that post alone! It was crazy! But I feel so grateful that something I wrote could be of help to somebody.
One of my biggest highlights for 2016 was writing and publishing my book, ‘Alexa: A Mother’s Journey of Love, Loss and Hope’. After procrastinating for so many years, it is really a big accomplishment for me! Though now, as the book is being sold, I admit I am feeling nervous and a little bit vulnerable. I don’t know how it will fare, but I just want to be able to be of whatever help I can be to mothers who go through similar experiences.
Right after I finished writing my own book, I was approached to be a ghostwriter for two books. I have never been a ghostwriter, but I thought, it would be a great learning experience. It also came at a good time to help with our finances and fund my book-printing!
After not traveling abroad for a while, we finally flew this year! We went to Seoul, South Korea for the first time, and it was also our first time flying with Amy.
A few months after that, the hubby and I had a biking trip to Hatyai! It was a fun holiday. Biking trips are torturous and fun at the same time haha.
Then, I got pregnant, so, no more flying and no more international holidays.
To compensate, we had trips around Malaysia. We went to Port Dickson three times! Twice with my in-laws, and once with my elder sister and her family. We also had a roadtrip to Penang, which was definitely not as enjoyable as our trips to PD.
And then, just before we ended the year, the hubby took Amy and me down to Malacca with him for his working trip. It was an impromptu decision. His project site was in Malacca, so he was required to go down for support and work. But he would be traveling on my birthday. 🙁 So he thought, since I was off from work during this last week of December anyway, and my mother-in-law was going to Taiwan, why not Amy and I follow him down?
I said brilliant! We could just chill in the hotel, because I also needed to get work done anyway. In the end, my father-in-law joined us and everything was good.
I got to act in my church’s Easter stage drama, ‘Sometimes‘, earlier this year. It was an emotionally demanding role, but, as with most difficult roles, it gave me such satisfaction as an actor.
Oh, I also got to go for my first watercolour painting class with my pastor! I’ve always wanted to learn how to paint, so this was a memorable experience. I hope I’ll be able to improve and learn more, and be able to paint better soon!
At the start of the year, we decided to move in with the hubby’s parents. It made sense financially, and also gave us great help with Amy.
This year was also a year of ups and downs for my marriage (well actually, which year isn’t? haha). There were a lot of strains and challenges and tension, and the biggest explosion came about just before Christmas! Thank God, we were able to talk things out and solve our issues and end the year on a stronger note.
We also had a big scare when Amy experienced her febrile fit. It was her first hospitalisation, and it definitely shook us all.
And of course, the most important thing that happened in 2016 was: I got pregnant with baby number three! He will be born in just a few weeks time, and I really cannot wait. Praying and confessing every day that he will be born alive and well, healthy and strong, normal and happy.
So that was my 2016 in a nutshell. I can’t wait to start planning and setting goals for 2017. We have a lot of hopes and plans for next year… praying very hard that they will come to pass.
What about you? How has your 2016 been?