LAST_UPDATEMon, 25 Jun 2018 11pm

Good Or Bad, Last Year Is Over – Why Not Get 2016 Off To A Great Start

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Has 2015 been an uplifting ride or a spiral downward to disaster for you?

FilePic: huffpost.comFilePic: huffpost.comAs you’re reading this, you might still be in party hangover mode or maybe you spent new year's alone at home. That’s fine, really. You are not missing out on anything in life.

Whether you are feeling the effects of a major hangover or cursing yourself thinking ‘damn, I’m such a loser, I never go out and have fun’....well perhaps one thing that everyone is thinking now is - what’s next?

Did I get to do what I wanted last year? What will I be doing for this year?

If you feel FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), the syndrome brought about by rising popularity of social media which stirs envy and anxiety in readers who check out other people's posts of amazing life achievements or exotic travels in their Facebook news feed and compare it to their own life, don't despair.

This is the first day of a WHOLE NEW YEAR. Time to say f**k off to 2015 and start afresh. You have another 364 days to get started on your bucket list.

In order to get you going, Malaysian Digest has asked ordinary Malaysians to share their tales of the highs and lows in 2015 and what keeps them striving for greater heights in the face of adversity, success and failure.

What Better Way To Start A New Chapter By Getting A New Job Or Getting Married

FilePic: patheos.comFilePic: patheos.comTaufiq recently got married.

“Getting a job, getting married, fire-breathing and flipping off a waterfall,” was how he summed up 2015.

“I set my New Year's resolution. It was pretty much different from how it turned out. Getting married was a bonus.

“So I broke up a relationship in late April this year because the personality of the person I was with didn't match.

“We were similar yet not the same. After the breakup I was looking back at what makes me happy and I realized there was this one person who had everything I wanted in a person to spend the rest of my life with.

‘Before my birthday in August, I felt like I had to do something about being single. Coming to 25, I felt that it was time.

“I had a crazy idea to just spend time with my buddy in Singapore just to get away on my birthday, but just a week before, I got in touch with my current wife who was also a close friend of mine.

“I don't know why but I felt like I had to ask her if she was interested to be in a relationship she was interested. But the thing about it is, we had previously dated 2 years ago, but never imagined that we would get married in 2 years.

“She was perfect but I was undecided at the time and still unstable.

“So I asked my best friend if I should make this happen. He wasn't too sure but I went with my gut feeling.

“We met for that first date, and we had coffee together. And I proposed. she said yes. I went to see her parents the next few days. Took my parents to see her parents on 13th of August. And 14th was my birthday so they had a mini surprise. After that, I went to Singapore the next day. We set the date to 12/12 and started planning. Alhamdulillah. It went well. And we're married now.

“And the best part is I got promoted at work just before I got married. I started this new job in January. And got confirmed by 2nd quarter. Promoted by the last quarter.

“The honeymoon was amazing as well. The experience of flipping off a waterfall. And the chance to actually fire-breathe on the beach in Langkawi.

“This has to be the best year I've had in my life,” he concluded. So for those of you facing a crossroads in your relationship, we hope Taufiq's experience will inspire you to pursue your romantic goals with renewed fervour.

For The Wanderlust, Travelling And Working Abroad Brings A Fresh Perspective

FilePic: pinterest.comFilePic:“Living abroad, getting a job and living my life! Going to volunteer as an officer for ESN (Erasmus Student Networks) starting this 4th of January!” Farhana excitedly shared about her life going into 2016.

Farhana is currently based in Czechoslovakia with her Czech boyfriend and excited to be living her dream of working abroad and travelling abroad.

“I prefer going abroad because of the work culture here - there’s no extra working hours, we all go back on time, it's flexible here, and there’s more opportunities especially when you are earning in euros - also because I’m in Europe! With my boyfriend we travel a lot and having a long distance relationship is hard. Best part is I have 20 days of holidays a year here, compared with 12 in Malaysia!

“Another thing about working here is that their culture is non-judgemental. You can dress sexy or anything as long as it's formal, for example."

But she has not let go of all hopes of working in Malaysia. As she was bound by contract due to a Malaysian government scholarship but was never called up to serve her country, she looks forward to her impending contract termination.

“This month my contract will be terminated, and hopefully officially. It was a long wait and so many graduates have to find their own solutions, especially when our salary is tiny. So we’ll see next year!,” she shared, still bursting with enthusiasm to embrace more excitement that life has to offer.

There is something about getting out of your comfort zone by travelling abroad that provides a much needed boost for many people to embrace life with renewed vigour.

“Getting a good job, getting married, travelling to Argentina and learned a new language!” 23-years old just recently graduated Florentina shared with us.

“How many times in life you can actually sit with Malaysia's flag in a UNFCCC COP plenary?,” Emily, who just completed her post-graduate degree told us about her once-in-a-lifetime experience representing Malaysia at the recent Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) in December 2015.

“Being there for ‪#‎COP21‬ and ‪#‎COY11‬ and the experiences I've had along the way certainly have helped me grow in amazing ways.

“I can say I leave here a better person , someone better equipped to carry on this climate change movement.

“Scientists say we need to reach net zero emissions by around 2050 with 85% certainty of limiting temperature rise to 2ºC.

“But I still feel that I'm not doing enough and there are so much more to be done from my side! Probably should aim to really speak on behalf of the country in the future. Fingers crossed!” she reflected, filled with much energy to change the world for the better and to do more for Malaysia.

Wacky Personal Achievements That Inspire Us

FilePic: candidatetips.comFilePic: candidatetips.comYour new year's resolution doesn't always have to be grandiose or the kind that is about world peace or saving the environment. Sometimes its the smallest personal achievements unique to each individual's needs that provide the biggest satisfaction.

“My biggest goal was to be able to do 1 handed pull-ups, but then all my injuries got in the way. So I decided I'd finish my Associate degree, but life got in a way. So now I decided that my new year's resolution was to try even harder for my next year's resolutions, and to be careful, haha,” RMAF pilot Wilson told us.

“I started my photography business back in 2014, and surprisingly, still doing it in this year and growing even though I’m still studying.

“I went to India using the money that I earned with my photography business, went backpacking and it was adventurous!

“Great friends support me, plenty invite me to share about how I do business and manage to study as well. What a great year!” professional photographer Najmie shared about what gave him a sense of fulfilment in 2015.

For most students, the only thing on their mind when they turn 21 is to do all the stuff they couldn't as a minor but Syaza Nazura decided to crowd-fund a scholarship project for the underprivileged.

“As a sponsored student, it’s easier for me since MARA’s paying for all my tuition fees and give me monthly allowances. But whenever I look at my friends who are funding their studies on their own, I feel like it’s not fair for them.

 “Scholarships and education loans (PTPTN, MARA, etc.) are super limited, and super competitive. What happens to those who might not have an insider-connection to these scholarships?

“SkolaFund is a crowdfunding site for Malaysian students, kind of like Indiegogo, Fundrazr, YouCaring.

“I manage to raise $1,175 in the one month (in a few days) of running the campaign. Our initial goal when we thought of the idea was to raise $1,000, but we put up $2,100 because it was a nicer and more significant number. Dad suddenly decided to match the amount raised as well so we now have a total of RM15,600 for the scholarship for three deserving students who will be announced this month!

When Life Throws You A Curveball, Hit It Out Of The Park!

FilePic: dumpaday.comFilePic: dumpaday.comAlthough inspiring stories of how people face the new year brimming with confidence and hope is uplifting, sometimes its the woeful tales of those who tried and failed that provide us with the resolve to look forward to a brand new year rather than linger on what-could-have-been.

Kelly, a young fund accountant, tried applying for a job in the banking line and after going for several interviews, she did not get anywhere. The dead-end didn't deter her as she resolved to become a wedding planner if she got nowhere with a banking career.

“I didn’t manage to get into the banking line as was my plan this year. I applied to four or five banks, went for the interview rounds.

“I almost got the offer at one of the banks but at the last minute the Voluntary Separation Scheme’ (VSS) came about and so I did not get my offer. I tried applying elsewhere but did not get much feedback.

“I actually told myself, ok, I’ll give myself until the end of this year to get a job in a bank. And If I don’t get it, I’ll try event management - wedding planner especially. I’ve always had an interest in it and would like to give it a try! “ Kelly confessed, exemplifying the wisdom of the saying, 'when one door closes, another opens'.

Shereena had set her sights on getting engaged this year but ended up breaking off a relationship instead.

“I wanted to get engaged this year, and that didn’t work out for me. I might have a chance again later, I mean I’m not like old or really needing to get engaged now. Also because of my work I am not worried about it now.

“He was lazy, useless and didn’t give shit to me when I was sacrificing for him, and willing to stay in Malaysia with him even though my parents live abroad.

“Everything happens for a reason because when I broke up the relationship, I found someone way better, I found a job here, and you know, everything worked out well for me. Even the bad things happen for a reason; better things are on their way to pave the way for your destiny, you know what I mean?

“My relationship didn’t work out, but the rest I guess I did. And I found someone better!” she happily declares.

Nadira has set her sights on getting to Cambodia as 2015 ended with 2 failed attempts that only serve to increase her determination.

“When I tried going to Cambodia with my colleague, it was for a charity project. We raised funds from Malaysia to donate to one of the human trafficking orphanages in Cambodia because there are a lot of NGOs there.

“We did raise some funds and turns out that a month before we were supposed to go, there were heavy floods and storms. Worried about our safety, we just banked in the money for them. We were so sad. I really wanted to go to the orphan house and meet the survivors, I’ve already arranged the interviews. It was a natural disaster. Then I tried again, we’ve already booked everything, but my family had very big domestic dispute so I had to go to Qatar where they were.

“So let's try again next year! I want to try going to Cambodia again for 2016!”

25 years old quality control officer Reza says that his goal for 2015 was to make it to 2016. But there are more serious things in life actually.

“I tried being a writer, then I tried being a diplomat after having studied International Relations. I applied but there was no hope.

“I got into two jobs, in the copy-writing business and another job as a customer service officer for people looking for jobs, which is funny because I was looking for one too. I left both and right now I’m working with an accounting firm. But my dreams of being a diplomat did not happen.

“I did achieve something greater than all of that - self discovery. The end of 2015 made me realize I didn't know who I was anymore, and that's good. So I accept that, which means that in 2016 I can spend it in realizing who I am.

“I had social anxiety disorder and could not tolerate being on my own. I even wanted to just depend and live off my girlfriend and when she wanted to break up, I realized how much I did not know of myself.

“I was trying to let the outside world define me where in fact, I have to decide for myself too. I realize that I needed to feel what I feared. I’m thankful for 2015 and look forward for 2016!” Reza admitted, choosing to look forward.

As for myself, did I achieve what I set out to do for last year? Actually I will be the first to admit I never had any goals for 2015 and 2016.

Maybe for some of us we want to do more, some of us are okay where we are, and some of us tried but didn’t succeed. There’s another year up ahead and screw it, if 2015 wasn’t as amazing as we hoped.

I know and I know that you know that, when 2017 rolls around, it’ll be our amazing stories that will be featured in the news. Goodbye 2015, thank you for all the memories, Hello 2016, ready to rock n roll!

- mD