2015 was my second full year in Singapore, and again a year of many changes, but somewhat slower changes compared with recent years. I changed jobs and moved house for the third time in as many years, but now I’m very happy with / proud of both: I can see myself in this job for several years, and will probably remain in my flat until I move in with Brin. After a hectic couple of years, I finally feel like I’m as settled as I was before I left for Singapore.
I left Perx and joined GrabTaxi in June, in a year of massive growth for the latter. It is challenging and I’m frequently out of my comfort zone, but I’m learning more than I have in years. They’re one of the biggest tech companies in the region, have some incredibly talented engineers, and in my opinion are pretty great to work for. It was a conscious decision to join a bigger company after a string of start-ups, as I really wanted (and require) a more stable job. Changing jobs takes a lot of time and effort, so fingers crossed I won’t have that to worry about in 2016.
I learned several new things. I successfully brewed beer for the first time, thanks to the kit that Brin got me for Christmas. This took a lot of preparation – I had to buy a new fridge especially for it – but it was fun and very rewarding. Tech-wise, I’ve been learning and am now using Go professionally. I got a Pebble watch for my birthday and dabbled with their development kit, which was a pleasure. I’ve been migrating some of my websites (including this blog) off the cloud and onto a mini PC hosted at home (not sure why – I guess I like having my stuff where I can see it). Brin and I have taken to the escape room phenomenon and it’s become one of our new favourite hobbies.
But the biggest event of 2015 was the most personal one, as Brin and I got engaged! We’re planning to get married at the start of 2017 and I can’t wait. The preparations have already begun and there’s going to be a lot of this in 2016. The ring was custom-made at JannPaul and I’d definitely recommend them.
Other personal things: I’m glad I got to visit the UK twice in 2015, including being home for Christmas with my family. I’d missed that a lot. I got a new pair of glasses and finally visited the dentist here in Singapore, which lifted some weight off. Health-wise I can’t complain, which I’m grateful for.
Now to look forward to the new year: what can I do better?
Firstly, I need to prioritise better. I (and Brin) have a lot of things to plan for in 2016, so properly planning and organising our time is going to be crucial both for completing the things we need to and not getting burnt out while doing so. I get easily distracted with side-projects and find it hard not to go ‘all-in’ when I set my mind to something: I’ll focus intensely on that one thing for weeks or months. Then, when I do step away from it, I’m overwhelmed by everything else that’s been going on. I need to remember to balance things, to take a step back and reflect on the bigger picture. One thing I intend to do here is to blog more, perhaps a monthly review or something. (Note: I’ve switched my blog to WordPress to help with this – it makes editing a lot easier than the custom-built blog I had before).
I learned last year that I can always count on my friends, and sometimes perhaps I underestimate this. Although I have many friends that I don’t keep in touch with regularly, they’re always there and hanging out with them is no less fun if it’s twice a year than twice a week. Meeting up with friends for my birthday and at Christmas proved this.
My goals for 2016 are somewhat obvious, but not easy, so achieving them would definitely make 2016 a good year for me. Planning the wedding is the main one, of course. Secondly, I want to gain PR status in Singapore: a requirement for buying a house here (even though Brin is Singaporean), and find a house together for 2017. Another goal for me is visiting Sabah, where many of Brin’s family lives, which I hope to finally accomplish in 2016. Then I have some general goals: travel more, write again (it’s about time I had another story published), and not start so many side-projects, although I still want to make smaller contributions to open-source. Those are the main ones anyway; I hope there are many (good) unexpected things to do too!
Happy new year!