Goodbye 2018 :: a personal reflection

So, it’s that time of the year again. While everyone’s busy preparing for Christmas, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the past year.

2018 has been quite a challenging year for us. There were days that went smoothly — filled with love and laughter. To name a few, Aiden’s first birthday, the arrival of our niece, my surprise birthday party, my little sis who’s got promoted to junior sous chef and openend her online pastry shop in the UK, friends who got married or became (new) parents, the day I found out I was pregnant again. These happy moments are such lovely memories to cherish. However, there were also some lowlights of the year.

I’m not going to mention all of them, but there’s one thing and that was the most painful and darkest moment for me and Wai. What I’m going to write next is something that I honestly hesitated for a long time..should I include this into my post or not? I don’t want you to get the wrong idea of me, trying to get some attention here. The main reason why I decided to write this down is because I want to let you know there’s a memory behind every picture, and behind that very memory, there’s a secret — a secret that has never been told. When our little boy turned 14 months, he needed a surgery. His health condition was great, but something needed to be fixed and that could only be done by undergoing surgery. I’m not going into too much detail as I finally feel comfortable to talk about it without crying. I think nobody can actually imagine how painful it is to see your baby going to the operating room until you experience it yourself. Your baby’s scared, confused or cries and there’s nothing you can do except for hoping that everything goes well and smoothly. This kind of pain felt like a knife was stabbed in my back — 10,000 times.

Aiden’s situation has made me think carefully about self-awareness and well-being. Bad, painful moments do happen in life and sometimes you’re not able to control them. However, I think it’s good not to only think about how worse a situation was, but also think about what you have learned during that period. I do think such (sad) experiences can make you open up new perspectives or it can make you gain a deeper understanding of something in life. Sadness is as much part of our life as happiness is.

Many people think the reason why I took a social media break is because of my second pregnancy— this is partially true. But the main reason is that I wanted to be human again, especially after Aiden’s recovery. After months of living in anxiety, I wanted to enjoy life again, I wanted to go back to those days before social media.
I was sick of how unreal everything on Instagram is. People may think my life is only about having a good coffee, wearing fancy clothes, buying new bags and beauty products etc. Yes my friend, based on my Instafeed, you might think I’m living a stress-free life. Because let’s admit it: it’s a fact that nobody wants to see a boring, messy life on social media, right? Nobody wants to see a picture of me struggling to get Aiden ready for bed, running after him when his diaper needs to be changed, throwing the garbage away with no makeup on, getting frustrated when cars in front of me drive too slowy, yelling at Wai because he didn’t do the laundry (again). Yes, these are real human moments and there’s nothing wrong about it and you know what? It feels good to be authentic!

We always tend to put the nicest and most beautiful posts on social media just to let the world know and we are afraid of showing our imperfections, anxiety and weaknesses. But the truth is, I’d also feel down sometimes, I make mistakes and I’d also experience some days that nothing seem to go right. That’s because I’m human. I’m just a working mom who loves to express my creativity through my outfits. I don’t come from a rich family, I can’t get my hands on a designer’s bag so easily, I have to work hard in order to purchase one. But that’s completely fine — it holds more value to me whenever I have to work hard for it, rather than just buying it because it simply can.

So the bottom line is, as the years go by, I get to know myself a lot better. And the more I know myself, the more I realize what really matters in life. A few years ago, I’d love to give up my job so I could become a fulltime blogger, who doesn’t want to earn money for doing the things they love right? But now I’m grateful for being a regular person, having a steady job, family & friends where I always can count on. These kind of things sound simple, but these shouldn’t be taken for granted.
And when it comes to social media, I still love taking pictures of things I love and showcasing my creativity. However, please do know there’s no such a thing as the perfect picture. Behind those pictures, people may go through a lot, a story that has never been told. And that’s because they’re human beings just like you and me.
Having that said, I’m going to finish my last post of the year. Wishing you the best Holiday season and may you stay healthy, human and hopefully find a way to get to know yourself better ♡

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my post. Until next time,

16 Comments

  1. Style Appetite December 20, 2018 / 3:38 pm

    Such a beautiful post, Vivian! And so happy about your real talk too because I think we all make the same experience and might think that everything is perfect according to our instagram feeds/ Blogs and so on… in the moment where our health or the health of our loved ones is in danger, I think we all realize what the really important things are.. what a beautiful fact to remember, especially around Christmas time where we are with our families :-)

    So I wish you all the best and happy holidays with your beautiful family ♥

    xxx and best wishes from Berlin,
    Tina

    https://styleappetite.com

    • Vivian Tse
      Author
      January 14, 2019 / 9:22 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words and support, Tina! It truly means a lot to me! Thank you! x

  2. Chanel December 21, 2018 / 1:26 am

    I have been loving your posts lately Vivian. So raw. You are so right when you say, “Sadness is as apart of our life as happiness is.” I am wishing you a beautiful 2019.

    x,
    S | Je M’appelle Chanel

    • Vivian Tse
      Author
      January 14, 2019 / 9:24 am

      That’s very sweet of you, thank you so much for your lovely comment Sonia! It means a lot to me! Hope you are doing well too! Sending much love your way! x

  3. Jessica December 21, 2018 / 5:12 pm

    This is so beautifully written dear. Love how genuine you are in your blog. Wishing you all continued success and happiness in 2019! Cheers!
    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

    • Vivian Tse
      Author
      January 14, 2019 / 9:25 am

      Thank you so much Jessica! Means a lot to me! xx

  4. Lena December 24, 2018 / 7:03 pm

    What a beautiful post Vivian! I’m glad things are looking brighter on your end! It’s funny how as we age our priorities change over time. 6 years ago it would be nice to do blogging full time, but then I realize I wouldn’t have met so many amazing people through my line of work if I did pursue that goal. Oh well, things happen for a reason and we just have to believe they teach us something along the way right? :) Anywho, hope you have a spectacular holiday with your growing family and merry christmas! :) much love dear~
    xo~ Lena
    http://www.thewanderliste.com

    • Vivian Tse
      Author
      January 14, 2019 / 9:29 am

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post Lena! I couldn’t agree more, the older we get, the more we appreciate the things we already have in our lives. Love you loads! x

  5. Carmen December 26, 2018 / 12:06 am

    Oh such a wonderful post Vivian! I really think that self-reflection is such an important thing to do at the end of the year. It gives you an idea for what you want to go for in the next year. It’s such a wonderful step that you shared this story, even though it’s so personal. But you are just inspiring and I am sure you will empower lots of others here. You are amazing!
    xx, Carmen – https://carmitive.com

    • Vivian Tse
      Author
      January 14, 2019 / 9:36 am

      That’s very kind of you, thank you so much Carmen! I hesitated for a very long time whether I should share such a personal post or not..but I’m glad I did! It’s a part of me which makes me the person I am today. I hope all is well with you too! Have a great start to your week :) xx

  6. Liz December 26, 2018 / 11:38 am

    Hey Vivian!
    Thank you so much for sharing with us this personal story, I’m glad that this moment is in the past.
    I’m wishing you and your baby boy all the best in the new year <3

    Lots of love ♥ January Girl

    • Vivian Tse
      Author
      January 14, 2019 / 9:38 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words Liz! Means a lot to me! x

    • Vivian Tse
      Author
      January 14, 2019 / 9:38 am

      Thank you so much Len! x

  7. Jenny January 8, 2019 / 4:18 pm

    What a great reminder not idealise Instagram lives. Everyone has real lives behind the feed, I forget that sometimes. I felt your emotion reading about Aiden’s surgery, I can’t imagine the stress and anxiety it must have bought you. I hope the social media break helped and let you enjoy your new baby as well.

    Wishing you all the best for the new year and sending all my love to you and your family, especially Aiden! Jenny xx

    • Vivian Tse
      Author
      January 14, 2019 / 9:43 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words Jenny! It means a lot to me. The social media break does help me to get a better insight of what I actually want in life. The older I get, the more I get to know myself better. I hope you had a lovely NYE as well. Sending much love your way! xx

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