A Trip Down Memory Lane: My 2010

2010 has been amazing in many ways. Yes, there were times when I felt lost and depressed over what I should do with my life, but in recent months, I’ve learnt to be more optimistic, to see the good in most situations and most importantly, I am beginning to find myself. It’s been a while since I felt wholeheartedly so, but today, on 28 December 2010, here I am sitting in our tiny bedroom in Singapore in my tattered tee and shorts, feeling happy, contented and at peace. Finally.

This year started out pretty rough, with my final year of research making me exceptionally high-strung and really quite the pressure cooker. I also had to give serious thought to what I was going to do about my career options after I graduate, and to carve out anything at all, I had to do a lot of soul-searching. I had long thought about leaving academic research, but I didn’t have the guts to step out of my comfort zone, to plunge into something else that I really wanted to do. The whole process was very emotional, and it took me at least 8-9 months before I made my decision. During this time, I lost it on a few occasions, and I shed loads of tears when I couldn’t take the stress and confusion. Poor M had to witness everything. But I always felt better when I spent time with him, when we went out exploring new haunts, hung out with friends and satisfied our palettes. M, our friends, and food calmed me down. In retrospect, I guess this has always been the case, but I never realised it till I got really stressed this year. Suddenly, everything that I took for granted was a lot more important to me and the worries took the backseat.

That was not all that was responsible for the route to my happiness. Having noticed my age-old habit of taking pictures of everything we cooked, ate and saw, M encouraged me to write about my adventures. He was the first to notice that writing soothes me (I had an old blog) and that I am always inappropriately excited about food and pretty things. So in February this year, I thought long and hard about the name of my blog and decided that I would call it ‘The Pleasure Monger’ as I wanted to share everything good that I had and will experience with anyone who cares to read my insignificant ramblings. Through this, I had hoped to appreciate the happy moments and to cultivate the almost non-existent optimist in me. Shortly after, I designed the site logo, featuring a cupcake, lipstick and an engagement ring to represent food, beauty & fashion, and marriage respectively. I scanned my hand-drawn ‘masterpiece’ with rather poor resolution, photoshopped it and uploaded the final logo on the blog. The rest was history.

I started out writing for no one in particular and loyal friends made it a point to read what I wrote (right about 15 who visited my blog everyday, thank you darlings). Then I shared tales about my wedding planning, and readers started coming in to see what I have to say. In between, I dabbled in a little bit of beauty and fashion and I also talked about love and marriage. Some readers liked what they read, and they stayed with me ever since. Amazingly, we became online pals. Over the next ten months, I found my passion for cooking, renewed my love for baking (I even learnt how to make macarons, something quite unfathomable in my kitchen!), and discovered my penchant for food styling and photography. By then, readership had grown immensely, and people were writing in to tell me that they loved reading my adventures. I felt comforted and encouraged knowing that I have inspired people out there, that in the smallest of ways, I am somehow doing something I love which incidentally delights others as well. I even got acquainted with the most wonderful bloggers who inspired me enough for me to be starstruck when I met them in person. We are friends now and I feel very blessed to have known them, and to learn from them. I’ve also been very fortunate to have gained exposure on several websites – and through these features, I’ve come to know about more fantastic blogs out there and the personalities behind them. It’s a good chain reaction that I have come to appreciate.

I have also had the chance to travel a fair bit this year. I’ve been to Paris, Brussels, Macau and San Sebastian. I’ve come home to Singapore twice. I’ve seen my parents three times this year, how lucky! I’ve even met three Michelin-star chefs at Arzak in San Sebastian, interviewed them, tasted their wonderful creations and toured their kitchen! During our holidays, M and I crafted memories that we will never want to forget.

I am also immensely grateful to have shared the joy of my friends this year. Some got married, others welcomed new additions to their families, a few others got new jobs and started new lives. The list goes on. I have even managed to rekindle old friendships with friends that I have lost touch with! As they say, old is gold and I am thankful for my friends.

The cherry on top for 2010? I acted on my desire for change, stepped out of my comfort zone after months of agonising and incessant whining, and landed my dream job early this month!

M was right by my side through everything yay and nay that I have gone through this year. Through the tough and volatile times, we have learnt to communicate effectively, to understand each other and to love unconditionally. I couldn’t be happier, and I couldn’t be more contented. It’s all thanks to him and I’m glad that I have M onboard my journey this year. More to come and I can’t wait to embark on a happy 2011. Many exciting plans are in-store, both personal and ‘professional’, including new collaborations on the blog that are currently underway and will hopefully come to fruition when I return to London, so watch this space!

Here’s wishing you all a blessed new year. Eat to your heart’s content, tell everyone you love that you love them, do the obligatory countdown and start the new year with a big smile on your face!

P/S: I would love to hear about your 2010 highlights and hopes for the new year, so drop me a line if you don’t mind sharing!

 

24 thoughts on “A Trip Down Memory Lane: My 2010

  1. Courtney

    Hi. I just recently subscribed to your blog and have so enjoyed your honesty and openness. I have to ask what your dream job is that you recently landed (in general terms, of course). Being in my own dream job as a magazine (associate) editor and blogger, I love hearing about other people finding their professional match. As a new blogger (I have a parenting and family-friendly-foodie blog on WordPress), I am also intrigued that you’ve gained such a strong readership. Any hints as to how to get exposure? Good luck with 2011. I look forward to reading more.

    Reply
    1. The Pleasure Monger Post author

      Courtney: I am going into consultancy, which is something I always wanted to do. I think my food entries were the main pulling power, I have been fortunate enough to be chosen for features, so that draws traffic. Hope this helps and thank you for stopping by! Happy New Year!

      Reply
  2. Simin

    I will always be your fan!🙂 wish you success for your new career and looking forward to many more beautiful entries on your blog! Happy new year babe!

    Reply
  3. notabilia

    I know we’ve just ‘met’ but I have become a huge fan of your blog. I wish you the best of luck for 2011!

    2010 was a big year for us, too. We moved half-across the world to Singapore, the city of perpetual summer😉. We haven’t settled in as well as you have – yet – but you know where I’ll be chronicling our adventures😉.

    Reply
    1. The Pleasure Monger Post author

      notabilia: And vice versa! All the best for 2011 to you too, I hope you settle down in Singapore just fine, as I have in London, and I hope that you will make many happy memories in the time that you’re here!

      Reply
  4. JH

    Life’s journey always has its ups and downs, all these make life so unique and challenging.

    It’s great to see the number of support from your friends too and finding a new niche in writing, blogging, cooking and taking photos of food, all coming together.

    Good luck in the year 2011 ! Looking fwd to more food photos !

    JH
    http://www.photojournalist-tgh.tv

    Reply
  5. Z

    Hey Rachel, you’ve been such an inspiration with your baking and culinary entries! All the best for 2011 babe and I can’t wait to read more of your life’s adventures. I’m glad to have u as an online friend, thanks for all the advice u have given me! The next time you come back to SG, (or vice versa if we go to London again) I hope we can catch an Arsenal game together!

    Reply
  6. imp

    I’ve been quietly reading and enjoying your words, stories and thoughts. Am glad I’ll be sashaying into a wonderful 2011. Happy holidays!

    Reply
  7. Joy

    Hey babe, so happy that you landed a job that you love! How exciting! Will you be based in Singapore or London? Is it something related to your love for cooking/baking? *wink*

    Reply
    1. The Pleasure Monger Post author

      I will be based in London and nope not for cooking or baking, I wish!! There are collaborations that are underway for the cooking/baking side of things, so hopefully I can get on with that too in 2011!

      Reply
  8. foodtable

    Congratulations! I love reading about your adventures. It’s really fun & you make some very good desserts! I kinda wish I live closer and get to taste them. LOL. Happy New Year!!!

    Reply
  9. faith

    hey babe =) i am so excited for you for everything your new job and the “space” you mentioned on ya blog! do keep in touch ya! love ya!

    Reply

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