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Days before the start of the year, I would find myself reflecting on the year that has passed, thinking how I can sum up 2017 and only two words came into my mind – self-discovery and self-love.

What started out as a new beginning turned out to be a complete disaster, one I didn’t expect to end so soon. I would think to myself what I must have done wrong for things not to go my way. I never felt so disappointed and insecure. I felt like there was a problem with me and that maybe I am difficult to handle that no one stays. Business was also stagnant for months and I didn’t know what my team and I were doing wrong. Confused, I couldn’t understand what it is that I was truly feeling as everything seemed to happen all at the same time. Slowly, I figured what I was lacking – self-love.

They say that self-love is the first step to actually loving someone. How can you love someone when you do not even know how to love yourself, right? It took a while before I finally admitted to myself that I forgot how it is to love myself first. I was so busy thinking of the people around me, what I can do to make them happy and proud, that I forgot to put myself first. I, too, should make myself happy and make myself proud. After this realization, I promised to allocate all the time that I have to work on myself and be a better me and just get to know myself even more.

Equally, it was a year of self-discovery, going after what I am truly passionate about – food and adventure. I managed to enroll myself in a culinary school, which I thought would be an impossible dream already. I’ve never been this excited to go to school even if it means standing up for more than 6 hours and working in a very hot kitchen. I would juggle both work and studies throughout the day while trying to squeeze in some gym time in between. It was a challenge (juggling everything, I mean) especially during the construction period of our new branch (visit us in SM City Clark!) but, I think I needed that. I needed the excitement and thrill of going out of my comfort zone. I needed something new. Ultimately, I needed the challenge to see how much more I can take.

As I look back at 2017, it wasn’t an easy road. I stumbled, tripped and broke down a lot (the second and third quarter of the year were really tough) but, one thing is for sure – I didn’t dwell, I always made sure that I stood back up no matter how much time it took, no matter how hard it was. I wouldn’t say I had the worst year, because despite all the lows, there were so many things to be thankful for. I just thought that I’d end the year with a frown on my face, scared of the year ahead thinking it might be just the same. But, life is full of surprises. There was a change of heart. Just few days before the very last day of 2017, I felt so much love in my heart, afraid yet excited for the year that lies ahead. It seemed like there was a fire in me. Hopeful of what is yet to come. Suddenly, I do not fear the unknown but welcome it with open arms.

Today is page 1 of 365 and I just cannot wait for what this year has in store for me.


For making me stronger just when I thought I was already strong enough,
For the mishaps and bittersweet endings,
For all the learnings I got and mistakes I did and all the in-betweens,
Thank you, 2017, you made me a fighter.

(As cliché as it may sound) 2018, I’m ready for you! 🙂
Here’s to a year full of love, adventure and happiness!

P.S. Here’s to having more time to also share with you snippets of my little adventures!

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