Monday, January 27, 2020

2019 Highlights

Last year was definitely the toughest year of my remembered life. My mental health was at worst and so many awful things happened. In a way, I feel like my biggest accomplishment was surviving the year. Here are some of the highlights of a year I'd not like to revisit ever again. 


I started a new campus and it was a lot of work. I had to travel by bus for 30 mins everyday just to get to it ahaha. It was definitely an interesting experience. Most of my classes were so fun and it's always an endearing thing, having the chance to get to teach people. 
I was planning to do the #moreloveletters, one letter per day but the year had different plans. I wish I was in a place to sit down and write more positive things, but I'm surprised I even managed to write all 38. 
Giving is perhaps the one thing that I wholeheartedly enjoy the entire process of. Choosing gifts, packing them, making cards, I love it all and I'm humbled to have a group of people I can give my love to. 
Weirdly enough, it was a good reading year. I managed to read more than I expected. Here are my reading review of the year. 
21 seasons is a lot huh but reading and shows are my escapism and clearly I needed that. I discovered so many great shows and caught up with constant favs. In case of movies, most of it was feel good movies, again reasonably so. 
Just 9 emails, I know. When I'm down, I can't usually find the inspiration or courage to write like I used to and it was hard to remain hopeful when my world was crumbling down. 
I also pretty much let go of the blog but I'm slowly picking up and I have a bunch of new posts planned so hopefully it will go well. 
Most of the cakes I baked were my signature condensed milk cake and only once did I mess it up hahaha. Baking is such a soothing and rewarding thing. 
I don't know what kind of a catch 22 this is, but yeah I went on so less trips so I was stressed out most of the year. One of those trips, the year end family trip was my favourite. I was spending time with the people who love me the most and just going to the moodhu, playing badminton, sleeping, reading and chilling. It was everything I needed. 
I did make a couple new friends, perhaps to make up for the friends I lost during the year. It's becoming so difficult to truly make friends. Like, yes, I know a lot of people but we're not really friends, acquaintances at most so it's relatively a success to be able nurture 5 new friendships. 
After a really long time in a job I loved, I said goodbye and closed that chapter to find another job which I'm learning to love. It's always bittersweet but for a new thing to begin, another thing must end and I will always keep with me the memories and the lessons I learnt from them. I also found a new campus, like I mentioned before and it's been quite a learning curve for me. Keeping myself busy helps to not go into that dark place. 
So yeah, what a crazy year. Thank you for the good memories and let's not revisit the bad ones, I've left you back in 2019. 

Saturday, January 11, 2020

2019 in Books

I always do a wrap of my reading at the end of the year and so I decided to make it again this year. Last year was an interesting reading year, with some good reading at the beginning and end of the year but a very bad mid of the year. I think I needed books a lot last year because it was a tough year. So, here goes. 
You by Caroline Kepnes
I started the year with this book and generally I would not have liked this book but somehow it all ended up really great and I enjoyed it quite a lot. This was when the first season just came out so I wanted to read before I watched it. The book is a bit different from the series but it's still very chilling and quite enthralling.
Circe by Madeline Miller
I am usually not one for mythology but again, this was a surprising read for me because I enjoyed it so much. It was the way it's written with such an easy grasp and the story flowed so naturally, I was enchanted by this book from beginning to end. 
image credits
Yesterday I was the Moon by Noor Unnahar
I know Noor has a book and I've been a huge fan of the twins for a while so finding this book was a total delight. I went through it very slowly because I knew I was going to enjoy it so much, and I did. I really loved and related to almost every single word and illustration and I need more. 
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebeccas Skloot
I didn't really know much going into this book, it was a book club pick but I ended up really enjoying and getting attached the Henrietta and her family. We watched the HBO movie afterward and I cried a bit like the emotional ball I am. It was a truly remarkable book about a story that needed to be brought to light and Rebecca did it with such grace and simplicity, I found it to be just phenomenal. 
Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini
I got this book just when it came out and for some reason I just kept it without reading even though everybody kept telling me it took like 15 minutes to read it. When the year was close to ending and I needed to give my reading goal a boost, I picked it up and finished it in just 10 minutes. It was so beautiful, heart-wrenching and the art was just gorgeous. 
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Again, a book club pick and one I would not have otherwise chosen, but a refreshingly wonderful book. I stray away from fantasy often because it's quite overwhelming but this was a stand alone fantasy that I really enjoyed . The story was so fantastic and the world was just beautiful.
There's Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon
This is the second book in the companion series of Dimple Met Rishi. I didn't really enjoy the first book but this one, I really loved. Sweetie is fantastic, she is the desi baddie everyone wishes they were. I really loved the other characters, especially the families of Ashish and Sweetie. 
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
This is another fantasy book that I really did not expect to love, but ended up really loving. There's mild eastern lore and I just really loved the characters and the stories, especially how it all interconnects. It has magic, dragons, flair and of course love. It was a bit long winded tho.
image credits
Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
This is such a cute book. I loved the president in the book, and the supporting characters in the book as much as the main characters. It does get a bit lengthy and pretentious at times but overall, I think it's just an adorable read.
The Rosie Effect by Simsion Graeme
This is the second book in the Rosie Project series and I really enjoyed the first one. Don and Rosie are such versatile characters that I've grown to love. This book introduces some new characters and complex issues but still remains quirky and fun. I am excited to read the next book in the series.
Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood
This was another book club book that I enjoyed a lot. It's a very dark and emotional book that will keep you on your toes and it's based on a true story. I had to take breaks while reading this because it was so sad but I pushed through and I wish it had a happy ending but I'm glad I read it.
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein
This is a middle grade novel that I really enjoyed. Of course, I would, considering it's about a game set in a library. It was so much fun going with the game with the kids and figuring out the clues, and of course the nostalgia of all the middle school books it mentions. I am definitely going to keep up with the rest of the series.

That's the best books I've read but we cannot finish this post without mentioning some of the books I really did not like.
Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
So, ofcourse I had high expectations for this because of GGM but this was so boring itwas pure torture putting myself through it. It would pick up now and then but it was still very boring and I really didn't know where the story was going. The writing was also quite arduous for me.
Destination Paradise by Francesca Borri
Oh this was such an annoying book. I solely read it because of all the dragging it was getting on twitter and that was for good reason because I really hated this book and I don't often say it. It was so ignorant and badly written, plus lacked any kind of proper research. Of course, I am very biased so maybe this is coming from a place of that but yeah.
On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves
This is another book I picked up because it is based in Maldives and boy, was it just so meh. The romance in it in very cringey and there was nothing Maldivian about it. I just really did not enjoy it.

That is a wrap for the year and I'm excited to start on a new bookish year! What's the best and worst book you've read last year?

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Ways to be More Environment Conscious

I love the environment, clearly. I think, to some extent most of us do. I've been extremely conscious of my habits and how I can reduce my carbon footprint. It's definitely not easy (weirdly enough, in a country like Maldives) to do so considering how much plastic is around. Here are small ways I try some zero waste ideas to replace the plastic. 

Metal Straws
Ofcourse, like the slightly vsco girl I am, I almost always carry my metal straws (except on days when I'm wearing my circle bag where it won't fit, ugh) and I had to buy two sizes cos I tend to order thick drinks like smoothies and milkshakes a lot! These are great. I keep them in a small chopsticks bag (I will need to make a bag to put them tho) and after use I would roll them in some tissue paper, come home and clean them! It does take that bit of extra effort (and also trying to not forget them behind at cafe's. I'm glad a lot of cafe's have changed to paper/metal/glass straws so it does help a lot!

Reusable Make-up wiping cloth
These are the best purchase I've made this year. They were very inexpensive and I got a 20 pack with a laundry bag from Ali Express. I was skeptical of this at first but after using them a couple times and washing them (and they came out pretty great!) I'm sold. As someone who loves make-up and uses them all the time I have to constantly keep removing and reapplying them so these are fantastic. I used to use so many cotton rounds and the make-up remover tissues but no more! 

Reusable Water Bottle
Yes, this is a plastic bottle but I didn't want to get a glass one because it's a bit heavy and impractical for me but considering that I use my plastic water bottles forever, I'm hoping it's a good idea. Plus, this is such a small size, it fits into all my bags so that is fantastic. A lot of places I spend my time in have single use plastic bottles only so I've been not drinking water a lot which is really bad so I'm glad I have this now so I can refill it with tap water! (tap is great, okay!)

Bamboo Toothbrush
I really enjoy these ones from Zero Waste Maldives. They're super cute with the Maldivian map and I won't have to replace them as often, plus they're biodegradable so it's all really great. Plus, the bristles are so soft. 

Convenient Bags
These shopping bags are the best. My friend Amina gave the tan coloured one which I use all the time. It's a really big size and very sturdy so I've been using it when shopping a lot. I also have a bunch of tote bags that I use to carry things. I'm very proud to say I've vastly reduced the amount of plastic bags I use/take! 

Soap
These are from Ogaa by Artistree. They're handmade in Maldives by a lovely family and I chose this soap just because it was pink (yeah I like cute things obviously) and it smells so great. I love the packaging! I'm hoping to change my shampoo and conditioner to bars as well and remove all most plastic packaging from my bathroom. 

Thrifting
I've always loved hand me downs and about 70% of my wardrobe is thrifted clothing from neighbors and cousins. I'm so glad second hand culture is starting here in Maldives. I started a page back in April and try to post clothing for cheap because as much as I love fast fashion, they're very wasteful, so it's a way to reduce the overall fashion waste and still be trendy and cute!

Ecosia
Ever since I've heard of Ecosia, I've been using it. They're pretty transparent about the resources and where the trees are being planted. I only ever use google maybe once or so every now and then when I am trying to find a PPT, or else even at my work and home, I use Ecosia. It's a very easy and nice search engine that plants one tree for every 45 searches. 

I even bought a menstrual cup to make my periods zero waste but I've been to scared to try it yet so we'll see how it goes ahaha. If you guys have any suggestions on how to reduce plastic use, let me know in the comments below. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

July Favourites

It's been a crazy busy month, perhaps the busiest I've had this year and I was pretty much drowning in work and more work with back to back classes. I barely had any time to relax but I did a LOT of stress shopping so it was hard to limit this to just 10 things but here we go. 
Shaviyani Bag from Thakethi | I've been wanting this bag for a while but didn't have an excuse to buy a tote until I started a new job and needed a work tote to carry stuff like my water bottle (I hate single use plastics at work and am trying my hardest to not use them) and other tidbits. These are great quality (but I did have my mom reinforce the straps just for extra security) and I love the ochre yellow colour of it. It's a great size plus, shaviyani for my name! I got this at Toddy. 
Bamboo Toothbrush by Zero Waste | I'm very into the zero waste lifestyle (it's still a LONG LONG way to go but I like making small changes) and I changed into this bamboo toothbrush and have been using it. I love how soft the bristles are and the wood texture is interesting. Definitely going to keep using these! 

Number Stamp Set from Doodle | This was a bit expensive for a stamp set and I could get a cheaper one at Aliexpress but it was calling my name and I had to get it. I've been using it a lot and love how big they are. Perfect for weekly bujo pages. There were a bunch more stamps, I gave some to Mick. 
Hair Repair Essence from Ximivogue | If you don't already know, I am high-key obsessed with this store and own WAY TOO MUCH from them. A staff there suggested this to my friend Dhum and after she used and raved about it, I bought it and I agree. I love how good it makes my hair look and feel and it's just great to give some shine and moisture to your hair in between washes. I live by this now. It was also very inexpensive!
Wonder by RJ Palacio, from Kiah's | This is one of my favourite books of all time and I did have the blue cover that I gave away some months ago so I needed another copy to love and of course I had to pick the ochre yellow cover, it's absolutely gorgeous. It also has the additional Julian chapters which I haven't read yet but will get to at some point. 

Yesterday I was the Moon by Noor Unnahar from Kiah's | I've been following the twins for a while, absolutely obsessed with their art and poetry and life so imagine my surprise when I went to Kiah's pop-up shop and saw this, I immediately snatched it. I am still in disbelief that I got this book right here. I've started to very slowly read it because I want to take my time and I know I will LOVE this book. The cover is also absolutely gorgeous. 
Tree trunk-ish coaster | I bought this to take to my new job but then decided to use my old coaster so I kept it to use at home and it's such a great coaster, it is adorable and makes me feel very fancy using it. I bought it off a random party store that I can't remember the name of. 

Tissues from Ximivogue | This came in a pack of 18 for just 37 so what a steal. I love the small size so it's very compact for small bags and it's very absorbent. I will definitely keep stocking this up, it's a favourite. 
Pear Sheet Mask from Ximivogue | Another favourite that I purchased more because it's so good. A pack of 3 for 53 is such a steal considering the quality of it and also it's a mask that fits your face! You can make it almost invisible, oh my god. So refreshing and moisturizing, another favourite I will keep re-buying. I also got the apple version to try out. 

Accessories | I bought the pack of 3 hair clips from Ximivogue which I've been loving and wearing a lot. The hair clip trend is something I am very into. These are so easy to clip into my hijabs and take any look up a notch. The pink clay ring is from my paper creations, that I got off a fair. It was too cute not to buy and I've been wearing it a lot. The super tiny ring is from this store called Fattaru in Lily Magu, which has great bags and accessories that are super trendy. It's a mid-finger ring that's so dainty it's perfect for everyday wear. 

That's just a few favourites I can choose, there are probably more ahaha. 

Friday, July 19, 2019

An Ode to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

I have been obsessed with this show since I saw the first episode back in 2015. Musical drama? yes, please. I have loved every single season, from the funny theme song to all the crazy that was unfolding with great musical numbers ofcourse. I am finally caught up with the ending (I know, yeah took me a while cos I didn't want it to end and didn't want to admit it ended) so in an ode to this groundbreaking show that handled mental health in such a great way and constantly broke the fourth wall and was certifiably funny, let's go on a musical nostalgia trip down the memory lane and talk about all of my favourite songs (out of the 157 or so songs, I was barely able to cut down to even this cos there were SO MANY great songs)

Season 1



How can we forget about the theme song? It's still probably my favourite theme songs out of all seasons and I still say "it's a little more nuanced than that" a lot more than I should. West Covina's in my travel list thanks to this show.



Oh I still miss old Greg so much, while he was kind of bland and hate everything-ey he had a great relationship with Rebecca and this musical number is so adorable I sing it a lot. It's in my top 5!



This song is kinda funny and look at how young everyone is (esp Hector!) and how fun are the lyrics? group hangs are truly the worst.



Oh this is by far, my favourite rap battle, ever. The line "I put the OG in the 5.0 GPA" is so iconic, I stan. I know this entire song by heart and it's kind of insane but I really really loved how it all came full circle later in season 4. Absolutely fantastic.



This is the only Darryl song I like. I liked his chracter a lot but they definitely played around with it a lot. This song is a bopper and Darryl here reminds me of the 13th doctor ahaha. 



WHAT A MAGICAL SONG? oh I was always wary about Jobecca but this song was so adorable and magical and such a great ending to the season, so perfect. I loved when Becks and her brother sang this in reprise again in season 4, it's just absolutely full of whimsy and joy. I wish life was always filled with this song.

Season 2



OH CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS THEME? so freaking cute. I love when she does that BLAM. Just, so damn good, a great start to the second season. 



This song is literally my favourite song from the entire series. I've watched it way too many times than I care to admit and shown it to all of my friends. I love the Marilyn Monroe reference and all the triangle puns, everything is so fun. ah, when they did the quadruple love triangle song in season 4, it was kinda meh but I'm so glad for the existence of this song and it will always bring me so much utter joy.  



Ah, Brittany Snow. This song just kills me with how funny and accurate it is. Also can we talk about how absolutely gorgeous Brit is, she is oozing so much grace and as much as I hated that she was with Josh (if you haven't figured out already, yes I really disliked Josh ugh) I'm glad she was in the show and had this great number. 



After the math of love triangles, this is my second fav song ever. Santa Anna Winds as a character? hell yes. What a great idea and Erin really played the part and made this a lovable and adorable an of course absolutely bonkers song. I live for when he sings "weeeeeirrd". 



Honestly, second season had the best songs, so many and this one's another favourite, I LOVED the idea of the song and how feminist and anti-feminist it is the same time and at the end when Paula is confused dancing. I also loved the female friendships in this show so much, it all works out great and uh so healthy, love love love it.

Season 3



So different, yet absolutely hilarious. I love the Taylor Swift reference here and the confusing messages which was so in-line with this season omg. Also can we talk about the outfits, so appropriate. 



I actually did like all the sexy getting ready songs and the period sex song, despite how completely crazy they were (haha) but this song, ooh it's so sexy and still so weird and funny like how does Rachel do it all? Also, this song really made me #TeamNathaniel. I was very much torn in the later season but a big part of me wanted Rebecca and Nathaniel together. 



I actually loved Trent eventhough he was super weird and was a subverted male crazy boyfriend trope. Season 3 was definitely very interesting because of Trent. He deserves a special mention and that BLAM omg. Trebecca, as problematic as it was, was a whirlwind and hilarious. 



Oh, how can we forget jail Rebecca and sad outdoors Nathaniel in this song (forget about Josh, ugh). When Nathaniel later sang Becks' song, I was like OMG HE'S SINGING HER SONG!

Season 4



Oh I loved this theme too, they just always get the theme right! I loved Debra and all the crazy things she says, I diligently watched every episode just to see what she says! Can we have a mini episode of Debra?



Jim and AJ are definitely favourite recurring characters, they are absolutely amazing and this song was hilarious, especially the part where the lawyer comes and says this is not the views of the network, lmao. 



How can we forget this cringe song that's absolutely hilarious and happens in a graveyard? Absolute cringe indeed. The dresses, oh man they are so great. 



Another hilarious number from this season, I loved how it went to different genres of music and Darryl and White Josh were all like, wait this is not about us? Also let it be known I LOVE Maya. She's so great, one of my fav side characters, and she truly embodies the millennial employee. 


Ending this with my favourite number from this season, brilliantly played by Luca, what an adorable kid. I was laughing along to all the child star references, it was so well done. 

I have so much love for this show and it will always remain a favourite. Thank you Rachel Bloom and the team for bringing so much joy to my life through all these songs and your utter brilliance. I wished so much I was able to see the concert, how magical it would be to see everyone. I also loved that Skylar played Greg later, and he did justice to the role, While season 4 definitely was a bit love-hate-ey for me, I'm glad it ended on such a good note. It was phenomenal and I'm glad i have these songs to keep me company!

What was your favourite song?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Quiz: How Maldivian Milennial Are You?

BuzzFeed style quizzes are always so much fun to do and me being hella into the millennial culture of course love everything Gen Y so when I saw this tweet spreading about how millennial you are based on the popular American foods, I had to make a Maldivian version of it. It is currently doing the rounds on twitter with most people being cancelled (whoops, sorry) and also me being more educated about the history of Mortal Kombat. 
So, I decided that I wanted to make a better quiz that reflects more of the Maldivian Millennial culture (at least I hope so!) and came up with this. Let's see how you fare. I myself keep getting the middle ground haha. I'm clearly not as Gen Y as I think. 
Let me know what you get, share in the comments!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Ximivogue Rice Sleeping Mask

I've gotten relatively obsessed with skincare (when I like something, I dive head first into all of it) and after seeing the sleeping masks from Jayyida (check out her insta, she does these in depth amazing reviews of products) I knew I needed to check out what this whole sleeping mask thing was about. So while I was at Ximivogue (which is my new favourite store in the entire Maldives!) I saw a bunch of sleeping masks. After a quick minute of checking out their selection, I settled on the rice mask (I had seen Jayyida talk a lot about rice products) which also looked super cute. 
It's in a slightly thick a little milky translucent mixture that feels so so soft on my face. I wear it two times weekly. Usually, after I clean my face with a light facial wash, I would put on some rose water (I use it as a light toner) and directly massage in a semi-thick layer of sleeping mask all over my face and apply some lip balm to hydrate my lips. It dries in a little bit and you almost don't even notice it on your face.
In the morning, when I wash my face, it feels absolutely soft and I like that it also makes my skin look so hydrated because usually my face becomes extremely dry at night. (I have combination skin) My tub is almost to the middle and I've used it semi regularly for about two months now so it lasts a while and I haven't had any issues with it. Once it empties, I might try another variety because I saw some strawberry and aloe ones that I also want to check out. 

Monday, July 1, 2019

I didn't have Iced Tea in Dhigurah

The weekend before last, few friends and I made a quick weekend trip to Dhigurah. It was on our travel list for a while and we've heard so many good things about the thundi and how beautiful it is (which it was!) so we were all excited. 
We stayed at this very fancy guest house Dhiguveli and it was so gorgeous. It was right next to a small beach, and our room has a small french balcony with bougainvilleas. We stayed for 2 days and 3 nights. The guest house was absolutely great, they had everything. we had dinner two night there and breakfast which was both great. They made these amazing chicken fingers, I really should have taken more pictures of it. 
After a two hour launch ride (which was super comfy with big chairs, almost like it was a flight), we made it to the island where our van was waiting to take us to the guest house which was just on one end of the island (near the road to the thundi!). We had dinner that night at the guest house and played some games and went to bed so we can get up early for breakfast. We had breakfast at the guest house and went around the island to look for water sports. Sadly we didn't find any. 
We rented bicycles (these big ones with huge tires) and rode all the way to the thundi, which took about an hour and half (felt like 5 hours to be honest). My legs were so tired and I had to stop midway cos I thought I was gonna faint. After a while, we couldn't bike because it was too fasmadu, so we walked through what felt like an obstacle course to find the beach where a lot of people were having picnics. After that, it was 10 more minutes to walking to the thundi which was an uproar. The waves were crashing at each other, hungry and ravenous. No wonder this island is called Dhigurah, it truly was long, and exhausting but worth it. 

The thundi was everything except it almost drowned us. We were taken away by the waves and it was so strong, the current pulling us three steps away for every wet step we took. I thought we were not gonna be able to make it to the shoreline, it was so exhausting. But once we rested a bit on the beach (while my heart palpitations returned to normal after what I felt like I was definitely not gonna make it) we were ready to play one of our favourite moodhu games, moodhu bashi. We rode back another hour or so to get to the guest house. The ride back seems easier. 
In the evening, we found that we were too late for lunch so we had evening tea and we strolled around the island looking for cute picture walls and taking too many pictures of flowers. The island had an abundance of saimaa. We went to the thundi for a second time to see the sunset, this time hiring a buggee to spare ourselves the legwork. It was absolutely stunning and worth it. We came back and had dinner at another guest house restaurant. 
The second day was very laid back as some of our group went back so the rest of us rested for the most part, and I ate too many magnums and my legs were so damn tired from all the biking and walking. We didn't go back to the thundi but we managed to play a lot of games and have good food. 
Overall, it was an absolutely well deserved trip and I would definitely want to go back to see that thundi one more time. 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Thoughts on being 27

I haven't really had the time or will power to sit down and write a heartfelt blog post. This used to be my safe space, but no place on the internet feels safe anymore. It's been about 20ish days of being 27 and somehow everything and nothing feels different. 

I'm usually a "get excited for my birthday" kinda person and Februaries are always special cos they feel like MY month but this year, life threw everything at me. I don't know what's up with this year because almost everything seems to be going wrong and I'm holding on to a very thin line of hope that seems to be getting away from me. I saw the article Taylor wrote for Elle about 30 lessons and I thought this would be the right time to do a version of my own but I don't have 27 things, sigh. 

1. Bad days, months, or years don't define you
I had the worst February this year and I didn't even enjoy my birthday. I was trying my best to just end the day without anything major bad happening and for most part, it was tolerable. I feel like I've complained on the internet about this Feb being the worst so I'm not going to list all the terrible things because a) I don't want to remember them anymore, let them be a part of the past and b) I'm not gonna let myself be defined by the bad things that happen to me. I'm trying to learn not to react to everything, not everything deserves my time or opinion. Live through the bad, and let it go. As you get older, you also develop a low tolerance for bullshit. 
2. Don't look for validation from others
I really wish I was good at this but I'm the worst at this. I can't sleep knowing someone is mad at me, and it eats me up. I'm trying to not let other people get to me but it's easier said than done. Especially being on social media, you constantly are looking for people to validate your opinions and I fall victim to this every time. After much thought, I made my Instagram private. I'm gonna curate who I want around me, and whose opinions matter to me. I am a bit of a pushover (actually a really big pushover, ugh) and I sometimes let people walk over me, take my kindness, my time for granted without expecting anything in return because that's just who I am but I also am trying to be more assertive on who I really am. I want validation from myself and no one else. 
3. You have to learn whom to trust.
I wish I was better at this but it's also an ongoing process. I have so many people around me (few friends, lots of acquaintances and people I know mostly from social media) and I tend to very easily trust people because I have a habit of believing the best in people and it has come to bite in the ass a few times and I still haven't learned. I still give people the benefit of the doubt and give them second chances. What I've learned most last year is that people are very fickle (me included) and they won't hesitate to cut you off and betray your trust especially when you blindly trust people. Being an INFJ, I tend to think of things from the other person's perspective and while it makes me know the situation better it also doesn't help when I have to choose sides. I'm still learning who deserves my trust and who needs an INFJ doorslam but cancel culture doesn't help either, sigh. 
4. Sisters make your life better
Being the eldest sister, I'm so blessed to have Mick and Mun around. They're growing up to be such wonderful people and I feel nothing but absolute pride. They're so silly and whimsical at times. They always ask me for advice and I get to just be me around them. I don't have to pretend or try because they accept me as I am (despite all the eye-rolls when I constantly talk about kullhafilaa faiy) and I have them forever. I know I can always count on them and they can always count on me. It's such  a refreshing feeling to know you have two people that believes in you wholeheartedly and is cheering for you. I would do anything for both of them. 
5. Your parents really trust you to do your own thing
For the longest time I thought my parents would be disappointed in things I do. Even when I was in uni, I had this self imposed thing that my parents would disown me if I got anything lesser than an HD. I think most of it was just in my head. Sure, I've done a few things that upset them but they've always trusted me to be my own person. The funniest thing was that last month I finally got a haircut I've been wanting forever (I thought my parents would not approve for some reason) and when I came home and showed them, they were like "oh that's nice" and that was it. I think in my head I made such a big deal out of it but they just want me to do things that make me happy. I sometimes tend to take them for granted so the lesson is to appreciate both of them and all the unconditional love they've given me. I know that no matter what happens, they will always be on my side and I can't really ask for anything more than that. 
6. Focus on what you love, and everything else will fall into place
Instead of reacting to everything that happens around you, decide what matters to you and focus on that. Don't get sucked into other people's drama and keep to yourself. I always thought I did this, but perhaps not. I want to spend the rest of my life focusing on what I love, the people, the things and the passions. Read good books, eat good food, celebrate small victories, make time for the company that add value to my life and work towards my passions. Focus on leaving a bit of love in everything I do. As my mission statement in life goes "Work for a cause, not applause. Live life to express, not to impress."
7. You can be on social media and still live a private life
I think I'm discovering how important privacy really is. I've always been on the internet and I guess a lot of people "know of" me and it never used to bother me cos I always thought that they only knew my public persona of what I put across on social media. People tend to make assumptions about you based on what you tweet or post. I remember meeting someone I really adore from twitter irl for the first time and she was very blunt with me and told me she thought my public persona could not be who I really am cos no one's that nice and then she really got to know me. I honestly appreciate it so much. It was such a breath of fresh air from all the people who are constantly only nice to my face. I think the biggest lesson is to know whom to share parts of your life with. Not let strangers know everything about you (it's so hard because I've been on twitter for so long and it used to feel like a safe space but as the years went by it changed) and to not give them a glimpse into your life. Let them think whatever, and you not bother with all the things they have to say about you. Treat social media as just that and live your life outside of it.

I know I will make more mistakes and learn from some of them and have yet to know even more things. I'm always a work in progress so it doesn't bother me. I hope I am able to live by my own ethics and be the kind of person I aspire to be.