The 2018 Yearender Post + My Proust Questionnaire


It’s the end of 2018. I can’t believe it. The quick answer to the question of “Have you achieved what you set out for the year?” is a resounding NO. Thinking about that prompted me to think about the past year, what I’ve done and despite not achieving what I truly wanted, I did get a lot of great things in my life.

The past few days have been all about hunkering down to my desk, which I finally cleared of clutter {FINALLY!} and getting down to planning my 2019.

In a nutshell, 2018 was mostly okay — a lot of quiet triumphs and moments of tears of joy gratitude. I am glad to have had the year I had — with my home, Mike, my two puppies. I had been blessed with a job I love most days, a great set of friends, the option to drink champagne when I want to. Life has been good despite anything.

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Wow, 2018, it was like trying to kill everyone — or teach them something. Challenges are always abundant and I do believe challenges are what makes the character. I do know that now — being an adult barely makes you know what to do when challenges come. But you just become a better person after it — despite really wanting to walk away from it all.


Sad to say that some friendship/s might have ended for me in 2018 — mostly not my choice or just a plain — it fell through. I think I wrote quite at length my thoughts on friendship and the principles that guide me:

Do you realize what goes into a relationship? Time, money (to hang out, have drinks, as gifts for birthdays, bridal shower, wedding), emotional investment, mood, wisdom. That’s a lot. When the friendship is good or at least of mutual benefit, it makes sense and all accounting would disappear. Until it’s not. Until most time is spent one-sided and unfair. In my case, I personally have low key withdrawn from friendships I feel negative about myself after hanging out with. These would be friends who repeatedly questioned my life decisions which were not evil, just different, those who would use me as a sounding board but never actually listens. Or a friend who’s not happy for me and is just there when I’m miserable. It sounds good to have a friend who’s there for you when you’re unhappy but never came when I was in my happy season.

But enough of the friendships I’ve chosen to drift away from. Equally, there are new friendships to be made! The last three years have proven that there we will always be capable of making friends beyond kindergarten and high school, even well into the third or fourth job. We can build real conversations and deep connections with people we’ve met in the last year and it’s okay. I’ve met people whom I initially thought were scary and some months down the line, found myself sharing details I’ve never uttered ever. Real friendships, like relationships, feel right.

I’m a firm believer that friendships, especially those we would like to keep a priority, need regular refresh, “alignment” as I’d like to call it. This is most especially true for people we become friends with at work. I have this running invite for friendship alignments with my work friends, whom I actually don’t talk about work with, though our lifetime objectives and career goals are often subject of wine/gin/whiskey laden nights.
— Tara's Best Life Ever Playbook


Ah well, careers. I’d say same same but different. It was the same role, that I’ve had and it was for the most part, a big lesson. I am grateful for the roles I’ve had to get into for 2018, they taught me the hardest lessons but also, made me most grateful for my two dearest friends, M and R. I have big plans for my career this year so I’m truly excited for that!


Ah well, self care has been a big word for 2018 and I’ve no doubt it will be big in 2019, too, especially for me. But my resolve is to not overburden myself to not need so much de-stressing. On top of this, putting myself on top of everything {except spiritually} is the biggest self care act, that is — reviewing personal strategies, doing financial accounting for myself, our household, ensuring I place premium on my health and sanity above all.


1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Lately, perfect happiness to me is all about cozying up with Butters, a blanket and Mike at the end of the day, all of us catching up with the day's happenings, events, thoughts and wrapping up thoughts and just being thankful for what had the day been. Happiness is fulfilment from doing work that affects people in a positive way and creating positive ripples across. Happiness is being at home with my family. Happiness is traveling with people I love. Happiness is strengthening connections with the family I love, real friends and new people who are yet to be friends.

2.What is your greatest fear? Earthquakes and being naked while it happens.

3.What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Judgment, temper, and sometimes I am quick to judge and conclude.

4.What is the trait you most deplore in others? Stonewalling, lack of apathy and aggressiveness.

5.Which living person do you most admire? Michelle Obama, The Everygirl’s Danielle Moss, Dolly Alderton, Filipina entrepreneurs {like Nelly See, Cheryl Tan, Angela Dinglasan, Dar Ty, Liz Lanuzo — peope who inspire me as a woman to be empowered on my own path}.

6.What is your greatest extravagance? My babies Butters and Puff and Mike.

7. What is your current state of mind? A lot of things in 2018 gave me a heavy heart but I chose to rise above it and I truly am excited for 2019. I sincerely hope that I won’t lose my will to plan to being busy and feeling stressed, which is something I hope not to happen next year.

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Traditional beliefs.

9. On what occasion do you lie? I can't remember the last time I did it and most likely there was really no good reason.

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance? My nose. And I wish I had abs.

11. Which living person do you most despise? Not despise but I wish politics was much better and something to look forward to.

12. What is the quality you most like in a man? Integrity.

13. What is the quality you most like in a woman? Ennui, charm.

14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Oh my god.

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life? My parents, Butters, Jesus.

16. When and where were you happiest? Waking up at peace not needing many things.

17. Which talent would you most like to have? Not talent but I wish I had more grit.

18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Being affected by circumstance.

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement? Being where I am right here, right now and being alive.

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? Kylie Jenner. Blake Lively.

21. Where would you most like to live? New York City.

22. What is your most treasured possession? This life.

23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Not understanding what was happening in front of me.

24. What is your favorite occupation? The one where one gets to be at peace with the world.

25. What is your most marked characteristic? Driven and very ambitious.

26. What do you most value in your friends? Friends who respect your decisions and defers judgment.

27. Who are your favorite writers? Dolly Alderton, Michelle Obama

28. Who is your hero of fiction? Haven't read enough fiction this year.

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with? None for now.

30. Who are your heroes in real life? The people I work with.

31. What are your favorite names? Amanda, Butters, Puffins.

32. What is it that you most dislike? Taking things for granted.

33. What is your greatest regret? Not doing things when I can.

34. How would you like to die? Saving something important.

35. What is your motto? How you do one thing is how you do everything.

Happier or sadder? Happiest than I've ever been but occasionally sad every now and then. A good cry is actually beneficial once a week.
Richer or poorer? I've been richest than I've ever been, YoY.
What do you wish you'd done more of? Still I wish I worked out more. I feel so fat this year.
What do you wish you'd done less of? I wish I worried less.
How will you be spending Christmas? Spent it with Mike’s family.
Did you fall in love in 2018? Everyday with Mike, and Butters and now, Puffins, too, who is my littlest heart.
What was your favorite TV program? Ozark and Black Mirror.
Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? No.
What was the best book you read? Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
What was your greatest musical discovery? HA! The 1975. LOL
What did you want and got? Everything I have hoped for :) Including these.
What was your favorite film of this year? The Founder
What did you do on your birthday? Play Just Dance with my friends and drank champagne and hugged my boys.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018? Really very dressy.
What kept you sane? A morning prayer and meditation.
Which celebrity figure you fancy the most? Not a celebrity LOL.
Who was the best new person you met? Secret.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018? There is always a choice.

Happy 2019, everyone!