Well, well, well... Yet another year had gone by! I know this because I had to renew (and pay for) my website subscription! hah! I've been pretty busy. As you can see, I have not been keeping up with my blogging lately. Usually my excuse is that my life really is not that interesting. However, I've actually been through a lot in this past year! I've legitimately been busy.
2016 was a relatively good year for me, with a few bumps and such... So here's a review of some of the significant things I've gone through in 2016.
It was the start to my final semester of university, and I had to write the most number of essays I ever had in my life. (Actually can't quite believe it was only a year ago) I sadly only had 1-2 music classes, while trying to squeeze in an overload of courses to graduate with my minor in Communication Studies. I really did not think I could do it, but I did. And I even got on the Dean's list for the first time in my life for that semester :') Who knew I was capable of that?! Definitely felt proud of myself, although I never want to go through all those assignments ever again. Haha...
Of course, another thing I had done that month that I wanted to do since years ago, was to make THIS WEBSITE & blog! :D It took me a long time to get the main bits and pieces together. It's still under development, depending on my needs for it... Hopefully this coming year will allow me to make use of it a little more!
If you've read any of my previous posts here, you would know that I bleached my hair blonde for the first time! It was fun while it lasted, although it was so difficult to maintain! (Before I eventually gave up and dyed it purple again... haha!)
It was also a crazy time as I was getting myself together with working out my final year CD project - Novalatte : Discography!! That was a crazy time, getting the band together, working out details... Had an amazing time working with Deaner Watson at the awesome Gallery Studios in Ottawa... Got a parking ticket for obstructing the road due to the heavy snow... Haha! Good times... It was really cool getting to experiment a little with different mic setups in order to achieve different kinds of sound. What a great project! I am blessed to have been able to work with such a great bunch of musicians. The only thing I regret is not having enough time to work in some vocal harmonies. I definitely want to deal with that for my next project, whenever that might be.
During that time, I was still in the midst of school craziness of having 1-2 essays due EACH WEEK! I had no life outside of that... Hahaha. On days and times that I wasn't preoccupied with anything school or music related, all I wanted to do was to lay around, watch tv with my bestie, and sleep.
I also finished my last ever assignment by the end of April! Woot woot! By then, I'd also submitted my CD assignment... And had started planning and getting the CDs ready for print in time for the CD Release Party.
Although I had done my last assignment and exams by around this time, I could not quite relax yet because I had to do and finish the Novalatte CD Album artwork and such. I felt so relieved (and nervous) when I finally sent everything off to Minnesota to get printed. I also had to mail them a physical master copy of the music to them. I was so afraid that they would not be completed and arrive in time for the show.
Just as we were getting ready for our first rehearsal, there was a big fluctuation in weather the day before and I already felt a cold coming on. When I woke up on the day of our first rehearsal in awhile, I had NO VOICE. My voice was completely gone. I tried not to freak out much, assuming it was just a normal cold/sore throat... My throat did feel dry, however it did not hurt at all. My voice was just... GONE.
I went for rehearsal, nonetheless... Told the guys that I could not be able to sing, but I was just there to run through all the things. Every single day for the next week, I drank a LOT of water. Usually that dis the trick, but not this time. Week 2, and my voice was still gone. I could barely speak, let alone sing. This went on for the next few weeks... and BOOM, it came the day of Novalatte's new record release!!! Leading up to that, thankfully, the CDs had come in and all that. I was just worried about my voice. My speaking voice was still not back yet. I also had not sung properly (because I basically hadn't been able to) in that whole month of practice because I really did not want it to get any worse...
So I just hoped for the best for the show and prayed that I would be able to deliver as usual. It was show time and the place was full! How amazing was that. We had our CD release at Live on Elgin! which was super awesome. Shoutouts to Jon and all the other guys there for being incredibly supportive and helpful, as well as making sure we sounded great.
The adrenaline was building up in my body as I watched and enjoyed our two wonderful acoustic show openers, MCHP, and Liam Meagher. It was show time. There was a good handful of strangers at the show who I had never seen before who came to watch us play!!! Of course, it was such an exciting, yet bittersweet moment of realization that it was our final Novalatte show. It HAD to be the best show in my life so far and I better have fun up there and do my very best so that we will be remembered!
I was so blessed to have my Novalatte buddies Jacob Clarke, Harrison Singer, Simon Lemay, and James Arif, who became great friends and who are all great musicians who have taught me so much. I really really miss playing and making music with them. :') Hopefully we will get the chance to work together once again in the future - if nobody becomes too famous/busy :P hahaha!!! Who knows, these guys are so talented!
That night, I had amazed myself how on earth I was able to sing like usual. Apparently, my closer friends could tell that my voice was a little raspy/husky while I was speaking in between songs... But it was otherwise unnoticeable! What?! Such an emotional and accomplished night it was.
The next morning came, and the whole night before felt like it was a dream. Like it was far away. It was a bit of relief that it was over, but at the same time I could not quite believe that it was over and refused to believe it. I wanted to live in that moment for a bit longer. That morning... my voice was GONE. AGAIN. It was scary, because it was SO gone that it was just air coming out whenever I tried to speak. That went on for the next 2 weeks or so of weak whispers.
Something else I did during this time was to pick up a new instrument - Violin! I took a 2 month crash course. Although I did not have a superb amount of time to practice among my crazy packed schedule, I am glad I decided to go for it. Until now, I am determined to continue learning soon!
Sure, my big project was now over, but I could not take a break just yet. I had to get ready for my move back to Singapore. I had so many belongs to sort through, pack, and get rid of. I was also planning a short road trip to Montreal to see my brother, and to store some of my unneeded winter stuff at his place. Haha. It was a crazy time as that meant that I only had 1-2 weeks to sort out all my things... to send them for shipping, and to move the remaining stuff over. I also had to sell my car. It was crazy. I shall skip the tedious details... but basically I had no time to rest and relax. And among all that craziness, that was also the only remaining time I had to spend with my friends before I had to fly off.
I had my convocation and graduated! It was a very proud moment, knowing that my parents were watching the live stream of it from home in Singapore. haha. Look, mom & dad!! I did it!! :D It was also very nice getting to celebrate those glorious moments together with my classmates, professors, great friends Ogen & Naz, and of course Eric :)
Fast forward to the end of the month, I made it to sunny Singapore! For those of you who still do not know, I have been back in SG for about half a year now! [Already?!]
I did a lot since being back in SG! First of all, I did some big spring cleaning in my old room... Scrubbed the whole wall for the first time in 13 years... hah! Threw out a lot of old, useless things that I'd been keeping for some reason.. ahhaha
Caught up with many of my good old friends...!! ♥♥♥ Thank you all for putting in the effort in maintaining our friendship even after I've been away for so long. :)
Been to Penang for the first time in ages..! It was nice.
Oh, I also did a life-changing surgery... epi-Lasik eye surgery!!! So I no longer need glasses now, yay!!! [Honestly, I almost left this out, because it has become so convenient that I often forget about it. ahhaha]
So glad I decided to get it done. If enough people want to know more about it, I'll consider writing a blog post about it. :)
Started my first official job of adulthood! hahaha!!! I've been enjoying it a lot and I work with a great team! You guys know who you are ;) Thanks for being so welcoming to me. hehehe
I have been teaching various music classes to kids in schools! I am really loving this teaching thing. I feel like I have a lot of energy and inspiration to share and spread to the youths of today :) I look forward to learning more myself as well!
I've been super busy! Adjusting to the working life, while also trying to do and deal with other activities I have on the side. I am currently working on being part of an a cappella group- Wacappella! Would like to start a new band to gig with... Going to jazz jams... Collaborating with friends for musical projects...
On that last note there, yes, my voice is finally back!!
Summary of what happened:
It had actually been gone for TOO LONG. It took a total of about 7 months and counting... [It's still not fully back yet now] It took at least 5 months for my SPEAKING VOICE to start sounding more like me... When I first came back to SG, even friends who I hadn't spoken to in so long were like "WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR VOICE!?" only after I said "Hello"... haaa.. it was THAT BAD. :(
I will leave the full story for another time... but basically I went to see some specialists, gone for voice therapy... and now I can finally sing again. However, I am still recovering. I have most of my voice back now, but need to work on building up my stamina again.
It was probably the scariest experience in my life!!
I had many moments of "OMG, does this mean I have to rethink my whole life career decisions?! " etc etc and more scary thoughts like that.
I am thankful every day now to have my voice back - something I take for granted too often. Even when it comes just to being able to speak..!
Anyways, here's to a very happy 2017! May we all appreciate the little things and important people in our lives. :)
Till the next one,