Lest I forget
We’re 19 days into the new year, if you count the 1+ hour of 19 January I’ve experienced so far. 19 days isn’t a huge chunk of time, but it’s also not the smallest, and I’m afraid my thoughts about the past year are going to fall through the cracks of my incredibly forgetful mind if I put this off any longer.
I don’t know why I like reminiscing about each past year every time a new one arrives. There is security, I suppose, in knowing that I have a log of something regarding 12 whole months of my life. I remember not really knowing what to say about 2011 - it was a rough, whirlwind year with too many lows for my liking, and I was just excited about moving forward. By the same logic, I shouldn’t have much to say about 2012, except I do. Because with those lows came an equal amount of moments where I felt - even if I didn’t physically show it - like my metaphorical cheeks were going to burst from smiling so hard, and everything was right with the world. (If you have a problem with the phrase “metaphorical cheeks”, then this is me pinching yours.) Here goes:
2012 was the year I got conjunctivitis for the first time since I was a kid.
2012 was the year I got screamed at by somebody other than my parents.
2012 was the year I started hanging out in my basement again.
2012 was the year my doctors told me I had kidney issues, but then that everything was fine after months of appointments and tests (???).
2012 was the year I learnt to get sick of people less easily.
2012 was the year I made progress in learning the value of money by conscientiously trying, for the first time in my life, to save.
2012 was the year I spent 2 weeks with the amazing kids of GETCH in Guangzhou.
Mid-2012 marked my first secretly-fly-back-from-China-for-birthday-surprise mission. Other memorable things also happened that weekend, which probably changed the course of my life.
2012 was also the year I spent a very enjoyable 5 weeks with the best group of cocks in Canada, and came home (I hope) all the better for it (albeit with a massive credit card bill my parents weren’t very pleased with, to say the least. 2011 me would have said I regret nothing. 2012 me is hanging her head in shame.)
2012 was the year my little sister got Instagram. She is no longer a kid. What?
2012 was the year I took a record number of flights by myself.
2012 was also the year I took more public transport than I’d taken in my life.
On a related note, 2012 was the year I finally got off my ass and started driving lessons LIKE OMG FINALLY R U SRS LAME
2012 was also the year I attended a maximum of one driving lesson per month. 2013 will, hopefully, be the year I get my license.
2012 was the year I spent a record amount of time out of the house, even by my standards.
2012 was the year I started eating vegetables. Thanks, Jess!
2012 was the year I met a bunch of awesome people. It was also the year I met many people who are not awesome at all. I met many people in 2012.
2012 was the year I made DEMI-GOD IN TETRIS AFTER A 5 MONTH-PLATEAU BETWEEN RANKS 50-60. This is important.
2012 was the year I completed my instant drinks education by learning how to make instant coffee, and then took the liberty to sprinkle milo powder into the concoction. INSTANT MOCHA. You’re welcome. What, they have powder for that, too?
2012 was the year I sat through too many shitty movies.
2012 was the year I drank way too much yakult for my own good.
“2012” looks pretty (especially compared to 2013).
2012 was the year I pushed myself out of my comfort zone by stepping into a whole new chapter of my life alone.
2012 was the year I learnt I couldn’t always have my cake and eat it too - hell, there wasn’t even cake most of the time. And that that could be ok if I thought it was worth it.
2012 was the year I received flak for thinking it was worth it.
2012 was the year I started making it a point to consider another person’s feelings every time I made a decision. And, by extension, I think 2012 was the year I learnt how to be less selfish.
2012 was the year I spent a wonderful 2 weeks in New York with Ronnie. There were many special moments - battling crowds while getting pelted with snow and directing all our hate at a large black woman, traipsing all over town come hell or high water, the whole of 27 December (best day of the year for both of us!) etc - but I think I liked freezing my ass off during New Year’s Eve on our rooftop, warmed only by a giant bear hug and the breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline, best.
I guess that last one’s a fitting note to end this post off with, seeing as it’s about the old year and the new year and all that crap. So there you have it! An entire post on 2012 without mentioning the Mayan apocalypse…… oops. As always, have a great weekend.
• 19 January 2013
Been too consumed by bliss and things like that to blog in awhile. I do count myself lucky, but nights like these are a painful reminder of how the same thing can, by virtue of how special it is, elicit both warm, unbridled joy and acute stabbed-in-the-gut type dejection.
• 7 October 2012
Haven’t sat down to write a proper post in ages, so I thought I’d do one now. It’s Saturday night, but there’s nothing more I’d like to do than curl up in bed with a box set of Grey’s and a really fluffy pillow. I say Grey’s because I think it’s about time I updated myself with what Meredith and the gang are up to. I say fluffy pillow only because you aren’t around.
People who don’t blog often tend to spend most of their entries expounding about how quickly time has flown since their last post, a sentiment I understand entirely. This isn’t just a random thought; I turn 20 next week, which feels all too surreal and underwhelming at the same time. I don’t think anyone - that is, anyone apart from tweens brimming with anticipation - actually delights in being a teenager, but I’m kind of bummed out I’m not going to be one any longer. Impressionable times, sure. Our personalities are apparently formed right smack in the middle of our teenage years. Best years of my life, sure. I can’t remember much of what went on before I was 13 anyway. Mostly, though, the end of my teenage-hood just feels like another reminder of how the real world is going to come banging down my front door all too soon, and I’m going to be caught still groggily trying to scarf down a slice of bread while grabbing my things and trying to rush out of the house.
(That was a lie. It would probably be eggs in some form or the other. I hate sliced bread. The phrase “the best thing since sliced bread” does nothing for me.)
Point is, I’m not quite the 19-going-on-20-year-old I thought I’d be. A few things I assumed I’d be able to do by now: whip up a proper meal, take buses everywhere, have the discipline required to sit down and actually get things done, finish more things I start, stop procrastinating… Good God, I’m killing myself here. I can’t even remember much of my year as a 19-year-old - I stopped obsessively documenting events after my Beast’s image stabiliser went all haywire, and now find myself way too lazy to lug my new camera around. But I digress.
So what now, you ask? Well, I guess I turn 20. I don’t really have a choice. And, because I continue to maintain that despite (debatably) excessive whining, I am actually an optimist at the core, I turn 20 while hoping that I grow into more of the 20-year-old I thought I’d be (at least compared to the person I imagined I’d be one year younger). A year can make a lot of difference. We’ll see.
• 4 March 2012
It’s 2012, but I don’t really feel up to a post about how much I’ve learnt from the past year. Guess all that will be apparent in its own time. The highlights of 2011 off the top of my head: multiple new experiences, completely unapologetic mindless rotting, the pangs of stark emotion that only come with the highest of highs - and the lowest of lows, thinking I got my heart torn up, and meeting you.
• 7 January 2012
Tie a knot and hold on
Are you a mood-taker? The type that borrows moods from others, whether knowingly or not. If the people around you are happy, you’re happy; if they’re generally pissed off at the world, you go home and cut yourself. Being a mood-taker isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing, it’s just something you either are or aren’t. Or are you a mood-setter? The type that is one way or another no matter what the rest of the world feels - you can exist in your own little bubble of emotions and float around quite contentedly, God forbid anybody eye you disdainfully.
A mood-setter doesn’t have to determine everyone else’s emotions; it simply means you decide how to feel entirely on your own. Sounds too easy, doesn’t it? Of course I decide how I feel, I scoffed, until I really stopped to think about it. I wake up pretty ambivalent about life most of the time, unless it’s too early for me to function (every Tuesday goddammit) and/or I’ve had one of those bad dreams involving lizards again (unfortunately not limited to any particular day). So what exactly makes me feel the way I do at any particular point in time? Let’s take now, for instance. I feel…
1. Crummy, because I’m up past 2 trying to make sense of a bunch of numbers that don’t make any sense at all,
2. Guilty, because I’m obviously otherwise occupied,
3. Sian, because I just glanced at the huge dent in my laptop again (no joke, I need to make an appointment with my dentist soon, sorry, bad joke),
4. Slightly accomplished, because I just painted my nails and they’re busy drying themselves while I type so yay life points for multi-tasking…
You get the point. The only part where I wasn’t feeling a certain way because of a certain something else was when I was being unabashedly gleeful about my nails. It’s like that in life, too - the people I interact with, people around me per se, news I happen to hear, current workload at the time - I automatically let it all in and allow it to dictate how my day turns out. Annoying, isn’t it? You’d think you’d get a lot more autonomy in deciding your own emotions. Which is why I’ve decided to make a conscious effort to push aside trivial issues, acknowledge the mildly important, and only let the vital control how I feel. Easier said than done, certainly easier promised close to 3am than any other hour, but sadly also my only shot at making the next week or so relatively bearable.
Random thought: it’s quite tragic how I assumed I’d be blogging much happier posts by now during this time last year. The sian-ness isn’t quite as acute, but I can’t quite shake the feeling that 2011 has been having more laughs at my expense than it probably should…
• 20 November 2011
So I have an assignment due tomorrow and should probably be furiously churning out entire chunks of text that make me sound like I’m really well-acquainted with the topic I’m writing about instead of blogging, but some things you just have to document. So. Yesterday saw me trudging across campus with Kaili (and a rather dazed look on my face, because I had just finished FA and I always have a dazed look on my face after finishing FA) when I noticed she kept turning around and giggling. This is not new or exciting behaviour because Kaili is a retard. What was new and exciting, though, was the man spread out on a bench not too far away doing his best impersonation of a wild snorlax - but not nearly new and exciting enough to elicit such sneaky giggles and spazzy twitches from my retarded friend. So I was all, “WELL, it’s funny, but it’s not THAT funny…” when suddenly this Malay woman clad in a tudung ran out from behind a pillar and bore down upon me with fierce determination, her arms outstretched. What does one do in such a situation? It’s hard to say. I vaguely remember my jaw dropping and my eyes widening and emitting a shriek of sorts……
……Because said Malay woman was not, in fact, Malay (nor wearing a tudung), but actually my good friend Debra Chow, who had come back from Australia on an impromptu break without informing any of us.*
*Note: there is no other point to this post. It is what it is, and you can take away from it whatever you want. Cheers!
• 28 September 2011
The future is where we will spend the rest of our lives
Hello there! Hope everyone’s been doing great. The end of the holidays bears down upon us like a bad trainwreck. It’s not that I haven’t known this for some time already, but I did just realise (approximately 30 seconds ago) exactly how fast this train is going. Which is probably what caused me to let out a sound which I am not proud to classify under the category “strangled yelp” (also approximately 30 seconds ago).
And so, as with every holiday comes the inevitable question: what exactly did I spend my time doing?
This is one of those times where I wish I was the type who could sit still long enough to update a journal with the occasional entry. I honestly don’t have a clue. I remember long, hazy hours spent at Starbucks trying to speed up the process of decomposing my brain into mush for want of better things to do. Catching movies I never intended to see just because I had that much time to kill. Rotting online doing absolutely nothing and somehow making that last throughout the night. Going out and living it up one too many times, which in retrospect probably wasn’t the best thing to do - but then again most things in retrospect are never the best things to do.
Perhaps I underestimate myself. There have been new experiences - new places, new people and the like. I did step out of my comfort zone more often (and readily) than I would have in the past. I vaguely recall furiously typing a university bucket list (Buni list? No?) into my phone this time last year, a list of things I thought I’d try to set out to do during the longest holiday of my life. Travel? Check. Get fulfilling jobs? Semi-check. Grow up? …Will reassess in a couple of months’ time.
And there you have it. Term commences next week, and the only writing I’ve been doing has been on this space (a grand total of 3 or 4 posts) and scribbling orders in shorthand at Malted Milk. My handwriting is barely legible, my thoughts have trouble forming themselves into coherent sentences, and I guess it’s time I admit that I’m pretty apprehensive about venturing into an area of knowledge I have no clue about. To put it in terms of that horrid train metaphor I am so fond of employing, I need to switch tracks - and fast. (Sorry. I kind of just had to put it out there.) It does help knowing most people feel this way too, though; was just sitting around at Starbucks with the girls and moping about how the thought of school next week feels like having bricks shat all over you. We are equal parts eloquent and delightful.
Point of post: even the most potent feelings are fleeting, and life has a habit of overwhelming you with new experiences and erasing - or greatly blurring - the old. I figured I’d put in writing my thoughts about the 8 month holiday drawing to a close, and here you go. Thank you for reading this far; you obviously have a high threshold for whining and/or long, messy chunks of text, and for that I award you 2 gold stars. Exchangeable for whatever imaginary prize you have in mind, and very, very valuable. Have a good day ahead!
• 13 August 2011
“You make the mistake of thinking that you have to choose, that you have to do what you want, that there are conditions for happiness. What matters – all that matters, really – is the will to happiness, a kind of enormous, ever present consciousness.”
Mersault, A Happy Death, Albert Camus, 1971
• 21 July 2011