Every year, on this day, I sit down to do my proverbial stocktaking of everything that’s transpired in my life throughout the year. This year, more than any other year, it feels like, I find myself completely unable to think clearly about the year I’ve had. Everything seems to have meshed into one giant blur of thoughts and emotions, to the point where even thinking about it makes me cringe and want to retreat into an emotional hole so deep that it would take six firemen with no collarbones to dig me out.
A year ago, I bought my freedom for a life that I thought would be completely my own again to control and improve. This year was supposed to have been a good one for those born in the year of the Rat, and in so many ways it actually was a decent year, but it has also been one of the most conflicting I’ve ever had. I left a job I loved because it started becoming everything I hated about the previous job, but I was able to retain some of the wonderful friends I made from it. I took up a job I don’t necessarily love because it involves doing something I hate, but it’s giving me an immensely wide berth to grow and learn new things. I met someone who completely swept me off my feet and makes me happier than I’ve been in years, only to leave a trail of unhappy and unmentionable circumstances in our wake.
That said, there were so many other things to be thankful for this year. I got to travel more than I ever did in the last couple of years, with two separate groups of people who made my travels so much more memorable than I could ever have expected. Going to BaselWorld and Como was something that I never in all my born days thought I would be able to do, even if it was all for work. Going back to the US, and seeing people like Maddi, Jeremy, Shannyn and Shaina again, was something that I definitely never expected would happen in under a decade, and it rekindled my resolve to go back there at least once a year and reconcile with the places and the people I loved and had to leave behind.
But perhaps the single most defining factor of this year is myself. I’ve had to look at so many things differently, to learn to come to terms with so many unsettling circumstances, to accept so many things that would never change, and to live with the consequences of my actions. In short, in this one year alone, I’ve become everything that I swore I would never be, and that I never imagined I even had it in myself to be.
In spite of all this conflict, this clash of wills, I have no choice but to move into the new year with a renewed, if a little forced, sense of hope that somehow, I’ll be able to see a clearer direction for myself. That I will have the patience and endurance to take everything that will be thrown at me when the shit hits the fan, the courage to stand up and face myself and others for the mistakes I make, and the strength to let go, leave it all behind and move on with my head held high when the time calls for it.
Adieu, 2013. You were good to me, in a manner of speaking. Here’s hoping we don’t roll over too bumpily into 2014.