Calendar is but a human way to document dates and time. And yet, there are something that make 31 Dec so far apart from 1 Jan, as if a chapter has to be closed on the 11.59pm of 31st Dec before the New Year is ushered in, and as if how you spend your first moments of the year will determine how your new year will be.
Surely, it is a good time of reflection, to be thankful for things that happened in the year and to plan for the next. Somehow, the emotional attachment is not as strong to me, this could have be the fact that my birthday is in November, merely a month ago, which served as a better checkpoint for the year-long goals for me. When I was studying, our academic year starts and ends in June, thus rendering the New Year celebration somewhat meaningless as it would be only half the journey. As I started working, it was November, and coincidently, twice I've resigned/decided to resigned in November too. Major events in my life simply does not happen at the turn of the new year.
Nevertheless, seeing the many beautiful ways year-end reflections and new year wishes were shared on Facebook, I too felt the need of summarizing it (peer pressure effect, you can say.) It took me a while, but it summarized my 2011 adventure most aptly.
"A sheer boldness and hunger for adventures brings me back to KL before last year ends.
This year, what I discovered is beyond what I expected:
I learnt to love,
Friends new and old, Families near and far;
I learnt to care,
causes great and small;
I learnt to be different, I learnt to be normal;
I learnt to cry in joy, and laugh in pain;
I learnt to give, I learnt to keep;
I learnt that though feel far apart, God has never left :') "
My 2011, was characterised by a decision to come to KL. Why? I thought, Penang is too comfortable, too secluded and I want to explore beyond it, getting to know more people here, having greater influence in the national scene. Overconfident, perhaps, but off I went.
Life will never be the same if I chose to stay in Penang. Would I be better off, or not? That is the question I have been struggling with for the past one year. Things certainly did not go as i hoped for. I was supposed to finish a book before June, a project which has now been shelved indefinitely, and move on to another place. KL was meant to be a transitional stop.
I did not intend to be so involved politically; my passion has always be policy and issue-based research. But when the offer to work for Lim Kit Siang, the famous DAP stalwart come by, I just threw everything behind my mind and said, Yes! Who would have dreamt of working for one of the most dedicated politicians in the country, having grown up hearing so much about him? I plunged my head into it and the rest follows. Not quire what i'm looking for, but a rare opportunity to be working for such admirable man, and to be in the heart of action of the opposition party. Regrets? That's a question which I can't answer, and have stopped seeking for the answer.
2011, I met him. He is a pleasant surprise, I've always said. I did not come seeking for him, his arrival was not anticipated. But he felt like a soulmate at first sight, someone that make me feel very comfortable being with. Not quite the standard dream guy that make all girls'hearts melt, but charming in his own way and someone that I can rely on. Ironically, I made the decision to be with him based on that basic, nothing-fanciful characteristic of his, and i didn't take too long, unlike my previous relationships that has lengthy ambiguous courtship period but very shortly sustained. But over time, he has proven to be a good choice. I have great appreciation for his support and accomodation over me, especially some of my airy-fairy ideas and hyperactivity, not to mention those melancholic moments which he has to endure depressing conversations and never-ending worries, which he often over-simplistically concludes "you think too much". From him, I learnt to cherish simple things in life. I've always been a goal-oriented person, while he, seems to be much more at ease with himself. I always believe that God wants me to learn to be normal from him, learn to lead a simple life (though I sometimes still think that he is overdoing it and underperforming his potential in life, as reflected in his career that desperately need a breakthrough). That precious lesson, is not only learnt from him, but also from his interaction with people around him. He has friends, close friends that lasted for years, and do not mind meeting every other day just to talk emptily. Great friends that will always ready to help.
I've never had that in my life. Friendships failed me, left me; to me, friends are transient, they are for a certain period of life, and will be gone when we move on. It's not as if I didn't try to keep in touch, but my attempts have mostly been futile - they just don't seem to be interested to catch up with me, nor take the initiative to ask. Along the way, new friends came, wonderful friends that I couldn't imagined not having in this life away from home. It was from her that I learnt, that I should not feel sorry for friends that had lost touch, but always try, and seize the opportunity to be friends again when time is right. That was the mantra that I lived by, and i thanked God that some knots were loosened before the year ended.
2011 has ended, did I achieve what I wanted? Some yes, some wrong turns and short-cuts, but the necessary have been done to keep myself on the right track. I've gain more knowledge about issues, I've come to know more amazing people, I've managed to write some articles, I've gained friendships - but I've also figured that this is a continuous process. 2012, will be a year of trying, as I made the decision to explore beyond my little pond again. But it is from 2011 that I've learnt that life is not about achieving, but trying - meanwhile, enjoy the process, and keep swimming.