rid of

Dear 2016,

you were not welcomed at all. I was never prepared to receive the hard truths which I had admittedly hoped wouldn’t happen – at least not this year. I lined you up with monthly events, trying to be in total control of them so that I wasn’t going to be blindsided. And even if I was going to be, I was hoping that the areas which I thought I had control over would compensate for those which I didn’t. As with any cliché year-end reflections, I know that there were its ups and downs. The downs pushed me to a point where I was calling suicide hotlines – I never felt so honest to a total stranger before. The sentimental had me reviewing memory after memory, sieving through and deciding whether or not it was even helpful to go there. I was learning to find closure in my memories when life in the present did not give me closure.

As I recap on everything that has happened in 2016, I will acknowledge with gratitude that you weren’t all that bad. There were gains in spiritual growth, professionalism, perspective, friendships, family, and travels. I am sure anyone would say that if not for the lows, you would not be able to recognize the highs; but I don’t know if I’d like to be put through the ordeals in order to gain what I have. I know that the common notion is that every person / experience is a learning lesson; Therefore I thank you, 2016, for making it one of the years I have learnt a lot.

I hope that 2017 will not be as dark as you were; but then again, if I had really learned anything from this year, is that God is always sovereign and that I should give up trying to be in control with the finite mind I have.

Goodbye 2016.

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25

“I am going to be married before I turn 25!” I remember exclaiming to a classmate of mine in primary school.

By the time I turned 18, I remembered having little fear about transitioning to adulthood. I thought that I was pretty confident about who I was and what I had to offer to any university or organization or anyone. I had average academic qualifications which  I thought would be compensated by the fact that I was heavily involved in extra-curricular activities.

When I turned 22 I freaked out at the thought that I was about closing in on turning 25 and could not bear the thought of being married and settling down at that early an age. I mean, those sort of situations belong to my grandparents’ era and was definitely not part of mine.

In contrast, the years leading up to turning 25 has really been a roller coaster ride. There are experiences that I had never thought would happen to me, and choices that I have made that would, at times, hurt. And this is not including the choices that others have made and the situations I have been thrown into where I am still trying to breathe. I don’t remember being told that turning 25 would be this hard! I had thought that I would be elated at the new found freedom and prepared to take on life’s challenges.

I am not the person I had thought I would evolve into. And to show kindness and gentleness towards the person I am today can be a constant struggle, especially since I am not living up to my expectations. I have come to realise that I have been so inwardly harsh and unwilling to accept part of who I am today is a result of my doing. I mean, do my choices make me, or do I make the choices?

There are, however, a few things I am sure of, at my 25th year mark:

  1. God is greater than the most highs and the deepest lows;
  2. I love my family and am (too) obsessed with them – their opinion matters but is not the ultimate;
  3. Friends are chosen family members – and I will always do what I can to keep them, even when they blatantly want to leave (so are they still my friends?);
  4. I love traveling solo but am also opened to traveling with people with similar interests (or are accommodating to my interests);
  5. I will always sit on the right side of the bus (the left side makes me uncomfortable);
  6. I overthink (a lot);
  7. I love buying books (even if I don’t end up reading them);
  8. I binge;
  9. I romanticise things (thanks Disney);
  10. I am afraid of heights but I would gladly do roller coasters;
  11. I am never comfortable in the water;
  12. I am willing to see the goodness in people but react drastically when I experience the opposite (see point 9);
  13. I express my deep affection for people in a way that I would like to experience, even if it inconveniences me or they won’t appreciate so (treat others the way you’d treat yourself hey?);
  14. I love listening to hearty laughters;
  15. I am (too) sentimental (and tend to live in the past);
  16. I love doing anything sporty but can at times be lazy as fuck;
  17. I love the smell of cooked rice;
  18. I love Japanese and Italian cuisines;
  19. I hate the smell of rain (and the humidity that follows it);
  20. Cooking I am willing but baking not so much;
  21. Hosting I enjoy but the stress prior to the event is what I actually thrive on;
  22. I indulge in spontaneity but am uncomfortable with impulsive purchases (are these characteristics even similar?); and,
  23. I adore inspirational, meaningful movies and hate ambiguous endings (I do not deal well with lack of closure);
  24. Managing time isn’t my forte; and,
  25. I will always love celebrating my birthday, even if I dislike the part where people sing to me the birthday song.

So while I drag my feet to the quarter century mark, I hope that in the midst of finding my footing in this life, I will remember to stop to smell the roses.