Cheryl asked me what we should do for New Years Eve yesterday. As I was in the process of coming up with a suggestion, she hastily interjected.
“We are not going out to any events or gigs that night.”
I laughed and suggested we chill, smoke, have a few drinks and play board games – basically the same thing we’ve been doing since she and Eb were staying at the condo.
Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’m getting old!!!!” jokes aside, going out and socialising demands a lot of energy, and really, with New Years the worst place to be is outside with a crowd. While admittedly I do enjoy the occasional crowd, the preferred choice is quite clear.
2018 has been a year of finding comfort. Comfort in being in my own skin, doing what I want to do, and cutting off any experiences or people that bear no benefit to me and my self-growth. Gigs and events were terribly fun, and throughout the last few years I’ve thrust myself into the deep end and busted my ass going to shows, forcing myself to face social anxiety head-on. I’ve had so many ‘this is the best night’ moments, to downright ‘let me lock myself in this bathroom for 3 hours’ fiascos. I suffered anxiety attacks from going to shows alone only for them to turn into okay – some even great nights. I learnt to loosen my inhibitions and enjoy whatever that presented itself.
This year I’ve said no to many things, allowing myself to discard the delusional fear of missing out because of conscious decisions I’ve made, regardless of the turnout. I figured it was high time to ditch the assumption that I’ll be missing out on any amazing experiences if I didn’t say yes enough. Same goes with certain people – especially the emotionally-draining ones. It’s not their fault though! This isn’t a cutting off toxic people moment, but a realisation that some people take more out of you than others – and only recommended in small doses. That being said, there were definitely some cutting off toxic people moments. I’m now more selective over the people I choose to spend time with, and those who clearly can’t appreciate it, can fuck right off.
Weeding out the ones that don’t matter seems to be the recurring theme of this year’s play.
Being more critical in my decisions and experiences made me realise how much responsibility is taken into account whenever I commit to something. Sounds like common sense, but no one seemed to tell me how much weight it actually holds! I quit a job that I often wondered why I took in the first place; which led me to regret the time wasted and question why I made the decision. Lo and behold, the reason was because: see above. Then, I decided to swallow my insecurities and plunge back into my studies. Granted, that decision in the grand scheme of things, didn’t hold any dire consequences to anyone but me. Thank you, parents, for always wanting what’s best for your daughter. I went on dates; great ones, bad ones, terrible ones, I read more, wrote more and drew more.
Losses were inevitable; our family is small, so the death or estrangement of a loved one hardly goes unnoticed. It doesn’t become the subject of gossip; rather a deep, saddening fact that only serves as reminders to keep our small circle… even smaller. Al-fatihah to Nenek Su, and Tok Mi who has left us for exactly a year, and to those whose sole purpose is to disrupt the peace we have built for ourselves in this tiny little vestige of a community; please fuck right off, too.
Despite everything, I’m in a much better mental state than I’ve been in 2017, which was arguably the most confusing yer of my life. 23 roller coaster-ed itself over and under every hurdle through blurry messes. I needed to step back a little and look at everything from different angles instead of bulldozing my way through. Also – part of having peers who are a good number of years younger than you, is realising that while there were definite gaps in my experience memoir, I’ve done enough of the things I had on my list in one year without coming off as repetitive and time-wasting. Onwards to a new list, and bigger, more ambitious ones.
2019 is uncertain. 25 is a jarring number, but 11 months is a long time to make something out of it. I’m slowing it down on being social for the moment and I will be focusing on my own thing. I’ve learnt that expectations from other people only serve as disappointments. You are what you need to work on. You should expect great things from yourself, not depend on external validation. Not that it matters to me anymore, but remember that next time I try to attempt something new.
I was almost convinced that I couldn’t sum my 2018 up considering that it moved pretty fast and the fact that I’ve made some major life choices that will definitely dictate my path in the years to come, jotting them down would overwhelm me. But there’s no need, because life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forwards. Yikes, that’s a little too corny for me.
Why wasn’t it corny when Kierkegaard said it the fuk?
This is where I stop, and where 2018 comes to an end. Tomorrow I’ll wake up and it’ll be just another day. So here’s to a good 2018; you’ve been kind, and allowed me to start finding my voice, and here’s to 2019; where there will be no set expectations, only excitement to see what I make of you.