“If my life is mine, what shouldn’t I do?”

The first month of 2012 is nearly over, but I just thought I’d capture the (very few) highlights of my 2011 anyway –

Preteen dream come true: Blue LIVE @ Ion 2011

David Hurwitz, Zee Avi, JP Maramba & Rafael Pereira

Flickr set: Zee Avi LIVE @ TAB 2011

*

I started a new job, left it and embarked on a whole new other career. Feels weird when I tell people that I’ve been employed thrice in a span of 2 years cos it makes me sound like an unreliable douche who can’t stick to something for long – this feeling comes from the expressions these people have on their faces, and sometimes they don’t even mask it cos they’d tend to exclaim “you’re in ANOTHER job?!” making me feel like an even bigger douche – but I like to reassure myself that I’m still young; I still have places to go and life decisions to make. Mövenpick wasn’t a mistake, or at least it didn’t start out that way, but five months down the road, the thought of being desk-bound to a dead-end administrative Human Resources job just didn’t cut it for me. Coupled with a schizophrenic Manager whose mood depends on whether her long term boyfriend was in town for a lay – as mean as that sounds, sadly, it is true – and I was soon scouring the Classifieds for another job. I made some really good friends in Mövenpick though, and it felt amazing to be under the tutelage of my mentor from my internship once again.

And so I landed myself in this new job. A whole different field, a different job scope; a whole new ball game. Four months in, and they’re already considering me for a promotion… although I don’t think I’m ready for that just yet. If I look back on myself in 2011 and 2010, a part of me feels sad that I’ve left my carefree, 20-year old self behind. The girl who’d hit the nightlife at least once a week, who’d split from the office at 6pm sharp cos she had other plans with her friends, the girl who could still catch up on her social life without feeling left behind as the black working sheep adult. I do still prioritize special occasions over work on some rare days, but 2011 was a game-changer for me. I started being more financially responsible, didn’t complain (as much) about being the breadwinner and having to pay off the house bills.. Which 21 year old does that these days? Especially in a part of Asia where kids still live under their parents’ roofs until they get hitched, and sometimes still get allowances from their almost-retiring folks (this irks me to no end, I mean c’mon people – grow a responsible pair) and get their folks to pay off for their life’s little luxuries, like a car. As much as I’d love a new ride of my own (despite my fear of driving), I think certain things in life are good only when you’ve earned them yourself, no?

Or maybe that’s just me and my traditional mindset.

I finally got over a lost love – this was a major strike for me. Took me about a year, what with the hot & cold moments we blew in each other’s direction, but all that finally ended.. Oddly, on the night of my birthday celebration. I guess when people say that you need the ultimate closure to get over a relationship – be it a proper talk, a final kiss, whathaveyou – these people were right. And I got that. And all was right in my world again. I haven’t seen him since that night – aside from attending a mutual friend’s birthday party yet barely saying more than a sentence to each other – and I’m almost completely sure that emotional chapter in my life has closed.

I also lost my last two blood grandparents last year. I say blood, because up until about 2006, I had 7 living grandparents – 3 maternal (an additional grandma when my granddad remarried), 2 paternal and 2 from my step mother. And since then, they’ve slowly passed on, with both my paternal passing on last year within a few days short of a month from each other. I like to think that their lives were so intertwined, one couldn’t survive for long without the other. I was never close to them, thanks to the complicated family feud I’ve grown up in, and now I only have my step grandma from my maternal side, living alone in a tiny 2-room apartment.. I should visit her some time.

And liked it or not.. I turned 21. Before September of last year, I had this unexplainable fear of hitting that age because I never saw my life past it. I’ve told a handful of friends about it but I don’t think anyone actually took me seriously. Until this day, I can’t pinpoint what I was afraid of exactly, but I remember losing sleep the entire week of 25th September 2011. I kept thinking that if I’d closed my eyes on the night of the 28th, I wouldn’t be able to open them the next morning. It was like some sort of jinx that I had convinced myself of, that I wouldn’t live past turning 21. But I woke up the next morning, and the morning after… and I’m still awake now; it’s been a bit more than 5 months. Maybe the ominous feeling I had was just a warning that I’d leave my old, juvenile self behind; I don’t really know. I’m still plagued by this constant fear though, which… I shan’t speak of any longer to avoid coming off as a paranoid lunatic.

Every year, people make resolutions. I try to make them, but after a while, I’d think – why only make resolutions at the beginning of the year? Is it some sort of obligation that you have to do, and then beat yourself up after for not sticking to them? The clichéd ones would be “be healthier” or “fall in love” or something along those lines. Sure, both of them are on my list but my top few would be to have more faith (in myself, in the people around me and in life), to be more positive, to not let anger get the best of my days and to be content.

Too much to ask for? Let’s hope not.

Here’s to hoping 2012 would be an amazing year.

Pax et amor,

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