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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Year in Review
I noticed that Facebook has a feature that helps you review your year based on your most liked upload or highlights.

While it is a pretty useful tool to reflect back on the year, there's more to my year which deserves a post. For myself. Not you, not anyone else.

I look through my archives and am glad it's not chock-block of advertorials, events i attended or product reviews *inserts finger and gag*

Despite, yes i am sponsored last year by True Fitness, Porcelain Face Spa as well as Hair Sciences to preserve my body, face and hair like it hasn't aged.
In January last year, i shared an article i thought was inspiring about a nurse's revelation of the 5 regrets her dying patients often have. I wasn't consciously living by those rules but i'd use that as a basis of reflection.

I bought a house this year but only to be lived in 2015. By making that decision, it brought me one step closer to living for myself and not of what's expected of others. I've always felt a slight pressure to marry because all my friends are marrying and my parents can be stifling some times. I believe most people still do propose/ marry because they have found the mate they want to grow old with but there are still some who propose/ marry just because it's "time".

Surely i fantasize of my fairytale wedding (since i am 13 and it changes with the trends of season) but with the purchase decision of the house, that pressure is gone.  I do not have an expiry date and i can take my time in enjoying a relationship without being kiasu about a HDB. However, i have also come to learn with experience that if a man doesn't want to marry you (after enough time of a relationship), he just isn't into you. It takes a lot of guts to end something before its time and its a courage i need to muster.

I've never really fit. When every girl's uniform skirts were shorter than their knees in school, mine was way below my knees. They got their mums to sew up their hems while i couldn't be bothered to. I felt a little out of place being the ugly duckling, bespectacled and not hip. Then in my tertiary education, everyone was "glamourous" and hung out on Orchard Road. I felt a little out of place going home after school. Mass Communications is the most pretentious course at that time, it churned out many stars.

My fame came, alright. It was in 2012 where I was discussed in forums by merciless keyboard warriors,
auctioned off for a charity Valentine's date, was a calendar girl ( or at least my picture was)
went on CNA, discussing intellectual issues (haha),
awarded Supper Blogger which was a real honour,
and also had a TV episode to my name.
So narcissistic was I that i made About Me in a powerpoint
But the job promotion was the most rewarding (no, i'm not a full-time blogger *inserts finger and gag* ) because it is in the office where you are judged the most harshly with your speech, dressing and behaviour. I was quite an oddball, especially when my conversation starters can be something like
An adulterous Greek male was sometimes punished by the removal of his pubic hair and the insertion of a large radish into his rectum.
In 2012, i had qarah. The Hebrew word that is translated as time and chance, to encounter and to meet without pre-arrangement.

It was a good thing i've always felt out of place, because I was being prepared for what was already prepared for me. 7 years in the workforce, i am now at a place where my gift is appreciated and my character was built while getting there.

Work, however, have never consumed me. The 2nd regret that many dying patients (especially male) had was that they wished they hadn't worked so much. Seeing things keeps me inspired to be a better worker. My favourite exhibitions of 2012 were the Titanic in Singapore, Barcelona's Museum of Ideas and London's Harry Potter studio. Actually they were the ONLY exhibitions i went, haha.

In 2012, I had many solo travels. I went to Club Med and tried out the trapeze troupe, I was the Flying Pony for a day.
I made a descend into Cheddar Gorge,

and snuck into a school group at La Rambla.
I was a jewel thief in London,

and i went to discover Sala Bai on my own, a non-profit organisation in Cambodia that prevents sex trafficking. Despite having a bit of fear that i was going to be trafficked, I went to understand how young Cambodians can smile so genuinely despite the extraordinary challenges they face.
I was a dolphin trainer in Gold Coast,
molested by a koala
and pooped on by lorikeets.
While all these experiences were enriching and perhaps essential for soul searching, i would have prefer to share it with a special someone.

After all, it sucks using a tripod.
In 2012, i found the courage to express my feelings. It was only at the end of the year that i experienced a roller coaster of emotions and epiphanies were revealed. I could express my feelings to my parents, releasing resentment. I could express my feelings to my friends, finding peace. I could express feelings to people i date, which either raises the relationship to a healthier level or releases the unhealthy relationship from my life.

That courage to express my feelings came from travelling alone and learning to be alone throughout the year.

Still, there're moments of weakness and vulnerability that i want to hole up and just weep.

Facebook notes that i've added 119 new friends in 2012. However, I only meet 5 regularly. When I am younger, I would be caught up with a boyfriend or a busy schedule that I hardly caught up with friends. Throughout 2012, I had friends who were tireless in comforting me. A listening ear is the best gift and in the last few months, I found a few gems in the unlikeliest of friends.

My dad just passed me the photo album of my aunt who passed away last July from cancer. They were photos from her final moments in life. She went shopping for a camera and took pictures of what mattered. I flipped through it and saw it was filled with pictures of her with her husband, her children, and her few friends. Oh, and they were many pictures of her eating ice-cream.

In the final weeks of life, it is relationships that holds the true importance. There were a lot of meaningful conversations shared over good food, injected with some adventures in Golden Mile, Geylang and Little India. I've always preferred creating deeper connections with people than meaningless small talk.

I seemed to have gone to land's end, searched my soul and returned with new meaning.
Oh wait, i did go to land's end.
All the world's a stage. And all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances. And one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
And because life has its entries and exits, the purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience and to enjoy every human relationship that comes along it.

Climbing Mt Kinabalu was one of the best experiences in 2012 for all that I've seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all that i've not seen.
Even so, i've kinda forgot what it had felt like, which makes me reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences for 2013.

The last epiphany for the year was me digging deep into my past, my childhood and the hurt from relationships. I'm at peace, letting go the mindset that my parents loved my brothers more than me, letting go the mindset that i'm ill-fated with men. For a while, i wondered if i had loved, and i emerged knowing i had. My friends since 15 have always warned me that my strict code of conduct/ moral that i impose on myself will make me very unhappy in future. Seeing how qarah happened in my work life, i know i just need to be myself and qarah will happen in my love life.

About this blog, i hope i've inspired with some of my best posts in 2012.

Like my experience standing in the red light district of Amsterdam.
Or my lessons learnt from a Russian strip club, or how eating blind gave much life insight.
Even superficial events count for experience and i reveal the secret weapons of a beauty queen.
I write a blog because writing is therapeutic and sometimes, it could just lift someone up like how Max Tucker's sex ray blog post lifted me out of flu "depression".

2012, i have lived.


Kelvin Ang said...

Lovely post!

Anonymous said...

hi Christine, can i ask u something? if you are not married n not above 35, how did u managed to get a flat? cos i'm thinking of getting my own flat but it's not possible. i'm 28 this year.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading your blog :)
nice and refreshing perspectives
keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Oh hey, i bought privatel.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Kelvin and Anon :)

Anonymous said...

What home u bought?

Anonymous said...

it's a private apartment


Estelle Kiora said...

I'm so grateful to have someone like you to share my life with! I always adore your adventures, courage to go beyond what a Singaporean girl is "supposed to be", and inspiring reflections on it. My brave girl! So glad to have a friend who's as hungry as I am for richer experiences, instead of just wanting to work to be rich/chasing the material dream. Although you have it all right now with your private apartment. Haha.

Unknown said...

thanks estelle!

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