I think this blog post came a little late but I’m still pretty marvelled by how quickly the year flew by.
It gets faster with every year, probably. Not long ago I was still whining how I lost my New Year Resolutions for 2014 because I sent my HTC in for repair without backing up Notes. 30 months later and this phone is still serving me well- too well in fact, really proud of its lifespan.
Now back to 2015. Here’s a review of 2015’s New Year Resolutions (and as I mentioned, written down on my phone sitting down on a sturdy tree branch in Pangkor):
1. Run a half marathon.
Clearly didn’t happen. I think I had too many terrible runs back in BMT and OCS, from the tissue-filled ILBVs during conditioning runs in BMT to the “Sprint. Drop. Sprint. Drop” horrible runs in X48 when I just get consumed by guilt over and over again, yet unable to pick up my steps to match that of the guys in my division. I used to love running and took pride in my (relatively) faster timings in my early secondary school years, but now running to me is nothing more than a simple test of discipline, and whether I’d be disciplined enough to get up to get out running, or disciplined enough to return home from lessons to go running.
I wish I’d pick up the love for running again, instead of seeing it as a necessary task to accomplish and do well only for the sheer fact that running fast helps a lot, a lot in IPPT.
2. Survive BMT and OCS without falling out!
Unaccomplished. I fell out twice. Once in BMT during BCCT because I really had to. BCCT 1 killed my back completely and I ached lifting up my field pack, bending down to grab my near-empty assault pack, even running/stepping down from the track to the car park floor was extremely painful (I don’t even think people know what I’m talking about). I could lift up the field pack, I had the strength to. But my back didn’t allow me to cross a certain… point of flexibility. So for 9 weeks I grit my teeth and pushed through the throbbing pain in my back every single time they played “everything on” and “everything off” with us.
Was it worth it? At that point, yes. When you thank yourself so immensely at the end of any activity, for not falling out because you knew you could do it just like everyone else as long as you endured through the pain. Now? Still a yes, for the memories and knowing how much I am able to accomplish as long as I set my mind to it. But perhaps not 10 years later when my chronic back pain becomes even more painful. Right now I just arched my back and it still hurts. I really hate this injury.
Another during X48 when I was pulled to fall out because I couldn’t catch up. (as a guilt trip tool for both the division and I). I will probably always remember the hell runs and how inadequate I felt and the countless moments I felt like breaking down so much.
I heard X48 will be phased out soon and maybe I’m just thankful I had a go at that sort of hell sleepless experience before.
3. Dye my hair.
Accomplished. This was one of my first priorities after returning from MSTD. My mother booked an appointment for me, and there goes my black colour hair. I was finally a true civilian again.
4. Start learning piano again.
Not accomplished in 2015, hoping to accomplish in 2016.
5. Really pick up hokkien.
6. Learn a sport.
Not accomplished. I even stopped attending Hip Hop classes because I realised I did not enjoy myself as much as I thought I would.
7. Learn how to wear makeup.
Not accomplished. I don’t even bother putting lip balm and moisturizer on my face anymore because it takes 2 more minutes in the morning to get ready (because your fingers have to be clean before touching your face, right).
8. Travel to at least 5 cities!
Too accomplished. I went to 20 cities (including Part II of Europe): Amsterdam (Netherlands), Oslo (Norway), Barcelona (Spain), Sitges (Spain), St Albans City (UK), Coventry (UK), Birmingham (UK), Oxford (UK), Brussels (Belgium), Frankfurt (Germany), Munich (Germany), Berlin (Germany), Prague (Czech), Vienna (Austria), Milan (Italy), Venice (Italy), Pisa (Italy), Pompeii (Italy), Naples (Italy), Rome (Italy).
The list is going to be longer, but at a much slower pace because travel fatigue has been kicking in really quickly these days. Travelling, to me, should be for enjoyment, and not wearing myself out like how my trips have been going so far. I pack toho much into too little these days.
9. Go on skiing trip.
Not accomplished. Maybe next year, or next next year.
10. Have a white Christmas.
Half accomplished. It was cold enough for a white Christmas (can you see a snowing street with snow covering the entire ground? No, I didn’t enjoy that), but not cold enough yet for snow to fall perhaps. I remember sitting in a cafe in Berlin and meeting other Singaporeans in the same cafe who were probably disappointed by the cafe across the street which was not in operation that day. That was how I spent my Christmas.
I have made various summative posts over the course of the year victimising myself and how much I had to go through just to get to where I am today. Now that I’m here I guess I am just glad to have successfully gone through such tumultuous times, when I doubted myself and my choices again and again, and to have so many lovely people holding me along the terribly challenging journey. 人生有起有落, and only through the darkest days you find out what truly matters to you, and who are truly important.
I have grown all too quickly this year, in all aspects. I became so much stronger in my views, because I learnt through the hard way that without grit and a certain extent of obstinance you can be belittled so easily. I learnt to shut up a lot more and am no longer that person who shares too much with too many (although I am still learning). I learnt that kindness never always begets kindness, and playing nice in many contexts invites even more trouble to you. I learnt that self-confidence and an undying faith in yourself can bring you answers to work through the most pressing situations. I learnt that the only person you have to really care about is yourself, and pleasing others is always secondary. I learnt that life never works in our favour by chance, and it is only up to us to make things work. I learnt that it is always the little things that make all the difference, that can make or break a person, or a friendship.
I’m thankful for all the life lessons I’ve obtained through 2015 and the various teachers along the way. I have always been cynical about forever which explains why I have never believed in best friends- so thank you to the ones who have stuck by me although it is impossibly tough to keep in contact with an idiot thousands of miles away. The ones who initiate FaceTime conversations with me, the ones who go out of their way to catch up with me and update me about the happenings in Singapore. The ones who make me so nostalgic on a day like today, listening to TVB track after TVB track and recalling my childhood days: fighting for the sofa with my brother and sister, running down to the canteen to jump the queues during upper secondary days. The physical distance barely matters when both parties willingly put in effort to keep in touch; even in the shortest distances you may sometimes find the most distant friendships.
How is it like to pursue an overseas university education? You lose many, yet you gain so much more. In 2015, I lost many, and gained much more. Not just deeper friendships, but a ton of experiences, knowledge and personal determination.
To conclude with my 3 most important (and only) 2016 New Year Resolutions,
1. Learn the piano again (I am really serious about this: I have purchased a digital piano and it’s now sitting behind my MacBook as I am typing this post).
2. Learn Korean, and be able to converse by the end of the year (let’s hope I don’t get lazy).
3. Return to swimming again (and I have too, obtained my swimming membership).
Here’s to a greater (and hopefully more slow-paced) 2016.