I had lunch with a good friend of mine. We’d known each other for a good few years now, and it’s safe to say that my rapport is an open book to us. As we proceeded to discuss about what our progress and what was going on with our lives, my friend evaluated.
“You never take chances.” That was concluded of me.
A glass broke somewhere. Or at least, that was how it felt. Sometimes it takes another person who’s not in the bubble to point out things that were already obvious otherwise. I’m not a risk taker, I realized. Everything that I have done is on the basis of being safe, and of sparing myself from any idea of failure. I am the woman who sits and wait for things to fall on her lap. I am that person who resists change.
The signs couldn’t be more obvious. I insisted on settling down in the same area of the city as the one I first landed in when I got a job, because I didn’t want to have to start over in a different place, with different people and a different grocery store. I used the same Goddamn vintage mobile phone until it broke into pieces that I had no choice but to get a new, smarter one. I got an offer to study in Paris two years ago, but wimped out at the last minute because the idea of me being alone in a foreign city with a language I didn’t understand was daunting to me. I never show my true emotions unless I’m 100% sure that my vulnerability will not be screwed over. I kept wearing the same backpack when traveling even when it’s so aged that one of the handles is longer than the other, because well, what if I don’t like the new one as much? I can’t seem to be crossing the line to the next phase of my life, because I see it as a cliff – if I jump I might never be able to come back.
I don’t take enough chances in life. What’s the cause of this? Possibly through years of experiencing or witnessing other people take that leap, only to crash and burn. It is an ugly scar that reminds me of the mess I’ll have to clean up if it didn’t work out. It is the fear of things not turning up the way I’d hoped them to be that stops me in my tracks.
But if I don’t take chances… well I’d imagine that life would be quite dull. I’ll carry on being exactly like I am right now, forever. I’m not saying right now isn’t great. But I have a feeling if things are still same ten years from today, I’ll be so bored with everything that I’ll eventually join some kind of community chess club. And nobody wants to end up there. That’s plateau-life territory.
So I guess I’ll try to take a bit of a risk. Let’s start with having a chicken sandwich instead of the usual egg tomorrow morning.
Was 2012 a good year? It was err… average. Everyone is fine and healthy, some good things happened, some bad things occurred, I’m still in one piece and Eminem is still rapping. However, I feel that 2012 is the year of realizations. Which is a good thing, I guess. But it also means that it is not particularly enjoyable, which is why I rated 2012 as average.
This year, I realized that some things are just beyond our control. Without getting too personal about it, all I’ll say is that sometimes, we try so hard to help others, but if it is to no avail, settle with the fact that we did our best, and the rest is God’s plans. It is pretty much useless to fret and be sad over it, because that doesn’t change anything.
This year, some of my friends also lost their parents and loved ones. It’s a jolt for me. I’ve been quite sheltered in my life, and although I know of death, I don’t think I ever gave it as much thought as I did this year. When a friend loses a parent, you immediately connect to the emotions – this could be due to the fact that you’re of the same age and are pretty much going through the same motions, and therefore you fit in their shoes and understand the situation better. It made me think of my priorities in life, how I spend my time and whether it is with people who matter to me.
While we’re on that subject, I’ve also noticed that I’ve become a lot pickier about friends. Don’t get me wrong, I like everyone in general and I have no intentions of becoming a social zero. But I no longer feel obligated to befriend anyone who doesn't interest me in any particular ways. I am gradually growing out of the people-pleasing phase, thank God. I don't think I could sit through another conversation on reducing tax and business shares.
There aren’t many changes this year, physically. I still live in the same apartment. I still know nothing about cars. And yes, I didn’t achieve my resolution to start reading the paper. I think it’s about time I admit that the news is too depressing for me. But I did see a lot of amazing things this year, just as I had hoped. The world is still as beautiful. I fell down the stairs twice. I discovered lots of new, good music. There's a realization that moderation is key when having fun. I finally understood what Missy Higgins said about love never being just black and white. I had some really great times with my family and friends. I met new friends who are surprisingly interesting. I got to know my colleagues better. I made bad decisions here and there. I traveled like I planned.
Alright maybe it wasn’t such an average year after all.