2017: A Beautiful Blur

This is going to be the third time I’m writing a reflective post on Medium for the year that past. Unlike the past two years, I don’t really know what I want to say. 2017 has been… too many things. Too much to be simply summarized here. So much that it seemed as though 2017 was over in a blur.

With each year gone by, it seems that more and more are happening, be it in the world, or in my life. Or perhaps it’s just an increasing sense of awareness. After all, perceptions do shape realities; and it’s normal that my perception is almost constantly changing, bit by bit, as I take in new information.

Looking at milestones, the biggest thing to have happened is sure to have been graduation for me. The transition from a student to an unemployed adult. The end of the 16-year long education process. The start of a new phase in life.

Yet it all seems so far, far away now.
I would have been getting ready for my final semester just a year ago, but that period of carefree days now felt like nothing more than a distant memory.

What Happened in 2017

Sure, so much has happened, perhaps too much for me to even recollect the mess that has been to try and sort out how exactly do I feel about the year that just past. But since so much has happened, I must be able to at least recall some of the more significant moments right?

2017 for me, seems to be about finishing university in my final semester, graduation, trying to figure out life and what I really want to do, working at an art gallery, learning more about the local arts scene through various activities, participating in Singapore Art Week 2017 as both a volunteer and audience, taking an internship at CFA for the NUS Arts Festival, meeting new people and maintaining relationships with old friends, getting to know myself more, making an effort to read wide and learning more about the world…

I truly did see/do/experience a lot in 2017, yet I also have this feeling that it wasn’t that awesome of a year, that something is missing. That I could have, and should have, done better somehow.

I managed to read more and write more (I had 3 Medium articles before I started writing here more this year), I continued to read up and learn about design, I graduated and found a job, albeit a part-time one until recently, I went on a short trip to Vietnam, I managed to exercise regularly starting in the later part of the year and got fitter (slightly, I think), and as usual, I made several attempts to have a more ‘normal’ sleep cycle only to revert back to being a night owl.

But I probably should have been able to read even more and write even more, still tons of books on my reading list and tons of drafts on Medium, I should have completed my project before the end of the year while at the same time work on various smaller scale design ideas, I could have travelled more, I should have been more disciplined in my exercising routine and could have gotten my IPPT Gold by now, I could have given back to Scouting more than just showing up on occasions, I should have stuck with a healthier sleep cycle for an extended period of time, I should have learned many other things that I had an interest in but didn’t exactly pursue it in one way or the other.

2017 had been awesome in some ways, but also mediocre in others.

Of course there’s no such thing as perfection, there are bound to be flaws and failures, but it shouldn’t stop us from pursuing the ‘ideal’ which only exists theoretically — something I have already known for a long time.

All in all, being contented helps. 
Having experienced periods of joy and sorrow throughout the year, I am contented that my 2017 had turned out the way it did, and that I am now starting on a new year in 2018 with all the experiences I earned through the past 365 days which further shaped the person I am today.

There were times in the year when I felt like everything was happening too fast, while there were also parts of the years where time seemed to pass slower, but towards the end of the year, it felt like 2017 simply couldn’t wait to be done with us already.

Ushering in the New Year

My past few New Year’s Eves had been spent in similar manner.
Staying home, waiting for the clock to strike 12, feel the same as I did the minute before, then subsequently sending out New Year greetings to my friends as an affirmation that something is indeed different now. That something about the world, and about our lives, has changed by that simple movement of the minute hand on the clock that it calls for a certain kind of reflection about the previous 365 days and appreciation that we have survived 365 days once more, with yet another 365 days ahead of us to go.

It was very different this time though, as I spent my New Year’s Eve out and haven’t been able to continue my yearly routine of texting each and every one of my friends.

Just chilling out, and it’s as if 2018 just barged in and demanded for 2017 to gtfo asap.
It still felt pretty much like 2017 when I got home after hopping on the first public transport available.
In fact it still felt like 2017 even when I woke up much later in the day.

But well, I guess it is indeed 2018 now.

In 2018…

I’m not really sure what to look forward to in this year ahead.
I just hope to continue doing the positive things that I’m already doing, but to get even better; and of course to minimize the amount of negative things I’m still doing.

Career wise, it will be a year of much learning as I seek to get on track and be as useful as possible. The same three aims still apply: to learn what I can, to contribute what I can, and to know what I’m in for in the mid to long-term.

Personal development wise, I hope to continue having interests or side projects that will function as a balance to my work, be it entertainment or leisure, be it learning new things that may or may not complement my job. 
I definitely want to continue reading more to learn about the world, to continue writing as a channel of self-expression and to get better at it. 
It will also be great if I can contribute more of my time and energy to give back to Scouting more, and I hope that I will be able to make some form of commitment as my life starts to settle more into a routine.

Relationships wise, to continue spending time with my family and friends as much as I can. I always value being present and even if not face-to-face, I hope to be able to be there for you in times of need.

We only have that much time, but the fair thing is that we are all allocated the same amount, and it is up to us to manage it, to find the right balance for ourselves. After all, life is about finding a balance.

Good luck finding out what is necessary and what isn’t in 2018.

Happy New Year to you all and may 2018 be a year of swimming unicorns and flying sea urchins!!

I guess this article seems to encapsulate exactly what 2017 was; a beautiful blur.

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