On the beaten track

With the curtains drawing upon 2018, I’m letting off a breath of relief. The show is over and the sombre gigs of 2018 has ended, it’s now time to move on to new songs at new stages with different audience. The appealing idea of starting afresh as a clean slate and leaving behind the grime that has accumulated over a year may be laughably unrealistic but please, let this boy dream.

2018 is a mountain of emotions. Some old, others new, few evolving but most delivering a blow of similar magnitude. So many things have happened, many painful but yet, not the kind that makes you grow as a person (at least, not evident to me). I feel that as I grow, I’m starting to experience feelings that are much more intense, but at the same time, my body is becoming numb quicker than the fire of these feelings can catch up (thankfully?).

I found myself repeatedly telling myself this year, at the face of every challenge, that I’m on a beaten track travelled by many. “If they can do it, so can you. If they’ve succeeded, so can you. If they’ve found love, so can you. There’s no reason for you to complain. No reason for you to sit and sulk” But what I fail to realise then, which I sort of do now is that no matter how many wanderers take the similar path, no two vagabond can share the same experience, the same emotions or the same challenges. The path is ever-changing, the view is never faithful to any traveller and the troubles are rarely predictable.

I’m sure you’re wondering – “Why so spiteful? After all it’s been 365 days! I’m sure there must’ve been highlights that have made it worthwhile.” Don’t get me wrong, there were amazing days where I felt on top of the world. From feeling valued to braving opportunities with colleagues and being able to spend some time with loved ones while travelling to places I’ve never been before – I can’t be more grateful. But this year has also exposed me in many ways that makes me uncomfortable and frankly, embarrassed. It displayed my crippling inability to show affection no matter how much I value a person in my heart. It showed how easily I let strangers take hold of my emotions and suck the last life out of it while I cage away loved ones from ever coming close to discovering my true feelings. It proved how much I live for the outside world despite the things I tell myself, the string of accolades I collect not to please myself but everyone else while I give up important and invaluable moments in life to achieve them.

In a way, 2018 is like that one friend you privately have distaste for because they tell you the bitter truth no matter how much it hurts. There was no sugar coating, no icing laced around the truth and no gift box with shiny wrapping to conceal the final blow. As much as I appreciate it’s blatant honesty, a part of me will never come terms with certain events that happened in this year and how they made me feel.

As much as I want to stop here, it’ll be anti-climatic and little depressing for myself if I don’t reflect on what I hope for the next year. There’s so many things I’ve discovered that I need to work on for myself in the past year. I’m going to be more confident whether it comes to my relationships and career because I’ve got to erase the mental image of the timid, chubby boy inside of me. When you’ve grown up 19 years being obese, constantly reminded by everyone about your body size, it’s difficult to erase that picture even after 4 years of weight loss. It’s already a barrier for me to have meaningful relationships with those I romantically long for and I can sense that it’ll only be an obstacle when I wish to progress in my career. If I can do this successfully, I’ll be thanking my lucky stars at the end of 2019.

Adios 2018 and thank you to everyone who has shared any part of this year with me, no matter how trivial our encounter has been.


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