Thursday, December 30, 2010

Letter 556: Tying Up Twenty-Ten

If I had a theme for 2010, it would be Revelations. 2010 had been blanketed with unexpected spurts of discoveries that kept raining on my world like a meteor shower. There is a part of the year that I want to forget, and a part of the year that I want clipped to the fringes of my memory for as long as possible. 2010 had been traumatic on many different levels, yet I've never felt as equally as exhilarating. Would I have done it again differently if I had known how things would turn out? Maybe, or maybe not. One door has been closed, but at the same time, many have been open-- and remained widely so.

Liberation. Maybe that's the key. The key to unlocking a realisation that the world is so much bigger that what we thought. Like right now, I'm sitting in the nursery shoving handfuls of chilli-flavoured potato chips and chicken biscuits into my mouth as I reflect on what has been a year of laughable absurdities easily dismissed with a flicker of chili-salt-tainted fingers. Did you know Kettle chips are so addictive? And then there's chocolate-dotted ice-cream cake. IN THE WARD. Life has just been made so much sweeter now that the ward is void of the residential Christmas tree and the twinkling fairy lights that had danced along the corridors up until Boxing Day. Why hurry to remove all trimmings and traces of magic? There was a twinge of sadness when I saw them packing up the tree. It wouldn't be another year before the tree sees the light again for a few weeks leading up to Christmas, and then resumes its usual place in the basement storage. Life as an artificial, boxable, Christmas tree must suck.

Lately, I've been wanting to fold myself up like a plastic tree and stow myself away in the closet and brood. Or munch on 700kcal potato chips. Or hop on a train nonchalantly without knowing where it'll take me, and sit facing the opposite direction of where the train's heading, catching fading glimpses of the world in reverse. I want to lie in a patch of daisy fields, and not having to think about the growing strain of responsibilities on my shoulders. The other day as I was laying on the deck by the St Kilda beachfront, I felt so sad. There was no reason for me to be sad. It was a weekday, it was my day off, the skies were blue, the waves were lapping at my feet, and the air was salty, just the way I like it. But I was shedding sodium chloride through my lacrimal ducts, and it was so silly. And then I remembered that I had felt angry. And deserted. And hurt. So I've been seeking refuge in the shops, and it doesn't help that it's sales season now. A few too many self-convincing purchases later ("I really need another pair of Nine Wests for work", and "I'm running out of underwear", and "I'm sure I'll be wearing that asymmetrical top over summer"), I was certain that the reason why many women turn to retail therapy is because of the elation of ownership-- that piece of privilege from which they have been unfairly robbed of as their men of leisure physically and/or emotionally abandoned them for more frivolous pursuits. Such as repugnantly rotten poker machines, disgustingly tacky Sze Chuan cuisine, and horribly distasteful sweatshirts (instead of a classic quilted lambskin purse or a nice pair of diamond earrings for their women of means-- is that too much to ask?).

2010 was radical. There were bursts of high spirits and optimism, followed by flashes of inexplicable rage and frustrations, and days when you just felt like you're the rubber glove end of a rectal exam. There were a lot of bad decisions-- or should I say, decisions with undesirable outcomes-- made over cheap wine and equally revolting pizzas with a base thicker than my newly acquired MacBook Air. But I learn. We all learn. We all make mistakes and we all learn from them. Cliche, yes, but some are lucky enough to be given a second chance to rectify their wrongs. Others, we just have to live with the consequences of our actions, and learn to deal with them. Easier said than done, but hey, aren't we all learning? Learning to overcome our fears, learning to plant our feet firmly on the ground, learning to forgive, and forget.

The biggest thing I have learnt this year is to trust my instincts when it comes to choosing your future pathway. I found out the hard way after brushing my instincts aside, but I'm glad I eventually caved in to what's more naturally, me.

If I had a theme for 2011, it would be Adventure.



Happy New Year Everyone!

12 comments:

Life for Beginners said...

Yes, we live and we learn (well, some of us do). But the learning bit, the lessons, those can leave us sore and sorry sometimes. It's never easy.

So I applaud you for your courage and your humour in midst of the storms that beset you. The storms that, in one form or another, beset us all. If only we had your grace and wit in handling ours. May we find such courage, grace, wit and humour.

And may your 2011 be filled with exactly that: Adventure! :)

Jun said...

kenny: i've always liked ur comments, but i think this one has got to my one of my favs :) uhm, "grace" and "wit"?? i dun think so lah brudder. i think u're better at that ;)

Life for Beginners said...

Got lah grace and wit (grace does not exclude a healthy knowledge and usage of colourful language, mind you) - at least in my view lah.

Your letters are always a hearty, heartful, heartfelt read - whether they be sad, happy, angry or just somewhere in between. :)

Keep writing them!

kokokai.northshore said...

How could one not feel sad with the beachfront and chiled wind of St Kilda? The real beaches are a stone throw from the sea-shells :-P

Take it easy, Dr Jun. Your positive virtue, life insights and quick-turnaround-mindset are well admired. They are all over your writing.

And the good news to end the year is also with the Aussie dollar above the parity with USD. Isn't that awesome?

I have the same outlook; an exciting 2011!

koh said...

Don't let age come alone. Bring along with it wisdom. Keep on learning, my dear daughter.

Jun said...

kenny: i wished i had the inspiration to write! i think i killed inspiration with my workload like how i'd kill a fly with a stack of hardcovers. no, wait, actually, i won't ever taint my books with fly juice T__T

kokokai: oh hey, thanks for dropping by again! ur comments are well-appreciated, and i can never thank you enough for introducing me to coffee at the museum of sydney :D here's wishing u an adventurous year ahead too!-- let me know if you're in melb :)

koh: wow, profound. but i like. add "enough money to travel the world" and it'd be perfect.

Jun said...

kenny: i wished i had the inspiration to write! i think i killed inspiration with my workload like how i'd kill a fly with a stack of hardcovers. no, wait, actually, i won't ever taint my books with fly juice T__T

kokokai: oh hey, thanks for dropping by again! ur comments are well-appreciated, and i can never thank you enough for introducing me to coffee at the museum of sydney :D here's wishing u an adventurous year ahead too!-- let me know if you're in melb :)

koh: wow, profound. but i like. add "enough money to travel the world" and it'd be perfect.

HairyBerry said...

Ah, liberation. Or what I call, financial freedom. Ever since I started working, this sense of liberation had never stopped growing. I'm able to travel around and enjoy more things that I'd only been able to read in magazines previously.

Happy 2011, Jun. May you be in NYC soon! :)

koh said...

Where got perfect one? Then you want more money to travel to space, to the moon and the stars.

Ming the Merciless said...

Haven't heard from you in ages! Thanks for stopping by my new photo blog. :)

Happy New Year.

Conrad

taleanski said...

hey darling, u know what one of the adventures in 2011 could be? visiting me wherever i am! ;) hopefully i'm in UK! or else i'll visit u! :)

Jun said...

nic: hmm, i like ur take on "liberation" ;) hope u have a blessed new year's and here's to many more travel tales!!

koh: haha very funny. no la i just want the stars to drop to my lap so i can play with them twinkling lights.

ming/conrad: hehe u still remember me! :D happy new year!!

taleanski: UK?? YOU KAY??? whatever happened to Carribean???