Goodbye, 2016: A Reflection
Well, there goes another year. How did that happen? As I sit here typing up this blog post (as I haven't done in quite some time, despite repeated resolutions to "blog more"), I am struck with the fierce passing of time. I used to hear people say that life just speeds up faster and faster: from high school, then university, where four years can just pass by in the blink of an eye. And now that I've entered this uncertain, ambiguous, shifting stage of "career"-dom, time just slips by and no small part of this uncertainty comes from having to figure out what I'm to do with this time that I've got. (Side note: should we refer to time as a possession, or an outside context? I exist in this time, but I also have the time... a query for Doctor Strange, perhaps.)
Certainly, there is a particular state of mind that comes with growing older--or rather, you could say growing older is that state of mind. And with it, comes the strangeness of hindsight--the strange perception of the past when you're in the present. When I look back two, five, or even ten years, sometimes it's strange to think that person back then was me. To be honest, if we're to talk about New Year's resolutions and all that, I think the simplest thing boils down to the question: "Will my future self be proud of this? Or thank me for this?"
To be honest, 2016 has been a whirlwind of a year. I suppose I must say that at the end of every year. When you look back on something, it can seem so far away in your current context. For the first half of 2016, I was still working in AIESEC -- the position I'd flown halfway around the world for. My initial thought was to go back home after a year (I arrived in Hong Kong in May 2015). Somehow, it's December 2016, and I'm still here. (Why did I stay? Perhaps I'll go into this in more detail some other time.) And then starting from July until November were four long(-ish) months of leisure and (f)unemployment. At the end of October, I went on my first solo vacation, back to Seoul after three years, where I received a message that would ultimately lead to my current opportunity--a dream job of sorts--starting at the end of November.
Funny how life works out, isn't it. This year, I learned a lot of things, and accomplished some others. I took part in pushing a huge PR and events initiative on youth voice for my organisation. I learned how to edit videos (finally). I went to Shanghai in April (and paid an exorbitant amount for a visa that I will probably never use again. I'm still not over it LOL.) I learned my fair share of how to deal with office politics and (mostly) unfounded criticism. I learned about self-perception and presence, about how to present and package myself in a certain way. I faced rejection and disappointment, but I also found loyalty and unexpected friendships. I had a couple of first times in Hong Kong this year despite having been here so long--first time hiking (nearly died, but of course the photos were worth it), first time having (and co-hosting) a tram party, first time to a carnival on Christmas eve. I also turned 23 this year, which for some reason had never occurred to me to be this age, but I welcomed it with the sort of gamely optimism that comes with being tired of being 22.
It's very difficult to sum up a year--365 whole days--in a sentence, or even a paragraph. I really feel like I couldn't do it justice. If you were to ask me, was 2016 a good year?-- I don't even have a concrete answer for that. A lot has happened in 2016, on a personal level as well as in the world. What I can tell you with certainty though, is that I am excited for 2017. I am looking forward to the new year and the positive change it (and I) will bring. Not that anyone needs a new year to bring about such change, but there isn't anyone who won't benefit from a fresh start.
2017, I am ready for you!