17 | Closing Serenade: 2012.

“If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” -Paul Coelho

Yes, it’s over! 2012 is over. This year has been truly monumental. In retrospect, it truly was very spectacular and I enjoyed every moment of it. Yeah even suffering in the clutches of O’s. But let’s take a quick trip to review what happened!

January: CAMP HORIZON

I think this camp was rather special because prior to this 410 was just a huge mess. In 310 we weren’t bonded, when we stepped into Sec 4 all this mayhem was amplified by the teachers coming in on the first day telling us, “We haven’t got much time.” Everyone’s blur in the first few days of Sec Four, it’s natural. Camp Horizon really kept things in focus and in a way bonded 410.

My birthday in January wasn’t very notable but that’s alright because I like it low-key. I do remember Weetiong giving a fur-covered Rilakkuma case which I still have and which cost him a bomb. 🙂

February: VALENTINE’S DAY

This was a particularly piped down month because I was busy with school and camp. In fact the only major thing that happened was the mass gift exchange that happens within Nanhua. I remember receiving so many chocolates (my dad finished ALL of them) and Weetiong giving me a folded heart with my name written everywhere. Must have taken the poor guy a few hours to do it. I was seriously impressed.

March: SOUTH VIEW CAMPS

My alma-mater continues to be a place I am thankful for. Because of the opportunities I was given there I learnt so much and that’s pretty much affected the rest of my life. Especially the personal touch of the teachers on my life. Every year, I’ll go back for the camps, except in 2010 where I was sick for a solid span of 6 weeks. Every year I see new kids, new leaders, new teachers but the familiar feel of home never changes. Despite some drama this time and a couple of hiccups here and there, I realized the extent of how much I lacked in confidence and since then I’ve resolved to build it back up. I haven’t forgotten it! I’ve improved tremendously by my own measures. We’ll have to see what the besties say about my improvements for an unbiased view though. 🙂

April: SPEECH DAY

All the highlights of April concentrate themselves around Speech Day. Why? It was my last endeavour in NCC which is by any means a very bittersweet journey for me. I seriously fought for Speech Day and that makes it memorable because I don’t like fighting for things that badly. But yes I did it and I left with close to no regrets. 🙂 Makes all the pain that much more worthwhile.

May: NCC ORD

As I said, NCC was a bittersweet journey but nevertheless I know I came away with at least one true friend (ya that’s you crazy Toon) and I’m so, so thankful for her. Even till now we’ve met every week to do meaningful stuff and some of her easygoing self is rubbing off on me, thank God. She kind of smoothens out my harsh edges and makes me a more well-rounded and balanced person. What would I do without you? 🙂

June: SPORTS LEADERS ORD

Wow, this one was difficult. All my blood, sweat and tears was gonna be passed on to the next batch that I didn’t really invest a whole load of time in. And I had no idea how they’d fare. But thank goodness my worries are now put to rest and they’re really doing much better than I did. 后浪推前浪 right? I had such a hard time leaving the Sec Twos cos they are the most lovely batch ever, and it was even harder with the Sec Threes that I was close to. I still feel that in the end although it’s not really recognized, I did my best and gave all I could to what I did. In the process of leading and serving these monkeys I also learnt a lot, for example, how to approximate metres using steps and where to get teachers when they are always running away. More substantially, how to react quickly to situations, find an efficient solution and just go with it instead of waxing indecisive.

July – September: SEMI-HIATUS

I’m tracing my path back on Facebook and it turns out I became rather inactive for this period because, well yes, shitty stuff like O’s happens. I remember I watched Lord of the Flies and it gave me a lot to think about, the nature of man and all that. I am not kidding. Nothing more notable happened simply because I had result slips that could be used to wipe the floor. Tough time accepting failure after failure as payback for work not done earlier, even if I was putting in a lot of effort. In any case, I’m alive and that’s over. I learnt my lesson, and life goes on.

October: LEAVING NANHUA

This can secularly be labeled one of my most depressing yet most sunshine-y months. Simply because at this time everybody was so used to the stress and all that we became able to function more normally despite the few hours of sleep, crazy cramming and all. Hell, the whole of 410 slacked for 2-3 days during the last days of school. I did a humongous post on leaving Nanhua so I’m not going to repeat it (over here: My Morale is Nan Hua HIGH) but despite the depression of that period and the dread of leaving home, there was a thirst for something bigger, something new, something unpredictable. And it was heartwarming sitting by the benches in open air, feeling sunshine on your back and feeling so excited to study. Teachers would walk past and encourage us, juniors would cheer us on.. It’s family. I loved this time and I think it was the first time I was truly at peace with myself and my crowd since January. 🙂

November – December: PARTY ANIMALS

O’s ended. YES IT DID. I went completely crazy, partying, shopping and basically getting my life back. Yet at the same time I knew I hadn’t done all that well for O’s. Nevertheless it was something that I wasn’t really keen on brooding on so I just let it go for the time being and went kboxing, shopping, exploring.. all the stuff that I didn’t get to do. And on a more secretive note, I went back to my roots, the place where I grew up when I was a child, and all I could think of when I reached there was, “Wow, I’m home.” Got reacquainted with old friends I hadn’t seen in a few years, and made new ones as well. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my holidays.

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Reflections Of The Year Gone By:

Personal

I think I grew a lot this year. Mainly changes I see are that I became much more confident, self-assured and assertive, definitely more independent, and a lot more.. how shall I put it, regulated in my behavior? I am no longer so extreme in my thinking, although that’s moving along a little slowly. Yet at the same time, I became much more stubborn, prone to brushing people off and maybe even bitchier. There’s always good and bad and some of these are the good qualities taken to unwanted extremes. It’ll take some time to work on those but I will do it and do it well.

Family

More than anything else, this year, it really hit me that hey, I’m not the child any more. Although my parents still continue to see me as the little girl who toddles around, I think it’s time for me to contribute back to my own home. Like Mom always says, it’s a home, not a house. Also I need to start behaving more maturely in terms of spending because, well, it’s not easy for me to support both my parents on my own. And all this planning and growing up really starts from now. Increasingly, I’m beginning to realize that my family is really truly important to me, come disasters or peaceful weather, they are important to me. Then again, the word family to me best suits the definition of “a group of people united by certain convictions or an affiliation” so I’m not sure everyone exactly qualifies. The key point would be that I treasure my family a lot more now and I think it’s for the better this way.

Friends

This year has both added and taken away some friends. Of course, people come and go. It’s inevitable. But for those who are still here, thank you very much. Shoutouts especially to Jean, Rachel, Weetiong, Tina, Eunice, who’re even closer to me than ever before. There are some not mentioned because I’d like to keep them my secrets (hehe) but you know who you are! All of these people made me a better person because they’re constantly unafraid to give me a good kick when I’m stagnating, or a good slap to help me get over myself. Or getting me into some form of new obsession (I’m looking riiiiight at you Jean). In any case, with them around, it’s all good in the hood.

School + Academics 

I’m leaving this right to the last because it’s the most major part of my year and no matter what, there are still some lingering attachments. I’m upset about not beginning earlier and not doing better, not having a spirit of excellence and being more fired up about my studies. But you know what? I don’t regret any part of it. The lessons I learnt while I could have been studying, although outside of the curriculum, gave me many new life skills. And that, I believe, is more important that any single text could be. Then again it’s not an excuse for the very poor performance this year and I believe there’s more of such emotions of bitterness and resentment to come when I collect my results next year but I shall say it again – I may resent it, but I do not regret it at all. I’ll just take it as a lesson well learnt and move on. Life goes on.

I already see myself changing in the sense that I’m putting in consistent effort for Korean so I’m pretty happy ’bout that. But let’s just say if you see me go into an emotional ditch after Jan 14, please just leave me alone until Jan 21 (how sad, that’s my birthday included. You can leave me alone, but your gifts will accompany me. Thanks in advance.) and I will be getting over myself really quickly. You see, life goes on. 🙂

In conclusion, whatever 2013 brings, I hope to be able to embrace it with an open heart. Open to listen, to love and to learn. Only then will I be truly able to enjoy and make the best of 2013. And also, I need to bloom where I’m planted without forgetting my roots (pun completely unintended). To all my friends who’ve stood by me thus far – I know some of you will leave to seek your own paths. But let’s not forget the love and the complete abandonment we’ve shared with each other. 🙂 It’s true, people come, people go, but it isn’t a given that we have to forget what we had, yes?

As we usher the new year in, I promised myself that I won’t let this year go like I let 2012 unravel itself. Surely there will be mistakes made, but there will be better mistakes made. And as tacky resolutions go, this one is gonna top the list.

  1. To put my health above all else – diet, sleep and exercise.
  2. To be more confident, self-assured, independent, determined, strong, brave, self-sufficient…
  3. To give family more importance and be a contributing member, not just someone who waits to be served. It’s also about coexisting in peace with people you don’t necessarily like.
  4. To be a good friend to my friends, and to place other’s needs above my own.
  5. To be excellent in what I do, and bloom where I’m planted.
  6. To broaden my horizons, go meet new people, be exposed to new situations and receptive to criticism.
  7. To do more charity work for organizations and causes I’m passionate about.
  8. To be more rational, have more self-restraint and logic.
  9. To be as stated in (8) but at the same time, with compassion, love and arbitrary kindnesses.
  10. To enjoy the sunshine and bask in the love that’s in my life. 🙂

Cheers to a great 2013, y’all. It’s gonna be a fantabulous year.

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