Sunday, November 30, 2014

Yet another year of my life has passed. I suppose it's true when they say that the more you age, the faster it passes. A year ago today, I was leaving my friends and family in Singapore to embark on my third backpacking trip, this time around Southeast Asia. This was believed to be my last trip for the next two years of my life.

Fast forward a year, and here I am; writing and laying comfortably in my room, in Southern California where I presently live. This year has unfolded itself in ways I'd never thought it would. A year ago, I had never expected myself to be where I am now. I went from the worst thing that has ever happened to me to the best thing that has ever happened to me - all within a year. Life is wonderful in so many ways; mostly in mysterious ways like this.

Half of these past twelve months was spent in a nightmare, while the other half was spent in a blissful dream. Experiencing the dichotomy of these two antithetical fantasies within a year is least to say life-changing. I've changed this past year, most subtly, that I haven't noticed the changes. A lot of me have become more mellow, while parts of me remain invariably young, reckless, and passionate. I suspect these are the parts of me that might never change.

I am thankful for the places I've been to, people I've met, and the experiences that I've had this past year. As I age, I've become more sentimental about places, affectionate towards people, and attuned with my experiences. I am also more thankful for and appreciative of my friends and my family. I miss home greatly, but this is my new life now, and this is now my new home.

It's my last year of being a teenager. The thought of this frightens me greatly. But despite it, I look forward to another wonderful and mysterious year; another year full of marvel in this crazy, beautiful, blessed life of mine.

wading / canvas

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The preceding months have been very emotionally challenging (for the silliest reasons), and I've been having a great difficulty dealing with my emotions; probably because I've never had to deal with them entirely by myself. I've always been alone in my life, but it's been a while since I had to feel lonely alone. The absence of my family and best friends - people who have known me all my life - really make a difference, as much as I try to not let it. Feeling lonely without these people who mean the most to me in my life by my side is confusingly terrifying, and at times it feels like nothing makes any sense and I am stuck in a hazy mist while the world seems like an endless chaos, perpetually moving without pausing for me to catch up. I feel like a helpless child, lost and wandering alone in a crowded mall, unable to recognize any familiar faces; eager and desperate for someone to pick me up, embrace, console, and reassure me that everything is fine while I comfortably release my long-withheld sobs.

Just when I thought things were getting better, things got worse again and that's when I decided I needed to get out of school. And so I visited the beach this past weekend with Nathalie. It's quite silly how I never go to the beach despite my professed love for it, considering the fact that it is only a fifteen-minute drive away from campus. I really needed to be by the sea again; the clear blue, endless waters that were as far as my eyes could see. To feel my feet on the soft sand again, with the warmth of the sun on my skin and soft breeze against my hair, hear the waves flirting back and forth with the shore and smashing recklessly against the boulders and smell the aroma of ocean was the pure bliss that was missing in the chaos I was in.

There are several different sides of my personality, but I feel like there might only be essentially two main parts of it: my inner, true self and my social self - the person who I appear to be daily. I remember when they used to be one and the same, but they no longer are anymore, haven't been so for awhile, and probably won't be for a long time. Despite this, I discovered my inner self from traveling and became so attuned with it that I didn't think it was possible to lose touch with it so soon. Being by the ocean helped me rediscover my inner self and reminded me of who I really am. It's challenging to always stay connected with it, especially when I am surrounded by people I don't know well, because when I am my true self, I am most vulnerable and sensitive.

So I guess it's about finding a balance between being my inner self and my social self then, as it is with everything else in this universe. Restoring balance. Reconnecting to my inner self and never forgetting or losing it, while maintaining my social self to get by in this world. This is probably the most difficult part - differentiating the parts of my personality that makes me who I truly am, and the parts of my personality that I've always had but can be changed so I can be better. It's like wading through murky water to find clear blue water to cleanse myself.

Once again, my experiences in these past few months have taught me that I can never learn enough about myself, and I will never know all of me; because everyday I am changing and growing. Everyday, I am painting the infinitesimal details of a vast, raw canvas that I am unable to view, because I am painting it; and unable to admire, because it isn't completed yet. But just because I don't see it doesn't mean that it isn't beautiful.