I’m usually not too bad with openings. Sometimes i start off with an anecdote, sometimes a quote, sometimes a silly joke. I’m also pretty decent with year-end posts. After all, it’s about penning down the memorable incidents of that particular year. Every year is more or less the same thing. I say that it’s been an amazing year. I emphasise that I really mean it this time. I tell you that I’ve managed to meet a few of my goals. Learnt some stuff. Had a brilliant year and can’t wait for the next one. The same old bullshit. This year though, I’m not so sure.
I began the year with enthusiasm, the sort 17 year old boys exude when they know it’ll get them laid. 2009 had been good to me. I was fresh off the springboard, submerged in the waters of Singapore’s corporate lap pool. My writing was finally taking off, and the bank account couldn’t be healthier if it were taking vitamins. A year of change, I told myself. Not the sort your youth minister drones on and on about. No. Genuine change. A trip to Melbourne in April seemed to confirm those sentiments. Yet ironically, it also proved to be the start of an incredible fall from grace.
A struggle against authority ultimately ended in a shattered rice bowl. Impulsive as it was, any regret I felt dissipated the minute I stepped out those glass doors. I haven’t looked back since. The next few months I spent as an educator and a pupil. I taught what I knew about algebra and the sciences, and in return, my students provided me with affirmation. Affirmation that i would never have children, and even if I did, I would not raise them here. I learnt that this country could never produce anything other than robots, renegades and retards. Nobody wants robots, but they’re the only ones who don’t bleed.
After a grueling six months of witnessing the future of Singapore misspell “chlorophyll”, I ventured into what could only be the wave pool of Singapore’s workforce; the creative industry. The waters are choppy and tons of people try to get in, but the lifeguard makes sure they wait their turn. Those who do get in have a blast, but collapse from exhaustion the minute they step out for a piss. My writing took the backseat while work strapped itself in and hit the gas. When the lights finally turned red, I hopped off, only to discover that December had arrived. The mirror reveals that I’ve come a long way, but it also tells me that objects are closer than they appear.
It’s the wee hours of Christmas eve and it is dawning on me that I’ve driven myself round the block and back to where I started off. I’m still parked in that same space I was a year ago, except this time I’m wiser, more bruised, more battered and less mobile. This year, I’ve seen desperation; the struggle of homeless citizens against the very system they elected to protect them. I’ve seen sorrow; the cry of despair from families who’ve lost loved ones either through capital punishment or suicide. I’ve seen cruelty; the devious assault on innocent civilians by those who wield weapons. At the same time, I’ve seen passion; how belief and determination bought a young Malaysian boy an extra year of his life. I’ve seen bravery; how one man’s push for change might just see him losing his presidential status in two years. I’ve seen progress; how two parties with such differing views toss aside their differences in order to serve their country.
2010’s almost over and I’m weary, more so than I’ve ever been.