January 1, 2017

The Year That Was 2016

And so another year has come and gone. And we sit at the beginning of a whole new journey. At least, that is what I would like to think. For many of us, although it is a new year, we’ll probably just continue doing the same old boring routine of work work work. Despite promising ourselves at every year end/new year that we will do something different, two months later, we find every reason and excuse for our failure.

But I digress. This entry is to reflect on the year that was 2016. A year that was filled with:

Ø  Brave Decisions for I left my old job without having the security of a new one; my  first task of 2016 was to tender my resignation
Ø  Bold Choices as I chose or rather I listened to my parents’ advice and took a job that I wasn’t too keen on; and I don’t regret it one bit!
Ø  Making New Friends - this was courtesy of my new job
Ø  Growing Up – I would say this is and always will be part of my life but by making the brave decision and bold choice, I grew up quite a bit;
Ø  Learning – This is an extension of the growing up part for when I left my job and was searching for a new one, I learned many things about myself. And when I finally started my new job, it was a whole new learning process.
Ø  Celebrating Marriages and Births – There were FOUR unions this year (four of my cousins begun the next stage of their lives); and there were also births!! One of my cousin’s who got married is expecting; while a couple friend of mine had their first kid!!
Ø  Mourning Lost Loved Ones – while the past year had mostly been positive, but like a heartbeat monitor, certain downs were peppered throughout the year. At my last count, 10 family members and close friends left the world last year. That makes it one almost every month. And while I was not close to some of them, nevertheless, the passing of a friend’s loved ones or relative does indeed affect me in some way, as it is a reminder that despite everything, good things come to an end.

2016 was a good year for me. I worked longer hours than I did in my last job and yet, I was ok with it. I started working with a different bunch of personalities and offiice politics (to which I am still learning how to adapt, cope and work my way through it sanely); I made friends; my family got a new car (huge plus point!!); and overall, there was this certain kind of satisfaction and happiness within me.

Perhaps the change of job was something that I needed. 8 years in an NGO; working on human rights; traveling and researching….I guess it does take its toll. I miss the activism; I miss the traveling; I miss the passion the people had for the job.

I am still in contact with my ex-colleagues in Germany and Philippines who keep me updated on the case that I was working on. I still get to go back to Berlin every year though I missed it this year.

Nevertheless, 2016 was a new year for me. A change. A new me.

Now onward I go in 2017. 

March 28, 2016

The perspicacious Warsan Shire and Michael Jackson

later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered

- excerpt from “what they did yesterday afternoon” by Warsan Shire

Nine lines. These nine lines perfectly encapsulate all that is going on in the world today. When I came upon these nine lines on a friend’s FB profile, it struck a chord within me. It just hit me. I kept re-reading the lines because it’s just so right. The WHOLE WORLD is indeed hurting EVERYWHERE.

To me, the words are profoundly haunting. I know that some people will call me crazy when I say that I feel the words; but just as how some people connect so deeply and emotionally with a song and its lyrics, similarly, I too sometimes become intensely absorbed in a book (or its character) or a piece of writing.

With the tragedies and catastrophes that the world has endured and will no doubt, continue to endure, I cannot help but envisage a time when, if the world was asked where it hurt, the answer would be “nowhere my child, for I am at peace.”

And while wait for that to one day happen…I shall continue to ask the same questions that MJ asked in the Earth Song:

What about sunrise
What about rain
What about all the things
That you said we were to gain...
What about killing fields
Is there a time
What about all the things
That you said was yours and mine...
Did you ever stop to notice
All the blood we've shed before
Did you ever stop to notice
The crying Earth the weeping shores?

What have we done to the world
Look what we've done
What about all the peace
That you pledge your only son...
What about flowering fields
Is there a time
What about all the dreams
That you said was yours and mine...
Did you ever stop to notice
All the children dead from war
Did you ever stop to notice
The crying Earth the weeping shores