2011 through a metaphorical looking glass
In retrospect, 2011 has been a rather peculiar year. It was a year of deep contemplation, paradigm shift and strange discoveries. I ended the year feeling like I had spent it leaving bits of myself in different places. One part of me has been quite the escapist, traipsing around the globe and getting caught in a blur of faces, airports and hotels, where the luxury of anonymity continues to entice endlessly. Another part craves for contentment in stability. And then there is one reckless part that wants to go grab the world by its proverbial hair and just leave everything behind.
Standing at the mouth of the road that is the new year, I’m not sure which one I trust enough to take with me to brace 2012 together.
In my mind, 2011 was defined by several moments. Humdrum moments which in their own strange little ways, manage to jolt you, shake you left & right, kick you in the butt and then tell you to go figure & get on with it –
Overlooking the traffic of Oberoi street in Bali, at the balcony of Chandi Restaurant and having a particularly depressing conversation about whys and why nots.
Having a glass of cheap wine at a hole-in-the-wall cafe in a small lane off Bui Vien Street in Ho Chi Minh which I discovered purely by accident. On my right was a rack full of second hand books, mostly Lonely Planets. It was drizzling outside and I was the only patron. I remember thinking that it was nice to be in a land where I didn’t really understand anybody.
Having a latte at Starbucks at Jakarta airport, sitting at the counter and overlooking the planes on the runway, thinking Where are these travellers going? Where do they come from?
Scarfing down dinner at Angelini at Shangri-La Bangkok while a stranger from Lithuania sat across me and talked about copper electroplating. I do have a knack for being caught in rather peculiar situations.
Looking down on the cityline of Paris from the roof top of the Basilica while the Eiffel tower sparkled up in the distance. Beneath, a busker was playing the guitar and singing Gipsy King’s Volare Cantare to a cheering crowd. It was such a glorious, albeit fleeting moment.
And then some.
Life has taken me to many places in 2011. I have gained and lost. Learned some, but forgotten others. I added some things to my imaginary treasure trove but in my excitement, locked the crate and threw away the key. I grew up but became hard & cynical in the process. And a friend recently told me that I am transient.
So the resolution for 2012 is to take it easy, and to see where life takes me. If transient is, then let transient be. I wish for good surprises to come my way. And of course for world peace and environmental sustainability. (ha..ha..)
Ok, no seriously.
And my friends, I wish for you all the good things in the world. Live, let live, and don’t be too hard on yourself, even if it means de-stressing with a pack of potato chips that you will regret 1500 calories later. Life is short, and it’s the only one you’ve got. Don’t let it pass you by!