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Reflections

The days are long and the years are short.

I started the year with a bunch of friends watching fireworks by the North Bridge in Edinburgh. Now I’m in my room back in Malaysia, jobless and solo-writing articles in the late hours of the night.

I look back at 2018.

There was a prototype wind turbine project that was equally fulfilling as it was problematic. Final year happened, along with mind-numbing written exams that would probably be the last in my lifetime. I got friend-zoned as my close friend of 4 years hooked up with another friend behind my back. I’ve forced myself to do weird challenges and subsequently raised 850 GBP for a community project that would spirit me away to Fiji for the summer. I was homeless for about a week. I almost got stranded in Abu-Dhabi airport after running around the city for 7 hours in the midnight because of carrying one extra cabin bag. I remember breaking all the metrics for my own fitness PRs and achieving more than I had ever did in my four years of working out. And now, I’ve started writing online again.

Much drama in no particular order.

The dominant ruling party in Malaysia (corrupt, of course) had finally been out-voted for the first time in 60 years. North Korea and the US finally came to an agreement of sorts. Brexit still isn’t fully through. The Turkish economy suffered its worst in 50 years, the lira worth about 5 times lesser than it did last time (relative to the US dollar). Don’t forget the steel tariffs against Turkey to add insult to injury. Just when Trump’s policies seem to be providing jobs to Americans, he pulls out of the Paris Accord and starts a trade war with China. Macron messes with taxes, then Parisian yellow vest riots start and now Paris is a mess. Duterte’s policies finally show results, Philipino streets are cleaner than ever, the pinoys love him. The global economy seems to be headed for a bumpy ride in 2019.

Games are not free from all this drama, too. Blizzard messed up and lost 40 million USD worth of equity in 2 weeks. The much-hyped Atlas turns out to be a joke. EA screws over its customers again with Battlefield 2. All triple A developers are losing equity, and the market is at its worst in gaming history. Disney has officially acknowledged that the Star Wars franchise has REALLY messed up and is slowing down their projects. Thank God that Marvel still delivers.

I look in the mirror.

For me, the highs and lows were definitely more pronounced this year. From being nominated as the best/most entertaining presenter in my cohort to leaping off sand dunes in Fiji, learning to draw and play the violin, and receiving so much support from my community for the Fijian project has left me truly grateful for this year. I’ve met and connected with so many wonderful people outside my comfort zone, and I’m glad to have met you too! I’ve learnt so much from people and Youtube in general, and am definitely loving the feeling of constantly learning new things. I think I’ve grown a little more as a person. The feeling being grounded and learning to be more open as a person is one that I’m still practicing. Learning to embrace vulnerability and uncertainty isn’t comfortable, but I try.

The friend-zone certainly sucked. Watching my favorite game developers failing to take care of their customers was painful. Getting leg cramps at the top of Ben Nevis was agonizing. Not forgetting the Wings Suicide Challenge at that. The temporary slide into depression and social anxiety after I returned to Malaysia did a toll on my self-esteem for a while. The scars from my massive allergic reaction to bedbug bites in Fiji remain. My search for a significant other is still a pain point and gnaws at my self-esteem occasionally. Being jobless with a master’s degree sucks. These things culminate in a subtle but ever-present sense of frustration in my subconscious, and the best I can do is to just try.

I look forward to 2019.

I’m hopeful and terrified at the same time. I’m looking forward to the crazy new people and stuff that I’ll come across. I’m looking forward to new adventures, food and content, possibly even picking up photography? I’m eager to break new PRs, help other people achieve their fitness goals and learning handstand push-ups.

I’m terrified of relapsing into my previous state of social anxiety, as well as things just not working out despite my best efforts. I’m scared of letting myself down as I set high expectations for myself and I know that I’d be worthless if I don’t do so or when I fail. A case of ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ that our minds are capable of, I’m sure some of you can relate.

I hope 2019 goes well for you, the reader. From the bottom of my heart, I wish you the best of success and luck, the world definitely needs more of it. I can’t wait to hear your stories and adventures in 2019, and learn of your successes!!

How was your 2018? Any heartfelt stories/tales? I’d love to read them in the comments! Until then, have a great new year’s eve!!

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