So here I am today, offering a honest, unfiltered post with content that's a little more on the personal side - slightly more personal than I am comfortable with, but damn it to hell - I'm done obsessing about the repercussions of disclosure. This is me shouting into the abyss - the infinite black hole that is the internet - in the hopes that someone out there will feel this honesty, and be encouraged to share their own. Here's looking at 2014 in the rear view mirror.
PS - this is going to be a chatty post, so grab a drink and get comfy, because this will take awhile.
If there was one word that could sum up the year, it would be 'sobering'. 2014 was sobering in more ways than one. For starters, I came down from my high of being in love with Melbourne. When I first moved to this city, I was head over heels smitten. It was love at first sight - the booming arts & culture scene, laid-back Aussie attitude and wonderful and friendly people had me convinced. How could I possibly move back to Singapore? This place is awesome!
But, as with any other romance, the honeymoon period had to end; and I started thinking realistically about my future here. I had set my sights on staying in Melbourne and acquiring a PR here, but would I feel just as happy, once my friends had left? Will my love affair with this city, bearded-hipsters and all, fizz out faster than a bottle of day-old champagne?
But, most of all, what is home? You cannot make homes out of people, because they will disappoint; yet - is home where family is? Is it possible to one day feel at home in a place where family isn't?
It was also sobering in that I began to understand the reality of growing up and being an adult. For a long time, I confused being an adult with being emotionally mature, but make no mistake - those two things are not one and the same. Being an adult means having the responsibility to do the things you have to, even if you don't want to. That means dragging your feet and going to work, even when you've had a rough night and the last thing you want to do is to talk to your colleagues. Because people do what they have to to survive, so quit moaning and get on with it. Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not advocating a life of playing it safe and not pursuing one's dreams - I am talking about people who already have jobs they are passionate about; but even people who have dream jobs have off-days too (because everyone does), and on those days I'm saying that one should remember the responsibility they have to their families and to themselves to hustle and crack on with the day. It's not a very exciting prospect to look forward to, but it is what it is, and tough people don't allow what they feel to dictate what they do.
I learnt that driven and successful men seek women who are just as driven and successful as them. Women who are their equals, and that only makes me more motivated to achieve greater things in work and in life. My greatest experiences of self-abandonment have come within the context of relationships, and I spent much of this year trying to find out who I was, so I couldn't ever abandon myself ever again. Yet, what I discovered was this: I am whoever and whatever I decide to be. I don't have to be defined within a sentence; a paragraph, or even within the limitation of ideas (i.e. "Rachel loves communicating, does not exercise, is interested in politics and issues related to feminism, etc").
My identity is ever-evolving, and hence there is never a one-dimensional method of canvassing my identity, so I should really do away with labels altogether -- after all, what use is it to self-identify as a "fashion-lover" or "humanitarian activist" or even a "chocolate enthusiast"?? (Who the cares?????)
I am as fluid an entity as I want to be, and perhaps one day I shall have more concrete ways of identifying myself; but for now, I am in my twenties, and I can be whoever I choose to be.
Above all, I came to accept that I have more questions than answers at this point of life, and that is okay.
Hope you enjoyed reading this slightly more raw and unedited post, and I would love to hear your reflections of 2014. x