It’s a little late for festive greetings, but we’re still in the first week-ish of the year so a clichéd “Year in review/New Year’s resolutions” post, hopefully, is still somewhat acceptable.
2015 in Bangkok
Before I start on all the “looking back” stuff, I suppose I should share that I’ll be moving back to Bangkok at the end of the month… for an entire year. I’ll be leaving Melbourne on January 18th for a graduation trip to Bali with high school friends, and then it’ll be straight over to Bangkok. A lot of details are still being finalised; but I’ll have a full-time job back at Grant Thornton doing something, being paid a non-intern salary, working with the Managing Partner on projects around SE Asia. The plan is a year in Asia, then back home to Melbourne in 2016 to add an honours year in economics to my BCom. I’m pretty bad at the whole celebration thing, and then there are all the practicalities of moving to be dealt with in the next 12 days (mostly my apartment), so excitement levels are pretty mellow; but public announcement of significant life event, here it is.
The adventures and second homes of 2014
Onto more exciting things. In 2014, for the first time ever, I spent more of the year away from Melbourne than in it and loved it more than expected. I’ve definitely been bitten by the travel bug, though Melbourne will always be home. The comfortable/pretentious liveability of Melbourne isn’t quite as satisfying as it used to be; more adventure please.
- JAN-FEB: San Francisco, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Grant Thornton Thailand, Bangkok, Taiwan
- MAR-JUN: University of Melbourne, Melbourne
- JUL-AUG: London School of Economics, London, Frankfurt, Berlin, Warsaw, Krakow, Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Munich, San Francisco, Seattle
- SEP-DEC: Grant Thornton Thailand, Bangkok, Penang, Singapore, Guangzhou, Hong Kong
Stretching 2014 into 2015
2014 was a long year. The experience of new things, life abroad, love and loss stretched time and gave it that infinite quality of one’s childhood years. Strangely, the bittersweet breakup, the questionable decision to then travel Europe with the ex, and some sort of heartbreak, all linger only as faded vignettes of someone else’s life; a story overheard some years ago. The year seems to have mostly passed as a blurry projection of a dusty reel of film, pulled from archives filed away long before I was born.
Yet, there are occasional frames of crystal clear clarity; moments of awareness etched into my memory, forks in the road, questions with no meaningful answers. These were times where fear of the unknown and the unknowable threatened to paralyse me with indecision. These are moments where I found myself most palpably grappling with the voids of life, grasping for words, sense, certainty, something, and teetering perilously on the edge of an endless spiral into nonsensical rhetoric, maybe even denial or theatre, in an attempt to cobble up some kind of order or purpose to my decisions and life. In such moments, you either give in and comfort yourself with some cynical or naive narrative, forcing it upon those around you; or you can jump from the cliff a little higher up than where you last survived from, and experience with clarity a life more rich than your limited imagination can dream onto dusty film reels.
Promises to 2015
I love lists, but New Year’s Resolutions seem a little too static for my mood this year. All I know is that I want to keep moving, to jump whenever I have the chance to, to climb higher, become stronger, to give more, to feel more. I’m still learning to leap, to move past the childhood fears of being hurt, and that adolescent insistence that the world should make sense. However, 2015 is looking up. Just as one can surrender to the comforts of fictitious certainties and prejudices, one can also choose otherwise. I am eternally grateful for my supportive, though occasionally misguided, parents; and the privilege of choosing to surround myself with like-minded, courageous and inspiring friends – all of whom force me to face clearly the question of whether I will let fear direct my actions, and inspire me to seek and define my own happiness. These people give me courage to jump, and assurance that, when things go awry, I have a safety net to crash into. Keep falling, Cynthia. Just live each day better than the last.
Happy 2015 everyone. Thanks for reading.