Monday, December 31, 2012

Ode to 2012

As Facebook posts have been getting a little mainstream lately, I decided to do a blog post instead on my verdict of 2012. Unlike the previous years where I simply give an account of the year in a nutshell, this year, I've decided to summarize my experience in high school as well since I've officially graduated and will be adjourning into college next year.

In comparison with 2011, one that I had supposedly deemed productive, 2012 was far more challenging, I'd have to say. While SPM may have been an undeniable prerequisite towards this, I cannot rule out the other occurrences and events in the year when it comes to giving an account of such an adverse year.

I've seen more than ever, the likes of the different people in my life, the challenges imposed by my peers as I strive to achieve a better standing in school and most importantly, the ugly truth behind life and the world itself. I've had my heart broken more than once, I've allowed pessimism to consume me thoroughly too many times that I am unable to recount and I've been suicidal so frequently, even at the zenith of my high school life. I have wronged my peers ever so often by refusing to give them the benefit of the doubt, I have allowed my emotions to overwhelm me and dictate my actions and I even gave others the liberty to determine my worth, which has proven detrimental in the aftermath of many ill events.

There has been so many tears shed, so many words said and many oaths made.

However, in spite of the darker happenings of the year, there has been great joy as well. I don't remember a time I have ever been so expressive in my life. The experiences I have encountered have made me more capable of expressing my views fearlessly (while retaining tact, of course) and I've learned to view matters not merely from my own perspective but from the perception of others as well. I also took a big step in my spiritual life as well by joining a cell group this year, and I can say that I've developed certain skills in prayer, in sharing, in worship and in fellowship as well. This has indirectly paved a path for me in finding comfort through speech and song.

I have become more confident in my writing and have begun to love what I do, which is undoubtedly the key to writing with excellence. I've learned to embrace literature as a whole, including poetry which I had once regarded undecipherable and incomprehensible prior to taking up English Lit. This experience has definitely granted me further eloquence and fluency in the language and has inspired me to continue pursuing literature in my pre-university programme as well.

Moreover, I've discovered the art of dealing with people although I have yet to apply such skills in my daily life.  I certainly look forward to doing so fervently in 2013 and I hope I will be able to improve my interpersonal communication skills as I continue striving to achieve excellence in my um, social life. Heh. And for this, I must give full credit to my mum for being ever so patient with a stubborn and persistent individual like me. Mum, your advice is inconceivably invaluable and I solemnly promise to do you proud by practicing whatever you have taught me. I will attempt to soften this thick skull of mine in order to tolerate stupidity and ignorance whenever and wherever necessary, despite having no convictions to do so.

Furthermore, I am also grateful for the existence of the individuals who have shaped my life, whom I call my friends. I honestly couldn't have asked for better companions in accompaniment to my school days, because I personally believe that I will never be able to find a bunch of individuals who display immense levels of intellect and who have high sustainability in retaining composure, oh and not to mention, extreme proportions of humour.

I don't know who else I can trust to belt out the occasional lame Chemistry joke anymore, because there's no one who can do that better than Sher Ling. Only God knows how I will manage without her genuine and hearty laughter in the days to come.

As for you, Ka Yan, I appreciate your ability to tolerate my emotional weaknesses and I thank you for being there for me when I need someone to confide in, when regarding school matters. I've never trusted anyone else when it comes to this, and I don't think I ever will. Our conversations have brought upon great enlightenment and I am a lot wiser because of you. For that, my comrade, you have my irrevocable gratitude.

To Natalie, I appreciate the times we've had and the times that have yet to come because I certainly believe that we will still remain friends, seeing that we've known each other since our primary school days. Thank you for being there for me in real life, on Facebook chat and on Whatsapp. I will, however, lament on the absence of your random pangs of laughter and the loss of a partner in crime.

To Kah Yan, as I have always been envious of petites, I will always admire your intelligence and sense of fashion. Also, I will remain at awe as to how you are able to achieve balance between every aspect of your life so impeccably and yet retain such composure. However, I do hope that your absent-mindedness will be remain in subtlety, sufficient in retaining your cuteness as a whole but not overwhelming to strip you off your senses. Our Kah Yan must always be Kah Yan :P

As for Nicole, I must say, that you are the kindergarten playmate I never had. Before anyone takes offense at this statement, let me clarify that I am not implying that Nicole is by any means at all, infantile. I say this merely because I admire your carefree demeanour and your innocuous (and sometimes, subliminally devilish) opinions. I can be prevailed upon to rely on your company to evoke a sense of childhood wonder and awe. You really put the word "fun" in it's context, Nicole and as mature as I am, I will always appreciate your girly Valentine's Day notes and your implementation of the title "BFF" on me. You have paid the price for those dreadful years in kindergarten. And I love you too, BFF :)

Other than my school friends, I must express my gratitude to my siblings in Christ as well.

To June Chong, I thank you so much for being such an amazing sister in Christ. Your prayers, your advice and the hours spent on the phone when you were my call buddy have not gone unnoticed. I don't think I have really garnered any trust in anyone in church until you came along and made me realise that not all human beings in general are absolutely nonchalant towards a cry for help. I aspire to be as spiritually gifted as you are, for you are one of the most devoted Christians I know and most faithful servants in God's kingdom. 

Only picture I have of June and I. And this is from camp. How sad.

From left : Natalie, me, Evan, June and Danielle

To the other leaders such as Danielle, Evan and uh, Jon Roberts, I thank you guys for not judging me in spite of the stupid things I say sometimes and for actually spending time getting to know me as well as dishing out good advice. I will always take heed of your advice, since you guys are the seniors after all and I appreciate your extending a hand of friendship.

There are just so many people I owe it to extend my gratitude towards that if I were to list every single one of them down here, I could go on for days on end. Therefore, to those whom I have not mentioned here, just know that I am grateful for your existence in my life and for your efforts in whichever department you have approached me in. Do enlighten me if I have forgotten, for I do not wish to miss anyone out, especially since I will most likely not meet with most of you next year.

Now, for my summary of my five headstrong years of secondary school. Fret not, I shall attempt to make this as brief as possible. The length of this post is starting to feel atrocious.

I'm not sure about the lot of you, but high school for me was a tough experience altogether. I did not enter my secondary school in the best of terms, since I was from a national school and could not speak Mandarin to save my life. I was also quite plump in appearance and naive mentally, so it probably wasn't a surprise that I got picked on verbally in Form 1. The following two years in lower secondary saw me improving, but only slightly, as I still got picked on by the opposite gender. Fortunately, however, I had been able to pick up the pace academically as I remember fondly of how I managed to attain first in the whole form for the mid year examinations in Form 3. And the rest is history (I then became a straight A student in PMR and naturally earned a place in the best class in upper secondary, in case you were unaware of that lol).

Then upper secondary ensued. Form 4 was pretty much the zenith of my secondary school life as I participated in the Young Enterprise programme which made up about 90% of my social life. You may decide for yourself if that is a daunting or fulfilling prospect, but I did gain plenty from the experience. I've never quite had the upper hand in anything I've done prior to YE, so when I managed to secure a place as the club's photographer and as a project manager, I would say that I felt rather victorious. Moreover, winning second place for Best Product Report during the YE Awards was the icing on the cake since I was partly responsible for most of the pages in the report booklet. There was also a series of social occurrences apart from the YE experience that occurred, but since the accounts of the event are far too long-winded to specify here, you may read it on my other blog HERE.

As for Form 5, which all occurred this year, I will not bother with the details here. You may read an account of my year in my previous blog posts, which I must first warn you, may contain rather personal and pivotal accounts of my thoughts and my life. I've screened most of my posts as of late to ensure that none of these post will prove inane to my future readers. However, due to the nature of SPM, I regret to inform you that most of the accounts of my daily undertakings will consist of rants, dating back to the days where I have had my all-time lows. So please by all means, feast at your own risk.

All in all, my experience in high school was not one of the most remarkable endeavours I have undertaken in life. However, it isn't to say that I would change any of the events that have occurred, if I were given an opportunity to do so. These occurrences, as dreadful as they may be, have helped shape who I am today. What didn't kill me, simply made me stronger. I once used to dread being different. I once used to hate who I was. I once thought I would never amount up to anything. I once had a terrible inferiority complex that soured all my conversations with my potential accomplices and nullified all my chances of finding faith and hope in mankind.

But now that I'm here in the present reminiscing the past five years as I craft this post, I wouldn't have had it any other way. The pain and the sadness that once seemed so tangible are but a tale of the past. These experiences are the stories that I will tell, to encourage those who will encounter the same situations I did. This account of my life will somehow benefit someone in the future. And this is why I must make the most out of the lessons I have learned in life - in order to become a better person as a whole, and to let someone know that no one is suffering alone. We all encounter a myriad of experiences in life, but they all evoke the same emotions - joy, sadness, anger and disappointment.

But someday, when there is a soul out there who decides that he or she lives as an unperturbed entity, oblivious to the rest of the world - these stories will suffice in aiding them, in ensuring them that they'll pull through. It will serve as proof that in spite of all the adversities in life, there is hope. God above does see. It is not by my own strength that I was able to pull through, but by the grace of God. And God often shows himself in the kindness of man.

Honestly, I have God to thank for everything. All of this was part of God's master plan in my life. It took me a while to see the way He worked, but I'm glad things happened as they had because God's glory was and will continue to be apparent in my life. And I will never stop glorifying Him for all that I have and all that I've come to learn :)

So there, my verdict on 2012. It's been a lengthy one, I won't deny. In fact, this may probably be the longest post I have ever written in my blog history. If you have made it until the last sentence, bravo. I salute you.

Let us all bid farewell to 2012 and usher in 2013 with greater expectations!

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