2018: A Blink of an Eye
It’s yet another year; one different from the years prior as I started my full-fledged adulting life, settling into a more routine working life as compared to the relatively carefree life of a student.
The end of 2018 coincides with the first year work anniversary for me. With the transition into an working adult fully completed, life in 2018 has largely been surrounded my work. It was vastly different from the years before, and I had better get used to it as this is probably how life is going to be like for decades to come.
Falling on a Tuesday, New Year and New Year’s Eve is seemingly nothing more than another normal weekend to me as life goes on when I return to work on Wednesday after two days of rest, just like I do every other week.
Life still goes on, but things will be different this time.
Still feeling really, really fortunate that I landed my job, without any relevant qualifications or working experience. Of course it didn’t come to me falling from the sky while I sit around and waited, but luck did play a part and for that I’ll always be grateful.
I shall not reflect too much on work as it is something I already tend to think about from time to time. Just glad that I am able to do something I enjoy, to have be given so much opportunities to learn and grow, and to have a good boss and colleagues, meeting more wonderful people along the way.
However life has decided to throw me a curveball, making me the most senior at my workplace (my boss aside, I only have one colleague) just after a year into the job as my colleague goes on to pursue further studies. With almost every other thing in life staying the same, more or less, this will probably be the defining factor that will make the difference in the new year for me. Having convinced myself how uncertainty also brings possibilities, 2019 will certainly be a long year of much learning and many possibilities.
Even with that aside, 2019 is shaping up to be an exciting year at work with another 5 exhibitions waiting to be planned and an art fair to attend. Actually 2 art fairs probably. And also more unexpected projects to deal with and events to handle. May all go well.
As much as I enjoy my work, and that life seemed to revolve around work now, I’m glad that I didn’t become one of those whose work has taken over their lives. I can’t claim to have done much in my free time as I would have hope to, but looking back, I’ve done quite a bit of what I set out to do at the start of the 2018.
In terms of consumption, I managed to read way more than I ever did, and I’m hoping to keep that up head into the new year. Sapiens has been an enlightening read and Homo Deus has lived up to expectations so far as well. Murakami’s world absorbed me for a period of time before I jumped back into a series of Chinese novels. Would really like to continue my Murakami reading though, to attempt to finish all his novels. Also started to look for books on art history and theory, especially on Southeast Asia in an attempt to expand my understanding and knowledge of the art world to aid me in my career.
Managed to also increased the number of films I watch and my greatest achievement this year has to be completing all 10 feature films of Wong Kar-wai. Also noted down my thoughts and reflections for almost every film caught this past year on Letterboxd and I think that really helped me appreciate films a lot better, and to sort out my own thoughts as well.
Unfortunately I haven’t done much in any form of writing other than that, and that’s something I really hope to improve on in 2019. One thing I can possibly write on is exhibition reviews, which would not only help me sharpen my writing skills and my thinking, but also benefit me at work.
One thing I did accomplish however is to finally tie up the UX project I started more than a year ago and which went on a hiatus of close to a year. Am glad to finally be able to close the doors on that and move on to what’s to come. Hopefully I’ll find the time to work on other personal projects, whatever it may be, and to continue developing myself outside of work.
As mentioned in last year’s post, I also took the time and effort to go back to Scouting more, to oversee my boys from 5 years back becoming leaders before they enlisted to be trained as soldiers. Many times when people asked me what have I been doing on my weekends (Mon and Tue), I struggled to come up with something. But thinking back I spent a decent chunk of them going back to school for Scouting and I’m happy to say that it was the right decision.
Fitness wise, it’s really bad. Haven’t been exercising. Oh well. Also didn’t get to take IPPT during reservist in November so I have to really push myself to train and do it within the next 4 months. Had been sleeping really late on weekends too and… perhaps there shall be more attempts to fix that. By a bit.
In terms of travelling, had a family trip to Seoul this year so it’s a new place explored and a first time for my family to travel together. 2019 will be a busy year for me but hopefully I’ll be able to go on another family trip, even if a short one, and potentially a solo trip. Tanzania would be amazing but I shall see if I can make anything happen at all.
It was always going to be difficult maintaining relationships as adults. We had all taken different paths since leaving student life behind us, and some of these paths just don’t seem to be able to converge anymore. Try as we might, people come and go in life. It’s something I’ve come to understand and I think I’ve learned to let go easier as well in the last few years. Not to say I care less, but perhaps I also have less energy to try as hard now. Differing work schedules aside, I’m glad to have friends who make time for each other and also people whom I know can be considered as friends even if we haven’t caught up in a while. It’s never gonna be easy to figure people out; but it’s not that hard actually to just be a friend.
Among all the lessons I’ve learned this year, from work, from life, from people, I can’t seem to summarise 2018 with a single lesson, or a sentence, or even name the biggest takeaway I have from the year. Is it because I’ve gained so much in 2018? Or is it because nothing particularly stands out? Does it matter at all?
2015 was a forgettable sucky year, which still undeniably taught me a lot; 2016 was the year I went on exchange and dived straight back into my final year; 2017 was the year of transition from a student to an unemployed graduate; what about 2018? As much as I’ve learned and done this year, it doesn’t seem particular significant aside from the fact that the working adult life has finally come upon me. Of course I will still remember it as the very first year of my working life, my first step into the arts industry, but I can’t help but feel something is lacking; what am I looking for anyway?
Keep moving, keep going
Perhaps none of those matter at all. It’s as important to look ahead as it is to look back. 2018 was still an amazing year, and I can only hope that 2019 will turn out better than ever.
As we continue treading forward in our own paths, I wish each and every one of you the strength to carry on no matter what’s in front, and the will to reach your objectives. Whether or not we cross paths in the future, whether or not we’ve crossed paths in the past, keep moving, keep going.