Monday, December 31, 2007

Year In Review : Memorable Moments in 2007

2007 has been a really exceptional year for me. To be honest, I am hard-pressed to remember any past years when so many changes that has happened to my life both on a personal and professional level. Having this blog helped me to document them as they happened and for that I am thankful. If for nothing else, I get a chance to take some time out to review previous entries and be amazed at how much my life has changed in the past 365 days.

2007 started with a bang, so to speak, for me. After 12 years of being celibate, I started 2007 by breaking that dry spell (and no it was not a New Year hookup). Technically it was not the full course but it was enough for me to officially declare an end to the long streak. While it was a big deal for me, it turned out to be less significant for the other party. While I was already imagining building a future together, it turned out that I was just an one off thing to be casts aside once dispensed with. A few exchanges later led me to the impression that what seemed so significant for me meant as much as a business transaction for the other party.

To top things off, I was also told then that I might be more appealing to other people if I just lose some weight. Talk about stepping on someone’s balls when they’re already down for the count. I was extremely embarrassed, heartbroken, hurt and bitter at the time but after mulling it over for a bit, I decided to do something that I have never really did before. I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and instead divert all the negative things about myself that I was feeling into something more constructive. I wanted to prove to that person and more importantly to myself that I am worth much more than just a one night fling. What started as a driven obsession for vindication gradually evolved into my journey of self discovery and acceptance. It’s funny when I look back and think that if it was not for that incident, my 2007 might have turned out very differently indeed.

I also got the opportuinity to do a little bit of traveling in 2007. The first was to Manila which was the first time I was out of the country since my last business trip to Hong Kong way back in 2001. The opportunity to go along with a group of significantly older friends I knew from my secondary school alumni came up and for once I decide to take the risk of trying something outside of my comfort zone. The trip was a success for me as not only did it allow me to see a place that I have only seen in pictures before but it allowed me to reflect on how home was compared to other places. The trip also stoked a travel itch that I have long suppressed by what I thought was practical reasons.

The second trip that I took in 2007 was to the Perhentian Island with my family. I have wanted to go to these island after hearing about it for the longest time. When I got there, it more beautiful than I could ever imagined it. It was a place that I could definitely picture losing myself in for months if it was possible. Being able to share the discover with my family was also an added bonus. The last that that we had a family vacation was a few years back when we went up to Langkawi so the trip to Perhentian was something that was long overdue for us. It allowed us some really good family bonding time away for the distractions of our daily lives.

This year also saw me embarking on a fitness journey/experiment to improve myself and my self confidence. After years of struggling with issues with self image, I decided (with a little push from being painfully reminded that I was still fat) get off my fat arse and do something about it. I joined a gym and rededicated myself to eat healthier from the beginning of the year. I remembered how hard it was for me to overcome the feeling of being self conscious about working out in public at the gym. I can still recall the anxiety that I had about changing in the locker room around strangers. Over time, I was able to get it in my head that not everyone who was at the gym looked like they stepped out of a fitness magazine and that I’m not as terrible at it as I thought that I would be. Locker room anxiety also pretty much faded away once I got more comfortable with my own body. Of course that doesn’t me that I’m walking around without clothes in the locker room now (is anyone crazy enough to do that?) but at least I don’t feel the need to wait for people to leave my locker area before I changed like I did when I first started.

An increased level of self confidence in myself also led me to take more chances in 2007 especially when it comes to matters of the heart. I guess I can blame if to the endorphins released by working out but I found myself to be more opened to possibilities that I would normally shy away in past years. Instead of just keeping things clinically sterile, I allowed myself the chance to explore what would happened if I took the next step. What started as just comments left in blog entries changed in to txt messages and then to lunches or coffee meetings. After awhile an familiarity began to set it allowing me to be comfortable to move on in small steps. I’m not the best person to be in a relationship with since I carry with me so much emotional baggage and insecurities but in a way I have been learning to change that. It is still a journey that we are on and there are no guarantees that we would end up at the same destinations in the end so for now I prefer to appreciate the adventure instead.

Last but not least, 2007 was the year when I found a whole new circle of friends that I would not imagine that I would be a part of a year before. Thanks for my own increasing self awareness and acceptance, I was able to come out of the shell that I built around myself and reach out even with the risk of being rejected. These new friends quickly became persons of inspirations and sources of new stories of the human condition for me. Many faced the same challenges, had the same dreams and want the same things in life that I thought that I was the only one yearning for all these years. Some became people that I confided in, shared my fears and embarrassingly revealed my fantasies with without fear of being judged. My life would definitely be less enriched without their presence in my life this year. I think I’ve said it before in earlier blog entries that I made more new friends this year than I did in the past years combined. I can honestly say that the last time I made these many new friends that meant so much to me was back when I was at boarding school. I’ve cherished my friendship with my boarding school buddies for 17 years and no doubt that I would be able to do the same to the friendships that I made this year.

2007 was memorable for me not because of the changes that happened around me but more importantly the changes that happened within me. I will remember it as the year that I stopped just reacting to things but to take charge instead. It was a year that I lessen the reins on my pathological risk avoidance and stretched out to consider possibilities that I would summarily dismiss before. I can honestly say that I’ve grown considerably as a person these past 12 months and my life is the better for it. Looking ahead, I hope that this is just the beginning for better things to come. Realizing that I actually can do things that I set my mind to would hopefully give me the confidence to do more things that I would never considered doing before.

My journey is only starting from this point onwards and I still have far to go.


Anonymous said...

glad your year has been a significant one.

happy new year, Abang.

Nickxandar said...

Thanks for making it a significant one.

happy new year, Adik