I put on my Facebook status on New Year’s eve : There goes a year where half of it was spent with minimal brain activity.
I think it could not be any truer than that. I could not think any previous year, in which I have more idle time than this particular year.
Indeed it was the most unpredictable year.
Dissertation. The marriage issue. Interviews. Job. Graduation. Working.
And of course, crazy little spontaneous stuff I did like travelling to Germany alone. Another night spent at a train station. Napping at the peak of Sugar Loaf. Spending the last night at 27 East Grove in solitude. Driving in KL in bravado
Life is beautiful with its ups and downs.
Life is incredible with its tears and laughter.
But for the fact that I spent five months doing particularly nothing super serious makes me feel that this is indeed the most laid-back year so far.
And probably, before I started to forget everything I should have written some notes, on the best things in 2009. Randomly chosen things.
The Best Moment?
Robes, congregation, and that scroll
The feel-good moment would definitely be my graduation day, July 17. I woke up at 9 a.m. in the morning to catch my congregation ceremony at 12.15 p.m. And if you take a look closely at my official graduation photo, you will see the eye-bags – thanks to excessive sleep I had the night before. I could not even care to apply proper make-up, so there you go.
Believe me when I said I was not excited at all – until the moment I walked down the stage and when all of us to marched out of the Whitworth Hall. Hey, getting upper second class degree was not that bad – considering how I suffered doing things I could not even relate to.
MEng Chemical Engineering with Environmental Technology (with honours). At last.
Talk about films I watched – I can only remember one, and anticipated one – The Time Traveler’s Wife. I dragged my best mates to the cinema to watch this, and for an adaptation, it was not the worst. But I hate the ending which slightly deviates from the original storyline – it frustated me to the max – because that’s the scene I have been waiting to see whether it suits my imagination or not – you know, the heart-rendering scene where the couple meet again after Henry died. Oh, well. This year made me little shallower than ever, to resort on a love story as my favourite.
Directors truly do the darndest things. Just like when one of them spoilt My Sister’s Keeper.
Hmm.. This is not a list of songs released in 2009 that I love, but whatever songs I was addicted to for the whole year… Let me see : There goes Joe Hisaishi’s Summer and Spring which accompanied my solitary days confined in my room with a large door facing my backyard doing that carbon footprinting thing. Then also Joe’s Spirited Away theme song ‘Always with me’. Jason Mraz’s Lucky. The Climb by Miley Cyrus – to sooth my heart in times where such a big decision regarding my career choice was to be made. Kris Allen’s Live like Dying and Michael Buble’s Haven’t Met you yet repeatedly played while I drove through the expressways in KL.
And yes, ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’. Always my favourite feel good song.
No, I don’t regard finishing my degree as the best personal achievement for the year.
It was not.
I think the most satisfying bit is that I landed on a job which leads me into doing things that I love for 8 hours a day. A good boss. Not bad for a fresh grad, so this one achievement is pretty exhilarating. At some cost of course – talk about getting higher salaries somewhere else.
And as someone who didn’t drive much for the last four years, to be driving in KL is an achievement! Yeay! It takes me two weeks to familiarise, and go beyond the expectation of my worried, doubtful father, mother, uncles and aunts. Hey, you are talking to a very much sheltered lady in case you have not realised, with excessively protective dad!
Fiction: Let me just admit that I really love The City of Thieves. I spent hours after finishing that book googling about it; the reviews, which part of the story is true (I was hoping it is fully fictional, for the fact that Koya died at the end of the story, being shot at his arse), the author and all. For a fiction, I haven’t done something like these after ‘We need to talk about Kevin’.
Non-fiction: If I can include books that I have started reading since 2008, then Capitalism as if the World Matters would have won. This book has really change my perception on major things. But if we exclude this one, I’d probably say that I have fallen in love with HAMKA’s exegesis. And I am about to finish The Tipping Point – and it was undeniably a powerful book. I can’ comment more about it – will write my reflection on the book once I have finished reading it.
Best Travelled Place?
I cannot forget the tranquility and peace that brought me to sleep for half an hour at the peak of Sugar Loaf. It is not even a mountain, in fact, it is pretty much a hill. I went there with Hanis – just to get some time away from Manchester – Abergavenny to be exact the name of the place, one of British’s treasured national parks. You can imagine the sudden breeze (it was sunny during the while we were climbing), the cloud covering the sun, and me falling asleep after indulging on Hanis’s favourite fish pie.
We were almost lost during the journey back, but it was indeed a good spontaneous experience. I walked barefooted through a high-end neighbourhood which Bukit Tunku reminds me of, and I bet I looked like a silly foreigner.
You don’t have to wonder why the supposedly 3-4 hours climb turned out to be a lengthy 8 hours journey, now that you know the real story.
There’s the list of things I regarded as ‘best’ for the past year, randomly picked.
It was beautiful, I praise the Lord for letting me live for the full 365 days of 2009, learning a lot from every single moment that passed.
But past is past, like Jan Glide well said : you can clutch to the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.
No, I don’t mean to.
I’ll live life to the fullest, trying to keep myself reminded that today might be my last day on earth.
And by that, I gotta make it clear here that I wasn’t tempted to miss Manchester despite the unearthly heavy snow!