Tuesday, 11 August 2009

One Year On

At about this time, on this date, exactly one year ago, I landed on Malaysian soil, after being abroad for close to 2 years. When I finally got out onto KLIA's arrival lounge, I was very fatigued and very annoyed—there were plenty of things that went wrong on that journey (which would have been exhausting even if nothing went awry). I was dying to leave the airport as soon as I met my family. When I reached home, I finally saw the new extensions to the house that my family had told me about. It did not look like the same house I left. It was not the last thing I would soon find out had changed.

It seems strange that one year has passed; I can still remember the streets, buildings, layout, buses, sounds, weather, even smells of the city I left. It has all been engraved unto my memory. And of course, I miss the many, many people I left behind. (At this point in time, I suppose nostalgia is really creeping in and making me melancholic.)

But it does seem hard to believe so much time has passed. At times I thought I would never pull through—the last year has really seemed like nothing but a horrendous, never-ending nightmare. Now that it's over, I realise that I've not moved anywhere, as if I've just woken up from a night's sleep. Yet I know it would be foolish to act as if things have not changed, as if people have remained the same. The truth is things (and people) have changed a lot. Just as things change without you, things change with you, and within you.

Coming back was the right decision, even considering what happened after, but the way I spent the past 12 months, that was a mistake. I adamantly refuse to rose-tint the experience, just so I can feel good about it, just so I can say it was not a waste of time or just so I can delude myself into believing the feel-good, self-help, phony life coach "advice" we've all been fed.

It was something I wish did not happen. It was something that made me deeply unhappy. And it was a waste of time. I won't pretend otherwise. The fact is, sometimes things really were all bad, and sometimes you gain little from life even though you put in much. The point is to realise it, accept the truth, and then move on and not repeat the same mistakes.

The past year has neither made me a better person/son/friend nor a kinder one, but perhaps...I am a wiser one. I have lost faith in many things, and I have lost time, friends, happiness, self-confidence even, but perhaps...I have not lost hope. Hope that I will find something, if I keep looking hard enough. Hope that there are greener pastures waiting for me if I work hard enough. Hope that one day, I'll find my place in the world. Even if the past was shitty, there's no guarantee that the future will be the same...


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