Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Dear Santa

The obligatory year-end contemplative post. (For last year's post, see here).

Recently, I drew up a Christmas wish list of stuff I wanted. Yet, as I thought about each item a little more carefully, I crossed-out those I did not truly want, until eventually almost nothing was left. Mind you, I was a little startled at what that exercise revealed to me.

There are undoubtedly a few things I would like: a Canon 550D, a 1TB external HDD, some DVDs and albums, a few more books (not that I don't have plenty already), some new clothes, a shinny tie clip, cufflinks and watch, etc. But I asked myself: "Do I want, really, really want these things?" No. They’re just things, objects. Any joy I would gain will be fleeting. I don't constantly think about or long for these or anything else.

Well, except maybe two things.
Firstly, a plane ticket to the UK, so that I can visit my foster family and friends there. I really do miss them terribly. And secondly, my very own house/apartment. It'd be great to have a place to call my own. Thing is, I’m fairly sure Santa won’t indulge me if I asked, no matter how good I’ve been this year.

These (nearly fantastical) wishes aside, I honestly have not much in the “Want” department. Clearly, I have all that I need to survive: food, shelter and clothing. By God’s grace, I have health, a job, my family and friends (even if I don’t see many of them as often as I’d like). As a bonus, I also have adequate access to healthcare, transport, leisure, information, creative outlets and even travel (I’ll be visiting Turkey from this 28th till early January with my family; the first family trip in 5 years). For now, I also have direction and inner peace, and while I know better than to expect these to be everlasting, I am more than happy to possess them. And while I am far, far from perfect, I am, in the broadest of terms, happy with who I am and where I'm going, for now.

Upon reflection, 2010 has been good to me, omnibus rebus consideratis. I got called to the Bar after 5 years of blood, sweat and tears (not to mention the PaMa grant). I did things I never thought I could or would do. I met some truly wonderful new friends and re-connected with some old ones. I made breakthroughs in many areas of my life. I learnt loads. I had tons of fun. I gained back a lot of lost self-confidence, self-respect and self-love. Compared to the black hole that was 2009, 2010 was a much brighter . It was a very good year, as Sinatra would say.

Sure there were tough times, challenges, frustrations and tears, but what year goes by without these? Yes, there are still times when I have my doubts and uncertainties, when I grapple with insecurities and inadequacies and fears, and times when I'm in the dumpzone, but what person doesn't go through that once in a while? And it may seem that I complain about my job constantly, but I'm glad I'm gainfully employed, really. I'm not saying in any way my life is ideal, but I am glad many things have turned out well and that generally, I'm feeling mostly better than alright.

I cannot remember the last time I could say this, feel this, or even if I have been here before, ever. Contentment is, honestly, not familiar to me. Yet wonderful are my days with it! A still heart is a great treasure, as is a calm mind, and I savour these while I have them with me. Yet, perhaps greater than not needing anything is this blessing: that I was able to give to many others rather than just receive this both this year in general and this year-end in particular, that I was able to share happiness and joy with those around me (cf. Acts 20:35).

As I leave this year behind and look for the new one, I am both quietly proud and deeply humbled to be able to say that indeed, amongst many men, I am truly blessed.

For those of you who've shared my path, thank you.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2011 everyone.

Lots of Love,


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