My 2018 {Insert Clichéd Reflection Title}

It seems like the speed at which each year passes is proportionate to the number of responsibilities one takes on. 2018 marks many firsts, both tangible and otherwise. Having built my blog around introspection, end-of-year reflections surprisingly do not come naturally to me, and needless to say, neither do New Year resolutions. However, 2018 has given me clarity like no other year had, and I recognise the benefits of stocktaking. This will be my last entry of the year. 


To me, looking back conjures up images of ‘what ifs’, ‘could haves’, and regret; I have always strived to be at peace with every decision I’ve made, even the ones that ended in disaster. Every experience has made me a better person, and to think that one can grow on positives alone is just silly. Reflecting on 2018, however, wasn’t all doom and gloom; there were indeed things to be thankful for!

2018 was a year of significant milestones. It marked my first actual full-time stint at an organisation, enabling me to earn an income to sustain myself. I remember how liberating it felt to be able to handle my own expenditures without having to rely on my parents. Most Singaporeans grow up sheltered for the most part, and with the ability to take responsibility over my own finances, I no longer felt like a little boy who needed to be constantly spoon-fed. Having to pay for something out of my own pocket has also helped me take fewer things for granted.

It was a catalyst that sparked off a deeper realisation that I was in a position to pursue my aspirations in life without consigning them to wistful imagination. My long-suppressed desire to move to Japan resurfaced once more, not as a fantasy, but as a doable goal; I was no longer intimidated by the odds, and I was able to afford Japanese classes, examinations, and even save up for a potential move. I remember how conversations with older adults prior to my graduation were laced with laments about their yearning to turn back time and return to school, but, challenging as it may be to shoulder real responsibilities as an adult, knowing that I am no longer powerless to shape my own future is extremely empowering. It also means that I will, more than ever, be held accountable for my own failures, but that is a price I can live with.

2018 was also the year I started devoting more time, effort, and love into writing, namely towards my blog. It is easy to develop an indifference towards a project with few readers, even more so when one is under the delusion that possessing a passion for writing is sufficient to make every writing experience enjoyable. I was, however, moved by fellow writers who were also patiently building up an audience and persevering with content that goes against contemporary literary trends; content that is honest and straight from the heart. Encouraged, I resolved to press on. Towards the tail end of the year, I implemented a content schedule that I have, for the most part thus far, succeeded in following. I am excited about how this will shape my blog for the year ahead, and above all, I am beyond grateful for your support of my work this whole time, as well as your patience through my procrastination and experimentation of writing styles. I hope that you too are looking forward to better and more diverse content in the coming months and beyond.

With every positive, there remain moments that I am not too proud of. There were lapses in discipline, desire, and an all-round lack of inner steel. Bearing these shortcomings in mind, could I have achieved much more? Absolutely. Alas, it is a slippery slope that ultimately ends in resentment. Instead, I dust myself up and remain committed to doing better. I’ve already spilt the milk, I don’t want to shatter the glass as well.

As 2018 draws to a close, we look forward to the new year, but 2019 isn’t exactly a blank slate either; it doesn’t magically erase 2018’s troubles. New Year’s Day marks the start of just another day, and we get by the way we usually do, not by setting lofty resolutions, but by rolling up our sleeves, gritting our teeth, readying ourselves for another battle, and counting small victories.


On that note, I wish you a blessed New Year, wherever in this vast world you may be. May the year ahead be one of opportunities, growth, and peace. 

Much love,
Benjamin

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