Where did the year go? (And how many people across the world are saying the same thing?)
Truth be told, there were times when I'd remember a memory (the Coldplay concert in Taiwan, for example) and realize that it happened just not too long ago.
A few days, a few weeks, a few months back.
Our first trip to Balai La-Hi happened in 2017 too! (And I can't wait to return.)
It feels surreal sometimes, reminiscing--as if you're watching a distant bay as you head into vast sea--venturing into the great unknown, while waxing nostalgic about the things that felt familiar.
When one thinks about it, there's a certain sense of comfort in the things one is acquainted with. (Better the devil you know, as the saying goes.) And I guess that's the reason why a lot of people get stuck in a lot of shitty situations. We're very adaptable that way. We shrug our shoulders and roll up our sleeves, whispering to ourselves, "Hey, it can't be that bad. This is normal. This is okay."
You look at a speck of dust close enough, and begin to believe it's all the world is made of.
But it's not. We just get used to things. We settle with friends who treat us awfully, jobs that leave us with no sense of purpose, or relationships that make us question our worth.
Some people stay rooted, choosing to wrap their branches around the life they're currently in. Others though aspire for more. They demand something bigger, something greater. They dream better dreams.
This coming new year, I want to look ahead, farther--and only take what strengthens me. I want to wean myself from everything that holds me back--the things that do not help me grow into empathy or kindness.
I've always said that I seek the maximum human experience: to know and to feel the gradations of what is to be human. Slowly, I am realizing that staying insular--that is, being dismissive of other people's lives as unworthy of exploration, prevents me to understand the textures and contrasts of human experience.
I am learning. I won't say that the next year will make me reach a zenith of sorts. Obviously, the goal is not truly a goal, as cliche as that sounds--but rather, more of immersing one's self in the journey, and to be attuned to what one needs, at a particular time, and a particular place. For now, I believe what I need, most of all, is being more open and being more sensitive.
With 2017 almost over, I count the days to the end excitedly.
HELLO, MY NAME IS EVAN TAN.
I'm a writer and communications professional based in Manila, Philippines. Outside of my regular job, I like to travel, work out, volunteer, watch movies and plays, go to art galleries/ fairs and museums, read books, and eat vegetarian food.
More about me here.