Just another personal post that I need to write today on 12.1.12. One of those days when my blog becomes my diary.
1. I like being a hermit. I don’t have a need to be popular and solo can be good. If people are rude enough to call me antisocial to my face, to deliberately embarrass me and bring me down, then I don’t need to be polite to them. (sigh, there are such people in my life) Also I have hit the loneliest point of my life when I was surrounded by a group of people who were supposed to be friends. Never felt so alone or so dispirited. So having people around you doesn’t mean you won’t be lonely. I actually feel happiest when I have just one caring person with me. Someone with whom we can sit in silence at times, or just say a few words and they get you. I have been passive my whole life, but I am not as easygoing (doormat) as I used to be. I now am more insistent when I am in discomfort about something. I used to just put up with it and go with the flow. As a result I only keep company with those very close to me and who are on the same wavelength. It’s too hard for me to explain or try to get them to understand how I feel, as I am sure it’s hard for them as well.
2. Since losing my darling father, I don’t take loved ones for granted anymore. Don’t want to have any more regrets about what I wish I had done or said. Wish I could have even just one more minute. That minute would be like infinity to me. I always wonder, could this be my last conversation with them? It’s morbid, but in a way it helps me be more open and let them know how much they mean to me even though the mushiness can at times be embarrassing for them.
3. This is not a good one as my anxiety levels have hit the roof, but perhaps I hope, when I reach my 50’s I will learn a way to calm down.
4. I want to travel to a new place each time if I ever get the chance. The budget is too small, time is too short and the earth is too big for repeat visits. I don’t want to wait till my health doesn’t allow me the flexibility anymore. If you’re in your teens or twenties, I would advise to travel as much as you can. It’s when you you don’t mind roughing it and you could get far on a student package and a budget.
5. I used to feel immortal in my twenties. Due to my particular life circumstances, once I hit 31, I increasingly became aware of how short life is and how we can be struck with illness or injury. It’s not a good thing and I long for those carefree days when I was game to try anything.
6. My passions have remained constant. Reading, Writing, Learning, Travelling and Great Movies. I realize that working life in Singapore, depending on what kind of work environment you have, can make your life come to a grinding halt. For 10 years straight I did not have a moment to pick up a book, working till past midnight. It was crazy and I don’t know how I did it. At one point I really think I was becoming a workaholic. I was seriously getting high on it. I even missed really important family events thinking work was so darn important. I was inflated with a sense of self importance as well. Oh how complacent, egotistical and wrong I was. I soon learnt that employers have no loyalty to you although they expect employees to have loyalty towards them. When it comes to it, you are not indispensable, your job can be easily outsourced. Heck your whole department could. So don’t let work take over your life if it’s possible. (I know, hard in Singapore because of the crazy expectations to attend all work social functions outside of the already crazy work hours, or be labelled as not being a team player). I have always liked learning but as I get older I have an even greater passion for it. Everyday I want to learn something new. I feel so restless about it and I hope I don’t ever lose that positive energy.
7. I didn’t know anything about fine art or museums till I hit 30 and now they are one of my favourite places to visit when I am travelling to a new city.
8. I used to have a strong faith, but that has sadly eroded. I wish I could get back to being spiritual. Felt I was so much happier then. I guess Science and life events ruined that for me.
9. I think my memory is just as good or even better in some ways, then it used to be. Maybe all this blogging plus my offline journalling help me to retain information. I only get hazy when I don’t get enough sleep and I found that I optimally need 9 hours a day.
10. I treasure silence, solitude and moments of peace. It’s heaven to be able to read, write and sit quietly with your thoughts. I really am becoming an old fogie and I love it.
It’s striking how much of our strength comes to us through adversity. Look back at your list and you’ll see it was the hard times that made you more resilient and self-aware. That, to me, is one of the hallmarks of midlife. And I completely agree with you on #10! More often than not these days, the company I crave is my own.
Yeah the cliche really is true. I did learn and grow due to the hard times. I am still lucky compared to millions of others but I am happy to have had my blinders removed as I get older. Yeah and I never would have thought this when I was younger. That I would actually crave and enjoy solitude.
After reading this, I just can’t resist to say a few words here. I must say that I concur with almost all you just said. You emphasized aged 31 yrs as your turning point. Whereas I was still felt carefree and immortal at that age.
I only realised of our human fragility when I hit my 40s. I’m coming to my 49 yrs. Soon it will be 50 and then 60 and so on. It is moving relentlessly and getting faster too. I always say I can see my finishing line.
Over the last few yrs, I lost 3 of my colleagues ie Train Officers all in their 40s! That woke me up. When they offer me promotion, I say forget it. Give it to the younger ones. I prefer to keep a low profile and enjoy my remaining precious yrs.
Partly of my re-awoken self realisation, I decided to take charge of my life. Walked out of my other self more than 4yrs ago. Recently just finalised. Sold off my flat and live with my parents. Started to really read some good books – I stopped a while and cont’d few yrs back. Plan for my future retirement or how to lead my life. Spend less time with superficial people Like your prevous blog on relationship wif frens – cut off insincere frens out to impress u.
Yes only recently I started serious blogging cuz I find it very cathartic and satisfying esp I have made new cyber frens like urself and “A Sgorean in Aus”. Life is so uncertain. In case Im gone tomor, I have left something behind for ppl to read and share. Better than those beer drinking frens I used to mix after work. I used to sit with them drinking dozens of beer till 1 or 2 am talking over nothing! Those frens wont standby me when Im in trouble. They got access to internet but they dont bother to comment or encourage my blogging. Instead they condemn me for being stupid to langgar with management etc. Can I depend on them for help? Only can drink beer and talk over trivialities! But I must say only a 2 or 3 of them amongst the so many who stand by me.
Having 2 or 3 good frens or “kindred spirits” is suffice. No need so many to crowd around me! I can go on and on but then its your blog. Not so nice to hog here.
Keep on writing. I would like to drink coffee with you and your partner one day. Cheers!
Thank you so much for sharing your very personal experiences. Especially about how our priorities change over time. Glad to find I am not alone in this. I may be a hermit but I really do enjoy the exchange of ideas and thoughts through blogging. Feels like I learn something from fellow bloggers daily. Yeah it’s nice to know that even after we go at least we have made our little ‘drawing on the cave wall’.
Welcome the changes you want, and let no one make disparaging remarks to you about them. They’re not living your life for you. 🙂
Thanks so much for the words of affirmation and encouragement imp 🙂 Often I want to kick myself for feeling guilty when I shouldn’t.
I make no apologies for realizing and embracing that I need my personal space, and that it is what keeps me sane. I used to berate myself to get out more, but now I understand that I need balance…and that for me, balance involves far more isolation than for most.
Great post. Lots of good points. I think as people figure out they should live for what they want not what other people tell them they should want, that is a great step. And sadly, too many people don’t realize how short life is. You have to figure out what you want and then go after it.
I loved how you put it John. Thanks 🙂 Don’t want to live based on what other people tell me I should want.