Sunday, January 16, 2011

2010 in Review

It took me a while to recollect my thoughts for 2010.

Overall 2010 was a very difficult year for me. It was a year where I had plenty of downs and a modicum of ups. The lessons learned made me a stronger and better person. 2010 thought me humility and pushed me back to basics. It led me out of my comfort zone. Through that I rediscovered myself.

The happy things I could remember are the many places I traveled, people I met and things I have learned from them. There were also good surprises from people who came to visit me in London. Some investments have also paid off on the financial side except those related to the British currency.

Still the most valuable things to me are those that cannot be bought - family, friends and people who care. It drew me out of seeking pleasure from the ephemeral satisfaction of material and fairweather friends. That pride and arrogance took a big hit through the setbacks that happened one after another.

The journey to becoming a Chartered Engineer and the fight to stay in employment during the recession will always remind me of the difficulties in 2010. Say this is the luck I deserve for being in London but these will always strengthen me to deal with bigger issues in future. It is true that anyone who can survive in London, can survive anywhere. Overcoming these made me realise I have truly grown up. These were the times I wasn't allowed to cry and was always telling myself to stay calm and carry on.

I felt extremely lonely in those times. I felt I was all by myself and that no one understood my feelings. But those consoling words from family and friends will always be treasured greatly.

Faced with these difficult situations I had to juggle with "staying happy" so that people at home will not get too worried for me especially my late grandmother who occasionally asked about me. Perhaps another immigrant would only understand what this feeling is all about.

And speaking of her, 2010 was also the year I have lost my dear grandmother. She has left a big hole in the family and her absence was felt immediately. I wouldn't categorically say this was the culmination of the streak of bad news for 2010. As Christians, we believe that she is now in a better place.

My grandmother's passing away and the string of other disappointing news have given birth to a very important and meaningful philosophy for me to start the new year:

"I've only failed when I do not have a life to try again."