What a year it has been!
This is the first time that I’m celebrating my birthday in a different timezone, without my family and without a customary bowl of ‘tang yuen’ as part of the winter solstice celebration because they both always coincide. Instead, I made my way down to Brighton with my friend Jean to join in the annual Burning of the Clocks. It is said that people do it to ward away bad stuff, and this year they also added a tribute to those who have passed on. We couldn’t think of a better way to spend the eve of my birthday.
As the burning took place as shown in the photo and some names were acknowledged, I took a moment to remember my two uncles and my grandma who passed on this year, the losses and disappointments, and also loved ones who have gone through quite a rough year. Indeed, the world has took quite a turn in just a year, and we are all yearning for a better 2017.
And then I took time to remember the good stuff too. The chance to come to London to pursue my studies in something I am passionate about, the kindness shown to me by strangers who have become friends (and some, family), the precious stories exchanged, the experience of a different kind of freedom and even the free car ride to Brighton earlier today – I have much to be thankful for. Even the not-so-great moments have served as important life lessons to me.
As part of the intention of this short post, I hope that the rest of us will take a moment to be grateful for the good things that have happened in this interesting year – big and small, particularly the small. Because they are pretty much there every single day, sometimes gone unnoticed.
I’d like to also encourage us all to spend some time and effort in being kind to others. Our sense of empathy makes us who we are, so do not be afraid to walk in someone else’s shoes once in awhile if that makes us a little more vulnerable, more human. What good are our laurels if we become just them – stagnant, proud and hanging on the high wall without being much use at all?
To end with an update, I will be spending the rest of December in Brighton, Stratford-upon-Avon and several places in Wales (update: OK, we didn’t make it to Wales due to some unforeseen circumstances, so we went to Cotswolds, Warwick and Birmingham instead – but hey, life is all about detours, isn’t it?) before we head back to jolly old London. The city is beginning to grow on me a little more each day. Even in winter.
And to the birthday wishes in all forms and sizes, thank you very much. I appreciate them all. 🙂
In case this is my last post for the year (I tend to let my photos on Instagram do most of the documenting lately – I’m still looking for the spark to write more again), I’d like to wish everyone a blessed, meaningful Christmas, and an amazing New Year.
To giving thanks.
To more kindness.
To more joy.
To more love.
To something better.
May peace be with you all, always.