And so the last year on the Mayan Calendar came to an end, and a whole new unknown world awaits us. In the same way, uncertainty and mystery await me in reality. This year has been a strange year of anomaly that lay out of a spate of fortuitous years. My past four years prior to this had been unbelievably outstanding, unforgettable good memories sprinkled with many first-time and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

However, this year, 2012, had been slightly different. Perhaps my streak of good luck ran out. Perhaps it was a gentle reminder of the things I have overlooked in the hype of a golden period in my life . Perhaps it was to cool things down, and celebrate the peace bestowed to me, which I had casually discarded.

The year started off with an end- my graduation from Waseda University.

It was the first time in more than 10 years, that my whole family had gathered somewhere away from Singapore. My whole family, including my aunt and cousin, came to Japan to commemorate this significant milestone in my life. 399053_10150696885048430_253331426_n

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As I was standing at the crossroads of my life, totally at a loss without a plan nor a compass, several events were taking place around me. I was working, then part-time, at a company that was about to accept me as an official staff. It all seemed set to sail smoothly until the company went bankrupt before I got my first pay. It came as a shock, and I learnt the cruel reality, thankfully not by the hardest way.

I moved on. I started wondering what I could do with my life, from the most realistic and down-to-the-earth paths everyone else is taking, to the craziest ideas with the slightest possibilities, which sparked the wild side of me to take the gamble and take up the challenge.

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I had several opportunities to appear on Japanese television, and then on television in China. Becoming a celebrity did not seem like a dream too far away… until my failure in a particular audition shattered the dream and brought me back to reality. “You have the academic qualifications and a bright future ahead. Take the path already opened up to you,” my manager sternly reminded me of what my strengths and weaknesses were.

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Acquaintances and friends around me started their own little businesses and some already reaping fruits of their labour. Maybe I could follow their footsteps and become successful? The thought lingered for a long while before my savings were crashing to zero, and the idea started fading out. I had no money, no experience, no knowledge, and most critically, no visa to stay in Japan. It was out of the question.

And then there were some other random ideas, but none of them had the slightest chance of working out, and soon I was back in a black suit desperately looking for a company willing to accept me. Eventually, it did go well, and I got a job. And before I could recall the flow of events, I was packing my luggage, clearing my room, to move to a brand new city to work.

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In some other ways, 2012 was an interesting year of reunions. I met up with people whom I first knew online 5 years ago, before I even came to Japan. I met up with friends whom I knew many years ago, yet haven’t met since I came to Japan.

Perhaps it brought me back to where I started, so I could reset my bearings for a new start.

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2012 was also a year that reminded me of the important things in life. Not so much the glamour, the money, the academics, but the people around me- my family and friends.

Who am I, without the people around me?

I have taken this path that I have chosen, and I have the responsibility to do my best in it.

Just like every year, 2012 has also been a year of ups and downs, but one of the most important thing that I learnt this year, is to appreciate the present. I seemed to have forgotten some important things in life, and now it is still not too late to retrieve them.

Especially from now on, it is going to be a long way to success or glory or whatever aim I have. I just hope that I won’t lose my bearings again in this chaotic battle of every day life.

The road ahead will not be an easy one, but I won’t let the noise around me drown my passion.

Deep inside me, I know what I want.

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