The world didn’t end in 2012.
I was going to write about my year-end trip to north-western France, but that can wait. It dawned upon me that on the last day of 2012, I should probably summarize this peculiar year, because too many things have happened, way too many…
I thought 2011 was quite eventful, so at the beginning of the year 2012, I had hoped for a calmer, less eventful year. Well that went right out the window.
Several big events took place in 2012:
- After being a Christian for more years than I could count, I got baptised on September 8, 2012.
- My best friend in Canada, Florence, got married on September 15, 2012. I participated in her wedding as her maid of honour.
- I entered the third and last year of my PhD, passing the midterm confirmation exam on September 28, 2012.
- I turned quarter-of-a-century old on the same day.
Hmm. Come to think of it, everything seemed to have concentrated around September, which was also the month I went back to Canada. Of course, that doesn’t mean the rest of the months of the year were dull and boring. On the contrary, I travelled to more places than I ever dreamed of, met more people than I thought possible, said goodbye more times than I would have liked, and experienced more of life than I could imagine. And in the midst of joy, sadness, anticipation, disappointment, and all the emotions that were intertwined, I regret nothing.
A photo taken in 2011 by Florence, when we went on our road trip in Tobermory, Canada. This still remains one of my favourite photos taken of me, even though my face can’t be seen. It felt like I was standing at the edge of the world, contemplating the meaning of my existence and the purpose of everything I do.
In 2012, in addition to travelling, I took a lot of photos. I cooked a lot. I sang a lot. I wrote a lot. Yes, there are the five greatest things in life, at least for me. And in the midst of all of this, I am still a PhD student. I can’t forget that.
Yes, I am a student. I am working to become a professional in my field of scientific research, but I am not a professional and will probably never be a professional in any of the things I am interested in (not to say I am not interested in my research) – that’s why they are called hobbies. I take pictures, but I hesitate to call myself a photographer, because I am not an artist, but someone who points a camera and shoots an image. I cook for my friends because I love to see their satisfaction of having a warm dinner after a long day at work. I sing because I love the feeling of mixing emotions with words and melodies, of stretching my lungs until they’re out of breath without worrying about neighbours complaining. Am I a good singer? I don’t know. I don’t care.
As for writing, words have a magical power that take over me as soon as I grab a pen or lay my fingers on the keyboard. Sometimes it feels good to pick up a pen and a notepad and write. Just write. No thinking, no hesitation. And I insist on writing. Even when it seems like nothing could be said, I still write, because it is the essence of my life. When coherent words come together and materialize into something that is more than ramblings and random jot notes, you see the results – this blog. A sincere thanks to WordPress for its support over the past two years. Without such an awesome platform, this wouldn’t have been possible…(end of emotional cliché) 😉
Enjoying a rare, tranquil afternoon spent alone, listening to my favourite music, writing in my journal, and sipping some red wine in my tiny apartment in Bordeaux (I pretend I know wine when I really don’t know anything at all).
Before I end this entry, I’d like to share with you some scattered notes that I have gathered throughout the past year. Just some last words before the new year arrives…(actually a lot of stuff I write is in Chinese, so I’ll just share the few English ones I’ve jotted down.)
You may not shed tears when you leave, but you will never know who sheds tears for you when you leave. (December 3, 2012)
Sometimes I wish that God would take away my feelings so that I don’t have to feel guilty about feelings that I’m not supposed to feel. (November 23, 2012)
24 hours, 23 kilos, 14 days, 6 hours of jetlag, 5 currencies, 4 cities, 3 airplanes, 2 continents, 1 weary heart. (June 13, 2012)
Art is subjective. The definition of art is also subjective. Just because I have a camera in my hand and take photos that I call “art”, does that make me a “photographer”? (March 28, 2012)
Fight, but don’t be foolish. Ask, but don’t be unreasonable. Wait, but don’t be stubborn. (December 16, 2011)