Sunday, January 6, 2013

Not just another Auld Lang Syne

Another year passed and gone, it's the time for many of us to start reflecting upon the last year and all our accomplishments, our ups and downs, the people who have come and gone through our lives, and how much we have overcome the past year. I guess I will join in the fun and do a bit of evaluation of my own year as well.

First of all, this was definitely not just another New Year's Eve for me, for this marked my very first time greeting the New Year away from my family, one that was spent purely with friends, a bigger celebration than I've ever experienced before, with crowds, excitement, an actual countdown, glorious fireworks from Taipei 101 that I could only dreamed of seeing before from watching TV, an all-nighter of karaoke afterward, and even a flag-raising ceremony with Taiwan's president to greet the first dawn of the new year. Exciting? Definitely. Exhausting? No doubt, but well worth it. This New Year was definitely worth celebrating. Being in a new country, new experiences, new friends, all a part of a new beginning.

2012 has definitely been an intense year for me, with much drastic changes, realizations, discoveries, and LOTS of learning and growing as an individual. Life has surely taken me a long way in the past 6 months, considering just half a year ago, I had absolutely no clue where I was headed. I was fed up and unfulfilled by my life at the time, and desperately wanted to leave. I never thought that Taiwan would even be a possibility for me. As much as I like the country and the culture, working in Taiwan was not an option I was considering, for it would mean that I would be half-way across the world completely on my own for the first time, something that my overprotective parents would strongly frown upon. Yet somehow, as if by some mysterious force of fate, I happened to glance at the program book of my school's job fair and spotted the Taiwanese Embassy on it, the ONLY international organization out of all the local school districts on the list. Out of curiosity, I decided to check out their booth. One thing led to another, and next thing I knew, I have landed a job teaching English in Taiwan! The surprising thing is, my parents actually supported the idea and urged me to try it out, for the program seems well-organized and reliable. So in a way, it was also a very big leap for my parents as well, to learn to let go of me and send me out to face the world on my own, no longer sheltered under their protective arms. I love them dearly for doing this for me!

The months following my arrival in Taiwan were a whirlwind of getting settled, adapting to the new life and job, culture shocks, excitement of exploring new places, meeting new people, new discoveries, everything that a colorful life should be. I have never felt so alive, just breathing in the freshness of a new life! Being in Taiwan has definitely challenged me to realize many things about myself, what I'm really capable of, what I can live without, who really matters and truly cares, and helped me realize what I truly value in life. I feel like I have accomplished much more in the past 4 months than I have in years spent in the U.S. I hope to accomplish even greater things in the next year, with even more exciting adventures in the making. 

Anyway, to follow traditions, here are some of my resolutions for this new year:

1. Travel and explore more of Taiwan (definitely doable!)
2. Explore other countries
3. Meet more people & make more new friends
4. Keeping in touch with old friends who matter
5. Get into a better sleeping schedule
6. Learn to cook better
7. Improve my Chinese (drastically!)
8. Keep up with my blogging more

Even though I really hope to achieve all these for the coming year, there is a one other resolution that I long to accomplish most of all. I think I can actually do without any other resolutions as long as I can find a way to achieve this one resolution. Ironically, the achievement of this "one" resolution remains completely out of my control...