It is the end of 2008, the end of so many things that has happened, to the world and in my life. So it’s hard to quantify, let alone qualify the moments that have happened in my life throughout the year. If we at the very least learned something new every day, there would be 365 things to write about and that’s only the stuff we can remember.
But there is one thing significant about 2008 that I will always relate to. It was the year I grew out of something. A year that was both its own hell and its own blessing. Its actual failure and its aspired success. It was the year I spent being alone and the year I realised I could be so much more because of it.
By nature, I like to be with people, not just for the company they are, but for the recognition they can give. A part that makes me feel “real” and valued as part of the society. It’s true that being deprived of any positive acknowledgement as a child still drives me to reach as high as I can in the hopes that I can feel vindicated of my purpose and achievements, but the reality is that because of that very nature and then some, I will always be apart from people.
The very part that drives me to be the best I can be is a part that most people will take as reasons for staying away until they need me. It’s a part of me that makes me difficult when dealing normal personal relationships. It’s not that I can’t maintain a professional relationship with people, it’s that anything more than that and the social bonds begin to unravel from the sheer difference of opinion and personality between myself and the rest of the world.
What 2008 brought into the mix was the realisation that I could be happier without people around. I could do so much more without being bothered by people’s constant preconceptions and misconceptions about my ethics, motives and actions. It’s not to say I don’t need people, because I still do. It’s that I have to accept that this is who I am and this is what I do before making the best use of what I have. People might not always agree with me, but they aren’t always right as well. Sometimes you have to learn to stop waiting for some sort of social validation and just commit to what you know are the better choices.
So I learned how to be independent on my own. Not in the terms of someone “living in a college dorm” independent, but someone who deals with the consequences of their own choices in the real world, where your mistakes can’t be covered by someone else and the only person to fall back on is yourself. I learned that without people around, the only validation you really need is your own reasons for doing it and the only critic you have to rely on is your own common sense.
At the end of the day at an end of this year, the truth still remains that nothing has changed, yet at the same time, everything is different. It’s true that socially, I am as devoid of close peers and camaraderies as I was at the beginning of the year, but realistically speaking, I don’t think they were as important to my life as I wanted to believe it was. I succeeded in what I wanted to get against what I thought were bad odds, only to realise that solitary independence aren’t bad odds.
You don’t need people to cheer you on to succeed. You just need a reason to succeed. A reason to forget everything else in the world save for the one you’re concentrating on right now. Because I learned this year, that’s what mattered to me above all else, what I’ve always fought for will always matter to me.
And the best thing about it is, I smile a whole lot better succeeding in life than I do trying to get along with people. That’s certainly worth the money shot alright.