It has been a while since we bid 2015 farewell and most have accepted that fact. I, too, have made a conscious decision that this year shall be a new one.
It’s just that my brain took its sweet time to do so.
About a few weeks ago, I made a phone call to my good friend and we chatted away merrily like we usually did back in the day. Then, she mentioned something hilarious that happened two years ago. It sounded familiar to me so I thought that it occurred around 2013.
If expressions could be transmitted through voice calls then I’d imagine that she was making one that was of confusion, disbelief and bewilderment. It took me a while to realise that it was 2016 now and that I wasn’t around for 2014. During that time, my former classmates back in my old school were in Form 4 learning about SPM basics while I was already transitioning to Form 5 to take on the IGCSE.
It took a few weeks for me to stop writing “2015” whenever I’m filling out the date on my essay. Even then, I still felt like I’m lagging behind in the times. This was made very clear to me when I found myself struggling to answer a simple quiz on current events during the first economics class of the year. Granted, some of the questions were difficult but most of them were pretty much common knowledge that I should have known about. My month in Japan was certainly a major factor in this case as my host family did not have WiFi. The news there wasn’t any good either. It was mostly about Abe introducing a new tax rebate on certain food items or the controversial deal between South Korea and Japan. The Koreans were still miffed despite the fact that Abe had sincerely apologised to South Korea for wartime atrocities. Demanding the removal of a statue erected in memory of the “comfort” women of Korea that suffered probably was not the best way to go about resolving the issue…
Anyways, there were some changes in my life as well in this fresh new year. For starters, I lost an amazing 5 kilos over the past month! (Woo!) In order to keep up the good work that my stay in Japan had accomplished, I started to take up running in the evenings. I also started to do some exercises as well to complement my running. Of course, as determined as I was, I wasn’t going to straight away run 1o km and do 100 sit-ups, push-ups and squats every single day. That would be ridiculous.
In terms of school, the new term was pulling out all the stops for activities. School rugby tournaments, IGCSE exams, A-level trials, cross-country and a lot…of….breaks.
With the Thaipusam and CNY breaks falling in the same term, teachers were scrambling to cram as much info into their students’ heads before the last term approaches. With the inclusion of the school’s many exeats, you could feel the stress piling up amongst them. One teacher even considered holding a test during a public holiday. As a Sixth Form student, this meant that time management was king. And this skill will be put to the test for this term and the next for me as I had signed up for a staggering 7 extra-curricular activities while juggling extra classes in between. Such a packed schedule would certainly take its toll on my sleep and rest. But for now, I’ll see how it goes.
With so many new things popping up and new changes happening around my life, I wonder.
Will I ever be the same again when the year comes to a close? Will I still be me?
Scientifically, we all won’t as our bodies replace cells every second. But does that mean that we’re all new? Not really. We retain our memories just fine and that does not make us anymore different than the people we were a minute ago.
It is almost as if we are living in the present and the past at the same time.
New year, same me.