5 Jan 2017

Reflections on 2016

I didn't realise how momentous 2016 was until yesterday, when I was filing away Christmas cards and re-read this postcard from a good friend.
Stamped 24 Nov 2015, San Francisco
For me 2015 and 2016 blurred into one huge quest of trying to climb out of quicksand. I can't quite distinguish when one year ended and the other began. The first half of 2016 was lost to many hospitalisations. Out of my reverie came the desire for eating for pleasure, exploring unfamiliar places with the Canon, getting lost on cobblestone streets. I had sighed to my friend when I saw our mutual friends' instagram post- #Yosemite. "I was supposed to be there" but vacation plans had to be indefinitely postponed.

Do you remember last summer when there was a heat wave that rendered many sleepless nights for many in Auckland? Either spend the night in feverish heat or open the windows and be a feast for mosquitoes. Your mind does well to forget painful memories but I remember clearly the night I was in utter state of discomfort in my parents' room, too hot to sleep, too tired to eat.

I got the postcard that night. That was a surprise, I thought I was the only one who appreciated the novelty of snail mail, but I hadn't sent any that year so I was a little puzzled; who do I know in California? Turns out the friend who was in San Francisco wrote to me, and the last sentence on the back of that postcard was "praying that God has good plans for you and that you'll make it out here some other time".

Neither he nor I could predict that that would come true so soon. How amazing that I was strong enough to cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge later on that year, my willpower making up for the lack of muscles. I could not have imagined spending my 24th birthday marvelling at the architecture of Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall, drifting to sleep to Stravinsky. I saw Pollock, Monet, Rauschenberg, Hopper, Rothko in real life, real size and was moved to tears at the beauty of color and composition, knowing how much some of them have fought to be included in a gallery. I got to see my American auntie for the 2nd time that year, this time my cousin whom I haven't seen in 5 years came to meet me too.
My cousin, me and my auntie. SFO
By the end of 2016 I had gotten out of the quicksand and was on full throttle to make up for lost time. I met key people that got me wondering "where have you been all my life?". I know God sent them; to encourage, to walk alongside, to entertain, to influence me (or "positive peer pressure") and to remind me that my mind can be one dimensional sometimes.

I have plans for 2017, but then so did I in 2015 which quickly came undone like ribbons on ballerina's shoes. But you have to keep dancing on stage.
Are my plans God's plans for me too? I can only know if stay sensitive and open minded to changes. I know that whatever plan He has for me, whether they are the same with mine or not, are good. They are good and they are not worth going against.

Whoever you are, I pray that God's plans for you are good too. And if you ever forget it and are tossing and turning in the middle of your own unbearable heat wave, I'll send you a postcard to remind you.