I wrote this on 1 February 2011, explaining why I was so eager to go home to Malaysia after graduation. (I still like what I thought and felt.)

A few days after that my break ended and I left Malaysia for Australia.

33 days from now, it will be the first time I’ve set foot on home soil since.

It pains me to say that I have not been back since I wrote that article which says “the above reasons have made it quite clear to me that Malaysia is where I should be next year”.

Talk about contradicting yourself and speaking like a silly young person. (:

I am looking forward to going home though, even if for a short while. I love my roots and dare I say my country.

Well, the things that matter have not changed. The sentiments I expressed in that post have not changed.

I get disturbed when I hear so many express that migration is some sort of end goal they are working towards. Graduate –> IELTS –> job + PR. When I ask why, the overwhelming reason expressed is that “life is better in Australia”. I am generally unsupportive of that sort of decision making – especially when the motivation/deliberation of “how I can contribute to a particular community” is conspicuously missing. I don’t think it bids well for a community if the motivation of “how I can get ahead in life” drives its people more than “how I can benefit others”.

(Maybe 5 years from now my views will be more nuanced…maybe I won’t be so harsh.)

Life has been somewhat unusual since graduation in July 2011. Against my wishes / original plan, I began a job I found very very hard, especially at the start. I remember feeling everything was way beyond me.

Some weeks ago I wrote this, about some people who’ve amazed and impacted me this year. The password is hero for the interested, otherwise I think the tone is a bit too…extreme, as I can be in my outlook. Well if you follow my writing you know. Sometimes I surprise myself, at how sad, or how happy, or how adamant I am at different times.

Funny, I’ve come to like myself more this year.

It’s been a year full of many wonderful people. Or people have been wonderful to me, kind to me (and tolerant!!!). Or I have grown in capacity to appreciate people. Different people. It feels wrong to name or talk about them here.

I’ve become more aware and accepting and appreciative of my own weaknesses. I met someone this year, a young person my age, whose About Me on Facebook said:

“I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I wish to be. I am not what I hope to be. Yet I can truly say, I am not what I once was. By the grace of God, I am what I am” – John Newton.

For some reason that stayed with me. That is a sentiment I don’t fully relate to, and certainly it’s rare to see people honestly describe themselves like that? Maybe I will grow more in humility. And perhaps as I do I will become more forgiving of certain traits I have no patience for. More appreciative of fallen nature, perhaps.

At times I think I’ve become more serious and sombre, but some people still bring out the silly, irreverent and the childlike in me. I like being silly – it balances my driven nature. I like people who embrace my silliness.

At other times I’ve wrestled with some serious anger and sometimes inexplicably deep sadness.

I often live between extremities and don’t fully understand myself. I’ve continued to grapple with the instability, which at times I find frightening.

But in another sense, it’s come to matter less.

I’ve come to have a deep love for my bosses David and Ros. People in their 60s and 70s…they almost come from a different world. It is jarring…but for some reason I’ve come to hold them dear. I don’t know if this is sad commentary on my life. I’m not going to say much more but I certainly hope they do not read this. David would probably criticise me for being too open and Ros, well, I bet she thinks it is saccharine.

It makes me laugh. Yeah, I suppose I am like that. I laugh at my immaturity sometimes. Anyhow, it’s been a year of many struggles and perhaps struggling together tends to bind people together.

I went back to dancing this year. I almost cannot believe I did. It meant a lot to me, to be able to do that again. Dancing helps me say things I never find the words to say.

And I did love a boy this year.