We are getting closer to the new year and this will be another test that you must complete. This years energy has been overwhelmingly positive because we can start to see the imprint that we built…
Originally written January 2, 2017
She started her year with fireworks.
It was the local fireworks show and there was a collective audience of less than a thousand people, most of them families with kids. Afterwards, she had a few bottles of beers and glasses of sparkling and a dose of merry-making with people she met just a little over a week ago. They were at the small town of Naseby (45.0235° S, 170.1479° E), at probably the only pub open in the entire sleepy town. Intoxicated and without proper sleep, she spent the morning till noon cycling for 38 kilometers. She realized she quite liked cycling, so ten months later, she bought her own bicycle and cycled longer distances.
She spent the next few months watching out for the silver car. Silver is the second most popular car color, in fact, 20% of cars being driven around are silver. She walked the very same trail that the silver car used to drive by, even if it meant going out of her way, hoping to see it, or him. She regretted counting the freckles that went from the back of his neck to the end of his spine. Or memorising the way he laughs. Yet at the same time, she regretted not jumping with both feet. The rather low probability (calculated using her rusty Statistics knowledge) of seeing the silver car again did not go her way. Most probably caused by a developed habit (because it takes 21 days of doing the same thing to form a habit, and she definitely passed the point of 21), she still checks out the road for silver cars. But not as often, and definitely with less desire than before.
She found out that shit happens. Even to the best of us. Even in a first world country, where the lock-out laws of the city nightlife is considered one of the most pressing matters (Not to be mistaken, she wholeheartedly supports #keepsydneyopen). She thought to herself, she lived in probably definitely one of the most notorious places in Manila, where pickpocketing and drunkards chugging down cheap gin first thing in the morning are considered normal. She left that place unscathed, surely, she will survive anywhere. But one day, she went home to a broken mailbox. She had her credit card stolen. And her identity. And her trust in people.
She travelled to the other side of the world and set her feet in Europe for the first time. It was her equivalent of Eat, Pray, Love, except she never read that book and thought the movie was too cheesy and full of clichés. She landed in Istanbul just two days after a suicide bombing incident. Ironically, it was at that place that she regained the trust in people that got stolen back home. She learned a thing or two about history. She loved two to five things in each country she visited. She gained five to seven pounds from stuffing herself with amazing food.
One night, over 2 euro beers and deafening music, she met someone who she had great conversation with, talk that ranged from toy trains to homelessness to politics to stand-up comedy. They went to one of the highest points of Barcelona and kissed, with the dim lights of the city surrounding them. She hesitated when he asked for her number, as she wanted to bottle up the encounter and leave it as it is (she is a massive fangirl of Before Sunrise). She gave in and they kept in touch: she updated him of her travels while he updated her of the mundane life back at work. She jumped on the train going from Austria to Germany to see him again. He brought her to a castle, an actual castle. It was something a romantic would call romantic, but she is not a romantic. She thought it was too cheesy and full of clichés. However, she liked that it made for a good story to tell.
For the first time in her entire existence, she inhaled anaethesia, which she learned, in an unfortunate event, would make one do stupid things like throwing in your perfectly working phone into the washing machine. For the first time in her entire existence, she has undergone a medical operation. For the first time in her entire existence, her blood level was normal. She never knew that normal felt that good.
She drowned herself in art. She saw the greats: Picasso. Klimt. Gaudi. Van Gogh. Montaner. Cadafalch. Laurencin. Monet. Kahlo. Dali. Warhol. She saw local artists from small art galleries close to her apartment to the bigger ones in the city. She liked them all, but she considered the ones that called her name the best ones. Monet’s Water Lilies. The Wait by Picasso. Chinese Offspring by Zhang Dali. And her tattoo. It was her first tattoo.
She pedalled. She climbed mountains. She learned how to properly do a backward bend, which she never got to learn, not even when she was younger and her bones were more flexible and all the girls at school were doing it. She was buying bicycle accessories, yoga mat, and hiking and sports shoes when her previous self would have spent that money on frilly dresses and five different red lipsticks with variations in shade only she can tell.
She ended her year with fireworks.
It was the infamous fireworks display at the Sydney Opera House, and on the average, 1.5 million people camped the perimeter to watch up close. She thought it would be smarter to enjoy it from a far distance, and so she did. She had a few bottles of beers and glasses of sparkling and a dose of merry-making with a mix of people she has been good friends with and some she met just a little over an hour ago. They were at the cosmopolitan area of Pyrmont (33.8737° S, 151.1957° E), at one of the many joints open in the entire buzzing town. As she was counting down, looking up, waiting for the sky to be illuminated by the fireworks, she realized that there was one unsettled question she has to find a conclusion to, a cliffhanger to her 2016. She promised herself that she will get to it once her hand becomes fully aware that it has to write a 7 instead of a 6 after 201. After all, it takes 21 days of doing the same thing to form a habit, and she was hoping that at that point, she will have an answer.
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