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This year (of the Snake) was an exceptionally challenging year.

That’s what I hear from many people around me. It was a year of deaths, endings and new beginnings, a year in which feelings of betrayal and hurt linger, and one of realisation as the threads of past actions and decisions slowly tighten to weave a pattern of ‘Purpose’.

It’s also a year in which I alienated some of my closest friends and alas, found myself adrift in the sea of pain as I repeatedly asked myself certain questions in the hope of seeking some form of closure.

I have no regrets. It’s not that I don’t value those friends; if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have gone through so much pain. I still love them dearly, but I’m aware that some bonds are meant to be broken and some paths are meant to be travelled, perhaps not alone, but definitely not together. For good or for a certain period of time? It’s an unknown, but I’ve never run away from the unknown, so…I just tell myself to take things as they come, if they come.

The good thing that came out of all that pain was that I realised that I have perhaps, just perhaps…grown a little bit.

In the past, I wanted to say everything on my mind because I wanted my friends to understand where I was coming from. It wasn’t to coerce or persuade them into taking my side or anything like that. Hard as it may be to believe, I do prefer people with opinions and strong convictions. I’m all ears, even if you have a different opinion from me, but be prepared to answer my questions because I will have questions. I seek to understand the rationale behind that opinion, because I want to understand my friends and to broaden my mind, and not because I want to prove that I’m right.

Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised or a little mistaken.

A line from Emma, Jane Austen.

This strikes so close to home that I got the shivers when I read this. I used to seek complete truth in my relationships, at least with those whom I’m close with. I still do, but events of this year past have taught me that full disclosure doesn’t have to happen at once. In fact, many people probably can’t take the full truth at one go; we need it in little doses, stretched over a period of time. And sometimes, just sometimes, full disclosure just doesn’t matter because we’re not prepared to handle the turbulent emotions that these disclosures invoke. Some folks, to speak of a sad fact, will never learn to cope with reality and honesty in their lifetime.

We all make our decisions. Some, like me, choose the masochistic way and confront our small, mean selves despite the bile in our throats, the despair in our hearts, and the fear that constantly urges us to run, run, run and never look back. I can’t speak for others on this masochistic preference, but it’s definitely a conscious decision on my part.

I’ve seen what a woman’s evasive coping mechanisms and indiscriminate indulgence have done to her child and herself (they live with me), and hence, I vowed long ago never to turn my eyes away from reality, from the truth, no matter how bad it is, and no matter how big a responsibility or role I had in the creation of that bad situation.

This makes me an uncomfortable companion to be around, if you’re someone who has a habit of shying away from emotional danger (trust me, if you’ve ever looked at yourself hard enough, there’s no way that you’ll come away unscathed).

I’m neither strong nor tough, or any other impressive-sounding words that others have used to describe me. Neither am I complicated or difficult to understand, as many others have also said. On the contrary, DBS laughed when I told her that some of my friends have commented that I’m ‘complicated’.

You’re so simple that they’d be shocked at how simple you are.

Aside: I didn’t know whether to take that as a compliment or an insult…

To elaborate, what DBS meant was that others tend to project their inner complications onto me, thus ‘creating’ (in their minds, at least) a far more complicated me than I actually am. Then again, don’t we all do that, to a certain extent? Project our emotions onto others?

I’ve found some kind of closure at last. Not for all events nor persons, but at least regarding one of them. It’s not without some regret as I look back upon the circumstances and various past decisions that have brought about this change, but I think over the course of the year, I’ve slowly come to see the sense and purpose of how and why the outcome is as…it is.

All of us involved needed that. Life’s lessons, so as to speak. We needed the anger, the hurt, the sense of betrayal, the helplessness, and the confusion. We needed all these emotions to see beyond ourselves…to know that pride does indeed, come before a fall. I can’t speak for others, but I think the fog has cleared a little bit ahead of me.

My heart feels lighter despite the farewell bade to erstwhile comrades. Although life is too unpredictable for anyone to say that goodbye is permanent, this I do know:

With or without those dearly cherished friends, I’ll move on ahead…to a place where I can love and be loved, accept and be accepted. As T.L. Gray so succinctly puts it, it’s also ‘No More Waiting‘ for me.

What was 2013 like for you?