2019: Slighted. Shaken. Stirred. Slapped. Smacked. Stricken. Sidelined. Sleepless. Sunk. Stung. Stunt.

Yes, as I look back on this soon-to-be-old year, these words just seem to naturally float to the top of my mind. Goes without saying that this hasn’t exactly been a great year for yours truly. If given a choice, I would certainly wish to erase it and start all over.

I honestly hate to get into the details of why I say these adjectives describe my year in review. After all, to get into the details would require of me to revisit many parts of this year I would much rather forget. For instance, it would require me to return to the day I tendered my resignation back in May, confirming to myself, my bosses/colleagues and the world (if it cared to notice), that I’ve failed miserably to transition into the private sector from academia. Many would probably have wisely warned me of the futility of such an attempt in the first place, if they thought for a second stubborn old me would listen.

It would have required of me to talk about why I failed, how the job was a poor fit for me (or rather I was a poor fit for it), and how crushed I felt to have to throw in the towel after less than 15 months on the job. It would have required of me to expose my fault lines and missteps, my numerous incompetent attempts at mastering the tasks I undertook, and of the humiliation and frustration I carried with me almost daily. Sounds bad right?

And what other details would I also wish to forget in 2019 you ask? Well how about offending someone religiously? Didn’t think I would make that faux pas, but I think in my defence, it was a ‘trap’ of sorts that I walked right into. X set it up for me and I fell right in. I mean, while I shouldn’t blame myself if indeed it was an intentional trap, I can’t help but wished that it didn’t happen to me. After all, I’ve always been against proselytising, and to my credit, I wasn’t really doing that with X. After all, he was the one who voluntarily asked that I accompany him to visit a church right? He was also the one who wanted to know what all the fuss a small group of Christians were kicking up about when a Norwegian (?) black metal band came to town, a band known in that part of the world for lots of dark, satanic lyrics in their songs. So I was just helping to clarify in what little way I could right? At no point did X let on that he was actually inclined towards Buddhism, not until I realised that my offer to invite him to my church (after accompanying him to the one he asked me to) was to him ‘proselytising’ and offensive. 

To be honest, I felt so betrayed by that experience. So much so that I clammed up and ceased contact. Will continue to avoid contact at all cost since I do not wish to be wrongly accused again. Once bitten twice shy isn’t just a cliche.

Then there was this last month of the year. Coughing almost all the way through sucked. Caleb needing surgery for biting hard on his tongue (again) also sucked. Most of all, feeling empty and meaningless over the Christmas period sucked big time. Christmas was supposed to be one of my most favourite times of the year, and yet I somehow felt that it has increasingly become soul-less and purposeless for me over the years. I guess I just did not plan for it well in advance. So once again, it became just another time of getting together with family and friends to feast and celebrate a public holiday during a month that most are typically off work and clearing leave. It just lacked any kind of meaning as to why we observe this season to begin with. Where is the outreach effort? Yes, I was told my wife’s church cell group did invite a few pre-believing relatives and friends for that Christmas eve party we attended, but really where were the conversations taking place? Apart from the eating, drinking and carolling, I didn’t see any significant discussions happening, and I was keeping a lookout mind you.

And don’t even get me started on the annual Christmas Day party my wife throws for her family at our place. It’s just lots of eating, drinking, talking about material possessions and toys, etc. Yes the son performed his violin. Yes the wife shared a little about what the season means for us. But so what? Nothing much else happened that really made me feel like there was meaning in this season. And the worst thing was finding out that my memory was in error about an old friend of mine who accepted Christ in his early 20s. I had thought it was I who led him to Christ. I was wrong. Yep, what a feather to cap off this Christmas!

So, no I don’t really want to go into the details of why 2019 sucked for me, and why all these adjectives are all I can think of when asked to describe the year in review. 

I just want 2019 to go away and let the new year come, and new hope reign in 2020. So that by this time next year, my blog entry to end the year will look vastly different from this one.

Good riddance 2019! Blahhh….

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