It's the last day of 2008.
Almost 1 year and 2 months since I decided to leave most of my good friends behind and move from a terrifying efficient city to one whose middle name should be inefficiency. 14 months since I left a job in which I was doing well and would, most likely, have continued to excel if I had stayed.
How am I doing now? Well, I still don't have too many friends here, although I was someone who was considered to be able to make friends with almost anyone. Thanks, in part, to the long hours I put in at the office, and the fact that my hobbies - street dance class and intermittent rollerblading - did not necessarily lend themselves to the kind of people I would usually find it easy to open up to.
And, more importantly for me at the moment, I will soon be jobless. These are unprecedented times, my former and soon-to-be former bosses like to say. As if that's any source of comfort. So what if more senior people are also getting laid off? They make far more money than I do, and, even if they are not necessarily that much wealthier, their payoff will still be considerably higher than what I'll be getting.
But I digress. Do I regret moving?
No. Not at all. It's something I've wanted for so long, and worked so hard to get. To be the first - and probably last - person from Asia to manage a transfer across to a more developed market in my company is no mean feat, in spite of the end result. No one saw this coming. Certainly not I, nor my former managers, who are rather upset this has happened to me.
But, more importantly, I am immensely thankful for the great support that I have received over the last few weeks. Two of my best friends here have done their best, in spite of their own troubles, to check on me and make sure I'm all right. MD, whom I would never have met if not for this transfer, has been ever so attentive and receptive to whenever I'm feeling down, even though I've been doing my best to hide it. And my family have been amazing. It has been incredible getting to spend this year in the same city as my brother for the first time in many years. To me, he's the best brother in the world. I may be biased, of course. And my parents! What can I say? They have been incredibly supportive in ways I did not expect. And, of course, with my parents up here on vacation, I have been growing fat, just gorging myself on my mother's wonderful cooking (laksa and curry!).
And, for me, this makes 2008 entirely worthwhile. In the oft-quoted words of John Cage from Ally McBeal, "if you think back and replay your year, if it doesn't bring you tears of joy or sadness, consider the year wasted." This year has certainly done both. And while I may have some regrets here and there, I think I've truly managed to live this year irrespective of the time I spent at work, and I thank God for how far I've come.
The outlook for 2009 may be bleak, but I'm confident that with some help from God and intercession from St. Jude, the patron saint of desperate causes, I will regain my footing and continue on my way to happiness.
Happy New Year!