Saturday, 26 December 2015

Where is my hoverboard?

2015. Twenty fifteen. Two-thousand fifteen. However way you say it, it sounds like this year still remains somewhere in a far flung future. In fact, there was a running joke based on a particular scene in the 1987 film Back to the Future, where the listed date (the 25th of October), was the day that Marty McFly managed to take a peek into the future. And what a future it was, filled with hovercars, self-lacing shoes and the wackiest clothing one has ever seen. In many ways this was a year of unfulfilled expectations of a grand future, but in other ways

 But alas, the day is here. 2015 will soon be no more, and what was the future will now be the past. It reminds me of a quote by one of my favourite American stand-up comedians; George Carlin; “There is no such thing as the present. There is only the past and the immediate future”. In many ways this senile old man speaks the truth.What does it mean to actually be in the "present"? To feel your surroundings a little better? To appreciate the warmth, happiness, excitement and boredom around you? I don't know the answer to this question just yet and perhaps I never will.

Random digressions aside, I thought I would structure this post a little differently from my other end of year reflections. Instead of a flowing narrative, I've opted to create a rather disjointed list of positives and negatives, achieved and missed opportunities for the year.

Relationships

Every year of my university life seems to get better and better in virtually all facets of my life. My career horizons have expanded, the friendships I have developed age and mature, my appreciation of my surroundings and family and strengthened, I feel like my knowledge of world issues has increased through exposure and travel, and I have actually begun to enjoy some of the law electives and things I have studied at university.

 That said, 2015 is the first year since I started university almost half a decade ago where I haven't dated someone. And as much I would love to tell myself that solitary existence is very much an appealling one (apparently it soon will be once I hit the workforce and reach other milestones) I miss the warmth of a girl. I miss constantly being in someone's thoughts, the chase, the presents and my fucking sex drive isn't abating anywhere. It hasn't been the smoothest year in terms of mental anguish and I have been overseas a lot; but at my core I recognise that it is my lack of faith in my own strengths that has had the most profound effect on my psyche towards relationships. In all honesty I expected to have experienced much more in the field than I did have at the commencement of university, these expectations have unfortunately been left unfilled.

 Pop Culture

 This year I also made a point to return to those "wasted years" of my high school life where I mindlessly consumed animated media, pop culture and general comic book/ anime memorabilia. I did enjoy the experience but perhaps with the level head I have now I would have spent more time learning Mandarin than over analysing the mental processes of how Naruto approached his childhood of anguish. Visiting Supanova and SMASH made me realise that these sorts of consumption isn't restricted to high-schoolers or bored university students. Working adults dress up specfically for this event in homage to their favourite super-heroes and super-heroines, and I was pleasantly surprised to meet a whole cohort of genuinely kind and welcoming people. It will never be the influence or time waster as it once was, but this is an interest I will likely keep around for the years to come.

 China and Australia

 The more that time passes, the more the importance of the relationship between Australia and China is realised and reported on throughout our media. It makes me realise that my parents were wizards for forcing me to visit Chinese school in my younger days and kick myself for not learning it more thoroughly. Despite this, my foundation exists and continues to remain relevant in new ways to me whether it be being able to converse with elderly folk across Sydney, interact with international students as part of my role within the SRC, achieve status as the Sponsorships officer at my home ACYA society or even career progression here at the Australian Consulate-General Guangzhou. It will be one of my goals for the year to come to cement and build upon this existing foundation I have been blessed to earn from my younger years.

 General Achievements

 At the conclusion of my term at Google, I can definitively say that this is definitely NOT the greatest place on Earth to work at. Similar to the way celebrity worship works, Google has some sort of aura that everyone my age is attracted to. Whether it be the play room, free food, gimmicks or everything. But the people are the most important resource of any company, and to be completely frank the little contact that I have had with some of the staff there haven't always been the best. 

 For the first time in my life I also had the opportunity to make a TED talk. Sure it wasn't an official one, just a minute piece during "Fast Ideas" component of the whole presentation which wasn't even recorded, but it was a nerve wracking experience in and of itself, and something I will look back upon with fond memories.

 Unfilfilled expectations

 There also remains a real list of regrets and unmet expectations I had for this year, all of which I have no-one to blame for but myself. My health and wellbeing being first and foremost. I have not kept in shape despite constant promises to do so. After a brief stint in adhering to the calorie counter application it was disrupted by my travel overseas and what little progress I made was gone with the wind. My exercise habits despite feeling amazing and alive for the first time in years was also disrupted. I read a study that the biggest factor relating to a proper adherence to exercise stems from the convenience of having a gymming facility close. With my facilty being 1.5 hours away each way, it comes as little surprise that I don't continue. Along with my lack of driver's license and relationship goals, these three things will carry on to 2016 as the three things I need to work on the most.

 These are all that come to mind right now. This year didn't bring me my metaphorical hoverboard, but that's probably because I didn't deserve it anyway.