It's been 4 months since my last post. And yes, it's awful that I've lapsed from procrastinating about what to post to not posting at all. So, to whoever is still reading, here's evidence that I'm still alive.
And the process of redesigning, remaking, reimagining my life continues, one step at a time.
It hasn't been easy. In these last 6 months, after one bad incident at work, I've been brutally cutting off all the slack that I've accumulated over all these years. I've thrown out tons of old clothes, old notes, old stuff. I've cut loose all the people that have been holding me down. And more. It's been immensely satisfying to offload certain responsibilities and items that, mentally, I've been beholden to for years - the idea that I've to be accountable to my old YF, the burden of committment to serving in a church, even the idea of church and being Christian. I'm finally tackling these long-established issues of identity. And, far from being umcomfortable, I'm enjoying the process of questioning, dismantling and throwing away.
As a result, I've replaced being a supposedly dedicated mentor with being an observer. I've replaced the uneasiness at not being a useful person at church with a call-me-if-you-need-my-expertise kind of attitude. Instead of forcing myself to go to church and ending up miffed at some of the things that go on there, I give myself room on Sundays, and end up doing what I love. Which means I'm mainly outdoors hiking with S___.
Does this make me any less Christian? Or any more of a backsliding hypocrite? I don't really seem to care anymore. But does it make me happier by an iorta? Absolutely.
Eventually, though, I think I will eventually come to the conclusion that I'll need to quit my job and do something decisive about my life.
Likewise, it's with a definite certainty that I'll deduce that this LJ is surplus to the new life I want to fashion for myself. Surplus, meaning it's a repository that holds too many memories, and was relevant for a period of time when I was not who I was now.
But I'll cross that bridge when I get there. For now, I'm content to tackle one thing at a time.
The crown jewel of all this has been the 1-16 November trip to Turkey I took with my secondary school buddies Ants and JY. I needed to challenge myself. I needed to do something that I wanted to look back on and say, shit that was dangerous. And I (we) did it. Travelling free-and-easy, hopping on and off buses through the rugged Southeast, speaking Turkish as we went along, standing on a hilltop in Mardin and looking out over the Mesopotamian plains into Syria and Iraq, praying in mosques because we were awed by the places we'd been to.
On a hill in Mardin - looking out into Syria, with Iraq somewhere on the far left
It helped, of course, that this was my second time there. But with two clueless Singaporean guys to fend for, I'm glad I took the trip with them. Going solo would've isolated me; travelling with them reminded me about how seeing things for the second time can still be amazing.
This is what my life has morphed into now - seeking the purpose, both in the daily grind and in the extraordinary. And not being sentimental, not being afraid to cut out what isn't absolutely meaningful. It's terrifyingly efficient. But now, I believe, is the time for me to move on and out. I will no longer be captive to another's expectations or be afraid.