Janus and the zombie

So here is New year’s Eve; I suppose I should look back at the year that’s closing, and forward to the year that’s coming.

I’ll be brief, since no-one likes a whiner! In short, I can’t wait for the next few hours to pass: 2009 was a horrible, horrible year. I’ll look back on it as ‘The Year of the Zombie’, since I spent most of it so exhausted I couldn’t think straight. A number of things that have been going on for a few years now got worse and worse, and well… Let’s just say that it felt like nothing was working out. I lost sight of the person I want to be; most of my friends moved on from Beijing; my martial arts and meditation practice seemed to be going backwards fast, and professionally I felt over-qualified, under-paid, and under-valued. By late August, I was ready to quit Beijing and head back to Singapore. Frankly, I was planning to renew my meditation and grounding in the Dharma with the aim of stepping into freedom… Then I got knocked off my bike, and things got worse…

There were good points. In particular, I’ve made contact with a number of you guys, readers of this blog, who have turned out to be great people. Thanks for reading, guys, and for all the other interaction we’ve had online or IRL. It’s meant a lot. My friends in Singapore have turned out to be real stars as well. The yiquan has kept me going, even if I didn’t improve much. There was the connection I made with the village in Hebei, and the dragons… It turns out I really like Mongolian music

As for next year… Well, it’s odd. Something changed in the stars in early December. I started to get some real insights into the yiquan, and my practice suddenly improved a lot. I’ve also found new friends in the other foreigners who are now coming regularly. I’m meditating and working with the Yi Jing again. I’ve met a new crowd of people on the same wavelength as me at the Beijing Improv workshops. I’ve been motivated to start bagua again, and found a place I can practice. Professionally, I find that my value has been acknowledged, and I’ve been made an offer that’s better than anything else I could hope to find, either in China or Singapore.

In short, I’ll be going into 2010 with a fair wind behind me. The balance has swung back to staying in Beijing. There are new opportunities to grow, in almost every aspect of my life, and I find that I couldn’t justify leaving. That doesn’t mean I’m breaking my bonds with Singapore – far from it, and I’ll be working on that in other ways.

There’s also S. – but ahh, what to say there. We’re not a couple, and I don’t know if we ever will be. Still, she drives me to become a better person; like Dante with Beatrice, Petrarch with Laura, perhaps I can only sing her praises as my unattainable muse, a reason for poetry and living… She’s made such a difference to my life…

So there we are; interesting times. As the old toast goes, may the best of the old year be the worst of the new – happy new year!

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