I'm 19 now, and I know I still haven't posted about how the day went. (Thank you jojenyingzinc for the amazing surprise! I'll do a nice long post about it soon. It can't have been that long ago since I'm still peeling from my sunburn lol). Anyway, 19 feels scarily old because I'm only a year away from being 20 and after that, time just flies until suddenly you realise you're having a mid-life crisis at 39. It made me want to make this year count. I want the time between 25/06/2012 and 25/06/2013 to be special and unforgettable. Because I thought back about how I spent my 18th year and I realised it wasn't a very encouraging period of time in my life.
I just looked through some of my older posts during that year and encountered a quote that pretty much foreshadowed whatever was to come.
"So you think that you’re a failure, do you? Well, you probably are. What’s wrong with that? In the first place, if you’ve any sense at all you must have learned by now that we pay just as dearly for our triumphs as we do for our defeats. Go ahead and fail. But fail with wit, fail with grace, fail with style. A mediocre failure is as insufferable as a mediocre success. Embrace failure! Seek it out. Learn to love it. That may be the only way any of us will ever be free."
- Tom Robbins
I failed in so many things that year. I'm talking about the things that matter where failing doesn't mean scoring below 50%. If I were to go about this in a chronological order...
1. InterJCs in July.
Countless trainings all for one day and I had to catch a fever out of nowhere. It was one of the most frustrating moments ever. I tried to not get too upset over it but no words can describe how miserable I feel to never truly know what it would have been like playing hard on the fields with the team. It's not much I know, but then again it's something I'll never know. Watching the juniors train on Saturday for their InterJCs made me feel irrationally envious.
The next few months from July to November simply passed in a blur of studying and UK applications. I have nothing much to say about the studying except that I just hope that I can find the same determination and motivation again. More on this later because we all know where that's heading.
What can I say here? I was too busy having fun to be around on his last day. I was too busy studying the previous few months to be with him. I'm not going to delve into that that pit of regrets because then I wouldn't be able to make it through this post.
3. UK vetmed applications.
I've whined enough about this I guess. Making it official on UCAS was painful but it hasn't been the worst part. I've accepted it. The bitter aftertaste just won't go away. It's going to be especially hard seeing so many people go on to do what they want to do in life. More enviousness. But that's the way life is, you can't always get what you want.
4. Scholarship applications.
Getting accepted by the UK schools was rather confidence-boosting but after being rejected by all 5 scholarship boards, my ego is about as battered as it can be already. It just makes me wonder if I'm going to fuck up uni. It's frightening to know that you aren't as comfortably plotted on the bell curve as you hoped you were. In biz school, it's going to be a whole new game all together. I worry about the choices I've made, particularly this. Yes, I put all my eggs in one basket and when that didn't work out I floundered about and made reckless decisions. I committed the next 5 years of my life to studying two courses I don't really know much about. It feels so different from vetmed, where I had actually sought work experience and prepared myself for what to expect.
In some ways, this was bittersweet. I got my first job, and it wasn't bad, but it was nowhere near what I had in mind when I first went looking for one. I wanted a job with animals but I ended up behind a desk. I was supposed to continue my volunteering and stable work but that eventually died off too. I just let myself fade away into mindlessly dragging myself to the office and working late too often. A scholarship interviewer called me naive and idealistic. Back then I felt indignant about it because I didn't think there was anything wrong with believing in a dream and having hope. Nowadays, I just feel pretty empty.
I think I forgot something in my last few months as an 18-year-old. Or perhaps I've just stashed it away in a dusty corner of my mind. I had a blogpost titled "where did the fight go" some time ago. I don't remember what the post was referring to but I can't help asking myself this question now. I spent my 18th year getting mentally beaten up and I just feel tired from all that crap.
In the end, I'd be a different person now if everything had gone my way. But things didn't so here I am, feeling so tempted to just be bitter and angry. But I don't want my 19th year to continue down the same track. Being 18 was a year of loss -- I lost a day that will never happen again, a beloved friend, a dream, confidence and spirit.
I'm only 19 and I'm so tired already. On some days, it's easy to ignore these feelings. But when I think about how I've spent the past 7 months since the end of "A" levels, I worry that the rest of my life will be one of such... aimlessness. Recently, someone and I realised how we've lost that something that made everything exciting. I really want to be excited about being 19. I just feel so afraid.
Hopefully it'll be different when I wake up in the morning; when the relentless Singapore sunshine has chased these shadows of doubt away, I'll be that ol' annoyingly over-happy person again.