As the year came to an end and a new beginning was ushered in with fireworks and cheers on the street, I couldn’t help but look back and reflect on all that I’ve learned and experienced in the past year.
A lot has changed, happened and unraveled. Unlike the years before, this year’s celebrations was a lot more subdued. There were no photos to upload the day after, parties to plan. No blisters from dancing and carousing on heels, or hangovers to tend. I stayed home and babysat my darling nephew and cradled him while my girlfriend and I watched on as the city went up in flames.
Messages came through from friends back home when the clock ticked into the new year, telling me how they missed me, that they wished I was there to celebrate with them. Every ounce of me wished it too.
There is no denying that leaving KL was a lot harder than I expected, and I realize now, upon reflecting over the past 3 months of starting being back, that I might have left physically but mentally I was still pining for a different reality. Whenever something wasn’t going my way, I’d wish I was in KL. I’d say things like “Oh if only I was there instead”, “I shouldn’t have left…” and “I wish I was back there now”. It was self-tormenting. I thought that being here was just difficult. The weather, the job hunting, living with siblings, lack of friends and so the self-pitiful song played on. But now I know that it wasn’t me being in Melbourne that was making it difficult, it was just me. I didn’t allow myself to move on. I kept comparing my life back when. I was stuck in limbo between two cities and living in neither, convinced that the grass is greener on the other side.
So it was a pleasant occurrence of blessed serendipity that I stumbled across Robert Fulghum’s quote that further validated and reinforced my self-revelation:
The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.
Merely five days into the new year, my outlook has certainly changed for the better. Sure, I do miss my friends and the life I used to have in KL, and I’m not sure I will ever stop missing it, but there is a irrefutable difference between missing and pining. One draws from memory, the other weakens and drains. I now embrace the change and have come to appreciate the quieter celebrations of a decadent home-cooked dinner, a good spring clean through the house, and the simple routine of changing the bed sheets.
I don’t have a long list of new year resolutions like I normally do. This year I’m just going to start tending the grass where I am and trust that everything else will fall into place. Here’s to a great 2012 ahead! I hope the grass is always greener on your side.