Moving on to the third and final installment of my 2015 review....
2015 saw a large amount of volatility on this front. I finally got out of a long but fruitless relationship in the earlier part of the year, which freed me up to focus on other things. Checked out this app called Tinder which led to some dates that didn't provide much meaning, except for getting to know some new people from varied backgrounds, which was kind of interesting, at least for a while. Met someone towards the 4Q who has been really attractive and interesting, but we'll see :)
I think at this age, given my introverted nature, it'll always be hard to make new friends. What I'm thankful for is that my close knit group of friends since sec sch and junior college got closer this year, and made more of an effort to hang out and catch up. It does help that my best friends whom I've known since I was 14 years old are in the same industry and are doing more or less the same thing, which helps in providing a stable base of support whenever you need a listening ear and pertinent advice over a few drinks.
Despite many of my friends who are already / thinking of getting married, I just don't feel a sense of urgency with respect to that. It's like woahh man ain't it a little early to get married, settle down and have kids? You want to be the guy you are working for in 10 years time? Well I mean, it's A-OK to lead a cookie cutter life, get married, settle down and have kids, but I just don't feel like living that kind of life. I guess there's some value in that which attracts folks, but somehow, it strangely (or not) does not appeal to me, at least not just yet :)
Given my small circle of friends, I've always taken great pride in having a close knit family where my siblings and I can hang out and are pretty much open to each about about everything in life. We're close to our parents too, but we're not the hugging and I love you (I guess you can summarize that into expressive) sort with them. It's a tough old school Singaporean family. And I think this year we got even closer, which is fantastic. I'm not sure how long we'll be able to maintain this level of intimacy, given we'll all probably head off in different directions and all once we have our own families, and might not even be situated in the same physical location, but I do cherish the present. My Dad had quite a major health scare earlier this year too, which came as a rude shock given he is generally as healthy as an ox. But I guess that's life, and that event has made us cherish his / and my mom's presence even more, given they're not getting any younger these days and they can be taken away from us at any point in time.
Perhaps the one thing I can do better is to exercise more patience when dealing with my parents, especially when trying to inculcate and teach them new concepts and operate new technology. It's certainly not easy in inverting your thinking process or adopting new technology when you're already 70 or so years old, so I've got to try to be more patient and think of new ways that will capture their attention and motivate them to grow out of their comfort zone even at that age.
New Experiences / Experiments
I did manage to scrounge up a modest amount of free time to myself this year as I had freed myself from the shackles of my prior relationship, which somewhat exacted a major toll on me over the year. 2015 saw myself embark on a couple of new adventures, some of which had been discussed in the categories above. The below comprises of the more interesting ones that was not discussed previously.
* Motorcycle - I finally put my license to good use and bought a 2nd hand small street bike (one where you ride seated upright) for general use during the weekends, and it has been an fantastic experience thus far. I could probably write about that experience in a stand alone article, but to summarize it's really the closest thing to flying a plane. I don't fuck around with my hand phone, listen to music or do something else when I'm riding my bike. I'm one with the bike, constantly monitoring my immediate environment, shifting up and down gears, and experiencing the road for what it is. And boy it feels good to be riding (or in this case doing something with full focus and mindfulness) even though I don't go too fast. Another step towards the dream of riding across Europe to Singapore :)
* 30 day NOBNOM challenge - I took up the challenge of no booze and no masturbation (physical not intellectual given the latter happens on a daily recurring basis hurr hurr) for 30 days straight, which was a serious mental challenge. It certainly provided additional clarity, and helped to clear my mind, and freed up additional time to focus on other things, because you're not wanking, drinking and getting hungover most times. I have some doubts about not clearing your system given there's some research around prostrate issues that comes from that, but it was an experience nonetheless. For the booze, man I had a one pint of beer after the 30 days was up and that was all it took to get me high, instead of the copious amounts previously required. I still drink from time to time (weekly) post that challenge, given the social setting, but I've cut down on the serious crazy drinking that I used to do, which is probably a good thing given the additional clarity and time I have on my hands now.
* Gaming - Probably not the best use of time and the most useful new experience here, but I managed to complete the Witcher (1 to 3) series of games over the course of the year and that was a fantastic mind blowing RPG game series that I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone who's seeking an RPG game to embark on that has a combination of a fabulous story line, invigorating combat game play and super realistic graphics and animation.
I think one facet that I could do much better would be to open myself to new challenges that requires a social aspect instead of more personal challenges above, where one gets to know more people of varied backgrounds and develop more productive interests. That however, might be a tough ask given I have my hands pretty much full at this point in time. But joining different interest groups (outside of the blogosphere) such as hiking, investing, and what not does sounds like an interesting proposition.
And this pretty much sums up a overview of what I went through in 2015. Looking forward to 2016. A new year brings about new hope and new opportunities. Pretty much excited :) I wish everyone who's reading this to be safe, healthy, happy and free from suffering over the course of 2016! Cheers :)