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  • Writer's pictureSam C. Weishi

adieu 2023: a time for change, growth and taking myself a little less seriously

Two years have gone by since anything has happened on this space that I first started for myself in 2017, post-NYC at a time when I felt like i could do anything i set out to do. I do miss the contagious vibrant energy of the city and once in a while wonder about Michael and Ken who I learnt were programmers and we shared a table at a random cafe along the 51st, that culminated in an inspiring conversation that has continued to stick with me seven years on. It felt like they were answers sent to me by the universe at a time when I was at a crossroad. These days it feels like time has passed me by and so much has happened that I wonder if it even happened at all, less for the star tattooed on my wrist.

I digress. Reminiscing has become something of a habit with increasing frequency as I age, and nostalgia a comfort blanket! This past month has been the busiest December I've ever had, so all I really wanted to do on this first day of the new year was to exist horizontally in company of a good show and good coffee. For the most part I succeeded; I'd finished watching 'Maid' on netflix, that I surprisingly enjoyed - brilliant writing, and great performances by the cast (Margaret Qualley is exceptional). /little spoiler alert/ In one scene, Qualley's character asks her housemates to describe a moment that makes them happy - it could be a memory, or something that has yet to happen. This got me thinking a whole lot, and I realised a desire to eternalise these happy things in my head so I sat up (still on the sofa), got more coffee, logged into my wix account and somehow ended up here. It is also the new year so I thought it felt right to restart this, but I've learnt not to be too hard on myself if I don't update this site regularly.

Years ago pre-2017, if I was asked what I imagined happiness would look like, I'd probably say something along the lines of moving out of my family home and having my own house, being married and working a decently interesting job in media that was a stable stream of income but not something that was from 9 to 5 because that would be 'too boring'. I'd throw the occasional dinner parties in my pinterest-inspired hdb flat, and spend time at home with the husband and our furkids. I was but a product of the society I grew up in, and it is because I've once wanted this in life, that I can so understand the pursuit for such a life. I am happy for my family/friends who have found their sources of happiness, but it often also came with a heaviness in my heart because a part of me knew that the wedding marked the beginning of a slow end to our friendship, and when children came into play, it sealed the deal. Of course that is not to say there are no exceptions to this equation, but this has been my reality in the past few years; I've learnt a lot about letting go (and in some instances, holding on) over the last few years. In many ways, the time I spent in nyc opened my eyes to possibilities and I began to desire more. After a whole lot of introspection and retrospection, I sit here in the dead of the night, feeling an immense gratitude to be where I am today, still on my path of film producing and now with a deeper appreciation for life; I've actually come to really love being alive !

I'm thankful for the doors that have opened (and closed) themselves to me, for the choices I've made along the way - quite some bold ones if I may say so myself; and most importantly, for the support and love I've received from those who have still stuck around despite my physical absence that came with the job. I know I say this a lot, but I really do believe that I have only become the person I am today in company of family and friends dear to me who have called me out and offered a shoulder to lean on. One of the biggest worries I've had to grapple with in the past two years, since my ambitions as a film producer has taken me out of Singapore a lot, was that I would eventually lose these relationships and I would 'miss out' on important milestones. I have in actual fact missed at least 5 weddings of close friends, but the friends who continue to reach out and be present in my life have proven me wrong repeatedly - if we care about one another, we'll continue to make time for each other regardless of how busy things can get.

Now, with a new year, I picture a happy day to look like this in the not-so-far future: i wake up in a decently comfortable bed somewhere in the world, to the sound of birds and the smell of morning dew. I'd laze in bed for a little bit - just 15 minutes, get up still in my PJs and make myself a cup of coffee and a fruit platter breakfast. On an extra good day, avocado on toast. Then I'd have a work desk facing the window that overlooks a street or a lake or a garden and get to my work/emails. I probably have some meetings, but once my tasks of the day are complete, I'd go for a walk outside or go to the gym or get to a cafe and read a book for an hour or two. Then I'm home to take a shower, stretch and sleep no later than 2am.

Or on a random afternoon when the weather is nice, I'll call up a(/some) friend(s) to have dinner at the gardens or by the beach watching the sun set. Or on a bad day, I'll enjoy a nice glass of Kavalan whisky at home while I worked with bts music playing in the background. Or on a good day, I'll enjoy two glasses of kavalan whisky in the company of friends at a nice bar contemplating life. These little snippets of life are fuel for the soul and just enough to get me through the rest of my time working.

Of course there exists, and I think there always will be, a fear of failure and a nagging doubt in my mind - am I good enough? Will I ever be good enough? For a while I remember being quite consumed by these thoughts, but over time I realised what I was most afraid of (more than this fear of failure) was the lack of growth. And growth often only came with challenges and making mistakes. Becoming too comfortable scared me; being stagnant (at least for now) mortified me. It is with this understanding that drives a lot of the choices that I make today so that I would lead a life I consider fulfilling. But also not forgetting to have fun along the way. It feels like an opportune moment here to drop a reminder (for my future self and for you who are reading this) that what I consider fulfilling or meaningful wouldn't be the same for everyone, and whatever thoughts I've written here or portrayed on my social media are curated bits of my own opinions at this present moment, and will probably change in some ways at some point down the line, because things change, people change, everything change. (If you sang this last bit in your head I think we could be very good friends.)

This post has gone off on a tangent, but I guess all I really wanted to express was an overwhelming excitement for what's next. I go back to something I wrote about a while ago: I'd come across this article in Chinese and this quote stuck with me - "人生没有如果,只有后果和结果。 如果你不会玩生活,生活就把你玩了。" At that time, I'd loosely translated it to this, "There are no 'what ifs' in life, only consequences & results. If you can't play with the cards life deals you, then life will play you." I think now I'd add another layer of understanding to this little quote - if you can't have fun in life, then life will surely throw you a reminder to have fun - in whatever form that may be. Somedays I feel life could be so much more enjoyable if we all just took ourselves a little less seriously. These days I ask myself this a lot: what's the worst that could happen? To that I respond with some logic and conclude, just do lor.

On that note, it is time for me to go to bed. In less than 7 hours I'd be helping out with some friends' exciting new project on Youtube, and I should probably wash my hair before I sleep. 2024 shall be the year for growth and new adventures! I wish for kindness, love, understanding, fun and good health for all of us, and a big hopeful part of me wishes for humanity to unite in recognising the cruelty still happening in parts of the world.

xoxo, sam

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