To readers old and new, thank you for joining us for a fresh new year of curious content brought to you by bright, young writers from Sunway University and College. Monthly Musings introduces Echo Media’s theme for creative articles each month and poses a question to our team of creative writers. Writers’ answers are compiled and published to get the month’s content rolling.
As such, 2020’s first month talks about Endings and Beginnings as we enter not just another year of existence but a whole new decade. We’ve come far and while there’s much to celebrate, there is also plenty to leave behind this year — fast fashion, usage of single-use plastics or paper, discrimination, to name a few — and start afresh.
We asked our writers —
“What is the one thing you are letting go/welcoming in 2020?”
What I’m leaving behind:
Lime-bitter resolutions and sorrow for what’s broken.
What I’m bringing with me:
Lessons on perseverance, infectious laughter and talents awoken.
What I’m moving into:
New days, new fights. Conversations. Books. Exams. Photographs. Tokens.
The one thing I am letting go of in 2020 is comfort. I hope that in 2020, I will be able to get out of my comfort zone and gain new experiences along the way. 2020 will also be the year for me to work towards my goals and become the type of person I strive to be.
- New year. New endings. New beginnings. It’s that time of the year to end a chapter of our lives and begin a new one. And with every new chapter, there’s always something we have to leave behind in order to step forward. In my case, it’s perfection, or to be more specific, my overwhelming desire to be perfect in everything I do. Now, I’m not saying that striving for perfection is a bad thing. In fact, perfection triggers our motivation to do well in every aspect of our lives, may it be in terms of academics, work, or life in general. And with every perfect thing we achieve, we get to stand in a brighter light. But, as they say, the brighter the light, the darker the shadow. As time passes, perfection becomes a shadow that we just can’t seem to get rid of. Without us realizing, perfection becomes something that is no longer an achievement. It becomes an expectation. Not just from our family and friends, but also ourselves. When we have experience achieving so much, we start to expect greater things from ourselves, things that are oftentimes beyond our capability at that moment. And when we don’t achieve it, we start to beat ourselves up. We start to question our worth. We start to think it would be better if we never existed in the first place. Now that, dear reader, is when perfection gets bad — like a seed planted within ourselves that ends up growing rotten.
And so, with the coming year, I’m letting go of all these expectations. I’m letting go of the burden that I have been carrying on my shoulders, the pressure that has made my steps heavy. And I’m telling myself… I’m telling myself that it’s okay not to be perfect. I’m telling myself that it’s okay if I fail to achieve something right away. I’m telling myself that I should start to treat my failures like stepping stones — something that will help me achieve greater things in the future. And if you, dear reader, feel a sense of spiritual connection with what I’ve written, I suggest you tell yourself the same things.
Happy New Year, dear reader. May you fly to greater heights.
Losing weight — please, I know I’m not the only one (I want to fit into that favourite skirt again).
I’d really like to see myself not necessarily slim, but less plump. Well, of course, it won’t happen overnight. It’s sheer determination, consistent workouts and a well-built diet plan that will make this goal realisable.
- Joey Yap
In 2020, I want to knock down my walls and open up to people more. I also want to lose some weight, partly because being plus-sized in Malaysia is hard as most clothes on the market only offer small cuttings and XL as the biggest size, and partly because I know I’ve been feeding my body trash and not properly looking after my body. I also want to work on how to talk a little slower because I find myself talking as fast as Eminem raps at times. Finally, I want to stop being such a party pooper and get out, be positive, and hang out with my friends more.
I’m going to let go of the sense of shame and frustration I have around doing things like having lunch or watching movies alone. Especially after starting college, all my friends would always be busy with work or other friends, given how everyone was starting to get involved in different courses and activities. It would get frustrating after repeated failed attempts to initiate a meetup of friends, whether it was because everyone had clashing timelines or because some simply no longer prioritized the friendship. It has always been a struggle for me to do things alone because I’d feel like I was being judged. But doing things alone shouldn’t mean I’m lonely or have no friends. Sometimes, it’s just hard to get a common time where friends are available. Sometimes, certain friends cast your friendship aside after high school ends. Or sometimes, it’s just more liberating to do certain things alone.
- Jaclyn Heng