But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.


I've only got 3 and a half hours left. So much to say, so little time.

Dear 2013,

You've been a doll. I have bad memory and even worse nostalgia, but you really are one of my better years. There were times when you were difficult. To name some, my 8 week depression in which I didn't talk to my friends at all during that period. You added the death of one of my uncles, which didn't really give me the wake up call I wanted, but it was enough. And only a few hours before my seventeenth birthday. It wasn't ideal, but I can't say I was expecting a bad one. I forgive you though, for a period of nothing but solitude in a dark room. One could only tolerate me for so long. I understand the need for some dark days. Things can't always be jolly and bright.

Having said that, you've given some unforgettable moments. I can finally say I had a group of friends, although it only lasted a year. I donated blood for the first time. I jumped two grades up in my Add Math test. I noticed my improvement in my drawings, which is nothing but satisfying. I cried while reading a book. I ate my first sashimi (and hated it). I got involved in my first proper theatre production, albeit backstage; even so, it was incredibly fun. I went to prom, the first party I can't say I regret going. I've learned to love myself - I can't say that I do, but I'm learning. I learned that people aren't as bad as they may seem.

This turn of the year is very important to me, solely because a lot of changes are going to happen. You're leaving, 2013, and you're taking a lot of things with you. You've never coming back. I suppose I wrote this as a kind of closure.

You're taking away my time of being a high school student, my beloved position as captain of the drama team, the time we honestly though we'd win but didn't, my grown relationships with my teachers, my first experience reading The Book Thief, the sinful things I did out of spite and anger, the first time I fell in love, the good things I'm glad I did this year, my uncle. It's hard to say goodbye to those things, especially when I know I'll forget it in 5 years time, possibly even before. I don't want to. It scares me that something so emotional and life-affecting and important as these could so easily be forgotten. To be honest, I can't even remember exactly what happened during half these times. They've become vague memories now. And I guess that's why I feel the need to document this.

When I started high school, I thought I would leave it crying, images of pure unadulterated happiness flooding my mind and hugging my friends with a heavy heart. I knew that was not going to happen within 5 months time. Despite knowing full well that Hollywood, at least, had in no way captured the bitterness that was SMK Damansara Utama, I kind of proved myself wrong. Yes, I didn't leave school crying, instead I left it with rather a sense of freedom. There were only three things on my mind, 1) I might never see my friends ever again, 2) I'm surprised I'm kind of okay with that, and 3) will I be home in time to watch NCIS? Don't get me wrong, I love my friends. And not talking to them ever would be heartbreaking, but enough has happened this year that I've come to terms that not everything is eternal. If it's time for it to go, then there is nothing I can do to make it stay. A goodbye should always be at hand, always be ready. As of today, I've only spoken to Yvonne 4 times, Amanda Irdina thrice, Arman twice, and not to the rest at all. I'm not proud of this. I need to remind myself that having a goodbye at hand doesn't mean saying goodbye first. I can't be proud. At least, I left school with one last photo with Amanda Loi, Shash and Dhaarsh and a vow not to order Pizza Hut for the next two years. I doubt I'll be able to keep that vow.

This year, I became captain and director of the school's drama team - my drama team. I met some great juniors and we had our time together. I personally thought we were good, great in fact. We were incredible. And I'm only taking less than half of the credit, most of it belongs to the props team and Ming for an amazing script and of course, the actors themselves. They endured my shrieking and piercing whistle, but at the end of the day, they made it work. During that time, I became close to Puan Shaja as well. She became my mum in school. I know that if I come back to school as an alumni and the world has forgotten me, she'll welcome me with a hug. I'm confident of that. It was during this time I met Puan Amirah as well. She became our sort of judge in school. She was cool and followed us into competition. We didn't win, though. I was heartbroken, I wanted to demand a reevaluation, but as Adam said, "Rezeki di tempat lain". You're right. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be.

Pokcik passed away on the 16th. I was told at 6:30pm, right when I was running between bedrooms to gather my things for tuition. It was unexpected. I didn't expect anybody to go away that quickly. I cried a lot. I'm willing to bet I cried nearly as much as Aliya did. That was the only night I felt any form of affection for Aliya. I didn't go to school the next day, even though I wanted to. Partly because it was my birthday and I wanted to prove to myself that hardly anybody would remember it (I'm proven right each year) but mostly because I wanted to pretend his death didn't happen. Instead, I accompanied Aliya to his funeral and cried some more. I came home and took a nap. The best (and only happy) thing that happened to me that day was Arman and Lutfi surprising me with a lollipop after tuition. Lutfi just happened to be there, but I'm grateful to him too. The house has never been the same since, and if anything, Aliya and Chu's constant presence in the house makes me a more secluded and bitter person. I avoid human contact. I don't talk or hang around my grandparents much anymore, which is wrong because their deaths are drawing near. I don't think I can take it. I can't even wrap my head around Pokcik's. It feels like he took another holiday. Only, he's never coming back.

I never knew what falling in love felt like, but I somewhat experienced it this year. He was charming and heartwarming. Let's just say, I was smitten and it took me a while to find myself again. Now I think I was a fool. But what fun is it in being so serious all the time?

My cousin was acting in Seussical and I didn't understand my family's overreaction. To make it worse, my grandparents demanded I stop ballet when that was the one place I didn't feel so out of place. I've never invited them to any of my performances since. But the moment my cousin got involved, it became okay. I got angry. I didn't talk to them for a week at a time. It killed me, but I didn't want to give in. It wasn't fair. I'm crawling back to them though. I have pride, but I'm trying to tone it down a bit. I love them. I want them to love me. I'm coming back to them. The night before last, I spent two hours trying to work Atok's iPad. It gave me warmth.

I joined backstage because I couldn't attend the rehearsals due to SPM. I wasn't happy at first. Incredibly jealous, in fact. But once we got to the theatre and I progressively got more comfortable with the crew, I didn't want it to end. I still wished I was performing, but I suppose it's just as fun as losing my voice to keeping the kids upstairs and telling the boys to shut up, working 14 hours when I only got 3 hours of sleep and slept on the shaky stairs, getting annoyed by Badrish when both of us were bored and getting to watch the mechanics of the show. I didn't fit in with the cast - I still don't - but the after party was pulsing and my heart was beating to it. It was the first party I ever thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was a blessing, truly. If I speak any more of it, I'll ruin its meaning.

Prom came. I didn't want to go. The only thing that changed my mind was 150 bucks would go to waste. Instead, I brought extra money and decided to ciao after a while, take the night train to KLIA and people watch. If my bag was big enough, I wanted to bring my sketchbook along. Alas, I had my hair up and my heels on. I looked pretty - I felt pretty. I spent half the time on the balcony and poolside, but I made Puteri wait because I wanted to play Let's Dance. The only regret of the night was that I didn't discover the Xbox sooner. It wouldn't improved my night 10 times. But that's okay, it was still a great night. I had to be careful though; one move, and I could've completely fallen for somebody. Fortunately, I held my ground. I'm learning to walk in heels now.

But most of all, I learned that I need to remind myself often. So here's a note to me in the future:

If you want something, you'll have to work at it. You have to be grounded at all times, because once you let yourself go, you'll fall behind. You can't depend on anyone, absolutely nobody, except yourself. I'm not saying that you shouldn't trust anyone - hell, you'll need trust to succeed. But don't expect things of people, and the only way to get it done correctly is by doing it yourself. The moment to leave it to someone else, they won't do it the way you would and you're going to have to do it again yourself anyway. If you don't, you'll never learn. You'll never improve. Other people will, but you'll stay the same. Don't be like that. Strive, darling. Be the best you can be and reach higher. Besides, the satisfaction of completing something is immeasurable.

You also need to finish what you start, own up to your mistakes, be more humble, lose some of that pride. I know it runs in your veins and you can't help it, but that is exactly why you tell yourself not to turn out like some of your family members. Try to change. Be the person you want to be. It's hard - nobody said it's easy - but it's rewarding. At least try.

This new year is meaningful to you. You're leaving for college, your fixed school years are over. You'll have to be brave. You'll have to find courage. You'll need to make important decisions and take responsibility for it. It's okay to be afraid. If you weren't, then you're doing it wrong. By the time you read this again, I hope you're surviving college and its pressure and stress level. Listen to good music. Pray, have faith. Believe in yourself. For God's sake, believe in yourself. Trust yourself. I know I'm still there, somewhere buried underneath the darkness. Even if it seems endless, I'm in the darkness. Parts of me. I shine like stars in the night. Look for me. You'll get through it. I know you will.

By the time you read this, you'll know more than I ever will. But don't forget me. You'll need me someday. You'll still be as messy and clumsy as I am, possibly even messier and clumsier, but your heart will be colder and your eyes will be harder. Don't be so harsh. Don't let the world turn you into stone. Have some warmth. Be a mumbling seventeen year old who cries for attractive beardy men in fantasy worlds. Don't forget me. Don't lose me. Don't lose yourself. You'll never be this young again.

Thank you, 2013. You've been wonderful.

Much love,
2 hours and 18 minutes to a new beginning.