“I’m scared that I won’t have the strength to get through next year Zoé” 10:47, a week through our two month break. I’m nuts, yes. Freaked out, that too. I understand that you may not relate to this, but please keep reading, I’m trying to encapsulate the year as I’ve seen it and if but a line of this speaks to you then that’s good enough for me. To all of you having gotten through your last year of school, my point is that, your having just gotten through it is worth congratulations. I understand that when you come out the other side of it, it seems easy, but I know that going through it is no walk in the park.
If you did well, that is so admirable, and although I’m guessing you already have, please take a second to give yourself a pat on the back. To those of you that were disappointed by your results, do not despair, a wise Hélo apparently once said that she did not let her grades define her, that whatever happened she trusted she would find a happy way out. I understand that such a philosophy is something one would only aspire to adopt, and for those similar to me, at least allow your disappointment to fuel your determination to do better, to impress yourself, whatever it is you might be doing. You got through it, and that in itself is a challenge that you were able to overcome.
However I realise that the year, whatever grade you may be in, amounts to more than academic success. At times it amounts to social failure and in best cases you ask yourself how in the world did you end up surrounded by people you admire and love. Admit that that in itself is huge. It’s huge to get over the fuck ups, the misunderstandings and God do you learn, I write from experience. You learn that perhaps if someone sticks around it’s that they truly matter and contribute more than you give them credit for. You learn that intentions get foggy and that the best trick is to be direct, “chilled” as my Manon rightfully reminds to be. It’s to look back on the fun, and the joy you beheld from human connection, and that in itself is something to rejoice over. Learn to bask in the glory of Hong Kong, in the opportunity and the ride it is to be an expatriate here, observe and reminisce. Papa explains that it’s important to celebrate the things that matter to you, and celebration can be a moment, eyes closed, where you think of the time this year that you were the most giddy with happiness, to think of the time you were the most torn, and how you got out of that situation, the time you put your pride aside and saw the other side of a situation, a time you simply did the right thing. Celebration can be to write, speak, show what it is that someone or something means to you.
To those looking forward to a few more years of school, take the time to observe, notice when it is and why it is that you’re giddy with happiness, when you’re proud of yourself, what you admire in the people around you. Be humbled by your effort, the opportunities that present themselves, the excitement that fuels your determination, what you love. Understand who you love, what you need, what you deserve. Be kind to yourself yet question yourself also.
I like to think that this time next year I’ll be writing again, and if that reveals something it’s that you’ll get through it, because most have before also. And if you don’t get where you want to be, think that perhaps something else than academics resonates within you, that that’s where your focus has been, and that’s okay as well, as long as you work hard to achieve it.