A New Hope

Yeah, title is a parody of this 😛

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If 2016 was reluctantly promising, 2017 was when reality hits home. Maybe 2018 will be when I see the future with a new pair of glasses.

Yeah, new job, and I can’t wait really, at the same time, I’m also a bit afraid.  Actually, I should not be, because fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate…to suffering.  There are many resolutions to be made at this time of the year, and of previous years, only to find them broken down at the end of every one. Maybe there are some exceptions, but most of the time they seem to remain resolutions.

I would rather focus on what’s learnt during 2017 to propel me for 2018.   Job wise, I know I made a mistake, career wise with my current employment, but I would like to think that I learn from it. And learn from it I did, quite a bit. Technically, I would say, I’m more aware, more self assured, although collaboratively and socially, I think I have ended up more disillusioned than before.   As one film puts it,

“The greatest teacher, failure is.”
Yoda – Star Wars, The Last Jedi

I will write more in a separate post in the future regarding details of why I really chose a new job (though still as a system administrator). In short, i do hope to have a better environment for being integrated in Norway in this new endeavour.  Technically, it’s also challenging and hopefully, if my interview at this new company promises, I’ll be dealing with something I always hoped to be able to do – hardware and Linux desktop support , rather than just software improvements and customisation.  Basically, I’ll be doing what all my current colleagues is doing (and possibly more). It sounds daunting, but the prospect of working in a pure Unix and Norwegian environment is really the deciding factor. I only hope it is as good as it sounded.

Speaking of failures, I  just hoped I can pass my Norwegian exam too which I took a month ago.  This was the first time I took an exam in full. The last time I did was a bad mistake when I forgotten my oral test schedule and after that, I was so affected by that logistical cock up that I didn’t want to take any more exams for the next 1-2 years. Yes, that’s my shame taking hold of me, using guilt to hold me in ransom. This year, I told myself that I had to take the exam, if I wanted to excel in Norwegian as my current company is not an ideal and suitable environment to integrate into Norwegian society. It was just too ‘internationalised’ to be of any assistance.   So I wised up, read through the logistics for the exam proper, and made sure I got everything correct. Now it’s only me, my efforts and some luck that will see me through when I get my results in January. I’m trying to keep my fingers crossed, but even if I did not make it, I know the next time round, I will be more prepared for it, and maybe I could even attempt to try the Bergen’s test.

Life wise, it could have been better, my health really took a turn for the worse when I had a major gout attack on March 2017. That, coincided with the fact that it also affected my running targets, and I think the self training made things worse that it could have been.  I hope 2018 would be a better year though health wise. It really sucks that I can’t enjoy a proper holiday without worrying whether I’m taking too much food with uric acid content, or an occasional social drink or two. Looking forward,  I’m glad that I’m now actively taking medication for gout treatment and watching my diet sensibly. Sadly, no more beer. Wine and liquor are ok though 😀

Yeah, I’m hoping that my health would be better so that I can gain back the confidence to do a lot of things, to try out new things, and not to be fearful of what ifs, but rather seize the chance to make a difference in my life here.   In my new job, I will switch to a more routine timetable, no more scheduled weekend sacrifices, no more working with people who clearly are only looking for a scapegoat without an inch of desire to excel in their job. In other words, I’ll have my weekends back, I don’t miss the off days, no, not one bit.  And then, from all these, I could finally start plan and work my life around something predictable rather than a time period which is ever changing.

Relationship wise, with Marianne, I think we have progressed much.  I’ve never felt more closer than we have ever been (and it’s not just physical, it’s more than that). There’s still a lot of room to grow of course, and I look forward to it.  I think I would say that our relationship is mature, although there is still so much to learn and to make it better.

I think this was the year that Marianne and I really took time to ski together. And one of my projects was to teach her to ski confidently. This was quite successful when we went to Hemsedal for a short winter vacation, despite some initial hiccups. Seeing her overcome her initial fears on skiing, really made me smile with happiness. I think it was a good thing that we went to Hemsedal, instead of continually trying out around Holmenkollen or at Råholt, in our own backyard. The trails at these places, while interestingly challenging, can be a put off to people who just want to learn to ski, to enjoy success in small things. Hemsedal (at least the beginner slopes) is really tame compared to the terrain on the last 2 places, and is a wonderful ground where one can learn to ski without being fearful of the unexpected.

And skiing is just one of the few things we see success in, there are many other things in this relationship we have, which I shall be keeping private. But all in all, it has been a really progressive year, despite the insane schedule and job woes that we both sometimes experience.

From spousal relationships to family ones. And that, has someone remained stagnant. By stagnant, that meant that nothing much has changed since 2016 ended. Which is kind of sad, actually. With my sis, communication has improved much. And I like the fact that I can now talk to my nieces more than just talking to a child, but to teenagers now.    Parents wise, sadly still the same, frustrations still abound, they still think I’m a lost cause and are trying to ‘save’ me via Christianity using all the tiresome, but familiar baiting techniques.

I guess this sums up 2017.  A lot of it had to do with work and health really. Part of the motivation to make myself better in Norwegian integration stems from the fact that I want to get a job in a Norwegian company. Ironically, I got the job even before I sat for the exam. Still, passing the exam was not a prerequisite for the new job, but it was rather a gauge of where I stand, language and culturally wise. Despite the fact that Norway now has a right based political slant and many migrants do fear for their future, I actually think it is a good thing that things are tightening up. I relish the challenge and I will want to face it head on, instead of worrying about my future because of my incompetencies in this area.   That sums up how I will want to face 2018, address my weakness, face them with courage, and progress further with making myself more a respectable migrant of this land. And hopefully, in the near future, being a citizen would be something that is capable and natural progression of the course of living here.

I look towards 2018 with hope, a new hope, that I can progress more as a person than 2017 which had been a disappointment in some ways, though a learning one in many others.

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