It’s one o’clock in the morning and I should have been in bed hours ago. It’s my own fault for having my first coffee at 11.00pm, I suppose. We ran out of milk earlier so I only had a cup of green tea in the morning and I didn’t go anywhere near any cafés throughout the day, having worked from home today. At least I got to finally put my thesis plan into paper rather than tackling things as they appear as I originally planned. Three of my friends from church also came around an hour ago – at first I was a bit upset that they would be coming here so late but two of them would be flying back to Indonesia tomorrow for Christmas and one of them mentioned that it was rather important. I consider her pretty much like a younger sister so I can’t be upset with her for too long so I told Yani to keep up sending text messages to her, maintaining the perception that I was upset for such a late-night visit. 🙂 I got to shock her when she was on the front door – bracing herself to face the supposedly grumpy me. I may be getting on with age but I can still be such a mischievous boy! 🙂
I am really thankful of Yani’s tempering influence in my life. I realise that I can be quite a hard man to live with and being with her has softened my character a lot. She has copped a lot of my moodswings and my nitpicking but she can stand up on her own to defend herself. A quality that I really admire and adore in her. A year with her has also shown how hard it is to shake off the qualities that I have inherited from my own father. My dad’s a hard man to please – he has a kind and gentle heart but he is so afraid of being hurt. He protects himself with his pride and stubornness – he is also some kind of perfectionist, like me. I grew up with him criticising my mum a lot from the way that he scrutinised and audited the amount of money that she had with her, to the way that the dishes were washed. They had to be washed to perfection – to his standard. When I witnessed my dad’s criticising comments to my mum, I remember thinking that when I grew up, I wanted to be a different man. Well, it has proven to be easier said than done.
I see some of my dad’s stubborness and characters on my older brother and I see some of them on me as well. Thank God that my sister-in-law is a strong lady with a big heart. Thank God for Yani too for having the capacity to love me and be a softening cushion to my hard edges.
Admittedly, I criticise Yani a lot too – some are warranted, a lot of them are just me being fussy. I realise my fussiness and sometimes I am frustrated with my own uptightness with such trivial things. I have forced myself to let go a lot and to let my hair down a bit and just enjoy life for what it offers and not what I think life should be. It is still a work in progress but as long as God continues to mold and shape me, I’m sure that both Yani and I will grow together like two strongly-intertwined grapevines.
So this is the end of the year – we will celebrate our first anniversary in ten days. It has been quite an eventful year, which I will chronicle in my annual letter to my friends. It has been a great year – I have learned a lot, alone as well as together with Yani, as a family. I hope that this year has been a great one for you too – I will certainly close this year with thanksgiving in my heart and a big expectation of exciting things that are in store for us.