Xeno Hemlock


2017: Not My Year of Victory

Sometimes I find myself writing what seems to be endless drafts of a new writing assignment. When that's the case, I know either the topic lacks some depth or is completely the wrong one to write about. As I worked on my traditional end-of-year reflective blog post this month, I saw four drafts already on my digital notebook but I still felt the task was going nowhere. 

The story wound up like this.

Xeno: I have every right to call 2017 my year of victory. After three years toiling for my debut novel I Killed My Friends and It Thrilled Me, it had finally moved from Xenosphere to Internetosphere. I've achieved one of my big dreams and I could call myself successful. On the other hand... blah, blah, blah... lukewarm reception for my indie book... blah, blah, blah... graphic design career that didn't take off... blah, blah, blah... sudden disappearance of someone dear to me... blah, blah, blah... so I'm going to call 2017 my year of humility!

Still, that didn't feel right. There was a hollowness to the concoction. The recipe was a bad list of ingredients.

Then last Thursday night happened.

While I was loading into my car shopping bags of gifts for Christmas, it hit me. I was thinking (writing) it wrong. 2017 is not my year of humility. This is my year of giving.

Seeing the gifts I brought for my family and friends made me realise that for the first time in my entire life, I didn't have any sour feeling towards Christmas. Blame angst and insecurity before. I used to resent that I was unofficially obliged to give presents to others when they seldom bothered being thoughtful towards me by doing to same. But this year, no longer. I have freed myself from the fear of giving.

I have my writing career to thank for that liberty. The three or four post-rebirth years of my life have brought me so much growth, each year since my awakening better than the last. More belief in myself. More conviction. More humanity. Walking the path of crafting a novel broke the shackles of fear from my feet. After all, a writer pouring his heart and soul into his creation is one of his ultimate acts of giving. Conquering all the fears and doubts that came along with the process is surely liberating. It was only natural that in the three years I wrote my book, the desire and power of giving crept into other aspects of my life. 

This year I released my debut novel. I joined a nobel cause. I even smiled to strangers and acquaintances (it's a good practice, I tell you). I gave time to my family especially my mother and my niece. I also gave time and forgiveness to friends even to those who wronged me. My new writing project Death's Last Days With the Dying is also a gift from me to everyone. Even in this year's final month, I chose to give joy and cheers, something I detested for many years.

Once the first box of present pops, you can't stop. Merry Christmas everyone!

2017: Giving.