Last week, my mum's coworker and friend sent home some presents for me and my sister. He usually sends a little something because mum is one of his favourite people to work with (she's no-nonsense just like me). One of things that my sister and I both loved - aside from his uncanny ability to pin down our personalities - are the chinese book marks that he gave us. They are these metal bookmarks engraved with one of the 4 animals of the chinese constellation.
Because of my love for all things historical, I of course, had to do some research on what these were. My sister's emblem was the Jade Dragon (also known as the green dragon). It represents the Emperor and protects the East. It is also associated with the element of wood and the season spring. Fitting for my sister. Given she's a May baby and is constantly happy.
My emblem, which I thought was creepily fitting was the Vermillion Bird, or the Phoenix. Representing the Empress, it is the bird that often protects the South. Its element is fire and its season is summer. Despite the fact that I'm partial to the fall, I still think that the phoenix arrived at an opportune time for me.
Though the chinese version of the Phoenix is different from the one we usually associate with mythology, I like to think of the two in the same breath. It's a bird, that when burned down (known as self-immolation), rises from its own ashes. I feel that in some ways I'm like that. 2009, though a tough year, has given me the strength to go on to what I hope will be a more successful 2010. I'm rising from my own ashes, letting the unnecessaries stay behind and forging ahead. Despite the scars, I'm brand new in some ways. Lucky for me, the phoenix only arrives in times of good fortune. I think good things are ahead.
What's more, the pairing of the Dragon and Phoenix (also yin and yang) represent perfect harmony. I would definitely have to give credit to the two dragons in my life for helping me get through the this. Without their fierce strength and ability to slap me silly when I'm filled with self-doubt, I'd probably be spending my days in bed.
(And this is where I thank people).
I've got a rather long list of thank you's for the year, so I'll try and abbreviate as much as humanly possible. I've had the absolute pleasure of meeting some of the most intelligent, passionate and hardworking folks this year, thanks to Brazen Careerist. From sharing recipes to advice on career, Brazen again, gets the big shout-out. It's my home online and I'm happy and honoured to call these folks my friends.
Of course, there are the usual friends of mine, with whom I've had many a cup of coffee, shared many a book recommendation, cried many a tear, and laughed many an ass off, the MAISers, the old choir folks, the online blogging community, some very old high school connections that I revisited this year, the boys in Toronto.
Thank you all for being part of my rich and fulfilling life. I hope that we can take flight together in 2010. If I don't get a chance to talk to you before the new year, have a wonderful one everbody. It's a new decade. Let's make it a fabulous one :)