With whom did you make the most worthwhile connections in 2012?
connect [LIVE]: This post is part of Weverb12

This is a toughie. I can easily cite who I did not make worthwhile connections with:

  1. My husband
  2. Close friends
  3. Even my mom to some extent
  4. My colleagues
  5. My helpers

As most of you know by now, this has been the year of angst and irritation. People mostly got on my nerves. I probably got on theirs. Worthwhile connections were lacking.

Mainly, I forged a closer relationship with my kids. I realised I can stomach their company in larger doses than I can most adults. This is a complete turnaround from someone who would run a mile from kids. I am now the person who goes goo-goo-gaa-gaa at babies in the MTR. Stranger things have happened (NOT). Apart from genuinely enjoying my interactions with my children, as I realised on Christmas, they crowd out the need for other people and paint the grotesqueness of many adult interactions in sharp relief.

And if my children hadn’t caused me to isolate myself, Hong Kong encourages it too. One of the pitfalls of life in Hong Kong is that people wrap themselves into their own cocoons and the efficiency of the infrastructure and the way the city functions means one doesn’t need people in the way that one does in India, for example. So one is forced to consider whether one actually wants people. I fully recognise that this is a dangerous game to play whereby one could find oneself very alone and isolated later in life or if one moves away from Hong Kong.

But for the here and now, this year I found that I preferred solitude and my own company more than anything. For example, the week that V was away at the end of the year, I did a couple of things myself and enjoyed the experience immensely. I went to an exhibition of Andy Warhol’s work and loved taking my time and absorbing it at my own pace, reading every caption as is my want without feeling guilty about making others wait. And on Saturday night, I went to a HK Philharmonic concert, making a conscious choice not to call friends, and again, I loved being alone. I could space out and let the music wash over me without feeling the need to make conversation or think about whether anyone else was entertained. I could go to the loo twice during the interval without feeling embarrassed about my small bladder. At the end of it, I remember thinking how this was so much more worthwhile than doing than drinks and dinner. On a side note, I’ve discovered I enjoy Ravel – the gypsy notes in his music resonate with me – and I find solos trying.

I’d like to say that I’m going to make more connections in the coming year, but I think I need to wallow in solitude more. I need to cast of the cloak of needing people and being anxious about company. One of the wonders of Hong Kong is that one is free to do things alone. So, if anything, I’m hoping to isolate myself more and keep my interactions with people light.