Every December, it is the time to do a review of the year. Newspapers, television shows, radio programmes and magazines will be looking back at the past year.
Some people also look back at what they have done, both good and bad — things they could have done better and whether they made a difference to other people around them. Also, this is the time when people will be making New Year’s resolutions for the coming year.
Looking back at my year 2002, there were lots of things that happened to me, both good and bad.
In early 2002, I started a new project on the Internet called "Learning Thai the Easy Way!" (http://www.LearningThai.com) At first, I didn’t think that there would be that many people interested or coming to visit this new project. But I was wrong. As a result of the learning Thai project becoming popular, my online bookshop started to sell a lot more books.
Working pretty hard this year brought me chances to be on television. I have never thought about being on television before even though I have been in the newspaper. I have been on television three times this year. I was both excited and nervous, not only the first time but I was like that all three times.
The best thing that happened to me this year was that a very kind lady called Pauline, who lives in Hong Kong, wrote me a very surprising letter one day. She said that she had read on my web site that I didn’t have a computer at home. So, she said that she would send me the money to buy one. And she did! That was amazing.
Apart from those good things, there were lots of bad things that happened to me. So many bad things happened while I was with my friends. I got involved with most of the troubles they got into, even though it wasn’t anything to do with me. I don’t know why I like to help them so much while I couldn’t really work out my own problems.
I really want to talk about every single problem that happened to them and me: everything from gambling and stealing to drugs and drinking. I want to tell the story of my friends and me so that other teenagers can learn from our mistakes. But, there isn’t enough space for me to write it here today. So, I will write about this another time.
The worst thing that happened to me this year could easily have been the end of my life. A few weeks ago I bumped into my girlfriend’s dad while we were riding around. He got angry and wanted to take her with him. He is a policeman so I couldn’t really argue. When he reached for his gun I stepped back. Tai had told me before that he had attacked some people while he was drunk. Now he wants to send her away to another province. I am worried about her because she has been feeling ill quite a lot recently.
After looking back at those good and bad things that happened, I now understand that most of the bad things and the problems that have been going on with me are all because of my way of life. The troubles didn’t come to look for me but I went to look for them. I now understand that "I am addicted to chaos". I have to change my way of living so that I will have a better future.
The first thing I will do is become a novice monk again. I will live in a temple for a while which I hope will clear my mind and prepare me for another new beginning in the new year. As I write this I am already wearing the white clothes of a layperson and if everything goes according to plan I will be ordained as a monk in a few days time.
Continued in A New Life