dated: a draft since August 2014, published April 2015.
Drafts serve as a recollection for me. Many things have changed since then.
So I am home.
That day in January seems just moments ago, as I dig into my email archive, reading through old messages. The thoughts of uncertainty of a new place to study still linger in my mind, but now, London just seems like a fleeting glimpse into how my future will be like. Studying abroad is not like the glamour that it sounds; it comes with loneliness, well solitude, but also happiness, and an even greater fear for the unknown, but also an appreciation for it. London has exposed me, led me to places I’ve thought I’d never go; maybe I’ve matured up, or maybe sobered up to the harshness of reality, even limped into the oblivion of denial. We tell ourselves a story to live, and perhaps this is my perspective, but I guess the biggest takeaway is that I’ve learnt how not to take things for granted. I think the only qualm I have with myself is that it takes a conscious effort with reminders to remember that I’ve to appreciate the things I have. Maybe this is the process of growing old instead of up; you start to truly count your blessings before you run out of them (thanks Zen).
London has been one chapter altogether, and I can’t say that I’m not bittersweet about my memories there. As this chapter closes, transition has been good, and bad memories start to fade off – I am glad for that, while the good memories remain and stay, and I am too, happy about it. Time forgets, truly.
Now, I fluctuate between different levels of consciousness, from indifference to awareness. My fascination and obsession with anchors still remain. I still wonder about maybe this is really a metaphorical way that my brain is telling me to anchor myself, knowing that I’ll be overseas for the next few years. (if it is, then, I am conscious.)
Home has been a wakeup call, a relief. Wakeup call for me to mature up, sober up, for I’ve not many years left. I’ve too many things I want to accomplish, too little time, and I need to get my priorities right. Drive and dreams will only bring me so far – what I lack in discipline, I make up for in conviction in dreaming, and I guess that drives me. I am driven to go to places that will carry me far in the future, but driven by a positive fear. Receiving the NS medical checkup letter has perhaps heightened my need for self-discipline, as I hope I’ll recieve a good grading of my PES status. I want to look at NS positively, despite the fear of the unknown I have. I think going to London has quelled this fear quite a bit, and I need to get out desperately of my comfort zone to try new things. Coming home has been a relief, as there is no more emotional conflict at home. Conversations of my dad with my mum are common, but his presence seems almost forgotten for a moment. Perhaps our emotions really betray us, as our sadness and perhaps longing seep through our words of hurt and pain, but never stay long enough to drag us down anymore. Emotional baggage gets easier to let go, and we tread easier, and tread lighter. Maybe we’re relieving all the shared memories we had together with him, letting go of them, by moving out of the house. It makes breathing easier, as these recollections come less often. Our old house is not home anymore – there is no furniture, everything is clean and bare. What’s left is only the scratches on the tiles, marks on the walls, the smell of mothballs in the air, everything that used to remind us of home.
Hopefully the future will what we make it to be, with happy memories made in the new house. I’m glad I’ve found my sense of home again, and I understand how important it is to have pillars of strength. It makes me happy that I’ve someplace I can call home now.
As I’m left with two weeks here, I cannot imagine the loneliness that she faces without me. All those car rides, dinners would be cold. I’m grateful that she sent me overseas to study, but also sad that I’m leaving her behind. Her white hairs are growing more apparent by the day, and they remind me that she is growing old. Her palms too, are rough with countless dishwashings and housework. I am grateful and thankful for her, and she’s my anchor, my source of emotional support and strength. Love really carries us places.