Unexpectedly, my stay back home in the last month has been nothing but trying. Yes I’ve had wonderful, magical times, I’ve had the most beautiful conversations with those near and dear.
At the same time, it has been incredibly difficult.
Perhaps, it is because I have come to the point where I have to make concrete choices in my life, the pressures of surviving in the uber materialistic Singapore setting in from the very moment I stepped foot into my homeland. I still love Singapore like crazy, she is after all, my mother land. I am still incredibly proud of her success and achievements, and I love how incredibly diverse our cultures are. I totally LOVE Singaporean food. My family whom I adore so much is here. My friends from childhood are here. In my truest of heart, I will always be a true-blue Singaporean.
Just that this re-visit back home reminded me why I wanted to explore out of my comfort zone at this same time last year.
Singapore is beautiful, but I miss clear sunny skies. It doesn’t help that I haven’t seen the sun for a single day here because of the haze from Indonesia. Singapore is beautiful, but the hordes of skyscrapers and increasing massive crowds make me lost in the sea of people. I miss wide spaces, I miss being in nature and staring up at the blue, fluffy skies. Singapore is beautiful, but the socio-political situation here dulls my heart at times (granted, it is the idealist in me talking. Singapore is doing fantastic in comparison to many nations, just that my dream is for her to move towards a more feminine, forgiving and all-embracing society). Singapore is beautiful, because everything works to a perfect T, but we can get so incredibly demanding and impatient sometimes.
Singapore is beautiful because she never stops trying. At the same time, it makes me incredibly tired, because everyone is on a roll sometimes. Everything is about efficiency and speed. I feel that as much as many of us deny, we are a judgemental society, and we can get incredibly defensive too. Maybe it is our survival instinct, maybe it is the way we are hard-wired to be. We have a long way to go before becoming more accepting and gracious of what others think us to be.
As a result, I think I became another person here altogether. This may sound silly, but I have my grouch mood on more often than ever these days, haha.
First up, an update on my super grandmamma. She is like I’ve mentioned, super. She is recovering the best that she could, and I cannot be more proud of her. Her strength and determination inspire me. She is my number one love and will always be. At the same time, I’ve witnessed from this seemingly unfortunate episode that I have an incredibly supportive, loving and strong family. I’m incredibly blessed, I really am. And I can’t be more grateful.
As most of you have already known, I was very generously given a year off from work by my compassionate boss when I decided to tender my resignation last year, worn out by the drudgery of corporate life. And because I am due to return to work in November, the thing hanging above my head all September, is if I should go back to my well-paying banking job, the same one that gave me my material freedom and sassy life I had.
I’ve been very blessed to have opinions from many concerned family and friends, sharing their opinions with me. I know they shared because they love me.
Maybe it seemed simple. I’ve taken the first step to venture out. Why come back? Or maybe I’ve taken a year off. Why don’t I go back to reality and start balancing life out a little? Or maybe I’m not in a good frame of mind to make choices because I am clouded by emotions. I should just stay home, chill out a little more, before making my next big move.
The pressures are real. Especially when I am back here, all the material stresses come back revisiting, and I often ask myself if I had made a really silly choice by embracing my inner child, the same playful, dreamy girl who wants to make her life an incredible one. In this journey, there are still days when I question myself about the choices I have taken in this unconventional journey. Self-doubts still do set in.
What’s my dream, you may ask? Some people ask me if I am trying to change the world, and I can’t control my tickled laughter. Of course not my dears, I wish I was bigger than that. To me, the world will always be the world. It’s not about changing the world, but loving the world as it is.
My dream is perhaps as simple as yours, as pure and true as it is. My biggest dream, is to have my own family, the most beautiful one that I can ever imagine. My soulmate, my children, my dogs and cats. But what I want different is the kind of home I can create, the kind of wife and mother I can be for them, and the kind of environment for them to nurture and grow in. I want to be there with my kids when they grow up, I don’t want the Singaporean way where I only see them at night when they are off to bed just because I am slogging my day away at work. I want them to grow up free and happy, not burdened by extra curriculums and tuitions because everyone else is doing them. I want them to play outdoors in the gardens, by the beach, be laughing and playful every day. I want to be a supportive wife to my man of the house. Some feminists may think this is incredibly unambitious, but this is what makes me truly happy.
I want to dance Tango, because it gives me the simplest of joys. The connection, the comfort, the playfulness, the romance.
And I still want to do my training and coaching consultancy work, because I know I am good at it and it has given me incredible joy working with people and seeing their lives move to the positive spectrum.
To top it all up, I will love to be a global employee having the liberty to work remotely from anywhere in the world. I don’t like the idea of being tied to a spot. I want to be free.
That’s about as simple as it is.
I’ve also learnt that love is all we need. Because love drives us to our goals, to our dreams, to our actions. And loving without expecting returns, is truly the most beautiful thing on earth.
At the same time, I know I have gained my strength (and stubbornness) in this journey because of the love I have received from my nearest and dearest. My parents, whom I know still think I am crazy doing what I am doing, my incredibly loving and supportive big brother whom has always been that pillar of strength and knight in shining armour all through my life (I love you, kor kor, thank you for unconditionally loving this bratty sister you have :)), my innermost circle of friends whom I have loved and pissed off more times than ever, you did what you did for me because you love me and you have no idea how much it has given me courage and strength while I wild through this journey. Thank you for accepting me even though you may not understand, thank you for standing by me through rain or shine, thick and thin. And I know because of you, nothing, absolutely nothing, can ever get me down.
So for every chance I take and decision I make, I thank you.
And most importantly, the biggest love I have learnt to accept, is to embrace, love and trust myself.
I don’t have to try so hard to be different. I don’t have to try so hard to fit in. Social expectations, whatever expectations, they are all the same.
I am who I am now, and whatever I do now, is the best that I can do. And my dreams, are my reality. The only way for me, is to love even harder, to be even vulnerable and to keep trusting myself.
The journey continues, and I will embrace it with my fullest heart.