February 22, 2007

360 Turnaround

I think the title aptly describes a possible scenario which may greet me at the end of this year. Coming back to foreign surroundings in Singapore and not recognising things which made me comfortable, which were representations of my childhood. How do you say goodbye to a house you spent your entire conscious life in? How do you spend the last night in an embodiment of your memories? I'm feeling lost suddenly, stuck in a quagmire of emotions which resurfaced on the eve of my departure from Singapore. To say that it is just a house simplifies the experiences I've had in this place, cheapens the entire richness of my lively childhood. It is sad, but yet, the going of the old heralds new beginnings. By the time I return to Singapore this November, this place will be a pile of rubble and I will be trying to get accustomed to new surroundings. It is a daunting thought, but not something I haven't faced before.

I went to visit Grandma today as I've been doing for the past few years whenever I'm about to leave. Although it was good seeing her as it always has been for the past 24 years, a tinge of sadness gripped me when I realised she could no longer remember me. I wonder really, whether our memories are truly erased when old and demented, or are they stored somewhere else where we find it impossible to reach? Grandma's recent illness has caused me to rethink life itself; the fragility, the unpredictability of it all. It scares me. I remember when I returned in November, she was there to greet me as always and to cook my favourite baked beans in minced meat. And in a flash, she's deteriorated drastically with the culmination of it being today when she couldn't remember me. There must be more to life than material possessions and prestige. After all, what use is all that money when your health can be taken away in an instant? I really hope Grandma's still lucid and coherent when I return but at this point, its a faint hope that I'm not willing to place much emotions on. Simply because I am preparing myself for the worst.

There's always a myriad of emotions when I'm about to depart and even though this is the 4th time, it's no different. Fear, worry, apprehension all jump into the mix; leaving me in a mess emotionally as I'm about to embark on my final year.

I really hope everything turns out okay. See you in November.


Traveller fell apart at 12:12 AM

February 17, 2007

Saying My Goodbyes

They say that goodbyes are the hardest part to swallow down in a person's life. I've never felt the essence of that statement, the emotionality of it usually bouncing off the stone cold shield I've erected around myself. Till today.

My internship at Ernst & Young ended today, leaving me in slight limbo over the way I'd spend the rest of my 6 days in Singapore. I realise I've revolved my life around work and the office so much so that I've effectively left myself empty inside and lost when there isn't an office to go to. The late nights, the difficult clients and the frustrating work all paled in comparison to the laughter, jokes and camaraderie my audit team shared with one another. It made things easier to go through, and time passed quickly even as I was enjoying my time with them. Suddenly, I've found myself at the end of this journey; a journey I initially began with slight apprehension and nervousness but one which I now find myself missing so much. Lessons have been learnt through this work experience, not only technical career-wise ones but also life lessons and methods of dealing with people, be they difficult or friendly. It's been such an epiphany for me and there are definitely no regrets.

Besides my summer vacation job, I've also been forced to say goodbye to H.J. Heights, a condominium I've lived in for nearly 20 years of my life. It's been sold in an en bloc and with confirmation coming through on the sale, we've been given to the end of the year to pack up and move on. It isn't really the dingy old buildings I will miss per se, but rather the company I will sorely hanker after. The childhood friends I've made during my years here, how we used to play soccer by the pool and the irate responses those activities brought about; how we loved to spend time in each others' houses hammering away on those PlayStation controllers or playing make-believe games when we were younger. These are memories I will keep with me all my life, and more so now after all the physicalities are done away with. We've grown up alot, from young, innocent kids into mature, responsible adults. I'm proud of us all for the way we turned out and I'm just sad that we'll soon be dispersing into various diasporas of Singaporean communities. But such is life, constantly evolving, changing and unforgiving. My childhood was a part of life I thought would never fall prey to the ever-changing nature of time. But now, even that will be reclaimed by the metal arm of a bulldozer.

I said my goodbyes to the colleagues at Ernst & Young and also to my childhood friends today, leaving me feeling a tad bit melancholic now. It's abit tough not to swallow hard, when you've said goodbye to effectively half your life in a single day.

"Que sara, sara. Whatever will be, will be. The future's not ours to see."

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Traveller fell apart at 2:02 AM

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