03 March 2014

This is where I leave you

I told myself that this trip would answer the question I have long been asking. Do I really want to move? The thought of starting a life in Singapore first hit me five months ago when I saw this place for the first time. It was distant and different from the country I know as home, but something about it felt comfortable and familiar as well. If I was ever going to leave home for good, this would be the place to start. After all, I know that once I leave, I would never be going back. Forward and on.

It took me while to sort out my feelings. The first few days I was just plain excited and happy to be back. I felt the same way as I did before. I didn't want to leave.

But I knew the consequences. To stay in Singapore, there would be price to pay. I would have to get an 8-5 job, sacrificing free time, freedom, travel. And I wasn't sure I was willing to give all of that up. Especially not when it took me a long time to find these things that have made me finally happy.

I remember the time when I was so unhappy working at a corporate setting, doing things I didn't believe in for money. And for what? To pay the bills. Nothing more. The job bled you dry, always exhausted, that there wasn't much time to do anything else. Definitely not the things you love, like explore or just sit and write.

No. I left that life for a reason. And I've always been thankful that I did. That wasn't the life for me.

But I've learned to always make sure my doors are open. Make sure my heart is. So if maybe the time would come that I will be ready to take on a real job, pursue a career, then I know that I would go back to this place. In an alternate life, maybe, in a life where I have not fallen in love with traveling, had I not known that we could live a free life, maybe then. But for now, my journey continues.

And so like a lover saying goodbye to his muse, I walked for hours at the Gardens the day before I left Singapore, reminding myself of the things I should never forget. The kind families who took me in, the places, the wonderful strangers I’ve met, and the diversified culture that I will always find fascinating about this place. And this feeling. This feeling of wanting to stay but leave all at the same time.

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