Because otherwise, it is too self-centred.

Spending five years away from home, it has been alone but free.

Five years isn’t a long journey, but long enough to shape a person, a concept, a view, an inception, or even to ruin a world. Long enough to make me homesick, but at the same time, long enough to get my used to the way I’m living my life now.

It was rocky from the start, when I have to confront every day on my own. I didn’t feel like I  have a backup – that if I went out on a street and got into trouble Daddy couldn’t help; that when the university unreasonable rigidity annoyed the hell our of me Mummy couldn’t badger; that when I was faced with dramas I couldn’t vent completely to my beloved “fairy godmother”.

I had to learn how to work with banks and post offices and officials. I had to learn how to set up utilities accounts and remember to pay the bills. I had to learn how to cook, and burnt myself here and there during the steep curves.

It was so bloody annoying.

I didn’t have anyone nagging at me to shower before meals or time to go to bed. Nor the Cinderella curfews and reprimands. I went on day trips with friends, doing spontaneities. I could “shop till I drop” without feeling oblige to ask “can I buy this?” to “can I do this?”. I stayed up late for assignments, and could even stay over at friend’s (or have friends over) – for assignments or throwing uncool ‘house parties’. I got to dress up and go for parties, however skimpy if I chose to.

Heck, this one year I even got myself a sweet little belly piercing before going home for holidays. Just last year, I packed my bags and went to a “seemingly unsafe third world country for a girl to travel alone” for a volunteer program.

People don’t know me. People don’t care or notice this crazy girl on loose.

It felt so alive, like “life is actually fun and has a meaning”. It was no longer just obligations/responsibilities, sensitivity and living under expectations and reputations. I don’t have to be guilty for making people who love me worried. I don’t have to feel like a jerk for hurting the feelings of those I love.

And as the years passed, I enjoy dealing with the little daily issues. Going to the post office, paying the bills, running errands, groceries shopping…blah blah blah. I learned to love the fact that I can now cook and some actually taste good. I learned to enjoy doing the mundane house chores. I learned to either shut up or have some really fiery comebacks ever ready on hand (and mostly the latter).

I learned to like and want.

It started to get better; then I missed having someone worrying for my well-being. I missed having an arm to cling onto when out shopping. I missed having a hand to hold on to when crossing the road. I missed saying, and being said to “good night. sweet dreams. I love you”. I missed the tight hugs; I missed being asked out; I missed receiving little gifts; I missed the gossips I hated so much; I missed the pillow talk sessions; and I simply missed my phone ringing.

And above all that, most importantly (and sadistically), I missed the days when I fought so much and still know that the person wouldn’t desert me.

I learned the pain of pride when I couldn’t get what I want. I learned the agony of distance. I learned that I might have been a swan princess in a small little nook in the world, but really I am only a cassowary in a continent like this.

So now I’ve come to a point where I’ve learned to love and dislike this life I have. It worries me – because apart from missing my dear family, I do not miss anything back home. I do not HAVE anything left back home for me.

The most important, prime time of my life has been spent here – the time where I grew up and have an even stronger voice of my own. It feels like my life is here, my friends my job and possibly a faint short future before I venture into the next adventure.

I see myself – a jobless misfit, sitting at home and being nagged at 24/7. I also see myself – grumpily working a 9am-10pm job, paid with peanuts and still being nagged at over the weekends. I can also see myself – fulfilling obligations and responsibilities as I’ve been taught to, and silently hate myself for neglecting my own desires and dreams. I see myself doing what I’m told to, or what I think would make others happier.

Because otherwise, it is too self-centred.

I see myself getting pampered and spoilt by my family again. I see myself being take care of, so well because they love me. I see myself feasting and never worry about getting fat once more (duh). I see myself avoiding the hefty speeding tickets (or what-not) because you can bribe any living soul. I see myself not having to pay ridiculously pricey yet do not magic skincare.

But when all those fade away, when everyone is sick and tired of me, when my family can no longer be there for me –

I cannot see myself improving. I cannot see myself moving forward. I cannot see myself one day ticking off the things on my bucket list. I cannot see myself going where I want to go.

I cannot see myself commuting in the humidity I have always disliked. I cannot see myself discussing ideas and issues than just life around us (or our hopeless PM and his governance). I cannot see myself freely voicing out what is in my bubble world. I cannot see myself painting a picture of a nice winding, but NICE path with views. I cannot hear my voice, the real honest voice that says “I don’t give a damn if you’re hurting or not, because this is what I think and this is what I stand for”.

Because when you love someone, you don’t want to hurt them. When you don’t want to hurt them, the only way is to find a balancing point. When you can yet to find that balancing point, the only way is to ignore your selfish wish.

Because otherwise, it is too self-centred.


Deborah, it is not the end of the world. Suck it up and stop that overflowing emotions – you were raised tough.