Photos by Teresa Lim
"The truth is, life is getting unpredictable. Borders between countries are constantly being redrawn; the continental plates and coastlines are shifting. The world that I once knew is no more. I am happy but I have never been so. I guess it's all foreign territory to me."
It is my deepest belief that distance provides time and perspective. Travelling changes you - the way you think; the way you perceive; the way you act - all on the grounds of unfamiliarity.
I sorely miss travelling. The nervous excitement bubbling within me makes me feel so much alive, and every step I take just proves how big the world is and how comparatively small I am. It is as if anything can happen! There's this surge of feelings that makes you feel like rushing out there and grabbing life by the hands. Moments like these makes me think, in awe and slight intimidation, no human can be the master of the universe. It is too big and too wondrous for us to even comprehend.
Before leaving for Shanghai, China, there was a part of me that felt like I was making the wrong decision, and that perhaps I should have opted for the easier choice of going to UK where I know I would undoubtedly enjoy myself. In hindsight, I'm glad that I made that choice to push myself. It definitely wasn't all roses and I did suffer (in silence) when the slew of bad things happened but the experience has irrevocably changed me.
I have changed - in a good way, in fact. It is as if someone turned on the light switch and I am finally able to see things for what it is. This sounds slightly absurd but being away from Singapore really led me to confront myself. I am not ashamed to have said that I cried a lot. I finally had some time to myself and dealt with the issues I hastily swept under the rug to move on with my life. One by one, I processed them, felt the pain of it, accepted it and let it go. You can say that overseas, there isn't a need for the veil of pretense and this vulnerability is the best time for you to confront yourself. I think that's important because pain demands to be felt. Once you acknowledged it, the pain can't kill you and you don't need to carry it around with you any more.
Returning back to Singaporean soil after the 4-month bootcamp, it seems as if I am no longer congruent to the familiar environments. There seems to be a paradigm shift where I just am unable to comprehend the person I was before. I am struggling to make sure that I remember what I have learnt and never go back to that state. It scares me when there are times where it seems like I am slowly forgetting what I have promised myself because it's so easy to just fall back into the same routine. My eyes have been opened and I am fighting to make sure it stays that way.