Friday, May 12, 2006


He who knows nothing, doubts nothing - Spanish Proverb

I closed a chapter of my life some time ago. Months ago, to be more specific. And the time is nearing for me to take the next big step. One more week to go and I'll be installed in college.

Frankly, I'm split between two main feelings. Excitement and trepidation. A big part of me is excited. I'm going to be on my own. I'll be discovering new things, learning new things, adapting away from home. But then again, in the midst of all the excitement broiling around me, there's this dubious feeling nestling somewhere at the back of my mind. It is scary really. I've never been away from home before this. Literally. Man, am I overprotected !

I also realise this is the first step to independance. I remember so vividly all the things I used to do as a secondary school student. Mugging for exams. Rushing for tuitions. Chatting in school. Being a librarian. Debating with the team. Studying without having weighty decisions to make. Fooling around. Laughing and talking the day away. Sweet, sweet memories. And suddenly, it's as if I've reached this short plateau. Short, but no doubt a plateau. For a while, I just existed, not lived. Had a short stint working part time. It was no doubt an experience. One I'll never forget. Filled with bittersweet memories. Funny, but everytime I think of it, my blood boils. Not in a good way. I'm still looking around for an outlet to let out that one suppressed feeling, so far not succeeding. But nevermind about that.

Anyway, back to the point. Time has passed by with the mercy of a bullet-train. I miss school. Darn, I never thought I'd say it. I was gearing to be out of school. I was gearing to go to college. But suddenly, it's as if I'm standing precariously at the edge of that plateau. And I see the drop. I know I can't stay on that comfortable place any longer. It's time to move on. Time and tide wait for no man. yada yada. But I still find it impossible to stave back that trepidation. I hate my brain sometimes. I'm good at contradictions. I'm good at pessimism. And I'm good at self-denial.

Stepping out of my little existence to 'explore' the unknown, to have adventures and to eventually 'live' proves to be a really seductive deal. But then again, it's like that feeling you get when you first open a book. You're curious as hell to find out what's in store for you. You've skimmed throught the introduction at the back and the short writer's note. A little summary, a little tantalisation before the real thing. I think the beginning of anthing new is akin to that feeling you get when you flick open the first page of a brand new book. ( That is, if you're a bookworm like me, if you are anything like Josh, the feeling you get will be something like a groan, a moan, a litany of grumbles and a succession of yawns ). Back to where I was before I digressed, my feeling right now is a weird mix. I can't wait to open and begin penning my new chapter. Will it be a bore ? Will it be interesting? Will it be exactly like I want it to be? I guess I'll just have to delve in and discover later eh?

Is this how everyone else felt? By the way, I didn't get the PSD scholarship. I currently feel numb I guess. The whole thing was a helluva lot of fun. The waiting, the 'attitude' test, the interview. It was an experience. I'm relieved that the choice has been made for me actually. At least the road isn't diverged, and if I had taken one road, years later, I would wonder, "What if I'd taken the other road? How then would things have turned out?" It's really funny how things work out sometimes. Life leads you round and round in circles and you find yourself in square one over and over again. But then, when God closes a door, He always opens a window.

Yaso was asking me about coincidence the other day. A part of me believes that our lives have been mapped out for us already. What we like to call 'coincidence' is probably a part of the big picture. Something in the blueprint. But just because life is 'mapped out' it doesn't mean we take a backseat and let the shows begin. I think we're co-drivers of our own destinies. Every action has a reaction. Newton's law. The reins have been placed in our hands. And it's up to us to steer the way. The destination has already been planned but it's up to us how to get there. Along the way, we might break a wheel, but that shouldn't stop us from going on. Life goes on without us. Wouldn't it be a shame if we just stood still and waste away while everything around us is blossoming and blooming and growing and improving and living?

It never ever crossed my mind that I'd end up being an engineer. Frankly, it was never one of those things I wrote essays about in primary school when the teacher asked us what we wanted to be. I had wanted to be a teacher, a fireman (don't ask), a music teacher ( so far, I've only succeeded in being a music slaughterer ), a doctor, a pharmacist, a psychologist, and a paediatrician. Engineer never even crossed my mind. And yet, that is what I'm going to be. I always say 'what' I want to be and not 'who' I want to be. That's because I like who I am now. I know who I am. And 'who' I want to be is to stick being me, hopefully, time won't compromise the person I am. I'm surprised at my own choice. I'm even more surprised to find that I'm thrilled and raring to get started on studying. Studying, a word that sounds so foreign to me now. Right now, I'm having a diarrhea of words and I just can't stop the flow. Right now, these words seem to be the only panacea for my feelings.

As you can see, growing up, I've never had this burning, flaming torch inside me. I'm not like some of my friends who have set their mind to be doctors before they knew their ABCs, or borned lawyers. I lack the patience to be a good teacher and the compassion to be a good nurse. Biology and Chemistry were always at war when it came to choosing my favourite Science subject. Physics was always at the bottom of the list. I seem to have a knack for numbers but numbers drive me nuts. Which explains why I can never be an accountant. So, it's not really surprising that I chose to venture into Chemical Engineering. I remember being very undecided even after I sat for the SPM. I only made up my mind a fortnight after the results were out. I used to hate it when relatives would ask me what I wanted to be. I used to answer 'dunno' to every single question they posed so much so that some of them must have thought me mentally impaired. So I made up vague answers. I loathe it when people say I can't do it. People think I'm pampered. Soft. But I feed on their skeptism. Instead of pushing me down, they fuel and renew my zest for wanting to prove them wrong. I accept and appreciate constructive criticism but I detest unbased prejudice.

Why is it that we live our lives for others? I wish I could be those happy-go-lucky people out there. They don't give a thought to what others think of them. Their lives are theirs and theirs alone. Why can't I break free from crazy taboos and 'stigmas' that society loads unto us? Why must I don a stuffy mask in the light of day, diminishing my own character into the dank refuges of my mind? Why do I lack the courage to stand up and shout to the world who I really am inside? Maybe what William Shakespeare said was right. He must have been quite an oddball himself during those days. His private life raised questions as to what resided in the mindfolds of the world renowned literary genius. We're but petty players, strutting about on a stage, playing our little roles to the fullest before the last breath blows off the candle that represents our lives, and the rest is darkness. Like players in a play, after the play ends, the grandiose of it all fades. Life is very much like a stage. We live and behave for the benefit of others. We put far too much import on insignificance, on gossip. Why is it wrong to think on our own? Why is it that society, no matter how modern and open minded they claim to be, want to suppress individuality and convert everyone else to be the same? Why does the word 'unique' only last but a while before it becomes common again? And on that note, I shall leave to do some pondering of my own.

1 comment:

aRcHAnGel said...

U’re about to embark on a journey in de open sea. In search of de pot of gold at the end of de rainbow. Your ship (de Old Victoria Era type) has just left the safety of de harbor. Be prepare for calm seas and rough storms, with pirates and buried treasures, of architeuthis and mermaids. Just remember ol’ Ahab as you sail through life.