i’ve lived here 20 years. sure, i haven’t spent all my days here. i first left in 2013 to a dark room devoid of life and sunlight, only to find that it can be pretty bright with the right company. i left again in 2015 to a small room 10,000km away, next to my housemates’ constant parties in the kitchen and endless vomitting in the bathroom right across my room only to be silently crying in loneliness as the sun sets at 2pm on cold winter days. but i found treasures beyond compare and peace in my own solitude and love and friends i’d cherish for the rest of my life. i came back in august 2018, only to leave again in september 2018 – barely a month. this place, the all-powerful constant.
somewhere within what feels like an endless sea of sorrows, lies a ball of fear. i can’t seem to be quite sure of what i’m scared of. maybe i’m afraid of a new environment, maybe i’m afraid that this constant change will not cease, maybe i’m afraid that i will always continue to lose the things i love one by one to time. maybe i’m afraid that i lose myself in the change, that the layout of these walls and all that they contain slowly fades from my memory. i’m afraid, deeply afraid, of an unknown which i cannot name.
my parents are 64 and 63 respectively. my dad’s friend died just last year from a heart attack. he was 64. my dad’s father died when i was just 2 years old. he was in his 50s. my dad’s mother died in 2017. all the mahjong friends my dad made has died. my mom just found out that her friend’s eldest brother had died. my mom’s parents both died when i was 11. and while my parents’ lives are filled with death, mine is filled with anticipation of birth. i hear murmurs of people going steady and moving across seas to be with their significant others and of weddings i have not been invited to. it is a strange situation to be in, and it adds to my fears however unnamed.
part of me fears that this is a mistake. that moving out of what i consider my childhood place will kill that part of me which i consider my younger self, unburdened with the shit that comes along with adulthood. when i look out the balcony and see the fireworks being displayed, i feel as though i can see my younger self beside me, wide-eyed and excited. i can see her running to my dad and telling him about the fireworks and him telling me we can go play some later too. i can see my mom bring a mug of hot milo to each of us and telling us we have to eat first. when i walk to the lifts and head down to the common area, i can see my younger self running ahead with glee and my parents following closely behind. sparkles and small fireworks and pop pops and smiles and laughter. sometimes when i turn my head behind, i can see red colourful cartoon character tanglungs from the autumn moon festival. i can hear my mom asking her if she’d want to play too, and her saying it’s okay i don’t want to in a guise of wanting to grow up.
this place feels like a bridge between my past and my present. a pitstop before i storm into the future. and i grieve losing its role in my life. maybe i’m afraid that my life from now on is more goodbyes, and less hellos.
i don’t know how to deal with that yet, i don’t want to deal with that.