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Thursday, January 1, 2015

On New Year's eve, i cycled 54km through Chiangmai's farmer fields, rehabilitation centers and simple lives. 

My year-end post isn't going to summarize 2014's glorifying moments but rather, something i hope that sets the tone for how i want to live for 2015. 

Santhi, my Thai bike guide, struck up a conversation with me while we manuveur around the paddy fields at 10km/hr. 

"What is your life goal?"
"See the world, make a difference?" 

I had to communicate with him in very simple English, a language he self-taught with Youtube over 6 years. 

What i actually meant was my life purpose is to make a difference in the lives around me. Instead of aiming for a Nobel prize, "charity" begins at home and with small actions that makes impact i wouldn't have fathom. Accompanying this life purpose, is the goal to see and feel the world. 

"And you?"
"I want to be ordained (as a monk) when i'm 50."

I am confused. Earlier, he mentioned he wanted to get married at 30 (he's 26). However, with his limited vocabularly, i couldn't clarify. Later, i found out from local colleagues that it is a rite of adulthood to spend days, weeks or months for temporary monkhood, earning merits for parents. 

Meeting all walks of life, random stranger conversations have been most rewarding. It shapes me. 

My greatest achievement before 30 is to have lived in 4 different countries independently. 

Being Singaporean by birth, it has been ingrained in me to study hard, work hard, find a man and marry to get a house. I'm not ashamed to say that was my very naive life goal before i gained enlightened. The more i lived abroad, the more i liked being an international wildchild. Adopting the attitude of an European but retaining an Asian's virtue (and cuisine). 

It takes courage to leave Singapore, an indefinite stay away from family, away from friends. Remove myself from familarity, remove myself from convenience. 

Poverty at my doorstep, cycling past farmers toiling, stepping out of Singapore has been a humbling start. It reminds me constantly how we don't get to choose whom we're born as but we do get to choose how to live life. 

I love Singapore for Singapore, but staying on made me self-centered, impatient and focused on life goals that deep down i doubted. Last year living in Europe gave me a new perspective. Going back to Singapore, i felt the old self creeping back. If i wasn't careful, i would lose that wildchild i prefer to be. 

That wildchild who lives for herself, not for society.  

Stepping out of Singapore, i want to be a better person than yesterday. I want to be myself, as everyone else is taken.

The number 5 has always been my favourite as its representative of my family unit. I found out that its also the number for grace. 2015 will be a year of abundant grace. 

Leaving to find me. 

1 comment:

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