Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Do we live the life that we should?
7:59 PM 7000 miles away
Do I push too hard?
Or fall too fast?
The moment never seems to last
Will I stop long enough to know
Your words circle in my head
Weigh so heavy on my chest
And I'm crushed by your expectation
I only want to do some good
Too dumb to know if I could
And I just wanna feel the days I'm in
Do I go to far,
Not far enough?
Why can't I keep my big mouth shut?
And do we lead the life that we should?
You know what I was thinking about on the night I turned 21? I was thinking that I was three months closer to the day I would return 'home' to Malaysia - the day I'd been anticipating and looking forward to every single day for the first five months since I first got here.
And instead of bubbling over with excitement that the day I'd been dreaming of and longing for was almost within reach, I started feeling a sense of dread.
Because for the first it hit me that even though I might be going 'home' to where I came from, it's not going to be home by the time I return. I can't just barge back into KL and expect to pick up my life where I've left off. People will have changed; some have left to other parts of the world already; but most of all, I will have changed.
It suddenly hit me that going home will be adjusting back to a new life all over again like I did when I came here. And while adventure and change is always good, it still means leaving someone(s) behind, which is never easy.
I spent the past 4-5 months here trying to hold on to the someone(s) I left behind in KL, trying to bring them into my world here. And for some people, maybe, that does work. Maybe e-mails and Skype chats are enough for some. But it's not enough for me to whinge about the weather to someone who has never been anywhere colder than 20 degrees.
I spent most of my free time here in isolation but mostly because I didn't bother making the effort to get out and get to know people, and now that I have started to, I actually feel normal again having friends I can talk to and see in 3D and live audio, not through a flat screen and tinny laptop speakers. I feel normal, and it feels good to be normal.
Still, trying to bring Malaysia into my world here is like trying to talk about the tropics to people who have only ever grown up in four season countries and wear thin hoodies in the dead of winter while I'm all bundled up in like four layers. It doesn't work when I keep my Malaysian accent around friends here - I'd just sound like a total weirdo; and the other way around - I'd sound like a snobby wannabe.
I finally understand why people lose touch with friends when they move away - a dear friend, who's in Canada at the moment, said to me when she was back in Malaysia for a break... that when she was there, Malaysia felt like a dream, and in Malaysia, here time there felt like a dream. I finally understand what she meant. Took me a little long - five months to be precise - of fighting and trying to ignore the fact that the two worlds I lived in, the two worlds I now call 'home' - were so completely different that I couldn't expect to reconcile them just like that.
I'm tired of trying. Explaining a foreign culture is one thing; trying to bring it into the day-to-day life of another culture is another thing. I'm tired of living between both worlds; I want to actually feel normal - to have my emotions and time invested in the world I am actually physically in instead of being a million miles away in my head in someplace I can't be in in person for another three months.
I spent so long back in KL learning to live in the present and not for some distant event in the future - and it felt like that ability slipped way when I got here, and lately, it's starting to feel like it's coming back. And it feels pretty good actually, to live arms wide, expectation-free, ready to go wherever life takes me.
You know what else I was thinking?
That exactly what I dreaded would happen before coming here has happened. I've changed. I don't think I want the same things as I did anymore before I left. I mean, I knew I would change, but I thought I'd find myself wanting different things.
But at 21, I found myself feeling the very same thing I felt at 18 - trapped and stifled and not knowing who I am, and not wanting to find my identity in a safety net or security blanket or a reliable shoulder to lean on.
I thought I was ready to settle down and live a stable, settled life with a stable job, significant other, and etc, and now... the thought just scares the crap out of me like it did... a couple years ago?? I don't even understand it myself... I never expected to feel this way, obviously, otherwise I wouldn't have hung some of my hopes quite as high as I did before leaving.
All I know right now is that I want to run very, very far away from what was left back in KL, and any expectations and obligations that will be waiting for me when I go back there. And just be here, fully immersed in the present.
I hear the wind across the plain
A sound so strong - that calls my name
It's wild like the river - it's warm like the sun
Ya it's here - this is where I belong
Under the starry skies - where eagles have flown
This place is paradise - it's the place I call home
The moon on the mountains
The whisper through the trees
The waves on the water
Let nothing come between this and me
Cuz everything I want - is everything that's here
And when when we're all together - there's nothing to fear
And wherever I wander - the one thing I've learned
It's to here - I will always... always return