When I was younger, I would try to leave every instance I could, whether that be for shopping in Oregon, spontaneously travelling to Toronto, or visiting friends and relatives in Hong Kong. As I spend more and more time overseas, I have grown a new level of appreciation for you.
As I sluggishly move back into my dorm, get into the flow of this semester's classes, and endlessly fight jet-lag, I have become more and more confused by the definition of 'home.' Is home the smell of freshly dry-cleaned dress shirts? Is home the sensation of eating home-cooked food? Is home the amazing landscapes that I have taken for granted? Or is home just a place where I am mentally at ease? After one semester abroad, I continue to struggle with this concept.
While I feel like I have found a new home in Singapore, there are many instances where my current circumstances feel strangely foreign. I have met so many incredible individuals: my suite-mates are unbelievably chill, my friends are hilarious (24/7), and my professors are lively. While my Singaporean friends are fun to hang around, I constantly struggle to catch up with the nuances of Singlish, feel the need to explain my West Coast slang, and justify my liberal beliefs and ideologies almost as if I were committing a crime at that instance.
Over the past few months, I have lost touch with a lot of my friends from Vancouver who have taken very diverse paths in their lives. Sometimes, I just wish things were easier.
The question 'what if?' constantly resonates within my mind. What if I ended up studying in California? What if I stayed within Canada? What if I took this year off? How would my life be different? Would I still be plagued with the issues that I am dealing with today? Would I be freed from the shackles of my mind? Luckily, I revisited home over December and found answers to these questions.
This visit has brought back numerous emotions:
- Passionate love that existed half a year ago has faded into platonism.
- Platonic love that never should have blossomed grew into a relationship (that has since ended).
- Familial love for those I care most about.
- Disappointment that friendships from high school have dwindled.
- Eternal happiness for friends' and acquaintances' successes.
- Surprised at myself for being able to grow decent facial hair.
- Frustrated that I have to constantly explain why I turned down UC Berkeley and Stanford University.
- Ease for being able to be who I am without others judging.
- Fear of losing who and what I love due to distance.
- A sadness in having to move away from home once again.
Now, I am finally at ease. I have grown a new level of appreciation for aesthetics. I can finally lift my head up. I feel spectacular about the prospect of life.
Last but not least, I would like to end with a quote.
See you in May,
To those of you who have ventured Vancouver with me, I welcome you back. To those of you who have yet to tour my hometown alongside me, I hope these images will transport you to some of the places I enjoyed the most over the past eighteen years of my life.
P.S. Thank you for reading! I'll work my hardest to publish bi-weekly posts. As always, let me know what I can do better and don't forget to like and comment.
P.P.S I will be in New York City over the summer. If you would like to collaborate, please let me know!