As my years of schooling draw to an end, I find myself filled with a myriad of emotions. Some day’s I can’t wait to get out of the small island I call home and the others I want nothing more than to stay safe in my little bubble. It’s a completely understandable feeling but I wonder more and more about the life I’ll lead away from my home. Moving from a place like Singapore to somewhere else in the world will be like culture shock. In Singapore, taking a public bus home at ten at night or even eleven is safe, you can walk past construction workers and not get cat called or walk on the sidewalk without needing a can of pepper spray in your bag. It’s a small island that takes at most forty-five minutes to cross and for someone like me, who’s planning on heading to the UK, the thought of leaving is terrifying. But that’s the fun part, it’s the idea of leaving your comfort zone, heading to a new world almost where you can be whoever you want and re-invent yourself that attracts me. Beside the fact that I’ll be going to university there, it’s a chance for me to live life myself, by my own rules. I’ll make my own mistakes and get out of them or take chances and find out new things, make new friends maybe even some new enemies.
Of course, there are factors that make me wish I never had to leave my island. I don’t want to have to leave my friends and my family. I wouldn’t be able to wake up in the morning and know that my mother would be waiting outside with a smile on her face or come home from school to be greeted by someone. Who would take care of me when I got sick? There would be no one to make me soup, lie down with me, kiss me goodnight. Every memory I have of growing up would be at home and I would be leaving those places behind – sure, I’d see my family at breaks and over Skype but something would be missing. I’d miss things like my sisters prom and her music performances, family outings and who knows what else. As I thought about all these I realised that I didn’t want to leave because I didn’t want to miss out and be forgotten.
Leaving would mean that now there would be three places set at the dinner table, bowling night would mean three names on the score boards, not four. My room would be empty, the closet that used to hang my things filled with other things. My books, my pens it would all be gone and I would become a visitor. Dropping in every now and again to stay a week then disappear again. That my city, my home would change as well, the building and places would move and it would be unfamiliar, I’d forget the roads I used to walk and the buses I used to take. Perhaps the reason people are so afraid of changing is the fear of forgetting and being forgotten. I know that I fear losing my friends, spending almost everyday with them has made them the people I see the most and to not be able to see them every Monday in the morning is a scary thought. Who would I laugh with? Who would get my references? The inside jokes? Who would laugh at my lame jokes anymore? We made plans and pacts to always stay in touch, to make sure we’d never lose contact but being separated by miles is a big thing, it’s one thing to know you’ll see each other the next week it’s a whole other to have to wait months or years.
In the end though, I can’t predict the future and I don’t know what’s in the cards for me. I hope that nothing changes but even as I write the words I know it’s a silly hope. Change is inevitable and unavoidable, none of us can ever really put it off and being scared of it is normal but I think we should embrace it. I would like to go forward with my fears laid to rest, knowing that whatever happens, it would be fine because after all, my family would still be my family, I would always be able to re connect with my friends because the memories I made with them would stay with me forever and my life, well, my life would change but since when does that have to be a bad thing?