Sometimes, I am aware of the nagging suspicion that I might be happier if I hadn’t been raised in Singapore the way I was, ceteris paribus (this expression reminds me of Reeves, my old Econs teacher, so much), or easier to make happy, I suppose, or more willing to not question it. The things that I get excited about outside of school are the little, boring ones like kitchen ware and bottled soaps, you know. Stationery, and cuts of meats, and really, almost uselessly specific kitchen utensils, like the apple corer and lemon juicer. Books, and poetry, and music, and things like that. In that way, I am quite an inveterate consumer, regrettably.
My fault is that I tend not to want to do things if I don’t believe I can succeed in them, or more accurately, be reasonably objectively classed with the best, and then I don’t want to work for that success unless I know it’s worth it, that I really love it or that it will place me in a desirable position for the future, because I also tend to get singlemindedly focused and intensely perfectionistic with things I commit myself to doing, and I find that compulsion an utter waste of energy if expended on something I don’t much care about (like term reflections, because trust me, I think about my life and Pearson and whether I’ve made the right choice and what I’ve gotten out of the past year and what I’ve given enough – and I’m in no mood to package my thoughts into a heartwarming spiel on how much I’ve developed as a person since the beginning of the term!)
Five days before Pearson starts again, for the final time, and I am … actually anticipating being back, I suppose. I wonder if it’ll feel different, if I will. I do, already, but I’m not sure if it’s in any significant way or simply a predictable side effect of my new hair cut. I get so airheadedly giddy about my hair; I spent four hours cutting it, snipping lengths of it off in great glee, two nights ago. It got increasingly fun, I must say, almost addictively so, and it’s short now and I really, really like it, surprisingly. Almost more than my long hair, if only because the dead and split ends are gone, and the colour’s fuller and more voluminous now. But it’s bouncy too, and I never thought I’d like a short hairstyle so much, even though it’s going to be hell to maintain.
I guess we’re all still young enough that we’re not jaded about endings that, that we, or I, still want to make this last term count, as though only impending finality can spur us in our resolutions to be better. But that’s true, isn’t it. Everything ends, and I … am so, incredibly excited for what lies ahead, the new environment, the prospect of change, but loss is still too grim and foreign a face to be circumspect about. I don’t know. But there are little deaths, things and people slipping away, and maybe it’s easiest if we don’t pin a name to it to remind of us the spot where it used to be.
More and more, it seems that happiness is simply the anticipation of change, or the progress towards, the construction of hope. I have honestly been much happier since the end of term, knowing that I have a direction, however tentative, towards the future. Truth be told, of course I have been getting happier since the beginning of term, and it has been a gradual brightening of days, with flares of heat breaking out in between, but ultimately – right now? It’s pretty good, and it reminds me of the few months before I was due to come to Pearson, expectations blooming like wildflowers – and of course, that makes me worry that these will again wilt under the glare of reality … but what else can one do except to keep chasing after these horizons?
I miss people, but I don’t know who they are anymore, or where, or how you find them again, but maybe that’s something you just learn to live with, not something you can assuage or fix.