Sunday, April 8, 2007


It’s raining outside, flashes of lightning, rolling thunder and all.

I remember a rainy day many years ago. It was my birthday then, and I was in New Zealand. I don’t remember which birthday it was, although that afternoon plays itself out in my mind like a movie reel. So weird, the mind, how it remembers certain details and forgets others.

I was visiting a friend. We had just had lunch and she was on the phone, so I was sitting by the sofa staring out into the streaks of wetness pouring all around us. And I was reminded of home. And my friend’s mother remarked, “This must remind you of home.” And all I could do was nod.

At that moment, I felt like a tragic heroine, thousands of miles away from her family. For the sake of education, she left home to pursue her dreams far far away, away from the familiar comforts of her home, her family, her friends. Despite all the trials and tribulations of staying with strangers, being the only Chinese in her classes, combining a difficult mix of subjects together because she was convinced her purpose in being was to leave an indelible mark in the world at large.

Those were the days of being young, being hot-blooded, being filled with grand thoughts that I could change the way the world moves. I felt very keenly the sufferings of the marginalized and wanted to be the heroine that would set all the broken and unhappy free. I pondered on the mysteries of life and very badly wanted to make a difference. I wrote in my diary, “I want to be a love letter to the lost world.”

I’m older now, mellower. I no longer crave for the melodrama. I no longer embrace the world with the passion I once did. I'm tired. Now, I measure my days out one sentence at a time, repeated many times over, hoping I make sense somehow.

Life happened, and it changed me.

It’s raining now? Gotta go close the windows.

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