Thursday, August 23, 2012

Reflections on my dreams coming true


I leave tomorrow night (technically Saturday morning, actually), so countless things are running through my mind. For one, I'm meeting T today to say bye, but we're essentially gonna do what we always do- Taimei and purikura. Some things never change. I'm almost done with all my miscellaneous errands, so my life in Singapore is really coming to a close.

Some of friends told me they're really excited for me even though they're not my closest friends, just because they've known me for so long and they know this has been my dream since forever, so they're glad to see my dreams coming true.

To be honest, I've planned to write this post for over a month, but now that I'm actually writing it, I have no idea what I want to say. My dad says that everyone comes to a point where they leave their house for good- for him, it was when he came to Singapore at 17, after which he went on the mission ship, got married and set up a family here permanently (kinda). For most normal Singaporeans, it's after they finish uni locally and starting working/get married. For those who go abroad to study, it's when they do.

It's a well known pattern (prevalent in my paternal family) that wherever one goes to study (abroad), they usually settle there and never return to their home country (in my case, I deny Singapore as my home country and I cannot wait for the day I renounce 'citizenship'). In other words, tomorrow night, I leave for good- my family, Singapore, and my life thus far. Some say it's an exaggeration for me to keep saying I'm "abandoning everything", but it really isn't.

So why Japan/Tokyo? I love Tokyo (read- I didn't say I love Japan, because I've never actually been to anywhere outside Tokyo, so I don't have the right to). I'm not going to feign depth and say I love its history and culture and society and blablabla, because I don't particularly care for it. What I love is the language, style, shopping, music, inventions, and a whole lot of other superficial things. I don't exactly know when it started or how I became so obsessed with Tokyo, but I am, and somewhere along the way it became my teenage dream to move there permanently.

This is the kind of thing I'll observe in retrospect, but I have enough foresight to predict: since my love for Tokyo is built on such superficiality, unless I actually marry a Japanese and settle down there, I think I won't end up living there. 4 years is enough to live my adolescent dream, and what comes after I don't know any more than you do. I live in the present, and I don't like having to think years ahead and having to plan my future.

Eventually, I WILL mature and outgrow my current fashion/makeup/music taste, and even I believe that 4 years is plenty to soak in all that I love now. Eventually, I'll get tired of it all, even if I deny it now. Yes, I will have the absolute time of my life there, but I don't know if I have the tenacity to work and survive in one of the harshest work forces in the world (not to mention the most expensive city to live in), unless I marry someone so rich I don't need to work. (Even though everyone expects me to be the first to get married, I really don't know, because it seems like the males of the human race are just so tragic and cannot make it. Maybe I've just been blinded by the sad excuse for guys in Singapore, and hopefully Japan will be better.)

I guess I've come to a point in life where I have to 'discover myself' (omg so lame). After uni, nobody's gonna dictate what I have to do next. If left up to me, I'd just bum around all day like I have for the past 9 months. I don't wanna be independent. I don't wanna have to support myself, or grow up, or leave my parents, or mature. I just wanna be provided for forever.

Complaints aside, my little dream is finally coming true. I never expected to study in Japan- I always thought I'd just move there after completing my studies, upon marrying some Japanese dude. I don't even know how I began to consider studying in Japan. Up until a month or two before my 'A'-levels, I thought I was gonna end up doing uni in America, which was the main reason I decided to do SATs back then. I ended up researching Japanese unis in Tokyo, finding out which ones offered studies in English, the locations, ranking, prestige and reputation of the various unis etc. Even then it was still but a dream, because studying abroad in Japan (not as an exchange student) was hardly conventional, and my dad didn't seem that keen on it (he wanted me to go to Australia ¬_¬).

'A'-level results came out, I applied to ICU, and by God's grace, miraculously got accepted to ICU against all odds. At that point, I hadn't applied to any other university and my parents had come to accept that I was headed for Japan, since there was no other way. Even now, it seems totally surreal and I can't believe it. It probably won't sink in until I get there. This time last year, I was planning to take a gap year to think about what to do (thank God I didn't). Come to think of it, I think I was planning to go to Tokyo during my gap year to play and 'find myself' *shudder* (primarily the former). That would likely have ended in me going to the US for uni; boy am I glad things took an unexpected turn before that happened.

One way or another, I'm here now, nearly fully packed (99% my mom's genius packing effort) and ready to leave tomorrow. I could never summarise what I'm feeling in words, and I usually lose track when I write anyway. I don't know what the future holds for me, I don't know if I'll be able to graduate given my laziness and penchant for procrastination. I don't even know if I'll end up liking Tokyo as much as I've always believed I will- after all, being a tourist and being a resident are two very different situations. Maybe I'll end up moving to some other country (not Singapore) and just regularly visit Tokyo bi-annually. Maybe I'll fall out of love with Tokyo/Japan. Maybe I'll just follow my future husband wherever. Maybe I won't even be able to get married. I don't know, so that's what I'm going to go find out over the next 4 years.

Everyone is telling me I must be really ready to go, but honestly, I'm not. I'm ready to live my dream, but not go. I cannot fathom a life without my parents there 24/7. Don't even get started on the impending doom that is uni work. So may obstacles are barreling towards me- making friends, settling in, coping with schoolwork, overcoming loneliness etc. I'm gonna be living with 39 other girls and I cannot imagine myself any lonelier.

All in all, yes- I am exceedingly excited but even more so nervous. I don't know what to expect, I don't know if anything will even go well, I don't know this that blablabla. And I've never been this conflicted in my life. However, at this point there isn't really much point writing all this because my one-way ticket is booked and tomorrow next week I'll be moving into my dorm.



No comments:

Post a Comment