I don’t know how to start this post. Whether I should start happy and progress to sad or the other way around.
The title: Change.
I’d like to take a precious moment of your time to talk about change, or at least, tell you about how much I’ve changed since staying in Singapore. I told someone very close to me I wouldn’t change, that I’d still be the same sweet, lovable girl he’d first met.
That was a load of bull.
Over the course of seven to eight months in Singapore, I hadn’t realized the transaction from small-town quiet girl into an eccentric noisy pretentious city brat. Nah, I’m just kidding, I didn’t turn into that. I did however, change. Without me noticing, I changed. People around me noticed just how different I am now than I was then.
I’m bolder, more enthusiastic, more aware. I find myself caring less about the things that used to bother me so much like people’s perspective of me. I find myself caring a lot less and valuing only my opinion. As my hamster once told me so many times before, I have no control over what people think of me. I never listened to him because I was very stubborn. After meeting someone in Singapore who told me the exact thing, I felt even worse. That such a thing came from someone who didn’t know me at all yet said the same thing my hamster told me. It was emotionally frustrating to get advice I didn’t want to hear.
Eventually, I internalized it. I can’t control what other people think of me, I can only control how I react to it. I guess over time, I’ve learned to let go of the fact that I have absolutely no control over anything except myself. And though it sucks, I’m learning to accept that.
Anyway, In the sense that I’ve changed, I became a lot more enthusiastic about photography when I had the chance to transport myself anywhere and anytime with the swipe of my EZ Link. Coming from a person who actually lives in a country where purchasing a car is pretty easy, I prefer first-world public transport because it is hella more interesting than driving.
Sure, with driving I can go anywhere without waiting for the bus or mrt, but that being said, I don’t have to focus so much energy in sitting in a car whilst trying not to sleep. Plus, I’m a really lazy driver when it comes to long distance transportation.
Anyway, I’ve definitely become a lot more confident (a trying effort) with myself and I have my friends in Singapore to thank for that as they accepted me and my eccentric ways for what it is. I’m not going to give you a long sob story about how I couldn’t fit in as a child in my country, I mean… didn’t we all?
In my case, I was brought up speaking English as my mother found it a lot easier to teach us, so my Malay (My country’s first language/mother tongue) sucked. So it was pretty difficult for me to socialize with my classmates as they all spoke Malay. As I progressed over the years, I still spoke English with little Malay knowledge. At some point, I was talking to some girls, and one of them actually told me to speak Malay (in a not so nice way) and I felt shut out.
Anyway, in Singapore, I went to an International college and of course, English is the main language of communication between international students. There are some mispronunciations and grammar mistakes here and there, but no one told me to speak another language I was not comfortable with and I was happy with that.
Sure, I changed, I became aggressively honest with my opinions regardless of what it is. I try sugarcoating it sometimes, but I can almost never do it anymore. I almost have no filter (figuratively speaking) when it comes to spouting my thoughts. I’ve always had this tendency to say whatever is on my mind be it good or bad, offensive or sweet. I just say the first thing that pops in my head. I am trying though, to actually think before I make comments just so I won’t hurt anyone’s feelings. I always apologize to whoever it is I am giving my opinion to in case I said something mean.
Personally, I like how I am now. I like being confident and bold, I like being enthusiastic and curious, I like who I am now, though it may seem like a shock to most, other than the fact that I am a lot more audacious, outgoing and enthusiastic, I don’t feel any major changes with who I was before than who I am now.
To end this piece, I would like to quote an advice that was given to me by someone who listened to all my troubles, let me pour out my deepest thoughts and fear, my worries and discomfort, my heart and soul and chose to simply make me see the positive in it.
“The only thing that is constant in life is change”
Thanks for reading!