Yesterday marks my half-year since moving to Singapore. The first-world city is very convenient, very comfortable, very efficient—almost utopic. But it does not come without its challenges.
It is easy to feel complacent here, and that makes me very uncomfortable.
Most of the time, I also fail to recognise that I am here because of choice. It was a choice built around promises, plans, and people—and sadly, people can disappoint. But life still goes on, and whatever happens still revolves the autonomy to choose.
It was my choice to challenge myself and enter the corporate life again after five years. It was my choice to sign a 2-year lease. It was my choice to be independent and learn things that only living alone could teach you.
As I said, living here does not come without its challenges. Life has been exhausting lately, but it has never been lacklustre and flavourless. I guess, I just need to know where to look.
Last night, I stumbled upon Shonda Rhimes’s TED talk about her year of saying yes. She also touched upon a curious concept called the hum. From how I understood it, it was the exciting yet subdued melody that plays in your head when you are in the zone; when you are knee-deep in work, with the glow that comes from doing what you love emanating from within you.
But what happens when you lose it?
I miss the fluidity of life. I miss running free. I miss my people. I miss nature, and I miss the ocean. I wasn’t raised in the wild, but I was lucky enough to have been exposed to the lessons that only nature can teach you at such a young age. Field trips when I was in school meant adventures that involved trekking mountains, sitting by the sea, and crossing rivers. My grandfather would always take me to the beach, and we would run back to the car with our shoes filled with sand, and our shorts soaked with saltwater.
My affinity to the outdoors is so strong that I have associated it to home. I’ve been thinking to myself—why have I become so cynical here? I have been building so many walls around myself, but it’s never too late to tear them down.
I’ve lost touch of nature—its softness, its silence, and its holiness. Nature teaches me how to love. Nature gives me my hum. So why am I not doing anything to address that? I laugh at the thought of the reason being “well, it’s because you live in Singapore, dummy”. But there are lots of nature reserves and nearby islands. Why have I ceased to explore? Why did I choose to lose my hum? Isn’t wandering all about getting lost in wonder, after all?
Singapore is very convenient, very comfortable, very efficient—almost utopic. But it is easy to be so complacent with tuning in to the easiness of life instead of exploring the great outdoors.
I have big dreams, and though they may shift, I need find my hum again, which is why I am writing this. Words have always been a big part of me, and I feel that writing it down holds me accountable in some way, don’t you think? I am a little girl in a big city. I may have lost my sense of wonder, but here I am trying to get it back.