One month on

by wynlim

So I am in Hawaii now for almost a week, out of Singapore for a month. I am a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to partake in the Presidential Elections, but well. I honestly don’t think the candidate would eventually make much of a difference, but having four candidates to choose from is a huge step in the right direction.

I have very mixed feelings for Singapore. On one hand it is difficult not to feel negativity towards her, on the other hand when I recall moments like Chiam See Tong’s speech during the last elections, my heart just breaks. Then again, I think I’ll get emotional over anyone who fights for a worthy cause in the face of adversity. I see people like Sylvia Lim and I wonder what is it exactly that makes her want to do all that work. How come we all go through the same brainwashing, same system and some of us manage to keep the fighting spirit alive?

I don’t know. I remain very appreciative of what I’ve been through for the past 30 years. For if I didn’t go through all that shit, I wouldn’t feel so happy with every single thing now. 

If I didn’t get so sick a couple of months ago, I wouldn’t make that step to be here. For all my perceived gung-ho-ness, I do like staying in my comfort zone like everyone else. You have no idea how grateful I am now for my poor health back then. 

There is a silver lining in every cloud. There is a door opening for every single one that closes. We just don’t make that leap because of all that fear. I’m living the best time of my life now because I had to let go of everything comfortable and familar to me. Having no expectations of what comes next is letting me be entirely open to surprises. It doesn’t even bother me much if I stumble and fall. Because I know that I’ll just pick myself up again. The beauty of falling downwards, is you get to go upwards eventually. 

It is so easy to get used to all these, to take things for granted. To forget how it used to feel like to be perpetually gray, or to be unable to sleep, or to hope and pray that I wouldn’t get a migraine when I wake up everyday. 

I go all out the way to make sure I remember though. Every morning I wake up I am thankful for sleeping well the previous night. Sometimes I catch myself in the middle of doing something and I feel no pain in my head and I give thanks. If things go well at work, I’ll remember all those times of frustration and I’ll be totally grateful. 

I don’t ever want to lose that sense of groundedness. To never take things for granted. I don’t want to lose that sense of wonder when I see strangers smile at each other. Or see turtles right before me.


It is like if you see this everyday, you wouldn’t think it is special. Or if you live in Hawaii everyday, you don’t realise how great is the weather. Or how green are the trees. I never thought that toilet paper was a big deal until I lived without it for a few days. Now, each time I see toilet paper, I almost kowtow to it. 

I think what I am trying to say is, I have learnt to appreciate lack. 

I went to boogieboard this morning, caught a couple of waves, got washed by a huge wave and I had to paddle like forever back to the shore. I wasn’t scared, because I was thrown onto the sandbed a couple of times during the monsoon season in Thailand last year. That trip in Thailand, I’ve learnt how to dive into the wave when it is coming right at me, have faith and put my trust in the ocean. So now, even if I see a huge wave coming at me, I just dive into it and just believe that it is all going to be okay. I only got to this stage because I loved the ocean and I wasn’t going to let my fear deter me from being surrounded by water when I was in Thailand. 

You know that Steve Jobs grad speech where he said that you can only connect the dots backwards? That is how I feel now. If I didn’t go on that trip to Thailand last year, I’ll be entirely scared of the ocean in Hawaii right now. And over here it is scarier because there’s sharp reefs at the bottom everywhere compared to the sandbeds in Thailand. I am not sure if I would even try to over come my fear here. 

I think we all go through bad times and sometimes it seems like it is going to kill us. But I have the benefit of hindsight now and I feel that I just have to trust that everything is eventually going to be okay. Maybe the ‘eventually’ will take some time longer than expected, but it will come. It is like doing all the hard work paddling hundreds of feet out to catch a wave, you’ll get so tired while doing it, but when you eventually catch the wave, it will all be worth it.

I am in this emotional cum mental state right now that everything still seems surreal to me on month on. I go into this mode whereby I just start looking at my surroundings and I am totally amazed by what I have now. I almost still don’t believe I am here doing I am doing now. It feels like it is too good to be true. 

I don’t know if any of you have ever felt like you’re completely part of something. Or to be understood at a really intimate level. To feel like you’re part of a wonderful natural flow. To be feeling a perpetual natural high. To smile at everything that comes your way or to feel moved by everything you experience.

I am grateful, and it cannot be described by words – that finally at 30, I finally know what it means to live.