People have asked me a lot about my decision to move back to Singapore.
It wasn’t an easy decision. It wasn’t something that I immediately felt called to do. It wasn’t a “fuck yes” thing. I knew I wanted to get out of America and start traveling again, but I wanted to go somewhere I had never been before. The decision to come to Singapore was calculated and it had a lot to do with the pay and the hours at my job.
That lack of a “fuck yes” in my belly made me afraid that I was making the wrong decision, like I should know for sure, like I was giving up a life I really loved, for something that I wasn’t that crazy about. Moving across the world didn’t scare me–moving across the world to somewhere I had already lived before scared me. I was scared I was moving backwards and because of that, it wasn’t a “fuck yes.” I was scared I was making this decision out of fear–fear that I couldn’t make it anywhere else. So, I was scared of being scared.
Then the guy I had been seeing for a few months and I were suddenly in love a week before I moved. And he asked me to move in with him the day I left.
I considered it. I considered living in New Jersey.
Anyone who knows me, knows that living in a small town America is one of my biggest fears.
And, for him, I considered it.
I wanted to say yes to him and yes to what I had created so I asked for time. I thought maybe I could come over here for a few months, wanderlust it out and then go back to him (I think we all know I couldn’t bleed the wanderlust out of me if I tried). He said no–probably because he knows me well.
So I decided to leave, but I didn’t choose. I just went with what my plane tickets said. I didn’t go with a heart full of “fuck yes, I’m going to Singapore”–I went with a heart that said “maybe I’ll turn around and go back to him, to my job I love, to my friends there.”
It was a fucking miserable couples weeks. Limbo is the unhappiest place.
I want two different things at once–a part of me wants a car of my own, and a normal job, insurance, and engagement photos. A much much bigger part of me wants to be able to drop everything at a moments notice and go to a new country whenever I want, live in a place I will probably never own anything and only ever have enough belongings to fit in my suitcase, and never have to be responsible for anyone other than myself.
I’m not ready to be tame yet.
I don’t know if I ever will be.
A lot of people are scared of change. I’m scared of no change. For me, if things aren’t different every day, I’m not experiencing and learning enough. It might not be a strength–at times I’m sure it’s a weakness, but it enables me to do things in a different way than most people. I’m thankful that I get to live this way. And sometimes it hurts, like when I have to constantly be leaving people I love.
I moved back to this place because it suits me. Something about its skies and its moods. Something about its breath and its colors.
I love the air here–it’s balmy and it holds you with lightness. It’s humid, but it’s easy to breathe.
I love the palm trees–their shadows and their gentle sway. They make me feel happy and calm and like my soul is in just the right place.
I love the shop houses, with their English and Chinese letters.
I love the newness of the shiny shopping malls, clashing against the oldness of the colonial houses.
I love the tiles of the covered walk ways and their columns with numbers aligned in a row.
I love Little India, with its saffron flavored streets, rainbow garlands, and twinkling lights.
I love riding the second story of the bus through town.
I love the people I meet here. Singapore is not thriving with individualism and dualism (a product of it’s school system and it’s need for 100 percent productivity among it’s work force since it’s only natural resource is humans), so when you find individuality here it’s striking. It’s wrought for in a way that it’s not in places where creativity is encouraged and celebrated. Here, to be an individual, a true genuine you, is a feat. When it happens it’s loud and it’s wild and it’s so contrasted to the stanch programming of the culture around. The people that end up here from other countries are like me. They understand the rejection of a home country in preference for another. They understand the lure of freedom and unbelonging.
I love how clean everything is–which also can be frustrating, but when I need to be in the dirt I can find it. In so many places. To tiny islands sans cars with beach bars and hammocks, or cities filled with traffic and and street food and noise.
I love that I write here.
I moved back to Singapore because I moved back to Singapore.
I choose here.