Since my Gran had a stroke 3 years ago I’ve sent her a postcard every Thursday no matter where I was in the world. For the last 2 years I’ve also written my blog every Thursday (or Friday),give or take a few. Today both come to an end. A unexpected coincidence. Neither were meant to end this way but both were inevitable.
* Locations – Singapore, London & Lake District (UK)
* Singapore – Work was work, Singapore was Singapore, food was good, people the same: it’s been fun. I’d originally planned to stay an extra 4 nights but some things just aren’t meant to be and I’m blessed to have had the time I had. I didn’t get to see everyone I’d hoped to but those that I did get chance with got my undivided attention and I enjoyed every moment. As I alluded to in my last post it’s strange being back here especially with Mr K in tow (or maybe I’m the one in tow?), 10 days there didn’t make it feel any less strange and going to a different office only added to the familiar yet oh so strange feeling. I guess it can summarised by saying I felt detached most of the time and I’m not quite sure why given I usually feel every bump, good or bad, in a very immediate and real way. The news about my Gran obviously impacted my mood but I was feeling a bit odd before that came through, perhaps these things you know in your heart before your brain gets told. I don’t know.
Life in Singapore is as easy and as plastic as I remembered. It’s a very convenient lifestyle and I can see why people love it. Whilst I’m not sure I’d want to make my life there I do also wonder why people put up with stuff like unreliable transport, high taxes, litter and people being uncouth and rude in public that are rife in other countries. I’m sure no country has the balance right, I just need to find one that works for me and generally stay focused in resisting as many of society’s conformist expectations as possible. I’m happy to play along to a degree but there’s a whole host of things that people ‘need’ or are expected to do which they buy/do without thinking because everyone else is. I don’t want to be that person. I want to be someone who continually challenges themselves and questions their own, and society’s beliefs and resulting actions. I want to look back on my life and know that I am where I am because I made some actually choices rather than because I just want along got the ride. I don’t want to live in a hut in the middle of nowhere growing my own food, wearing clothes made of bark and referring to myself as a child of the earth but equally I don’t want to be suited and booted paying through the nose of a sardine-can ride to work only to be greeted by people so uninspired and jaded by their work and industry that they don’t even get excited when someone goes to the effort of bringing in home baked goods. Even at the most basic level, sitting at a desk staring at a screen for 8+ hours a day isn’t natural and I don’t want to do it. Not forever.
My very first post on this blog echoed a similar message about my feelings towards my work and yet here I am again, working for a bank, selling my soul. I’m back because I thought I missed the work and the energy and I wanted to try another bank. My rose tinted glasses however had allowed me to forget the various frustrations that come with the industry. I’m on a 6 month contract rather than a permanent role and this is helping me keep personally detached from my work and not get caught up emotionally in it. I’m definitely more confident than I used to be and definitely better at managing upwards and setting expectations. I believe I also have more perspective and a better work life balance although I do believe that perhaps the latter is something mythical that HR have made up to give people a goal to feel good about reaching towards but in reality that very few can ever fully meet.
Increasingly I’m becoming to really believe that a lot of this world just seem to be about mind games and people’s ego. All day every day people devise business plans, advertising campaigns, political slants whose aim isn’t necessarily to do what’s right for the consumer/receiver/voter and help them make the best decision but rather they’re appealing to our egos so that our actions can in turn build up theirs. I’m not explaining my thoughts on this particularly well but that’s because they’re still in the process of forming. Our minds are extremely powerful and vulnerable things and yet we, myself included, know so little about them. We spend so much time being told we need to be physically fit and yet rarely anyone talks about taking care of our brains unless they’re talking about someone who has a condition diagnosed already and so needs rehabilitating. So much of our lives is driven by this reactive rather than preventative. But now I’m just ranting.
I guess where I’m at, where the last two years has gotten me, is that I want to continue to be my own person. I want to live in a way that I choose and consume the foods and information that I feel is right for me rather than doing things because the rest of society does for no reason other than that the media, or someone else in a perceived position of authority, has told them. I don’t want the people around me, or my own unquestioned beliefs, to limit me. I want to free of my ego and care less about how I measure up to people around me, not to feel judged for not measuring up to social norms which in of themselves are often quite arbitrary. I want to love myself, to be love others and have them reciprocate not because they feel they should but because they value me, the real me, as a person.
Half of me feels like I should end this post with a summary of my travels or a list of highlights but in reality I loved every country for a multitude of different reasons, I met so many amazing people that there’s too many to list, I’ve fallen in love time and time again with the most unlikely of candidate and my outlook and horizons have changed more than I ever thought was possible. I’m still me, fundamentally I haven’t changed, but I’m freer than before and I’ll fight anyone who ever tries to clip my wings again. We really are all the same, all of us. Home is most certainly am abstract notion and absolutely nothing to do with bricks and mortar and our relationship with ourselves and with others is more important than anything else.
Thanks for all your love, support and encouragement over the past 2 years and 100+ posts. I’m already planning my next trip in my head so give me a year or so and I’ll be posting again a being well!