It’s 9.00am here and I just popped some Süßkartoffel (sweet potatoes) in the oven a few minutes ago to get them ready for lunch later today. They look a little paler than the ones I’d find in Indonesia or Singapore, and I’m wondering if their sweetness would pale in comparison too. I suppose time will tell – just like how it is for so many other things in life.
I decided to use the time spent waiting to journal parts of this whole migration process – parts which I thought would be worth reminiscing in years to come.
I started packing only a day or two prior to the flight. I guess I was trying to push the thought of migration out of my head – I didn’t want to accept the fact that life would look so different for me starting July 1st. I fear change almost as much as I fear… spiders. I suppose it was called for though, considering a land exactly 10, 105 kilometres away would completely replace the scenes I had grown to become comfortable with over the past 16 years – new faces, new language, new experiences… new life. “New” scares me a little, for it really could go either way – “new and improved” or “new, but worse than before”. The reality of not knowing what to expect fears me, but my inner critic questions me. If life became too predictable, where would the fun of surprises be? Where would the excitement one feels every morning for the day ahead go? Where would spontaneity and ‘living in the moment’ disappear to? All of the above are what makes life so mysteriously intriguing yet endearing at the same time.
Packing was an interesting experience to say the least.
For one, I was introduced to the passionate hoarder I had grown to become over the years – I mean, I kept clothes that I had obviously outgrown, and this included primary school uniforms – for the sole reason that every piece of clothing holds sentimental value for me (charting my physical growth, represents memories from the periods of my life during which I wore that outfit the most, etc.).
Secondly, I realised how much my style changed over the years. I saw a “neon phase” (oh my goodness, Neon), and then there was a “tie dye phase”, and wait for it… a gothic phase yea. I’m glad my style has morphed into something less out of the ordinary. However, I do remember beaming with heaps of pride for my younger self right then and there, because she wasn’t afraid to experiment or keep styling herself the way she deemed fit at that point in time regardless of what others told her would look better/ best. I do wonder if these acts of freedom of self-expression had anything to do with the fact that one my ruling planets (ref. to Horoscopes!!), Uranus, represents independence, revolutionary vision, the urge for change, lack of restraint (but still under control, no worries hahaha) and desire for freedom – a lot of freedom. Self-assurance is the word. We need that in our lives. Being confident in your own skin is such an amazing feeling to envelope oneself in, and you know what? It was fun. Fun to have been myself, fun to have made a fool of myself, fun to be able to look back and share the humour with others if that would make them happy too.
Practice radical self-love, friends. It is worth it. You are worth it.
Thirdly, it was upsetting to see how oblivious I was, in the past, with regards to the ruthless treatment that was going on in sweatshop chains (hired by big brands which I shall not name here). I couldn’t believe how much I used to buy from these brands. It was heartening though, to have been able to also acknowledge the fact that 90% of my ‘newer wardrobe’ consisted of thrift shop clothing – cheap while so ethically correct. It isn’t right to satiate our need for self-contentment at the expense of others’. We’re all humans and I stand against anything which challenges the idea that “No life is worth less than another”.
Fourth, I realised that asking myself what I needed and what I wanted really helped me a lot for my packing. It was surprising to note that my wants surpassed my needs by a whole lot, and for some reason, I started branching my thoughts into other aspects of my life. I wanted to do so many things in the past and I did them, but did I need them, considering the various backlashes that came with them subsequently? I know now that the answer is no. I do recall a period not too long ago during which I had a great desire to achieve ‘incredible health’ and the ‘perfect human physique’. I doubt it was vanity, I just wanted to honour my body with all the care it deserved, thinking that it would eventually outwardly show as a fit and toned physique – which it did, but with undesirable consequences. Through this journey, I learned that our bodies are not meant to be 100% cleansed, because then our immune system would have nothing to work against and it would become weakened over time; ergo, if ever there would be micro-organismic attack within our system, the defence mechanisms would be absolutely non-existent. (Of course, I do not downplay the need for healthful and mindful living. I just would like to stress on the point that health does not need to be taken to the point of developing Orthorexia Nervosa.) I took this want to an extreme and ended up being a slave to a whole barrage of eating and exercising disorders that threw health completely out of the picture – something I definitely did NOT need. I wanted 100% perfection, but that was not what I needed because I already had it. All of us already are perfectly and wonderfully made.
If only I had been less impatient, kinder, and understood what I needed earlier on, I would have been able to live more mindfully and moderately without any excessive behaviours coming into play. It became apparent to me that following our wants instead of our needs would equate to us constantly biting off more than we can chew. Similarly, as you would’ve probably guessed by now, my wardrobe wasn’t holding itself well with all the excess I had squeezed into it over the years.
In essence, I guess this has been a reminder to “Live vicariously, radically (for the right things), kindly, courageously, mindfully, and moderately.”
On a side note, I’ve just taken the sweet potatoes out of the oven and took a bite out of one of them. It was moist, just like the ones in Asia, but it definitely wasn’t as sweet. Sigh, but I guess this is what I’d have to give up in exchange for the sweeter and juicier berries available here. This rings true to how life pretty much goes about the game of “give and take”, yea?