10 December 2005

Like a Dionne Warrick song

This was taken yesterday. Cheng Han came back from Sydney just for a day, so we got together for lunch (the only time we could all find).

Below is something I wrote and was published in the 2005 mid-year issue of a magazine called 5 Senses.

You hit a certain time in your youth when you realize that it’s time to attempt growing up. That time is when you hit 30. I’m turn the ripe old age of 31 this year and as much as I’m clinging on to my childhood, it’s time to take full responsibility for my responsibilities. What a mouthful! Yup, that’s exactly what responsibilities are, one helluva mouthful. I’m not writing about the endless utility bills, filialness to parents and that entire expected-by-society stiff, I mean, stuff.

In last couple of weeks, I’ve had the immense feeling of being struck down by a ton of bricks. This happens to me every now and then. You know how it is. You feel that nothing is going the way you hoped it would and that light at the end of the tunnel was another fictitious thing that people told you to help make you feel better. You carry it with you and the weight gets progressively heavier without you realizing it. I could’ve been the sinking Titanic if it wasn’t for that fictitious tunnel light. Or lights for that matter. Some of us have more lights than others. I have a group of them. I call mine friends.

I don’t see my friends as much as I’d like to. All of us have our separate lives. However, the charming thing about our friendship is we’ve known each other since we were children. Despite growing up in various parts of the world, we held on and today, we have our own little support group. One of them lives in Sydney. She decided to be true to her dreams and left. She makes an effort to come back once a year. And when that happens, we take time off from work, motherhood, the daily grind and pack our bags and drive away for a couple of days to catch up and be stupid. Earlier this year, we did just that. We got into 2 cars and headed for Batu Ferringgi (Penang, Malaysia). We felt the tremors of the second earthquake. We became very stupid. We called our loved ones. We told them we were safe. Finished the beers in the fridge and told each other how much our lives were still intertwined. A couple of days later, she flew back to her life in Sydney and the rest of us, became ‘normal’ again.

I don’t see how my life can be called normal for the everyday person but trust me; boredom is a word I fully appreciate. Going to the same clubs and bars and seeing the same faces and listening to the same music does take its toll on my sanity. It does bore me. I’m always looking for something new and exciting. Occupational hazard I guess.

Then come the bricks. My down days. I allow myself to get trapped in my dark corners. I turn to myself. I ask questions. Why am I doing this? How did I let that happen, again? What do I do now? Do I get answers? No. Do you? We come up with theories that are never practiced.

But there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel (I am a believer of clich├ęs as you’ve noticed.) There’s always light. That’s something I always forget about. I even got myself a tattoo to remind me. Still forget though.

In the last 2 weeks, I’ve seen my friends a lot. I even went to Sydney. (Well, I went to watch Kylie. But that’s another story.) It seems the universe knows when it should intervene and help give you a shove in the right direction. We cooked for each other, karaoke-d on a work night, gave birth to babies. All smiles. I only told them a couple of days ago. And the support I got, only true friends can give you the blood, sweat and tears of joy. As always, through them, I get my renewed lust for life. Botox for the soul. I’ll come down again and sure enough, I’ll get my next injection.

What I’m trying to express, I think, is how we are responsible for each other and ourselves. We need to remind ourselves to believe in what we need to do to help see what it is we have to see. I may be getting older and have more bills to pay, but growing up doesn’t seem so bad when I have my youth and childhood standing beside me.


may said...

sounds almost like what I'm going through, heh. Early mid-life crisis, maybe? So what's the tattoo motif?

Edwin Sumun said...

hey may... hahaha! there's a medical term for it: quarterlife crisis. happens around 26/27 and if all goes well it ends in the early 30s (just in time for the mid-life one).

the tattoo is on my back (the upper half) is a red lotus blossoming through storm clouds. The best 4 1/2 hours of my life!