Friday, March 30, 2007

Homecoming

I'm having jet lag right now. I'm very awake, but no one else is so there's nobody for me to disturb. Except maybe the cats.

The flight was pretty uneventful, but it sure was more comfortable than previous journeys. I found out after many, many years that you can actually move the headrest to support both sides of your head. Now I don't look like a drooling fool lolling my head left and right whenever I sleep on the plane. Thanks Chuan for the enlightenment! I'm a bit wiser now :)

I had a sudden feeling of heaviness and reluctance a couple of days before coming home. I always feel this way when I have to say goodbye to things. I am so lousy at parting ways. It has been two years (and how fast it has gone by!), and London/Reading has been like a second home to me. I've grown to enjoy and love the UK and will really miss it. The different characters of the cities, the parks, the walks, the culture, the conveniences of living in a developed country, the many many things to do in London, and of course the cheap beer and good food. When you're used to paying 2.20 GBP for a pint of good beer, RM18 for a small bottle of Heineken suddenly seems like a lot!

I've been weighing the options of staying on in the UK or return to Malaysia for a long time now, and it hasn't been easy. Staying on in the UK, I would have a comfortable if unfulfiling job and be earning good income. Coming home meant starting anew again and picking up the pieces. It it also meant going back to a place I was trying to break away from not so long ago. I was also scared of falling into the same old routines and outlook that made me frustrated and unhappy previously. Back then, I was so comfortable in my own little world that at a point I didn't care what else was going on outside my cosy sphere. And because of that my world got smaller and smaller and my view on things became narrow-minded. Familiarity breeds tolerance, and left unchecked leads to ignorance. I didn't want to be like that again. I couldn't.

But in the end, the answer was simple. Home, after all, is home. Throughout all the debating that knocked the wheels and cogs off balance in my brain, there was always a deep, underlying gut feeling about the right thing to do. That was to return home. I'm a rational guy and always like to reason things out, but every once in a while I tend to rely on my gut feelings to guide me especially when difficult decisions are involved. Over the years it has served me well and I've learned to listen to it when I need to. I believe that deep down inside we can all feel and know the right thing to do, thought it isn't always easy to agree with it when the logical brain tries to interfere. And sometimes we are afraid to accept that advice from within us because we're not strong enough. I've learned to seek counsel with Mr. Gutso and consider its words.

Words which have brought me back. The place I grew up and have so many memories. A place so familiar.

But the thing is, I don't feel familiar.

A lot of things have changed within the neighbourhood; new buildings, new roads, new places to eat. I didn't even dare drive the car when my mom suggested it. Going out for drinks with Tjun Tjun and Chee Hoe tonight, I couldn't help but feel a bit like a village boy going to the city for the first time. Looking at the roads and new stuff outside when I was in the car, looking around at people and the environment while having drinks - it felt like I was sizing up a new place where I've just arrived. I know it hasn't been that long, but somehow it has felt longer tonight. I don't know why.

Maybe I just need a few days to settle down. But one thing is for sure, I'm quite nervous but yet excited about what the future holds. It's another round of big change for me and I'm stepping into unknown grounds again, even though it seems a familiar landscape. I've lived and grown through a very important phase of my life, but now I'm starting a new chapter. One that will hopefully a more exciting and nourishing than before. I'm quite positive about it and hopefully it will be good. I know the small bouts of anxiety and fear will go away with time.

So home, but a new beginning. Same same, but different.

Here's to Mr. Gutso and days of merriment to come!

Now let me find some cats to talk to.

4 comments:

nicole said...

I'm just go glad you are my brother, no matter where you are. I am so glad you sound like you would totally understand some of the things I feel about life and living. I love you!!! HUGS.

Who is Mr Gutso?

eg said...

Sama tapi tak serupa?

BengChuan said...

have fun in malaysia....

pENguiN~ said...

Yengs,

Wanted to say this for very long but didn't have the chance -- Welcome back! :)