My holiday seems to be seeping away at a fast rate. Already it has been almost one week which means I only have two more to go - and I'm definitely not ready to go back. *sigh*
It feels kind of funny being back. Everybody here has just graduated and are getting ready to start their new lives here whereas I am going to start mine many thousand miles away. In a way, it is a little lonely too. Graduating from Brown means that everybody pretty much scatters to the four winds. Over the next year, from my friends at Brown, everyone is pretty much going to be in a different city not necessarily in the US either. At least those that are returning to Singapore will always have a network of friends from JC or Secondary Schools who have remained in Singapore, mostly just starting out too.
On the flip side of the coin, the aloneness is sort of liberating too. Everytime you start out on your own, you get to remake yourself. When I went to brown, because nobody there knew who I was before, I got to find my own ground, decide how best I wanted to deal with the world and how to present myself without anybody having any preconceptions of what I was like. In a famous psychology experiment, a psychologist once told teachers of certain classrooms of public schools that randomly selected students in their class were "late-bloomers" and thus about to excel. Later in the year, it was found that these students did better than their counterparts only because the expectations were that they would do well. They were also looked upon as smarter, more well-behaved and all that by their teachers. The moral behind all this - never underestimate the power of expectations.
I think the part of starting out that I am most looking forward too is having an apartment. A place to call my own even though I'm only renting and not buying it. It's having a space to live and be on my own that I suspect was a big push factor for working in the States since here you pretty much have to live with your family for a bit. Don't get me wrong. I don't hate living at home, but there is something relaxing about living alone, a kind of meditation that I don't get here. And then of course, there is the fact that I'll be able to cook.
Over the last four years, cooking alone has been for me a strange sort of prayer. I chop vegetables when I'm stressed, bake when I'm upset... A strange sort of theraphy but one which if I lived at home, I would not be able to indulge in. A new city, a new apartment, a new lifestyle but at least I would have old loves like reading and cooking.