The familiar sound of my alarm wakes me up, but unlike other mornings, I ignore the ‘Snooze’ button and turn it off. 7.00AM on a Saturday, and my room is halfway lit by the morning sun. It should be a warm day, I think.
I drag myself to the sink, and catch sight of my bedhead in the mirror. I ruffle my own hair a little bit and chuckle because I look a little funny. Then, I realise that there is a pair of eyes staring back at me, curious and familiar at the same time – like meeting an old friend I have not seen for a while.
Some things don’t change – puffy, sleep-deprived eyes that are only revived by caffeine, the odd bunch of hair that sticks out like chicken feathers, and the occasional stress zit that appears at random spots on the face. Exterior features that help others and myself recognise who I am.
But inside, there’s a fine line between old and new, lost and found – like standing on the centreline of a football field.
This is probably one of the very rare moments where I have spent more than five seconds looking into the mirror and not have to remove something from my teeth or face.
I take my time to brush my teeth and take a shower, it’s a new day and there is much to be done. But what is a day if it is not to live and experience every sensation – from the monotonous routine to the random chaos?
A friend is coming over for dinner, so I pay a visit to my favourite butcher. Then the tiny fruits and vegetable stall along the way. There’s just something about buying fresh, local produce that makes me appreciate and respect the things that I consume. Maybe that’s why my parents would wake up wee hours in the morning to go to the wet market back home. There is joy in making sure your loved ones get only the freshest ingredients on their plates.
As I walk home in the casual spring breeze, I think about the conversations I have had with friends over the week. Most of them remind me that we’re halfway there, in our little adventure here. From strangers, we have become friends, and even family. We exchange our discoveries, our worries and mostly, a piece of ourselves. If you do the math, that means today, we’re each made up of tiny pieces of others whom we have crossed paths with, all of which, ironically, help us understand ourselves better.
What do we want to do after this? Where do we go from here? Are we doing enough to make our time here worth its seconds?
How much of ourselves that we have discovered here will stay on with us when we go back to where we first came from? Or the friendships that we’ve made – will we still be as available to each other as we are now, or do we go back to taking things for granted in the comforts of home? How long will this temporal sense of freedom last?
It’s mid-day, and I’m now in the library (again), trying to finish up some coursework. Maybe for now we can’t see beyond the next coursework deadline or the 10,000-word essays we have to conjure – but I think that’s okay. I’m not very sure why I’m writing this either – perhaps it’s a way of showing some odd sense of solidarity with my friends who are on this journey with me.
We could be on the halfway-mark of things, but we’re in this together all the way.
And if any of you are reading this, there’s something I’d like to say to you: