I have returned, the prodigal daughter. It really is amusing to see how I felt and what I wrote back in 2014. I had a lot of feelings! And opinions! Still do, but I feel that my entire being is slightly muted now. I’m not jaded or anything, but I certainly am slightly more composed. Which could be a good or bad thing.
I do want to get back in the habit of writing here. I like writing and I want to write, but I find that the fear of not being eloquent enough holds me back a lot of the time. And I don’t think I can get more eloquent if I don’t write. Hence the return, despite the mountain (mountain) of work I have undone/overdue.
I was talking to Lydia for a long time last night about the world and Singapore and SOTA and came to the realisation that we are extremely idealistic. I don’t think that should be conflated with naivety- we know things aren’t easy, but there remains a cautious optimism that change is possible, whether it’s in arts regulation in Singapore or racism in America. And I’m really excited to grow even more with everyone else in our batch (and our school) and see the change we make in the world, because I really do think SOTA kids will create a heck of a lot of change.
I don’t mean this in an elitist sense, but I do find that SOTA kids generally have trouble ‘integrating’ with the rest of Singaporean society.
Lydia and I came to the conclusion that we have been greatly shaped by our exposure to Western culture. Not just the media or pop culture, but in our academics as well. Academia is very Western. What we learn, the essays we write, are undoubtedly drawing on Western influences that distinguish us from most Singaporeans. I quickly realised this in my Youth Corps experience, through which I have made great friends who I don’t think I can fully relate to because there is just a part of us, our understanding of the world, that is irrevocably different.
We experience a very different Singapore. And I can’t help but wonder how we will reconcile these differences once we’re out of the bubble and thrown into the depths of the workforce. Time will tell, I guess. Cautious optimism.