the itch. the scars. the nails i just cut. the opened bagpack. the ziplock bags. new contacts. the cough. the photos. the videos.
the things, so recent, which served as a reminder to a memory seemingly tucked far away in the back of my mind. late may to june.
I left Singapore, regretting my decision signing up for fieldstudies. But I came back, with so much feels. I wouldn’t trade what I gained with anything and I wish I could stay longer. Stay.
I learnt that people can be brutal. The world doesn’t care about you, not as much as you remembered it to be. Sometimes, it’s hard to let go of that thought, especially now that you’ve grown older. You’re no longer that kid even if you’re still vulnerable and not as independent as you want to be. The world doesn’t care. Humans are ruthless. They accept what they see. Only those few, those few people who’ll question, who’ll be there – when you especially need them to.
I learnt that crowds can be overwhelming. There were a couple of times when I needed the quiet. I needed to be by myself, I needed absolute solitude – from people. And I found my comfort place in Pong Krai. It was in the common room. I could laze there, listen to the motion of the overhead fan, hearing muffled talking outside the room, or footsteps nearby. The sofa I laid on was made up of 6 leather cushions and a sturdy wooden frame. When I needed the escape, this place provided me with the right amount of space and silence from the chaos. I was writing once in my room and my (soon to be) common room partner came in and asked if I was alright. I was. All I wanted to, was get away. Isn’t it funny how we often find ourselves escaping the very things we almost always want?
I learnt that doing what you love really fires you up. Regardless of the heat, the cold, day or night. It gets you going just thinking about it. The projects which required creativity, physical labour or mental endurance … if you have that tiny connection with it, the course may not run smooth but the end is always worthwhile. I remember hiking to a smart village, making the wrong turn and getting lost; I remember digging in the cold; I remember following the elephant trail, accidentally stepping on elephants’ poop and getting caught in a drizzle; I remember getting blisters on my feet from too much walking; I remember bathing in the dark with M. and our torchlights … I remember all that, and what made me truly happy was the entire learning journey itself. I wish there was more of these – hands on, practical work.
i wrote this a while back and i didn’t get a chance to post it because it wasn’t really complete and it still isn’t. while the withdrawal symptoms have mostly faded away, sometimes this trip feels like a dream. it feels like all these memories were made up by me and nothing i wrote above was true. and the period from may-june, they’re just forgotten. is this what losing your memory feels like?