I've been sort of neglecting this blog because 1) I'll be moving to Wordpress as soon as I work out how to import all these posts, and 2) there are simply more people I know reading my 125 blog. It's rather self-centered, yes, but then why sing on an empty stage when people are anticipating your presence at the theatre? Uwahhh chiminology.
This post, however, is a private performance, to continue in the vein of my analogy. I believe anyone who at this point still bothers to check this site regularly cares enough to know about this. Especially when, as I found out to my horror, my blog template doesn't even have RSS-enabled codes written in it.
Recently I learnt that two of my closest friends were going to Buffalo for a semester. I never entertained more than a fleeting glance of that thought, because I didn't see the need previously. And even though a good number of my friends are in Buffalo now, I didn't feel sad for not being able to go over. As soon as I heard that these two were going though, something strange happened to me. I began to reason with myself why going would be beneficial. I began to visualize myself staying with them in an apartment, conveniently taking a lift to campus in the car one of them is bound to drive, and all that. Suddenly I wanted to go so badly.
At first Angel Hao dismissed it as a simple case of I-also-want. But to my self-disappointment, I realised that it was so much more than that. I just couldn't bear to let my two friends go. Because obviously although, as demonstrated with another friend at Buffalo right now, we can still chat around this time (11-12pm SG), they won't be here, physically. And that was something I couldn't really imagine. As you might be thinking now though, I was rather afraid, disgusted even, of these stalker-like tendencies. They are my close friends, but how can I hold them back? And who am I to anyway? It doesn't matter how attached I am to them (or them to me, though I seriously doubt we share the same sentiments on that matter). They have their own lives to live, their own dreams to chase, just like me. Just like any other person. It is truly a horrible, cold feeling, to be doubting yourself, to be torn between what you know is right and what you want.
I'm not patronizing or pretending to be interested when my friend talks about the details and processes of arranging to go over, even though sometimes it does depress me to be talking about a near-impossible dream so casually. I feel sincerely happy for my friend that he's got this opportunity to go over. And you don't have to shut up about it, by the way, just because you read this blog post. I'm ok with it, and I really want to know. If anything I hope he, and my other friend who can well afford it, understand through this post really how blessed they are to be going over, to be even stressing out on a perpetually incompetent CMPB.
Along with all these ideas came some really smart ones about trying my luck with my parents. Thank God Angel Hao put my common sense on emergency high alert. I would only be disappointed if I were to ask them. So I held back, while querying on the deadline for my target semester. After ensuring there was no immediate rush, I rang up my cousin Sandra.
Several times before Sandra told me to always, always, always feel free to call her when I needed something - money, advice, material. The only material I've actually asked her for is my beloved guitar, and I'd be wont to ask her for cold cash. I accept charity, but to ask for it is beyond my morals. Advice however, I've asked a few times. And this was the perfect chance to hold her to her word. As I rightly predicted, she was in a position to know more about my parents' financial situation than I was. They wouldn't tell me anyway, so from a good amount of angles which you viewed the situation with, calling her was the best. She was quite obviously shocked out of her shoes with the bond amount of $75k, although I assured her a mortgage and bank statement was acceptable. And even then, she spoke in a shocked hush after she heard that the other expenses, tuition lodging and all, would chalk up another $17k.
See the thing about telling a confidant is you have a clear mind to put the situation into perspective. She enquired about the length of my program - 3 years. About the cost each year - almost 20k. And I was sobered when she said that my parents would be paying a year's worth of local fees for 3 months of an eye-opening experience. She urged me to 'really pray' about this, something which I knew very well I should be doing, but for some reason hesitated to do. It couldn't be plainer, I guess, that that's the only thing really right for me to do. Cos if the Lord doesn't provide a solution, I wonder if anyone else can.
I'm not sure if I'm doing the right thing by disclosing these things. I see nothing wrong or private of course, other than face, which I increasingly scorn, but who knows what people out there may do with this information. I got the financial information I was looking for from my cousin - my parents' need to prepare money for the completion of our new condo, and to do that they have to sell the house I'm in now as well as our one other property. I was surprised when my cousin told me that if she was not wrong our other property, a small condo in Geylang (nothing fishy la) was paid for, but my HDB apartment still isn't. This is a huge surprise because I thought I heard in one of their conversations years ago that this flat was finally paid for. And considering that this flat is 12 years old, and that for a third of these 12 years my dad was earning considerable pay working in the banking sector, I was really puzzled. But the fact was that I knew couldn't possibly burden my parents by even planting the thought of me missing out on going over, above their long lists of existing concerns. I believe behind their nonchalant facades they are probably disappointed that they couldn't give me what I wanted. They aren't material-pleasers who would get me a useless thing if I asked for it, though they've surprised me time and again with stuff like the Casio digital watch I'm wearing, and more recently the Crumpler I'm using. I can tell when they snap at me for wanting useless things, and when they try their best to explain that we cannot afford it. They aren't good explainers, I only agree so that I wouldn't be stuck with them the whole night, but it's a clear distinction between the two situations.
I'm just writing this down for catharsis, and for recording's sake. As I said, all that I can do now is pray. I'm irritated by that sense that my writing isn't as fluent and eloquent as I'd like it to be, but well, as long as I can recall what went on when I read back......
Thanks for reading.
orchestrated by Renhao at 11:13:00 pm
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