We can’t always do everything we set out to do. And sometimes that is just as well. Mona taught me this when she left Singapore. She had a “bucket list” of things to do – including visit Malaysia (which she hadn’t done in three years of living here) and I don’t think she finished much of it at all.
But she didn’t waste a single second in recrimination and regret. I organized a karaoke session for the UU folk and she sang a beautiful rendition of Andrea Bocelli’s Time to Say Goodbye. The last memory of her that I have in Singapore is her and husband walking away from us all as she flung an arm carelessly around his back. That was how you said goodbye – without looking back, without second-guessing yourself, with the knowledge and realization that you don’t have to do everything. You only have to do enough.
As the year ended and the dust began to settle from everything that I was doing, things began to assume their final configurations.
I stood in front of all my artbooks and my DVDs and I was prepared to bid them a final fond farewell. Go off to America and leave it all behind, devote myself to the study of psychology and the healing of the mind and soul. Saraba, itoshiki hibi yo. (Farewell to these days I loved so well.)
But as it turns out I didn’t need to say goodbye after all. Or I did, but not to those things that I had loved so much and still loved. For those I needed to make a…reconfiguration? That was it. I was a different person and the world was different and everything was different and all I needed to do was realize that.
Once again my beloved younger sister put it the best. Things have to end, she said, but they don’t need to end in the way that our parents always said they will end. She was right. She Was Right! (in the way that she almost was) We have to say goodbye. But that doesn’t mean we can’t say hello again!
Maybe all this death and rebirth I was doing affected my Mum something fierce, because she started going ballistic again. We had just moved house and she had gotten it into her head that the place was haunted, and no amount of discussion would convince her otherwise. She even got out a Bible and started praying (she, the avowed anti-Christian!) It was probably my grieving (which could be pretty loud) and everything else I was doing at that time that caused it…but it didn’t matter because I was getting the fuck out of there.
Yeah, after years of this nonsense I decided to move out. I contacted Hock in Australia and asked about staying there again but he didn’t reply for some reason. Whatever. I would just rent a room with Meimei and Keith (from the UU group) instead. We made plans and though a LOT of stuff cropped up during them (including me almost chickening out at the last moment due to an onslaught of fear) we went ahead and got a rental apartment for the three of us.
As the end of 2015 approached I geared myself up for an awakening like never before. I’ll spell it out for you guys who haven’t seen the obvious – Neon Genesis Evangelion actually takes place in 2015. That year would now come and go in the real world. So yes, that really meant not going back. This was it. I had to live in the now, and not in the blighted past. To a brighter future than everything that had come before.
I prayed and felt and sang and the flames of my soul blazed with energy that I had never felt before. No…no that wasn’t true at all. I had felt them all this time – when I was playing games, in my sister’s smile, in everything that I had shared with everyone in my life. Even in my parents I had seen the edge of heaven on occasion. Il n’est rien qui soil futile, tu sais. (There is nothing futile in this world, you know.)
A time to say goodbye – or goodbyes, rather. To my old self. To the old world. To everything that had come before. But most of all to those who birthed me.