August 1, 2014
Last night, while performing the compulsive, always-only-barely-conscious activity of scrolling through my News Feed, I came across a post by Humans of New York quoting Malcolm Gladwell: “Change your mind about something significant every day.” Bull’s eye, Mr Gladwell. That is just the thing. How often do I tend to build the most enthusiastic, positive perspective of the world, only to have to process images of war later? How frequently do I form deep beliefs in idealistic versions of this world, only to have to comprehend tragedy? For this 18 year-old Malaysian, whose expectations of life’s realities are routinely broken down almost as soon as they are formed, boy did that quote launch quite the vortex of thought!
Having left the cradle of school, here is the very gradual, painfully real realisation that the world does not revolve around me, and that it might be a tad bit foolish to expect that this teenage energy – spring in my step + smile on my face – is going to change a world that is so driven by the force of ideals, beliefs and practices millennia-strong.
Frankly, my apprehensions for this “bridge year” – from managing university applications with iffy internet access to the looming virus monster that is Mr. Ebola – are in no small amount. However, my biggest fear is that this entire experience turns into a self-gratifying, resumé-filling ball of narcissism. The idea of “going to do volunteer work in Africa for a year” or that “this is going to be a life-changing experience” is too romanticized and too terrifyingly easy to lose oneself in.
So in this next few weeks leading up to my travels, I am resolved to letting go of every and any expectation while holding on to only three intentions:
1. In search for answers, to search for more questions.
2. To open my heart to love and be loved.
3. To embrace growing pains. The whole shebang.
I would love for you to join me on this journey, whatever it may come to be, and hope you will subscribe by clicking on the button to the right of this page.
Ps. I promise not every post is going to be quite as angst-y…