19 August 2007

living your dream

it's about 1am now here in singapore, i'm almost all packed (who am i kidding), and in 10 hours, i'll be boarding the flight to new york. i can't believe i'm gonna be living in new york!!! for the first couple of weeks, i'll be putting up at a family friend's home (i'll be totally b&t), until i find some place of my own in the city.

i've experienced many things these past few years, and i think i've really grown up and matured. yeah i know you're scoffing and going, "but you're 24, you'd better be grown up."

i don't think age has anything to do with it.

i admit i've always had a very sheltered life. i don't think my parents particularly spoil my siblings and i, but we have had opportunities that some kids in other families might never experience. while it is normal for children to leave home at 18 or so, in places like america, it is not so here in singapore. more often than not, people stay home with their parents until marriage, or until they make the huge decision to move in with a significant other. seriously, that is usually the case.

but every family has its own problems, and i feel mine had our fair share of arguments. when i decided enough was enough and i left home at 20, i knew nothing about the outside world. knowledge through just reading is nothing, and even though i had been to japan 7 times for holidays (the longest lasting a month and the shortest was perhaps a week) and i thought i knew it quite a bit, nothing prepared me for what i was to face all alone in tokyo.

the first few months were really tough. i forced myself not to make any english speaking friends, so that i would be forced to learn japanese if i even wanted friends. also, i had never ever lived alone before, let alone do any housework, so it was like being thrown into concentration camp with no one to talk to but 4 blank walls, and no one to listen to but my japanese-speaking television.

it was hard, and i was awfully lonely for a while, but then i soon picked up the language and made tons of friends. i was so happy. when i got into bunka, i thought i would die of happiness. those two years i experienced in bunka, were filled with unforgettable memories and wonderful, beautiful friends, who i love to death.

i decided to study fashion design, not because i wanted so desperately to be a fashion designer like some of my friends, but because i just loved clothes and i loved fashion, and i wanted to learn more.

i told myself, "hey you, you're really living your dream. don't let anything slip by."

i was devastated when school in tokyo ended. the thought of not being able to see my friends for a while was horrible. but then things happened and i transferred to parsons in new york, and although i'm still very sad about being so far away from my friends, the new life ahead of me beckons and i must say i'm very excited about it.

i read something yesterday that made me think about things for a while. it was something that iranian-american anousheh ansari, 40, the world's first female space tourist said.

"how do you put a price on your dream? is it worth one month's salary? is it worth dying for? i don't have an answer. but i believe it is different for every person. for me, i was ready, and still am, to give my life for my dream."
she paid US$20 million to see her dream come true.

i thought that was incredible. technically, i know how many zeros there are in $20 million, but i've never seen that much money ever, so in reality, i don't know how much $20 million is.

but what she said struck a note in me, something that i hope i'll remember for the next three years while i live in manhattan, something i hope i'll remember for the rest of my life.

"the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
- eleanor roosevelt