The End Is Nigh

Miss MC said in class today, “The biggest lie told by mankind is ‘I won’t record this down because I will be able to remember it in the future’.” And she’s right. Not writing anywhere about everything that’s happened for the past few months will come around and bite me in the ass someday, I’m sure of it. Most likely when A Levels end and I’m lying on my bed feeling sad and pitiful for myself while listening to a repeating playlist of songs I’ve listened to during these three semesters. And then a tiny thought would probably snake into my brain cells and feed me with You feel that? That’s the feeling of slowly forgetting everything you did during sem 3 that you didn’t write about because you were too lazy/sad/afraid etc and I hope you’re happy now! I hope you’re happy with desperately clinging onto measly half-forgotten memories and pathetically consuming them day by day like a drug addict with a dwindling cocaine supply! 

And that’s why I’m here, attempting to salvage as best I can what I have left here in Sunway with some of the best people I have ever met in my life. And doing so would require delving deeply into that cut-off corner of my brain which has accumulated all these nostalgias and memories and secretions of gastric juices in my gut that I have adamantly coerced myself into, well, cutting off for the time being because as I’d told Harris: 1) There’s nothing I can do about it and 2) It seemed wiser and more appropriate to busy myself with the 487392847923432 things I have to do at the current moment such as preparing for A2 and uni applications etc. But because I can already vividly foresee that ‘me crying pathetically on my bed back at home in Alor Setar while listening to nostalgic music’ image in my mind (and perhaps even feel the slivers of melancholy seeping into my pores), I don’t want to regret not doing anything while I still can before I leave this place for good.

I made similar blogposts before leaving high school, but that feeling of leaving can’t even begin to compare to what I’m feeling or will feel on the last day of college (which is next week) (and then A2 exams end on 25 Nov). I mentioned in a vlog once the contrast between high school life and college life, one of the more significant differences being how I’ve found a second family in my closest friends (and also lecturers) and how much I felt like I’ve belonged, finally, to a group of people whom I feel so comfortable around, how easily I fit into the mould of the puzzle made up of my motley crew of friends. The first few months of college saw me crying everytime I had to leave home to come back here; the second half of the 1.5 years saw me crying everytime I had to leave home to come back here, and also when I had to leave here to go back home. It was a lose-lose situation (or win-win, if you’re optimistic), and it sucked. Transitioning sucks. Moving on sucks. I know leaving is essential to welcome the next best thing in our lives, but god, please, allow me to just wallow in my own misery over leaving this place and the people I love dearly just this once.

I know this is a blogpost better written with a maximum impact perhaps on the last day of school or exams and I just tweeted that but I feel like my current emotions and words would seem rather invalid if I waited to publish them in the future. And that’s exactly how fleeting all of this is: what I feel now might not be the same as what I might feel in the future. I remember after coming back from MCYDS in 2011, I was so deep in emotions and nostalgia for the next week or so that I couldn’t stop writing notes and blogposts about it. And now, three years later, I read back on my emotional blogposts and I cannot seem to find a relatable link to the emotions I was feeling so intensely back then. And it scares me so much. The prospect of forgetting or losing touch with what I had here in the future makes me so frightened, because how could I? After everything we’ve been through together? We can reassure ourselves in the current moment how we’d always remember to keep in touch and never forget each other, but the future is unpredictable, and the people we might turn out to become even more so. But while this is a proliferating fear of mine, I like to think what I’ve established with my friends here is fortified enough to withstand the passing of time and the influx of new experiences and memories (so cheesy, minta maaf). There’s nothing wrong in turning to optimism sometimes. But then again, drifting apart is only normal in human nature, and even if that does happen, it still doesn’t invalidate our past experiences and moments together, and that’s one of the most wonderful things in the world, because memories live forever in our minds and in physical objects such as writings and photographs regardless of how things can change in the present, that is, until we die and objects depreciate, but I have little care for being immortalized forever for generations to come, I only care to be immortalized among the people I know and love, and that really is enough for me.

I can’t really remember what I’ve done for the past few weeks (how fickle the mind is!) except the general ominous feeling of being burdened by LNAT and mock exam results and writing my personal statement and submitting uni applications. But I’m glad and grateful that these bouts of stress and anxiety were punctuated by occasional road trips to good food places and even the National Science Museum in Bellyn’s silver Viva, and also just generally hanging out with the gang and classmates in college, and also my housemates in SMR. For all my constant whining and self-pitying, where I am right now isn’t a bad place to be in. In fact, if I were to just put aside my habitual pessimism and negative feelings for a day, I’d really see how fortunate I actually am. Staying stagnant in this current phase where we are right now probably seems like the most enticing idea at the moment.

Today, during Econs class, Miss Cherilyn gave each of us a For Fun Certificate congratulating us on “graduating” from A Levels, and also a video which I posted above, a slideshow of pictures of all of us throughout the entire 1.5 years to the song of Rascal Flatt’s My Wish. We watched it on the projector in the NWG classroom. I didn’t cry, mostly because of the cut-off, but I could feel the hollow feeling in both my chest and my gut growing in size, expanding gradually and counting down the days to my departure. And the worst part of all of this is how there is literally nothing I can do about it. Anxiety has taught me how to deal with my problems head-on effectively immediately, but there is no solution to this. This is a passage everyone must go through. And I can fight and struggle internally as much as I want to like what I do everytime before I board a plane, but just like everytime I do board the plane, I will go through with it, and it will feel like the worst withdrawal ever. But life goes on.

There is much more to be written, but I feel it only fair that they are written in much more detail when this phase of our lives closes to an end. Till then, I leave you this phony quote by Holden Caulfield: “I’ve left schools and places I didn’t even know I was leaving them.”

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Michelle Teoh

26-year-old cynical Asian, book enthusiast and purveyor of fine sarcasm.

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