Studying oversea changes things. Chinese new year is one of my fav holiday of the year because nothing is better than spending good times with cousins who I’ve grown up with. But family gathering like this will not last long, because soon enough each of us will grow up, get married, have children, live abroad. Soon enough, things start to fall apart. I’ve a friend who is currently having oversea exchange finally shares the feeling of being in between, torn apart by your heart and mind. No matter how excited knowing that I can get back to Malaysia and have my yearly/biannual food feast, I always have this unpleasant feeling that clutches my throat. I’m afraid to see what I’ve missed during my absence. As I came back this time, I witness the changes with my own eyes. Aging is inevitable. I noticed the growing fine lines at the corners of my mother’s eyes. Once my mother commented that taking care of my 4-months old nephew reminded her taking care of me when I was a toddler, which is almost 20 years ago. Her words gave me shivers. I’m afraid what comes next. My grandmother took over my room so I was sorta kicked out of my own room. My childhood room is now the memory of the past. The room is now filled with muskiness, clutters, boxes of my old belongings and my favorite pillow is nowhere to be found. My parents too, start showing symptoms of mild amnesia and have been asking me the same questions over and over. It really frustrates me but too, I’m wary that this is only the beginning. An old relative of mine talked to me earlier today,
“I can never remember who you are anymore but please call me, tell me who you are and remember me, I can’t remember anyone anymore.“
She talked with her head nodding profusely, as if those words are her mantra, telling me while telling herself reminding herself she cannot remember anything anymore. It is painful to watch someone having parts of them slip away. I tried to assure her,
“It’s okay. It’s okay you don’t remember but it’s most important you’re happy now, okay?” I’ll remember you.
I’m not concern about death. Death itself is not scary to me (at this moment) but the idea of getting old is petrifying. And the transiency of life, those changes. I never fancy them. I don’t like losing control. I tried to reach out, turn things around but I failed myself. Maybe I’m the type which is self-defeating and passive aggressive. But when I see my toddler nephew, he reminds me of so much hope.
No doubt he is a happy baby (potentially a very active extrovert, I can foretell) and there are so much life ahead of him. At the same time, I just want him to remains a toddler, tiny, innocent and lovable. I’ve to admit I’m obsessed with permanence, but I know this is just one of my absurdities. Freud once said,
“A flower that blossoms only for a single night does not seem to us in that account less lovely. Nor can I understand any better why the beauty and perfection of work of art or of an intellectual achievement should lose its worth because of its temporal limitations.”
It is indeed easier to say than done, but he is probably right. How foolish of me to let my emotions take over the enjoyment of beauty albeit its transiency? Then again, melancholy is my strong suit. I am only human. From what I remember, home is never the same.