I could still remember me in kindergarten. Combing my hair with gel every morning. Never touching the sweet potato soup served during recess time. Sitting on a bus. Kicking sand at friends after school.
I could still remember my first day at Primary 1. I wasn't sure that it was my primary school. I stayed in the bus and slept on like a boss. Until bus driver uncle saw I was still on the bus and fetched me back to school. Poured glue into a friend's water bottle (that was one of my most evil moments on Earth).
I could still remember my first day at Secondary 1. Being a teacher's pet as everyone knows my mum who's teaching at the same school. Being thrust into my first leadership role - class monitor.
I could still remember my first day at Matriculation. I came in 2nd batch. I made friends and tasted what fraternity and brotherhood was.
I could still remember my first day at University. I checked in later half day. Everyone was moving to the town hall for orientation. I was still going to my hostel.
I could still remember my first job I clinched. The whole interview was in Cantonese. Although that job was short lived, it was the first step of me into the working society.
Never thought the days of studying are now long behind me. It has been more than a year without exams, tests.
But the stress and challenges are always there. They take on a form where you might not be prepared for it. You may not have the reference to counter it. Most of the time you gotta get through it through perseverance.
Exactly a week ago I had to say goodbye to one of the people that has made me what I am today. Ah gong passed away at a ripe age of 84. I could still remember him writing out math questions after dinner. I could still remember him giving English spelling tests (although he never speaks a word of it, he does know the words that he's asking us to spell!)
Then there were also the days that I would play badminton with him. And the soft drinks he would gladly pop open when we visited his shop. And the minivan that he drove...
This year's birthday is bittersweet. You know when you keep growing older, you keep becoming wiser. You tend to also have the ability to do more. But as you grow old, so does the one's that you love.That's life. You cannot have the best out of 2 worlds.
These 25 years has been a long journey for me. But 25 years is merely a speck of what my grandparents and parents have gone through.
True it might be the end of what I would say is childhood and growing up. But it's also a start of something new.
Rest in peace Ah Gong. Thank you for what you've done. Sorry for what I have done and couldn't have done.
Grant me strength for what I want to do.
Happy Birthday to myself. And let me rock on.