Monday, 30 October 2017


My good friends would probably know how much I love Facebook's "On This Day" function. Occasionally, I would send them screenshots of pictures that have been uploaded many years ago - sometimes to celebrate our age-old friendship but most of the time, to have a good laugh at how silly we used to be.

Today, as I perused the pictures that I took and words that I said four, five, six and seven years ago, I was taken aback by what a completely different person I used to be(!) The me today would shake my head in absolute disapproval at the attention-seeking, edgy, and sometimes insecure person that I used to be. Yes, the girl who put on a pair of black tights under her mini almost-butt-revealing skirt before stepping out of the house (just to please her concerned mother), only to take it off as soon as she got to the bus stop. The girl who went to school without her textbooks just because they couldn't fit into her handbag. The girl who was always, always, always on her headphones because she needed to shut herself off from the rest of the world, listening to Simple Plan-Green Day-Linkin Park on repeat and feeling even more angsty than before. The girl who refused to obey when the discipline mistress instructed her to unpick the ends of her pinafore (to bring it back to its original length), leaving the teacher with no choice but to unpick it for her. That girl was me.

But I wasn't just that girl.

I was also, a couple of years down the road, the girl who studied day and night just to prove the principal wrong; to prove her that despite emerging at the bottom of the class in almost every exam and never passing A-math, I did not have to take her advice to drop the subject. By the grace of God, I emerged at the top of the class in the actual O Level Examination. I was also the girl who joined the army with a lofty aspiration of becoming a scholar and making a significant contribution to my country. I was also the girl who cried for a whole day when I received my poorer-than-expected A Level results, which stripped me of my scholarship.

But who am I today, at 23?

I think,

I am a confident (although sometimes misunderstood as shameless) individual. I am (still) driven by my ideals, but no longer defeated by setbacks in life (I hope!). I've learned to pick myself up, say "it's okay", and just keep swimming. (*hums* Dory's tune) I am not a huge fan of authority and I (still) occasionally make a passive-aggressive retort when my bullshit-radar is activated but I've understood how to show respect where respect is due. Angst and insecurity are emotional states that I rarely find myself in these days. I no longer search for happiness in human affirmation or material success because I've found my permanent source of joy. I try not to judge others because I know everyone, like myself, has a story behind who they appear to be or the things that they say. But. I continue to struggle with trying not to repay an eye for an eye. I still find it hard to go an extra mile for someone that I frankly don't give a damn about. And I, despite trying to be non-judgmental, cringe at people who see things in black-and-white, albeit knowing that it's a mere personality trait.

The person that I am today seems like a complete stranger to the person that I was four years ago, better yet eight years ago. Yet, they were all different versions of me, at different seasons of my life. Who I am today is an accumulation of the past 23 years of human experience. As I turn 23, it seems like I've finally arrived at the point of self-actualisation. 23 years of human experience have culminated in what seems to me as the best version of myself thus far. Of course, there is still a lifetime of experiences awaiting me.

Yet, who knows what tomorrow will hold? Perhaps at 30, I would indeed write another reflection on how much I've learned in the past seven years. Or perhaps, the pressures of the workplace and a new family would nullify the years of presumed enlightenment in my early 20s. Let's hope it's the former. I pray for wisdom.

Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, "I have no pleasure in them"...
-Ecclesiastes 12:1
© Melody Sim | All rights reserved.