You might be forgiven for thinking that CNY3-2-1(1) reads like a plane or train ticket; it just so happens that Chinese New Year this year falls on February the third and once again I am trying to keep my feet free from shifting sand.
Chinese New Year but I don't feel very Chinese.
Chinese New Year and I don't feel new.
Chinese New Year; it's been about year since I decided to come home and 10 since I lived and celebrated CNY in my hometown.
Has anything changed?
In some ways there has been plenty of change and plenty of "new." It only takes 15 minutes to get to work and I can park right at the doorstep of my workplace. Because I can park right at my doorstep, I can make opportunity to wear ridiculously high heels. I don't have to think about what to eat for dinner or when to send my clothes for cleaning. But there is more to being home than experiencing creature comforts.
Being home is almost akin to a litmus test. After conducting experiments across cultures and continents, my hypothesis was that digging deep into my hometown would prove that "this is where I am meant to be even if I don't feel like it." What I discovered however, is that you can't put a simple hypothesis on emotional experience, intellectual expansion and character reconstruction. I thought that Kuching would get the travelling blues out of me. I thought to accept homecoming meant to accept finality; to be at the 'last frontier.' I thought to accept my past meant leaving behind the future.
Despite my liking routine, there is still that lingering restlessness I have yet to rid; the same insistent impulse of fleeing that has both haunted me and driven me across the world. That Disney (or these days Pixar) given itch for adventure and finding some brave new world out there. How does one know what one is looking for when one has never seen it? And even if one has found this new Krypton, how long can something new remain new? More so, is it important that it remain new every morning or that everything new remain a novelty?
Perception and expectations have also altered in drastic and inexplicable ways to such an extent that I am no longer capable of reacting in a way that is probably expected or assumed of me; the way I would a lifetime before. It's simply "not me" anymore which leaves confusion in wake yet I have no desire to try explain it. It is hard communicating change as change is happening just as it is hard writing current events with historial hindsight. Am I satisfied learning how to study a single diamond from every different facet or do I want to keep searching for more and more diamonds, to achieve the art of learning how to view them from different facets? I suppose you could say, one is the art of studying the diamond and the other, the art of learning how to study the diamond.
I have indeed found serendipity and as is the nature of serendipity, most unexpectedly. My initial reason for returning never calculated or expected the product it has borne but my character would never have evolved the way I thought it could had I not returned home. Bittersweet? Maybe, but I hold no regrets.