Sunday, December 20, 2009

A gilded cage

I’m back. In Malaysia.

But I won’t be around for long.

Instead of elation and perpetual joy of being home and around the people I love and care for- I feel nothing but misery and yearning. Okay….alright, “misery” and “yearning” is kind pushing it. I’m more “miserable” and forcing myself to look happy. Here’s the thing that I’ve learned after being away:

I don’t belong here anymore.

I know that this sound pretentious to those that have never lived away from home before but its true. I haven’t been away for long but the moment I got here I realized that no, I no longer belong here. I moved away and time, as I - being the spoilt and entitled bitch that I have always been, naturally assumed that time will stop moving for me. That I would come back to a life that was the same as it was the day I left. My room would be just as messy, my mom would just be as naggy, my dad would be as nauseatingly overprotective, my friends would just be a phone call away and life would be just as wonderful, if not more. Isn’t that what holidays are for?

I was wrong of course. As I has always been most of my life.

Time did not stop. It went on without me. People moved on and I came home to a life that I am no longer part of. My room was not messy the way I left it. It was clean, spotless; you can eat a fucking burger off the floor and not be constipated. It was never like this when I was living in it. My things were missing. The stuffed toys that have been there since I was still cycling around the neighbourhood at 9 to my first heartbreak in high school and the ones that I hugged and kissed over and over again while I profusely apologize to their glassy, lifeless eyes for not being able to take them with me were missing. I asked my mom where they were. She said that she have given them away. “You’re too old for toys now”.

My mom gave away my childhood friends. She didn’t ask me, she didn’t tell me over our Skype conversations. She gave them away. The lifeless toys that I have imbued with personalities and who have been my only friends, back in the day when I had none and bullied for being the only fat kid in the class. The lifeless toys that I thought of with a smile on the long flight home. She gave them away. And that was that.

True...I am too old for stuffed toys. But old friends, toys or not, alive or not, deserve more then a fate in the hands of an ungrateful child or at least a goodbye, from an old friend….who have been away for a while.

My things were not at were it was. My mother, decided that even after decades of living in the room, I still have not found a suitable place to keep my things. So she rearranged my room. Putting things at different places then I had originally done. I am sitting in my room now but yet I can’t find a thing. It is my room. And no, I can’t find a thing. The whole purpose of a room is to have your privacy and to showcase your personality. She moved my things around and now I felt like my privacy has been violated. She put away my artwork because it “gets dusty out there” and now my walls are bare. It’s like living in a hotel room. But worst. Hotel rooms have no memories of your previous life. This one does, but yet it shows off none of it. And that hurts.

Freedom is, for lack of a better word, a drug. One taste and you’re hooked. I had my taste of freedom when I was living alone. I had the freedom to wear whatever I want, cook whatever I want, come home whenever I want. And then suddenly I’m back here again and all that is taken away from me. Suddenly, I can’t even come after 11pm. I feel old. I feel older then I what I really am and yet these people, my parents are putting all these restriction on me. You don’t give somebody a taste of freedom and take it away. It’s not that easy.

Being an Asian kid, dealing with parents with the single-mindedness of the Asian parental supremacy no longer bodes well on me. I can no longer tolerate these restrictions of movement, this subjugation of identity and the oppression of free thinking. I can no longer do this. What was once a safe haven is no longer one. I have seen what my wonderful life was really before I left, it was nothing but a gilded cage. I was blinded by all the shit that my father’s money could buy and I didn’t question much. As long as I have that kick ass shoes from Nine West, that sweet dress from Dorothy Perkins and a pair of brand new diamond earrings from Tomei for my birthday, I am set.

I am no longer that spoilt, materialistic bitch. Some things have changed. People changed. I have. My parents didn’t. The longer I am here, the more I realized that I can no longer be here. I can no longer abide to be with them, to see them see me as the child that I was and not the woman I’ve become. My place is not here. My life is not here anymore.

Even friends, they moved on without me. Getting married, getting jobs. Forging lives that I am no longer part of. I am home in my home country but I don’t feel like I’m home at all. I am a pretender, living in a strange room that not long ago used to be mine, in a family that could not see me for who I’ve become.

And I’m miserable.