leaving it behind

last night, merr and i were having a brief chat when she suggested we “invade” our secondary schools to urge teens to have a productive school holiday. that set us both thinking about what we were like in school, the ridiculous little dramas we had, our selfish ideas and shallow obsessions.

while merr’s previously assumed “best year of her life” was in form5, mine was undoubtedly form2 (not form3, merr, haha), when all my favourite people were my classmates. i found my best friends that year. i had a camp with the cutest seniors that year. i started attending cf that year. i developed the worst possible crush on a friend that year. it was the year of no major exams, tonnes of time to dedicate to myself and endless hours to waste.

i didn’t take responsibility for my shallowness. after all, it was my parents who kept me sheltered, it was the education system that kept me complacent. i wasn’t packed off to boarding school at the age of 9, neither were my parents political activists who kept me informed about the mess of a world we live in. my upbringing was perfect, nicely-packaged. there was no need for me to think outside the box i was living in.

growing up didn’t cost a thing, then. it was just a progression of years that turned every 365 days into new years. i never felt what it meant to really grow up and mature the hard way, by way of stings and burns and a salve of love. i didn’t think of others, just myself.

and yet now i realise that true growth, true blossoming into maturity, takes lots of stings and burns but the salve of love that accompanies them makes it all worth it.

i took the train to class this morning because the car was sent to the shop for the umpteeth accident i got myself into. in the most impersonal space that is the carriage of a mode of public transportation, i was swept by a wave of loneliness. all my inadequacies, worries, the yearning to skip every step of spiritual immaturity and go straight into a right relationship with God caused me to fall into dismay.

it wasn’t so much the fact that i’ve let my stress grow like a cancer in me to the extent that i could no longer keep my head when driving or handling paperwork, but the disappointment that i was still caring for the worthless things like the selfish twit i was in school and had alot of ground to cover before i am finally completely free in the redemption of Christ.

i felt worn out with the daily letting go, the discipline of having to consciously surrender and move on with the things that really mattered, not out of self-righteousness but purely out of love and obedience. i’m not striving; the release that comes far outweighs the slow, sometimes painful, killing of my pride. but it still takes its toll.

it’s funny how, not too long ago, i was intent on slowing down my growing up process as much as possible. now, i’m impatient to leave all immaturity behind and be free.


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