The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes” — Marcel Proust

(Photo Credits: Ruiyi, visit her Instagram here)


My bed is already warm as I am furiously typing this piece. I cannot sleep. And I guess the reason so would be the mere fact that enlistment is tomorrow, or rather in a few hours time. I am both excited and at the same time dreading it, which is comical because a few months ago when I received the enlistment letter, I was positive that I will not enjoy such a feeling except for reluctance. (Read more here.) I am excited because I am entering a new phase in life, but at the same time dreading it because I am apprehensive to giving up with the way I am living comfortably now. I do still think that the innate fear exists, and it will probably detonate and resonate tomorrow/later when I see my loved ones leaving the island.

Some argues that such an experience is something that all Singaporean sons will go through, and I agree. I admit that I have been sheltered, way too sheltered in fact. And such results in a dearth of experience in dealing with something such as homesickness, which requires a need to swiftly muster every iota of courage to overcome it so that there will be reassurance. That said, I’d think it is appropriate to acknowledge somethings before I forget them:

  1. I will no longer wake up in a bed of roses and I should get use to that.
  2. I will no longer have the luxury of a time to dilly dally and I should get use to that.
  3. I will no longer need to starve myself to save money (because I am paid and I will be fed) and I should get use to that. 

I shall list three because anymore I will lose control. There are countless questions I have in mind. For instance, How will life be? How will my buddy be like? How will my parents cope with my absence? Why am I doing this? When can I write? When will I be able to book out? How long does it take for me to slim down and get a 6 packs (FUCK YOU, MIKE CHANG)?

At the very least, I have written all the letters that I want to write, and I have completed most of the stuff on my bucket list, and I do not seem to have any regrets. Well maybe if you include my inability to dine at that expensive SEA Aquarium Cora restaurant, then it is a regret. I have already mailed out individuals letters to some, who will be receiving it soon and I do hope that the feelings of affection are mutual. It took me awhile but I managed my time well, I guess …

It is gratifying to see people – friends and families, wishing me the best of luck. But then, thinking back does that mean that I, myself, am so pathetic that I cannot survive in Tekong in their minds? (Okay, no more self-doubt.) It pains me greatly for people to send me off because I am afraid that I will break down, which I have already done so on the inside, and the greater the number of people, the likelihood of doing so increases. There is no way to which I will show that vulnerable side, which will most certainly create unnecessary memories, which I want to efface. And I think it is rational to kindly reject the volunteers, who wants to come, but bring along their well wishes. That said,  I need to once again express my sincere apologies to those whom I have rejected for doing so.


These all might have seem like a complain, especially in the manner I write, but I am not writing to give a picturesque view of my life but rather share, as George Orwell calls it, “ Aesthetic enthusiasm“, which is my “desire to share an experience which one feels is valuable and ought not to be missed”.  This mandatory conscription thing is going to be a struggle, a rite of evolution, which happens to be exhausting, like a bout of an agonising sickness, and I am determined to overcome it.


The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes” — Marcel Proust


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