The idea of what’s considered normal is quite relative. I’ve learned this the hard way through countless discussions and arguments with people who try to define normalcy in a single objective manner. This post is not about what’s normal and what’s not but a couple of quick thoughts about how normalcy for me is going to be turned upside down in a space of 2 days. Yes, this is another one of those ‘going home’ posts but I think it will probably be the last one before I actually get home.
What’s normal now is living on a beautiful campus, waking up to the sounds of birds chirping and (sometimes if I’m tardy) soft rays of sunlight streaming through my open window. Normal consists of walking all of 3 minutes to get to the office where I do much of my work and walking the same 3 minutes back at the end of the day. Normalcy now is all about meeting students from the local community and conducting classes and activities for them. It’s normal to be gawked and laughed at during my jogs along the dusty village roads.
This is all going to change as I head home and try to adjust to life in Singapore before starting work in around 2 weeks. I’ll be waking up to the sounds of the expressway and MRT trains trundling along the track one block away. I’ll have to endure the hour-long commute to and from school but will be rewarded with nice evening chats with family and home-cooked meals. I’ll have to get used to a little more cynicism and temper the idealism that’s been bubbling up over the past months. The human crowds are gone only to be replaced by the crowding out of one’s own space to think and explore.
As I start the transition from one sense of normalcy to another, some things that used to make sense might no longer be so and vice versa. One cannot quite prepare for this except brace oneself for the inevitable feeling of being a stranger in a strange place even though one has lived there for almost one’s whole life. I’m bracing myself for that but I also realise that the next few weeks are going to be pretty busy ones so hope that the inevitable running around doing things will allow me to adapt and become normal. Though one wonders if I was ever normal to begin with.