Wednesday, September 15, 2004


Time to come clean. I have a confession to make.

*whisper* ... ... I am considering being a quitter.

Nobody outside my immediate family knows.

Nobody but one trusted soulmate. And now you know.

Given the global world we live in, this probably does not sound like a big deal. I am sure millions of people uproot and resettle in unfamilar places on a regular basis, and often in the face of great personal dangers. It is not like I am some displaced warzone refugee - so I guess I should shut up about it. This is "bo simi tua tai zee" (no big deal) as the Hokkien would say.

But it still bugs me. It bugs me a lot.

And I am sure some of my closer friends may suspect, given my propensity to discuss the subject of emigration. Then again most Singaporeans I know will bitch a lot but do not really knuckle down to address what they consider "somebody else" problem.

So why does it bother me?

You see: I have looked deeply into myself (much as I can) and arrived at the undeniable conclusion:

I am a heartlander.

Let's see now... *flipping checklist*

Born in Singapore. Educated in the Singapore education system. Graduated from a Singapore university. I live in a HDB flat in a ulu corner of the island. I grew up in a blue-collar single-income family. I served my National Service and ROD'ed. Until well past my 26th birthday, I have never travelled on my passport out of Singapore - not even to next door Malaysia!

Yet today, I have letters on my desk. Letters from DIMIA. The latest of which request health checks and police clearances (CNCC certificate). All of which indicating that I am but months away from getting my Australia PR, if all goes well touch wood and all that jazz. Mere months. And the clock is ticking, ticking, ticking.

And I feel great sadness. And embarrassment. And maybe even shame. For even thinking of doing something as disloyal(?) as turning my back on the land where I grew up. But then there are push-factors too. Powerful forces in their unrelentless logic that dictate I pursue this path in the interest of self-preservation.


Writing has always been a form of catharsis for me. Being able to put down my thoughts in words (I was going to say "on paper") helps clarify and refine them. If I cannot describe the problem it means that I have not properly understood the situation.

Maybe this blog will help me come to a decision and some closure in these times of great change. Or maybe it will demonstrate my sheer folly and ignorance to the world.

Or maybe even offer a written record as a guiding/warning light to others who would consider a similar path...


"Reading maketh a full man; conference maketh a ready man; and writing maketh an exact man."
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626)


Blogger Ivan Chew said...

Interesting. Your blog is the first that I've come across where you use it to clarify your thoughts.

February 17, 2005 12:48 AM  
Blogger Jeff! Lim said...

u're right about the blog thing. Keeping some form of a diary does help (a lot) in that self-reflection process. For "the unexamined life is not worth living"...

But back to the question of why i decided to post this comment here (in answer to - so are u there yet? Have u made up ur mind yet? Where are u now, anyway? Where are u now, in this journey of urs?

February 22, 2005 7:41 PM  
Blogger Jeff! Lim said...

ok nvm - i just read

February 22, 2005 7:48 PM  
Blogger Mickell said...

Whadaya mean u r quitting? U mean quit smoking or quit living? Quit smoking bo si mi dua dai jee. But quit living is sibay dua dai jee. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. All of us in life face problems. None of these problems lasts forever. They are all temporary.

September 28, 2005 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Rolling Stone said...

You are not a quitter,my friend. Its just an artificial term created hoping to reverse a irreversible situation/climate - globalisation which Singapore lust for because of the economic opportunites that is associated with it.

Live - that is what you need to do.

December 05, 2005 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

go somewhere else....explore.....then u'll start missing SG, and be more appreciative of it...when that happens, go back to SG

January 13, 2006 2:28 AM  

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