After all these years, I’m still amazed at how I’m capable to separate my emotions when I’m alone and around friends. Whenever I’m with people - regardless of whether they are friends or acquaintances, I’ve learnt to maintain a smiling face. It is when I’m alone that the true feelings emerge. I bang doors. I smash things. I curse at the walls like an unrefined lady. I prefer to feel anger even though it kills my cells. I don’t like to feel sadness because it makes me feel … off - like there’s no longer any hope for me. It sends me down the wrong path and forces me to relive the moments of shock and heartbreak.
I’m rather surprised that I’m not sad about my departure - when most of my friends are. Sure, there are resignations and regrets about my stay here, but that is part and parcel of studying abroad. There is always that slight edge that we international students lack. Although I’m looking forward to graduating in absentia, I am finding it hard to do so. The reason lies with those two chubby sweethearts. I have referred to them on the blog multiple times before but with a different term. I love them enough to actually consider staying back at a shot for a legal career (in fact, one of them has pleaded with me not to leave).
I can foresee the things that will happen if I choose to start afresh in a new environment with the chubby sweethearts. There will be the frequent hangouts or the dinners in a restaurant/cafe. There might be a small group travel to the mutual countries that we want to visit. (On that note, we are all holding passports of different countries. The visa exemptions that apply to one may not be extended for the other and vice versa.) There may even be a shared accommodation. I might be the one who ends up with the toughest task: researching the available properties for shortlisting. One - the planner - will be in charge of furniture shopping. One - the one with a creative eye - will be in charge of purchasing the decorative items. One - most likely be me - will be in charge of the kitchenware. When we finalize on a property (be it a house or a condo/apartment unit that we love), we may taken turns to cook and whip up our best dishes for the fellow housemates to sample.
With the way circumstances have shifted my emotions, I have no idea if I want to remain here. The last flight home made me question myself whether I’m able to be in a foreign country without family to fall back on. There is nothing like home. As they say, a home is where the heart is. A house is just a house if your heart isn’t in there. If your heart is in sync with the aura of the house, then it magically turns into a home. And there’s love. In a hypothetical situation, if I do find myself married to a local, the matters that I have to deal with will be more, ranging from the visa application to assimilating with the life and culture here. For me to remain here, my heart has to be here. As of now, I feel that it has taken its own leave of absence and went somewhere for a holiday.
There are a bunch of reasons why I desire to graduate in absence. It does not necessarily mean that I will skip the convocation. The right reasons have to justify me spending the extra money to be back for a short time. I just don’t see any reason how my folks would agree to it. I understand that most parents would give anything in the world to attend their children’s graduation because it is worth their financial sacrifices. For my case, I’m not comfortable with the idea of having my folks flying all the way here to watch me have my five minutes of fame onstage. Mama Carrie has already hinted at it. If the entire Carrie family were to attend the convocation in person, she will take pictures of me in the graduation gown on campus…
Sigh, we’ll see how it plans out in this final year. If God wants me to stay back for reasons that only He knows, then I guess I have no choice but to do so.