It’s quite confronting to realise that it has been around ten years since I was a carefree, well-paid yuppie in Singapore. Listening to Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s old album reminded me of my 2.5 years working in Singapore and being a part of the expat circle over there – weekend parties and barbeques, champagne breakfasts, sampling various restaurants in our group of friends that we informally called ‘Diners Anonymous’ . Even as I write those words, I feel a pang of nostalgia back to those years. I suppose people tend to romanticise the past and only remember the good things. Those were the years when I travelled around in the region and tried to look as if I had been on top of the levers and buttons on my business class seat while secretly looking at the neighbouring passenger when I flew business for the first time. The subsequent travels were easier as I smugly acted as if I had done this for a long time amongst the grey-haired seasoned travellers. The continuation of my career in Adelaide was also satisfactory but I did have to learn to crawl and walk again in the beginning and proving to the team that I would be a good addition.
The years in Singapore, especially the fondly remembered stock options from my almamater Citibank, enabled me to live off my savings for a year when I did my Graduate Diploma at Adelaide University as well as put a sizeable down payment for the mortgage. I also particularly enjoyed the early years of my career in Jakarta, Indonesia – that was the period when I was given great responsibilities even though I was practically just fresh out of uni. With great trust given to me by my managers, I achieved great things as well. I learned that being busy and being in the thick of things could be very fun as well. Those years are quite different to my years working here in Adelaide – enjoyable in a different sense, as I had the opportunity to polish my leadership and management skills, as well as practised what I learned from my earlier career years. There is also a memento of my years at Adelaide Bank – the paved pergola behind the garage is the monument of those years.
I don’t know why I’m feeling rather nostalgic – perhaps the onset of autumn always makes people a bit reflective. Maybe I do want to rejoin the working crowd again after experiencing the academic environment. I’m still quite indecisive about what I plan to do after I finish my Masters. One day at a time, I suppose. I still need to finish my thesis as well as the numerous tasks that I need to complete at the moment. When it rains, it floods!
Looking at a clip on Norway doesn’t help either as it only exacerbates my longing to get out and be part of the larger, more mobile crowd again. My house and my marriage life have tamed me down a lot and calmed my restless spirit, but there is still that antsiness that makes me want to pack my bags and visit far flung corners of the world and be lost in the flurry of foreign names and places. I know I’m not a yuppie anymore, nor I am the same twenty-something ambitious analyst. My life has been good.
Perhaps as I lay myself down to sleep tonight, my dream will transport me to those places again and perhaps the wee hours of the morning will give me a soft kiss and a hush to still my restless spirit. My turn to explore will come again sometime.