26 October, 2011

价值 · Value

今天早上看了一段电视节目,记录了一个价值百万新币的婚礼。

Source: anewportweddingplanner.blogspot.com

起初我并不能理解人怎么能够那么挥霍铺张地筹办一次婚礼,到在那集节目中,我却能够深深体会父母对独生子的厚爱。

12 October, 2011

不再 · Gone

昨天晚上和妈妈聊天的时候,她忽然问我几道问题。
Was having a chat with my mum last night when she asked me a few questions out of the blue.

(1)你最开心是什么时候?
When were you feeling the happiest?

其实有很多哦。这才发现我的回忆中往往选择记得快乐,所以才那么容易伤感。
In actual fact, that was pretty often. That's when I realised that I tend to remember the wonderful parts of my life, that's why I get emoey easily just thinking about how happy I had been.

例如……即将从中学毕业的时候。那时的华文老师告诉我,没有所谓的‘毕业’,因为人要不断地学习、不断地进步,从学校走出去之后也是一样的。所以只有死了,我们才能说是毕业了。那时候感觉自己很有用,好像能学的、能懂的,都很多。
An example would be when I was about to graduate from Xinmin Secondary. Our Chinese teacher told us that we aren't exactly "graduating" because we have to learn and improve continuously even after we leave the school. That means to say that only till death do we truly graduate from life. It was that moment when I felt like I'm actually pretty useful because there's so much out there that I can learn and understand.

最开心的是进入中文系吧。那是拿到O水准成绩后,因为高级华文成绩是C6很沮丧……却也突然发现身边其实有很多很好的朋友默默地支持着我、祝福我。忽然收到了很多的简讯说虽然未来可能失去联络,但永远都相信我办得到我想要做的事。有的甚至比我更相信我自己的能力,比我更确定中文就是我的跑道。
The happiest, though, is probably when I got into Chinese Studies. It was post-O'Levels results day and I was devastated that I attained C6 for Higher Chinese. However, I was pleasantly surprised because I began to see the many friends who had been by my side supporting me in the dark. I received a bunch of well-wishes saying that although we may lose contact in the future, they would always believe that I can achieve what I set out to accomplish. Some of them even had more faith in me than I personally do, believing that Chinese is indeed the way I'm set to soar.


(2)你最伤心是什么时候?
When was your lowest moment?

愣了愣,想了想…… 大概就是从中文系毕业的时候吧……?
I was stunned by the question, and thought a fair bit. Probably the time when I had to graduate and leave Chinese Studies?

后来想想,改了答案——离开武汉之际。
After a little more thought, I revised my answer- the lowest moment was when I had to leave China upon completion of the immersion program.

我能说的是,前往武汉前一度很担心自己会受伤、吃亏、吃苦,毕竟中国在许多人口中是多么可怕且不可靠的地方。后来想想,反正自己也没有什么好失去的,何尝不是很好的学习机会?那一刻什么都放下了。
All I can say is that pre-trip had been a nerve-wrecking period, as I psychoed myself to worry that I may get hurt, I may be taken advantage, I may suffer and whatnot. Afterall, China is a place where many have said to be unreliable. But after much thought, well, I didn't have much to lose either, so why not make full use of the chance to learn? That was when none of those worries got to me anymore.

湖北武汉是那么热情地欢迎我们,让我们吃遍了美食(到现在还在努力恢复之前的体重),也看遍了美景。人们开始总是那么好奇地揣测我们来自哪个国家,后来总是那么热情地款待我们。那是一个暂时离开现实生活与忧虑的机会,真正敞开心胸地交朋友,浸濡于其文化中。
Wuhan had welcomed us graciously, letting us try out so much good food and enjoyed such beautiful sceneries. Well, to the point that I'm still trying to shed the weight I gained from the food there. People had been extremely curious as of where we are from, and upon understanding, they had been such gracious hosts. It was a good break away from the worrying life here, and I got the chance to truly open my heart and build friendships, immersing in the culture in China.

即将离开武汉的时候心里真的很挣扎、不舍。那种沉重的心情,就像是背叛了家人,弃其而去的罪恶感。回到新加坡之后也很忧郁,什么不想见到任何人,不想做任何事。甚至有那么一瞬间,心似乎承受不住思念。所以那是最伤心的烙印。
It was the period when I was about to leave Wuhan that tore me apart. The heavy heart feeling made me feel like my departure was as much as betraying my loved ones and that made me feel guilty. Upon returning to Singapore, I had been very depressed, not even interested to meet anyone or do anything. There was even a minute when I felt like my heart couldn't contain all the feelings I had taken home with me from China. That was one deep pain etched.

(3)最疼爱的是谁?
Who do I love the most?

这问题我倒回答得很干脆——爷爷。
This question didn't take much thinking- my Grandfather.

在重男轻女的文化中,我往往是隐形的。但是他的双眸却总是能找到我,仿佛让我知道有人在乎我。即使后来他得了老人痴呆症,每当我感觉生活郁闷,课业压得我喘不过气时,只要悄悄进入他的房间,握着那皱着却很柔软的双手,看着他那有故事的双眼,一切的压力都瞬间消除了。换来的是一份安心、一份平静,一份只有他的双眼能够带给我的安慰,把我自个儿筑起的围墙给拆了,把那空虚的心装得满满的。
In a culture where adults fancies sons more than daughters, I had been the invisible child most of the time. But somehow granddad's gaze never seem to fail to find me, as if letting me know that someone actually does care about my existene. Even in the later part of his life when dementia struck him, all it takes for me to feel better from worldly struggles and pressure had been to slip into his room and hold his wrinkled but soft hands by his bedside. Not to forget the deep gaze of eyes that seem to tell his life stories... Those were my sanity. What he constantly gave me had been a feeling of peace and assurance, a kind of comfort that is uniquely from him. The kind of comfort that breaks down all walls I had built around myself from the world, the kind of love that fills my heart so full to the brim.


(4)最讨厌的人是谁?
Who do I hate the most?

一位宗教师。这也是想了好久好久才得到的结论。
A religious leader. This was also an answer that took me eons to conclude.

我很容易讨厌一个人,但那总只是个过程。时间久了,跨越了讨厌,就是对那个人完完全全没有感觉。站在我面前的仅是个模糊的人物,不会让我留下任何记忆的轮廓。
I hate a person easily, but hate is usually just a process for me. Beyond hate, all feelings I have for the person would be completely neutralised. So that that person can be standing right in front of me, but I don't feel nor register anything.

但这位宗教师呢?因为她的“好意”纠缠,害我没能赶得及与一位我很珍惜的长辈告别。当时我们三兄妹与朋友一同练法器,之后要赶去见她最后一面,但这位宗教师自以为是地坚持带我们去吃晚餐。后来呢?我们赶到那里看见的只是棺木、眷属、探丧的亲朋戚友——那些对我来说都失去了意义。
So what is it about this religious leader, you may wonder. It was because of her supposedly "good intentions" that made me too late to bid a final farewell to a family friend. My two brothers and I had been for some religious practice, and had intended to rush to her house for the final farewell. However, after the lesson, this person insisted on taking us to dinner. When we finally got to the place, all that was left for me to see was the coffin, the loved ones and friends and families who came to pay respect- all of which meant nothing to me anymore.

那是小时候没能懂得自行掌握并决定所留下的遗憾,但也因为这个人的多管闲事,让我的心有那么深的伤口。
This was the kind of regret I had as a child when I couldn't grasp the last bit of my loved ones because I had no control over my decisions nor fate. It was because of this person that I have such regret and pain in my heart till this day.


(5)最对不起的人是谁?
Who's one person I think I could have treated better?

奶奶。还是那个重男轻女的故事。
Granny. And it's still the same old cultural tendencies story.

奶奶总是带我的哥哥到坡底买Power Ranger的玩具,一去就是一天。有些时候买到的不是我哥哥要的模型,我还得跟妈妈拿到邻里的玩具店交换。
Granny always brought my brother to Chinatown area to get Power Ranger toys, and whenever they go, it would be a full day. Sometimes when my brother returns with the wrong model of Power Ranger, my mum and I would have to make a trip to our neighbourhood toy store to exchange.

那是心理一种不平衡与瞋恨,后来变成一种脆弱的无助——奶奶,你怎么总是只牵哥哥的手?
I had felt emotionally imbalanced and anger, which gradually translated into a form of vulnerable helplessness. I couldn't help but hear that tiny voice in me hoping time and time again- granny, why don't you ever hold my hand instead?

长年累月的奢望、失望让我变成很讨厌她的性格。只是长大后慢慢理解那种社会文化对人的影响并不是奶奶的错,所以一瞬间忽然很心痛,总觉得如果我真的那么聪明,其实不应该那么小气,反而应该更珍惜她老人家的。
The hopes that never came true brought about more disappointments, and I became a granddaughter who simply hated her granny. It was only years later when she had left and I had grown up, did I understand that it was the culture and generation that she lived in that caused such a scar. It made my heart hurt even more to think that if I had really been a smart granddaughter, I wouldn't have been so petty, and I could have been so much nicer to her.

已经许久没有那么深入地回顾并反思过去20年的岁月了吧,所以昨晚感受特别深刻。只是因为昨晚跑了4公里,看了两部电影,实在没有体力打好这篇稿,今晚总算补上了。
Seems like ages since I last looked back at my life stories with such depth. It's probably why I had such strong feelings for the conversation I had with my mum last night. Just that I had completed a 4km run and watched 2 movies with my brother that made me too jaded to write the entry the night before. Well, at least I managed to pen it all down tonight.



感悟与心得
Life Lessons and Conclusions

索性决定把这篇名为《不再》,象征着许多的美好、可怕、幸福与遗憾都成为了过去,已经不可能再回到从前,更不可能再改变什么。不断地回头不是为了眷恋,而是选择不时沉浸在当下的感受,在从中走出来,吸取更多的人生经验与感悟,这就是成长吧。
I named this entry "Gone" because it signifies that everything has now become history, be it the high or low moment, be it the pride or the regrets. There is simply no way for me to return to the past, and there's no chance of "putting anything right", again. However, I got to look back constantly not to brood about the pain, but to immerse myself in the emotional rollercoaster, and then learn to walk out of it with more lessons learnt for the future. I guess that's what growing up is about, right?

当下不懂得珍惜只会酿成来日的遗憾,当下的珍惜却也暗示着软弱的威胁随时能够打击一个人的稳定。人生没有所谓的平坦,也没有所谓的特别煎熬,所有的崎岖不平、所有的起承转合,都是回顾时才显得格外有意义的人生课程。与其让匆忙冲昏了头,更应该把握当下的每一个细节。
While wasting the present may bring about regrets in the future, cherishing the present also hints at oneself's vulnerability in the future when it comes to loss. Life is never monotonous nor too tough to be true. It's all the lessons, the good and the bad, which makes life an exceptionally meaningful lesson. Never let the insignificant hustle and bustle of life get in your way of cherishing the smallest details in life.

问问你自己吧——从家门走到房门,一共是几步?那么多年了,你知道吗?
Just try asking yourself this- How many steps does it take to get from the entrance of your house to the entrance of your room? It had been that many years, do you have an answer?