Falling for fall

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of turbulent emotions for me. I should have learned my lesson by now, to always listen to my head and not anything else. Have you ever felt like you wake up knowing exactly what is right or wrong and what you should do, but godammit you just fail every single time?

And fail I did, everyday.

Everyday brings forth another set of unnecessary drama with much pain and confusion, all inflicted by me to people who never once asked for it. I watch as my life (and the life of others) fall apart right before my eyes but I tell myself, that tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow I will be a better person, and hopefully I will be strong enough to make the right decisions.

But tomorrow never comes.

Have I ever told you what I want to do in my ideal world in the future? I want to open a preschool someday. I want to change the learning landscape in Malaysia. I want to dream big and pray for a change in how education is perceived. I want to be someone useful, a true contributing member of the society. I want to know that there exists a reason for my existence, however small the reason may be.

And most importantly, I want to go back home and be part of the change. I have always been naive and idealistic, but if idealism is the sole driver of my passion to change things for people who matter to me, for my own kin and countrymen, then I hope with all my heart and soul that I will never have a change in heart.

It’s almost the end of fall here, and seasonal change makes me extremely broody and melancholic. I sit on the steps outside my dorm everyday thinking about the person I once was and the person I have and will become. I think of it so much that that old Suet seems further and further out of reach these days. The only sliver of thread preventing it from escaping my loosening grasp is this familiar environment I have been in for years.

I have a sinking feeling that once I close this chapter of my life, I will become a completely unrecognizable person at the far far end of the spectrum.

And to be honest? I can’t wait till that day comes.

The other day I was late for class and as I was trying to locate my bike, I realized that someone had stolen it. It was upsetting for a while, not because I’d lost something of value but because now I have to walk to a class that I was already late for.

I think to myself now, a week after I last saw my bike, that how things like that hardly upset me anymore. If someone finds it so easy to take something that does not belong to her, then so be it. I just wish she’d return my bike lock. It has stars and hearts and flowers instead of the usual numbers as combinations.

I realized while having my lunch by the lake that I may never return to this beautiful campus again after I graduate. An immediate sense of relief swept over me, followed by a momentary burst of happiness and excitement laced with thoughts of finally venturing into the real world. As I took another bite of my salad, the feelings quickly changed into sadness and despair. After all, I did spend four years here, four years of my first glimpse of adulthood.

As much as I bitch about this place I fondly call the shithole, it does have its moments. It’s where I finally learned to not take education for granted and to view it as a lifelong process of searching and finding and never actually finding anything but it’s the means to the end that matter most. It’s also the backdrop and/or catalyst to most of my eventful soul-searching process.

I guess I am falling for this place, albeit a little too late.

I feel weird asking this, but have you ever felt like you are constantly going to trip and fall flat on your face? I think about it all the time, to the point that the thought of me falling (everywhere, while walking to my table, while getting down from a bus, while shopping) has invaded so much of my private thoughts these days.

“What should I eat for lunch? Mm that looks good, but seems fattening -OH SHIT I AM SO GOING TO TRIP- but I deserve something nice cause I just finished an exam -I AM GOING TO FALL NOW I TELL YOU- ok set I’m ordering that -I AM GOING TO FALL FLAT AND EVERYONE WILL LAUGH AT ME AND IT’LL HURT SO MUCH BUT I’LL TRY MY VERY BEST TO LAUGH IT OFF-”

Here is the funny part. As fate would have it, I have never fallen once. Not even a slight trip, or a slight misstep that might cause a stumble or two, zilch nada. On a normal day, thoughts of me falling invade my mind at least three times a day. On a bad day maybe as much as ten times. On an exceptionally good day, none.

It’s driving me crazy! I’ve gotten to the point that I’m now trying to accidentally fall in an obscure empty place and then try to trick my subconscious into believing that that fall was completely accidental and that I did not will myself into falling and then, maybe, maybe I will stop feeling like I will fall all over the place.

I think something is wrong with me.

You know how sometimes when you’re walking down the street and you try to plan your steps according to how many crunchy dead leaves you can step on? Fall is a great time for all you crunchy-leaves-stepper you. The satisfaction of having your foot crush the already dead leaf to death, the pleasant crackling sound as music to your ears, the trail of unrecognizable bits and pieces of a leaf that had once lived a fruitful life you leave behind.

Fall, it is truly my favorite season of the year.