Monday, November 11, 2013

The real stuff

At my lowest moments here in London, I keep dreaming of Malaysia. Malaysia was bright, sunny and loud. Always. England, on the other hand, likes to keep you on the edge. Nazreen was right, the initial high of London has worn off and I feel like all I have left are a pile of readings and lecture notes with no time to daydream or take an afternoon off to do nothing. And I keep asking myself, did life suddenly get hard or was everything else before this pretty easy?

I think it’s a bit of both. My life in Malaysia was so simple; all it took to make new friends was one handshake, all it took to relieve stress was walking across the road to knock on your friend’s door. And better yet, everyone knew everyone, because somebody you know will introduce you to the new kid who then turns out to be a friend of an old acquaintance back home who went for tuition classes with your best friend’s younger sister whose boyfriend will also be joining next semester. See what I mean? (Sri Lankans can relate)

But living in London is a whole other ball game. Every time I walk into campus I see a whole sea of faces that I did not see the previous day, people I have not been introduced to, who will never know my name. And suddenly I feel like a small town girl who went from knowing her whole community to being a speck among the crowd. To put it more accurately, a small fish in a very big, scary pond.

In the past few days, in between worrying about how I am going to finish all my readings for a seminar the next day trying not to fall asleep at 8pm from feeling exhausted, I realized what was so different about my life now. As cliché as clichés get, I think I have stepped into the real world. I know this because there is no one patting me on the back and telling me what a great job I’m doing. Nobody giving me a chance to speak unless I raise my hand and demand attention. Nobody guaranteeing me that if I do what I’m told, keep moving forward, everything will fall into place.

As much as this scares me, I am also thankful. Not only for the harsh realities I have to face in this big city now, but for everything that came before it. While Malaysia introduced me to so many wonderful things in life, London is teaching me how to earn it.

And lesson number one, it’s ok to be scared.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Lesson number one: Its ok to be scared
    Lesson number two: Its ok to be scared, because I got my handy pepper spray.. :P

  3. OH my god Chalini! Same exact feelings as me! Eventhough I did Pre-u in Malaysia! it was so different! :'( Miss Malaysia much! but Lets rock UK together :) Plus we have the other one with us - Nazreeeeeeeen :)