I was sitting in the bullet train heading home after a presentation at a joint research facility. To summarize it, it was well received...along with the usual “Would you like to work for us after you graduate?”
Anyway, as I heading back home on a snowy night, I started reflecting back on my life so far. Maybe it’s because it was the end of my long one year’s work, maybe it’s because my 26th birthday is approaching(Getting older!!), or maybe it’s because my seniors are graduating and going away…what ever the reasons are, it is at this times where I rewind.
I was thinking to myself, “It’s been 6 long years since I left Malaysia, and god damn it I’ve come a long way!!”
I can never forget that day on New Year’s Eve as I sat on a flight of stairs at Dataran Merdeka, Malacca, pondering about my future as I watched the fireworks light up the skies.
One lone spark of light bursting into a thousand possibilities.
I just graduated from high school that year and it was as if I was that firework, shot up bright and proud into the dark of the night...and I've risen to a point where I was about to burst, was about to decide what I want to do for my future. Well, at that point, it was a tough choice of either private college or the local university, and what major to go into.
Guess what? My spark ended up lighting the skies thousands of miles away.
Until today, I can never figure out what was it that truly drove me to apply for overseas studies…much less the reason for choosing Japan. I’ve been asked many times by many people about why I chose to come to Japan, and in response, I’ve given many answers…none of them real.
My answers had a wide range of “could be true stuff”
- Wanting to learn a new language
- Malaysian cartoons are boring and that a country that could create Doraemon must be one hell of an interesting place, where the mind is free to imagine and create
- Want to see how is it that Tokyo is rebuilt by Thursday 5p.m each week after Ultraman destroys the city
- Sexy legs in mini skirts (Again, not a valid reason, but I’m glad I chose Japan. I can’t get enough of them!!)
- Naked fat guys grabbing each others tits, namely sumo….WHY???
- The all famous “Japan have greater technology than Malaysia, and I’m going over to learn so that one day I’ll be able to help progress Malaysia”…I’m actually ashamed when I had to say that.
I don’t think there’s ever a real reason to why I chose to come to Japan. Just like what The Joker said in The Dark Knight,
“Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it. You know, I just…do things.”
After 6 years of living in Japan, I’ve come to know my true value, my strength…and recently, my weakness. I’ve met people who made me laugh, made me angry and made me cry. I’ve met people I’ve grown to respect, and I’ve met people I just want to slap. Oh, if I only had the chance…I would spread my legs a little, throw my right arm back, tense my muscle and then deliver one powerful slap that goes “thwack!!”
Well, what I’m trying to say is, going abroad have really taught me a lot about myself, especially about my weakness, and more importantly, to admit my own weakness. I gotta admit that I am a somewhat proud guy…always believing that I’m strong, that I can solve problems on my own, and that I’m above emotional setbacks. The event that led me to finally admitting that I’m weak destroyed whatever illusions I have about strength. It left a huge scar in my heart, a reminder that will forever haunt me. A harsh lesson, but a lesson to remember.
Thinking back, there weren’t many who supported my decision of coming to Japan. My family, some of my friends, my teachers…they all had a reason to why I should not choose Japan or why I should consider other country. Well, I’m really glad I ignored all the advices. Sometimes, you just have to know when not to listen….risky stuff though.
To be able to learn about oneself is truly valuable...for that reason, I'm really glad I chose to come to Japan.
Now, I stand once more at a point where I have to make yet another big decision: To go back home or to stay after graduation. My parents want me back, my friends are expecting me back, former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir’s son, Mukhriz Mahathir told me Malaysia hope I’ll be back…but Japan have taught so much and I feel like there’s more to learn!!
So I guess I’ll stay a little while longer.
I promise I’ll “visit” Malaysia someday…haha