Wednesday, November 21, 2007

End of the year

The end of the year is always a poignant time. While its fun and exciting to leave and go back to your family (and your family is always important, no matter how much fun you're having elsewhere), its sad to leave good friends and not see them for 3 months.

Back in early 2005, when I was just going to come over to Melbourne, studying away for the first time in my life, I had to make a decision. A decision between staying at College Square (an apartment), where most of my fellow Malaysian students (whom I did not know yet) were staying, and staying at Ormond College, a residential college of Melbourne University (just like a catered hall) where I knew no one. I did not choose College Square, instead I chose Ormond College. And now, after 3 years, I can proudly declare that I made the right choice.

Although, right now, on hindsight, I can look back and think how much less enriched my life would be had I chosen to stay at College Square, but I'm quite sure that, in an alternate time line, had I chosen to stay at College Square, at this point in time I would also say, "I certainly don't regret making that choice". However, I'm absolutely convinced that choosing Ormond College was the critical difference between 'enjoying my studies in Melbourne' and 'seriously loving my time in Melbourne'.

As much as it feels like a knife into my heart when I say this, I actually enjoy and look forward to leaving KL after the holidays and coming back to Melbourne for the semester. Because I know I'm returning to Ormond College. Where there's friends aplenty to keep you company (that actually rhymed). Where you can sit for one whole hour to a crappy Ormond meal and just chit chat with friends about everything there is to chit chat about and listening to other people rant about their misfortunes then laughing at them, and ranting about your own misfortunes and letting other people laugh at you. And on the days when the food gets really crappy, we'll all just go out and eat and do the same things all over. All very fun.

And we also get to play cards for hours everynight. I'll shoot you with a Bang! I'll play a Missed!

And although I get the same feeling of loss at the end of every year in Ormond, I always try to enjoy the moment, because I know I'll be going back home to my family and spending good quality time there, and then looking forward to the new year in Ormond, where there will be new people coming in, and old people coming back. And I'm always excited to meet new people who are on the same wavelength as the group of us are, and always delighted to welcome new people into our group. So that I can laugh them, and they can laugh at me as well, and there'll be no hard feelings after.

But this year, it'll be different.

Because this year, I'll be one of the last to leave Melbourne amongst my Ormond friends due to my research year being longer than the usual year, as opposed to the last 2 years where my exams usually finish early and I leave first. And leaving last and watching other people leave first for the holidays, one-by-one, is just so different from leaving first, and being back home and knowing that your friends here and having the final eating out dinner of the year without you. And both ways, it hurts.

Because this year, after 3 years, I'll be leaving. Leaving Ormond College to stay at an apartment next year. Leaving all the friends. Leaving the evenings of playing basketball in the college courts.
Leaving the nights of card playing, which distracts everyone from their studies for their exams, but not from mine, because I don't have any exams! Leaving everyone that make Ormond College what it is.

But then again, I'm excited. I'm looking forward to moving into the new apartment, which I think just looks awesome. Looking forward to living in a new environment. Looking forward to getting people to the apartment to play cards! Looking forward to coming back to Ormond once in a while.

And I hope that all of us will remember the times in Ormond fondly, and never let it just become a footnote to our lives. Because realistically, some of us just won't see each other that often anymore. Thus, I'll say it now that Ormond is what it is because of all of you guys, and you guys know who you are, and may you all not forget what it was like to be an Ormondian.

And finally, because this year, I just lost my mum to ovarian cancer. And I'll be going home to my family, but with the knowledge that I will not be able to see my mum again.

Ever.

And knowing that I will not be able to share with my mum about how much I'm enjoying my life right now, being surrounded by so many good friends. That I will not be able to tell her how much I'm looking forward to each coming day. That she will not be able to share my joy in telling her how much I appreciate her helping me decide and then supporting my decision to stay at Ormond way back, 3 years ago. That I do not have the chance, and will not ever get the chance, to show her around Melbourne when she comes visiting, to show her around Melbourne, to show her the new apartment.

To show her Ormond College.

But what can I do, apart from doing the best I can with the cards that I've been dealt. I suppose that that's the best anyone can do. No 'what if's.

Enjoy the moment, look forward to tomorrow, cherish the past.

Que sera sera.

13 comments:

youngyew said...

So jealous to see that you enjoyed Ormond that much. In hindsight, if I had the money, I would have chosen to stay in a residential college too. :)

youngyew said...

Oh ya, where is your new apartment? Why are you not staying in Ormond anymore, by the way?

crushedguava said...

going to drummond street near omega's place.

all my friends from first year are moving out already, so it was time to move out.

3 years, enough la, i find that i'm missing meal times more already.

chYn said...

staying in an apartment is boringshit. seriously. sigh.. count me in for ur card games!dinner and movieS!

Yi Wen said...

looking forward to being your neighbour! i shall come annoy you when i am annoyed by my sister. heeeheeee and MAYBE i'll start playing cards.

crushedguava said...

yes you must come and play cards.

after spending a day cleaning it up, i must say that it looks awesome. the perfect location for card playing.

JIAN said...

Yi Wen doesn't know how to play. I think she will have to prove her ability in Survivor - Bang!.

Anyway, you know that Pig Trotter in Black Vinegar Sauce thing? I had it immediately upon arrival. It was good. Mmm.

I watched the football. It was one of "those" matches.

crushedguava said...

lol jianming.

i watched the football too, so near our place :D and liverpool won :)

drove to prahran and got us a TV for 60 bucks, but then didn't have a cable so had to buy one for 8 bucks, the problem now is the cable a bit too short so i might have to buy another one to connect the 2, so we can fit the tv in the middle of the living room.

also, i'm thinking of buying the original TV table that we wanted to get from Ikea. want the place to look nice. what say you?

and did you get my sms to your malaysian phone?

JIAN said...

My Malaysian number has been altered. It is now 012 6562739.

Good. What is the TV like? Tell me how much the overall cost is and I'll transfer the money to your account. I don't mind the original table.

Catch you soon!

Oh I had the Pig Trotter with Black Vinegar sauce and I'm going to try my hand at making Maggi Goreng in a second

o-mii-gaa said...

LOL... Your house will soon be known as the 'Card-Game House'

Tried msg-ing you for a night of card games and monopoly recently, but U went missing..I've found an addictive new card game belonging to my friend! This one's better than Bang!

*grins*

Welcome to the neighbourhood!

crushedguava said...

That's because all of you haven't played enough Bang! yet to understand the intricacies of each and every role. You guys just randomly shoot lol.

What is this new game anyway?

rena said...

"the intricacies of each and every role" hahaha you say it with so much feeling... hmm i wonder what whould have happened if there was no bang! and let us not forget the good old 500 and the new, rarely touched kill dr. lucky. they each made their contributions as well =P

crushedguava said...

indeed rena, and The Renegade has the most complicated role of all.