I am on my way to becoming a hotelier extraordinaire. Me and my extraordinarily comfortable couch on which an increasing number of friends have gotten rest in between their shopping and partying in this city.
This weekend I had two friends staying with me.
A girl friend from London who was determined to party in NY. Very drunken burgers at Corner Bistro at 1am on Thurs night. 4am on Fri night - "We can't go home yet, I haven't even danced!" Brad Pitt lookalikes on Sat night. Because of her, I am going to need a weekend to recover from the weekend.
Also a friend from Singapore whom I've known for over half my life. In fact, I used to pull his hair and kick him in primary school. In Sec 2, we started writing letters to each other and having long conversations over the phone when our parents had gone to bed. And somehow, we've stayed friends.
As we caught up over drinks on Fri night, he said something which I've been mulling over the rest of the weekend.
"If I'd stayed in the US after graduation, I probably be as lost as you."
Said friend graduated from a top Ivy in the US. I recall at graduation, he wanted to work in media/advertising, live in Brooklyn and see the world. I've always thought of him as cosmopolitan, urbane and sophisticated. Probably the kind of guy I would like to date if I moved back to Singapore. Since then, he has been back in Singapore for three years, is working in investment banking and is dating a "hometown hunny" from church. He's thinking about real estate in the near future and potentially marriage in two years.
Lost... That sounds so judging and my initial response is defensive. Yes, I work in a job I don't exactly like but am happy to stay in it for the next little while. I just moved cities, still in search of a place to call home. And I am still single, still out there looking for Mr Right after a number of mistakes. But I am not sure I would call myelf lost though.
I have learnt a lot about myself and the world around me in the past few years. I know who I am, I know where I am. I am not sure where I will be, but I have a good idea of where I would like to be.
There are days when I wonder if I would have been better off living out the stereotypical Singaporean path. I'd be married to my first boyfriend and probably even have a kid already or on the way. We'd be living in a nice apartment around Holland V and be at his parents's place for yummy double-boiled soup every evening.
And I would not have met even half the people, each with their own amazing stories, that I have. I probably would not have travelled to three-quarters of the places I have been to. I would have been a rather different person.
I could potentially be happier. But how does one judge that? As the person I am today, I know I would not have been happier. But perhaps as a different person with different expectations, I could have happily lived that life?
But please don't judge me against the life I never had. If you must judge, judge me against the life I have now.