I seldom publish a new blog post so soon after my last one yesterday. But today is a special day.
It is Singapore’s birthday! It is also my first time going to the Parade at the new indoor stadium on the actual National Day.
It is my “last” in several ways too. My last month as a school teacher, my last time enjoying 2 days of paid holidays (10/8 is a school holiday, yay!), likely my last time as a full time, highly paid employee.
If the median household income in Singapore is $8500 (including CPF), as a single person, I am earning more than that. I have tendered my notice and starting from September, will have zero active income.
I am transiting from upper middle income to a 平凡人. Hearing this song on the radio resonates with me strongly today.
In the last few years, I have learned to live simply and well below my means. I take pleasure in taking the public transport, eating at hawker centers, practicing minimalism and having little clutter in my life.
In school, I am an ordinary teacher. But I am special to my students. They look forward to my lessons and some even run for my classes in the field or the courts, so that they can be early. I may not make policies and affect school ranking results, but to these kids, I bring enough light to the classrooms of their life.
To say I do not care about being rich or famous is probably untrue. But Providence’s plans for me may not be a 大人物. I am happy now being who I am, simply because I am learning to be contented. I may not have any active income soon but my time will be my own.
There is another song playing on the radio now. It is a familiar song to many Singaporeans.
Whenever I am feeling low
I look around me and I know
There’s a place that will stay within me
Wherever I may choose to go
I will always recall the city
Know every street and shore
Sail down the river which brings us life
Winding through my Singapore
This is home truly, where I know I must be
Where my dreams wait for me, where the river always flows
This is home surely, as my senses tell me
This is where I won’t be alone, for this is where I know it’s home
When there are troubles to go through
We’ll find a way to start anew
There is comfort in the knowledge
That home’s about its people too
So we’ll build our dreams together
Just like we’ve done before
Just like the river which brings us life
There’ll always be Singapore
It’s good to be home. Have a good National Day holiday!