When I was in my mid-teen years, things were starting to pick up for me back in Auckland.
I found a way to adjust to the changes and keep old friendships, and made new friends that could last for long. That is until my life took a different turn.
Shortly after I turned 16, my parents decided to move us back to Malaysia.
It wasn't just anywhere in Malaysia. It was home (not) sweet home, Sabah.
You see, I didn't like Sabah much. I've been away for ten years, and memories of my hometown from my childhood did not make it any bit better. If anything, it made it worst.
Before the move, I was keen for change.
I didn't know what I was thinking, because I (kinda) had everything.
I had stability, great friends, a boyfriend I liked, an amazing youth,
my fringe was coming together (LOL) and I was passing high-school.
What else could a sixteen year old want, right?
I suppose I was oblivious, because though all those things were necessary to make me who I am today, I missed the big picture. Well.. I suppose I didn't see the big picture then.
But God knew. He knew what was missing. And I guess he made that path back to turn my life around, just for me to meet him.
Going back was really difficult.
My family was nearly torn apart because of it, and bringing two teenagers into such a hectic change during their crazy years was truly insane.
All I cared about was my boyfriend that I left behind, and all I wanted was him;
To talk to him, to see him, to text him.
He went back to his home country after I left Auckland, so the change in both of our lives made the distancing even more real. As time went by, we grew apart despite my efforts.
You see, time is a neutral element. Yet, the after effects of it can be both detrimental and beneficial.
A month or two went by, and things were looking bright for me.
My social life hit its peak not too long after.
I hated being at home, so I had plenty of time to make new friends.
My parents were very lenient on who I hung out with and what time I came home.
Compared to the strict rules they used to implement on me,
long gone were 'be home by evening' or 'no hanging out with boys alone'.
I came home close to midnight, even on school days.
I hung out with plenty of boys.
I also hung out with one or two good girl friends I held dear.
Initially, making (girl) friends were hard.
Heck, it was very difficult.
They didn't seem too fond of me.
But the boys on the other hand, were incredibly forward and friendly.
Thus, my friendship ratio from girl to boy was an actual 1:5
However, I thank God for good girl friends over time.
Some became cherished memories to me.
A few I've kept dear to me 'till this day.
I think that's life. Some come, some goes.
Even though I felt sad to not have them active in my life anymore, I know that the ones who aren't in my present held great significance to my past.
I still remember.
I remember the ones who gave me car rides and had supper with me often.
I remember him who held my hand. I remember the many photos taken.
I also remember the intimate moments where just my mind captured.
I remember her whom I adored. I remember the meals I had with them in my mundane.
I remember the excitement of seeing them weekly. I remember the smile.
I remember the faces I saw daily. I remember those who I didn't get a chance to know intimately.
I remember the acquaintances, the rapports.
I do remember.
Going back to Malaysia brought out the self I lost when I left.
I found myself to be rather patriotic, despite not being fluent in the dialect, not being very influenced by the culture or not knowing my country well. I found love for the people, and I found that I love my identity. I loved being a part of Malaysia, and I felt a sense of belonging.
It was in those years that I found the greatest growth in me.
I was able to accept others and embrace myself.
When I was a teenager in Malaysia, I lost a relationship I had with a boy I loved.
At the time, it brought me a lot of grief and took a long long time for me to finally let go.
But once that relationship ended, I found a greater relationship straight after.
I found God, again. But for the first time, personally and intimately.
I started a relationship with God when I was still broken.
So devastated, vulnerable and shattered.
I found God then.
He met me when I was in love with someone else,
and when I was unable to let go, he still held on to me.
When I was a teenager, back in my home country, I found my creator.
I started a relationship with the God who loved me and created me.
And since then, my whole life has changed, I have changed.