To: Being In Your Twenties. From: Your Friend, Falling

Credit: Shao Kai

For some, a long journey. For others, a fresh start. We may seem unbreakable, unstoppable, and unbeatable at this point of life, with our late-night suppers, term papers at 3am or chugging coffee all day to stay alive. At least that is what we look like in the eyes of many. Hidden behind the glowing stars and high-flyers lie those who have taken far too many steps, the ones who took a step into folly and fell in despair, or the ones who simply fell because that’s how life is; a Russian Roulette of triumphs and falling.

They are the ones swept behind bustling crowds and joyous Snapchats, the ones never able to send a friend off for exchange programmes, or the ones who stay up till 3am studying, but to no avail. Perhaps there are those who craft this immaculate image of poise and grace, towing the line between your social life and school work, but are losing balance behind the façade. Maybe you fall into this silent band of worriers, broken warriors in this onslaught of semesters and exams, and you ask yourself why? Why subject yourself to this Rat Race again when you are dragging your heavy feet down the finish line?

There will be sleepless nights, lazy afternoons, and insipid mornings where the Earth rotates on its axis, and you’re dizzy in this spinning world, losing linearity and time. Nights will become wormholes for productivity as you jump into existential crises; afternoons are sweltering and choking with the constant want to nap as you struggle to work. Mornings would be the only change in this dreary constant as guilt pounces on you again; a reminder that a day has yet again passed.

What goes down may go subterranean you say, but there lies diamonds and gems that will make you shine brighter than ever.

Shrouded by grey moods and hazy thoughts, feeling conquered but yet to take a fight, that’s how it feels like to fall in your twenties. Everyone falls, but not all get up again. It may be the rule of gravity for things to fall, but picking yourself up is a test of nature, a middle finger pointed to the grand idea of fate and destiny, to fight against the laws of physics. You are never meant to fall forever. Remember that. What goes down may go subterranean you say, but therein lie diamonds and gems that will make you shine brighter than ever.

Remember you are in your twenties, where broken bones and broken hearts are easier to fix than ever. Remember that every year, your body replaces itself with new cells and you are free from childhood glory or shame. Remember that you are meant to be here, no matter how you got here, and with that you can make it in this very battleground you call war upon. There is meaning to the finishing line that you struggle across because tomorrow lies ahead; it might not rosy or beautiful but it is surely something to fight for because it is yours to keep in your battle with gravity. It is here where you make your own mark in history as the twenty-something who never gave up.

You are more than your CAP, contrary to what many suggest. You are a human being in your twenties, still growing and you have every breath in your lungs to fight through all the troubles of today. Your pain, your hurt, they are all real but they will never go away if you don’t try to push back and move forth. So as you sit in front of your desk getting out your pen and turning your computer on, remember that all you need is one more try, one more push, and you’ll keep moving to write your own memory. Twenty years down the road, you’ll remember how hard all this is and it will taste bittersweet.

We’re gonna crash so low and yet we’d fly high like we’ve never flown before.

We’re gonna crash so low and yet we’d fly high like we’ve never flown before. For when we’re at rock bottom, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain when we simply try.

Shao Kai Chng
Chng Shao Kai is a first-year History major. On weekdays, he mugs, drinks milo-ping, takes his love on adventures, and saves snails. On weekends, he works at a bookshop, sells The Shadow Of The Wind like hotcakes, and drinks teh-ping. He is only as strong as his weakest knee.