good suffering

September 14, 2009 § 5 Comments

Despite the feelings of homesickness which randomly hit me throughout my time here, I hang on, believing that the experiences here are good for me.

When a friend went overseas to study and came back changed and more ‘open-minded’, I was judgemental, believing that she should have had the maturity to withstand views different from hers and not succumb to them. Now that I’m here I understand the loneliness one feels and perhaps, the need to make friends with the people here, who more often than not, hold views radically different from my own that make me feel uncomfortable. And admittedly, it is difficult to be friends with someone and not learn to view her previously untolerated views in a kinder light.  

Even while considering these,  I have resorted to not making friends with such people. But that’s because I hold the rosy view that I’m here on exchange and who needs such friends when I’m going back to better friends in a few months. My friend on the other hand had to stay there for years. It was an imperative to make friends.

Still, knowing the loneliness which comes with this and the insignificance I feel because I haven’t been too friendly, I have the impulse to write a note of apology to that friend for being as judgemental as I have been. And, despite not feeling too great about exchange here and wishing to go back sometimes, I am grateful to be here because it has allowed me a better understanding of that friend’s initial situation.

Another reason I’m grateful for this experience is that it has made me appreciate more deeply my own friends back home, appreciate the ease and the quiet bliss I have when I spend time with them. Socialising and being with new people is far more different. Constantly having to think of what to say and remember names, constantly bombarded with radical views is draining me and retreating to my room, though dark and with spoilt electrical outlets, is something I look forward to.

Also, because of the lack of friends here and the challenges I face everyday, the need to abide in God has become more urgent. Listening to the christian songs on the radio or going to to jolly olde bookstore to hunt for some christian books are things which greatly comfort me and leave me thirsting for more.


§ 5 Responses to good suffering

  • sharonlin1988 says:

    eh, your room is dark and with spoilt electrical outlets? do the singaporean thing and complain! haha =P anyway, hope to read more upbeat posts from you soon! like what have you been eating? still on your liver enhancement plan? =)

  • Aud says:

    Cheeries!! Rene beams =)
    It does take time to make friends. Did u get a culture shock like u anticipated? And oh, do u have roomies…

    Been praying, and I’ll cont to pray for u!

  • fi says:

    i’m thankful and glad that at least your loneliness? is turning yu towards God and not away from Him! 🙂

    Persevere Serene, friends may not be easy to make but I’m sure that the ones that you do will be worth keeping; don’t give up hope just yet! 🙂 loves!

  • wwwldominicc says:

    God bless Rene.
    The last two paras sound like my first sem in Singapore.

  • Serene says:

    haha, just to say each of your message here really cheers me up 😀

    Sharon: I’ve learnt that people don’t take too well to whining when I whined to a random guy at the bus stop when the bus took too long to come. The salad here is excellent for my liver enhancement plan. However, I’m eating too much apart from salads and that is not good. The fingers that are typing these were used to snack on potato chips awhile back 😡

    Aud: Yea I got a bit of a culture shock. People are so liberal here and s0me guys talk about getting girls in just a week. There are even condom dispensers in the toilet. I shall faint. But actually, my fellow singaporeans aren’t too conservative too ha so it’s just me. Thanks for your prayers…some of the people on my floor seem quite nice. I have a room to myself and that is good.

    fi: ah fi that’s such a comforting thought! Yes I’m sure that being extremely fussy about making friends will pay off in the end 😡 though i should really be more friendly

    dom: ohh yup that’s encouraging because despite a lonely first sem u eventually u found frens right, like me 😀 😡 I will find friends soon too!

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