Who I could have been

I spend a lot of time regretting life and life’s choices, a lot of time thinking about who I could have, would have been.

If I had gone to a better secondary school, would I have turned out more academically inclined? Straight As, scholar, set for life? A doctor, a banker, a sharp shooting lawyer? Maybe if I had paid more attention in school, I would have been more more ‘successful’ in life.

If I hadn’t been a band geek, would I have been a dancer, a choral singer or a sports nut who wouldn’t struggle to run 2.6km as I do? Or even if I had made the choice to join band again, if I hadn’t had my head up my ass, would I have had more friends, kept stronger friendships, joined another band?

If I hadn’t tried so hard to party, would I have stayed in JC, get a place in a noted university, live the life my parents would want me to lead?

If I hadn’t rejected that boy, would I have been the model girlfriend, model student, model daughter, emptying my savings for a HDB?

I spend a lot of time thinking about why people are the way they are. I think about their family, their schools, their friends, their impulses, their influences, and I weigh out why they think the things they think, and why they do the things they do.

Y’know, middle children act a certain way, kids of divorced parents act another way, children of different races act in different ways… you get the drift. But in spite of these generalisations and stereotypes (which are not always bad despite the connotations), there’s always this nagging feeling that sometimes, people are just the way they are.

Sometimes I think I’m a bit of a ‘rebel’ because of some middle child syndrome, because my parents are typical Chinese non-touchy types, or because I’m naturally an independent thinker.

But sometimes, I think, or rather, I feel, that I’m meant to be this way. It’s not often that I get in touch with this intuition or feelings, if you may call it, side of me, but some things you just can’t deny.

But whether I’m this way or that, the fact that I ponder these questions about myself simply displays one thing: that I deeply doubt the person that I’ve become.

I have doubts about this person being a ‘good’ person, I doubt her personality, her thoughts, her insecurities, her actions, her feelings, her future.

And all these intense inhibitions about myself begs the question: under whose rules am I doubting myself?

I place ‘successful’, ‘rebel’ and ‘good’ between inverted commas, because these words are insanely subjective. Who’s to say what success is, or what a rebel is, or what goodness is. It’s getting rather exhausting trying to fulfil these definitions of ‘success’ or ‘goodness’, and gear away from ‘rebel’. Because what the fuck. There’s gotta be more than one road to life.

I’m tired, I’m jaded, and I’m not even 22 yet. I tried to lead the academic life at SAJC, I failed. I tried to lead the corporate life, I failed too. There’s gotta be something else out there, I’m sure. But everything that leads me somewhere just pulls me right back when it comes to the big M word. Money.

Who I am and who I want to be? It’s near impossible to define.

My personality, my thoughts, my insecurities, my actions, my feelings, my future – ultimately, who am I suppose to please? The one who’s affected the most by them is, really, me.



  1. Who I could have been… and who I can still be. I feel jealous, envious, discouraged, unfortunate, poor, unlucky, weak, worthless, useless, unimportant and etc whenever I see someone who appears to be more successful according to the world, and then look back into myself where I’ve gone wrong or strayed. But hey Natalie, don’t we all? Life *is* the road and we’ll all eventually meet at the final destination. Our roads are unique and our own, and we carve it with our character and intuitions. We all want to look back at the end of the road and say, “Phew! That wasn’t all that bad after all!” :) Because nothing feels better than contentment within ourselves. Good luck in your endeavours!

    1. Wow I can’t believe you scrolled all the way back and read this! But yeah life is strange. We’ll always look back and think about what shoulda woulda coulda. It’ll take a long time to find that contentment and inner peace but I”m not sure I want to just yet because I quite enjoy discovering stuff about myself. I think when I wrote this it really was on a down day. We all have our moments of self-doubt and I think this was it.

      Thanks for reading anyway :) Good luck in your as well.

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