February 06, 2014

I don't have dreams

I have a car but it is not my dream car, I have a house and it is not my dream house either. I don’t have a job now but my last job wasn’t my dream job too ... errrr, so what am I trying to say?

What I am saying is ... I don’t have dreams.

Many believe that people must have dreams ... to be millionaires or billionaires, to own a private jet, become famous stars or singers. Of course not all people dream of riches and extravagances ... some may just have simple dreams but surely one must have dreams ... right?

Well, I am not disagreeing with that. But for me now, I don’t have dreams ... really, doubtfully as it may sound but I am done with dreaming.

You see, I think I can make do with what I have for the rest of my life ... I may not have a lot but I am not dreaming for more. Should I needed more, it probably will be some basic neccessities and common essentials ... so I wouldn’t consider those as dreams ... agree?

Then people ask me ... so, if not dreams, what do you live for? To them it seems like one cannot live without dreams. I beg to be differ ... I don’t want dreams, I want memories.

I am seeking memories ... like memories of things that I was fond of during my growing years ...  going into the jungle, swimming in rivers, catching birds, plucking fruits and making kites. I like these memories, so I am trying to do the same again and enjoy the same amusements that I remember so well.

I have tasty memories of the butter scones that my mother used to make, the fragranced aroma of the ‘nasi lemak’ (rice with coconut milk) steam-cooked in a wooden tub that the ‘pak cik’ (elderly Malay man) sells near my old primary school and not forgetting  the drooling sweetness of the ‘ais bola with gula melaka’ (ball of ice flakes soaked with liquid palm sugar) sold by the Indian ‘cendol’ (local Indian desert) seller who made it from ice flakes created by scrapping an ice block from a stool-like wooden device. Last but not least, I remember the distinct “ting ting” sound of the Chinese peddler chipping away small pieces of yellow pineapple sweet at the back of his bicycle. I am constantly looking for these treats and may or may not find them again but I remember their tastes so well, so much so that every time I think about these treats, strangely, I feel like I can taste them.

I will always remember how I met my wife on the last day of 1988 and her suspicious smile when I gave her my phone number ... the bliss and joys on the day we got married, the day we move into our very own house, the day my son was born and the day when I first saw the ultra-sound scan of my daughter. I like to remember all these special days ... these are the good memories that made me feel good every time I think about them.

Though it was not one of those good moments of my life but I cannot forget the day I was pushed into the operating room with a collapsed lung ... I was very scared and worried but I remember my wife was with me all the time during this unfortunate incident ... I remember how gratified I was (and still is) knowing that my wife was (and will always be) at my side, rain or shine.

Looking at the many photos of my kids I can recall the anxious moments of watching them crawl, then trying to stand, then fall and finally making the first step. I remember taking them to swimming lessons, teaching them how to ride bicycles, watching them dance in competitions and seeing them covered in mud while trekking. Looking and comparing old photos with recent ones, I remember how small they were and how much they have grown and changed ... these photos bring sweet memories, these photos bring tears of joy.

Almost every week, I will meet with my old school mates ... most of them are now my best of friends. We talked about the good old days, the places we went to, the spiders we caught, the tents we set up, the games we played and the truants that got us into trouble. We are still arguing like we used to many years ago ... in some instances, we are still like a bunch of school boys enjoying the carefree days. The good memories of our younger days bring lots of laughter and joy to all of us.

So, as you can see, my life now is mostly about memories, plenty of them ... I want memories and as I move on I want to gather more good and meaningful memories and remember them for as long as I may live.

So, I said earlier ... I don’t have dreams ... why? Because I don’t want to die with dreams ... I want to die with memories.