Our daughter made it! All their merrelatives knew about it, if they didn't, they made sure to let them know. They engaged a whale to announce the sonic humble brag, reaching the merlion tribe far and wide. Of course they posted on FB as well. "No lah, she got lucky! Your son doing so well too." They always said with beaming smiles on their usually stern lion faces. Just loud enough but not TOO loud. No way. Harmony first you know, they ARE Singaporeans after all.
Her parents are proud of her and she IS happy they’re proud of her. Yet in the stillness of the night, she feels this emptiness in her heart, a roar caught in her throat, all the things she wanted to say to the world and couldn’t. Her usually perfectly coiffed mane in a hot mess, unlike the perfect life she portrayed on FB, with a massive following mind you. Don’t play play.
She read about Dory’s adventure in Tails As Old As Times and found that slightly fishy. Can a little fish really do it? A forgetful clown fish moreover. The jesters of the Meriverse with a terrible sense of direction and minute fins. She laughed when she heard this.
No one wanted a Negative Nelly. Everyone loves a Positive Sally. Perfection is the only way to be. Be all or nothing. It’s exhausting. She felt displaced in her own country. She's suppose to belong here but she doesn’t. She really doesn't. She doesn't feel it in her lion head or in her cat heart, definitely not in her mertail swag. She doesn't.
On the outside, she put on her bravest lion face, knowing that she was more of a creative cat on the inside. She knows she’s lucky to be born in Singapore, she tried to be grateful and to an extent it worked. She trudged along like everyone else, day after day, year after year and before you know it, it's been 35 years.
She has gone on the straight and narrow for so long. She doesn’t know what passion feels like, what freedom taste like anymore. What is it like to believe in something greater than herself? Not just a job but a passion, something to look forward to with glee. Something that awaken all our senses from the top of our heads to the bottom of your shoes, I mean, Mertail. Something that makes you not just EXIST but LIVE.
What does Dory feel like? Can Dory even remember? Ha. What does coming home mean? How does someone turn Kueh Lapis into Rainbow Lapis?
There must be something more. Something, anything, maybe. HOPEFULLY.
In celebration of Singapore's 52nd birthday, inspired by the Merlion, an icon of Singapore, written in Singlish (Singaporean English)
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Find image here.
The Merlion is an icon of Singapore. Its name combines "mer", meaning the sea, and "lion".
HDB or Housing Development Board is a government subsidised flat.
Sang Nila Utama is a a Palembang prince who coined the name Singapura upon his discovery of the island in the 14th century.
Kueh Lapis is a “Makanan Khas” or specialty food from Indonesia. It is a light, layered cake that is available in many different flavours.