J’s Farewell Dinner and Some Recollection

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Picture from Cai Li’s phone.

Earlier. Group picture at Pita Pan. Picture from someone else’s phone.

J got a Fulbright scholarship and will be leaving Q4 of this year for studies. We had a meet up tonight before he returns to Malaysia on Monday.

I’ve know this group of friends since Q4 of 2010. We were all volunteers then at ECO Singapore working towards the World Leadership Conference happening in Q3 of 2011. There were about 20 people in the core organising team and we were supported by about 50 volunteers during the event period. The ones in the  picture are those who meet up from time to time just to catch up with each other. Three years on and everyone is working in other organisations and doing well I would say.

When we were parting, J mentioned whichever organisation I am volunteering in, “be sure not to cry.” He said this with reference to the first day of conference where for some reason I got overwhelmed with the crowd and kept wondering why the logistics team did not put up simple signs to direct the over 200 delegates into the different track rooms. For a good half an hour, people were just standing there in the common area asking where to go. As a volunteer in the organising committee, it was my first event and the chaos was one that gave me an unexpected shock. That said, it was also one of the most exciting thing I’ve done as a young student, and led me to forge ties with some nice people.

Looking back at it now, I think that was just a small issue. I remember being put into more stressful situations while interning in Eco later. I don’t remember crying during the internship up till Q2 2012, but the month that I was leaving the organisation, I remember walking from Somerset to Dhoby Ghaut and went to some Cafe in the middle of that green patch and gorged down two pizzas all by myself. Food has always been a great de-stresser.

Back to J’s parting remark, I don’t think I have cried while volunteering for 350 Singapore or Ground-Up Initiative. I have had at least two break downs but it wasn’t because of the organisations. That said, that also doesn’t mean I’ve to wait for that “cry moment” to see see how much more I can handle.

Sometimes when I’m tired I just ramble and this feels like one of those moments.

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