Today is the last day I put on my purple uniform, but the farewells began yesterday.
As I stepped into Beauty World station, I said a sullen goodbye to Fang, whose kindness have made my daily travel to work so much nicer, as when she asked simply why I don’t dry my hair.
I missed three trains as we said our goodbyes, probably for the last time.
As I changed train at Newton, Halimah was there as usual, with her “Good morning, my dear” like how she often did whenever she saw me. I admire her cheerfulness and how she makes the passengers feel so welcomed.
Down at Novena underpass, Dennis was there crooning, as he has done every time I walked by. Sometimes his songs reminisce, other times he inspires, as when that time he sang “when I was just a little girl, I asked my mother, what should I be? ” and so we sang this for Grandma during Mother’s Day dinner. Most times, I would continue singing his verses as I continued my walk to office, crooning “Put your sweet lips, a little closer to the phone, let’s pretend that we’re together all alone..”
I also had to whatsapp (a new technology since I last worked) to the various chat groups I am part of at work. It was heartwarming receiving their thanks and warm wishes for my future writing career and how they viewed me – You are helpful and sincere, at heart.
Which incidentally, I hadn’t really wanted to reveal that I am going back to school for a Master degree but by not revealing also casts questions on the reasons I am leaving. So it’s with reluctance that I tell them the truth and now must ensure I succeed.
Yesterday the team celebrated the festive season with a potluck and gift exchange. Ann, our pioneer, gave a heartfelt speech on how I mothered everyone in the office and bonded the team, which means taking care but also reprimanding – thus earning me the nickname mummy in the office which I wore with reluctance.
It felt like Christmas again as I was piled with gifts to remember them by.
As colleague Eric tells me in his handmade bookmark to me, my journey is never truly over, it just changed course.
And my new course has just begun.