When I was a kid, I got almost anything I wanted. I had travelled to China and seen the Great Wall. I travelled to Brisbane to see the Coral Reef and I even travelled to Italy and saw places like the Coliseum and the Sistine Chapel. However, to me, Singapore was the be all and end all of the world. I had lived there for 11 years and all my wants and needs were met on that small island. I could walk anywhere without worrying about getting kidnapped. I could take a taxi and not worry about the driver cheating you. I could even leave the house 10 minutes for a lesson and not worry about being late. I had a lovely school, a nice group of international friends and moreover a house in a pristine location. All was good.
One day, my dad was at work and my brother was at a sleepover. My mother took me to my favorite restaurant at that time…McDonalds. I knew something was fishy, because I hadn’t done anything good, but I went along with it. Then she brought me a FULL Meal. Hmmmm…suspicious but I again parried it off. Then she upsized it. Ok! Something was wrong. So when I went to the table to eat my Upsized, full meal of McDonalds, I asked my mum
“What’s going on? What’s the special occasion?’
And she replied,
“Nothing Rushad. Can’t we just have a mother, son outing?”
I looked at her in the eye and I could tell something was wrong.
“Ok, fine.” She said. Paused. Took a bite from her burger. Swallowed. Then said
“We are moving from Singapore.”
“Don’t lie.” I laughed. “You can’t be serious! MUM!”
But she just shook her head, like a bothered elephant and said “I’m sorry.”
“But I don’t want to move.”
And she told me the words I will never forget:
“Life is like McDonalds. One day you get the Big Mac, whilst others you just get simple Chicken Nuggets. However, sometimes, you only get what’s available and have no say in the matter. Do you think a chicken wants to be killed to fill your stomach? Or a cow slaughtered to fill you up? No, sometimes, you have to accept defeat and walk along the path your life has chosen.”
This was a turning point in my life. I realized that in life, you don’t always get what you wanted. Fortunately, some people learn this in simple ways such as not winning the game you wanted, or not getting that pretty girl to go out with you. Unfortunately for me, I learnt this the hard way. Leaving all that I knew behind, to start a fresh life in Jakarta. Sometimes you only want something, like staying in Singapore, because it’s the safe way out. However, moving to Jakarta was a risk and a scary adventure.