I have had three different stints in Singapore. In each, the transition into each was unexpected before it started. Now that I have gone through the third door, I find that my expectations were different than my experience. It is difficult to capture just how different it was and is. I recently read how another experienced a transition. I found that it metaphorically captured my own! “So we entered Damascus, but nothing like the entrance I had planned—I was blind as a bat and my companions had to lead me in by the hand.” (Acts 22.11) No insights. No wonder. No glory. It was a humble stumbling discovery.
My first entrance to Singapore was as a freshman in high school. I was blindly confident that I would arrive on the stage to warm applause and open arms. I walked into a dorm waiting for returning students that would only come days after my arrival. The one stranger was civil, but his expression was one of indifference. The heat and humidity stifled any desire to move beyond the reach of the single ceiling fan in the dorm room. It was several days, seemingly weeks, before anything changed.
My second entrance was decades later. Even though I had visited several times, I knew moving back was going to be different. I anticipated that life would slow down from New York. I was sure I would find a sterile, predictable environment. I knew everything would always be clean. I found a city that has its own was of moving at speed. Things may be predictable in a way, however there are surprises at every turn. Things are clean but only because people work hard to make it that way.
My thirst entrance came after a few months break. I assumed things would pick up where they left off. I look back and see that I was operating with blinders. There is a much bigger city than I knew was there. There is more to explore, experience, and enjoy.
Today’s dawn reminds me that each opportunity is unique. Carpe Diem.