I’m Phyllis Leong, 18, slightly myopic, talkative and I weigh a lot. Some of my resolutions include eating less fried food and maintaining my exercise regime on the treadmill. I am still giddy about the prospect of this great perhaps. Since April, I have been seized by a world of youths who boast of such promise and spirit. After 17 birthday wishes for a comfortable yellow brick road, I came to realise that what I truly wanted was more than just the conventional path planned for me, albeit against my will somewhat. I recall being absorbed into the idea of the glistening ideals - dreams to combat injustice and poverty, dreams beyond the self. I yearned to reconcile what I was doing with what I wanted to achieve and fortunately enough, my vision began to materialise.
Once I disengage the self from banal academic work (especially Math), I would brainstorm for ideas with World Vision Singapore and help out at the community centre,and more often than not, launch into my diva mode. All that pseudo sass comes from acting as a bimbo in too many school productions. I try to diversify though: I’ve been Liesl in ‘The Sound of Music’ and Anna in ‘The King and I’ in primary school. I’ve also won a baby show despite having been on Earth for merely 8 months then. Unfortunately, I’m mediocre on stage; I still can’t figure out the lights and have trouble with my lines. In the shower, I practice delivering my Oscar Speech, and on good days, you will find me filming classic rom-coms, if not giving press interviews. When times are bad, I go cycling along beaches. I make an effort to stay on track as I abhor grass and soil/ mud. I find it cathartic to wax lousy lyrical poetry while people-watching in cafes. I don’t get to travel much, but when I do, I pretend to be the next Patrick Demarchelier of scenery and landscape.
Evidently, I am not as accomplished as I wish I were (yet). There are many things I remain ignorant of. Representing Singapore in an international school is not something I’m familiar with, yet I can only imagine how this eye-opening experience will unravel in time to come. I dare not say I’ll make the best SG Girl, but I do know some things that make us unique: we ‘chope’ seats with tissue paper packets while ordering delicacies like ‘tze char’, satay, roti prata and chicken rice at hawker centres. Some of us dry our clothes on bamboo poles and when the town council was less strict, the children and neighbours used to play block catching around HDB flats. And in the ‘kiasu’ spirit of a true-blue Singaporean, I shall start learning some German: Ich bin Ihnen sehr dankbar für diese Gelegenheit. Soon, I shall meet friends from a different hemisphere and acquaint myself with ideals that could shape a better world. I am more than hopeful, I am thrilled.