Isn't it funny (and wonderful) how certain things can invoke different and very particular memories.
I'd be taking a hot shower and my memory flashes back to my younger self, almost twenty years ago, taking a hot shower in a hotel in Miri. I was attending the pre-departure briefing before my trip to the UK, after being awarded a scholarship to pursue my degree there. It was an exciting time and I was also anxious and tired from the long day of listening to what to expect when we arrive in the UK. The briefing room and the hotel was cold and the hot shower provided much solace and relief at the end of the day. I don't know why my memory flashes back to this particular moment in time. I have taken many a hot showers through these years, some in places that are probably much more memorable than that small hotel in Miri. But I suppose it had to do with the fact that it was a point where I was just embarking into adulthood and independence. I just made a decision and signed a contract that would forever change my life from there on, without really knowing what I was getting myself into.
I'd walk past a bakery and inhale the aroma of freshly baked bread and pastries and this takes me back to Manchester. I loved the piercing smell of bread that came from the bakeries in Marks & Spencer, my usual weekly haunt. Later on, I moved to a hall of residence that was on top of a row of shops. And my room was right above this small pattisserie where I'd stop by to grab my favourite cheese and onion pasties en route to my little abode. Add in the soundtrack of Ronan Keating and Mojo and this picture of Manchester is complete. It was a different and more empowering time in my life. I had grown up somewhat from those days of insecurity and following everyone else's suit. I was pursuing my masters, I had a job that I was grateful for, I had met some friends who had somewhat changed my perspective and I was living in a city where I barely knew anybody. It was refreshing, I knew what I wanted and who I was.. somewhat.
This morning, I was making fried rice. And suddenly, I was transported back to this time where I remembered my mom or my grandma cooking in the kitchen. The smell emanating the whole house was that of comfort. I would sit back and enjoy what I was doing, knowing fully that I would have a nice meal to devour before heading off to school or making it a night. And now, here I am. I'm the one cooking for my family, for my kids.
And the memories keep flooding by, different things will remind me of different parts of my life. Make me think of the things I wish I knew back then. How things could have turned out differently. How things are now. I suppose it is like this when you grow older. Memories are all that you have. Some of them need to be told, else there will just remain that and it would be as though they never happened..