Just came back from reservist, or compulsory military service. Good experience, because I got to meet everyone again. And it's amazing the diversity you find among them. They're people from all walks of life, all finding their own meaning and purpose from the myriad of choices they face each day. Choices we all face.
I'm glad to see them because it helps me to see my life in perspective. They, or rather we, are Singapore. The scientist, the manager, the air steward, the car salesman, the property agent, the nightclub owner, the professional MC-cum-DJ, all come together and put aside their differences for two weeks and just enjoy each other's company (not in the Brokeback Mountain kind of way). I see people moving up, and/or moving on, and I think to myself, my life's not too bad.
Some of the guys have kids already, and they were chatting quite eagerly about their little ones. One of them even invited everyone to his son's birthday party on the weekend in the middle of our reservist stint. Got me thinking of getting a kid of my own. Someday.
The other thing about reservist is that it really marks the passage of time. I just got my 5-year Good Service Medal (for not screwing up any during the past 5 years), and for some of the guys, it was their last High-Key ICT, so it was a tearful farewell to them too (yes guys do cry, and yes it was quite manly). In a few years time I will have to take a medical just to see if I'm fit for military duty. Such cruel reminders of age :P
But overall the past few years have been good. I've learnt a lot from people close to me, sometimes more than I care to admit. And I find that I'm a lot more open to learning these days. I've seen my dark side come out as well, which I had always known existed and had tried my best to control and subjugate. I haven't broken the law yet (except for a minor traffic violation) so things are still all right, but I don't think I'm the same guy as, say, five years ago.
Anyway the point is that I'm starting to take life with some measure of equanimity again. They say that still waters run deep. Now peace is returning to the depths. Not because of reservist, but it has given me the time to reflect on things, and so helped me mark another stage in my life.