Here at Preen, we’re fully aware that adult life doesn’t always go as smoothly (and look as beautiful) as curated Instagram feeds. We all face challenges amidst all the good things. Meet Mikka Wee, a former food editor-turned-working gal in Singapore, who’s about to share all the ups and downs that come with adulting and living. Welcome to Bless This Mess!
I think one of the most defining lines of adulthood, the beginning of many pains and joys, is when you move out of the comfort of your parents’ house and move into your own.
I moved into my apartment with my roommates almost two years ago, back in 2016. I remember the glorious feeling of accomplishment after winding the last screw in my swivel chair, which I assembled all by myself—a first for me. I remember when I bruised my knuckle when I punched the wall of my room out of frustration, just as much as I remember that dreamy Christmas Eve when my now-husband and I danced to Christmas songs in our living room.
We have a cozy cream-colored couch that we named “C.C.” (short for “Comfort Couch”) because you could never leave the couch once you plopped down on it. My roommates and I had “leftover nights” where we cooked up whatever half-eaten dishes we had in the fridge. We had friends over for game nights, and we watched scary movies during Halloween (then ended the evening with Begin Again to feel brave and empowered to sleep alone in our own rooms, singing “Lost Stars” as we slept).
Then, there’s my room; its four walls bearing witness to some of my lowest of lowest and my highest of highs. The past two years have been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. I remember coming home one day after a dinner and breaking down because of work-related stress. There were days when I would feel so empty and paralyzed because I was sad and unhappy with my previous job. My four walls heard the screams and the crying as my mom and I fought over the phone that one time. The same walls were there to nest our laughter as we slept beside each other when she flew to Singapore to visit me. And there was also that time when my best friends flew over on a whim just to be with me because I needed them. As we lay down on my bed, me sandwiched in between them, I knew in that quiet moment that it was an absurd idea for me to end such a beautiful life.
There are so many memories etched on the four white walls of our humble apartment. My roommates and I are so lucky to have found a reasonably-priced flat in Central Singapore. We are also very lucky because this apartment brought us together. In fact, it was such a pleasant surprise at how “synced” our lives became—we all got engaged on the same year, and this 2018 is the year we marry (I married) our fiancés. We’ve gotten close enough that we are all part of each other’s entourages. Two years of a crazy life and the priceless experience of learning to live alone, to be independent, and to survive on one’s own is no easy feat. But don’t get me wrong, there were so many days that I wished to fly back home. There were so many days and months when I just wanted to hug my dog Rocket, be with my mom, be with my friends, and go to the beach—but I couldn’t. During these days I’d settle for a Skype call or a few silly selfies, but deep inside I just felt like disappearing. So I resorted to retail therapy (so bad), music, shows, more books, and more writing. My room became my sacred space, and this special room where I am writing this will always be home to me.
Today, the movers came by to deliver our moving boxes. Our lease ends on July 31st, and I am moving to a new place with my husband. It’s quiet where we’re moving to, a far cry from the convenience and the electric glow of the city. I spent the earlier part of the day packing my belongings, folding boxes, taping boxes, and labeling them. When my roommate came home, we had some fast food fried chicken on our park bench-style dining table. We shared a beer, and then headed to the kitchen where did a clean sweep. It didn’t occur to me that I wouldn’t be cooking in this kitchen again—no more “leftover nights,” no more Christmas dinners, no more game nights, no more cooking some steak for one. This was it.
If you dropped by our apartment now, all the rooms are bare and almost empty. Residing in the living room are boxes whose contents brought warmth to our apartment and made it the home we loved for the past two years. Without really planning it, we emptied out our kitchen tonight. Whatever meal I last made there was the last one I would ever make. I look back, and I heave a sigh. Then a smile forms on my lips. A short moment of reflection, of letting go, of gratitude, and the welcoming of a brand new season. I grab my phone, take a photo, and send it to my roommates and my husband with a caption.
“Hey, just wanted to let you know. The kitchen is officially closed.”
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.
Art by Marian Hukom