Going back to Penang always makes me that tad bit humble. It reminds me of where I come from, and that my life is no more superior than others’. It is just as normal, messy and complex as any other life.
Sometimes I have friends that I’m embarrassed to be seen with (Why? Because I think I’m better than them?), or family members I’d rather not be associated with. When I’m back in Penang I eat humble pie, and accept who I am and where I come from.
Sometimes, it feels as though I lead a double life. When I’m in Penang, I always feel like a different person. I assume a different role, and my outlook changes to one that is shaped by my hometown, my family background and my surroundings.
This duality is confusing, disconcerting and for the long-term, most definitely unsustainable and damaging. There is a strong sense of self that says I should be one and wholly consistent regardless of physicality, and geography.