The year I ran from my youth.

I’ve been looking back at all my content and organising them onto this platform.

Something I’ve noticed is that 2018 was probably the year I worked the hardest.

That was the year that I was turning 18.

Something that a friend once told me when I was still in secondary school really stuck with me.

We were talking about how I really needed to chase my dream of becoming a famous musician. When I told him that I was probably too young, he said something to the tune of:

“What the f*** Gabriel, come on man. Look, what do you think people are going to want? A talented, Erhu-playing boy, or some middle-aged, Erhu-playing MAN?”

I saw that he had a point. And perhaps that got me off my butt to chase my dream, while constantly running away from the ticking timer that was my youth.

I remember my 18th birthday being a bitter one. I was not happy to be turning 18 at all. Alcohol wasn’t a big deal for me. I wouldn’t be able to drive even if I got my license because of the cost of cars in Singapore. It was rather uneventful. I remember asking my mother for a watch for my birthday, a sort of depressing pun for the fact that all I wanted for my birthday was more time.

I do miss the starry-eyed kid who dreamed of performing for thousands on stages around the world. Of having over a million YouTube subscribers. Collaborating with all the artists that I grew up loving. I’d say that I was on a good path towards that dream.

Unfortunately, the day I decided that my values, my conservative beliefs mattered more to me, was the day I threw all that away. The day that would cause my main contacts in the music industry to eventually cut ties with me.

Another reason why I was always afraid of my youth catching up to me was the fact that up till the moment I turned 18, I still dreamed of the possibility of being able to experience a life I felt robbed of growing up in Singapore. The possibility of being able to experience things like highschool football games, proms, the all-american highschool experience that Singaporean youth try to replicate, that often results in a pathetic off-brand version of the real thing.

Maybe I gave up. After all, how would I escape that inevitable doom of mandatory military service.

But perhaps this is just God’s way of reminding me who I am. Where I came from. That deep down, that starry-eyed boy is still somewhere in there, waiting to chase his dreams.

We’ll see about that.