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An Ode to the One True North

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Name
Pamela
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My Website

An Ode to the One True North

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And so it comes to pass that Ang Mo Kio 644 is no more. The ‘Balerkey’, one of the many names for this beloved unit, are now scattered across this tiny island, each finding a corner from North, East, Central and beyond.

The last keys have been turned over, the last tenants have moved out, and oh yes, the last ‘check-in’ has been made. It is Facebook official.

And I--the honorary housemate, who happened to live in another unit a bus away--now feel the need to pour out in cathartic fashion and indulge the sentimentality of this occasion.

That apartment witnessed so many insanely happy times, heard our raucous, uninhibited laughter, set the tone for lightly buzzed to drunken nights, and was ‘home’ for just a year-and-a-half, but made me feel like I’d known these folks for a lifetime.

There was the door that I’d enter on the premise of an evening visit, which more often than not turned into an all-nighter, ending with me seeing the morning after.

There was the couch that became a familiar bed away from my own, when occupancy in any of the four rooms was not possible.

There was the dining table where carefully mixed drinks flowed freely, where corned beef was served controversially, and where conversation, from the inane to the meaningful, turned magically.

And then there was the auditorium (aka Berto’s pad), which hosted all kinds of events, from our eclectic movie nights to DIY videoke nights to slumber parties (complete with facial masks), and was hands-down the coziest corner of Singapore for Life Group Thursdays, casual Devo huddles and beyond.

More than reminiscing these rooms and objects, this is really a love letter to the people who made the place what it was and what will always be.

To Berto, my partner in the art of getting lost--literally, but who has also been with me in that journey of being found completely.

To Jen, my trusted confidante in the truest sense, who understands the sensitivities and sensibilities of a fellow Piscean.

To Juni, my sister (and you do remind me of my own sister), telling me like it is and looking out for me with fierce love and protection.

To Michael, my appointed ‘soulmate’, a fabulous companion who continues to amaze me with the things we share in common, from the mundane to the profound.

You all opened your home to me and welcomed me as I was—in my darkest hours and moments of despair. For every happy moment, there was some heartbreak; for every laugh, there were some tears, unabashed. More than any alcohol-induced high, God reassured me with your love and encouragement that saw me through.

I am certain it is no coincidence that during my time of rest and waiting, the Lord sent you all to me, and provided AMK as the “safe haven” (insert that long-and-winding story) from this weary world. It is only further testimony to how wonderfully He attends to these details, bringing together old and new friends under one roof (a shout-out to Timothy 1—but that is another story).

As I once heard it so wisely said by my spiritual guide, “For as long as you know where home is, you can go anywhere”* That ephemeral physical space has served its purpose and exceedingly well, and it is time to move on, knowing we have a lasting home in each other.

You four, Berto, Jen, Juni and Michael—you whom I have considered my favorite people in the world on more occasions than I can count on one hand—you are a special, crazy, beautiful part of the grand design of our One True North.

The season of Ang Mo Kio North has ended, but the True North lives on.
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