A Letter to Guides

by The Dreamer


To my dearest guides,

John Green once said, “It is so hard to leave – until you leave. And then it’s the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”

Before our farewell party, there were so many conflicting feelings consuming me. I remember the panic churning within my stomach one hour before, while I was rushing through writing letters while trying to memorize maths formulas. The sinking feeling in my chest as the clock displayed 3.00 PM. And the anxiety rising within me as I changed into my guides uniform for the final time.

Yet, when I had arrived at the destination of the party, all these feelings vanished. As though a magician had swooped in deep within me, pulled out my Pandora’s box of emotions and poofed it away.

Images of you guys bawling your eyes out are still carved deep within the back of my mind. All of your eyes red and swollen and the tears just streaming down incessantly. I remember seeing Najat sobbing and me getting a wee bit choked up. But besides that, nothing. I felt nothing. Relief? Sadness? Happiness?

But now, all of these are coming back in waves. Big waves, small waves. I surf through them and eventually let them swallow me up.

Three hours ago, I remember unzipping my guide skirt, pulling out my trefoil, badges and finally my scarf. Then this sudden realization made me stop. This will be the last time I’m wearing this uniform. This epiphany hit me like bricks for some reason. This blue two-piece suit that encompassed so many cherished memories.

I remember getting the uniform for the very first time. The skirt dragging beyond my knees and me foolishly tucking it right up, nestled at my waist and looking like a total noob. My little plaits. My hour-long battle with the uncooperative scarfs.

This Guide uniform used to be something I wore with absolute pride. Both sleeves armoured with proficiency badges and whatnot – they were one of the best joys of being in Guides. But of course, there were my level mates. More specifically, Beach Punk.

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To my level mates in general, thank you for being such an accommodating bunch. We have had our ups and downs, I’m sure but I still loved you all anyway. All of you performed your responsibilities to the best of your abilities, and even when sometimes we made mistakes (and we got punished for it), that’s fine.

I’ll never forget the time when we were completing our Pioneering Badge and my mind got a short circuit, jumbling up all the steps for a mickey mouse loop. I had panicked and was sobbing like crazy, which made me even more flustered. Sharanya and Joy had looked around furtively for the instructor, saw he wasn’t there, and risked getting punished to help me finish up the rope ladder. That day was one of those days where I literally saw Guides as an extension of my family – sheltering one another through the winds and storms.

Another incident was when I had forgotten to bring my white shoes. Meei Tzy, despite being a size larger than me, had lent me hers, and suffered through my tiny little shoes (not to mention stinky) while I dragged her large white ones and forgo-ed having to run. Again, another display of kindness and sisterhood.

Not to mention the many times in Guides Camp where I showed more talk than walk. Rachel, Salsabil and Sanchita are the best camp mates ever. I feel like we clicked and filled each other’s gaps. I was bad at starting fires, so Rachel and Salsabil helped me tremendously in reviving the flames from the embers. Rachel, I’ll never forget the communal bathing experience and flipping our hair in the drain and shampooing it clean (god the irony).

To Beach Punk,

I don’t know how all this started, but I do know I’ll never regret becoming closer to you guys.

All the crazy memories we had forged together, the gossip sessions and all the laughing. I’ll remember the laughing the most.

I think what made us click together was the storms we had weathered together. As a saying goes, a friendship is never true until we have gone through a conflict. Or something like this.

To tell the truth, there were some times when I felt like I didn’t belong in Beach Punk. None of you seemed specifically close to me, and I felt awkward many times too. There were also times I had felt left out – for no particular reason at all. But nevertheless, you guys are one of my closest friends. Always have, always will be.

Alison, you are Popgalz98, huh? I remember seeing you in Secondary One and thinking, Damn that girl is literally perfect. I shall “hate” her for it. Haha, but it was just a short phase. Indeed, you had the brains and the leadership abilities even from Secondary One, and I admired you for it. It’s no wonder why so many people EC you. I think you’re very cool too! Keep smiling with your eyes closed and let us make fun of your unglam faces, okay? I love your grandmother more than you, but of course, I love you too Leeson.

Bria, you are one of the prettiest girls I have ever met. You are tall, slim and your skin is literally perfect what even. But most of all, you have one of the best personalities ever. You are awkward and funny and I’ll never forget the times in OBS. Though that friendship in OBS had somewhat faded and we no longer talk as much as we did at that period of time, I still love you very much.

Cheryl, thank you for being the best ACL ever. I’m blur 24/7, so without you by my side, I would never have survived. I love your dimples and your chubby cheeks. I like your motherly side very much too. How you would volunteer to take the knife and slice the cake into perfect pieces and give them all out to us while we goofed around. You will be a good mother Cheryl and marry someone called Andrew (:

Kiang Ching, to me, you are like the water. You flow wherever your heart feels like it. You are simple and good-natured and kind. I think you’re very precious to all of us because you value your friends alot, and seem like the type to sacrifice alot for us. I like your unglam faces and onion hair. But of course, you look very cool with your hair up too. Thankfully, I’ll still see you in class. I love you, Kacy!

Mon Myint, I think you’re also very pretty as well. You’re very fit and look like one of those cool girls in those movies, ya know? You give us the chic vibe and generally I think you are very cool. Sadly, we didn’t get to talk much, and that was one of my biggest regrets. However, I still love you very much, and you are literally one of the coolest girls I have ever met, I shit you not. Nice legs, babe.

Najat, you are one of the cutest gals ever. Your little bob hair, the cutesy voice you have, and your pursuit for perfectionism is simply adorable. I thank you so much for introducing me to one of your secret spots – standing at the end of the Buona Vista train station and waiting for the train to whoosh past. That feeling for exhilaration and how we would giggle as we waved at the driver. Now, this has become one of the rituals I do whenever I feel stressed or upset. I love you, Najjie Wajjie.

Rachel, you are literally one of the most straightforward people I know. And I mean it in a good way. I admire you for being able to speak your mind and your “shit what other people thinks about me” attitude. I admire your ego too, haha. I’ll still see you in class, though, thankfully. Never lose that spark, okay? I think you looked very cute in your nerd specs phase. It was especially a pleasure to draw you out. You are Regina George – perceived as mean and straitforward, but fiercely loyal to those you know you. Most of all, lots of fun. Love you.

Hui Qin, you are one of the sentimental people I know. But that makes you you right? But when you smile, it’s bright and very pretty. So keep smiling. Many people care for you ,especially Beach Punk, so don’t feel like you’re ever alone. Sometimes your negative thoughts may consume you but I hope that you will be strong enough to push them away with your wide WIDE smile (: Stay happy, kiddo. I love you!

Vivien, I have seen you as a little kid before, and up till now, I still do. Haha, just kidding. Now, I see you as someone who is strong (stronger than me at least. Your arm wrestling skills though) and now I know that small is powerful! Thank you for being such a joy in my life because of your cuteness. I think you’re pretty when we selfie so we should selfie more~ I love you, little kid. Very much.

“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.”

If my Crescent journey was a long road, Crescent Girl Guides was the cement. It is one of the foundations to my enjoyable and memorable experience in Crescent. I have loved Guides very much, and there wasn’t a time, despite feeling worn out, where I couldn’t feel the passion for Guides warming my heart. Girl Guides is a sentence that lasted for three years, consisting of many exclamation marks, a few question marks, some ellipsis marks, but it has never fully ended with a solid full stop. Now I realize that Guides was never meant to be ended with a period, that it had meant so much to me that it would have to be ended with a semi colon.

A semi colon – representing a sentence that the author could have chosen to end, but didn’t want to. A story that would last forever.

Guides – it has influenced and “guided” me into becoming a more mature and down-to-earth person. I’m glad to have been able to have served as your CL, but it is time to step down. However, I assure you, that Guides will forever remain in my heart as a burning passion, akin to the cracking campfires we sat around and sang in a mellow tune:

(hmm) I want to linger here

(hmm) A little longer here

(hmm) A little longer here with you

(hmm) It’s such a perfect night,

(hmm) It doesn’t seem quite right

(hmm) This is my last night here with you

(hmm) And in September

(hmm) I will remember

(hmm) Our camping days and friendship true

(hmm) And as the years go by

(hmm) I’ll think of you and sigh,

(hmm) It’s just goodnight and not goodbye