Singapore

Most clearheaded than I remember feeling for a long time. Talked a lot today, I think – especially in the car on the way home. It’s good that I’m able to talk a lot more to my parents after I came back – again, I think it’s the distance.

In some ways, I feel more myself here. Or more thoughtlessly comfortable, because there’s so many people I know, out of the people I don’t, and it’s weird – I haven’t exactly figured it out yet, but time aside (which shouldn’t even be a factor anyway, because I lived on campus in Pearson for nine months while I’ve only been in RJ for seven), I feel a lot more at home in RJ than Pearson, despite the fact that I probably know technically more people in Pearson (all 180 of them plus faculty) compared to RJ. But I’m forming a vague theory that it’s partly the defined social circle – you’re expected to ignore people you don’t know, so for me they fade into the background and form a kind of amorphous buzz, whereas you definitely can’t do that in Pearson, and while you know them, you don’t feel close enough that there’s genuine feeling in saying hi, and you see them so often the involuntary familiarity starts feeling invasive, but you definitely can’t just ignore them either, because technically you know them. I think that discomforted me a lot, without my realizing the specific explanation for it. Also, I remember lamenting the simple lack of (platonic) attraction to a lot of people there, something that completely confounded and stressed me. I daresay most of my friends – i.e. people I actively talk to in RJ – are people that I like, instinctively (despite there being exceedingly good reasons, there’s also that extra element of sheer affection), people that will excite me when I see them. It’s hard for me to say that for Pearson people, or at least I don’t remember the feelings being comparable. I’ve been trying to figure it out for ages and ages, because I felt horrible that I didn’t like these awesome people the same unconditional, inexplicable way as I felt I do the people at home, and now I’d venture to say that partly it’s the smallness of the campus and the non-exclusivity of the relationships. When you know everyone and you’re friends with everyone, there isn’t that element of choice (and I suppose chance?) involved in your friendships with them, and they – just don’t feel that special? The romantic arbitrary-ness of the acquaintance is gone. But if you think about it, the people there are people from all over the world, people that you’d otherwise never have met. I guess another reason would also be the length of time spent together, and the constancy. I think I’m used to making friends through gradual, long-term interactions – class, CCA. I think I realized this briefly last year: that people need to ease into my social space, to linger there long enough that I get used to their presence, to flicker in and out until they’re part of the landscape.

I don’t know what these all mean. It’s surprised me how excited people have been to see me back – I expected some, but almost everyone I’ve met that I knew have been pleasantly surprised when they caught sight of me, and for some people that I haven’t actually even talked to at all, the connection was easy enough that I felt wrongfooted, in the best way possible. I think I’ll save the mushy happy thoughts for the end of next week, though! 

I guess I’m happy today? I went to the gym. I guess I like a loose structure to my life (by loose I mean, ‘accommodates my occasional lapses in productivity and judgment and discipline’ and ‘adjusts to my personal, capricious schedule’) because going to school really helps my EE productivity and mood. I was talking to  today and we realized my social circle is essentially RJ. No outside friends to speak of, whatsoever. We decided it was quite pathetic, actually.

… Man, I love weight training. Why did I ever stop? Also, I’m not watching TV today. Not not not! 

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