Singapore

all the goodbyes I don’t know how to say

I wonder if this is what it’s like having a cycle I cannot  break. It seems impossible for me to sustain class attendance for longer than a few weeks at a time.

Yesterday I read a few things online that made me very, very excited about university. It seems like a whole new frontier for me to break, and all sorts of – new people, new sights, new classes. I wonder if this is how it’s always going to be with me, this eagerness to move on to new places, new lives, the itchy feet, this fidgeting. Or I just need space, space I can engage in. Last night, I was reading up on contemporary social issues for philosophy, and in particular, the discourse focused on the phenomenon of cities. It recalls the few conversations I’ve had with people about my attitude towards cities, which was that, essentially, they were necessary for human achievements. Great things happen in cities. During a philosophy class where we had to discuss our ideal states, there was a trend towards discrete, isolated, self-sufficient communities, a reversion to agricultural economy, a more sedate pace of life. Naturally it is my background that drives me to dismiss that lifestyle as inefficient and placid, but I do think it’s true that it’s difficult for genuine breakthroughs in any field/discipline to occur in that environment. There isn’t sufficient drive or time or resources for that. Then again, all the questions about knowledge for knowledge’s sake, and the purpose of technology, invention, progress. I was watching a great lecture on Youtube last night by a cultural critic, Neil Postman, who said that six questions must be asked of any new technology. One of them was, what problem does it solve? Another one was, whose problem is it? Very penetrating questions, I think.

I’m getting distracted by all the random bouts of pure panic. There is a gaping chasm of insecurity under this tightrope I feel I’m walking with my study schedule, my eight, seven, six hours a day, the knowledge I’m supposed to have accrued over the two years I whiled away, a marked ambiguity about the threshold of success. I’m not worried about my potential, I’m worried about its realization. Which would be braver of me, to succeed – or to fail?

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