Singapore

smash a pipe dream before it’s gone

It’s quite amusing how difficult even the smallest decisions are to make right now, at this junction in time. Or it would be, of course, if it was happening to someone else. I bought a lovely notebook on Granville Island – I was struggling between this CA7.50 one or the set of two slender Moleskine notebooks for CA15 – and I have scribbled pages and pages of winding thoughts and unfocused, day-dreamy future plans all the past three weeks.

God, has it already been a month since I’ve been back? Today’s work meeting was horrific. My days are peppered with realizations, major and minor, contradictory and rational, fleeting and insidious. I try to jot them all down before they retreat under the cover of weariness.

These days I enforce insomnia on myself, for reasons I do not fully comprehend. The night seems protective enough; there is dread of the new day with all its attendant expectations and the myriad of ways I could fail mine. The presence of my cell phone and the perpetual availability it traps me in irks me to no end.

As for my work, I seem stuck in a rut – maybe discipline and commitment are just not my fortes (and perhaps I shouldn’t post that too publicly for future employers’ edification), which is something that genuinely worries me at times. Persistence and constancy are things I have learnt to value, all the more so because I find their lack in myself. But I am too young to while my days away, I tell myself that. That part is easy. The difficult part is in figuring out which paths are the idle ones.

A surprisingly range of people have brought joy to my life recently. I don’t consciously miss the omnipresence of people around me, but I think the unfelt effects of their absence are cumulative. I was so glad when my mom came back from Beijing last night. The lunches and dinners with friends here have been extraordinarily pleasant, and some even inspiring. It is a lovely thing, to come back and see people in a new, thoroughly enjoyable light. In the same way people travel to discover foreign countries, in a sense – the analogy is imperfect – I am rediscovering my old friends like islands, cataloguing endemic species of interests, the changed topography of their personalities, the shallows of their seas. Being more comfortable now in my solitude, I view (some) friendship as an adventure, I suppose. It is so very exciting to consider the prospect of most everyone leaving, and to wonder how they would turn out, and how much they would change.

And so very sad, of course. That is a given. More than anything, more than anything – and maybe I am simply being silly and dramatic – this is as big and as amorphous an end as I have ever gone through. These days I catch myself gazing at huddled couples or giggling teens on public transport and wondering how thin and sweet and mild the stability in their relationships must be, without the threat of imminent departure or geographical separation or cultural conflict or any of those things, how on another moral scale they are inadvertently and with the best of intentions lying every time their mouths shape the words i love you. I still walk through super markets (the dwarf counterparts of those Canadian behemoths) and catch the slightest edge of dissonance, those movie-like shimmer in the fabric of reality in the distance, as though any second now a poorly glued piece of wallpaper will peel away to reveal the gaping white aisles of Superstore.

My emotions do frustrate me sometimes, seeing as they like to run amok (akin to my thoughts). But if there’s anything I should seek some solace in, it’s that there is no reason to feel this trapped. There are opportunities all around me, there really are.

(Still, this Saturday cannot come fast enough !)

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