Friday, February 01, 2002

Thoreau says “Simplify, simplify”

Had another one of those thoughtful baths again. Funny how my mind goes racing around when I am either having a shower, or lying in the dark waiting to fall asleep (this happens only when I am not too tired too).

I was searching for a reason to why I was feeling pretty gloomy the past few days. Of course, some immediate matters sprung to mind right away, but it didn’t really dawn on me until just a couple of moments ago of how my future is looking quite bleak, for once in my life. Not bleak bleak, but boringly bleak.

Here is the current picture: My wonderful time here in London has only 5 more months to go. That is still about half of the entire length of my stint (9 months), and longer than 90% of the other NUS exchanges, but I guess in this case, measurement is more absolute than relative. Exams will be coming up in a few more months too, as it is work is piling up and I cannot afford to goof around as much as last term because there is no putting off the feeling-of-dread-at-end of the term anymore because of the exams. So mug, mug, mug, a bit more traveling, lots more cooking experiments and independent living, then I’ll be back into the cauldron in Singapore. Back into Year 3 and 4, which aren’t easy in themselves and matters made worse possibly by the fact that I will most probably have a bit of catching up to do since the course here has some glaring gaps. And finally, work. Real world. Big Momma. Stress. Office politics. And all that jest.

Something from her this week triggered a lot of these thoughts. In addition to thoughts of the future (which was while I was bathing, hah), I was thinking a lot about my past. Of ignorant, blissful isolation. To single-minded pursuits. To an overhaul of philosophies and eventually, a supposed pride that I have arrived with that. And then, what she said seemed to throw everything out of sync, all collapsing like a pack of fallen cards. Salvation, there was, and some stuff, are stronger now than ever. I guess. But most of the rest was left in doubt. Thinking of where I should go from there was when I was in the showers, so that’s the full picture.

Esp. when it comes to work, a few years down the road. Will I turn into just another general worker in the huge cold world society? Go to work, come on back, cook, put on your favourite cd, read your favourite book, do your favourite stuff, time for bed, wake up and the cycle repeats. The key is balance, moderation. But a very delicate line, indeed. Create a sanctuary for yourself, retreat when its needed, they said. But the warmth of it will always call out to you and you end up going back to it when the slightest obstacle hits. And eventually it turns stale, sanctuary and world are no longer divided and everything crumbles. So, more questions.

Came out of the bathroom and again the same guy waited till I was down the stairs to the next landing before he came down. You are so damn clever, dude, I didn’t know you were so desperate to bathe that you didn’t mind waiting in the shadows for me to finish, and rustling your plastic bag so noisily after I was out of sight, but not out of hearing that I eventually still knew that you were there. Hey, a hello doesn’t hurt if you wait just outside and not be labeled a weirdo dude.

In the near future, I still have 3 lab reports to write, to end by this weekend. Finishing fluid mechanics by 14th Feb (phew). Stats tutorial to be done by this weekend too. New stats coursework coming up next Monday. Finish reaction engineering left-over tutorials by Mar (hopefully).

So many questions, so many questions about questions, so little time.

Been: doing work diligently until last two days; Stonehenge