February 8th, 2017

kiri win


Reading - skimming, to be precise - entries about G brought back memories about how amazing and shitty this person made me feel. My lackadaisical attempts to prevent this person from trampling all over my pride were simultaneously pathetic and valiant; pathetic because I didn't even really try, and valiant because I couldn't have really tried even if I had wanted to. My heart could listen to no reason. My heart did whatever the hell it wanted. All that it wanted back then was him. How tragically stupid.

Yesterday, I spoke briefly to my parents on FaceTime. For the first time in a long time, my father gave me relationship advice. He'd stopped commenting on my relationships for a while now, barely saying anything when I was Singapore and responding to B's efforts to lay some groundwork during the time I was away. I told my mom, who told my dad, things about him, including his offer to pick me up from the airport. Dad said nothing, merely asked about his qualifications. Even when I told my mom about what happened with B on Friday night in my room, my dad kept quiet. And so I was surprised when he had something to say yesterday.

不要急, he said. 慢慢来. 好好找对象.

I gave the issue some thought and I conclude the following. I rush at it not because I feel old, or that I am in a rush to settle down; I rush at it because it has been six months or so since I last had a boyfriend and I am a serial monogamist, and I don't like to be by myself. I can get used to it out of necessity, but I always feel as if there is something incomplete about my life. Sometimes this feeling of incompletion becomes loneliness; but for the most part, I don't feel lonely all that much. I just feel as if there is a piece of the puzzle that is my life which is missing, and so I rush at finding it. But mostly, I rush at finding instant gratification, and if this instant gratification has long-term potential, then that's the cherry on top.

This is the whole reason - the whole reason - I have been stuck in an endless cycle of failed relationships for the past few years. I jump from one relationship to the next, hoping that one would stick, and when it fails, I have the audacity to be surprised when it should have been clear from the start that being wilfully blind to the lack of fit (at least prima facie) between me and the other person is exactly what makes a failed relationship.

Ironically, my fling (whatever one wishes to call it) with B was quite literally the only time in my whole life when I did not go in half-blind, when I knew exactly what I did not like about him and confronted it, thought about it, talked about it. Perhaps I inadvertently rushed at it, but perhaps that is also simply the consequence of being swept away by a powerful tidal wave of new feelings for a new person.

In any event, I think he rushed at it more than I did. This brings to mind Josh's statement about the personalities of people who drive sports cars. I thought it was stupidly reductive at the time (and so did B) but now, I think he has a point. People who drive sports cars, according to Josh, rush at things without first thinking them through. At the time, I said, 'Yeah that's probably true; I like sports cars and I rush at things.' When I told B about this, he dismissed it and said it was one of the dumbest things he'd ever heard from someone at Cambridge.

Well. Is it not true that he didn't really think things through before pursuing this thing with me? Religion wasn't an issue, but oh wait, now it suddenly is because she forced me to think about it (among other reasons); I want a relationship, or I think I want a relationship, but oh wait, I can't, I am not ready, because I don't know where my career is headed (among other reasons). Putting aside the least favourable interpretation of the facts (i.e. he simply wasn't that into me and made up excuses), this shows to me that what Josh said wasn't that reductive, wasn't that off-the-mark, wasn't that ridiculous after all.

Clearly, then, there is a fundamental lack of fit: while I was thinking through my rushing, he was rushing without thinking; and when the thoughts finally caught up, he decided to jam on the brakes. Fair enough. Better now than later that he realised he didn't really know what he wanted. It is just ironic, rather melancholically so, that the first person I used my brain for ultimately couldn't meet me halfway.


I am inclined to give up on dating for the remainder of my PhD, but I know that I will get so bored after a while because the serial monogamist in me cannot sit still. At the same time, dating is so boring after a while; it is like going on multiple job interviews for jobs that you don't really want. But this isn't an issue for the present. I literally cannot stomach the idea right now.


I wanted to go to the law faculty at 10ish but it's now 11.14am and I am still sitting in my room, writing this useless entry. It's time to get off my ass and get a move on.
kiri win

(no subject)

Do I miss the person, or do I miss the thing? Do I miss him when I find myself unable to focus on writing the PhD because thoughts of him float treacherously into my mind, or do I miss what he represented? Or are the two not mutually exclusive? Maybe I miss him as a person, as well as what he represented: the boyfriend figure. Maybe I miss something else that he represented: a genuine connection with another. Maybe it is this that I miss, too: my unguardedness around another, the sense of freedom from loosening the self-protective shackles around my heart; and that wonderful feeling of trusting another with my open, defenceless heart.

Marc asked tonight if one ever truly recovers from these things, as if 'recovering' means moving forward and starting anew with a blank slate. I think that this is an impossibility. I think that we are all bogged down by the combined weight of all our experiences. This latest episode is a mere blip on the radar that represents my love life due to its brevity; and yet, it is not, for there are consequences. My heart will once again be jealously guarded; I will be extremely sceptical of men and their professed feelings going forward; and I will be less trusting of my own feelings. I already feel the jadedness setting in.

I am just damn fucking sian of all this - all of this. Ultimately, though, I am frustrated with myself. I am annoyed at how affected I am (why should I be?). I am frustrated with my seeming inability to be by myself. I hate that, at the core of it, I am not the strong, independent woman that I want to be. So to this pathetic needy snivelling piece of shit that currently inhabits my amazing body: fuck you very much. Fuck you, fuck off, fucking go to hell and don't ever come back.


A completely random thought: since I've always wanted a lesbian experience, maybe this is a good time for one.


Anyway, let's move on to other matters.

I watched Whiplash last night. I would say that I enjoyed it, but 'enjoyment' isn't the right word. I appreciated it. It was hard to enjoy it because of the tension that ran throughout the film; but this is not a criticism, for that is exactly the theme that it explores and the mood that it went for, and so it is a very successful film in that regard. The film essentially poses this question: how far would you go to get what you want? This theme of ambition is very interesting to me. But because this film is so tensed and oppressive, it didn't move me the way La La Land did. Still, I thought it was a good film.

This dialogue, though, between the main character (the ambitious music student) and his love interest hit a little bit too close to home:

Andrew: I'm just gonna lay it out there. This is why I don't think we should be together. And I've thought about it a lot and this is what's gonna happen. I'm gonna keep pursuing what I'm pursuing. And because I'm doing that, it's gonna take up more and more of my time. And I'm not gonna be able to spend as much time with you. And when I do spend time with you, I'm gonna be thinking about drumming. And I'm gonna be thinking about jazz music, my charts, all that. And because of that, you're gonna start to resent me. And you're gonna tell me to ease up on the drumming, spend more time with you because you're not feeling important. And I'm not gonna be able to do that. And really, I'm gonna start to resent you for even asking me to stop drumming. And we're just gonna start to hate each other. And it's gonna get very... It's gonna be ugly. And so for those reasons, I'd rather just, you know, break it off clean... because I wanna be great.

Nicole: And you're not?

Andrew: I wanna be one of the greats.

Nicole: And I would stop you from doing that?

Andrew: Yeah.

Nicole: You know I would stop you from doing that. You know, for a fact?

Andrew: Yes.

Nicole: And I'd barely see you anyway?

Andrew: Yeah.

Nicole: And when I do see you, you'd treat me like shit because I'm just some girl who doesn't know what she wants. And you have a path, and you're gonna be great, and I'm going to be forgotten, and therefore you won't be able to give me the time of day because you have bigger things to pursue?

Andrew: That's exactly my point.

Nicole: What the fuck is wrong with you? You're right, we should not be dating.


I shall end this on a happy note and say that I think I just finished one chapter of my PhD. Sure, it is in a dire state of shit, the sections are not at all proportionate, and I haven't revised the chunks that I took from my first year paper; essentially, it still needs a lot of work.

But. I finished one chapter of my PhD.

I finished one chapter of my PhD.

Five more chapters to go and I am done! Maybe I can pull this off in 3 years after all.

I am finally going to read Kwame Athony Appiah's The Ethics of Identity tomorrow. I hope it gives me interesting materials for chapter 3.

Chapter 1/Introduction is actually the easiest chapter to write; but because it's doctrinal and quite descriptive, it's also the most boring to write. But no one says that chapter-writing has to be chronological, right?


I left my novel in the law faculty. Barry kindly retrieved it for me but he's off somewhere having fun with friends, so I can't get it back tonight. I hate not having something to read before I sleep. I shall read some philosophy then; continue with Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus.