November 21st, 2018

Charah coffee

(no subject)

My writing; so lazy! If there were to be one particular cause for the failure that is my life, it would, without a shadow of a doubt, be my laziness; and with that, my chronic lack of self-discipline. It is staggering that I have written only two entries this month; and I have no other excuse other than my laziness.

On second thought, if I were to be completely honest (and why wouldn't I be? It's my journal after all), being in a stable, even if budding, relationship has taken away some of the need to write...which presently recalls to my mind (because I have just read it) what Simone de Beauvoir wrote in The Second Sex. Namely:

Moreover, even when she chooses independence, she none the less makes a place in her life for man, for love. She is likely to fear that if she devotes herself completely to some undertaking, she will miss her womanly destiny. ... she will give only what is strictly necessary to her studies, her career, when in these domains nothing is so necessary as the superfluous. It is not a matter of mental weakness ... but rather of division between interests difficult to reconcile. A vicious circle is established and it is often astounding to see how readily a woman can give up music, study, her profession, once she has found a husband. She has dearly involved too little of herself in her plans to find much profit in accomplishing them.

I'm not saying that I have found a husband in E (though that is not entirely unlikely), but it has evolved into a stable relationship that is entirely drama-free; and without the drama, I don't feel the need to write as much as I used to when my life was embroiled with seeming neverending man drama. This, of course, should not be the case. Even if I have subconsciously and unknowingly become a woman as an object, I am still radically free, per Jean-Paul Sartre (and de Beauvoir as well), to choose to transcend my objectivity and assert my presence in this world as a subject in my own right. This means, I think, choosing independence with full sincerity, sans mauvaise foi, not using it as a fodder to hide some oppressive need to be fulfilled by a man.

Do I really need to be fulfilled by a man? It was only when I finally discarded this idea and started to be comfortable with myself and by myself that I stopped feeling the urgency to find a relationship...and then E happened, at precisely the moment when I wasn't looking for or even wanted a relationship. This is one of the many reasons that we work so well: I don't feel as if I need him, and so having him in my life is a choice that I make every day because I want it, and him, and this relationship with him because it enhances my life, precisely because it does not fulfill it, or complete it. He makes better something that is already good.

And so this relationship began at the right moment. It is true, too, that there is no need to overthink love and how it feels and why it is so; it is actually futile to think about it because all the cerebral analysing of its mechanics and whether it makes sense to feel it after a short duration cannot foresee or anticipate the very real fact of how it happens. That is: waking up one day and realising, yes, I love him too; I don't know why exactly, I just do.

I tried to hold back saying it because I was afraid it was too soon, but it must have been on my face and the way I looked at him that one night when his pleasure was the only thing that mattered to me in the moment, because later on, when we were cuddling in bed and I said, 'I think I love you', he said, 'I know you do.'

It had been three years since I last told someone that I loved him. This scared me a lot; someetimes, I'm not sure whether I'm more afraid of being left, or of leaving; of his change of heart, or of my own caprices. But I told him everything that was on my mind anyway, in the exact manner that we've communicated these things to each other so far, and all he did was to confirm what I already knew: that here he is, finally, the strong and stable man whom I sought desperately and in futility and blindly in the wrong man just six months ago.

It's still lingering at the back of my mind, and so I can't help but wonder whether it wouldn't be just a matter of time before I wake up one day and realise that I don't love him anymore. I suppose this is why I think about it so much, what love means, what it means for me to love, whether I am capable of it (especially given what happened with Wei Chuen). I keep thinking that, if I can figure out the answers to these questions, maybe I can finally stop falling out of love with good men that I should stay in love with.

But perhaps that is the problem, and one that de Beauvoir has pinpointed. I think that a man is my destiny even as I seek to assert my own value as a being in myself in this world. At some subliminal level, I think that I have to settle down with a man, but this cuts against my sense of independence that doesn't want to be tied down to another. But because my social conditioning is so complete that I have come to be convinced that I need a stable relationship leading to marriage to have a fully human life, I put too much pressure on myself to stay committed and in love when this should be a choice, not an obligation, certainly not my destiny; and even if it were my destiny, it ought to be one that I choose. For it is in choosing it that I affirm its value, and it is in choosing it that I remain free to be committed to another.

So the paradigm has to be different; it can't be that I need to get married, but that I want to get married to the right person, and in getting married, I am choosing to curtail my independence with a social institution that is too inconvenient to unravel (a side note: I believe that the reason I want to get married instead of staying in a long term relationship is because I need the legal commitment to stay committed when things inevitably become stale and boring).

Existentialist philosophy is pretty amazing, isn't it?


A brief run-down on what I've been up to:

1. E and I watched some matches at the ATP World Tour Finals. One of them was Roger Federer vs. Dominic Thiem. It was E's first time watching Roger live, so I was happy for us that Roger won and played pretty well.

2. I had a seminar on Sartre's Existentialism and Humanism in Cambridge on Friday. My usual nervousness about speaking in front of people increased exponentially when I was introduced to Simon Blackburn before the session started. Still, I was very happy with my 15-minute introduction; it was actually the smoothest presentation I'd ever done, ever. I don't know if it was due to the fact that I'm really interested in this branch of philosophy and so I really wanted to get my thoughts across...well, that must be it, no? The session also made me miss the intellectual-ness that goes on in Cambridge and now I am toying with the idea of moving back when my London lease expires. I just don't know where I'd stay that isn't insanely far away from town and the faculty...

3. I'm back in Singapore and I ran 6km this morning at 6am. The combination of the weather and the slopes around my area pretty much killed me.

I'm tired!