February 20th, 2019

Charah coffee


This burgeoning habit that I have of engaging less and less with my thoughts--that is, by writing them down--is rather worrying. It has come to be such a fundamental part of myself that surrendering to the laziness night after night may very well come to have rather deleterious effects on my sense of self and identity. (This, it must be said, contradicts a crucial argument that I am makng in my PhD. Either I need to revise the argument or I need to revise my notion of what constitutes my identity.) But it's just tiring. Being mired in my own thoughts for a substantive part of the day; it makes my head hurt. Like I have said before, it makes me not want to think anymore when I'm in bed at night, and so it makes me not want to engage personally, with my thoughts about...things. Even articulating it seems to be too much effort.

The PhD is a relentless source of stress, and Chapter 3 is a chapter that refuses to be done, to go quietly into the night, and so I can't move on. And so I can't finish by the time that I want to finish and it's just aggravating.

There's also a side project, an abstract about being human that I submtited to a postgraduate journal in Ireland just for fun, and it's been accepted and I really want to write this paper because I'm more interested in it than I am in my PhD (familiarity breeds contempt and all that) but...I just don't have the time. When I do have the time, I don't have the energy, not in the morning, not at the end of the day. So just make time, right? I will try. Shame, though, that the novels that I want to use to construct the notion of human freedom that has emerged in modern societies are in Singapore. (They are: Brave New World, The Handmaid's Tale, 1984. A Level literature revisited.)

I'm just...there is this pervasive sense that I am suspended in time even as it mechanically keeps on ticking. I am putting important decisions--about where to live, what to do--on the backburner because this PhD is dominating and tyrannical. There is nothing real about this...this esoteric enterprise, abstract analysing, philosophical fumbling about towards an end that I'm not sure I had properly considered. What comes next will be more of the same: taking the easy option, the most immediate one, because I am unwilling (because afraid) not to do so.

But writing. Can I really write? I don't think I can. So I should just forget all about it.


Honestly, I would rather read either Zadie Smith's White Teeth or Joanna Bourke's What It Means to be Human right now than to crash and burn my way through this entry and its disjointed thoughts.


On a more light-hearted note, I have been running. I need to run a 10k by the end of this week, and a 15 or 17k by the middle of next week. I honestly cannot believe that I'm gonna be running 21.1km in a week and a half when I have spent the past 4 weeks not running.

I will need all the luck that I can get.