It says a lot about me, how I find those emails alienating and foreign. It also says a lot about the person I was back then, my self-image hopelessly downsized to a sub-standard interpretation of who I was. If that impression had stuck, if that perception of myself were anywhere near the truth, I honestly think that I would much rather die than to be alive.
There are many things about myself that I take fierce pride in, that I can't imagine ever living without. My brain, for one; my command of English, for another. Definitive things that go to the very root of who I am as a person, things without which I will cease to be myself. And if I can't recognise myself, if I can't live with myself, there's really no point in living.
And so it was with some horror that I read those emails and saw, with great clarity, the insecurity and unworthiness that I felt about myself back then. Because now I can't imagine getting through each day not believing in my worth, my strength, everything that I have to offer to this world and to the people in my life, the people that I love, the people to whom I choose to say 'I love you'. The depths of all that I have to give to someone whom I deem worthy of receiving them knew no bounds; how could I have thought that none of it was worth his time?
For the first time in quite a while, I kind of feel like crying. Not for the same reasons anymore, but for that poor, sorry girl I was only less than a year ago, the girl I could be right now. I feel so sad for her, so sorry, not because she couldn't keep the guy, but because she saw herself in such a horribly negative, pathetic light. And why? Why? I don't understand. And one would think that I should considering I wrote those words, but there's nothing left in common anymore between who I am now and the words written by the person I was.
But more pertinently, how did such a sad, sorry girl survive those dark days with no one but herself to rely on? I suppose it is true, that old tired cliche, "What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger." Except I don't think that girl saw it as building up her strength, but trying to get through each day such that she comes out of the whole mess relatively unscathed. Could she have known that she would eventually emerge, much like a phoenix, with more confidence, more self-love, than ever?
I remember not believing that things would really get better. I remember feeling really, really bad for a really, really long period of time, feeling like my world had ended and that I was irreparably damaged. I was feeling damaged not so long ago, perhaps two months ago. I think I wrote about it before my Evidence paper.
But I am not a damaged good. There is no one in the world that I'm not good enough for, but so many people who are not good enough for me. For me to have ever thought otherwise is just a huge, huge joke, a Kafka nightmare from which I am so relieved and glad to have finally woken up. And I think, too, that the final battle might have already been won.
Chloe was right. I haven't lost my capacity to love. Maybe I won't love in the same way (ugh, I better not), but it doesn't make it any less significant or real. Saying "it won't ever be the same again" is meaningless; no two events are ever the same and so those words fail to import the brand of doomed finality its speaker attempted to signify.
Of course, I don't have all the answers. I still wonder about how real and reliable and true love is when it can end so quickly and just like that, and how we'd ever really know if we're making the right choices. But I went from thinking I'm permanently damaged to proclaiming that I'm not actually damaged in less than two months. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I don't think there's anything in the world that I can't do now that I've done this.
Perhaps the most important lesson of 2007 wasn't that life goes on, but that there is really nothing in the world that is worth trading my self-worth, my confidence, and my (deep and immense and FOREVA) love for myself for. Poor ex-me, but good riddance all the same. I can't live with that person and still be sane. And you know what? I would much rather be snobbish, arrogant, and egoistic than be weak, pathetic, and insecure. Thank you very much.
I'm quite sleepy and I intended to work on my paper but I ended up writing this entry. Note to self: Don't dig up contentious emails when you want to do work that really, really, really needs to be done.
Oh, my paper. What am I going to do with you? My plan has failed miserably. All I've done so far? Open up a folder to store my drafts, edited my submitted paper for grammar and phrasing, wrote some stream of consciousness crap about the Thailand conflict and how the government should always take the moral high ground and not respond to violence with violence, and pasted back the details of the tension between the Taiwanese and the mainland Chinese in the 1940's that I cut out from the original final product when I was reducing the word count. And that's pretty much it.
The most difficult part is the part on human rights that the Prof asked me to expand. I have no idea what to do with it. I have half a mind to just send it to my Prof and tell him that I'm done and have him point out, in details, what I need to work on. But honestly, if I did that, he'd think that I'm completely retarded, and I can't have him think that. He's the first professor in the faculty that ever praised me! I can't have him think I'm stupid, or lazy, even though I am definitely lazy, though never stupid. But such details about yourself are generally details that you don't exactly want your professors to know.
Fuck lah I need to get the damn thing ready for publication. It has to be fucking done, no matter what, even if I killed myself over it. It has to be done.
But I don't know what to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And I really feel like sleeping after I post this. Grrr.
Anyway, on another note, I really think that the stupid dressing on my gum should fall off sometime soon. I can't go out like this; I look horrendous! Of course I can go out and keep my mouth closed but what's the point of doing that? And how am I supposed to keep my mouth closed when I'm meeting my friends, which I will be doing on Wednesday and Thursday? Thankfully I'm seeing the dentist on Friday; there's no way I can go to school looking like this.
The dentist is damn nice though. He did the procedure at 5.30, which was overtime for him, and he's seeing me at 1 on Friday which is his lunch time! He's so busy that he couldn't slot me in without encroaching into his non-work time. What a nice guy. I can only hope that there's nothing wrong with my gum 'cause I wouldn't feel good about blaming a nice guy like him should my gum torpedo on me and become even worse. That shouldn't happen, right? I really hope it doesn't.
Remember that thing I said about needing to watch Reservation Road? Well, I unduly influenced Marcus into watching it with me. I'm not sure if it was a good decision at all; it was certainly one made at 2 in the morning when I wasn't really thinking straight. The problem is, the dressing refuses to fall off and it seems rather happy being stuck on my gum, and we made some vague plans to watch it on Wednesday evening. But now? Let me get one thing straight: There is No Effing Way I'm going out with a guy when I can't laugh and can't smile properly because there is something on my gum. Not only is there something on my gum; there is something large and ostentatious on my gum. It just cannot happen.
Evidently I failed to consider everything when I texted Marcus at 2 in the morning, "I want to watch Reservation Road. Watch with me!" Because evidently I failed to consider what would happen if the dressing doesn't fall off, which it was supposed to do YESTERBLOODYDAY. I just assumed that it would be off by Tuesday. But it's 1.45 a.m. on Tuesday and it's still stuck on to my gum and teeth. And I don't dare to peel it off, just in case. So there's no way I can go out with Marcus on Wednesday if it's still there, which means that I will risk the very real possibility on the movie disappearing on me after Thursday.
OH NOOOOO. I will die if I don't watch Reservation Road! It's the first Joaquin movie since Walk the Line!!!! And Walk the Line was TWO YEARS AGO! I watched it with Peixuan when I was still chubby, in YEAR ONE! OMG that is seriously ages ago!
Marcus is too nice to tell me, "I don't want to play a part in you indulging in your retarded Joaquin Phoenix as your husband fantasies." I mean, that's totally what I would tell myself. That is, if I weren't myself. I could totally watch the movie on my own, gum dressing and all, but I can't watch it with Marcus, gum dressing and all!
Okay, I think I'm retarded. Maybe I should call whoever's distributing it and find out when it's ending. I mean, it did just open on January 3, but I cannot risk it disappearing before I watch it and I am very paranoid when it comes to a Joaquin Phoenix movie, so yes, I think I will call the distributors. This is of utmost importance, you understand? He's my husband!
(Side note: I can't believe he's doing a movie with Gwyneth Paltrow. I can't believe I'm going to have to make myself watch Gwyneth Paltrow in a movie. I can't believe I'm so devoted to my husband.)
Of course, it's entirely possible that I'd wake up later on and decide that I really don't care about the gum dressing and that the movie is more important than my vanity. Besides, Super Cute Receptionist With Amazingly Flawless Skin at the dental clinic had already seen me at my most disgusting (bloodied gum, anyone? With goggles on? And a freaking shower cap? Though I'm sure they don't call that blue thing a shower cap) and ugly, and...I think I've lost the plot. 'Cause I was thinking about how maybe Super Cute Receptionist isn't a receptionist, because how can someone who could've passed off as a doctor be a receptionist? But how would that explain why he was at the receptionist desk? But then again, it was after-hours and the woman receptionist had left. Why am I even talking about this? Hopefully he'd be around on Friday bwahahahah.
Anyway, I wonder how many SMSes I've sent this month and I really hope that it doesn't go over the limit by too much. Marcus and I have these daily SMS conversation things that go on for ages until one of us have to sleep. One reason why I can actually do it is because there are gaps between the messages, so I don't feel compelled to answer immediately. The lack of a non-immediate answer doesn't make me feel like I'm being harassed, which is what happens sometimes when SMS conversations are instantaneous and seemingly never-ending. And you know, I'm really not much of an SMS person (though I do prefer it to MSN), especially now when the space button on my phone has decided that it feels like half dying on me. So it helps that I don't dislike Marcus, much unlike this other dude who bombarded me with never-ending SMS conversations that only bugged the shit out of me because they were incessant and never-ending. And the guy seriously, seriously pissed me off. At one point I just stopped answering his text messages completely, and I was really quite amazed when he'd still text me occasionally, expecting a reply, when I was already ignoring him on MSN and in SMSes. Thankfully it's since petered off and I hope it stays that way.
Also, something has to be said about trying to dispense advice to discouraged friends on MSN at 2 in the morning when your brain is asleep and your eyes can't keep themselves open without help from your fingers: It is painful. You want to help your friend, but you can't help your friend because you really want to sleep, so your help becomes half-baked and nonsensical. So you end up making abstract statements that are more throw-away than anything useful or substantial, so poor friend. Maybe next time.
I'm getting to that brain asleep stage and it's already 2.21 a.m. Prudence says it's time for bed. I'll read a bit of Emotionally Weird (yes, I'm finally reading this, two years after buying it) before that.
Oh, I applied for internships. Already. How kiasu. But Mag actually told me to apply much earlier, like three weeks earlier, so I'm rather late. I'm thinking that I could do without an internship altogether because I only want a two-week internship in May; I won't do one in June, and there's obviously no point in doing one in July (since pupillage application is July 1). More importantly, I am only slightly uncertain about wanting to do criminal law, so it doesn't make much sense to intern at firms that don't do criminal law - meaning murder and rape and all that grisly shit - when I've already done an internship at a firm that is famed for its criminal law work. And yet, the ambitious part of me kept prodding me to get off my lazy ass and apply; that part is keeping me from making a firm decision re. pupillage, and so I'm really just undecided. That's why I applied for internships.