I had to attend a farewell party at my boss's place last night and I wish I hadn't gone. I really didn't feel up to it, both because I really wasn't in the mood to socialise and because I played tennis till six and I was really tired. Still, I dragged myself there, thinking it was the adult and responsible thing to do considering I'd already RSVP-ed, but my absence wouldn't have made a lick of difference. I'm starting to think, actually, that I have been oblivious to my low self-esteem and general feelings of inadequacy all this while. Last night brought a significant portion of that to the fore. One of the people leaving is going to New York to do an LLM on a full scholarship. As much as I know it is unhealthy to do so, I can't help but compare myself to others - and these days, I feel utterly inadequate and lost. Everyone else seems to know exactly what they're doing with their lives; they're going somewhere, or they have already done things, and are going along at a leisurely pace.
Me? I am choking underwater. I haven't the faintest idea what I'm doing. I'm currently reading Penelope Fitzgerald's Innocence (with an introduction by Julian Barnes), which is set in Florence, and I have these fantasies of going to Italy and wandering around for a few months, sitting in the sun in an Italian villa with a glass of wine, talking to the locals, and writing about it all, and the stories that live in my head.
I wish I hadn't gone to law school. I wish I hadn't returned to Singapore. I wish I'd came up with a better career plan than 'to do a PhD and see what happens' because even if it happens this year, I don't see it erasing the constant angst that keeps haunting me over a choice that I made when I was 18. I'm so tired of this; so tired of myself. I'm so tired of my life, this aimless, pointless existence. i just want to get away from it all, but I can't. I don't know where to go or what to do.
I'm going to Bangkok in the first week of June for a conference which falls on Thursday and Friday, and naturally, I'm only flying back on Sunday. I have a burning urge to get lost wandering the streets of an unfamiliar city with just enough cash to feed myself and get myself a taxi back to my four-star hotel when I've had enough.
Or do something more drastic. But no, of course not; I am as safe as the streets of Singapore.
My mom wants to come with me on this trip. The mood that I am in now makes that proposal quite a burden, and I told her as much, and now she's mad at me. I wonder if my parents can even understand the concept of needing some alone time...I don't even feel like talking about it at all.
Unlike the last time I broke up before this current one, I feel absolutely no urge to go out on random dates with random guys. I can't be arsed at all. There is something incredibly enervating about the thought of dating in Singapore, and the predictability of a person once you find out basic things about him - where he went to school, what he studied in university, what he currently does. And then talking about mutual friends if he shares the same background as me. And then talking about law firms and the legal profession. If not, then there is nothing much to talk about.
I know I whine a lot about Singapore being boring. I am probably being rather unfair and harsh in my assessment of this country and its people, perhaps the majority of the time. Still, people from certain backgrounds are quite predictable in their behaviour and outlooks on life. They seem content with their comfortable jobs and HDB flats and husband/wife and babies. They accept the confinements of the four walls that insulate Singapore from the rest of the world. I often think that I would be much happier if I could be like that too - find a decent guy who makes a decent amount of money, get a decent HDB flat in a decent location, get a decent job, have decent kids, have a decent life...
Perhaps a hidden peril of reading is that it creates unrealistic expectations of life. After all, life is mostly ordinary, frequently mundane, and often banal. Most lives aren't worthy of being storied; but that's what I demand of mine anyway. I expect too much of life, and that is why I am always disappointed.
Hence, Wouter couldn't have been the panacea. A huge reason for my sadness is because of him, of course. Last night, a colleague asked about him, not knowing that we'd broken up because I don't go around divulging aspects of my private life randomly to people. An awkward moment ensued and I tried to say that I am re-assessing the situation, but it came out warbled and the point didn't get across. Then, in an uncharacteristically unguarded moment, I brought it up on my own accord to the husband of another colleague, shortly after he said that they did long distance for years, including after getting married. The guy nodded, paused, and said, Maybe we should go mingle.
It was funny how, when the guy said he was in IT, I immediately thought of Wouter; and more so when he made a predictable joke about how he wasn't a nerd and could talk to people. Wouter said the same thing. Or, of course, it wasn't funny at all, just entirely expected, natural.
I miss him so much. I could die from this pain.