anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,

I'm Trying

I finally heard back from the LSE and it was yet another rejection. It should have been quite telling when Dr K didn't reply to my email about what was going on with the application; yet, it felt like a punch in the gut all the same. I'm not accustomed to rejections. I have very little recollection of experiencing rejection prior to my horrible job-hunting experience in London. Those six months really did a number on me, such that it subconsciously created a fear in me of re-feeling those emotions, mostly depressing ones, interwoven with vague moments of empty hope and desperate self-confidence; and like I mentioned before, it was the newfound fear of rejection that brought me back home to Singapore. I still regret it.

I regret it because Wouter said, 'Yea stupid LSE for not welcoming back their top student.' If I'd been rejected more times in my life; if I hadn't been so overly keen on protecting my pride...maybe I wouldn't have pushed away someone who was always on my side, and who would've always been on my side.


I find it so hard to talk to him or write about him or seriously think about him because I end up with pain in my throat and wetness in my eyes. I can't let go of this one and I can't move on. It was not a satisfactory conclusion. It feels unresolved. It still feels alive, as if we're only on a break; a significant part of me still thinks he's mine. At times when I'm crying through my warbled thoughts, I get the urge to pick up my phone and call him and make him promises that I won't be confident of keeping when my mood later stabilises.

What would be the point of that? I fight those urges, don't tell him that I miss him, forcibly redact the words 'I still love him'. I won't be led astray by my emotions once more. I won't drag him down with me like I did this time last year.


How do I feel about the latest rejection. Well. I don't really care. It's too bad. It's not the end of the world. Anyway, I have a lot more to learn. It was always going to be somewhat evident that I didn't really know what my topic was about...because I didn't know. Anyway, my current job, if I actually work at it, should put me in better stead for when I apply again.


Speaking of the job, we had another experts' meeting early this week, and this time, I was in charge of running it. Thankfully it was on a much smaller scale than the previous one so it wasn't too taxing. That I organised it meant that I could pick where to go for dinner, and after throwing out many suggestions made by Mark and Emily for a host of reasons, I decided on PS Cafe. It was a great decision; the two overseas guests (one of them knighted, the other one a young Singaporean with a PhD living in The Hague married to a Spaniard) could walk back to their hotels from the restaurant, and they liked the place. Win/win.

The meeting was on international dispute resolution. There may be a couple of things that I can do. I'm in the process of writing the report summarising the discussion, and while I had a hard time concentrating on it, I must say that it is pretty interesting.


I'm still playing tennis and swimming, though I'm getting increasingly paranoid about absorbing chlorine into my skin and I really need a damn swimming cap because my hair is turning into hay.

I restrung my racquet with the same couple at Lucky Plaza with the same Prince hybrid (polyester/multifilament) strings. I liked it the last time before it broke. After it broke, I played with the new racquet, full polyester, and I probably got used to it because when I played with the new strings, I couldn't control jack shit. I like the multifilament because it feels softer, but I kept sending the ball long or flying when I played with it. I really should've told the guy to increase the tension. On Tuesday night I made myself play with it to get used to it because it cost me $40 but it just got me irritated.

Sigh. I'm never going to use different strings for my racquets ever again. I probably won't use a multifilament string for a while, too; it costs too much. Poly strings don't break ever, but multifilament breaks after 2-3 months - and this is in the context of my subpar playing ability and average strength.


I just finished Fitzgerald's Innocence. I didn't like it as much as Offshore; some parts were a bit boring and I couldn't keep track of some of the characters. Still, I really admire her supremely understated style. I haven't read a writer in recent memory who fully understands the art of economy of words and simplicity of sentences. In a sense, she was a quintessential British writer; she did none of the flashy over-written convoluted sentences choked with words plucked from a thesaurus that characterises many of the American writers that I've read in my lifetime, as well as writers fond of dense passages like Elizabeth Bowen and even John Banville (the latter, though, writes more poetically than the former; I simply didn't get Bowen and I don't think I'd ever read her again). I like a long, complex sentence as much as the next person, but there is something to be admired and appreciated in a writer who conveys complex situations and interactions with short, economical and simple sentences. There is elegance in simplicity, and Penelope Fitzgerald's writing truly embodies that.

I read Zoe Heller's Notes on a Scandal before Innocence. I borrowed it from the library thinking that it would be trashy entertainment, but I was really, really surprised by how well-written it is. In a way, this book lends serious credence to the saying 'don't judge a book by its cover'. The Penguin, non-Judi Dench/Cate Blanchett cover design is so ditsy and girly that I thought it was going to be shit. I was so wrong. I don't remember thinking for even a moment while reading the book that a sentence was awkward, or that the writer was being ostentatious, or indulgent, or pretentious; the writing was just perfect. What I really enjoyed about it is that the novel is only ostensibly about the scandal; it is really about the narrator, Barbara. This was a moving and in-depth portrayal of loneliness in the modern world, and Heller's mastery of Barbara's psyche not only made her believable, but even sympathetic despite her grotesque actions and dour personality. It was brilliant. I'm really glad I'd never seen the film; I would have missed out on a great book otherwise.


Okay I'm tired. Gonna play some doubles tomorrow. I wonder how my serve is going to look like; I haven't served in ages. It's gonna be hilarious.
Tags: angst, books, cil, literature, personal, phd application, playing tennis, work, wouter

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