anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,
anotherlongshot
anotherlongshot

Carpe Diem and a Flawed Perfectionism

The meeting with Prof Chesterm@n went pretty okay. He answered my questions about the application process and selection criteria for the scholarship and I think I may have a chance if nobody else applies (fingers crossed!). He also quizzed me on my research topic, which I wasn't prepared for and got me a bit flustered; I haven't looked at my proposal since I submitted the last of my PhD applications in January. I barely remember the specifics of what I wrote; further, I think I am already tweaking it a bit in my mind, even if I don't spend too much time thinking about it (or at all, really).

Prof C is really nice. He's so nice that I'm not sure if he was just being nice or if he really meant it when he said that my topic was a good one. Obviously he wasn't really convinced of my argument, but could I really blame him when I articulated it so badly to begin with? Regardless, though, I was rather heartened by his non-discouragement. (I had to go to the double negative; I'm sorry but it was the best way to describe it.)

I would kill for this scholarship right now. It pays for everything, it gives me a salary and I finish the PhD with a job already secured. At this point, I'm actually fine with it being in Singapore and having to work in NUS for five years. Like I said previously, I get to spend time with my parents; and also, as I mature, I think I would like to contribute somehow to the constitutional/human rights debate in Singapore because it is sorely lacking in voices. There are the usual suspects whom I respect very much but the academic scene in the human rights field is still pretty small. Anyway, I guess I can always escape to Europe during the long summer break, so it'd be a win-win, really.

*

Unless G displays utterly ungentlemanly behaviour on Saturday or does something completely unforgivable (though I don't know what), right now, I honestly think that, if my reality weren't what it is, I could see myself falling for him. I am unreasonably infatuated for no good reason (are we ever infatuated with someone for good reasons, though?); I've spent a grand total of two hours with him so far and I'm already feeling like this. There is absolutely no logic or reason for whatever it is that I am feeling. I don't even know what it is. I can't even conjure up an image of his face in my mind. I didn't even remember the sound of his voice.

And yet. He's somehow sweet talked his way into my head and I can't get him out. He's all that I can think about. He's so pervasive in my mind that I opened my eyes at 6 in the morning and couldn't fall back asleep because I thought about him and I was too excited to sleep.

While I am enjoying this a lot, I am also getting increasingly freaked out about getting hurt at the end of it. He mentioned that he was going to Berkeley in August for a visiting position, and while googling him a while ago (don't judge, please), I came across his Berkeley page and it said that he'll be there for 17 August to sometime in December.

17 AUGUST. Why am I getting so worked up over a man that I will only see for two weeks? But how do I detach myself from this situation when 1) I don't want to because it feels good right now; and 2) even if I wanted to, my heart is screaming at the part of me that's trying to be rational to stop ruining its fun? When I was a teenager, I was told to seize the day by one of my favourite films back then; Robin Williams taught his poetry class to live deep, to suck out all the marrow of life; carpe diem.

I was always too timid, too passive, to live by those rules when I was idolising them. If it sounds like I'm disproportionately glorifying what is essentially a pubescent infatuation which may potentially lead to disaster after which no amount of 'I told you so' would be adequate to convey just how I did tell you so - maybe I am. But that's the driving force of the deeply irrational side of me that wants to keep enjoying this, however brief it will prove to be, before his plane snuffs out this flame. I want to live in the moment and enjoy it for what it is, as an ode to the fact that I am alive, right here and now, and I want to be meaningfully so...because it feels incredible to feel.

Still, the scared shitless side of me keeps thinking that the whole point of casual dating is to casually date. That means that you don't get attached; you don't become invested; you don't have real, genuine feelings. I can't say that I have real, genuine feelings, but at the rate this is going, if he continues to be normal on Saturday, that may well change quite drastically.

I think my infatuation deepened even more when I was googling him and I found out just how accomplished he already is. His name was the second suggested search after I typed in just his first name into the search engine. His first name, without any other initials from his last name. I briefly watched a video of one lecture that he gave in a university somewhere, didn't understand anything he said, scrolled to the end of the video and saw powerpoint slides with mathematical equations on them (including that big E...is it the summation sign? I don't remember) and thought, Yeah...this is way too difficult. I looked at his Google Scholar page and one of the articles he co-authored was cited 66 times. Seriously?!?!

(Actually, I don't know if that's a lot. It sounds like a lot to me.)

I cannot comprehend why he (thinks he) likes me. I could always take the cynical view and assume that it's just because of my looks and it's a mere physical attraction; but he said that he could talk to me for hours. Does a man need to talk to a member of the opposite sex for hours if he just wants to sleep with her? In any case, he seems way more genuine than American Mark so far, and I am also way more infatuated with him than American Mark.

What I'm about to write makes absolutely no sense, but that's unfortunately how my brain works sometimes. I don't think I'd ever understand anything that he does because my brain is limited and specialised; in contrast, I think he can easily understand what I do, and will do, because it's not that difficult. In fact, he even professed an interest in philosophy, so I'm pretty sure he'd get it easily. This disparity makes me feel inadequate. I am just getting in my own head; but then, I am always in my own head.

That's the thing, isn't it? I'm always in my own head. I always want to be better than what I already am; I always want to be perfect in doing the things that I like. This is exposed most clearly in none other than my tennis. I'm never happy just hitting a winning shot if I didn't hit it properly. I am obsessed with getting my strokes right, to have the same technique as the pros; it matters less to me that I can hit the ball back consistently. It almost doesn't matter at all that I can hit the ball if I can't hit it correctly.

There is a running commentary in my head when I play and it's usually negative. It tells me what a bad shot I just hit. It berates me for using the wrong technique, or opening my racquet face for no reason and sending the ball flying, or forgetting to pronate on the serve, or messing up the serve, period. Once or twice I'd hit a really good shot and my inner monologue would congratulate me; but mostly, in my head, I'm Vera Znonareva, throwing a tantrum on court, breaking her racquets.

G says that he tries to stop it when he finds himself getting into his own head. He goes running at 2AM sometimes for that reason. I seem to be quite happy to sit back and let the situation fester and deteriorate. I need to take better care of myself.

Lastly, I am curious about the scales analogy he used (I forgot what it was in relation to...his cuteness is too distracting) and his choice of using the word 'sonata'. If it turns out he played the piano, I think I would have to marry him. I hope for the sake of my sanity that he read it in a book somewhere or something less dramatic and impressive and more run-of-the-mill and boring.

*

I am SO dead tired. I have to sort out my visa in the morning so I am going to bed.
Tags: dating, g, guys, personal, phd, playing tennis
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