Lorelai: I feel like I’m never gonna have it...the whole package, you know? That person, that couple life, and I swear, I hate admitting it because I fancy myself Wonder Woman, but...I really want it – the whole package.
I had a vivid dream about a fictional character; then I had a meta-dream about dreaming about the fictional character. In the meta-dream I went through my emails to see if there had been correspondence with this fictional person; when I woke up, I typed the name of the person into my phone.
It was obviously silly. As I was still slightly inundated with the feelings that the dream evoked in me, I've just spent the past hour looking through my emails. They date from 2005.
I saw a couple of emails from some of my ex-boyfriends, the ones that mattered the most. It strikes me how there was never true parity of love in the lasting sense in my relationships: I either loved too much, or I loved not enough, or I didn't love, or I wasn't loved. But it came close to parity twice, and both times, I was the one that left.
My thoughts and emotions are all over the place, and I am PMSing, and I've just had a horrible PMS-y day, and so I will abandon any attempts at coherence and structure, and I will write whatever comes to mind.
- I think Wei Chuen will always be the love of my life. I don't know anymore what problems I had with the relationship. It had something to do with religion. But I don't know what my problem is with religion.
- It is rather insane how I really feel as if I have done nothing, accomplished nothing, achieved nothing. I really thought that I wanted this PhD, but I've derived so little joy from the past year that I don't know - I really, genuinely have no fucking idea - why I'd ever thought that I would want this life. Sure, it was the result of a logical process of elimination: I tried the other things that people tend to do with law degrees, didn't like them, and so this was the last obvious option and it had to be the option, right? Besides, I like reading and writing, nevermind that I like reading literature and writing semi-creatively. I thought reading and writing academically were similar enough to those things to be the same thing.
- I was warned about how bone-deep lonely this process would be. I didn't take it to heart. I thought the warnings were exaggerated. I was wrong.
- It is the isolation - the physical and mental isolation - that is making me hate all this. I don't see people because I can't think of anything else but the fucking paper, and so I don't see people. The only social thing I do is tennis. I accept invitations to get-togethers but I don't initiate anything. I had a random pizza craving last week and instead of asking Barry (for instance) if he'd wanted to grab pizza with me, I ordered take away and ate it in my room. Why? I didn't feel like social interaction.
- I made sacrifices to be here. No, more accurately, I gave up things in order to chase something that I'd thought I wanted, but which is turning out to be one of the worst things that I have ever done to myself. These past few months - they are almost right up there with the despair that I felt in private practice, but they are worse in a way: there is a heavy financial cost. Is it even worth it? At this stage, there are literally two reasons I give a shit whether or not I pass: 1. I want to stay in Cambridge solely because I want to travel Europe next summer since I didn't get the chance to do it this year (and I am not even kidding about this); and 2. I don't want to end up with the knowledge that I've wasted the past three months on a shit-infested piece of junk paper when I could have spent the time doing things, better things, more important things - spent time with my family in Australia, for instance.
- I hate Cambridge. I hate living here. There are no words that are adequate to describe how much I hate living here. This is the most awful place I have ever lived in my entire life, and I thought The Hague was pretty bad. It is small, but everything is far away because the public transport is rubbish and I don't cycle and I don't want to, and I don't have a car, and even if I had a car it would be a pain to drive it. The streets are infested with tourists. The only time period in which there is peace and quiet is between midnight and 8am. The morning after I got back, I was jetlagged and so I was up at 7 in the morning. I walked through King's College to get to town (after getting some books from the faculty) and it struck me how beautiful Cambridge can be, when it's 8 in the morning and the air is fresh and the sun is shining gently and ther are no tourists with selfie sticks, no tourists on punts, no tour operators asking, 'Punting today, madam?' But this feeling doesn't stick. After a while, I am back to my usual sleeping pattern, and when I leave it's 1pm and Magdalene Bridge is crawling with tourists, too many tourists on narrow pavements, too many tour operators asking me if I wanted to go punting (by myself? As if), too many tour operators crowding on limited walking space.
- I don't know who I am, or what I am, or what I want. I am tired of perenially feeling out of place, as if I am constantly forcing myself to crawl out of my own skin. I feel like a fish out of water. Why am I here? How did I get here? Why do I care so little about my PhD?
- I feel so frustrated with my life choices, with my trustworthy ability to get bored, with my always pining for the greener grass on the other side. Never mind that it's been proven repeatedly that the grass smells just as bad once I get there; my mind, my incessant boredom, whatever, trick me into seeing a brighter green every single time.
- I am so bored of myself.
- We just want a genuine connection, right? The thing is, I've had different men tell me that they feel a connection with me over the past few years, and I can't help but wonder why is it that I feel differently about them all, these men that I apparently connected with? Wouter, G, Dominic, even Barry.
- A few days ago, while walking back from Sainsbury's at 10pm, I saw someone that made me think of G. And then, for a few seconds, I was literally dumb-founded. I nearly stopped in my tracks. For a few seconds, I didn't know what to do.
- Sometimes, I catch myself thinking about the last time I saw G, and then thinking, What if I had asked to meet somewhere else? What if I had asked to meet again? What if I had said something genuine? But then I thought, Why couldn't he have done any of those things? Whatever happened to wanting me in his life? I came back and it was a non-event and now it's like nothing ever happened. Total silence. I don't think about it; mostly it doesn't bother me. But I don't know what the point was. I don't know why I met him. I don't know why it had to feel so real, so life-changing, so overwhelming that I broke up with the next guy that I dated because what I had with him didn't feel real, life-changing, overwhelming. I don't know what the point of G was, and because of this, I don't know what I'm supposed to take from it, and so I can't write about it, and this, John, is exactly why the writing has stalled.
- Dominic thought that I was angry at him. I guess that was the most logical interpretation of the dead silence that I gave in response to his emails.
- I seem to take genuine affection and love for granted. By this I mean simple, non-complicated, non-conditional affection and love. Wei Chuen, Wouter, Dominic, can't even remember who else; on the other hand, I throw my entire heart at half-heartedness, at indifference, at guys who didn't want me the way that I'd wanted them to/that they should have wanted me/the way that I'd wanted them. NEB, G. At least the good outweighs the bad. But what is the point if I don't have the whole package?
- I want the whole package. And so I admit that I can't rise above my social conditioning, or my femininity, or my biological impulse. I can't rise above it. I am not Wonder Woman, nor am I made of steel. I am just a repository of broken hearts (theirs, not mine), unfulfilled potential (mine), too many paths wrongly taken.
- At this very moment, there is nothing that I want more than to open the door to my room in Singapore, switch on the air-conditioning, say goodnight to my parents, and lie on my bed of feathers.