do the limbo

Song X comes on shuffle and if I turn the volume all the way up and close my eyes I can pretend that I’m back at Monash library absorbing past year questions religiously from late afternoon till midnight. At the end of each day, as I walked back to SMR from the library, I revelled in the fact that I’d survived another day alone in a public place without chickening out from anxiety, and each time I felt like I’ve gained XP points from this, so I emerged the next day stronger and better than before.

Back then, especially during A2 months, I sometimes got worried that I might one day just give up on studying because it was just too tiring and difficult to go on. I sometimes got tiny whiffs of that, like when the first two math papers ended and all I wanted to do was rest but the next chem paper was less than a week away and there was nothing else to do except keep going on. Then, the notion of even opening a page of chem past years was enough to make me puke, but I managed to displace that whiff and did what I had to do. (In retrospect, despite the exams, there were still so many things to look forward to, friends to meet, things to talk about. It rarely felt like a dead end at all.) Three months later, it wasn’t exams that allowed the sore loser to rear its ugly head, ironically, it was staying at home for extended periods of time with no aim and purpose. It led to feeling bouts of anxiety and annoyance and frustration at the thought of leaving the house to do anything. All I wanted was to stay at home and read and watch videos and immerse myself in fandoms (Phandom) to fictitiously “occupy” myself. Even then, lazing around doing nothing also made me frustrated because I wasn’t doing anything. The paradox!!! But anyway I probably already addressed this as best I could in this post, the paradox of not wanting to go out and do anything but also not wanting to just stay at home and do nothing. I imagine this is what it must be like to get stuck in Limbo in the Inception movie universe.

I’m trying to get back into the state of mind I possessed in 2013 and 2014, when I could do so much that I sweat to even think about doing today. It’s like…that thought of “if you feel this shit, you can’t get back up from it forever” cultivated in 2012 is back and it’s always so annoying but I mean, I obviously did get back up for the consecutive two years so that must mean something. My only silver lining these days is university and for a while that silver lining was rudely stomped on and shattered into five million pieces but it’s being mended and I keep telling myself “you just need to get into university and regain an immediate purpose in life then you’ll stop feeling so lost” and it’s the one thing that keeps me going on, keeps those now massive whiffs from knocking me off my feet (from imbalance) (not like, love lol)

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Michelle Teoh

26-year-old cynical Asian, book enthusiast and purveyor of fine sarcasm.

7 thoughts on “do the limbo”

  1. O ya yes I am. Guess you are too?

    Royal Blood and St. Vincent were phenomenal btw. Bunch of others were great too (Banks, .gif, angus &julia stone etc etc etc). Shit was so good, one of the best experiences I’ve had

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