LISBON (20.06.2016)
LISBON (20.06.2016)

Last night I told KF that I wanted to get a 3DS. It was absolutely contextless as most of our conversations are, but I wasn’t lying. Or at least, there was an ounce of truth in it. But I hurriedly covered it up by saying that I was just kidding, that could never happen, I’m a broke uni kid and also if I were to actually get a 3DS you can bet my productivity levels would sink into the depths of hell. He said, “No, you should totally get it” and I denied it even further because it was impossible and he responded, “When was the last time you ever did anything for yourself because you wanted to?”

It’s a bit difficult, that. I’ve never sent a text message or a Twitter reply without going through it at least ten times and wondering how I would sound like from multiple perspectives.

I’ve been in a strange mood lately. The view outside my window is really beautiful, and I’d find myself staring outside for a good 15 minutes and then look away with purple flashes in my vision. I’m starting to appreciate this view, I’m starting to appreciate staying at home. This, in contrast to my first few weeks of uni when I was constantly Chasing. Again. Always Chasing. Always so restless. I was afraid if the momentum stopped, so would my entire second year of uni. I felt like I was making up for lost time in my first year. I felt like I could already foresee a future where I eventually get tired or lazy and stop, so I needed to complete this temporary race before it ran out of its tracks.

Eventually, I petered out. Which led to nights spent in my bedroom on the brink of tears because I was so confused and afraid. I thought I was doing well, but all of a sudden it abruptly felt like I was back at square one, never having budged an inch. Last week I properly cried for the first time since I came back here and then that night I said yes to reckless drinking because I didn’t want to think or feel anymore.

(I couldn’t even do that. I was too afraid to.)

I’ve been keeping an online calendar after not being able to find a free physical one (my hypothesis: calendars only ever appear when you don’t actually need them but are nowhere to be found when it’s the exact opposite) and writing down a short sentence to describe each day even if it’s just “napped till 5. korean spicy ramen at night” because I don’t want an entire year of memories to be truncated into a single bad feeling. Even if things turn out to be bad, I want to know exactly which parts were bad and which parts weren’t because I can’t stand the sinking feeling of disappointment and despair when people tell me about how wonderful their adventures at uni are and I can only tell them about the sporadic days that I gather enough courage to venture out of the house.

Hmm. I’m constantly trying to distract myself. I brought some books here back from Malaysia that I thought I’d want to read. Margaret Atwood and Sylvia Plath. I hardly have the time for anyone else besides HLA Hart and Lon Fuller recently and yet I want to borrow Murakami books from the uni library. I also thought, two weeks ago, I was able to establish a connection with a stranger I met at a pub, but not surprisingly, I’m always thinking, always feeling, but that is all, nothing more than that.

(In fact, that is what I am always trying to do. Establish connections with a world of human beings. How else are you able to experience the world in multiple different facets?)

The last time I did anything for myself because I wanted to – opening WordPress to write this even though I have a massive amount of seminar reading to do.

(I’m tired of hiding from the world and thinking it’s out to get me in every circumstance.)


Author: Michelle Teoh

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

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