from AGLC, for the last time

i’m flying back home in two days, and this is probably the last time i will get to write from the learning commons.

AGLC in the summer is a rare sight and an empty contrast to the usual crowd during term time. there are no more familiar faces around, and my purpose of being here lacks any sort of motivation and conviction regarding assignments and/or exams. although i get pleasantly surprised everytime i’m still allowed entry since this year’s term ended.

it would be a stretch to say that i enjoyed the excruciatingly long hours i have spent in this building for the past three years, but it always gets so nostalgic to pass by my usual seat at the couches at floor -1. some of my friendships this year were also unpredictably cultivated here, so that must also contribute to the nostalgia, i guess.

after last night, i realise that i am still somewhat in heavy denial of leaving, even going to the extent of looking up Masters programmes in uni of manchester and asking my dad for the billionth time whether i had actually made the right decision by choosing to go home. realistically, there is no longer anything else that i can do to change the direction i am veered towards. i have paid good sums of money. packed everything up. said all my goodbyes. and that is why this struggle to deny the inevitable scares me more than anything else. i hate to continue fighting against the progression of reality like this, but my mind is still endlessly plagued with what-ifs and any possible last minute turnabouts, wondering why i hadn’t tried harder to cling onto this before.

deep down i know it’s all for naught, and that this is just a tough period of separation that i have to grit my teeth and endure until the pain and sorrow ebb away eventually. so…i don’t know. half of my mind is just trying to distract myself from *waves arms around frantically* all this and the other half is trying to obsessively document everything here as immaculately as i can to prevent any regrets that surface in the future.

this exhaustion and sadness is exactly as i’d expected, and i’m gradually digging my emotional well dry while attempting to be a functional human being in front of everyone else at the same time.

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onboard flight fr3206 to rome

[dated 18 july 2018, 8:23pm]

i think one of the most beautiful things in the world is the coming together of human beings, souls and personalities.

which is why one of the saddest things in the world is the separation of these beings, especially if it’s for a long amount of time.

but at the same time, what remains a beautiful thing too is after said separation, these beings come together again, respectively different in terms of growth and experiences, but still maintaining the same level of care and affection for each other.

and i hope when all of us reunite again, as grown and improved versions of ourselves in the future, we will fondly remember the countless memories of yesterday’s nostalgia, and then move forward to create brand new ones together.

Girl, Graduated

Ever since the arrival of my parents in UK, I have been submerged in a perpetual trance of bizarreness, so much so that it sometimes makes me a bit anxious. It probably has to do with the strange collision of worlds pre- and post-university. Probably also has something to do with my approaching expiry date. Regardless, the past month took me out of my comfortable Manchester life and took me along for a whirlwind of a ride.

But coming back to Manchester, meeting all my friends again, and finally, graduating, brought some semblance of familiarity back, and I was really thankful for that. There is still an inherent melancholy interlaced within everything I do and everyone I see, since all of them point towards the direction of Leaving, but everything felt like a proper emotional closure, at least. The very concept of graduation means closure, after all.

Today was a day of rushing (in heels, at that) to do things, to meet people, to take photos. So it was only when I entered Whitworth Hall and took my seat before my graduation ceremony officially began that I started to feel the crushing weight of the weariness, and even more importantly, the magnitude of what was happening to me and to my life thus far.

I guess objectively, all milestones are what you make them to be, and graduation is one of them. And University of Manchester definitely made this milestone out to be one of much grandeur. There was an organ that made everything appear more dramatic, chancellors and heads of school clad in purple robes delivering motivational speeches, and finally, the donning of our graduation hats to symbolise the actual end of the three-year ride. Hitting the nail on the coffin, if you will.

It’s a bit unbelievable. No, I’m lying. It’s so incredibly unbelievable. I am way too exhausted to be eloquent right now, but it just feels way too surreal that I have finished all three years of law school in Manchester and am leaving it now. Am I happy to graduate? Yes. It’s an achievement to be proud of. Yet at the same time, it’s the underlying melancholy that confuses things. Curse my perpetual sentimentality forever. Things that do not need emotions should not be granted them, and yet here I am freely splashing my feelings over every single thing I can lay my hands on.

But an achievement it is, nonetheless, and how could any of this have been possible without the people around me, my family and friends? Because at the end of the day, these people are where all my emotions flow towards. My parents, who have literally been my unbending pillars of support since day one, who, despite all my tantrums and mood swings, still showed unconditional love and care which made me the person I am today. My friends from all phases of my life, but especially the ones that I have made during my university years, who, despite having no blood relations to me at all, still showed sincerity and genuineness in wanting to be my friend, helping me grow so much over the years and always being reliably there whenever I needed someone.

It’s moments like these that I wish emotions such as gratitude wasn’t such an abstract thing. I wish I could express them beyond mere words, at a time when these literary tools I possess that I wield so loyally and frequently on a daily basis, become obstacles instead.

And so I wish that you, every single person reading this, know how much I thank you, for being an impact in my 23 years of life up until now, no matter how major or minor. It’s moments like these when being alive feels that more wonderful with each breath I take.

ghost

the suitcases are out. my things are in boxes again. everytime i look at a part of my room that used to be filled with books and clothes and see them empty instead now, my stomach starts to hurt just a little because now i can only imagine the ghost of where these things used to be. and if it’s already this bad when it comes to objects in the form of my belongings, what more people?

buildings that i used to pass by and streets that i used to walk on feel more and more precarious, and i know there is only so much that i can do to drink in my surroundings with my senses, but i want all of them imprinted so hard in my mind’s eye because i know there is no way to prevent the erosion of memory with time. i want the urgent immersion now, and i’m afraid of anything less.

there is nothing i can do to stop time, nor change the inevitability of what is coming, and thus i can only make a checklist of doing and saying everything that i want to do and say before leaving with no regrets. and then, and only then, can i allow my heart to mourn in peace before i pick myself up from leaving a significant part of my life behind, to start a brand new one.

blank walls

this is dramatic but at this point, everything is dramatic.

i woke up this morning with a foreign zest to start packing, and i thought that the easiest and most obvious place to start was by taking off all the posters and photos and postcards off my wall. everything really was fine until i was 50 percent done, blue tac remnants dotting my walls; i properly looked up and realised there were echoes by these surrounding blank walls, and felt my mental energy drain instantaneously at the reluctance of it all.

i was dismantling three years’ worth of familiarity, and tearing these away felt like i was ripping off my turtle’s shell that i call home.

i don’t think i quite know how to deal with this yet, so obviously i gave up on packing and played splatoon for the next ten hours.

i’m really sad and scared. i don’t want to feel as empty as these walls, but i feel like that day will come soon.

23bd

This year really passed by too quickly. It scares me so much how quickly time flies by.

When in the midst of things and with a crowd of people around, it’s usually easier to just suppress emotions without any problem. Almost doesn’t feel like I’m leaving sometimes because the act of departing is not being carried out instantaneously.

But it’s getting harder and harder to feel comforted by the thought of going home and returning to my room where I would have to be alone and deal with the suppressed thoughts and feelings clamouring to be heard the moment I close the door and severe any communication with the external world. I’ve said too many permanent goodbyes within this week alone but it doesn’t get any better each time.

But this isn’t supposed to be a post about leaving. It’s a post about my gratitude for the people I have met and gotten to know here for the past three years, how they all turned up to celebrate my turning older by a year yesterday with an outdoor barbecue. It’s also a post about my gratitude for all my friends and family, in Manchester or not, who had remembered and sent me well wishes on my special day. It’s a post about my gratitude for being alive in this enigmatic but ultimately wondrous world for 23 whole years, and for being loved by so many.

Thank you everyone, I love all of you.

my reflection in the window in front of me is a black mirror

when it’s late at night, and there’s almost a sense of deafening silence piercing the stagnant air like needle-like icebergs, or maybe iceberg-like needles. there’s a lull in the air that makes me feel detached from my surroundings in a disturbing way, like i could be the only soul existing in this humming astral plane.

idle days aren’t really idle, are they? when the sky turns dark and my slouch increases inwardly a few degrees more, wanting to be released from the captivity of tedious obligations but also fearing the mirage of freedom even more. there’s nowhere to run, really. there’s nothing i can do, except to meekly bow my head in submission to the cruel passage of time and the bristles that come with it, and hope that these wounds don’t leave scars at places where healing will be impossible.

sometime during this week or month or maybe even year, i was branded with an expiry date. it’s the most arduous form of torment upon one’s psych, but it is precisely this urgency that made me pledge to document this process as best as i can. i want to write more. at least this way, i won’t find myself losing these emotions that are important to me.