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Peter Pan's broken promise
First, though, the good stuff: Family Law + Wills/Probate was, as expected, relatively easy, with Family Law being decidedly easier than Wills. I blame the latter on the fact that yesterday afternoon was the first time I ever read anything on Wills/Probate (didn't do the tutorial). I didn't know how to do half of Question 3, but I'm not aiming for anything more noble than a pass so whatever. I was pleased there wasn't anything on calculating estate duty because I'm not fond of calculators and calculation, and it would've been the first time ever I attempted to calculate estate duty. Which would not have been good. The drafting will shit was free marks given away generously; all I did was copy from the sample wills someone sent me last night.
I was late. Like, 10 minutes late. Arrived at 9.55 a.m. There was a traffic jam. And the place was at Victoria School. I mean, random much? Not to mention no one goes to the east unless they absolutely have to (i.e. they live there, someone they know lives there, they've run out of places to go to in this tiny island).
Last week was a nice vacation with Wei Chuen. Having him around felt good, as if I was ready to do this for an extended period of time. It felt like we recovered nicely from our epic fight.
I never tell him I love him as an excuse for something I did wrong. I never tell him I love him unless I mean it. And it's also true that I hate it when the end of the day comes and we have to go our separate ways. It's true, finally, that, in my ideal scenario, we'd share a home and go home to each other at the end of a long, tiring day.
Generally I feel like he's the last guy I ever want to date - no, he's the last person I ever want to date. I almost always feel this. I only don't feel it when I stop to question if I know what I'm feeling and why I'm feeling, just in case I invest too much into a future premised on flimsy hopes, gratuitous promises, based entirely on irrational emotions and the way it makes you feel invincible and immortal when he's holding you close to him, telling you he loves you.
There are also times, though, when things aren't so smooth-sailing. You don't always see eye-to-eye on contentious issues, and when that happens you feel like the other person isn't respecting, or understanding, your point of view. You feel as if the possessive thing has suddenly become an admonishment; you also feel as if she doesn't give a shit how you feel.
Maybe the test is loving the person regardless of all these unpleasant disagreements. Maybe the test is not giving up even when the going gets tough. The test probably is not uttering the words "break up" even when you hate the person in the moment.
Because after the anger, the annoyance, the harsh words, the tears, the hate, there is still love. That's how I know, with my limited knowledge, that all this - him, me, us - isn't just purely in my head.
I remmeber walking along the River Seine in Paris with Mag flanked on one side, feeling the cool wind blow against my face, looking at the gloomy skies and still feeling full and contented. Paris is a dirty city, contrary to popular depictions of it as the City of Romance; but the River Seine, with the bridges that run above it, and the benches that flank both sides of the bridges, and the buskers that go about their business, stopping for a friendly chat when you stop and appreciate their music, and the cool air that envelopes you, single-handedly infuses an otherwise-dirty city with all the romance that's been attributed to it.
My favourite place in London is the Westminster area - no contest. My favourite bridge in London is Westminster Bridge. It doesn't surprise me that Wordsworth composed a poem on that bridge. I passed by the Millennium Bridge and London Bridge, but Westminster Bridge left the deepest impression on me. I saw it against typical English weather - grey skies and light rain - and against the brightest, purest blue skies I'd ever seen in my life. I don't care much for the Ferris wheel, but there is something peaceful about being there, on that bridge, doing the tourist thing and taking lots of photo, and then letting yourself get swept away by the bustling crowd coming from places, going to places.
When I got extremely depressed over my immediate future a few months ago, I went to the Boat Quay area behind UOB Plaza to sit and be with myself. I cried like nobody's business; PMS tends to do that to you. I think I would've cried more if I'd gone to someplace else. That area is probably my favourite spot in this entire country. It's calming, it's relaxing, it feels like a different part of Singapore altogether. It doesn't make me feel like I'm still in Singapore.
I deeply regret not travelling more when I had all the opportunities in the world to do so when I was still in school. My 19 days in Europe remain the fondest, richest memory that I can't let go of - I want it replicated, over and over, and I want it soon, I want it now. I want to see other places and feel the same calm and peace I felt along the River Seine, on Westminster Bridge, on the beach in Crete lying on a deck chair, staring out at the deepest blue sea, letting a rare sense of calm settle in me that I haven't really felt much since. That feeling of having no obligations in the world, of being at peace with everything you have and everything that you are, feeling completely satisfied with your lot - I don't feel that often when I'm home. When I'm home, it's one continuing obligation after another; when I'm home, it's waging my entire future on a decision I hardly thought about when I was 19 years old. When I'm home, it's all about doing what I have to do, not what I want to do, and when I'm home, I feel panic, I feel distress, I feel rattled, I feel perturbed, I feel disturbed. I feel as if something isn't right.
It's obvious to me something isn't right. But if 1 + 1 really added up to 2 in real life, I wouldn't be here right now, writing this, expressing this to no one, hoping someone would listen. Even if they did, they'd tell me it's what I have to do, and I'd know that they're right.
I cling on to my memory of Europe the way I do because I need to believe that there is more to life than this, this numbing emptiness, living the life that you didn't really choose. I can't complain about all of it, to be sure - can't complain about the comfort, the financial stability, the certainty. But then again, it's hard to appreciate what you have when you've always had it; it's also hard to appreciate what you have when it fell into your lap without you so much as lifting your ass off your chair and doing something to work for it. Good things have happened to me. I acknowledge that they are good, and rationally I appreciate it.
The problem lies in not really appreciating it. The problem is that I am resentful of how I am compelled to feel as if I HAVE to appreciate it. If there's one thing I admire about Wei Chuen, it's his refusal to lead a life that he doesn't want, and his utter belief that life is too short to be doing something you don't want to do.
That rings more and more true to me the less and less I have of my life as I know it. I keep joking that my life is ending, but the sad thing is that I legitimately feel like it is. As I increasingly lose the right to wake up at noon because I feel like it, I begin to think back on the four years I spent in university and the things that I've done with them. What have I done with them? Not much, really. If I'd done worse academically I might pronounce them a royal waste of my time. But that's just the person that I am: I get upset when I hit a poor shot even though I'll never play tennis at competitive level, because I care about it and I want to do it properly.
The problem is, I care about my life. I want to live it properly. And that does not entail doing something I don't want to do for the sake of the money. I'm pleased as punch I got a decent degree out of the four years, but I'm not so pleased that the degree comes with a necessary career implication. How do you choose properly when you are 19 and riding on the high of your stellar A Level results, especially when your ego is as big as mine?
The truth is, at the end of the day, when all's been said and done, when I've analysed everything to death, the one thing that I really want to do is to write. And the sad truth is, I have lost sight of that a long time ago. Put two and two together and the logical conclusion is this: I'm never going to be satisfied. I'm never going to be truly happy. Even when I get a job that I think I want, it's not going to be the job that I really want.
And it's a shame. It's a real damn shame. And there's really nothing much I can do about it, is there? No, there isn't.
Travelling reminds me of the freedom of writing, the escape it offers me. No wonder I've been feeling increasingly trapped. I haven't been writing at all.
Told Wei Chuen this, a few days ago: "I hate my life. You're one of the few good things about it."
And it's true. I look forward to the possibility of spending the rest of my life with him. Maybe this is premature; but it's better than not looking forward to anything about my future at all.
On a bright note, Roger actually won a deciding set. Beat Verdasco 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in his first round robin match in London (the O2 arena! Saw it across the river somewhere near the Shakespeare Globe Theatre. The building is fugs if I'm being honest).
Del Pot lost to Murray though. Ughs. I hate Murray. I hope Roger kicks his ass, and hard.
Roger is amazing. I swear, that man oozes genius from his pores, even whilst he's playing kind of crap. The only thing I'd be interested in reading from his autobiography is what goes through his head when he's down a set in a match, or even better, down a set and a break. How does he turn it around? He must have immense self-belief to do so; but even the GOAT doubts himself sometimes, as the GOAT, despite being all GOAT-like, is only human.
I love that whip forehand - like liquid whip. Watching him is really akin to watching an artistic performance.
Right. I think it's time to study.