actuality.log


All entries tagged 'introspection'

Friday, December the 3rd, 2010

This is manifestly par for the course, but I recently found myself starting to retreat into my head again in an attempt to process a wide range of feelings. That isn’t to say these are particularly hurtful or negative feelings—you know, about relationships and intimacy and insecurity—just that they’re very intense and demand some attention.

While retreating into a shell often works out (perhaps after some turmoil), there are times when I concede that I just can’t do it alone. I lack the life-experience and a certain width in my world-view to truly grasp and work through the happenings around me. So, on occasion, I do the next obvious thing: turn to the people I’m close to and try talking to them about it. Unfortunately this hurts just as often as it helps.

Therefore, I’ve found myself trying something different these past weeks: turning to popular culture to see current society’s take on affairs. I figured maybe I’ll then realise I’m not so special. Maybe my experiences aren’t actually so out of the norm. Maybe all the ecstasy and turmoil I supposedly go through every day are just regular moments in an average person’s life.

This has led me to voraciously consume a lot of media: the quirky wit of Woody Allen’s movies, the blatant awkwardness of Curb Your Enthusiasm, the pithy realism of Marc Maron’s comedy, the intellectual frankness of Noam Chomsky’s writing. (Why is it that older Jewish guys seem to have a monopoly on neurotic, egocentric cynicism?) And maybe I’m cherry-picking my sources, but their observations seem to suggest that what I’m going through isn’t so abnormal. It is just that life isn’t always easy, and expects some degree of openness to change; not everyone has this. Honesty and intimacy in relationships doesn’t come for free; not everyone is willing to put in the effort. People know that they should pay attention to their heads, but listen only to their hearts at important moments. In short, it is clear that life isn’t perfect.

All I need to realise, I suppose, is that being happy comes when you decide to look beyond the imperfections and appreciate life for what it is.

Monday, November the 8th, 2010

Wave after wave of emotion have washed over me these past days. A Skype marathon with Stacey that began Thursday evening lasted well into Sunday night. The conversation was deep, raw and revealing, and resulted in a discrete jump in our closeness. Not all that was said was easy to swallow, but I’ve begun to see much deeper inside her. And it only confirms what I already knew and acted upon: I love the woman inside.

The conversations have also made me realise something about myself. For far too long, I’ve been confusing being isolated with not having social skill. In reality, I am a deeply sensitive and socially aware individual who’s fully capable of handling himself around people. Most importantly, I seem to have a gift for understanding people and being supportive of them. And this is giving me confidence to face life that I knew not I possessed.

Saturday, November the 6th, 2010

Long time readers of my journal are no strangers to the fact that my mood is extremely oscillatory. Much like the colour scheme of this site, my mind is either entirely black or entirely white. I can jump several times an hour or day or week or month from exceptional bliss to extreme depression and sorrow. Sure, this lets me feel alive, allowing me to experience life in an intense manner, but it is sometimes scary as these wild swings are not under my control.

The entries in my journal reflect this, albeit in a skewed fashion, because I’m personally more likely to write when I’m down.

The closer I get to Stacey, the more I’m beginning to understand why I might be this way. I seem to have an extremely black and white view of the world around me. People and experiences and surroundings are either “insanely great,” putting me in a state of intense bliss, or “horribly hurtful,” driving me down into the depths of depression. There seem to be no shades of grey in my perception of or response to the world.

The same is true of how I experience the women I am with, including Stacey. For the first months of our relationship, I was in a state of ecstasy. There was nothing she could say or do wrong, and whatever she was was perfect for me. But more recently, things started to change. The more she talked about her past, the more perturbed I got about her sexual history. I started to sink and see everything in a negative light, and there was little she could say or do that would help me.

The darkness had nearly descended completely, until she reminded me that we’re all just humans and have different aspects of our persona that could either please or perturb another. She pointed out that how I might not be a perfect man by any objective standards, yet all that she’s been longing for. Looking into her loving eyes and soft body as she told me all this reminded me of how happy she’s made me this past half year. And that her past is just that, her past. I don’t have to fully understand or accept it right away, just to recognise that through her imperfections, she’s someone who’s capable of making me immensely happy.

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Saturday, January the 16th, 2010

I’ve begun working on different applications over these past couple of weeks, and I finally finished my first one. It is to be a teaching fellow helping the development of underprivileged schools back home.

As part of the application, I had to answer several essay questions so that the parent organisation can gauge how serious I am about doing this. Since I haven’t written anything on here recently, I decided to post those questions and answers here. Perhaps it will give you some insight into why I’m attempting the sorts of things that I am. (And regular readers will notice that I have appropriated several sentences straight from the journal to populate the answers.)

Why do you want to be a Teach for India Fellow? Why is now the right time in your life to do so?

One of my very first memories is from kindergarten. To this day, I vividly remember the pattern on the gate I was railing against with my tiny palms as I wailed for my mother to come back and get me. I also distinctly remember how calm I felt just moments thereafter, when a protective hand took hold of mine, and I turned to see the warm smile of my very first class-teacher.

Over the years, I have had the privilege of being taught and mentored by several wonderful teachers. I can’t always remember their names, or the exact words they used to convey concepts, but I can’t ever forget the ideas they have impressed upon me, or disregard the profoundly positive influence they have had on my life.

Education has given me the opportunity to satiate my voracious curiosity. It repeatedly allows me to experience the feeling of glee that accompanies one’s understanding of something new. It has allowed me to travel the world and meet varied and interesting people. It has brought me economic opportunity and a sense of financial security.

I imagine a day when every little child has the opportunity to pursue the things they are curious about. I believe that a good education and the freedom it provides is not a luxury, and thus reserved for a privileged few, but is something that we as a society owe all our children. It is in this context that I am keen on working with an organisation such as Teach for India. I greatly enjoy teaching, and I want to play my part in providing effective educational opportunities to children. I hope to inspire them to be curious and work hard, so that they may accomplish anything they set their minds to.

I will be completing my stint as a post-doctoral fellow in the middle of 2010, and I am at a crossroads. I could continue with my career as an academic scribbling abstract thoughts on bits of paper, or I could acknowledge that I have an intense urge to do something more substantive with my life. It was in my search to find avenues to satisfy this urge that I stumbled upon the wonderful efforts of your organisation. And I just had to try to be a part of it.

Tell us about a time in the past three years when you were working for a while towards a professional, academic or extra-curricular goal and an obstacle came in your way. Please do not use personal examples where the obstacles were sickness or family pressure.

Please describe the goal and the obstacle that came in your way?

I entered graduate school in the U.S. with what seemed to be a fairly straightforward goal: Complete the requirements for a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, the field I had been trained in as an undergrad. My curiosity soon led me to a multi-disciplinary group whose work I found fascinating, and before long, I had commenced working on my Ph.D. project with them. My primary task was to help understand the mechanical behaviour of tissues in the body as they grew.

Working toward this goal has been the most arduous intellectual task I have undertaken, and the journey has spanned much of my adult life.

All of the significant obstacles that periodically arose over the course of my study were intellectual. These roadblocks often stemmed from one fundamental fact: I was working on an interdisciplinary problem that required knowledge from a variety of fields including mechanics, mathematics, biology and engineering. And I was only comfortable with some subsets of a few of those fields.

How did you feel when faced with the obstacle?

My natural instinct when faced with something I do not understand is curious fascination. I have enough of an ego to believe that I could understand it if I set my mind to it.

But things were rarely this straightforward.

These intellectual roadblocks were not related to a single incident at a specific time, but rather appeared periodically over the duration of my study. Oftentimes, these challenges were coupled with other hurdles such as the looming academic deadline to submit a dissertation that was both substantial and original.

In such times, my response was multi-faceted. I felt the rush of the challenge, nervousness at the thought of failure, and toward the end of the programme, I began to feel isolated as I attempted to shut out all external distractions in order to concentrate harder.

What did you do when faced with the obstacle?

In the briefest of terms, I turned to many of the avenues for support that the university had to offer–my advisors, books in the library, additional courses–and I worked a lot harder.

I had the luxury of working with a diverse and supportive group. Early on, I made the effort to learn the language of these experts. I would interact with them regularly, and turn to them for assistance and advice on how to proceed. Their support was (and still is) remarkably beneficial to me.

It was also clear to me early on that if I was to make any progress at all, I had to seriously work toward an advanced degree in mathematics, to fill up some of the bigger gaps in my knowledge. And so I did. Upon completion of my M.S.E in mechanical engineering, I started working on an M.S. in the mathematics department. Later, I also transitioned my Ph.D. degree to come from two departments, necessitating that I satisfy the requirements of both these fields.

This persuaded me to take more courses, and spend a lot more time in libraries learning about areas outside my core competence.

What was the end-result?

With the help of my peers and after over five years of study, I managed to overcome a number of significant intellectual hurdles and complete the requirements for my Ph.D. Furthermore, my efforts in understanding fields initially outside my core competence allowed me to build my expertise in multiple areas. Over the years, it has also given me the opportunity to meet several interesting academics from a variety of backgrounds. The effort has been personally rewarding, and I believe I have contributed in my small way to our collective understanding of a complex problem.

Please tell us anything else you’d like us to know about you.

Much of what I want to say has been covered in the preceding essays, but the following are a couple of concerns I feel I should highlight.

The first of these is that my knowledge of Hindi is spotty at best, and I do not know any Marathi. From my research, I understand that the Teach for India programme targets English medium schools, but I imagine that my lack of knowledge of the local language will be an additional challenge when working and living in Maharashtra. I must hasten to add that I am willing to learn, and that I’m fantasising a scenario where I can later expand your efforts closer to my hometown (Madras). I firmly believe that the skills and experiences I gather as a fellow will adequately prepare me for the challenges that lie ahead.

Secondly, I am not in India at the moment. I am spending a few months as a guest researcher at the University of Cambridge in England. I intend on being here until the end of February, after which I will return to home in Norway. I am not sure how this will impact my ability to get to your nearest Assessment Centre. I must also point out that in any event, I would really like to visit your organisation and the schools you work with in person to get a clear idea of the reality of the situation, before I can confidently make such a dramatic change in the direction of my life.

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Sunday, November the 15th, 2009

There’s a sweater which, whenever I wear it, never fails to get people fawning over me. It’s this chic, patterned item that works well on its own, but yesterday I had it on as part of a more formal ensemble that aimed for something of a “preppy British schoolboy” look.

The sweater struck again last night.

At a quarter-past-three, as the party was finally winding down, she was huddled close to me baring her every insecurity. She was too drunk to make her own way home, and I only wanted to watch over her to make sure she could safely hail a cab. But she had other plans.

Pressed up against me for support, here she was—one of the prettiest, most confident and capable people I’ve known—telling me how insignificant and uncertain of herself she felt. Her low-cut dress was doing little to hide her ample chest, but I hadn’t the urge to gawk. I held her supportively and listened to what she had to say, trying my best to calm her insecurities with my calm voice. Telling her how I honestly felt about her and her accomplishments; reminding her that she was still young, and had plenty of time ahead of her to explore anything she felt passionate about.

There were a few things about my behaviour last evening that leads me to believe I just might be growing up. First, the thought of taking advantage of her drunkenness didn’t cross my mind. Instead, I felt strangely protective of her. Second, I didn’t fall head over heels for her simply because of her closeness, slinky dress or soft scent. I was looking to be a supportive friend; truly wanting to reassure her that her self-doubts were unfounded, and make sure she got home safe. And finally, it was through reassuring her that I realised how secure I am about fundamental aspects of my self. I might not have figured out where in the world I will be next year, or what I will be doing with my life, but I have no underlying fears about how much I know or what my capabilities are. This awareness of self made me feel rather special, and allowed me to be calm and reassuring without thrusting any of my own neuroses to the fore.

The fact that I was able to serenely pull off all of this—with my actions not being motivated by anything ulterior—makes me feel so much more of an adult. An emotionally-mature adult capable of healthy, sincere relationships with the people I care about.

In other words, I’m beginning to think that maybe it wasn’t the sweater people were fawning over. Maybe it was me.

Monday, August the 10th, 2009

So here’s what I just realised: I’m in an unfulfilling relationship. It took me a long time to arrive at that conclusion, and, quite frankly, I’m still not certain whether I can clearly articulate what the problem is. But here’s me trying.

I’ve come to realise over the course of my existence that happiness and sadness, levels of prosperity or contentment and a host of other things are just states of being. As hard as society has tried to condition me into thinking otherwise, I firmly believe that none of these states are inherently better or worse than any of the others. They’re all little more than strokes in the rich canvas of life; some cheerful and colourful, others deep and morose. And as with any masterpiece that isn’t doused with pretty pastel shades, a life needn’t be filled with joy and contentment for it to be meaningful, moving or even beautiful.

I don’t see why more people don’t see this. Why is there a constant quest for happiness and prosperity and popularity? What’s wrong with knowing fully well who you are and what you have—and being fine with everything, including how you feel about it?

Now, I’m generally a very negative person. (But you already knew that.) I don’t see it as a problem, and I don’t want to fight to change it. And this brings us back to what I was trying to say in the first place. I’m in a relationship where I’m never allowed to be morose without incident. I can’t be bitter or sarcastic, nor can I say mean things about the world which I feel has denied me so much. I can’t peacefully sit in a corner and mope, nor can I hold conversations where I repeatedly bring up past mistakes or revisit bad memories.

But guess what, all that stuff—the queasy feeling that comes in my tummy from all that stuff—feels right to me. I don’t want to constantly talk only about positive things. I don’t want to plan for and “fix” any of these things in the future. I don’t even want to fucking smile sometimes. I just want to be who I be, and not have the conversation topic turn toward the one thing I dread the most: Women and their insecurities. How she doesn’t feel adequate. How she’s not pretty enough to satiate me anymore. How she’s not a wonderful enough aspect of my life to make me cheery.

A man can’t just be melancholic anymore and have it be nothing to do with another.

Sunday, March the 29th, 2009

hlea. I’m having difficulty focusing on the live band.

I’m pointing this out only because it hasn’t happened before: I’m writing this entry drunk. It’s about four in the wee morn and I just hobbled back home. I had a fun evening out—one that began with a viewing of the latest comic book-turned motion picture extravaganza, “Watchmen.” Overall, I really liked it and thought the copious shots of naked male bums and proud glowey penises were well done.

My silence has belied it, but I’ve been doing a lot more adult-y things with my life lately. I’ve been entertaining guests at home, hanging-out later at bars and inviting people over afterwards. It’s like for the first time in my life, I’m not embarrassed about how I live it. And that’s made me comfortable with the notion of sharing it.

It’s not like anything has fundamentally changed, it’s just that life has become more fun to navigate after moving here. With everything being so laid back, I have all the time in the world to focus on whatever catches my fancy. Without guilt.

Of course, with all that leisure time and substance-induced inhibition reduction, my mind often tends to revert to its core state. And rather than explicitly spell out to you what I mean by that for the 400th time, I leave you with the following metaphor.

Most of the buses and trains in this city have an approximately equal number of seats that face forward and back. I’ve been keeping some notes over this past couple of weeks, and guess what? Given a choice, 98% of the people choose a forward-facing seat from which they can see where the bus is going.

I always pick a seat that faces backwards.

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Sunday, February the 22nd, 2009

It’s not too complicated to explain really, at the heart of things it’s just that I’m a lazy bum. Almost anything of significance, be it work-related or personal, requires a fair amount of effort on one’s part to create and sustain. Effort that I am not willing to put in—hence the lovely state of my life. But that’s old news, except that it isn’t.

Of late, I’ve seriously been contemplating one grand scheme after the next to stop working within a year (or so). I’ve “been working” now for what—six months?—since I completed my schooling and I’ve come to the conclusion that another year or so ought to do it for me. Really, I’m done with the whole “being a professional” scene and it’s about time I got back to what’s important: Lounging on a hammock somewhere sipping something.

It’s within this context that I wrote to my father hoping to rope him into my plans (or at least, inform my parents of my intentions).

Appa,

I have a basic question: Realistically, how much money should I save if I want to live (let’s assume in India, since it is cheaper to do so) for the rest of my life without working?

I don’t care about living fancily, I just want to live without responsibility. I want to be able to spend all my time doing whatever I want.

Me

Usually, my parents always get back to me instantly—like they’re perpetually waiting to talk to me. But it’s been a couple of weeks since I sent this, and I haven’t heard back from them. I’m sure my folks are sitting somewhere aghast, unable to fathom why their son is “throwing his life away on a whim.”

The truth is, I’ve been drifting away from them ever since I left home to pursue my studies. Even though I talk to them once every ten days or so, I almost do it perfunctorily. And it’s always they who initiate the conversation, never I. It’s like the more independent I’ve become over the years, the less I’ve deemed their utility. I know it’s a mean thing to say, but I’ve been self-reliant for so long, I don’t see the point in talking to them any more. I do respect and appreciate what they’ve done for me (while lamenting about how ineffectual their contributions often are); it’s just that over time, our lives have diverged.

In fact, I don’t even know why I wrote to my dad about my plans. I didn’t write to him for his advice on what I needed to do to achieve a life of doing nothing, I wrote to him for approval. Come to think of it, do I even care anymore?

Saturday, February the 14th, 2009

(When it transcends the bad things.)

I’ve come to believe there are essentially two kinds of people in this world: Ones whose first semi-serious relationship blossoms in to a continuous, positive influence in their lives, and the rest of us. Decades may pass since these first encounters, but I’m beginning to think that those whose fledgling first loves end up crashing and burning are forever doomed to wonder what-if, unable to appreciate what they have in their hands, nor able to look hopefully into the future. Scarier still, I think this only gets worse with time.

The trouble, you see, seems to stem from the fact that most memories—especially emotionally-charged ones—are infinitely malleable. They morph steadily as the days pass, seamlessly melding-in elements of fantasy and threads of what you once wished things were. Before long, they’ve ballooned to an unrealistic standard no future relationship can ever live up to, leaving one forever unfulfilled and unhappy.

While it’s quite depressing to think about things like this, the conclusions I have reached are nothing profound. It’s quite apparent that the gap between fantasy and reality in the public consciousness has been steadily growing over the years. What exacerbates the problem for me personally is that I don’t tend to fall for geeks. Sweet-sounding singers, expressive painters and petite pastry chefs maybe, but never the geek. And the more specialised I’ve become over the years, the less likely it’s become I meet anyone but. Which makes it hard not to reminisce about times when the pool was more eclectic.

Thursday, April the 17th, 2008

My fingers are refusing to type this; they’ve been numbed by the cold outside.

But I had to go out. I had to get away. Sitting at my desk was becoming too claustrophobic. It was as if the words on the screen before me were crawling out to smother me.

I seem to have blacked out the specific words I saw, but whatever they were, I heard them exclaim: “Leisure? You don’t have a right to leisure!”

When I formally concluded my graduate studies at the end of last year, I’d reached a crossroads in my life. So much of the past half decade of my existence had been devoted to the creation and completion of that one humongous document, I conveniently opted to ignore just about everything else. I hadn’t even contemplated the basic question of what I intended on doing thereafter, now that this chapter of my life was drawing to a close.

Thankfully, come new year’s eve, it dawned upon me that it’s better late than never, and I ought to pause now to think about things; to seriously contemplate the state of my existence, and search for where I was going with my life.

And I did. It’s what I’ve been doing for these past few months.

This period has been good for me. It hasn’t been particularly exciting or eventful, but I have a better idea of what I want: I want to be free. I want to be under the radar, not bound my society’s expectations. I don’t want commitment and I don’t want to be tied down by responsibility.

I want to read, to write, to express. I want to shoot pictures and sing in the rain. I want to spend my evenings at a smoky night-club under a Parisian cafe, reciting poetry, passionately debating the iniquity of a purely Neo-Marxist society with my beret’d friends.

It doesn’t matter if my activities can sustain me, or help me save toward a down-payment of a home, or impress a gold-digger enough for her to spend the rest of her life with me, or pay college tuition for the kids we’d likely have.

No, I just want leisure. That’s all I want—I want the time and space to pursue whatever I fancy.

And that’s why I stepped out into the cold. I had to get away.

I’d just learnt that as an international student here, it was new U.S. policy that one can’t amble along unemployed for too long after graduation; they have to do something with their lives. And since I can’t yet put my finger on what my something is, the next moment I did the only thing I know how—I returned to working at the uni; to spend even more time confined in a window-less cubicle.

Because somehow, it’s this that makes me a desired and productive member of society.

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Wednesday, March the 12th, 2008

I wonder why people ask you how you are when they aren’t really interested in an honest answer. Perhaps it’s just a means of initiating casual conversation, but even I can think of a dozen other ways of achieving that without creating an opportunity to open up that can of worms. Whatever their rationale though, I wish people would ponder for an instant whether they’re ready for an actual answer before they fire that question my way—I’m sick and tired of having to argue my case.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to regular readers, but I almost revel in my perennial state of misery. By design and circumstance, being miserable is what I perceive as normalcy—it’s a fundamental part of who I am. Judging from the way I only want what I can’t have, and drop things the instant they come within my grasp, it’s almost as if I were striving to maintain my misery.

This however is exactly the sort of thing that’s too complicated to explain when confronted by someone’s casual “How are you?” Just what am I supposed to say to that? I’m miserable as usual? I’m miserable and wretched as expected, but I am perfectly fine with that? I’m sure you don’t want to know?

What?

Tuesday, January the 8th, 2008

This might seem strange coming from someone who claims to be a scientist, but I’m fairly convinced that there is no such thing as objective reality. After numerous conversations with people around, I’m beginning to realise that everyone’s perception of reality is just that—it’s simply their own. No amount of arguing or attempts at homogenising their outlooks can change that; everybody just lives in the world they concoct for themselves.

Normalcy, morality, sanity, … are just figments of our imaginations. They’re illusions concocted by a dominant few who arrive at a vaguely consistent view of the world, and attempt to impose their perspectives on the masses.

I’ve been analysing some of my more-bitter tirades over these past weeks, and I now see what I’d been wrestling with: I don’t enjoy being told how I ought to perceive my life. I just want to be allowed to perceive my life.

Friday, January the 4th, 2008

Why doesn’t he talk to us anymore? Does he no longer love us? Doesn’t he even care that we miss him?

A sad state of affairs this, but only over the past fortnight did I realise that writing on my journal had, for the most part, entirely substituted my need for actual conversations with real people.

My quarter-life crisis induced meandering coinciding with the Christmas holidays have resulted in me spending a lot of quality time with my family. The whole lot of us—my mom, brother and I, my cousins, uncle and aunt—have all been huddled together eating heartily, talking openly and having a blast shopping, gifting and re-gifting.

The whole affair has been intensely therapeutic for me, and while I still haven’t a clue about anything—professionally or personally—it doesn’t bother me nearly as much. It’s comforting to have people around who are understanding and supportive, be it whether you’re yearning for a heart-to-heart, or just a buddy to trounce in Mario Kart. Things have been so positive, in fact, that I’ve (after consultation with the doctor-like shrink) weaned myself off my medication. Moreover, I’m now relaxed, rejuvenated and itching to return to the sciences, math and other geeky pursuits. I’m not quite as concerned where I get to do it nor with whom, but the important thing in my mind is that I’ve realised being a geek is a fundamental aspect of my existence. It is not something that I can abandon under the guise of lusting after trivial pursuits. And believe me, in the lowest of my lows, I was quite settled on abandoning the sciences and other scholarly pursuits entirely, to quest for other avenues that might lead me to being happy.

There you have it. Things are going rather well, and I’m even contemplating a break from this break, to somewhere warm like Hawaii, before I get sucked into the rigmarole of the next stages of my life. Let’s wait and see.

So don’t you worry about me not caring enough about you to report-in here. I still love you all dearly, even if you’re the kinds who abscond for a couple of months only to re-emerge married to someone else.

Tuesday, December the 4th, 2007

Stepping out after a long, hot shower all wrinkley and pink, I hope I can finally pen some of the thoughts that have frequented my mind over this past week. The main thing I’ve been wrestling with is this: Is changing my life really just my own fight?

Let me explain.

Talk to anyone, and more often than not, they’ll be quick to suggest that you ought to take control of your own life, take responsibility for your actions and fight your own battles. They’ll probably use different words, but this will be the general sentiment they express. They’ll say that you shouldn’t sit there blaming the world for your misfortunes, and shouldn’t expect a magical fairy to come floating down from the clouds—or wherever it is fairies call home—and solve your problems for you.

OK, I admit waiting for a magical fairy is a pretty bogus way of dealing with your life’s situations, but is your life really just your own fight to fight? Quite certainly, other people must’ve played some part in your life’s path. Haven’t they?

Take, for example, the case of these parents who raised their already socially-awkward child in three very different parts of the world. Is it any surprise that the kid has difficulty grasping where he fits in? Why is it that others can be a part of the problem but when it comes to fixing it, you ought to single-handedly arrive at a solution?

One obvious answer to that question is more of the same drivel: “It’s your life; it’s your problem, not theirs.” And this is something that leaves me unconvinced.

Saturday, November the 10th, 2007

If you are expecting this entry to be some sort of misguided rant on the menstrual cycle, you’re going to be quite disappointed.

While most people imagine themselves “navigating their way through life,” I envision myself standing rather inert, allowing life to flow past me. As with a lot of other things in this world, I find it pointless to question why this is so, and instead just acknowledge that things are the way they are.

As far back as I can remember (which, arguably, isn’t very long), I cannot recall making any significant decision with any degree of surety or conviction; I seem to just lie there as eventualities take their course, and the decision is conveniently made for me. (And no, choosing just the right caffeinated beverage from the plethora of delicious choices from the nearby vending machine does not count.) Be it my academic choices, or choosing parts of the world in which to pursue them, to determining what kinds of relationships I engage in, with whom, or for that matter, even when those relationships dissolve—the sorts of decisions that ought to shape the core of my existence—I find myself more as a passive observer of events unfolding rather than an active participant in the intricate tapestry.

If you think about it though, this in itself really isn’t a bad scheme of events—as long as one’s happy with the way things evolve. And therein lies the unfortunate twist in our tale: Recently, I’ve been hating everything in the picture. And what’s worse, I seem to have gotten so used to sitting back and allowing things to “fall into place,” I’m not sure I’m even capable of weaving the fabric of my own life any more.


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