actuality.log


All entries tagged 'life'

Thursday, December the 3rd, 2009

I’ve been spending these past days discussing art history and poetry, and I am now invited to a couple of art auctions? What the deuce?

A stranger I ran into on the street sounded remarkably similar to someone else I used to know. And I mean ridiculously, remarkably similar. The same mousy demeanour, the same accent, identical vocabulary, everything. So I did something a younger me wouldn’t have even contemplated: I rudely walked up to her and asked her if she knew this other woman.

Turns out she did; they were sisters! What the deuce?

A day or so before I left Oslo, my favourite pair of shoes completely fell apart. And I mean utterly, completely fell apart. The nature of the failure was very strange, but “No worries,” I told myself, and packed a pair of sturdy boots for my trip.

I show up here, and within a couple of days of walking around town, my “sturdy” boots fall apart too. Rubber and leather and metal (how the hell have I ever gotten on a plane with these things?) everywhere.

Has my gait changed so much these past days? What the deuce?

I don’t know what’s gotten into people around, but they keep trying to set me up with this Danish girl. Granted she’s really cute and fun to hang out with, but why are these guys pushing so hard? Is there something about turning older that brings out the inner matchmakers in women? What the deuce?

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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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.


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