Temporal

I think short-term engagements are cruel. There is no indication of permanence, and you get stuck in this no man’s land of not knowing whether to make deeper connections or keeping things light. You try keeping everything on the surface initially, knowing that it would be easier when the time comes to part. But you just start to make more connections when you begin to feel more comfortable around the people, and it really makes everything so much more enjoyable.

But all these come with an expiry date. Not to say that contact will completely cease after you part, but something essential will change. That is the inevitable truth.
It’s fine when you are dealing with it once in a while. But multiple times in a year just hits you.

Brief, fleeting, fun. Before you can go further, things end. You start wondering if there is any sense of permanence in relationships you form after leaving formal education, and whether this will mark the way you meet and interact with new people the rest of your life.

Will it?

It’s been a long time!

Life has been busy ever since I came back from the UK. Every few months I experience a change in environment and that’s probably why I still feel like I’m in a stage of transition. Things have not settled down enough for me to actually get a sense of everything that has happened. I get this sense that I’m just floating about without any means of support sometimes, not just because of the different things I have been doing, but also because I seem to have to make quick decisions about relatively major things. It all boils down to my preference to want to sleep on things at least a week before I make a decision, and having a sense that my hand is being forced does not help matters. I also hate not being able to picture what lies ahead. While it does not need to be a clear five-year plan thing with all the objectives and steps laid out, I like to at least know what will happen and what it will be like a few months from now. I guess I have to wait a little longer for things to settle down, and for me to finally see where I am heading with all these decisions made. At least now I can put aside all those calculations and weighing of options that have plagued me since March.

On a brighter note, work is good. And that’s something I would never have been able to say if I had stayed on in my previous job. Best decision so far.

Why I’m So Resistant to Organized Religion

If you look just at teachings from the major religions around the world, you realise that they are definitely words of wisdom. They teach you love and tolerance and all the big ideals that most of the global society accepts as good and positive. I personally found inspiration and support from many sayings across different religions at different times of my life. But the difference between learning and feeling these sayings and choosing a religion to believe in is extremely different.

In many organized religions, there is a certain interpretation of the main ideas and believers have to follow certain rules. I understand the logic behind all these, since these help to convey a uniform message to believers and non-believers about what this religion is about. But I find that many times these rules become distorted or misconstrued by people, and they mutate. They become restrictions, and believers have a “us versus them” attitude. Many inwardly repel non-believers and try their best to convert others. But everytime I encounter such people, I feel like I’m being judged as a lesser person just because I don’t believe in the same things. Some others have learnt to put their messages across in nicer and more diplomatic forms, but it doesn’t lessen the feeling that they see you as a sort of a “sales target”. If you still stand firm, they give off a “well, you are alright, but still lacking since you are not part of us” vibe.

Of course, I have met many religious individuals who are genuine and respect that we are all different. But the fact remains that when religion is brought up when talking to most who are part of an organized religion, they exude a sense of superiority, like they are more “in the know” because they hold membership to one of these organizations many are familiar with.

I guess that’s what my main problem with these groups is – I find wisdom in many of the quotes and sayings I come across, but I hate the way the believers become when they realise you are not one of them. Their attitudes seem to say “Sure, you are entitled to your own beliefs, but you are still going to hell. Just sayin’.” Having a membership card does not mean you are a better person than I am. Not having one doesn’t mean that I have no principles and morals. I very much prefer taking lessons from wise words, regardless of source. In any case, beliefs are very much a personal thing to me, and I see no need to account to the world at large, or to join a group just for a more assured road to heaven. Likewise, I respect that everyone has the right to make their own decisions about these matters. I just ask for less condescension and more mutual respect. Is that so difficult?

Dissertation

That’s the only thing on my mind right now. No extra space for thoughts about life, how sucky the new NDP song is, or even plans after this is over. My time here is drawing to an end and all I can think of is whether I can complete my dissertation and submit it before that. It seems so easy when you read journal articles explaining so clearly how the researchers went about completing each aspect of their study. But believe me, when you actually write it yourself, it’s like words refuse to come out, and sentences refuse to form coherently. The idea is there, but you can’t articulate it.

URGH.

Ok rant over. Have to get back to work.

Irritated

Bah. So many problems just for one application. So many complications too. Maybe I should just go back home and find a job. Starting to wonder if it’s a good thing that they suddenly considered me for this round…

Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms

I can’t believe this – while I was away in London for the weekend, it took all of five minutes to get back into the rhythm of being in a city. I’ve been back for more than one day, and I’m still missing that feeling of just having things within reach, where you actually see things happening around you. I know I’m whining too much about living in a small town, and yes, the town centre is just 15 minutes away by bus, and I have a big supermarket a short walk away.

But it’s just a really different feeling when you are in a small town. You feel a palpable sense of being part of things in a city as you move around, even when you are just in your room looking out of the window. You see and hear more people, and you know there are things and activities to occupy your time even when you are alone. There are more options available when you want a night’s out. You also feel an urge to be presentable when you leave the house, instead of just throwing on anything you see in front of you. These were what I really missed about living in a city, and just that short weekend brought it all back.

Having had all those without question ever since I was born was probably that largest obstacle I have to overcome living here in this small town. There is nothing happening in the vicinity, the highlight of your day could simply be a trip to that big supermarket I mentioned, while a trip to town definitely ends by 6pm because everything closes before that time. It isn’t convenient nor that safe to go out at night, and I don’t even do that very often since the alternatives are: clubbing (in school), clubbing (in town), drinks at the school bar (where everyone ends up drunk), drinks in a random house party (where everyone ends up drunk), or an excursion to a pub 25 minutes by foot.

Yes, I’m a student, and yes, I probably can study better without distractions, but seriously, if you were not motivated, any type of environment would provide distractions. I’ll freely admit that I’m an unashamed consumer of most things capitalist, and I love living in a place where I get to enjoy them freely and at my own pace. Many people are probably put off by the fact that nothing ever closes in big cities, but that’s the beauty of it. The city never sleeps, and you have something for everyone.

Of course, there will be times when the city gets too much, and you just want to escape from it all, see the beauty of nature, and explore the countryside. I get that way sometimes, but it goes away fairly quickly.

Maybe I’m a spoilt city girl. But at least I admit it and I make no apologies. To each his or her own, I say. That said, this year helped to open my eyes to how people outside cities live, and though I can’t say I like it, at least I experienced it. (And definitely spent much less than I would have if I stayed in a city in this country).