I just realized that the prospect of finding a job- I have been taking it in a short-term mindset. It’s just like university all over again, I’m going to work at something specialized for three years, and then if university is a yardstick of growth, then I’m going to come out of the other end very much changed. World view changes, a elephant-herd-sized-bunch of new people met and buried and dissected, a tonne of work created and wonderment at the world in general. Before university I used to think I know myself quite clearly, it’s only at the end of it then I realised that I didn’t. I didn’t as much create myself but discover bits and pieces of me that I buried earlier, and then I used the three years to piece myself together. At a much slower pace than other people, achieving a lot lesser than my peers, but then again it depends on which yardstick I’m looking at. Through my mother’s lenses she can dig out this 20-year-old math genius on scholarship to Cambridge but I can also dig out a 27-year-old who is just starting his private university degree in Singapore. We all progress at different paces, we have different strengths, and it is this film in our heads. Like the whole movie is our life, and bits and pieces of scenes are stuck in where convenient and removed when it is no longer true.
As humans we are special though. It’s not just our personalities, it is what we choose to spend our time and money on. It’s how I really like being near the sea and the night sky. And one of the flaws is that I have no sense of food, I can’t recreate dishes from scratch. I can’t even recreate dishes with a recipe. Everything I do has my mark on it. From the way I scrape the bottom of the pan with the black plasticy spatula, because my oatmeal pancake wasn’t well-formed and I flipped it too early, to the way I roll about in bed at night. Like I’m a sort of squashy bear who needs a better formed hole to rest in. The things I use, like my plastic cup at home- I realized that I didn’t clean it out since last week, and I drank iced milo in it last week and the starbucks logo was looking a little brown. So I scrubbed it with soap and the brush and it looked a lot newer. It says a lot about my habits when I don’t notice remnant milo stains on the transparent covering of the cup. And it also reminds me to not drink so much milo every day, I might not eat macdonalds frequently but chocolate, hello pandas and milo are not doing anything for my figure.
All the little things I do and touch are ‘me’. And just to think that there are billions on humans on earth, each with their different personalities and idiosyncrasies and learning each one will take forever. We have our own belief systems- my mom is still very keen on church, she spends roughly an hour at home (apart from sleep) every weekend, and whatever she talks about is church-related. I think I’ve spent too many years like this to realize that I am missing out on something called normal, adult conversation, which could be beneficial to my mental health.
Humans are precious. I might not like them individually but I like them as a general concept, that there are people who will give their lives for others and there are people who will cut the throats of others to survive, and there is no ‘rule’ for anyone. No one can claim salvation or enlightenment. Which is immensely satisfying, it puts me on the same level as the Pope.
Everyone’s in their own personal coma.
-Chuck Palahniuk, Diary