“Actually that’s my secret — I can’t even talk about you to anybody because I don’t want any more people to know how wonderful you are.”

Hello I’m really tired. I just packed my room and cleared out all the debris that accumulated on the floor after a week of chionging work. This is a kind of collection of personal thoughts that I had over the past few days, because my brain is so scattered now it feels like I am holding on to a few strands of thoughts and a few pieces of chicken chop, and I am not sure how much longer I can hold on for. I can’t let go, if I just intentionally ‘forget’ things I know I will feel like that I have lost something. Which is why slotherious is a great platform, it is an eternal brain dump as long as I can afford the yearly domain fees. Somehow a non-personal domain just doesn’t feel right.

On DG and the church carnival:

I wrote this bit about DG two months ago. I think it was when they first announced the dates for the carnival, and I thought to myself- what did I learn about fellowship so far? Why are people so happy to stay on in the same cell group for years, and always contribute time and money to a cause that others do not understand?

We assemble every Friday at 8.20pm at Pine Grove, each of us with our individual burdens from work and our heavy hearts, minds that get progressively more solemn as the week passes. Different backgrounds, different hobbies, different habits. Some of us like to sit on the floor, some sit cross-legged on the chair, some like to stand throughout the bible study session. But we have the same belief- that regardless of how broken we are, God will find a way to mend us. No weakness or failure of character is too big for him, no flaw is too small to be overlooked. We know that to everything, the answer is Christ, and if only we can lean wholeheartedly on him, he will make our burdens lighter. If only we truly believed, steadfastly holding on to our understanding of him. Then at our last exhale, we need not be worried that we have come to the end and our lives were all for nothing. It will not just be a final goodbye.”

The carnival yesterday was held at Bishan, and after four hours of being in a crowd I was half-dead and ready to uber home. There was very good prata with chicken curry (made on the spot), curry puffs, ice cream, didn’t try my own DG’s bak kuh teh but I had chicken rice! There was a DG who sponsored $7000 worth of chicken rice, that works out to an average of 400-500 per person, assuming they had less people than us. Had to get work clothes so I hurriedly did my shopping at vivo. Only managed to find two outfits because I have this aversion towards colours and prints so it’s always pretty much black on black.

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/carnival-celebrates-the-spirit-of-giving

I am quite amazed at the carnival planning. The entry passes only cost $2, and it entitles you to all the games, two mains, three sides and three drinks if I’m not wrong. In other words, we did not sell tickets to raise funds, we sold tickets so that people could enjoy the carnival. The donations were done before the carnival even started.

I also went for something called Project Timothy, which made me realise that I’m not actually…I don’t know, constantly joyful in church? I feel like I should be. But I am not at the stage where I feel this joy and deep reassurance every day, it’s more like okay on most days I have this relaxed and neutral kungfu stance that borders on joy during quiet time, on other days I’m quite at peace about how things are going. Not being able to date a non-christian however, REALLY SUCKS. “Real change is possible,” said the pastor. I wrote down, “real change is possible painful.” It’s not that I am actively looking for someone, it’s just that I haven’t been so interested in a guy since bobcat circa 2013. That’s four years of “am I a lesbian?” that I dealt with. I still feel that I’m bisexual though. Or “are you going to be single forever”, said people who were my project mates. I am not intentionally going against what is being taught in the bible, which is that marriage should be a reflection of the covenant between God and his church. It’s just that I want to date casually, without people telling me that “it’s better to not date than date a non-christian or take dating lightly”.

On work:

Met old friends in the past three days, partly because it was my birthday and I didn’t want to spend my 23rd doing work. Aloha poke is nice!! Shall go there again. There’s a cheaper $9.90 salmon version somewhere too, asked a colleague out next week so I can try that. My favourite dishes in the CBD area are- beef pepper bowl from Amoy, chai tea latte from Dimbulah (I can drink enough in one day to make it a meal), fish soup from Amoy, chicken chop from Shenton House, Daily cut @RP, poke bowls in general, astons @ asia square, and this jap food place that has really good egg plant and salads but I forgot the name, it’s along Boon Tat. I budgeted 250 a month for food but with friends and all, it’s more like 400. I still miss the chendol from brickworks! It’s really good chendol.

Work has been good- things are picking up fast. It felt like we had no substantial training for one month other than basic skills (which might not be used, depending on your project team’s style), and you are left to make connections on your own. I volunteered to write for the upcoming trip and got pulled into my unit’s rec club, we are going to plan more events that won’t involve an army of tuktuks. Now the second month is here and lots of things are in the pipeline. Which is fine, but I don’t really know how to manage my bandwidth yet, so I am expecting myself to do work for the next three weeks using my weekend time. I think I am quite happy because I like my company and I really enjoy my work. I like knowing that whatever I do, it contributes towards an impact, no matter how small, on the client’s end. Which affects the lives of people in other developing countries. And I like knowing that I am a good support system to my colleagues. The only thing I dislike about working at home is that I don’t have a large desktop monitor at home, I shall get one soon to deal with calibri font 5.5 on slide decks.

On others:

I was asked this week by a well-meaning friend (not describing him as anything else, it’s difficult to pigeon-hole this person) “why are you so reserved”. To which I thought, yes I am, but how would I know why? That is like asking “why do you like being a straightforward and crazy coconut?” Hmm actually, do coconuts have genders?

I just am. I process a lot of things on the inside and I don’t reveal much unless I am asked, or if I’m in a hyper mood. Like when I had HK food with L. and then too much awfully chocolate cake, the salted caramel caused a sugar rush and I love salted caramel. Being an introvert is a different way of interacting with the world. I like books and furry animals, I like small kids who like to eat cheerios, I like to write about my feelings (so female of me HAHA), I like to hear the stories about people and their experiences. I like to touch people and I like hugs, unless the sun is really hot and I am turning into a roasted potato. I don’t care for crowds, the carnival really killed a bit of me. I didn’t realise how tired I was until I got home and I slept at 9pm, probably the first time in months. “Uncle black sauce and chilli, or plain?” “More soup?” “Consolidate ok ok.

If I had a choice I might not choose to be more extroverted, simply because I don’t know how to imagine what an extrovert’s life might feel like. I don’t know how to create value in noisy places, I don’t like to hang out with people all the time- hence I schedule lunches one to one because I don’t want my post-lunch work efficiency to go down to 20%. Perhaps to others it is a sort of half-life that I live, like how with makeup on I’m an enhanced goblin. Not experiencing what they see as fun? But to me I’m coping very well, especially with being on TCM and in a few weeks, anxiety medication again. I am just not a randomly-coughing ball of fireworks singing despacito on the highway.

What do I do for fun? I don’t know. I think I am still finding out. I don’t think my brain processes ‘fun’ in the same way as others do. It is more of fulfilment and a sense that what I am doing, it is meaningful, and that if I die the next day, it would not have been in vain. I would not have lived a half-life just for myself. And if it was entirely for myself, I would have enjoyed it and not changed myself to fit others.

I don’t have much time left to write. Or read, now I find myself just zoning out on the train in the mornings. I do want to return to meditation/yoga, which I started for only a few days. The easiest thing to do now is just to swim after work. I was wondering about heart break, I think I felt emotions most intensely a few days ago when I was reminded to keep my distance from K, and my heart was like “I DON’T WANT TO KEEP MY DISTANCE.” I don’t feel a lot on most days, but when I do I usually don’t understand why I feel that way. I am able to rationalize anger out really well, but other softer emotions like affection or sadness, it’s difficult for me to say anything other that “ok I am feeling weird. Weird feels, soft cats.”

To find a small moment of joy in a blue sky,

A long walk an early morning in December

Or a handwritten letter to an old friend simply saying, “I thought of you, I hope you are well.”

I am trying, as I always will.

I read a helpful tip to deal with my emotions. “Take short little cries every time you feel overwhelmed”. I think I feel overwhelmed most on Friday nights, when I am done with DG and I just feel unhappy because I don’t want all that responsibility and commitment that comes with being a Christian. I can’t be unorthodox, I can’t go around having sex with everyone, I can’t turn up for DG drunk or smoke (not allowed to smoke because your body has to be an acceptable living sacrifice) or date a non-Christian, I have to tithe a portion of my salary every month which I would rather spend buying books, and I have to do bible study daily. I can’t be a stumbling block to other Christians and I basically cannot do a lot of things. Lie, steal, cheat, shout- yes I am a difficult person. I wouldn’t do those things even if church wasn’t in my life- okay maybe lies, I think white lies to clients are quite common in business- but it is more of a feeling that I only know the laws, I do not yet know joy. Can I say that I love God? I think I do, but it is a feeling borne out of admiration for his grace and his temperament and how loving he can be. But on a daily basis I feel like I will feel less cooped up if he did not exist. Because it means that I can do whatever I want.

There are flowers growing outside my window.

The coffee is warm, the air is pure.

Spending time with friends I am comfortable with, hoping for someone kind. I feel that so much of me is tied to being independent- travelling to Phuket a day earlier than others, doing whatever I want even if no one else wants to do it, serving in a meditation centre in September even though my DG leader told me to again, be careful of non-Christian teachings. I just don’t know if I will feel differently about what I do a few years from now? Maybe I will never find myself, maybe I will always be open to new experiences and I will never be settled as a Christian or even, as a human being. Maybe it will be a lifelong journey of searching and wanting more. Wanting someone gentle and kind.

If there was no chance of gaining any temporal reward for our piety, would we bother?

Reviewing: May and June

Hi I think I forgot to do a review of May lol. But fear not, I have a calendar with a lot of coloured boxes so I know that my life was not a blackhole in May. I shall separate what I did into categories so I will not feel like a complete mess.

Work

  • I am scared.
  • However, I got new makeup.

School

  • Settled degree related things. I returned all my business knowledge to the profs already.

Family

  • Mom theoretically let go of some of her commitments, but somehow, I still don’t see her at home.
  • I put in more effort to see my grandma during these two months because I finally have time. Bought her egg tarts from some HK bakery.

Friends

  • Travelled overseas twice with different people. Wish I could have gone to Australia to see Panda-king, but I need a break. I only have five days left to myself, including today.
  • Made lots of friends aged 18 months to 3 years old HAHAHAHA. *pat pat*. Sometimes they really ignore you and start playing with the toys at the back of the room when they are supposed to be listening to the teacher, that’s when I go and tell them “Okay just take one ball with you…no, one ball only! You have to participaaaaaate!” *carries them over*
  • Caught up with old friends from school and internships. I prefer Burmese food over Western food 😊 Korean is good, if there is cheese involved. I don’t really appreciate movies unless there is popcorn involved, but then I’ll get scolded for eating it all before the movie starts.
  • Got to know more DG people. I agree with what A said though- she wants to find a DG that is transitioning into adulthood, just like us. Maybe at the most with 2 or 3 years of working experience. With my current DG, they are all seasoned working adults who have been in the industry for at least 6-7 years, some with multiple degrees. They can be a little more jaded and less…bushy-tailed and bright-eyed?

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Creative endeavours

  • Journaling, some water-colouring involved. I prefer markers and black pen drawings because those are easier to control. For watercolours, I haven’t gotten used to controlling the amount of water yet. Plus because I’m practicing on moleskine paper (although I did get a pad of mixed media paper), everything just buckles and turns out uneven.
  • Discovered Amy Tan, love her writing.
  • Returned to reading Jack Kerouac but I don’t like his style anymore.
  • Started on David Wallace but hmm.
  • Uploaded less posts? I feel like I ramble less now because I don’t have time to sit down and ramble.
  • Decorated my room- dad repainted the walls. I wanted light grey with a hint of pinkish undertones. For some reason, even though my dad used a priming base, it turned out to be light blue. I’m going to use fabric paint for the curtain over my door. Also, getting some flowers etc when the walls are completely done.

Health

  • Survived a meditation retreat for 12 days.
  • The chicken wings at ECP are nice, but not as good as the tze char ones in KL. Both were 45-minute waits lol. I didn’t update much on what I did during church camp but there was a lot of food involved (not hotel food), and not a lot of side effects from all the hokkien mee and prawn noodles 🙂 I didn’t mind eating because my DG has a lot of doctors so the odds of me dying are lower.

Speaking of doctors, I was in a car with three doctors yesterday because we arranged to cycle at ECP. I mentioned that I wanted to get a motorcycle license because I don’t like being in a confined space (car or cupboards etc) alone, and they immediately said “no that’s a bad idea!! We see a lot of RTAs!!” “What’s RTA?”Road traffic accidents.” “Ohhh.” “Do your parents know about this?” “I wasn’t going to tell them?” “When it rains the roads will be slippery!” “All the bikers I know have been in accidents.” They said it with such conviction I was like “ok, ok not getting.” But I still think it’s interesting to bike. Maybe dirt bike LOL.

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  • TCM tapered down again- new medication, my skin hasn’t broken out in rashes for about 1.5 months now. But with regards to my monthly buddy it is still very unstable, the days in between periods for most girls are about 28 days, I can range from 38 to 50 days ): Which means that my hormones are basically all over the place, and it is difficult to track my moods cause it might just be PMS.
  • Eating a lot of kimchi maggi mee without the usual stomaches!!
  • There is a super dark scar on my leg from cupping- the cup is heated and sucks out blood from the small needle holes she makes, which means that if the rim of the cup is placed on a needle mark that too big (not a hole, sometimes it is more of a small scratch because she pokes really fast), it will cause the skin to open, leaving a scar. I covered it with a plaster during church camp but it’s still purplish. I would say that my pain tolerance is quite good, I actually enjoy blood donations and ear piercings. But TCM is a different ball game, especially when the pressure points are around my knees and hip bones. During acupuncture and cupping I’m usually covered in cold sweat.

Words can’t express how grateful I am that I can eat all sorts of good food now with my friends. Hawker centres!!! In the past I used to fear outside food because of all the sauces and spices used. And contamination from the tze char woks, even if I only order vegetables and rice etc. Mentally I feel like I have been freed from a prison, I can share food with people now. And I can eat a lot of popiah without checking for rashes (subtly) on my wrists.

  • Started swimming a lot more. Got rewarded with a tan line and the feeling that I have aged because I am not as flexible anymore.

Side note: In the past year, I got to know two friends who got married at 23, and this morning I discovered a friend of a friend who also got married…this year. At 23. Still mind-blown haha. Maybe because I believe that marriage is for life and I can’t make life decisions at 23 LOL. I can only eat satay and watch people fish at ECP.

I also bought copic markers and random things at Art Friend. I love copic markers, but they are so expensive ): I really like the shades of pink and grey.

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Recording a dream: A. getting married, and I’m still single (and broke).

I don’t get to control the directions my dreams go in, although I know some people are able to do so. I slept at 10pm and woke up at 4am with the most horrible feeling, because I dreamt that A (let’s just call him/her A) got married and shared a whole photo album of his/her marriage photo shoots with me. It wasn’t just one photo shoot, he (let’s just use he, although I am trying to keep my blog as impersonal as possible) had a whole collection from when he met H (for her, although in the dream they met in Italy, but I didn’t want to use ‘I’). It was their first date up till the pre-wedding preparations and everything was lovely. There were photos of sunsets and him alone and her alone and I just wanted to tell him to cut off all contact with me, because I can’t wish him well for the wedding. I mean, I definitely would want it to go well, but I was just so upset that he met her and I am just an outsider to their union. Pretending to share in his happiness would only hurt me.

It was a mix of being jealous, and upset, and wishing very fervently that it didn’t happen and if it did, then I’m definitely not getting out of bed today. I was still half-awake then, and that feeling only lasted for maybe fifteen minutes. It took me about fifteen minutes to be fully awake and realise “hey he’s not married in real life, Jessica stop being a stupid dugong.” And then I realised that he might as well be married, because it’s not like we have a future together. It is just delaying the inevitable, because whether married or not, I still do not get what I want. Which is an insight into his personal life and listening to his goals and thoughts as a confidante.

I remember scrolling to the bottom of the photo album- he shared a link online with me- and I saw the girl and I was like… “ok she is not compatible with him, she has such small eyes”. And then I saw her as he did- she had a personality, she has a great body, and she was a lovely and adaptable human being. Perhaps my head was just projecting the kind of person that I wanted to be onto her, but it was then I realised that what he fell in love with wasn’t the external appearance, but the internal bits of her. Someone he could relax with, with no fixed notions on how to live a life and also patient, outdoorsy, great at sex, and an understanding friend.

Good people do exist in this world, I know this because I have great friends who are all of the above (ok I don’t know about sex, I’m just describing the dream, but you get what I mean). She was everything that I am not. She had the right family background and good health, she wasn’t self-conscious like me. By that I mean that my personality is good too, but I can see my flaws clearly and I know that there are hidden flaws that I can’t see too. How attractive a person is depends on the mix of personalities in the relationship, someone who is an attractive beef-rendang-fried-rice set might just be maggi mee to another person, y’know?

The dream was so real. It wasn’t like I was dreaming some far-fetched scenario about dinosaurs and dragons, as I normally do. It was as if it was real life, and the pain was real too. Knowing that I am a whole person and she’s a whole person and we are two different people, hoping that he would choose me but nope. A is a very attractive person- all my friends are- and attractive people will definitely have other people who are crushing on them. That is normal, that is something that I have to live with. And so I got up, brushed off all my thoughts about hiding in my room for the day because it is just a dream, and I started reading Quora posts about how people were invited to their crushes’ wedding. One quote that I really like: You also realise that this wasn’t meant to be…like the rest of your life that doesn’t go as planned.

Here’s another quote, by Cheryl Strayed.

We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us. There’s nothing to do but to salute it from the shore.

I don’t think I was jealous though. Maybe a little, because I would have liked to be on the receiving end of his care and concern. But it was more of a deep sense of unfulfillment and lost hope. Thoughts that ran through my head were “they are so physically incompatible” and so much of compatibility in my head is tied to attractive features and external beauty. Which is really ironic, because I know that in long-term relationships, if there is anything other than superficial lust, it has to be on the level of personality and the somewhat cheesy union of the souls. I follow youtubers like fatgirlflow and glowpinkstah because they are such beautiful people in alternative relationships. Fatgirlflow has a husband named Nate who experiments with cross-dressing and wears a little bit of makeup, glowpinkstah is a lot heavier than her husband, and they are from different countries and backgrounds etc. Here are the two videos:

I also thought to myself about why I do not want to commit to a relationship now. It is not just having high standards, I think I am not at the stage of my life where I am a whole person yet. There are many parts of me that I am still changing, albeit very slowly, and I have other priorities to handle. I would think that if I am fat and lazy and stopped working etc (barring conditions of poor mental health), and if someone still loved me, then he or she is just putting me on a pedestal that I do not deserve. Because I can see all my flaws clearly and I do not think I would be attractive in a long-term relationship with someone who is more than a friend. Friends are great, boyfriends/girlfriends require that emotional commitment because you can’t have more than one.

Perhaps I just need to discover what they say about relationships (and none of my friends are in peaceful and loving relationships with no interference from the external world lol)- that I have to first love myself. It is not about what I look like, although hygiene does play a role. It is about how I express myself, how I adapt to the moment. It is about all the whole lives that other people have which I know nothing about, and I have to accept that A, and many other people, will move on from the original period of memories that we shared. Maybe because I value the raw bits in other people- the stinky, messy, okay maybe not stinky, but definitely messy and disordered and confusing parts in other people- that is why I find it difficult to share personal thoughts with just one person. I am like an open book, anyone can read me if they can understand my language.

Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realise there is no choice but to let it go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.

-Cheryl Strayed

Watching: Beauty and the Beast (movie)

I didn’t cry at the part where Belle bent over the Beast to tell him that she loved him, neither did I tear at the part where Belle was struggling to get to the Beast. The girl to my left was sniffling really hard and shifting around in her seat at those scenes lol so I’m assuming that those are the tear jerking scenes.

I teared at the part when the household staff were turning into objects permanently. When the teapot was asking for her son Chippy, and she couldn’t find him before she closed her eyes and went still. And Chippy was also looking for his mom, the saucer plate he was riding on smashed on the ground- he would have smashed too, if not for the coat hanger picking him up and putting him next to the mom.

The scene between the clock and the candle stick (although I think there’s another term for him), that was beautiful too. It was an honour to have served with you. Two old friends who lived and worked together while they were alive, and tried very hard to break the spell while they were living as household objects. At the end, they could see no hope and calmly accepted their fate. I would like to go to my end in a similar way, surrounded by good people and the knowledge that I have tried my best, even if it wasn’t good enough. Sometimes there is really precious little in life to celebrate, but one can appreciate the process and the effort even if they didn’t get to where they wanted to be.

The Beast was stuck in his body for a long time, being all fierce and masculine. But he had a kind heart even while trapped in that horrible hairy body, and he gave Belle what she wanted, which was a library full of books and someone to understand her. And he had the knowledge that he was once beautiful. But for people in real life, those who are ugly and stunted and have a kind heart, can be without partners for life and not have that reassurance that someone will come along to love them. Because your physical appearance changes how other people treat you- some people don’t come out of that experience called ‘the period before being sure of your identity’ whole.

I used to wonder why would some people select other people with low self-esteem to be their partners- intentionally select for those people. I guess after reading a few blogs on that subject, I think I now understand the mentality where you are able to control someone else with a few words or by persuading her that you know better, she should follow your opinions, and generally it is a rather heady way to live. After all she does not value herself as much as she values you, and she doesn’t want to be alone because that would mean going back to her past. Humans are rather good at occupying their time with interesting pursuits. I am not sure if it means happiness for either party, for as long as one stays in a relationship that restraints them, it might only mean mild discontent at best?

Edit:/

(Days in the sun, Beauty and the Beast)

All those days in the sun
What I’d give to relive just one
Undo what’s done
And bring back the light

Oh, I could sing of the pain these dark days bring
The spell we’re under
Still it’s the wonder of us I sing of tonight

How in the midst of all this sorrow
Can so much hope and love endure
I was innocent and certain
Now I’m wiser but unsure

On dating and why I’m single.

Sometimes people do ask me why am I still single given that I am not extremely unattractive- by that I guess they mean obese or hideous etc. I was thinking about this during the very painful back/shoulder massage this afternoon, and I concluded that even though I do want a relationship, I am very conscious of the cost of entering into a relationship. I don’t like to do things that I don’t feel are right for me, even if everyone else is doing them.

I am looking for someone who will entertain me and make me laugh, someone who will remain interesting even as he goes about his daily life. Interesting can be anything from having habits that rule his life, which are different from others, or having different passions and different ideas. Or just someone who constantly thinks out of the box. Someone who, and I constantly wonder if this is the right thing to want, achieves more than me and has a better grasp of his emotions than I do. Or actually, thinking about this, this is not too hard because pretty much everyone achieves more than I do. I spend half my time awake reading. Even my neighbour’s dog is a high achiever compared to me, and he can’t see past his shaggy eyebrows because his owners don’t trim them. O fur~~ fly free~~ And my people skills rate around 0 to 1, so any Tom or Harry will have brownie points immediately.

He needs to have the same religious beliefs as I do, to which someone said “that means your church will interbreed within the next five generations”. Okay, that’s not really my concern. I doubt I will be alive five generations into the future. Also, he must not be clingy and ask too many questions. I hate people who asks too many questions about my personal life. “What are your insecurities?” “No insecurities.” “Everyone has insecurities.” “I have a short temper and would like to block you on telegram right now.” And taller than me. And a sincere person.

The pool of eligible bachelors is really small because logically speaking, if he can fulfill all the above then there’s no reason why he is single, unless he’s socially awkward or has a severe phobia of people contact. Or he works as a lawyer and is particularly argumentative. “I solve problems for people who are too immature to solve them themselves.” (The guy who said this is pretty cute!) The plus point is that I am not looking for someone my age, to me age doesn’t really matter because I am not looking to start a family? So I guess if I really wanted to widen my search I should try the 30s-40s age group.

I look for different things in a boyfriend and a friend, and because of that I get quite annoyed when people try to cross that boundary, because it is really a waste of time. I know I am asking for too many things but I would rather remain single than be with someone who bores me if I meet him more than once every few months. I could say “yes” and act but that would make me feel terrible about myself. If I start using other people for egoistical reasons, then that is just being a douchebag.

When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings. 

― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

What more in a committed relationship, I think my perception of a relationship involves a lot of loyalty and understanding and that has to be built up from scratch. No one has ever inspired that sort of feeling in me before.

I guess even with my current friends, sometimes I just want to slip away and be alone. It is terribly difficult to stay in a crowd or even in trios when I would rather be walking across the field on my own. I don’t know how to explain the feeling of being alone but not lonely to people. It is like The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (I think), the feeling of being the only, only, only person in the whole universe. The plot is basically you are able to travel to different universes, with the exact same configuration as earth but with different animals and plants etc. I want that sort of freedom. That absolute silence of human voices or machinery, with only animals and the rushing wind around me. There would be no pressure, and I can imagine myself breathing better. Just being calm and resting. I’ll make my own festivals and entertain myself all year long. I’ll catch fish and swim naked and spit on passing snails.

I am not afraid or particularly bothered by the fact that my friends are entering relationships, because we lead different lives and have different needs. For now, I am content with my capybara rearing fantasies. However ‘separated’ from the masses I feel, I can spend my energies building up things that I’m actually interested in. At the very least, even if I stay single for the rest of my life, I can say that I was true to myself.