9 pages of posts tagged with five good things
so no one should click through unless they’re ready for lots of words — i’m trying to cope with being done with college so soon by doing this stupidly long post where i try to write down everything i remember about college; i have no idea how i’m going to do this really but probably some kind of chronological post, semester-wise, class-wise maybe—who knows—i’ll see how it goes—but really it’s going to be incoherent and emotional and probably uninteresting to everyone but me but yeah click through if you’re still up for it i guess
oh also this is going to be a work-in-progress so
LMAO I HAVE TOO MANY WORDS APPARENTLY IMMA HAVE TO DO THIS SEMESTER BY SEMESTER so this is just year 1 sem 1 lolol
yeah disclaimers over
09 march, 2012
01 lazy breakfast; the dry run that didn’t happen; post-breakfast nap.
02 deciding, on the spur of the moment, to go watch a movie. molu and i went for stoker (he is my go-to movie buddy because he is always free) and it was great—even though we were late and had to walk extra-fast to begin with (“i wish i were 6ft tall with long legs so i could walk faster” “you can still walk faster” “shut up!!!”), then all-out running; madly dashing up six flights of escalators. i found myself taking mental photos of everything about the city today, the way i do after a well-shot movie: the elevator doors closing on us, reflecting me, dead centre, with my coke and my frizzy hair (i lost my hair tie on the way there). sunlight reflected on rainy pavements. the way everyone walked in the drizzle, lighthearted and oblivious, boots and heels and $10 rubi shoes all getting ruined in the same puddles. the lady on the mrt with lavender eyeliner describing a trip to bhutan in loud, broken english. the broken shoe lying in a puddle at the bus stop, an ant crawling over it, incongruous and casually eerie.
03 sitting outside starbucks with samridhi, the sun warming the back of my neck, and just enjoying her company; procrastinating, online shopping, sharing music, inconsequential conversation. dinner with medha and samridhi at sapore. coming back afterwards to a sudddenly chill evening; staying even after samridhi left, wrapped in my grease jacket, listening to ingrid michaelson and a fine frenzy and tegan & sara and chatting with my sister. looking around at all the other people here; all staring at screens, tapping their feet, nodding their heads, smiling at things no one else can see. wishing i could take a photo of today, or make a video of it, or somehow immortalise it; there is so much that cannot be captured in a list, or even in words: the smell of a hot day after rain; the colour of the trees and the wideness of the roads and the dazzling, dazzling sun, everything fresh and clean and newly-made; the hum of chatter and scattered laughter and college life.
08 march, 2013.
this is late but idc i do what i want
01 waking up early to queue in ikea for 10c meatballs. cat, sarah, cheryl and i, all giggly and happy and triumphant because we managed to wake up early, beat the lines, and buy ONE HUNDRED MEATBALLS. eating in the queue and shamelessly packing the rest into tupperware to take back; talking about sociology and travel and what we’ll all be like in the future when we have kids. such a wonderful way to start the day.
02 evening swim with milli — the joy of a leisure pool literally five minutes away from my room; the forgotten loveliness of lazily floating around and looking at the sky. fried chicken afterwards, and then the concert in the evening — i love watching my friends perform, seeing them come alive on stage; i love being in the audience, lightsticks and cheap beer and arms waving in unison. it was such a lovely, happy, peaceful day.
05 march, 2013.
little things—surviving a spontaneous debate; barely surviving it, yes, but also realising how far i’ve come from that gut-wrenching fear that would not let me speak in class. talking to new tumblr friends: how freeing it is, being able to be completely honest and sincere because we are friends but we are also strangers; i am so blown away by all these new friendships, by the things i am learning about these people, by how nice everyone is. the fellow’s tea, which made me remember why i love art and literature; the twinge in my chest when i realised that soon i will no longer be a student of literature, that i will have to make a conscious effort to hold on to it all, because i don’t want to lose it—how often i have said this phrase this semester. . thinking, suddenly, during the tea, of the house we used to pass on the way to my cousin’s house, which was being demolished but which somehow, inexplicably, hung in limbo—bricks and pillars eerily suspended in midair, a house in the process of collapse. it intrigued us; my mother’s friend was unsettled by it, said it felt like it was trapped, stuck. permanently poised in the process of collapse, permanently on the verge of impermanence. this semester has felt like that; nothing feels concrete because everything is on the edge of ending; but it’s been as lovely as it is terrifying.
03 march, 2013.
01 lazy morning; OJ and tumblr; tom yam instant noodles and book one of ‘the fionavar tapestry’ series in bed. it’s a lovely series; maddeningly complex, unbelievably moving fantasy with prose that can verge on poetry and more intertextual references than i actually understand. i’ve gone so long after the thesis in a sort of literary dry spell, not reading anything new because i was so tired of it, but it’s nice to have fallen back into my previous habits.
02 what did i even do today? i don’t know. dinner at edusports instead of the dining hall. one last hurrah, one last ‘treat yourself’ before recess week ends.
03 coffee with samridhi as she told me about her recess week, all wild and exciting—it sounded wonderful, and i’m glad she had fun, and i’m glad she’s back.
04 making a to-do list for next week; this is an anticipatory ‘good thing’ because i’m hoping i’ll stick to it.
05 quiet, and solitude, and peace. it’s been such an uneventful week — my last recess week — and i don’t think i’d have it any other way, really. it’s been good.
01 march, 2013.
01 today was my ‘get off campus and do things’ day; it started off predictably badly, when i overslept and woke up at twelve-thirty, instead of nine, despite setting three alarms. i met medha for lunch at subway and we had a surprisingly intelligent discussion about rape culture (surprising because i’d just woken up); i found myself making sense in an argument for the first time in a long time, which was good. i don’t know at what point i let myself stop being a pushover, stop being acquiescent and agreeable and non-confrontational, and just got angry, but it’s happened, and it’s done wonders for my powers of argumentation, i think.
02 taking the bus to bugis with only vague plans of what i was going to do when i got there; reading wuthering heights on the long, familiar journey, and then talking to my mother on the phone for a while, another predictable routine. getting off at bugis street and wandering around by myself; getting lost in the maze of shops, circling around the same stalls, the same pikachu and cat t-shirts, the same faintly annoying tinny music. i bought a gorgeous graphic printed skirt that the salesgirl (cell phone tucked between her ear and her shoulder) informed me was the first piece to be sold.
03 typically took the wrong exit out of bugis street, walked purposefully towards what i thought was bras basah complex, and ended up first in a dingy durian-smelling mall and then in the open-air market i remember from the first part of last summer, when samridhi and i were still wandering around singapore together. it was one of those life, london, this moment in june moments: the fresh flowers; the bustle from the nearby food courts; incense from the temple; one-dollar ice cream and five-dollar shirts; the pigeons at my feet; the lady at the flower stall who looked disapprovingly at my phone camera; and above it all the sun and the breeze and the trees and the feeling of being alive, of being present.
04 walking around bras basah complex, desperately looking for the bookstore i’d found in the summer which had a wonderful section of yellowing lit classics and surprisingly wonderful children’s lit. i was beginning to think i’d imagined the place, when i decided to stop looking and just go by instinct—and then i found it; the owner smiled, recognising me, somehow, even though it’s been months (or maybe only pretending to know me? it was nice, regardless). i looked, purposefully, at every book on those shelves, and, as usual, found something unexpected: a book by jenny overton which dr a lent me last year and which i’d absolutely loved; it’s no longer in print. they gave me a two-dollar discount on it (later, at dinner, salima asked where i’d been and, when i told her, said, almost pityingly, “the store run by the indian man? you shouldn’t go there, those books are so expensive!” it was weird—i don’t go to secondhand bookstores because they’re cheap; i go because their books are old and in disarray and i am a romantic who likes other people’s marginalia and quaint dedications and yellowing pages. i bought the jenny overton for $5; i would probably have bought it for $10, or $15. i am a rational shopper when it comes to clothes; i can’t bring myself to be anything but emotional over books). on my way out, i stopped at the other children’s bookstore and found, instead, a $2 copy of to the lighthouse—i love the surprises of secondhand shopping.
05 wrapping up the evening with a cappuccino at the cafe opposite the national library; then the quiet bus ride back, reading the jenny overton; dinner with medha and her friends; watching amour alone in my room—painful, intense, impossible to forget or to rewatch. i’ve been very good, this semester, about hanging out with friends, and i’ve loved being so social, but i’ve also missed these days of…recharging. enjoying my own company, making my own plans. it’s been such a wonderful, peaceful, fulfilling day.
22-24 february, 2013.
01 it’s been a lovely couple of days. quiet, peaceful; in many ways reminiscent of my first two years here, before i moved to tembusu. i spent saturday morning asleep, then read pamela c. dean’s the secret country all day—wonderfully complicated and beautifully written YA fantasy—and then i watched, and cried buckets, over the fall. (i’ve been crying over tv a lot these days; i’m not sure why.) today i woke up late and spent the whole day cleaning my room—mopping the floor, adjusting my books; i am not a tidy person by nature but i always feel a little less cluttered in my mind when my room is similarly uncluttered, and so i love these days when i can find the time to detox, to play music loudly while i fold my clothes and rearrange my books and try to find the order in the chaos.
02 calling medha on a whim last night to find that she and samarth were marathoning grey’s anatomy in a lounge; joining them and watching five hours of the show—i’ve missed it, in all its impossible drama. then sitting around; talk turning to politics, to the white paper, to education, to feminism. remembering once again what our friendship consists of—it’s difficult, because friendships in tembusu are so easy—these ones i have to work at, but it doesn’t mean they’re not worth the work. and finding out, even now, new things: that samarth listens to kimbra and ellie goulding (!); that medha is considering teaching. i can’t imagine my college life without these friendships: tv shows marathoned in empty lounges; cup noodles and coke for dinner; staying up till 4am yelling about rape culture and the NUS confessions page.
03 making a list of things to do in recess week: i’m going to enjoy the space and time to catch up with work; to do things on my own; to recharge a little. i’ve been neglecting my work this semester and it’s felt weird, but it’s nice to have the time now to annotate abooks and start thinking of essays etc.—another last; another thing i will lose sooner than i want.
04 realising, again, how grateful i am for tembusu friendships. clarence at the dining hall, insisting on giving me his $1 coins even though he had to do his laundry too—and then sitting with him because he was alone, and talking about our majors and our futures and about french and german and latin. the kindness and generosity of my friends here amazes me: the valentines on my door; notes that make me cry; people saying “u can do it!!!” when i complain about bad days; people understanding when i cancel plans.
05 sitting in the lounge with medha, bot doing our work in complete silence, eating vanilla drops (the biscuits that started our friendship back in school). i realise how many times in this post i’ve said the word friendship, but really that’s what these past few days have been about. everything feels slippery now: my last recess week, halfway point, no going back; everything’s disappearing and unsure and i am so terrified about my future that i have avoided thinking about it at all. but these, my friendships, they will not disappear. i won’t let them.
i have attempted to write this post three times today, and each time i have angrily backspaced it because it sounds too melodramatic, or too cloying, or too hopelessly cliched. one year ago, i wrote about 2011 so easily—the words just flowed—because it was a year so full of new and distinct experiences, and i didn’t want to forget any of them. it is harder to write about 2012, not because it was a more forgettable year, but because it was filled with so many things that i now take for granted, things that i am so reluctant to record here, as if to record them means that one day i will lose them.
09 january, 2013.
i am too sleepy to write and, stupidly superstitiously, i want to not write for a while — to live my life a little less self-aware, not always thinking ‘oh, man, i have to write about this in my five good things blog later!’ — but, at the same time, i don’t want to forget what a lovely day this was, and the way rehearsal is scary and exhilarating and exhausting and exciting, and that my voice wavered the first time i sang into the mic but not the second, and how i dance when music plays now without wondering, worriedly, if i look like an idiot. and that we sing as we walk on roads and overturn our glasses at restaurants to play the cups rhythm, in public, with no concern for the people around us (‘pitch perfect?’ a waitress smiled at us as she walked past), and the fact i have somehow found this group of people with the same ridiculously idiotic sense of humour (‘empty spaces, empty tables / now my ducks are dead and gone!’) and the same cutthroat attitude towards board games , and we are all just so comfortable with each other, and while i will not let myself dwell on the terrifying fact that this is my last semester of college, i am glad that i found these friends before i left.
01 november, 2012.
i know i spend a lot of time being grumpy and bitchy about everything, but tonight i just want to remind myself what an amazing semester this has been, working on my thesis and learning how to think in a completely new and focused and detailed way, and then doing all these things i’ve never ever done before: acting and dancing and singing. it’s insane because i always wished, passively, that i could act but also i never ever ever have managed to lose my self-consciousness enough to even do more than sway gently at a club, and suddenly here i am at rehearsals and it’s not 100% comfortable but it’s also surprisingly easy, and sometimes i forget that i am me and i have strange moments of being my character and it’s like a little epiphany every time, and even if it doesn’t come across and i still look awkward and self-conscious to the audience it’s already a really, really big step for me. and then there’s all these people, some of whom i didn’t even know a few months ago, and now we’re all one big mass of people living and breathing the same stressful, exhausting, slightly strange, fun life, and sometimes everything sucks and i want to sleep and i can’t manage my thesis and dance practices without wanting to curl up somewhere and cry, but i wouldn’t have it any other way. and i’m writing this so badly that i probably am not even making sense right now, and hopefully i will write this better some other day, but really i’m just trying to say that it has been such an incredibly wonderful semester and i am so thankful for my life right now.