Friday, December 20, 2013

Intermission

So, I'm finally done with exams!

To be honest, I wasn't too happy with my performance, the exams were a little too close together and I think I got my sleep and strength compromised throughout the exam period, but we shall see what's the real damage when the results finally come out.

I've had a long list of things to do after exams, but I haven't quite found the drive to start doing them. Much of my activity involves going out, watching shows, eating and sleeping, and thank God, I found it in me to clean. lol.

I've especially wanted to get all those philosophical thoughts and inspired poems and drawings onto paper or electronic media, but urm, nope, that didn't happen either.

For some reason I feel that when I'm so busy learning, all the gears in my head starts working and because of that, I get ideas for the other things as well, like drawing and writing, but once I shut it off after the exam, everything else ceases with it. Which is why, for this reason, it kind of justifies my constant need for to-do lists.

I've recently discovered interesting hobby-things to do around town, my only problem is I only get to enjoy it alone. I rediscovered the joys of board games and a board game cafe, which of course, you don't get these kind of things back home. The only sad thing is, you can't play a board game alone, and in this age of online gaming, who ever plays board games anymore ?

I don't know why I've recently started a knack for collecting knick knacks, trinkets which I find interesting, but not awfully useful nor add any value to my life. I don't know, I just buy it for the heck of it, and probably cuz I kinda enjoy the ethnic vibe that comes with it.

For example, I don't even know how to play Magic: The Gathering, but I do vaguely know that it's a popular trading card game, and it goes along the likes of Dungeons and Dragons, but seeing the individual cards on sale at a shop in Guelph in one of my recent travels, if you can even call it that, kind of piqued my interest, but I refrained from buying it because well, I didn't want to just buy ANY card, I wanted to give myself time, if I ever had any, to appreciate the game itself so I could make a conscious selection of which card to pick. Although in my opinion, I would really appreciate one of those as a cute nerdy gift.

I bought myself a teapot, God knows why I did, when I think of it, I feel like a granny, but it was really pretty and it came with an infuser so I could enjoy my Boh Cameronian tea from Malaysia in my room by myself.

I feel like every time the school break comes around, I go on a soul search, mainly cuz I don't have time to think about anything else during the school year. This year it's more of this obsession with trying to find new interests for the worry that I have nothing else to be passionate about in life other than school and studying. And if I lose that passion for studying, what is left of me ?

Don't get me wrong. I pride myself in being academically-driven. All my decisions in my undergraduate career so far has been to strategize and maximise academic performance, and I'm not saying that I don't enjoy doing it, but sometimes there just seems to be a voice at the back of my head saying that I shouldn't get too caught up into it that I forget myself.

Well, I'm not saying I'm going to go 180 degrees and not care at all about school, but when I think about it, if I'd ask myself, I know deep down inside I would confidently say that I'd give up anything and I'd do anything to get to wherever I need to get to, that includes "being cool", whatever that means, and "arts".

It's not that I don't do arts anymore, I still do it, but not as a serious pursuit. I do "arts" only when it's convenient. My "arts" has evolved into quick 5-minute sketches that don't take up my time to study.

I've always believed that most of my time should be used to do something useful that would contribute to my desired end, hence why I try my best not to do things that "do not add value to my academic pursuit", so I cut down time socializing, doing "arts", and I try to make myself "enjoy" studying so that I would do it more often. Sometimes I have to admit that I do a good job of coaxing myself to enjoy studying that I do it all the time.

Some of you might think whatever I'm saying might be a little worrying, like I'm going off my rocker, fret not, I'm not. Or not at that point yet, which is why I am now faced with this question of how do I maintain this balance. I thought I had it figured out. I'm putting effort into my studies, yet at the same time, I haven't given up completely on the other non-academic things I like to do, i.e. drawing. The equation works out. It's perfect. Everything is going to plan. I have safeguarded myself from being the tragic end of a supposedly excellent student who tried to hard but then went crazy.

I guess this question kind of came up in the midst of exams, when some of my fellow scholar engineer friends started questioning themselves "is this really what I wanted to do ? must I sacrifice everything for the cause of being the best at engineering ? must I quit this and do things that I really like ?"

Well, my response to those questions would be that, I know what the reality is like, it's not really possible to "do whatever we like", but at the same time, I don't think we should force ourselves to do something we don't like. It makes the most perfect sense to cultivate interest in whatever it is we ended up doing, which is what I have been doing.

To those people who say "you have no choice, you have to follow the system and be unhappy" and those people who say "you should just quit and do whatever you like", I'll prove you both wrong. I make the best of what I have.

But I was pretty much over the phase of reassuring myself of what I needed to do. It's just the small details that I'm worried about. The trivial existential question of "is my studies all there is to who I am?"

So, I tried to rekindle my interests, and tried to find new hobbies, try new things, be more open to people and what they do in their free time instead of scoffing and saying to myself that the things they do "don't add value to the academic pursuit". I mean, it's not right to look down on people in the first place, I was uncomfortable with that, and so I tried to be more receptive and interactive to try to offset this prejudice.

So, I dabbled with computer games in a while. And being the bookish person that I am, of course, I googled beforehand of all the game lingo, although in my opinion, such use of time "does not add value to the academic pursuit", I do acknowledge that I do have a habit of googling random things as a past time. I don't actually play them myself, but I observed people play. I don't play it myself simply because I'm held back by the fact that I needed to invest time and effort to improve, which would take up precious time that could've been devoted to "meaningful pursuit of a better future".

I know, I'm probably missing the whole point of playing games simply for having fun. I really tried to like playing games because a lot of people who matter to me are into games, and I do wish to share their interests and spend time with them doing the things they like, and it's kind of weird that I don't play games for "fun" that it worries me, at one point, kind of made me a little self-conscious. I kind of feel left out since I don't like the stuff they like. However, I can't bring myself to commit to the gaming life, my conscience just holds me back.

"Why don't you play this game ?"

"I don't want to ruin my laptop. I earned it. And I need it for work. It doesn't have the specs required for the game." "I don't have time during the school year." "Takes too much effort learning it." Has been my usual reasons. Why can't I just straight up say that I simply don't enjoy it, and I spend my time doing something else ?

Oh God, don't I always find things to worry about and whine about ? Why can't I just go about it without thinking or saying anything about it ? I guess, it's just, you know. You want to be deep, but you wonder if you really are deep, or if it's just an illusion, that all you really are is superficial and shallow.

I guess you sort of want a meaningful life, living life to the fullest, and you kind of wonder if you're doing it right. Some people tend to not think about it and just go with it, but I think about it a lot, since I'm really used to having things planned out, and I kind of feel obligated to have everything planned out.

Sometimes I wonder how I get so high strung and uptight, and if I'm really capable of letting loose. I do kind of get the paranoia that if I get too loose, I won't be able to retain self-control, which is why I exercise self-restraint a lot.

Oh wow. Again with the non-coherent rambling, but at least it's out there. I guess what I'll do for now is come to terms with who I really am. I'm just not meant for that kind of easy-going lifestyle. I'll always be the to-do-list chasing person, and I'll try to be happy with who I am, and I'll find that balance, some way. Well, I sort of have it under control, for now, but I could try to make it better, or in a paradoxical way, not worry about trying to make it better and just go with it. I guess, I should try to be a little more cheerful and happy with myself each day, and sort of be more thankful of the little things and the people in my life. It's okay to do your own thing.

Alright. I'm going to stop this trivial obsession and move on with my life.

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