65 | Baby Steps.

It’s been one hell of a week, guys.

Last week I said my crazy week was a prelude to a hell week. And I wasn’t joking at all. It was quite literally hell. Every single day I was dragging myself everywhere. I don’t know how my body is coping with all of this. I don’t have the capacity to plan forward any more, I’m just living each day as it comes. Yet though I may complain, I do not regret.

The whole week was filled with academia, projects, writing and language classes. Oh, and the unforgettable Singapore Writer’s Fest 2013, but we’ll get to that. The constant exhaustion peaked on Wednesday when I stumbled home after my playread at SRT and asked, “Why the hell do I do this?” Existentialist crisis, I know. I’ve always told myself that I don’t naturally have enough discipline, focus and aptitude to license any slacking and so I work two times harder to be where I want to be and occasionally I just ask if that’s really what I want. To subject myself to this kind of insane schedule just to be able to pursue my dreams. I guess there is really nothing else I want to do with my life. Someone reminded me  to think back to my initial motivation for pursuing theatre and I realized that there isn’t. I dabble in poetry as well. Language and words just flow in my blood, it’s not something I can distance myself from. All my writings come from a rather primal need to catalogue my world, to process the insanity, atrocity and blessings around me. It’s a visceral, burning need for me to write so I can deal with.. life at large. I can run, but I can’t hide.

I was very happy on Saturday because I got to meet one of my favourite people in the world and go for my very first Singapore Writer’s Fest! Imagine, a $15 pass (which I felt was pretty justified after the first workshop) and you get to attend so many events. I attended a panel discussion with Desmond Sim & Alfian Sa’at, two of my local favourites, as well as attend a rather entertaining discussion on Singlish in Literature. I was enjoying myself until lo and behold, my phone’s display decided to die on me.

I am not someone who can’t live without my phone. In fact, after the initial disbelief (it is a 2-month old iPhone that’s only been dropped twice, and the second time was on a pillow) I was enjoying the rest of the day being uncontactable. I’m not saying I enjoy dumping people on their asses but I’m beginning to realize that people are just throwing me their own problems without thinking of how to resolve it themselves. So I told all of them to settle their issues themselves until my phone was fixed, and left it at that.

In the evening we got to attend a poetry event, which took us around Biennale exhibits while poetry by heavyweights such as Aase Berg, Ng Yi-sheng and Cathy Park Hong were being performed. And boy, it was a beautiful event. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it quite as much with the distraction of my phone. There is a certain familiarity about being in a world shrouded in words and language that calms me and gives me strength. I felt so refreshed by the end of the night! A most memorable day indeed. 🙂

The next day, I headed to get my phone fixed and thank goodness, Singtel gave me a one-for-one exchange! I don’t know how much more difficult it would be to get through e-learning week without my phone. I think the guy at the counter must’ve been amused when he saw the delight on my face, because I honestly felt like I’d struck gold.

In the afternoon I left Korean class early to meet FD, and we headed for another panel discussion where Anthony Chen, Heman Chong, Park Young-ha and Kuo Jian Hong were discussing the utility value of art. Interesting proposition but probably not so for me, because if I didn’t think art was useful I wouldn’t be ready to dump a life’s work into it, would I? Furthermore, I am not a very rational person when it comes to choosing between passion or stable living. I am still very adamant that I will give up all for my art, or you could also say I live with rose-tinted shades. Hmm.

Went to the main pavilion to ask if there were still tickets for Jung Chang’s workshop on Monday (and I was so desperate sigh! Unforunately, there weren’t any left) but the consolation came when I went to the shelf and found two books of Jung Chang’s that I’d been searching for extensively to no avail: Mao, the Unknown Story & Empress Cixi. Now, if you haven’t guessed already, I’m kind of a ancient China geek, and Empress Cixi, Wu Zetian as well as Chairman Mao will always be enigmas to be. So I forked out $42 (with discounts from festival pass!) to buy these two books which total about 1.8k pages of beautiful history chronicled –

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We then proceeded to grab more books at Esplanade Library. Oh, the two of us, we’re unstoppable, really.

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In conclusion, despite it being a very draining and rough week, I have felt very very loved indeed. My friends have been there every step of the way – calming me, making coffee for me, making me laugh, loving me, encouraging me – and I’m charmed, thank you very much, I’m charmed indeed. 🙂

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