Life should be lived in the moment. With the past behind us (sunk costs) and the future beyond complete certainty, we can only make plans and do what we can. Every attempt an experience gained, every pain more spirit attained (like an RPG game except that there are no save points and therefore no reloads nor resets). I think a lot, and then I do stupid things, and at the end of the day I place my hands over the scars, the marks, the indiscretions that compose this city together with its sea of faces and convoluting ambitions and try to discern, if these emotions are hot or cold.
Emotions are one part of the story, that compartment always subject to circumstances; self-identity being the glue holding everything together. I sometimes feel as if we spend most, if not our entire mortal lives searching for Authenticity – that Consistent bit of ourselves that will never surprise nor betray, that will always afford a familiar comfort wherever we are. As if there is an Independent Reality living inside each of us. We’re all a little John Locke this way, in that naive attachment to some pristine entity.
I felt like Detroit for a certain period in time (see this), an interlude before the present. An industrial giant that outlived its glory and was sent crushing down into the trenches of history by the simple inability to resist the gravity of its own weight. No handle to open these doors, no light coming in through the windows, there was little anger left but particles of gloom suspended in the air. Too light to sink down to solid ground, too heavy to float upwards and away, trapped by the in-between. I will have to live more to gather enough perspective to look back in retrospective, what blew that away and replaced it with a whole new landscape.
But here I am. Afraid but I chose courage.
Weak but these vulnerabilities I’ve come to embraced and wear on my chest like mental tattoos that I can refer to and count on, as the map of my strengths and fears, the territory of my secrets and desires. For the most part I’m glad, contented, happy, satisfied that when I look at the person in the mirror, she’s far from perfect but she’s already everything she should/needs to be and is trying her best, within the constraints of her mortal laziness and inadequacies. :p
“Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world.” And that lever consists of so many things. Values. People. Responsibilities. Passions. Experiences. Culminating in a structure that is as strong as it is weak.
22nd January 2012, I dropped Weiling an email update:
Personally, I am very encouraged by how I may be able to start connecting the dots (as Steve Jobs would have it), bit by bit now. A common theme that runs through my experiences seem to be entertainment…
Despite a hectic and haphazard day-to-day existence, psychologically I am very OCD about categories. A TV channel that I’m surfing vs. potential romantic interest. Work/career vs. hobbies/interests. The distinctions are important because different units of my self come into play depending on who/what I’m dealing with.
What I will do with my life is one of those questions that I have constantly obsessed my mind and conversations with thoughtful people about. I am super anal about it because I know how I am a super lazy and easily distracted person… But with a sufficient vision to carry my self forward, with a goal in mind that I can zoom in with a laser-like focus, I surprise myself. Which I like. When I know that I am stringing resources and people together to build something of value. It makes me feel personally accomplished in that act of Creativity Manifest and Lives Bettered through action and measurable results.
So on 22nd January, I cited my internship with Live! Singapore (a global performing arts exchange), the adrenaline rush when interviewing founders of Butter Factory and Samuel Seow Law Corporation for my school projects, chats with people from the media and entertainment industry, the little knowledge and inroads I am making into macroeconomic policies -> the evolving industrial organisation of sectors -> a corporate strategy – all put into the context of the rise of China, its claim to peaceful ascent and the potential of realising Soft Power via the export of cultural products and Singapore as the bridge between 2 worlds… We learned in entrepreneurship that success is when interests, abilities and opportunities all converge at a single point.
Recently I gushed in an email to Xiaoxuan that, (in the event that something major will become of this life) the 8th of February will most definitely be a date of monumental importance. ^^
So thank you Dawn and Hans. I’ve never believed in the mad scientist working alone in his or her own laboratory and reality had also made me come to see, how lacking in intellectual curiosity and rigour university is (save for a minority). D:
I relish the inability to forecast where this will all end up exactly and at the same time, I feel timid and tiny. But my final guideline is ask not what I want out of this, or of life, but what life demands from me. How will I stretch my learning and imagination to fulfill my destiny – As if destiny is static? It is amorphous but it demands a consistency, a tenacity, that I will summon from the spring of my multitudes.
We live in very interesting times indeed (that this had been said many times before does not render it less true). The shift of economic weight. Changing demographies. Freak weather. The Arab Spring. The place of business in society. Shifting identities, changing boundaries. Everything is porous and in-the-making in a postmodern world that is as at home with a mindless consumerism as it is with a fanatical will to make illusions real.
I try to trace the patterns, conjure a cosmic narrative that will explain and predict everything in its place with the limits of my intellect and readings but I’ve also come to realise, that there are Black Swans waiting to happen, history in the making. What part(s) will we play in history and indeed, what will YOU do to make history?
Life demands creativity from every one of us.
And I like to imagine, for the sake of my future children and the 12 year old me – full of optimism and glee, that this person here ought to be whipped into shape and takeoff. Anything less than Excellence with a capital “E” would be morally reprehensible and deserving of self-condemnation (even as my sense of self-worth remains constant).
Destiny is a matter of economics because in a world of scarcity, we’ve all got to find our area of comparative advantage, and establish our lives such that we maximise our consumption bundles. Sometimes I want to specialise and establish a trade relation with this one other person in particular, so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; I project forth Whitman’s filament to reach across the geographies of solitude and perceptions, but suffer from the setbacks of Mercantilism… But I am wandering off-topic here. :p
So… What’s your destiny? How will you make it? Do you know where your heart is? Have you been listening closely or are there far too many voices crowding inside your head?
I do not have a 5 year plan, yet. Perhaps I should make one. Whatever it is, I believe in thinking and being present and working smart and taking care of the little things and having lots of fun all at the same time.
So live on (like this).
So go back to writing my report on the impact of Chinese municipal debts on its national economy I shall.