Thursday, March 29, 2012

Everyone gets a little weird at night

A few things on my mind:

1) I'm playing Humans vs Zombies, a role-play game played in campuses all over the US, for the first time in Claremont this year. Perhaps that, along with reading the Hunger Games Trilogy, has caused the themes of seiges, war, danger, competition to often prey (got it?) on my mind. I'm super aware of people around me now, constantly scanning the horizon for threats. I think games reveal so much about you, things you maybe subconsciously knew but can confirm for sure. For instance, my default strategy is to go unnoticed as long as possible, and avoid direct confrontation. Considering my less-than-stellar reflexes, this is a smart move; however it also applies to my life and how I conduct my relationships in general. I suppose I am more of a cohesive person that I sometimes think.

2) It's late here, around 1 in the morning, and I slept for 5 hours prior to this. Yesterday I got about 5-6 hours of sleep, definitely not enough for me. My point in recounting all these mundane trivialities is to notice that when your sleep schedule gets a little awry, you feel rather disconnected to the world. Right now, for instance. I feel like I could be anywhere, I don't have a sense of myself or what I need to do tomorrow or in two months and all these topics that have been occupying the DO side of my mind for weeks, months now. I am just here, now. Strangely enough I feel closely linked to the female protagonist in The Mousetrap, the play by Agatha Christie. It's a creepy, psychologically disturbing murder mystery that Agatha Christie is so good at writing (to the point of being formulaic). That feeling, of being stranded in the midst of people, of having all connection to the wider world cut off, of a pervasive sense of danger -- don't we sometimes all feel that? When your car breaks down in a lonely spot on the road?

In those cases I understand why one would feel that way, as there actually is a threat -- but I'm not sure why I do right now. It's like children being afraid of the dark. In our urbanized, technologically-advanced world we have done our best to steamroll uncertainty, to control our environment, to stem our fears with busyness. And that works most of the time. It's only in moments like these - late at night, or perhaps in a movie where one is transported into another time, another lens, or by reading a book or listening to a song (all forms of consumption, a one-way street) that we truly look into the abyss.

3) This is connected to 1 and 2 maybe...I think I am less certain of who I am than I was three years ago. I've gotten better at hiding it, justifying my choices, charting a reasonable plan and constructing a straightforward narrative that makes my current state inevitable -- but I'm less certain of who I am. Not that I knew for sure what my mission in life was three years ago, but I knew I believed in God and I wanted to do something in public-private partnerships in Malaysia. Wow, actually that doesn't sound very different from now. That's somewhat reassuring. Even in the chaos I have now about the small things, the short-term decisions (ok, perhaps some pretty long-term ones in terms of where I want to be for the next few years), some fundamental things haven't changed.

It's getting late, I'm going to stop being weird and get some rest.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

3 Nights of Dancing

This has been a very fun few nights, and in fact did not appear that it would be that way a few nights ago when T and I went down to CMC for TNC and found ourselves rejected because we did not have a guest pass. While I had foreseen this problem, I hadn't thought there might be guards vigilantly checking each id card. It took us a while, but we managed to get passes and a pen from one person (it felt like a drug deal, doing it right under the nose of the guards), and the newly-elected president of CMC's student body escorted us in (another requirement). Slightly awkward, as I only know him from my leadership program and didn't expect him to identify me but he did. Anyways, the dancing wasn't that fun.

Second night - started with drinks at the Brown Brotherhood at Pomona, with the incomparable R and met S and A there. I had more fun (and drinks) than expected, as well as good conversation. Afterwards we wanted to hit up CMC but ended up in Pomona Hall instead for some reason and joined a Pomona frat party. This frat was cool though, because it was almost all men of color which is a very unusual space. Had a lot of fun dancing with people who can dance (read: people of color generally) in a small space with REALLY good music. Maybe one downside was that I was too friendly to one person and gave my number away - that tends not to send the right message, and I don't think I'll do that again (or at least the bar has to be much much higher).

Third night/tonight - Drinks at A and T's place, served by SW the awesome bartender/economic analyst from HK, and unexpectedly meet J and M, friends of my friend C at Pitzer my freshman year. They seem to be doing pretty well, enjoying the adult life, might like to not live with parents maybe, but that will change not long from now I think. I would live with my parents too if I could get a job in Ipoh with good prospects! Anyway, meeting them was the first highlight of my night. Then I made an important decision after that party to go to Underground Blues at Dom's Lounge. Long story short...SO. MUCH. FUN. Danced with a number of people, and learnt a lot of cool moves from a guy who used to be on the Ballroom Dance Company (who also said I move well and could join tour team with some training - considering CCBDC is one of the top collegiate competitive ballroom teams. He might have just been flattering me, but he didn't have to, so I'm just going to take the compliment and be very happy about it). This is a lot different from last night though, there's a certain form even in Blues, the most lax dancestyle there is, as opposed to free dancing/grinding which really doesn't require any form at all. Then went over to the CMC party at sr apartments with the same guy, but by then the party was kind of fizzling out.

Late now, but this weekend was so great! And while I still have a lot of work to do, I did finish some already so I definitely think these few nights were worth it. After all, memories are what will last when all this academic knowledge fades away :)