This journal has been on the backburner for a very long time – I drafted a post on 5 September, but it was filled with lots of emotional baggage and I never finished it. Instead I’ve abandoned this reservoir of thoughts for almost two months.
Time is perplexing. This year has passed by in the blink of an eye, and so incomprehensibly much has happened in that time. I remember starting the year in camp, covering a 24-hour shift on New Year’s Day. Only one other person in my duty team is still with me, and we’ve said goodbye to so many other people along the way, which does feel depressing, but everybody has their time to go. Mine is in about two months, and it’s no secret that I’m looking forward to it. Every conscript looks forward to their discharge after two years. But I’m also acutely aware that I will miss the experiences and people I’ve met along the way.
I’ve finished almost all of my exams, which are my excuse for not touching this blog all along. I’m left with two Chinese exam papers – one in reading and the other in writing – that I’ve been struggling to make myself study for. I do believe I’ve burned myself out, and it’s come to a point where I’m just waiting for them to be over.
French and German went well enough. It’s no surprise that the oral components were the hardest, and my mouth was really dry after the French one – out of nervousness and embarrassment; it was pretty ugly at some points and I flat-out told one of the examiners at one point that je l’ignore. But the written sections weren’t so bad, and I feel something next to confidence.
As the year comes closer and closer to its denouement, I have this deep sentiment of pity in the pit of my heart. I feel like I’ve spent these two years just waiting for it all to be over. It seems I’m always feeling that way. In secondary school, I was just waiting for the ‘O’ Levels to be over, and I told myself “I’d live then”. In junior college I was waiting for the ‘A’s to be over. “I’ll live then.” And now I’m waiting for my conscription to be over. Am I going to live then?
My year has been spent with my face hidden in books and study notes, and I only looked up long enough to realise that it’s almost over. I won’t berate myself for wanting it to be over, because I have, at the same time, done something productive, spent time with loved ones, and made experiences that I will cuddle to keep warm when the world seems oh so cold. But I’m also afraid to live my entire life that way, only living as a taken of being alive, spending the most of my days wanting time to pass by. That’s not how to live. I know so.
Instead I look forward to what lies ahead: university, postgrad studies, love, marriage, and Norway. I still intend to live there. I hope to visit the country sometime during university, before I’m able to migrate and change citizenship. There’s this warmth in my heart upon thinking about the dreams and possibilities that lie ahead. I’m heartened that I have this zeal for life in me – not one that I actively fuel, but one that seems to have a life of its own, that has kept me striving and never allowing myself to fall dormant.
I guess things will be alright. I have to keep my feet on the ground and my head in the clouds.
This is an intentionally short entry; back to the books for now.