Thursday, April 26, 2007

Things are better now

Mum is out of the hospital.

I have decided to remove myself from an oppressive narrow-minded social group that made me feel so deviant just by being me. I don't hate them; I'm not angry with them either because I was once like that myself. And in many others ways, I probably still am close-minded. It's not a crime being blind, but it's a sad thing to be, and even sadder thing not to realise it.

I've realised the cause of my instability and volatility during the last few months..

Durkheim saw man as Homoduplex -- as an individual and a socialised personality sharing the same body. Man only becomes fully human in and through society. Hence, true moral action lies in the sacrifice of certain individual desires for the service of groups and society.

I have never realised how large my social being was in relation to my self-self. Being away from home, my stable society, and living here where I live in multiple social realities that are so different from what I have been accustomed to, shifted my centre of gravity me so greatly. I mistakenly kept tuning myself and hence compromising things I've always held fast to, to the little societies I got myself involved in here. Against my own grain, I tried hard to integrate, to assimilate my ways of thought and behaviour to each group. And it happened that the social groups I lived in here not only contradicted each other, but also the society I grew up in. I found myself oscillating from one extreme to the other because I had unwittingly placed too much value and trust in what others espoused and expressed. Not surprisingly, I thus never found my place, never found my balance. I was beginning to lose myself in all this.

The same events are still happening, but now I'm in control of how I feel, because I know the self within me is the most constant amidst these external variables with regard to my own life. And this self is regaining its position in my homoduplex body and regulating the effects this dynamic and unstable external environment has on me.

Biology students call this homeostasis. ;)

I am still a very social being and I will never deny that. Social control can at times be oppressive and unkind. However, just as much as I hate it, I am very much, too, a part of it. People and relationships still matter a lot to me, and this will remain the case for me, even if it means subjecting myself to the possibility of being stifled, or being hurt. The right people and relationships in my life will bring out the essence of my human spirit in the most joyous way. (=

To those who have faithfully kept up with my life through my blog even while I am so far away and out of constant contact with you, thanks.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Need to grow up

My Mum has just gotten admitted into a hospital in Singapore for the same unknown symptom that leaves her with painful stomach spasms and stiffens her body.
I don't know what's going on. I don't know how bad the situation is. I don't know whether the situation will demand my premature return to Singapore. It's scary.
I can't seem to contact anyone at home, perhaps because it's past midnight in Singapore now.

I'm stuck in a loveless place here at Berkeley where I am judged and toyed with, where I've learnt to regret trusting people.
I've got no more boyfriend who will love me foolishly and unconditionally. I don't blame him. If there's anything I am guilty of, it's him. I can't expect him to be my crutch anymore when I know I can't love him the way he loves me. It's pure cruelty.

I'm flying off to Pittsburgh in 9 hours time.
I thought it'd be a respite from the mess I am in here at Berkeley, but I just realised I'm entering another danger zone.

I've got myself in so much mess here in Berkeley it's unspeakable. My heart's a mess, my mind's incoherent. I can't trust myself anymore.

I've got no one to turn to now.
No one to trust.
Relationships are so fleeting, so unpredictable right now.

I'm neither here nor there.
Not American enough, no longer completely Asian.
Neither side can understand me, neither side can accept me.

My only relief is in tears.
I want to sleep. I want to get high. I want to vacate my mind.
I know it'd all be over soon, God's in all of this, but as of now, it's excruciating just living day by day.

I don't know who I'm pouring this out to.
I don't know if I'd regret publicising my life in a moment of impulsive disorientation.
It suddenly seeems so much easier to talk to strangers than people I think, I thought I could trust, and people I expect love and understanding would come from. These expectations just murder me, they kill me in the most painful way.

I just can't think anymore. Forgive me, and love me if you can.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

After 3 months.. I'm ready to go home now..

America degrades the tenderness of the human soul in the way sex is portrayed. The crude and indiscriminate way it is talked about here and portrayed pictorially make me uncomfortable. It twists my understanding of physical intimacy and sex in a way most unnatural to me. It robs the sanctity of lovemaking and what I have known all my life about human intimacy in physical exchanges.

Women sell their bodies here indiscriminately. There is barely any exclusivity or discretion. I walk down the street to school everyday and I am swarmed by oceans of breasts and cleavages. Breasts are no longer private. Girls here are hot; they certainly know how to play up their sexuality.
Sexuality is a very openly acknowledged and well understood thing here, and both guys and girls show their awareness in the way they dress and behave.

The Daily Californian, an independent Berkeley student tabloid-like publication even has a column called "Sex on Tuesdays". The following three images are taken from this daily newspaper.

(Click on the images to enlarge them to readable size)

The thing about all this awareness is that there is no turning back. It's innocence lost. Perhaps there is a way out, but I don't see at this point how the exclusivity, the sacredness of sex can return to this modern American society.

I believe in exclusivity when it comes to physical intimacy. But I guess I cannot be so imposing as to assume the same value should apply to everyone.

Perhaps I am close-minded, having come from a relatively conservative Asian society and even more conservative Christian society. One may argue that sex, virginity and the works are overrated. Humans were made creative and freedom is essential to allowing one's humanness to emerge. And that the church is the main body responsible for reigning people's minds and making them feel guilty about doing what is only absolutely natural. Social control runs against the natural grain of man. As a student of Sociology, I cannot disagree with how the church and conservative society controls the individual. In fact, I agree with that, and at times, I too, find it an oppressive tool.

But why is social control bad? Because it goes against the freedom of the individual?
Is pure individual freedom really all that great?

When social regulations break down, the controlling influence of society on individual propensities is no longer effective and individuals are left to their own devices. The sociologist, Emile Durkheim calls this state of affairs anomie, a term that refers to a condition of relative normlessness in society. It is a condition in which individual desires are no longer regulated by common norms and where, as a consequence, individuals are left without moral guidance in the pursuit of their goals.

I love social control. I am a proponent of social control. I thrive under conditions of control. Liberty and freedom? That, to me, is what I call overrated. It's a nice excuse not to be accountable to anyone. It's a great way not to feel guilty about anything. It discharges people from ever having to consider others -- afterall, we're all individuals in our own right, you live your life and I live mine, why should you allow me to affect you? This, to me, is the artificial construct that denies the bonds, the inter-connectedness between and among humans. It's selfish.

I don't think I have argued my case thoroughly or even logically. This is perhaps the most politically incorrect piece I have put up on my blog. Yes, apparently, I do feel strongly about this. Perhaps I'll update this entry again when I think of more coherent and elaborative points.

Or perhaps I'll leave it this way. Take me as I am, or leave me. I have rights to my opinion and to be naive. I can be self-righteous and egocentric because I'm my individual and I'm not infringing on another's freedom.. or so they don't say.