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Saturday, 19 October 2013

Where the Wild Things Are

I can already tell it's going to be one of those posts where I mean to write about one thing and end up writing about others.

Let me start by saying I just watched Where the Wild Things Are. It's beautiful. It would have been wise to walk into it knowing it was a sad film, because aunt MT and cousin N left today and I cried at the airport and haven't quite been able to eat or stop crying. They even left me a message before boarding the plane saying "Thanks for everything. We're sending hugs and kisses. We'll talk about nice things and laugh when you come!" And I didn't know what to say because just seeing the message makes me cry. So I just asked if they had a safe flight.

All I want is to be left alone. I want to be able to cry my eyes out in solitude and relative comfort. I want to be sad about aunt MT leaving without worrying about the things aunt A will think, about the excuses she'll find to start a fight next time. I'm sure she'll think of something. "Why am I so sad to see them leave? Am I so miserable here with them? Why do I hate her and why must I make her life impossible?"


Number of things I meant to write about but put off and now they'll sound a bit out of place (like they ever had a place in the first place...):

1. I had a dream about my little one some time in the last two or three nights. I can't remember much about it except she was supposed to be some other dog, while being exactly herself, if that makes any sense. I love her and still miss her.

2. I ran into MrInteresting on the bus again on Thursday. Awkward talk. He insists on lying. I saw him paying for the bus... even though he wouldn't have to if he had his student ID. He said he was taking what would, here, be an outrageous number of credit hours. He complained in that immature way he has of complaining. He changed his lie about his car. His verbal incontinence had him saying very stupid things. I was a bit defensive, to be perfectly honest. I did not start conversations, let them die whenever possible and wished the I'd brought the tablet with me to read Les Misérables (it's been a while). For now, I'll stand by the same statement I gave the therapist "He's broken and has issues, but I think he's harmless." However, I'll make note of a question I thought was odd: "Hey and, uh, are you married?" No! Why would I be? I'm only 24. He let on a very old-fashioned mindset regarding families (namely, I'd invariably get married and have kids when I did, which would result in ruining my career, if I had one). I think this whole thing with him is officially weird enough that I'm starting to feel uncomfortable about it, just not uncomfortable enough that I can do much about it.

3. The sweet old man who played the part of my examiner on Friday also asked if I was married. Like that's a natural question of some sort. 

4. Still haven't heard from SmTn. Nothing too unusual, it's just that I'd like to talk to him and I don't want to be too intense. I also still want to have that serious conversation with him, though I don't know how to have it.

5. I have, however, heard back from AOB. However brief, he let me know things are moving along for him. I trust he'll be able to pull through and make things work out for him. I know he's got what it takes to be a great doctor and it shouldn't take much to see it.

6. Work has started. I have exams to study for. I can't for the life of me push myself to do anything about it and it's going to blow up in my face.

7. Yes, the reason I chose Where the Wild Things Are probably has something to do with EBF.

8. The song playing in the back of my head is the piano soundtrack from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Before that, it was "Red and Black."

9. I don't think cousin N ever tells her so, but when we talked the other night she was telling me about how she looks up to aunt MT. Cousin N is marveled (and, frankly, so am I) at the fact that everyone likes her and that she can put up with aunt A. Cousin N is sorry aunt A did not go to university, because she's certain she could have gotten a degree and done very well as a professional. I'm personally astounded by how pulled together aunt MT is and how much she's managed to accomplish.

Speaking of which... I talked about cousin N about my future and my ideal future. Sadness seeped through, and so did reason. She offered hope in the form of faith. 

There's something to be noted, which only hit me when I actually talked about it: a PhD in engineering seems, to me, like a pretty useless thing to do, compared to one in maths. It's an induction vs. deduction sort of problem. No matter how specific you get in maths, specializing in one tiny little thing is nowhere near as close-minded as it would be in engineering. Case in point, if I got a PhD in biomedical engineering, I could well end my days studying something like electroporation to treat cancerous tumors, or how to make the best fake leg, or a useful cutting and cauterizing pair of scissors, or how the eye of a crab or a mouse works. I can't think of a single specialization that has a broad range of uses. You study eyes and you're very much stuck being the expert on understanding the way a certain type of animals sees certain things. You study orthopedics and you're very much stuck studying bones, muscles and materials best suited to prostheses. And so on. Suppose you do the same thing in maths and specialize in a very specific type of equation, or set of spaces, or type of functions. Well, no matter how specific, it's likely that what you're doing is just another language for something someone else is doing. Whatever it is, whether it's readily apparent or not, it's bound to have numerous (and sometimes even humorous) ramifications in the real world. Because that's the way maths work: we came up with them for the purpose of assigning a language to the world we're in.

The conclusion reached with cousin N is that ideal would be ideal, but short of a fairy godmother or a winning lottery ticket that will let me afford do the things that would make me happy, I have to settle for the things that help ease unhappiness. And that's just how it is.

10. I found myself doodling the other day and wanting to come up with an alternative alphabet. Not a new language (that would, I'm afraid, be beyond my abilities), but a new alphabet, complete with ways to add the usual punctuation signs and accents. Different enough from the regular one to not be obvious, similar enough at times to still look like a written language and yet quite simplistic and elegant in its ways (to me, at least). I even came up with a new way to write numbers. The whole thing reminded me of the first time I was introduced to alternative alphabets and puzzles where you had to decipher a code. I, for a while, tried to use my secret alphabet (not so secret, actually) to write a diary entry. Except the key was written down a few pages before, so now  you see why it wasn't such a brilliant idea. I remember now how mum learned the Cyrillic alphabet to communicate in code with her friends and how Amy (Farrah Fowler) came up with a new language, for fun, and how J. R. R. Tolkien came up with a whole world (mythologies and languages included). I wonder if there's a certain kind of mindset that makes you want to make a language of your own and what kind of field day it would be for a psychologist. I'd tell my therapist but I frankly don't know what I want to talk about this week. It seems like I have too much on my mind and whatever she asks is what starts the conversation, not what I had in mind before walking in.

I had a few more things I wanted to write about, but it seems like a good idea to just close the post with one more mention of Where the Wild Things Are. I can relate to Max. I see the film as a huge psychological analysis of how a child deals with conflict and I find myself doing much of what he does, at least by playing scenes in my head (kind of like him... except my monsters don't look nearly as cuddly).

Alternate titles for the posts that I merged into this one:
"A dream is a wish the heart makes" (Pretty sure I've used this one before.)

"Home is where the heart is"

"Induction vs. Deduction"

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