I’m thinking of re-organising my room — throwing unwanted things out, putting things where they belong (clothes in the wardrobe, not the bed), re-arranging furniture, shredding my por… — that sort of thing.
Since enlisting into the army, I’ve neglected keeping my spaces tidy. Perhaps it’s just coincidence, but my outer spaces seem to reflect the inner spaces of my mind.
I’m hoping that sorting out my external clutter would help sort out the internal one as well… Oh! How I long for the straight-forward, organised life…
People and Relationships
Like knowing where a book goes on my bookshelf, I want to know where people go in my life.
Relationships are terribly confusing, especially for the numerous so-called friends I’ve met in the army. (So-called because I normally wouldn’t use the term “friends” that loosely, but after the advent of friendster, I’ve relaxed my rules a little bit.)
People whom I thought were my good friends while sharing the same room in the army, were the very same people I met three months later whose names I could not recall.
Girls whom I have met over the years seem to have disappeared into oblivion; and everytime I consider contacting them in the hope of reviving the friendship, I ask myself if perhaps I’m seeking more than a friendship.
I tell myself, “no way, she’s not my type”, but realise that being in the army makes me more desperate than normal, and in no state of mind to think objectively — and in this case, platonically — about any male-female relationship.
Consumerism and Studying Overseas
Besides the army, studying overseas has also been at the back of my mind in everything I have done. All decisions that I make are now based on the premise that by February next year, I’ll be in Perth.
All purchasing decisions or choices that I make have to go through two filters, namely the “army filter”, and the “study filter”.
Allow me to explain.
The purchase of any large-ticket items has to go through the “army filter” first, which says that all items bought, if it cannot be brought to and/or used in camp, will be little used since I’m out of camp so little of the time. Any item that is little used has what I call unrealised potential utility — it has the potential to be utilised or used, but the potential is not realised due to time and/or location restrictions.
The second is the “study filter”, which says that after my NS (National Service) liability is over, I’ll have between October this year and February next year to fully utilise whatever item I’m considering buying. That’s about four months of utility, short-term by most standards.
The “study filter” goes even further in that going overseas to study requires money, and that prudence of monetary issues is a prerequisite for a successful term overseas. Any item that manages to go through these two filters will be allowed a “purchase order”, but so far no item has made it, yet.
The issues of the short-term utility, as well as unrealised potential utility while in the army, do not just go into the realms of the purchase of products.
Relationships and the Fly Me to the Moon syndrome
I have to be wary of who I sing Fly Me to the Moon to.
Romantic relationships have to go through the two filters as well. When I get into a relationship, I won’t have much time nor money to spend on her. My time is taken mostly by National Service (at least until October), and money, by prudence exercised in view of my expensive overseas studies.
You might say that even before the army, even before I thought seriously about going overseas to study, I didn’t have a girlfriend (as I have mentioned before), and you may have a point.
But the army has changed me, made me more desparate, made me more willing to take risks to satisfy carnal desires.
The army has changed me*: you might say made me more willing to take chances (this being almost entirely because everything in my camp is done “under the table” — bend it like Beckham? In my camp, it’s bend it like the rules)
As such, some issues that have bothered me in the past, like telling a girl she’s hot (or more tactfully, beautiful,) bother me less, sometimes not at all.
After October, when I’ve cleared my two years of active National Service liability, I’ll have time to spend on romance, right? Wrong!
Again, my prudence about money would require me to get a job and earn some extra cash in preparation for my studies. Of course, I’ll have weekends, and after work to spend with her. But what will we do when February comes along? Maintain a long distance relationship? The chances of a relationship like that surviving are lower than the Pacific Ocean’s seabed.
Besides, I want to keep my options open — who knows? I might just decide to get hitched to an Australian.
I think I had better go clear up some clutter now, and think about my future purchases… and romances.
Fly Me to the Moon
Lyrics by Bart Howard
Fly me to the moon
And let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter and Mars
In other words hold my hand
In other words darling kiss me
Fill my life with song
And let me sing forevermore
You are all I hope for
All I worship and adore
In other words please be true
In other words I love you
* It can be argued that even without the army, through normal maturity through the ages, I would nonetheless have changed into whatever — whoever — I am now.