Here’s another life-update post. I don’t like writing this type of posts because they are self-indulgent. There’s no point that I am making, no art that I am creating, no heart that I am reaching. But my vanity bows to the wisdom and necessity of journaling – be it for reflection or for record. And my blog is my only functional journal. So I write.
(P.S. This post may actually have some charitable function, since I didn’t share on Friday.)
(P.P.S. But I decided to password-lock this post so…)
The Bar Course schedule is too chill. Tutorials are from 6-7.30pm. There is one tutorial per day. There are 2-3 Tutorial Days per week. Though concepts are simple, content is heavy; I am not mugging hard enough to achieve law-school standards. But I don’t need to, because the Bar is pass-fail. I fully intend to abuse that fact.
This phase of life, then, is not event-driven, as the first half of the year was (with Law IV, kor’s wedding, camps, exams, TWINE, and holidays). Even with the Whale Trip and the sessions to be done (LOG and otherwise), I surmise that rhythm, rather than scheduled plans, is the key to unlock the rest of the year’s potential.
On Tutorial Days, I spend the whole day studying and preparing for the lesson. On Non-tutorial Days, I write, give tuition, meet people, and clear my todolist. I run at nights, I often dog-sit, I code on Monday mornings, and I run long distances on Saturdays. That is my life now. It is quite a good life.
For a while now, I have found God in the doing. It probably began (or at least I became aware of it) with ILP, when I prayed out of desperation: God, if you brought me to this, YOU are gonnna bring me through this. That blurred the distinction between being and doing.
But this new rhythm invites a renewed prayer life – to find God in the stillness rather than the busyness, to center myself on a lush personal prayer life rather than a frantic plea for help, to listen in solitude rather than to bustle amidst networks.
I also find myself being drawn back to Scripture. On an indulgent whim, I bought a library in the Verbum app. To justify its expense (which is quite a lot, but quite justifiable if properly used – big ‘if’ there), I try to enrich my prayer with its exegetical insights.
The egg to the chicken (of rhythm and prayer) is that I have somehow slipped into another S-project.
“I think I’ve somehow slipped into anor s project of sorts.”
“Knowingly, but unintentionally”
“so you’re back on it again?”
“Haha I dono”
“I didn’t intend to”
“But the way I’m living my life now and what I’m trying to achieve. Solitude might very well be the indirect result”
There are many causes-signs-justifications. There was the FOMO-loneliness from knowing that the Turkey gang was meeting up. Then there was the inexplicable emptiness after having a joyful catchup dinner with Blue Team and a subsequent encounter and chat with Shang on the way home, despite how fulfilling these social experiences were. Most trivially (and therefore tellingly), there was the angst from not receiving Stephen’s and Andrew’s text replies. And underlying all these are random spikes of restlessness and malaise.
Old Friends, New Friendships
This phase of life is also for catching up with old friends and making new ones. I’ve had dinner with Jas & Pung, Jas & Iz, and attended Pung’s BBQ with 6O people. (That’s more 6O people I’ve seen in the past 3 years.) I ran into Nigel (Bay) in BTC library. I am meeting Gerald (BMT spec) and Elson (old recruit) next week. I hope to catch up with Daryl (old recruit) and bring Jas for sharing.
Then there are the new people. The church people are Keivin, Noel, and Lionel (Risen Christ). Zhengxun is my FMS opponent. I will most probably join Catechism.
I do not foresee most of the above-mentioned names entering my inner circle (though I cannot preclude that exciting possibility). I mention them because I am interested in their lives. I do not have a general gift of reaching out to people. I do not know what or whether specific attributes interest me; I only know that I am not interested in every person. But when I am, these people become sparks in my life – bright, brief, and filled with potential.
This theme does not contradict an S-project; it contributes to and flows from it in 2 ways. First, it nudges me out of my comfort zones of intimacy. Perhaps I have been too indulgent in and stagnant with my inner circle and LOG. Second, it invites me into to draw from a higher source to reach out to these people. Because while sparks can light up the dark, they remain disappointingly transient without something more permanent for them to latch on to. In that way, perhaps these trysts are less deceptive than the intimate friendships that tempt me into centering my life and identity around them.
I stumbled upon Li Ka-Shing’s advice on Facebook. Reading it inspired me to plan my finances a bit more. So I set up a 3rd bank account. The first is for general expenditure (50%). The second is for savings and investment (25%). The third is for travel and education (25%). And I tried to partition my income accordingly.
From then, I quickly concluded that I am living beyond my means. I always knew this in a hazy and offhand manner; but nothing is as indicative as concrete numbers. My Whale Trip is illustrative. I blew $2.1k just on flights without thought, when I only had $500 in Bank 2. So I had to draw on reserves in Bank 3.
Thus begins my (slow and reluctant) lifestyle change. Thus begins my (still nascent – may it remain forever so) concerns with money. Thus begins adulthood.
Other Random Things that fascinate me
I attended a Military Justice talk on Wednesday.
“… then what was fascinating [about the talk]?”
“The idea that the power of the military is circumscribed by law.”
“Defending the underdog. And prosecuting officers.”
“Checking abuses of power guyssss. What else is becoming a lawyer for. And where else is power more abused than in a ranking hierarchy.”
Early on in law school, I told myself that the only people that I would prosecute without qualms are white-collar criminals and enciks. If I ever do a Masters, I might just consider military law. Though it would have a tough fight with some obscure branch of international law. Or medical law.
Teaching is the other thing. I hope to blog properly about it soon. In the meantime, I shall state for the record that I have read and watched TEDbooks and TEDtalks on the subject. I will finish that post before I commit to Catechism.