Folks, I thought I needed to explain why this blog had been inert for a while. It’s true I’ve been writing in spurts; I would write 2 or 3 posts continuously and do nothing about the blog for a couple of weeks. But I’ve had a longer break. I’ve been abstaining from writing publicly because I have not been in the right emotional state for it. I think I’m going through depression again. It might not be correct to say “again” coz I don’t think I have fully recovered since last semester. Yes, the feelings of loneliness and stress – and sometimes hopelessness – are coming again, and I’m struggling with them. I’m trying hard to keep up with my studies and my social life, and I’m surviving. And, boy, am I glad to be out of the theatre – coz I had to live a Shakespearean tragedy almost every other night for about a month and a half, urgh! (Ok, I wasn’t on the cast, but I had to know the whole show well as assistant stage-manager whereas the actors only need to play their roles well. I’m not undermining their jobs though.)
Basically, I realized how much I don’t enjoy being at this place (either this particular school or the United States in general) and how there is little or no prospect of me being at a different institution or going back home. I may have told stories about my attempt to transfer out of this place. I got into 2 out of the 5 institutions I applied to. My parents aren’t rich enough to send me to either. And I don’t have good enough grades to solicit financial aid from the schools. I’ve been getting a steak of Bs and it’s really hard for me to do any better when I don’t like living here – and residence life is actually a larger part of college experience than academics, although the latter counts more than the former because it can be described in numbers and grades and such. I am currently in the transfer application process for Spring 2013, despite the intimidating idea of putting myself in a new environment in the middle of an academic year when winter is not yet over. I am actually able to write better application essays, which is a good thing. But I hope grades and budgeting don’t get in the way again. And at this point, I can’t go back home for a decent life. I no longer have any educational opportunities there, since I had been expelled from the university I was enrolled in – because I just enrolled and never attended. (All institutions of higher education in Burma are public. When you get kicked out of one, no other school can admit you.) And I don’t have any skills for working and the unemployment rate in Burma, even for college graduates, is very high. So for a day or two, I was like: “Whee, I iz in a limbo! What’s this American dream thing?”
I felt crazy for having hastily set out on this educational journey. I felt like I am getting nowhere. I’m not enjoying the journey. There was so much negativity, or that was all I could see. I felt very destructive but I didn’t feel like I have enough strength or determination to actually get myself to destroy anything or do anybody harm. The people around me and the situation I’m in make me mad. So on Halloween, I decided to dress up..
There was a face painting for Day of the Dead celebration on campus during lunch break. And I was reminded of this fictional character I admire so much: The Joker! Yes, I love the Joker, even more than Batman. Actually, I don’t think I have any respect for the Batman. The Joker, he is everything I want to be but simply can’t. He’s wild. He’s free. Society has screwed him up and he gets back at them in the most unexpected ways possible. He has no strategy. He has no ethics. And he always ends up getting what he wants – whether it’s blowing up some building or getting the Batman to punch him in the face. “Why so serious?” My life, I am bound by rules and regulations. I have to plan, I have to pray it all goes according to plan. And yet I can never get anything right. So yeah, I was the Joker for Halloween. I put talcum powder all over my face for the whiteness. I used thick eyeliner. I put on red, red lipstick from one cheek to another. I used ink (for my fountain pen) for my eyebrows and lips. And I messed up my hair and used lots of hairspray to keep it in position. For the costume, I put of everything that doesn’t match – a birght yellow dress shirt, a white woolen vest over it, maroon dress pants, my glittery pumps and blue gloves. There!
I felt like a work of art that night, because I had a message to deliver: this place drives me crazy! And I, as an artist, embrace insanity. Yes, I am a romanticist. I couldn’t stand reading Tolstoy in my class on Russian film and literature. Realism is so blunt and painful, and the worst part: reality seems to be the right amount of shit to keep people unhappy but not drive them insane. But there’s passion, drama, absurdity, crudeness and such in romanticism, and I am deeply fascinated by those.
So yeah, I’m going through all this emotion commotion, but I’m getting better. I hope I get into some school that I like and can transfer there next semester. And, wait, before I go to bed, the US Presidential Election Day is next Tuesday. Be a responsible citizen and fucking GO VOTE, whoever you vote for! Don’t take this opportunity for granted. We Burmese people couldn’t vote for anything for decades. Here’s a little something to help you find out who I’m in support of: