Being Here, Craving for “Normal” There

Alright, I’m fed up.

It’s simply too hard, this flying epic distances to enjoy a few precious weeks of domesticity. I’ve been homeless and placeless these past two years now. And there’s little sign that this state of being is likely to end any time soon.

Not too long ago, I was in New York, wishing I was back in Singapore dreaming of New York.  And this is exactly where I’m at now. Except that I’m not only dreaming, but yearning to be in New York.

Because not all of me is here.  Because those whom I most love are split here and there where I really want all of them to be here in one place, in one time zone.  And every single day I spend here (wherever here may be) involves a struggle with myself not to simply pick up and fly back there. I’m here because I need to be here; but I really want to be there right now. Makes for lots of turgid intellectualising.

I crave for normal. Crave it bad. It’s surprising and ironic just how difficult it is to obtain normal; how precarious and hard to pin down normal is.  For starters, what “normal” really means changes depending on where I am.

While in New York, then – normal meant a stable job and being close to my family and friends, which I did not have here (meaning NY) and so I craved it there (meaning Singapore).  In Singapore, now – normal means being with my beloved and my cat, and cuddling up on the sofa to watch TV together. Simple really. But unattainable here (in Singapore).  And so I crave for it there (in New York).

It all sounds a bit silly and convoluted, and risks making me sound like a spoilt, privileged brat. Which, perhaps…I could be, depending on how one defines “privileged.” This flying around halfway across the globe is exhausting and expensive. I’m peddling my services, so to speak, so I can simply spend it all flying back again to where I just came from.  As for good fortune? Clearly I have none, if I landed myself in this predicament in the first place.

So I don’t think I’m privileged. Well… not really. The mot juste, is perhaps “foolish” – having made dramatic life-changing decisions the consequences of which I’m living out now.  So I play the Fool here then (wherever that may be), craving ridiculously and tragically for normal there.

At some point, I keep hoping, this here-and-there-ness will resolve itself. But as with the general state of the WORLD, politically, economically, nothing is certain anymore.  And this uncertainty has made craving for “normal” there, somewhere, anywhere (but here), the new normal; the new human condition.

It’s a sobering thought.

Alright, that made me feel much better. Time for a new project to channel my anxiety.

About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
This entry was posted in Literature & Philosophy, Sociology & Urban Studies, Travel & Mobility and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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