At 4 am in the morning in London,

I sat in the face of a three hour class on three hours of sleep, grateful and humbled by my teammates and friends who supported us thousands of kilometers away.

[This post is available in audio form at this link.]

I’m starting to feel a little homesick, despite being in an apartment with my teammates who are able to make me feel so full. Even if Y who sleeps next to me has kicked her pillow off our bed and we have been on a quasi-holiday.

I wouldn’t trade this for the other world, but at 6 am after the class resumed after break suddenly I felt like going back to bed and pretending the world didn’t exist.

I’m going to meet C and M today, I don’t want to be at home at all. But at heart I was a homebody, there has been too much travelling, I wanted to see plants and soak in the greenery and I can’t remember anything else.

The competition is too close now, there is no time even if I wanted to give myself peace.

Every day we do two rounds and each time I remember that I promised that once we flew, I would leave the other emotion behind.

This promise, like the stone bracelet of Macht. It binds me it says, but I cannot change.

I tried to rely on this person to do the things they said such a role should play. There are two days left for us to try.

Y says I have to be careful not to look sian.

I think that’s okay, I reached peak sian a while back, and only way is down.

I’m not homesick, but peoplesick and emotionsick and in both senses of this portmanteau.

Missing people and being sick of people. Missing emotions and being sick of emotions. So badly, I want to find a park and just rest in it for the whole day, sit there and be filled with some peace.

Missing the people that I know I can trust.

To be divided from them and connected to them by this fickle zoom room.

The cold from this badly designed table’s legs that are cold metal, pressing its lines into my knees.

I wanted to win.

I want to win.

I want to speak by her side, rather than with this person.

Already, I can’t wait to speak by the side of Y and R.

And the class has ended. Along with it, my soul has left the confines of my body.

Along with another day.

And it is 4 am again, only the wrong direction.

Yesterday I slept and couldn’t wake up or didn’t wake up to do that practice with that person who leaves me so worn and so uncertain.

When I hear their voice – I think about all the negative things I associate with them.

When I hear that voice, or the answers when I try to say something neutral or nice.

A must be right – it’s not that they hate small talk. They just hate us.

I don’t know what to do about that in the span of today. I can’t invest more, and I can’t invest less, and I can’t even move, paralysed in this position where I know I don’t trust them.

Another 4 am, the second last? Or maybe the last in light of the flight tomorrow.

We have lost – and I have completed gaining everything and every person I wish I could.

There is that partner of mine, who is eminently liveable once the work is over, and how painful that is for me, looking in. That they are so okay but I am cut up and torn every time we do a round.

That I was shredded by the emotions that A radiated out, of his curtness on that morning.

The final 4 am, today. To return to being a student who has responsibilities beyond my team and myself.

The things like projects, classes and exams, and responsibilities. To pick up all the balls that I had been juggling and dropped for that time.

In that one week and a half where the rest of the world did not exist, on the nights where I cried my heart out, in the days where I played that role.

On the yesterday where I steeled my heart and walked into that room that belongs to us which had that occupant that I am ready to never see again.

That I was surprised. That at the end of it all, I surprised myself because since I no longer had to control how I felt – and that there were people who were ready to catch me as I fell. (that I had fallen and that I was in so much pain, that there were people by my side who didn’t want me to cry.)

To reset my laptop clock. The day looks insurmountable.

one [29th Oct]

I was graced by their presence next to me.

We landed safely after reading memos

131 steps to that sight of freedom.

two [30th Oct]

Of our first breakfast as a team.

The warmth of people who made time.

Of the Queen’s roses, the first rain and the streets at night

three [31st Oct]

Early morning PRs and getting out together.

Of our first lunch as a team.

Buying books and pastries with M&M

four [1 Nov]

Barely paid in PRs and class

Met C and M for museums, catch up and food

In that little apartment, crashing after just a little.

five [2 Nov]

Two extra PRs to make up.

Moving out, duck and waffles

Having class and networking, too little, too much, how sobering.

six [3 Nov]

D-1 morning mood booster

A harsh night, my partner who is unbending

A and M who were closed and curt.

seven [4 Nov]

D-2 a tense morning.

A harsh day and I who struggled.

Duck and a taste of freedom for me who was drowning.

eight [5 Nov]

D-3 Another tense morning, Y getting us out on time.

I enjoyed speaking with the arbitrators and the last of this partner of mine.

I regretted that it wasn’t good enough.

nine [6 Nov]

The weight of my accumulated sadness.

Sleeping on the couch and a slow breakfast.

The last dinner.

ten [7 Nov]

Morning uber difficulties

Letter writing and two flights.

How difficult the journey has been.


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