||[Jan. 12th, 2017|02:11 am]
i have a russian boyfriend, and he's about the only person left in the country who knows about the existence of livejournal.
i have to wonder if other online platforms ultimately overtook livejournal because people are too damn lazy to write longer entries. i know i am. it's nice to have some memories from high school on here, though i barely wrote anything of substance beyond an obsessive-level account of my grades. i lacked the emotional and ethical depth to write substantially until i moved beyond the self-enclosure of basing one's worth off of arbitrary evaluations.
i was thinking back to my two years in leuven the other day and wishing i had a better memory - i consider my life to have started when i began studying philosophy, so harvard and high school are a kind of grounding and i tend to put that to the side, but it's unnerving how easy it is to leave a place and feel it fade in memory. perhaps i'll have a proustian moment and a flood of involuntary memory will hit me when i'm picking something off from the ground or sniffing something on the street. life is ultimately much better at stony brook though, as the professors take my work seriously. i wrote essays on proust, spinoza, and irigaray last semester--by far the best work i've produced thus far in my academic career, thanks to the freedom the professors give us. at leuven i would be penalized for having a thought that contradicted the strict interpretation of the instructor. very european indeed.
my second year in leuven was significantly better than the first year, when i knew barely anything about philosophy and had a much harder time keeping up, alongside the stress of grades in view of future doctoral applications. once i was accepted to stony brook in january of 2016, my year was stress-free. the period of january to june was maybe the best time of my life, living with a greater sense of freedom, just knowing that i'd have a place to be for the next five to six years with funding. i spent so much time with friends because leuven is small and philosophy international students tend to stick together given our collective alienation by the flemish (i made no flemish friends, how nuts). going out to get kebabs (even though i'm vegan now) or sitting down at a cafe and complaining about the philosophy program or debating about metaphysics was routine. it kills me that this feels so far away. i have a boyfriend, i like the people in my doctoral program, i'm doing the best work i've ever produced -- is thinking about leuven bare nostalgia? my time was also filled with misery. i was often bored, sat home alone, ate like shit (and unethically), and was stressed about my thesis (even after the acceptance). people were too busy to see me. the nostalgia overrides this counterbalance. regardless, it is excellent that my memories of leuven are so positive given that.
i wish to see my leuven friends. i still keep in contact with most of them. i will be visiting in the summer.
thank god for reading proust and accepting that most of life is time wasted--and that this isn't to preclude a breakthrough whereby this time lost becomes regained. i ought to be reading shelley's prometheus unbound right now, or sleeping.