You know the feeling of wanting it all. The feeling that cooking up a storm like Nigella Lawson should be as happy and light as the cleaning up afterwards as a domestic Goddess but then, why does it feel so dreadful when it comes to the dishes? Is it because you never see Nigella herself doing any of these after she sprinkles beautiful English literature on her un-pretentiously prepared meals? That feeling of wanting a tanned olive skin without giving ourselves the horrible sunburn and potential skin cancer or exposing ourselves to who-knows-what chemicals in those temptingly packaged and bottled fake tan solutions. You know? Why can’t we just have it all? The good without the bad. The ups without the downs in life. I mean, isn’t that what we all strive for anyway in the end in life. To be happy. To stay happy. So why all the downer?
In 2016, life and work were taking me on an all-the high. Embarked on 48 take-offs and landings in 365 days that year has fast-tracked from zero to hero. In aviation frequent flyer terms, that means from a nobody-just-practically-anybody-everyday-Bronze to the almighty-look at me-everything premium-GOLD! I mean, how does one say no to not queueing up at check-ins, fast track lanes to clear security, serviced lounge to await your boarding, high priority to board, first dibs on the front section of the plane, simply to name a few. Well, that is all about to change soon-ish unless I do something about it.
2017 was the year which I decided I should live my yoga to another level. Decided that I would embarked on a minimalist journey and do something about my financial situation, that was the year of social hiatus. No pool parties, no flying just because I can, no business class upgrades just because I am that lucky of a bastard, no planned holidays every 90 days to reset my game etc. That also kinda meant if I continued my social hiatus, soon enough and sure enough I will be bumped back to Bronze from Gold.
Sitting in the Qantas International Business Lounge awaiting to board my flight on February 1st in 2018, I can’t help wondering again. Can’t we just have it all? To be a minimalist yet frequent flyer. To be quite settled yet able to maintain the luxury of Gold Frequent Flyer status?
The next morning, after being slightly lost walking from my friend’s place in Auckland to the train station (which by now this is not surprising as you never want Simon navigating which is safe to save aside for another blog entry on its own), I finally managed to settle into the middle carriage of the train to take me from the suburbs into the city. Sitting and observing, I simply thought WOW! Kudos to the Kiwis for getting those well-mannered and pleasant automatic announcements compared to the train lottery you might be playing as a passenger on Sydney trains. You could have an overly chirpy train driver making the announcement one ride, followed by a soulless voice the next ride to someone who as well be a robot if they continue to speak on the P.A. in that bland monotonous manner. But then, I thought. Is automation really better than the imperfect human touch? How can something so perfect feel so hollow and unfulfilling yet something imperfect you can apply your most humanely judgment and criticism on feel so warm and personal? Can we simply have it both ways? Yet again, can;’t we simply have it all?
Warning. Skip this paragraph if you cannot deal with someone talking about sex and relationships. As in stop reading now and move on to the next section. Well then, if you are intrigued to find out, I am more than delighted to share. As a gay man in a highly sexualised world, of course I have had my fair share. Not encounters, you silly! My fair share of highly sexual stories from my mates. From the everyday tame vanilla, to the most unimaginable kink you can ever (or never) think of. I mean, each to their own. And, who are we to judge right? But then, I can’t help ponder. What about the life long partnership and commitment? After all, isn’t what this casual hook up thing is all about? The try-before-you-buy so when you finally put a ring on it, at least you know that you have that chemistry underneath the sheets? Does marriage, like any other goods, come with a shelf life? Does that chemistry last forever until death do us part? Is this why couples cheat? To infuse and inject excitement back into their lives? Would people eventually stop caring and stop putting an effort in? After more than 10 years of sleeping with the same person, do you eventually run out of things to try and it just became boring? I mean, no one would every masturbation is boring. Isn’t just the same old hand/finger/whatever delivering the same old guaranteed results? Can we have it all? The zing of before the marriage and the comfort of having a ring on it?
And then it started to strike me. Is the question more so “can we have it all?” or that it is more important to ponder upon the more relevant “do we need to have it all?”.