“I feel like I’m on the brink of death.”
This was the status update on my WhatsApp profile on Tuesday night. The World Cup is here and unfortunately, the amount of effort needed to cover it for my company had taken its toll on my body over the weekend. I was dead exhausted, to the point that when I showed up for Japanese class this week, a few of my classmates remarked on how tired-looking I was. I don’t have a very good poker face, and I’m not great at keeping my emotions in check — if I look very tired then that’s because I really AM tired.
Reached home after class at 10pm+ and I just blurted out what was at the top of my head to my parents. I wanted to quit my job. My father, being the usual pragmatist that he is, said that it was my choice if I wanted to quit — but I should just go to sleep if I was feeling exhausted. There’s no point forcing myself to watch every World Cup game just to eke out every penny’s worth from our S$92 subscription.
“You’re paying 92 bucks for the convenience of being able to watch the matches live at home, or the replay telecasts the next day. Even I can’t watch every World Cup game.”
The next day I woke up, felt refreshed, and said “fuck it” to the World Cup. Instead of checking the results and getting ready to do my daily routine for work (even though Wednesday was technically my off day), I immediately loaded up Unreal Tournament (UT99) on my computer. I had been replaying the Unreal games to celebrate their 20th anniversary recently, and I was stuck on UT99’s singleplayer ladder mode in one of their Deathmatch maps. The map is called DM-Liandri and it was very difficult to win (I was playing on Masterful difficulty) — I think I had failed at least 20 times.
But something clicked that morning and I won the map on my first try with a +2 advantage over second place. A couple of hours later it was time for daily violin practice and again, somehow I was playing better despite feeling dead tired the day before.
On the way to violin class at 4pm, it rained quite heavily. I brought an umbrella but made the unfortunate choice of wearing sandals. I was starting to feel quite annoyed from my drenched and exposed feet, but then I told myself: “I just fucking cleared DM-Liandri today on MASTERFUL. This is nothing.”
I arrived about five minutes late for class but my violin teacher just told me to sit down and take a 10-minute break. She was in the middle of experimenting with a new vegetarian fritters recipe and wanted me to try it for fun. I was also served some English tea.
My teacher had no knowledge that I was a vegetarian and yet there I was, eating something vegetarian to relax after treading through the heavy rain. It was then when I fully realised that my Wednesday was the complete opposite of the Tuesday before. One moment I was feeling absolutely miserable, at the brink of my physical limit. But the next day was better. I was drinking hot tea on a rainy afternoon.
This sounds like something absolutely cliche, but if you’re ever feeling down, depressed, or demoralised: Just go to bed. Go do something else, go play Unreal Tournament. You might not be able to fix your problems immediately, but tomorrow will surely be a better day.
It’s also the title of one of my favourite songs from Poets of the Fall: