Identity Crisis attacked full-force today.
I had been aware of it before when I was still in HKU, but that was just a tinge of anxiety, which I could cast off easily. Not this time. This time I really collapsed.
What am I doing here? What am I going to do? What is all these years’ studying of English Literature, Western Art and Philosophy? Why do I take pride in mastering an alien culture? Why do I take pleasure in manipulating this alien language, forgetting my own? Say I really know all the English Poets from Shakespeare to Tolkien, learn all the Western Literary Genres from the epic poem to the journal, recognize all the Western Art from Giotto to Picasso, contemplate through all the Western Philosophical Schools from Socrates to Deleuze… what then? What am I? What am I to do? What am I fit for?
It was not a problem for my father – when he studied English Literature in HKU, it was during the high-time of British Colonial culture; the top scholars in Hong Kong must and took pride in learning Shakespeare and Milton. But not for me, when Hong Kong is no longer a British Colony. Back then, my father did not even need to confront the shock created by Postmodernism and Postcolonialism.
I could not feel more detached from reality when I began meeting those people who possess no less, or even more artistic impulse than me by the end of my final year in HKU. Some I had known for some time but had not been able to maintain the acquaintance due to my devotion to hall. Everyone, whether it is writing, photography, film, local culture… everyone is striving, working towards their aspiration. All the while, when my time and effort had been devoted to somewhere else. I envy them. They are clearly on some distinct path, while I am in between edges. I have gone so far I do not want to go back to the ordinary again. Some god save me… I feel like shattering into pieces…