- Last trip to Korea was three years ago, in 2014. I can't say if any changes I saw were objective, or because I have changed since then? I also wasn't in Seoul that much this time, just four days (barely) and spent the rest of the time in Jeju.
- Overall, I did not enjoy this trip... like, at all lol. It was so busy, there was tons of traveling/family stress, I didn't eat very well, and it was SO FUCKING HUMID in Jeju. Disgursting.
- THE ONE NICE THING was that the humidity of Korean summers is very very good for my hair and skin. I didn't realize how damaging the dryness of the Central Valley was. So I have to moisturize moar, I guess.
- I liked swimming in the ocean in Jeju too.
- Trump and Kim Jongil were in the news constantly.
- An objective change: there are TONS of home shopping channels on TV, way more than I ever remember seeing before.
- We all got checkups at a medical clinic and it was a very novel and bizarre experience. I don't even know if it was typical for Korea. The clinic was a four/five-story building: the actual clinic in the basements, the lobby & fancy cafe on the ground floor, and rooms for overnight patients in the upper stories. But these rooms were not hospital rooms; it was like a really nice hotel. We stayed there because my mom was supposed to have a two-day procedure, but we got there too late (as usual) for her to do the complete thing, whatever it was. This was probably the nicest place we stayed at the entire time we were in Korea lol. The check-up part was like nothing I've experienced in the American health care system. Everyone gets the same set of clothes to wear, kind of like in a jjimjilbang/sauna. You check in at a nice receptionist counter and fill out a medical history intake thing. You also get to pick a medical procedure, like a la carte? LOL it was so bizarre. Like my brother and sister picked an MRI, and I got a pap smear that I ended up chickening out of. After your intake is processed, you get an electronic bracelet and a clipboard with your info and you go downstairs where alllll the different "stations" of the check up are. You use the bracelet to check in to everything. It is really crazy. There's a squadron of super polite, super efficient nurses at each station and also milling around so whenever a patient is standing around, one can swoop in and guide you to whichever station is closest/quickest. There's all the normal stuff (height/weight, blood pressure), but also an optometry test, hearing test, dental check, body mass/fat analysis, etc etc etc etc. It took like four hours to complete. It was a really weird experience - not bad, just totally different. Actually I do have a complaint: I got a needle in my arm for the endoscopy anesthesia thing as like my fifth station, so it was in my arm for almost 2.5 hours. I got a huge bruise there later. And MAMMOGRAMS ARE INCREDIBLY PAINFUL W T F. We all ended with the endoscopy, which was actually VERY relaxing because it involved being put under to sleep and WOW. WHAT A GREAT EXPERIENCE. These are not sarcasticaps. I really wish I could have that at home. It was amazing and very soothing to just be like "hey I think it's working, I AM actually getting sle-" and then just waking up a blink later, feeling like I had slept like 4 hours. TWO THUMBS WAY WAY UP FOR BEING PUT UNDER!!
my boring life
- I was sick the entire week after I came back from Korea. During this period of time, I lost my appetite entirely, and now I am subsisting on like 1.5 meals a day. Depression meal bingo!
- I hate being in a body sooooo much.
- My sister and I are legit worried that once my mom retires, my brother goes to college, and I move out, my mom is going to go full-blown hoarder. She is losing it. She keeps buying useless pieces of furniture that serve no purpose and don't match with anything. She also buys just... things we already have, without getting rid of any of the old ones. Like why do we need another rice cooker?? We literally already have four. I guess this is how people get into lifelong arguments with their parents!
- Every time I graduate from a school, I regress hardcore. Like I'm feeling bad about my body/weight and feeling legit stupid, like in a shamed 'I can't understand Art or High Concepts' way, for the first time years and years.
- I really do not interact with people enough. I just want to stuff myself into a box and die.
stories and fandom blather
- Rey is beautiful and I love her, but her hair in all the Last Jedi posters etc is terribad. I REALLY HOPE she does not have that awful 80s mullet-looking thing through the whole movie.
--> "This story happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. It is already over. Nothing can be done to change it." (Star Wars) : Inevitability by... story construct? continuity? because time is a flat circle? This is sort of a metaphysical sense of tragedy, not really attached to the content of the story. The idea that everything that happens has already happened in the past and will happen again in the future, because no one can actually learn enough to stop the cyclical nature of LIFE. Like, it HAS to happen. The laws of the universe converge to make it so (entropy and infinity exist, all living things die, conflict is a fundamental part of life but so is inertia). The weight of time erodes it all until eventually there's a generation that has no grounded memory of the pain of the past, and thus makes all the same mistakes in new ways. Nothing is ever really over. We will always have to fight. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles, etc. But also more practically, if you want the story to continue, bad things have to keep happening, otherwise... you don't have much of a story. At least for hero/conflict narratives. I guess this is why kids of heroes always turn out shitty, KYLE RON and KENJI.
--> "The King of Dreams learns that one must change or die, and makes his decision." (Sandman) : Inevitability by characterization. Things happen because the characters act according to their true, core nature - they could not be who they are if they didn't do what they did. They would have to make choices that go against their fundamental self, with a knowledge they don't/could never have, for the outcome to be any different.
--> "In a true tragedy, both parties must be right." (Hegel?? seems like it could be a misattribution) Related to characterization. Not necessarily "right", but I think all parties involved have to act in accordance to their true nature and their beliefs. It's just that they are at cross-purposes with each other. It's that damn Richard Siken quote, a story of need against need where everyone is acting selfishly/self...edly* because if they don't, they'll die. *Like they are acting in the purest expression of themselves.
VERY IMPORTANT ANIMU THOUGHTS: RUROUNI KENSHIN
- I was thinking about all of that stuff because I am obsessed with Rurouni Kenshin again, a full dozen years later. I feel like Kenshin is maybe an inherently tragic figure. Thank god the series is grounded much more in hope than cynicism; otherwise we'd have to live with the senseless, self-serving bleakness of like, the Seisouhen OVA as canon. I don't really know what I'm talking about. I just have tons of feelings about how fucked up Kenshin's life is from beginning to end lol ; ___ ;
- I know there's a new arc and everything (like, the first chapter of it literally came out yesterday), but I'm not taking it into consideration for the moment. Kenshin's canon time-skip ending just doesn't sit well with me. I don't know why! Like I don't know if it's because I'm not on board with Kenshin/Kaoru or if I'm not on board with Kenshin/Kaoru because I don't like the ending lol. Weird stuff.
- The Kyoto arc holds up so, so well. The anime does a really good job. Especially the first four episodes. The way it builds in scope and depth, how each character and event is purposeful, the emotional center of the final technique, and the last episode. The music is really good, too. (I was going to say that it's just a little repetitive, but perhaps, maybe, possibly that's the side-effect of watching the entire 32 episode arc in 3 days?)
- The characters I loved from the beginning are still my favorites: Kenshin, Megumi, Misao, Sano. As predicted, I feel more kindly towards Kaoru now but I still don't really GET her. Saitoh is a lot more entertaining to me this time around. Aoshi remains boring and the worst.
- I'm not smart or disciplined enough to have any thoughts about the GIANT THEME of transition, generations, and zeitgeists/"the age". But I acknowledge and appreciate it all. It's the gulf between Kenshin and Shishio, most explicitly, but also between Hiko and Kenshin, and between Kenshin and Kaoru. Saitoh in and of himself, too.
- Saitoh has his quote, "A Shinsengumi is a Shinsengumi. A wolf is a wolf. And a hitokiri is a hitokiri... right Battousai?" (to himself, in a room full of people he just murdered, apropos nothing really lol). But the series doesn't really frame things in terms of identity, or even choice (like, "who I was vs. who I choose to be"). Not like Saitoh's the standard bearer of the principles of the series - I was just thinking about how Kenshin's conflict is more subtle than it appears. It's not exactly about who he is (which would be "am I really just/only a murderer") or what he's done (he knows what it was and why he did it), exactly, or even how to live with what he's done (he's going to wander and do as much good as he can to repent) - all that is pretty much settled at the start of the series. I guess the initial question the series asks is like, how do you live in a world that you have created? how do you create a new world? Something like that. Every character has their own answer for this. The other major question, I think, is: how do you honor the dead? By forgiving yourself. By honoring your own will to live.
- Kaoru really gets nothing to do in the Kyoto arc. She's much more lively in Tokyo.
- The way EVERYONE says Aoshi's name literally in every episode he's in omg. SHINOmori...............................
- I find the idea that Kenji doesn't like Kenshin, even as a normal toddler phase thing, to be UNSPEAKABLY CRUEL. WAE.
IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:
( kpop lists )
- Guilt because I feel like I don't really deserve it? I didn't put much effort into it, refused to really commit, and I fucked up my comprehensive exam.
- Wondering whether I should have told my dad: that ship has sailed anyway. So now wondering if I should tell my dad. I won't, but I'm still wondering lol.
- Sadness because it's another chapter closing. Unless something goes terribly wrong in my life, this was my last year of school and my last chance to become a good student. Wasted potential.
I don't know. I feel like I've lost the ability to trace or evaluate my thought processes. And, like many many people across the globe to-day, I feel overwhelming and suffocating anxiety about the Times We Live In. How do "we" communicate and enact and protect our values? Stuff (SOCIETY! CIVILIZATION!!) only works if there is a common understanding, a consensus, THE SOCIAL CONTRACT. You can't stop to let a car through if the other lane doesn't stop, either. hashtag chronic stress, hashtag late stage capitalism, hashtag why. Like... how do we function and live IN the world when so many people just have no interest in ever ever ever listening? Like people whose reality is built ONLY around responding to their own deep festering hurt, and won't incorporate logic or compassion because it doesn't serve their... principles? idk what the word is. I'm not really asking "what's the ~point~ of empathy" but like... where will it take us, on a global scale? Where does it all go, when the Dark Heart of Humanity just gets deeper and darker? I believe that it all matters, that we have to shape our immediate reality by our day-to-day behaviors, but I also believe that humanity is doing too little, too late and we're actively setting ourselves back from even that minimal amount.
Good lord, how is this post supposed to help me get ~mindful~ closure???
I put my hand against my neck, my thumb on my throat, and I think about how hard it is to reach myself. Let alone another person. A totally distinct, disparate human being! It doesn't feel alienating though; I feel humbled. I want to make whole other post about IU's Twenty-three and Palette, but for now, the part of Palette that touches me the most is "But still - I was pretty when I sang Good Day," saying it like "I saw that I was, wasn't I?" and her singing G-Dragon's rap during her live performances. "Jieun-ah." I've just always like that concept, of being able to stretch your hand through the hazy ~veil~ of time to your previous self and be able to see that you were just so young, and you needed love and support, and you deserved it then and you deserve it now. How to step outside yourself and see that you are just a person, who has fundamental worth, and aren't you somehow wonderful for even being able to recognize that? Doesn't it feel good to use your heart for yourself? There is something really tender about it.
idk, I still feel a lot of shame and derision about old memories, and each time they pop up in my head (which is pretty often, because of anxiety and school and social incompetence), I just feel like running a sword straight through past!me. Seeing all the stuff that's obvious to me now but was totally unknown and inaccessible to me then. Time is like running water that softens the sting of the really embarrassing stuff. Nothing changes the ~past~ but perspective, and it's not like your past mistakes get better, but you're just able to embrace yourself. Like sticking yourself with metaphorical blades doesn't serve a purpose for you anymore - it doesn't obliterate what actually happened, who you actually were then. And the pain you cause yourself stops becoming a virtue, and is instead just itself. "Be who you needed when you were younger" + "As adults, we try to develop the traits that would have saved our parents."
Ugh now it's 4:00pm and I have to go to rehearsa! I didn't get to what I wanted in this post. I wanted to feel restful at the end of it lol. Oh well, what the hell.
Brazen buffoonery: I accidentally a whole page of messages in my dreamwidth inbox. I guess they're just gone? There's no trash folder!
I cannot believe how tired I am right now. I took Benadryl last night to help me go to the fuck to sleep (good idea right???) and I don't think it worked. I took it the night before and it seemed helpful then T___T
I wanted to embed a voice/audio post here but I don't know how to do it. I thought there would be a simple button. I'm too tired for things that take multiple steps.
I look back on the years gone by and though I was much more miserable then than I am now, there are a lot of things I miss. Sometimes it seems, weirdly, that I had more energy, which is a very very sad statement, given that I was tired all the time then. But it was an internal energy - and I think it's only because I'm looking back to a time when I was really active on recording my thoughts and making lists and talking a lot about the media I was consuming. And the internal energy was not, like, positive. Maybe the better word is "movement"? It came from a place of anxiety and hmm like... "this is the only thing I can do right now." Like, all that writing and bloggeuring was my outlet for everything going on with me. And I am much, much more capable of DOING things now than I was then. I don't know if it's connected at all or not, like whether being better at Being a Person in the World really depletes me of whatever was fueling those little midnight laps in my internal... living space. Goddamn I cannot talk.
Anyway I miss the enthusiasm I had, the ease with which I could talk about stuff, the STUFF I wanted to talk about, the ability I had to watch things without being so, like... bogged down. It's a self-consciousness and awareness that gets treated as baggage. idk. And like, none of that really brought me peace or happiness or restfulness in any long-term sense. But it's a record that I existed. What the hell do I do lately? Each day just lapses into the next. I sit and play Tetris for hours and I'm thinking about stuff, but it's smoke and vapor as soon as I look up, I might as well not have even been alive for those hours. Dissipated into the ether. Sighsighsigh.
I really need to get this fucking anxiety thing sorted out. But I don't want to have another weird/ambivalent to straight up bad experience in counseling. Like, I think this is the thing - I really don't want to have another memory that is going to cause me pain later. And I know it's my own fucking choice to keep gnawing on something, but goddamnit, I don't know how to get around that? Like why must I remember things?? The functional, but not necessarily helpful, answer is that it's to keep me from making the same mistake later. Battering myself upon the rocks.
Here are some bits and bobs from dreams I've had in the past couple of months:
- ANXIETY MARATHON after the incident with the Creeper Neighbor: my dad comes over and is naked at one point(?) and everyone acts like I should have already known about this or that I should be really chill about it. I'm wearing only a towel, like I've just come out of the shower, and I see the neighbor walking with his wife past our house through the second story window and I freeze. He looks up and I can't tell if he sees me; he smirks and turns back to his wife. Later, a landscaper/construction worker comes to do something in our yard. He digs a hole and then, like, TURNS INTO Tomtom and curls up in the hole to test the size of it. I'm, like, horrified that I didn't know that people/service-type workers could just turn into cats for work purposes. "Oh my god, I can't believe all this time I didn't even know.............."
- NESTED DREAMS: all within a two hour nap before I had to take Julian to the office with me by 2 pm.
dream 1. I drive to the office to get there by 2 pm, except it's hella dark out already. "Boy, this Daylight Savings Time!" I think. As soon as I arrive, I realize that I forgot Julian.
dream 2. ~I wake up from dream 1 and am relieved that I'm not late.~ I tell Julian to get ready, but he's like "but it's Sunday." I say, "It's not Sunday, it's Tuesday" and he doesn't hear me. I yell louder from a fog of tiredness, "IT'S NOT SUNDAY, IT'S TUESDAY."
dream 3. ~I wake up again from dream 2 and reflect upon the fact that I had a dream within a dream.~ I decide that this is because I haven't eaten all day and it has exacerbated my fatigue. I go to, like, a small local bakery/deli thing. I order two pies (??), then add another one at the last minute. The cashier is like, "Yes, girl, order as many as you like!! You're hungry!!"
Epilogue: when I for real woke up, I was so disoriented. I was like "WHAT TIME IS IT? where am I? did I eat???"
- LOVELY DREAM where I behaved in a very good manner. I was with my grandmother and I helped her walk, although I was scared of her frailty. Also held little kids on my lap to help them see the computer screen/TV.
In retrospect, I would do these things IRL anyway. But in the dream, I did it without hesitation, and in reality, I'm always thinking of what could go wrong and that someone else could do whatever I'm doing better.
I have not been eating well. It's the olde pattern of "eat one meal at 3pm and maybe some water or coffee for the rest of the day."
IMPORTANT EDIT @ 11/23/16: So I didn't do anything I listed in this entry. Instead spent the whole weekend sleeping and reading fic and continuing eating one (1) meal a day for Depressed Efficiency, and I only finished this entry today. Cool beans.
Maybe it's because I've had more cups of coffee than I've had hours of sleep, plus I'm cold and getting sick and one of my contacts is stabbing a circle into my eyeball, but I am like really really emotional about this lol. "This" = commenting, making friends you've never met, ~reaching out~. People!! Wanting to connect!! It's instinct! ; ___ ;
I read the phrase "isolation that results from internalizing [their] feelings" and it knocked me back a bit. I have never thought about it that way. (Or maybe I have thought of it and immediately forgot??) And of course it makes sense. Keeping shit inside to make yourself a contained unit also keeps you from contact with others.
holy shit it is cold in here
i just want to create something that i'm happy with and that i can be proud of. i don't even mean in an abstract way. like literally, i just want to draw or knit or make a mix that doesn't fill me with disappointment and/or self-loathing
maybe social work was not a good idea LOL hahahahaha
falls upon my own sword
i keep yearning for the world to give me value bc i don't really think of myself as having inherent worth lol. it's not something i can logic into or out of. it's a matter of belief which is always going to screw me.
i haven't angsted over this in a long time bc being in a program and feeling like i had a trajectory gave me the, like, confidence? to discard it as irrelevant. like what's the point of thinking about whether you're a good person or not? just DO things in life the best you can. but now i'm really questioning the program itself and it is accordingly collapsing the sense that At Least I Am Doing Something. and when i take away the feeling that i'm working towards something achievable & worthwhile, i'm only left with myself as a person WHICH IS UNBEARABLE. what am i good at? am i good friend? daughter/sister/teacher? i try an okay amount but it's not enough
Well, well, well. Fast-forward seven months later, after being fucked over some more by the program, which then gave me an excuse to Not Care and fuck myself over even more: SOCIAL WORK: NOT A GOOD IDEA. But I'm already on the path and I can't step off of it without going back into the abyss. Formless fog!!!!!
I had an epiphany a couple of days ago. (There's actually no way to tell whether I have already had this thought and promptly forgot that I had it, so I'm blogging about it to keep record.) I'm staying in this horrible position working at my mom's office for seasons upon seasons, because I already think that I'll be unhappy no matter where I go or what I do. So I'm just leveraging unhappiness - if I'm going to be and feel shitty regardless, I might as well do it in a position that will give me SOME satisfaction at things that are definitely important to me (feeling like I am helping my mom/family), rather than risking feeling more incompetent at something new and more abstractly important to me (Doing My Part in Society). Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.
It's the perspective of, like, "everything people do has a purpose". It's just that sometimes that purpose has become maladaptive. Internal logic, cohesive realities. Two related quotes:
the ep of It's Always Sunny when Dee ~walks a mile in Charlie's shoes~:
Charlie: What do you mean, they're not real problems?
Dee: You make those problems up. You choose to do that stuff.
Charlie: Those are SOLUTIONS to problems.
Everything is a solution to a problem, it's just that the problems change and outpace the rate of solutions generated.
But, if you don’t take ["being racist"] as an end point — if you instead ask “what do people get out of being racist?” — you’ll start to unravel the emotional motivations behind it.
'What do people get out of this?' = 'So what is its function in society?' < this question always makes me laugh, and I can't adequately explain why. I think it's related to that article or column or whatever Ayn Rand wrote about cats. Anyway, I think this concept also has something to do with utilitarianism, but I'm too lazy and dumb to connect it properly.
In any case, I'm glad I watched it. It was a very lovely movie - almost idyllic at times, as everyone is so FRIENDLY, but pulled back from being out-and-out syrupy, especially by the performances by Ayase Haruka (who is so incredibly beautiful) and Hirose Suzu. It made miss all sorts of things - being at college when I watched a ton of movies at Melnitz, living with my sister, and the nebulous concept of being in Korea ~with my people~. I mean, I don't WANT to live in Korea, but the familiarity of some of the scenes kind of tricked me. Just that feeling of knowing, recognizing. We want so badly to connect to things and this impulse is never turned off. Anyway, it was a gentle look at people in real motion, filmed beautifully. On the theater website, the movie was was described as heartwarming, and I decided that my heart could do with some warming. Another apt description: "Miyazaki in real life" (from this review).
Paranoid worries of the day: Tomtom has fleas or ticks, worried that Melon has them too; Melon's hind paw is still infected :< ; Tomtom is so wild about going outside - gotta calm him down re: scratching at the window screens, how to block off the shed so he won't jump onto the fence.
In case anyone was wondering, I still love Jonghyun and I pray daily for him to change his hair.
The guessing game for the 21st century: Did I just think it or did I tweet it? Like traveling through a murky, boring mirror funhouse.
Here are some things that made me feel some feelings:
"It's been so hard, not knowing what it's about" (paraphrased from this fic): This is a really difficult part of life, to me. The incomprehensibility of it. Not active confusion, really, just the sense that I don't know what's going on or why I'm doing what I'm doing, why I want what I want, what's expected of me and what I feel about it.
I started watching Crazy Ex Girfriend a few weeks ago and I really love and feel for Rebecca. I cried during that episode where they go to the beach, just the scenes where she's in the bus, so lonely and lost. Trying really hard to keep up and figure it out.
idk, I'll just totally surrender the fight of trying to phrase things in, like... a readable way, lol. To me, the things Rebecca does are because she doesn't know what else to do. And she doesn't know why she does them, either. When you don't know what you want, or why you want it, or how to get what you want - there's no way to organize anything in your head or heart. You can't put things into context. It's a jumble and you're left with just trying to deal with things as they come, a one-on-one basis, but life is so fucking confusing that doing things that way results in fucking nonsense and chaos. Because without any sense of a stable bigger picture, you're left with reacting based on your emotions at the time. But your emotions are already a mess, just an ocean that's always moving, waves and waves and currents and rocks and spray, too many components and forms it can take, too vast to get a hold of. It's hard. Not knowing what it's about.
"Let it be willing": Sort of a more graceful way of being like, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em"? Except not really. (SEE ABOVE: GIVING UP ON TRYING TO READABLE). I've been ~mulling this over because of Gansey wrt the Raven King (this) and Bucky wrt Civil War (this). And in some sense, existential therapy (in the Frankl school), which says there is so much you can't control. Accept that, and find the bounds of what you can control, and make meaning out of it. The choice you make matters to you, even if it doesn't or can't reach anyone else. This is hard for me, and also why "seeing" it is very moving and affecting to me? Because it's like, even if you can't believe in yourself, you can believe in the value of your choice. I find it very beautiful. The way you can transform the nature of an action. You can think: In the end, it doesn't matter, because the result is the same. A death is a death, suffering is suffering. But no, not all the time. It does make a difference. Here we are, in a world of chaos and meaning. Walk into it, unburden yourself however you can. That Bucky fic makes me want to cry every time. "'Do what you think is best,' he says. 'I have.'" Something about grace. Something about acting in ways that you can be proud of, in retrospect and remembrance. Something about how love really is powerful - the only way out of the flat, terrible circle of violence - and sometimes intention does matter. 'The heart goes on and on and does not stop.' Something something something.
I made a 7+ minute long ~vlog~ while driving home yesterday where I mostly repeated, "Why does life feel like this?" over and over. Not even "why do I feel like this?" or "why is life like this?" Why does it FEEL? LIKE? THIS? When will it stop? Or more practically, when am I going to accept it? I have to heave my sadsack body through space and time, PUSHING IT AGAINST THE GROUND AND THROUGH THE AIR, insisting upon my own existence even though I don't even fucking want to exist. Isn't that just a hell of thing? Life goes on until it decides not to, or until you make it stop. I ask you, how is that fair?! It should be a fucking opt in system, not an opt out. Ughhhhhkl;wejrkl;jasdf;klhlkasdf
I would like to conclude this post by saying I wrote this all in a crowded Starbucks, EVEN THOUGH I'm sitting right next to counter and my screen is not facing the wall.
I want to be a piggy bank or something and be picked up by a child and smashed on a rock over and over again until I break open. It sounds super violent when I write it out, and I guess it's not... un-violent. But... actually I don't know why I want this so much, or at least why this image ~resonates so much with me. I want to be treated artlessly but sincerely. I want to be believed in with a single-minded focus, believed that there is something great and interesting inside me, and I want that to be wanted. And I somewhat want my main purpose to be broken open? Like, I don't want to be pried open. I don't want to be eased into it. I just want it bang! bang! bang! Something blunt and careless. A struggle that doesn't implicate me, that doesn't depend on me being manipulated.
Well, I also want to be baked into a loaf of bread and be paid to eat my way out of it.
This line of poetry keeps rattling around in my noggin: "All my life I had been making the same mistake -" and I stop it there, because the point of remembering this line is to FEEL SAD, not to USE IT. The second part is "the dust was on my face, and I kept cleaning the mirror." Oh, I had to look up the poem for that line, and I was misremembering the first part too lol ("the whole life I kept committing the same mistake"). I guess it doesn't matter that much since it's a translation from Urdu (?). Wow what a useless paragraph.
The fact that I'm not happy with anything I've knitted this year is really disheartening. I am a true blue amateur, so I wasn't expecting legit high quality work. But everything has just been, like... too big or lopsided or looking sloppy. I don't know what I was expecting. That my ~good taste would somehow overcome any skill level or lack of preparation? Maybe. I also just really wanted to not be wasteful, in that I wanted to make things that I actually wanted to wear. I've done and redone a lot of projects and I'm still not happy.
I GUESS MY MAIN PROBLEM (out of the dozen Main Problems I have) is that I always feel that I will never be able to love the things I love or people I love good enough. I'm always lacking something. There's not enough substance or words or energy.
I'm really dizzy right now, even though I ate and drank water and juice and stuff. Godfuckingdamnit. Can't anything just be done? Why am I not an input/output machine???
Whee-ooo, one fundamental fear: every new thing I do is another opportunity to fail to be happy.
All my life I had been making the same mistake!!!
I think a couple of years ago I wanted to make a big block of text about wanting to take back or update the Western-centric things I said about Korean culture. BUT I FORGOT WHAT I SAID, WHAT I WANTED TO SAY, AND WHAT THE POINT OF ANY OF IT WAS.
idk. Sometimes change happens in such unannounced increments. I'm surprised by some of the things I wrote out of ignorance and/or an unexamined life. I needed to work through them, and thankfully I did. And at times, I did it without specifically realizing it? I'm talking about this too vaguely lol. For example: I used words like "retarded" maybe as late as early college?, then later "homogay" for ~comedic effect. I also said the word "bitch" A LOT?? (I still say it occasionally, but I don't swear as much in general.) I just didn't think about it enough, I didn't take it seriously. I also remember really working my way through the concept of "white saviors"/white point-of-view characters in stories about POC and genuinely feeling conflicted about maybe "needing" that "buffer" - I think it was after I watched Blood Diamond. But I kind of course-corrected on my own, maybe slowly, but it happened. idkk. I'm selfishly glad that I got the space and time to do that without being called out by someone else. I mean, it would have been well-deserved but it still really would've destroyed me, just because ANY small thing regularly smooshed me flat back then. I would not have had the context to be like, this is not about you - it's about what you said, and it's necessary for you to be able to rise out of this interpersonal level into the systemic one.
It really is a process of unlearning. Growing pains.
Here is what I wrote today at Starbucks whilst ignoring my reading:
I feel regret for my past self at times. It's hard to treat yourself as you would treat a friend because you just know too much, but at the same time you don't see enough.
I'll be 27 soon - it's been almost ten years since I first started college. There's a lot that I feel sad about during that gap. I was so strangled by my feelings of inadequacy, I couldn't accept that I was actually understanding the things I was learning. Then I would beat myself about the head for being too stupid and dull to ~get it. To me, there was so much pressure to know yourself, know your future, to have already done things so you could do more things. But - I was so scared of doing anything. I wasn't capable of saying hi to people in an elevator. I felt like I was made of mistakes. Every little hiccup in a day laid me flat.
I really like the idea of progress as a spiral. You think that you haven't changed because you're feeling the same things as you did in the past, but you're really just passing through a similar point, expanding your life a little at a time. Traveling further from the dark center that represents a bad point, maybe THE bad point, in your life.
And then, nearly ten years later, you can look back in surprise. Not just that you're different now from how you were then, but that the old you wasn't so bad after all. They deserved some shelter, too. They did the best they could and tried hard. What they didn't know and couldn't feel was only possible to be known and felt through experience. The you now is that organic sum.
Anyway. I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS PAPER.
I thought about it because I was at the ~Methods~ part of the reading, and I could (very very distantly) recall my undergrad methods class. And I thought, I could probably actually understand it now - actually, maybe I could have understood it then, too. But I just felt like none of it applied to me/could be applied by me. What research would I do? I didn't have an interest or a passion or an idea. I didn't have the courage necessary to initiate a n y t h i n g. I had no conception that I was capable of Doing. It was so scary and intimidating. Hopeless, really.
And I was only able to realize that I could've done it back then because yesterday, I dug up my notes from my undergrad statistics course to help JJB with his math homework. I was BLOWN AWAY by them lmao. Just, like, I couldn't understand a goddamn thing in them, and I remember struggling and falling asleep during class and panicking because I was missing chunks from different units, but my notes must've still been correct in some way because I got an A in the class. I was SO SMART to have been able to cobble that together????
idk. There's the POTENTIAL, I guess. But as I think about it more, it's embarrassing to be impressed by that lol. Especially since I'm not being academically challenged in the least in my program now, and I'm still having such a hard time. So - which is it?? Am I Lazy and Undisciplined for not trying to Engage my Mind to the extent it's capable of, or am I Stupid and at my Maximum Level now? I know that this is a terrible and false distinction to make. I'm still making it!!!!
I also have a lot of unorganized feelings about history and my current view of life and Hamilton and stuff.
Okay, last thing: I skimmed the comments of my old lj entries too. I feel really grateful and touched by everyone who was frondly to me. idk. It's not a Big Deal, except that it is, but not in a weird burdensome way lol ;;;; But like. Each comment was a point of contact, and it mattered.
Ugh this post suxx. I don't want to write this paper. T__T
MY PROBLEM IS:
- I have a weird, lumpy head
- I don't photograph well!!!!
- Not like I am such a spring chicken in person, either, but in pictures I always look like I was sausaged into my body two minutes before the picture is taken and I don't know how to hold myself or move my face like a human being.
- I'M ALWAYS TIRED
- AND I NEVER WANT TO DO ANY WORK
- BECAUSE I DON'T LIKE ANYTHING
- EXCEPT CATS AND LACK OF RESPONSIBILITY
- AND I'M GONNA BE 27 SOON, which is a minimum of 7 years too old for how bad at life I am
- Lack of ambition, lack of conviction, lack of courage = cowardly stagnation
- Why do I keep eating meat? Why can't I make principled decisions?
- I keep picking at my legs and they're pocked with scratches now :c
- I sneeze a lot
Well. On the flipside, ideal compliments 4 me (rehashed from twittar):
- Cats are really comfortable around you!
- The effort you put into your appearance is adequate. (a la Jack Donaghy: Your hair is.... fine.)
- You make excellent emoticon choices.
- The things that you like are all charming and speak well of you; the things you dislike are all legitimately terrible and deserve every bit of your enmity.
- You are really good at petting cats!
- You have great taste in sunglasses/lipstick/earrings.
- Your handwriting should be a font!!
- You take good, comprehensive notes.
- EVERYTHING YOU'RE DOING IS OKAY. YOU'RE STRUGGLING BECAUSE YOU HAVE SO MUCH AHEAD OF YOU, IT'S LIKE A CAKE THAT'S SO GIANT YOU CAN'T EVEN RECOGNIZE THAT IT'S A CAKE. DON'T BE SILLY GIRL, YOU'RE A MIRACLE.
I cannot in good conscience become a social worker without figuring this out. There is a responsibility in privilege. You do damage by denying the power you have. I can't just opt out of it forever.
Blech, I keep feeling like I am smelling or tasting that kiss. It's really bumming me out. It feels like I proved something about myself, showing a mulchy jaundiced underbelly. Like: I'll LEGIT tip over and scramble DISGRACEFULLY just to feel safe, to stay in the comforting shade of Being Liked. Now I'm being haunted by that desperate, jarring sensation. BLEURGH.
I'm so sad about lions and elephants and parrots and cats. Suffering isn't a lump sum. It seems worse than infinite. There's always more to hear about. Worse things than I could have imagined. It's always so painful.
WHAT A CHEERFUL ENTRY. Crying at 3am and updating livejournal. It's like it's 2007 again!