I’m really getting into Mitski

As I’ve always done with beautiful people, I’ve long only noticed Harry Styles from afar. I never fully allow myself to love things that I feel are too bright and too clean for me, and if One Direction was the pack of popular boys in school, then Harry had prettiest face of them all. He’s the handsome boy you’ve never talked to because you run in different crowds, but who everyone says is very nice, even though he’s never seemed to experience that awkward phase that you thought was a necessary evil, a journey you must undergo to become a better adult. You don’t pine for him; he will always be too far from where you are for you to reach him. You don’t really have anything in common with him, anyway.

Listening to this album has made me think of Harry Styles’s schoolboy persona a bit differently—but not too differently. It’s like looking up to find him right beside you at the bus stop. He’s started to dress a little differently this year—a little shaggier, maybe—and as you observe this, he turns and asks if you know the Beatles. You respond, “Uh, yeah?” He explains that he’s recently gotten really into them. You miraculously get to talking while you wait for the bus, only to find that this beautiful, distant boy from school sometimes says stupid things like, “You’re cool, no one else knows who the Beatles are,” or is awkward and nervous sometimes, like you. You realize he’s been raised by the same media and culture as you, so he’s been deifying a beautiful girl from school the same way you’ve deified him, but none of that lessens his charm. You simply begin to project a more down-to-earth and relatable ideal of a boy onto him, and perhaps he is beginning to form his idea of you in his mind, as well.


10/26/17, 3:09pm

At a presentation for Taiwan-Chinese relations, and I can’t help but feel conflicted.

It is naive. It portrays the entire conflict as a facade as a problem of ‘lack of understanding’ and ‘differences of human needs’, fixable with ‘human connection’. They likened the problem to an ‘onion’, in which economic power, independence, and national identity was the superficial facade and ‘self expression’ was the core.

I was angry at their naiveté, but I was also angry at my cynicism. I have no solutions — how can I fault them for trying? What ideology am I trapped in?

02/24/17, 4:17pm

13 reasons why: the author said that he left out modern technology, and had the characters acknowledge the outdatedness of old technology present. I think this instilled in me a need to be timeless; I never wanted to regret something I did.

At the same time, a part of me felt the need to be completely temporal. My journals were — and are — still ‘snapshots’: reflections of me at a specific moment of time. I knew I was ever-changing, and always wanted to grasp, in some small way, that me that was present at that moment, knowing that that me would be gone in a year, a week, an hour.

Josh, traditional vs. experimental; he was everything that I had been growing up, to the extreme, and I recoiled strongly against that. Looking back, I think I see: he was a catalyst for me; he was a springboard from which I launched forward; he was the stable contrast against which I formed my new identity against — not around. I had the opposite problem: I didn’t morph myself to fit him; I morphed myself to clash.

Or did I just grow by myself and happen to clash? Causation or coincidence? Both?

I am in college. We are young. We are forever changing. Relationships are fleeting, but perhaps they should be.

Do I regret it? Is anything good or bad? No — rather, things just *are*. It’s not our job to judge, but to note.

04/27/17, 4:53pm


“You’re going to be a dentist, just like your mom.”

It was so innocent; such a normal thing: like father, like son. Like mother, like daughter.

I can’t say the exact moment it happened, but one day I realized that all the old tired aphorisms in the world held such insurmountable truth in them that I couldn’t believe I’d heard them all before. They were like air, like the sky: always there, so much so that they ceased to exist in my head. So given that I had never once stopped and considered them.

I grew up in a white beach town, and for the entire time I lived there, I thought that was the only way to grow up. This was the norm. This was the self. It was the default. It’s not a conscious thought, or a phrased ever uttered. It just…was. And it was only after I left that I realized it had existed at all.

When I came here, I became cognizant of the other. I became cognizant that I *was* the other. I became cognizant that we were all the other.

I guess that’s what I mean. My mom was a dentist, and my dad was an engineer. To be an artist — to be creative — that was the other.

I remember when I came to college and saw everyone doing all these amazing things: making movies, music, writing policy, publishing articles and emailing Janet Yellen.  It was all so foreign, this stuff that I’d heard about growing up. This world in which important people were two points of connection away, not a million. This world in which so many options were open, and kids — my peers — had the freedom to be *what they wanted* and have their passions be heard; their causes they championed with far-reaching consequences across the *world*.

For the first time, I was interacting with the world.

I remember feeling alone.

I remember feeling out of place. I remember conversations with the kids of CEOs and Ivy League academia, their words twisting around my small town head, their casual indifference far, far more painful than any outright insult.


08/09/17, 6:05pm, sitting at the steps of the 54rd st library reading terrance hayes, gentle measures

— and though this profoundly disappoints me, I now realize that I have spent my life not leaving traces because I do not want to see them later, or I do not know, simply, where to put them when I leave, change; and though I know rationally that it's not too late, I can't help but feel that I am too far behins, that anything I do now will be endlessly embarassing, and yet I know that it is this constant feeling of being behind that has partly gotten me to this situation in the first place, and so I know I need to just get the fuck started with what I'm not yet sure —

on communities and labels

thinking about how HJ called himself a “buddhist-episcopalian”

I am averse to labels or communities because communities are boundaries. Labels are too laden with extra parts that are not me, and I prefer to not have these extra parts precede myself. Not that I am against certain reputations preceding myself — but I would rather curate these than accept a lump sum of them all at once.

facticity and transcendence — facticity limits your transcendence — haikus are beautiful because of their parameters