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 —
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.
IT IS A SPECIAL KIND OF PRIVILEGE TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.
“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.
WRITE THE THINGS YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT THE THINGS YOU KNOW.
— 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 —
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
Today, I read an old NYTimes article about the Xianmen Square Massacre and felt — off. There I sat, reading, confused, with something bubbling up inside of me, something I really couldn’t recognize at the moment even as I contemplated it. I opened my mouth. And suddenly, there it was: with no control over myself, I began to weep; great, croaking heaves and downtown open mouth, wetness flowing out of closed eyes. So this is emotion, I thought to myself.
And upon reflection I see now that it goes back to that artist and meeting him (nay — more like seeing him, meeting being too far a stretch for the encounter) in person, as a real human being standing in the lobby of my building. It goes back to reading about Liu Xiaobo not one night ago for the first time and reading his poetry after having read American poetry and then waking up to a small, glowing notification on an iPhone: China’s most prominent political prisoner has died under guard at a state hospital. Liu Xiaobo, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, was 61. It goes back to talking to the international Chinese student co-worker of mine, watching her Chinese insecurities and Chinese envy fall out of her like stale water, and yet hearing her speak about censorship, and protest, and student voices in stifling dorms. It goes back to my own college, and our conversations, and our own protests; the things I am scared to say; the person I feel coerced to be. It feels so immediate. It feels so imminent. It feels so personal. It feels so real. It feels so real.
you half-sit, half-lean against a lamp post in midtown. you try your best to shut out the sexy sax man song the busker has been playing for an hour. he’s pretty good, which means you pity him a little for how dead his soul must feel.
you wait for a friend’s call. you text the sf moma number over and over again.
send me shrimp, you write.
they have no shrimp art.
send me alabaster, you write.
send me china, you write.
send me china, you write.
and you realize how fervert it is, that text. and you write it again and again.
send me china.
send me china.
send me china.