I rarely write anymore. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t need writing, or because I feel like writing doesn’t need me. What it does mean is that there are way more things — little sparks and beginning strands of long untangled thought yarnballs — that are rolling around in my mind. I usually dump them on instagram, but lately I’ve been feeling more withdrawn from social media and the people on the other side. Often times I question why I feel the need to share into a void, when there is no one to build ideas and share conversations with. But here I am again, sharing into a bigger, more scarier void.
하나. Are You On Middle Class Time? http://porvida.org/?p=224
I still think back on my time in college and wonder how I fit everything into my life back then. Too many clubs, too many classes, too many 15-min meetings with friends while walking and having a meeting at the same time. When I left college, I tried to fill my time up again with a gazillion things. Work felt slow and monotonous, there were so many things could change and improve, and people were so hesitant and unwilling to shift their spots. Even though I could push myself to move at an unhealthy speed, I soon realized that most people didn’t and never wanted to. So I pushed myself even harder to fill that gap. There are still random moments of college and post-grad life that pop up and drown me in nostalgia — a longing for that feeling of invincibility, of flying through life, and sheer the intensity of it all, but I never miss the pain and fatigue that went along with it.
While reading this article, I thought about all the ways that me getting into my university was simply because I was a good capitalist child. I was good at being a passive learner, unquestioning authority, and ignoring personal boundaries of disengagement, boredom, or fatigue. Especially the last one. I only recently started to unlearn these patterns, and I now realize how long a single task actually takes me. I still schedule too much into a day, and I still greatly underestimate how much time it will take me to stop by the coffee shop or even just walk to the subway. I leave an hour before something, and I always get there just in time. It baffles me how time works.
Sometimes I think that habits I had in college of being late and flaky were because I ran my body like a machine. I always thought I could do more than I actually could. I always thought the buses would come exactly when I got to the bus station or that I could fly down Thayer to the other side of campus. I think back on those moments when I think of my younger brother who gets scolded for forgetting important things, or my friend who regularly texts me a list of the things that they did that day. I wonder if it’s because they are pushing themselves too hard. Because some things like capitalism are so ingrained in our lives, I wonder if we don’t recognize it as being an outside force shaping and shifting our bodies/minds. I think about capitalism a lot these days. How it stifles my relationship with myself and others, and how much it hurts so many people I love.
둘. Last month, I went to Dongdaemun Market to get new glasses. I went by myself to a store I had found online and got a new frame with lenses. When I came back home, I realized that the prescription was off and called the store, but they refused to address the problem. Ultimately, my father recommended me a place that he goes to and set things up so that I could exchange my lens there at a lower cost. It also turned out that he had paid for the lens costs beforehand. I just kind of crumbled that day. I splayed out on the cold living room floor when I came home and stared up at the ceiling for awhile. I told my father that felt like an incompetent adult. “I can’t even buy new glasses without getting half-scammed. Why can’t I seem to do anything on my own?” My dad asked why I had to do things on my own. why I thought he hadn’t made mistakes like that before. and why I thought he wouldn’t have made the same mistakes I did, as if being a “competent” adult is some achievable state of being. It brought a lot of things into question: my false (perhaps capitalist) sense of what independence should look like, my obsession with control and doing things on my own, the “all-knowing male provider” box I had placed my father into that didn’t give him room to make mistakes (past, present, or future), the assumption I had made that older people are not capable of change.
셋. Saw an old tweet about white privilege while prepping for class. I was thinking about doing a class on white privilege. Seeing the photos made me realize how I still carry so many racist norms.
넷. 오늘은 여기까지. Music for you.