You know what’s difficult? Creating something when you’re not suffering. Swirling words together to create the perfect amount of empathy and profound pain seems like the recipe worth following to garner the most attentive audience. But it’s been getting kind of gunky in here. As in, all I write about these days is sadness or pain or moping around. I need to stop contributing to the romanticization of hurting, even though it can lead to some of the best work an artist (not talking about me) produces.
You know what happens when art starts to mold around unrestricted bliss and peace and happiness, though? People tune out. Or maybe it’s just me. I find all kinds of gratitude in ordinary things (much like the majority of people on earth, no matter how sadistic ya’ll claim to be) and ordinary can be very, very boring. Let’s face it, nobody cares how much you dig rainy days, unless you have to walk through it without an umbrella.
So this is me trying to tap into a different source of inspiration. A tank of writing fuel that likes to lay low, one that many may call “sunshine and rainbows”, one that I’d rather call “clear skin and productive homework days”.
My writing is so stale without the angst. It’s fine. We’ll get through this.
(Or you can leave and I’ll call you back when I’ve figured out how to make the mundane sound interesting.)
Get ready for a flurry of warmness and joy that I’ve experienced this quarter:
- Maybe it’s because I haven’t fallen in love yet, but productivity is hands down my favorite feeling in the world. Constantly checking the time to prepare for your next task, working for hours straight with minimal distractions, hand cramping from coating sheets upon sheets of paper with blank ink, coaxing your laptop to cooperate even though it’s overheating and overburdened with the twenty tabs you refuse to close. Let’s not forget the exhaustion that washes over you the moment you get a taste of what resting feels like: physical evidence that you did something today, that you did what you were supposed to do today. Cheers to submitting applications, attending interviews, proactively studying, having courage to go to office hours and having healthy human interactions to top it all off.
- There is magic in the pumpkin-apple-cinnamon air freshener that douses the whole house in nostalgia. Walking into my room with that scent trailing around me summons all these fragments of fictional stories to materialize. Thousands of threads hanging from the ceiling – taped at the end of each, a snapshot of an idea waiting to be finished. I spent a lot of time in those walls just thinking about the different worlds I could be in. (One day, I’ll tell you about them.)
- Four girls who occupy the quaint 1041B. A dancer, a painter, a photographer, a writer. Game nights, anime nights, karaoke nights, movie nights. Burnt tocino, homemade honey walnut shrimp, 3am pasta, and a dozen batches of protein shakes. “We’ll study together”, “I’m staying up too”, “Take the hair out of the tub (!!!)”.
- The first trimester of organic chemistry (51A with Rychnovsky) was everything I wanted in a class: interesting, doable, made me curious. My professor and my TA were both incredible! I mean…they made me want to go to discussion AND office hours to ask questions for crying out loud! Also, I guess this is a time to thank my lovely tutor/friend, Grace, who has always been down to share what she knew. (The girl’s a genius.)
- dark lipstick and hoops = a power-up combo in confidence
- Me being okay with the fact that clear skin is a fallacy that makes you think all is right in the world, even when all is actually terribly, terribly wrong. Accidentally brushing your knuckle against your cheek and feeling absolutely nothing?! No bumps, no rashes, no pools of excess sebum?! Your life is most definitely on the right track, my friend.
- To all the people who have supported me with my writing journey this far: these were the first couple of months I had the courage to publicize anything. I definitely still have a lot to learn and a looooong way to go if I ever even want to consider calling my work “art”. But to anyone who has taken the time to read anything i’ve written – even down to my weird instagram captions, thank you. To anyone who has personally messaged me to ask questions or send praise, thank you. To anyone who has encouraged me to keep going (Alyssa Skvarla, Apple Ong & others), anyone who listens to what I have to say, even if it’s not written well, even if it’s a list of boring (fleeting) blessings, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
- Last but not least, thanks to the Lord, for a wonderful fall quarter.