scarcity

I need help in refocusing my attention.

I felt a mix of depression and anxiety today while in bed after a nap. Anxious about getting out of bed. Depressed because I was just scrolling on my phone, getting more and more sucked in. I had a resume review and edit today with my career mentor. Today was also my team’s monthly meeting where our boss updates us on everything going on. I don’t think I’m super stressed, but I can stress myself out if I get hyperfixated on something. Last week I forgot I had left a Febreze fabric spray on the roof and spent a good minute getting disproportionately stressed over its whereabouts. Tomorrow I have no meetings, so I’m hoping I can take it slow and work on my resume and a TikTok content strategy proposal for work. I want to be fair with myself and prioritize these two major things while putting the rest in misc.

It’s going to rain tomorrow apparently! I wanted to read on the roof in my hammock :/ that’s been very good for me. Slowing down and annotating a physical book has made me remember the English classes I loved in school. When I am on my phone, which I am on a lot, I’ve been writing more comments and messages. Short annotations in a sense. It’s made it a bit more rewarding.

My sense of purpose and preference for a life I dreamt of as a teenager is kind of on my mind since I spent some time updating my resume and submitted to www.externalassessmentsummer.com today. I want to have a more artistically robust life I think, maybe one in the art, design, or fashion world. I need to think about it more. I’m 23 and still figuring out my life. Things are going to be fine.

I’m reading about abundance vs. scarcity mindsets right now, and I need help removing bits of myself that have become mired in a scarcity mindset. I feel historically like I’ve been very much attuned to an abundant mindset, I’m pretty noncompetitive, but recently I’ve found that my ego has been so fragile. I don’t like having to make decisions, I don’t like talking in a group setting, I don’t like performing because I have to cling so hard to a narrative that I constantly forget. An abundant mindset is not defined just by what it’s not. It’s collaboration over competitiveness, and I do find that distinction hews close to but a few degrees left of my more basic operative mode in the negative. Non-competitiveness

Scarcity Mentality

  1. Victory means success at the expense of someone else.
  2. Difficulty showing happiness for the success of others including family, friends and business associates.
  3. Difficulty sharing credit, recognition, power and profit.
  4. Difficulty being a team player because differences in opinion are perceived as disloyalty.

Maybe I’m going out too much and projecting. Doing things out of love, not for love. Gratitude and grace as cures for one’s jealousy – jealousy defined as a projection onto others. A lot of abundance seems to come easily to me when I adopt a childlike wonder. Imagine a world of abundance

I also need to remind myself that it’s okay to want validation. Maybe it was the effects of physical, social, and psychological silos in quarantine that made me more sensitive to the burst of life this summer. It’s been wonderful to see everyone doing amazing, but you know. It’s also the awareness or self-perception that I’m not doing as amazing. Or that I could be doing more and that perhaps there’s something critical that I’m missing. Writing it out makes it seem silly.

Related to this anxiety around not doing/being enough, I’ve been reflecting on The Nap Industry’s posts on social. They promote rest, less work, more naps, not using the word “lazy” derogatorily or at all, etc. I feel like I’m very much into all of that, so it makes it a little hard sometimes when I compare myself with people in my age group who are doing so many things when I sometimes forget to do basic things like…laundry. I feel sometimes that the more I see people doing things, the less able I am to do those same things. Like a “too many cooks in the kitchen” cognitive distortion. That feeling of redundancy is paralyzing. I have this narrative of myself that sort of distorts the past as times gilded with greatness–great potential, great intelligence, ability, tact, skill. The future conversely feels so self-corrosive, or more accurately the potentiality of self-corrosion is so closely felt that it ends up becoming so. It’s that to venture out I’d be on inevitably diverted paths, ill-equipped and un-self-aware of what I need to re-correct. So I end up not venturing out at all. So I pull from what I feel like I’ve lost in a self-pitying way to paint my present as deficient in one manner or another. It’s a bit cyclic.

A pure example of this is my understanding of high school when I juggled so much “productive” work with relative success. Everyone existed on close rails and it was easy to understand hierarchy (grades) without the need for projection. In high school was when I began creating and carrying myself apart from the baseline priority of grades. I still did well in school. Exclusion was an easy way to experience an another/adjacent form of exceptionality. Self-directed exclusion made me feel a bit more in power. I don’t know what to say about the immigrant imperative to make no trouble for others, being closeted, not being white, and what it meant to be good at school. I am editing, qualifying, and refocusing my experience of exclusion as being self-guided to a large extent. I wonder what America as a land of perpetual adolescence means in this reconsideration. I’ve been reading The Topeka School by Ben Lerner. American perpetual adolescence is my symptom. My distortion of my past as a time of great potential. This conflation with my need to tap into a childlike wonder to think abundance. Oh.

Sure, so I hyper-fixated on growth in my adolescence, was prematurely trapped within an idea of what I could know and what I could never know. I recently told a friend over bad Viet food, “my base of knowledge is too small.” So, American perpetual adolescence (APA) as a lens through which I understand my increasingly scarce mindset.

Victory means success at the expense of someone else | Defeat means loss at the gain of someone else.

Another neuroticism: the need for exceptionality in arbitrary measures. If someone is typing, I am not typing. If someone is on their laptop, I am not on my laptop. It’s a paralyzing fear of redundancy. A deference built from negative modes of operation rather than the grace of abundance. We can only exist together if we can both accept our own uniqueness and others’ and see them as strengths. This is all we need. Scarcity is an illness of over-individualization. Everyone matters! It’s not you or me. It’s not us or them. It’s all or nothing. All as in the all in queer liberation for all. All as in the all in we are not free until we all are free. All as in the all in we are all worthy of love.

Redundancy brings up the idea of uselessness and usefulness. I hadn’t considered that. I usually think of it as a way to balance. If there’s no need for balance, then I can remain useless. The cumulative effects of passivity on my identity? It’s deleterious toward identity. Remember, I forget to remind myself of my narrative. This is scarcity.

What are its roots? Masculinity and its making? Pg. 160, the father Jonathan: “unmoored by the absence of someone who needed me” (Lerner). I feel closest to the character of Jonathan. He does not react aggressively when Adam does, which makes Adam more aggressive. He says the above line^ and this: “Maybe I was only relaxed when I was with someone who wasn’t, when I knew it would be useful for me to be calm, calming?” – which is often an experience I felt I had as a kid. If my sister was scared watching a horror movie, I wasn’t. And then I experienced so much of my life alone with art in a sort of mutualistic relationship. Reflections, attention, words for new catalysts, for more enrichment. Jonathan has that trip. He makes that film of a play. Adam describes the texture of a memory. It reminds me of an instance of depersonalization in 10th grade. Waiting for the bell in the cafeteria. Feeling reality shift into a filmic dimension. And then the texture of a memory, shoes up the ramp. Repeated hundreds of times and coiled now from the unconscious into a conscious touchstone that’s less textured than when I first recalled the memory of shoes, ramp, looking down. Language as synesthetic? A quote from the documentary Fantastic Fungi. A tactile memory, and memory relating to language. Yiyun Li. History. It’s starting to not be useful. Relevant (redundant).

but it is just fine and i’m okay with fine

on the precipice of a widening gulf and a watershed moment where the first line ends. 
who, whose, whom, which, what, how, why, when, where
i remember when salted air touched chapped lipstransfused aridity, salted limbs and skin (on Mississippi mud-skin)
I guess we all live from one weighted bell valley to another \ i feel “drenched” in the gravity of desire, unequipped with the vocabulary to situate myself within it, and ever around it – to feel its contours, to want to know where it ends and i begin
“trapped” “stuck” “impeded” “confounded” an inexorable pull, a matter of degrees
i know when i close interruption, distraction, my thoughts on cobbled-stoned keys rock on about power, with a little prompting, – – – and on about reciprocity. gentleness, altruism. 
and then I guess I would say more about desire and intimacy, aloneness, needs – a pencil. Joy at information gathering, a prefrontal predilection for dopamine. These were all you.
the truth is too scary to write down, so I think them instead, in discursive reels . \ i wouldn’t want to know it.
Dream looping, an ouroboros – full of scales, what else?
a distributive copy 
copy as essence, as property
the lonely city: intimacy, to be seen, or to see, focused absolution of the self, an ego-dissolution, a rebuttal to loneliness

“a whole new universe to be alone in” the world being a bit amorphous? I’m only concerned with myself really. “making art is a selfish act” that’s all well and goodthe step is then filled with uncertainty – something has to be here. Then it won’t be there. Absent presence. The past in the present as yourself with other people. 
absent presence: sometimes used to describe the layered experience of landscapes changed by time; revisiting an old childhood town to find that the Blockbuster is now a mattress store, or the saplings you helped plant at your middle school are now fully grown. I guess you’d call it nostalgia, or the persistence of memory. 
i don’t have the ability to care enough about what other people want. enough as in care appropriately, or care sufficiently. or care at all. longevity is elusive for me, i force it into illusion, isolation 
I’m sad that I’m lonely. 

writing inspo

Write 10 lines starting with “I remember”

copy an article word for word:

https://nymag.com/arts/books/features/60120/

A paragraph starting with “Today I noticed” till abandon

and/or “I am grateful”

“You must write, and read, as if your life depended on it” – Adrienne Rich

re-read 10:04, Yiyun Li

Katherine Mansfield’s journals

Notes for Modern China 1/5

listen to Song to a Seagull

Sculptural Aspects of Le Corbusier

read The Bible?

Trans-Pecos is a desert

Trans-Pecos is the area to the west of the Pecos River in Texas, known as far West Texas. It’s mostly desert. did I know Trans-Pecos was mostly a desert? I guess I might’ve – and now am re-remembering /or learning the first time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Pecos

i had this outfit on today, with nowhere to go, and I really thought to myself, I look like someone who’s about to head to Trans-Pecos. There’s a style. Someone who stands to the side of the stage at a Trans-Pecos concert. I’d often enough gone to those and asked myself, who are all these people standing around at this place where they play Toro Y Moi, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Tame Impala on speaker while the band sets up? And the chilling answer is, bitch that’s me. She’s her.

It just feels like the “always has been” astronaut meme but worse, like I’m both astronauts. And instead of space it’s fucking Brookyn, New York. The gall to even try being oblivious.

I guess the point is that I’m turning over in my mind what I’m trying to say to myself and others with what I consider “stylish” or… “cool” – odd memory, but in middle school we had these micro-courses early in the morning that ran for half a semester and were focused on niche subjects. I took one on merchandising about advertising, mall-stuff, stuff about being “cool” – a slippery ideal that morphs once it’s “caught” – I guess that’s how the course put it. Once “cool” is known, it’s no longer cool. I guess I’m identifying a little with this old memory in the way finding a definition for my style feels the same as ruining said style.

The fireworks are me admitting I look like a hipster and the animal noises and Jan Sport are me and my sense of self imploding.

View this post on Instagram

from @dalanium #transpecosbackyard

A post shared by Trans-Pecos (@trans.pecos) on

red pants

Ok so, I had a bit more going on than the people in this photo. That’s not the point. The point’s somewhere between my anxiety over belonging to a vague cluster of aesthetic certainties, a devotion, a need to cling onto ambiguity that substantiates my own un-self-awareness and in the moment kind of living. I don’t want it to make sense. I feel like a stiff ball of dough resisting my own attempts to flatten myself out to a more transparent film.

nondualism for rooftops

I had a conversation with a college friend on the rooftop this Saturday where I wrongly described Daoism as involving nondualism – I think I was thinking of Zen Buddhism, koans, and such. Daoism has more to do with going with the flow right?

Anyways, I’m reading an interview with Garth Greenwell which reminded me of the mistake in the conversation, and a quote from Bertolt Brecht that my Modern Architecture professor Joseph Masheck brought up a couple times in class. that was….ok maybe it was actually from F. Scott Fitzgerald instead oops…but y’know the one – about keeping two ideas in your head. I swear Brecht had one though that Masheck used in a disparaging way when thinking about a historical American mindset surrounding moral truths. How we couldn’t hold more than one in mind –

Forget about all that, Brecht has so many other sexy quotes:

“The worst illiterate is the political illiterate, he doesn’t hear, doesn’t speak, nor participates in the political events. He doesn’t know the cost of life, the price of the bean, of the fish, of the flour, of the rent, of the shoes and of the medicine, all depends on political decisions. The political illiterate is so stupid that he is proud and swells his chest saying that he hates politics. The imbecile doesn’t know that, from his political ignorance is born the prostitute, the abandoned child, and the worst thieves of all, the bad politician, corrupted and flunky of the national and multinational companies.”

“No one can be good for long if goodness is not in demand.”

a lot of these quotes are uncomfortably pertinent: https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/26853.Bertolt_Brecht

Dipping everywhere, back to Greenwell talking about logistics and the seriousness of imagining a world in all its details. Communicating the physicality of how bodies move during sex scenes. And paying serious attention to logistics in all art. 🖼 I’m a mess, I over-abstract, pare things down to be opaque, I don’t know how to do details. I reference as a substitute. I’m bad about details!

Alexander Chee had some advice. Or god, I hope it was him. Anyways: Write one sentence that you feel is absolutely true. And then write another.

I think there’s some writer or serious person I’ve read who really disdains the word “anyways” – um. Anyways, I –

“We falsify the world in order to try to make it accommodate the simplicity of our moral tools” – Greenwell talking about writing I think. Writing to figure things out. he puts all this a lot better.

I used to think Garth Greenwell was like an old writer, part of the canon, or whatever – but I think I was thinking of Graham Green lol who was mentioned in Donnie Darko. My mind is a terrible office.

i love her

some sonic remembrances

tabs in my browser/songs to cry to from a couple years back/a crying timeline i guess?

absolutely started bawling
continued bawling, but was cut short lol (it’s a short cover)
carried on crying with this banger

yes we stay crying i guess ^

a little more lighter, transitioning to uh…back to reading time. Reading: The Lonely City by Olivia Laing, page 64 ish “a personality that both longs for and fears being subsumed into another ego”

noice

cry party officially over. here’s some rock:

can’t get over that that’s how he looks and sounds. i non-stopped listened to one of his early albums in high school. love how fast he puts out music. god i need headphones!

https://rubberbandgun.bandcamp.com/album/horror-sounds-in-stereo

hell yes this was the album ^^^ so long and so good. i injected those vibes straight into my bloodstream 24/7 during 11th grade. always too loud for my lossy earphones.

really fell in love with Lianna La Havas from live performance videos like this one. so jazzed i got to see her live at Afropunk in 2019. that day at Afropunk was her bday! there’s a recording of her set a couple years back that also took place on her bday.

music from my phone that I was listening to earlier, before the cry fest:

i re-downloaded the youtube music app which i used a lot freshman year of college. Listened to lots of SALES on there. and Spoon probably. just that one song Inside Out though. Also was listening earlier to Slowdive’s Blue Skied an’ Clear from Pygmalion which is so relaxing. i did the full on earphone while laying on my carpeted bedroom floor for the full effect in high school too.

Before that I was listening to Jessica Lea Mayfield and Seth Avett’s KEXP covers of Elliot Smith songs. Those are amazing. Their vocal tones just blend so beautifully, and it’s a great way to listen to the lyrics with smooth harmonies that really bring you into the layered richness of the songs easily and pleasurably. Still prefer these to the originals – probably b/c I heard Smith’s vocals after these covers. Smith’s voice is so distinctive, scratchy, sparse, vulnerable… so different from Mayfield and Avett’s folk country intonations. makes me appreciate both more by contrast.

I was actually going to listen to Valley Queen’s Tiny Desk afterwards I think – but didn’t get to it! totally worth checking out that Tiny Desk. I had that downloaded on the youtube music app in freshman year too. listened to it to calm me down as I long-boarded across the dorm commons to class

okay before that I was listening from Spotify on my phone in the shower: Just Like My by Homeshake, Negro Swan by Blood Orange, Hunnybee by Unknown Mortal Orchestra… all on the Just Like My radio. I overplayed Hunnybee so much on road trips a couple summers ago when I had my car on Long Island.

After the shower, I got to dance to lots of Little Dragon, they’re my all-time favs. Then I hopped into bed to read Laing’s book and listen to Kelsey Lu’s version of I’m Not In Love from her album Blood. I listened to that entire album next, and then I jumped over to This Time Around by Jessica Pratt – that song is amazing. so simple, so lush. Finally, still on Spotify, I jumped into Different This Time by Cornelia Murr for a second, but it was surprisingly not the vibe. Maybe it was too much going on after listening to This Time Around, but I remember kind of finding and loving these songs on Spotify around the same time…I remember sharing Murr’s song with a shot of the blue skies outside a parking garage when I was either just starting to work or..something. It’s a good song, it has a lot to keep itself in your head and rolling like a sonic vestige leftover from a deep dream.

Oh wait, finally finally, I was listening to How Deep Is Your Love by The Bee Gees.. for sure soothing. Hahah

I also had tabs open for Pinegrove, and listened to a whole EP of a band the lead singer recommended in a Reddit AMA, but I don’t feel like including those links/descriptions here. They’re in a column by themselves.

Other songs running around my mind: Aurora’s cover of Half the World Away at the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Concert and versions of Pie Jesus which first came back into my head from a video of the Norwegian comedic duo Ylvis’ performance of the song that I had saved to my favorites playlist on YouTube. I’m obsessed!

retention

I’m still reading random sections of Before Night Falls by Reinaldo Arenas. They have a heading like

Eroticism

and entries that vary from a paragraph to a couple pages. He tells stories of visits and encounters, the characters in his life, and the men he’s slept with. He recounts arduous travels as “odysseys” and makes moments of life into passages of literature.

So far I’ve heard of his enormous capacity to swim long distances, his many sexual encounters across several stages and places throughout his life, and the persecution he faced as a writer and homosexual.

written thrift haul!

Absolutely stunned at the amount of clothes I got yesterday. A mix of work wear, falls moods, and an abundance of jackets and coats. First off, I have hanging in front of me a gray coverall from Dickies! It is slightly small but would look with black boots. The curves ? at the arm remind me of Kiko designs.

I also got

  • a gray oversized blazer with shoulder pads and a slightly brown and white threading throughout that makes the gray have a bit more dimension. The sleeves reach my hands.
  • a white button up with a cuff that’s extra long, similar to a style I saw on H&M for $50. It’s pristine, but very wrinkly and I’m afraid to stain it. It looks great under the two workwear coats I got.
  • a thick canvas workwear jacket – it feels very heavy and tightly woven and is beige.
  • an oversized denim workwear jacket – a similar shape and form to the canvas jacket but heavier and is dark blue that’s satisfyingly rich.
  • a Tommy Hilfiger leather jacket with lapels and two front pockets. the inside has a green plaid insert where the label is and the jacket’s weight is incredible. It is wrinkled, but getting better I think.
  • a silk black jumpsuit from the label SHEIN, which I’ve seen on Youtube as a casual clothing brand. It has skinny fit legs that I plan to cut into single slits.
  • a puffer vest with an alternating chevron pattern that’s small and interesting to look at. I’m the last person who would wear a puffer vest but it was such an interesting pattern in black and white that it almost feels like it could go with anything.
  • a woven lace sweater – hand woven apparently – made with thick yarn in olive, nude, and white. It’s a to-die-for layering piece and has the resemblance of flowers protruding across it in bunches of yarn.
  • a velvet forest green blazer that’s slightly 70s and is a whole vibe.
  • an enormous leather trench jacket that’s near my ankles – the silhouette is dramatic. It’s puffy with layers and a slit in the middle of the back that closes when you’re still but opens when you walk. Its layers don’t make it stuffy, and it has got a good amount of movement while keeping its form.
  • another massive coat – this one a black trench with utility belts at the cuffs and around the coat. It seems to have an impossible number of pockets.
  • a lighter coat with lots of zippers! Actually my first and favorite find in this haul. Also near floor length.
  • another leather jacket! Last one. It is not floor length. It’s long and thin. The form hugs the body and serves sleek Matrix vibes. The back of the collar is slightly scrunched.
  • another huge black coat! A very puffy puffer jacket that’s super shiny and has a hood and bomber jacket elastics at the collar and cuffs.

and I believe that is all.