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. 

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!

fear is the greatest human emotion, perhaps the only one.

fear is the greatest human emotion, perhaps the only one. even love is a sub-feeling, a by-product of fear. we love out of fear. no matter what fear, it doesn’t matter. fear of loneliness, mostly. fear of death. wanting to last in people’s memories.

not sure where this is from

To all the clothes I loved before..

I’m trying to be a lot more deliberate in my looks now that I kind of have nowhere to go. For hair.. I’ve had a pretty boring series of haircuts all my life; I’ve never ever dyed my hair, never done anything wild in styling it, and have never had an unusual cut. I cut my own hair now, which is an easy 2-minute buzz of my back and side hair and a 20-minute to an hour long haphazard job with my top and front hair which I hack at using a pair of scissors and a wild amount of self-doubt.

So, I’ve had some haircuts that I preferred. For a long time it was really long hair – so no haircut at all. More recently it’s been short hair.

into this- last last summer

Here’s me with messy short hair (and overall messy look) which I liked a lot at the time:

also from last last summer

I still like the messy short hair – it’s easy, and looks alright sometimes. Having looks look good by chance was my style philosophy for a while. Intentionally stylized looks could be fake, or forced. But they could be beautiful too.

full on

My lazy style meant throwing on all the clothes I loved, messy hair don’t care. Now I guess I’m thinking of paring back, wearing maybe just 3 colors at most lol. To all the clothes I loved before.. I’m still thinking of clothes I love as items that I can still love…just not all on myself 100% of the time.

Hair is still a WIP. I love my black hair, I don’t think I’d ever dye it. I also don’t like gel, so the best I could do is something wild with the buzz. Or I could start wearing wigs.. Khruangbin vibes?

with big sunnies 😎

Rice Essay

Cringey essay for rice from 2016?

Please provide a statement that addresses your reasons for transferring and the objectives you hope to achieve. You can type directly into the box, or you can paste text from another source. (250-650 words)

It’s hard to extricate the personal from the academic. Empirical sciences interpret the world through approximate models while literature imputes argumentative value through the realm of the subjective and aesthetic. A dichotomy emerges that manifests itself in the schools of higher learning, e.g. schools of liberal arts and of natural sciences. Of course the areas available to study today convolute this one example of higher learning’s equivocal function. Other conflicts can be drawn from the explanatory/philosophical, to the highly practical/mechanical: the debate between theory and practice. The lines further sharpen and bleed into one another as aspects of a subject appear inevitably linked with the definition of another, as when the question of interpretation in empirical sciences exchanges paradoxical glances with the empirical weight of literature in anthropological studies. Out of this mess of distinctions and indistinctions emerges some loose definition of higher learning’s function- a university’s function. However loose and amorphous, the definition encapsulates my reasons for transferring and the concomitant goals therein. 

I believe that the purpose of a university is to teach its students how to proceed through life. 

-deep sigh-

An accompanying shaking of the head in disbelief would be appropriate, but I reiterate nonetheless- universities guide students through the process of life. It sounds utterly banal and commonsense, the fodder of commencement addresses immemorial. Could an accompanying poignancy be latent? I have to ask, what is life? It’s the seed of germination, the chicken and the egg, the cause and effect- personal and academic, the individual and the family. What is life? When I considered it fully, I never saw myself concluding what I did: that life was inextricably everything- a concert of contradictions that makes the Gordian Knot look like a simple shoelace tie. 

All these crossed lines and bloody contradictions might suggest higher learning provides students with sharpened wits as to cut, like Alexander the Great’s sword, through the mick-mash of obfuscating life. But I believe the opposite is true, that universities hold the tools to see these lines and somehow help students embrace them as a homogeneous whole- in other words, that universities help students study life. This life includes the personal and academic- together.

This life includes the family and individual- together. This life exists in between the lines, is made up of the lines and as a whole has no lines at all. 

When I looked at life at my college, I realized that I had, in a major sense, been running away. The contradictions of the self and family peeled like salty brine at my insides, so I threw myself in the lukewarm solace of isolation 1,600 miles away, away from the problematic.

Unfortunately in life the problematic is also usually essential. What I did at my school newspaper I saw myself doing anywhere- writing is always going to be a part of me. Still, the newspaper gave me a chance to see myself in print for the first time and exposed me to the impact of college newspapers (e.g. the debate issue and Sigma Pi hazing piece proliferated nationally), but ultimately I’m not essential to the team, to the university.

I’ve meshed the academic and personal for most of my life. I remember sharing the details of Saturn and Jupiter to my father in between clothes racks too tall for my head to clear. I hope to continue meshing the personal and the academic in the process of learning how to live life. I hope to understand the implications of a life necessitated on each individual part of its gestalt, a life with self responsibility, familial responsibility, academic vivacity and the incessant progression of ideas.

the best place to be on a wednesday afternoon

the best place to be on a wednesday afternoon is the fourth floor of the paley media center library, where a quadragenarian with long brown hair greets you within the striated lighting of closed blinds. the greeting is soft and open. you are offered two choices of archives specific to the current season, but you choose neither* and are led instead to the classic archives, a section past two others, near where you can see vintage models of what-seems-to-be monitors lining a back wall. 
a comfortable chair with armrests is pulled out for you. you sit. say thanks. the archive is a computer system, and the librarian tells you of its various components. curator’s choice, made in nyc, interviews with cast members. mrs. maisel is referenced and you smile – there is a lot to see and watch. headphones – the type available in public school computer labs and libraries, small and bendy – are pointed out to you.

the exhibit below says upstairs in the fourth-floor library, paley has interactive exhibits. i guess public computers are interactive exhibits. the time allotment of 1:30 hours is given to you and you’re told accommodation for more time afterwards is possible. you find a mrs. maisel paley panel video that’s about that length. but it’s been five minutes – time to go back. you hit the lower left hand corner back button a few times just in case, going back in the session’s branching click history made in nyc > tracy jordan on conan > log out. before you leave you hear a different librarian explain the computer system to a new guest. are you familiar with it? -here’s how much time you have- 
smile at the person who helped you on the way out. 

*the choice is non and feels open and friendly, opening immediately to another thing – and I process it by looking away from my love of this ease.

Break break

I haven’t posted anything on this blog in so long! These days I’m working from home – thank god for the remote capabilities of digital marketing!

It’s odd to say, but I miss the office quite a bit. WFH has made me realize how easy it would be to just have the majority of work out of office…all I do is capable of being done from a laptop!

Some things I don’t miss are my near-hour commute time and spending $20~ on Midtown lunches. Getting off the J train after the sun had set also bummed me out most days. Then the days started getting longer, and I’d get home and still have a couple hours of sun left. It felt like a whole new life.

This first week of fully remote work has been a bit of a non-week. I don’t know what the phrase for the feeling of life becoming media is (like a reverse fourth-wall break), but I felt that walking back from the groceries today.

I’m starting to enjoy remote calls. I love that for lunch I can just walk over to the kitchen and make something new instead of microwaving a Tupperware of meal prep. There’s also an appreciation for your own bathroom that can only be grasped in contrast with public bathrooms. 🚽

Might post some private reflections/misc. backlog l8r.

Muff

going back in time. here are 10+ drafts from my tumblr vault–a washed out look into 2012-2015. Age 13-15.

Music to Check OUT/ download

http://blankkytt.bandcamp.com/album/heavy-crazy-serious

http://www.insaneproject.com/2011/12/2011-10th-best-tracks.html

http://freemusicarchive.org/music/The_Paperhead/Live_at_WFMU_on_Talks_Cheap_July_28th_2011/The_Paperhead_-_04_-_Cant_Keep_My_Eyes_Open

Engorgio

Just more thoughts while I’m on this machine. I feel unfortunate because this will make the total number of my drafts reach thirteen.. oh well. Haha well, this art-blog-scrolling-music-listening hobby of mine is getting nowhere. It has no point, and yes I don’t know. The music is nice though, very goood. So I am going to watch television series now I guess, which is so dissapointing, but there’s no helping it. I’m sorry.