time for that bi-yearly blog post.
a few months ago, someone I found very attractive was briefly showing interest in me. for probably many deep emotional reasons I don’t feel like over-analyzing, I had a hard time accepting their words of flirtation. not surprisingly, they found someone else in front of their face and left me to return to my normal life of no one attractive talking to me. I was comforted in the familiar feeling of not being “the one” for them. 2nd place, second string, bench warmer, temporary, fleeting, for now, a place holder. ah, rejection, nice to see you again. come on in, make yourself at home. this is my comfort zone, the spot at the empty table of my very own pity party. for some reason, I always imagine myself wearing a pointy polka-dotted birthday hat when I think of the words “pity party”.
filled with angst that I knew would fade shortly, I rushed through the motions and feigned heart break of losing the attention of a hot person so I could move on with my life. after that month long distraction I re-focused my precious time to more important things. not handsome korean men but plants.
I had an urge to be apart of something. I figured that’s what we are meant to do, as creatures we all conglomerate towards each other with varied similar interests, longing to belong. searching for soul mates, deep friendships, meaningful relationships of any kind, we humans crave it. as appealing as being hikikomori sounds, they’re still communicating to others via the internet. realizing I had no community, I felt obligated to join the bigger picture somehow.
I met a friend involved in the tokyo art scene as an aspiring art director, working at galleries. suddenly some opportunities arose and I decided to push myself to accomplish something. what, I didn’t know. I knew I needed deadlines or I would never get anything done. everything else was up in the air. I kept putting off picking out what photos I wanted to submit to the independent artist exhibition. a week extension, a week more procrastination.
I finally forced myself to view my collection. I picked out what I was drawn to, and narrowed it down. I picked similar color tones and an atmosphere that made me feel a vague nostalgia. the images began to tell a story together. they were taken over the span of a year, but together they told the story of an alternative future world in one day. they were of mundane images of tokyo, that japanese people ignore every day. I was fascinated with the city as an outsider. I thought my story could show that tokyo isn’t always what it seems, that if you change your mind, there is another universe right in front of us. I liked the images on their own, and I liked them even more as a storyboard to a sci-fi anime from a past future. such as a retro 1950s nuculear family prediction that we have already surpassed (2010 and no flying buicks, sorry, ’50s) I named it “retro neo tokyo”. a new tokyo future from the past. an alternate story telling of tokyo. to make the mundane exciting, to bring attention little details that I hoped japanese people could look at closely and re-examine.
sitting inside our neighborhood all-night indian food restaurant that my roommate and I frequent, I watched the devastating blizzard wreak havoc on Metropolitan expressway no. 4. I was finished with my hot cassis and only had one thing on my mind: to film.
I watched through the window as the unforgiving winds continued to barrage endless amounts of snow in front of us. for a moment I imagined being out there in the shit. breaking (another) umbrella, getting pelted and stung in the face by ice crystals, my nose running, my feet wet and freezing, and not being able to feel my fingers. the thought was not welcoming.
I had my camera on me with my initial intentions staying clear. I really wanted to take a shot of a shrine I saw covered in snow on the other side of the highway. the thought of crossing the tundra of hell only faltered me with doubt for a second–I decided I hate regret more than I hate blizzards. I have reoccurring nightmares about regretting not documenting something that catches my eye. I’d rather be cold and uncomfortable to get the shot then at home, warm and lazy, without photo. this is how I’ve always lived my life and I should know myself by now.
recovering from a cold, I woke up late to a discouraging text. it was snowing outside. I had yet to see it with my own eyes due to the opaque windows of asia. with one eye open and only using enough energy to move my thumb, I tapped on the weather app of my iphone. yep, it’s snowing outside. I had to have a conversation with myself. I closed my eyes and saw 2 paths: I could stay laying facedown on the floor for another hour and not do much all day or–I could get up and meet maria in k-town to eat a sweet sweet sweet potato despite the advancing blizzard. last weekend our plans were foiled by the first snow, and damned if I wanted to let that happen again. I decided to go on a sweet potato adventure.
Six months in Seoul: a somewhat brief summary reflection
The overall goal had always been Tokyo. I took an opportunity to join some friends in Seoul, hoping to make mad monies from modeling. I had some trouble getting on my feet right away, got screwed out of my initial plans and spent 5 of 6 months trying not to freeze(/starve) to death and eventually grew to love a city I originally only knew k-pop dance moves about.
When I arrived to Tokyo 2 weeks ago, I found myself really missing Seoul. Although the buildings and skyline are terribly ugly, there were a lot of charming qualities about Seoul I missed right away. cheap transportation, amazing food and a close-knit community of friends I had made. They helped show me things about Korea I would have not known or explored on my own. the mix of personalities together was a perfect puzzle of wonderful (and crazy) people.
that’s the trouble with travel–leaving behind people and places. for exchange of experience and memories, your list of “longing” grows larger. holes begin to form in the heart and you can only attempt to fill it with new people, places and things in the next destination. it won’t be the same but that could be a good thing.
I went to Thailand with only the knowledge that a lot of people like to visit Thailand. What I also did not know was the “rules to traveling guide” (made up by some guy I met while traveling) lists “do not fall in love” as rule #1 (and also again as rule #3). as far as rules go, I am not one to follow any (not even my own). and as other sayings by other people who don’t like rules (or authority or being told how to live their lives) goes: break rules. wait, no, it’s like “rules are made to be broken” so, who cares about rules.
my mind wanders too rapidly to focus these days. I got my blog back (thanks mom!) but can’t think of one thing to focus on. so from here, I will ramble. It will be as random as a cat in a bag. speaking of which, check out this cat in a bag. my new friend has a cat–probably the best cat I’ve ever met–and this cat has no name. it is fluffy, talkative (only when you first meet) and complacent. he likes to play, but only for a minute.
my new friend and I had a casual Sunday, a type of comfortable hang time I knew existed but hadn’t been available to me for quite sometime. the type of hang out where no plans are made before hand except the reassurance of seeing each other. plans that had no set time arrival or departure. it was quite natural and the hang flow fell right into place, like an easy game of tetris. the type of hang you see common place in 90s sitcoms, where there are no boundaries from neighbors. did I mention, we are neighbors? in a really cool neighborhood? in Seoul?
My mom and dad have been married for 28 years. to celebrate, my mom booked them a trip to Hawaii over a year ago. Just a few weeks before they were set to go on their anniversary, my dad was stressing out about our old family dog, Argus. so much so, he suggested I go with my mom on their trip and take his place so he could stay home with the dog. Thanks, Argus! the only great thing he has done for me, karma finally came around. a free trip to hawaii with my mom! what a ridiculous reason to end up on your parent’s anniversary trip, but I wasn’t complaining.
We spent a week together at my mom’s friend’s timeshare on the island of Kauai. it was an old hotel, but served it’s purpose of sheltering us and providing a space to make meals. right on the water, we woke up to palm trees rustling in the ocean breeze at 7am as the sun rose every day. nope, not one complaint.
no wait, I have just one. My mom is never allowed to drive a rental car ever again.
other than that, we had a great time! we are similar travel types. we like to walk around and look at shops and galleries. we like to eat a lot and try new foods. we both enjoy the downtime of reading or napping. and as long as my mom gets to beachcomb, I can wander off on cheesy tourist traps and take pictures with glee!
I spent a lot of time instagramming everything, although I did bring 3 film cameras with me. I can’t wait to get the rolls developed!