“I get really fired up about these situations because a lot of people don’t know how to deal with children, and children are actually very smart on a subconscious level, they can tell who’s being genuine. And just in general, we all have that radar, and we are better able to connect with people who we feel are actually very understanding instead of just being able to understand a concept. I babysit these two girls and they’re really good with me, interactive, curious, playful, but when they’re with their mom, they’re still like babies, they cry and whine and always want to be picked up and they’re really needy. And I realized it’s because the mom caves into emotions and she doesn’t know how to set boundaries. She’s a great mom too, and the reason she caves in is because she cares so much, but she also does it because she wants them to stop crying. Children pick up on your intentions. So in a sense her children gain dominance. It’s the same way with raising dogs. And it makes me sad that children, in a way, are smarter than adults. Because it just shows how stupid our society becomes with age. I mean, really, we’re so unaware of how we feel and everything we do is about reducing irritability instead of enhancing happiness. Children are a reflection of how well you can handle conflict in yourself and how genuine you are to yourself. They naturally gravitate towards people who are true to themselves. And contrary to popular belief, children aren’t smart enough to manipulate. They don’t know that kind of world yet. One day I was hungover at work with the girls and everything was horrible, and I realized it’s because I felt horrible and they picked up on my energy. This may seem like some bogus spirituality shit, but because children know less “information”, they are actually able to tune in more to the world. They’re sensitive human beings. We all are! But we become preoccupied with everything else in daily life. Maybe when a mom comes home from a long day at work, a child mirrors that by becoming that lethargy because a child does not quite understand emotion regulation yet and looks to her for cues on how to manage such an emotion. Children are always wanting to learn, and part of learning means understanding how to take action when you feel a certain way. Because children don’t really have a clear grasp on self-identity, they don’t really truly understand the idea that we can be separate, detached from our environment and the people in it. Children often become the vibe of the environment and the emotions of the people. That’s called empathy. Children are very insightful mirrors. Children may be able to teach you more than anything else, because it’s really like looking into your own soul when they look at you.”
“there are just so many things, i keep wondering what i am doing with my life, i’ve been questioning this for the past few weeks, partially because i’ve picked up on my second job and work 40 hours a week. i want to work on my singing, i want to find a cheap enough keyboard on craigslist already, i want to learn the basics of modern dance. what am i doing, doing the same routine everyday at work for these families? i want to turn my life into a career. i don’t want to work for somebody. and i think i just have high standards for an ideal life, my freedom and independence needs to be maximized. i loved being jobless for 1.5 months back in november and december, it was amazing. i already know what i want, i don’t know how to get there persay, but that’s just right now. i’ve been battling with whether i should quit one of my jobs or not. i don’t even need this money anyway. jesus christ, i have dreams. what the hell am i doing waking up everyday preparing food for these children and singing them songs, it’s great, i love the children and spending time with them, but it’s so much commitment. and by having an interpersonal job, i spend so much time connecting to these children that when i come home i’m drained. i don’t want to be busy, or i want to be busy but not label it as busy, because i’m having so much fun.”
I come home so tired that there I fail to have any motivation for anything. If only life was as simple as my everyday poetry and rants.
What am I doing with my life? I find this question to be the ultimate question as of late, not because I’m anxious about the “purpose” of my life, but for the very reason that I may or may not love the pace at which my life is now. What am I doing here, waking up everyday, taking care of somebody else’s life? I want to foster my life. I’m terrible with commitment in general because I’m such a vagabond – I have trouble finishing books because I become too excited with other books. I don’t finish projects. It’s not that I am afraid of commitment, it’s just I don’t believe in stability. So what am I doing here, being a nanny that requires stability? If, for 21 years, I could hardly commit to anything, how can I commit to these lengthy hours? What keeps me here is that I feel guilty for leaving the families, because yes, I do love them, and yes, I do want to be there for them, but I also want to expand my vagabond life.
I want to read about scientists and poets. I want to travel. I want to roam the streets of San Francisco and talk to the array of people that collect there. I want to meet artists. I recently was going to plan a trip to Seattle late February, but I found out there is going to be an open reception at the San Jose Contemporary Art Museum with one of my favorite Bay Area artists. I found out that the next day, there’s going to be a Chinese New Year parade at Santana Row. I decided to delay my trip for the events. This is my life: finding the treasures in the city and seeking out those opportunities.
What the hell am I doing at these jobs performing the same old routine everyday that isn’t contributing to my growth, but just feeding numbers into my savings account?
There’s this phrase in Chinese, I can translate it directly but it doesn’t quite have the same feel. My mom always told me I’m somebody that lives comfortably. And she’s right. I am.
There is so much I want to do. I want to be courageous enough to daringly sing in front of people. Once I had one of my windows open. I sing at the top of my lungs in my studio. As I walked downstairs the next day, a neighbor asked if that was me singing. I immediately blushed and had to say yes. From then on, I never opened my windows. I want to mentor children who come from troubled families. I want to tutor students in AP Psychology. I want to take a creative writing class or art history class at De Anza. There is so much. So much. I want to paint. I want to volunteer at the animal shelter. Long before I moved into this studio, I decided that I wanted to collect Trader Joe’s paper bags and line them against a wall and splatter paint and see what happens, just experiment with mediums and whatnot (maybe a mix between Gerhard Richter and Jackson Pollock?)
Bleck, I don’t think I like working. And I’m stubborn enough to do something about it. Let’s see what happens.. even 25-30 hours would be so much more ideal. This way it gives me some breathing space.
A lot of people from San Jose are realists. Everything follows a timeline. Everybody is an engineer. They know how to use everything but they can’t even build a personality. And if you’re a realist, this place is perfect for you. Work 8 hours, grab dinner with a friend, have a beer, go to bed, party with your so-called friends all weekend. If you’re a dreamer, you’re stuck. Silicon valley is a huge place with millions of people ranking up in numbers on their savings account but void of any real goals. I think it’s worse than east coast. East coasters are very driven to succeed, that’s why Boston is such a good place to live for people in their mid-20s. It’s where your aspirations come alive, and everybody works step by step, day and night to achieve it. People may be more judgmental there, but they’re driven to succeed. People here in California have sort of this peter pan complex. A lot of people who want to be surrounded by passion for their future career actually leave California, because they love the challenge and hardiness of east coast, whereas California is just kind of take it easy (forever). Whereas east coasters are looking for stability, whether through a relationship or graduate school, people in Silicon Valley are looking to survive. Being alive is parallel to being drunk. I don’t think San Jose is a warp, in the sense it twists your dreams, and you forget them. I think people who grow up here just don’t have many because they’re deluded by the idea of a “successful” life and follow the rules on how to attain it. I would hate to grow up here as an innate dreamer stuck in a realist’s mind. That’s why I don’t go out much and stay in my studio.
In Santa Cruz, you WANT to walk around downtown and on campus and anywhere. You want to explore your surroundings, you want to hear what people are conversing about. You want to know about the latest environmental, political, educational propositions or issues. You’re always informed. There’s a lot of activity going on all the time, yet everybody is moving at their own steady pace. I go to dance performances, improv shows, the culture in San Jose consists of eating dinner with a friend. Everyone in San Jose huddles in their car. It’s not a walking city, I think that’s what so detrimental about it. On weekdays they look for money, on weekends they look for love. People in Santa Cruz understand there is much more to life than just living their own, and they spread that message whether through words, action, or simply just their energy.