If you are following this blog through email, you may have noticed a couple of things have changed. I’ve changed my URL because I’m not traveling anymore. I’ve also changed my theme, which may or may not be a difference depending on what platform you use to view my blog.
Anyway, I am going to continue blogging. Although I am not sure what I will blog about. I’ll try to have some kind of focus for every post though. It won’t be a menial updates-about-my-life kind of blog but more about what topics, issues, stories I’m interested in and how can I go in-depth into those topics/issues/stories.
But this post is an updates kind of post!
Here’s a couple of updates since my time traveling:
- The biggest has been eye surgery. I had PRK surgery and I’m still not used to going to sleep and not having to take out my contacts or waking up and being able to see.
- I also got a job. First full-time job in Denver as a graphic designer. Which means I moved to Denver.
- I turned 22.
If I’m going to be honest, I would have loved to move. I had previously talked about how I was attracted to the east coast and my top cities or surrounding areas were Philly, Chicago, DC, and Boston. I was interested in the character, the diversity, the food and just the fact that it would have been a place that wasn’t Colorado. However, I’ve found some groups that seem fun and I have the mindset of getting out there and going to events/lectures/groups.
I also keep reminding myself, “You have time.”
I know Denver is a good city. It’s a big city and it has mountains and nature. And now that I’m living in Denver, I see some Asian people from time to time.
It’s funny because for me and where I’ve grown up, I get excited when I see another Asian person and sometimes that’s reciprocated. Sometimes we give each other that knowing look like, “I see you” (Here’s an example of this from Blackish: The nod). But in places like the Pacific Ocean Market or in Aurora where there’s an informal Koreatown, there’s none of that reciprocation. I was listening to a podcast with Andrew Ti and Joel Kim Booster who are both Asian guys raised in the midwest. They were talking about how when they moved to NYC/LA, they had this similar excitement at suddenly being around Asian people and the other Asian people just thought they were lame.
But I guess I want/wanted to move largely because I wanted to experience something different and challenge myself. I also had that sense that I needed to be successful and grow capital immediately. That was one of the things I worried about in my job search. I avoided the menial looking jobs where I’d do some graphic design work for real estate or making quick cheap signs. Those kinds of jobs are known for being absolute creative soul crushers. My graphic design teacher told my class how his first job was some terrible job where he wasn’t allowed any creativity and he just counted down the days until he could find a better job.
I really didn’t want to go to some place where I hated 7 hours of every day.
I had recently listened to an Ezra Klein podcast episode titled “Is Modern Society Making Us Depressed” with Johann Hari and it talked about a lot of factors of modern society but specifically this idea of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation being things we want to do because they genuinely bring us pleasure and we do it pretty much solely for ourselves. Extrinsic motivation being things we do because we have to, because our peers pressure us to, or to show off. There’s going to both in a functioning society but Hari and Klein were arguing how our society is increasingly pushing extrinsic values over intrinsic values. In relation to my job search though, I was trying to avoid jobs that would be essentially 7 hours of extrinsic work because I knew it would be exhausting and may crush my spirits and creative drive.
This job is not one of those thankfully. It’s a small boutique graphic design company in a very trendy area of Denver. I was kind of thrown to the wolves but that’s how I like to work and I like to get my hands on projects.
I don’t know what the next few months or years of my life will look like. I want to enjoy my time here as much as possible and get involved in the politics, the groups, the food, and the outdoors. I’m very happy that my new place is right by this huge open field with green grass and a great view of the mountains.
I envision moving at some point, but for right now I’ll enjoy the best of what Colorado has to offer which is really nice mountains and nature.
Here’s some cool finds and things that I’m plugging here:
I read Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge shortly after coming back from my trip. She discusses the history of slavery and racism in the UK and how the UK de-racializes things like class issues. She also discusses an exasperation with discussions of racism that usually appear in mainstream media (big cable news networks, social media, etc.) tend to go in circles and don’t get at the root of the issue.
This headline was quite cool: Breaking: Pixar’s Next Short Film ‘Bao’ Explores an Empty-Nesting Chinese Mother (Directed by Domee Shi). It’ll be the first female-directed Pixar short, first female Asian directed short, and first short connected to Asian women and their family life. Asian American forums were very happy at the news. Here’s a preview of the short.
This is a short from Mamahuhu. They are a Shanghai creative group that I really like. This is The Last Man in Shanghai, which just dramatizes what it feels like to be in Shanghai over the Lunar New Year because it’s so empty. This is also a video from them that I’d like to highlight because these are more like the experiences that I had. Just some really nice, friendly, funny women who just want to talk and are curious. And also this.
Boys of Hong Kong is an interesting short video that came out highlighting Hong Kong identity.
This is an interesting article by Kevin Rudd: “What the West Doesn’t Get About Xi Jinping“. I have been thinking about a topic similar to this and written about it previously so maybe I’ll write a longer in-depth post about something similar later on.
I’ve had a lot of good food which I’m just going to throw in all down here.