7```Yikes * 4
7.1 - 7.7
A week of “yikes’s,” in good and bad ways.
yikes // n. 1
I started to feel lazy this week. The initial excitement with moving to a new place, getting started with projects, and having new coffee shops to go to was fading away. I am out of ideas for simple meals to cook. I am no longer gaining new insights for every book or journal I read. I have to schedule my fitness classes at 8am to make sure I get out of bed in the morning, instead of perpetually pressing the snooze button. I could not stop watching videos after dinner and became especially addicted to the Try Guys.
Well, I actually want to say I’m inspired by the Try Guys. They are all very talented, smart, and ambitious people, but they choose to present the very goofy side of themselves, and almost sacrifice their personal image in some way, to do really important work: their videos spread the positive energy of trying new things without fearing failures (because they fuck up in front of millions of people all the time!) , not to mention that they’re just generally very funny. Their goofiness in the videos helped them attract a large audience, which helped them become more impactful with the content they create! It’s similar to animation and game in that they all could appear to be incredibly superficial, but, if made with care and intention, their “superficiality” becomes the engine for large-scale positive impact.
Back to this first yikes, though. I feel like the main problem is that I don’t have any structure to my life right now. The internship thing I’m doing is very flexible: I kind of design my own studies and set my own goals for the next few weeks. And because I also have other things to think about (a collaboration project, an online course, working on my personal health, etc.), I basically freaked out in the classic way of choosing to do something completely irrelevant due to my personal inability to prioritize and tendency to procrastinate...
yikes // n. 2
When I met with my advisor, we tried to figure out the kind of writing I will do and the kind of publications I will submit towards the end of this research project. And I realized the awkward situation I’m in when I want to be serious with what I’m learning but I’m almost not allowed to because I’ve only completed freshman year. Does that make sense?
So far I’ve only seen two kinds of writings I can submit to publications: a magazine article, or an academic journal. Well, it seems like most major design magazines don’t even have any type of opinion articles in the first place. And when they do, they’re short and simple, and the credibility mostly comes from the writer themself, who’d be some award-winning professional designer.
But I’ve been reading so many cool things and I don’t want to just throw some bullet points at people. So maybe a journal article? Except, I’m also not THAT intense. I’m not working with several other people, and I alone cannot go through the major literatures in all the 3 or 4 disciplines I’m looking at for my project. So it would be very hard to write a review article. And I’m not doing any experiment either.
So what am I writing????? I’m seriously confused.
yikes // n. 3
This you all know. All of a sudden I had to change my gap year plan completely on Thursday. But I actually consider this a good kind of yikes. The past four days made me reflect a lot on what I really want to get out of my gap year, what I really need at this moment, etc.
A pretty cool thing I experienced was seeing the change of my reaction to the idea of enrolling at this 2-year program in LA called Gnomon. I initially listed “enrolling at the 2-year program” in my notebook as one of the two crazy options. The next second I realized that I was seriously considering that crazy option. Then I thought I was crazy. And I got very annoyed because I needed to come up with all the arguments to persuade my parents that I wasn’t crazy. Turned out, my parents were crazy. So after four days, this idea has become the least crazy for us.
The day before I learned that I had to change my plans, I visited Jonathan Fineberg, whose book, Art Since 1940, was my textbook for contemporary art years ago. He told me about his undergrad years at Harvard, when he asked the school for a tiny room in the basement to make sculptures and spent many days and nights there just making things -- really famous professors as well as security guards would come by to see what he was up to and chat with him. That was not only pure passion, but pure passion despite unsatisfying environmental factors.
Then on Thursday, July 4th, just after my parents called me, I watched Walking on Water, a documentary about Christo, one of my favorite artists. The entire film was quite boring, actually. You watch an eccentric old man yell at people for two hours. But not long into the film, I started tearing up, as the film reminded me of myself four years ago, when I just painted in my free time, even though boarding school was a lot of work. God knows how much time I spent in the studio in freshman spring and sophomore fall trying to figure out how to paint a portrait on my own. I compared that section of my memory with who I am today, and felt very sad, because the Wendi now would feel like she’s wasting her time when she draws and paints. She always has too many distracting thoughts to focus on anything, really.
I don’t know how much of this change was due to the academically intense environments I’ve always been exposed in, and how much of it was purely my own insufficiency in passion. And now I wanted to find out, by really diving into creating and seeing what happens.
So I just applied to the 2-year program! It is a really great school for learning game, animation, and visual effects, and it’s right in Hollywood. I also found a really cheap housing option in the area, where I’d live with a community of filmmakers, comedians, singers, dancers, etc. There even is a photo studio, a little movie theater, a recording studio, and working space in the house!!! If I actually get into Gnomon, 99% I will go! (Which doesn’t mean I’ll complete the 2 years...) It will be a huge commitment, but I think I need it, on many levels. Maybe I’ll elaborate on that when I get into the program...
If I don’t get in, though, which is very likely, I’ll just be on my own for a bit, and see where life takes me!
yikes // n. 4
A really good friend of mine, Jessica, did a vedic astrology reading for me (she just studied vedic astrology in India for a whole month)
Turned out, from September of this year to October next year, I will feel easily internally agitated. There will be a lot of internal movement, but it could also be a beautiful time to grow, if I let it be.
I learned that it is part of my nature to be perpetually confused, which made a lot of sense.
And also that, while I have the potential to be the most intuitive (which would make me a great artist), I am bad at externalizing my inner fantasies -- this I realized when none of the top 10 strengths was in “executing” section in my Gallup strengths test report. So, I really need to work that and, just, be better with doing things.