My Fucking Feelings
I miss when blogs didn’t have to have a point. Before we discovered that adding a picture got more clicks. I miss waking up in coffee shops. I noticed I’m very particular about the mug I use for my coffee these days. They have to be one of those thick $30 dollar mugs or the small tin ones you hook to a backpack, the kind that people post on Instagram when they go glamping so we think they’re cool and rugged. I have two. Not sure why I’ve become so picky with mugs all of the sudden. Maybe I like myself more today. Or I’ve realized that I have less time here.
My grandmother is dying. I remember she used to scrub me and my brother in the tub when we were way too old to be taking a bath with our grandmother. It’s a generational Korean thing to bathe your grandkids when they’re too old to be in the same tub with you. She’s a hard woman, tough as nails. She came to a family dinner with blood on her face once. Said someone guy tried to mug her. He was on a bike and tried to snag her purse but she didn’t let go. So she got dragged. She was in her early 80’s. She’s 93 now and still alive. But not living. When you witness a smile or a moment of joy in people who grew up in the depression or during war, it’s very satisfying. Like popping a ripe whitehead. I was always afraid my friends would hear us since the window of the bathroom was right next to the front door of the house and they often came by unannounced. I miss having friends who would come by unannounced. There’s a purity in it that, a trust, that we label as rude and annoying when we become adults. If you’re reading this and you’re a friend, don’t come over unannounced. These are my inner thoughts. Not an invitation.
It’s cold as fuck in here. In my garage, my new “coffee shop.” We’ve turned it into an office. It’s almost there. But it’s not quite there yet. Kind of how I always feel about myself. I’m not sure what else it needs but I don’t feel like taking my shoes off. It’s got to get to a place where I feel like taking my shoes off. Maybe it just needs heat.
I want to be great again. Not as in I once was. As in I wanted to be great at one point in my life. And then something happened. There was no event, no announcement or switch. I think I just gradually became afraid over time. Or maybe I was young and delusional. I don’t know. There’s a fearlessness that comes from having nothing. Maybe that’s it. Not sure. Great at what you ask? Maybe writing. I felt it was my best foot forward. But I don’t feel like that now. I don’t know if that’s okay. Or if it should be. Because with great comes great sacrifices. Being great at something doesn’t just require hard work. You need to get obsessed. You have to lose your life. People who are great in this world don’t have a life. What they’re great at is their life. There is no line. But I feel like I’ve earned my lines and I don’t want to let them go. I own this garage and that means something to me. I enjoy watering my lawn. When you become great, you lose friends. You live on an island. People pretend to like you.
Maybe I don’t want to be great. There’s a lot of ego in wanting to be great. Maybe you don’t have to be great to have a full meaningful life. Or maybe I need to redefine what great looks like. Maybe it’s more about who you are than what you can do. Or is that an excuse? I wonder if you can be a quiet great. Great without the acknowledgment. Without the poster or trophies. Jesus was a quiet great. But I’m not the son of God and I’m sure what it would look like to be a great person these days. Probably really boring.
There’s a residue of panic I still feel. Maybe it’s not panic. Maybe it’s guilt. Maybe the panic is the by product of the guilt. Because I feel like I’m not doing enough these days. I don’t remember the last time I forgot to eat because I was so emerged in my work. Or hit bed completely exhausted. Maybe I’m not obsessed anymore. And I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I know I’m not chasing as much. I know what I want isn’t as tightly tied to my happiness. Maybe my character has already arced. Maybe there are no more act breaks. Only chapters. I’m cool with that. Because there is calm there and I’ve lived most of my life thinking the sky was falling. It allows me to be more present. Or maybe that’s coming with age. I notice how my daughter’s little hand moves when she covers the hose. I don’t think firing up the grill is a waste of time anymore. I don’t feel the urge to talk over people and prove things as much. I’ve become a witness.
And maybe that’s my new obsession.