Sunday, September 16, 2018

Happy Sunday, everyone. It's a hot September day here in New York (shout out to global warming!). Even though it's my one day of the week to sleep in, I got up early today and decided to try and be productive. I purged some old crap in my closet, Swiffered my tiny little room, and gulped a tall glass of cold water with a splash of apple cider vinegar in it before heading out. In general, I think I've been spending too much of my free time eating, vegetating, and scrolling at home. Don't get me wrong, I love doing it and hiding away from the world. But these words aren't going to write themselves. And the subways are always messed up on the weekends, so that makes me want to hibernate even more. But alas, I'm happy to be out and about today. Speaking of the subway, why does it feel like the MTA doesn't give a shit about New Yorkers? Everyday, there is so much such annoying bullshit to deal with. The trains are always late, packed, stalled, or just seem dysfunctional in general. And this happens on a daily basis. The subway station closest to my apartment closed for renovations this July and is set to re-open in November. That means I have to use the next closest train station on that subway line, which isn't too far from me so it's fine. But then that station has been closed on the weekends for the past few weeks, so it's just like, ugh, what the fuck. I basically live off podcasts from Oprah and RuPaul to help me get through my commutes. I came to my old college campus right now to just sit with my computer for a bit. I haven't been doing this as often as I should because the workweek leaves me mentally depleted with little bandwidth for anything else. But I can't think about it like that. I have to think of this as a mental regeneration instead. Forcing those reminders upon myself is the only way to get back in the habit of trying to get shit done. And I have to admit that forgetting about any big life lessons or epiphanies I share here on this blog happens often. I rewatched The Devil Wears Prada the other night, and when Emily Blunt's character repeats to herself, "I love my job, I love my job, I love my job," I laughed so hard. It's like yes, girl, that's the spirit. Fake it 'til you make it. Tell yourself whatever you need to make sure you're pushing along. Because I've learned that no one or particular thing is ever going to motivate me like the way I can for myself. It's up to me, and no one else. I've got to do it for myself, and because I want to. So back to the topic of being productive on the weekends. It helps that I have a reason to leave my house every Saturday morning, and that always gets me moving. For the past two years, I've been tutoring a young student in writing every Saturday. She lives in Flushing, so it takes me a good hour-and-a-half to get to her house from Harlem. The length of the commute there is totally fine because I can catch up on my reading, but it's more just the unexpected track work and delays of the MTA and subways on Saturday mornings that really irritate me. But I actually truly enjoy spending the two hours of tutoring time with her every week, and look forward to it. On top of also being Korean-American from the same hometown, she attends the same junior high school as I did in Flushing. But it's not just from having similar roots that helps our bond, it's our personalities, too. She works really hard and has this openness to learning, and I'm grateful to be able to present any sort of guidance and help in whatever she needs. It's truly humbling, and always leaves me with a surge of positivity and hope in everything. She's just a good kid who gives a shit, and I like her energy. It's completely refreshing in a world where most of my interactions are with adults who sometimes don't seem like a good person, or like they give a shit. I feel like she and I have gotten to know each other well in the past two years, so we're able to laugh and enjoy ourselves during our sessions. I purposely never used to share too much personal info with her, but I decided to casually come out to her in a subtle way earlier this year, and wondered how she'd react. But when I did, she barely thought anything of it. And I realized it was more me who had the issues and reservations about it. Even a few months ago, I forgot why the topic came up, but as we were talking, when it came to saying the word gay, I whispered it instead of saying it out loud like the rest of my sentence. It was just instinct and something I was used to doing in order to protect myself and not cause any attention. I was afraid if her mom heard it, she might get upset. But then my student laughed and reassured me, "You know, you don't have to whisper that word! It's totally fine." I chuckled along with her like I totally knew, but in reality I was more getting over the feeling of registering the internalized fear I had when it came to the word. It's moments like that that clearly show me the progress that's been made from my generation to hers. Tutoring her is also great because I like having a reason to go to Flushing for a bit every week. It's comfortable and just feels so familiar like home. I'm normally done teaching her by the mid-afternoon, and will wander around Main Street alone to grab some food afterwards. I'll usually just pop-in somewhere easy like New World Mall or other places for dumplings or something I can eat on my feet. Or other times I'll sit down to have kimbap or soondae or donkatsu at this small spot on Union Street that's been there forever. It’s where I go to satiate any cravings for casual Korean food I had in the past week. I've come to like this Saturday routine, which allows me the rest of the weekend to go get drunk or even go back home to do nothing.

1 comment:

  1. Love New York and its people! Unlike you, I wasn’t born and raised here, but when I moved to my new apartment in the city, it just easily felt like home. I hope I get to know more good people as well. :)