"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

21 May 2010

"But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own."

Abraham Lincoln

17 May 2010

what i want.

I really want to be a better person. There are only about 10 minutes to ruminate on this, but I've come to this conclusion. This idea, this "being a better person"....I've been thinking on it for about the past month. What does this mean, what does this include, where do I go from here?
For me, specifically, it means structuring my life better so that I get to do the things I love and become a healthier, happier, person. I don't want negativity in my life because there are too many awesome things floating around out there and because negative people in my life are more harm than good.
I want to do things that make me feel good. When I have the chance to take a class that will make me feel good, (ie: film and nation), I'd rather take that class over one that I feel I should take, or should be interested in (ie: intl. development). Because, those "should be" feelings have really gotten me before. I should be this, I should do that. No, I SHOULD be myself. And the more I've fought that in the past, the more unhappy I've been.

One new goal is to not flake out. If I tell someone I'm going to do something, or be somewhere, I want to do that thing or be in that place. And that doesn't invoke a sense of rigidity, as in if others don't do that, I get upset, but just in terms of managing my self, I'd like to aspire to that.

I'd like to increase my motivation. I want to actually push myself and challenge myself to new levels. I don't want to take a ton of new classes and just like overload, but I want to select those classes carefully and dedicate myself to pursuing subjects I enjoy or am very interested in. For example, I am actually enthused about learning Portuguese. There are only 2.5 weeks till Brazil now, but that's still enough time to learn the basics!

07 May 2010


Whoa! It's been about a month since an official post. i hadn't realized it had been so long.

this has been a weird week. i mean, i don't like sectioning off time like that (like, "this week," starting exactly on sunday or monday and continuing through today) but for the most part, it did shift on monday. my feeling....or the general feelingS in the air....or something.

the same cds play on for me and i think i need some new music. but what to listen to?
i want to create pieces to prepare even the tiniest bit to sooooomedayyyyyy apply to an MFA program....but find myself at a loss. they say to draw from life (not from photos) but getting my hands on interesting photos to draw is a heck of a lot easier than choosing people to pose/draw from life. (plus im extra choosy when it comes to drawing from life so it's a double whammy). okay, i'm not even making sense.

point is, i sit down and want to do some cool compositions and realize that at least this week, at least for this one, strange, sectioned-off week, i am unable to be particularly inspired by anything visual. perhaps it's because i've been devouring short stories and now am caught up in the visual imagery of words rather than mere images. perhaps it's because i'm frustrated and don't have the patience to sit down and sketch for hours. in fact, i know i am impatient, feel impatient. i want to go home this weekend but can't just go home every time i want to go home.

the other three to four (maybe five) blogs of friends i read on a regular basis, focus on what those people are doing for society. "society," what a broad term.

yes, they write about what they do for society or for work but as a [current] art student.........it's almost by nature that i must be self-absorbed. because even might i choose to sketch the people around me or the natural life around me......it still has to come from ME. Me, personally, and my own vision and my own "Way of Seeing."

Don't get me wrong. I want to DO FOR society. Teach for, society. Or whateva. Lol. but.............................and maybe i'm far removed from real suffering, currently...actually, yes, i am, very, very, very far removed from witnessing any real suffering. But isn't that the case? And to address what someone else wrote recently........We, at least as Americans (i can't speak to truly being a national of somewhere else, though i weirdly think of Singapore everytime i speak of nationality)

are separate and removed. We don't see real change, on a broad level, happen very often. Sure, we can do a good deed and get a little warm fuzzy from that or whatever, or even help plan an event that makes people happy in some way, and get a lot of good from that, but we don't see the physical ripples that laws make as they are instated or broken down, we don't see how our politics impact society in a directly visual way, and even our neighborhoods are separated so that unless you are in poverty, too, or work directly with poverty, you do not understand the
V I S U A L I T Y of W E A L T H.

When I read traveler's short stories, or travel blogs, or abroad blogs, or Peace Corps blogs, etc, etc, people often write of going somewhere and being shocked by the fancy, wealthy resorts that are directly beside "slums," or areas of poverty. People, Americans, to be more specific, often notice this visual difference. Here, if you're deep in the Bronx, you're deep the Bronx, but if you're not, you're not, and that contrast is not immediate. It's like graphite here in the U.S. ...but abroad it's like charcoal. The contrast is UNAVOIDABLE, it is striking.

I guess what I'm getting at is: it's easy to insult Americans. It's easy to tell us, tell other people, or tell ourselves that we are lazy or don't care enough or are too concerned with ourselves and not with humanity, and to a large degree this is true.

But I think we do care. I think at our core, at our Americanness center, is a want to better the world. I really do. I think of how many people latched on the idea of Hope, Change, for the Obama campaign. Okay, so he hasn't done anything particularly impactful yet. And maybe his run at the job so far is anti-climactic. But I just think of the impact on the black community and on the white community (not to mention others) that his candidacy had on America. "Change we can believe in." A well-chosen slogan, sir. And people.....they DO want something to believe in. They want to know that if they give $20 dollars to some charity, that $20 will actually be used in useful ways. Yeah, we trust in the Red Cross cause we trust a name. And maybe that says something about our materialism or ridiculous faith in brands or whatever, but it also says that we want quality.

We want quality in thought and in practice. And we are young and naive (when compared to the tradition and tried and true practices of, say, the English) but we want something to believe in and we work hard and it's hard to navigate the waters. Of our politics. And our system. And maybe our system rewards some effed-up behavior but I don't think it's necessarily a reflection on us as a whole. Maybe it's human error. And there's human error everywhere. Even in the poorest areas of Asia, some of the less poor take advantage of the poorest. It's human nature. It's a universal. And we have to be smart enough to correct our system where we see flaws (HEALTHCARE *bright flashing lights*)
and such.

Okay end rant.