Dailies, Personal
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Life Lately No. 8

Reader (whoever you are), a lot has happened since you were here last.

Minhae, one of my uni classmates, flew back to Seoul last weekend. I miss her already. I dumbly assumed that we had the same visa dates, but she actually flew over here earlier, so I had another month. Anyway, we had a nice little party for her at my house, which made it feel like it was my house too, rather than just my flatmate’s, which was odd but nice.

I’ve been able to spend a nice chunk of time with some friends from home, too. Angel, who is actually now based in Malmö, came for a visit and we spent the day at Tate and walking around King’s Cross.

Had ramen and mochi with Ken, which was quite fun, because we hadn’t really met each other outside of Instagram up until then. He was in town for meetings on the forthcoming Nam June Paik show at Tate.

I met up with Marga, who I work with a lot but never really hung out with a lot, too, and it was the best sort of day where you just eat and walk and have coffee and talk about what :) kind :) of :) internet :) anxieties :) you have in common, lol. Met Kat, too, who’s based really, really, really close to me, which was cool.

People often ask me if I miss Manila, and absolutely I do, but it’s more because of the people, really. And the dogs, of course. I’m lucky to have such a great support system here, but so many people I love are back home, and it’s nice to see them here every once in a while.

I’ve been reading a lot, too. (It’s because of all the visa waiting.) I’m going to post short reviews (one-minute videos?? 30 secs??), I think, but here’s what I’ve read so far in 2019, in case you were curious.

And then, well.

Truthfully, I have been having a hard time looking for jobs. I’d like to think it’s due to the visa restrictions (in that, if I don’t hear good news soon, I’d have to leave by the 21st of October, which is, of course, a less than ideal situation between me and any and every HR department in existence), but it could also be due to what feels like a skewed notion of value ’round these parts. I have, for example, worked as design lead for quite big global companies in the Philippines. Do they care? Doesn’t seem like it. Like, what even is the Philippines? It’s frustrating, but what can you do? Nothing. Offer up my fate to God and the universe and try not to rot in destitution.

And also, I guess, set up a Patreon.

Truthfully (again), I feel a little bit weird about it. Although I am very much an online person, I’m not sure I am the type of online person who attracts Patreon users. IDK. I’ve only ever contributed to one group, which I had to of course stop, because as we’ve established, I’m not exactly Scrooge McDuck over here. Maybe I’ll have my 20’s changed into 1p coins and attempt a little swim. A little swish, at least.

But yes, in case you are inclined, I’ve gone and made a Patreon. I’m probably going to overshare (it’s exciting in my head, and then scary, and then embarrassing, but mostly exciting), but behind a paywall. Does it make sense? Potentially not, but this is where we are at. I’ve been wanting to do videos and stuff like that for a long-ass time. This is probably the “go signal” I was waiting for. (Sidenote: I can’t help but feel like if I’d been more of a mess, I’d get more followers. Is this a logical conclusion?)

Other than that, I’m running a sale of sorts on my print shop, Bluest Press, for the next two weeks. For purchases £15 and up, for example, I’m throwing in a free print of your choice. I think if you asked nicely, I’ll throw in another one. I’m soft like that.

The last few days have felt a little icky because everything feels like a money-grab situation, which, of course, rationally speaking, it’s not — I am just trying to earn money so I can pay rent, etc. I can’t exactly look for employment at this moment yet, so it’s kind of a bit of a pickle. Did I lead myself into this pickle? Signs point to absolutely yes, but even so, I’d like to get out of it.

Some nice friends have commissioned some paintings and work, so that’s been lovely and heartwarming and all that. It’s a little scary to be confronted by a) absolute alone-ness in this kind of world, i.e. the arts~, that I’ve always felt rather at home in, and b) THE POSSIBILITY THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE WHAT IT TAKES.

I realise this is more an unfurling of a crisis rather than a light-ish life update, but honestly, this is where I am most of the time. I try to get work done and usually, it works out, but other times, I am paralysed by a concoction of big and small fears, and then I am roused out of it again, because no one is going to take care of me for me. Is that an obvious thing I have overlooked in the last three decades? Possibly. I am feeling the brunt of it now, though. I think it’s because I am doing my laundry, I cleaned the house, and I paid for my rent yesterday. I know I have it better than many other people, but it doesn’t mean that these things don’t keep me up at night, because they do.

And now I feel extra gross, because. Well, you know.

I had a really nice dinner with Isa and Rach last night, who are staying at the same hotel as fucking HAIM, and it put my situation in a manageable perspective for me. We ended up going around King’s Cross for about an hour and a half before finally being able to eat because Friday night, amirite, lol.

But yes. Isa: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Rach said that no matter what happens, just roll with the punches. Whatever happens to me, I know this isn’t the end. I’ve always been very observant of signs and what they might mean, but I was reminded that what could be a “no” doesn’t mean that I don’t belong here. It doesn’t mean that I should stop trying. I think, after all that’s happened, I can’t afford to anyway.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I turn 31. I don’t know what that means other than I’m a year older, but I guess we’ll see, won’t we?