May 02, 2022
4 mins read
when it turned may over the weekend i found i lacked excitement. perhaps its because i had been spending so much of my energy the past month working, organising, doing doing doing, preparing, anticipating that i realised im facing some sort of burn out. or perhaps it has to do with how its the first time in a long while since im in school over the weekend (since last year i think!), quiet without the busyness surrounding me that im having to face up to the tiredness lingering as i went and did and am still having to do throughout may. or perhaps it is because the sun is exchanged for another temporary cold and rain?
april felt so short in part because there wasnt much time for reflection. i had been busy getting work done and preparing work beforehand because i am going to singapore in a few weeks! an entire month before my semester ends, meaning assignments i have to complete, arrangements i have to arrange, a lot of organising, which i remember when i wrote april i had expected. these days it is hard to escape my identity as foreigner because this move has affected every aspect of my lifestyle here. i have to explain to teachers, classmates that i will be away for the end of semester crit and submissions because i had been offered to do a performance back in singapore, which im mostly looking forward to, but its hard to focus on that when i have an unrealistic pressure to manage this transition/disruption as smoothly as possible for everyone involved. i also dont know if "returning" to singapore is the right word for me, that now foreign entity, that now i want to be foreign entity. i want to claim taiwan for myself instead. as much as i have done it so much in the past few years, it is always difficult to just pack up and leave.
i remember for april i said i wanted to organise, and i did organise so much, though that kind of work seems endless, like my website is still in a halfway fix, though my work is going well because i had been moving and moving. for one of my classes i am learning to make three work tables from scratch with two other classmates. ive learnt how to do metalwork, and the importance of detailed measurements because nobody likes a creaky table. other things ive done include a sound walk for a class where we experiment with how to incorporate walking into our projects. few weeks ago i also did a big walking project in taichung where i journeyed about ~4 hours barefoot, tracing a path through the places i had been 2 years ago and now where i encountered magic affinities, relationships important, sites nostalgic. april has been a big walking, moving month.
then may seems like a continuation of this nonstop movement. there is a certain amount of dread. i feel that i cannot be lazy especially in these few weeks because time is ticking! and i have these expectations of myself. yet today i really dont feel like doing anything. i want to lie down and just listen to music or sleep. i think part of the burn out is that i feel that i have done so much and have not been recognised for what i have done, and then im being expected more. but i know i have been completing my tasks and meeting my deadlines. i get so comfortable with going and doing then suddenly im halted and asked what am i doing? its not the rude shock of reality. its me asking for myself to stop and be taken care of.
i have to remind myself not to close myself off or just focus on my work. i have to remind myself to be grateful! over the weekend i had to do this gargantuan task of deinstalling my work from last semester (november) where i put tape over the entire floor of a room. tearing that off is easy, its having to remove all that sticky residue that makes you want to regret ever doing what you think was such a genius move. my dear friend/s helped. i say help because its not something they had to do but they did. we were scrubbing the floor inch by inch, scratching off that sticky mess. the whole process took 3 days, and i think it wouldve taken more without all that help. i am truly thankful to jyun-yi.
last semester i taped the entire floor of this room
all the tape i removed bunched into a ball!
in the middle of this cleaning up, i went to the beach with friends. it was rare, they said, that people were around on the weekend, and i guess we all wanted to go out and play when the sun was out. it was late afternoon when we got there and i swam in the ocean, so joyous! so unencumbered! so happy (i must not forget these joys)! the waves taking me up and down, my body buoyant, willing to the sun beams. i was even brushed a few times by a jellyfish! it had been so long since i was in the ocean. i think a year ago in singapore it was. it feels different here, perhaps because it is so especially far, and rare, then special. may feels difficult, but im reminded of friends both near and far who are with me on this journey.