I never think I have anything to talk about. But every so often, I run across an idea and think to myself, “I should write a few sentences down.” That’s how they always start, these 1k-word articles. Idno though, I think I’ll be able to keep this one short.
I’ve been feeling a little disappointed lately. I worked hard for what I think has been a month now and tried new things but it’s all left me feeling… disappointed. I’m trying new things that, by all the world has told me, should feel weird. I’m working harder than I have in a while but it’s not registered a single blip on my radar. In fact, it’s only the eerie silence that’s gotten my attention.
I guess this disappointment has taught me 2 things. First, it’s taught me that I don’t want more friends, I just want to meet more people like me. And second… Well, the second point is currently being contested in my mind. I apologize for the messy turn that this article is about to take.
Here’s the story: Lately, I’ve been doubting my decision to quit my job in short notice (“Hi, I’m not coming to work today, or tomorrow, or ever again.”). I doubted my decision because the fruits of it weren’t as sweet as I first believed. My new friends are great friends; they’re understanding and really caring but they’re also busy and our interests just don’t match up. I’ve yet to enjoy a deeper conversation with one of them, for whatever reason.
I met that group of friends at the city’s Japanese Association’s summer festival (Omatsuri). I had work on the Saturday that the festival was on but I held off on choosing between the two until early that morning. Of course, I couldn’t call in sick at 1am so I, instead, quit 2 hours before my shift started.
This was my thought process: 1. This festival might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience; being an anual event, if things work out the way you plan, you won’t be here for the next one. 2. You are under-payed. 3. There’s a good chance you’ll get another job soon.
Of course, number 3 was a bad assumption to make, but nevermind that. The point is, I went to the Japanese Summer Festival-Thing and made new friends. (And I was initially very excited about my new friends.) And it all round-a-bout-ly leads back to the second lesson that my recent disappointment taught me.
See, when I was five years old, my father bought the kids a book on simple origami. I’ve been folding paper ever since but a few years ago, I felt like I was out of ways to improve. It felt to me like the next step was above my head, too high of a cliff to climb myself. I’ve always liked money though, so when I saw that there were a few models on sale at the Festival (glued to postcards, sold for $5 each), I immediately thought, “Hey, I could do that. (And perhaps profit from it.)”
So I contacted the Association to ask about the models and they forwarded my email to their creator and he gave me the details to a stealthy, local group of people interested in origami. What I wanted from it was a mentor, a master, someone to follow. But it’s not what I found. What I did find, though, was a sort of disappointment there. And I’m guessing the disappointment came from the fact that there was still more work to do. What I did find at the club, to help me advance my skills, was a book and some contact information.
(Damn, I’m sleepy at 2am. Goes to show how much of a good kid I’ve been lately.)
Let me try to summarize the second point, because I’m way too incoherent by now to tell it as a story: I was disappointed because I had done so much work only to find that there was more work to be done. I’m not the type to go on a journey, it seems. Apparently, it’s my nature to walk with the intention of finding another place to rest. I wanted a mentor and not a diagram book, no matter how advanced or beautiful, because I wanted someone to take me by the hand and drag me to greener pastures. But it turns out even finding a master is hard work. Or worse, I’d have to learn on my own.
This isn’t natural to me yet. But I can accept it.
There’s only one doubt left in my mind, though. Am I unhappy because I’ve not yet found what I wanted? Or will I be disappointed as long as I seek, as long as I walk, as long as I wander? Will I forever be bound to every next step, like a hopeless gold miner, digging his own dark grave?
Is there happiness in this kind of life, a point to all this struggling? Or is it just not my thing?