Personal

Before the day begins

I have a lot to learn. Attempting to thrive in the workforce has had both its more joyous moments and quiet consequences, and I say this—somewhat indifferently—one year since I started this job. I’ve received advice, of course: Use people as resources, it’s okay. Find a weekend fixation you can call a passion, there’s nothing wrong with that. Make commitments then follow through. Modest, yet willful. Quiet but fearless.

When I look at the past year in retrospect, I’d like to find out what words can sufficiently describe the comforting estrangement from a former life—not that it was one, that’s still me—while something of that past still knocks on the door of my mind, so effortlessly—writing this way requires no effort—till I become unaware of it again. I don’t open and close my writerly self like a lock.

Capital T-Truthfully, I’d rather reject that. Only I haven’t found the rationale for leaning in to a pure rejection of what fueled me for years (a bodily inclination), which was a non-negotiable if you asked me then. I would’ve shared a cigarette and told my life-story with you.

I don’t contemplate much. Circling Hoan Kiem for four days or so, I didn’t think. And I’m more forgiving by now to understand that dire aimlessness need not have a title—the way a ragged street kid insisting to be given a bottle of water by the man who’s just alighted on North Avenue Station can’t be replicated, or how the consciousness running through this sentence has no arc. I enjoy contradicting myself. Perhaps one day I could also fall in love.

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