#19

B is sick, so I made carrot juice for her. I feel she was depressed by many things, but I just don’t know how to help her if she won’t let me. She is too proud, and this characteristic is both her strength and her weakness.

Yesterday I got into an argument with S over the washing-up.  S helped me to wash my piles of dishes despite my telling her that I would do them myself. But she helped me to wash them anyway, and it made me very upset because I had specifically told her not to wash them. “You are busy taking care of us and your parents, so I can’t just leave the dishes there!” S said. I understood her good-intention, but I feel disrespected when she doesn’t take my words seriously. She explained how she feels the situation needs to be handled, and there is little I can say to change her mind. 

“It’s not fair to other people when you decide things on your own accord!” S said. “Your way of communicating is not going to help people because it’s not open to debate!” I told S.  I realized we were both spontaneous decision makers, deciding to do what we saw fit at the moment, and we didn’t want to make a compromise. After our argument, S explained that if she had known about the rule and the consequences for breaking it, she would not have tried to help.

“But how would I know you would not listen to me when I told you not to do something?!” I replied, almost finding her idea ridiculous. I understand S tries to prevent trouble by being fully prepared, but if there is a trouble that our friendship cannot cope with, what does it say about our friendship?

But I am glad I don’t live with her. We think too differently, so we do things too differently, and it would be impossible to solve all the problems we have if we lived together. Now I understand what the phrase “irreconcilable differences” means which the divorced couples use to explain why their marriages are unworkable; then I remember the quote from “Bridget Jones’s Diary” : “But it’s not good enough for me.”

I warned S that if she did the dishes when I had asked her specifically not to, I would lose my temper. This is the new deal I made with S; this experience should help us to have a better understanding of each other.

When I want my logic to be understood, I remember R. Yesterday I managed to go to the German lesson after all. The language school called at the end of the lesson; I saw R and kind of said bye to him. I don’t know what it is between us, but I have given up the hope to find out.

P went to India today. I kind of miss him already, but when we are together he seems to be the last person I would miss. P is logical, but he is indifferent. It’s bad enough that P doesn’t take me seriously, but what’s worse is he’d rather listen to society’s norms.

So exhausted… Eyes too heavy. I am very shattered now, but I thought I should write because I felt uncomfortable when I skipped writing yesterday.

I wonder if I should go to the recruiting orientation at the language school. I am probably not going to be in Japan a year later, but I still want to get a job, and the language school seems to be the only possibility for me.

#18

S came today. S’s baby is super cute and he doesn’t cry so much.The traffic was too heavy, so I thought it was better to cancel my piano lesson today than to keep C waiting. It was a beautiful day and not so cold.

S’s husband taught me a lot about cameras tonight. He is a good teacher because I can understand what he says easily. LB’s explanation is quite easy to understand for a person with an average IQ like me. CCD is the film and ISO is the light sensitivity. A good photo is taken by a brain with knowledge about the techniques. We also talked about how we want to keep the photos authentic without using too much of the Photoshop touch up. Should I buy a professional camera? I am not sure, but maybe I should buy it when I cannot be satisfied with my present camera.

Like S said, I am interested in many things. But I don’t know anything well enough. I am interested in science. I am interested in philosophy. I am interested in film. I am interested in writing. I am not so interested in politics. I am not interested in poetry. But why do I have this feeling that I hope to learn so much? Sometimes I wonder whether I am interested in talking with men or talking about subjects I like. The fields that I am interested in mostly are male concentrated, except film. I talk about writing and film with my female friends.

The way to take a good photo is the conscious effort of focusing one’s attention and preparation. If I want to take a photo, I’ll know when the time is right to take the photo. The amount of photos taken means the amount of work done, and more work means more possibility to succeed. Like LB said, one makes lots of tries before the perfect photo is taken. We just don’t know the huge amount of work behind it because all we see is one perfect photo. I didn’t know the F 2.2 photo costed 200,000 yen.

It’s important to keep working on something until it finally works. It’s not about the result, even though a good photo might prove that you have become a good photographer, but the point is that one has learned to pay attention to the world, and the art of her self-expression.

I felt embarrassed to offer the possibly expired oden to S; I felt a panic when I noticed the date of the piano recital will be on the day next to the day we plan to arrive in Japan; I forgot to send a message to M’s calligraphy teacher to say thanks to her effort because M’s work got published; I feel bad not reading to E before he went to sleep; I am not sure what to do now that I have about 300 more words to go.

The photo is not reality, but one’s interpretation of the reality. A good photo should be a picture that tells a story. A picture is worth a thousand word, and a good story should make the reader imagine a picture when they read. In a sense, a well written story should help the reader to imagine a picture in which the energy the writer has intended to give when she wrote the story. A writer is someone who receives energy from the reality, transforms the energy in writing, and passes it to the reader successfully.

M and E just played by themselves after school. Then we had strawberry Daifuku. My parents went to a shopping mall by themselves today. Tomorrow I have German lesson, but I haven’t studied yet. I will recommend S’s family visit Kioshikojin Jinja.

#17

E skipped his lesson today again. Of course E had a fight with M, and was upset, but that was not the real reason why he didn’t go to his lesson. Whatever reason it might have been, it was an irresponsible act.

The photo of A and her writing group looked good in the local newsletter. I think of myself belonging to a group of WordPress bloggers. I don’t feel like writing a book anymore; I just want to post my writings to the blog at WordPress, and it’s good enough for me if someone likes it. I don’t know if the bloggers are doing it for writing’s own sake, but I write for my own sake. Having successfully self-brainwashed myself, I feel writing is my responsibility.

The random chance of someone reading my piece of writing is what makes it interesting. The point of writing is never meant to be popular, but the liberation from the process of writing and sharing. Actually I just need to talk to myself, and if I post the piece of writing in public to strangers, I feel a chance of being understood. Everyone wants to be understood and accepted.

The fear of not being accepted is a universal phenomenon. I didn’t think much of anything when I wrote a story about Santa; I just imagined the conversation between Santa and the Christmas tree from my opinion about Christmas, but I ended up writing about the question of human motivation. The questions are always buried in the unconscious, but most people hardly get a chance to find a question, let alone an answer.

When I am not busy, I feel like I have time to do everything I want to do, until I run out of time. I realized that I cannot possibly do everything I want to do. I was frustrated because I couldn’t finish editing yesterday. I know I just have to do it when I find time, but it’s easier said than done.

Sometimes I feel myself being a tricky person as I asked for people’s sympathy unconsciously. I make people feel sorry for me. For example, I’d tell a friend who was coming to visit that I have to clean my home for her visit. Why do I say it when it’s so obvious?

If creativity is about self-expression, why do I care if people don’t like what I write, or if they won’t like me? I just want to keep writing, editing, and posting, but when I think about how my short romantic story might embarrass me, I hesitate to post it. My problem is I’m afraid of being judged or misunderstood. But perhaps most people cannot be honest to others because of this fear of rejection.

The teachers from an editing service encourage me to write, but everyone encourages me in a different way. Every teacher sounds different, and I learned from their comments what “having one’s own voice” means. Having a voice means what one pays attention to and how one expresses her point of view, so I am sure my voice is different from the others’. The only question left is, do I want to be heard? All I know is I feel good about myself if I keep writing.

I went to the carwash in the afternoon before my parents arrived. When the waitress passed me a bag of the food I ordered at a drive-thru, the soda inside it tilted and spilled. Then I spilled a little bit of sauce on my coat as I started to eat in my car. I’ve got to sleep; I worry if I can make it to the piano lesson. Since the kids don’t have school tomorrow, where should we go for lunch?

#16

I feel restless before my MC. This morning after I washed the dishes, I was talking with S while printing out the journals. I had mochi for breakfast, and I left the blanket covers in the washing machine to wash before I left home.

When I went out a quarter after 12, I was not sure if I should go to the mall or Tully’s. I arrived at the intersection where I needed to make my decision: turn left to go to Tully’s, or go straight to go to the mall. The traffic light was red, so I had less than a minute to make up my mind. I can still get groceries for dinner if I go to Tully’s, and I could do the shopping at the mall another time. I will probably take S and my parents to the mall when they will be here anyway.

Sometimes I can’t make up my mind as to where I should go, like what happened today. I knew that I didn’t have time to go to the mall if I left home after 12 because I wouldn’t have much time at the mall since I needed to be home by 4, but I needed to buy a facial cream for S, apples at the supermarket, and I wanted to go to the cafe to work on the editing. Most importantly, I felt like eating Chanpon in the cold weather.

I felt like being split in half as I waited at the red light. But the desire for Chanpon won. The thought suddenly came to me clearly: I should just do what I feel like. Today I feel like eating Chanpon, so I should go to the mall. I went straight there.

After I arrived at the mall, I went to check how busy the cafe was, but then I realized I forgot to bring a pen (!!), so I went to a store to buy a pen. Then I started to check the bath towels there because my towels are old and worn out. I bought a pen which writes in thin lines. When I finally returned to the cafe, I saw the cafe with no seats left, so I went to the food court to eat Chanpon. The one I ordered with less sodium tasted very good, so good that I want to recommend it to my friends.

Then I went back to the cafe, again. I accidentally cut in line, because I was in a hurry and I didn’t see a lady was waiting at the entrance. I just rushed into the restaurant, and put my bag down. Then I heard someone telling the waitress “That person cut in line.” as I went to order my coffee at the register. I apologized to her and then waited behind her. I felt super embarrassed. But I felt better when she she said to me, “Before you.” after she got a seat. I think she knew that I didn’t mean to cut in line. I hate people who cut in line.

“The Martian” was a straightforward movie that empowers a scientific inclined audience. It is good that we now know that we can survive on our poops, and a potato tastes better with ketchup, but it does not satisfy me intellectually. “The Big Short” is my type of movie. I am definitely into the type of films that explain a single event from many different points of view. But what defines a good movie is probably based on personal preferences (except bad movies are bad for sure: one knows that she is watching a bad movie when she cannot wait to get out of the room). Everyone makes different choices because everyone wants different things in life. Every choice one made would take one to walk on a different path. I guess that’s why life is fascinating for me. 

The heart-shaped foam on the top of the latte I ordered today looked so lovely, so I posted the photo of it on Instagram. Although I would very much like to, today I couldn’t finish editing all the journals I wrote from last week; my time ran out after I edited three journals. I bought many different fruits today: apples, mikans, and strawberries. Dinner was Oden, but it was not so tasty. The Taiwanese style oden tastes better because the soup is cooked with daikon.

#15

I went to my table making lesson today. Teacher T left the key to the room at home, so we went to a cafe in a shopping plaza. I understand why she is proud of the Japanese products, it’s just that there is nothing more I can add to her enthusiasm. Without a doubt, Japanese products are popular in the world, not to mention the popularity of Japanese girls.

The animation “The Little Engine That Could” was very touching. I want to be like the Little Engine for sure! The message of the story is that we can make it if we would only try. My experience with writing proves the message to be right. The willingness to try – and not give up trying – is what makes things happen.

It’s all coming from the thought, “Just one more try.”  I realize when I push myself to write 300 words more by the time I have written 500 words, I can find out something about myself that I want to know. The same thing happens with practising the piano too: when I don’t quit and keep practising, I get it right. I think pushing oneself is what makes a person improve at something.

A second grade kid was interested in where I was from when I went to the elementary school library in the afternoon, and I read the book “Monster Nien”.  I felt sorry about my poor Japanese translation. I should try to translate the story and have the translation checked before I read it to the kids.

Even though I don’t expect anyone else to be excited about it, I want to publish a book, because I want S to write a foreword for me. The idea of publishing a real book, a book that you can hold in your hand and flip through the pages sounds exciting to me. It should be a different experience from publishing on a blog.

I finished reading the book “Rewrite”, and I know finishing reading the book is just the beginning of the work on the rewriting of my story. The process of rewriting feels overwhelming, but at least now I know the beat sheet is a place to start. That is when the voice of the B takes charge. “What makes you think you have a voice? What makes your voice special? After all, everyone who writes thinks her voice is special and worthy of people’s attention!”

My mind is not settled when I am alone (or not), so I need to write the words out to keep my mind relaxed. I guess I’ve learned to listen to the voices in my head. The question is, at the end of the writing process, do I leave just leave the words there and let them see no sunlight? I don’t want to just leave them there, so I figured I should rewrite them to make them better. Maybe writing is an attachment problem.

Today is the Chinese New Year. The curry I made today tasted pretty good. Tomorrow I have to clean my place, order the groceries, do the laundry of the bed sheets and blanket covers, and throw out the trash. I still need to do my German homework and practise the piano. I want to read Kant’s book, but reading it in German is just too difficult for me. Why do I feel I have to read Kant anyway? Maybe I am just being stubborn. I want to understand his logic by myself.