The following online journal entries are from August 2001.
"The reward for attention is always healing. It may begin as the healing
of a particular pain -- the lost lover, the sickly child, the shattered
dream. But what is healed, finally, is the pain that underlies all
pain: the pain that we are all, as Rilke phrases it, "unutterably alone."
More than anything else, attention is an act of connection."
Wednesday. The ides of August. The past few days have been spent in energy trying to get these new pages up and in order. It is good to have a project again. There is a certain satisfaction in sitting down to work only to look up at the clock to see several hours have passed. Total engrossment, total focus can be an amazing feeling.
Thursday. The morning started out a bit gray and foggy. But the day has cleared and the sun is shining (at least here in the Mission). The weather has been mild.
I have been spending most of my time indoors, however. As soon as I wake up, I get cleaned up, dressed, and begin my day with a bit of job searching. Today I found an editorial associate position at the SF Museum of Modern Art. I applied via their website. It's the first position that I have shown interest in since I left CompassPoint. Perhaps, I have a chance -- the SFMOMA is only a block away from my old job, which was only a block away from my job before. I seem to have a calling for that particular geographical area. Maybe the energy is right for me in that locale.
I have put in another few hours into the website. It is shaping up nicely. Once I have added more sections and transferred much of the old text from my old site, [the ED pages] will be ready for an official launch.
Friday. 3:15 PM. I think it's a safe bet that it is possible to spend entirely too much time with yourself. I think too much for my own good to begin with. Now, without a job or a clear way to spend my time, I sit and stew until I drive myself crazy with worry or frustration or anxiety or melancholy. Even the time I put into [the ED pages] isn't enough (besides, digging up old journal entries and bits of my old website has become a veritable psychological archaeological expedition).
Why is it when you don't have enough time to do what you want to do, you complain that there aren't enough hours in the day? And when you have all the time in the world, you can't figure out the first thing that you want to do to fill up all of the hours of the day?
Irony. It's a tough way to live. Don't do it unless you're a trained professional.
Tuesday. 10:48 AM. This week has had a slow start. Monday was gray and chilly. I woke up feeling a little under the weather. Nothing I did seemed to must much motivation to do anything. And, today, the sun is shining at least. The dreaded job search is still on-going and not going very well. I'm starting worry about my money running out. I should be able to push through September but I will be flat ass broke by the end of it.
Saturday. 7:42 PM. I'm in a surprisingly calm mood today. Fortunately, the week has mellowed out nicely.
I managed to secure a temporary, contract job through my friend Kara (a former co-worker at CompassPoint) and will be in some swanky office at One Market (perhaps the swankiest block in the financial district) doing Quality Assurance. I'm not looking forward to it but it's income.
I have put in a lot of hours into [ the ED pages ] and they are paying off nicely. I really like the look of the pages and I've learned a few new HTML tools in the process. Now I just have to get back into the swing of keeping my web journal up-to-date.
I recruited a new member for my Tellings group. I met with the new player and talked for a couple of hours. He's joining us this Sunday for a trial run. I'm hoping he works out. Two of my players, Josh J. and Adrian, moved out of the city in the last month. I have three players remaining and would like to be back up to a healthy five around the table.
My roommate, Sarah, has left for Burning Man, a big hooplah-artsy-freaky-hippie-grungy-communal-thingy in the middle of the desert for two weeks. I'm left to my own devices for the next couple of weeks. I did laundry and am setting to thoroughly clean the apartment (including spraying for fleas since I fear Mojo kitty may be afflicted).
I'm looking forward to this continued calm.
Monday. 8:58 PM. It's been a long day. A pretty good day, but tiring. I woke up this morning at 7:30 AM (actually I woke up at 7:00 AM before my alarm went off and snoozed for a while). I was cleaned up, out the door, and at the bus stop by about ten till eight. I caught the #14 bus and rode it all the way down to the Embarcadero. I found the very swanky marbled interior building and made way to my temporary job.
I spent the better part of the day learning the Quality Assurance process, the testing of software to be implemented by the offices I was working for. The work is repetitive, sometimes very detailed, and most of the time like casting bones or reading tea leaves as you're trying to decipher what went wrong, why it went wrong, and how to reproduce and explain the error so that it can be eventually fixed. I find the process strangely hit-or-miss and arcane for our supposed technologically wondrous age.
My fellow temporary workers are seemingly interesting fellows. They are friends of our collective supervisor. We three stumbled our way through the day. I was supposed to only work from 8:30 AM to 1 PM, but I stayed till nearly half past four. I went home numb, tired of sitting in one spot.
Tomorrow should be a shorter day and a bit easier as the routine becomes ingrained. The people are nice enough and the office seems pretty low-key. But I am affirmed in my dislike of the corporate cubicle culture.
Wednesday. 5:42 PM. Another day, another fistful of dollars. I worked at my temp job for six and a half hours today. I managed to convince myself to stay a bit longer trying to squeeze out as much effort for pay as I can.
I'm feeling off, though. On the surface, part of me feels dissatisfied, disconcerted, like I'm not doing something for the right reasons, I guess. I think working at Brobeck, even temporarily, makes me feel like I'm failing to "find" that perfect job, that brilliant path, that thing that will make me happy. I'm not miserable. I know I should make the best of the situation and spend more energy simply accepting than criticizing.
Part of me feels very shut off right now. I am censoring myself as I write and that isn't a good sign. I guess I'm just not ready to share what is on my mind just yet.
Other than that, I added a message board to the pages today. It's nothing fancy but it'll let people leave a note or a comment or a calling card.
© 2001 Edmond Y. Chang. All original material. All rights reserved.
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