Hong Kong Makes Me Think

Tomorrow, May 15th, I will move into my new apartment. I’ve been in Hong Kong for 9 days, spent ridiculous amounts of time searching, and finally found a place. I’m excited but suspend the celebration until after the fact, until after The Move.

During the house hunt, I’ve seen rooms that fit a single bed and only a single bed, a shared flat with an Indian family of four, and a room with two windows – overlooking a square meter dubbed ‘the living room’. But hopes are high for tomorrow!

Now it’s onto the difficult part. Employment.

Hong Kong is positively brimming with opportunities. A lack of jobs isn’t what makes this difficult. What makes it difficult is that I feel as if I’m simply spamming when sending cover letter and CVs, even if all the messages are customized. Maybe it’s because I haven’t found any positions that call to me, or something. Or am I simply too inexperienced for those I am interested in?

There’s an entire list of things I want to accomplish and want to improve about myself so that I can be the candidate some of these amazing companies are looking for. What makes me unique, makes me stand out? What if all I can come up with is… nothing much? I can talk in circles around just about anyone about absolutely nothing. Is that even anything to brag about?

I want to learn Cantonese. That’s important here – and important to me. I want to create a portfolio. I don’t have one yet. Because I didn’t go to art school. And I want to work in design. Or do I want to work in design? I just want to be surrounded by ideas and people and inspiration somehow.

Being here has been amazing thus far. I’ve commandeered a friend’s living room for the duration and spent my first Hong Kong afternoon downloading phone apps: twitter, wordpress, facebook, etc… the classic list of apps banned in the Mainland. It was doubtful whether that phone would ever leave my hand again! Staying connected feels good, but I know there is so much more that can be done with these connections. Another goal.

I’ve been oscillating between wildly optimistic, anything is possible!! To aw crap, I won’t be able to afford bread tomorrow. Granted, real bread here can be pretty expensive, but during those slumps, I was terrified of such uncertainty. I’m not untalented (just a little bit modest), but I don’t have the degrees on paper to do what I want to do here. <em>Then I remind myself that I’m here, and that in the end, I will succeed because I’m determined to, according to my own definition of success.</em>

Spending more time staying connected to the world has also led me to some amazing people, whether in visual arts, design, writing, comedy… anything and everything! Can’t handle so much amazing! I have to learn from them and their hard work. Maybe I’ll even try to structure blog posts at some point instead of just writing out whatever comes to mind. But isn’t that what blogs are for? I need to organize my thoughts and organize my blogs and…. the to-do list gets longer. But that’s a good thing!

Follow that impulse!

I’m excited about life.

I’m unemployed, in-debt, grinning like an idiot, eating cheesecake in Beijing while inhaling pollution, moving to Hong Kong next month without even half a plan, excited about all the world’s possibilities, and extremely excited about life.

Of course, life will probably kick me in the teeth sometime in the near future and make me depressed as hell, but right now I’m feeling more optimistic than I have in a long, long time. Maybe it has something to do with finding one’s calling, or at least accepting people are so ever-changing that finding that one, singular, calling is only possible to a lucky few.

Too long have I lurked in the shadows watching others live life! Too long have I been a coward and afraid to take a risk! Too long have I… done nothing! Too long, too long.

I’ve always declared myself a ‘creative type’. My notes for PSY101 was covered in little stick people and stick brains declaring ‘Freud is a fraud!’, all the while declaring majors in International Relations, Economics, and later, Political Economy. My one concession to a more creative self was a minor in Art History. I’m not regretting any of the amazing education I’ve had – it has led me to my friends, to my experiences, to my beliefs, to the me that I am today, and I rather like that person… all except my inner sloth. And today, I will am doing something about it. Kind of.

More than ten years ago I discovered deviantART, an amazing online community for artistis and art-lovers alike. I created my little account, which still stands to this day: kuami.deviantart.com. This is how I know I’ve been neglecting a part of myself for too long. See where it says ‘Deviant for 10 years’? An entire decade. Mostly of emptiness. That’s where I’ll start.

Last year, a friend gave me a copy of Notes to Myself, My Struggle to Become a Person by Hugh Prather, a collection of writing which has made me ponder a lot of different things, with a note in the back. “Don’t compromise yourself, you’re all you’ve got”, it says. I’ll do my best.

Some of my initial excitement is gone, clearly, and I am breathing normally again. And worrying about the absurdly high rents in Hong Kong. But I will move and this cheesecake is delicious. Life is good.