I’ve finally decided to give writing a go.
And what a time I’ve chosen. I have a newborn baby, and I am working on two other courses of study.
I’ve enrolled in SFU’s The Writer’s Studio Online. Some months ago when I was reflecting on myself, it came clear as day to me that I should’ve done a degree in English. I’m grateful for the opportunities my journalism training has given me, and it was a practical choice at the time. But I don’t think it was the best choice. So I decided to redeem myself to myself and find a sensible creative writing programme.
Some people say if you want to write just write and these progmmes are a waste of money. I agree with them. But I’m the kind of person who won’t write much without some kind of big stick over my back. So I see the value of these programmes. This is only the first week. And I hope I am able to produce work that comes a bit close to what I want to see come out of me.
My other projects are the JLPT, and Trinity Dip. TESOL. Both have been on the table for a while and I enjoy studying Japanese, but I’ve developed palpable resentment for the Dip and what it represents in my life.
I’ve enrolled in Kumon’s Japanese correspondence course to help me prepare for N2 next July. I’ve put it off til then to focus on the writing. The Kumon course is basically completing worksheets and sending them in. First will arrive in October.
Now the Dip. There are four units. I’ve passed two, failed one once and the other twice. I don’t fail things. So this has been quite stressful for me. But I know it’s because deep down I don’t want to do it. I also don’t think the way the programme is organised is not best for me. But I’ve been trying hard to let go off this negativity. So I will complete at least one of the failed units November, and the other next May.
In a year’s time, I hope to be able to read this and think ‘whew, you did it’. And even if I didn’t, to be OK with it.
Oh, I’m also about to sign up and begin training for my first run (10k) since baby. It’s going to be on November 4, about seven weeks from now.
I spent the better part of yesterday thinking about a pillow. More accurately, how my face felt against that soft pillow in the morning before I was awoken by shrieks. No, a shriek.
During the feeding session that followed, all I could think about was how good it would feel when I got back to that pillow.
Many other demands followed that feeding and by 10:00 p.m., when I got close to the pillow again, I chose a firmer one.
I knew sleep would be a challenge with a newborn. And it is.
It’s been two months now, and we’ve had two successive five-hour nights, so let’s hope that trend continues.
The boy came two days after his due date and a day after the doctor declared that he was nowhere near to coming out. We scheduled an induction for the following week. But by that same night, he started to make his way. To cut a long story short, I got to the hospital 11:45 a.m. the following day and he was born at 12:01 p.m.
Here’s something I jotted down while just staring at him soon after he was born :
Nostrils like little butterfly wings. No, moth wings. Little ones. Opening and closing impatiently. No, they seem to reach their limit quickly because of their small size. Flapping, no, quickening in the breeze of his new breath.
Today on my walk along the river, I saw a snake, two kinds of heron, some other birds I don’t know, carp, AND a mother (parent?) with 13 little ones!
Before that, I saw a mother with four little ones behind her, but they were moving too fast for a snap.
These 14 were just taking it easy.
Some nights I want to leave this body on the bed
Just slip out of this bulging mass
And just go
For a drink
For a run
Dancing til dawn
On a trip home and back
Anything that will exhaust me
So that I can sleep
Sometimes when I use the swipe keyboard on my phone to type ‘Jamaica’, it gives me ‘hahahaha’. A lot of times.
At first, I used to have a little chuckle at this technology taking ‘intuitive’ to a whole new level, then I started to get annoyed.
Mi nuh want nobody, least of all an algorithm or whatever, a mek fun a mi country.
Then I let it go. I mean, I typed this on my phone, using the swipe keyboard.
Oprah a mi boss.
There was a time I wanted to be on the Oprah Winfrey Show. In fact, I was convinced that I was definitely going so great that I would naturally end up on her show. I forgot I used to think like that until I came upon her graduation speech at USC Annenberg.
Toward the end of that speech filled with so many gems, she encourages, ‘And when the time comes to bet on yourself, I hope you double down. Bet on yourself!’
I don’t have any new lessons. But I often think that it’s not the new lessons so much as it is really learning the old ones again and again.
Your job is not always going to fulfill you. There will be some days that you just might be bored. Other days you may not feel like going to work at all. Go anyway. And remember that your job is not who you are, it’s just what you’re doing on the way to who you’ll become.
While I’ve picked a couple of what I found to be useful reminders from her speech, the strongest message was to develop and adhere to a social conscience. Gwaan keep it real, Oprah.
Aside: I once applied to USC Annenberg to do a PhD. Oh now desires change.
Yesterday I was reading some brochures and pamphlets– mail advertising. My husband said, “You look like a housewife.” Or “You look bored; like a housewife.” He didn’t like that look. I’m in the last month of pregnancy. I’m on maternity leave. I stay home all the time except for when I go to cafes by myself or with other women, or when I go to the doctor. I’m effectively a housewife. But I guess my husband doesn’t want to see me that way. I didn’t pursue it.
Perhaps I wouldn’t mind seeing myself that way if we didn’t live in this country. It is very common for women to be housewives. They either have never worked or stop working as soon as they get married, or later, after having children. Of course, many women work as well.
And precisely because of the fact that I live in this context, perhaps I shouldn’t mind if I am perceived as a housewife, by self or anyone else. And what is wrong with looking like a housewife anyway? Or was it the suggestion that I looked like a bored housewife? Does that mean all or many or some housewives are bored? I know many who aren’t. Or maybe my husband just has an image of what he doesn’t like a housewife to look like. Or his wife. If I feel like it, I’ll bring it up again.