Day 121 - Prison Of My Own Making

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016
Smog Level: 0/3 Mountains
As I was talking about yesterday, with the goal of returning to a peaceful, centered, and seemingly carefree. I've been paying attention to the ambitious people around me, and it made me aware of things growing in myself that I otherwise wouldn’t have noticed. While ambition is a good thing to have, I don’t know that I want to be so ambitious to not enjoy having slower moments, just shooting the breeze with a friend and grabbing a slice of pizza. 

Another Ambnormal Uniform day. Center: Normal uniform for the boys.
Another piano recital, I think.
Personal Straight-Jacket

For a time, about the 2 month mark, I was feeling like the blog was a prison of my own making. I felt pressured to get it done, get ahead of the work. It weighed on me, and still does to a minor extent. At the time, the pull to get home, say "no" to invitations, and just get ahead of this "chore" that I’d eternally set out for myself was ever-present. Then there’s also the stress of what I’ll do when I run out of things to talk about. Yes, when, not if. At least that was the mind set. I fear that I'll run out of interesting things to say, or that China itself will become boring to read about before my time here is done, including my future self he decides to look back on all this. 

Bringing The Hammer Down
Is it possible to run out of things to talk about? I still have a whole trash bag full of cultural insights that I have barely touched. Well, if it will happen, it won't be for some time.

Anyway, my point is that I don’t want to become so ambition-focused that I cease to enjoy life and the things I’m doing. I’m glad the focusing helped work that out, and the recent influx of readers has been refreshing. Currently, I’m not sure how else to continue promoting. Ehh, maybe I’ll go around writing some more guest posts or something.

Counterpointing Laser-Focused Ambition

Tree Planting Day, apparently
It’s also been pointed out by Dan that a lot of useful connections can be made just by going out there, being positive, and socializing. When I started here, someone had told me not to rely on Carden for the social side of things because it wouldn’t come through. That doesn’t seem to have been entirely true from my experience. Maybe I got lucky. I accredit it simply to saying "yes" to offers whenever they came. People tend to stop inviting you if don’t accept in the first couple attempts to reach out, I’ve noticed.


The day itself wasn’t bad. I’ve been really cracking down on the kids whining about stuff that happens every week. Yes, we have a test every monday. No, I don’t want to hear you whine about it every time. One particular high-performer in my class if overly vocal about these sort of complaints, though I’ve yet to execute on the threat of making her write lines of “I am not a baby.” The lack of execution make my threats toothless and, eventually, meaningless.


In light of these thoughts, I hit the gym hard, walk back covered in sweat, and work at Maan coffee, enjoying the ambiance. My ideal life would probably consist of morning exercise, meditation, and a day of working in rustic-feeling, café-like atmospheres. Yeah man, that sounds pretty good. Maybe some courses to develop skills in the afternoon, and some fun in the evening. 

I'd love to hear your ideal day! Comment below! 
(I'm pretty sure you can do it as a guest)

Words of the Day
English - Mandarin [pronunciation]
xìng fú
[shing foo]
(The si and zi sounds are incredibly hard to write. It's not really a suh or zeh, its "uh" like the sound of being punched in the stomach immediately after starting a word that sounds with S or Z. Still can't think of a romanized way to convey the pronunciation.)

Editing Music
Paranoid Android

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