I try not to post too many occurrences of my personal life here, simply because I like my personal life to be just that: personal. However, a significant part of the Paul Chin Culturecraft brand is that I’m a real person. My loves, passions, hurts, and woes sleep and wake with me, and that’s what fuels my craft. So that said, I’ll share a minute reflection of the happenings in my life, and the things I’m learning. Because to share wisdom is the ultimate aim of my responsibilities as an artist.
I feel like I’m entering the third volume of my life. Normally, people would probably divide their lives into chapters, but I feel as if chapters aren’t broad enough a scope for the division I anticipate between the prior segment of my life, and that which I’m entering now. I foresee many more focused fragments of my story in the near and distant futures, but I want to focus on the volume which will encompass many of those. There’s probably something more to it, but for the purpose of a quick reference, we’ll refer to this third volume as “life immediately after university”.
Things are changing around me rapidly, and in ways I wouldn’t have even expected or hoped to have perceived even a few months ago. But somewhere between my Grad Show and my 23rd birthday, many things were set in motion which are, even now, starting to unfold and reveal to me some of the wonder of the universe God has created, and is allowing me to inhabit. Things from the span of my career, to the state of my bank account, to the very interactions and relationships I have with my humans are evolving at an unprecedented rate. Even things like my perception of self (as an artist, and otherwise) are changing, and it’s all very refreshing. I hadn’t realised it up until things started to come together, but I have actually been longing for a change of pace on a number of fronts.
Part of what has made this entry to volume three so surprising is hindsight. The last two years of my life have been filled with much accomplishment, as well as much sobering, but all-in-all a tremendous amount of experience. Among the most notable of which, I took an extensive trip to Asia last summer, and spent a significant amount of time investing in the humans, and experiencing the culture. After 6 weeks, I was more than ready to return to the west, but had learnt much and was excited to amalgamate much of my newfound wisdom and insight into my regular life, as well as eject much of the chaff in my own life that I had been made aware of. It’s interesting, the things you learn about yourself when no one else partakes in them. And as eye-opening as that experience was, it was just one of many, appearing at an exponentially increasing rate, on the road to where I am now. Things like that trip weren’t just about the immediate change they spurned, they were about long-term, holistic preparation for “life immediately after university”.
I find myself in the first September, since 1993, in which I have not reported to a class of any sort; in routines and relationships which should be so foreign to me, but are simply the natural progression of all the things that I have embarked on in the last little while. And while I maintain these, and other changes, to be refreshing, I am also newly aware of how frightening volume three is. There have been certain points in which the sheer newness of a facet of my life, in finding its bearings, pushes against the fabric of my comfort zone to a point of inevitable breaking. And times like those bring the greatest of anxieties, as well as challenge me with concerns I’ve never had to deal with before. However, with the greatest of anxieties come the greatest of hopes.
There has been one incident of late, in particular, which has really caused me to realise and acknowledge how much of a stretch my new life is from the old one, and has faced me with decisions which were previously “above my pay grade”. But those days of relative carefreeness are behind me. The challenges are real and ready to go. The stakes are not necessarily higher, but certainly more unfamiliar. And the anxieties are many. I don’t particularly enjoy NOT knowing what I’m doing, but it’s beginning to happen more and more, lately. But in addressing this same incident, I have executed skills gleaned from my experiences over the past two closing years to volume two. I’ve taken leaps of faith, and I’ve been met with appropriate rewards for the successes.
So what now? Who knows? Maybe I just needed to write this blog post to reaffirm how insecure I am in the known universe. Maybe I really just needed to reiterate to all parties involved, and all those to be involved, that I’m paying attention. Perhaps, I simply needed to share that I too don’t get it sometimes, but that’s okay. I’m about 4 pages into volume three, but I already know that there’s PLENTY of hope in store. Until I get to that part, though, I’ll have plenty to draw from for my craft. I’m walking with the receipt of grace, and a return trip bus ticket.