Boy, was this another emotional whirlwind of a week for me, in both good and not so good ways. On the bright side, at least, it ended on a higher note than compared to when it began, and really isn’t that all we can ask for?
This week was just another instance of a time when I get so bogged down with things to do on top of paralzying emotions that usually leads to me falling out of the habit of journaling and keeping up with these daily tasks that I just run out of energy for. But now that I’m trying to be mindful of those moments, I can use this opportunity to do the exact opposite of what I usually do, and push through to keep up these habits that I’m trying to build for myself! I already skipped journaling a couple days this week, but I caught myself pretty quickly to try to make up for it and haven’t fallen behind by more than a day before catching up, so here’s to small victories!
The March Disneybound challenge has really been taking a lot of time because of the looks I’m trying to create and all the background art that I want to make. This part, though exhausting, is actually still fun for me so I’m trying to keep up with it. I tried really really hard to try to have a look so I could participate in each day of the challenge, but I think there’s like one or two days where I really have no idea how to create a look for it, but I have something planned for pretty much each day!
Really though, the main drain of the week has been emotional rather than physical. This week I had to contend with a lot of emotions - from devastation, anger, frustration - all having to do with the very real potential demise of CLP. Since we started the company, it’s always felt like we were barely treading water. The funding that comes in drips and drabs have always had to come from friends and family money since up until now we haven’t been able to secure any relatively significant amount of funding, and we haven’t been able to make any big moves in terms of gaining revenue, which has been a constant source of background stress. And at multiple junctures, we’ve had to come to terms with the idea that we had a few weeks or a month left and needed more funding if we had any hopes in continuing. And at the end of the day, we always got more money to sustain ourselves a little longer. But this week, we were almost blindsided by this outpouring of grievances that were simultaneously frustrating and, at least in my mind, unfair. While I fully understand that we all have our own personal goals and wants for the way our lives should go, and we should be within our right to pursue them as we see fit, it just felt like, for all the problems that were brought up, we at no point had the opportunity to address them. And to have it all splayed out in this insulting statement that “wasn’t directed” at anyone in particular even though our company is literally three people...
I literally went on an hours-long rant over every little passive aggressive comment made in the statement that really just made me want to give up and be done with all of this. In some ways, it would almost be a relief to not have to deal with this constant drama and babysitting that I have to do to attend to others feelings.
But. Another conversation that I had with A over a completely different topic came front to mind that really helped ground me. He gave me some great advice about not allowing other people to have power over my emotions, especially when they themselves are unaware of the power I am giving them. And thinking of it from that perspective, it really makes me more mindful of what events and what behaviors catch me off guard so that I can prevent anyone from wielding that kind of control over me. Of course I don’t always have that kind of self-control, and this was exactly that kind of moment. But the one thing I could take away from this was that this whole predicament wasn’t going to make me give up on CLP. That if there’s a way to make it work, I’m definitely going to try. And after a very pressure-packed and emotional meeting, I think we were able to clear the air so that we could have a way forward, and if anything, hopefully we’ll be better off for it. We’re still running up against time on the dwindling funds that we do have, so who knows, maybe after all is said and done, CLP will still have to close up shop, but at least it won’t be over internal conflict...hopefully.
I’m honestly running on empty after all this drama since it started on Monday and wasn’t really resolved until Thursday night. I was barely able to sleep, I was stress eating a bunch, and now I feel like I’m on a mend, but I’m still not really here.
The very very bright light in all this darkness though, was the premiere of RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON!! Oh my goodness, it really just sent my mood through the roof on Friday. I was so excited to see it, and being on Instagram and seeing everyone’s amazing Raya bounds and seeing how excited everyone was for it was such a beautiful thing. It’s sometimes hard to put into words what it means to feel represented in mainstream media, especially in such a large-scale production like a Disney princess animation. Southeast Asia is such a culture-rich part of the world that it really is a loss on our part that we don’t get to see more of those stories and learn more about this culture as a wider society. I’m usually rather quiet about the part of me that identifies as partly Vietnamese, and this is mostly because as a kid my mom always told me more about my Chinese side. But really, if we’re talking about the things that define my childhood in terms of relics that elicit nostalgia (and it’s mostly food), I feel so much more Vietnamese than I do Chinese. My favorite foods to this day are still things like rice plates and noodle soups, che, and so many other things. One of my favorite Lunar New Year foods is banh chung which is a vietnamese sticky rice roll. I grew up in a household where I mostly heard a mixture of Vietnamese and Teo Chew, but mostly Vietnamese, because I was surrounded by my dad’s side of the family who grew up in Vietnam. So to see all the richness of the Southeast Asian part of the world displayed so beautifully and authentically onscreen, and knowing that those who identify Southeast Asian can feel seen by this movie, and those who don’t can learn more about it, makes me absolutely overjoyed. As a Filipino, A has often expressed his sadness in not seeing himself and his culture represented more widely. So there’s even an added bliss of seeing him feel touched by the part his culture played in creating the overall world and customs of Kumandra. And he straight up said that she is his favorite Disney princess as soon as the movie was over. That’s the feeling that hits the nail on the head for why representation is so important.
So this week was colored by some pretty extreme lows, and a pretty awesome high. I knew this month was going to be a heavy month for me, but was definitely not anticipating any of these kinds of events to kick it off. I’m still mentally preparing myself for all the other headaches and hopefully joys that will come with getting set up for the house, so I hope other parts of my life can mellow out so I can stay stable.