notes on saturation

Some random sparse notes I've written down in my iPhone notes over the past few weeks, maybe not entirely coherently connected to this theme of "saturation" or edited much at all, but I thought I'd share them anyways. I've been feeling overwhelmed with experiences recently (in a good way.)


I used to have a really hard time with transition states. When I left Asia for college in America, some grand golden door had opened and in its wake, all the other chapters of my childhood swung shut. I was deeply scared of the unknown - not even of places, but of myself. I didn't know what part of my identity would remain sturdy and alive, and what other parts would loosen and detach and wither. Over time I realized you can never predict what stays and what goes. My friend sent me a picture of the words “be more involved with life and less attached to it” the other day. To be less attached is to recognize how, in so many specific, various ways, the world is both kind and cruel; it gives and gives, and so in the spirit of equilibrium: it also takes away.


“Life is full and you can't think of anything else that could fit in it, and then even more sky comes”

Exactly this. Life recently has felt like a weird insulated vacuum of really great experiences. All of which makes it seem as though I'm living a life I thought I‘d only be able to witness and not actually live. The only way I can describe it is surreal.

I guess that’s life in your twenties. You choose to give your love to unspecific places and it's wondrous: this lush surreal world that expands to meet whatever you expect of it. And then the place becomes so deeply individual, so remarkably yours that you can't imagine who you were before coming here at all. I bike down the hills, see the trees and the gas stations and the parks and the store glass-windows melt and roll past me in a glowing blur. Right now it feels like everything is a body experience, lived in.


San Francisco has a high proportion of people who are averse to apathy and stagnancy. That's why it feels like everyone here is wide-eyed and charged with ambition. Something about this city feels mine, as I'm sure many others have said about hundreds of other cities hundreds of other times. Something resonates, even if I can't quite touch it yet.


Much of love is novelty, and expectation is the thief of joy (Fitzgerald)

Since coming here, I haven't been in my head much. Something about this place makes me feel less neurotic, more calm. I've been feeling more than planning, less self conscious, less burdened, less wondering if I could've said something better or laughed more prettily, or went out more, or slept in less. I have no expectations for what this chapter is meant to be at all.

That's much more than I could have said in the past. That's progress isn't it? I promise I'm not getting sentimental. But I have to say this: watching your reinvention, and mine too, is such a pleasure.

Published by Nicole 3 years ago on Thursday the 11th of November 2021.

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