'Money makes the world go round', he says to me. And he isn't the only one. Even my father, took the logical approach (as he always does, even when it comes to his first born's sanity and happiness), when I expressed that I was thinking of quitting, walking away with little to no money, possibly coming back to their home, my home, for a month. 'Fuck money', I said to my friend from NYC who was passing through Bangkok, 'I don't care'. I told my mother I wasn't a 'money minded person'. I told a friend back in Brooklyn I was 'creatively minded'. But I always have the same problems, I always need money. And here I am. Backstage, as some would call it, for a show that no one on the planet cares about. I have spent nearly twelve hours in a giant shopping mall, similar to the luxurious rows of malls in Hong Kong, feeling like I'm going to lose my mind. I hate malls. The ads. The people. I hate all of it. I keep telling myself it's not the end of the world, it's just some job that is putting me in close proximity to a goddamn mall for the day. But the thing is, it kind of IS the end of the world, in a more abstract sense. Ads. Brands. Money. Shopping. So, I read a book. I talked to friends on the internet. I read the news. 7.5 hurricane off the coast in Guatemala, weed legalized (legalized!) for recreational use in Colorado and Washington, China's changing leadership and still sucks but claims they are getting better, nor'easter hitting New Jersey and NYC and ruining more homes and lives, etc. I calmed down a bit. And now here I am, wondering if this is just what I do. This is how I live. This is what I am good at. I think about my manager telling me about the agency in Paris who wants me to come out for fashion week, I think about London and how living there was actually really fun, and I think, what's stopping me from having a real career? Why am I so unsatisfied?
'You pretty much had the perfect utopia, what everyone wants, and you still weren't happy. So what is going to satisfy you?' A friend said this to me the other day. I had just finished telling him about my two months in Utah. The mountains, lakes, canyons, family, a job that was fulfilling, friends I liked, a quiet and easy life, without feeling repressed or bored (although at the time I felt as if I was bored, when really, I just didn't know how to stand still, or what that even was). And he's right. I remember when I was expressing my concerns with modeling and how I didn't want to do it much longer, but that I thought coming back to Asia was necessary. K hated modeling, I was sure of that, but he said to me, 'I guess you are in the 1%, I haven't thought of it like that before, but you are, not many people can do what you do, and then out of that 1%, you are the other 1%, because you don't fill up your time with fashion clubs, people, and parties, you actually learn and do cool shit. So I guess that's kinda cool'. 'You got to do what's profitable,' says everyone I know. Profitable. Money. Modeling. Fashion. I wish I was more 'punk'. I wish I was more of a revolutionary. I'd walk out of this job right now. I'd go to my temporary non-home and I'd walk out of that building. I'd go sit at the airport, on standby (standby in a Thailand airport, what a disaster scenario), I'd take the flight back to Utah or Iowa or wherever the fuck I want to go. Maybe even NYC, I could knock on Jimmy's door, I could see all of my friends, the only place I ever thought was really home (and now that I'm realizing it's not, it's quite an isolating feeling). But, at any rate, I could fly to Salt Lake City, I could fly anywhere I goddamn wanted. I'd hang out with family, I'd get some menial job, and I'd just live. I would drink kombucha every single fucking day, I'd eat right, I'd wake up and feel good, do yoga, do kali, and just live. I'd stay on my chosen path, I'd still go to Costa Rica, but I would be done with this fucking shit. I remember a time when I *liked* having an agent, a manager, and a booker. I liked the idea of 'real' adults going to a fucking office every morning to spend their day dealing with people like me, in fact, dealing with me! I liked that someone was going to call me at 9 or 10 AM everyday and make sure I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. I remember talking to Asa about this and in agreement we said, 'I need that, I need someone checking in, telling me where to go, booking me jobs'. I remember going to that magazine store on Bedford Avenue every month with him. We would buy each other's magazines (it felt less vain), and talk about how weird it was that we kept appearing in the same magazines at the same time. Life was new and weird and bizarre. And now it's literally the most shallow, mundane thing on the planet. I wish I was more punk. I'd walk out of this fucking job, this fucking mall, right this second. I'd drink a beer. I'd tell everyone in the industry to 'fuck off'. I'd leave without saying goodbye to anyone. I'd send emails to the people I like and care about in the weeks after. And I think, just maybe, I'd feel happier.