I have frequently been called a workaholic. By Phineas, of course, not my mother. I don’t think she would be content with my level of productivity until I became Priscilla Chan. It’s not that I do more readings than my professors assign for the hell of it or slave away at McDonald’s even though I don’t need the money. It’s more of an itch, a constant heartbeat pulsing through the decisions of my life. A restlessness that can never be tempered.
There is no doubt that I inherited this disease from my father. While a New Yorker would snap, “Time is money!” and wave you out of his way, my dad snaps, “Time is time!” and doesn’t let a single minute go to waste. When I’m cantering away during my horseback riding lesson, my dad does yoga. Or Tai Chi, or something. He has a master who lives at the top of some mountain in China. Someday, he claims, he’s going to disappear to said mountain and emerge a martial artist.
You see, at the core of my restlessness is a love and a fear. I love life with all its possibilities — I wish I could experience everything at least once. I’m passionate about languages because it’s like a socially acceptable form of multiple personality disorder. C’est-à-dire que each of my languages is a cloak I wear and depending on the language, I express myself differently. Nicki Minaj and I should be pals. As for fear, I am deathly afraid that I’ll miss out on something great. Life is so very short, and if you’re not careful, you’ll be senile in the blink of an eye. Every moment is precious and I try to spend my moments either learning or creating.
On an average day, I wake up at 8:30 am for no apparent reason, decide to teach myself to oil paint, paint for 10 hours straight, read French news out loud to myself, listen to a French podcast, email people back in French regarding housing in Paris, read Hillary Clinton’s autobiography in preparation for my foreign service career, and blog about it all. In the near future, I would like to become fully literate in Mandarin, pick up Korean, grow a garden of vegetables, cook said vegetables, and build myself a house with a wraparound porch. All in a day’s work, baby.
Phineas doesn’t understand this. But for me, this is my happy place. I love living life to its fullest so that when I inevitably die, I can say that I experienced everything this world has to offer. I don’t fear death because if I live 80 years (hopefully) as an Energizer Bunny, I’ll be glad to fade away into oblivion.
À la bonne vie,