Video Proposal

Since I’ve been home, the most difficult part for me has been the constantly conflicting sense of loneliness and wanting to be alone. As quite a social person, a large portion of my sanity is derived from interacting with other human beings. At school, I had grown used to being around people every day of my life. I was scarcely alone in New York; and now, back home in California, I spend most of my time alone. I miss being surrounded by my friends, my partner, my classmates and teachers, my co-workers, even random passersby on the street. Although I call my friends, we don’t call as often as I had thought we might, and we are limited to activities that we can do only remotely. And now, I can’t help but feel the most lonely I’ve felt in a while.

However, what I valued most about being at school was my independence. I loved being able to do whatever I wanted at any time, to have a full meal of frozen chicken nuggets and cider at 3 a.m. or step outside for a two hour walk just because I felt like it, always free of judgment. Transitioning from independence to living in an immigrant household can be difficult; I love my parents dearly, but I struggle to readapt to their household rules and a sudden lack of privacy. Not only that, but being several states away from my friends means that our communication is strictly through technology. Calling or texting someone is entirely different from being with them, and we sometimes run out of things to say when my friends and I call or text, especially since our lives consist of similarly mundane activities and consequently have little news to discuss. It can be difficult to communicate, and as a result, I have found that I often withdraw into myself, spending much of my time laying around my room and watching Netflix or hibernating on the couch with my cats to avoid the anxiety-inducing notifications on my phone.

For my video project, I will capture a rather personal experience of this situation, highlighting especially the social experience of quarantine. I will include clips of calling my friends and trying to find things to do together, playing games through FaceTime or syncing up movies to watch. I also want to film scenes of how I interact with my parents. I would normally be more conservative in the way I interact with them, but now that I am home for a longer period of time, we have been sharing more of our lives with each other than we normally would. I will film myself showing my parents videos and trying my best to explain memes to her, followed by clips of my parents and I cooking or exercising together. I will juxtapose this with clips of my time alone, huddled up in bed to play old video games, watching Netflix in various places throughout the house, or desperately trying to find new hobbies such as writing, making music, or exercising. I also want to capture the comfort of having pets in your home throughout this time and will record clips of the time I now get to spend with my two cats, both on my own and with my parents.

~ by Amy Chiang on March 29, 2020.