If you usually float with us on weekdays, you’ll probably have met Yu Shan before. We got her to share some thoughts about her eight months at PAFC so far, and more.
How did you end up working at PAFC? What do you like about the job?
I applied for a part-time position at the float club as a way to help me ease back into the work force after leaving my past job as a graphic designer. I took a break from work as I was going through depression and was trying to figure out my next step in life. This transitory period which I spent at PAFC gave clarity to the different shifts in my mental state and provided an excellent environment for personal growth. Floating makes me really conscious of my negative thought patterns and cognitive biases; allowing me to understand how they may have been constructed based on external influences or past experiences.
The customers and my coworkers have all been very generous with their positive vibes and being included in this little bubble where everyone has this genuine vigour and enthusiasm for life has really helped push me along. Emulating these feelings have helped me feel better and it’s all about faking it till you become it!
Share something (an article, book, film, etc) that inspires you.
I’m currently halfway through the literary classic by Albert Camus—The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays. The absurdist school of thought has really been helping me accept the meaningless nature of existence and embracing it.
In philosophy, “the Absurd” refers to the conflict between (1) the human tendency to seek inherent value and meaning in life and (2) the human inability to find any. In this context absurd does not mean “logically impossible”, but rather “humanly impossible”. The universe and the human mind do not each separately cause the Absurd, but rather, the Absurd arises by the contradictory nature of the two existing simultaneously.
Accordingly, absurdism is a philosophical school of thought stating that the efforts of humanity to find inherent meaning will ultimately fail (and hence are absurd) because the sheer amount of information as well as the vast realm of the unknown make total certainty impossible. As a philosophy, absurdism furthermore explores the fundamental nature of the Absurd and how individuals, once becoming conscious of the Absurd, should respond to it. The absurdist philosopher Albert Camus stated that individuals should embrace the absurd condition of human existence while also defiantly continuing to explore and search for meaning. (via Wikipedia)
I’m generally inspired by the human condition. There’s so much beauty and charm to be discovered and I’m only just beginning to appreciate it for what it is. One film that I’ve recently enjoyed very much is The Dreamers by Bernardo Bertolucci. The filmography is exquisite and it perfectly captures the mood and state of choosing to live in an idealised reality to avoid the harsh realities of observable life. Something I think most of us tend to do when life is shit. It deeply satisfied my inherent escapist tendencies. The characters were extremely compelling to observe, and their adventures were backed with the most fitting music, complementing their arcs. It was an absolute sensory delight for me—everything seemed to fit seamlessly.
What new skill would you want to learn?
I’ve only recently started experiencing this ‘sensory high’ and have been able to start feeling again—I was clinically depressed for awhile and was depersonalised for the most part (so rather numb to everything). I’ve always been quite visually sensitive, so I’m working towards having all my senses heightened to that state. I’m particularly interested in the evocative nature of smells and sounds and how they can so easily alter/contribute to moods and experiences. Learning perfumery and mixing would probably be very cool!
Tell us about something you’ve done recently that you’re proud of.
I have been pretty satisfied with my ability to be more mentally fluid. I think an open mind is rudimentary for constant self-growth and I’ve been accepting ideas that have been radically different from my own and it’s been shaping me in a pretty positive manner.