Theory #2: 60% person, 40% timing.
Most idealistic people believe in ‘the one.’ The one person who is right for them. The one person who completes them and fills that void that has been present in them since birth. Relying on the fates alone, we all are destined to find our soulmates and to live happily ever after, in love forever and forever.
Is that really true? How can that be?
There are so many people that we come across everyday. Our paths are not set, and we have something called free will that allows us to deviate from whatever path we may have initially set out on. Some may argue that such deviations and such free will are already written into the scripts ordained our lives, but that is besides the point. My point is that there are so many people out there. Out of so many - I mean a seemingly infinite many - how could there be just one?
There must be a handful of people who we are destined to meet - who are metaphysically ‘good’ for us: people who we would ideally choose to be with. We encounter a good number of 'not quite' people and thus call the "its just not meant to be" blitz. We do this instinctively and readily, but whose to say that that person already was at one point, or one day will become the person who is perfect for us?
Factors such as relationship history, philosophy, family, religion, emotion, intellect, and the ebb and flow of life, create variables that can make or break a person from our perspective. Being that all of those factors are not constant, and can change at any given moment, how is it possible to truly discern if that person we meet once was, or will one day become the person we want to spend the rest of our lives with? And whose to say that we will not one day change to want the person we met and discarded years ago?
It is all about timing. Not only timing in the sense of when and where we meet the person. But timing as in everything in our lives are aligned - if not perfectly, then close enough to just ‘make sense.’ There has to be a common goal for the relationship, a certain meshing perspective on what each individual wants from the relationship, and from life in general, matching levels of emotional and rational maturity, and a common level of commitment or desire -- an all-encompassing common overlapping dot on the timeline. Without such alignment, there are no grounds for a stable or healthy relationship, let alone a relationship that will last forever.
Basically the 60/40 theory maintains that there is more than just one person who is right for us. In a given lifetime, there could be many. “The one”- the infamous”one” - is simply one of the many right people, we meet at the right time.
I’ve been inundated with various theories in regards to relationships and love lately. Who would be my sources you ask? The best of the best. My girlfriends who have been there, done that, been round the block, and back to square one. Cynics? Realists? Call them what you will. I will share one of these theories with you today.
Theory 1. MARRIAGE BECKONS
All people marry before the age of 25 or after the age of 28.
Miss the first deadline, and you’re basically stuck in the realm of bachelorhood for at least another three years. No one gets married in the era of non-commital selfishness-driven indecision, ie. fear. People who get married before 25 generally fall in one of two arenas: 1. The couple has been together throughout College, or perhaps HS even, and has no choice but to take the relationship to the next level. She is all he knows, and vice versa. They are stuck in their pre-real world utopian stage and are thus deceived to think that now equates to forever. The plunge is taken. 2. The couple is extremely religious. He’s prayed about her for at least 2 years, and finally God has softened her heart towards him. There’s no reason to wait. God has spoken. The proverbial dive off the deep end is taken.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not implying that people before the age of 25 get married out of ignorance, foolishness, or mysticism, and are therefore doomed to failed marriages. I’m just exploring theories that have been brought to my attention and making rash generalizations to test their veracity.
OK. So now to the era of non-commital selfishness-driven indecision, ie. fear.
Life after college has begun. Reality has been reshaped and is constantly brought under scrutiny. Quarter life crisis begins, and Bobby no longer knows who he is, who his friends are, what he wants to do with his life, what his purpose is, and fights with what he wants to accomplish before he dies. The last thing on Bobby’s mind is whether or not he’s called Jamie to say good night. Bobby needs to figure out what his role in the Universe is before he can tackle any other ‘insignificant’issues in his life. Bobby wants to fool around and have fun. He wants to watch football whenever he damn well pleases. He wants to do whatever he wants whenever he wants when he’s not out resolving the plight of the universe. He does not want a serious relationship and will not make any commitments that will make him accountable to anyone - at least not for life. Jamie sits patiently as she has already made her career decision, accomplished a few life objectives, and has planned out the her and Bobby’s entire future together. She sits and waits for little scared Bobby to incubate and hatch into a man.
This era begins at the age of 25 and ends at the age of 28 plus or minus a year or two. At the solid age of 28, Bobby finally comes out of his shell and evolves to realize that he wants to settle down and to have someone to hold at night. He’s sick of being alone and wants something definite and constant to hold on to. He’s ready to commit (perhaps in part because of the overbearing pressure from his parents, the incoming threats from his girlfriend, or the slew of wedding invitations he’s starting to receive in the mail). Regardless of rhyme or reason, Bobby turns the other cheek and is ready to share forever with Jamie. Ding Ding Ding. The wedding bells are struck. And the ‘Marriage Beckons’ theory holds empirically true.
Validation is pending
In this domain of surrealism.
I confound truth with hope
And mistake faith for reason.
The collage of life:
Held fast by perception -
Solidified by psychology -
Molded by self-desire.
Permutations of being
Crowding of the mind
Hallucination of the heart
Happenstance or fate
Shattered hope; pipe dreams
Devastation and fear
Obsession and insanity
Calm and calamity
Apologetic eradication of LOVE
And being betrays and burdens
Basking in congratulatory accolades
Coveting the flow; terrified of stagnation
Leaving today; Evolving TO BE.
I am a fatso. It's that time of year again when control goes out the door and sugar plum fairies and cookie fairies and brownie fairies and chocolate fairies come dance in your head. It's sick! Everywhere I look there's food. At work, our vendors keep sending us baskets of sinful sweets and we've had around 3-4 holiday pizza/baked goods parties in the past week or two. In JC, Grace and Peggy took the initiative in trying to get their names in the book of Guiness by baking dozens and dozens of molasses and chocolate chip cookies, and sheets upon sheets of rice crispy treats. And now that I'm home in Holmdel, well, as always, our pantry is a mini version of the A&P. Plus, we just got back from AC (for an A-Mei concert - the Taiwanese equivalent of Britney) where we had the all you can eat dinner buffet, and then the brunch buffet at Tropicana, AND THEN tonight, we went to a Japanese restaurant that my mom's friend owns, and by the end we were spinning the sushi boat to see who would have to force feed the remaining pieces of sushi and sashimi down their throats. I don't feel so hot.
All that aside, it's been a very bizarre week or two. First, my group at work was forced to move to the other side of the floor so that the firm could contruct a dummy version of how the new office space in JC is going to look. Our half of the floor was completely uprooted - cubicles and all. There is now sheet rock and dry wall blocking where our seats used to be - and my group is now in the midst of sales and marketing. Quite bizarre. It's a whole other world over there. After that, came discussions of compensation as everyone in the firm found out their non-existent raises and crapola bonuses for the year. Basically everyone on the floor (and all over the firm) has been in a foul mood since then. Disgruntled workers everywhere you looked. It was really depressing, and the morale of my group took a sharp nose dive. I was extremely fortunate in being shielded from the shitty comp. packages because of the program I'm in - at the same time, I felt genuinely upset because I knew people who got completely screwed over - who were in similar positions as me and who put in a lot more hours than me. Just goes to show how unfair and political working at a big corporate firm could be...things don't really make sense. Especially since the firm had enough to spend over a $M revamping the floor, and oh yeah, since the firm announced the third highest earnings in history on Thursday.
What else has happened recently? Lynn moved into our apartment with Thumbkin. Jon came to visit for a week. I stayed up til 4 am watching Lord of the Rings on a Tuesday night (although it was well worth it). I stayed up and out til 4 am partying with PriceWaterhouseCoopers (our auditors) on a Thursday night. That was a pretty interesting evening...there were cars/limos/buses being paid off as transportation left and right, lots and lots of alcohol (6pm-4am), an Irish Pub, a dive bar, a trendy lounge, and a hip hop club... A very eventful evening with a lot of boring people. Oh, and my co-worker is a psycho. He keeps hairspray in the floor pantry and re-spritzes in there a half dozen times a day. AND he stares at himself in his stapler for around 75% of the work day. I mean I've known that he's vain since day 1. But now its reached the point where there might have to an intervention of some kind or some kind of bait and tackle. It's just too damn weird. People on our floor call him American Psycho. But you didn't hear that from me. Nuff said. Gotta get back to the fam.
People are dumb.
They say what they don't mean, feel what they don't think, and think what they don't believe.
It just makes life entirely complicated, and overly exhausting. And it only leaves room for hurt and regret. If only people acted in the same clarity and instinctiveness that make them eat, laugh, and dance. Simplicity and truth. Necessity versus desire. Reality versus idealism. Sobriety versus wanton emotion.
I'm finding life to be very agitating, and I'm desparately seeking some sort of peace of mind. I'm not sure where this source of sanity will come from, but somehow I don't think it'll just fall in my lap as things usually seem to do. I am seeing how the thirties might actually be the 'happiest' as people tend to say. Generally speaking, there is no unwanted drama, there is job security or direction, a settled relationship, and a notion of a foreseeable future. Life just seems to be stable and at a happy medium; that must beat the early to mid twenties. I feel like I'm going through adolesence all over again. Who am I supposed to be when I grow up again? Let me just act like I'm 12. Afterall, ignorance is bliss. Ugh. It's absolutely horrifying. Gees, why can't our important life decisions revolve around what color scrunchies match our outfits, and how we'll overthrow siblings on the Atari or Coleco-vision?
Yeah, I know I spouting sonnets about how fantastic life was not too long ago...but hey, a month is a long time.
I sure do hope that angst and frustration build character and stamina, and that confusion fosters heightened and extended states of clarity to follow.
I'm on this mission to be healthy again.
I think I've just been on a downward spiral since junior year in college. I used to be extremely picky about what I ate - ie caloric and fat intake, and I used to work out like crazy, EVERY DAY. I was quite waifish in high school. Or waifish but in shape. I used to eat half a bagel for lunch, half a bowl of rice for dinner, no matter how hungry I was, a couple pieces of vegetables, and maybe a piece of chicken. No snacks. No junkfood. And that was during my most active time...when I was on the track team, and took a lot of dance lessons. My parents always blame me for stunting my own growth, and I think over the past year or two I've finally been able to admit that they're right. I think I could have easily been 5'4" or 5"5," which isn't exactly tall, but every inch counts. I'm barely 5'1" dangit.
Then in college I discovered FOOD. And there was no turning back. Pizza house. China Gate. Godaiko's. Jimmy John's. U-Cafe. Maize n Blue.
(I would go back to Ann Arbor for a walking food tour any day.) Binging was acceptable as it was the social norm in college. Actually, drinking and eating, studying and eating, and hanging out and eating pretty much went hand in hand, so, yeah, I basically ate a lot. In any case, it was all right. Detrimental to my body, yes. But I had a lot of aerobics, and dancing at the other extreme to balance myself out. So I never really descended to the point of no return.
Then came the post-graduate years. The lovely period I am in now. It's called sitting on your ass all day every day for 10 hour period stretches at a time, and where your most aerobic activity is walking to the printer to pick up your excel schedules. Some days I get very inspired and print a few times an hour and type really fast just to get the heart rate elevated past my basal resting rate. Initially when I started working, I became conditioned to feel like I deserved something naughty after a long tough day at work, ie. chocolate, McDonalds, or fatty fatty junk food. And the last thing I felt like doing was spending my free 2 hours before bed running on a treadmill. This resulted in something we sometimes call gluttony.
And once you're smitten by the gluttony bug, it's definitely hard to rid yourself of it.
OK, so I'm exaggerating a little bit. Because I do frequent the salad bar for lunch every so often, and I TRY to work out at least 3-4 times a week. But still, the body is not the same. I know I am far from fat, and I know I can appear toned from a distance, but relative to myself - and how I normally am - it just ain't cool. SO. What this means, is that I am motivating myself to be good. Not become waifishly skinny as I was im high school, because that's plain impossible, and very abnormal. I don't have the will power anyway if I tried. But, I am definitely going to cut back on 3-D Doritos, Twizzler Pull n Peels, Dots, Pinot Grigio, McDonalds, NY pizza, and lemon filled Dunkin Donuts. Oh, and I'm going to work out at least 4-6 times a week. I do give props to my body though...I think metabolically (word?), I should be at least 25 pounds overweight.
In any case, that's my goal I've made for myself. 14 days to a healthier me. Cheers!
I think I'm in this half-second late funk lately, and it's extremely frustrating.
From sprinting to the path only to see the train pull away (3 times in 3 days), to having to wait for 15 minutes for subway trains, to just missing the ferry (twice in one day) and the connecting shuttle bus, to waking up too late to find a good outfit or to have adequate time to retrieve my keys from where i tossed them the night before...
It basically sucks. And I can't seem to realign myself either, so I just have to deal with this temporary phase of 'what if's' and álmosts.'
I've been full of funky phases these days.
Besides that, I've been feeling pretty all right lately. I feel like this year is rapidly coming to an end, and I almost can't wait for it to finally happen. I guess one thing that I've grown to like about having my birthday on New Year's Eve is that with each passing year (1988, 2000, 2001...) comes a fresh new year in my life. Literally. It's pretty cool. Not many people can say, ïn 2001, I was 23.
This has definitely been the toughest year of my life thus far: challenged in all arenas of my life. Tumultuous. And a never-ending test in many ways.
In any case, I'm glad to have found a happy medium for the first time in a while. Not that I'm completely satisfied with where I am, but I'm definitely comfortable. And that's enough for me right now.
I remember that my parents warned me at the start of this year, that it was the year of the "White Snake"in the Chinese Zodiac, supposedly a really bad/challenging year for those born in a year of the snake. My grandfather in Taiwan 'bai-bai"or prayed for me in order to protect me and my mom told me to be extra careful. Coincidence? I dunno...maybe the Zodiac is meant to be more than light reading in cheap Chinese restaurants.
And maybe all my high-level Chi energy WOULD dissipate from my body if I got my ears pierced. (Some famous feng shui guru master yoda came to my house when I was around 8-9 and told my mom to never let me get my ears pierced.)
Regardless, I'm glad that this year is coming to a close, and I'm excited to see what 24 brings. Sick. I'm getting old.
Pretty soon I'll have to give up my infatuation with Britney (who BTW I am seeing in concert on Wednesday) and her hottie boyfriend.
I hate studying. I hate exams.
So why am I preparing for an exam that will only guarantee an onslought of hours upon hours of studying and exams?
I do not know.
I'm taking my GMAT tomorrow morning, and I feel far from aptly prepared. Usually, studying comes easy to me, and cramming has become second nature, but this time, as the clock is tickin away, I seem to be lacking that extra burst of adrenaline or motivation that usually pushes me to pull out a winner. I don't know. I'm doing pretty ok on my diagnostics, but sometime since, um, birth perhaps, I've been engrained with the notion that ''ok"really isn't ok, in fact, it's not so good at all. So, I don't know if I should just suck it up and do 'ok'tomorrow, or if I should just forfeit my stinking $200, and take it some later time when I actually give a crap. (Yes, all ETS, the College Board, and whoever else monopolizes or oligopolizes (to be more precise) the test-taking marketplace, are huge-ass scams. SCAMS i tell you!)
Call me paranoid or overly-consumed with the realities of terrorism, but I just can't see the importance of taking this test at a time like this. If I get any more jittery or nervous - and more vocal about my paranoia - I'll have to be locked-up somewhere. Actually, if I hear one more case of anthrax being diagnosed, I'll be the first to volunteer to be locked up. What is going on?? There is just some freaky-ass stuff going on right now.
I see reality for the first time.
The ominous sky
Contrasts against the swaying vibrant leaves of the trees.
And that all too familiar sense of sobriety returns.
I feel as though for a fleeting moment,
I see through the eyes of God.
And my life, my world, dances before me as He intended.
My need for existence - and purpose - are diminished
And my soul is propelled by a primitive hunger
To fight to linger in this state of lucidity.
"This is me; this is my life" I utter to myself.
As a smile creeps from the corners of my mouth, and
As my eyes widen in awe of this newfound awareness,
I am suddenly sedated.
I am purged of reality;
And again, I forget all that has been revealed to me.
I unfix my locked gaze from the window
And jolt from my slouched position.
I had caught myself staring vacantly out of the window,
And had no idea what sight had had me
I got called back to work in the financial district on Thursday. 2-6 weeks miraculously turned into 48 hours...
so I took Jersey transit from Holmdel back into the city and didn't get there until around 1:30 in the afternoon. First off, it just felt really unsettling and strange to be back at work. When I got out of the subway system (which by the way is completely screwed up still), I was greeted by pouring rain, and military people in fatigues everywhere. I swear, they are at every corner, and at least 2 are at every building entrance. I mean, I'm all for security and whatnot, but I still can't understand how having them there - with absolutely no visible arms/weapons - could possibly help anyone if anything did happen. Of course, seeing soldiers with M16s and grenades probably wouldn't put an already edgy population at ease, but I'll take safety and security over indigestion any day.
Anyhow, when I got to the building, they had a bunch of new checks in place. First off, they closed off 3 of the 4 entrances (again, guarded by SWAT-like individuals), 2 ID checks (one outside, and then a few steps inside to get to the elevator banks), and a bag check. The guard saw me and was like "heh heh, do you have any pocket knives or hand bombs?" No, you freaking moron. "heh heh ok go on in." I found out later that he had said the same thing to one of my other co-workers...must've been his new punchline of the day or something.
Upstairs, the air was really stagant and kinda stinky...I guess since the building had been out of circulation for such a long period of time. But everyone was in the conference room having pizza together and just hugging, and talking about the 11th, where they were, etc... Since we all work close to WTC, and since most of us get into work before 9:00 (excluding myself who usually strolls in around 9:15-9:40), almost everyone had been in the buildling and then evacuated, or coming out of the subways when the planes hit, or when the towers collapsed.
My co-worker's (Joe's) father is missing. Joe didn't go into work of course, but my manager filled us in on what was going on with his family. The sickest and most awful part is that he was coming out of the subway, a block from WTC, when he saw the plane hit. He watched the plane that hit the building his father was in. How can it get any worse than that? Well it did in fact get worse, thanks to the sick and twisted people who never cease to separate humor from perverseness and cruelty. My co-worker had hung pictures in his father at union square - as many people had done to find their loved ones. Joe got a call at 3:00 in the morning one night with the person saying that he had seen his father at a hospital in Brooklyn. So of course, Joe got up and trekked to Brooklyn....only to find out that it was all a hoax. Joe was so pissed off that he went to Union Square and tore all the pictures of his father down. Another sick twist in the whole story, is that Joe lived in Pakistan with his father for much of his childhood, because his father ( a consultant), helped to build damns and water resevoirs for the poverty stricken people of Afghanistan...
My manager had come out of the subway station on Broadway, at around 10 to 10, and watched the Twin Towers on fire. He said he was in shock, and could not take his eyes away from the smoke and the flames. All of a sudden, the he saw the top of the first tower starting to collapse, so he turned around and ran as fast as he could. When everything was cleared (he had ducked into an office building for a while), he decided to head towards the office to check on the rest of our group. On the way there, he saw a man lying in the street, covered in soot and debris. A couple of people were around him...and they told my manager that the man had had a heart attack, and had died.
All of the stories I have heard have just been plain awful...and I guess its just not easy 1. working so close to the site of death of so many thousands of people, 2. hearing all of the stories of my co-workers and seeing how fearful and depressed they all are...
The commute sucks now. Since the PATH can't run into the WTC now, everyone who had taken that route for their morning commutes to Wall Street, now take the ferry. The 5 minute, pleasant commute from Harborside to World Financial, has turned into an hour commute to Pier 11 (which happen to be right behind my office building). There were at least a thousand people waiting to get on a ferry that first night that I tried to get home from work. Usually, there are less than 100 during rush hour. All the big ferry boats that we usually take, have been allocated to Brooklyn, and Hoboken, so me and hundreds of others are now being ushered on to these tiny put put motor boats. Seriously, that first time, I thought it was going to flip over or sink. To give an aspect of the amount of caution and security in the area, each ferry/put put motor boat had 2-3 NYPD officers designated to it.
I really can't see normalcy or anything of the sort being revisited for a long long time. At least not in downtown Manhattan. For the people who work down there, it is just too personal, and too vivid to forget. And for many people, commuting to the place that they fled from just a couple weeks ago, is still too much to handle. I'm all for returning to the status quo. But this time, I think it's going to take a very long time.
I've been in Holmdel for the past five days.
Sitting in my house, a good hour from NYC, I feel a lot more at peace, and farther removed from the ensuing chaos from the attacks.
Regardless, I am still haunted by the images that I saw on Tuesday firsthand, and the images that have been repeated thousands of times on the news day in and day out. I vividly remember everything that happened that morning...from the time I woke up and got dressed, to when I stood to wait for the ferry at the dock, to seeing the second plane strike World Trade...to the feeling of panic and shock that took hold of me as I watched the tower billow with smoke and flames, knowing that hundreds of people had died in an instant...to the collapse of both of the World Trade towers.
I remember the panic I felt when I realized what had happened. I remember people shouting and crying around me. One man completely flipped out, waving his arms frantically, screaming "It's a terrorist attack!!! I'm not even kidding! We all gotta get the hell out of here!" He immediately broke into a sprint towards his Bendz and screeched out of the parking lot. I mean, how else can you react to that. Any sense of curiousity and shock was broken by a sense of terror and fear...and I started sprinting back to my apartment.
Leslie said she heard me coming...or perhaps crazily sprinting...down the hall before I knocked on the apartment door. Even though we live in full sight of the World Trade center and the Manhattan skyline, she had no idea as to what was taking place across the Hudon. We turned on the television to watch the breaking news. And the crazy man was right. It was indeed a terrorist attack...
With the news turning to the Pentagon, and then to Pittsburg, and possibly the Whitehouse, I made phone calls home, and to my roommates and friends who I knew had already made their commutes into the city. I got through to my mom, and not knowing the severity or implications of the fires in WTC, all she could ask was why I hadn't gone to work, and whether or not I had called in to tell my manager that I'd be late. Needless to say, I was a disappointed or even angered by her response. I remember screaming "NO MOM! I CAN'T GO TO WORK IF I EVEN TRIED! TWO PLANES HIT THE WTC!! I DONT NEED TO GO TO WORK!" I laugh about it now because it just goes to show that the Asian die-hard parental mentality never fades...and never fails to rear its ugly head. Even when the whole world comes to a halt.
I tried calling my roommates Peggy and Grace dozens and dozens of times, but couldn't get through since all the phone lines and cellular towers were too overloaded by the phone traffic coming to and from the city. I knew that Grace was most likely ok since she worked in mid-town, but I still felt painfully ill in all my what if speculations. The city is 8 mi. in length for the love of God. Anyone can be anywhere at anytime, quite easily. Also, I couldn't get in touch with Peggy, who works a couple blocks from my office building...which is just a matter of blocks from the World Trade Center. I knew that she took the Path in the mornings..and that the Path let out in the towers.
It wasn't until around 2-3 that Peggy was able to get home. She had been emerging from the WTC to the streets when the first plane had struck. She looked up and saw the explosion and the papers flying all over the place, and her immediate thought was that they were fireworks or some sort of ticker tape thing going on. She was in the streets when the first tower collapsed, but luckily, she ran to safety before the cloud of smoke and debris had hit her. Grace got in touch with us later in the evening through a friend, and she made her way back to the apartment around 6-7. I swear I just wanted to hold everyone and make sure that they were real and stuff. I was contemplating spending the night in Grace's room because I was so scared and fearful...yet so relieved at the same time.
I'm extremely thankful that my close friends are all safe. And I thank God that I happened to wake up to take the later ferry. But regardless, I still can't help but feel entirely shaken from the incident. Just the feeling of helplessness, and not being able to know where my roommates were...not being able to get through to them...it was the scariest day of my life. The fact that bomber planes and military helicopters were flying above the skyline and above Jersey...and the horrendous sight that faced us from our apartment building, didn't really help to ease any nerves either. Again, what-if scenarios have not ceased to cloud my mind since then...
What if I (or Lynn) had caught the earlier ferry? How would I have reacted?
What if the terrorists had missed their target and hit other areas of Manhattan, or the Hudson River/Jersey City, instead?
What if they had come with bombs? We'd all have been screwed to say the least...
My building at work has been electrically damaged, so there are talks of needing 2-6 weeks to get the building to be fully operational. In the mean time, they're looking to staff my team in different locations...Princeton, Trenton, or maybe even Boston. I should find out later today as to where I'm going to be. I honestly would much rather work from home if I could. I don't want to be stuck in Boston if and when Phase 2 occurs, God help us. And in to be absolutely candid, I don't really see the importance or urgency in returning to work. But that's another story.
I guess this whole crisis has changed my perspective on a lot of things...
And when it comes down to it, family and loved ones are all that you've really got and need.
I had a lengthy discussion a few weeks back with one of HS friends about love and relationships. Yes Yes, what else do girls talk about. But this one was pretty eye-opening, and wasn't all about any particular people in our lives - although the conversation stemmed from one.
Basically she asked me to choose between one of two options.
OPTION 1: To marry someone who is really stable, and a 'good husband' in the most stereotypical, I will provide for you, sense. To be able to trust him wholeheartedly and to KNOW that although he isn't my ideal love, he'll never cheat on me, leave me, or let his heart react on some whim. This husband would be someone I could proudly parade around my parents, ie. he would have a good, well paying job (a doctor, businessman, or lawyer), be intelligent and well-mannered, and be a good father to my children. A little bit boring and annoyingly practical, but an all around momma's boy.
OPTION 2: The love of my life. Love at first glance. Some whirlwind romance. To feel utterly happy and enamoured by him. To have lust and emotions flying high at all times. This husband would complete my sentences, put me on a pedestal, and would allow me to be everything to him. Although he's somewhat flakey and his aspirations as being an actor or artist are not quite putting food on the table, he's just a beautiful person to me, and makes me insanely happy - most of the time.
Again, being the way that I am, my initial answer came really easy to me. Oftentimes dictated by emotions, I would choose to experience love in its most powerful form (a blinding and binding love) - even if temporary - rather than one that would prove to just be lackluster but constant. OPTION 2.
My friend chose OPTION 1. She's a very rational person, and a very prideful person - who views hurt (especially by a guy) to be one of the worst cardinal sins. She would rather have someone who would work hard, and who would always be there: the foundation of her family. She rebuttled my choice and explanation by questioning the authenticity and permanence of that all encompassing love. "How do you know that he's not going to feel that way for 5-10 years, and then run off with another woman, because his feelings for you just died? If your relationship is just based on emotions, then it's just really unstable."
But just to experience that sort of crazy emotion and love must be pretty trippy, and pretty incredible. And to wake up in the morning, only to look at the man laying next to me, and find myself bored out of my mind, but 'provided for.' Um, I don't think I'd be able to deal with that.
In a perfect world, I think we'd all choose to be with someone who was some sort of balance of 1 and 2. Not some lame, dorky, but good husband. And not some hedonistic jigalo. For my friend, she thought that 90:10 was ideal. For me, it's more along the lines of 40:60. Logic and practicality aren't enough (no chemistry); and emotions may not be stable, but they're extremely telling and amazing to experience.
Guys are so gross. OK, in general, not ALL guys...but definitely, all guys in New York.
I have not met one girl who has lived or worked in, or walked through NYC without being ogled or hollered at, touched, or 'mmm mmm mmm'd' by some random guy. It's really disgusting, and it's really demeaning, and trust me, after living here for a year, I've crossed my threshold of tolerance.
I was innocently walking from the ferry to my shuttle bus the other day - perfectly minding my own business - walking to work, when I cross in front of some truck at an intersection. The guy in the truck honks three times, and then begins to leer out the window with this sick 'i am a pervert and i would like to molest you' look in his eyes. Yes, there is such a look. Ignoring him, I seemingly obliviously cross to the other side of the street, and in the corner of his eye, I see him roll down his window. He leans half way out of the window, and turns his head to keep me in his full view. Kind of like how an owl perches on its ass and rotates its head to take in the full picture. And as he does this, he licks his lips, and shouts "Hey Hey Bootiful...have you had truck driva be-fo? You want some truck driva right he-ya? You want some truck driva?!"
Yes!!! Please!! Let me have a piece of you. You and your truck. You and your big truck. And how you speak in Haiku! Your words! How they woo me!!
Bottom line. Men are horny bastards: sorry guys, blame it on the Y chromosome. But some guys just lack the filtering mechanism between thought and action. And that's how you distinguish a 'gentleman' from a truck driver. I mean truck driva.
I am sitting at my desk here at work.
Poised in my chair. Ready to bolt. Afterall it is 5:15 on Friday.
But it's pitch black out and raining.
And being that it's thundering and lightening, I can't go anywhere. Nothing scares me more than lightening.
I've been completely out of it this week. Not just tired, or a little under the weather...but completely loopy.
Yesterday morning, I crawled out of bed after snoozing 37 and a half times, and proceeded to the shower where I tried to lather my hair up with conditioner three times before I actually found the shampoo.
This morning, I could not wake up for the life of me. The whole entire day, I struggled to keep my eyes open, and when I walked to the printer or to the pantry, I felt like I was gliding when in actuality, I was swaggering or zig zagging limply across the floor (as brought to my attention by my co-worker). As I sat at my computer, and tried to look somewhat productive, I saw the futility in it all, being that I started to stare vacantly at my computer screen for extended periods of time. So I started to play with our Sponge Bob Square Pants toy. Don't ask. I think at one point, I was foaming at the mouth in sheer fascination.
Needless to say, the initiatives taken by my group to have happy hour at an outdoor bar on the hottest -no, literally the hottest- day of the year, did not in any way counteract my out-of-it-ness. If you want to jeopardize your mental health, or if you're even more massochistic, and want to suffer shortness of breath, nausea, or stroke, just sit outside in a hundred degree weather at 97% humidity, and drink a large quantity of some sort of natural diuretic, um, say just as an example, cider jack, a corona, and/or a coke.
I cringe at the thought of the summer ending, and the dreadful transition into winter. Last year, there was no fall or spring, just hot or cold. Last winter was pure misery: I don't know what it was - considering I've had longer and colder winters at Michigan - but somehow, it just seemed extremely painful and depressing, and it just wouldn't end soon enough.
I can't believe that it's already August. As everyone else, I've been conditioned to have a sense of anxiety or excitement during and before the fall season. It's the whole 'back-to-school' phenomenon, I suppose. Not knowing how the year is going to be, who you'll hang out with, or how successful you'll be; but at the same time, being excited about change. And knowing that change would most definitely come with each given year.
So right now, I'm entering that back to school mode, and I'm realizing that change and growth are no longer guaranteed. I feel uncomfortable because every year thus far has been markable and changes in myself, apparent. Is this where it all comes to a plateau? if even for a little while? I mean, of course I will meet new people, and I will maybe accelerate in my career path, but somehow it's just not the same. No more crispy new notebooks, and fresh erasers? Maybe that's it.
Or maybe it's the fact that I feel like I'm in a rut right now. I have a notion of where I want to be, but the means of getting there is beyond me. Instead of constant upward growth, I feel like it'll happen in steps from now on. Or maybe the bigger picture is escaping me right now. In any event, I have this nauseating sense of being at a crossroads, with end goal in sight, but no surefire way of getting there at this moment in time. No path. No guarantees...
Ok. So much for self-fulfilling prophecies.
I had an INCREDIBLE time in Hawaii this past week. One of the most amazing experiences I've ever had.
Being that I was whining and complaining about spending a week - away from work - exploring paradise, I somewhat feel like a fool...but that's all right. Then again, maybe it was my aforementioned lack of excitement which made it all the more surprising and awesome for me.
Me and my four closest girlfriends from college - from freshman year - have spent many many vacations together. We had our first dose of testorone-filled debauchery aka. spring break in Cancun our Sophomore year, where we spent 7 hours of each of the 7 days we were there, lying out by the pool. It was called Mission Come Back Black, basically. And oh boy how that mission was completed...my mom didn't recognize me at the airport when I went home the following week for an interview. Our next big trip came two years later, after our senior year, when we backpacked through Europe. We started in London, then went to Paris, Barcelona, Nice, Milan, Venice, Vienna, Berlin, and Frankfurt in a matter of 17 days. After a while, all of the museums started to bore us, and all of the great monuments and landmarks of the cities became 'let's just take the damn picture and go' opportunities. I mean, I am exaggerating a little bit, because I did take away a lot from my trip there, and fully appreciated me being there, but it was just too much in too little time.
Hawaii has by far been the best trip that we've taken together, and the best trip that I think I've taken actually. Here is where I start to gush and ramble.
Everything about the island of Hawaii is absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. Where else in the world could you drive through eleven of the thirteen climates that exist in the world, in a matter of hours? Imagine getting in a car, seeing rainforest to the left of you, and desert to your right. In the distance, past the desert, you see the bluest of all blues in the ocean, and that blue blends into the cloudless sky. You keep driving for a half hour, and that desert has turned into a mountain, and the Rainforest into mounds of P'hoi hoi - really smooth hardened black lava. As you drive through a small patch of rain that literally hits the front of your car and then stops when it hits the rear bumper, you pull into midst, and then ease into pure sunshine and skies filled with thick white fluffy clouds. In the distance, you see the likes of a rainbow, and a second later, you seem to be driving under the biggest rainbow you've ever seen - stretching from one side to the other in the shape of a full arch. Aloha, they say.
And if you think I'm exaggerating, I'm not...that really happened.
Hawaii - the 'Big Island'is the island that attracts the fewest tourists and has the most nature in its rawest form, ie. no pavement, no railings, no tour guides. In fact, most of the time, it felt like we were the only people on the island. It was the first time that I went on vacation to marvel at nature and not skyscrapers, museums, and man-made monuments. And as I mentioned before in regards to our trip to Europe, after the 5th or 6th museum, they all start to look the same, and your trip becomes a hurried procedure of frequenting as many of the 'must see's' in your "Lonely Planet"book. Check, Check, Check. Done. In Hawaii though, every time I saw the ocean (which was pretty often), I couldn't help but be in awe of and be memorized by how incredibly beautiful it was. It was a pretty spiritual experience.
We spent most of time hiking. The first day in Hilo, we hiked for an hour and a half through desert. It was such an unbelievable experience: to hike through desert that extended directly into the ocean. We were covered with sand from head to toe, as the wind was extremely strong in the desert, when we emerged at Green Sand Beach. Picture two huge cliffs extending from desert and lava rocks, fully embracing the most amazing beach with dark green sand, and water that was true aqua-marine in color. Not only was it such an incredible site to see, but we had it all to ourselves. As I said before, on the big island, it's like you're the only ones there. Not a person in site for miles and miles on end...the most breathtaking sites all to yourself. Again, a sense of spirituality and pure reverence for nature at its raw. If this beach had been anywhere else, there would have been tour buses, railings, and lighted paths to lead you through the desert, and a full-fledged queue to have the opportunity to stick your toes in the sand.
Another day, we hiked down a volcano for a couple of miles and picnicked on PBJ in the middle of its crater - surrounded by lava rocks and steam vents. Yes.
Our last hike completely blew me away. We hiked around 4-5 miles uphill through a rainforest covered valley and through a bamboo forest. We sloshed through mud and midst, crossed rapids on fallen logs, and leaped from rock to rock to avoid being immersed in mud and muck. It was a rainy day. And the cloud covering was extremely thick. In fact, we were literally walking through cloud the whole time. On our way up, we were a bit disappointed since the weather didn't allow us to see this supposed awesome view of the valley. When we arrived at the spot, the cloud covering was so thick that we couldnt see more than a couple feet in front of us. Standing at the edge of the cliff, we struggled to see through the white canvas to no avail. Many times throughout the trip, we were all possessed with this 'sanctity and invincibility in nature' syndrome, where we just felt like diving off cliffs into the ocean or sky because we felt utterly safe and at peace with the beauty that was laid before us. This was one of those moments. I felt like I could just dive head first through the clouds and float down, rocked by the gentle breeze, to the lull of the valley.
On our way back down the valley, by some stroke of divine luck or happenstance, we turned the same corner at which we saw the white canvas, and the moment that we turned, the cloud covering started to rapidly lift from the valley. It was like one of those surreal movie scenes. Yes, another crouching tiger moment. In a matter of seconds, the cloud covering had completely lifted, and in its place, the valleys took shape in the most vibrant, most lush, greens and yellows. We saw valleys upon valleys in the distance, and through the center, in the far background, we could see the ocean. Looking the other direction, we saw waterfalls carved into the side of the valleys. It was absolutely cathartic. If I had to envision heaven on earth, I would picture the site that we saw that morning. And just a moment later, the clouds returned and remained, and covered the valleys, making the whole incident all-the-more mystical and remarkable.
And such was my trip in a nutshell.
I was blown away. I had never been more intrigued and in love with nature before that. And envisioning the grays and blacks of the concrete and steel that people flock to New York to see, I couldn't help but feel helpless and cheated. There is nothing spiritual and beautiful about steel beams, congested streets, and people cursing and being cold and stoic. I have a newfound desire for simplicity, and an undeniable desire to feel that sense of serenity and awe again. Something tells me that I'll have to head out west to find it. Cause it sure ain't in New York. As my roommate said on the trip "Vacation is just there to make you realize how meaningless your life really is."
Point taken. But that doesn't mean you can't do anything about it.
I'm leaving for Hawaii in a matter of days, and I am somehow relatively unexcited about the whole thing. I think it's because I've been spoiled with a lot of vacations in the past few years - including Cancun, all of Europe, Miami (Twice), California (many a time) and Orlando. And another reason for my state of unexcitedness might be the fact that the rest of my travelmates are a bit overboard on the excitement levels they maintain. I don't know...somehow having a rigid and rigorous itinerary set for every waking hour of the day, every day; experiencing sleepless nights and/or vivid dreams about the trip two weeks prior; and having a 3 page word document listing every site in every city that should and MUST be frequented (highlighted in purple), kinda puts me at unease.
Vacation - as it is defined, at least the last time I checked - should be a time of relaxation, fun, and recreation, and not a preordained list of the touristy things that must be done. But then again, I guess it's good to have people on the trip who are a bit more regimented and well, anal, to make sure we just don't become beached porpoises (no, not whales) during the length of our stay...which I have the tendency of doing.
In any case, I'm sure it'll be an incredible time, and I'm sure I'll come back ten shades darker, when we get back in a week.
I can't swim.
Hmm...maybe that's another reason why I can't exude with sheer joy about this trip. At least 80% of the items listed on the 110 things to do in Hawaii memorandum have to do with snorkeling, scuba diving, wind sailing, and searching for manta rays in the dark with flashlights (no, im not kidding). I don't know what I'm going to do while the others are frolicking in the deep blue seas...but I'm sure some Pina Colada, a good book, and parking my ass on the sand would be a healthy alternative. Hence, beached porpoise.
Solitude is extremely essential from time to time.
There is nothing like sitting in an empty apartment or in my room, listening to music, while writing, reading, or doing whatever. There's a sense of peace and serenity, and self-awareness conducive to contemplation that just can't be fostered when in any other setting/social situation.
I used to physically ache to go home during any given day, when my schedule wouldn't provide for a pit stop or break. There was a feeling of urgency to be by myself, to recoop, to think, or to just escape from people. I think it's exhausting to be in the discretion of others - ie being around friends, family, whoever - because no matter what, there's a part of me that I am not free to share or choose not to show...and there's sometimes an unbearable pressure or stress that I can't describe.
Now it comes in waves. Sometimes I can be extremely anti-social and choose to steer clear of friends, to screen my phone calls, and to just basically be a loner. And sometimes I just crave interaction - and actually make the effort of calling people (one of my annoyances - yes, annoyances). But regardless, solitude allows for sanity. And me lacking sanity makes for a pretty scary picture.
Transcience of despair
Resurgance of faith
Evolution of being
Someone asked me not too long ago if I'd rather live in stability - as in a constant state of happiness/satisfaction - or if I'd want to live with ups and downs - where the lows were really low but the highs were really high.
I think inherently, I live in a highly emotive/volatile world - where hurt couldn't possibly hurt any worse, but where pure bliss and euphoria are hovering around every corner.
So what is really worse? Not feeling too much? being on the brink of apathy? : or feeling too much? dictated by an emotional spirit? I would say that either extreme could prove equally problematic in any given situation.
I don't fear lows. I feel that from every struggle, I emerge stronger - as trite as that sounds. Growth for me has always stemmed from the need to become 'better'or more like the person I would ideally want to be. The recognition of those iniquities or flaws, yes, initially give a sense of insecurity and self-doubt, but from that recognition, I become motivated to change and to move forward. Those 'forwards' propel me to where I want to be and who I want to be, temporarily, or at least until another weakness rears its ugly head. Perhaps this is not the most healthy and stable way of living, but from these ups-and-downs, I am able to separate who I am, and who I aspire to be. Recognition of the self; Growth towards the Ideal Self.
There are four domains to your 'self'':
1. what you know of yourself that noone else knows
2. what both you and others know
3. what only others know about you and you cant see
4. the unknown, whatever that means.
What has been taking me by surprise recently is 3. It's so incredible to me that people can be so different and have different 'realities'. It really isn't until you become extremely close with someone that you get to see how their mind works, how they carry themselves, how they treat others, and what they truly think of themselves. It seems like over the past year, those no. 3's have been surfacing - or being brought to surface by people close to me. It's shocking actually what I've discovered about myself - how others perceive me - by what I've been told or from conflicts that have arisen. And it's even more amazing to see things so clearly about people/friends that they themselves are blind to.
I've always believed in a universal code of right and wrong. That's why it's really easy for me to judge people and make snap judgements about them - and to take them to heart. I guess it's pretty unfair to have this innate mechanism constantly ticking: but I've been trying really hard recently to understand different people's realities and see things from their perspectives. It's almost as if everyone has their own bible/instruction manual - and so if judgement should come, it should come from his/her own doctrine of living. It's not easy to crack into these codes though: mostly because more often than not, they're struggling to understand them themselves.
I really feel like I've grown dumber since I started working. I mean I think I can still feign intelligence from time to time, but for the most part, I feel like it's a struggle to think outside the box these days. Work is extremely repetitive/cyclical, and I think that wherever you work, there's a certain thought/interperative process that is maintained and instilled in a company's workers. Yes, there's varying degrees of inherent intelligence throughout the firm, but most generally, everyone is taught to problem solve, deal with clients, create spreadsheets, calculate, and perhaps carry humor the same way. It's pretty sad, actually. I remember way back when, I didn't solely work with numbers all day long: I used to read and write, draw pictures, dissect things, and speak different languages in any given day. What happened to elevating the mind? It's more like your mind becomes compressed and molded into this tiny puzzle piece so that you can fit in with everyone else and serve your minute function in the grand scheme of things. Maybe that's why going back to grad school is so appealing to me right now...I'm on this quest of gaining knowledge - or at least this quest of refreshing and retaining knowledge that I once had. Sometimes I can't even construct coherent sentences...what have I become!?
In lieu of the big baby boom and wedding bonanza seeming to go around as of late, a couple of thoughts/questions/doubts have been going through my head:
1. At what point does this 'maternal instinct' thing hit you. If you're not one of those girls who go ga ga over babies and who don't already have the names of her three children already selected - then when do you become one? If ever? And if it never hits you over the head one day, does that mean that you're just not meant to be a mom?
2. How do people get married so stinking early these days? I enter the 'marrying' stages of my life with great trepidation. #1 Because I feel like a child #2 I am a child #3 If you have the whole rest of your life to be married, why settle down and start that 'whole rest of your life' so early? Why not play and be stupid a little while longer?
Am I just entirely abnormal?
Entering adulthood surely is not easy. It's like being stripped of your element, foresaking your freedom, losing your identity, and then being forced to be all wide-eyed and happy about it. I'm not painting a pretty picture, and I probably am exaggerating a little bit, but honestly, life after utopia - ie college - is not easy.
It is an opportunity to redefine yourself - as we basically did in Junior High, then Highschool, and then in College; except this time, you have no "cool" template to follow, or this surefire way to make it to the next level - ie get good grades, play sports, join key club, and win some awards. This transitional stage has no defined purpose or end, and I guess that's what scares me. I don't like instability and I don't like not being where I want to be. Yes, it's part of the 'grandeur' of life: what would you do if you fulfilled your life's purpose and lived out all your passions so early in life? But I'm not asking for that, I'm just asking for a little guidance, a heavy installment of faith, and a little bit of certainty in this time of flux. Is that really too much to ask?