Category Archives: Random

Of Pinkberry and Grins

It’s literally been half a year since I updated this. The post-college 8 to 5 work life gives you less free time than expected, especially when you account for going to the gym after work and cooking dinner.

Seriously, for those who have done this all their lives, kudos. Especially those with kids to juggle.

Anyway, I’m writing about a recent meet-up with a girl from a former church at Pinkberry. We ran into each other downtown and decided to catch up after not seeing each other for 4 years. I knew her somewhat well, back when we were in the same friend group and went to weekly church events.

The meeting started with her being 30 minutes late while I stood idly outside Pinkberry on a crowded street, trying to casually blend in while my phone was using up all my 4G data. Pinkberry has like zero seats available at any given time (seriously), so I spent half my time stalking the tables for an open seat.

Finally, the meet-up commenced after the girl (whom we’ll call N*) arrived panting and out of breath. Turns out she had biked three miles here and had been held up in traffic. I told her not to worry, and we proceeded to eat froyo (fancy term for frozen yogurt) and chat…

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Except we couldn’t chat. Because N and I did not click at all. Never in my life had I been in a more awkward conversation. This is how the flow of the first bits of conversation went:

 

N: So what are you up to now?

Me: I work as an analyst at … (insert response here about numbers and data crunching).

N: (worried look on face) Do you like it?

Me: It’s nice. The workplace has a good work-life balance; you rarely have to work overtime… (insert joking comparison to other jobs known for rigorous work-life balance)

N: . . .

Me: Uh, okay? What are you doing nowadays?

N: Oh, (insert long answer about teaching).

Me: That sounds great!

N: . . .

 

I honestly don’t know why the conversation didn’t flow easily. Believe me, I tried to be as personable as I could. And it’s not that I’m a complete social idiot; I’ve held conversations with strangers, coworkers I barely knew, and even my boyfriend’s ex. But somehow, N and I just couldn’t talk without long silences, and me trying to fill the silence.

Soon I basically gave up, saying I had to go and “it was nice seeing you, let’s hang out sometime.” Also known as never. As I left, I sadly pondered how it was possible that N and I had clicked much more in the past. N certainly didn’t seem different, apart from her awkwardness that never became apparent until that day. Perhaps it was I who had changed.

4 years ago, I was a scared freshman in college some 3,000 miles from home and knew exactly five people on campus. Aside from class, I spent most days in my room browsing the Internet and avoiding my extremely social roommate. I mean, I was always cordial to her, but we never became close friends. Acquaintances is the correct term, which happens often when you were quiet and socially anxious like I was.

This led to me having few friends and spending nights alone with my textbooks and laptop. I didn’t mind, of course. It was a blast, browsing Tumblr each night and listening to iTunes in my pajamas. Why did anyone want to go get drunk at a frat party when they could watch YouTube in bed?

But there were downsides that I didn’t see at the time, the consequences of which have become apparent only recently. For instance, I was not wise in making friends; I stuck with friends out of convenience, even ones who were clearly toxic to my wellbeing. (More on this topic later.)

 

N and I clicked much more then. I can’t pinpoint why. Perhaps I was less outspoken? Perhaps more meek, so that my countenance seemed friendlier?

I guess change is the only constant in life.

 

 

The Myers-Briggs Personality Test

I know what you’re thinking. Personality tests? Aren’t those just a slightly less pretentious version of horoscopes?

But if there’s one test I live by, it’s the Myers-Briggs Personality Test (MBTI). Developed by psychologists, the test categorizes people into one of 16 personality types based on acclaimed Carl Jung’s psychological theories. Much like how every person has a preference for either right-handedness or left-handedness, each individual has specific way of perceiving the world and making decisions.

To figure out your type, you can either:

1) take  the certified MBTI assessment (usually provided by consultants, therapists, and even workplaces),

2) or take tests found on the Internet that aren’t “genuine” but work as well as the real one. These range from the long and extraordinarily detailed to the painless and quick. The results shouldn’t vary by that much, in all honesty.

Once you have your type, go here to read all about yours. (Or, you know, you can just Google it… there’s bound to be more than 800,000 results.)

I put up this post because the MBTI has made me think recently about a friend who moved away. The friend and I didn’t exactly complement each other at first. I found him too talkative and sometimes a little arrogant, and in comparison, he probably found me too quiet and self-deprecating. He was fine with giving a speech to an entire congregation at the drop of a hat, whereas I needed to spend at least a week fretting  preparing. He had a child’s sense of humor; I’m uptight and serious. Well, only sometimes. 

But I mean, we were still friends, so whatever. He stands out among my group of friends because he was so unlike me, much like how we can easily spot the atypical object in a category of like-minded objects. (Which word does not belong? ‘Carrot, potato, red.’)

In a way, this wasn’t bad. He’s the first person that pops into mind when new people ask me about my friends. I enjoy describing some of his crazier antics, as well as his sense of humor which I admittedly admire. And yeah, when he moved away, there was a definite void in our group. Funny how some people stand out both when they’re present and when they’re absent.

But it was only recently that I had the sudden brainstorm to look up the MBTI again and compare our personality types. Wouldn’t you know it: our personality types were, according to the chart, complete opposites. In Star Wars terminology (and no, I haven’t seen the movie yet; shame on me), he’s Darth Vader while I’m Luke Skywalker.

Go figure.

 

 

 

 

There are plenty more fish in the lake…or sea

There are plenty more fish in the sea.

This is a common adage, usually used as a relationship advice for people who’ve just experienced a breakup.

Words are often easier said than done. And when we see the same people in our lives over and over again, it doesn’t take long to lose belief in the popular saying. New fish? Where? The lake is dried up!

In fourth grade, I had my first crush. I still remember his name: Ryan. Ryan had cute blond hair and blue eyes, and he was smart and nice.

Then my family moved a few years later, and I had to attend a new school. Before entering my new class, I was convinced I’d never meet another boy like Ryan again.

Of course, my sixth grade self was proven wrong.

Throughout middle school and high school, I went through a slew of different crushes as I changed schools a few times again. (My family moved around a bit before we finally got settled. On the bright side, I can say I’ve lived in more than 5 different states. Not many people can say that.)

Each time I changed schools, one of my gloomiest thoughts would be, Man, I would never meet another guy as funny/nice/awesome as (insert crush’s name here) again. NEVER! Then I’d be proven wrong less than 2 months later.

But those were my teen years. Now that I’m a full-grown adult (more or less),  it takes more than just good looks and innate ability to win me over. Infatuation is not the same as real love. But even so, the adage still applies to everyday situations outside of the romance box.  It’s not the end of the world if you have to move to the other side of the country and possibly never see that inspiring counselor from summer camp again. It’s okay if you have to leave behind a wonderful community soccer team. It’s all right if it didn’t work out between you and Susie, because there are plenty more fish in the lake. And if not, try the sea. Seriously, have you been to an aquarium before?

And exploring the wider sea is beneficial not only because it allows you to meet new people, but also because it gives you a wider perspective on the world.

Example: Every school year, I get cooped up in the bubble of academia and end up seeing the same faces in my acquaintance circle over and over. One specific guy comes to mind from last year: he’s kind of obnoxious, hogs conversations, and gives three-minute monologues on his viewpoints.

It gets worse.

You might think someone who’s the epitome of an argumentative attention hog wouldn’t be very popular. The scary part is, after 275 days of having to be in the same proximity all the time, he became the ‘king’ of our acquaintance circle. In our limited acquaintance circle, he was the most outgoing and gregarious. Plus he was a top engineer and the most athletic. So naturally, he was Mr. Popular among my acquaintances.

(Probably only among my acquaintances. This is what closed-off academia life does to your judgment.)

It wasn’t until I went to my summer internship that I realized: oh yeah, there are hundreds of people out there who can balance gregariousness and fitness… and also respectfulness! And in the workplace, all types of education shine, not just engineers.

Fish in the sea adage: +1

Psychology has shown that people we’re familiar with are more attractive to us. That’s probably why people tend to date people in their acquaintance circles, whether it’s from school, work, or book club. We’re just more comfortable with people we already know.

But you know, why only eat bass when you can try salmon?

 

 

 

The Anonymity of Blogs

Recently, I’ve discovered that quite a few of my classmates have blogs, too. Unlike me, they aren’t afraid to use their real names, upload actual photos of themselves and their friends/family, etc.

I’ve considered doing that, but the thing is, I like the anonymity of an anonymous blog. I like to rant on here. I like to whine. I like to write about my surroundings without revealing the identity of the author…that is, myself.

Otherwise, what would be the point of this blog? I could easily write out my thoughts on Facebook or even Twitter. I’d have a stream of followers who know me in real life, and although there are good sides to that, there are also 99 bad things with that. Let’s name a few.

  1. People like to judge others. Through actions, clothes, character, personal beliefs, etc. I don’t need the intricacies of my wandering writings added to the list.
  2. People also get offended really easily. I’d have to start sugarcoating my posts for a superficial audience.
  3. Stalkers from the Philippines could probably track you down. Think about it: you’ll be revealing your real name, real photos of yourself, and a real timeline of your life. Forget hackers and their methods of extracting addresses from a .jpg; a high schooler should be able to find you, if they tried hard enough.
  4. Self-conscious + rants = not a good combo. Embarrassment. Abort, abort.
  5. Blackmailers who go through your entire archive. That post you wrote 2 years ago? Yup.

Basically, I like having private thoughts be addressed to no one in particular in the infinite universe. Knowing that my colleague from Spanish class or my crush from Florida will read my posts is fine. Knowing that they’ll read my posts with the knowledge that I am the writer is a bit, uh… uncomfortable. And that’s when I cue the sugarcoating.

 

 

Hiatus R Us

First of all, I apologize to the readers who have been steadily waiting for a new post. Mid-December was full of finals cramming, 2012 Apocalypse scare (just kidding, nobody believed the world would end…uh…), and a long, long winter break. No, really. I basically had the entire month of January off.

It seems WordPress has gotten rid of its once beautiful black header and replaced it with cheesy blue. This is not okay, WordPress. I’m disappointed in you. Edit: WordPress didn’t change after all. I was lost for 3 minutes but have relocated the beautiful dashboard. Cheers.

Lately, I’ve been challenging myself to explore new hobbies and try new things. This includes needle felting (and accidentally pricking my thumb with the needle).

To make up for the lack of content, here’s an inspirational poster I found recently on the Web. Analyze it closely. I admit I share a good portion of qualities associated with the Unsuccessful side, so that’s another thing I’ll need to change.

(Although to be honest, I don’t see how watching too much TV relates to anything.)

For Better or For Worse

So I was Facebook stalking my old classmates from high school. For all you Facebook users, you should dig into your profile history and read some of the status updates you wrote 3 years ago. Seriously, just read them.

I know right? That was my reaction too.

Anyway, people are always like Absence makes the heart grow fonder or Out of sight, out of mind. But I have a new saying: Absence makes the heart grow fonder but the mind stays absent, so once you really see the picture, your mind goes “Uh, wow, I’ve been off track.” (I realize this quote will never make it to Google’s top searches, but hey, I can dream)

Basically, a lot of classmates have changed significantly after they’ve left for college. I mean, yeah, it’s a time of growth and self-discovering. But it’s pretty amusing seeing photos of the quiet physics kid hungover in the middle of a karaoke bar. Or a bunch of class flirts who recently pledged a no-dating, sorority-only thing.

The biggest surprise, however, was the Facebook Wall of my last crush. He’s never dated anyone in his life (no, it’s not creepy I keep tabs on this kind of stuff), and I’ve never thought him to be the flirty type. He is also not one of those guys who go, “Yo, check out that chick’s booty.” In fact, he’s kind of the conservative, bookish type (hence my crush for him in the first place). But he’s become friends with this girl who

  • Posts half-nude cover photos on her profile
  • Posts photos of thongs with suggestive writings
  • Currently has a profile picture of her chest area to just below her nose, so nobody can see her face (which I thought was the point of Facebook, hur hur)

Anyway, it seems they’re becoming good pals. I can’t see most of their Wall conversations, but they’ve been having some good exchanges going on.

Well, to each his own, I guess.

Happy Candy Day?

Let’s pause briefly and think about the number of holidays Americans celebrate. Which ones are simply excuses to engulf copious amounts of candy?

New Year’s – Fireworks, streamers, and a bucket load of wine. Mostly NC17 rated.

Valentine’s Day – Chocolates, candy grams, chocolate teddy bears, chocolate roses… Chocolate is romantic, but I prefer a beef steak with asparagus.

St. Patrick’s Day – Green four-leaf clovers, “Kiss Me I’m Irish” shirts, giant glittery green hats. (Say that 5 times fast)

April Fool’s Day – No candy here. Although, I would watch your food if I were you.

Easter – Chocolate eggs and bunnies are what the kids will adore.

Memorial Day – No candy here. A solemn holiday in remembrance of the brave and courageous.

July 4th – Fireworks, streamers, and a bucket load of ice. (Wait, this sounds familiar.)

Labor Day – Don’t wear white? Or was it only on the Monday after? Oh, who knows. (Read the official explanation here.)

Columbus Day – No school is all we care about.

Halloween – Candy galore. Watch out for the Laffy Taffy, please.

Thanksgiving – Not really much candy here, but plenty of extra-sweet cranberry sauce.

Christmas – Gingerbread houses, frosting, and candy canes.

 

That’s only 4 out of 12! Not bad, actually. Besides, a little candy never hurts. (On the topic of ice breaking at gatherings, poet Ogden Nash writes, Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.)