Tag Archives: life

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?

 

 

 

Smile Because It Happened?

 

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.

These wise words were spoken by the beloved Dr. Seuss. Given that these past few weeks have been full of high school and college graduations across the country, there is no better time to post this quote.

I wasn’t teary-eyed at my high school graduation 2 years ago. Mostly it’s because I didn’t like a lot of the students wasn’t close to many classmates, plus I knew I could always see them on Facebook.

But then I deactivated my Facebook account halfway through college, and it’s safe to say I have pretty much lost all contact with my high school pals, sad as it is. I have some of their phone numbers saved, so I suppose I can text/call them. In our generation though, it’s just awkward to call up someone you haven’t spoken for in a while. At least with Instant Messaging or email, you give the other person plenty of time to think of a response.

So basically, my only options besides the Internet are: texting and letter writing.

Letter writing? With actual envelopes and stamps?!

 

For the last four weeks, I was a participant in an undergraduate program in another state. There were about 60 people in the program, and naturally I bonded with a few of them. Somehow, even though we’ve only known each other for those 4 weeks, we feel as if we’ve known each other for a year.

When the program was over, everyone called out the same things: “Keep in touch!” “Message me on Facebook!” “Reunion in one year!”

As an idealist optimist, I tend to see sparkles and silver linings. I wanted to believe I will see these people again, that a reunion at Disney World will occur, and most importantly, we will never forget each other.

Unfortunately, that just isn’t realistic.

For the next few months, sure, the memories will still be fresh, and everyone will be keeping in touch via Facebook, texts, IMs, etc. Fast forward to a year from now? That’s another story.

As my dad (a very analytical person) and another participant at the program (a very logic-oriented person) both told me:

People say they’ll keep in touch, but sooner or later it’s unlikely you’ll cross paths again, especially since everyone lives so far apart.

 

Moral of the story? Seize the day and enjoy the present. And if you are one of the lucky few who can hold onto a strong bond with a friend even after 5-10 years of being apart, many kudos to you.

 

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.)

Reality Check: How Romantic…Right?

Have you ever noticed how romance novels and movies always find their way to the bestsellers list? (Especially on Valentine’s Day, but we’ll discuss the commercial holiday of Hershey’s kisses some other time.)

The thing is, romantic notions in books are not idealistic in real life. Far from it.

In 9th grade, I had a stubborn classmate who was resolute in his opinion that I loved him because he, a 14-year-old boy going through puberty at the time,  liked me as more than a friend loved me so of course we were meant to be.

In a romance novel, this plot would induce ahhs and affectionate gasps from readers who are expecting some sort of The Taming of the Shrew story line. Sorry folks, no such thing. I was actually pretty annoyed that he was so obstinate. I mean, it’s one thing to form a crush on a girl (adolescents, what can you expect?) but to declare that she definitely liked him back? Excuse me, does the girl have no say?

Jane Austen would sympathize.

 

 

Here are some examples from popular books, movies, and songs for which ladies go ga-ga and guys try to replicate.

  1. The Notebook. Noah stalks Allie at the fair. After she turns him down the first few times, he chases her atop a merry-go-round and threatens to jump unless she goes out with him. The audience forgives him because Ryan Gosling is a stud muffin and is the equivalent of Prince Charming, but seriously?
  2. Beauty and the Beast. Now, I’m a huge fan of this Disney classic. It teaches people to look past the exterior. Still, a monstrous beast kidnaps the girl and forces her to live with him. But again, since we all know he’s a handsome Prince Charming underneath, all is well.
  3. Twilight. Sorry, Stephenie Meyer fans, but if my boyfriend secretly climbed into my room each night to watch me fall asleep, the first thing I’m thinking of is installing a new alarm system.
  4. “Say You Like Me” by We the Kings. About a guy who admires a girl who doesn’t say hi back because she’s “too shy to say hello.” (How do you know that? What if she’s just trying to give you a hint, Mr. Smooth?) Then the lyrics go, “I’m never giving up, I’m never gonna leave, so put your hands up. If you like me, then say you like me. Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh (repeat x3).” Enough said.
  5. 27 Dresses. Another chick flick where the handsome guy stalks a girl, only this time there’s a good excuse: he’s a reporter! And she’s single! How convenient

 

Still, the romantic aspect appeals greatly to some people. One only needs to glance at the plethora of romantic Fanfiction online to tell our society’s current interests. Granted, half of them are written by bored preteens with no homework on the weekends, but I still want to sue for copyright infringement when I hear of Fanfic stories regarding Harry Potter and Hermione “moving past third base.” But if J.K. Rowling’s not upset, why should I be?

Anyway, back to that guy I mentioned earlier. In middle school, apparently he wrote a fictional story online based on me. He didn’t use my real name or anything (good for him; otherwise he’d run into some libel suits right about now) but it was still… uncomfortable, to say the least. A small excerpt:

He enveloping her in a passionate kiss. He tugged on her gently toward the tent, and she went along with him. The fire burned, ignored by the two lovers.

 

It’s all fun and games until you find yourself the lead in someone’s fictional romance story. One, you’re scared to wonder what else went through their heads. And two, well… it’s just awkward. On the bright side, my character in the story was a super assassin. So I suppose that balances out the other stuff.

Accepting…I Was Wrong?!

 

I’m the kind of person who has to be correct on 95% of things, if not everything. Back in middle school and high school, I rarely raised my hand to speak out loud unless I was 110% certain of the answer.

Of course, nobody is perfect, so I have had those times when I was — gasp — wrong about something.

Let’s take a pause here to contemplate the gravity of the situation.

Being wrong shows you are vulnerable. Being wrong shows you are not as smart as you appear to be, and not being exceptionally brilliant makes you vulnerable. Your entire reputation is ruined by one fumbling mistake, and your peers will forever remember that day when you were wrong.

Before you laugh, I have to state that this is the common mindset of most perfectionists. Being wrong for us is like a blemish. We put on a show of brushing aside our embarrassment. If a student corrected us, we would say, “Oh, okay,” and let it go. But if someone of higher authority corrected us –like, gulp, a teacher— we would nod humbly while our cheeks heat up more and more until we resemble a pink balloon.

Now that I’m in college, I rethink my fear of being wrong. Yes, I have heard the same old cliches about “not striving to be perfect, yadda yadda, eat your vegetables, etc.” But those never really touched me enough. What really changed my perspective was the vast amount of views out there.

In my Critical Interpretation class, we discuss the effects of various poetry and symbolic devices within. The subjectivity of the whole thing makes essentially every interpretation correct (unless the interpretation is just completely far-fetched). There are definitely times when the professor disagrees with a student’s analysis, and you can see him going, “Hmm…” with that Are-You-Sure, I-Don’t-Believe-That-Is-Very-Correct expression (the nightmare of every perfectionist).

But then, the conversation continues as another student talks about his view.

No blemish on the student whose interpretation was wrong.

No big deal.

The world did not stop, amazingly.

But watching on the sidelines isn’t nearly as powerful as personally experiencing the happening. For a presentation, I had to analyze and describe the effects produced by a passage. It could be anything, from an advertisement to a pop song. To make a long story short, I apparently over-analyzed the lyrics to Mr. Brightside (a fantastic song by The Killers). The professor then gave a speech about nonsensical lyrics in music, finding the limit of where to stop analyzing, etc, etc.

-insert “What?! I was wrong?!” here-

No, I have learned that college is an excellent preparation for the real world. In the real world, there will always be people who disagree with you in casual conversations. There will be people who oppose your opinions in national debates. Every second, someone is wrong, someone is right, and someone is in the gray line between the two sides. (And someone out there right now is saying there is no right or wrong, only differences in opinion.)

To put it briefly: it’s okay to be wrong. It really is.