I may be a bit late on this, but I have discovered some secrets.
The past six years, I discovered the thrill of constantly running on adrenalin, and I quickly became addicted. I was constantly running from swim practice to school, to meetings, then wrestling practice or another swim practice. Then it was time for homework, and occassionally, squeezing in time for piano and violin practice.
I never stopped. Ever.
Just as a car, I had been zipping from place to place, that I did not have time to go in for my tune-ups, engine checks (even when the light was on), or anything. And, I was beginning to feel the wear and tear of such a busy life.
This semester, I deliberately took the semester easier: three P.E. classes, an Independent Study, a Textiles class, one Advertising class, no internship. I figured it was time to take a break, and frankly, I felt like I needed one. I was a bit burnt out.
So far this semester, I have had time to just lie in my bed and think. About everything, and about absolutely nothing. With this time to stop and ponder, instead of moving without thinking, I have discovered a few secrets.
1. You cannot grow alone. Just as a plant cannot grow without sunlight, water and care, we cannot grow without friends, family, guidance. I am a very self-reliant person, and at times possibly a bit too much so. The past years, in the midst of my busyness, I rushed past many hands willing to help, simply because I was moving to fast to notice them. Yes, I was still able to grow to a certain height. I still accomplished several things, relying on my self. But, had I stopped every so often, or moved a bit slower, I might have budded a few more flowers. I was growing like a weed — without much sunlight, water and care I was covering as much ground as possible, successfully. But isn’t it more beautiful to grow like a bed of flowers? A bit slower, but oh-so fragrant, and colorful, and joyous.
2. Share. Throughout my life, I have lost touch with several friends but kept in touch with a select few. I always assumed it was the “Circle of Life” for friendship taking its toll — that you lose some and you keep some. Natural Selection, I suppose? But, after much subconscious thinking, it dawned upon me, that lasting friendships are those where there is mutual everything. You tell each other the good news, the bad news, revelations, lessons learned. Because, without those, the relationship stays at the same level. And, once you discover everything about each other at that level, the friendship is over. There is nothing else to discuss. Except for maybe the weather - that is always a topic. But, there are friends with whom my relationship level with them just becomes deeper and deeper, simply because we use the elementary rule: share. Share so that you may help each other. Your experiences can help them, just as their experiences can help you. If you know how to walk a tight-rope without falling, tell your friend how so they don’t have to endure the danger and pain. And, when she walks across successfully, celebrate!
3. Don’t confuse your interests with your passions. Ever since my first assignment ever, I have always been the one to reach high, overachieve, perfect things. And, I figured it was just a, sometimes disserving, gene I had. But, I have realized that this gene is not a “Miss Overachiever” gene. Instead, it is a passion for transformation. Whether it is turning a scrap piece of cloth into a cute headband, or turning a blotchy face into runway-ready, or recommending a marketing plan that will bring in 200% more revenue, it all boils down to transformation. That is what drives me to do what I do. And, I’m sure that has partly to do with why I have so many interests — so long as there is a tranformation process, I will be interested. As an Advertising major, I thought my passion was advertising, but it really is just a very fitting interest that allows me to pursue my passion.
There are two approaches you can take to anything: 1. Do it well, meet the requirements, have fun with it. 2. Make a difference with how you do it. It is the latter approach that I always take. Interestingly, I have applied it mostly to my academic/career life, probably because there is a tangible result (getting an A+, a good letter of recommendation, etc). But, the challenge I give to myself now is to apply it to the rest of my life.
4. Think long term too. The saying is, “Life is short.” Well, life is pretty darn long too. So, not everything is for immediate gratification, or even short-term gratification. Some things don’t come into effect until decades later, centuries later, even after we are dead. Though we may not see a difference, that does not mean there will not be one.
This is the “story of my life” when it comes to writing papers, cover letters…anything that involves finding a stance and defending it. I form this huge pool of bullshit (because I believe it is bullshit), and in the midst of wading around in it, I find this marvelous gem. And, because I found a gem in this pool of bullshit, I suddenly am cross-my-heart-hope-to-die swearing that the pool was never bullshit to begin with (thus it is not bullshit). Instead, it was this glistening, magical pond…because I found a gem in it. And, there is nothing but euphoric light emiting from it.
There is no way I can find a gem in a pool of bullshit. Right?
Unless my talent is molding bullshit into gems.
Or, am I just hallucinating and they are really just pellets?
I think I am becoming the “single gal” that every circle of friends has. Slightly similar to the single, 37 year old woman who hangs out with her friends who all have kids. Just move the age back some — to the early twenties.
Here are some common phrases I have gotten recently from family and friends, whether it is just daily talk or catching up:
"Are you seeing anyone?"
"Do you have a boyfriend?"
"Oh! You would really like this guy."
"I need to set you and Paul (example name) up!"
"You should come with me! There are a lot of good guys there you can meet!"
And, yes I realize they say all that with good intentions, but when I hear them say that, two things cross my mind…
1. People are playing matchmaker for me. That is a sign that I am that “single gal.”
2. I’m not even remotely interested in dating right now. Another severe symptom of “single gal.”
And, when I tell them I am not interested in dating, I get a laugh — not one from humor, but one of scoffing, “What are you thinking?”
Or I get the actual direct truth, “Why not?” to which I never have a good enough answer except for, “I dunno. I just don’t want a boyfriend right now.”
Since when did we all get so old? Everyone is getting married, in a serious relationship, or trying to find someone. They are all getting ready to wear the beautiful white gown, walk down the aisle, and say their vows.
As for me, I am still wearing my pink Minnie Mouse swimsuit with a ruffle around the waist, and I am still splashing around in the blue plastic tub of water out in the backyard, not ready to go inside yet. No matter how many times they call my name.