- Always felt like you needed to be special, different from others, remarkable, recognized and remembered for doing/being the extraordinary
- That's what makes this time difficult; feeling like you're 22, graduating from college, and haven't done anything great, all you've managed to be is just a regular student. Or being reminded through this so-far unsuccessful job search process that you're just one of many again
- Want to be set apart, yet you're plagued by the awareness that there are always others who can do things better than you; you're setting yourself up for an extreme that you can't reach
- Even just a little networking is something you'll have to do; but just because it's contrary to your nature or you haven't done much of it doesn't mean all is lost; the work you've done still counts for something
- What's wrong with being a regular, typical person? Would that really be so bad?
- Contentment equals complacency, stagnancy, giving up in your mind; just accepting the way things are feels like admitting defeat
- But being content with where you are in life and working toward something greater do not have to be mutually exclusive
- Even though you're not looking forward to graduation, one thing to consider is that you'll no longer have anything expected of you in the way of readings and assignments. Your time will be yours again; you can focus more on what Deela wants instead of always feeling like you can't sacrifice the time to do anything that deviates from the to-do list
- Very results-oriented person; rather than just going along with journey, or taking comfort in the idea that you're exactly where you're supposed to be, or doing something simply because you enjoy it and it interest you, you're concerned with whether it will yield favorable results or not
- You're right, from here on out the trajectory of your life depends on you; open-ended, no prescribed route, and that's terrifying; but maybe you could just pick something and see how it goes, rather than agonizing over whether it's exactly the best or right choice
Friday, February 27, 2015
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
But I went through with it, even despite not feeling up to it. So for that alone I'll give myself some credit. Even if last night wasn't my most shining moment, at least I went for it.
The first is a song called "Louisville", named after the city that Ma and her family are from. It's a place that's close to my heart, so I wrote a song about it. A silly song with a few hiccups.
The second is part of a song called "上を向いて歩こう" (Ue o Muite Arukou), which came out in the 1960s and is sung by Sakamoto Kyuu. The writer of the song penned the lyrics expressing how dejected he felt when protests failed to prevent the passing of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan (a.k.a. the reason why US military and political presence remains in Japan even though the occupation ended 50 years ago). The song is often recognized more as a love song than a political song, but nonetheless it has the inspirational message of moving forward amidst adversity ("look up so the tears won't fall"). It also performed extremely well on the Billboard Hot 100 charts (reaching #1 when it was released in the States), and has sold over 13 million copies around the world. I learned of the song in my 200-level Japanese class freshman year, where my professor played us a video of a 2011 remake/mashup of the song that Japanese artists and locals made to encourage victims of the 2010 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
Thanks to Shay for recording and Irene for being there to show support!
And don't forget to like me and Hilena's pages for First of February (FB / YouTube)! More vids to come from (featuring BOTH of us) in the future!
Monday, February 23, 2015
Today I met with a career adviser who informed me of the 30-70 rule. According this rule, when searching for job opportunities one should spend 30% of their time on job boards and 70% of their time connecting with people. Why? According to her, the listings you see online comprise only 1/3 of all that's out there. The other 2/3 is part of a sort of "hidden job market" where jobs are filled through either in-house referrals or people who have connections to current employees.
She put it plainly, "That's just the way things are now. That's how it works."
Geez. You can imagine my disappoint and stroke of panic upon hearing this horrible news, seeing as how my job search so far has consisted solely of looking at postings on job boards and organization/company websites. (I've been applying to numerous jobs since the beginning of January and haven't been receiving responses; thus the advising appointment.) Now, of course I've been drilled on the so-called importance of networking since freshman year, but I didn't think it was that deep. Like "networking" is the trend right now, but I was sure that that couldn't be the only way to get in the door. People still get by on their own merit and effort, right? Wrong.
Obviously, this doesn't bode well for someone like me who is shy, who isn't already acquainted with a ton of people, who is a good communicator but doesn't like talking just for the sake of talking, and who's encumbered by her own conscience to side-eye "networking" as a practice in schmoozing and cunning disingenuousness rather than a valuable career/people skill.
Lawd, do I have my work cut out for me...
Sunday, February 22, 2015
"I've learned that I need to belt more in life." -Hilena, my music friend who isn't afraid to push herself
And then coincidentally, when I skimmed through PostSecret this morning my eyes landed on this particular postcard:
As someone who often feels lonely and confused, I was awestruck and deeply moved. I guess this is supposed to mean that when you know yourself, you can celebrate yourself (or at least know that you're not lacking), which means you don't need other people around to make you feel like you're somebody. Or, you can be sure that you're worth being around even when there's no one there.
Self-knowledge is indeed some powerful stuff.
Friday, February 20, 2015
- People ask you if you're excited about graduating/graduation and that question doesn't make sense to you. You wonder what that's supposed to mean. "What's there to be excited about? How can one be excited when there's so much to be done and to prepare for?", you say
- You're right, in theory people can always do more, do better, be better. But in reality, most of the time they don't. However much they've done is however much they've done, and that's it. Plus, people tend to try to do things with the least amount of effort or sacrificed required as possible. But these past four years you haven't been doing any of that half-stepping.
- Two degrees, two languages, two study abroad experiences, three internships, 3.9 GPA, honors distinction, all in four years.You did that all on your own. No one did that for you; you did that. And you should be proud of yourself, even if you're not sure that you've done enough, and even if what's next is still up in the air
- When your family comes to graduation, let them be excited for you! Let them celebrate your accomplishments without you trying to squash it or quiet it down.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
My family has recently expanded because... one of my older cousins recently found out that he has a grown 20-something-year-old son that he hadn't known about! This cousin of mine is a deacon, who's married and already has three kids and a grandchild. Scandalous, right? Well, that's what you'd like to think. But after some initial shockwaves once the news had made it all the way through the grapevine, everyone's actually been pretty cool about it. And just this Sunday the family went out to eat in celebration of another cousin's birthday, and this New Long-Lost Cousin, his fiancée, and their two kids were in attendance. No more secrets, no drama, it's all good.
Now. Ma and I had been discussing this last night, and coincidentally I dreamt that I became acquainted with my own secret brother the same age as me! Except.... He was French! Yes, my dad had apparently had a son with a French woman. Which makes no sense considering he's never been to France and I doubt he's ever met a French person in his life, but moving on.
This French half-brother of mine's name started with the letter "M", he was light-skinned, loved hip-hop, liked wearing hoodies and snapbacks, and overall was just an extremely cool dude. And despite the awkward circumstances, we took to each other right away! In this dream, he made his way over to the States from France so that we could bond and he could experience America for the first time, and we were like homies. We got along extremely well, we spoke a mixture of French and English to each other (I learned from him and he learned from me), and we never argued about anything, not even where my dad was concerned.
M was so likeable that he just attracted people to him. So much so that by the end of my dream he had more American friends than I do, despite initially not knowing anyone or being able to speak English very well! My French half-brother was, in short, the bomb.
And I have no shame in admitting that when I woke up from that dream this morning, my first thought was Dang, now I want a long-lost half brother too! Someone to relate to because we're close in age, someone to occasionally rag on my dad with, someone to practice French with, a reason to visit France regularly and actually have a place to stay when I go there... Man. If only that'd been real.
Friday, February 13, 2015
Hearing that hurt my heart a little bit. Not because he's not a believer anymore, but because he characterized Christianity as something that you "do". Like it's a hobby, or a chore, or a task, or any other thing you might do mechanically and habitually, without it especially meaning anything to you. Something you "do", as in something that some are "good" at and others are "bad" at. And that, my friend, is just not the case. Granted, Christianity is somewhat of a practice, in that you have to live it and work at it everyday. Furthermore, all Christians struggle to walk The Walk (if anyone tells you otherwise, they're lying to you). But it's so much more than something you "do" or not. Faith isn't simply about "doing". Being a follower of Jesus is something that you feel in your soul, something that fills your heart and allows you to think beyond yourself and extend love and light to others. And knowing this, I felt bad for him that that was all he took from it in the end, that being Christian is something you "do", and which was─in his case─not worth doing.
To you, kid-who-doesn't-do-Christianity-anymore, here's praying that you find whatever is true for you, in whatever form it happens to be. May that truth never become something that you just "do".
And I thought, Huh. What an odd thing to say.
Because first of all, there was no need to for him to apologize, but he did anyway so kudos to him. But then, a simple sorry would have sufficed. Why the extra explanation? Why give me details about your life that I don't care to know? Why insult your daughter's cart-pushing skills? Couldn't you see the little girl had places to go, people to see, and moves to make? That's a hustla in training if you ask me! And why bring her mom into it and insult her driving? I don't even know that lady, and couldn't care less if she drives well or not. Putting her on blast to a complete stranger like that. Tuh!
Seriously though. It's just so odd to me when people add unnecessary explanations to commonplace, courtesy apologies. Or like, when you and a stranger/group of strangers are standing together in a public place like an elevator or a bus stop, and someone feels the need to say something just to break up the silence. In my experience, more often than not it's the vanilla brothers and sisters who do this (which the grocery store man was). Black folks for our part are experts at not saying too much unnecessarily, especially when interacting with people we don't know. (Which is not to say that we're not friendly; we just tend not to be as talkative.) But it seems vanilla brothers and sisters will talk to anybody for no reason at all, and happen to be experts at small talk. Gotta hand it to them for being neighborly, I guess. But sometimes it comes off like they're trying too hard.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
The first is a song called "Stay at Home and Sing", which I wrote while in Paris this past summer when I would sometimes get bored with the monotony of going to work and sitting in an office all day, everyday.
The second is an abbreviated version of my song "Up All Night". I wrote this one last school year when I was up late one night doing tedious school work and wondering about where my life was heading.
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Whatever doesn't seem to be going your way right now, remember that you always have plenty of other reasons in life to rejoice, and to not throw it all away or give up on yourself. There is always something in life worth fighting for. You are worth fighting for. YOU are worth fighting for!
Be blessed this weekend. And give this song a listen if you're in doubt.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
- Having meaningful and lighthearted interactions with people often does make you feel better, even on those dark days when you'd rather retreat and hide, and even if it's awkward or uncomfortable at first
- Your thoughts create your feelings, so consciously try to replace those negative thoughts when they come with ones that make you feel happy
- Like instead of thinking about how dumb your French linguistics class makes you feel, think about how calm and fulfilled you feel when you walk dogs through the woods at the shelter
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Monday, February 2, 2015
**(UPDATE 2/3)** Marley found his forever home today! I hope your new family appreciates your quirks. Happy rolling!
- Part of frustration you're having with your weight and your dad is that they're out of your control
- doing what you've been told are all the right things, but weight's not coming off
- been ignoring your dad for four months and haven't done anything to antagonize him, but he still won't leave you alone.
- For you, your dad's like the dark spot in your life; try to forget about it but it always resurfaces; it's like it's always on your back
- that you feel this way indicates that it's unresolved (?); not doing anything or engaging with him at all is probably fine for now; but at some pint you'll have to figure out how you'll handle this thing for the long run
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Be safe and warm tonight y'all, ok? While I continue drying off...
Seen Saturday January 10th: Big Eyes
Another aspect I enjoyed about this film was its style. Of course, being a film about art, this film prioritizes the story in question and stylistic detail and accuracy (this includes color and tone, sets, wardrobe styling and even casting that reflects ethnic demographics). The events take place largely in the San Francisco art scene during the 50s and 60s, which was a particularly tumultuous yet remarkable time in our country's history, but there were no references to major historical events going on at the time. Why? Because the visual aesthetic and the story matter most. Usually I'd have a problem with historical context being missing in such a way, but it actually works well for the film because it shows you what era you're in rather than telling you about it.
Lastly, I have to give kudos to Amy Adams! Her performance was so vulnerable and compelling. She's one of the few actresses I care about, and though I'm not cognizant of all her work I notice that she often takes roles that pay homage to women who do remarkable things (à la Julie and Julia). Much respect to her.
What I don't like about this film: I can't pinpoint anything in particular. One thing I would've liked to know is what inspired Margaret Keane to make portraits of sad-looking, big-eyed children. What led her to take on that subject and how did her particular style develop? That was a question raised in the film, but it was played off by Margaret's repeated assertion that art is personal. And so we never find out the "why" behind her pieces. But as an artist I can respect her not wanting to give it all away, so to speak. Some things are sacred and personal, so while I am left wondering, I can definitely accept not being privy to that information.
Would I recommend it?: Absolutely!