Sunday, May 31, 2009

Reflection on the first month of summer

The first month of summer has come to a close, and I must say it has not been half bad. I feel that I have accomplished a lot. I have learned quite a bit at school and have gained some new insights about myself. I am much stronger than I think, and not just physically. I think that my emotion self has hardened up a bit, and I am not as vulnerable as I have been. As Gina told me yesterday after we discussed my boy troubles, "just brush it off your shoulder." I know where my feet are planted in the realm of morals and values to the extent that I feel that I have a better sense of who I am. Moreover, I have no problem standing up for the person that I am. Although they have steered me away from lust, I know that I will be better off in the long run. Maybe that is what is supposed to come of dating, or life experiences in general. Getting to know yourself, and, eventually finding someone who knows that side of you.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Open Relationships

Open relationships are a concept that escapes me. I know it is something all too common for people in my age range, but I am clearly not hardwired for them. My philosophy has always been that romantic relationship are something that should be cherished, not devalued, and that a huge component of them is simply being with someone that you care about. And for me, if I care about someone I would not want to be with anyone else. The converse would also be true. I found myself not caring for them, then I would not stay with them. By having an open relationship with someone, I feel that you debase any notion of caring for them.

I realize that mass culture in the last 20 years has promoted sexual promiscuity and the like. Shows like Sex and the City fetishize these kinds of relationships because we are able to get the physical aspects that we desire without the 'messiness' of an actually relationship. Personally, I find that this is just a reflection of the laziness of our culture. Rather than put time and energy into something meaningful, people opt for the easy way out coupled with instant gratification. I find myself wondering if I will ever stumbled upon someone like me, who values the same things I do, who still believes in romance. Though it seems like an ever-increasingly difficult task.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Things that I am thankful for

I realize that it is not Thanksgiving, but I feel the need to pause and appreciate all that is good in my life at the moment.
: The caring, loving people who are a part of my life. They support me no matter what and believe that I can do anything. They are the people who have helped me get to where I am in my life. My list is extensive and far to long to list here.
: Volunteerism. I never realize how appreciated I am in my Brownie unit until today, and I often neglect the fact that I am a role model for the girls. Not that I behave inappropriately around them or anything, but I have the chance to support them on their journeys and that is a really great feeling.
: Being in good physical and mental health
: In general, being the person that I am. I am proud of who I've become and I often spend too much time being critical of my shortcomings. But the truth is, is that I have achieved a lot and I have the potential to do so much more. In fact, I'm really excited to see what I do next in my life.
: Living here in Canada. Moving away from California was the best decision that I've made so far, and I can't even begin to describe how much Vancouver has shaped me as a person in the last 3 years.
Most of all, what I am thankful for is the entirety of my existence. All of the things that comprise it, and make me, me. They are things that I cannot even begin to put words to, but I know exist.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The intertwining of family and goals

Family is great. They are the people who know you the best, and those most likely to stick with you in the future. My life consists of two families, my biological one and my self-made one. I value both for different reasons. While my family has known me for a long time, my self-made family has known me during a pivotal point in my life. It is the time when I would say that I have grown the most and become my most organic self. I have not only defined myself, but I have also defined my ambitions. Both families are encouraging of the road that I am going down, and today was a reminder for me as to just how much family believes in me. My aunt and uncle are in town, and while we caught up on each others lives, we discussed my plans for grad school. I was telling them that I have been exploring other options besides law. My uncle told me that law is a wonderful track in which I can do so much. Regardless of that, his support for my goals was overwhelming. It reminded me that he knows me, and more importantly my abilities, better than I do. And is what I love about them.

The other thing that I have come to remember recently about goals is the power of knowing someone who is where you want to be. Take my friend Jen for example. She recently graduated valedictorian of her law school class. Her persistence and dedication to excellence in her education is something that I take to heart; something that I want to carry out in my own life. And so I've come to believe that in working towards your goals there is nothing more important than having a net of people who believe in you and having a materialized concept of where you want to be. But above that, make sure that you pay homage to those in your life who inspire and shape you to be who you are.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Today is Wednesday

7:00 She rises with the intention of running, but upon feeling the pain of the recent acquired blister decides not to. She opts for indoor training with her roommate.
8:30 She lightly steps into a warm shower that seems to engulf her.
9:40 Outside on a lovely day, though waiting for the bus.
10:20 Studying commences. Today was filled with more reading on Benjamin followed by a trip to a different library to retrieve more books for my research. In the process of looking for a book on Coco Chanel, which was unfortunately entirely in French, she found books on pattern design. This inspired the rest of the afternoon's activities.
1:00 She designed a skirt pattern.
3:00 She decided to take a detour along the way to the grocery store to the local fabric store. She found a gorgeous fabric of bright green with large white chrysanthemums and grey leaves.
4:30 She began preparing dinner for her roommate. Gnocchi with a pesto cream sauce and toasted walnuts.
6:00 Commenced the epic endeavor that is laundry, while reading Adorno's essay "On the Fetish Character in Music and the Regression of Listening."
Just before 8:00 The neighbor stops by with a pot of tea and a job prospect that she has recommended her for. A researcher for an affluent businessman about to open an art gallery in Vancouver. She is mulling it over, but it seems too good to pass up. The kindness of her neighbor is overwhelming and now she is trying to think of a way to repay her.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A lesson learned from the weekend

This weekend was nothing sort of crazy. Lots partying, dancing and drinking. Things that one would typically expect of a 20 year old girl. The thing is, is that it's not the behavior I expect of myself. In fact I don't think I've ever felt more ashamed of myself than I do in the aftermath of this past weekend. I feel overcome with guilt and disappointment. This is so not this person I am, nor is it the one that I want to be.

My Nana no longer drinks and she has told the story several times. Her beverage of choice: Mexican coffee. She said she spent 24 hours keeled over the toilet. She said that she hated feeling so out of control of herself, which is why she doesn't like to drink. I think I finally understand her now. I'm sure I she were to read this, she would be upset to know that I had to learn the hard way, but I think this may be a good turning point for me. In retrospect, I can't even imagine how stupid and immature I must have seemed to everyone around me, not to mention the fact that I probably looked as though I had no self-respect and that leads down a slippery slop.

Alas, the end of my year and a half of drinking is coming to an end, but I know it's for the best. I want the world to get to know me, and there are so many great things about me that far far out weigh my kookiness when I'm drunk.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Connections

Last night definitely disproved Benjamin's theory that planning is the best way to capture the essence of the night. In fact, on some reflection, I think most of the best nights have been the antithesis of planned. Wonderful food at Lift and dancing at The Modern defined Friday night. It was the first time in a while that I have gone dancing, and I had definitely forgot how much I enjoy it. What I appreciate more about it though was the great conversations at dinner. It's amazing how quickly we are able to bond with people we don't know, and I wonder why I don't do it more often. I often think that my insecurities about my weight and general self-consciousness are unique to me. Mostly because it is just strange that having lost weight, I'm more unsure of myself than I every had been before. But as we sipped gin martinis, we talked about boys and how we often come across cold. My own understanding of it is not deep by any means, but after discussing it for bit, I was overcome with a sense of reassurence. The addage is true, we are never truely alone on this journey. Knowing that a random stranger faces many of the same difficulties in her life, makes me question why and how I exist so disconnectedly in the world. It gives me this sense that I should get to know everyone; like there's some larger experience of life that I am missing out on. I suppose the only way to know this for sure is to befriend more people.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Evenings

"The best way, while dreaming, to catch the afternoon in the net of the evening is to make plans"

Or so says the flaneur according to Walter Benjamin. In my critical theory class we are studying The Arcades Project, which has turned out to be brilliant. Benjamin did a archaeological/anthropological study of the Parisian arcades during the 19th C., examining the rise of consumption and capitalism and their perverse affects on culture. Anyways, I've been thinking a lot about this particular quote in relation to my own existence, mostly because things in my life have been relatively static as of late. I feel that this quote speaks to the concept of taking life by the bridle and milking it for all it is worth. Benjamin views the afternoon as this idle time of day, most people, or at least the flaneur, are experiencing a mental lull. The solution to this, he says, it to make plans. Obvious? Perhaps. Simply? Well, not so much. Planning takes time and effort that we often can expend, and while I value my very structured days, sometimes we are side swipted by what we weren't expecting. I would also argue that Benjamin's interpretation of night and day is reversed. Evenings are usually less structured, and it always seems that anything is possible within them.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Distractions

This morning I spent some time making another round of changes to the Engineering Co-op year end report. I really like graphic design, though I'm not entirely sure that it's the field of work for me. Granted this is my first major project, I'm inclined to believe that I should not judge the work by one account. One thing that is preventing me from further work in graphic design is repercussion of my recent computer crash, as I lost my CS programs. And I can't justify spending nearly$700 on CS4 when I'm not sure how much use I'll be getting out of it. Something that I have enjoyed though was my experience teaching last night. I had to run a seminar and discussion for my critical theory class. While I've always been a bit deterred from the prospects of teaching by my tainted view of the California Teachers Union, I must admit I felt right at home at the front of the classroom. And so I'm being distracted from my more worthy goal of law school for the time being. I think the important thing about distractions, in general, is that you are able to derive something out of them. Whether that be finding out something new about yourself or being able to reinforce what you already believe to be true. I'm not sure what I'm going to be learning, but I look forward to finding out.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Summer Days

Summer is finally here, but as I approached my front door to go for my usual morning run the torrential rain was hard to miss. I headed back to my room in my running gear that seemed to be mocking me and immediately got back into my PJs. As bummed out as I am that it is raining in May, I do enjoy watching the rain from our front door. There are plenty of other great things about the summer, things that I look forward to doing.
- Having more time to read for pleasure
- Hosting dinner parties that last late into the night
- Spending more time with my loved ones
- Being able to stroll down to the beach
- Eating dinners outdoors
- Roadtrips. Hopefully this year's will be to Mission Hills Winery!
- Laboring towards my goal of law school
- Expanding my photography portfolio
- Improving an existing skill. I'm currently thinking about taking up sewing, again.
- Spending lazy Sundays outdoors
- Having time to organize my life
- Reflecting
- Enjoying a cold beverage without freezing
- Gelato
- Golf
- Running
I feel that the person I am thrives most during the summer, but this year I'm looking forward to thriving all year long. Not only am I going to appreciate the weather that I'm blessed with, I'm going to make the most of it.