Sunday, June 28, 2009

Weekend Getaway

On Saturday at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, she proceeded to pack her magenta Diane Von Frustenberg bag with the necessities for an overnight trip, as well as clothing for her adventures the next day. At 10:30 pm she ventured outside, the smell of the rain was invigorating. She breathed deeply as she walked down the street to the bus stop. As she sat on the bus, she nervously bounced her leg and fiddled with her bag. She knew where she was going, but there was a certain amount of hesitation about meeting him. Lucky for her, he called her as the bus was entering downtown. "Vanessa," he said, "are you still coming to meet me?" "Yes, of course," she said, "I'll be there in fifteen minutes." She got off the bus near the waterfront, and strolled down the uneven sidewalks feeling a bit more confident. He was waiting and embraced her. He looked handsome in his glasses. They walked hand in hand up to the bus stop and about an hour later they arrived in the pitch black of Deep Cove. They slept in a room crisp with the night air as the window was ajar.

The next morning was lovely. Breakfast perfectly complimented her trip thus far, he made her an omelet filled with crisp green peppers and a side of brown french bread. They ate with his family and talked about art, in all of its forms. While he did the dishes, they made plans of the afternoon. A brisk walk through the quaint town to get to the trail. 2 kilometers into the forest, they encountered an enormous lookout rock. As she sat there looking around at the scenery, which consumed her with all its beauty. She felt serene and blessed. They took a more dangerous route down the hill, which filled her with a sense of adventure. They reached his home once more and she reorganized her weekend bag, and they set out for downtown Vancouver. It was the kind of wonderful that even she didn't imagine the night before on the bus.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

More advice from Anne

For we pay a price for everything we get or take in this world; and although ambitions are well worth having, they are not to be cheaply won, but exact their dues of work and self-denial, anxiety and discouragement.

- Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Friday, June 26, 2009

Replacing something old with something new

I bought new runners today. This is something that I've been saying I would do for about 4 months now. There is something refreshing about a new pair of running shoes. Although I love my old ones, I've had them for almost two years and had seen better days. As I starred at the sprawling wall of shoes, I was overwhelmed by the choices. Luckily the saleswoman was very knowledgeable. Not only that, she also made sure that they are pink!

This whole experience got me thinking about the idea of replacement. In life, do we simply go about replacing the familiar in order to maintain consistency? Even when we claim that we are making changes, how different are they really? Immediately my mind jumped to the health and physical changes that I've made in last 3 years. I've lost about 60 pounds and have never been in such good physical shape. At times of course, I slip up but looking at this from a long term perspective, I've been consistent. Though as I sit at my desk typing, I'm also thinking about this in terms of men. I've been dating since I was 16 and thinking about all of these guys, they are distinctly different, which makes me inclined to believe that I'm not just replacing an old ex-boyfriend. However, maybe my pattern is that I keep replacing that old ex-boyfriend with the wrong guy. What an awful thought! I maintain consistency by dating the wrong men, perpetuating a cycle of drama and heartache. Would it be so radical if I did date a decent guy? The more disappointing facet of this revelation is that I don't even know where I would find this decent guy. At least in purchasing my runners I had the help of a trained professional.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Predictability

"Pain throws you heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No, it won't all go the way, it should
But I know the heart of life is good"

- John Mayer, "The Heart of Life"
As much as we plan and organize, sometimes there are elements that are just out of our control. This is particularly true when you add another human being into the equation. I find that I have a difficult time as it is understanding myself let alone someone else, and being as anal as I am, I can't stand not knowing what the other person is doing. Am I controlling? Well at least there is an obvious answer to that! I think my need for 'knowing' comes from my general dislike of surprises. I embrace the predictable. My friends often give me a hard time for being boring, or acting older than I am. Truth be told, I love my life. I love that I don't need to be out partaking in crazy shenanigans or proving that I'm cool. Those just aren't the things that I value, and the fact that I know where I stand is something that I value. I believe that if we let go of the fundamental beliefs, ideologies, etc that form the essence of our being we are left with nothing. What we believe is often challenged by society (in general), and those are the key moments to dig your heels in to the ground. Perhaps mass media, pop culture and the like are the most demanding offenders, I mean we all have our weaknesses. I for example could never stop buying shoes and clothes. But I do it for me. I do it because I love fashion, and not because I feel pressure to keep up with the trends. I'm sure there are arguments to be made about the fact that I could be so consumed by fashion, that I don't even realize the extent to which I've been victimized by the industry, though that's not the point here.

We face a lot of tests in life, some which stop us dead in our tracks and make us take a look around. Sometimes we find ourselves veering off the track. But there is something that anchors us to what we could consider our more organic selves. So how do we get back to that 'good'? Is there some way to say that we really know ourselves? I think that we use that statement once we've successfully observed a consistent pattern. It's when we reach something predictable, though that does not mean that we should stop exploring.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Intimacy

What kind of moments in life get coined as intimate? One time I was at a Death Cab concert with only 100 attendees. That was intimate. This morning I woke up next to someone whom I feel very comfortable with. That was intimate. How is it that these distinctly different moments in life are given the same adjective? It baffles me to some extent, but it is understandable because many words have different connotations. So tonight I find myself pondering how we define intimacy with another human being; or more to the point, why does it take to say that we are intimate with someone?

At the moment, I'm beginning to believe that intimacy is much more than a purely physical interaction. In fact, I don't think it can exist without an emotion component. I mean, if there was nothing emotional in tow, I would be inclined to call it lust. In thinking about the relationship that I am embarking on, intimacy comes in the form of not being afraid to exist in my most organic form. The comfort and ease that I feel in his presence is something that I don't think I could put into words. But most importantly, this afternoon I finally realize why it is that I feel this way. Communication. This is an entirely new concept to me in terms of intimacy, but it's definitely working out well.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Midday



"when you are imagining you might as well imagine something worth while" - Anne of Green Gables

I find myself often planning my life based on worst case scenarios. I imagine the worst of a lot of everyday occurrences. Forgetting a deadline. Breaking a heel. Being late, for anything. Sometimes optimism is hard to come by, and lately I have been trying to think of ways to keep maintain the flame. What is the kindle for optimism? I used to think that it was just a matter of believing in oneself, having the poise and confidence to carry on through thick and thin. Given the state of the world, as well as my own general foolery, I find myself wondering if I'm strong enough to pull myself through the next so many years. I think that all I can do is prepare for anything and everything, not pigeon holing myself into a particular lifestyle or career. Perhaps being optimistic comes from working hard. Then again that could take us back to the notion of confidence. But the idea of circularity is interesting. Maybe optimism, like everything else in life goes though cyclical phases, and it is only a matter of time before I regain mine.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A fairytale lesson

Little Red Riding Hood is a quintessential fairytale, possibly one of the most famous. What fascinates me most about the story of this little girl, is the degree to which is a reflection of human nature; we are told not to do something, yet we do it anyways. I often wonder why we insist on doing things for ourselves. Is it a desire to rebel? Maybe if you're a teenager. But now I am in my twenties, so does that mean I no longer have an excuse for outlandish behavior? I'm of the school of thought that we all need to experience things first hand, learning can't just happen in a dictator-esque style. We're taught from a young age that we go to school to learn, but what about all of the other equally important learning that happens outside of the classroom? It maybe that we are simply less conscious of the learning we do in other aspects of our lives, but I think it is important to pause and consider the vast amount of learning we do everyday. But also to think about how we put that knowledge to use.

The little girl had only been told to not stray from the path, there was no mention of not talking to wolves. Can you blame her sense of curiosity? I certainly can't deny that if I came across a talking wolf, that I would be able to breeze right by him, or any talking animal for that matter. While Charles Perrault will tell us that the most important lesson from Little Red Riding Hood is that ladies should not talk to strangers, I would suggest that the lesson from this fairytale is to never not question what you encounter. Even if it is something that seems all too familiar, or friendly, if it goes unquestioned we only disadvantage ourselves by passing up an opportunity to cast the nets of our minds a bit further.

Maybe in the case of this little girl, it's not a matter of doing something that she is told not to do, but rather engaging in something that in retrospect might not be the brightest idea. The key to this, is that you have to do something wrong first in order to make retrospective observations. Even as I sit here writing this, I find it difficult to wrap my mind around (intentionally?) doing the 'wrong' things. Though I think my mindset is the result of 20 some years of cultural conditioning; perfection is the only acceptable way to go. So I guess this leads me to pose the question, how can we unwind ourselves from the cultural sphere to transcend to a way of being that allows us to be free enough to feel comfortable making mistakes?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Updates from the Weekend

I have to admit my first few days as a real adult haven't been so bad. My birthday weekend was wonderful! My family came to town to visit me, and as much as I fret about their visits, they are always good. In fact, I'm coming to realize that I may be worrying about nothing (as usual). After we said our goodbyes on Saturday evening, I came home to find that my best friend had decked out our apartment with candles, flowers, champagne and a few of our closest friends. It was truly amazing. I could not ask for better people in my life.

We eventually made it down town that night to Bar None, which surpassed the good things that I have heard about it. What was even more amazing about the entire evening was how sober I was. Not only did I dance, but I have an incredible amount of fun. I really makes me wonder why I bother drinking in the first place. Beyond this though, my evening got even better when my crush kissed me in a not so platonic way. Granted I'm not the kind of girl who kisses people in clubs, this will be an exception on the record. We went over the bar and talked long enough to be honest about the fact that we both like each other. Communication, how refreshing! Even more surprising than that is that he has called me, twice since then. I was telling a friend of mine that I couldn't even remember the last time a boy I was dating actually called me. It seems to be a dying way of communication that is severely underrated. As much as people have a phobia of speaking to someone on the phone, they always feel relieved once the set the ringer down. I mean in all seriousness, there is nothing thrilling about getting a text message. It lacks personable-ness, tonality and most of all emotion. Not that anything can truly suffice for the kind of connection and high you get from being in physical proximity to someone, but the phone is probably the next best bet. My advice for the people of my generation, think twice before send the boy/girl you like a text. Get over yourself and pick up the phone. It's not as scary as you think.

Friday, June 12, 2009

On the eve of a birthday

Another year, well almost. 21 is the official induction into adulthood and I am excited to have finally reached it. I know that I have grown up a lot in the last few years and I am interested to see where I take myself next. I have lots of ambitions for myself, not only in the long term but also for the coming months. I think on a more personal level, I want to continue to work on my sociability and my self control. I also plan on training for a half marathon. But above all, I want to enjoy my life and the new experiences that I will have.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Some reflections on achieving

In an attempt to set myself back on track to achieving my goals, I decided to reflect on the components that I feel are most important in doing this.

uno: Having a fundamental understanding of why you are trying to achieve said goal. Often times we set out goals for ourselves without really having a deeper understanding of why we are driven to that end. But if you understand the implications and reasons behind it, you can often be your own source of motivation. For example, I know that I want to go to law school to be a lawyer because I feel that I can bring about positive change to the world through law. It is a cornerstone for our society and something that I feel very passionate about. I've found that these reasons are usually deeply personal and sometimes things that I can't always verbalize to others when they ask me why I want to go into law. But the important thing is that they are intrinsic in my mind.

deux: Knowing what plan B and C are if you don't achieve what you are aiming for. My dad has told me before that, if you are looking for more motivation, you need not look any further than the options that are not your immediate goal. If you slant them to appear more unattractive, you will realize that they are not actually what you want.

three: Realize that everyone has off days, but the important thing is to not get discouraged by them. Some days when I am running, I'm not an energetic as other days. But it is no reason to abandon my physical health. I still get up the next day and go at it again. I do it because I know that I feel mentally better when I've exercised.

4: Always maintain your enthusiasm. This may seem difficult at times, but I believe that we can always muster up excitement for what we are working towards. I'm studying to take the LSAT this fall, which for most people strikes them as a less that fun endeavor. But I have managed to find a thrilling facet about it, mostly that all of my hard work will get me into law school and thus check off another one of my goals. Sometimes a little glimmer of hope is all we need to keep trucking.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The start of something new

A new summer project: compiling a book of favorite quotations, speeches, and words.

Before I embark on this project, I've been trying to hone a theme in order to eliminate this turning into a hodge podge of disaster. It is difficult to decide because I have so many interests in life. so many things that inspire me. I think I am going to proceed by collecting the pieces that I like and then tackling some sort of arrangement. It must have a flow. I think the most difficult decision will be selecting the first and last quote. Their places give them a lot of power. I like a quote from Shakespeare's Triolus and Cressida. It goes "While others fish with great craft for great opinion, I with great truth catch mere simplicity" (4.4.101-102). I also like this one, "This is the monstruosity in love, lady - that the will is infinite and the execution confined; that the desire is boundless and the act a slave to limit" (3.2.75-78). My dad also gave me some advice a while back that I feel is appropriate to quote here, "Good things rarely happen by accident."

In my mind, there is something really nice about having an actual book of these things that I love so much. I suppose I will just have to see where this project takes me. I hope that it leads to a Benjamin-like montage, though this means that I will have to inject my own voice on to the pages.