"direct translation, emotional osmosis..."
listening to a song in mandarin... the lyrics moved me.
"since i walked into your controlled enlightenment, since i walked into your arranged fortress, i don't have a supportive haven, i don't have an outlet to escape through. i am like prisoner, my whims are under your control. i am like an arranged wife, i give all and yet don't have myself. my life is still in the palm of your hand."
of course it sounds better in mandarin, and being as i am not a native speaker, i can't exactly translate it as fluently or eloquently.
i spent the majority of this morning looking at profiles of children who are suffering from cancer. most of them are pages that were created post-mortem. the pictures of these stricken children made me so angry at myself; it reminded me that i am such a wretched human being because i cannot enjoy the gifts of life that have been granted to me. because i have spent so much time seeking meaning and resolution, when i have everything i could want: friends, money, my parents' health, the love of my grandparents, the experience of traveling the world and exploring ancient cultures. i have never spent a day walking the road of life alone or penniless, and yet i seem to derive no gratification from these verities.
this quest for meaning has drove me to another difficult question: is my inability to be happy a function of who i am, or where i am? meaning, i have always pushed myself to obtain lofty goals. i have always desired the As, the respectable jobs, the admirable stability of a career. and now that i have achieved it, is my melancholy a function of boredom and complacency? would it be cured if i were to simply reach for a grander goal? or, am i unhappy because the achievement of these things has shown me that these are not things that are important to me? have i finally come to realize that happiness does not lie in the possession of power or status? am i simply seeking a life that will allow me to better focus on the basic riches of life?
this question has kept me awake recently, unable to sleep. i think i need time to dig deep within myself and discover the answer to this question. until i find what it is that is causing this sense of disatisfaction, i don't think i will be able to pursue any road successfully in the future.
"addendum to what i did.."
doh! i forgot to complete the story of what i did in sf. let's see... wednesday afternoon i went to hastings, bought myself a cool muni map of sf so that i could know where to live, and then matt potts and i met up in inner sunset for indian food. i got a chance to meet his other roommate and hear about the med school experience, pelvic exams, cadavers, and such (shudder...). on my way back to jason's place, i bumped into lizsharp at ucsf, and then headed back to jason's to crash for a bit. nikhil and pomme and i went to butter and wish and then hit up baghdad cafe on castro. thursday, i rose early, took note of the unbelievable weather, and then met maggie for sushi in union square. took the pm down to the wharf, and watched the sea lions for a while. marla came down and we got ice cream and then walked around ghiardelli square and watched people swim in the bay (dude it was cold). we also bought necklaces from a street vendor and watched the bush man a bunch. then i went home, had dinner with jason sharma, bumped into liz sharp on fillmore! again! that was weird. i never see the girl and then i see her twice in two days =p. talk about oddities.
otay. just had to write that down before i forgot it.
"indifference beyond all recognition"
of late, i have fallen into an extreme state of apathy and indifference. i'm not quite sure what has triggered this feeling, but it has been very overwhelming and very consuming. it bothers me because i am, by nature, not an emotionless person. in my base state, i'm very passionate about the simple things in life, and all the luxuries and gifts that have been afforded to me. it was just odd to be in california last week, looking upon the sunset and the jasmine trees, and feeling no sense of awe and not being able to be moved by all the beauty in front of me. that shocked me.
and so i have embarked upon a quest to discover why i have become so nonchalant about life and why it is i can't feel things the way i used to. perhaps i am just emotionally burnt out, burnt out from work, studying, applications, thinking about the future, burdens i am assuming as a filial child. in a book i read by dale carnegie, he said something along the lines of, the regrets of yesterday, added to the worries and burdens of tomorrow, are too much for any man to carry. i think that makes sense... so i guess what i am trying to do now is to break things down. i'm not going to think any more about the future, my goals, where i am going, what relationships mean. i'm going to take each day and live it day by day and try to find happiness and fulfillment in each thing i do. no one can exist under the premise that life will improve in the future, or that the future holds the meaning to life. i think it only exists in the now.
i dreamnt last night that i was accepted to uc hastings. in the dream, i was excited, but a part of me seemed to feel like i already knew it was going to happen. the acceptance letter came with a thin, cream-colored booklet, and a few sheets detailing their campus visit date. oh i forgot to mention that i visited hastings last week when i was in sf. i don't know why people say this but the tenderloin isn't *that* bad. i mean, there is definitely a greater density of vagrants in that area, and i could definitely smell the stench of urine when i excited the muni, but i never felt myself fearing for my safety. hastings has a fair campus, although it is small, and the students there seemed decently happy. i had the opportunity to meet up with a law student there, kevin, who is 3L. he pointed out to me that, even if i dislike ip for whatever reasons, that there are many applications of law, and some may be even more humanistic, albeit less lucrative. actually, a great number of people end up entering public interest law, although hastings tends to emphasize the private sector. especially as sf is big on human rights and activist causes, there would be plenty for me to do if i wanted to be more of a civil advocate. so i think i guess i'll just see what comes of my applications but i don't want to think about this anymore. it's getting me down.
"vitamin D... lots of it"
good lord. i love california. i love how the beaches cradle the bay, so that no matter where you turn, there is the pacific ocean at your feet. i love how there is sunshine in the winter, and that when you rise in the morning, you can open a window and not be blown away by a frosty wind. i think i really love this city, and though i do appreciate boston and the life i have led there, my romance with san francisco might border on inebriation. and it's not even an idealization of the city. each time i come, i am given time to wander on my own, explore the crevices as an ordinary person and not a tourist, and i'm taken by what it has to offer, how cultured it is, how *great* the weather is.
what have i done - sunday night got in, had dinner on castro in mountainview with chris, ken, amanda and cohene. talked about getting wasted, but alas it didn't happen. on monday, frank came and picked me up from stanford and took me to hobbee's, this cool little breakfast joint. we had the coolest waiter whose name was baltazar. he was cool, not only because of his name, but also because he was extremely nice. then we went to walmart, got a poncho and picked up arnie and chris for muir woods. cohene was too lazy to come. we took the stinson beach hike and about 1.3 miles away, arnie and frank decided to go run the trail back so chris and i headed for the beach. the muir woods are stunning. it was extremely quiet, still and very peaceful, a far cry from the hectic, snow-ridden streets of boston. we watched the sun set on stinson (my first west coast sunset!!), and it was gorgeous and then took pch back down to palo alto. met up with the crew again for dinner and jason came and got me, went back to his place, and i met pomme. yesterday, i took the bart to ashby and pomme and i went to napa valley. i bought a few bottles of wine, one for my bro and one for arthur steinberg, and then we came back to the city where i met sarah lee, her friend manish, roommate nema, and ate on castro at nirvana. bad food. then i went home and played nba on playstation. today i went to sfsu and talked to some professors in psych. hot damn. gotta love it =)
in any case... those of you who might be wandering, know that i will not be in boston for very long so make sure that you take time to see me as much as you can =).
"cache myself away"
i'm going away next week. yes, the entire week. i'm going to san francisco to spend time with shahma, christophe, marla, maggie, and goonley. i feel like i am leaving here a little broken, a little tired, my heart a little heavy, and am going to seek salvation and consolation there. i think i'm just tired of school, work, future thinking, having no direction, having no plans, assuming responsibilities, imposing requirements on me, i don't know. i don't want to make myself a martyr; my problems are caused by none other than myself. but i'm just tired and, i know i need to seek respite for a bit of time. perhaps until i find within myself the energy to trump forward because i am otherwise too weary now.
"ram = ram?"
so yes. i am the queen of inference. the master of connections. grasper of the obvious! well, actually no. so yes, it is the year of the ram, for all you people who missed the fireworks in chinatown, or the big chinese rah rah celebrations. i've always known that i'm a ram (as is most of 1979 and a bit of the early 1980 babies) and i also knew that this year is the year of the ram. and yet i did not connect that *this* year is *my* year. duh!
okay so maybe it's not that great of an epiphany but when i realized that i did not make such a connection, i was enlightened and keenly aware of my own stupidity. and humored by it, i suppose.
anyhow, let's see. my psychology class started last night and it's an awesome class. the class is filled with some harvard undergrads, from what i could see, as well as plenty of working folk, some who seem a bit apathetic, and others who seem a bit all too enthused to please the professor. in any case, he got a phd in psych and is working on developmental psychology research at harvard and the school of education. i don't think i've been that excited about what i'm learning, or to be in a lecture, in a long long time since my psychology class last night. the whole situation made me realize something. i haven't gotten into a law school. the "lowest" ranked school i applied to, and supposedly the easiest one to get into, hasn't even notified me of an acceptance, which is odd because my application was complete in early november. they usually send out acceptances on a rolling admission's basis. a few months ago, or maybe even up to a few weeks ago, i was feeling extremely upset about my whole law school predicament, my poor lsat scores, what would happen if i don't get accepted, where would i go, what would i do? how would i make money?
and then i realized, maybe last week, maybe a few days ago, maybe last night, that it is really true that nothing can ever really damn me. so if i don't get into law school, it wouldn't really be that bad. maybe psychology is my real passion, and that is certainly exhibited by the fact that i'm willing to haul ass for a two hour lecture everyweek and study for something seemingly useless although i'm also taking the patent bar.
and so i realize that nothing can really condemn me to a horrible fate unless i let it close all options, and unless i refuse to see the possibilities that are opened when one door closes. if i don't get into law schoo, it won't mean anything except that i'm now freer to pursue more humanistic ambitions, to pursue the side of me that hates to climb the proverbial ladders by partaking in servile flattery and making myself the ground-kissing syncophant. maybe the part of me that wants to bake cookies for my friends instead and watch the sun rise each morning and see my actions painting smiles across people faces is really calling to be expressed. it might not mean anything other than being liberated from a sense of obligation and necessity to continue. i'm not sure that's so bad.
so i guess what i am saying is that today, i elect, i choose, not to worry anymore about my future. most of it isn't in my control and if i don't stop spending all this time trying to map out the possibilities and the foreboding warning signs ahead, i might not really enjoy what is happening and welcome all the good possibilities ahead.
"ouchy bubby all over"
i went skiing yesterday and i have to say, skiing totally kicks booty!! of course i'm sore all over, from crashing, falling, not being able to get up, crashing some more. but it's not bad. it was my first day and i managed to hit up some crazy green and blue trails, so i think i ought to give myself a little bit of credit. it was also fun because there was such great company there along with me; beckfat, some burton conner people like igor and julie, stan went and brought some friends, erik and grace, and hua and some of his peeps, oh, and matt and his sister came along too. so we made lunch and hung out and talked about the slopes. it was also fun to see some of my friends in action... but overall, i think i fell the most times. =)
other than that, the weather has been a little hideous today. snowing, sleet, wet stuff. which is all okay, i suppose, i have to study for psych class and the patent bar anyhow.