Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Love: a rant

Disclosure: These are my views, and I completely understand and respect if you disagree. I don't mean this rant as a judgement on anybody or anything in particular, when I speak about things, I mean it in a general way.  I make some mentions about education and income, as they apply to my life. I am by no means talking down to anybody that comes from different circumstances.

We live in a time of using, not loving. And being afraid rather than pursuing.
I look at the way I love, the way people of my generation love, and appalls me. I wonder when our values, as a society, experienced a shift from actually valuing human interaction, and savoring our experiences with each other as individuals, to simply discarding the people we know like old magazines on recycling day.  We always seem to be looking to upgrade, to see if we can find someone taller, skinnier, stronger and smarter than the last person we were with. While I believe that nature drives us to find a mate with whom we would produce the strongest offspring, this innate drive to find a compatible mate is quite different than the blatant egoism and rampant superficiality that so many of us carry with us today.

Step back and self-evaluate. Are you sure aren't already surrounded by individuals who are worth their weight in gold, and a significant other who puts your happiness first? For what are we striving? Why must we so readily discard such individuals of value from our lives? Many modern men are hardly brag-worthy, most having forgotten simple things like opening doors, bringing flowers, and showing passion with reckless abandon. While many a modern woman is incessantly demanding and afraid to relinquish control, for fear of retreating back into gender roles so suffocatingly reminiscent of the 1950s.

We are a generation disillusioned by circumstances we have manifested for ourselves.  So many deeply bright and successful individuals, near and dear to me, have mentioned that they believe everybody cheats (frequently) in relationships, and that we now live in a time where nobody stays together. Don't you feel that that is for us to choose? Why must we simply accept circumstances based on societal norms that have little basis in what we actually want for ourselves?  The fact of the matter is that even if "everybody" cheats and "nobody" stays together, I think we need to take a hard, honest look at our lives. Using terms like "everybody" and "nobody" implies a general majority of the population, generally assumed to be greater than 50%.  Statistically, only 30.4% of the US population has bachelor's degrees, 7.95% have master's degrees and a mere 3% have doctorate or professional degrees. Most of you reading this entry have been educated at the bachelor's level or above, CLEARLY we are not the statistical majority. Why are we living our lives by the assumed (likely incorrect) values of the majority, when we cannot pretend to be classified as such?  Even if we fall into the statistical majority, can we not choose to have better outcomes for our lives?

I understand that life is everything but straight forward, and that there are an infinite number of factors beyond our control. I am not issuing a call to perfection, I am merely encouraging us to strive for better. To simply try and believe that even if everybody cheats, and no relationships last, that does not have to be the inevitable outcome of our lives. We are not victims of society's existence.

We have to cherish who we have before us, even if their exterior is marked with irregularities.Work to be better. We must love harder and more freely.


I am so very much a child of the night. I find it so peaceful and calming, it's honestly always (since high school, really) been my favorite time to do work and just about anything else. If it were up to me, I would stay up until 5am every night, sleep till noon, rinse and repeat. I will be just about the worst 9-5 adult ever.

I also get the urge to do random things at this hour...For example, I wish I could bake cookies right now. But I know even if I were to bake them, they wouldn't get consumed. Sad!

Monday, February 20, 2012

My memory

If you know me well, you know that I have a crazy long and detailed memory. Even my short-term memory has served me pretty well, I got through all of K-12 and college relying solely on my short-term memory. It wasn't really until a year and a half ago when I began my quest in the sciences that I actually started studying to learn and understand--it's interesting what can happen when you find a subject you like, right?

Anyways, back on topic. Having my memory was pretty fun as a child, I would be the only member of my family who remembered where we parked at shopping malls, and other inane details such as the license plate numbers of our cars (I still remember the license plate number for a car we haven't owned for 14 years) and the makes, models and details of random cars.  As I entered my teenage years, my memory helped me get closer to people faster as I would remember almost all of our conversations and their emotions related to them, so we could always pick up where we had left off at our last meeting.

However, as I approached my 20s, I found it difficult to forget some questionable memories of my childhood as they still remained fresh: the clothes worn, the words said and the expressions on our faces remained deeply etched within my mind. I actually found it to be quite irritating. How could I move forward, in a healthy way, towards adulthood when my heart was still smarting from these decade old incidents that felt so fresh in my mind?

And then my big accident happened, in the fall of 2006, that resulted in a nasty head injury. And I had a temporarily fuzzy memory that lasted a few years. While the memories eventually returned, I learned how to develop a different perspective about my childhood memories, and was able to embrace them.

Despite the fact that I have learned to evolve my perspective, I remain annoyed by my memory. I still remember the most ridiculous of details and happenings of my life. Some of my friends are quite amused by this ability and call me to discuss their wardrobe choices for events, as I have a visual memory of most of the clothing they own. However, some are taken aback by what I remember and give me a suspicious look when I recall a detail about their lives--to the extent that sometimes I have to act like I have forgotten, so as to avoid these funny looks I get from people.

Like many, I especially struggle to forget men from my relationship past, where things ended badly. But, mostly, I can't help but wonder: Do others simply choose to forget, because it is easier to move forward when the past isn't holding you down? Do they act like they've forgotten so those memories don't resurface again? Or do they actually not remember?

...I can't be the only one that remembers, right?

Le sigh.