Emily Lam

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Incomplete thoughts on failure

Let's talk failure. I will say that I've never really failed before and that it bothers me. The advice the greats always seem to give is to don't be afraid of failure: you have to fail to succeed. For that reason, I feel as though I haven't risked anything and am not on a path to greatness, but on a path to mediocrity. By all means though, I don't wish for failure. I am not reckless.

What do you mean you haven't failed? What's failure? Metaphorically, failure, I think, is when a step backwards happens; to lose something, progress, that was once there. If you are currently on block 5 in a board game, failure is to be reverted to block 1, block 0, block -5. The opposite of success, of moving forward. Inverse matter (yuck, inverse matter, that sounds gross and complex, bad analogy.). When I didn't get into Brown University or get those internships, I didn't fail. Sure, I was disappointed and didn't get what I wanted. But I didn't fail: it was a brief moment of stagnation. My life didn't move backwards. Flunking an exam? I didn't have that knowledge to begin with. And things that didn't work out, I never put in the effort or progress for it to count.

The work I am doing right now for graduate school is difficult. I feel like I'm constantly playing catch up like I'm "half-drowning" or "floundering." But maybe this is the moment in my life where I keep pushing despite the hardship and accept whatever result I end up with. And that maybe all this effort and movement in one direction will pay off or maybe it will be for naught. But hey, I gave it shot.

Oh and Happy π day! =]

Sunday, March 01, 2015

What the Hell Part III

Part III? What? If you care, use the haphazard blogger search function. Recently, it's all been about music that keeps me focus in lab, which translates to cohesive albums or playlists with no need to skip songs. In no particular order:

Swan Lake, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Tchaikovsky is probably my favorite composer in the "classical" genre. I've been listening to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's version of Swan Lake just because it's on Spotify.

Joe Hisaishi's Budokan concert is great. It's a medley of pieces he's composed for Studio Ghibli films. Fantastic.

Fall Out Boy. They have a new album: American Beauty/American Psycho. But I just play their entire discography on Spotify. They're the kind of music that just pumps you up. 

Like rap music! I usually listen to Eminem before taking an exam. But while working, happy rap like Scott & Brendo's stuff is cool.

Recently, I saw Song of the Sea, great film. So I've been listening to the soundtrack from that by Bruno Coulais, Kíla et al. It's got a Gaelic overtone. Great stuff! Go see the film. Go listen to the music. Go enjoy Song of the Sea!