Emily Lam

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Agglomeration of Thoughts

Warning/Heads Up: This post is all over the place. Not my best collection of words.

The last week of February and first week of March were very busy for me. I found myself not able to think past the current day. It seemed like it was a never-ending parade of tasks. But I learned that you are more capable than you thought and that you rise to the occasion. And throughout it all, I wrote down a bunch of underdeveloped thoughts that were on my mind. I will hopefully try to elaborate on each of the thoughts at a later date, but for now, putting them down on the Internet is enough -- our minds are so fickle, things need to be written down in a more permanent manner.

First, I've been thinking about the times.

You often hear things like "she's ahead of her time" or "he belonged in the 60s." Phrases like that are interesting to me. I think of how certain times and generations are associated with certain traits and characters. Often times, I feel like I would be happier in a different time. A simpler time, by which I mean a time where there are less commercialism and more authentic connections with the nouns of our life; a time where if you tried, you could probably make/grow/produce every item in your house. Or times of technological boom: the invention of the printing press, electricity, the radio, semiconductors, modern science, any of those times. But then, I love living on the edge of today's technology. I love the now, the internet, the connectivity. I'm all for the connectivity, for exploring the interfaces between humans and technology, how we can make it more seamless. It's all a bunch of contradictions considering I just said that I preferred a simpler time. I will need to think more on this topic.

On a related note, I've been thinking of the burden of our time. There's so much commercialism pushed down our throat. So much of this unwritten expectations. It takes effort to not be crushed by it. To not turn into a product; it's that 3D printers are printing 3D printers cycle. And that is the burden of the current youth, to somehow emerge from it unscathed, untouched. But you can't emerge from it untouched the same way you can't yet emerge from a vat of radioactivity untouched.

Has this always existed? I don't know. But there's a sense that something is either good or bad. Hipsters, you either sneer at them or you secretly are/want to be one. But things aren't clear cut. There is an ever increasing weight to the decisions we make in our youth. A sense of permanence, the need to defend your decisions, and consequences for the "wrong" decisions. We can't be expected to make lifelong decisions when we're 18. And what decisions are lifelong anyway?

I realize I admire people who take charge of their life, who can admit failure and a wrong decision of their own, and then decide to change course and choose to dictate their life in a new direction instead of continuing on a path they once thought was correct. These people are rare. I guess humans are creatures of habits. (Although, I think I'm the opposite, I function so much better when I'm doing unrelated tasks for a chunk of time at irregular frequencies. Change.)

"You know, I sometimes think we sort too soon." -- Albus Dumbledore to Severus Snape, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Hmm . . .

The Hogwarts House is quite an interesting concept. It's part of the fictional universe of Harry Potter so it's easily casted away. But if you are ever so slightly familiar with the Harry Potter universe, you've probably thought of what house you belonged in. You may have also taken a quiz or asked a friend what house they thought you'd be sorted into. If your opinion and the quiz/friend match, you usually smile and move on at the affirmation. And if they don't match, you are probably slightly upset, that you were not placed into the house you thought you'd be in, and will either cast away your interest in the houses and disregard them as being a generalization or be in denial. This brings to mind an interesting distinction between the traits you admire, the traits you desire, and the traits you possess.

And then there are the negative traits and pet peeves of a person. The traits you work on. Should you also work on your positive traits? I think so.

Cleansing of the body, mind, and soul -- rid of the toxins, bring about serenity -- peace. detachment. beauty. The body -- with a healthy diet, The mind -- with a restful break, and The Soul -- with the beauty of the world.

Posthumous success vs success during your lifetime. And pursuing beauty, always admirable. I think this particular thought was attached to Hayao Miyazaki's 'The Wind Rises.' I'll come back to address this, maybe.

And a thing about art: it should push the common thought. It should not be a preconception, i.e. babies, hair, animals. Nor a cliche, although cliche sells. It should explore and be thoughtful. Honest. Observant. That's my understanding of art.

Back on the topic of the people I admire: I wonder if I'll someday live a life like them.

Things I've come to learn about challenges, luck, and defeat.
You will rise to the challenge, when adversary hits,
You will experience Luck, when you keep working,
You will be on the verge of defeat, when things go your way.

This semester I think is all about learning to abandon the sense of preciousness -- Let It Go. You can't move forward if your work is too precious. You won't make the necessary risks to move forward. This is really important. And it applies to myself too. I am not anywhere close to perfection; I know that. It's time I admit that sometimes, I can't do it all.

Woah, what am I thinking? My mind's a mess, this post is all over the place. I think it's time for a cleansing. There are more thoughts lingering in my mind from this week, but I'll leave them in my mind for now. I'm too tired to sort them out. I think I'm too tired for a normal 21 year old. I need to let go . . . and sleep more.

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