“Small Town Moon” and Big City Dreams

 I must’ve lived a thousand times
But every day begins the same
‘Cause there’s a small town in my mind
How can I leave without hurting everyone that made me?

Oh, baby, baby, it’s all about the moon
I wish you wouldn’t have broken my camera
‘Cause we’re gonna get real old real soon
Today we’re younger than we ever gonna be

Stop, stop, what’s the hurry?
Come on, baby, don’t you worry, worry
Everybody not so nice, nice

Thought you ought to know by now
I thought you ought to know by now
Everybody not so nice, nice
Everybody not so nice, nice

Ever since I listened to Regina Spektor’s Small Town Moon when it came out last year, I felt an immediate connection to the song, without even realizing how much it would reflect my feelings right now. For me, this song is about growing up in the comfort of your home in a small town and struggling with the difficulties of wanting to stay behind and wanting to take a risk and pursue your passions.

This summer when I went to Hong Kong I listened to this song for comfort. Because of Regina, I knew I was not alone in my feelings that in falling in love with a city halfway across the globe I was abandoning everything that I grew up knowing back in the tiny state of Delaware. It somehow made it okay not to be homesick.

But now I am back in Delaware, and although I do not go to school in the same town where I spent my pre-college days I have difficulty reconciling that if I want to follow my dreams of starting a non-profit that empowers women and minority business owners, especially of Asian descent, I might have to leave the state where the majority of my family lives. These thoughts consume me on a day-to-day basis because 1) I work in career services and am forced to think about job-related things at least twice a week and 2) it’s recruitment season. I scour our Career Services website at least once a day, if not more.

So really it’s a decision between comfort and risk. I can either take the easy way out and slide up the corporate ladder in Operations in a locally-based company, which I wouldn’t have minded doing 8 months ago, or I can take a risk for an unpaid position in a new city in an organization that shares my mission and cause. And these decisions are made in a time-sensitive context. “Today we’re younger than we’re ever gonna be” and if we keep hesitating and putting off big decisions, we might lose our chance. Even if I do end up working in corporate, one day I hope to be able to share the wealth with my fellow females and otherwise marginalized species members.

Today I made a spreadsheet with a bunch of different companies that I would love to work for because of their mission and some that are just great corporate supply chain opportunities. I need to weigh some pros and cons rather than just flip-flop in my mind.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this now. I only thought of writing something about this while sitting in my dreadful math class today.

I’ve started reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandburg and I’m really liking it so far. It’s already shaping my views on go-getting and risk-taking. Apparently, females are more risk-averse and even I can attest to that.  I will probably write a little reaction piece once I’m done.

It’s Friday the 13th. I walked under a ladder this week. Twice. On second thought maybe I should put off that risk taking for a while. ;)

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21 til 21

Well, 20 til 21… I was planning on writing this while it was still Wednesday the 4th but seeing as it is 12:01am on the 5th now the title is a little misleading…

There are ever so slightly less than 3 weeks until I turn 21 years old, a huge number in terms of American culture. Why? Well the most obvious and apparent reason is that 21 is the legal drinking age.

I am going to publicly let you in on a secret now. Until this past Spring I wasn’t planning on consuming alcohol, like, ever. Not many people knew about this, even some of my closest friends, because I felt like it was something I didn’t need to share unless I was asked. It was first and foremost a personal decision.

So you are now thinking, why this strange, naive decision? I would never last that long, you may be thinking? And what made me reverse my way of thinking?

Well, first of all, I strongly believe that I had the will power to continue life sober if I wanted to, but the thing was for 20 years of my life I tricked myself into thinking that that was what I really wanted.

My decision not to participate in drinking culture was based on two reasons: 1) I didn’t like the idea of a foreign substance being able to influence my decision-making and 2) everyone else did it.

Reason #1 is pretty easy to explain. I think we can all agree that alcohol impairs your judgment. However, I also believe that people use a little bit of alcohol as an excuse to do things that would usually be “out of character” for their personality. But that’s all psychological, in the mind. Kind of like the placebo effect, if you will. And I’m already out-there and weird enough that I honestly don’t need drugs or alcohol to make a fool of myself. And just to clarify, I used to refuse to take medicine because I didn’t want to intake any type of drug. I still avoid it if I can, but modern medicine makes life so much more convenient and when you are a college student with 3 hours of reading and a headache, Advil can be your best friend.

So #2.

For as long as I can remember, except for a year or two in middle school (because who doesn’t struggle in middle school?) I’ve put all my effort into acting outside of social norms. Remember when your elementary school counselors always talked about avoiding peer pressure? I actively pursued going against peer pressure and social expectations. As a young girl, I refused to wear dresses and make myself “pretty.” I told my aunt she was vain when she talked about me being the age around when other girls started wearing make up. I refused to wear skinny jeans when they were at first coming into style. I even reluctantly went to my high school prom.

I think the root of it all was that I found something so wrong with the way society worked, buying into pointless trends, judging people by the way they look rather than their character, and just doing stuff I didn’t care about. Even at age 12 I thought of these things. It was also an effort to be “different.” Different, unique, weird, that was my identity. I was not going to let myself be influenced by society.

So when it comes to college parties and drinking I obviously did not want to participate. Apart from frat parties totally not being my style (and up until this past weekend I can say that first-hand), I find college drinking culture to be completely unattractive, stupid, and a waste of time and brain cells. So I swore of drinking, forever.

This is kind of a life-story. Read on if you are still interested…

However, these past 8 months I’ve read a couple books, met a couple people, and been to a couple places that really changed my perspective on life. I call the Spring 2013 my philosophical phase. I had a revelation.

I’ve written about it before but I read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Perhaps what I got out of it wasn’t what the author intended, but books are up for the reader’s interpretation, right? In his book he talks a lot of how to live in the present moment and forget about the past and future. When this comes to decision-making one must be spontaneous and give little thought to consequences. This doesn’t mean go around doing stupid things but it does mean that you shouldn’t labor over what kind of tiny repercussions a personal decision will make. Just do it (yeah, I stole that from Nike). He also advised readers to stop judging others and thinking about how others will judge them.

And I came to the realization that consciously making decisions to go against social norms in the belief that I was not influenced by social norms, was actually a reaction to social norms. Woah man, this was really deep. This is why I call Spring 2013 my philosophical phase. If I didn’t think the act of drinking (responsibly) was immoral, why was I so set upon not doing it? What was the incentive? Nothing made sense to me anymore.

Part of growing up means you have to let yourself find your place in society. If you don’t find content in that, you are impeding yourself from finding true happiness. As much as us outsiders/punks/rebels/hipsters would like to “stick it to the man” when you come to see the bigger picture, you realize that it’s not very productive. At least, I did. There are ways to change what you don’t like and there are ways to negatively express your disdain. From now on, I will choose the former. I’m done with building up this identity, this “ego.” My decisions will be my own from now on. They will be spontaneous, adventurous, and I will stand by them.

 

Charlie the Octopus and Oh yeah, I started another blog? + Random Thoughts

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Yes, I made a knitted octopus Charlie Chaplin. I didn’t really plan for him to turn out this way but he ended up looking strangely similar to the silent film star.

So what’s on the needles currently? Nothing. There is just too much going on in my life to knit anything with a big commitment. However, it does seem like I have a commission for one of my bow ties coming up from my new boss/supervisor. Yup, I have a job now, too.

And as I mentioned in a post before, I’ll be studying abroad and working in an internship there at the same time. I made a new blog for my adventures in Asia so check it out! I’ll be posting there sometimes and here sometimes depending on the subject. When I go searching for a yarn store in Hong Kong I’ll definitely be at least linking the blogs to each other.

I am just so ready for this semester to end already. Next week I register for fall classes! Holy poop, my college career is nearly half over. They weren’t lying when they say time flies fast. That reminds me. Today I found out that this last post I wrote to any rising college freshmen and college students in general was not completely unfounded in my unconventional thinking. I went to a networking/panel event today called “Empowering the Next Generation of Business Women” and all the wonderful ladies there said almost the exact same things that I wrote about. Women like them are definitely my role models in life. One day I hope to find success and happiness like them.

But back to reality. I’m trying this thing when I live in the present. My uncle gave me this book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and I’m trying my best to take his advice. Focusing on the Now is more difficult than you think. So, now, at this very moment I think I’m going to go to bed early (haha 11pm is early for a college student!) because I have a headache and an exam tomorrow that I don’t want to study for any more. There’s no use in studying if I won’t be putting my full effort into it so I might as well do something good for my health.

I hope to get back to blogging more so look forward to more updates like this.

Is it too late to start looking for Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanza/Winter Solstice gift patterns?

I just started this morning :/

Firstly, it’s had enough finding time to knit. I’m going to get myself in trouble with all of this knitting I need to do with all of these group projects due and finals coming up. With any luck I’ll finish all my friends’ gifts by the time we come back to school in February after Winter break/session. Plus, I need to make some gifts for family members. Why did I take up such a time consuming craft?

Secondly, it’s pretty difficult to decide what to make. It can’t take too much time because I’ve got so much other knitting to do and it can’t be too difficult because I don’t want to have to start it over a million times. And I want to give everyone something different that they would each appreciate.

Thirdly, what the heck do I knit for non-significant other male friends? What kind of knitwear says, “I’m glad that we’re friends but it’s not like I slaved over this for you.” It doesn’t help that guys are harder to read than girls. Maybe I’m over thinking this…

I need to figure this out by Wednesday because I want to go buy the supplies over Thanksgiving break. Wish me luck!

Do you like to make all your Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanza/Winter Solstice gifts? Are you having the same problem as me?