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BlackEagle5374

Catching up with my Train of Thoughts

Real and Fake

What’s the difference between what’s real and what’s fake? What’s meant to last and what’s meant to decay? What’s driven by the mind and not just the heart?

After talking with a philosopher/motivational-speaker friend of mine, these were some of the questions that popped in my head as we talked about what it is that we wanted to do during and after university.

As he described, something fake is not meant to last; you might work hard and long to get there, but once you do, you’ll realize that it wasn’t what you wanted to do. Unfortunately, a good portion of the world thinks like this, giving up on trying anything else after having spent so much time to get where they are now.

Something real, however, is something that lasts. Just like something that would be fake, you would hard and long to get to it, but once you get there you want to continue or strive even further.

Something fake is something of which you wake up to, only to wish going back to bed or to not do it all. Something real is something of which you wake up and become energized just by the thought of spending another day doing.

Bare in mind, when we were talking about this, we were talking about lifelong careers, not necessarily our current states, but that’s not to say that it’s not possible to apply that kind of thinking for it. However, it’s important to be aware of goals that become fake and goals that become real.

There’s something in the Wifi…

Looking at my phone and thinking about how upset I would be without wifi, I suddenly found myself thinking – how did I survive high school without Wifi? Did everyone in school have data? Back in my day (couldn’t resist), the wifi was restricted for staff while the students either went without or used their data.

Luckily, it’s not like the Whoniverse, where a superintelligence is hungry for consciousnesses and is pirating them when they connect to specific wireless networks. But that’s not to say that the network is completely safe or that there isn’t something that is targeting individuals at such an influential age.

But what is about wifi that makes is so addicting when you’re first introduced to it? It could be that it connects you to the rest of the world or that it means that you could play those games that require a constant connection. For adolescents, the former (connecting to the rest of the world) would probably be the main reason for really wanting wifi at school, according to all of those child psych classes I took (individuals around those ages tend to be influenced by others and seek somewhere to fit in).

What was the point of this posting? I have no idea, but I know that I found myself looking (rather desperately) for a network while walking around the outskirts of downtown Montreal and Jean Drapeau (I found out that there is barely any cell service and no wifi). Now, excuse while I silently freak out about having lost connection to the cafe’s network.

 

 

(internal scream, hair gets pulled out)

 

A death so close, yet so far

Ever go on with a day when you suddenly find that someone you recognized had passed? Or that it was someone you follow on social media? Or someone who was around your age?
In a world where anything and everything is shareable, the world seems to have gotten much smaller, yet when someone dies, there’s a certain disconnect and connect with that person.
Enter Christina Grimmie. Previous contestant of The Voice, she was incredibly popular on YouTube and often collaborated with other YouTube artists like Kurt Hugo Schneider, Sam Tsui and Mike Tompkins (which is where I first heard her voice). Being around my age, I admired her for her accomplishments and loved a lot of her music.
Then, when news spread that she had died on Saturday, I automatically disconnected, thinking that they were joking, but the posts kept popping up with fellow artists saying their condolences, News reports on TV making a 30 second mention of it..
She was gone. One day she was a growing music star and now she had been seen as a victim of gun violence or that she was too young to die. The connection would be that she was close to my age and I knew some of her work.
The point to this is that in this technology world, social media allows for connections to people in different parts of the world, but also a disconnect for not knowing them on person-to-person basis. Since the beginning of the year, many well-known individuals had died and for many of them, they had funerals where thousands attended. The attendees might not have known them personally, but those individuals were still deemed as an important part of their lives.
Rest in peace,Christina Grimmie. I will miss you for your music and for your ecstatic presence on social media.

Breathing underwater (+ Ranting)

The number one stressor in any level of school – PROCRASTINATION… and it’s always a constant battle.

Since CEGEP (College in Quebec), I usually tend to have a productive start of the semester, planning the parts of my assignments, doing bit by bit and getting it done well before the due date. *sigh* unfortunately, it all goes downhill around the midterms.

I swear it’s either that we have hidden assignments that the teachers bring to our attention at that point or they all plan to have additional assignments during the same timespan.

Rantings aside, constantly fighting procrastination is tiring, but the rewards are high. You get your assignments done ahead of schedule, leaving time to review them or to simply do other things while not feeling guilty. Of course, the behaviour of always doing that has its own name – PRECRASTINATION (because social scientists want nothing left unlabelled).

To make it as an analogy, procrastination is slowly decesending into the Mariana’s Trench to the point where there’s little to no oxygen while precrastination is rising in a hot air balloon to the point where you’re exiting the atmosphere and losing oxygen. From that view, there’s nothing to satisfy us humans, is there?

(Again, away with the ranting) In any case, if, like me, you find yourself drowing in the Mariana’s Trench (not literally), get out as quickly as you can and take a breath. After having spent ~15 minutes outside without a jacket & unplugged in -1C, I felt refreshed to start the next assignment among the many others due in the next 2 weeks.

May the odds be ever in our favour

To help yourself is to help others

Ever feel good after helping others? Know anyone who is almost always volunteering to help others in need? Ever help a friend in need? 

From Psychology and Anthropology, I learned that humans are social creatures, learning our survival skills from those around us. From experience, I often felt good after helping others, regardless of how small the act is. 

Something I hear a lot is that to help others is to help yourself. However, recently, I’ve started to think otherwise. 

In an environment like that of a university, they always encourage that students focus on helping themselves before helping others, hence why there’s so many resources to help students do well in their classes. 

I’ve started looking at creative alternatives to break my destructive habits. I started writing again, bought a colouring book (Doctor Who, of course), I got a stress ball (like Sherlock’s skull), and… I painted my nails blue (almost TARDIS-like). 

For every alternative that I’ve tried, I was already becoming scared before even starting, which made me hesitate in starting, but I went ahead. 

As a result, I’m not as afraid of not being perfect, I’m better able to manage my stress, I become aware of what I do I’m stress, and I don’t suppress my artistic side as much. 

Just like many of the articles said, the colouring book did help, just as every other method works. I still get stressed, as any other person, but I understand it better. By doing so, I’m better able to help others, which is what I always love to do. When people ask why I chose that method, I tell them that it allows for me to understand myself and, by extension, others around me. 

Differences in Age Difference

Ever notice that someone might look different? Ever notice that someone learns the material in a different way? Or that someone is somehow able to remember everything they read? 

On a daily basis, one might say that others look different because they have a different background. Maybe they are born in another region, with different parents, and who speak another language. Simple, right? 

Not to everyone. 

Among kids, I notice that they don’t think as we do (not yet, anyways). When they see someone who’s taller, wider, skinnier, darker, paler, speaks another language – anyone who’s different, a lot of them will start to ask questions. 

As someone in Sociology, it might be exciting to see kids wanting to understand more of the diversity in the small world around them. But from their point of view, they might not have seen anyone who was that different from them. 

When they do ask such questions, sometimes the adult tells them to take it back & apologize, as though they meant an insult in asking that. 

When I was asked why I was Chinese, I told the child that the answer would be a very long one. However, it is indeed a good question – for someone of whom that doesn’t have any relatives who are actually from China, why am I Chinese? It would make for an interesting sociological study, but for the child, he was told that it’s because my relatives from long ago are from China (close enough, I would think). 

Back in the adult world, those kind of questions are rarely asked, maybe because we’ve all had similar experiences as the child mentioned before. Maybe we don’t ask those questions because we’re afraid to be taken the wrong way or that we would be seen as rude. 

By reflecting, I start to think that a lot of us are expected to know society’s norms and morals by the time we reach adulthood. However, as I quickly learn in University, everybody has different norms and values that they brought from home. What seems normal to one person from China might seem awkward and uncomfortable to another person who was born and raised here in Canada (and the same vice versa). 

To say that we grow to ignore differences is to say that we grow to become blind. Maybe instead, it might be better to say that we accept or overlook the differences to make connections with people of whom have stories that, to us, are dreams that we hope to one day achieve or experience. 

Leaving Breadcrumbs for the future

Ever hear people encourage to make a brand? Or to make as many connections as possible? Or to have a portfolio with various examples of work? 

In today’s world, where making a website is about as easy as making a cheesecake and where we workers are competing with each other in the millions, one might see why building a reputation would be just what might make you hired. 

But not everyone has the courage or the personality type to make those connections or to be as outstanding. 

With technology constantly evolving, so are our online identities. Just like how we can have celebrities whose name are unusual and occasionally fictional, we everyday individuals have made tens, maybe even hundreds of virtual identities by the time we get out of university. 

So, when we do get a job, does that mean that we have to review all of the names/identities/aliases that we had made up until that point? In a recent seminar that I attended, the speakers talked about our online usernames having a significance in what it is what we do or what it is that we’re passionate about. 

Following that train of thought, we would be able to use our odd username/email/aliases to our advantage somehow? Could bob2000 represent how involved one is in the world of technology? Could a meme found on DeviantArt act as an example to turn a bad situation into a good/funny one? Could a tweet represent how blunt one is? 

As of right now, I’ve got more questions than answers. As I try to figure out what to do with my life, I keep finding myself reflecting my choices over the years, about what I chose to say on social media and on the Internet in general. Hopefully, the breadcrumbs that I’ve left won’t leave my potential employers too disoriented. 

One day to a week to a month…

How long has it been since I lasted posted here? A month, I would think.

Why would I stop writing? I might tell you that I didn’t have the time.

During the summer, I didn’t feel like writing anything. Then, it went from a day to a week, then to several months before I posted anything. While I had nothing but time, I lost interest in taking part in it, thinking that I no longer need it..

One thing that I’ve learned is that if you can come up with more excuses than reason, you probably shouldn’t go through with the decision and if you can come up with more reasons than excuses, than you probably should.

Of course, it’s always different depending on the individual. I’m not the kind of person who would actually write down the pros and cons of a decision, but rather focus on the cons instead of looking at everything. Since I was only looking at one side, I somehow started to think that I no longer have the time to commit to doing this.

And yet here I am, typing once more and reflecting on the number of reasons why I stopped in the first place. They are small in numbers, but it was enough to convince me to stop looking for the rewards for doing so.

Why stop a habit that has proven to be beneficial? That’s a question that I’d like find the answer to one day. Maybe because it requires a lot of time as a commitment, or maybe because it’s something else entirely. I said in an earlier post that I would try to post regularly once more, but, as Ana Jarvis said: “Don’t make promises you can’t keep.”

My pile of good and bad things

The way I see it, life is a pile of Good Things & Bad Things.

The Good Things don’t necessarily make the Bad Things unimportant, but vice versa, the Bad Things don’t necessarily spoil the Good Things

~The Doctor & Van Gogh

Ever have a string of bad things happen? Ever wonder why it is that it is almost always bad and never good? What about the opposite?

A lot happened, I won a mini-speakers, I lost a precious scarf, I nearly failed a class, I was promoted while volunteering, I took down my customized desk… The list goes on. As the Doctor told Amy after finding out that nothing could be done to save Van Gogh, “Life is a pile of good things & bad things.”

Last November, I was scrolling on Facebook, as 99% of my generation do, I saw a post by a local radio group/page/host (a.k.a. The Beat 92.5) that made a brief mention of a project of sorts that reminded me of what the Doctor told Amy on that day.

The project starts with a jar, paper and a pen. Over the course of a year, you would fill that jar of all of the good things that happened. At the end of the year, the jar would be filled with little bits of paper of moments when good things happened. The last part of this project would be to empty it and look at all the little pieces, reading them once more about how awesome the day was over the year.

Since it was close to the end of 2015, I wanted to run a bit of a trial run, so I bought a jar, some paper and a pen and did exactly what the project described. Around New Year’s I opened it up… and found myself with a lot of pride, laughter and happiness with every little piece that I read.

But then, shortly after New Year’s, I lost my scarf. That day, I kind of spent a while moping  in my room. I wanted to get it back, for sure, but I also felt like this wasn’t something I should brush aside and forget it. It was then that I decided to tweak the project that I had going on.

Now, the jar is still filled with bits of paper, but the content of the papers are written in Green and Red. Green was for the moments when something good happened and Red was for something bad happened. The reason why was that, when it gets the end of the year, it’s no longer a pile of red and green, but looks more like the colours of Christmas, which always made me happy.

Everyday, things happen to us. They can be good and they can be bad, but that’s not to say that we should forget that it happened in the first place. When they do happen, we often reflect, thinking of the reason why and what to do for the next time (to prevent or to make it happen again). I felt that by having a jar with all of these things in it, I become more aware of what happens every year and become just a little bit more appreciative of all the things that happened to me, whether good or bad.

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