Posts Tagged ‘life’
And Suddenly a Light Appears Inside My Brain. And I Think of My Ways, I Think of My Days, And Know That I Have Changed*
Looking back, every one if the past few years since I’ve started college has really been defined by a phase. Sometimes the phases span more than one year, but every section was still really definitive.
Freshman year was a time of really realizing the friendships I wanted to make and keep. The majority of the people I knew then no longer exist in my life, but a lot of the current close friendships came from that time. Funny how that works out. It was just not the crowd I wanted to be associated with; a lot of it reminded me of what I thought I was comfortable with in high school. And then BAM! I realized this was college in a brand new state. There was no one from my high school and I could really choose and figure out the friendships I really wanted to make. A lot of what you do in freshman year really does end up defining what your college experience is. I mainly found my roommates. :)
Second semester of freshman year was my first exposure to Illini Pride (student cheering sections for all varsity sports teams) in the form of Orange Krush (men’s basketball cheering section). And wow. I would never take back any of the countless hours I have devoted to being on the Illini Pride Executive Board and the countless hours spent at sporting events. When I earned my spot on the board starting sophomore year, it completely changed the lifestyle and friendships I had (aside from my roommates, who became a constant throughout the four years).
All my friends from freshman year were Asian. Meaning that I really only interacted with, at maximum, 16% of the Illinois community! 16%! It’s amazing to think about how much joining Illini Pride really opened my eyes to the world outside of what I had always known. My high school was by no means “Asian,” but we were still 40% Asian. For a lot of my Illinois friends, they had either no Asians or only a couple in their entire schools. This is untrue of some of the suburbs (Niles, Naperville, Oakbrook, etc.), but they still had much lower percentages than my area in Northern California.
Junior year/2008 was my favorite year. I knew the most people on campus during this time, my good friends were super seniors, and it was our Rose Bowl year! Penn St, Wisconsin, at #1 Ohio St for the Block I (football cheering section) annual road trip.
Senior year was difficult at times. I started traveling a lot more from accruing so many miles throughout my years at Illinois and having my car at school. So I was always either in Chicago, Berkeley, SD, or LA, which made it hard to enjoy college since I was so impatient about transitioning into post-college life. I do regret not having cherished that time as I should have, but at least I did made a resolve to spend more time on campus during the second half of spring semester.
After college was a little crazy. I wasn’t ready to move back to California yet, I wanted to experience living in Chicago, but I also didn’t want to find myself “stuck” in Illinois. I LOVE Illinois, but I’ve always known it’s not where I would eventually want to settle down. And so I started off with the Naperville downtown Apple Store opening. I thought after that for a little bit, I would move home and put my finance degree to good use. Somehow I ended up as a manager for Gilly Hicks (Abercrombie & Fitch Co.) and lived in Chicago for almost two years. That also almost took me to a two year stint in Hong Kong for Abercrombie, which didn’t work out, but, I did find my best friend there!
I ended up moving home and landing my current job. The hardest part about moving home is trying to pick up your high school friendships from where they were and finding that I was in completely different places in life than them. It took a while to really find friends that I completely trust, but these girls have really become my support system and this is the first time in my life that the majority of my close friends are female.
Quarter century birthday. It’s weird to think about how it only seemed like yesterday we were all turning 21, at the same time, I really can’t imagine being in college anymore. I’m really excited for this year and the maybe changes that I’m working toward, and there’ll definitely be more adventures in design and printing!
*Grouplove – “Colours”
You Gotta Roll With It. You Gotta Take Your Time. You Gotta Say What You Say, Don’t let Anybody Get in Your Way*
We’re ONE day away from September and you know what that means! One thing only: FOOTBALL SEASON! It’s only my favorite sports season and that also means we’re one month away from October (you know, that sweet spot in the calendar year where every single sport converges. I can’t wait for six-sport weekends: college football, NFL, playoffs baseball, college basketball, NBA, and hockey). Also, it means the start of season four of The League is just around the corner! Actually got to see Nick Kroll’s standup show at Punchline in SF a couple weeks back and he’s just as funny talking about fantasy football as he is about other topics. I think the best part of The League (aside for being from being set Chicago) is that most of the show is comprised of improv from the actors. Just did our fantasy draft last night so that may explain my increased interest in football. Or maybe it’s also because the Illini season starts in two days! So many personnel changes in the Illini Athletic Department, so it’ll be really interesting to see how this year of sports will pan out for us; I’m always down to see how the rookies perform. I may have also drafted Andrew Luck (yes, even though he’s a Cardinal). I’ll hopefully only need him for week nine against the Dolphins, so that’s a pretty safe game to see how he plays. It’s pretty late in the season too so if I really need a better backup QB, I’ll have plenty of time to pick someone else up.
Isn’t that what life’s about anyway? (Okay, this will be a stretch from football, but who cares!) Taking chances and being spontaneous? I’ll admit, I do sometimes make some less-than-stellar decisions when it comes to non-work related situations. But I’m not about to live my life with regrets and worrying about the “what-ifs.” I’d rather play clean up than to always be left wondering. I would hope I had a somewhat thought out reasoning for why (probably don’t! Lol) I said or did what I did, so I just suck it up and deal with the consequences.
I went on a crazy last minute trip a couple weekends ago and I even convinced Elaine and Daryl to come with me! :) I’m really glad I made the trip though, not only because we’re only young once and why not take a trip none of us will be apt to forget anytime soon? But also because I got to see one of my really good friends from college. Time flies! It’s already been seven years since we met (it should be right around our friendaversary!) my freshman year in the dorms. PAR may not have been as “cool” as six pack, but I met some of my best friends and future roommates from living there. :) Besides, how did I meet my future roommates? I was convinced to go on a last minute trip to St. Louis for a Coldplay concert! So spontaneity wins again.
Happy College Season Opener Day!
*Oasis – “Roll With It”
I’m still determined to make July an amazing month! Finally finished my save the dates for my bday last night–even while having to do an unexpected call. But they’re done and beautiful! My first successful solo letterpress project! :)
But back to the call. It really wasn’t so much unexpected since I pretty much had a month’s heads up on it, but it still felt like a slap to the face. And then I almost called someone else out on all their BS. Oops. Maybe a good thing I wasn’t able to say what I wanted to to that person? #sorryimnotsorry.
At the same time, whatever. Like I’ve always said, I’m gonna continue to do me and not let little things get to me and get me down. Just kinda sucked because I realized the two people at the top of my call list were in Hong Kong (thank you Viber!) and Chicago. I can’t wait for the first to move back to CA, but the other is stuck in Chicago. And by stuck, I mean he does love it there (move West!!), haha.
Just trying to stay positive heading into August since it’s traditionally such a roller coaster month. It’s got my favorite day of the year (August 15th!), signifies end of summer and returns to Champaign when I was still at U of I, but it’s also known to be a bit crazy and unexpected. It’s also (for the past two seasons) been the worst month of Giants baseball, which is scary being so close to playoffs! No matter, just gonna take it one day at a time since there’s no use over-analyzing things when I could just be living in the present. :)
Things to look forward to in the next couple of months:
Imagine Dragons&Walk the Moon, Nick Kroll, Of Monsters and Men?, Imagine Dragons (again), Grouplove x2, L.A. Printer’s Fair, Napa (yay for visitors flying in!), Chicago/Champaign/Homecoming
*Grouplove – “Love Will Save Your Soul”
Places, People, & Things I’ll Miss When I Move from the Bay
(All with the assumption, that I’m not moving OUT of state)
- The Presidio of San Francisco (Fort Point, Chrissy Field, Baker Beach, Marshall Beach)
- Bridges! The Bay Bridge and GG
- Berkeley (the food, the sports)
- Photohunting on Stanford Campus
- My Albany girls: Irene, Elaine, Tiff, Joanne (kinda…you’ll probably be in LA!)
- …And the rest of the group: Grace, JWang, Aaron, Shay, John
- being one cubicle away from Geoff
- Concerts at The Fillmore
- SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS HOME GAMES and AT&T Park
- San Francisco 49ers (AJ Jenkins!!! #illini :D)
- San Jose Sharks games at the Tank
- Seriously, just being in a city where all your favorite sports teams are. I left the Bay the first time around not liking sports as much as when I came back. And there’s NOTHING better than being surrounded by fellow fans. Bulls were the only Chicago team I loved and I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to adjust leaving NorCal, but at least I’ll only be a drive away. :)
- My awesomely designed room and bathroom
- Eric Bourman’s ballet classes at Pacific Ballet Academy
- Living ten minutes away from Chinese food (ugh. LA traffic, I will not like you)
- Driving on 280 (especially Palo Alto and north)
- Living with my parents. Love getting to actually spend time with them and talk to them whenever I want
- Mrs. Chai’s haircuts
- Adapt Clothing
- Apple ?
Hmm, did not think that my SF list would be so much short than my Illinois one. Then again, I’ve only lived back here for a little over a year and I’ve already spent six years getting used to not missing CA so much.
I think there a lot less things holding me back this time than when I had to move to Illinois. I was also a lot younger and I’ve already picked myself up and moved from NorCal to Illinois and then to HK already so what’s another move right? I’m just no longer looking for the whole “move-for-two-years” thing. It kinda makes establishing your life hard. And I think it makes other people equally frustrated when you can’t give them a definite answer on if you’re staying, if you’re going, if you’re really going when you keep saying it for over a year. haha. So that rules out moving to NYC. I LOVE NYC, but it’s never going to be a place I can actually see myself settling down in. I’d be 80% more likely to move back to Chicago than to NYC. I used to think I could settle down outside of California, but the longer and longer I’m staying here, I know that’s not true. It’s the culture and the cities that I’ve always loved. Everyone told me I was crazy for choosing to go to Illinois, and I can see why, but I’m still very glad I chose to go to Illinois and I know I’m choosing to stay in California not because it’s the only place I’ve ever really known, but because it is where I want to end up.
*Journey – “Lights”
I realized that as I grew older, the people who I consider to be my best friends–or even who I would consider friends–have evolved. I didn’t realize it in all my trips back home until I had to actually live at home. That’s when I realized just how different this was all going to be from my life in Chicago.
A lot of my friends here in California, I’ve known since high school, or even elementary school. And all of our experiences in college have shaped us. It’s not necessarily a bad thing and it’s great to have friends that are different. But I think it also opened my eyes as to people I’m not quite sure I want in my life anymore.
In college, and life after college, it is definitely easier to find friends that had more similar interests and are more aligned with my values. A lot of this comes from going to a college in a state where I knew absolutely no one else before going there. It’s not like high school where you have only 4,000 kids in the school that you’re interacting with. These are campuses with 40,000 students. Spend four years there, and you can pick and choose exactly the friends that you want to keep in your life.
Coming home though, has been in many ways, a shock. My friends here are fun to hang out with, but they don’t feel like they hold as much substance. I realized that our lives are back from when we left high school and losing those four years in between when we’ve all had time to grow and develop in different ways has left an almost empty space in the friendship. It’s like a relationship that has gone on for far too long and it’s comfortable, and you know they are there for you, but it’s not exciting and just not the same.
In all my trips home, they were never for more than a week or a couple days at time. Therefore, I never really took the time to evaluate some of my friendships. What I found is that there are people in my life that if they did the things they did in college, I would have already dropped them. It’s much harder to drop these friendships, because these aren’t people that I have met for only a year or two–these are friendships that are now six, seven, or even ten+ years long. But I think there comes a time when you have to stand up for what you believe in, and friendships are sometimes just of the toxic kind and it’s better to “naturally” drift apart.
There are still a lot of friends that I would consider my close friends, just maybe not my best friends anymore. It’s a little sad to think about, but I think it happens; it might have even happened to me in Illinois if I had stayed long enough. And who knows, these are people I would love to be as close with again, and it could happen in the future still.
*Queen – “You’re My Best Friend”
There’s always that question about how we deal with the things we lost. And I guess the elusive answer is still the same as I’ve always felt it to be, except that maybe it’s more real this time than it has ever been. There is no right or wrong way to deal with things, you just get over it. You just think about how it’s just another thing that happens to you in life and just like everything else you in life, you don’t let it break you. Tom Stoppard (genius as he always is / has been), wrote in Shakespeare in Love on what to do when love’s denied? There’s nothing you can do except that there are sad tears and a journey. But that’s the end of that, there’s not death of anything but the love invovled. No one goes beserk and dies from the withdrawal of the love they seek. Things just move on and it’s over with. You can’t dwell on the past. Sometimes, it’s just easier to move on because it’s like a weight that’s lifted off your shoulders. It’s one less thing to worry about and you can fulfill everything else that your life has to offer instead of just being stuck in that moment in time. When you’ve exhausted all possible methods, then you know it’s time to move on. But when are we supposed to understand that there are no more options and when something is worth all the effort of saving or try at least to get the other person to agree that you have to save what there is? You don’t. It’s that gut feeling. But when the other person opposes it with all their might, then you know that something is wrong, something isn’t worth it anymore. If it takes so much energy just to convince the other person that the love you had is more pure than anything else, then what’s going to happen later on when you do get him? He’s going to be the same as he’s always been. And that’s gonna be no fun at all. I wish that I could get a second chance on everything that’s happened, but I guess it’s for the better this way. Besides, at least I go away with the knowledge that you have to play harder to get. If he sticks around for you, then you know his feelings are genuine. If he scampers like a scared bunny, then you know he’s never going to be worth your time. Just know the fine line between what’s enough and what’s too much.
I’m normally a really private person. I mean, there may be a lot of things that I say, but that’s usually the tip of the iceberg. There’s just so much that I think that anybody would be surprised really. I guess I’ll just begin with some things…
- I am a “lists” person. Maybe it comes from my competitive nature, but I like to list everything out, I like to know the rankings of everything and if rankings currently don’t exist for something, then you should make it up. Anything and everything has the possibility to be made into a list (even this subject here). I have lists of which friends I consider are my bestest friends and know everything about me (or in some cases have been through shit with me) and have always been there for me. I have lists of people I’d invite to parties that I hope to throw. Lists of people are the most fun actually ’cause then you also get to rank how they stand on your list of friends. (If I say that some competition doesn’t matter to me, trust me, it matters like no other).
- I’m very systematic. (which I think goes hand-in-hand with the lists thing). But this is mostly true when it comes to friends and boys. I’ll try to explain in terms of the ladder theory. Every single person that I meet is placed onto either the friends ladder or the interested ladder. Girls are obviously placed directly onto the friends ladder (although in the original ladder theory, girls are only about placing boys, I like to just place everyone into the ladder theory), but it’s not that common for there to be girls on the ladder anyway ’cause I’m usually friends with guys more than girls. Guys on the other hand, as in the ones placed on the interested ladder, they just go through however length of time that I feel is necessary for me to get to know them and then I make the executive decision on whether they stay on or if they get kicked into the abyss. YES, IF YOU GET KICKED OFF, YOU DON’T GO ONTO THE FRIENDS LADDER. Sorry. That’s how I work ’cause I obviously found something that bothered me enough to lose complete interest in you so it’s the obvious choice here, fellas.
- I have a large amount of friends, but it wasn’t always this way. Yes, it’s true I was a loner growing up. I liked being solitary, or maybe solidarity chose me. Either way, I don’t really care much about my childhood except that it was easier then when I didn’t have all these stupid people wanting to be friends with me. That sounds spoiled doesn’t it, well not spoiled but like something a typical “popular girl” would say. But it’s true. I stopped feeling that I should be nice to every person I meet because to do that, well, they just assume that we’re friends and we really aren’t ’cause I don’t give two shits about most of the people that I meet in life unless, of course, you somehow fall into the top category on my friends list. THEN, I will bend over backwards for you, if need be.
- I may seem nice, but deep down, I am by nature, as all human beings are by nature, selfish. That’s why I like Laguna Beach. We all say Kristin’s a bitch, but we still want to be just like her. Everyone has bitchy tendencies in life. That’s what being selfish is all about, being a bitch and getting your way in everything. Wouldn’t that make life so much easier if you were just able to do whatever the heck you wanted to? Yes. Don’t lie.
- I like to point out weird things about myself ’cause if you don’t think that’s cool, it’s okay. You have to at least deal with it / find it amusing / laugh at me, but still stay friends with me. If that weirds you out (pun intended), then whatever, I have so many other friends. I just need someone who will understand that humans aren’t meant to be molded into something that is just the rest of the herd (Nietzche reference intended).
- I’m hella stubborn. I don’t know where it comes from, but in my opinion, if you can’t stand up for something that you believe in, well that’s just weak, to the max.
That’s all folks.