They sent me to Binghamton

I've always wanted to be on the east coast, and the universe responded…by sending me to Binghamton, NY. Oh you've never heard of it? Neither had I, but I do so love adventures and that's how I choose to view this. Let the adventures begin!


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Choosing the Practical Path

I am a prime example of someone who has chosen the practical path. I chose a practical major for my bachelor degree, one that would pretty much guarantee I would get a job shortly after graduating. My mom offered to have me stay at the dorms my freshman year of college so I can gain the experience but given we lived only about 4 miles from campus, I chose not to. Rather than do a summer abroad for a class that would count towards my GPA but was not really needed for my degree, I chose instead to do an internship within the US. Instead of taking time off after graduating to travel and explore the world, I started looking for jobs and accepted an offer not too long after I graduated. I decided I didn’t want to pay rent so I lived at my parents’ house after college and saved up for my own property, sacrificing the freedom that is so greatly desired by kids* at that age. After I bought my own condo, I was so depleted financially that I didn’t go out too much, didn’t even own a TV, and I had to be careful of my extraneous purchases.

Worried parents applaud my decisions and use me as an example for their kids who choose a non-practical major such as art or English, or those who don’t bother with college at all.

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Nomads and world-travelers look at me and shake their heads, thinking that I am missing out on so many life experiences by living in a world of practicality.

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Those who really know me and have been in my life for a long time know better.

The truth is, I chose the practical path because it coincided with what I really wanted. I chose my major because I found it interesting. I chose to take those internships instead of studying abroad because my future career meant more to me than the study abroad experience. I chose to take a job shortly after because I wanted stability more than I was willing to risk being stuck in a different country if I couldn’t find a job. I chose to purchase my own property because I wanted the sense of pride associated with home ownership and knowing I worked hard for it more than I wanted the immediate freedom shortly after graduation and experiencing “going out” and such.

Was I sad that I missed out? Of course. I don’t doubt that I would have had a lot of fun and gained life experiences had I chosen otherwise. But I still don’t regret my decisions and I wouldn’t change them even if I could. Because while taking chances earlier on in my life would’ve taught me things that took me longer to learn such as how traveling is so worth it despite the cost, the downside is it would’ve taken me longer to build the foundation I have today.

There are so many articles, blog posts, and YouTube videos telling you to take that risk because the reward is worth it.

“Don’t be afraid!”

“Take chances!”

“Follow your dreams!”

I love the message behind these. Really, I do. But I think it tends to make most people feel like a failure. Like, damn, why aren’t I traveling the world, starting my own business, and living a life of perceived poverty until I break success and then turn into a billionaire?

Don’t get me wrong. I do not disagree with the messages behind these. I instead would like to offer that rather than jumping straight to taking chances and following your dreams, first ask yourself if you really want it. Think about all the things you want aside from the dream of becoming a rock star, let’s say. Like, having stability in your life, knowing when your next paycheck is going to come and knowing you will be able to afford the next meal. If the answer is still, nope, I want to be a rock star more than I want those other practical things, then go for it. If not, there isn’t anything wrong with that. Sure, no one looks at the person who has chosen the practical path and goes, I really admire you and I want to be just like you some day. But honestly, who cares? You went after what you really wanted and you’re going to be much happier for it.

As for me, I’m totally ok with being the Queen of Practicality.

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*I say kids like I’m so much older but I’m really not. It just seems that way since a lot has happened since then.

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Snow Greetings

You know, walking out to winter wonderland is just as amazing to me as walking out to the sight of beautiful red and yellow Fall trees. I still don’t know where I want to end up living, but I think I’d like to live in a place that has full seasons.

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I Wish I Had Given Up Sooner

I never thought I’d say that but it’s true. I get really pig-headed some(most)times and I put it in my head that I. Must. FINISH IT.

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Most of the time it’s a good trait to have but there are times when the Present Me wants to slap the Past Me and say, “It’s not worth it, dammit!!” Because regardless of whether or not I complete the task or resolve the issue, when the amount of time and effort I put in exceeds the value of success, I end up feeling like crap. I feel really antsy, stressed out, and angry like no other.

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And when I don’t even end up finishing it or getting what I want anyway? OH. Much worse. Because then it’s like, wow, I might as well have just flushed my time down the toilet for all the good it did me.

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And then it makes me want to cry.

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So what fantastic thing did I do this time where I should’ve given up sooner? It isn’t a relationship issue this time, thankfully, although I’ve managed to waste my own time a few times in the past. No, this time it has to do with school. How could that possibly be a bad thing then, spending all that time for school? Well, I spent about 15 hours on my final lab for this class only to still not have it working like it’s supposed to. Not to say I should’ve spent 0 hours on it, but I should’ve stopped by 10 hours. Why? Because I did all of that for a prerequisite class (undergraduate course) that will not even count towards my master’s degree! I only needed it so I can have a specific specialty for my master’s. It won’t even count towards my GPA! So, dammit, why did I do that?? Now I will have to spend extra hours to get my work done for my job. Le sigh.

I think in the future I need to consult my time vs. worth graph. I need to determine, once I hit an issue or some sort of road block, how much achieving this goal is worth it to me. Based on the worth, then I can figure out how much time I should put in or if I’ve already put in enough time.

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Ugh. One day I’ll learn. I hope.


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It’s Always Sunny in California

I went home for Thanksgiving and got to stay an extra week since work wanted me to be in the Irvine office. My last visit home was picture-perfect – blue, clear sky, warm weather, and sunshine the whole time.

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This visit? Not so much. It certainly started off on the right note. For one thing, I got bumped to first class because of my Silver Elite status with Delta.

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Oh, you fancy, huh?

Then my mom picked me up from the airport and we headed over to have some turkey at my cousin’s house.

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The next day was also beautiful…but then the rain came and decided to stay for the whole time I was there. Why, man, WHY?!?!

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Who lied to me and said that it’s always clear, sunny, blue skies in California??

California really needs the rain though, plus I got used to not always having sunshine living in Binghamton so it actually wasn’t that big of a deal. Still…it would’ve been nice to get some sunshine. No matter, I like to try to find the silver lining in unexpected, non-ideal situations, and the silver lining in the unexpected rainy weather was the fact that it was perfect onesie weather!

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The Lion and The Hedgehog

I love my friends and their eccentricity, man. They’re simply the best.

It was really, REALLY great to catch up with friends and family. I caught up with my first CrossFit coach ever over at CrossFit 1440.

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I also went to StrongFit for Squaturday, which I used to do every Saturday, and was reminded how much work I still need to do with my squats…I’m going to start recording myself, even though I hate doing so. I’ll think of it as a means for improvement rather than an awkward video of myself…

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I had great meals with my cousin pretty much every night.

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And I finally got to meet up with the “Wolfpack,” who I haven’t seen since my going away dinner right before I moved to Binghamton, NY.

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It’s been almost a year, and so much has changed, both in good and bad ways. This year has definitely been The Year of the Unexpected but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s almost the end of the year and although there have been some downs in our lives, there have definitely been some ups and it seems to me that our Wolfpack will be ending the year on a wonderful note. I just can’t believe how fast this year has passed and how much things have changed! The one thing that won’t change, despite the distance and the busy schedules, is our friendship. We may no longer hang out as much as we used to, but every time we do it is such a blast! I am so blessed to have met and maintain such amazing people in my life!

Till next time, California!