quick general life update due to blog absence. i occasionally/frequently find myself giving a life update to people, and being fairly candid/honest in these sorts of things, i’ve always been coming back to the feeling/word/sensation of just being adrift. i think it’s a nice, evocative word that really has encapsulated my life as of late. between the various time commitments i’m juggling, i’ve been absolutely exhausted the rest of the time and it can be tough to find my center/accentuate the fact i am truly not sure about many aspects of life these days. i did have a record-setting three consecutive days of 1x exercise, 3x hanging out on each day. which was ridiculous (and schedule-y impressive), and i never want to do that again.
anyway, the major spheres: (ugh, there will be a lot of overlap with this and the dashboard)
ROMANTIC/GAY LIFE. going…. okay. the more gay guys i meet/date, the more i don’t really know what i want in a relationship. trying new things, having gay/queer theory related discussions. realized i haven’t been on a 3rd date in a very long time.
lately, i’ve been doing a lot more “casual friending”. there are a couple people who i am hoping to pursue more substantively, but in the meantime, it’s still been a lot of meeting and greeting. anyway, i would say that i have a fair number of friends, but almost all of them are “friends with asterisks”. doesn’t help that i made angeles cry in the supermarket last week.
EXERCISE. EXERCISE is actually overall going quite well. despite not doing a significant amount of running-specific training, i did quite well in the US Half last weekend (cut my time from 1:42 to 1:35, a 7:12/mi pace, putting me in 88th, fuck yeah. definitely a respectable time). climbing has lately been going well as well; i did my second V3 yesterday and have done two 5.10D’s with 3 takes each (goal is a majority of the V3’s and 5.11A’s, no takes, will decide what to do about climbing then). picked up yoga (for mental balance, running/climbing cross-training), which is thus far incredibly, incredibly painful, but i’m still intrigued.
JOB. short answer is, i should/need to think more about my job/what i want to do. what is simultaneously causing me the most and least anxiety. most uncertainty, but maybe in a sphere that i don’t care so much about? i’m putting that off until after i get the ASA, which will in theory be in a couple months. fingers crossed. but i feel like my brain has sort of shut off and is sputtering a little bit. which… i think is fine in life, but this is probably too soon. the internal transfer is revving it back into shape.
(banksy ❤ via the rat race)
SO EASY TO GRIPE ABOUT THE JOB, NOT GOING TO WHINE ABOUT IT, but ended up having two meals with people who made me feel really disappointed in myself.
1) one guy was basically my doppleganger; it was really odd, into running/climbing/parkour/tough mudder, all that stuff. asian, similar build/look. SAME FIRST NAME. things got weirder: he worked at the same management consulting “shop” that worked at and we knew a good number of same people. so on paper, much of our credentials looked the same, but… he was actually this bizarro alternate universe james that was really passionate about his job and networking. like how when he travelled, he would message the listserv of the AC’s from that city to go to a happy hour. or how he knows exactly what he wants to do long term, and has talked to senior partners and consultants from other firms to figure out how to best achieve his goals. how he believes that there are serious barriers for asians in the workplace and believes that an asian employee resource group should be founded. meanwhile, me-james has no idea what i want to do, and don’t particularly care. was quite weird talking to him and seeing what i could have been.
2) met up with a girl who was also studying for actuary when i was in college. she talked about putting in 70 hr weeks so that she could get the early promotion, and now she was managing a handful of people. how things are going really well with her boyfriend. how she had a couple of very distinct career options and how she was learning more/moving toward each one. how she wasn’t concerned about job security because of all the knowledge she was learning. about how she really impressed her managers and how they were really impressed by her consulting skills.
from justdothemath/alice lee, the girl who was responsible for dear instagram, the viral graphic resume that is the absolute epitome of self-starter-ness and cleverness (SHE STILL HASN”T COMMENTED ON THE $1B ACQUISITION):
Access to my professors is the most valuable thing I get out of school right now. I can’t tell you how valuable it is to get formal crits from Sharka (my typography teacher), or pick Hitt’s brain on user experience stuff (information economics), or get advice from Prof Wu (enabling technologies) on general networking stuff. the classes themselves are just alright. but the professors are legit BALLERs.)
you can teach an asian student how to ace tests (that’s me); you can’t teach an asian student to have that drive/ambition/interest/passion/intellectual curiosity. cmon james, where’s the fire.
When my grandfather was wasting away with cancer, I was sitting by his bedside getting ready to leave the hospital. My mother and grandmother had walked out of the room to get ice chips and jello, and I was sitting there saying a short prayer.
I stood up, and he waved me over close to him. I asked what he wanted, and, when I got close, he grabbed me by my collar, pulled me very close to his face, and said, “Live. I want you to live, dammit! Not one second squandered or wasted. Jump out of an airplane. Beat the living shit out of a man. Make love to a beautiful woman who knows more than you do. Do everything and ask forgiveness from the Lord. When I see you in 60 or 80 years, I want you to look me dead in the eye and say, ‘Have I got some stories for you.'”
He died about three months later. God, I hope I’m making him proud.
chills. very #YOLO (you only live once) and very saw (the movie) where you need to make the most of the gift of life (otherwise a serial killer will put you in a extremely gory situation and force you to fight for how much you think life is worth to you). also from a conversation with zach, where he had uninstalled league of legends because, cmon, are video games really what life is about? (note: i am very excited about diablo 3 and will definitely be buying it)
from a close friend:
As to your update, I wish I had some cutting insight that would just smash through all your problems and put you right where you want to be in life. All I can say is that I totally understand where you’re coming from. This is a metaphor I’ve used in the past when thinking about my own life: it’s like I’m swimming in the ocean, and waves are constantly crashing over my head, so I always in this precarious state of trying to move forward and keep my head above water at the same time. It’s hard. But there’s nothing to do but keep swimming.
And I don’t have any better answers when it comes to romance either. […] But (and this is more talking for me than you) it can be hard to feel that way when you feel adrift. (Unmoored is one way I described it to my therapist). (Also, speaking of words—you can add my kudos to what I hope was a back-pat for using “ennui”). Anyways, all of this probably isn’t that helpful, but I find it comforting to know that at least other people are experiencing similar things. And we’ll all try to soldier on as best we can. After all, the only inevitable thing about life is change–happiness isn’t permanent, but neither is sadness.
EVERYTHING IS A DECISION; MAKE IT HAPPEN. yes, yes…. (every time i say “everything is a decision”, i feel the need to say it in my angeles voice and angeles coloring)
maybe what i want is that feeling of “permanence” that nana described. i don’t know if there’s anything inherently wrong with being adrift. sure, it’s not ideal, but if you need a period of exploration and flux, then you should explore and flux. anyway. soldiering onward.