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December 3, 2007

A Helpful Examination of What's to Come

It seems strange to admit it, but this blog really has proven itself to be a rather useful tool. Over the course of these last few months, I’ve written about school, possible careers, stressors, my possible future plans, life and fantasy goals, and numerous other topics, each of which has forced me to think on its topic a great deal more than I might have otherwise at this point in my schooling. I’m sure I wouldn’t have thought of most of the things I’ve written on had I not been prompted to. Cool. It's a pretty neat thing to be able to look back at my past entries too. I wish I had gotten one of these things a few years ago...I mean, it's such a great way to clear your head--by posting your thoughts for anyone to just stumble upon and absorb. The idea is just awesome. I should consider reading some other people's thoughts. What better way to gain new insights?

A Flash Back to College Applications

Reading all about the do’s and don’ts of cover letters and résumés, I can’t help but call to mind all the meticulous work the college applications of my previous year required of me. Those applications, man, those were hard core; but they also proved to be a great experience that I’m quite sure will have played at least a small part in preparing me for résumé stuff. In a very broad sense, a lot of the ideas behind college applications and job résumés are the same. For example, the point behind each is to put aside modesty and, without lying or boasting beyond belief, to sell yourself to the employer or the company or the university. I’m rather hopeful that writing a résumé is going to be a slightly shorter process than those college apps, but it might not be. After all, a résumé forces a person to look back at lots of things he or she has done during his or her lifetime, so it’s still quite a bit to make sure you’ve got in there. As I said, you’re basically selling yourself to these people; trying to convince them that you are, without a doubt, the best person for this position due to reasons x, y, and z. That mentality really helps with my nerves. When I think of how it’s only myself that I’m trying to tell these people about, it takes away a large part of the pressure, because I possess a good deal of self-confidence. Perhaps putting together a résumé won’t be so bad.

A Career Possiblity Revisited

I’ve done it! I have my own radio show; and, criminy, is it blissful! I may have an earlier time slot than I originally hoped for, but I don’t even care about that anymore. To be up early is what I once frequently practiced and loved well! And being up early to do something I enjoy…well, let’s just say it takes me back. It takes me back to the days when I was little and could awaken whenever I chose, but I had an early enough bedtime and less of a need for sleep so that I awoke early to play and watch happy little children’s shows. But this, radio broadcasting…this is like happy little children’s shows for the soul! I think I may have to work in radio. Now that I know how much happiness a simple two-hour time slot brings me, how can I not work in radio? To do otherwise would be foolish; now that I’ve found something, a possible career, that I know full-well makes me absolutely euphoric, how can I do anything else?

Résumés?

Already? Ok, so, it’s really not that early on that I should be wary of beginning résumés, but it still seems so weird to be learning about them. I think it’d feel weird at any point, so what can one do? My sister’s in her third year of college and she’s been working on her résumé for awhile now, which should suggest to me that one does start these things fairly early in their undergrad life, if not sooner, but still, it’s weird. It must be the case that, whenever I think of a résumé and don’t immediately think back to my part-time job at Barnes & Noble, I think strictly of adults who are in their late 30’s or older and are either searching for their first job (which would be a little ridiculous) or switching from one job to a higher up position. Me, writing a résumé….it even sounds odd. Not odd in a bad way, mind you, just odd. Beginning work on a résumé suggests to me that I’m nearing adulthood; which, I suppose, is true, but it’s such an out-of-the-ordinary thing for me to consider. I’m not sure I’m ready to be an adult just yet.

The Future Can Be So Ambiguous...

If you were going to be dead in six days, would you really want to know? As I sit here and contemplate an early death (don’t worry, I’m not suicidal), I wonder about the answer to that question. Due to the ambiguity of all things in the future, and to the lack of authentic fortune-tellers, we’ll never really know what career or lifestyle or partner awaits us. But that’s a good thing, right? Not knowing who’s around the corner or what we might have for breakfast if the local café is out of oatmeal monster cookies? I guess I’d say that that is a good thing. Besides, certain sporadic events would never be as much fun if you knew all about them in advance. Hence the word, “sporadic,? which is a very amusing word, by the way. For me, it always brings up an image of square-dancing toadstools. Anyway, the above question might be a bit more daunting than “would you want to know what career you’ll end up with?? or something, but, on the whole (at least with the semi-lighter questions), I think I can say with some self-assurance that I wouldn’t like to know what lies ahead before things come along on their own. What fun would that be?

FINALS: A Six-Letter Word for STRESS

Finals are fast approaching. Quick! Freak out! I can’t think of a better synonym for stress than “finals.? Ugh. This semester’s finals are still about two weeks away, yet my heart pounds more rapidly every time I think of them. Actually, thinking of finals at the beginning of a semester makes my heart race. I don’t even normally freak out over tests (well, that might not be true…), but finals are enough to get me going. I guess it’s just the thought of being thoroughly and painfully tested on so much information that’s been taught and hopefully learned over the fast few months. Although I know why we have finals, I find myself asking the obvious question, the question that all college students dare to think, but not all dare to ask…why do we have finals??? Perhaps they’re not a big deal to some, but I doubt it. I think the thought of finals is enough to stress out anyone. Those cumulative finals are just killers, too. How can professors seriously think to test you on an entire semester’s worth of knowledge in one sitting? Bleah…I’m getting stressed just writing this.

Happy Events Causing Stress

You don’t have to tell me that sad or disheartening events are not the only kinds of happenings that cause stress. I know better. I could simply look at the last weekend I experienced that went above and beyond the ordinary weekend and was loads of fun—Thanksgiving weekend. Although, technically, that was a four-day weekend and a break from school, it was still a weekend, and an extraordinarily-amazing one at that. Going home for the break was great, but even the car trip wore me out. On top of the round trip being about seven hours is the fact that I barely stopped moving during those four days. I got home and then I went out to see friends and then came home and cleaned up and slept and got up and went out again…and so on. I was in the most euphoric of moods throughout, but it sure was stressful to go out and come home and get this and do that. I felt as if, even though the weekend was jam-packed, I could, and maybe should, have done so much more. Even thinking about all of the things that I could have been doing as I did other things caused some stress. And even sleep didn’t alleviate that stress, because I allowed myself less of the stuff in order to fit extra people and places into each day. Recalling that weekend alone arouses both feelings of anxiety and joy. I can’t wait for the four-week break that’s coming up! Bring on the stress and happiness!

Dealing with Frustration

How do I deal with my frustration over school, people, politics? The first thing I tend to do is search for the nearest source of tasty tea. Unfortunately, I often find myself in a place or situation where making tea at the necessary moment is out of the question. And because tea solves everything, not having access to it at my moments of need can be quite disastrous. However, because I have lived a majority of my life without tea (before discovering its tastiness and soothing abilities), I have other methods shelved in the back of my mind to help me. The primary second step seems to be for me to retire to somewhere private—or at least quiet—where I can gather my thoughts and calm myself. This step is usually not even necessary unless I’m in the foulest of moods or simply beyond the point of being able to reason something out with another individual. In actuality, I hardly ever get angry-frustrated, it’s usually just annoyed-frustrated, if you catch my drift. Even so, I’ve found that slipping away into a quiet area helps a great deal, with either sort of frustration.

November 15, 2007

How We View Ourselves

It has recently been called to my attention that we view ourselves in relation to the performance of others quite a bit more than I thought. I feel as if I have known of this for a while, but I say that it has recently been called to my attention because I’ve failed to really think about it until lately. When I think of my achievements, it’s possible that I begin by comparing them only to my past achievements, but I turn so quickly to the accomplishments of others that it’s hard to tell where I began. This is true not only with accomplished tasks, but also with everyday things such as hairstyles and teeth. I want to say that the more-physical aspects mostly come up with girls, but that can’t really be the case. Although they may not speak about it as openly, guys are sure to think about these things as well; perhaps they simply think in other terms or of other physical attributes, such as physique. We do focus quite a bit on figures in our society. It seems so crazy though, that we may complete something great and then compare it to the work of another person, when everyone is so different. And it often makes great achievements seem so small and unimportant. We compare and contrast our waistlines, or grades, our incomes, even our miseries and lack of sleep. Why do we do it? Is it really so crucial to our well-being that we did better than he did on that paper or that we gripe about how much less sleep we got than she did? What a waste of time and energy.

November 13, 2007

Experts Identify Really Significant Time-Wasters

Of the eight “really significant time wasters? identified by experts (trivial phone calls, unneeded meetings, unexpected and uninvited visitors, unnecessary conversation, responding to phony crises or emergencies, procrastination, failure to say “no,? and routine and unproductive trivia), I’m happy to say that only a few are actually present in my life to date.
Oh, on second glance, it appears that I’ve experienced six of the eight. Yikes. That’s quite a few more than I thought. It seems as though I’ve encountered all of those with the exception of unneeded meetings and responding to phony crises or emergencies, each of which I’m sure to have to deal with in the not too distant future, say, once I have my first real job. I’d like to say that those first six things shouldn’t really be all that difficult to cut out, but I know better. I suppose I could just try to cut them down, but even that would be challenging since a few of them are almost completely out of my control. Trivial phone calls should be easy enough, though, if they’re undesirable phone calls. I suppose I could just not answer my cell if I see that the person who’s calling is someone I don’t have time to or don’t really, really want to talk to. That seems so rude though….hm… What’s next? Unexpected and undesirable visitors—let’s see…I can’t really see much of a polite way out of this one either. When unexpected or undesirable persons show up, society expects us to deal with them in a hospitable manner. I could attempt to shorten their visits, but I don’t know how well that would work without offending said visitors. Moving on—unnecessary conversation. I suppose this is semi-avoidable, but it can also be fun. Procrastination: as if I’d ever be able to stop that. Procrastination is like a natural part of life. Everyone procrastinates to some extent. I suppose I could try to be better about it though, and, in fact, I’m much better about it than a lot of people. Still, I’ll try to be better. There’s something I can at least work on. What’s next? Failure to say “no.? Yeah, I can be pretty terrible about that. I know I’ve gotten much better, but I still need to work on that. I should practice more. It’s just maddening for me to think I’ve disappointed someone or even let someone down, even though I doubt they ever think about it in that sense. Finally, one left: routine and unproductive trivia. I’m not even sure what that is…so, how can I reduce its presence in my life?
All in all, it feels as if I have less control over these things than I’d like—that is, unless I want society to turn its back on me due to horrible behavior towards other persons. Perhaps I’ll just work on the procrastination.

Today at 3:00

I completed my first assignment for KUMM, our school’s radio station. I went to interview a geology professor about a recent award he received for some very important research for the National Science Foundation. I got to use this awesome voice recorder, lay out the subject matter for the interview, visit his office, and conduct the interview myself! Wow. I didn’t think it was possible, but I’m pretty sure I’m even more in love with radio than I was before! On a related subject, I officially became a radio DJ last night after finally starting and completing my training with KUMM! I now have my own time slot on the air and everything! I’m so ecstatic I can hardly stand it! My devotion to and love of radio is beginning to make me seriously consider it as a career option. Imagine it—a career I’d actually enjoy!

November 8, 2007

Present General Life Goal #3

My final of the three in this trilogy of goals is the most straightforward, but also the most detailed. I’ll start by stating it plainly: to become familiar with an even broader spectrum of people, places, events, and ideas. Clearly, this is not a short-term goal. In fact, this is more of the type of goal that lasts a lifetime, and I welcome its presence in mine. I’m not a flat character, the way many antagonists of children’s stories are, but rather, I am a round character—one with many sides and motives and plans. And in order to become such a round character, or person, I’ve had to be exposed to countless people, experiences, and ideas, as all people are. My goal here is only to continue that shaping of my being. I’d like to allow my person to keep on growing and changing, emotionally and in terms of experiences, throughout the entirety of my existence.

Present General Life Goal #2

Appreciate the little things. It’s a seemingly-simple goal, but it’s proven to be more difficult than I originally imagined. The origins of this goal, as well as the experiences that brought it about, are bad days.
I don’t have many “bad days,? just bad moments, really. I’d like to say that I’ve never experienced a bad day, but I’m sure I have. The thing is, I just don’t really let bad days get to me. A day can’t be all-bad, start to finish, if I don’t allow it to be, so I don’t. I make bad days better and attempt to prevent good days from going all-bad by merely doing things I enjoy and stopping to think about why my day is going in the direction it’s going. Not to sound complacent, but I’m quite good at looking at things positively, always the optimist. Well, ok, not always, but a decent percent of the time. I’m just working on that leftover percent. And I’m doing this without going overboard by convincing myself that it’s bad to be, well, sad. There’s a time and a place to be flustered or upset enough to cry, it just isn’t a majority of time and places, that’s all.

Present General Life Goal #1

One of personal life goals is to love my job/career. A person’s career consumes such a large portion of her or his life that having one he or she enjoys seems absolutely crucial, nay, it is absolutely crucial. To love my career and job, to be able to roll out of bed each morning with a smile instead of (or at least in addition to) a groan, now that would rock. The trouble with this goal is that it seems so difficult to accomplish. I can think of a handful of careers that I would be splendidly happy with, but attaining those careers will be quite the challenge. But nothing great can be achieved without some risks, right? If only I didn’t have so much trouble picking a career that I’d be happy with. I feel as if, once I’ve chosen a path, the goal will seem much more real and tangible.

November 2, 2007

A Serious Lack of Something

It is clear that human beings need appropriate levels of stimulation and opportunities to explore, interact with, and act upon the environment…

If that’s so clear, people should be exposed to more stimulating-activities in a given day. We are so underexposed to the wonderful world around us. Instead of enjoying a lengthy stroll in a nearby park, we sit inside all day and accomplish things that needn’t be accomplished. We tweeze our eyebrows and pay credit card bills and feather the dust off our appliances so that it can drift through the air and settle on our furniture. And while it’s true that some of us consider eyebrow tweezing stimulating, it would seem a mere nuisance if we only allowed ourselves to do more. What stimulates us these days? Coffee, pop, chocolate; in short, caffeine and sugar stimulate us. What if—and I know this sounds crazy, stay with me—what it more of us went out every day and did things, like really did things? What if society as a whole was not always expecting so much of us, so we actually had time to purposely get lost on a long walk or climb our neighbor’s great oak or learn an outlandish Latin phrase every once in a while? What if, because we enjoyed our jobs so much and had the extra time and energy, we went into work early to deposit Easter eggs with little notes or candy in coworker’s desks in the middle of August? We could get so much more out of life with the proper stimulation and stress-free lifestyles.

October 31, 2007

Past, Present, & Future Thinking

The concept of time is viewed with a past, present, or future orientation…
I think a majority of my thoughts concerning time involve the future because I’m always thinking ahead, of what’s coming, and dreading, looking forward to, or feeling neutral about whatever’s up ahead. I may dwell on certain things from the past, but they’re never important things; they’re usually just little things involving people and “oh, I should have said that? situations. I’m actually pretty good at not regretting things once they’ve happened though, because I have sufficient control over my actions and speech and behavior. I also possess a handy mindset involving the words, “meh, nothing I can do about it now.? I’m usually aware of when I’ve done my best too, so a lot of things about past-stuff doesn’t get to me. As far as thinking about the present, well, it simply doesn’t happen for me. I absolutely cannot get myself to think in present-tense terms. I’m always thinking of what’s ahead or what’s behind me. There’s no middle ground. I’d guess that that’s because I have to make everything so fast-paced. I cannot, for the life of me, slow down, ever. Maybe it’s some psychological thing?

Good & Evil

Human nature is inherently good. I used to believe that all people (and by all, I mean most) were evil, but now I simply believe that all people (again most) are just stupid. People are greedy and selfish, yes, but they’re not evil. I suppose you could say I reached this conclusion after years of observation. Part of my decision even came down to some research and a paper I had to write in tenth grade for a history class. The paper concerned whether or not I believed mankind to be inherently evil or good, based on a comparison of Confucius and Han Fei, two old-school philosophers with opposing views. It’s rather difficult to take a side in some ways, since they’re both extremes, but I’m pretty firmly placed on the side of Confucius these days. I’m not even sure that I believe that evil exists. There have been some horrible people in this world, like Hitler and my aunt’s ex-husband, but no one’s completely evil. Everyone has motives, and if a person does something horrific seemingly without motives, they’re probably clinically insane. I just can’t believe in evil, no matter what terrible things people prove themselves capable of. Example: Nuclear bombs are just about the most insane, inhumane things I can think of. They’re in existence because people were stupid enough to make them. Some will argue that they’re necessary….but how in the world can that claim stand its ground? Once one state got nuclear weapons, other states had to, which lead to a security dilemma, which lead to less security all around. Why did we create such unearthly weapons???? We can’t seriously wish death and suffering upon so many people, yet we create things that do this. We’re not evil, just stupid.

October 30, 2007

Fantasy Goals

If I may be permitted to be completely fantastic, I’ll share a few of my life goals that will, more likely than not, never come into being.
#1: Going into space: Who wouldn’t like to make a trip to the moon? That would be a life-changing experience for anyone. In the last year, very infrequently, I’ve imagined myself as an astronaut, most likely working for NASA. I’d be the competent, diligent young lady who got to go into space prematurely, the youngest person to ever leave Earth’s atmosphere.
#2: Finishing a marathon: This one’s no so fantastic, I mean, lots of people do it. I’m just not much of a runner. I do know that I could do it if I trained and ran and got in the best physical shape of my life and all that.
#3: Writing and singing a song for a live audience: This isn’t so fantastic either. I’m pretty shy when it comes to singing in front of people, but I’ve done it dozens of times because I took voice lessons off and on for a few years, and performances/solos were mandatory. So, I have a semi-trained voice that I’m decently proud of. On top of that, I love writing and music, so writing a song that I could be passionate about would not be impossible. I think the hardest part would be getting up and singing a song that I told people I had written. Maybe I wouldn’t tell them until after.

October 17, 2007

Not Another Career Possibility

I got into gardening this last summer when asked to plant a few rows of annuals for my grad party. Though I’ve always loved weeding, actually planting things was relatively new to me. And, my god, did I ever enjoy it. Gardening proved to be so therapeutic! I couldn’t believe how much I relaxed as I scrounged up the dirt and tucked in the plants and softened the surroundings with my trowel. I had to lean back and sigh. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. There’s something to be said for getting good and dirt-covered in the shade of an oak at the start of summer. Although I couldn’t dream of gardening and such for a living, I will definitely be planting and maintaining my own patch of land this summer.

Yet Another Career Possibility

I would consider taking on the role of a television announcer or host if and only if it were for some show or network that I consider outstanding. I’m talking like Sunday Morning or 60 Minutes or something of that caliber. In fact, one of the most fantastic jobs that I can think of goes would be something resembling driving around the country and reporting on rousing, previously-unknown stories of astounding proportions. I’d be similar to the guy on Sunday Morning who travels for the show and unearths the thrilling secrets of little towns. Mind you, what he uncovers is all good, fun stuff—none of that negative, our-country’s-falling-apart, downer junk. And I would do the same. My discoveries would, in an ideal world, be of the fabulous, heart-warming variety, but they’d also be informative. I’d journey to some endearing little town and find out what makes it tick. I’d passionately report on this spot and its oddities and I’d enchant audiences with tales of the town’s best-kept secret: where to go to see a breathtaking sunset, view an annual watermelon-eating contest, or play hopscotch with some serious players. It just sounds amazing.

October 10, 2007

Reflections on Daydreams of the Future

Here’s one of the many “ideal futures? for me:
I’m a licensed psychologist with my doctorate. I have my own private practice with a multitude of patients. We meet one-on-one in my office and discuss their many fears and aspirations. I provide a safe and healthy environment for them to unwind, relax, and put pieces together in their troubled lives. I love my job. I love it because it allows me to fulfill one of my many life goals: helping people in the most elementary way: by listening to them and assisting them in figuring out what’s really going on in their minds. I have a respectable practice, a high but not outrageously-high income—meaning I can afford to take fun and pragmatic vacations every year, but I’m not living in a mansion. I like to think that, even if I had the income, I wouldn’t live in a mansion unless it was entirely filled with people—my kids, my relatives, my family—but who knows what’d I’d really do with untold riches? Anyway, I own a cute and practical house that fits me, and whomever else I live with, in terms of space. If I live alone, I have a cute, cottagey house with a whimsical garden (maintained by yours truly) and many other things besides, but I’ll do more on a dream home in some other blog. If I am married with children, I live in a little bit bigger house that’s just as cute and inviting (which it will be no matter what, because I make it cute and inviting). Oh, and how could I forget? Whether I’m married with kids or no, I have at least two adorable, amazing, loving little dogs.

October 9, 2007

Another Career Possibility

Ever since I read Hemmingway’s A Farewell to Arms, I’ve placed “ambulance driver? in my maybe-pile of possible career options. The career card relating to this that I found in my text book is Emergency Medical Technician. On the back of the card, this person is said to perform “emergency medical care and rescue as part of an ambulance or emergency room staff.? Sounds pretty cool, right? I think so. I also find that last bit, the part about emergency room staff, pretty inviting. Being an ER doc is also something I’ve considered. So, pros and cons….let’s see…I’d definitely have to know my stuff about human anatomy and all that, which is not a bad thing, it just means a lot of schooling. Would med school be required? I think it would if I chose to be the ER doc, but not if I chose to be an EMT. I’m not entirely sure. ER doc would require working in a hospital, which I’ve decided, for the most part, is not an option. Being an EMT would mean being on the go a lot, which I really think I’d like—it would keep me from watching the clock during the work day. Being an EMT would also mean loads of new and old situations every day, which sounds quite inviting. I think a fast-paced job would be pretty cool. As for the responsibility? Hm…that’s another issue entirely. It’s not that I don’t think I could handle the responsibility, because I have complete confidence in my ability to learn all the necessary info and apply it when it’s needed, but I’m not sure I’d want the responsibility. I’m very much a care-giving person, and that part of the job would be amazing and would totally fit me, but I think it’s clear that an EMT has an obligation to administer more than just soothing attention to the patient. So, conclusion…um….I don’t think I’d like to be an ER doc (even though, if I were to be a doctor, that’s one of like two kinds I’d seriously consider), but I might consider being an EMT if I got to drive an ambulance and administer care to people that way.

October 4, 2007

Career Possibility #1 (not my first choice, just the first to be looked into)

I’m participating in a service learning project as part of my symbolic logic class, and the main task of this project is to go and teach a sixth grader certain logic principles, methods and, vocabulary. While visiting the local elementary school, it occurred to me that being an elementary school teacher could be a charming potential job. Meandering through the halls brought about found reminiscences of my own time in elementary ed. A school’s materials and programs were one thing, but what really made or broke a particular grade level for me often came down to the teacher. I could be that teacher, I thought as I traipsed past colorful children’s artwork strung up with clothes pins on strings. It seemed like such a simple and happy little world, where the most intrusive question of the day was, “which group should I play with at recess?? Of course, being a teacher in elementary school would mean bigger and more important questions than those of an elementary school student, but it’s all relative. I still can’t see it being all that stressful of a job, considering other jobs I’ve thought about, such as a surgeon. However, I’m sure there’d be more worrying to it than what comes to mind initially. For example, elementary school teachers don’t get paid all that well, from what I’ve heard, and there can’t be all that much job security. On the other hand, summers off would rock. But do I really want to adhere to a school’s schedule for the rest of my life? Back to the other side…I love kids. I love their innocence and the way their minds work. I love them less when they’re screaming and puking and whining, but (a) that comes with the territory, and (b) I’ve been a babysitter and a nanny for long enough to know that those are some things I’m great at not only tolerating, but also dealing with. I won’t be modest, I’m good with kids, and I like working and playing with them. I’d also love to be that teacher, the one who really helps them grow and leaves a lasting impression on them. I don’t have to be in history books, I just want to positively affect as many people as I possibly can and leave my mark on the world in that way. So, elementary teacher, yes or no? I guess it’s still a toss up.

October 2, 2007

Career Card Sorting

So, I went through this incredibly-thick stack of career “flashcards? and sorted them into three piles: like, neutral/undecided, and dislike. I ended up with one in the neutral pile, about fourteen in the like pile, and the rest in the dislike pile. I found it pretty neat that the rest were in the dislike pile, because I started out with like ninety cards or something crazy like that. So, I had what, seventy-five cards in the dislike stack? Pretty awesome. Especially because I don’t really have a great idea of what I’d like to do, so it’s helpful to learn that I have a pretty good idea of what I don’t want to do. Anyway, I decided that, since I still have a good number of “likes? in the one pile, I’m going to dedicate a blog or so to each one (or, well, most of them). This way, I can take the opportunity to look into each of these interests of mine and get to know a little more about them. I plan on doing a bit of research on one career and then thinking and blogging about it before moving on to the next career. Should be rather exciting! Stay tuned…

September 30, 2007

Regarding the Happiness Test Results

I found our class's results to be not only fairly accurate for describing a random sample of people, but also very typical. People defined happiness as knowing oneself, doing something meaningful, being free, being without stress or cares, & just feeling good. But when it came to answering the question Who is responsible for your happiness? a majority of the persons surveyed gave someone else the job. I find it rather odd that so many people would turn over their happiness to others. It's good to count on people, but come on. You and only you are responsible for your happiness. You don't always feel as if you can control it, and sometimes you can't help feeling bad, but it's your own emotion, not someone else's. I think other people can add to or detract from your happiness, but they never determine it. The thing is, so many people let others take control of their emotional well-being that their answers to the second question are as good as true, even though they shouldn't be.

September 25, 2007

Personally Meaningful Work

My career needs to mean something to me. I won't be able to justify getting up every morning and heading off to an unfulfilling job. That's why finding the right job is so important and, consequently, so difficult. I like thinking of myself being in the same field, job-wise, for the rest of my life (same field meaning I might change jobs, but I'd like to keep working on the same kind of thing). The hard part about that desire is that I can't seem to decide upon my chosen field of study. All I know for certain are things I really, really don't want to do. For example, working in a cubicle for some enormous company where the mere size of the company and my place in a cubicle suggest my unimportance. I'm going to be important. I mean it. Because I won't settle for working somewhere where I'm just another number, another mid-level employee. Perhaps that kind of job has meaning to other people, but it's not for me. Where I'd really like to be is in a position where I can help people--by informing them of things, helping them cope with stuff, trying to explain things to them, that kind of thing. That would be incredibly meaningful, and it's something I can see myself doing for life.

September 23, 2007

Hospitals & doctor's offices are so cold & sterile

Science of many kinds holds a huge fascination for me. I've considered going into something "science-related" for years, but that's as specific as I like to get when people ask. I'd love to be a doctor, for the title and the position. Specifically, I'd like to be a Dermatologist. I guess skin conditions can be horribly grotesque to examine and study, but I find them surprisingly interesting and even non-repulsive in a way. Skin is the most exspansive organ of the human body, but I don't really think of it as an organ. Perhaps that's the reason it doesn't gross me out? I'm not sure. Either way, reminding myself that it is, in fact, an organ always makes it sound that much more appealing to learn about. It's like it's this hidden & hugely-important part of me, because I often forget what role it plays, but it's right there, surrounding me and every other vital thing I'm made up of. For these reasons, I'd love to be a dermatologist, but there are a few major problems standing in my way. The first is that I really don't want to go to med school and continue hardcore schooling for years and years beyond undergrad school. The second is that I absolutely despise being in doctor's offices and hospitals for extended periods of time. They're just so cold and uninviting and sterile. Ick. I'm sure I could get my own office at some point, but that would be after years of working under people in hospitals and doctor's offices. There are plenty of other professions I know I'd enjoy, and several of them require no med school, so I do have other options...but being a dermatologist sounds so awesome.

Interest...ing

My interests have always been formed and fueled by exposure to new and curious things. The same, no doubt, is true of most people. As a kid, my parents took me to everything from museums to theatrical performances to old battle fields. I failed to appreciate most of these, but the experiences stuck with me nonetheless. As I got older, I thought of these educational trips as quite essential to my weekends and slowly began to appreciate the great scope of my resulting random knowledge. True, I remembered few facts, but my knowledge was more vast than simple fact-based samplings; instead, it consisted of irreplaceable emotive memories. These memories of countless trips and events contribute enormously to my variety of interests. In the right circumstances, I not only respect, but also enjoy, art, music, history, literature, nature, technology, exercise, science, nutrition, and many other things besides. On the surface, this appears to be a rather usual array of interests, but don't be fooled; each subject listed (and many not listed) goes so deep and possesses such a different meaning to me that I really am quite well-rounded if I do say so myself. At the same time, it becomes increasingly clear to me every day that there's an endless assortment of things I have had little to no exposure to, and that's what makes life so spectacular--I'll never run of out new things to be interested in.

September 16, 2007

Happiness Survey

1. What does happiness mean to you?
Happiness is contentment. Happiness is being completely and utterly restful--not worrying about anything or regretting anything. Happiness is the near-unobtainalbe state of mind in which we want nothing, need nothing, and cannot help but smile.

2. Who is responsible for your happiness?
If this were a trick question, I would say, "Obviously, I'm supposed to say I and only I." As much as there is truth in this answer, no one wants to hear it. Even I don't want to hear it. The knowledge that I had total control over my happiness sounds like it'd be pretty sweet, but I feel as if I know the contrary: Others have so much to do with my happiness that they can make or break my mood with a single word. It's not that I want others to be responsible for my happiness--because I know that, ultimately, it comes down to me--it's just that other people do have a lot to do with my happiness. That's life.

September 10, 2007

I'd love to live everywhere...

Traveling makes up a substantial part of my life to date. Thus far, I have explored only this country, but that will soon be changing since I plan to study abroad as much as possible whenever possible in the years to come. For my home base, however, I should like to own a place in good old Minnesota--my favorite state. Yes, I am biased, having lived here my whole life, but biased or not, I love it here; why shouldn't I stay? Traveling requires the will to establish temporary homes in so many different and unfamiliar places that having a central home somewhere familiar is really quite necessary. Thus, Minnesota is the spot for me. To be more specific, I'd like a home in the Twin Cities since they have always been the center for amazing activites in Minnesota. I'd like a practical house in a friendly neighborhood with good security and a nice garden. I don't need anything too large and flashy since I'll be home only when I am not traveling. Of course, I'd like to be home often enough to enjoy the place, but that's a completely different matter.