Archive for April, 2010

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three.

April 28, 2010

Harvard Magazine had an article about students and their too-hectic schedules. Unsurprisingly, students are packing their schedules with classes, extracurriculars and social activities. And it’s gotten the point where something’s got to give – resulting in the most telling quote from the article: “Friends, grades, sleep: you only get two.”

Reminds me of the old project management triangle. The balance between resources, quality and time is a fine one. If you push too hard on two of the points, you won’t have any flexibility in where the third point ends up. You want high quality quickly? It won’t happen without the appropriate resources. If you don’t have the resources, you’re  going to be giving up either quality or time. I guess it’s the idea that you can’t have it all.

It’s sad to me to think about life in terms of a triangle, but I have to admit I do – just a little bit. There are definitely times when I’m too busy with work to want to do anything but sit at home and catch up on me-time. After that routine for a while, it starts to feel like I’ve been super anti-social. The same thing happens if I focus on the other two pair combination. In some sense it’s like there’s no perfect balance, like I’m always playing catch-up in some area. On the other hand, I’m sure if I could graph my activities on a longer timeline, it all evens out eventually. So my imbalance is only on a week to week basis.

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conversation.

April 20, 2010

Ever have a really terrible conversation? It’s one of those things that’s surprising and really depressing for me. I’m so often around people who are accustomed to starting conversations with strangers or people who are genuinely friendly, conversation just flows. It’s like design. I never notice exceptionally good conversations; I only notice the awful ones.

I’m pretty sure I’m not an exceptionally friendly person. I’m not overly nice or overly talkative. Until I warm up, I’m polite, which often comes off cold. In a lot of situations, it probably saves me from being approached when I’d rather not be. But I’m from the Midwest, where it seems more normal to make friendly conversation with strangers. Plus, I have a strong aversion to being rude. So if people do start talking to me, I feel obligated to hold up my end of the conversation. In my mind, if I can do it, so can everyone else.

Conversations are all about give and take. It’s a two-way situation. I’m more than willing to ask questions. If asked questions, I’m pretty willing to tell you about myself – not counting anything weirdly personal. And luckily, I smile and laugh a lot. But I can only do so much on my own. I can only ask so many questions that you don’t answer before I’m out. My limit is about three. After that, I’m done asking; it’s your turn to put in some effort. See? Totally easy. And because it’s easy, I should never have awkwardly bad conversations.

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rant.

April 13, 2010

You know how I love to read articles that annoy me to death? Well, guilty again. It started with this. And naturally, I had to click through to read the article. Basic idea was similar to that new crisis men are having with the modern woman. Men have begun taking longer to “grow up”; women used to being on equal footing are upsetting the dating order; blah, blah, blah.

I can accept girls are confusing. It’s completely a toss-up as to whether a girl will bite your head off for opening a door or dump you because you didn’t. That makes it tough. Too bad. It’s not like guys are just an open book. Sure they might be a little better with their signals. In the end though, can I tell (on the first date or from a brief conversation) if you’re the kind of guy who wants a relationship or one who just wants to hook up? No, no I can’t.

But what really kills me is this impression that girls are “dishonest, self-involved, slutty, manipulative, shallow, controlling, and gold-digging“. And therefore, why should guys want anything to do with us? I don’t have a good reason beyond that’s just not what I think.   I agree fully with Squashed – the kind of guy, who doesn’t understand why he should bother finding a nice girl (aka relationship), shouldn’t. I’m also a big believer that if somehow all the girls you meet are crazy or scheming, it might not be them. It might be you. Then again, I could turn the question around. I know there are girls out there that would describe men with the exact same adjectives (though maybe substituting gold-digging with insensitive). And why should women want to date men? Especially now, when women are much more financially stable. What are men bringing to the relationship other than sex?

Last, and I’m not going to really get into it, is the man looking for an upgrade because his girlfriend fits only 6 of 10 requirements. Do people really do this? By this, I mean rate others in terms of requirements. My guess is, the girl that fits those 10 requirements either a) taken because your requirements are probably not all that uncommon or b) has her own set of requirements that you do not fit. So if he’s holding out because he thinks that perfect 10 is going to show up – let me tell you a secret, she’s probably not. Not saying you should settle. Just saying the world isn’t so black and white and you’re probably going to have to give a little. Though maybe these people will slowly self-select themselves into extinction because they can’t find someone who’s good enough to reproduce with.

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quarter-life.

April 6, 2010

Everyone’s heard about the mid-life crisis. However, its close relative, the quarter-life crisis, seems to hide in the background. I never even knew it existed. Except now it seems a significant number of people I know are having one. It’s quite depressing for me.

According to Wikipedia, the quarter-life crisis is that point when you realize the “real world” isn’t exactly what you imagined when you were 10. It’s a period of adjustment – a kind of growing into your skin, filling out your shoes, whatever way you’d like to put it. Perhaps what makes this so terrible is the fact that adolescence is often spent trying to adjust and accept yourself (remember middle school?). By 25, you feel like you should be past all that crap. Except, you never really get past it (and not in the depressing kind of way).

The mid-life crisis is realizing you’ve spent half your life doing something you dislike, or that you have a whole list of things that you still want to do or some such idea. Ultimately, in my opinion, it’s regret at some sort of decision you made in your life. But if the quarter-life crisis exists, shouldn’t that make the mid-life crisis non-existent? When you realize life can be tough, that you’re in a job you hate, that you’re insecure, that you have relationship trouble – clearly, you learn to deal with it in your 20’s in order to make it to middle life. So how does it happen again? That just seems wrong. But I’m not anywhere near a mid-life crisis, so I guess I can’t speculate too much.

That being said, I am in my 20’s  and I don’t think I’m having a crisis. Google defines crisis for me as “an unstable situation of extreme danger or difficulty”. That’s the second reason why I’m never going to be in a life crisis. I am absolutely opposed to describing my life as unstable, dangerous or difficult. It may sound corny (or like I’m in denial), but I think as soon as you see a situation in that light, it seems impossible to overcome. It’s like when you feel so busy you can’t start working. You just get stuck. But the first reason I won’t have a crisis is because I don’t make decisions I regret (or at least I haven’t yet). Maybe it’s the denial again – that would be awful. The way I see it, I’m clearly making the best decisions I can at the moment I make them, so what’s the point in having 20/20 vision in hindsight? Beyond not making the same mistakes – none. It’s a waste of energy to think “god, I should have done that” and instead that energy should be spent on thinking “here’s what I’m going to do”.

I realize that’s way easier said than done. I don’t have a clue what that thing I’m going to do is. I’m not one for life planning, but everyone should have some vague goals about what they want in life. For a long time, my goal in life was to have a sweet apartment (one that doesn’t look like IKEA) and a nice car. I have since given up on the nice car (not that I don’t want one but I’ve accepted I dislike driving enough that it would be a waste). But I still want a kick-ass apartment – and I probably should set some new goals too. Beyond that, I know my options and I just have to pick whatever’s going to make me happiest right now.

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delay.

April 2, 2010

In the last several months, since the holidays, with an increased amount of work, with travel, with the winter, I’ve stopped wanting to leave my house. I do of course, for work, for the gym, for errands, for drinks. But lately, I’ve been feeling a little bit (maybe it’s more like a larger bit) wiped. I just want to stay home, drink something hot, watch a movie, read a book or catch up on the news. This makes my life incredibly boring and mostly uninspired.  As a result, posting is going to be extremely delayed until things get more exciting.