Archive for the 'retrospective' Category

ahoy again

It’s been a very, very strange year. I wish I could get a do-over, but at the same time I’d MUCH RATHER NOT have to go through all that crazy shit a second time. I graduated and transitioned into the real world of unemployment and despair. I went to Burning Man (again). I got dumped (again). I went to war with and cut myself off from some crazy, pushy, confounding, conniving people, stressed to the point that I had to question my priorities, my morals, and the very nature of my character, and sometimes I still have to remind myself why I did what I did. I moved back in with my parents and got a sweet little dog who cries when she’s alone. I’ve got lots of free time now, and I spend it working on two novels I’ve written for NaNoWriMo, tinkering with GarageBand and my resume, learning how to drive, and trying not to get cabin fever.

I realized that the three-year cycle that keeps me ever “transitory” is coming around again, and after a two-week jaunt to NYC in October, the “Empire State of Mind” song is stuck in my head. I really might go back to where I came from, that ghetto-ass Chilltown that my sister and I spent years trying to forget. I think I want to finally live in the city proper. I think I’m finally prepared.

Then again, I’ve got a bunch of loans to repay, and maybe staying under my parents’ roof would be a better idea. I don’t know. I’ve talked to so many people this past month. Some of them are my age, or younger, or decades older, with kids a decade younger than I am. Some of them are still at Stanford, some graduated with me and are still unemployed, some have been working the same insanely cushy job for the past five years, some are my parents’ friends who have been working for the past five decades.

I’ve told each person something different about myself and what I want in a job. Everything I’ve said has been true. Everything I’ve said has been me talking out of my ass. I’ve gotten more advice than I know what to do with.

My sister scared me best: You have a degree that will make you more money than mine will, but because of that you also have more debt than I ever had. Pay your dues.

A thirtysomething friend and father of two put it this way: It’s never too late to do what you want to do.

I feel like my clock is ticking, but this is a recession. Despite all of those newspaper articles on people finally chasing their dreams because they lost their jobs and are retooling their priorities, I need to be making bank.

I’m clinging to hope. A friend currently at Columbia told me about a fellow neuroscience Ph.D. candidate who is in a fairly popular Brooklyn indie band. The guy spends all day at his job and all night rehearsing and doing gigs. Sure, you can always make time. Am I really that dedicated, though?


elvis is back in the building

It’s strange for me to see my friends from Stanford now. A lot of them I haven’t been in touch with, so when I see them for the first time in who knows how long, I don’t know whether to hug them, kiss them, double-kiss them, wai them, etc. Having the Philippines as my last stop brought back all the Filipino manners I had when I was a kid (before my sister and I got overly Americanized), so now I’m “po“-ing everyone at home and I’ve forgotten a lot of the American mannerisms I picked up from four years of living on a mostly white college campus. I’m kind of scared to conduct myself in front of non-family members now.

But besides that, I’m back in a land where the customer service is fantastic, the people are so effing friendly, liberals rule the intellectual elite, vegetarians are heartily welcomed, and I can speak my mind.


spending time in preparation

I’ve packed up my life too many times to count, or even remember. Bags and boxes have become a permanent fixture in my house, or wherever my home happens to be at the moment. I used to get frustrated with losing things that were important to me, only to find that the distance of a few months or years made them lose their value completely.

Now I only have a handful of prized possessions, and even then I’d gladly let them burn because they’re so easily replaceable. I wouldn’t mind losing my old diaries, or photographs, or the many hard drives I’ve written stories on over the years. I’ve already lost some of them, but from those losses I’ve learned to always reinvent myself, keep things fresh, even at the risk of forgetting. It’s because I figure that the things worth remembering will stay salient in my mind (or at least on the Internet). And too often I would slip into the trap of relying on my past self too much for ideas or adventures.

Maybe those artifacts will become precious to me when I can no longer live the life I’m living, when I’m old and tired and adventured out, when I have to live vicariously through the self I remember being, and even then through things remembered for me since my memory will have faded. But for now, I’ll put aside material things and continue to write those stories that my frail, forgetful old self will read and enjoy and repeat and repeat and repeat…

That’s how you live forever, you know.

june’s retroactive hiatus

Apologies for being MIA this month. I have been running into brick wall after brick wall in terms of school and my budget, but will stay in Paris until December anyway. A longer explanation is in the works. I should be back into the swing of things, blogging-wise, in approximately two weeks.

In the meantime, my boyfriend is in Paris right now, I’m in the middle of moving to my new apartment across town, and my classmates are leaving Paris in droves because the Stanford in Paris program just ended, so you can guess how busy I’ve been actually having a life. But don’t worry, all will be back to normal soon. :P

twenty years of mischief management

On this day twenty years ago, I was born at 7:43 pm Eastern time in Queens, New York. I’ve lived in four countries and nine different houses and have taken on a number of different personae. I’ve ditched meat and the binding chains of schoolwork and have resumed dreaming as fervently as I had when I was little. I’d like to get my shit together, but I’ll be forever distracted until I find something I’m passionate about. (That won’t stop me from trying time and again, though.)

I thought I was going to lament the end of my teenage years, but they were mostly moody and awkward anyway. I’ll try to be cooler in this next decade.

Dear Future Self,

I hope you are awesome.



This is a blog of things place-related, by a cash-strapped Stanford grad who's lived in various places and writes about life. She's currently looking for a job in Manhattan or the Bay Area.

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