Monday, May 23, 2011

i die fast in this city, outside i die slow

so i've written a few posts that haven't really panned out and thus have gone unpublished.
and here you thought, aarushi's blog is so stream-of-conscious! she just writes whatever she thinks ever. not so, my friends. it's actually all very scripted like those reality tv shows where humiliating acts of depravity are theatrically reenacted for the cameras.

whenever a post is filled with inside jokes or is otherwise unintelligible or half-formed i try not to post it. but i don't really have any hard-and-fast rules, or really a filter. feel free to disregard everything i've ever said.


i am up very late again, and i don't know who to blame (myself). i just can't get my thoughts to quiet down and hence, blog entry. the amount of confusion i'm having about what to put into a blog entry is implicative of the fact that i don't have enough stories to tell, or enough mind to think interesting thoughts at rest.

 i don't know what's wrong with me, but i am constantly thinking of how bad i am at thinking of interesting things. others would call this being bored. but it's not boredom as much as it is a lack of interest in the world and a sort of reversion into pre-existing thought ruts. alas.

it is not untrue that there are a million things i find interesting. the problem these days is that i have not been excavating them. after the whole sri lanka trip fell through (public health + immunosuppressed body = no public health for you missy), all of my big ideas have kind of lost momentum.

maybe it's this country.
petty, i know, to blame geography. except that it's not petty, tom.

like it or not, geography is intimately and weirdly connected to how the entire world lives- a fact that i realize is both duh-worthy and profound. it is geography that inspired the europeans to colonize the uncharted world, and geography that kept china from doing the same. (the british didn't have anything in terms of natural resources and not that much in terms of manpower, so they had to search for there supper.)

geography and water decided where the hubs would be, and decided that pretty much no one lives in wyoming. it is geography that makes some white people obsessed with tanning and indian people crave fairness of the skin.

geography decided things like the placement of the rivers that gave rise to the movement of (lots of) people to the water sources that gave rise to cities, where so much happens thanks to the thousands of people that built stores and businesses and started families, and specialized and innovated and created centers of entertainment.

well that was a weird digression. what i meant was that i'm craving a place where the concentration of life is higher. i want to go some place that's the opposite of wyoming, and most certainly the opposite of the american midwest where i live with an IV hooked from my arm into the computer, where i'm addicted to the comfort and amenities of medium-sized town life and the friendships i've had since childhood and the destination of medium success and a relatively small sphere of influence. some place where i engage with people every day, some place where there is bustling and noise, kind of like india.

becca is in kenya right now, and the thought of it induces flashbacks to my summer trip to india circa post-junior year of high school. everyday i'd come home exhausted with so many thoughts in my head. but not the achey can't-sleep-but-want-to-but-haven't-mentally-tired-myself-enough kinds of thoughts, but the discovery, confusion, exciting thoughts, like what is normal here and how is it different from my normal? and isn't it amazing how little you really need to be happy and invigorated? 

those days i couldn't shut my blog thoughts down. and i was doing things and i was helping things out. i never want to become a selfish jackass who just pads my comfortable lifestyle with blue-ray discs and copies of the new yorker. fat talk, i know. i fear not being able to live up to my own high-brow, snot-faced aspirations.

as much as i claim to embrace change, i also fear it intensely. that's normal i guess-- i don't want the good things to go away. it's funny though, because sometimes i do want better things to replace them. i just... can't decide what.

hello opportunity cost, my old friend

here we reach the impasse we always reach. where will i take the leap?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

my brain and tongue just met and they ain't friends so far

i sometimes try to take an inventory on what makes me happy so that i can figure out what i really want to do. to be honest, it's very difficult. the semester always ends leaving me with this feeling of non-closure and an empty space of time ahead of me that i'm supposed to paint with life experiences. every time i'm faced with time, it forces me to ask myself why.

why do i give up my soul for school, why do i take difficult classes, why do i go through the motions and why do i submit myself for judgment in this system? jaded thoughts, i know. school is wonderful. education is wonderful. you just sit there and people just tell you stuff about your world and you are free to just sit there and soak up new knowledge. it is incredible, don't get me wrong. it's just that i thought all this learning would bring me closer to knowing who i want to be and what i want to do with myself.

WHY do i do anything? and WHAT do i want to be? what even makes me happy?

i initially was going to be a journalism major, a track that i might be returning to. i was always drawn to the idea of being a journalist because i can turn a phrase with the best of them and because i can sort out complex ideas and lay them in order. i'm beginning to question whether i can even do that. i turned away from this endgame when i began to feel that being a journalist implies spectatorship and not being involved with the action, and i might just spend my life regurgitating stories while my ass gets cushiony, or giving up and making a last-ditch attempt to write a book when i'm forty-five, jobless and lonely.

in high school i began to see the appeal of science. until this point, i'd never thought about it at all. it was when i took AP biology that i realized that i was good at science and above that, it fascinated me. it was tangible and measurable-- the idea that our body is this system that works, that we can depend on, that has evolved in a way that maximizes efficiency, an efficiency that technology can't hope to emulate as hard as it tries.

...but i wasn't an automaton about it like some of my peers. i've never grabbed onto the idea of systematically learning/memorizing stuff and applying it and being tested on it and moving on.  i'd never been good at studying-- i'm still really not. this changed a lot in college as it became easier to want to study things, but still i feel i'm not winning at my game. i fear most that i'm burning myself out with my plethora of interests, my constant need to have more than one job, my failure to have hobbies other than singing in a band and watching online television and doing a radioshow, my thoughts that are constantly about people, even though eleanor roosevelt thinks that only small-minded people are concerned with other people (this thought ALWAYS occurs to me whenever i think a thought about another human being, and i'm just like, "Shut up dead Eleanor, you don't know me!")

more and more, i start to feel like the only way to really do anything great is to singly focus on that one thing. immerse yourself, learn everything about it. the fact that i know a little bit about everything and spread myself thin thinking about lots of things will not serve me well in the afterlife. the aftercollegelife, that is.

it's funny, but sometimes i think the only thing that consistently pleases me in life is watching television.  i get so involved with the plots and the humor and the characters and the writing. and i wonder if maybe i'm overlooking a fantastic life as a comedian or a script-writer for television. but just because i enjoy television doesn't mean i'm any good at writing it, and i'm already too old to go audition for things and make a name for myself, without doing something that will make my parents disown me like moving to new york or something. plus, all the people who are hilarious on my tv, they all started out doing stand-up. i'm funny and i could probably even make up and memorize a monologue, but nothing could ever prepare me for the torture of playing a silent room. i think if that ever happened to me, i'd just launch into an a cappella of bohemian rhapsody. what else could i do?

the only major i feel sure about is international studies, which is funny, because i might drop it to pick up journalism. i love how focused it is in boiling down current events. learning something in one of these classes just makes you a better citizen. it's true. although it gets unnerving how much you have to learn about global warming and how there is such a large probability that your teacher is biased or a hippie or both.

ah well, i promise i will not waste this time i have been given. i promise i will use it to make myself better in some godforsaken way. maybe i'll find a biocore syllabus for next semester and do all of those readings. or cook. or languish. alas.