Life is a Grocery Store

I’ve been having some life dilemmas recently

Regarding my education, career path, vocation, existentialism…

and I talked to a professor at Villanova today who is the head of the Honors department and he gave me this great analogy:

A lot of people think of life as a sprint. But life isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon.

And then after you realize life is a marathon, you then realize again that life is actually a grocery store.

A lot of people can see the finish line in a marathon. They know where to go. They know that it will take a long time. But the path is predestined. I want this job. I’ll get married at 28. I’ll have kids by 30. Be a millionaire by 35 and retire early at 50. I’ll travel the world, go volunteer, do work for the government, or a bank, or a non-profit.

Life isn’t a sprint. And it’s not a marathon.

Actually, life is more like a grocery store.

There are many aisles. And you are perusing, checking out items, meticulously (and sometimes non-meticulously) putting items into your cart. And sometimes you’ll get random items in your basket and you’ll have no idea how it got there. Maybe a kid put it in. Maybe YOUR kid put it in. Maybe it just fell in from a shelf. All the different items at the grocery store are unique and sometimes your cart will be full of items that you weren’t planning on getting.

Even more so, you might end up at the checkout and decide you didn’t want that pasta or cereal anymore.

Sometimes you’ll be 20 years into your career and realize you want to be a Buddhist monk instead of a banker.

I think the most important thing this professor told me though, was that I should call myself a seeker.

Life isn’t black and white. There is no right or wrong. No simple Yes or No answer to the dilemmas of vocation and purpose that I’ve been having.

Because yes, some of us will be Buddhist monks, and some of us will work for a big bank, and maybe I’ll be the one in the middle ground and be a Buddhist Banker.

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Another podcast episode

Hey guys. So I did another podcast episode because Tuesdays are for podcasting and I plan to stick to my schedule! (Be a DISCIPLINED half-ass, NOT a lazy perfectionist). It still feels very weird but I think I’m getting better at this…
 
Anyways, I spent my spring break in Switzerland, and besides noticing how beautiful and hellishly expensive Switzerland is, I also spent a lot of time traveling on the train almost through the entire country. And if you are like me, you can only do two things while on the train: listen to music, and THINK.
 
So I did a lot of thinking. And in this podcast, I talk about the philosophical questions I’ve been battling recently and how I’ve just felt lost. Camels, Nietzsche, and Deserts are also included in this episode!
 
You can listen to the podcast with the link below or search “The Jawesome Life” on Spotify/Apple Podcasts/Overcast/Wherever you listen to podcasts.
 
Thanks and have a great life!

Here

I wrote a poem. “Here”

I hope you like it


When the ghosts of my past have left my body

When my dreams no longer keep me up at night

I will notice

That I

Am here

Here

The human sound we make is everywhere

I hear it at the restaurant I go to every year on my birthday, the same mundanely beautiful human noise

I hear it as I walk through the streets

The human noise is familiar in Switzerland, in New York, in Singapore, in Hong Kong, in Toronto

I hear it at school, at parks, at the local grocery store when the mother beside me is telling her son that they can’t buy too much candy. Even if I don’t understand her, because she is speaking German, I can hear the human noise

It’s a universal language, this human noise

I’ve spent most of my days wondering how life could be better if I only did this

If I were only somewhere anywhere else besides here

I shoulda

I coulda

If I only…

These thoughts will disappear and then rear its head again every time I realize that life is unfair

I walk and walk and walk over many zebras

Thinking that the next street will be better

Not realizing that sometimes life is a one way street

And even if the other side of the street looks better, I wonder what they are thinking about my street

The bus doesn’t stop for me, and neither should I stop for these ugly thoughts

On the nights I am alone and meditate, I see so much clearer

I am here

The human noise I make, I hear it

And it’s screaming: “I exist”

“I am here”

And so I spend more time appreciating the beauty of the present moment

Even if I don’t know why yet

Even if I don’t know how

Even if I don’t believe anything else

At the very least, I know that I am

Here

Passing

I sat in on an Econ class last semester and sat next to someone who passed away in December

Today I woke up to my friend texting me that school was cancelled because it was a snow day

I was ecstastic because I hadn’t studied for my micro theory test and woke up early to do so. Instead I got that text from my friend

And then I checked my email and saw that a senior from the CLAS had passed away. A senior. She was just a few months from graduation.

I don’t know these people.

I don’t know most people.

I don’t know what it feels like to be close to someone.

I don’t know what it feels like to have someone you love leave.

There are over 10,000 people that walk on this Villanova campus.

There are over 7 billion on this planet.

We are all connected by the same fate. Just the thought that we will all die one day should be enough to let us love one another.

Reflecting on my “loneliness”

This post is quite sappy and melodramatic (but let’s be honest, if you’ve read any of my writing, you know I do this a lot).

It’s Valentines Day today and another reminder from society that I am single.

Granted, every year, I’ve felt this feeling.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve never been in a relationship. And although I thought I was ready to be in one last year, I think the more time I’ve spent understanding myself and life, the more I realize how important it is to learn to love myself before I can expect anyone else to.

I’ve been contemplating a lot. Not just about love, but about life in general.

The global economy. I could go on for hours about Sino-US trade relations, or the global political-economic trends, or why some countries are poor while others are thriving.

Religion. Because I’ve been taking a course called “God” for my humanities minor. And now I have the omniscience objection against God, the religious orthodox faith proof, the argument of design, the argument of evil and 4 miseries, and the cosmological argument. I’ve read Descartes, Plato, Aristotle, Hume, and German Philosopher’s works.

I can talk to you about finance. Money is just a construct. Credit and debt are fallacies. And compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world.

And finally, I can talk to you about love.

Why love can be poisonous. Why love is often an external projection of our internal selves. How love can be corrupted.

But also why love is the greatest power we can possess–but also dangerous when we allow love to possess us instead.

I’m single for another Valentine’s Day but I’m also happy that it’s a day for a celebration of people in love.

I believe deeply in love. I believe that having a good partner is integral to a happy life. And I’m happy to see other people live through relationships.

 

 

 

 

Taxes???

I literally had a dream about taxing the rich last night. And while I don’t necessarily have a firm position on tax, I think there’s more to the picture than just tax or no tax.

I believe an honest major issue in regards to tax politics in America is that majority of the people who throw their rage of attacks on the “leftist liberals” is that they don’t truly understand how tax works in America—Marginal tax bracket.

And believe it or not, there’s actually an economic benefit (called Laffer curve) to the recently quoted 70% tax on the ultra rich ($10 million+)

Look out for a future DTF post where I try to shed some more light on this entire issue.

Thoughts?

Being forgetful

Isn’t being forgetful one of the worst feelings in the world?

Forgetting that word…It’s on the tip of my tongue, we say

Forgetting to do homework, that you told yourself you’d remember to do…

Forgetting that one small fact for that important test…

Forgetting how it feels to hug your dog

Forgetting a phone number

Forgetting the feeling of love from a friend, or partner that you used to feel daily

We fear forgetting things because it means that time has passed. Change is the only thing that is certain, and that certainty is beautifully frightening.

Time scares us. Time is changing. Time moves forward, while we live in the past, forgetting how much better life used to be.

But if we look forward, instead, we can realize how much more potential we can have in this life, not in forgetting things, but in remembering to take care of ourselves, remembering to love one another, remembering to be the best version you can be.

Because just as we can forget the important things in life, we can also forget the pain.

And move on. And move forward. And live.