What Society Dictates For Your Life

Hey, I can paint, too! ;)
Hey, I can paint, too! 😉

A vague title as I sit here and try to figure out what’s the best way to talk about this topic. Do you get what I mean? Do you feel like the society our ancestors (ok, maybe not MY ancestors, but…you know…) have built in the U.S. is stifling to some degree? Especially in this changing world.

About two years ago, I had this exact suffocating feeling when I first started my B-school program. I walked into my classes and felt that, as groupthink, many of my classmates wanted to be nothing more than hardcore businesspeople. I struggled during that time, trying to figure out “Am I only just a hardcore businessperson myself? But what about my creativity? Can I be both a writer and a businessperson?”

Even though nobody was outright telling me I couldn’t be both (and more), I felt strongly that society wants us to be in silos: you’re either a creative person or you’re not. You’re either in finance or you’re in painting; NOT BOTH.

Fast forward to the present, and I still see this prevalent in how the media portrays current events/etc. Have you heard about our former President George W. Bush and his paintings? There seems to be a lot of shock and awe over his newfound talent and pastime. As I read over the article linked above, seems that the media (and the general public) assumes that “He was our President. He can’t also be a painter.”

It’s this kind of mindset that keeps us in shackles throughout our lives. I was fairly upset trying to compromise my life during business school…until finally I decided, enough is enough. I CAN be a writer AND a businessperson. I CAN knit and also do business strategies. I CAN be more than what society would want to box me into!

From that point forward, I felt liberated. Sure, sometimes I still get the reactions of “Wait, what do you do? You do that AND this?” and I end up getting self-conscious for a moment as I get this innocent yet pointed question from others. But, in the end, I know that I must take those shackles off from my mind, my life. I don’t have to be just one profession.

And you don’t either. You, too, can break free and know that, whether you write poetry and play rugby, or you draw caricatures and do PR…you can be whoever you want to be. You don’t have to be in a box. We weren’t meant to live this way anyway.

What makes you stronger

Setbacks happen but the real test of strength is how you bounce back.

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Daily Post Day 68: An Inspirational Book

A book that changed my life in the past five years was Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. I borrowed the book from my friend and I devoured the whole thing in only a few days.

The storyline was simple but at the same time so much of it made sense. I felt so inspired after reading the book that I vowed to myself I would live my life the same as the protagonist did: Follow my dreams, trust my gut, and don’t look back.

Opportunities Sneaking In

San Francisco Fog: A Few Weeks Ago

This is how everything looked like in San Francisco a few weeks ago. And now? It’s bright, sunny, and warm. The signature fog has disappeared for now and we’ve received our Indian Summer, at least for this week or so.

Don’t worry, folks, the fog will be back.

Anyway, seems the only Fiverr gig that is working out for me right now is writing short stories. I was going to delete my gigs on there after my previous job was finished, but lo and behold, I received another order.

I suppose it’s a good thing, considering each client has different needs and it’s a way for me to exercise my creativity more. After all, I get to learn about new topics that I wouldn’t have ever explored on my own before. It’s good to get a wide repertoire out there.

And, in general, other opportunities are coming in in terms of income. Small yet still significant opportunities. I can’t complain; I quite like this flexible schedule I have these days.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to participate in a TweetChat about healthy food. It was the first time I had participated in a chat in a long time; gee, I feel old a bit. I remember back in middle school when I was all about chat rooms, but of course, nothing of substance ever came out of those interactions. Yesterday’s chat was more focused and the energy of everyone’s enthusiasm was contagious. I felt quite happy after the chat, even though I was more or less a passive participant in the topic.

Let’s see what the rest of the week has in store for me. But I’m enjoying every moment I can. I realize it’s all best to continue to remind myself to go with the flow.

Singular Peach.

Yesterday, I received a fresh peach and accidentally left it in the car overnight.

This morning, while I was eating loquats for breakfast, I suddenly remembered that the peach was still in the car. I thought about the possibility of the peach over-ripening in the heat of the day. I quickly got dressed and walked outside into the fog.
My upstairs neighbor was outside smoking with the front door slightly cracked open. My acupuncturist went to his office on the corner of our block to pick up his morning paper; we both had epiphanies as we realized the fact that we’re next-door neighbors.
I walked on to the car and rescued the peach. It had a small cut on it but it still felt fresh and ready-to-eat luckily. I continued on back home holding the peach like a treasure. It’s now safe at home.
Somehow I felt inspired after that mission.