Monday, January 31, 2011

natural corruption

every time i think of my future and all of the plans and careers that i've dreamt about for years, i'm worried that i'll begin to stray from my passions and instead veer towards the more stable and financially rewarding careers. i've never been able to imagine myself having a normal career. not that i can't imagine myself working a 9-5, because i think that'd be just fine, but i could never imagine myself dedicating myself to a job that's not directly and completely devoted towards helping people. i could never be a restaurant manager, i could never punch numbers at some business firm and i could never do marketing work for an ad agency. it's strange in the sense that although i've never thought lowly of anyone else who wishes to do these types of things, i would never be okay if i did them myself. at least, i don't think so.

i'm scared that the longer i go to school and the longer i hear professor after professor lecture us about the "real world" instead of their course title, i'll grow numb to my passions. everything in me yearns for this goal, this purpose, that i've always felt stirring inside me since i was a child. but this build up of real world lessons is undeniable at best and i'm already sick of them. sometimes i hate that i've lacked the naivety that i see many of my peers still possess today, and that i've lacked it for so long. that harshness that's resulted is such a significant part of who i am today, and i absolutely hate it. i see it creep up in my conversations with others, no matter how hard i try to suppress it. that realist inside me is a constant reminder that i might fall short of my lofty goals. maybe life will happen and i won't have a choice but to choose that first job that comes my way and maybe i'll get stuck there. but as hard as the realist side is pushing, i'm trying my best to push back and remind myself that it's possible. maybe it will be hard, and maybe i won't get paid shit to do it, and maybe it'll mean putting a lot of things on hold, but it is possible if i'm willing to sacrifice enough.

why do i always go through this process of self-doubt during midterms and finals?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

what's in a name?

despite how absurdly blunt and straightforward i am, i'll actually go to a great length to avoid hurting someone's feelings. now, this doesn't mean i won't share my views about how truly disgusting i find many conservative policies, (because i don't think anyone should get offended by something like that), but i absolutely hate the idea of really making someone feel bad about themselves. often times it's the smallest of things that can really sting, and in particular, i always note when someone remembers my name or not. because of this, i try my best to remember names, even though i'm naturally quite horrible at it.

earlier today, i had a break in between classes and decided to spend it memorizing french vocab at the kerchoff coffee shop on campus. a tall, nicely dressed guy wearing loafers sits down at my table and says sarcastically, "crazy running into you here, amy."

sarcastically said because this is where i met him. it was the middle of fall quarter and everyone was in Midterm Mode. the tables were all approximately one backpack length away from each other, causing everyone to be friendlier than usual. me and Mr. Loafers were close enough to recognize a change in each others breathing, and therefore were forced to notice that we were both studying out of the same book. he asked if he could bounce some ideas off of me, and moved his chair a few inches over, so as to be officially at my table. i coincidentally had something to do only fifteen minutes later, although i suspect he just thought i was trying to get away from him, as he quickly offered to move back to "his" table when i informed him of my upcoming meeting, but i tried my best to assure him that if i was trying to avoid him i would have came up with a much cooler and/or urgent excuse to leave. normally the combination of a handsome member of the opposite sex, a great sense of style and great (albeit short) conversation should cement a name into my mind, but my memory failed me almost instantly after leaving. a shame, but an irrelevant one as far as i knew.

i reply to his "crazy running into you here, amy" with "yeah....yeah, it is." i make a mental note that he's wearing loafers again, but this pair is an even better than the last, then focus on the task at and. his name - what is his name? my memory browses through some common possibilities, but quickly dismisses them all. he was no "jeremy," "jake," or "john" but beyond that i was without a guess. although the idea of simply asking his name comes briefly, i disregard it completely within seconds: there is no way i am asking his name, but i will find out somehow. he sits down and we resume our conversation seamlessly and within seven minutes he's telling me about how his family insisted on camping every summer during his childhood, and imitating his dad's unique method of fishing.

now, i feel quite confident about my conversational skills. sure, sometimes two people just don't hit it off, but i feel that 9 times out of 10, i can make the conversation go quite smoothly, whether the other person is helping that process or not. however, this time that was not the case. my goal was not to have an interesting conversation as it was at our last meeting, but rather to figure out his name. in the process of accomplishing this goal, i had to sacrifice any attempt at seeming normal, or able to carry on with an intriguing chat.

he's in the middle of his dad's impression, and my mind is racing for a way to leeway into some topic or some way to bring up names. i have an idea, admittedly a really bad one, but an idea nonetheless.

"yeah, my parents are pretty crazy too. when i was really little i was obsessed with uhm...cows! yeah, cows, so, uh, ever since i was little whenever my mom calls me she uses a, uhm, cow voice when she says my name. you know, like, instead of 'moooo!' she'll say 'amyyyyyy' yeah...pretty....crazy. so, uh, how does your mom say your name when she calls?"

it was nonsensical and completely idiotic, but it was the best i had. any sane person would have just avoided using names or just asked straight out, but for some reason that was no longer an option. we could have turned into best friends who discussed music, culture and life, but i was willing to throw that all away to find out his name. he looked at me with an expression that could only be explained with the phrase 'what the fuck.'

"uh, i guess she just says my name...normal...."

"pfft! NOOO wayyyyy! everyone's parents say their name...uh, different. just, you know, show me."

"really, she just says it normally..."

"noooooooo, just do it, come onnnnn."

"well, she just calls and says "hey, emilio."

"right. that makes sense."

emilio. his name was emilio.