Monday, November 7, 2016


All the good // comes in waves.

I'm riding a high wave from the weekend. I used dread people asking me how my weekend was because I would often only have negative things to share. Today was the opposite: I was so eager to tell someone about what a wonderful weekend I had that I asked numerous people how their weekend was in the hope that the question would be reciprocated. Sadly, it was not, but at least I have my blog to spill everything in. To recap:

FRIDAY — Archery: Practice wasn't particularly great, but I was told to blame it on the bow I was using. It was really discouraging to miss the target so much, but I stuck around and braved the 8pm cold (yes, I'm that Californian) to go to dinner with the team. It sounds ridiculous, but I'm pretty sure I almost fainted because it was so cold. Once we got to Cancun, a Mexican restaurant on Shattuck and Oxford, I was pretty nauseous, so I had to spend a few minutes running my hands under hot water, and after that it was okay. One thing I love about the team dinner arrangement is that it's always a new place every week, so I get to explore Berkeley without going alone. It was also a great opportunity to bond with the senior members of the team, who told outrageous but true (?) stories of previous leadership teams and the messes resulting from their lack of leadership and organization.

SATURDAY — Shopping at Bay Street with Anisha: It had been a while since either she or I had an opportunity dedicated to getting away from work and just doing something fun. All that built up stress merited a shopping spree (retail therapy is real). I bought two pairs of yoga pants that I'm obsessed with. One is grey with pockets and the other is black with mesh paneling, both designs that I've wanted for a while. I didn't buy the Tarte palette I really wanted at Sephora but I did finally build up the courage to ask for a sample of a lemon face peel. I also picked up a face mask from Lush, something I've been needing for weeks, as well as their new catalog and a lotion sample, all good stuff. At Aerie, Anisha and I split an underwear deal because neither of us need seven pairs of underwear right now, but three or four is just enough and we're friends like that. All of this was within budget, plus relaxing and getting items I needed made the trip a triple win. The rest of the afternoon was back to work, but I got a lot of things done and it was very productive. I apologize for my lack of modeling skills below.

SUNDAY — Archery (again): I woke up not feeling particularly excited for ASCENT after the disappointing Friday practice. On top of that, the skies were dismally grey, but on the field the weather was good—not windy, not cold, even though it was cloudy. After shooting a few ends, I started feeling excited about archery again. I finished my scoring round with a 163 (the gold medal score at the Cal-Stanford tournament last year was a 170 out of 300). We also learned how to run team rounds, which went wonderfully. Our last end, my team shot a 47 out of 60, which is crazy good, especially for beginners. I wish I had gotten a picture, but I had Snapchatted it and forgot to save it.

Afterwards I went to Trader Joe's and bought groceries, which is still really exciting because I got all the basics that I needed, like bananas and avocados (side note, all of the avocados were either really mushy or really hard, but I managed to get one that was perfect and that made me very happy), plus some extras like their mini peanut butter cups, which are absolutely heavenly, as well as some limited edition mint chocolate stars with cute packaging. The total was only about $20 which is amazing for any grocery run, not just Trader Joe's. Getting what I needed, at Trader Joe's, and it wasn't expensive? Another triple win in my book. To wrap the weekend up, after finishing up some work, I painted my nails a pure sky blue and treated myself to a spa night with the Sephora sample and the Lush mask. It was bliss.

MONDAY— The day after Daylight Savings Time ended: I woke up before my alarm, which was weird. It took me some time to adjust to that idea of being awake so early, so I didn't get as much done in the morning as I had hoped, but that was okay because it was all extra stuff anyway. The rest of the morning went well as I was early to class and the lecture was interesting material. I also received my policy memo back, and surprisingly, I got an A on it! More good news followed as I did my notes between classes. I received an email that I was accepted into Cal-In-The-Capital, the summer program I had applied to! I was on cloud nine as I went to my last lecture, which passed by in a blink. After getting home, throwing some chicken nuggets into the toaster oven, and sitting down to write this post, I'm feeling so good. It's a sharp contrast from last week when I was feeling horrible, but it goes to show that the low does not last forever. Unfortunately, neither does the high, but it's important to enjoy it when it's happening and drink in the good vibes.

CONCLUSIONS: I used to believe that if I wasn't happy, then there was something wrong with me. It's easy to want "happy." It's a good feeling, and it's a good idea to sell — vague and eternally unattainable. If you pursue happiness, you will live a life that is miserable, because no one can be happy all the time. It's a concept best illustrated by the Oatmeal in this post on how to be perfectly unhappy, which first opened me up to this idea on how chasing happiness shouldn't be a goal, because happiness isn't a constant state.

I've evolved to the belief that humans crave satisfaction, whether that is in work or play. Shooting archery and hitting 10's feels good even if most of the time I get frustrated when I miss. Writing blog posts, getting those thoughts out, and formatting it into a pristine final product is worth the effort and time it takes to work with an awful draft. That feeling of satisfaction is why I'll feverishly stay up until 4am to tweak the code on my blog so it looks just right. It's why celebrities self destruct, chasing the satisfaction of the high.

Still, it's tempting to want to be happy in college, thinking about a future career, something that pays but is still fulfilling. You see this more with career artists and musicians who advocate for people to pursue their dreams and do what they love. It just happens that what I'm interested in, education policy, is more of a traditional job. Call me a crazy workaholic, but finishing a page of notes is so goddamn satisfying that sometimes I don't want to stop working at 1 AM. I'm not necessarily happy when I'm doing it, but the feeling of fulfillment afterwards is so satisfying that it leads to a feeling like happiness, if only for a while. I love the material that I'm learning in college and I'm lucky enough to have that option of doing what I love.

Now, I find myself working hard and playing hard, chasing satisfaction, which I define as getting what I want as a result of the effort I put in, and finding that happiness comes as byproduct. I'm more content with my life in general knowing that there's nothing wrong with not being happy. The struggle and frustration is part of the reason it's worth it if you are satisfied with the result.

I sit here eating stars. ◊

music creds: ww <3

No comments:

Post a Comment