Surviving vs. Thriving

I’m ashamed to look and see how long it has been since I last wrote a post on here. I do have quite a few posts to write about so I will probably spread them out over the week. For my first post…

Recently, my dad’s friend from Chicago (let’s call him Reader) came to visit with his daughter who is two years younger than me. He is a very intellectual guy who has loved to learn since he was a child back in India. He’d pick up any and every book just to expand his knowledge – and boy, did he really expand my mind when he came and stayed for a few days.

One night we were all chilling by the kitchen counter and he gave me a speech about how I should choose to go into my future and nothing has ever struck me as much as what he said that night.

As many people say or have heard from others, you should follow your interests and do what you enjoy. That was the message Reader gave me essentially but worded this way:

You need to find something you’re obsessed with. Something that interests you so much, and something you are so passionate about, that you will wake up in the mornings and chances are that THAT is what you will think about. It should be that way. Anyone can do any job in the future, humans are capable of adapting to their environments.

But if you choose something you obsess over, you will excel no matter where you go. You will be promoted sooner than later, you will get a higher salary raise if that’s what you care about, and people from other fields will come to consult you because you are one of the best in your field. But most importantly, you will have fun.

You can be really talented in one field, but if you don’t obsess over it or have fun with it, then in the end you will be surviving, like everyone else, when really you should be thriving and making a difference in the world – regardless of the field you are passionate about.

“Don’t just survive. That’s what we immigrant parents all over the world have done and are doing right now for you kids. All these immigrant parents have left the comfort of their home countries and are merely surviving right now. Don’t be like us, that’s not why we brought you here. Be better than us, make a difference.”

His speech hit me hard. I’ve always heard people say follow your interests, but it what how Reader put it that made me rethink my entire future. I had plans to go through the English field and become an editor of some sorts, because I enjoy going through the editing process and also that is one of my skills. But.. I don’t obsess over it. I don’t wake up in the mornings wondering what literature I’m going to read next (as much as I’m trying to read more nowadays) nor do I pick up and read any of the books on writing/grammar that I have received as gifts from family.

The one thing I obsess over is paleontology. I love it with all my heart and have since I was a little kid. Paleontology is the subject where I willingly go and WANT to buy books on and read on the train. Every time I go to a bookstore, I always search for a paleontology section. Currently I am reading a book on the Tyrannosaur family that I found at a thrift book store and I am learning so much.

Reader’s speech didn’t just affect me though, it seems like my mom was also enlightened by it. To my surprise, my mom, who had once strongly suggested neurology as a career path, is now encouraging me to follow paleontology. First, I should finish my English degree and get a masters, but afterward – go get that paleontology degree and maybe become a professor.

To be honest, I have yet to look at schools that have good paleontology courses and am still feeling slightly lost despite knowing what I want to do. But I have a good feeling about it.

Feeling Like the Puke Queen

Status

I woke up this morning with an “uh oh” thought. Asked my dad to drive me to school instead of taking the train because I feared I may puke. And lo and behold, halfway through the drive I puked in the plastic bag I was clutching onto for dear life.

It was amusing because my dad brought along our dog (I’ll call him fluffy), and shortly after I threw up he asked me to take a picture of fluffy because he looked so cute in the back poking his head out the window. I gave my dad an “are you serious” glance before half heartedly taking pics of my dog. Granted, fluffy did look cute. Whenever the wind blows in his face he looks like Chewbacca.

Anywho, I figured maybe the cause of my puking was my birth control (I started that to help regulate my irregular periods), but both my parents at home stated that they too were feeling nauseous. Neither seemed bad enough that they were gonna hurl, but still it leads me to think maybe the cause was not my birth control but something else. Maybe something in the food last night or whatever else. Not to mention it’s been over a month and a half since I started my birth control. Is it possible I’m still having side effects?

Although, funnily enough first time I took birth control I puked the next morning too right before this exact same English class. I could have skipped and stayed home today, but I already missed a class last week so I couldn’t skip a second time in a row. Even if it may be for a legitimate reason.

Currently, I’m in class. It’s work day and everyone’s silently working on their projects while I’m typing away on my blog. I didn’t know it was going to be a work day so I didn’t bring anything to work on.

Really wanna go get some crackers though, I’m starting to get hungry despite also being a little nauseous.

Well, hope I get better before noon or so. Have a great rest of the day everyone!

Epilepsy

You know, I find school to be stressful mainly because of myself. I’m epileptic (I have the classic JME), and it’s kind of holding my (academic) life back. I’m not sure whether epilepsy or my medications are responsible for this, but I have a lot of side effects (?) from the epilepsy/medications. My memory, for one, has gone down a bit. I have long term memory for sure, but my short term memory isn’t that great… I also get exhausted really easily and need a lot of rest. Only problem is that I’m a nocturnal person. No matter how tired I am, I always have the need to stay up a bit. What also doesn’t help is that I’m a small underweight girl, so I don’t have a lot of energy to begin with. One of the side effects of the medication is either decrease or increase in appetite. And to my wonderful luck I had the decreasing in appetite (sarcasm there). And my high metabolism doesn’t chip in help either.

My teachers are understanding though. Some of them really care for me because they know someone who’s epileptic, and a nurse at the health center who specifically takes care of me is just awesomely sweet. Love her. I also get distracted easily and I have to spend a lot of time on work to get a good grade. Not gonna lie and don’t mean to brag, but seeing as how my high school is in the top 20 best high schools in the country, the work load here is just ridiculous. I have to spend almost double the time or possibly more my friends spend on homework. My teachers give me extensions though when I ask and let me hand in essays or assignments at a later date and I also get extra time on tests. But I always feel bad doing so.

I feel as though I’m getting these… good… no, not the right word… I guess a more accurate word is… advantages. Yeah. I feel as though I have a huge advantage because I can take my time and my classmates just have to.. deal with it, I suppose. So I try not to get extensions but sometimes I have to ask. I also feel bad asking for extensions. Not sure why, but I guess it’s because I don’t want my teachers to assume I’m slacking off which is why I can’t finish my work on time.

My friends are understanding though, and they say so. They help me out too because I can’t comprehend things as fast as they can. I try to avoid help because I don’t want to nag them (plus my pride, which is bad because I should get help when I don’t understand something. Or else my mom will whoop my ass when teachers say I don’t ask for help much). But one of my friends and ex-roommate snapped once under stress.

It was during exam time last year and junior year is the hardest and most stressful because it’s essential to get good grades then for colleges to see, so obviously my whole grade was going insane from work and grades. My friend was ranting (and mind you she’s a smart ass person. She got a fucking 2400 on her SATs, like come on man) and I was in bed because I had recently woken up from a nap (I was seriously exhausted that day). She snapped and said “____, I don’t get why you get extensions. You need to suffer like we do.” My roommate piped up, “Yeah! Like actually!”

I was surprised. Totally shocked. I had these “fears” but I didn’t imagine they were actually true. I didn’t know what to say at that time except “You don’t know what it’s like to have epilepsy.” Pathetic response. Ugh. I was just speechless. My friend just grunted “Yeah but still.” My short temper blew up. I ignored the two for a whole day and I think they realized what they had said and noticed that I was pissed. They didn’t talk to me, but it wasn’t one of those “I’m not going to talk to you” kind of thing. It was more of “I don’t know what to say, this is awkward because I made it so” sort. At the time I was like “Bitch, that’s right. You did, I’m pissed, and I don’t even know how long I’m not going to talk to you.” I don’t hold grudges though so I was fine the next night.

Now I’m more self conscious about what I’m doing. I opened up to some of my teachers saying how I felt bad taking extensions. They were obviously encouraging it, but hey. Words can’t change someone’s feelings that quickly, right? And I guess I can see how some my friends (I don’t know if everyone feels that way or not) think I’m taking advantage of my “privileges.” I don’t know if I mentioned this earlier, but I don’t express my feelings too much. I keep things to myself because I have another “fear” of sounding like a whiny girl. My dad encourages me to express it (and it’s partly why he enjoys it when I get mad at him. He’s always like “yeah! keep on yelling. That’s good.” And that just makes me more pissed off. Love my dad) but I can’t seem to do it. So because I don’t express my feelings a lot, I don’t show my stress. I always seem calm on the outside, no matter how I’m really feeling. I can see how my friends might think I’m taking advantage of extensions and slack off rather than working.

I just hope my senior year will go much better. My grades aren’t horrible, but I could definitely do better. I’m going to have to spend a shit ton of time this year. I’m so glad there isn’t any drama in my life currently. I don’t need anymore distractions or unnecessary social stress.

Sigh. I’m underweight, epileptic, and could possibly be depressed according to my doctor and a bunch of symptoms a speaker listed at one assembly. But that’ll be for another time. So many things wrong with me. Hate, hate. I keep a positive attitude though. That’s what matters, right?