Irk-tober

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A phrase that I’ve developed a strong disliking towards is “all the good in _(insert name here)__ outweighs all of the bad.” I’ve heard it used a lot recently as a justification for people to stay in relationships, friendships, and to continue pursuing connections that have reached a dead end. It’s basically saying, “investing in this person is worth it because they have these things about them that stand out despite the shitty stuff they’ve done or their incompatible qualities.” Why do we give more value to the good over the bad? Isn’t the bad equally as troubling as how admirable the good is?

It’s as if you went to the grocery store and decided to buy some grapes, and out of all the bags of grapes, you picked out the one with a bunch of spoiled ones– molding and wrinkling– and said, “You know, there are a lot of bad grapes in here, but I’m sure the good ones taste really good.” Be honest. That would never happen. You’d take your time to pick around the pile of produce and look for the best of the crop to get your money’s worth. Some people are going to say that comparing buying grapes to a relationship is just an outlandish metaphor, but think about it. Objectively, if you can put the good and the bad of a person on a scale and measure them to decide if they are worth your time and energy, then it’s practically the same concept. You’re taking on the persona of the “smart consumer.” And I’m not saying there’s a perfect bundle of grapes without a single blemish out there, but why wouldn’t you try searching for the best you can find before settling for raisins?

Just say what it is without trying to justify your decisions: You still want the bad grapes no matter the cost. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s your life, your decisions. It’s just important to be able to identify that you’re not tied to this one person, and if they have these flaws, that you choose to accept all of their sour grapes.  It, in fact, makes you look more foolish and naive to say that “all the good outweighs the bad.” That, to me, is just openly admitting how blindly you are pursuing a connection despite all of the red flags and warning signs. You’ve counted all of the bad grapes and you are fearless in the face of probable food poisoning. That’s okay, but don’t try to justify someone’s BS with the fact that they make you smile and have an unavoidable twinkle in their eye. Maybe you’re just better equipped to stomach the bad things than most. That’s great. Good for you, really, but that still does not equate “the good outweighs the bad.” That’s “I was born with a digestive tract made of steel.”


 

Thanks for taking the time to read my random rant. I can’t believe it’s been 4 months** since my last post. I’ve been super busy with grad school so I haven’t had a ton of time to keep up with reading my favorite blogs, let alone write in mine.

I don’t really like October. It’s the time of year when my asthma flares up and I become a huge nuisance in my classes for my constant coughing. I also don’t enjoy Halloween (I just hate horror movies and getting scared in general). Midterms are also a thing that exist around this time. Everything about October pretty much sucks, haha. I’m basically Charlie Brown getting rocks on Halloween. Which is exactly why I found it appropriate to write about something that irks me to relinquish some of the misery I typically feel during this month. Maybe I’ll do this every October if I ever manage to keep up with this blog enough to make it to another October.

Sidenote, WordPress reminded me a while ago that my blog has hit its 4 year anniversary. As always, thank you to those who continue to follow my blog. Your support is everything. From 4th-11th grade, I had this insane dream of becoming a writer. I used to invent stories with hopes of becoming a best-selling author one day, and it is your readership that allows me to live a small piece of this dream. Thanks to my friends who feel obligated to read my stuff, and thanks to those on WordPress who have willingly spent some time to provide comments and feedback. Without all of you, I would read and ramble all of this to myself. 🙂

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**Note: I have deleted a post from 4 months ago since publishing this post because I wasn’t happy with it.

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Define: Happy

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It’s time to address the choices I’ve made in this blog. Lately, I haven’t been posting the “happiest” of content despite happiness being the forefront of this platform with all of the cute Disney and Peanuts gang inserts I have oh-so cleverly chosen (if I do say so myself). After reviewing my content, I’ve noticed how my blog has taken a sharp turn from casual, goofy commentary to a more emotional, analytical perspective. I hope it means that I’ve been growing as a writer, but more importantly, I think it also reflects how my perspective of “Happiness Keeps Running” has changed.

I was a freshman in college when I first started this blog. Doe-eyed, nervous about making new friends, ready to take my first steps into adulthood. Happiness, to me, was everlasting. It was the energy that underlined my motivations, my connections with others, and was the means to persevere through all obstacles. I imagined that happiness would always be coursing through my veins and that I wouldn’t need much else as long as I was happy. At the time, optimism was the way to continuously trigger states of happiness, and feeding off that energy from those around me who made it easy to feel optimistic. I thought that conquering disdain and retribution with a positive attitude was the key to tackling life overall.

Now, as I write this as a senior in college, I see that happiness enters seasons of drought. Naivety is Hope’s secret lover. I’ve found myself unhappy with my choices and path of life far more times that I’d care to share. I’ve found myself feeling lonely and trudging through feelings that I can only describe as “gray.” I’m usually very good about putting up a front when these things happen, but it gets tiring after a while. Whoever said your 20s would be the greatest period of your life was full of crap. I have no idea what I’m doing, no idea what I will be doing, and no idea of what I should be doing. On the brighter side of things, I got into grad school and will be taking one step closer to my dream of becoming a speech-language pathologist. However, I don’t feel fulfilled. I’ve reached a conflict in which I want to be happy and have equated that to feeling full; full of drive, full of passion, full of wonder, full of curiosity. I feel like this is something I’ve been missing on a emotional and spiritual level.  It makes me wonder what fulfillment means to an Asian-American, heterosexual, Christian millennial like me. What do I have to do to feel complete? And all of this questioning makes me feel as if I have betrayed the motivational undertones of my writing in this blog, and as if I am allowing this facade to permeate in my posts.

I think having questions like these have slowly seeped into my understanding of what happiness is, and how to achieve a state of content. As I approach the end of my undergraduate college career, I see now that I used to have such one-dimensional thoughts in assuming that I would always find ways to feel happy. It appears that happiness was easily achieved when going about life with minimal exposure to hardship and conflicts in the process of maturity. I was sheltered, and I’ll admit that. I allowed myself to be so easily swayed into modes of arbitrary bliss without questioning what or why I felt that way, as well as why I needed to present myself as perpetually happy. I used to feel compelled to make every person I remotely knew as close of a friend as they would allow me to be. I believed that everyone had the potential to do anything, and that having that potential alone made the pursuit of goals and dreams worthwhile and plausible.  I essentially classically conditioned myself to portray the whimsicality and enthusiasm of youth, following the rulebook of “fake it til you make it” and forcibly pushing aside my deeply embedded teenage angst with the assumption that it would help me find happiness. I’ve now had enough existential crises and hair-tearing episodes to compensate for the lack thereof in high school, ripping apart the blanket of false positivity and unfounded hope that I once clung so dearly to. And looking back, I can’t help but cringe at this “act” I carried around just to trick and satisfy myself. It really makes me wonder if this attitude was strangely endearing or just straight-up annoying to my peers who had to see me every single day and put up with this distasteful charade. Not to mention that I also used to be an overly energetic morning person with the compulsion to say hi to every living being in the hallways. By the way, sorry to everyone who had to put up with that.

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As I said before, I’m not sure where to go from here. I’m sure this is part of some cliche, sadistic scheme of life, and I’ve been unwillingly designated a cartographer of sorts. I’m also quite sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, and that this is going to take a very long time to navigate. To those of you who resonate with this “lost in the fog” feeling, I’m going to go ahead and be a cheese and say that we’re not alone in this. Let us take our dystopian strides in hand-holding camaraderie. Although happiness has changed its definition and methodology over time, we can still continue searching with the help of one another. By sharing experiences, creating conversational platforms, and striving to be more than just content, we can discover the things that help us experience fulfillment.

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