CC: K, am I qualified to be loved? Maybe I am too immature, you know, the kind of kids spoiled by parents.
K: YES. You absolutely are!! It's all a learning experience, CC. You and I are still so young. None of us are perfect.
CC: Maybe I don't know how to care for others.
K: In a relationship, it's a lot about being able to live with the other person's imperfections and everyone has imperfections.
CC: Yea, I know. Alas, I am prepared to be single all my life.
K: You will not be, CC. You are a catch! I would ask you out <3
CC: Haha, K, tbh, don't be offended, have you not been prepared to be single at some point in your life? I mean, you know that kind of feeling, when finding "love" seems such a purgatory that you doubt if it exists or if it exists for YOU.
K: If I were to be honest, I have. I think in this case, Obama's words, "the audacity of hope" comes into play. I think given modern life, how it is so international, in flux and focused on career and accomplishment. It is hard to find a relationship, especially to stay IN a relationship. I completely agree. And a lot of people in my parent's generation have gotten divorced, so love is by no means guaranteed. How I generally think is this: I am absolutely worthy of being loved and finding love, but the prospect of finding love is ultimately not completely within my control. The other person has to contribute as well and it is a work in progress. I cannot create love by myself, but I am 100% convinced that I am worthy and deserving of love. So it's more like, I want to reach a mental place where I am okay being single, where I can be strong and confident and still pursue my dreams being single, but open and hopeful to the prospect of love, knowing full well that it is not all in my hands, and that to make love really work, you have to put in a lot of work, possibly as much work as you put into career or PhD. :)
CC: Thanks, K. But I am always conscious, that I have no bf, no job...
K: Okay, truthfully speaking, having a significant other is not a measurement of academic or professional success... or even life success, in a manner of speaking. Also, you still have time to find an internship. There are still like 5-6 months left in the school year. You'd probably learn more at a startup than one of those giant tech companies that recruit in Oct/Nov anyway.
CC: Oh, you think people can learn more from startup?
K: Absolutely. AND Besides, professional development is a marathon not a sprint.
K: What I am saying is this -- don't let other people's temporary progress and advantage intimidate or discourage you. You are ultimately on your own journey toward happiness, one that will be different from everyone else's. By comparing ourselves to others, we only succeed in failing to pursue or look for what makes us happy.
CC: That's so true! Thanks for keep reminding me.
K: No problem! I need to keep reminding myself too!
CC : Yes. Sometimes we all get trapped, don't we <3
K: Absolutely!! And as David Foster Wallace says, the true purpose of a liberal arts education is to constantly remind ourselves what is truly at stake and to focus on what truly matters to us.
CC: But what exactly truly matters for us? That's exactly the question. And I cannot answer it a lot of times.
K: Well, at an abstract level, happiness and a fulfilling life, perhaps. But it is up to us how we choose to define it. And it is okay if our definition of a fulfilling life or happy life aligns with what is broadly considered good in society, such as wanting money or fame or children or such. But there is always a cost to blindly chasing after things that society deems broadly good. Instead, even if you want fame or wealth, it is important to understand what exactly about these values you truly want, and pursue those. In David Foster Wallace's view, it is not the wanting of fame or wealth or knowledge or such broad ideas that doom humans to a life that is not well-lived. It is rather some people's unconscious, dogmatic pursuit of these ideals without thinking, while simultaneously being convinced that their mode of living is the only one that is correct. That lack of conscious and critical thought of one's values, he believes, that is what makes for an ill-lived life. So in a way, he is encouraging us to consider what is valuable to us critically. We don't have to have it all figured out in order to live a good life. We just have to be conscious and constantly looking and examining our lives in order to realize its full value.
CC: Okay. Recently, I heard a saying, which is "it is okay to be not okay". I feel this is my constant state. At any state, I am (well) aware that there are things I haven't figured out, I have not done well, and I need to improve. So I have to learn to live with such state, while still feeling good about myself.
K: Totally yes. I agree with that saying. I would argue that the natural state of the world is to "not be okay". We understand what we struggle with the most, but when we interact with others, we have a tendency to portray the best side of ourselves, which leads to a view of the world where everyone else seems to be so put together and successful, but we feel so not okay. But that's just an illusion... there is no shortage of suffering in this world, and everyone has their own burdens to bear.
CC: Yes, for example, for me now, I notice my "problem" is how I present myself in front of people. I am so self-conscious. I am afraid to be judged. I can easily feel abashed or inferior to others. This also leads me to judging others... This makes me kinda afraid to interact with people, especially those around me, you know, all "A+" people. But I have to forgive myself of not socializing with people well while trying to improve this side of me.
K: Yeah I agree. I think a major personal challenge for you to "grow up" to be the best version of yourself is to... accept yourself for all your strengths and flaws, and to approach life and social situations with more confidence. :) I think you can do it. But it will be a project! But could be really good for you. :)
CC: Yes, the most important is that throughout this process I have to not feel "bad" about myself. You know, I can't constantly criticize myself for what I am not doing well... I can't live with it... It's tricky. It's like you aim for good/better, but you have to think that even this current "not good" stage is still fine.
K: Exactly. I think of it more like... we can all become better versions of ourselves. And striving to do so is good. But at the same time, we have already put in a lot of effort to become who we are today, and the people we are today is good, and deserves respect and love and it starts with respecting and loving ourselves.
CC: Yes I agree. You always have wise words K.
K: Saying the words is one thing, but living life adhering to it, that is what we must do. :)
CC: Yes, I am going home now.
K: Woooah, It's 11PM. You are not home?
CC: At office.
K: party and booshit?! :P or working?
CC: ... half half TT. ttyl
K: :P ttyl, I see I am being ignored. Good night <3
CC: You know you are not. :) gnight