Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day quote

“There are many different kinds of bravery. There’s the bravery of thinking of others before one’s self. Now, your father has never brandished a sword nor fired a pistol, thank heavens. But he has made many sacrifices for his family, and put away many dreams.”
“Where did he put them?”
“He put them in a drawer. And sometimes, late at night, we take them out and admire them. But it gets harder and harder to close the drawer… He does. And that is why he is brave.”
(Conversation between Mrs. Darling and Michael, from Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, via)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

On happiness

After reading an article from The Atlantic about how our definition of happiness changes with age, I know there are certain things that have and will always make me happy:

Happiness means having a pleasant conversation, however brief and whatever the subject may be, with someone whose company I enjoy but don’t see as often as I’d like.

Happiness comes from receiving unexpected notes of appreciation from those who don’t normally express those sentiments because I know then that they’re writing in earnest.

Happiness is receiving a warm hug from someone you care about for the first time, even if to say farewell. 

And happiness for other people entails embracing the change, however unsettling, when they depart from our normal routine for greener pastures among those infinitely more deserving of their many talents.

What does happiness mean to you?

Me (left) and my sissy (right) at Philly's Love Park

Monday, June 10, 2013

Awkward gym encounters #1

As I was pedaling away on the elliptical this afternoon, I felt watched. The chunky monkey beside me was either checking me out real hard or trying to sneak a peek at my magazine. Meh, I kept pedaling, hoping she would become conscious of my awkward side glare and mind her own business. But she kept staring! … At my magazine! I looked over at her elliptical screen. Ah, no magazine. And I didn’t recognize her, so she must be a new member. Clearly, she hasn’t discovered the magazine rack overtly displayed in the entryway.

I also noticed that she lost interest and looked elsewhere in the cardio room if I stayed on any one page for too long, or flipped to a feature containing a long article and fewer pictures. But I alternate between watching TV (the only place I would ever watch ESPN) and reading my magazine while on the elliptical (my go-to, lazy-day workout). With all her staring, I considered lending her my magazine, but I brought it from home and was mindful that gyms are full of germs.

Thankfully, the observer hopped into the row of treadmills ahead of me and continued her taxing hike. No magazines on either side. Needless to say, she peaced out soon after. Hope she saw the magazine rack on her way out!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Do I say something?

I try not to offer my unsolicited opinion when people watching. While doing so at Lens Crafters, I watched an early-thirties woman try on the most horrendous pair of circular (think Ozzy Osbourne round), tortoise-shell sunglasses (no, not the kind Liz Lemon would wear). OK, maybe she’s trying on ridiculous glasses for fun. But then she flagged down a sales associate to ask whether the sunglasses could be made into clear, prescription lenses. OH NO, LADY. Do I say something? I didn’t. I clammed up! But I secretly hoped the place would say the sunglasses could not be made with clear prescription lenses. Unfortunately, they do. Maybe somebody she knows will dissuade her when she publicly wears the frames in their company for the first time? There’s a 90-day return policy. I hope she knows that.

Another day while waiting in line at Ann Taylor, I tapped the shoulder of the woman ahead of me and told her her shirt was inside-out. It turns out she was in the fitting room and mistakenly put on her shirt wrong-side-out, but was thankful that I pointed that out so she could properly invert her shirt before leaving the store. See? I did one good deed without feeling intrusive.

Here’s the difference: Glasses are much more personal and more stylistically subjective. But they are a hefty investment, so you might as well opt for a pair that can make the most of the situation. And always bring a friend for an honest second opinion.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Color test

My latest obsession -- and that of my coworkers -- are personality assessments. A recent one I took is the color code personality test, which asks the test taker to evaluate their childhood personality traits. I thought the questions were hokey at first, but the results are spot-on:

Motive [ Peace ]
Whites are motivated by Peace. They seek independence and require kindness. They resist confrontation at all costs. They are typically quiet by nature, process things very deeply and objectively with great clarity. Of all the colors, whites are the best listeners. They respect people who are direct but recoil from perceived hostility or verbal battle.

Whites need their "alone time" and refuse to be controlled by others. Whites want to do things their own way and in their own time. Whites are much stronger than people think, but are not often seen for their strength because they don't easily reveal their feelings. Whites are even-tempered, diplomatic, and the voice of reason; but can also be indecisive, unexpressive, and silently stubborn. When you deal with a WHITE, be kind, accept and support their individuality, and look for non-verbal clues to understand their feelings.

What color are you?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Work anniversary

Today is my first work anniversary. A year ago today, I joined the ranks of D.C.-area yuppies, and I could not have foreseen how far I’ve come nor how wonderful the next year will be. Despite the occasional trying day that would induce me to drink to oblivion if I had any desire to indulge, I know I made the right decision by joining this team.

I’m grateful for the experiences this position has given rise to. Like all major life events in my life, this one has taught me how far I can push and surprise myself –professionally and socially – despite my own doubts. What a coincidence that the other comparably gratifying experience of my life (the paper) has led me to something that fulfills the same sense of purpose that I’d long forgotten.

Moreover, I’m grateful to be working 40 hours a week among a group of people whose company I genuinely enjoy. It took me several months to feel comfortable enough to be my complete self – sarcasm and all – but now I feel like I belong. And that’s saying something from someone who’s struggled with shyness since childhood.

Although I wasn’t sure whether the job or the company would suit me at the very beginning, I’m happy, truly, with where I’ve ended up. Some say I would be happy anywhere, but I think being in the right company inevitably will bring out the best in anybody. This place certainly has and does.
My whiteboard on my first day of work

Sunday, June 2, 2013

3 years

Three years ago, I spent the summer living on Chancellor Street in Charlottesville – dangerously close to those delicious Bodo’s Bagels – and was halfway through college. That’s the summer I started my blog (originally and aptly named, Soliloquy), which was, is and will continue to be a collection of personal narratives and anecdotes during a years-long process of self-reflection and discovery.

To celebrate the milestone, I will be blogging every even-numbered day in June, starting today. The idea for the blogathon was brought about when my middle- and high-school friend, Abraham, Facebook-messaged me out of the blue one night to tell me how much he enjoyed reading the blog, and asked me why I stopped the “First-Date Friday” series. His message reminded me how surprised I am again and again by those who’ve reached out and told me how much the enjoy reading the posts, so this blogathon is for all of you. And good news for fellow FDF fans: I will be doing at least one of those during the June blogathon.

Please comment below (you can do so anonymously) if you have any blog requests. I will also be taking questions via my Formspring.

Also, major shout out to my biggest fan, Sejal Bojani, for being such a loyal, appreciate reader, and for all the readers out there for making all this worthwhile. I hope the June blogathon will be all that you’d hoped.

And if you’re new to the blog, welcome :).