Moving Beyond Perfection

Six Months Later

Posted in Uncategorized by Kathy on December 22, 2009

Six months ago, I began writing this blog to cleanse myself of feelings I thought I’d never be able to share with others. I needed an outlet to reflect my thoughts, my pains, and reveal what I believed were skeletons in my closet. Skeletons that could potentially label me as the girl who had “issues”, something I have always feared of being labeled as. Unfortunately, I was forced to stop writing, as the rational part of me decided that it would not be good for me as I was undergoing recruiting for jobs. I needed to sound certain of what I wanted in my job interviews, and I could not have any evidence online of thoughts that I have had of various job positions that I was applying to.

So six months later, where am I? I have just finished my first semester of senior year, and am currently sitting on a plane back home to Hong Kong. Before even continuing further,

I must comment briefly how I am continuously just taken aback by Hong Kong culture. In front of me, sits a nanny who cannot help raising her voice to discipline a little baby girl she is in charge of taking care of, and there is just crying, crying, and more crying… the mother is sitting comfortably in some far away seat, apparently not even in economy class, without a care in the world for how her daughter is being treated. This is, as I have observed, how most kids in Hong Kong are raised. Not by their parents, but instead by a full-time nanny. The nanny will bring the kids to the bus stops, carry their backpacks, and then put the backpacks on the kids as they board the bus. I suppose coming from a culture that for the most part endorses a “do-it-yourself” type of lifestyle, I cannot help but continuously be surprised.

Anyhow, back to senior year. I believe senior year has been one of the best years of my life. I have the most amazing roommate and friends in the world, and have met some amazing new people as well. I think I am truly at a different stage of my life, where I no longer have the same concerns and thoughts that I used to. Instead of looking at the past, I am often living in the moment, or looking towards my future. I am finally ready to think forwards, and not backwards.  My freshman year experience at Harvard now seems just a blur in my mind; it is almost hard for myself to comprehend how I could have been at such a low point. It has taught me, however, that one can always move forwards… and that is a comforting thought. I did not think I would come back to this blog, primarily because I do believe I am at a very different stage in my life as before, but at this point, I would just like to write. As I now have a job lined up for next year, I feel a greater need to protect my privacy and therefore will be both taking down and refraining from posting any pictures, but I think I will come back here from time to time to just write. I will be writing primarily for myself, as a way to document my thoughts for the future, so that if I ever want to look back at my life, I will have something to read and remember. However, if you are reading this, thank you for taking an interest in my life J

As aforementioned, I do have a job lined up for the future, and will be residing in NYC next year. For security purposes, I will keep the details of my job private. I will say though, that the people are extremely warm, and value the idea of further education. The culture is quite suited for me, and I will continue to keep the possibility of pursuing a JD/MBA in the back of my mind.

It is a bit surreal to know what I am doing next year. I know exactly when my job starts, and exactly where I will be living. I have gotten so comfortable living with the most amazing roommate in the world that I do not even know how I will survive on my own. Yet, regardless, I do believe it is best for me not to have a roommate next year. It will be a stressful time period, adjusting to full-time work and life in NYC, so the last thing I’d need is to have to accommodate someone else. I cannot help but be sad to know that my roommate this year will be across the country from me next year though, and that my other friends in college will most likely be dispersed all over the country too. Are we really ready to grow up? I suppose we have to be. Well, no, not yet. In six months, we will have to be.

I would be lying if I were to claim I am not scared for next year. I think I am extremely lucky, and I am very excited for what awaits in the future. But life in New York City–that is a different world. While I think it is an amazing place to live, I do not want to turn into some cutthroat, heartless, money-hungry person. I hope I will not be forced to become less caring of others, to become less compassionate, and less understanding. It is funny, because when I was younger (aka middle school), I would actually dream about the glamorous corporate life. Wearing heels to work, a classy work suit, holding a big mug of coffee in my hand, with its fresh aroma filling my own personal office. Others would be impressed by the life I lived, and I would be genuinely happy, typing away at my computer, doing something seemingly important. It is funny, only because I am not sure I associate those same characteristics with the corporate world anymore. They may certainly hold true for some people, but I am now much more conflicted about the image the lifestyle portrays. Conflicted between wanting to stand out, get promoted, becoming a powerful managing director one day, and with blending in, being average, humble, but someone much more down-to-earth. I’d like to think one can be successful while being down-to-earth at the same time, but from what I have observed, this has become hard for me to believe. It is too early for me to be concerned about these things, but I can only hope that I discover I am wrong, once in the future.

More and more, I have become okay with the idea of being average. My mother has always told me to aim for being average. To stop stressing about my grades in college, about post-college plans, and to settle for “average”. I never understood this before. Why would I settle for average if I have the potential to be above average? Her point though, I came to realize, was not that I shouldn’t work my hardest, but rather that I should not become so disappointed if I did not achieve my sometimes too-high goals. Life is simply less stressful this way.

I finally understand where my mother is coming from. I am unsure whether this is because I have just lost motivation as a senior in college, or whether this is because my perspective on life has actually changed. Regardless, the idea of being average has begun to really appeal to me. The company I will be working for is not well known to many unless they are fully immersed in the Wall Street world. This actually pleases me quite a bit. The name, Harvard, is already intimidating enough to some. I don’t need another top-brand name to scare off people from wanting to get to know me, or wanting to get to know me for purely network connections. I would much rather be seen a likeable person to others rather than be seen as “intense”. I have always been called intense, and I never liked that label. Some say it is not necessarily a negative thing; it simply shows you have drive and ambition. Even in high school, I was voted the superlative, “Most likely to first make a million dollars.” But I don’t like these labels. Sure, I am motivated, but I feel it is a misinterpretation of my personality. I care much more about the family and friends around me than about my “success”.

So I suppose this is where I stand right now, in terms of where I am heading in the next year. As for now, I am fully enjoying the experience of the college bubble. It is the last year in which I feel as though I can irrationally follow my heart and my passions without any concern at all for the future. In the past, I have always thought about what is most logical for the future, but this year, I am sincerely living in the moment. I have made quite a few irrational decisions and have allowed myself to think quite irrationally as well. This has caused me both happiness, and pain, but I do not regret a moment of my actions or feelings. For better or for worse, I have gained a new appreciation for certain things, gained a new perspective on life, and met some pretty amazing new people. It has been a roller coaster of a year, with some of my highest highs in life, and also quite a few lows. And yet, it has been the most wonderful year because I do not regret any of my decisions. Not a single one. And that is how I plan to live up Senior Spring as well.

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