Posts Tagged ‘opinions’

One rotten apple…

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,

She’s a poison coursing through my veins. Each interaction injects me with more venom, until I can hardly take it anymore. My mind fights the toxins but my body is weak… and all too easily I become consumed. This negativity must stop.

When I look at her (if I have to) I see ugliness. If I stare too long, the snaking tendrils of Medusa’s serpents take hold. Oh, but she’s a multi-faced chameleon. She’ll do what suits her best and get everything to her benefit. She’ll play you if she can. It’s a mirage though, and the moment you lose usefulness, she’ll throw you aside. Another carcass on the road.

Careful to avoid those eyes. Those dark, black, soulless eyes. If you don’t get lost in the abyss and turn to stone, you’ll become one of her kind. Who needs a vampire’s bite when you have piercing eyes of fury? Eyes that haunt me in my sleep, thrust me awake from their cruelty.

They say that one rotten apple ruins the bunch (and it’s true). Indeed, I can see the disease spreading. It’s not crippling, but the limping it causes is certainly not ideal. How much struggling can you handle before you break entirely? Make this rotting stop, before all is lost. Let’s cut out all the browning bits of apple and remind ourselves of the beauty of a fresh, ripe fruit. Don’t allow that one to ruin the bunch irreparably.

The name game

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , ,

With our civil ceremony fast approaching, Panda and I are preparing to jump through the legal hoops. One of these items is the marriage license application, with which I will need to indicate how (or if) I will change my name. The only thing we’ve agreed is not necessary is for him to change his name. But when it comes to mine, I was all for adding his name as a second last name, ie, Qin Bear (assuming his full name is Panda Bear, you see). I remember reading about a blogger who had done this and claimed to be able to use Qin or Bear or Qin Bear. That’s exactly what I’d like – a tie to his family name without actually really changing my identity. On the day-to-day, I’d still be Mary Qin. When it came to anything related to him, I could be Mrs. Bear. If it was something related to the kids (who I plan on naming with his family name), I’d be Mary Bear to match their surname.

However, I’ve been digging in to it and it seems things might be more complex than that. Technically adding the extra last name is changing mine, which means I’d still have to go through the annoying process of updating all my records (no thank you). Then there’s the question of whether two last names (NOT hypenated) is truly acceptable and whether the two can sort of be used interchangeably. If I indicate my new name is Mary Qin Bear, would a check written to me as Mary Qin be just as valid? I haven’t a clue… [any lawyers in CA please feel free to chime in!]

We were talking about this last night and he sees no need for me to change my name. I’ve built an identity around it and it’s a strong name. I actually have far less of a connection with my first name than my last. Perhaps I should drop it and make my name Qin Bear! You may call me Qin from now on. 😉 I did want to add his to have that connection to his family roots and also share part of my last name with the kids. To some extent, I didn’t want complications because my surname didn’t match theirs, but Panda makes a valid point that our mothers raised us with their own last names and never had an issue. So should I just keep my name entirely? Seems a little lacking, after all this time that I was planning on adding a name.

And then of course I have intense debates with myself in terms of what the social influences are that are playing into my decision. Am I being too deferent to tradition by including his name? Am I being too headstrong by not? What is actually making me choose the way I am and does it make sense with my values? I’m thoroughly confused. Is it legal to list Mary Qin Bear on the marriage certificate but not update all my legal documents so I continue to use Mary Qin but have Bear floating in there on the marriage license? I think I might go with that.

Thinking of all this last name drama reminds me of an amusing fact: all three of my cats have different last names. Molly was given my mom’s last name, Missy was given my last name, and Smokey was given Panda’s last name. I sure hope it’s less confusing with the real kids. 😛

Voices hushed, voices crushed

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , ,

There’s an epidemic out there. It’s a diseased thought, the idea that women shouldn’t speak up.

Why shouldn’t we express ourselves freely? Why shouldn’t we stand up for ourselves?

From a young age, we are taught that showing so much emotion is weakness. That complaining is really just whining. That saying something to defend ourselves is sassy or downright b****y. That a strong woman is not “feminine” (enough). We’re attacked for being too loud, too proud. For doing what we want, for being ourselves, for daring to be ourselves. We’re told not to rock the boat – “don’t create a scene.”

Really? Pointing out injustices is creating a scene? No wonder the majority of us endure rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, and other abuses. Heaven forbid we “make a scene” over it. It’s hard for me to believe that in this day and age, we are still plagued with these issues. We keep our voices hushed so we don’t bring that negative attention to us. Who wants to be labeled a whiny b****?

When I bring up an issue that is bothering me, it should not be perceived as petulant. When I share I’m struggling with something, I should not be judged as weak. When I cry it out, I should not be any less respected. I had a friend suggest that bringing up grievances is showing your weaknesses. Just grin and bear it, right? But to me, doing so in a respectful manner is a show of strength. Strength is not pushing the world away and trying to go it alone. Strength is standing up for yourself and getting help doing that if you need it (and you probably will, if the struggle is meaningful and worth it).

And so it goes, this perpetuation of a preposterous idea. Women constantly find themselves put down and judged harshly for doing the very things men are praised for. “Way to stand up for yourself,” they cheer him on! “Why be such a drama queen?” they ask her. How in the world are we supposed to achieve equality with this sort of mentality standing in the way? How will women be respected when society continues to a demure beauty and men continue to objectify them? Just because “that’s the way things are” doesn’t mean it’s right, doesn’t make it acceptable.

This is how our voices get crushed. It’s no wonder we barely speak.


(So thank you, blog, for giving me a bit of my voice back.)

It’s lonely at the top

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,

Or the edge or the outskirts, or whatever you want to call it. Anyone who’s an outlier can tell you how lonely and alienating it can be. No matter what sets you apart, if you are extraordinary, it’s hard to find others like you. Maybe you’re exceptionally talented at a skill. Maybe you’re super duper smart. Or maybe you’re gorgeous to most of the world. While on the surface these seem like great things, they can really take a toll on someone.

Take prodigies, for example. They rise to the top quickly and find themselves with few peers to understand them at their level. How do you connect with someone when your thought processes are so different from each other? When your interests don’t include pop culture and sports, but quantum physics or chess strategy? Or maybe you are interested in sports, but not in following this and that team because you are hardcore focused on training for your sport, be it diving or gymnastics. The best of the best often find themselves further and further from mainstream society.

Ever hear the song Lucky by Britney Spears? It kind of reminds me of that. People see some big star who “has it all” but behind closed doors, you’ve got a sad, lonely soul. Things are rarely as they seem, are they?

Even in attractiveness, being better than normal can be a bad thing. You’ll likely be victim to assumptions that aren’t true, or at the least be overshadowed by your own looks. You can use that to your advantage, but then the focus is more on you as a thing and not so much as a person. People lose sight of your personality, intelligence, work ethic… and just see you. Then they start ignoring you when your good looks fade.

I think my mom was right when she never wished for me to be exceptional beyond my peers (just among them). I mean, it’s good to be better, but when you’re surpassing everyone… you lose your chance at a normal life. And really, don’t most people just want to be “normal”? It’s so rewarding to have deep, true human connections. There are the few who will rise to the top, but for most of us, what greater happiness is there than a sense of belonging? It brings satisfaction, it creates valued relationships, and it boosts your self-confidence. It’s easy to get distracted chasing big dreams only to find that they don’t provide that same sense of satisfaction. That when the spotlight dims, the money is gone, and the looks fade, you’re left with nothing.

I’ve never truly wanted to be at the top. It’s a wonderful fantasy, but when it comes down to it, I value other things far more. It’s just too lonely up there.

365great Day 331: help

laelene Posted in 365great,Tags: , , , , ,

365great day 331: helpSometimes, the best course of action is to get help. When you’re not very good at something or would be much better with the assistance of others, why waste time trying to go it on your own? I’ve always been taught to be very self-sufficient and I’m just now learning how to lean on others. It took me nearly my entire college career to learn that I sometimes needed help with my coursework, whether from a TA, fellow student, or tutor. I also never considered getting help in the house, like a maid, housekeeper, or nanny. However, I’ve completely rethought that approach after reading an article about not wasting time. It’s an interesting point that hiring people for household chores could be argued as a moral obligation. At the very least, it’s gotten me thinking about the people out there who would love to have a job so they could support their families. Since I am in a position where I can put money towards getting those tasks done and I don’t like doing them, why not hire someone to do it for me? They get to earn a living and I get to not stress about those things. So when it came to moving, Panda and I agreed that we should hire some folks to help us out. I certainly didn’t want to struggle with carrying loads of furniture up and down stairs. And as I’ve learned from watching them today, they’re very good at what they do. I mean, they were carrying couches through our hallways and didn’t leave a mark while I just carried a suitcase and managed to scrape black on the walls. -___- I’m more than happy to pay them for their service so I could get moved faster and with a whole lot less strain. I’ve learned that getting help doesn’t have to affect my pride at all and it can actually be a win-win situation! How great is that?

Journey of happiness

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , ,

Would you rather be accomplished or happy?

I’m not saying these are mutually exclusive, but if you had to choose, which one is more important to you? I’ve found that in the quest for happiness, people often get caught up in accomplishments that don’t make them happy. Again and again you hear to do what you love – the success will follow. Yet, time after time, you see people putting job titles and salaries ahead of their personal fulfillment. Rather than choosing the roles that would bring them the most satisfaction, they choose the ones with higher prestige, larger paychecks. It’s quite the phenomenon.

girl at outdoor piano smiling with gleeful expression of joy

Some things bring me pure joy.

I’ve got to say, I don’t quite subscribe to this “follow your dreams” advice. I mean, the general concept makes sense, but when it comes to the nuances of real life, it’s a lot more complicated. It’s easy for people to take this idea and go wild, thinking that whatever they do they must love all of it. It’s too easy to say, “Oh I enjoy this but not that so maybe it’s not the right thing for me.” To me, it’s important to enjoy what you do more often than not, but you’ll never find a career that you love every aspect of. Maybe you’re loquacious and you get to talk a lot, but also need to handle paperwork to get deals closed. Maybe you’re extremely introverted and love doing research, but need to then present your findings at meetings. Doing only what you love can be a bit of a cop-out… it can encourage you to throw in the towel too soon, giving up on something because certain elements are challenging.

It’s something I struggle with all the time – how much do I enjoy my career path, my role? When I get to do what I’m best at and like doing, I’m in the zone. It feels fantastic and rewarding. When I have to do what I’m not strong in and struggle with, I’m at a loss. I try and I try but boy is it hard! My only solace is that when it’s finally over, that rush of relief can wash over me and provide some comfort. On my journey of happiness, I am constantly learning, growing, and evolving. Similarly, I’ve found that in my personal life I travel a parallel path. I’ve learned that finding happiness is not about getting to a destination – after all, what makes us happy is changing too. Rather, it’s about adapting along the way and enjoying the experiences. I’m trying to make the most of each experience and find something to smile about.

It’s funny how all this time I’ve been trying to “find myself” there’s been no “self” to find, really. I am who I am; I am how I am. As I tried to figure out what would make me happy I failed to realize that I was thinking too much about a future self that doesn’t exist yet (and may never exist, depending on what choices I make now). Am I brave enough to let go of all that worry and just live in the present? I crave a certain amount of stability and I feel like I have more control over the future if I make decisions based on how I think it will go. But really, you never know. So maybe I can explore this stage of my journey of happiness a bit more thoroughly while I’m here. I’m just afraid that acting without regard to that fuzzy future will make it become something far worse than I’d want.

Happiness now doesn’t guarantee happiness in the future. Oh, dilemmas… I still can’t quite let go of wanting to feel accomplished AND happy. I’ll try to tip the scales a bit more towards happy though. We’ll see how it goes. 🙂

Not your ordinary

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,

I often don’t quite fit in. I don’t know if it’s my upbringing or my personality that shaped me to be this way, but I just can’t seem to connect with people when it comes to pop culture. This has come up quite a few times recently, as I’m getting to know my coworkers and our conversations inevitably turn towards movies or music or drinking. I’m not into many of those things that others get really passionate about and it can be alienating. How did it get this way?

I grew up very shy and rather introverted, so I dove into books. I’d read upwards of 30-35 a week – so much that my mom made me a special bag so I could carry them all when I left the library. The first movie I ever saw in a theater was Titanic when I was eleven (and I went with my dad). That was also the time I started to listen to music. Television kind of entered the picture, but there was no single show that I kept up with. I was far more involved with writing in my journal and reading til my eyes went bad. My parents wanted me to focus on school, so they didn’t get me video games or too many distractions. Since they had no cultural background in this country, I didn’t learn very much beyond what little I was exposed to.

In school, it was a lot easier to connect with people because of the activities we got involved in. I had friends who were interested in academics, JROTC, band, swimming, and track & field depending on which group we were in together. We were normally too busy doing what we were doing together to get distracted talking about random things. When I first started working full-time, I figured being the odd one out was normal since I was in Singapore, which had a completely new culture to me. Then I returned to the states and I started to notice that there were people who were cool to work with, but not the kind I’d call up to hang out with. Things were a lot easier when people were perfectly fine with my complete lack of knowledge when it came to a lot of what they talked about.

Lately, I’ve encountered quite a few situations where people go off on tangents related to entertainment or drinking and I have no clue what’s going on. I’m just not that into movies or TV shows and I don’t drink. I’ve never really minded what sets me apart, but I’ve gotten a lot of flak about it more recently and that makes me sad. Just because I don’t share the same interests and passions doesn’t mean that I’m a complete aberration; I’m different, that’s all! And why is being different so wrong that people need to judge me? It gets tiring after awhile, constantly fielding questions to the tone of “You don’t like [insert something you love]? You’ve never [insert your favorite activity here]?! What’s wrong with you??” Nothing is wrong with me. I’m just not you.

It’s hard enough trying to connect when I’m not interested in the topics being brought up. But I don’t go around imposing my opinions on other people and I wish they’d do the same. I know they don’t mean to be so insensitive, but when everyone treats me that way, it makes me feel like an outcast. I thought I’d grown a hard shell after a lifetime of not fitting in… unfortunately it seems it still hurts. While I’m perfectly fine with being a little “out there” now that I’ve outgrown my shyness, I still want to be accepted. Maybe I need to go find more social groups with interests aligned with mine. Yoga and cat shelters, here I come!

Influenster Sunkissed VoxBox

laelene Posted in reviews,Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

got it from influenster badgeWow, I completely forgot to write a post about my Sunkissed VoxBox from Influenster! In my mind, I had done it awhile ago but now that I do a search apparently that was just in my head. So it may be belated, but here it is now: my thoughts on the products that came for free in my lovely VoxBox. This was definitely my favorite box from them since it contained items in various categories and it was all stuff I’d use. In fact, some of them were on my list of things to try!

influenster sunkissed voxbox

The SunVoxBox contents!

collage of goody ouchless ribbon elastics 5 piece

Goody Ouchless Ribbon Elastics (5 pieces)

I’m so glad I got to try these! I’d made some of my own and always wanted to compare them with a brand name’s version. Turns out mine are a softer elastic, so depending on your preferences, you might like one of the other better. I enjoy this set of colors and I’m curious to see what other color options they have.

collage of olay fresh effects bb cream in light to medium

Olay Fresh Effects {BB Cream!} in Light to Medium with SPF 15

This smells FABULOUS. Oh my gosh. It’s a wonderfully fragrant scent that makes me feel refreshed after putting this one. The coverage is definitely light and meant to help give an overall smoother look, but not hide all those blemishes. I like pairing this with my Physician’s Formula BB Powder because it gives me a bit of a shiny finish and I like to matte it down.

collage of sinfulshine with gel tech nail polish in set the mood

SinfulShine with Gel Tech Nail Polish in Set The Mood

I was thrilled to receive this nail polish because I’ve been curious about gel polishes but didn’t want to deal with their complexity. This gives a wonderful shine without needing a top coat and just one layer gives you the result shown above! I love the shade I got too, which is a beautiful blue-green/deep teal.

collage of dr. scholl's for her high heel insoles for women's sizes 6-10

Dr. Scholl’s For Her High Heel Insoles (Women’s Sizes 6-10)

Perfect for that interview I had earlier this week. I’m so glad I had these to use so I could comfortably stand in my heels. They have a wonderful bump to create a foot arch for you and ensure your feet aren’t too flat. Definitely something I will use for any future high heel needs.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...