It’s a Sunday night and I have my organic chemistry exam coming up on Tuesday and I haven’t started studying, but that can wait. What I’m about to say is such a momentous shift of perspective – one that I have carried myself over from Thailand to here, and one that I have been carrying for a long time.
If you have not noticed still, I’ve always wondered why I am here. What’s the purpose of life? Life is suffering, says Buddhism. And I do largely agree. I experience suffering all the time, and acknowledge the fact that one can never escape this cycle of suffering unless one attains enlightenment. I believe in the Buddhist philosophy of life and that it is the path towards ultimate bliss, but I’m not sure I have the will do it in this life.
When I was at the Michigan hockey game yesterday, I felt the school spirit right in the air. It was something else. Part of the reason I love Michigan is how passionate about the Michigan Wolverines we all are. I’m the same. I go all in. I might not know that much about sports, but my school spirit is always there. I love the feeling of triumph and achievement in sports. I love the feeling of camaraderie and the Michigan spirit.
Then I was thinking that maybe there’s more to life than trying to escape all the suffering. Maybe I should just go with the flow, go all in and have fun. That’s what I’ve been showing everybody, and that’s made people really happy. So why not?
I do not know how to define success. I do not know what I want with my life. Fame? Not really. Money? Not really. To be liberated from suffering through walking the Middle Path? Maybe.
All I know is I don’t want to be ordinary. My favorite quote from American Beauty:
"There’s nothing worse in life than being ordinary."
Everybody can be extraordinary in their own way. Life is but a learning journey.
I’m rediscovering who I am.
All I know is…
IT’S GREAT! TO BE! A MICHIGAN WOLVERINE!!!
Some days, I dream that I can walk in a room full of cute little sunshines and say "Good morning children!" and be greeted back "Good morning Pete!"
Some days, I dream that my name will be the first one in a published research paper.
Some days, I dream that I can model the three-body diagram and obtain the full accurate model of the atoms.
Yet some day, I feel like I don’t really have what it takes. That stresses me out.
Some days, I wonder why I even forget to put glucose in the anaerobic solution, or don’t know how to do this homework question.
Some days, I wonder why I have to be born so motivated and so driven and be the almost-the-top guy. Why can’t I just do nothing, play video games and be happy like others.
I live a war. A lifelong war. With my own life.
It was just another ordinary day when I realized how much the world has over me. I choose clothes that I’ll look good in. I sometimes don’t be myself so people won’t find me repulsive. I don’t do stuff that will make people think I’m weird. I try so hard to be accepted. I try so hard to be liked. I’m being controlled.
I’d like to say this: we might not know it, but we definitely are being controlled by others, believe it or not.
Somehow personal freedom comes to mind. Are we really exercising the personal freedom that our ancestors have painstakingly fought for? Why do we care so much about what the world thinks and how the world will react?
Is it in the nature of men to try to be accepted? There’re many experiments going on regarding social exclusion right now. Is it in the nature of men to judge others? Why does the society judge? Everything that comes out – in newspaper, internet, radio, everywhere – gets judges, and that’s put tremendous amount of pressure and stress on me, and maybe you too.
My friend once made a passing remark that hatred is an inherent trait of men. Very very sad, and very very likely true.
Damn I don’t like this post.
This past 6 months in the US of A has been, to say the least, eye-opening. It’s a starkly different culture and lifestyle compared to the States. I’ve sort of assimilated to the US culture.
Things that tell me I’m Americanized…
– I’ve absolutely fallen in love with Starbucks.
– I start to love Americanized Chinese food and start to feel that they’re better than authentic Chinese.
– I love American weather.
but not totally Americanized…
– I still don’t like to party.
– My perception of beauty consists mostly of inner beauty.
More to come.
I need more time to a long post.