Currently I’m Loving ( Vol. 9)

Currently I'm Loving

currentlyloving9

Yes, that is a bear on a cookie. Cute, no?

Writing has always been my source of therapy, and according to this piece, writing is good for you. There’s always been something liberating about it. A blank page doesn’t judge you. And that’s the best feeling in the world.

I studied the evolution of pop music as a communications major in college. It’s always interesting to see social sciences studies, particularly those involving music. One of my final projects was to do a short paper on the evolution of pop music from the 60s to present day. This article only confirms my hypothesis, although it’s not a difficult conclusion to draw.

I am currently searching for a job, like so many recent college grads. This article has some great tips for getting experience when you have none.

 

As much as I am looking forward to seeing Horns, this little gem made my week.

 

What have you been loving this week? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Halloween!

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Why I’m Okay With Filtering My Life Despite My Honesty

Culture & Society, Miscellaneous Musings

SONY DSCI spend a lot of time filtering. Filtering my speech, filtering my writing, filtering my thoughts.

 

Yes, any traditional therapist would say that it’s not healthy to bottle up your feelings, that you should just spit them out (and yes, before you point out the delicate irony, I see it).

 

Knowing that employers look at your social media activity has made me vigilant about what I post online. I’d rather not run the risk of not being hired because of something I could have easily removed.

 

In that sense, I’m okay with filtering, despite my honesty policy.

 

Yes, you read that right. Here’s why I’m okay with it.

 

 

Not Everything Has to Be Immortalized On The Internet

 

In the words of Christopher Hudspeth:

 

Not every little thing your brain spews out needs to be photographed, video recorded, or written into 140 characters or less statements, and shared with the potentially permanent, inerasable abyss.”

 

This is exactly why I end up discarding half of my blog post list ideas from my Evernote file. There’s enough in society about me, me, me, and how social media is making us stupid. How would you, my lovely readers, benefit from reading about how I waited for a hour in a doctor’s office only to have him look at me for less than ten minutes?

 

You get the idea.

 

I try my best to make the personal stuff stay in the Moleskine. If I still have something to say about it once I’m through my venting/sorting through my feelings stage, that’s when I put it here.

The same goes for celebrity culture. We live in a world where we feel like we have the right to know everything about a public figure. Who they’re dating, what their workouts are, what they like, what they don’t like.

 

Sure, all of us love a good story, but there’s a line that needs to be drawn in the sand somewhere. I feel uncomfortable seeing the headlines. What people choose to do in their lives is their business, public figure or not. If they don’t want to talk about it, they won’t, if they do want to talk about it, they will. And we should respect that. They’re not obligated to tell us about their lives, just as I’m not obligated to tell you about mine.

 

Face-to-Face Interactions Are So Much Better

 

We’ve all seen “Look Up,” that viral spoken word piece on YouTube, haven’t we? When you’re interacting someone one on one, there’s so much more depth to the conversation. You hear the inflections in their voices, pick up on social cues…the list goes on and on. Little things like that can change the nature of a conversation.

Sometimes we can share a little too much information on the Internet; sometimes we’re not even conscious of it. But face-to-face interactions force you to filter out things depending on the circumstances. You have to be able to take responsibility for what you say. Once you share something with the Internet, you can’t take it back.

Okay, you can’t take words back after you say them, but over time, people may forget what you said. What we remember is how we feel.

I would rather feel better going with my gut and filtering a little if I feel like I want to or have to rather than spilling my guts and trying to clean up afterwards, wouldn’t you?

 

How do you feel about filtering your emotions? How do you deal with your feelings about it?

Image Credit: Gratisography

Why I’m On The Fence About The Self – Help Industry & The Key To Making The Changes You Want To See

Culture & Society, Re-framing Your Thinking

changes

I’ve been through 2 self-help programs. These programs told me I was going to “find my inner beauty in 3 months” and “find the career of my dreams (or something along those lines) in 8 weeks.”

These programs claimed that they would “fix” my life, in a sense.

Have I embraced my inner beauty or gotten my dream career?

Nope. Not yet. I’m in the process of doing those things.

Sure, these programs have helped me somewhat, but they are not a quick fix. They are advertised to make you THINK they are.

This is why I have a problem with them:

You can’t develop confidence in 8 weeks or whatever else these programs advertise. Building confidence takes years. Your career is a constantly evolving journey. Your “purpose” is going to change as you change. You have to put effort into instigating the changes you want to see.

These programs in the self-help industry don’t fix your problems. You do.

I’m going to say that again. We fix our problems.

In response to the New York Times article that discussed young girls and the fact that they use YouTube to validate whether or not they’re physically attractive, one reader left the comment:

“Sounds more like our culture is the issue-again. It says a lot when the standard for approval and acceptance for young girls is physical appearance-but not so much for young boys.”

Guys go through the ringer too, you know.

I don’t think our culture is entirely to blame here; our society is made up of individuals who have the opportunity to help shape our rules. So yes, that twisted society that we always say has to change?

You help make it too.

I’m not trying to make you angry and say that everything that happens in society is your fault. I’m just asking you to consider the fact that you might be engaging in little things that are helping to create a society you don’t want to see.

Gandhi was right. In order to change the world, you have to BE that change.

What sorts of changes do YOU want to see in today’s society?

 

 

 

 

The 4 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Avril Lavigne’s Hello Kitty Controversy

Culture & Society

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 5.36.49 PM

Yes, you read that title right.

 

My first reaction after I watched that explosion of pink and cupcakes was: Um. What did I just watch?

 

Yes, I was rendered speechless. Yes, I was mildly horrified at the fact that it was an actual song. The “Minna saiko arigato. Ka-Ka-Kawaii” made me raise my eyebrows. Yes, the cultural appropriation did make me twist my lips a little, but then again, she’s not the first artist to have done it. (cough, Gwen Stefani cough, Katy Perry cough, Selena Gomez, cough.)

 

So what can you learn from 3 minutes and 18 seconds of cupcakes, pink, and robotic dancing?

 

  1. It doesn’t matter what your career choice is; you’re not going to be able to please everyone.

 

Actually, this goes beyond career choices; we don’t have to be Emma Watson or one of the boys from One Direction to be judged by the public. We’re all being judged every day; I don’t care how many social media accounts you have.

 

But you’re also learning and growing every day.

 

  1. Everyone responds to criticism differently.

 

Avril Lavigne took to Twitter to address the backlash by posting the following:

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Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 5.50.58 PM

 

(Do I think there’s a better way to handle criticism? Yes.)

 

 

It’s hard not to be emotional when something you’ve put your time, love and energy into gets ripped apart. Getting emotional about it is easy. But the reality is that no two people respond to things the same way.

 

The trick is not to let yourself take the naysayers so seriously that you let it stop you.

 

I recently admitted that one of my biggest mistakes as I tried to get over a block was to take criticism so seriously that I treated it like it was blood on the Rosetta Stone.

 

It took distancing myself from my blog and distracting myself by doing other things (and a couple days) before it clicked in my head.

 

Taking criticism seriously is not a bad thing. It means you want to improve. It means you’re willing to grow. Personally, I’m not a fan of staying stagnant.

Some people won’t waste their breath (or brain) worrying about controversy, but I’m not here to tell you whether or not you should worry.

 

  1. Focus on the positive

 

Okay, I don’t have 20 million people following my every word on social media, but celebrities do have a point when they mention that for every spite-filled threat they get, they get more than 200 other comments saying that they’ve saved lives, asking for their hand in marriage, and other generally positive things.

 

This isn’t to say that criticism doesn’t hurt. I mean, come on. We’re all human. Sometimes we smile, but we’re not really happy. We say okay when we want to say no.

 

You get the idea.

 

Some of us may not have 20 million followers (raise your hand if you also hate that word, by the way) on social media, but focusing on the little things that make you happy, the things you’re grateful for, can help you make peace with the fact that your choices may not win you Best Child of The Year award.

 

I don’t care if you’re grateful for a birthday text, your adorable puppy, the roof over your head, the food in your stomach or all of the above. Start small if you have to and work your way up.

Try to shift your perspective.

 

  1. “Racist???”

 

Controversy is controversy. Not everyone is going to want to know both sides of any controversy, not everyone is going to believe everything you say. Avril said her video was not racist, but that doesn’t stop people from believing that it is (or isn’t).

Controversy gets attention. Your product doesn’t have to please everyone, and sometimes it’s not meant to. You just have to go to bed at night knowing that you believe in the product. And if you believe in what you’re doing, suddenly the weight of people’s opinions doesn’t feel like a boulder.

 

So ask yourself: Do I believe in what I’m doing?

 

 

Are there any other recent controversial issues that you’ve learned a lot from?

Screenshots are taken from Avril Lavigne’s official Twitter account and VEVO Youtube account. All credit for the images in those images go to their rightful owners.

 

The 5 Best Things You Need To Know After College

Culture & Society, Re-framing Your Thinking

 

WhatIWishIHadKnown

Hey you 2014 college grads,

 

You did it!

 

No more all-nighters, nail-biting finals, no more books…OK, I’ll lay off the Alice Cooper.

 

When I was 8, I thought that by the time I graduated college, I would have everything figured out.

That I would win the Olympic gold medal in figure skating.

That I would go off and travel through Europe for a year.

I didn’t have any plan beyond that. I thought I would have figured it out a little more by that time. I mean, that’s 14 years to figure out what you want to do right? More than a decade should be plenty of time.

 

Well the 8-year-old me was very wrong (and I mean that in the nicest possible way).

 

I did not win Olympic gold and go on tour with Stars on Ice.

 

I did not backpack through Europe once I left college.

 

But I HAVE learned a lot since walking through my beautiful campus for the last time; I’m putting this out there because all of this is stuff I wish I would have heard before I threw my cap into the air like this:

 

graduation-caps-250x250(Image Credit: Google Images)

 

 

 

  1. You Don’t Have To Take Every Opportunity That Comes Your Way

 

Right after I left college, many of my friends went abroad again to teach English.

Amongst the many shouts of “You should go!” I decided to walk away from it and look for other opportunities.

I could almost hear people wondering why I walked away from something that seemed tailor made for me. I spoke Japanese. I was a Communications major. I liked to travel. It seemed like a “No duh,” sort of move.

 

I gave up other opportunities because I realized that I was less excited for the opportunities themselves than for the perks attached to them.

 

Do I regret some of the choices I made?

 

Yes.

 

But I can’t change the past. So why stay stuck?

 

 

  1. Taking Time To Decompress Is Okay (So Long As You Don’t Turn Into A Couch Potato)

 

Let’s get real here:

 

When you get down from post-graduation euphoria, you’ll probably be greeted by the question, “So what’s next?”

 

Over.

 

And over.

 

And over again.

 

But come on. You just graduated.

 

Sure it was fun. But it was also really, really hard.

 

There are things you’re going to miss; there are things you aren’t going to miss as much.

 

You’ve earned a little break. Take a minute to digest what you just did, celebrate your accomplishment.

 

College is not a breeze (or at least, it wasn’t for me).

 

That diploma represents every all-nighter, exam, essay, and project you ever completed. Top that off with every friend, every experience you had.

 

Not so light now, huh?

 

It’s okay for you to take some time to recover. It’s going to feel strange. But the uncertainty can be really exciting, too.

 

Because now YOU can take advantage of the other amazing opportunities around you.

 

So go seize yours.

 

 

  1. Rejection Isn’t A Reflection Of You

 

So let’s face it. Unless you’re really proactive and got a job right out of school, you’re going to be applying to hundreds of jobs.

 

You’re going to spend hours tweaking your resume and personal statements making them just right.

 

And you’re going to be told no.

 

 

And there will be a point where you’ll probably run out of steam.

 

Because looking for a job is a full-time job in itself.

 

After a while, I was starting to wonder if I had a neon sign over my head that said, “Do not hire me.”

 

It was hard not to take those rejections personally. After all, I had spent a lot of time on my application materials.

But it wasn’t until I heard Jia Jiang speak at a conference in Portland that I changed my thinking. Or at least shifted it.

 

He said:

 

“Rejection is nothing more than someone’s opinion and preference. It says as much about the person who gives the rejection as the people who receive it.”

 

I’d say that’s worth remembering as you’re staring wide-eyed at a pile of applications that puts your thesis textbooks to shame, wouldn’t you?

 

Every step you make in your career is a stepping stone, preparing you for bigger and better things.

 

 

  1. (Fill-in-The-Blank) Is The Thief of Joy

 

 

Say it with me now:

 

Comparison.

 

After I graduated, I took a temporary break from social media because it was giving me a lot of fodder for comparisons.

 

My friends were going abroad and getting jobs. And here I was trying to work through personal issues going from one failed treatment to the next. I was comparing myself to them, beating myself up in my head saying, “I should have a job by now.” I should this, I should that. It was relentless.

 

Temporarily disconnecting myself from social media took away that ammunition, and it was blissful.

I still take breaks from my personal Facebook page every now and again when I feel myself getting overwhelmed. It helps me focus on the outside world and it stops comparisons in my head, at least temporarily.

 

It can be tempting to beat yourself up because you see a friend getting a job faster than you, or doing things you want to be doing.

 

The best advice I can give is to set goals for yourself. Work a little each day toward your goal of finding a job. You won’t get one instantly, but it’s a lot more satisfying to know that you’re putting the work in.

 

 

  1. It’s OK Not to Know

 

Yes, ladies and gents, it’s okay to say “I don’t know yet.”

 

You are not your parents. You think differently; you do things differently. You don’t have to do everything their way to make them happy.

 

Parents (especially Asians) have trouble digesting this fact. Sure, they want the best for you. But sometimes their definition of “best” differs from yours.

 

Sure they’re doing their best, but sometimes it’s not enough. You’re growing up; there will be a day where you will have to do everything for yourself.

 

Some would say not knowing what to do is scary. Others would say that that’s where the fun is.

 

You don’t have to know where life will take you because it sometimes throws you loopholes. You will take detours.

 

Experiment. Put yourself out there to find out what really lights a fire under your butt.

 

Scary?

 

Absolutely.

 

Worth it?

 

You get to decide.

 

College grads, sound off in the comments below and let me know what you wish you had known when you walked off that stage?