Going home

For the purpose of this post, see: Two Sides of a Same Coin
For the ‘other side”s take on this topic, see: When Home is No Longer Home

As much as I hate and love to say it, here goes.

“I’ll be back home in the summer.”

I hate it because I never thought I would ever say that and refer to Korea as home, when I first arrived in 2002. I vowed that I would only use this sacred word for Nouadhibou and Mauritania, my true home.

Yet I love it, because, well, yes, I’m going back home, even if it is for a short while, and I know this visit is going to be filled with wonderful food and people, and then, some not so wonderful people, because you can never escape those, and then some more fantastic food.

One of the main things that often make me wonder, to this day, whether or not I’m making the right choice to spend $1,500 on a plane ticket, plus more to buy presents, etc, and suffer the scorching heat or the annoying rain of the Korean summer, is … people. Not the ‘right kind’, of course, but the distant family, the uncles, the aunts, the family ‘friends’, and the ‘friends’ I don’t particularly fancy meeting but somehow feel my duty to. And of course with them comes the never, ever, ending question of ‘if I have a guy’ and ‘when I will ever get married’, because, you know, I ain’t getting any younger. It’s not even that I’ll actually ‘see’ my distant family (hopefully) or that I have many of them to start with, but I’ll have to call them and that question is bound to come up. And I know, in my head, that it’s one of those questions they ask without really thinking because they don’t have anything else to ask. But still, they may ask it once and move on, but I have to listen to the same question and awkwardly laugh away for everyone of them. And then I have to tell my ‘friends’/acquaintances that ‘No, Boston is not filled with dashingly handsome guys lining up to date me’ when they ask, with sparkling eyes, ‘So~~~~ any cute guys?’ as if we were still high school girls.

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It’s not that I don’t like men. I do, I absolutely love men, believe me. It’s just that I don’t feel like actively looking for one just now. That doesn’t mean of course that if Benedict Cumberbatch really really wanted to date me right now, I won’t grant his wish. Who am I to deny his one wish, really?

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But, like anything that is worth having or doing, dating is an investment. I know that I would have to actually meet guys, go to places where there is the slightest chance of me dating someone. I know that some guy won’t magically appear at my door step when I decide to stay in because I just can’t bother to take a shower. This means I would have to look for places/groups/gatherings/blind dates and what not, kinda look nice, and then work really hard to look and sound interesting. And… the mere thought of that is exhausting. Yes, maybe, one day, I’ll panic and realize I do need to find a partner for life to come back home to and spend the weekends with and post obnoxious pictures and statuses on Facebook. Maybe, then, I’ll join a dating site. Fortunately, I’m not at that stage yet (and hopefully won’t ever be). I just wish people would realize that I have more to share than stories of guys I met, cute guys I passed by and who, hence, could naturally be my potential soul mates; or even that me not sharing these stories could mean, just maybe, that I want to keep some things private. Why would I keep these delicious stories to myself? Oh, I don’t know, maybe because I’ve too often been bored by the romantic details of others that I know not to impose them on others? I don’t know, just an idea.

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This was supposed to be a post about how excited I was to go back home… hmm… I don’t know what happened, something just took control over the keyboard. You are witnessing the very dangerous result of years of repressed feelings and thoughts and unspoken words.

Anyways… aside from all that, I AM excited to go back home, truly.

I can’t stop listing and picturing the foods I’ll inhale as soon as I touch ground.

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Street food…

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I’m going in the summer… which means I can eat bingsu!!!

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Can’t wait to go to the Sushi buffet behind my parents’ apartment, and compared to that, this picture looks like a joke, no kidding.

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Oh gawd sundae…

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Spicy chicken

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And of course, the best kind of food…Mommy’s food!

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Sorry, I got a little bit carried away with the food…

I am elated to see my dear, true, friends back. The ones that stood by me during the toughest times and happiest times, the ones that know me best as I am now, the ones that know what ticks me off and what makes me laugh.

The friends that make me laugh so hard it's literally impossible to stand still

The friends that make me laugh so hard it’s literally impossible to stand still

And I am looking forward to drinking with these friends. And when I mean drinking, I don’t mean one or two bottles of beer, I mean three, four 3,000 cc beer pitchers, along with a couple of soju.

Korea, the only place where people are secure enough to forego of their sanitary issues to share drinks (this was a vodka-based drink I think)

Korea, the only place where people are secure enough to forego of their sanitary issues to share drinks (this was a vodka-based drink I think)

The actual beer may not be as good as the draft beer here, but gawd I miss those pitchers.

The actual beer may not be as good as the draft beer here, but gawd I miss those pitchers.

It’s not that I’m looking forward to or planning to get wasted. I have absolutely no respect for the people that lie on the streets passed out from too much drinking, or for people who, unable to control their alcohol intake, end up being complete nuisances to the people around them. But gawd I miss those long hours of staying in laughing and talking with friends and then hugging them goodbye as the first ray of sun comes out, leaving with only a vague memory of the night. A good ‘drinking session’ has brought me some great moments, some heart-breaking, some embarrassing, but what I remember from most of them is laughter, talks, and bonds. I don’t know, maybe I’m too old for this, or maybe I’m just glorifying my grad school days in GSIS. We’ll find out.

Maybe I’ll end up disappointed, annoyed at the utter absence of ‘Excuse me’ or ‘Sorry’ or ‘Thank you’ among Koreans, regardless of whether they bump into you in the streets or of whether you’re holding the door for them for an eternity. But at least I’ll have fun being mad at them and giving them the evil eye if when that happens.

Korea is, after all, where 10 years of my life have taken place, and for someone to whom the notion of ‘home’ has gone through years of reflection only to conclude that a clear definition is practically impossible, anywhere where I can find a piece of my story is home.

So, yes, I am excited to go home.

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New year’s old resolutions

For the purpose of this post, see: Two Sides of a Same Coin
For the ‘other side”s take on this topic, see: 2014 Resolutions

Warning: I was too lazy to call for the usual help to my good friend Thesaurus.

2014. A new year. A new beginning.

There’s always something exciting about the end of a semester, a year, a job, any significant period of time, because as good as those may have been, you somehow expect and hope that even better things lie ahead for the new semester, the new year, and the new job. Stupid human beings that we are, always hoping, always being positive, even when nothing rational tells us it is actually going to be so. Even in the most mundane and daily situations I am hopeful. I am hopeful that after I work out and take a good refreshing shower, I will somehow open a text book and study. Yeah well, what usually happens is Thank you shower, Hello again Netflix. So it is not surprising that for 2014, a whole new year, 365 brand new days, I set myself some pretty high expectations and a goal I had never before even thought of. No more the usual “I’ll stay fit” or “I won’t procrastinate”.

The year of 2014 would be the year of KINDNESS.

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My obsession with Kindness began with this article: The Difference Between Being Nice and Being Kind.

I think I’m a rather nice person. Yes I said it. And did I also tell you that modesty and humility are two other qualities of mine? I know, I’m full of surprises like that. I had no problem with being nice (why would anyone?), until I came across the aforementioned article. And it hit me. I am nice, not kind. This was a problem, since clearly, the article was telling us that as decent human beings, we should focus more on the latter characteristic. I have difficulty saying no when people ask me for favors and I have a hard time letting annoying people know that they are terribly annoying. “Sure, (smile) I can translate that 200 word text for you for tomorrow (smile), no problem, my pleasure”. What I don’t add is the cynical and sour “for no fee, when I have tons of things to do for myself, but well, that doesn’t matter, does it.” What is worse, after I’ve smiled my face off, I’ll probably go bitching about it to someone else. I may not like you, but I certainly want you to like me.

Genuinely kind people (…) aren’t concerned with whether or not other people like them. Kind people can be assertive and set good limits.” Everything I’ve said so far contradicts this. I am very concerned with whether or not people like me and I am definitely not good at setting limits.

The nice person is careful not to offend anyone and wouldn’t dream of expressing a “negative” emotion. (…) Nice people stuff down their feelings, not wanting to be a bother to anyone, but the problem with this is that emotions can’t be kept down indefinitely. Feelings and needs are meant to be expressed and when they’re repressed, they find another outlet.” And for me, I think that ‘another outlet’ has been Facebook, not in the sense that I pour down all my feelings online (at least I don’t think I do), but in the sense that I’m easily annoyed by what I see on Facebook, and go into irrational rants about what I have seen.

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Yup, been there, done that. If I blocked more people than I already have, my FB wall will probably show nothing but Huffington Post News and Buzzfeed posts, along with TV shows.

I have only myself to blame because if I really wanted to avoid being annoyed, I would simply quit Facebook.

What could possibly be so annoying on Facebook? Well, what isn’t, I ask in return.

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Ring a bell?

People constantly feeling the need to show off and remind others of how tired they are, how hard-working they are, how misunderstood they are. People desperate for attention, for love, where there is none. The list goes on. I’ve been so annoyed that I dedicated two posts to this ‘disease’ some time ago (here and here).

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Oh yeah, ‘those’ people…

I thus realized that I was not being kind, not trying to understand why people would behave in such ways, and just discrediting them for being stupid and… well, annoying (how many more times can I used that word?).

If I were genuinely kind, as the article said, it would “be in my nature to care“. I wouldn’t for instance, “let my emotions leak, in the form of snarky comments, whining, needling, sarcasm, passive-aggressive behavior or even outbursts of rage.”

So I decided to be kinder, which essentially for me meant not being easily ‘disturbed’ by the general Facebook population.

2014 was going to be the year of Kindness.

But then…

Do you actually know how many different types of annoying people are on Facebook? Do you really, like really, realize how annoying these annoying people can be?

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Yes, why? why?

And…

Do you know how much fun I have talking about these people? Why, I asked myself, would I deprive myself of this pleasure and fun pastime, which, technically, doesn’t harm anyone, when I’m already depriving myself of Twix bars at 10:00 pm or a whole half a pound of truffle brie with some good wine? Why would I quit Facebook when it provides me with my daily dose of joy?

After all, “kind people have good self-esteem and because they love themselves as much as they care about others, they expect to be treated with respect“, the article also says. And gawd do I love myself. And so far, I’ve been treated with respect by people I’ve been nice to. “Kind people are happy people to begin with” and yes, I’m a happy person. “Nice people are needy people who inadvertently create more and more unhappiness for themselves.” – nope, not me. I absolutely abhor neediness.

So I concluded I was both a kind and nice person (I already warned you and made clear that I did love myself) and that if I was easily annoyed by Facebook, there was an absolutely rational reason behind it: some people are just annoying and it is only natural for me to be annoyed.

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It’s you, not me.

So screw being Kind with capital K. I’m kind with small k and am happy with it.

And here’s to my never-changing new year’s resolutions: work out regularly and be fit, try to wake up before 8:00 am, focus more on my studies.

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2014 is going to be awesome.

Disclaimer: Clearly I was just having fun with my own silly interpretation of Marcia Sirota’s not-so-silly and serious article.

Goodbye 2013, Thank You 2013

For the purpose of this post, see: Two Sides of a Same Coin
For the ‘other side”s take on this topic, see: 2013 wasn’t so bad

(The December post has been delayed… like… a lot… due to… erm… busy schedule, not laziness)

As I wave goodbye to 2013, I feel like I have to take a moment to look back at those past 365 days and assess what kind of year this has been. And since I’m usually critical and cynical about things in general, I thought this was a good opportunity to shake off that sarcasm of mine for a while and be, actually, thankful. And thank God, 2013 has given me a couple of things to be thankful for.

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I am thankful for the people; the new ones, the old ones. I am thankful for the new people I’ve met, for teaching me that it’s never too late to make friends, that once the initial awkwardness and dread of ‘mingling’ is over, it will all be worth it. There is something particularly enchanting and heart-warming when a ‘new friend’ picks up a jewelry you’ve been eyeing for some time, turns around, and says “This is so you”. I am more than thankful for the ‘old’ people I had to leave, for they are the only reasons I miss Korea like I never thought I would, for giving me memories to miss and to long for. And both have made me realize that no matter where you are, it’s the people you are with that matters. Boston wouldn’t be such a charming city if it weren’t for my sister (who, suddenly, when I finally join her in Boston, has field work and conferences all over the world but Boston…hmm…) or for the new friends I’ve met. I wouldn’t miss Seoul if it weren’t for the lunches, dessert, drinks and laughs I had with my dear old friends. And I often imagine, how much lovelier and more awesome Boston would be if I had my old friends here with me.

I am thankful for being here, on so many levels. Being in Boston doesn’t only mean I finally got to live outside of Korea, on my own, after I was old enough to make the decision and to go through the petty little things, as well as the big major steps, to make it happen. It means that I finally got back to all the sister-things I used to do – watching movies at the cinema, binge-watching TV shows at home, bursting out in hysterical laughs, having coffee. Maybe this shouldn’t be the first thing that comes to mind at my age and at this stage in my life. But well, what can I say, it is.

On a more serious note however, being in Boston also means I finally got to open and step in the door that I think is my goal in life, for now. While waiting to come here, I often wondered whether this was not simply a fleeting infatuation of mine, like so many I’ve had. What if I had the wrong idea about what studying more meant? What if after a semester I realized that staying at school was the most excruciating thing ever? What if I ended up disappointed, disillusioned, and lonely? True, not all my classes were mind-blowing and not every single hour felt like a blessing. But overall, I wouldn’t exchange the few moments of excitement and eagerness I had during this semester for anything. I still have only a faint idea of what my main research subject will be in the future, but for once, the unknown is not so scary or daunting. I’m thankful to have the confirmation that I was not living in a bubble and to know that maybe, I’m not wasting my time doing this.

I’ve always loved JD’s last comments on Scrubs on endings. I thought about them when a close friend of mine graduated from grad school, and also when I myself graduated from GSIS. And although his words are about endings, I think they could just as well apply to new beginnings.

“Endings are never easy. I always build them up so much in my head they can’t possibly live up to my expectations and I just end up disappointed. I’m not even sure why it matters so much to me how things end up here. I guess it’s because we all wanna believe what we do is very important, that people hang onto our every word, that they care what we think. The truth is, you should consider yourself lucky if you occasionally get to make someone, anyone, feel a little better. After that, it’s all about the people you’ve let into your life. (…) As to the future, it didn’t seem so scary anymore. It could be whatever I want it to be. And who’s to say this isn’t what happens? Who can tell me that my fantasies won’t become true? Just this once…” 

So here’s to being thankful for what I have, and for what I will have.

The best things to be thankful for are often what we already have.

The best things to be thankful for are often what we already have.

Beauty is truth; truth, beauty

For the purpose of this post, see: Two Sides of a Same Coin
For the ‘other side”s take on this topic, see: What if my science doesn’t save the world?

(A simple background explanation: the topic of this post for the November ‘challenge’ is explaining what our ‘science’ is in our own words. Since we are in very different, almost opposite fields of ‘science’, we thought this was another way to show, once again, our differences, and perhaps, with a little surprise, similarities we might not have known about. Also, due to technical problems from my sister who is currently in Malaysia, her post is on Blogpost and not her usual WordPress.)

This was supposed to be a passionate advocacy for what has now become, basically, the purpose of my life. It should have been a beautiful plea and a moving manifesto of how Social Sciences are awesome and “rock the world”. Instead, struggling under a mass of readings every week and indecipherable numbers and math symbols, with the haunting fear that just one day, a half a day of relaxation and peace is sufficient to bring doom for the following week, I am, for a lack of a better word, disenchanted. I vowed myself that I would never take this for granted, that I would always be grateful for being here, studying for a PhD in Political Science. I wrote posts about the near-ecstasy that the idea of studying in the States had brought me, and posts about how I would always remember I am lucky to be here.

But reading about multipatism, pluralism, the relationship between political regime and welfare in developed countries, and what I can only describe as a petty quarrel and immature bickering among political theorists about who understands the ‘world out there’ better than the other, I am done. I don’t care how Proportional Representation leads to a better coordination and cooperation among firms than the Majoritarian system. I roll my eyes at Morgenthau, Waltz, Wallerstein, Marx and co who furiously write about why they are the right ones in their vision of the world from the safe cocoon of their offices. What is the purpose of all this? How is learning about all this going to help me ‘change the world’? How is reading (barely, rather, skimming) more than 400 pages every week going to help me contribute to stopping world inequality, wars and all that is bad in this world? Surely, helping make i-phones or conducting research that would eventually lead to the elimination of cancer would be much more rewarding and practical?

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As I helplessly try to make sense of countless scholars whose names I forget the moment I see them, only wishing that they would write in a simpler style, easy to understand and not act as a sleeping pill, I am struck by various flashbacks and memories.

Like how excited I was to write a paper on a web cartoon and its soft power and role in promoting social awareness and political participation in Korea. How inspired I was by Paul Krugman and his diagnosis of the financial crisis. How writing a paper in my class for Feminism allowed me to discover sides of my mother I had not been aware of. How during a class I would get sudden inspirations of future paper topics (which would die, soon enough, but well, it’s the thought that counts). How I discovered certain prejudices I had about Africa I didn’t know I had.

And I realize, perhaps with a sigh of relief, that the reason I keep persevering in this field is because a small part in me still believes I can make a difference. It may not be a concrete one like getting rid of AIDS or formulating the ‘right’ and perfect policy to deal with North Korea (is there one?). But it’s what everybody I believe in Social Sciences has, and what keeps ‘us’ going: passion and hope. It’s that flicker of light in our eyes when theories written in papers and books finally start making sense in real life. It’s that glimmer of hope that we can somehow bring a change in the way people think that will eventually lead to actual changes in policies and reality. It’s that brazen certainty that while Social Sciences may not be ‘practical’, it certainly is ‘essential’. The focus doesn’t always have to be on the practical usage of science, sometimes, science just ‘is’. And as it is, it helps shape who we are, our beliefs, our perspectives, our ideas, our hopes and our future. When we shed the ‘what we are for’ and are stripped down to ‘what we are’, that definition of ourselves is shaped by Social Sciences (and Humanities). Especially living in an era where things that can’t be quantified are often discarded as useless and meaningless (and Social Sciences, with its frequent emphasis on quantitative methodology, is not immune to it either), Social Sciences allow us to enjoy and appreciate that which is not measurable.

Please... let's not...

Please… let’s not…

It is often believed that people revolt and desire for change when/because they have nothing to lose. But it isn’t so (and of course, I forgot the name of the scholar who actually argued this). Those who have nothing to lose live day by day with what they are given because they can’t think of an alternative. It is those who have the faintest gleam of hope who fight for change, for the better. And I believe that Social Sciences provide that very gleam of hope that constantly pushes people to seek for something better.

Or maybe this is all just my illusion. It doesn’t matter. This is all I need to keep going for the next 5 years and plus. 

“Beauty is truth; truth, beauty; that is all

Ye know on earth and all ye need to know”

– Keats –

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Keep your friends close, your enemies closer.

For the purpose of this post, see: Two Sides of a Same Coin
For the ‘other side”s take on this topic, see: Competition is the wrong word

Fortunately for me, I’ve only had to deal with one person – my sister – when abiding by that golden rule. Okay, maybe the word ‘enemy’ is a bit too harsh, but in the Asian spirit of ‘true competition’, the one that distinguishes between a clear ‘loser’ and a ‘winner’, and not the white mushy-mushy kind where ‘everybody is a winner’ (eyes roll), I’m going to go ahead and use the word ‘enemy’. Deal with it.

The longest and toughest competition, hence, with my ‘friend and enemy’ I’ve had to deal from a youngest age was probably the one revolving around ‘English’. The reason I call it to be the longest and toughest mostly has a lot to do with the simple and heart-breaking fact that I’ve never been able to ‘win’ in this category. Now, if you think the ways to compete about ‘language skill’ are rather limited, the Lim sisters are here to show you that is not so. You can make it as competitive as possible.

Sure, you have the test scores, the TOEFL, the SATs, the GRE, and so forth. Pfft, yes, let me call them the ‘boring ways’ to compete in English – in which I’ve never once been able to win by the way. Despite the whole year I have ahead of her in studying English, not once have I managed to scratch a higher score. After the first TOEFL, I was bitter and disappointed, because I had always been the one to ‘talk more’ with the Peace Corps Volunteers and clearly the more outgoing one (or maybe it was all in my head). But after the SATs, and the second TOEFL, I gave up. Let her be the smart one in English tests, I’ll simply survive by charming my way into the ‘real world’. Ha! And of course, she had to get a nearly perfect score in the GRE Verbal at her first trial – which, frankly, she didn’t REALLY need to, since she’s in the Natural Sciences – while I struggled with… my far from being perfect score across two trials.

I reminisce about the times when we had no internet and when learning all the lyrics of our favorite boy and girl bands by heart was a ‘cool’ thing to do. We would sit by our cassette tape player, hit the buttons Play, Rewind and Pause hundreds of times to figure out the lyrics. It was the perfect combination of having fun AND studying English at the same time. While it is not difficult to catch the lyrics these days anymore (I just choose not to), for 12, 13 year old girls who took on English as, technically, their third language, this was not an easy task. I want to go ahead and believe that my hearing skills are not my forte and apparently never have been, since I would come up with the weirdest lyrics, which didn’t mean anything, basically just a list of words I thought I had heard. But of course, she would always get the right lyrics, which, obviously, made more sense than mine. I don’t know if I were able to hide my true emotions back in the days, but I can still taste the lingering feeling of embarrassment and resentment when she would carefully present what she thought, and what indeed were, the right words to the song we both had just listened to.

Then, there are the moments and memories with less impact, but still worth mentioning, like how she would always be the first one to finish reading the pages of Harry Potter books when we were eagerly reading them together. Or like how we would type away in English to see who would type the fastest.

Today, thank god we are in fields of studies that could not be more different, her in Natural Sciences and me in Social Sciences (although, apparently the use of the term ‘Sciences’ in my case is debatable, according to Miss Scientist, but well, maybe that’s discussion for some other day). Otherwise the mighty and dark power of Competition might be tainting our relationship in a more negative way than we would like it to.

But still, there are ways the Dark Force of Competition manages to overwhelm me to this day. It bothers me that she gets to discuss about social issues and I could never manage to utter a single coherent sentence if I were ever to talk about Biology. The worst part? She often has better and more articulated insight and opinions… Or like how I find her blog posts funnier and wittier than mine. Me writing much more often than she does could be interpreted, if we dig deeper in my psyche, as a feeble and miserable effort at ‘winning’ in ‘quantity’, since I can’t, ‘quality’ wise.

Now, to end in a more… heart-warming and harmonious note, since I’m not a bitter person, competition does have its positive sides, of course. I would never be where I am now, hadn’t it been for my friend and enemy. The thought of going back to school after working at a private firm might have been less appealing. The idea of pursuing a PhD after an MA might not have occurred to me as naturally. The possibility of studying in the States might have been more daunting. And yes, I realize that I, once again, ‘lose’ at this competition where I’m supposed to set the precedent for my little sister, but at least, I’m now mature enough not to resent it and be thankful. Okay, maybe I am a bit bitter, but just like, 10%. The whole other 90% percent of me is truly grateful.

Competition is going to stay and hold us together for a long time. It may manifest itself in more subtle ways, but it’s not going anywhere. And frankly, I do think competition does push us to be better people most of the times. I also believe we have reached a stage where the expression “friendly competition” is no longer a myth, but a reality.

And may the best sister win may we both come out as winners.

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So, did you think about creating a picture like this? Did you? Or have I managed to ‘beat you’ on this one? Just kidding… but no, not really… :p

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

For the purpose of this post, see: Two Sides of a Same Coin
For the ‘other side”s take on this topic, see: There is order in my chaos

(Disclaimer: All the examples and cases used in this essay are real, something my sister does/did, or something I do/did).

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When it comes to being clean and organized, my sister and I could not be more different. It’s not even about being two sides of a same coin, we’re actually two totally different coins, from different currencies. If all the European countries were still keeping their currencies, I would say she’s a Peseta, in reference to the economic mess Spain is going through right now, and I would see myself as a DM, Germany being the only one doing relatively well in its ‘less messy’ economy.
Just to make things clear, I don’t go around cleaning every inch and corner of the house I’m in. My mother would definitely raise her eyebrows and snort if I were making such claims. But as long as it’s MY room, MY space, in a house where no one else is around to do the cleaning for me, I do believe in maintaining things clean and rather organized. My room is a reflection of my state of mind and vice versa, and moreover, however weird this may sound, my room is a reflection of my system of values. Let me expand on that before I am considered a freak for using ‘room’ and ‘system of values’ in a same sentence.
There are times, of course, when my room is completely disorganized, with my bed unmade and every possible thing lying on my desk. That’s probably when I’m multi tasking and I actually enjoy being disorganized, because I feel that I shouldn’t be at ease and such atmosphere inspires a certain urge, reminding me of the responsibilities and tasks I should complete. This state of ‘frenzy’ will help me strike off my duties one by one from my list of things to do, and my room will slowly become more organized as my list becomes shorter. But it is impossible for me to even fathom the idea that anyone would choose to permanently, or at least for more than 2-3 days, live in such state. (Not pointing fingers at anyone here). When I’m done with that state of rumble, seeing the things find their own place one by one from lying pointlessly on my desk, and seeing my bed made and the blanket straightened, yes, even if it’s just for me to disturb it that very night, gives me closure. What will come next may be another phase of craziness, but at least, I will be able to welcome it with a refreshened sound state of mind. And, apart from all this, doesn’t a newly cleaned room just give you a satisfying feeling of accomplishment? Wouldn’t you rather see that empty bottle of lotion IN the trash can, where it clearly belongs? Wouldn’t you feel better to have your energy bar on your desk, where you can see it easily and eat it when you want to, rather than have it lying on the floor, underneath a pile of I don’t know what?

Believe me, it gets so much better once you pass this stage.

Believe me, it gets so much better once you pass this stage.

Cleaning and organizing a room is not something that is done without any thinking, at least, that is how I see it. This divine activity calls for your attention, your taste, your preference (would you rather arrange your scarves according to their colors or their lack/presence of patterns, or even, according to seasons?), in other words, your ‘system of values’. You learn about yourself during this intricate process. Are you a color person? (In other words, are you a ‘visual’ person?) Or do you value and arrange things according to their usage? (In other words, are you a ‘practical’ person?) Or perhaps even the frequency of their usage? Do you systematize books in line with their authors or with the topic of the book? And when it comes to books from the same author, would you see his/her books lying on the shelf comforming to how much you liked each book, or chronologically?
How can you miss on the world of opportunities and discoveries that cleaning and organizing provide?

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