I caught a cold this morning while bagging groceries and asked to go home early so that I didn’t get my germs all over people’s groceries.
I went home after about an hour of work and was babied by my parents. They gave me ginger tea and lemonade to help soothe my throat.
After a brief nap, I woke up feeling almost completely better. I guess it was just a morning cold or something.
I played Maple Story and Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest throughout the rest of the day (and picked up Pokemon Y for a little bit).
I’ve also been thinking a lot about life. This morning, I tried to make my job seem more interesting, and I’ve realized that, among other things, people like to feel needed. I guess since H Mart is packed on the weekends, I’m more cheerful working there, knowing that cashiers are desperately needed then. I felt bad for leaving early today, but I really didn’t want other people to catch whatever it was I had.
People probably change jobs on an average of 7 or so times throughout their lifetime, or so I’ve heard.
I have a feeling that service industry jobs, while not held in high esteem by most of society, are very necessary. Like the number of people who work as sales associates and cashiers is probably much higher than you’d think.
Without them, our markets and economy couldn’t function.
I guess what I’m trying to think of is how I fit into a bigger picture.
I try to seek meaning and purpose in almost everything I do.
I know some people think gaming is a waste of time, but they haven’t tried different games that really test your brain. Things like Brain Age have been fads that have come and gone, games that help inspire you to think more and exercise your brain more frequently.
Fire Emblem is rewarding for me because I see it as a tough strategy game. It really tests your ability to reason and determine what kind of tactical play would be best given changing situations.
I think all I’ve learned lately is to be more mindful of what I’m doing. Whatever that entails — be it reading, writing, eating, or gaming.
I think it’s important to maintain your focus and attention on one thing at a time, so that you can better focus on the present and accomplish more with your time. It’s better to focus on one task and ensure it’s adequately completed than it is to divide your focus and spread yourself too thin to do any one thing well.
Of course, there are exceptions to this, but I’ve found myself already spread somewhat thin taking on two jobs instead of just focusing on one. I suppose that’s also because I value variety over monotony sometimes.
It’s hard to find a balance between these, though. Routine can be comforting, but it can also be boring. Maintaining the status quo doesn’t leave you much room to grow, but there’s only so much cognitive dissonance you can take before it threatens to burn you out.
I’ve also found myself battling between individuation and conformity. As someone who’s the daughter of immigrants, I’ve faced the classic dilemma of deciding between assimilation and ethnocentrism. I’d like to think there’s a happy medium somehow, but there really isn’t.
If you take on and live by the values of American society, you leave yourself vulnerable to being called “whitewashed.” If you take on and live by the values of an Asian society, you leave yourself vulnerable to being called “fresh off the boat.”
There’s really no win-win situation here.
I’ve always struggled to find a sense of belonging because if I’m American in Taiwan and Taiwanese in America, then where do I really fit in?
Do I want to “self-segregate” or put myself out there and hope others accept me as I am? Do I change myself to become a different person than how I normally am to become more flexible and adaptive?
I don’t know.
All I know is that I possess core values from which I shall never stray from — honesty, authenticity, and perseverance. The last is the one I struggle with the most, with the number of unfinished projects I’ve created throughout my life.
I need more structure and more motivation, I suppose, but at the same time, a rigid schedule seems to suffocate my more creative tendencies.
I guess being unsure what you want and don’t want, what you need and don’t need, is just a part of adulthood. You realize that most other adults don’t really have the answers, and we’re all just trying to figure things out.
It’s hard, though, and no number of self-help books can really tell you what’s best for you.
I don’t know if it’s libertarian of me to think this, but I believe that as long as you aren’t harming anyone (including yourself), then you’re free to do as you wish.
Do what’s needed for you to balance your work-life-friends balance. No one can tell you what’s best for you, really, because you know yourself best.
Unless you don’t, like in my case.
I feel like I don’t know myself because I react to different situations differently than I originally thought I would in my mind. And people are defined by both their thoughts and behaviors, I suppose.
But then that makes me wonder if people’s consciousnesses are what define them.
Yet mental illness or mental health cannot completely define an individual.
What, then, is the nature of the self?
I guess I’m starting to touch on the whole idea of no-self in Buddhist literature.
There is no constant, unchanging self.
You’re aging every second and your thoughts and experiences are changing so that you, as a person, are changing as well.
Strength and resilience come from bravely asserting yourself in the face of adversity.
And in the absence of adversity is when you should cherish your comfort and security.
I guess you gotta just make the most of your situation, regardless of what that is.
For me, it’s working two jobs as cashiers, taking people’s orders and helping them check out.
That’s my temporary function in society for now, and it’s still one that’s necessary for businesses to go about their… well, business.
I guess the most I can do is change my viewpoint of doing “menial labor” to one that’s “serving others,” as more of a “giver” idea (from Adam Grant’s Give and Take, which I finished yesterday (yay!)). (that “yay” was for being able to focus on that book long enough to complete it)
Maybe no job is truly menial because if it was, it wouldn’t exist in the workplace in the first place.
At least it’s humbling.
Life just doesn’t stop giving opportunities for me to realize how important humility is.
Ya gotta keep your ego in check sometimes.
(That was kind of a reference to Guardians of the Galaxy 2 ;P)
But yeah. I’ve done nothing but eat, sleep, game, and think all day long.
Hope this was an enjoyable read!