As my good friend, Cory, so delicately put it, “Stop being lazy, and get back on your blog!”  This one’s for you.  :)

We made changes.  Cafe job is completely done.  Yoga life is booming.  AND I’ve been cooking more!

Exhibit A: 16 out of 19 yoga days completed.

Exhibit B: Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Quinoa w/ Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Avocado

Exhibit C: Black Bean & Corn Chili (courtesy of cake and allie)

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of “should.”  As a society, we are so consumed with the idea of what we should be, what we should be doing.  Take me for example.

I am a graduate of a reputable private university, with a Bachelor of Arts diploma in International & Area Studies with a double minor in Ballet and Children’s Studies.  I held a number of leadership positions, volunteered in the community, and was fortunate enough to have interned with a wonderful organization.  All the standard four-year college experience.

According to social norms, what I should be doing now – a year out of college – is getting my masters or working a “career job,” living in a mediocre first out-of-college apartment, and figuring out grown-up things like taxes and extra bath towels for guests.  Instead, I did a 6-month volunteer trip that took me to Africa, moved back in with my mom upon my return, am now a cafe barista dropout (the song “Beauty School Dropout” from Grease comes to mind), and have no clue as to what my next “real” step is.

90% of the time, I know that this is exactly where I need to be right now – soul searching.  I’m content with my simple life.  But the other 10% of the time, I’m judging myself and worrying about what other people think.  We’ve all been in those judgemental shoes – looking at someone, labelling them, and making predictions on their future success.

Would it be easier if I actually wanted to go the traditional route?  Work a 9-5 office job, make decent pay at some big company?  Yes (and my parents would be happy), but unfortunately – and fortunately – I’ve seen more of myself and the world to know that I want – I need – something more than that.  As much as I sometimes want to just crawl into a blissful hole of ignorance, I wouldn’t trade my knowledge or my experiences for anything.

“We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call that handful of sand the world.” — Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

In yoga class yesterday, my teacher talked about how often, with time, even the greatest of messes turn out to be awesomely beautiful.  Here’s hoping that this mess of mine creates a masterpiece.

Taken during my recent trip down to Three Lakes, WI.

2 responses

  1. I’m glad you’re writing again, Ms. Chen. Keep it up, you’ve got an awesome project going on here and you’re making some really awesome points that keep me thinking.

    And remember, Julie and Julia did all start with a blog. so this could get you somewhere you’d never expected.


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