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I had a dream last night that I was at Disneyland with a bunch of my friends from New York City. We were arguing over which rides to go on. I remember Thunder Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean were deemed “not scary enough.” My reply was “we’re at Disneyland — none of the rides are scary.” It was a very bizarre dream. Toward the end I had to say goodbye to everyone, and some people stalked off without even a wave.

Such is my life these days.

The night before I dreamed I was still in NYC and still packing my entire life. It was two days before I left and everyone really wanted to throw me a party. They didn’t seem to get it that I didn’t have time for a party — I had too much packing to do. Ah the joy of anxiety dreams!

Wyoming is beautiful. I have been helping my dad bake Christmas cookies, shoveling the 12+ inches of snow that fell, and reading in front of the fire. I haven’t had a lot of time for reading lately, so it’s been nice. I finally got around to The Story of Edgar Sawtelle which has been on my to-read list since mid-June. I read 576 pages in less than three days so it must have been good. Time to find another book to read from my parents’ shelves.

I awoke this morning to a welcome email from Apple. It’s a nice presentation of what to expect my first week of work. It made me laugh, and gave me warm-fuzzies about the world I’ll be joining in the new year.

Today’s activities include wrapping gifts, baking more Christmas cookies, and taking my father holiday shopping. I’m enjoying my downtime … if only the anxiety dreams about NYC would go away.

Wishing everyone I know a wonderful holiday season!

Do you ever have those moments, when something that you may have doubted becomes crystal clear? You know, those moments when you find yourself shaking your head and laughing, wondering how you could ever doubted in the first place. I had one of these moments tonight (actually a few of these moments centered around one event).

I went to attend the showcase for the school that two of my friends are graduating from this week.

[Tangent: Can I just take a moment to say how immensely proud of these friends I am. They have spent the past two years diligently working to think about media and life in totally new ways and I love them both for it. They give me faith that the world still has room for passionate people and new ideas. I know that their passion, drive, creativity, and willingness to experiment will get them far in life. I consider them both very brave for being a part of this program, and I sometimes wonder if I could do it. A part of me wishes I had known about the program before I embarked on my own graduate school journey, but another part of me doesn't think that I have the creativity to pull it off, but I digress.]

This is the second or third time I have been to one of these showcases over the past two years, and the exhibits never cease to amaze me. These students with their creativity, concepts, execution and ability to think outside of the box leave me forever in awe which brings me to

Affirmation #1 — there are still creative, motivated people who are using their ideas in an attempt to make the world a better place.

Affirmation #2 — I still have a crush on this articulate, handsome, kind, intelligent and talented human. I hadn't seen him in a while, so I was a bit worried that perhaps my crush had faded. Au contraire, I am still twitterpated … tonight, as I watched him talk to people about his ideas and passions, my stomach somersaulted with warm fuzzies. I hope he knows that just being around him makes my world a bit brighter. It's funny, I had thought that not seeing each other in so long might create some awkwardness, but as is usual with us, it felt like I was seeing an old, old friend — someone I have known forever.

Affirmation #3 — I need to be working toward something that makes the world a better place. Whether it is helping under-represented people find their voice, living "greener", or educating — I feel like I am not doing my part to give something back, or leave a lasting impression and that bothers me.

On that note, I have decided that it is time for bed … more musings on this later.

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I've decided that my down time today can be used productively to look at one of my bad habits, and come up with solutions for dealing with it. Random? Yes, but I wouldn't want it any other way.

It occurred to me recently that my ability to over-think any situation was causing me to be counter-productive. Instead of simply sitting down to work on my graduate school thesis, I found myself delving into every little aspect of it until I would get so overwhelmed that paralysis set in and I was unable to move forward. So I would focus on something really mundane for a while (reading my friend B's fantastic blog for example) until I felt ready to tackle my thesis again, but inevitably the cycle would repeat. This was definitely preventing me from actually writing my thesis. So today I decided to examine why this was happening, and hopefully by the end of this exercise I will have a plan to keep it from happening. (Hey, we're practicing positive thinking here … it's good to have goals dammit!)

True, there are times when my ability to over-think is a good thing … in the professional world it allows me to notice things that other people did not. This is helpful when I am trouble-shooting user errors, testing new applications or trying to come up with a creative solution to a nagging business problem. Over-analyzing on this level challenges me. It makes me think long and hard about things, and it means that I not only need to know the outcome of a situation or process, but I also need to understand the whys and hows that created said outcome.

When it comes to my personal life, my over-thinking is not so beneficial. Obviously from my opening example, it gets in the way of my schoolwork. But it happens at other times too … I dwell on things more than I should, often remembering stupid things I said years ago and re-hashing them, as if someone really cared that in 1993 I used X word instead of Y word and everyone laughed. Does something that happened 13 years ago have any impact on my present day self? No. As they say I should let bygones be bygones. But I just can't seem to do that!

It's funny because I was on some silly astrology site recently (procrastinating from my graduate school thesis) when I read that my moon sign is prone to "over-analyzing" and one of the possible weaknesses of my sun sign is "Fear of the past repeating in the future" … Now, I am not one to live my life by the dictations of my horoscope, but I find it interesting to contemplate. Then again, it may only take the power of suggestion for my brain to begin making associations and dredging up examples. I am sure that if my horoscope had said that my weaknesses were jealousy and intolerance I could find plenty of life examples to fit those traits as well …

I started this post as an exercise to come up with a goal, and here I am digressing. I've started to over-think my tendency to over-think. Do you see how bad I get? It is a vicious cycle!

Goal: To live in the moment and not dwell so much on the past or worry so much about future.

I just need to "be here now" as Ram Dass said and enjoy the present. If I can accomplish that, then things like my thesis and huge projects for work won't be so daunting because I can take it just one day at a time, and do the best that I can. Similarly, I can take the time to truly enjoy the human interactions that make up my days. I can let the conversations, moments and connections be what they are and appreciate everyone of them — from coffee and good conversation with a newfound friend to the look and smile I share with fellow passengers on the train as we realize that the woman who has been singing very bad renditions of songs by the Beatles has now switched to the original Mickey Mouse Club theme song, and apparently has no intention of being quiet …

These are the things that make life interesting, and I need to appreciate them more.

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I've been meaning to become a regular blogger for a while now, yet I never seem to make time for it. I manage to make time for all kinds of other things in my life, reading, eating, sleeping, working, studying, hanging out with friends, watching TV ,,, why can't I make time to write? I mean I consider myself a writer, it is something I really enjoy and would like to pursue on a bigger level, but I just can't seem to do it.

I discovered vox last week though, and I am hoping that this web 2.0 concept inspires me to put fingers to keys and compose. Maybe I'll find my voice again. Perhaps I'll be inspired to truly create. At least that's what I'm hoping.

In reality, I will not have time to devote to this until after I graduate with my masters degree in May. Right now, I should be researching my thesis, but I have been in the library or in class every night this week and I need a little bit of a break. So tonight after class I choose to blog. Nothing earth shattering or inspiring, but just the act of writing is good for the brain.

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