The two l’s of life: love and logic.
Without one life is out of balance. For if you have just love, you get taken advantage of in this world. And if you have just logic, you miss the most important thing in life: love. I’d much rather get taken advantage of than stop loving people and things.
But even better than that is to love wisely. That way you can protect yourself. And so, I’d rather let logic take love by the hand and offer guidance. Where love wants to run breathlessly, logic can press a slight brake. Where love wants to fall into an endless well, logic can act as a mirror, shedding a few rays of sunlight into the depth so that love can remember again that there is the rest of the world, and grasp a ray and climb up when it’s ready.
This world is interconnected, from cells and organs working together to do their job, to the way we function in the world, putting forth our energy in something that helps keep up our human system. Whether it’s in medicine, entertainment, teaching or serving up a fresh batch of fries at the cafeteria, every person’s job contributes to the workings that keep society going. No job is more important than the other, for if we had no bankers, we’d have problems with our money, and if we had no janitors, we’d have problems with our health. If we had no entertainment, we’d be pretty miserable. So no matter what job you have, you should never feel like you’re lacking. The trick is to end up in something you enjoy, so you can offer up more of yourself to advance society.
So, in that same manner, life and logic work together to advance the human being. Everything repeats, over and over again, and that’s this world. I love it.
This year, I’m optimistic and energized. I have a few things in mind that I’d like to achieve, and i’m going to start listing them here:
1. Continue immersing myself in uncomfortable social situations. The best things happen when you connect with others. Not only do you improve your social skills, which helps with your career in the least, but one thing leads to another and one person leads to another and suddenly, you’ve discovered a new passion, a best friend or the love of your life. Plus, you end up with more interesting stories.
2. Relax. My face was a mess when I traveled across the world to go home for the holidays two weeks ago. It was red, broken out and splotchy, and I felt more like a hormonal teen than a young professional woman in New York City. I blamed it on the cold, but when I got home, within a few days my face was clear again. I don’t think it was the cold…I think it was stress. Stress is a glass marble, rolling smoothly across the floor, breaking anything in its path. It does it with such grace that you don’t realize what’s happening, but only later when you find yourself out of breath or having the wrong emotions at unexpected times or breaking out do its effects become clear. Well, there’s no point in stressing. So what if I don’t perform as well on the job as I’d wanted to? Oh, well. Tomorrow is another day. And so what if they don’t like me? If it’s the boss, worse comes to worst, he’ll fire me, then I’ll find another job eventually. If it’s a friend, I’ll find another. If it’s a guy, I’ll find another. The right one will come later. So, since I am blessed with the survival basics (food, shelter, warmth), I have nothing else to worry about. Then why do I worry? Worry can’t change anything. It can only ruin things. It can stop the creative flow, ruin projects and conversations. So no point in worrying.
3. Explore. A motivational book I read last year advised never to be cheap when it comes to books, because one book can change your life. That clue made me buy a nutrition book last year. Then one book led me to another, and now I’ve picked up a biology book. I find the subject fascinating. My goal this year is to continue exploring these strange interests, which I never knew were in me until I was accidentally awakened to them in 2009. I have no idea what will lead me where, but I leave that up to the heart. I just need to be attentive, and listen to its hints.
4. Find the good in everything. It’s easy to fall in the trap of complaining about the same things you can’t change in life right now. But nothing comes out of negativity. In the spirit of interconnection, negativity is important too; like a good cry, it can show you how miserable you are, and the urgency of that pain is what awakens the need for action. So a short period or complaining or crying about what’s not going right I feel is vital in order to take action. For me, I believe these are the seven steps leading to change:
3. Internal acceptance — admitting things to myself
4. release (complain, cry)
5. External acceptance — making my discoveries/feelings public to friends
So, I feel like 1-4 (with 5 being touched upon a bit before I left and on my trip), and now it’s time for 6. Positivity is not a step but a tool that comes in handy at No. 6. I’m a positive person in general, but I’m too harsh on myself also, and while i love helping others, I feel like I hold myself back at times. I’ve aimed too low in the past because I didn’t think I was good enough for high, but now I’ve reached a point where I think I’m the right fit for high. And visualizing that is what helps get past the blocky days — the days when you feel like life is a brick, out of its place, standing in your way.
5. Cut the crap. And by crap, I mean all the crap that complicates life and blurs the self-esteem. This includes people I’m not so fond of anymore and physical clutter. Like downer people, clutter brings discomfort, and that’s the last thing you need at home, your sanctuary after a long day of life.
These are all the goals I have for now. Of course, there are smaller ones, like going to the gym, meditating and reading one thing everyday. And there is a list of books I’d really love to read too, like The Happiness Project and Logicomics. But there are other books topping the list right now (including two for work), so I’ll get to that later.
Now I want to talk about something else, because it’s nice to sit at home alone on a Wednesday afternoon and rant, and I don’t do it often enough when I want to. My heart fluttered over the break. Back home, I met a guy, a guy who is always there every year I go, a guy my heart has raced around each year since beginning college, someone I’ve been too afraid to really get to know in the past. I’ve noticed his glances at me too, but I’ve always avoided them in the past. What did I care then, I had Julian and other downers in my life.
But this time, my heart and mind were clear. And so when I first saw him on my second day there at a house party, I noted how he talked with all the others first, then pulled up a chair next to me and asked me to tell him all about this year. I noticed how when I mentioned he likes philosophy, with what interest he said, “You remember from last year!” So next week when I saw him, I made it a point to talk to him. Our conversation under the dim light of the bar laster for 15 minutes, but I felt a connection in our words — the same thing that had told me many times before that we were on the same page. We said to meet up, but in a moment’s uncertainty, I didn’t ask to exchange numbers. The next day I went away on a short road trip. In the raucous of New Year’s Eve, while kissing my sister and my parents and clinking glasses and watches fireworks, I felt my heart full of love and familial warmth. Then he popped into my head, and I thought, why not? Two days later, we were back home, and with the same love and determination I felt at the change of the clock that night away, I picked up the phone and dialed my best friend. I asked her for his number, risking weird feelings, since I had felt in the past that she had liked him (but now he’s a good friend of hers). Then I called him up and simply asked to go for coffee the next day. It took guts, and I was nervous, since I never do this. But it felt empowering to do what the heart asks for.
So the next day, there we sat at yet another bar. It was classier and more spacious, with softer music so we could hear each other as we sipped coffee. Again, it was amazing to slowly get to know him. And to discover that with me, one on one, he’s less silly and more philosophical than in his group of guy friends. Again we were on the same page. Same page too later when we went ice skating, and I taught him all the moves I’d learned through lessons in high school. The way he picked them up so quickly is the same way he can pick up subtle hints about my every feeling. It was amazing, as was the way he was so careful so as to make sure nobody crashed into me and I didn’t fall (or hurt when I finally did fall).
Of course, the looks continued throughout the night, and he instantly picked up changes in my mood or thoughts, he took me surprise. It’s these small changes that matter — the same changes that many others have missed. And I felt fascinated and cornered, like I couldn’t get away with much with this guy.
The next day, I cornered him with logic. In a noisy pub, we discussed a concept I’d been thinking about: whether all people were really equal in what they go through in life. First reaction is always no, but if you listen to me go and think it out and tell you my reasons, one thing leads to another, and often you might just see it the way I do. Well, that’s how it went with him. At first he argued, then I laid one logical thought over the other, and the puzzle was complete. And he saw it through my eyes. He’s smart. Super smart. The two loves of his life are math and philosophy, and he’s ready for a Ph.D. in math. So when you get a guy like that to see it your way, well, to me that’s flattering. And even more empowering. And it felt so right, my time with him. And I think it’s because that’s the kind of guy I deserve to be with: someone smart, caring, someone who listens and wants to iron out ideas with me. Someone who realizes that he’s lucky to be with someone like me.
Caught in the emotional throes of this realization, he put his arms around me from the back when he returned from the bathroom shortly thereafter. I turned my body slightly towards his, and put one arm around his back. We stayed like that for a few minutes, during which I felt absolute peace and fulfillment. I could have stayed like that forever, but he broke the silence with his eyes, which were trying to iron out their own dilemma. “I really like you,” he said. “But it’s an awkward situation. You’re leaving tomorrow and I can’t decide what to do.” To help along his decision, I leaned in. And then we kissed.
Like him coming into my life, the kiss too took me by surprise. It wasn’t gentle like I thought it would be, but rough and passionate. In the first second I was appalled, but after that, I felt alive. Then I slowed him down and bit his lip and lingered there. It was a real kiss. Everything with him felt real. And it all took me by surprise. “You brought it out of me. It’s the chemistry,” he said to me later. It must be.
And that’s where logic comes in. And this is why today I’m content, despite a complete lack of appetite that strikes only those who are barraged by the cupid, and despite the distance and the obvious impossibility of us ever having a relationship.