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10/15/03, 11am, thoughts

Residency applications. What a bother! Exciting, and anxiety provoking. My personal statements were a torture! I didn't want to write the typical, very boring statement like: this is my name, this is why I wanted to be a doctor, this is why I want to go into such and such specialty, and why I think I'm personally well suited for it and your program. Anyway, I tried to approach it from a different angle. This is a little about me and my life story, these are my goals in life, or a story on a day in my life. It was hard. I could have written the boring statement in a few hours, but... I didn't want to so I agonized for a long time. Here are my many different versions:

7/17 - Too boring. It was my first attempt at the typical statement, but I decided it would only be a statement of last resort. I gave up on it when I was encouraged to do something else.
     Living seems to be an exercise in learning about myself. I have never been one to know what I want ahead of time or understand my motivations. I can not tell if I will really like something until I am there. I never knew what I wanted to do when I grew up because many things sounded interesting. Many things are interesting. I did not know I wanted to be a doctor. I guessed somewhere during studying for the MCAT, and luckily, it turned out well.
     Very few people come to medical school envisioning themselves as psychiatrists.

8/18 - My original plan to say a little about myself through a story about one day in my life. I wasn't sure which way to go b/c it was about one day in my life and my observations. I discovered that what makes an interesting story, might not be the best thing to show to interviewers. It was too rambling, too cynical, and maybe a little offensive. I kept working on trying to make it a little more positive, but it was too hard. I decided to keep a small portion of it for use later.
     Smiling thoughtfully, I watched as her smile slowly drifted into the expression of an intent listener. First, the corners of her eyes un-crinkled, then her cheeks and upper lip relaxed. Her lower lip and her jaw dropped slightly, and her brow finally furrowed. “I am listening,” her face said, “because what you have to say is important to me.” I watched, envious of her unconscious expressions, the way she sat straight-backed and leaned slightly forward in the front half of her seat. It was The Look - the look of the medical student who desires to know more, who is enthralled with your every word. Even though we were comrades in arms who were, at least on paper, learning to be leaders, I resented her for an instant. My mind jumped back to instance after instance where I needed to do the same but was unable to. Unable to move between the polite smiling of gratitude and intent solemnity, ready to learn. I turned back towards the speaker, and in the anonymity of the audience, I practiced. Awkward because I was now aware, I forced my facial muscles to move in a discordant dance. Was that the correct order? Could I reproduce this on command, prn? Did I look natural? I realized, eventually, the only way to produce the correct order of events was to reproduce the feelings and to become unconscious of my actions. I had to feel interested or at least amplify any remotely intrigued portion of my mind to reproduce The Look.
     The look I have seen so often on my friends and classmates while the halls in rounds like ducklings following their mother and learning what she has to offer. The look the residents and attendings devour like newly baked bread even as they must realize it is fake at least eighty percent of the time. After all, they were once exuding that look every hour of the day in incredibly long blocks of time. But, I reminded myself, it is the polite thing to do, and I will probably believe my students when I am on the other side. After all, most people find it near impossible to resist the idea that others are very interested in what they do.
     I often wonder if some of those people I am with really are as interested in everything as they appear to be. Is it a learned response from childhood to be interested? I find it hard to believe that people can be fascinated with every aspect of life and the world. There is more to assimilate than can be done in this lifetime. When I entered college, I believed myself to be a renaissance (wo)man; someone who would know about everything. I quickly came to realize that the renaissance era had so little information available that some people could know just about all there was. I had to pare down my ambitions and focus in on what I was willing to devote time to learning. I gave up a computer science degree so I could take more varied electives. On entering medical school, I believed I was going to learn and retain everything as I had done before. This illusion was quickly shattered as I noticed my other knowledge quickly fading away into the recesses of my brain. Learned skills I thought were so ingrained as to be reflexes I now had to think about. I remember clearly the day I went back to practice at my martial arts school after a long break. My mind, crammed full of anatomy and other sundry medical school subjects, could not piece together the order of the most basic form set I had been teaching for 7 years without active thought. I asked one of my younger kung fu siblings who I had taught from the age of 5 to help me remember the rest of my forms that evening. As time progressed, the forms flowed more easily. I almost felt my brain pulling the memories out of storage and placing them back on the shelf of active knowledge, albeit a little to the back. The shelf space in my brain is not large enough to hold all the knowledge of the world or even a sizable portion of all medical information, and I decided to limit my interests long ago. As little as I would like to admit, I know others who have a much larger shelf. Still, I find it hard to believe they are willing to fill it with every random bit of knowledge that is thrown at them all odd hours of the day, even if that is what they learned to do.
     Perhaps the learned response is to appear interested. Although I am not, others are that polite and skilled. Or, is their motivation to ingratiate themselves with those who will evaluate them? For some, I believe the desire to be looked upon favorable is strong enough to produce The Look on command. With half my mind, I practiced the look and listened to him tell us that the one of the most important roles of leadership was to cultivate new leadership.
     What exactly does it mean to be a leader? For me, leadership has just been to do the work when no one else is willing, to prod non-members into participating, or to remind members of obligations. Find a random cause, and work on it in fits and bursts. An hour or two devoted to doing the footwork, the emails, and the research needed to host a meeting. The work was often done when I wanted to avoid something else. In first and second year during a particularly dull moment in lectures, I would do the organizational work for my study group. In third year, to organize a conference, the work was done in the library, on call, while I was supposed to be reading up on one subject or another. Cultivating new leadership seems to be no more than delegating tasks and knowing when to step back. Delegating tasks is a personal favorite since I have a strong tendency towards wanting selfish time and procrastination. In the past, stepping back, has happened more often out of personal necessity than out of the need to “cultivate” new leaders. Before I entered medical school, I knew could not be involved with my martial arts school as much as before. I discussed with my teacher the students best suited to take over my tasks and spent much of the year previously teaching other, younger students to do them. In my first medical student year, we a few shared tasks, and in my second year, I watched as they did everything. It was painful, in a way, to let go of my roles as senior instructor, as main drummer for the performance team, etc. Even now it is hard to watch others work as I sit back and convert faint stabs of jealousy into pride. I believe, however, that being a leader is much more than working, organizing, or cultivating new leadership. A leader should be inspiring and possess charisma. I want to hold those qualities, but I am not sure how.
Later in the evening at the leadership training program, several of us went out as a group. We were strangers from around the nation with nothing more in common than our profession, our cause, and our desire to socialize. Still it was probably more than other groups I have walked to bars with. I found myself still in the mood of earlier in the day, watching others and myself, awkward, and thoroughly aware of my actions. I watched as they interacted, strangers or acquaintances who see each other twice a year. Yet they were friends this evening, discussing with ease the topics of our day, the battles they have fought, and, of course, their school work. The never ending topic of “what do you want to do?” As I flowed between conversation groups, I noticed that some groups were driven by certain people. These people were not necessarily beautiful, not necessarily with powerful voices, and not necessarily always on topic. Still, they controlled their conversations, somehow. Was it the charisma I seek? Can the ability be learned, or is it innate? Perhaps a little of both. I learned and am still learning to socialize with my peers. Always, I never have had problems interacting with people in a very private, comfortable manner, but the ability to interact socially in groups is still a challenge. There is a level of interaction that is fluff and very superficial, and there is a level of interaction that is meaningful. Between there are varying levels of seriousness and fluff that are only important as a means to socialize. In the end, the content of these middle levels means nothing, but the experience of interaction is retained.

8/20 - This one, I just couldn't finish. Don't know why... It was trying to be about my life, and more like the typical statement with a twist. I think I was starting to formulate something, but I just hadn't gotten there yet.
     The major turning points in a person’s life often occur without special significance. Only on reflection, do we realize the importance of the events that made us the way we are.
     At fourteen, my mother enrolled me in a martial arts school as part of her on going campaign to make me into a well-rounded individual. Among the seemingly never-ending string of classes, she probably never expected me to fixate on this particular one, but I did. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with the physical and mental challenges of doing the kung fu forms. I found a source of pride, not just in my progress, but also because it was a Chinese martial art. Being Chinese and growing up in a conservative southern state surrounded by only a handful of non-whites in school, I had always been keenly aware of my non-white-ness and any prejudice by my peers. Through martial arts, I was exposed to the richness of my cultural heritage. I found pride in being different and in being part of something greater than myself.

8/23 - Another one that didn't quite fit what I wanted.
     What do you want to do when you grow up? How many times do we philosophize about this statement through out life? As children, we are asked by adults to decide on a career and to find heroes to emulate. We must discuss in earnest during meetings, philosophize in papers, and show in our actions. Growing up, we ask each other often about career goals, perhaps in subconscious emulation of adults or as conversation starters.
     Until recently, my answers have always been paltry responses, more geared to satisfy the questioner than reflection of my personal goals. The world has always been like a never ending buffet, with thousands of choices that appear varying degrees of interesting, but whose flavor is often not reflective.

9/16 - My final version. As you can see, there was much agonization over the statement in the preceding months.
     When I entered college, my goal was to become a Renaissance (wo)man; someone who knew a substantial amount about almost everything and who had a large and varied skill set. I thought myself well along the road to being a scholar who learned for the joy of knowledge, having taken a large variety of advanced placement and honors courses in high school. Inside my closest circle of friends I was known as the artist; the other two we labeled as the musician and the writer. I hoped to develop my small bit of talent further through college education. I also was close to obtaining a black belt in kung fu and had decided to remain in Dallas largely out of devotion to my martial arts school. I quickly came to realize that the Renaissance Era was isolated in Europe and had so little information available that some people could know just about all there was. I had to pare down my ambitions because I discovered my interest level in much of the available material was not high enough to motivate me to take many courses above and beyond what constituted the norm, and eventually, I gave up obtaining a second degree so I could take electives more philosophical and artistic in nature than science and engineering. While I managed to take one course in photography, my artistic endeavors grander than an afternoon’s work most of their existence collecting dust next to my pretend drafting table. I did pass my black belt test, and I continued to stay very active in my martial arts school. Like many before me, college was a time of self-discovery. Among the many other things I learned about myself, I started to understand a bit about my limitations and began to discern my true interests.
     On entering medical school, I believed I was simply going to add the new medical-related information to my shelf of knowledge as I had done before. One evening I went to train at my martial arts school during a lull in the course work. I had not been to the school in a while, and my mind, crammed full of anatomy and other sundry medical school subjects, needed to actively piece together the order of the first and most basic form set. I was surprised and a little embarrassed because the routine was supposed to be reflexive. We start every class with the set, and I taught it to others for over eight years. For the rest of the evening I asked one of my younger kung fu siblings whom I had help teach for his entire childhood to help me remember the rest of my forms. As time progressed, the forms flowed more easily, and I almost physically felt my brain pulling the memories out of storage and placing them back on the shelf of active knowledge, albeit a little to the back. I realized then that the shelf space in my brain is only so large and can only keep a certain amount of knowledge in active use at any time, and I have since come to realize that it is not even close to large enough to hold a sizeable portion of all medical knowledge.
     My high school goal to become a renaissance woman of knowledge and ability has shrunk during my tenure as a medical student, but I have discovered new paths to walk and new goals to dream about. Perhaps inevitably, my focus has turned more human-centric as I have matured as a student doctor and as a person. I traveled to Western Europe in the summer after my MS1 year, partially a remainder of my Renaissance obsession. Unable to find someone to go with, I traveled alone for the first time in my life, and I again discovered much about myself and the world around me. I came home feeling stronger, more independent, and more capable than ever before in my life – even more so than when I taught kung fu or when I helped lead our school in running a national kung fu tournament. I also realized that as wonderful as the artwork and architecture of Western Europe are, more fascinating is learning about other cultures, people, and different ways of life, and I have traveled often since then. During my MS3 year, I visited Guatemala, ostentatiously to learn Spanish, and I returned home with a more real understanding of human suffering on a different level than what is seen on the wards. Sheltered as we are by our prosperity, I think it is hard to understand poverty and starvation. I have a dream to do some work in one of the many organizations targeted towards health care in Third World countries. I hope to work directly in the field, but I think I can enjoy working administratively to help others achieve the same goal.
     With the start of my medical school career, I gave up my work at my martial arts school because I did not think I could consistently fulfill any obligations there. However, I have a need to be responsible for something, and I tried to fill that need in medical school through various activities. None were very rewarding until I took on the role of regional coordinator for Medical Students for Choice. Women’s rights have always been important to me, but never before did I realize that I could and needed to play an active role. In the arena of women’s rights, there is much work to be done politically, through education, and in the rest of the world, and I learned that I must become an advocate for what I believe.
     I am fortunate to have a choice in my role in this world, and I feel a duty to do as much as I can to relieve the suffering of others. Whether through direct action, in helping others to that path, by being an advocate, or by doing a little of it all, I am not sure yet what I can and will accomplish. All the many dreams and ideas in my head may never come to complete fruition. Still, I know which direction I am walking, and I wait to see what the future holds.

7/25/03, noon, thoughts

Right now, I'm sitting at my computer, listening to my webpage soundtrack.  I feel like me page is little visited and little seen.  But, oh well, that's alright.  I don't mind.  It's here, and I can say "look at my webpage!" whenever I find the chance.  :)  I've been feeling a bit guilty recently because I decided to fail a class in school.  I just wasn't interested.  Still, it's very bad of me, I think.  Try not to think about it, it doesn't really make a difference in the long run -right?  Right.  I hope it doesn't come back to haunt me.  So,  I'm in the middle of the application process for residency.  More like the beginning of the process, actually.  I need to write my personal statement, get letter of recommendations, and fill out my ERAS application.  I hope I get in to where I want.  We'll see what happens, tho.  I learned recently, that I'm at the bottom of the class.  How heartbreaking.  I haven't actually found out my class rank yet, but... I don't really want to know.  I have never been at the bottom of the class before, and I torment myself over my recent decisions.  My GPA was pretty good going into 3rd year, but it went kaput in the middle of 3rd year.  I didn't do so well, and I wonder why.  I was depressed by the end, but maybe that's because of life decisions I made?  I worry that maybe my boyfriend, or the relationship, had something to do with it.  Would I trade it in for a higher GPA, tho?  I think not, but then... what will I think if  a few months time?  What if I don't get interviews?  I need to settle this in my own mind.  Maybe I should have taken time off at the very beginning. I knew I was burned out when I started 3rd year, but I wanted to push through with everyone else.  I should stop beating myself up over everything.  It's over, and I need to move on.  I need to deal with what's in front of me.  Like... my personal statement.

Ugh! I hate writing about myself.  I want my personal statement to be interesting.  The examples I read were... boring.  I wanted to be a doctor when I was 8, yadayadaydayda.  I knew I wanted to do ER/Surgery/OB-Gyn/Medicine when I ... I like (insert specialty) because.  How boring!!!!  I don't want to be that.  Sure, I need to convey why I want to do a specialty, but... atleast do it in an interesting way, not formulaic.  That would just be against who I am anyway.  I need advice.  I should talk to Dr. what's his face in charge of Pysch.  Why am I so bad with names?  (sad, sad, sad).  Actually, I wasn't that bad when I was teaching.  I knew everyone's names after hearing them once.  But now... I don't.  I wonder why?  I guess it's training of a sort?  Maybe role playing... when I'm a teacher, I feel like I should do certain things.  so, I do.  As a student, I don't have such expectations.  So I don't.  Man, I think I have really low expectations as a student.  Thinking back, I've never strived to be #1 in anything.  Afraid I would not be able to do it, so I didn't want to disappoint myself.  It's always been good enough to be close to the top.  I could always tell myself, if they only knew.  If they only knew the real me, then would know differently.  The real me is talented, the real me is smart, and hard working, and (fill-in).  I wonder tho, is the real me smart?  I sometimes wonder.  Sometimes I feel really out of it, actually, I notice I feel out of it a lot.  I hate that feeling - keep me from being a junkie, right?  I feel like I'm a pretty good driver, except when I'm not paying attention.  haha!  How many people say that?  I'm compassionate, but... I don't do anything about my passions.  I want to save the world, sometimes.  Other times, I just want to be lazy.  Actually, I want to be lazy a lot.  I enjoy not having pressure on me.  I'm trying to get as little pressure as possible right now.  No pressure, just relax.  That's all I want to do.  But then, I find another goal to chase after - helping Brandon succeed. Find new projects to do - remodel my home, build websites.  Then, I blame these things for the slack I show at school.  Why?

I want to be a psychiatrist, I know it for sure.  I want to help people, the whole person.  I want to help them from making the same mistakes again and again.  Understand about themselves. Help them step forward in their journey of lives.  That makes me feel really excited, actually.  This life... is just to learn, to become better, to... advance.  Physical challenges are important, but... I want to help their souls.  Relieve suffering and the ignorance that causes suffering.  That is what I want to do with my life.  In all aspects.  My Chin Woo school will be to help people find a family for those who need it most.  Like I did before.  I want to be politically active,  spread my "progressive" ideals around.  Human rights worldwide need to be improved.  Animal rights also need to be improved.  After all, those animals are us. Their suffering will translate into our suffering.  Where is the balance?  I'm not sure.  I think there are standards that I want met - primarily in the human realm.  I think America has the right idea.  We don't have it right yet, but we started with the right idea.  The world must reach a balance.  No one organism or one person/organization can have the majority of the power.  Because with the majority, we... run the risk of doing the wrong thing.  If everyone has a voice, we can keep each other in check. I know that I can go crazy in one direction or the other.  I don't know everything.  

5/27/03, noon, thoughts

Today, I've been thinking. (wow, how rare :) And, in the safety of the thoughts that no one will likely ever read this, I can write in my virtual journal.  Strange, I don't feel safe keeping a regular journal because I can't really write all of my thoughts down.  Someone might read it, or one particular person might just read it.  I don't want to hurt his feelings.  Give him more doubts than he already feels.  But, I think I can write this to complete strangers, and place my thoughts in a very public place.  Luckily, no one will likely read this.  I've told everyone I  know about my webpage already, and they have already looked at my page and moved on.  So back to my thoughts...

As I come closer to my goal of moving to New York city, I question my motivations.  I've been telling myself that I want to go there because I like the city a lot, and that I want to experience the city of New York for a few years while I'm still young.  I think that's the case, but I'm not so sure sometimes.  What if I want to go there to fulfill a promise that was never really made?  I met someone when I went to the city soon after I broke up with my first boyfriend.  Freshly out of a relationship, and not quite yet dating, I met someone I liked, a lot.  Luckily, he lived in NYC and was thoroughly devoted to the city.  Long distance.  I swore I would never have a long distance relationship a long time ago.  There are too many people out there to limit yourself to someone who can be replaced with someone local.  My boyfriends have always known this - a threat I guess I hold over their heads in case they decide not to follow me.  Come with me or you will lose me.  So this guy in NY, I never promised anything to him, and we only talked for a short while.  But, I still think about him sometimes.  I think it's because circumstances kept us apart and kept me from getting bored/annoyed with him too much.  I never really got to know him well, and I never felt closure over the whole issue, I guess.  So, I still have thoughts which I feel guilty over.  Not for the contents, but for the thoughts themselves.  I wonder if anything would ever have come of it.  He seemed relatively serious.  I was hoping at least as serious as I had been.  My brother says he was just "playing" me, but I don't really know what that means.  He was saying the things he did to do what?  Keep me hanging on?  But I wasn't all that much hanging on.  Ego trip?  I know it wasn't for sex because that never happened.  I guess it would have if I had seen him again, but... I didn't see him again.  It didn't work out.  I tried a lot on my end and could have still gone through with it, but... I decided not to.  I decided to stay home.  Thinking back, I think I should have gone already.  After all, I would have loved to be in the city and look around on my own.  I guess I was still a little scared at that time, scared of the city's reputation.  Today, though, I would go on my own with no one to see in a heart beat.  Still, I didn't go.  He called me a while later - a few weeks?  and said that he wanted to be more serious about everything, including me.  I wondered where that came from.  I never heard from him again.  The timing was never right.  After all, I had someone over, and I had to get him out of there before I left for some of my classes.  So what would he have played me for?  Maybe I just don't quite understand what the meaning of the term.  

Still, I wonder why I want to go to so badly.  I'm really stuck on the idea.  Do I think I'm going to run into him again?  I don't know if he's even alive, and if he is, he's probably already married and with a kid or something.  He seemed to want to start settling down.  Circumstances are, I'm not going to see him again.  Still, I think about him.  Maybe I'll stop when I get there and stop associating New York with him.  I just worry the association is why I want to go.  I've played out what would have happened in my mind.  Likely, nothing would have come of it.  After all, there were already things that annoyed me about him, and I'm sure him about me.  He was kind of abrasive (but maybe that's just typical), and he was angry in some ways.  Not chill, not like Brandon is chill.  With a temper, I think.  Maybe like how Brandon is quick to snap at some things, but I'm not sure.  In any case, it probably would have petered out because he was long distance.  I don't do long distance so I would never have committed to anything.  My superstitious mind wonders if he's thinking of me (assuming he's still alive), too.  I haven't quite given up on the possibility that people think of each other at the same times.  In any case, I've committed myself to going to New York, and I'm sure it can happen.  I wonder if I'm missing out on other great places b/c I want to go to New York so badly.  An old promise that was never spoken, does that hang over me?  Or, am I just second guessing my motivations?  I think... Probably I'm just second guessing myself.  I remember liking NYC the first day I was there, before I had met him.  I liked my whole entire experience, and I liked how the city felt.  Just like how I liked Paris when I exited the subway stop for the first time there.  I need to go back to the city so I have something else to think about besides my 3 short days there.  I need to think about the city with Brandon at my side.  I can't help but wonder, though, how strange it would be if I ran into him again.  Joe DiM-?  I don't even remember how his name was spelled. It is unlikely that he remembers mine either.  It's unlikely that he thinks of me.  I think he is just part of my experience of the city, and like a child, I remember those few impressionable days well.  As I experience more, those few days will begin to pale in comparison to a wealth of experiences.  

5/11/03, morning, Mother's Day, working on my webpage

Ah... Family.  What to say about such a nebulous organization...

Related by "blood" or by marriage, these are the people who we should interact with for the rest of our lives.  People together due to of some sort of karmic debt, who may have nothing in common.  Yet somehow, we must love more than others who we interact with.  Family can be so wonderful, yet cause so much torment.  Maybe I'm just feeling bitter today.  I dread having to go home to see my family and cause yet another shouting match.  I am told that things will get better as I age - but I can't see it.  Some how the flow of time will give me wisdom or tolerance.  I wonder today how much I even love my family.  Do I love them more than everyone else?   I believe spiritually that I should love everyone, and I try to.  But... somehow I must love my family more.  I have recently come to the realization that I feel quite bitterly towards my biological parents.  My father - for feelings of abandonment, and my mother - for lack of understanding, lack of compromise.  Who is to say who is right?  Perhaps we all are right in our life choices.  Perhaps... although I can't quite seem to make myself feel this way.  I do care, unfortunately.  If I did not care, things would not bother me that do bother me.  I envy those around me who, at least, appear to get along well with their family.  I do not, and I suspect will not ever be as close as some desire.  Who do I love? How do I even know who I love?  How is anyone really supposed to know?  Do I feel only obligation pulling on me - or the desire to please those around me? 

8/30/02, morning, email to my brother, Benjamin

Wow.  I just looked at your website altough you said not to.  Who can resist?  The temptation is way too great.  Can I add a link to your page to my family page when I get that done? (lol) Can you tell why I'm delaying that?  Actually, I just got your email today, amoung tons of junk.  I think my email server was messed or something, since I got about 100messages (mostly junk) when I opened up outlook today. 

Strange, I'm guessing that you and I have a lot of similar problems, at least related to family.  I read your entire blog b/c I'm pretty curious about you as well.  I really don't know much about you and Emily, which is why I emailed you guys.  There really is no way for me to tell you all about me, unfortunately.  I don't think there is anyway to know everything about anyone, even someone you hang out with non-stop for long time.  Maybe, if you are together for years, still there are things in the recesses of my mind that my boyfriend doesn't know of.  Although he may suspect. 

We can start somewhere, tho.  You know, I don't like our father very much?  I think I kind of told you already.  He is my "real" father, while Michael is my dad.  I think to this day,  he doesn't know how to spell my name.  I find it strange that he carried around a picture of me.  Maybe he has more fatherly sentiments than I suspect.  Still, part of me suspsects that he started this practice only when I was older.  When people found out that I did well in school, that maybe I could make money.  That I could become a cash cow for him.  Take care of him in his retirement.  etc.  When I became worthwhile.  I don't think I ever got any support from him as a kid.  I think I got an occasional birthday/xmas card. The only time it was addressed correctly is when Janette wrote it. Sad, right?  Anyway, I don't respect him very much.  The main reason why I don't ever see you guys is that I don't want to see him.  I don't really have much of an opinion either way of the rest of the family, tho.

There was a time when I was in high school as well where I was really into the Vampire/Goth movement (not as much as you, tho.  Maybe where you were starting out).  But, as I got older, more & more people in my school I found were into the movement.  I want to be different than all of those people, who pretended to have problems.  (I grew up in Plano with a lot of rich kids who had lots of money who wanted to have problems.  Maybe they did have problems, but I think a lot of them wanted to be "bad" and tragic, and draw attention to themselves.) So, I stopped & became normal.  Sad that I would base my actions a lot on the people I wanted so much to not be like.  But, I don't think my life is quite the same as yours.  I found a support network in my martial arts school.  My second family (though maybe my 3rd if i count you guys).  In that, I found a reason to be proud of the fact that I'm Chinese.  I guess I found a way to be different from everyone else as well.  Chin woo really changed my life, I think.  I became a very different person, still maybe not.  14-18 seems to very very formative years.  Maybe I would still be where I am now, I suspect I would be different in many ways, tho. 

I'm remembering the time I visited you guys for a while.  I remember our Grandma was still there, and she gave me a lot of money.  But, when she did, I could only remember the time she locked me out of the house when I was a toddler, during the divorce between my mom and our father.  I remember thinking, so now you want me?  because now I make good grades?  Because I'm cute or something?  Stupid. 

Why do asian parents find so much joy in comparing their children to other children?  Is that supposed to mean something?  We are all different people.  We all are valuable because of who we are, not because of how we compare to this or that person. 

What would you like to know?  (silly, huh?)  Do you want to know that I want to be a psychiatrist?  That I like medical school, and am here in spite of my parents?  That I'm sorry that I haven't really known much about you guys.  That I want to be a sister to you guys and support you in what ways I can?  That I'm currently on my 3rd boyfriend?  (laugh) That I like to go dancing, a lot.  That I have a problem with depression, which is why I'm not in school right now? 

I'm thinking that maybe I should come down to Houston sometime & see you & Emily.  I kinda want to anyway.  But, I don't want to see my father.  I don't even want my family to know I'm in Houston.  I think I've visited Houston maybe 3 or 4 times without telling anyone down there.  Houston has really good chinese food.  lol.  What do you think?  Would you be up for that?


8/21/02, afternoon, free-flowing, virtual entry

Hm... My first virtual, free-flowing journal-esque entry.  My other entries, which are below, were all composed on paper & transcribed here.  Really, to no other purpose than I want them here.  But this one is different.  Here I am typing away, correcting my mistakes with multiple back-spaces, wondering if this is less or more authentic than those other entries.  How different can things be simply b/c they are written through the keyboard as opposed to writing?  In one way, this is faster and, therefore, more real / spontaneous.  In another way, there is an awkwardness to typing.  I'm not used to this type of transcription.  See, right there, I wanted to write, "I am" instead of "I'm."  (lol).  While being much faster, and therefore more spontaneous, it is also different from normal journal entries in that my mind isn't composing, revising, and throwing away thoughts before I can write them down.  My mind journeys to remembrances of Doogie Howser, M.D. which I never watched very much, actually.  

I sit here, analyzing my thoughts and my motivations for even composing a web page.  Why am I doing this?  I have a desire, like most people, I think, to communicate something about myself.  To let myself be known.  To... show off.  Yes, that's right.  How sad?  How sad.  I don't want to be showing off, something about the way I was raised makes me cringe at the thought.  Do not be proud.  Do not think you are better than anyone else.  There is someone out there who is much better than you are.  Someone who is better than everything you want to do, but not only in each subject.  There is probably someone out there as multi-talented as you are, and is better at it all.  Someone who can juggle a million things at once, who can do it all and get good grades.  Who doesn't burn out, who doesn't need time off from school.  Someone who has as many interests as you do, who is as talented as you are, and who looks better.  (laugh)  God, sounds like a pep-talk to beat down my rising ego.  How vicious.  Oh well, I can just be me.  Yeah?  

I'm writing this, wanting someone to visit my site, and be impressed.  I've recorded what I think are my more interesting journal entries, or at least a few of them.  So what?  So people can read them, and think, maybe, that this is a girl who has "deep" thoughts.  I had a thought while composing one of those mentioned journal entries that perhaps, this is what essay books are about.  People take their journal entries, make them more interesting, more coherent and publish them.  They are called philosophers.  

It's amazing, for me, though reading and transcribing all these thoughts.  I hardly even remember feeling that way, until I type it out.  I remember my feelings @ those times.  They are snapshots into my mind, which is always changing.  My thoughts before are not the same as my thoughts now.  Strange.  While some still does apply, much does not anymore.  Strange.  Strange to see how I've changed.

1/17/02 During a psychiatric lecture on the subconscious.  Not that good on review, but I was multi-tasking.

Take 1

Words with meaning flying toward - riding forward on waves of sound

Distant, teaching

Restless, we listen.

Waiting for interaction, I zone out

And observe my comrades

Sleeping, yawning, scratching, bored.

Desire to learn, desire for politeness

Contrasts with desire for teaching, frustrations with style

We await the end of a narration -

Sounds more like a children’s story

Designed to place me in a trance,

Which passes into peaceful oblivion.

Teacher - my mind jumps to childhood.

Sitting on carpeted floor, eyes & heads turned upward.

Blinking, yawning, scratching, … sleeping

Ashamed, teacher before me is not the teacher of childhood.

As much as she appears so & sounds so, I feel the need

To remember… Ph.D. = high level of respect

Boredom, infiltrates my leg… paces in place

Socially acceptable expressions…

Damn, offer for freedom is interrupted by desire for politeness

Discussion of dreams makes me want to participate…

Provide subject material

Like a subconscious, subliminal message

Words of “Sleep” & “Dream” filter thru my self-absorbed stated

A command to be obeyed en mass.

Boredom moves my pen.

Take 2

Boredom driven, ego driven

My thoughts to be remembered

I write to encourage curiosity

Observe & wonder at what lays before you.

Form & shape designed to show insight

Into a mind more complex than you though

More interesting than would be guessed

Alas, recognition of unconscious motivation defies definition

Unconsciousness to conscious awareness.

Does is allow continuation?

Or is expression itself a validity?

Even without instant gratification

My mind finds future realization.

Goal obtained.

Take 3

Hmmm, hair that doesn’t move. Red reflected on body & face. Sculpted hair, design of look. For students? Was this a deliberate choice today, or a normal state of being? Impossibility of knowledge of all, I will never be able to understand all faces with motivations.

1/5/02 Evening. Email to Brandon.

Subject: Today

Hey. I just wanted to let you know how I was feeling right now & maybe to explain some of my actions today before I go out. I was thinking about your history w/Cory, and I was feeling a bit guilty about how I've been acting today.

I love you, and I miss you. I know it's stupid to miss you after I just saw you a scant 14hrs ago, but I do anyway. I was sad this afternoon when I called from the hospital, & you told me you wanted to go to your mom's. I really wanted to see you at the time, but then again, it's unreasonable to ask you to wait for me just to see me go to sleep or be grumpy the entire day b/c I'm tired. It's unreasonable for me to want you to wait for me back @ my place when you don't really want to be there. I know that if you don't want to work on your flash stuff, I can't expect you to sit around waiting for me. Still, I wanted to see you, and I wanted you to wait for me so we could hang out together. I don't want to go to your mom's & watch you play a video game while I hang around feeling slightly uncomfortable & worry that I might inadvertently say/do the wrong thing. I don't want to go to your mom's just to go to sleep. As nice as your parents are, it seems a bit rude. I wanted you to come back this afternoon after hanging out w/them so I could see you for at least a few hours. Again, not reasonable. I forget that this is my place, despite how much you stay here. You don't feel as comfortable here as I do. I forget that you likely feel about my place as I feel about yours. Like a foreign object. Borrowing space w/o a familiar spot to claim as your own.

I would really rather hang out with you tonight than go out with Amy & co. She wants to "meet people" & feels she can't do that w/a bunch of guys. Of course, she's right. On the one hand, I enjoy dressing up & going out, and I haven't hung out @ a bar in a while w/friends. Additionally, I haven't hung out w/her in a while despite being invited several times so I feel a small obligation, & I'd also like to see her.

Sadly, I think my real motivation lies in the fact that I didn't get to see you when I got home. A sort of petty revenge.

I miss you right now.

More than anything, I wish you would walk thru my door so I could hug you and give you a kiss before I go out.


June 2001, Afternoon.

Laying here, looking. I’m warm & comfortable. I feel the fog of sleep recessing, leaving, pulling its soft tendrils from my mind.

Warmth, both inside & out. Soft, the feel of the pillow beneath my head. Soft, the feeling in my heart. Beautiful. I look at your eye. Examining the length of your eyelashes. How they sweep toward space, away in a gentle arch. Darkness framing your eyes. Set in a pale display, like a jewel set on soft velvet to accents its beauty for all to behold. The arch of your eyebrow reaches above and leads backward. Perfectly. I look into your eye and see you looking back. So gentle, tugging at the strings to my heart. Tugging at the foundations of the wall I have enclosed myself in. I want so much to reach up and touch you. To reach out and kiss you. I want to make love with you, to express this feeling in my heart overflowing. Slowly. Gently. Softly. I lay and watch you. I yearn to tell you how I am feeling. I year to express in some fashion this experience, to you. To share my soul. Who I am, who I can be. Still something holds me back. What is it which is in me who holds me still? Keeps me bound within? Immobile, silent. I build the internal momentum to move my hand, to move air through my silent vocal cords. Struggling internally to overcome the inertia weighing me down.

Unable to mobilize my strength to its fullest extent, I settle for a smaller expression of emotion. From that which verges dangerously close to the edge of beauty, to a caring concern that is, almost, professional. I try to express vastness of caring in the words of concern and compassion. Concern comes, unable to embody my intent, and stumbles at its task. The spell, my spell, is breaking. I struggle to hold onto the moment, the feeling, but am unable to resist the mood I have created. Released back into safety. I have once more receded from the precipice of emotion that is both beautiful and inviting. Emotions that I fear, and in my fear have been unable to express. Again.

10/12/00, entry in my sketch pad

Really, it's a waste of paper to be writing here, but, hey, when will I really ever manage to keep a notebook anyway? :)

You'd think that people, with our incredible ability to think & reason, would be spending our time trying to figure things out.  But, really, when it comes down to it, what stirs our passion?  Propagating our genes.  "Love" why do we spend so much time, energy & thought on it?  No matter how intelligent or not.  Typically, marriage, having kids, romance was a woman's world.  But how much time do men spend worrying about, ok thinking about, having sex?  Why?  To what purpose?  We watch movies, read stories, listen to music... Most of it is about gene-propagation (or related acts).  Why do we think of other things as cultural, or higher?  Why am I here obsessing over this topic? Some part of me believes that what I should be doing is trying to understand the world, higher truths & the like.  I don't know, maybe religion, philosophy, & other such "deep" subjects.  I should be thinking about the plight of my fellow man, the environment, or something.  Physics?  I don't know.  I suppose I could be studying in my chosen profession, but who am I really fooling.  Maybe, once in a while, I spend time studying & contemplating those "deep" philosophical ideas of life.  But, on the whole, I think I spend much more time thinking about the men around me and dating than I do anything else. What makes me happy, what makes me feel emotion?  I can say that it is definitely bacteria & genetic disorders.  Nope.  I can't claim anything so special.  My heart instead feels elation when flirting with someone of the opposite sex.

So much music out there is relating to love & relationships.  Why?  How can I look down on those whose entire lives are absorbed in relationships?  Am I really that different?  I hate women and men when they say they are dependant on their SO.  I hate when people say they cannon function right w/o someone.  I think, "You weakling, you suck."  Really, are they so wrong?  Am I really different?  When I have men chasing after me, I love it.  I admit it.  I feel great.  When someone lets me down, I admit, I feel bad.  Like now.  I'm pissed off @ someone & it's occupying my thoughts.  Sad.  Am I not one of those women/men I despise?  Relationships don't matter that much.  How secure I felt in my arrogance.  In my comfort.  Now that I am not in a relationship, my thoughts are very pre-occupied with going through the motions of acquiring one.  Does companionship really matter that much?

What is our function in life?  To pass on our genes & contribute to society.  "Society"  Why?  Make society better as a whole so that we can propagate so more.

6/18/2000, Vienna.  Exert from my travel journal

... I'm currently on the steps behind the museum of natural history.  There is a park here.  It's very pretty and peaceful.  I guess this is what the U.S. is missing.  Pretty large & populated parks.  I think many of the current larger European parks are the result of old royalty parks becoming state property.  I guess they were always state property, but you know what I mean.  It is so pretty here.  I really, really like Europe.  There are so many cultural things & so much history.  It sounds pretty dumb like that, so cliché, but at the same time, so true.  I don't feel cultured & informed by being here, but there is definitely a sense of time and appreciation of beauty.  There is a sense of civilization.  The U.S. is so new. Everything is kept that way.  I don't blame people for not stopping to smell the roses in the U.S. The only flowers rest in our backyards  & in the well-manicured front lawns.  We consider land landscaped when the flowers are changed with every season.  We consider buildings old if they are older than 20 years.  We consider replacing them.  So strange that what Europe considers a new building is often almost as old as our country.  I wonder if America will ever have a beautiful antiquity to it, or will it always just be the testament to man's fight against surrounding wilderness.  Maybe that's why I link the Redwood trees so much.  If anything on this earth can stand for living through time, that's it.

Looking at the clouds here, I can imagine how we are just a speck against the backdrop of the earth.  Our times here are short & we try to do as much as we can in that short time.  I wonder if we would be a better species for the earth if we lived longer?  Maybe we could have a better perspective on our effects on things. you know?  I really don't see us getting any better.  We reproduce too quickly & die off too quickly to see how we effect things.  A new generation every 7 years that must learn the lessons of the old.  If we look in 1 family, a new generation every 20 years.  In 20 years, how can one really appreciate the effects that we are having?  By the time any effects happen, that are noticeable to the untrained eye, maybe 40-100 years have passed.  Maybe only 20.  By the time the 1st generation can figure it out, the next generation is already born & starting it over again.  

What can we do?  I don't think our species will make it.  I don't think we should it make if we don't change.  Will our civilization create ruins to be discovered by another human civilization?  Or will the only civilization that will look @ our artifacts be alien?  I think maybe both.  We will scorch the earth so badly, only a few will survive.  Those few can build a new civilization that can discover our ruins & wonder what we were like.  Creating pictures & hypothetical images. How much information have we lost that we could really benefit from?  I wonder in the limb regeneration story is for real.  Can you believe how amazing that would be? 1 part of me wants to work really hard so that people can learn.  I want to help with the research of Asian & other traditional medicines.  Modern medicine can really benefit from all that.  Anything that can heal should be used.  Well, within reason.  I don't think selling your soul to the devil should be included, but... :)  I think the only way mankind can not destroy the earth is if it lives in small groups. Otherwise all the people don't know each other well enough to care.  We can learn from each other if our circle of friends has something to teach.  In large societies, I think the idiots out weigh the wise men, & over rule them.  In a way, I feel it will be OK because I can always reincarnate in the future as part of a hopefully better race.  However, a part of me feels sad for this one.  What can we do?  I guess only our best.

6/7/00, Paris, Exert form my travel journal

Coming into Paris via the RER B train.  Countryside is full of trees that are in neat row.  Very artificial in its attempts @ naturalism.  A musician played on a recorder, a guitar, and pan pipes for $.  I could almost imagine this was the background music to a travel documentary.  Only, the music was not exactly pleasant to the ear.  he was not very good.  It was almost ethnic sounding, & his notes were airy at times, piercing @ others.  Just passed a house w/beautiful large white lily - type plants in the backyard.