How important are grades to you? (via a life review)

i feel this way about school all the time. grades are very disillusioning a lot of times.

How important are grades to you? an article for Meld Magazine. Thanks to Karen Poh for editing it! 🙂 Marcella Purnama discovers grades aren't the best measure of success. THE first time I discovered grades ruled my life was when I was preparing my high school graduation speech. I came across American student Erica Goldson’s words, which struck a deep chord in me. She said in her valedictorian speech: “I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. I did what I was told to … Read More

via a life review

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don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem

i can’t wait to be 40. everywhere i turn, i see a lot of insecurities–none more than when i look in the mirror. it’s very disconcerting to be at this age and realize that everyone still deals with the same issues they dealt with a decade ago. when i think about it, i’ve probably only met a handful of people and can only name 2 or 3 at the moment who have enough confidence that i would be comfortable having. the older i get, the more i see that many of the things wrong with the world stem from insecurities people never learned to deal with when they had the chance. sure, it’s better masked but it’s still there. so now that i know this is in me, what do i do?

gotta keep on keepin on, i suppose.

look, ma! it’s the game of life!

growing up is a funny thing. there are these milestones that you’re expected to cross at certain times and in certain ways. it’s like a game. if you do it all correctly, you pass go and collect your winnings. if you don’t, then you’re left wondering if it’s ever going to happen, if you’re ever going to grow up. i guess in some ways, i never did grow up: i still love cartoons and i still believe i can be anything i want to be. In other ways, i grew up too much: i’ve learned that life will treat you badly sometimes and you can do nothing except wait. fortunately, the wait can prove to be fruitful as well. you get to ask questions and figure things out. so this is what i’ve figured out: i’m never going to be the girl next door but i’m never going to be that girl sitting at the bar either. i’m just going to be me and that’s fine.

confessions of an ex-romantic

What do you get when you take a romantic idealist, extraordinary circumstances and a series of disappointments?

Everything that comes in a bouquet dies, no matter how much pruning or watering you do to it.

Everything that comes in a bouquet always dies, no matter what kind of pruning and watering you do to it.

Over the past few years, I have come to the resolution that waiting for someone to be my better half is not only futile but foolish. It is absurd for me to sit around expecting someone to walk into my life and deliver a fresh bouquet of happiness. Everything that comes in a bouquet always dies, no matter what kind of pruning and watering you do to it. And while this may seem like the words of a pessimist or a cynic, these are also the words of someone who can turn this entire situation into something positive.

But before I explain that, let me start from the beginning.

statistics and studies show that the love-based marriages that all Americans are rooting for are not better, and in some cases, they may be worse.

...statistics and studies show that the love-based marriages that all Americans are rooting for are not better, and in some cases, they may be worse.

All of our lives, we are inundated with the idea of love and marriage. From fairy tales, television/movies and literature. Even the medium of the internet is being exploited by sites like eHarmony and match.com, urging people to become members in order to find love. But the concept of marrying for love is a relatively new development in human history. Until recently, marriages were motivated by politics and business. Make no mistake, I’m not making an argument for arranged marriages but statistics and studies show that the love-based marriages that all Americans are rooting for are not better, and in some cases, they may be worse. Nowadays, getting married comes with the given understanding that there’s a 50% chance that it will end in divorce. I don’t know about you but that is a huge risk to take.

Now, at this point, some of you may be going “life is about risks” or “have a little faith” or even “you can always get a divorce.” That’s just not good enough for me. If I am to get married, it will most certainly not be a risk; it will definitely be a sure thing; and divorce will never be an option. Why enter into such a serious commitment knowing that you have doubts or if you have an exit strategy? That is not a marriage; that’s something with which you are passing the time until something else better comes along.

Vanessa and Nate from The CW's Gossip Girl

While in circumstance, I might be more like Vanessa, the free spirit born outside of Upper East Side society, my Nate may never come.

So I bet I am sounding more and more like a cynic. On the contrary, I am a romantic. Like other people, I get that warmth in my chest when I think of growing old with someone but that’s just it: I want to grow old with someone; I don’t want to gamble. As much as I like to think that I’m Serena van der Woodsen, with her preppy yet hippie chic tendencies, I’m not. Serena has Dan who, despite a number of break-ups, always comes back. That is definitely not me. While in circumstance, I might be more like Vanessa, the free spirit born outside of Upper East Side society, my Nate may never come. And every minute I spend waiting for him is a roll of the dice that always comes out snake eyes and I’ve got more than my money to lose.

So this is how it becomes positive: I grow up. I outgrow all of this romantic idealist conditioning that we all experience from infancy and come to terms with the idea that I am my own person and I make myself happy. No other person can give that to me and I should not expect anyone to. I am forced to look at my life and decide for myself what makes me happy: my spiritual journey, my family and friends and understanding who I really am. 

Rather than trying to see that particular societal ideal be reflected in me, I am choosing to break the mirror and instead, I am putting myself together.

Rather than trying to see that particular societal ideal be reflected in me, I am choosing to break the mirror and instead, I am putting myself together.

Now am I being negative or a defeatist? Surely, those faux-romantics may read this and think that it may be too much of a hassle to get involved with me. To this I say, whatever happened to “take a risk” or “have a little faith”? I’m not completely dismissing the possibility of finding someone. I am merely saying that it is not my life’s purpose to do that. Simply put, if it happens, it happens; if it doesn’t, it doesnt. I’m devoting my life to those who are already around me. Rather than trying to see that particular societal ideal be reflected in me, I am choosing to break the mirror and instead, I am putting myself together. And that is definitely not a gamble.