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One Of Us Can't Be Wrong...

1Q84

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blog-0068766001358226065.jpgIn the desolate wasteland that rapidly revealed itself to me post-application season, I have found that there seem to be two me's. One is full of confidence, brimming with positivity, a proponent of positive visualisation* who can not only imagine himself tearing open the acceptance letter(s) but can even taste it. The other is wary and on edge yet staunchly assured that in a few months time, he will wake up to yet a few more rejection letters to add to the string of ones he received in previous application cycles and be left with nothing but soul-sucking contingency plans and a yawning purgatory.

One of us can't be wrong.

The first me is convinced that the massive effort and endurance that I have mustered in the past couple of months (to learn everything from the American college system, to what a GRE is, to what a proper SOP looks like) must bear some sweet fruit. Most East Asian cultures do not see hard work as some sort of point of pride or something to attain: it is merely a reality in the struggle for survival. Everywhere I have traveled in East and South East Asia I have encountered this reality; indeed, I need look no further than the weathered faces staring back at me over the kitchen table most nights. Although this cultural reality has become the butt of many jokes for spoiled second or third (etc.) generations of Asians in North America as well as their entitled white friends, it is undeniably in the back of most of our minds. I never thought that it sunk it deep enough for me, thus the years of what some may call "slacking" or what I would rather call daydreaming, but hey, what's bred in the bone...

Now that I've snapped myself out of this reverie, I have to believe for my sake that this hard work will pay off. I have to believe that one of us can't be wrong and I'm hoping it's the first guy.

*The story behind this is that I attended a 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat in the woods and at the end of it, met a hippie girl from Germany who had run away from home and described how positive visualisation had allowed her to hitchhike across Canada in the dead of winter with no jacket or sleeping bag but purely on the goodwill of strangers. I think it may be no coincidence that she ended up at this retreat, which was free of charge, fed you two meals a day for 10 days and gave you a warm bed to sleep but I digress...



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Please forgive all the pointless rambling and constant updates! It's quite a nice stress relief to be getting this all out somewhere...

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Man, you completely nailed it - I feel like there are two of me, too: one positive and one pessimistic.  Here's hoping "the first guy" is right!

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I do hope very much that your future (or current) plans involve writing a novel/memoir of some sort. You are an amazing writer and what you call "pointless and rambling" is witty and eloquent and you MUST continue after all of this is said and done. (And if I were a betting woman, I'd put money on you getting in based on your SOP alone, which I can only imagine paints a beautiful picture of your goals and purpose for applying.)

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