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Patience with the Past and Major Life Changes

September 22, 2017

Author: Bianca Yang
Email: ipacifics@gmail.com
Twitter: @xdrtxrdt

I have so little patience with people younger than me. I have so little patience when people don’t get truths that I understand. This impatience stems from my difficulty in truly seeing the world from another perspective. When I think back on my younger days, I am experiencing the world with all the knowledge I have now. It’s like stepping into a Pensieve. I’m not actually embodying the consciousness of my 7-year old self because I don’t remember what it was like to be 7-years old. I can only remember what was going on around me. My experiential memory has been overwritten in favor of my current psyche.

This is a huge fault of mine, because it’s caused me to lose my temper around my family and to act impatient around friends. I am not compatible with everyone, but surely there’s a way for me to master the art of decency. I’ve heard meditation is a good way to start, so I’ll need to find some way to work that into my routine.

I am afraid to stand up to people when they say things that are wrong. I am especially afraid of people who are assertive. People who say “no” really emphatically and quickly scare me away. I often have no reason to be afraid of them. People who emphatically and consistently insist on their wrong viewpoint shut me up, because I don’t want to argue with them. It’s good to exercise tact and leave some things unsaid, but habits build from small actions. My fear is that, one day, I won’t speak up and fight for an important decision.

I hesitate while writing that last sentence, because I didn’t want to add “that could change my life” or “that could change the course of my career”. How could I know what the impact of each decision is? Each decision I make, from choosing to go left at the intersection to signing a one million dollar check to invest in a company changes my life. And I can’t know how my life would have been different if I had made a different decision. My brain doesn’t afford me that kind of luxury to large simulations contemporaneously to understand each piece of my life. I’m grasping at straws to understand how to classify major life changes. Here are some commonly recognized major life changers:

A good friend of mine said that major life changers result in major changes in behavior or major changes in identity. That seems to be a good way to put it, though I would simplify by saying that major changes in identity precede major changes in behavior. To use the examples above, having a child turns you from a non-parent to a parent (the wording is weak, because I don’t know what you call a non-parent). Getting married turns you from a bachelor into a husband. Moving means you now tell people you live in Y city, rather than X city. Death of a loved one deprives you of meaningful relationships, and your loved one is now “late”. To cope with these changes in identity and the way you see the world, you act differently. You take new precautions around your newborn. Your schedule is now more tied to your spouse’s. You change your living habits to better suite the Y city lifestyle. You learn to cope with life without your loved one.

On average, your next waking moment is highly unlikely to be out of the ordinary. But averages sometimes don’t actually measure anything, so be careful when thinking about your future.

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我的中文程度真是夠差。我連基本的翻譯都不會,必須依賴 Google Translate 或是從台灣跟大陸來的朋友。我這樣的狀況蠻難解決,因為我日常生活都用英文。但是我有是個膽小鬼,所以我不知道我搬到台灣會不會治療這樣的問題。我想學其他語言的夢想都被現實解散了。

週一就要開學了,我今天把一大堆箱子塞滿我這學期需要的東西。真是的,到你要搬家的時候你才明白你平常需要多少東西。我一定要逐漸造出極簡主義的生活,要不然我會因為東西太多、太難整理而瘋掉。我已經因為電話太吸引我的注意力而把很多 app 都刪除掉。我還把電腦的通知都關掉,這樣工作的時候比較不會想去浪費時間除裡這些不重要的事。有緊急事的話就給我打電話。我已經因為這樣的改變覺得比較舒服。


如果想跟我聯絡,請給我送電郵:ipacifics [at] gmail [dot] com 如果想找我做些 freelance 工作也可以用以上的電郵聯絡我。