I want this blog to be a lot of things, but I will try to keep it focused on my topic of travel and search for a career. My other hobbies of writing poems, writing stories, and reviewing restaurants have earned their own individual set of blogs. Plus, there’s always that pink diary with a heart locket I keep under my bed filled with sparkly marker drawings of hearts and pasted pictures of crushes (I don’t even have an “under my bed”).
It took 6 months to write about my 3 month experience studying and traveling in Japan. It did not exactly turn out to be a travel blog, but I think there are enough life changing moments to constitute as a novel. Those who read it in enough detail should be able to extract a lot of cultural observations and learn about my random views on life. This was more than a pleasure to write – it was a 6-month long orgasm released all throughout the internet. I will remember this trip forever.
It’s not easy following the small routine of a Master’s student. I dedicated many of my entries reflecting on the art of procrastination. Everything that I did during this time was to make myself feel better in never-ending cycle of deadlines and terrible economic conditions. Interestingly enough, I have not mentioned the topic of my thesis once, but I feel like I’ve complained enough about it and it’s affects on my health. The funny part is that most of these entries have such an optimistic point of view, but I was writing it in my most pessimistic state.
I am currently studying reinforcement learning methods in Hamburg with a few professors. The research project is a transparent cover for my desire to travel and experience the world. It’s my first time in Europe and my first time away from my family for this long. It started with 3 months, and now it’s 6 months. I have more hobbies than I could enumerate, but I slowly narrow down my loves in life. The side projects continue and will fuel my fire for the next phase. The pictures and writing obsession continues as my hobby, but now I’ve also become a microblogger in the twitter and facebook status-update communities. What I learned at the end was much more important…
I’ve been accepted to continue the artificial intelligence research in Osaka University, but I’m on the fence of whether I should pursue this opportunity. I love the material, but I know I won’t be doing this type of work for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, I do not wish to acquire a PhD, so my work will just help me publish papers that probably won’t forward my career. The worst part is that if I do too much research experience, I might be over qualified for other career opportunities without joining a company and getting real life experience. On the other hand, it’s a big choice entering the real world especially in our economy’s shape. I’m keeping my options open and writing more in personal entries to distinguish the benefits. It’s a phase of personal discovery and it terrifies me as I edge closer to passing over to real life.
I’ve accepted a job to work at Credit Suisse as a Technical Analyst. I’m not sure the exact details of the job, but it seems like a good start to a promising career. Work-life balance is still the most important thing to me since I will always have my hobbies and close friends. I’m growing up, but not until I go on my one last “Hurrah!” to Japan and Hong Kong for a month. With my new S90, I will capture the world in a few smiles. I am working on my book on the side, so entries will continue in a scattered manner (approx 1 or 2 a week).
I am bound by decree (i.e. the guys with scary things like guns and lawyers) to not speak of Credit Suisse in my frequent blogging. Getting fired and put in jail for saying something silly isn’t exactly in my plan moving forward so I think I will keep these entries more like Dilbert. I will make the interesting connections in the cubicle farms and continue writing as a student and an ex-traveler settling down to a normal life. Does it seem like I’m selling out? Well, the truth is, I need to try it in order to develop my own opinion. If I’m ever unhappy about my job for more than 2 weeks, I’ll quit. (Probably not, but I will seriously consider it, whine, and then write about it in this blog). I’m enthused.
Is it normal to keep searching for more? Will reviewing restaurants, photography, writing, side projects, girlfriends, parties, and a steady job be enough? I think it’s all just a façade. There’s another layer somewhere that I haven’t seen, and it makes me wonder. I don’t wonder what it is; but rather, why I care so much about what it is. We’re always chasing a dream and completing another task on a checklist, but why? Where am I going and why do I need to get there faster than everyone else? What is the glory of it all? This is the time in my life where I’ve stopped to smell the roses, so to speak. I’m enjoying it and remembering it all in my own little way.
Chapter 7: My Epic 30 Day Challenge and Beyond
I’m not crazy. Maybe I am. I just wanted to finish some side projects. This is a continuous project trying to do what I think is the meaning of life: Grow, Love, and Contribute to your Community.
I love writing lists. It was clear from the very beginning and crystal clear now (especially with that list about why I love writing lists). After completing a 30 day challenge writing 30 different lists, I decided to write a book and get married. The book-writing was inspired by my fiance and led up to an epic engagement story.
While I’ve very happily written my own lists and handled my own internal struggles with thoughtful consideration, I now have a counterpart that continues to make me happy and challenge me. To keep things interesting and work towards common goals, we’re writing a book together discussing that cusp of maturity. It’s an unknown I don’t think a lot of people write about because they get tremendously busy and stressed for some reason. I’ll know the reason soon enough.