What I Learned in Taiwan

That year had been particularly rough on me, and I remember being on a bus in a desperate attempt to swig away my sorrows at TCNJ Senior Night, texting on a whim confirmation to my parents to sign me up for school in Taipei.  I was and am always hesitant and doubtful of new and scary experiences, but my grief momentarily blinded me from worrying, and it ended up being one of the best. decisions. ever.  Not knowing what to expect, my mom and I hopped on a plane in late May, and our first days of exploring the campus of National Taiwan Normal University excited me endlessly.  My mom finally coped enough to leave me to my independence after two or three weeks, and that week and a half was the funnest ever.  Sure, there were moments where I was so exhausted I was just barely able to move to buy myself dinner, and sure, the dorm’s strict curfew of 11:30pm was annoying, but for the most part, I was content to be able to manage my life without feeling so restricted.  Among the highlights of my trip were:

    1. Visiting my moms’ old friend’s village, which felt like a town in a Miyazaki film.  Her sweet and kindhearted family can COOK.
    2. Meeting up with my TCNJ friend Lauren at Danshui and having the MOST MAGICAL BUBBLE TEA at a cute cafe
    3. Going to Beitou Hot Springs and trying to compete against stolid old people by sitting in boiling water on a 90+ degree summer day- guess whose fingers were prunier?? Yeah, we didn’t win.
    4. Typhoon night where I huddled in my dorm with two yams from 7-Eleven
    5. Attending a 12 Cellos concert, courtesy of my aunt (phenomenal performance) in Kaohsiung
    6. Meeting new people, eating and bonding on mini-trips

During these mini travels, after months of therapy was I able to muster the courage to communicate my needs to new friends.  I tried to mask my shaky confidence as I explained what I needed: their understanding in walking slowly with me because it was hard for me.  I still remember the fear I felt bringing it up to my friend Nio as I walked with him and another guy through the streets, realizing if I didn’t say something soon I wouldn’t be able to keep up, and I was tired.  Surprisingly, without blinking or giving me any side look of pity, Nio said “Sure,” slowed down and casually asked me what my condition was.  A heavy weight lifted from my shoulders, and I felt acceptance.  What I learned was that as inconvenient as conditions like mine were and as rare as awesome people are to find, they exist. And sometimes you have to forgive yourself and distinguish yourself from your chronic conditions, and take a leap of faith in opening up.  Recognize that sometimes, you are not the problem.

 

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Eudaemonics

Shower Post #1

Technically, I haven’t showered yet but it’s around that time of the day where calmness takes over and transitions from restless reality to dream world, and daytime swims into night mode.  I think best when I’m in the shower. And if you’re actually reading this, welcome 🙂

I’d put off writing my first post because honestly, I was scared of making the first step, initiating, making this too personal or too shallow, or not knowing what my niche is. But now I realize just like how I need to change the way I approach life, I just have to go for it, because my style is rant and ramble till I amble into something worth talking about. As I was brainstorming for words that may properly reflect this blog’s purpose, or some more appropriate representation of me and what my emotions are and what other people want out of life (what the meaning of life is if we want to get philosophical here), I came across this word: Eudaemonics. Maybe it’s not even a real word, since it’s underlined in squiggly red now as I type it… in that case, I am a genius and rightful owner of a made up word, and that’s special too! Googling it gives you the definition of this: the art of acquiring happiness, or the science or theory of happiness.

 This is a blog post about eudaemonics and personal related things, but you should know upfront, this is not a maudlin story. I took that from 500 Days of Summer if you didn’t catch that.  Also, I am studying for GREs and trying out a lot of vocabulary words:  if you see any that don’t make sense, call me out on it, my apologies in advance.  The perspective I stand from in life gives me a lot of time and space to ponder on the most random issues, and I think at the end of the day, all of them lead back to a central theory: everyone deserves happiness. However, the methods of obtaining that happiness manifests itself in many shapes and forms, sometimes in subtle misguided ways. We can trace it all throughout history where dictators rule the land, shackling the people they are supposed to protect, mistaking fear for respect.  When we witness corruption among high-ranking officials and leaders, people in positions of power abuse that privilege because feeling significant seem to translate into happiness- after all, nobody said the source of happiness is always pure. What a lonely and miserable life it would be to be born into a circumstance devoid of happiness; I suspect that is how serial killers fill that void by fulfilling it with an ephemeral joy from murder, and here I refer back to the misguided applications in pursuit of happiness.

That is why I decided to name my blog Eudaemonics because of my strong belief that the reason for everything we do leads back to a deeply rooted yearning for happiness, or the lack thereof.  I will attempt to debunk or analyze some of the issues we have in society in terms of gender equality, ethnicity, politics, ableism, etc., and much of it will be empirical.

In case anyone cares, I actually just showered so this post is officially legitimate now.  Anyway, it is 2:30am.  Thanks for reading.  Brownie points if you can figure out which GRE words are embedded throughout this post!