I call last week my "recuperation week" where I just charge myself with all the energy I spent on our event and a couple of sleepless nights thanks to my baito. It was another week of talking with strangers who had a lot of amazing things to share with me.
In my SA class, we saw this film called "Marwencol" which tackled a bit of issue of self-reflexion, a very Jesuit thing to teach (my teacher is a Jesuit after all) and something some people around me have forgotten. The act of reflecting
Susanna, our fellow from Malaysia, spent an afternoon talking about this thing called "Flow
" from this guy whose name I can't exactly pronounce. It's an interesting concept where your skill set matches your challenges and you achieve this certain flow, that "in the zone" moment where you're just working your ass to get things right. The end product is this sense of joy in having achieved something. Susanna even shared that you can "level up" when you have achieved this "flow." Wikipedia says a lot about what Susanna shared with me but there were other things she shared that I was personally moved by. And while she was particularly eager about it, and I thought to myself that it was quite an interesting concept, I told her if there was an instance of a negative flow. Say, sure, you invest yourself in your activity to a degree that it consumes your entire being and it helps you develop as a person. But what if it's stuck in the same peg? What if the challenge only means consuming more of the same thing? What if other skills are not developed?
She had to stop and think a while and had to see my point. I shared with her some observations I've had of some people and I asked to what degree then could this flow be positive? If one is so capsized by building robots and gundams to a degree that he loses all social relations, is that still good? In a psychological sense, the flow is a good psychological state but at the same time, it can also be a mildly destructive social state. To master one state is great, but what about losing other skill sets? Yes you can build gundams but to survive in this world, you can't just be good at painting and cutting plastic. I love psychology but as someone steeped in the social sciences and history, I can say for a fact that people can't just survive on this flow alone.
It was a healthy poignant moment and it was a fun discussion in the end. At the same time, apparently, she and I have been reading Leo Babauta as of late. I only crossed him via his website, Zenhabits.net
which currently features an amazing story on the tragedy of missing out
. She crossed him via a book that was given to her during her cancer surgery. Now this guy is amazing and I suggest you guys give him a read for things that you have to reflect on in your life. He's not exactly a self-help person. But when I read his blog entries, I'm just reminded of things that I should be thinking of. While I get a couple of lessons from tumblr, his site is something worth clicking on some days.
My teacher also shared this interesting perspective on the youth.
And while my teacher remains hopeful for our future, I... I would like to think that there are some amazing kids out there but I wouldn't bet my bucks on some.
Another thing that I crossed and had wanted to share was the story of Samantha Sotto.
She is a Filipina housewife who drafted this story in frustration over a novel and ended up becoming published by Random House. I know I have a lot of friends in this flist who have longed to get their stories published. I know I have lots of friends in this flist who dream of becoming writers for their genre. Looking at Samantha Sotto, I think it can be done. With the internet, it's already a lame excuse that you can never get published. Here's a lady who managed to do it because she invested every little energy she had to get her story out. She's not a literary person. Just a reader like many of you who has a story to tell. If you think Philippine Publishing won't get you, then you don't have to stop here. There are many publishers abroad who would have an audience for your story. The question now is if you really have THAT story to tell or are all those talks of dreams being published just... all talk. It's frustrating to see dreams getting stunted just because you think there's just nobody out there who would buy your story. Until you meet an editor, then it's not your call that it won't get published. I say, if one person in your life like the story that you've written, then maybe... just maybe, you have a shot in going for the big guns. This housewife did it. I believe, you writers in my flist, can do it too. Give this story a read and if it really was your dream to be a writer, then you can take after Samantha Sotto.
I also managed to spend time with some of our fellows who had a lot more to share. I even got some turmeric from Malaysia and some keychains... it was just crazy.
I realized that no matter how much my mother grates on how my work is not exactly teaching, I cannot disagree more that my work allows me to connect and learn from a lot of people of great influence in their field. Right now, I have great academic connections in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Japan. If I can speak Thai, then possibly, I might have some connections with Thailand as well. But it's been great so far. I'm not exactly sure if I am completely happy. There are still things hanging and dangling in my life that refuses to take a step forward to fix things but in aspect of fulfillment at work, I say, I think I'm quite pleased with what I'm doing.
This entry was originally posted at khursten's dreamwidth.