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Interests: Art, Music, Literature, Anatomy, Human Psychology, Fashion.
Expertise: Song Writing, Story Telling, and Indian Culture.
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|So the last entry was a little heavy, both emotionally and intellectually. This time, not so much.|
Let me preface this by saying I love my job, but I will be the first to tell you that scientific research is hard, somewhat unrewarding, and tedious. That being said, I'm going to go through a list of pros and cons of being a researcher.
Being a Lab Technician:
Pro: I get to do science all day! I don't have to attend class like an graduate student. I can hang out in the lab all day, work on projects, get data, watch a couple of music videos, EAT, and be at my leisure if I desire.
Con: I have to do science all day. I swear there are days when I'm completely convinced that the lab has been booby trapped against me. For example, the microscope and I have a hate-hate relationship. It hates me and I don't quite like it either, except I have to be nice to it in order to get work done. Which is why I had sacrificed some chocolate to it and we came to a slight understanding... until one of my labmates decided to eat the chocolate. Now it hates my guts again!
Pro: I don't have to work a 9-to-5 schedule. I can call the shots on my own hours. I can even sleep in if I want to. I can go home "early" or come into work "late".
Con: I have no weekends. Because science is a bitch. Therefore, experiments can and always seem to run over weekends. Also, when you rent expensive equipment, you have to get as much work as to publish a paper in the time that you have the machine or you're shafted.
Pro: It is pretty freaking amazing to say "I am a scientist" to little kids and watching them look at me in awe. I'm quite sure it's because they're so amazed that I'm young and look in-cred-i-ble!
Con: Saying that to your parents and friends doesn't give the same kind of joy. Instead, they roll their eyes and expect me to start reciting the periodic table of elements.
Pro: Talking about research is an awesome way to get in the spotlight. For one, you sound ridiculously slick and motivated without having to ever talk in specifics. All you have to do you mention that your work is very sensitive, but very exciting.
Con: People tend to ask awkward questions such as "Do you hate God?" and "Are you going to clone humans?". It's a tad bit annoying. Seriously people, most research has nothing to do with religion or with cloning humans. This isn't a Hollywood movie, I promise.
Pro: I don't have to wear slacks or blouses. I'm not expected to have only natural hair color or muted jewelry. In fact, I could dye my hair pink and wear neon blue eyeshadow with Flava Flav's giant clock around my neck everyday if I wanted to.
Con: I can't wear sandals. Open-toed shoes is a big no-no. As well as a lack of pants. So no skin in the summer. Instead, I have to boil.
Pro: I can listen to music that I like while working
Con: My lab mates can also do the same and like to blast Justin Bieber. They also like to sing along. And they happen to be twenty-something year old males.
Pro: We get cookies at seminars.
Con: I have to listen to tedious presentations by Professors and graduate students from other labs during these seminars and not fall asleep.
Pro: I get to use awesome futuristic looking equipment.
Con: I also have spend hours getting trained to use it and then hold my temper when it frustrates me because it probably costs more than my house, college education loan + interest, and car combined, so breaking it would be a very, very bad idea.
Pro: I can relax and joke with my labmates during lab meeting.
Con: Those bastards will be the first ones to tear apart my conclusions on any data I present.
Pro: My boss is totally relaxed and cool. She understands science and how research works.
Con: She's a workaholic, so if she's here, so am I.
Pro: I enjoy my work.
Con: I also want to beat the crap out of my work. And then I realize that I don't know what else I'd be doing if I wasn't doing this so it's moot point.
So you see? Science isn't that different from other field and neither are scientists. :P
|I haven't written an entry in so long that I'm worried that I've forgotten how to write.|
The last entry I wrote was almost a year I think, if not more. At that time in my life, I was more than anything, lonely and afraid. I was about to graduate from university with no job, no internship, no future plan. I felt like I had ruined my own life by not being ambitious and hungry enough as a student, not making the right kind of connections needed to secure a position for my future, that I had wasted my parents' money and forced them to take on so much debt for nothing.
A few months later and here I am, at my first job in my career path. (Though currently procrastinating while attempting to count cells and angst over the trials of science, but that's a whole different entry altogether.) I'm working full time, I'm getting paid, and I'm paying my university payments on my own. It's frightening to conceptualize, but I've made it. By society's standards, I've succeeded. I graduated from university and got a full time job in my field, where I'm learning skills and information to further my future career goals.
And in that, I am satisfied.
But I'm not happy. My home life has gone down hill in a matter of a few months and I don't even know how to begin describing the bumblefuck that has become.
When my dad lost his job, he moved all over. Finally he settled about 5 hours away from us. It was a good job, they offered to help him buy a house, and he did. So my mom moved with him. That was all during my second year of college. By the time I graduated college, I had become used to living on my own essentially. I worked part-time, paid for my gas and groceries, cooked, cleaned, laundered, and studied all on my own. Yes, I lived with my brother, but seriously, my brother is somewhat domestically challenged. I even went to my interviews all on my own and started my job without anyone to baby me.
And then, a little more than two months ago, my dad decided to change to a job near us. He was sick of that place and sick of not being promoted or respected by his boss when he did the bulk of the work. So he switched jobs and my parents are now home.
In the mean time of all this, my brother met a girl. A girl that he liked and who liked him back, so much that she moved in with us. Now, everything was very Victorian. I should know as I've been serving as their chaperone for that long. She slept in my bedroom, I slept in my parents' room. We lived together as a group, but they didn't live together as a couple. My parents, being the traditional Indian couple they are, didn't like this but couldn't argue, considering they were a good 480 or so kilometers away.
But now my parents are back and the shit has not just hit the fan, it's slapped it silly and then decided to make itself a palace in front of it so all you can smell is it.
My parents' immediate reaction was "You should get engaged." To a couple that's only been dating for about 3 months? Mind you, most of the reason my brother's gf even lives with us is because she doesn't have a vehicle and my brother commutes to their workplace from over 30 minutes away. It was easier for her to just come home with him and crash at the house so that they could spend some time together.
Do I personally agree with the idea of her living with us? No. I don't think it's a great idea, especially since I know I wouldn't do so. But then again, I also can't object to it because I have no logical reasons to back me up. However, engaged?! My parents obviously didn't quite understand that getting engaged that quickly only leads people into thinking one thing: the girl is pregnant.
But my old-fashioned parents didn't listen and in one of the worst bumblefucks ever, bought a ring and told my brother, with his girlfriend sitting right next to him, to put it on her.
How utterly insulting and mortifying that was, I can't even begin to describe. I thought for sure that this girl was going to burst into tears and then run for the hills. Somehow, she didn't. Tough girl. But in that one moment, whatever relationship or rapport had been built between her and my parents was utterly shattered for their action had prompted her to believe that either she was stupid in their eyes, or that they were ashamed of her and her connection to them. By demanding a ring, they made it apparent to her that her opinion, her cultural viewpoint, and even the absence of her parents from that decision wasn't important, and only their own appeasement was.
Even worse though was how it completely damaged the relationship between my brother and my parents. In one move, my parents showed him that he wasn't an adult in their eyes, that his choice wasn't right, that he was immature and untrustworthy. By buying a ring and shoving it into his face, they showed him that he was shameful and that he had dishonoured them.
I remember my brother saying, "You stole my opportunity away from me, to propose to her myself."
And my father replying, "I didn't propose to your mother. I just told my parents and she told her parents so that they could get together and plan it. My mother and sister went and bought the ring and that's what she's wearing. I can't believe that my son has become that westernized that he can't do things the way I've done them."
In that moment, whatever camaraderie they shared, whatever friendship they had outside the bonds of just blood seemed as if they had been completely erased. Like nothing more than speck of dirt on a white shirt. Brushed aside. Gone.
And now here we are. Still all living together. My brother's girlfriend refuses to move out because she believes that by leaving, she is running away ashamed and she is not ashamed. She and my brother feel as if they have done nothing wrong and refuse to bow down. At the same time, my parents refuse to be appeased. Instead, what we have is a home broken. Instead of a family, we have people that smile politely but distantly at each other.
And I'm stuck in the middle where I share my room with my brother's girlfriend and try make sense of the situation.
I don't want to take sides, but in this instant, I feel heartbroken for my brother. I understand him completely, and yet, I also understand my parents. I see how they find it strange that my brother and his girlfriend will sit together on the couch, leaving into each other as they look at something on his tablet. But then again, I'm also so happy to see him enjoying himself, to see him being affectionate; because who thinks a relationship without open affection is okay? I certainly don't.
And it hits me. Maybe I'm too westernized as well. Is it wrong to believe that it takes time for people to date or even court each other? That jumping into an engagement is unwise and only brings negative speculation? That you have to really make a commitment before going that far? That a ring and a proposal should be between a guy and girl only?
And yet, I understand that by Indian culture, the answer is yes. Especially in my parents' generation. And it all comes down to the fact that while my parents are first generation immigrants, they've never adapted to their new home and its customs. They're stuck in a timeloop of Indian culture that no longer exists anywhere else, but in their minds. And in that culture, parents arrange everything.
So it all comes down this: a gap of thinking. My brother and I grew up straddling the line between two cultures, and in this one way, we've adopted our newer one's customs; while my parents are still true to their beliefs and it can't happen any other way. Because that, it's become us vs. them and no one wins.
And the question is: can this be reconciled?
|Something that made me chuckle today was the realization that the person I talk the most, the person I share the most with is my mom.|
When I talk to my mom, I am her child and she does scold me, correct me, and give me directions. But she also is my confidant. I tell her my fears, she tells me her dreams. I tell her my hopes, she promises to pray for me.
Six months ago, I would've said the person who knew the most about me was my best friend Kay. But today, I doubt it. What kind of best friend doesn't call or email you? What best friend doesn't tell you about her job or how she's moving to a new house? I know I'm not the most socially active person, especially online. I don't like using Facebook unless it's necessary. But I always make time to call and stay in touch with good friends.
My brother flat out told me that I must not be important to her anymore. That hurt. I take my friendships seriously. I'm not an open person, so I cherish the friends I do have. To be suddenly left bereft is shocking and it doesn't hurt as much as it just confuses me. Is it my fault for being too busy? Did I do something wrong? I just want to know.
Half of me laments the loss of that closeness. After her family left the state, I became her family and I enjoyed being her support. My home was hers and she was always welcome. But now looking back, it seems that living away from each other not only dragged us apart, but made us learn to not need each other.
The other half wonders if it isn't because of her friends there, especially her boyfriend. Perhaps in wanting to be with him, she's letting go the past. And I'll be honest, I'm a friend of the past. I don't live near her. I don't see or interact with her on a daily basis. Maybe we've finally grown apart. Maybe this was inevitable.
So should I just accept it?
The part of me that laments this loss also fears my isolation. I look around myself and I realize my most important relationships are my nuclear family. I only interact with these people. I've lost most of my friends to college and other cities. And I'm scared that I've become this stagnant ghost, standing alone.
And my fear is that I will end up alone.
So that's why I applying for jobs away from here, from this place I've called home for what seems like too long. A part of me feels like I'm running away, but another part of me says that I need to rip my roots out and replant myself in a place that I will vulnerable, in a place that I can't hide and that I'll be exposed to world, if only to battle my isolation.
I stopped blogging for a while when I felt like I couldn't put myself down onto pieces of paper anymore because I needed to put myself into speech and I needed to say it to someone. But now I can only share myself with my family and these fears aren't something to tell them. My mother could cry, my father would purse his lips to hide his pain, and my brother would scoff in anger because he's so unwilling to believe it.
But even amidst all this fear, it is my brother that gives me hope. Because a logical part of me is able to realize that my brother also went through when he graduated college. That stagnancy that I feel, he felt. And I look at him today, he's happy, social, outgoing. He's alive.
So I'll keep searching and I won't give not just yet. I will say goodbye to fallen friendships, I will hold onto the people I love, and I will welcome the day.
The world hasn't ended yet after all.
|1 mile cardio.|
3 set lunges with 5 lbs, 10 reps each.
2 sets butterfly with 5 lbs, 15 reps each.
3 sets lower leg lifts, 10 reps each.
2 sets lat pull ups with 10 lbs, 15 reps each.
2 sets pull ups.
2 sets pull downs.
Protein: 1 egg + 1 egg white scramble with green peas.
|1 mile cardio.|
2 sets leg press, each with ? lbs. 15 reps each. (I actually don't know the weight increments of the machine.)
2 sets leg extension, each with ? lbs. 15 reps each.
1 set heel kicks with ? lbs. 10 reps each leg.
25 straight sit ups.
25 twisting sit UPS.
2 sets lat pull ups with 10 lbs. 15 reps each.
Protein: egg scramble with 2 egg whites, carrots, and scallions.