Interviews try to put you in a box.

Recently got a rejection letter from a job I really wanted. I completed their 30-min phone interview and completed the in-person interview that was two hours long. Most of the interview went well, but I think they ultimately turned me down after hearing my answers to the rather personal, “get to know me” questions. I forgot to talk about the me that enjoys working hard and loves learning new things. Instead, I told them too much about my personal issues and ended up presenting myself as an emotionally unstable person who cannot be depended on. I have a lot of issues, lack of self-confidence, propensity for self-deprecation, and random, unbridled honesty to name a few. Basically all of the worst traits to show during an interview.

The important thing here is that I know I have learned and grown a whole lot. I have always been aware of my flaws while ignoring or downplaying my accomplishments (which is another flaw). I have struggled my whole life to recognize them and work on them. I should be proud of who I am and who I have become. My personal issues do not translate over negatively to my work ethic, it enhances it. My compassion and empathy for others allow me to analyze the situation and adjust to the individual work styles and demands. I am a problem solver who is constantly trying to find the weak parts and make them stronger. I am flexible and adaptable and my awareness of self and others enable me to aid others effectively.

Interviews try to put people in a box for fast processing, but I’m not a box. I am at least a squiggle at my worst and a Jackson Pollock at my best.

When your parents make you feel like shit

Me: I might get promoted to a leadership role at work after only five months of starting there!
Dad: Oh? I thought you didn’t have any leadership skills. Actually, aren’t you bad at that?
(somewhere a litter of kittens dies)
Me: I just got requests for two interviews this week from jobs I really wanted to hear back!
Them: Don’t you want to take the leadership role at your current job instead of being a quitter?
(my current job is a fucking cesspool of drama, far worse than anything I’ve ever witnessed in my entire life)
Me: Oh, I haven’t weighed myself in a while. I’m just focusing on lifting weights to tone (I have been dieting my whole life bc my parents think I’m chubby).
Them: Just see how much you weigh! It’s fine, step on the scale.
Scale: 116lbs
Mom: Ok, you should be like 106lbs
(goodbye, world)
Me: *Showing them pictures of Asians with blonde hair* I want to do my hair blonde again.
Them: Really? Blonde hair makes your face look huge and only celebrities can pull that off.
Me: *dyes hair dark instead*
Them: Your hair is so black. It looks too intense. You should dye it lighter. It really brings focus to your face and you don’t want that.
(shoots self in the face)
Me: I found this really exciting graduate program, and I think it will be really beneficial to me!
Dad: I think you should have just stuck to graphic design when you had your chance.
(okay, I’ll just go fuck myself)

This is how I have grown up my entire life. Needless to say, my self-esteem is shit, and I have worked really hard to even get to where I am now. I attribute a lot of it to culture (Korean, to be specific, but I’m not trying to exclude other countries and people as a whole who have this experience. End of cover-my-ass clause.) and to different approaches in parenting. Korean parents, or my parents, really want their children to excel in every way. If this means they are going to point out your flaws in the most offensive, exaggerated way, you better pucker your pink, tender, virgin-like asshole up (or lips, if you want to be less vulgar) and learn some coping/survival skills.

I used to hate my parents for being assholes, but as I’ve gotten older, I have been able to focus more on the intentions behind the remarks rather than the remarks themselves. Popular culture and media already force me to think that my body is too big and then add to that my own parents constantly saying I need to lose weight. I love my parents. I did not know that for a long time. Although they constantly fail to give me what I need emotionally, I have to learn to overlook some (or a lot) of their flaws in order to have a relationship with them.

I want to

wake up with my head held high
with your hand between my thighs
with our hairs entangled
and your chin at just the right angle

wake up with my mind on a high
life without sighs
and when our lips touch-
our love we silently vouch

wake up with my hands up high
you command me with your sly eye
and you grasp my wrists tight
giggling with sadistic delight

wake up with my back curved high
have all of my doubts slide on by-
deciding between a meaningful life
and a meaningless life

all I know now is that life has highs

Consumerism and Identity

Consumerism and Identity: Some Psychoanalytic Considerations

Consumption, the buying of consumer products, has become central to the meaningful practice of our everyday life. People make their consumption choices based not only on a product’s utility value, but from the personal symbolic meanings they invest in objects.

Randomly remembered an article that I read when I was in school and how consumerism shapes people’s identities and how we use goods (they can be objects, places, people, etc) like symbols. The one I’m quoting from is not the article I am thinking about, but it discusses similar topics.

“I’m a BMW kind of guy.” It’s crazy how that simple sentence can evoke so much imagery, identity, and assumptions (this was an example given in the article I was thinking about). If you tell me you’re a BMW kind of guy, I’m going to assume that you’re at least in your mid-30s, was in a fraternity or had affluent parents, wear pants that are a little too short, lived in the suburbs, wear designer cologne, and never change positions during sex (this is purely my opinion). If you own a BMW or you like BMWs, that is completely different. Statements like that make me think that you like brands, the quality associated with established brands, the finer things in life, and you’re either rich or pretending to be. Using the object to describe your identity is what is interesting here.

The products that we buy, the daily routine activities that we do and the philosophies or beliefs that we pursue, tell the world stories about who we are and with whom we identify. (Elliott, 1997: Gabriel & Lang, 1995) This means that we not only consume products to satisfy your own biological instinctual needs, but
to carry out an ‘ego project’ of identity formation.
Of course, this stirs up my rebellious side in wanting to be different and not like the others. Up until my early 20s (so not too long ago, haha), I used to shit on popular music and thought that people that liked popular music was brainless people who lacked the capacity to appreciate real, good music. I took things too seriously as well as people’s choices and opinions. Now I freaking love top 40 (bc they’re catchy as fuck, especially when you’re drunk as fuck) and have acquired a lot of patience in getting to know people. Although, I still judge people who don’t like pop music as well as “real” music.
In other words, that elusive trait we find in our ideal objects of choice is something more than the characteristics of that object. The ‘real’ object of consumption that the consumer is attempting to attain, is not only their own ideal identity, but the endless pursuit of the ‘objet petit a’ projected into and perceived in advertisement’s and commercial’s ideal scenes and narratives.
I’ve heard marketing people talking about how companies are not trying to sell products anymore but experiences. Selling a can of soda isn’t about shooting the can up-close with attractive condensation and saying some nice things about it anymore. It’s about showing you a cute family who loses their cute dog or some shit, queue heartwarming montage of them putting up some handwritten lost posters in the rain, and then having the dog return with a can of soda in its fucking mouth and living happily ever after. It’s how a consumer can use the product in the consumer’s ideal context. On that note, I honestly feel embarrassed when I drink Starbucks. I’m feeding the machine, and I don’t want my identity to be associated with such a superficial and shitty coffee…but their green tea lemonade is the shit, y’all.

Roll it back

Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.

-Jim Carrey

I have never had enough spunk to roll my eyes at anyone. I think at the very core of me is a soft fluff of goodness…I think a diagram is in order:


This is my expert depiction of myself (I can actually draw, just not in this instance, apparently). A big piece of amoeba mold. Amoeold (pronounced like ‘I’m old’). Moldeba (pronounced like ‘mold diva’).

But, boom, all of a sudden I’m clapping, rolling my eyes, raising my voice, and pulling all kinds of crazy stunts in general. I think my years of silent observation are finally culminating into some limbo between intense introversion and survivalist extroversion…making me into sort of an ambivert.

But! It is definitely blurring the lines of my original identity and acquired identity. For so many years I longed to be a smooth sensei of social grace, and now I find myself questioning my identity and sense of self all over again. I used to write and speak in prose, took myself seriously with the power and hormones of youth, and kept to myself, shrouded in depression. And now, after many years of trial and error, I find myself talking and laughing with coworkers and bosses and almost enjoying myself at times (total blasphemy, really).

I don’t know if it’s an age thing or if my creativity and inspiration are slowly evaporating back into the earth whence it came from, but I am straying from my deep appreciation of nature, my love for floral, succulent poetry, hopeless romanticism, and stream of consciousness writing.

I think this calls for a roll-back.

Forced Entry

No, this is not about porn or trespassing properties (calm down fellow gutter rats).
This is me feeling like a lazy ass for not writing more frequently, yet again.

When I first wake up, I have a lot on my mind. Things like how science enables us to discover what our physical bodies are comprised of, yet no science has discovered what our consciousness is comprised of.

A posse of presenters argued that the lack of a complete theory by neuroscientists regarding how neural activity translates into conscious experiences (such as redness) means that a physicalist approach is inadequate or wrong.

Michael Shermer, What Happens to Consciousness When We Die

I guess I have a penchant for philosophical musings but I actually don’t care that much about other philosophers. In that way I would be considered somewhere near solipsism but also with respect to dialectics.

Here is what Wikipedia says about Dialectic:

Fichtean/Hegelian dialectics is based upon four concepts:

  1. Everything is transient and finite, existing in the medium of time.
  2. Everything is composed of contradictions (opposing forces).
  3. Gradual changes lead to crises, turning points when one force overcomes its opponent force (quantitative change leads to qualitative change).
  4. Change is helical (periodic without returning to the same position), not circular (negation of the negation).

The concept of dialectic (as a unity of opposites) existed in the philosophy of Heraclitus of Ephesus, who proposed that everything is in constant change, as a result of inner strife and opposition.

I am not gonna pretend like I know what I’m talking about because my philosophical/rhetorical knowledge is limited to my undergraduate education. And do I remember things beyond the overall, big-picture themes and a few names? Hell no. I’m only citing things because, contradictory enough, I respect other people’s opinions and expressions since their diction and explanations of things far exceed my own capabilities, especially in areas that I lack expertise.

Opinions are dangerous because it’s also a dividing, no, divergent agent (internal rhymes make for great times). The stronger your feelings are about a subject, the more divisive the result is. Of course, there is the factor of execution. If you present a well-written, evidence-based opinion on why you hate chocolate, people are probably going to hear you out more than you shouting out how much you hate chocolate in a real, in-the-moment conversation. There was a rhetorician that said something on opinions and the separation they cause, but I do not remember his name (I performed a vague google search and nothing came up).

The moral of this story is that I wrote something today and that I have thoughts and opinions.


Staring at the stars

The Earth is a magnet that can interact with other magnets in this way, so the north end of a compass magnet is drawn to align with the Earth’s magnetic field. Because the Earth’s magnetic North Pole attracts the “north” ends of other magnets, it is technically the “South Pole” of our planet’s magnetic field. —Live Science

When I saw you look up abruptly,
I found my chin follow the direction of your pupils like a magnetized point
expecting a surprise, an excitement, something wonderful

When I looked up and saw the blurry stars
accompanying the haze of a moon,
I sharply looked back at you
expecting an answer, an explanation, an excuse

And when you looked back at me,
I felt a surprise, an excitement, something wonderful
and the grass and the trees became blurry and hazy
and the stars and the moon became so clear

I sharply looked back at you
expecting an answer, an explanation, an excuse
and when you slowly encased me in your arms
I came to value my existence with you–
two poles so conjoined and yet so distinct.