Does my life having meaning?: A Visual Representation of My 2nd Year

The Big Question: Does My Life Have Meaning? by Parker J. Palmer


Love means to learn to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills.
A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.

Then he wants to use himself and things
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.
It doesn’t matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn’t always understand.

“…I often don’t and can’t know — let alone control — the meaning of my life. All that’s in my power are my own intentions and my willingness to give myself to them.

The poet goes on to say, “Who serves best doesn’t always understand.” I find those words liberating because there’s so much about life that’s triple-wrapped in mystery. When I’m sure I know exactly what I’m doing and why — so sure that I miss vital clues about what’s really needed and what I really have to offer — it’s a sign that my ego’s in charge, and that’s dangerous. My best offerings come from a deeper, more intuitive place that I can only call my soul. Embracing the fact that there’s no way to know with precision whom or what I’m serving helps free me from the ego’s dominion.” -Parker J. Palmer

The little and big things from my second year of collegepeople, plants, flowers, and food included. 


Hello, world!

IMG_6057The middle mark of my time in college has turned out to be an unexpected turning point. When I graduated from high school, I was extremely eager to begin college right away. I noticed peers around me deciding to take a gap year, but I couldn’t relate. I conceptually understood why people take gap years/semesters but it wasn’t something I was ready for. The last two years have been … it’s hard to find words that can adequately sum up what my time in college has been like … and right now, in my burnt out state, I’m still seeing more of the negatives. It’s been hard and draining, but also life-giving. So there’s a contradiction for ya.

 I do know, however, that college provided me opportunities—to meet the true friends I’ve made, to form relationships with mentors, to experience and learn about myself and the world I’ll always be a part of, and to find communities that make me feel loved and supported. My decision to take a semester off from school comes after months and months of fear and uncertainty. But after spending a month home with family, I see taking time off as needed for my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. I am opening up the coming months to learning without having to prove my worth by reading JSTOR pdfs and writing 12-page papers with MLA citations. 

I want to learn by rediscovering what it feels to want to live in this world, to feel alive, to feel vibrant, and whole, and loving, and capable. Recently, life has pulled me down to a pretty low point. Had it not been for the people closest to me, I would probably still be in the really bad place. I really don’t know how to properly thank the ones who have helped bring me back up. You all know who you are. Thank you for reminding me that I don’t have to do this alone, to continue doing things that make me feel alive, that not having a period and my social withdrawal are not normal. I have not been feeling completely myself for a while now, not just since college but since my first year of high school. It has been a long time coming and making this decision has not been easy, but I’ve made it, I’m here, and I’m feeling lighter already.

IIMG_6267 don’t know exactly where I will be and when I will be there yet, but I will be listening to my heart and doing things the things my soul craves. I want to reconnect with nature, spend a lot of time outdoors, learn about Traditional Chinese Medicine, Buddhism, and Daoism, hang out with my grandma.

I will likely be in Asia through most of it, closer to home(s) and family. Over the summer, I’ll remain in Boston, as planned, working with Chinese Progressive Association, EMW’s Borderlands team, and (potentially) as a house cleaner at Cambridge Insight Meditation Center. My plans for the fall are, as of right now, uncertain. In the winter and spring, however, I will be studying abroad in at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) University of London, reconnecting with my birthplace and reuniting with two of my dearest friends.

I am starting this blog as a platform for sharing my thoughts and feelings. If you want email notifications for whenever I post, you can subscribe to the blog. I plan on sharing my musings through all sorts of mediums, so look forward to writings, videos, photographs and more!

Possible opportunities include working on an organic farm through WOOF in Taiwan (What’s WOOFing?), trekking in Bhutan and Nepal, hiking in Hong Kong, and much more.