Choose wisely

Almost 1 year in Seattle, so much has changed.

I’ve traveled to Menlo Park 7 times, with the 8th trip coming up in a couple weeks; visited New York, France, Phoenix(although I never left the research office), Vancouver, Vegas (24 hours of complete sobriety and food at the airport), Joshua Tree, LA again for work while having a fever and later a tooth infection, Grand Canyon, and Oregon coast; I also went back to China.

That is, a lot of time at the airport and on a plane.

<rant>

As strange as it sounds, I don’t mind air travels. I love flying alone. In a world that literally can’t stop talking, I really savor these hours of isolation and peace(even though ironically I’m surrounded by more people than normal).

Don’t get me wrong. I love my family, my friends, and I generally enjoy the company of my coworkers. But for someone who enjoys daydreaming as much as I do, the constant stimulation is totally taxing.

</rant>

Right now as I’m sitting on a plane, I’m grateful to have this couple hours of time, attempting to clear my thoughts without disturbance.

For the first time as a working adult I am sharing a house with people other than my significant other. I love my roomies; but still prefer not to have roomies.

After a 4 months or so hiatus in dating, I got on about half a dozen dating apps, did a 10-day “sprint”. About 6 lousy first dates later I decided once again no thank you this dating life isn’t for me. OK. I also met someone and happily uninstalled all of them. Not gonna lie. My online dating encounters provided so many writing props. So thank you all the internet randos.

Someone recently asked me if I’d ever write a book. The answer was a resounding no: as much as I love rambling, what would I write about that’s enough to fill a book? “The collection of random thoughts of an average human”? Who would want to read that? LOL.

Maybe one day, after listening to enough of other people’s stories, I will synthesize and write about that.

For now, I will stick to good reads.

Radical Acceptance. OK. I get grumpy a lot. But 90% of the time it’s because of something out of my control. Ray Dalio also talks about “embracing reality” in his book. Rather than wasting energy on wishing it was different, we should just accept reality for what it is. This is hard. And sometimes painful. (There are things I don’t totally agree with in his book. But “embracing reality” really stuck with me.)

The Tyranny of Metrics. The irony isn’t it. This coming from a data scientist. Metrics fixation is a lazy way to evaluate effectiveness, because it attempts to eliminate the needs for hard thinking, wisdom, and judgement. So instead of doing what’s important/right/long term meaningful, we work on what can be easily measured (instant gratification) and moved, and start massaging the metrics. In the spirit of a true data scientist (that spirit btw, is being snarky and, radical realism), this makes me feel like society is just doomed. And I might as well just profit from it, rather than trying to do the hard things.

Fake news! Fake news! This is another one of the “humanity is so fucked” articles. My current job mission is to tackle the fake news problem. But as long as there’s financial incentive, there will always be workarounds of whatever policies/enforcement we come up with. Fact checking is always lagging behind by definition. It’s easier to make up a lie than to prove that something is a lie.

Wise mind. I just can’t left-brain my way out of everything in life. Because what’s important is not always logical/reasonable. As much as I despise making emotional decisions, impulses, etc. (oh my fellow nerds. You all know what I’m talking about), some happiness/sense of fulfillment just cannot be explained by “what makes sense”. So try breathe in “wise”, breathe out “mind”, and ask yourself what really matters. Are you avoiding certain thoughts because they make you scared or uncomfortable? One of the smartest people I know told me, being in love is like putting your head on the chopping block, hoping the other person wouldn’t chop it off. Whelp. Inadvertently in life you will chop someone’s head off; and someone else probably will chop yours off. It is largely, if not completely, out of your control. And for now, I will honor that.

So why am I rambling here?

OK. At this point I’m not on a plane anymore. So it is a good distraction.

All the important things in life take a lot of effort to nurture. And humans only have 24 hours a day. We all need to be mindful about allocating our limited mental capacity and time.

With that, I’d like to conclude with, please choose how you spend your energy wisely.

 

 

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