Sunday, January 31, 2010

Astrology and Horoscopes

Hey everyone! Today I’m going to talk a bit about something that people (sadly!) get confused about when they talk to me.

Sometimes, you’re just walking around, when all of a sudden an uncle or cousin or even a random stranger asks you, “Do you go to college?” When you answer yes, the obligatory question of what are you studying comes up, at which point I respond with “Astronomy and Astrophysics” (all professional-like). What comes next is what kills me. They ask me, “Oh, is that like astrology?” or “You’re learning how to be like (so-and-so fortuneteller)?” at which point I have to swallow my pride and say that no, astrology and astronomy are not related subjects. The first time this happens, you’re not too bothered by it, since you know, it could just be that they misheard you or they got confused momentarily. But when it’s the 50th time, you know something’s wrong.

Why does this matter? The above paragraph is more or less irrelevant to what I’m going to talk about next, but I thought it served to be a good enough introductory paragraph. Anyway. What made me talk about this? Well, I was originally going to talk about something else, maybe something more serious, but then I thought of my birthday, which is coincidentally this month of February. So I thought, why not? I can have fun talking about Aquarius, right? And it’s semi-related to astronomy so it wouldn’t be such a big tangent for this blog. So yea, I’m an Aquarius. I’ve always liked my astrological sign, although not the constellation as much. I mean, look at it:



It’s not the most pleasant looking thing. It looks like a badly drawn polygon with a line jutting out. I don’t know how those Greeks made these stellar arrangements but I highly disagree with how some of those shapes look like. The drawings of the constellation look pretty good, but then again, it’s not how the actual arrangement of stars looks so you’re going to have to stretch your imagination to get this:



from the first image. I liked my constellation though, mainly because it was a human one, something it shares only with Virgo and Gemini. Plus, he has a big water jug! He must be strong, right? I had always known from an early age that astrology wasn’t really a legitimate of obtaining knowledge, due to me having a strong interest in learning astronomy, but it was always fun to just wish being born under Aquarius to mean something.

I always made fun of my family’s star signs, since Pisces was just a couple of fish, and guess who has control over the water supply? Aries………. I’m not really afraid of rams. Ironically enough, my mother has Sagittarius, which is pretty intimidating, and half-human to boot. Fortunately, she’s a gentle person, unlike her sign. But I very much enjoyed being Aquarius, although I was almost born a Pisces. I stopped caring around middle school though, and it just fell out of mind. However, the stories about the astrological symbols and the myths attached to each sign were interesting. I also had a big interest in mythology back then, so I read up on some of the myths associated with the signs. And come on, how cool are “magical” symbols? Looking rad. But yea, it’s no longer important to me. However, whenever astrology comes up, I proudly say “I am an Aquarius, the Water Bearer. What now?”

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Differences in Mentality

Hey! It’s been a while since I’ve put up a blog post.

Today is something special, a small insight into my mind. I’ve been running out of ideas for the blog, hence, the lack of updates, as well as being lazy and/or busy with other things……Anyway, by the end of this blog post, you will at least know a bit about what makes me tick and where I am headed. So hang on for the ride!

As people in real life know all too well, I am a strange person. I can be happy, I can be sad, but most of all I am moody. It is easy for me to change moods and it sometimes is not pleasant. But more than this, I am a person who likes to brood. I like to think, but this thinking leads me to become sort of in a dark, sad mood. So I try to avoid doing this now.

What I wanted to discuss here is how I have noticed my mentality shift from a dark person to a light person. I have had several problems, and each of them would require me (or should I say, I could talk on and on about) to make a blog post for each, so I’ll spare you the details. For now, you can get a semi-short summary. I was (partly still am) a person who was lonely. I had few friends growing up, only having one friend in first grade, and when she moved I did not have another friend till high school. For some reason, my peers did not like me. My family also did not like me much. I did not get along with my younger cousins, and the cousins that were over 25 with families teased me. I felt like I did not fit in anywhere. So I grew up alone, in my own world, always brooding, always festering in anger and sadness. I developed a very uptight persona, and since I excelled at school, I used that as a way to get back at everyone who had hurt me, by saying that I one day would matter in the world, I alone would make a difference while everyone else could only watch as I became something. I grew up a bitter boy, treating my peers like they were lesser than me, which continued the cycle of hatred and exclusion. I had thought that I was better than them as my rationale for being excluded. But deep down, I longed to be part of a community, to be close to someone. Once I graduated from middle school, I decided that I would try to change. I met my first and only best friend and from there, I finally had seen and felt what it meant to have someone to talk to and share yourself with. It was a slow and painful process, but high school proved to be some of the best years of my life. I met lots of people, and I even keep in contact with some now, some whom I can consider friends. I left in a better condition than I did in middle and elementary school, armed with the ability to talk to people and being a more down to earth person. I had left behind my arrogance and begun to be a happier person. I had always wished to be at the center of attention, even though I was shy, so I can show the world that I MATTER. However, I still had thoughts of loneliness. I still felt like I was alone at times, like I was not meant to be with people. Over time, my ideas had shifted from “people are not worthy of me” to “I am not worthy of people”, and it was a strange development, which was partly due to how I viewed humans and humanity in general.

For the longest time, because of my bitterness and anger, I had developed a very pessimistic view of humanity, which involved me taking over the world. It seems silly to me now, because my mentality has changed so radically, but at the time I had little regard to human life. I saw how man treated his fellow man and felt disgusted. “This is what I belong to?” I had wondered. How easy would it be to just kill everyone and stop the problems! But I did not understand what I do now. At the time it seemed easy to just say that I would make these people behave morally or that somehow divine judgment would fall down on everyone. But later on, I had grown to love humanity. I had become closer to God due to my loneliness, because He is the one person who never left my side. Indeed, I had left His side by my misdeeds and yet He continues to help me. So I became closer, and I began to see a glimmer of hope in humans. I began to see the inherent value of life. When this happened, I realized that I no longer could wish death or divine punishment on humans. After all, I was also human. I also would deserve punishment. And I was ready. But at the same time, God gives us every chance to become better, and who am I to go against that? So I began believing that this world is fixable. However, I began feeling like I cannot relate to people anymore, due to being alone and not being able to communicate myself with them. High school went a long way in me developing these skills, but yet I had not completely learned how to talk to people and how to feel close to them. My first year in college was especially rough, since I went from not interacting much with people (only really talking to my one friend) to basically living with a large group of people, and I felt overwhelmed. I learned what having a group of friends means and how to talk to boys and girls, how the intricacies of social standards affected what can and cannot be spoken, what is and is not permissible. Those lessons were learned the hard way. Many days I felt like I could never make lasting friendships. However, I did manage to survive, and with that my first year of college was done. By the end, I was in friendly terms with most of the people in my major. This continued till sophomore year. It was a lot easier than freshman year. During my first year, I tended to be moody and many times tried to avoid everyone when I felt like I was being ignored or otherwise unwanted. This made for some tension, but by sophomore year, those days were few and far in between. They still happened, but I managed to hide those feelings for the most part. I got along with everyone a lot better, which was a big boost to my emotional state.

However, there still remained that darkness, and I sometimes expressed it in writing. I still felt so angry inside, so troubled, so much in pain. There was no one to get rid of it. I could not get rid of it. This was something that God could not get rid of (or rather, something that I needed to deal with on my own). I still fell into that mentality to want to hurt people. Although I had now held strong beliefs about human value and human life, I still sometimes wanted to punish people and be a judge, which I felt guilty for later. I still was alone. Who could help me? Who could free me?

Now is junior year. Maybe it just takes time, or maybe it’s a new evolution in my thought, but it has been different. Recently, I’ve noticed that I no longer feel like I used to, that I can now smile and mean it. When I wish people good day, I do so in a happy manner. I can now express much more happiness and sincerity to my words and I can now open up more to others. Only recently have I noticed that I no longer wish revenge on people from the past, that my ideas of becoming something to show them I matter, no longer matter to me. It’s a weird sensation. With that, I’ve noticed that my interests have also changed. For the longest time, I had been a man of science, because of the rigidity that science demanded. The facts, the logic of it all appealed to me. But around the end of high school, as I became closer to God, I also became more interested in theology. From cold, hard facts to something a bit softer (although not complete subjectivity). I guess this signaled the beginning of a “new life” for me. Once I noticed this, a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t know what to think it seemed like I really was a new person, I did not know my past self, and he did not know me. Of course, I still have my dark side, and it may never go away. But for the first time, I felt that it was no longer important. I could finally live my life happily and in the light. It was something that made me feel………exalted. Like, I can do anything.

So there you have it. I hope you found this insight into my mind at least somewhat entertaining. As always, leave your thoughts and comments. Until next time!