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Posts tagged ‘reality vs. fiction’

Ayn Rand and Nostalgia for a Younger, Dumber Self

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but for a brief period in my late teens, I LOVED Any Rand’s The Fountain Head.

The story of a shy but remarkable artist who is oppressed and ignored by the world’s mediocrity helped me climb out of a pit of low self esteem, but it left me with a sense of entitlement and an inflated ego that took a few years to unlearn. (BTW, to anyone who had to deal with me during that period, I’m sorry for whatever I said or did while under the influence of that book.) In reality, I wasn’t a victim of the world, I was just shy and fearful, but imagining myself as a secret hero was a helpful middle step before I could full accept responsibility for my being such an unremarkable wallflower. Read more

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6 Years

June 16th, 2007: After 11 months of emails and myspace (!!!) messages, HCB and I had our first date.

Halfway through our long correspondence—while I was in London and he was in California—I was shocked to realized that I was falling in love with him. I felt foolish and too young because only a silly 21-year-old would waste his time and energy like that. After all, I’d only really met the idea of him: a brilliant, sweet, nerdy grad student who would, of course, never return my feelings. Not wanting to make a fool of myself, I kept quiet about it and just enjoyed the emails we exchanged three or four times a week. Read more

The Best Advice: Tits Out!

I’ve always loved a good mentor. For as long as I’ve taken an active roll in populating my social circle, for as long as I’ve courted interesting people rather than just settling for the closest and easiest, I have had great appreciation for anyone who demands that I be better than I am. From these relationships I’ve taken many lessons, but of those many lessons, one, more than all the rest, has shaped my latest self. The best advice I have ever received, which—cryptically enough—is the title of this blog post, was given to me about seven years ago by a good and patient friend of mine, Leigh Fullmer. Read more

Stepping Out and The Stakes of Getting Better

The most empowering moments in life occur when circumstance suddenly draws a stark—but favorable—line between what is and what has been. Last weekend, standing on the peak of Insubong, I experienced that sort of transformative epiphany: I am not a broken thing. Read more

One Month Worth of Korea

One of the more difficult parts of immigrating to Korea has been the struggle to replace expectation with reality while maintaining the ability to leave the house. Before getting on the plane, there was really no way for the two of us to accurately picture what living in Korea would be like. The best we could do was stitch our combined life experience into a tissue of cultural quotations, a rough approximation, a roadmap missing its key. When moving, this usually gets you close enough. What I think neither of us realized is that we didn’t move to Korea. We immigrated. Read more