Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Career: Practical or Dreamy?

Last night, I went out to dinner with my girl friends after a relaxing spa date. 

We used to all work for the same company about 2 years ago.  Two of them, as entry level engineers - just out of university, and I was on a student internship.  Of course, they had health benefits at that time, and I didn't.  Now that I am working full-time as well, we all go out for spa dates, together!

Last night, was one of our last spa dates.  :(

One of the girls found a job somewhere else (which did not include these benefits), and another one was going back to school!  

We got to talking about our careers, our relationship lives, etc.  

One of the girls was going back to school to persue another undergraduate degree - in psychology.  This took my by complete surprise, since it seems like a topic that is opposite to what she had studied and worked in.  Did I mention that she graduated from engineering?  

Anyhow, we were all first generation Canadians, with middle eastern, or Asian background.  It was little surprise that we would choose something that was practical to study, so that we can get a good job afterwards.  

I, of course, am no different.   Engineering was something that was practical to me.  Math and science were topics that I found interesting and easy to grasp.  So after 5 years, here I am.

Working in the field that I had wanted to be in.  And yet, I can't say I am completely satisfied.  Even though it's what I wanted to be in, it's not exactly what I picture or envisioned.  If that makes any sense.

Do I want to be walking parking structures for the rest of my life, and chasing leaks?  Writing specs?  Contract administration?  Methinks not.

However, on those bad days, I keep reminding myself that I need to take a step back, and look at the bigger picture.  Where I am right now is a great place to learn.  It's a wonderful place to start out.  I have a lot of great teachers, and mentors at my work place, who are all willing to give me a chance to learn.  I need to take a advantage of that.  And then take it from there. 

I keep reminding myself, that I won't get anything out of this experience if I don't put in all my effort to learn as much as I can.  Then, after that, I can decide where I want to go from there.

I guess that's the big picture.  Sometimes, it's hard to keep that in mind, when I'm doing the mundane tasks.  

I know nothing is written in stone.  But, if I had a chance to pick something else.  Something where I didn't have to worry about finding a job afterwards, I'm not sure if I would pick engineering.  Or maybe, I would take more electives in something else.

I think back to high school when I had to pick my university program.  How is a 18 year old supposed to know what she wants to do for the rest of her life?  And I was someone who researched and looked into my field?  My decision was based on a balance of what was practical and what I had interest in.  I wasn't able to take the leap to choose something that wasn't, in my eyes, practical.  

One of my cousins studied Fashion Designing, and spent two years.  Only to end up working odd jobs waitress-ing, and eventually ending up at her dad's company as an admin clerk.  That scares me.  I'm not sure if I could deal with that very well, if I were in her position.

Meh.  Just something that's on my mind.

Did you choose your career based on practicality or dreams???

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Relationships: now vs before

My computer died almost a month ago, and I've been dilly dally-ing and taking my sweet time looking for a new one.  (Hence, the one I have now is AWESOME and I got it for a sweet price - $599.99 CND, baby!)  It's got the pattern below on the cover, but I can't seem to find the inside part with the same design along the bottom.

Nothing too crazy has been happnening in my life, and I did not want to bore you with the details of my new relationship.  Gushy over what a great guy he is.  I think it's more interesting to talk about the parts I'm uncertain about and mull over while I over analyze everything.  But, really, he is a great guy, and we've been having a lot of fun over the past little while.  AND he is even got a little romantic side, too.

Thanks to my readers (I'm sure there's only a couple of you out there) for checking back.  The funny thing was that I got comments on my bday, and even though you guys don't know it, it made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.  **Waves to Greears and Andy**  

Just a quick reminder.  Almond is my ex, whom I dated for almost 5 years from high school to third year in university.  LeBlanc is the guy I'm dating now :)

So, now that LeBlanc and I have been dating since November-ish and "officialized" it in February, when he told me that he was going to start referring to me as his girlfriend, we've had our share of misunderstandings and moments.  It's interesting to look back and reflect on how I look at this relationship, and how I look at how I deal with our mishaps.

Last night, one of my girlfriends and I were comparing the me's before and after.

When I first dated Almond back in high school, I had not gone out much (strict Asian parents, I tell you!).  Everything was new with Almond.  First walk home.  First hand holding.  First kiss.  First touch.  Much like in Twilight.
Then after Almond, I hadn't really been in a relationship for very long.  I had dated my share of guys.  None had made it to the "boyfriend" level, with the exception of Hagan Daaz.  Most of them were nice guys, a couple were jerks.  Such is the single life.  Le sigh.  

What I found was the nice guys seemed too nice.  Too proper.  That I felt like I should like them, but I didn't.  I wanted someone who would make me laugh, not be afraid to tease me, and someone who made me excited to be around.  I remember one really nice chap, would always ask me out to do things.  And he would really put a lot thought into where it was, whether it be out for dinner or a picnic, or a movie.  But it felt like he treated me like a piece of glass, afraid I would break.  I'm actually a very easy going person, and not too many things would offend me.  So I guess he was just nervous.

Anyhow, all I'm saying is that I haven't really had, what I refer to as, "transitional" relationships.  You know, high school relationship(s), university relationship(s), post secondary relationship(s).  I believe that since we are all at different times in our lives, we also veiw our relationships differently and treat them accordingly.

For instance, phone time.  I remember in high school, Almond and I would stay up all night talking.  It felt like whatever we had to say, we just needed to say, at that very moment.  I mean, what the hell did we talk about til 3, 4, 5 or a couple of times, 6 a.m., in the morning?!  Now I look back, and I can't remember / imagine what it was that we talked about.  

Now, I would much rather sleep.  Although, I like it when LeBlanc calls in the check how my day was or what I am up to (though he does not do this every night).  But when 11:00 p.m rolls around, I'm ready to say good night and hello to my beauty sleep :)

Another thing was my security in myself and my phsyical appearance.  See, I've never been one to really dress up, or be the girly girl type.  It was more out of necessity, than choice.  When I was little, I would wear the hand-me downs from my parents' friends' kids (who were all boys, might I add.)  Then, in middle and high school, I never had the money to buy all those fancy clothes because I knew I had to save to pay for university.  

So imagine my surprise and rush of adreneline when Almond told me he thought I was pretty.  And not just pretty, he thought I was the prettiest girl in the world (naive, I know).  The conversation probably went something like this:

Almond:  Des, I think you're so pretty.
Des: Really??  You think I'm pretty??  No one has ever told me that before.  
Des (in my head): Aside from my mom.
(Stomach does summer saults and has a grin that stretches the circumference of my face.)
Almond:  I think you're gorgeous.
Des melts.

Though I'm not the type to ask constantly, I remember thinking to myself:  Does he really think I'm pretty?  How pretty?  Prettier than her??

Le sigh.  Such is the insecure life of a teenager. 

Anyhow, with LeBlanc, I don't believe I've ever questioned it.  I just assumed that he thought I was pretty and attractive.  lol.  Seriosly, but not in a I-am-full-of-myself kind of way.  I just feel more comfortable in my body, and I have also learned to buy clothes that fit my body (hooray for having cash flow!  Engineering paid off!).  Besides, he must be with me for a reason (aside from my uber intelligence and awesome personality, of course).  

Though, he has told me on several occasions he thinks I am pretty hot, or pretty.  (Which I don't think are the same thing.  I would much rather be called pretty than "hot.")

And the list goes on.  

LeBlanc knows that I'm grouchy when I'm either sleepy or hungry.  I don't think Almond ever knew that.  I guess I wasn't afraid to let LeBlanc know or afraid that he wouldn't like me because of it.  Besides, it would take too much effort to mask those characteristics, and I am usually quite pleasant to be around.  Not to mention that LeBlanc is also not a morning person. 

With Almond, I felt like I had to know everything about his past.  But with LeBlanc, it's not that I don't want to know, I just don't know if that will really make a difference.  We did talk a bit about our past, and he knows about Almond.  I wanted to know if LeBlanc had any unresolved issues.  Aside from that, we talked about STD's, and other health issues.  

With Almond, I remember having to know if he was "the one."  The person I wanted to eventually marry, one day.  Or else, it might not be worth having a relationship with.  And maybe, because of that, I just convinced that he was "the one," and I didn't look at all the things that we did not have in common.  

For instance, the way we spend money, and the things that we spend it on.  Also, we had different views of our careers, and what we want it to mean.  Right now, I don't think that far ahead.  It's not to say, that it doesn't cross my mind with LeBlanc, it's just something that I'm not focused on.  I'm more focused on enjoying the present and just let the future happen without worrying over it, too much.

I remember I felt with Almond that I wanted to just be with him every moment.  And in doing so, I now realize that I neglectged a lot of my identity in the process.  I didn't take the time to discover myself and my interests during my in university (which is something I think everyone should be doing.)  I spent too much of doing homework and hanging out with Almond in my little spare time.  Though, most of them were great times, time apart to discover yourself is definitely something that I would advocate. 

It wasn't until after we broke up that I started to find activities to do to fill up my void of time.  I remember spending more time with family and friends.  Spending more time joining clubs and sports.  I went traveling and I went on exchange to Singapore (which was where I met LeBlanc, surprising, enough.)  In our time apart, as painful as it was sometimes, I learned that there was a whole other side of me that had nothing to do with Almond.  And that part was special, too. 

I felt like I had taken a while to discover my identity, again.  An identity that was just me.  Me, my family and my friends.  A big fear of mine, is that I would lose this identity if I get too absorbed in another guy.  I need my "me time" and time apart.  I no longer feel that I have to be perfectly in sync with my boyfriend.  We can have different interests, as well, as some common ones.  It's a balance, that I'm still juggling.  But I think that I'm doing a much better job of it now, then before.  

I also explained this to LeBlanc.  And he said that was one of the things that he liked about me :)  He would never want me to lose my identity, and if I didn't want to certain things with him, or want some alone time, I could let him know. 

Another part of me that's changed is how I view the guy.  I don't expect him to be perfect.  Actually, I know that LeBlanc and I are both far from perfect.  But I've also learned to compromise on things that are not as important to me, and pick my battles.  I've also learned that I'm not always right (just most of the time, though ;]).  I've also learned that even if I am right, I can still let the guy off the hook.  Story to follow.  

I think that's enough emotional thoughts for a Saturday morning!

I apologize for neglecting my blog, as of late.  Thanks for checking back, Andy and Greears :)  It's very encouraging, and I promise to stop by and do some catching up on your lives!  *hugs*