a few photos from around montreal, quebec this past weekend
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
How much of one's life is appropriate to put online?
To some extent, we are all online whether we choose to be or not. But how much should we really choose to reveal to the world? Some upload all of their inner turmoils. Others upload only the superficial, those surface emotions that are clearly evident to every bystander to their lives.
How much do I want to upload? To some extent, there is a certain amount of animosity when it comes to how much your life even matters to others. Would a potential employer care how you felt on a given subject? Or would they frown upon the raw, straightforward sharing of said subject?
How much does it really matter whether you write your thoughts on a piece of paper, on a word document, or on a blog? Is there really more of a chance that somebody who matters is going to read on any given medium, if you don't give them the knowledge of its existence?
Thursday, January 24, 2013
[photo taken in munich, germany in august of 2011]
Achievement is such a fickle and funny word, is it not?
What is achievement, really? What is it based upon? Happiness? Accomplishment? But then, what is accomplishment? Having a 'successful' career (again, an ambiguous term)? Having lots of education and many degrees? Having a happy family and home?
Is it person to person? But then, how can we judge our achievements? Or is that even something we are supposed to do? If that is the case, how on earth can we determine success from one person to the next?
And what determines how fruitful we will be in our endeavours towards achievement? Intelligence? Heart? Work ethic?
Too many questions, not enough answers.
I'm sure this is a train of thought that many people struggle with, not just me. But sometimes I wonder if it is just me. What a selfish thing to think, in a sense.
Personally, I struggle with the idea of achievement as it relates to accomplishment and education. As somebody who pursued a University degree, I have many friends who did the same. Some of those friends went on to successful jobs immediately thereafter and some decided to pursue further education. Very few have fallen into the boat of neither accomplishment. If further education isn't what I want, or ever wanted (except, perhaps, law school. another issue altogether.), why do I feel so inferior towards my friends who wanted these things and pursued them? Is it because I know I wouldn't be able to get into a graduate program, even if I did want it? Or even if I could get in, would I still feel this way? Why do I even care? My friends are still the same people they ever were, and while their knowledge may have increased, their being shouldn't have. I think.
Are these thoughts that I would be having had I not had such amazing, ambitious friends?
Why is it that I feel bad about myself just because I haven't figured out what I want to do with my life at the age of 23? Aren't there so many more people who haven't figured this out? Why does everybody I know seem to have figured this out? Why are they all on course to accomplish these goals?
Where did I fall off the boat?
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
[taken in new york city in june of 2012]
The idea of doing an international internship has appealed to me for quite some time, with a few drawbacks.
My reservations have always centered around a few key points:
1. They just plain don't interest me. I am all for going for the experience of living abroad, but if it's not going to help my career at all I have a hard time committing myself to the application process, especially because..
2. They cost money. I get it. Especially the living and airfare and all those costs. I GET that those won't be paid for. But you aren't even paid for your work. Which is a tough spot to be in if you have to pay for accommodations and airfare and all of that. It sort of emphasizes my theory that the rich remain rich and educated because they can afford opportunities. Another rant for another day.
BUT today, I finally found it. The holy grail of international internships. It does still cost money (a whopping $15,000, in fact... mostly to make sure that you can afford your accommodations though), but my interest has finally been peaked.
The organization? CANADEM. (yes, in capitals.)
Why? To start with, it is partially funded through the Canadian government and seems to be a pretty legitimate company. I guess you can never know these things for sure, but I do have a bit more trust in a company that is legitimate enough to have a link on the Government of Canada website and have a Wikipedia page.
Also, the internships interest me! Oh my gosh do they ever interest me! They are in countries that interest me! (Peru, Indonesia, Italy, Vietnam, to name a few) They are with organizations that interest me! (IDLO, UNDP!) Their slogan "Don’t get lost in that all too familiar catch 22: "You need experience to get experience." resonates so strongly with me. Ever since I started working I've lamented that I can never work in the fields that I want because I don't have the experience and I cant get experience if nobody will hire me. And while a non-paid internship might not be the most high-quality work experience, I feel like saying you worked for the United Nations Development Programme in Indonesia, even for only 6 months, might have some weight on your resume. And if it doesn't, you only live once.
This is an experience that is worth it. I finally have a goal in mind. I have something to save up for. My only lament now is how to strategize saving $15,000 with keeping my sanity and continuing to pay off my student dept (and to continue doing so while being away).
Sometimes I wonder what the purpose of this life is. I'm sure most people have these thoughts at some stage of their life. I mean, really, what is the purpose to anything at all? To earn money? To what end? To what purpose? To buy things, to be happy, to travel? Why do these things make people happy? What is happiness?
Too deep? Maybe it's just me. But recently these thoughts have been preoccupying me.
As a result, I'm trying to figure out what the purpose of my life should be. Not conclusively, of course. But I like to have goals to work towards. And while I may always continue to have these thoughts about the purposeless of it all, I really do want to try and figure out what is out there that everybody is so intent on living for.
I think the first stage is to figure out those things that I enjoy. I know that I enjoy photography. I know that I enjoy travel. And I know that I enjoy relationships and the feelings of love and affection. I love to learn but I don't particularly enjoy education. I enjoy being productive but I don't love working in an office. I want my life to have some impact on this world but I don't want to research or enter politics.
So where does this leave me?
I'm still not entirely sure. But maybe, slowly, I can put some of this together. The relationship will come on it's own time. I've realized that these things happen organically and that there isn't much that I can really do in this regard. At least not in this moment. But photography and travel? These loves seem to go hand and hand. What is better to do than photograph the world as you see it?
I guess all that really remains, is how to combine those loves (and hopefully the first too) into a productive endeavour. People have done it but I'm hesitant to follow in somebody else's footsteps. While that path may be easier, it is also far more saturated. I have yet to figure out what exactly I can do to make these dreams come true, but I am confident I will figure it out.