Saturday, February 12, 2011

Why I can't seem to stop blogging (even though logically I should)

Logically, I'm really supposed to put this blog on hold and instead focus all my efforts on my thesis projects so I can graduate and move on with life. However, I find myself having this uncontrollable urge to dump all my miscellaneous, entangled, trivial thoughts from my brain into this blog. The irrational part of my mind (for a lack of a better label) seems to find this thoughts-sorting process more important than my thesis.

I didn't really have this problem before. I used to dread any sort of writing, even if it was a personal diary. My personal diary entries read like an unimaginative child writing  pieces of assignments to be handed in to the teacher. "Today I went to the zoo with my mommy and daddy. The giraffes were pretty. We took lots of pictures. I had a wonderful day." And I would get an A+ for entries like this (hmm.. I guess they weren't personal diaries at all but actual assignments). I blame my elementary school teachers for encouraging me to write in a non-expressive and uncreative way. Actually, I don't even blame them. I don't know how they can read through 60+ of these every week. Maybe the formulaic writings were easier to mark than the ones that tried to be different but failed in terms of sentence structures, diction and character correctness (I went through my elementary school education in Taiwan in Chinese only, no English).

In high school (I had moved to Canada by then), my worse subjects were English and Physical Education. By "worst" meant I got C+'s in the beginning when I hadn't fully grasped the language and then from grade 9 and onwards I got B's. I really disliked these two subjects because of the grades I received (this way of thinking was imposed by me not my mother). Obviously (to westerners at least) this is not a healthy way of deciding what you like or dislike, but I hadn't realize this until recently. In fact, I probably got B's because I wasn't expressive enough. I remember always having trouble meeting the minimal essay length, which was usually something like 500 words. I spent a lot of efforts trying to make each sentence as wordy as possible because I didn't have much to say. I'm really regretting that practice because now I have the opposite problem: I now tend to ramble on and on in all my writings and have trouble keep my sentences concise (as you may have noticed in my blog entries ;-) .

In college, I went into science because #1: I wanted to be a scientist ever since I was a little kid. I think I imagined a stereotypical "scientist" to be a combination of an astronaut + CSI guy + The Crocodile Hunter. That would be a pretty cool job, actually. #2: My favorite teacher in high school was my biology teacher, and he said microbiology had a great future outlook so that was what I chose to major, even though I hated my 1st and 2nd year biology courses. #3: There was no paper or essay writing for any of the classes in science! So I got my Bachelor's degree without needing to write a single essay, besides the few I had to write for a mandatory 1st year English class.

And then comes graduate school, where suddenly the entire process is all about writing: statement of purpose, scholarship applications, thesis proposals, progress reports, the thesis itself, research papers, poster abstracts, formal emails (I never needed to write any formal letters to people back in undergrad either). Considering the fact that the majority of my undergraduate education consisted of memorization and regurgitation on exams, and considering the fact that I can remember hardly any of the knowledge that are not useful for my current project (sometimes even the useful info have been forgotten), I'm seriously questioning the usefulness of my education up to this point.

Seeing that I've invested almost all my efforts on my education my entire life, and realizing that it has been mostly pointless, perhaps my subconscious decision-making center is making me sort out my thoughts out before I'm allowed to use my brain power to complete my degree (or maybe I just get easily distracted. Excuses excuses). My apologies to my blog reader that my entries are often long-winded and seems to go in too many different directions without a main point. I wrote them without really having my audience in mind (sorry), bur rather to sort out my personal confusions.

Does this have anything to do with yoga? Hell yah! I just know I always have a strong desire to blog after I've done a yoga class. This was never the case with any other activities. Because of all these "limbs" of yoga that I'm supposed to read up about and associations with Buddhism and meditation and bodily sensations and yoga history and so on, I find myself needing to sort out all the rush of information of this new realm of subject that I think are so important to life yet I knew nothing about before. This gets me to thinking about the purpose of life, and what have I done with mine so far, etc etc. Damn you Yoga for opening up a whole can of worms!!!!

(Just kidding. Yoga got me through my most depressed stage of grad school. Please don't get mad at me, Yoga. I hope my future practices of You will still be enjoyable.  Amen.)


  1. Very nice post. I like your funny ending :-) I have the same kind of issue too. I often suffer from "blogging-too-much" guilt, and think that time spent blogging could have been spent doing other more "productive" things. But I like to think you are right: The blogging is a way for our minds to process certain things that need processing, and which cannot be processed in the course of our everyday lives :-)

  2. Yoga brings up lots of stuff for each of us, and it's important that we have an outlet to process them, whether its talking to someone or just writing about it, so don't apologize for your blogging style. Keep at it :)

  3. Hey...So blogging happens to be your favorite "asana" right now, and your thesis might be the asana that is kicking your butt. Modify until you can do the full posture. It takes as long as it takes, and then you move on. Good luck from the peanut gallery over here! ;)

  4. Hi Nobel, right eh? I'm hoping once my thoughts are sorted out I'll be more at peace. Maybe that's just wishful thinking. We'll see. I'll aim for positive thinking anyways.

    Savasanaaddict, thanks for your encouragement! Aren't I glad my blog entries aren't for marks :)

    Sereneflavor, I love your analogy!! Thinking like that is quite helpful! How did I manage all these years without your beautifully inspiring words?