Summer has always been a time of reflection for me, a time to try new and different things (and probably for everyone else as well) . last summer, i lived in beijing. this summer, i just finished my stint in shanghai. and i’m apologize to those who i haven’t informed yet but i’m actually back in providence already doing summer research. yes, and summer research is a new thing.

i’m at work but rather than doing something productive, i’m reflecting. reflection is one of those serious words, the ones that you throw out when you want to sound …mmm… reflective.The thing which I like about summer is there is a lot of chance for reflection not only because I have a lot more free time on my hands, but also because my summers are usually a lot more adventurous than my academic year, so I get to observe myself in contrasting environments in a short period of time.

i spent half of my summer in shanghai and i’m going to the rest of my summer in providence. I got here last weekend, but I couldn’t help but already observe the drastic changes my mind or my internal priorities has already gone through in the week i’ve been here. Most prominent are my changing focus from the external world to myself, and also my self-confidence. In china, i’m surrounded by voices. my bosses, my parents, my colleagues. Well intentioned people are always talking to me, trying to influence me. Often, i just have to hide to find some space to hide from the noise.

but here, it’s just me. it’s me me me me me. it’s so devoid of stimulus that i’m clicking on every link i can find. the end result is me being completely distracted and unfocused, and having ten thousand things on my to-read-later list. i’m completely mentally undisciplined right now but i know I can behave different because during the semester, i take classes and have homework and have things to do. but right now, my productivity is zero. i could use summer as an excuse but i also know that this is part of my natural personality. my parents have said about me being easily distracted since i was really young. I can also cast blame at the internet and human’s low concentration span. Another more intriguing one may be that in a day in China, I see more than I will in a month in Providence so maybe my focus on the external world in China is necessary. But the onus is on me, focus is needed to succeed. I shouldn’t need to remind myself so often but focus, excellence is a habit. Day in, day out.

On the note of self-confidence, I realize when i’m in China, i don’t really worry about needing to prove myself. The cockiness comes naturally from my self-imposed importance due to my western education. But once i’m back in the states, i find myself again as another babbling drooling bafoon (or a naive, under-achieving asian  (the racial minority is actually a huge part of it i think) undergrad).

to think about this whole reflection thing. this blog is a product of reflection, every post some debilitation on some facet of me, a little piece of me that changes or goes unchanged after a few hundred words of monologue out loud. and I wonder, as I realize how many posts I’ve written, how many of these little decisions do I still remember, or even worse yet, how many of these do I actually still follow. reflection is supposed to mean progress, but it doesn’t always seem so.

and this post is yet another one of those long and winding ones, which start somewhere, but not really sure where it ends. it’s what faux-writers like me like to call introspection, musings, thoughts, ideas, discussion, monologue, and of course, reflection. there’s not really any point, maybe some ideas being thrown around here or there, maybe a few aggrandized statements. observations i’ve made, but change i may not commit but thank you for staying until the end.

p.s. I actually have been writing, I just sometimes am too lazy to correct the grammar or proofread it, so i just autopost it to tumblr, which is my less formal blog. Check it out if you want:



One thought on “differences

  1. oh jason, you never cease to amuse me, i felt the exact same way while i was in shanghai last year, it’s funny when you come back over here, when you feel the walls of your room crush upon you and there’s nothing but your own thoughts and actions that push back against the solitude, it gives you so much more space to think and to breathe, treasure while it lasts

    or alternatively you can text me more often 😉

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