Today is the Fourth of July, arguably one of the best holidays because 1) it's not religious, 2) its about unity and celebrating the diversity and awesomeness that is America, and 3) its done that by eating food and sitting outside enjoying the July sun with people you generally like and/or love. Also, pretty much no one works, so you can see family and relax without the pressure of gift giving or anything like that. As a psuedo-immigrant (I always feel weird claiming that since I was a year old when my family moved to America and have no recollections of a life outside of Illinois), I have always held a strong connection to American pride and what it meant, because of my distinct awareness of what America has provided me. However, in some ways, my own experiences, and those of my family in their emmigration, have definitely provided me with what I like to call a 'realistic' approach to life, something that I definitely think has affected my choices and my view of this whole career in a field that is very difficult to get into and very difficult to continue in.
I guess I'll start anectodal. Everyone likes to splurge a bit, and though I make a small amount from my internship at Northwestern, the one thing I allow myself to buy is coffee at the library coffeeshop during my lunch break. Yes, its 1.85 each day, but for me, thats my frivoulous expense, and I savor the luxury of a warm cup during the middle of a long day (with chem class afterwards its pretty much non-stop from 8am to 1030pm). Well, on this cup, at the half way mark is on of those cutesly little markers that says "half way full". Adorable, right? So everyday, I sit and stare at that little marker, and think about how important optimism seems to be in this country. But, I myself, am no optimist, and you know what? I think thats okay. I think when you have half a cup of coffee, its not half full, its not half empty, you just have half a cup of coffee. Savor what you got, accept that you already had half, and be done. In many ways, people think this approach is a bit, well, negative but I think approaching life realistically prepares you for the worst and lets you savor the best.
As my mom has always told me, have low expectations and high aspirations (which I'm sure is from something, but I don't know what, so I will attribute it to mama sorokin). In the end, I guess that's how I view my personal pursuit of conservation. Its not perfect, I have had to make sacrifices and struggle with things, but at the same time, I know that if I work hard enough, eventually it will come. I do not expect miracles, I do savor when things go well. And you know what? I enjoy when I have half a cup of coffee, because that means half is already inside my belly, and the other half is still waiting for me in the cup.