Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hello again.

Wow, it's been a hot minute since I’ve put anything on here. Not really sure why I'm bothering to pick this back up. Actually, I do know why. It's because the right side of my brain is dead/dying and I am desperate to revive it.

Ever heard of right brain versus left brain dominance theory? It’s generally been held that the way people behave and think is based on the dominance of either the left or the right side of their brain. People who are most influenced by the left side are considered to be very logical, critical thinkers. Left-brained thinkers are adept with tasks that require analytical reasoning. Right-brained thinkers are much more expressive, emotional and are best with tasks that require creativity. I have always felt that I was pretty evenly split between being a left-brained and right-brained thinker, with maybe just a slight tendency to swing to the right. Either way, I have always found a way to indulge both of these dueling sides of myself.  However, in the past seven years or so during my undergrad and law school years, the left brain has straight up hijacked the way I approach every aspect of my life. I am pretty certain this has been a pretty significant source of my unhappiness for some time now. 

As an undergrad at Georgia State, I started out as a biology major on the pre-med track. I had convinced myself that becoming a doctor was something I wanted to do and in no way was I pursuing this goal because my parents pretty much threatened to completely abandon any familial association with me if I chose to do anything else. But, I would say that the most criminal thing about me being scared into trying to be a doctor was thinking that I could actually become one. Yes, I've heard the saying: "Work hard enough and you can be whatever you want to be!" I am not cynical enough to think that such a mantra is complete crap, but I'm pretty sure it could not possibly apply to me in my undergrad situation: "Work hard enough towards being something you've never had any interest or skill in because you're afraid of what your friends and family will think and you can become..." Become what, exactly? 

It took me two semesters to realize that I did not want to stick around long enough to find out, so I gathered the balls to tell my mom that I was not going go the pre-med route anymore. The heart-breaking dream of my immigrant mother of having a successful doctor-daughter was completely shattered in an instant. She did not even hold out for the hope that I might change my mind one day. While my mom might not have known that I truly did not want to ever be a doctor, she knew me well enough to know when my mind's been made. I remember feeling beyond ashamed, but at the same time, I couldn't help but feel that in some small way, it was a win for me; I was starting to think for myself and making my own decisions independent of criticism. Or so I thought. 

Shortly after my little epiphany, I decided I would become the next best thing to lessen the blow of disappointment I had dealt my parents. I would become a lawyer. The left side of my brain told me that this was a logical decision. Becoming a woman of the law involved just the right amount of prestige and flashiness for my parents to brag to others about without me having to do another chemistry problem, lab report, or anything else that I couldn't stand when I was pre-med. At the time, I felt that it was a reasonable compromise. For the remaining two years of undergrad, I completely loaded up my class schedules and studied furiously 24/7 so that I could still graduate within four years. I managed to do this within four years and a semester, which isn't too bad for having switched up majors halfway in.

After graduating, I took the LSAT and got into John Marshall Law School and began my journey to become a J.D.  In retrospect, I was in quite the hurry to jump into another field that I didn't really care about; once again, I was pursuing a career based on an attempt to prevent my parents from further embarrassment from me. Unfortunately, this time it took me three years and a student loan debt that would make you shit your pants to make me realize that I was still the same person from undergrad; I was still fooling myself into thinking I doing something without fear of repercussion from my family. Once again, I had allowed the desire for approval from others determine how I would live my life.

Presently, I am helping my mom run her property management company and I also go to court regularly to attend dispossessory hearings with delinquent tenants. Simply put: I negotiate/argue with tenants who are not paying rent for hours at a time. It's not the worst thing in the world, but day in and day out, I am only using the left-side of my brain to get through work and it often leaves me feeling drained. I have accepted that a large part of my inability to feel content about anything I've tried to do so far is because I have not yet found what it is exactly I want to do with my life. I am in dire need of changing the way I think and feel about making decisions; I need to trust the right side of my brain for once to help lead me in the right direction. As corny as it sounds, if I just go with my gut, listen to my heart, etc., I figure I will eventually find out just what it is I'm going to do with myself, right? 

I know not everyone is meant to find a job or career that gives them a boner every morning. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do to pay the mortgage, I get it. I'm just going to make a conscious effort to not neglect the side of me that is imaginative, thoughtful and innovative. I'm not going to let worrying about work and money prevent me from engaging in something that stimulates me just for the hell of it. So, I'm going to commit to writing/blogging regularly, among other “expressive” endeavors, to try to get my "creative" juices flowing again. The hope is that by getting in touch with my inner thoughts and outwardly expressing them by some medium or another, I may be able to get back in touch with what truly gets me going; what truly makes me happy, whatever the hell that is. In an effort to switch things up, I'm going to try to post more content in each of my entries than I did previously when I started this blog. I'm also going to include more personal posts along with the random, observational ones. So long as I'm writing something other than demand letters once in a while, I think I'm good.  

Here's to letting the right side of the brain take the reins and seeing where it takes me.