When I woke up to the droning of my family’s snores, I pulled up YouTube in hopes of drowning them out. I was watching a Zoella vlog in which she realised there was only one week until Christmas. After an hour of lying in bed catching up with my YouTube feed, I crawled out to take a shower and get ready for the day. Whilst showering, I had a realisation of my own: it was Christmas day!
Completely slipped my mind. Honestly, I think I’d be completely fine if it were just perpetually the third week of December, the height of the anticipation for Christmas (at least for college students, because the first two weeks of December are hell).
Then a few minutes later I had another realisation: it would be the New Year soon! I’d been counting down to Christmas since October, but for some reason I didn’t realise that the Christmas-time-of-year was also the New-Year-time-of-year. I hadn’t thought of any of the typical year-in-review or [insert blog category here]-in-review/round-up blog posts. I hadn’t thought about what I’d want to do for 2017’s 52 project. I hadn’t thought of any New Year’s resolutions or themes for 2017.
But imma do my best to catch up now.
My theme for 2016 was curiosity. I think I did an okay job at keeping that in mind and living it for the most part, but in the last few months of the year, it got really hard. I remember constantly thinking that I was enduring the worst academic semester of my life (emotionally) and that I just wanted it to be over. I couldn’t find that curiosity and energy to be excited about what I was learning about in school.
I was talking with my brother Ken at lunch the other day, and we had been talking for a very long time when I looked over to my other brother Danny, who looked like he was feeling left out. He’s seven years younger than me and five years younger than Ken, so you can see how he might feel left out of our conversations at times (but don’t feel too bad for him; Ken and Danny have plenty of conversations about gaming that just sound like gibberish to me). So Ken and I shifted our conversation to something that might be a little more relatable, like what our favourite class subjects were.
Danny said that his favourite subject was math. Ken said something along the lines of “ooh that’s cool. You should look at P=NP problems [eventually].” That made my heart skip a beat. P=NP?? I hadn’t heard of that until this past semester in my Analysis of Algorithms course, which is what many students at my school agree is the hardest course in the computer science major, and which unsurprisingly caused me the most grief. Intractability (including NP problems) was one of the last few units of the course, and the struggle of writing these proofs were still fresh in my mind. I needed Ken to elaborate on his excitement and interest in P=NP, needed him to explain to me how much of P=NP he understood. I could not for the life of me see what was so cool about NP Complete problems.
Basically, being able to prove a problem is NP Complete is important, because it’s more conclusive to say that a problem doesn’t have a solution than to say a problem is too hard for you to find a solution (when in fact, there is no such solution that exists). Imagine how rough it’d be to try to find an algorithm to a problem that doesn’t have an algorithm.
Which is a cool concept right? But when I was first introduced this in class, I just scribbled it down in my notes without another thought, just accepted it like any other fact. I wish I had Ken’s curiosity, to want to explore this problem on my own, rather than feel like it was just another type of algorithm I had to memorise for the final, another obstacle for me to overcome.
So that’s where I am. There’s still a lot I need to work on.
I was, yet again, chatting with my brother in the car, sharing anecdotes from our past semesters at college and remembering moments from high school. My brother was telling me how he was shit talking me to some of his friends from this club we were both part of in high school (ya know, just the typical sibling stuff) and that nobody would believe anything he said (he’s one of those jokesters anyway). I thought it was funny because there was some truth to what he was saying, but nobody would believe it. And that reminded me of this quote:
“Live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you, no one would believe it.”
When I graduated high school, I was ready. to. go. I was ready even before then. Since graduating, I haven’t gone back to visit, and I probably won’t be going back to visit anytime soon since it’s already been 2.5 years since, and almost all the people I care about have graduated or moved, so there’s really no point.
But despite the way I left, despite feeling like there was nothing left for me there, save for a few select relationships, I did succeed on that front, that if someone spoke badly of me, no one would believe it. Now that I think about it, maybe high school wasn’t all bad. Of course, we have a tendency to remember things better than they were, but I mean, I had a very average high school experience and I never suffered (like, I was never bullied and I had a good enough social life), so some might even say that I had a good experience. But I was just so sick of the people and the way the school worked and the direction it was heading. I was over it.
But this one thing, I did right, and that meant more to me than any A+ I earned or extra credit I got.
My theme for 2016 was curiosity, which I had hoped would help me find my drive, in life in general, but especially in school, academically. But for 2017, I’m choosing the theme of love and light, which may or may not be inspired by this Tumblr text post:
“I want to be known as someone who’s full of love and radiates light.” (x)
It’s cliche as heck, but it’s also simple and pure.
The second half of 2016 was trying. I’d never felt as mentally and emotionally exhausted. So what I want for 2017 is the simple and pure joy of happiness.
“Always find time for the things that make you feel happy to be alive.” (x)
Happiness is not frivolous.
“I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.” -Arthur Rubinstein
I just want to live a good life. I just want to be a good person.