Image for post
Image for post
Photo by JJ Jordan on Unsplash

It is thought that over 40 to 60 percent of people identify themselves as shy. While it might be a shocker to see such a high percentage, it actually shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. At least with the advent of technology in the late 20th century to today, the reliance on our phones, laptops, and other electronic devices has made our society a lot less social in face-to-face interactions. As well as a lot of staying home to do so (after all, COVID-19 isn’t helping…).

Shyness and being introverted are closely-linked with each other. Sometimes, they’re even conflated. But it’s important to distinguish between the two, because it’s possible to be shy on the inside, but actually outgoing on the exterior (and vice versa). Especially in a society that praises people who put themselves out there, there’s an undue pressure to conform to those expectations. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

Short answer: no.

Long answer: it depends.

The way I see it, making your passion into a career is highly-variable based on what exactly those passions are. For example, it is very lucrative to get into the tech industry these days, especially for computer programming. If you grew up coding and programming as hobbies, then it is possible to turn that into something that can yield high-monetary value for you, e.g. a fat paycheck. Tech is one of few career sectors which happen to be socially-prized today, hence placing higher value on them in positive correlation to income.

On the other hand, there are other hobbies and interests that, while fun to do, are difficult to turn into a good-paying and stable career. I am talking about activities such as sports, acting, and writing. Primarily, the entertainment and arts industry. While not impossible to make it big, the chances are lot slimmer, as you would really need to be the cream of the crop to pull through and succeed. That, and also with a sprinkle of good timing and luck. Not all of us can be the next LeBron James, Sandra Bullock, or J.K. Rowling, no matter how hard we try. It’s just the fact of life. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Jacob Bentzinger on Unsplash

Let me make this clear: I am not a party animal.

In fact, I don’t even enjoy going out in most cases. Whether it’s to grab a pint with friends and/or hit the club afterwards, I don’t really see the appeal of spending a lot of money on booze or dancing into a hot, sweaty mess in a room packed with strangers. Even house parties with smaller groups and social banter aren’t really my thing, even if they’re somewhat marginally better…

Believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve made attempts to go out and put myself out there on many occasions in my early to mid twenties. I didn’t do the frat party scene until my final year in college, when I decided to go to my first (and only) Greek life social with some mutual friends. It ended up being weird, just because I’d been sheltered and wasn’t used to the crazy antics that college students did. It was honestly a culture shock to see people smoke hookah, puke on the floor, and otherwise turn into douche bags while intoxicated. The whole ordeal was just very unfulfilling, as I didn’t even get drunk enough to really get into it and couldn’t keep a conversation with those whom I interacted with — I learned the hard way that college parties aren’t meant for intellectualism, and I returned to my flat long-sober and tired, as well as somewhat disappointed. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Alissa De Leva on Unsplash

“Educate yourself” has got to be the most-annoying statement of 2020. Even “fake news,” “virtue signalling,” and “abolish the police” don’t even top that. It’s the mere utterance of “educating yourself” that’s dripping with so much irony and hypocrisy that, honestly, I don’t even know where to start unpacking this mess of a term.

Look, I’m all for self-education on topics you’re passionate about or interested in, whether it’s in graphic design, foreign languages, or knitting. Heck, even politics and social issues. It’s important that we all continue learning after school, so that we can keep up-to-date with changes and remain sharp on skills and techniques we’ve acquired over the years. There’s nothing inherently wrong about “educating yourself” in that sense. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by CALIN STAN on Unsplash

…forgive the long and convoluted title.

Strange as it seems, the title’s paradox has really held true for what I’ve been experiencing in my life so far. I’ve felt this sentiment for well over a decade, ever since I was in my late teens when I was making big decisions for school: which college to attend, what major to study, and which field to get into as a job after graduation. I hadn’t given it much thought just how much pressure it was to decide and commit to a career at such a young age, but looking back, it really was bizarre. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Now, I will be upfront and tell you that I dislike job interviews. In fact, I despise them. I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum, as someone who has interviewed for dozens of positions and also conducted interviews for prospective candidates. While I won’t deny that being the interviewer is less-stressful than being the interviewee, both positions come with their frustrations and nerves that make the whole hiring process a conundrum in the working world.

I’ve come to realize from my experiences that it’s not what it’s all cracked up to be. Interviews aren’t so much about seeing if you have the experience and skill sets required of the job (after all, that’s what the resume is for), but rather how good you are at making a good first impression. You’re essentially being interviewed to determine if you’re articulate enough, as well as whether you can get along with people at work. Appearances also matter to an extent, as it’s practically required of you to suit up if you desire a position in just about any job sector. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Rick Proctor on Unsplash

Cannabis, weed, dope, grass, Mary Jane…

Whatever you want to call it, marijuana is prolific in our discourse on whether to legalize it or not. It’s the most-common illicit drug used in the United States, with over 94 million confessing they’ve tried it at least once in their lives. That’s nearly 30 percent of the country’s entire population, which goes to show its prevalence in American society.

Marijuana, whether you choose to smoke, ingest, inhale, or topically apply it, has been shown to have health benefits. The most-prominent one is alleviating pain, especially in chronic joint and nerve pain. Users have also touted it for reducing physical discomfort (e.g. nausea), as well as also easing mental distress and trauma, particularly anxiety and PTSD. …


Image for post
Image for post
Source: Think Design — Logo Design Guru

Growing up, I wasn’t very attuned to politics. This isn’t to say that I was apolitical as a kid, but rather I didn’t really think about it in my day-to-day life. Even when I learned about the U.S. two-party system at school, I just saw it as something that I needed to learn — like math, chemistry, or English — to pass the class: I didn’t really have a strong opinion about either side to care to choose one or the other, so I spent most of my childhood aware of, but indifferent to politics.

My upbringing also played a part in why I wasn’t really into politics growing up. I was born and raised upper-middle class in Los Angeles, and in a fairly-conservative neighborhood (i.e. the suburbs). My parents were immigrants from Taiwan who immigrated in the 1980s for education, then work. They were registered Republicans, but over time voted Democrat (they’ve voted for Bill Clinton and Barack Obama in the past). They were socially-liberal on most issues (e.g. abortion, LGBT rights, gender equality), but fiscally-conservative, and I suppose this balance influenced my way of thinking as a kid, even now as an adult. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Chi Lok TSANG on Unsplash

I have fuzzy memories of the first time I traveled outside of the US. I was barely a year old, and I was on my first airplane ride to Taipei where I would be visiting my extended family. Looking back, I have almost no recollection of my stay, except only through photo albums at home.

Since then, I would go on frequent trips throughout my childhood. I remember spending school holidays on vacation with my family, as we would road-trip the US, take cruises in Europe and the Caribbean, and embark on guided tours in China, Italy, and Greece. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Since the Black Lives Matter protest began almost two months ago, it has created a chain reaction in other fields of protest. Not only have we demanded reparations to the black community, but we have also gone on to ask for reparations for Native Americans, Hispanics, even women and the LGBTQ community for past wrongdoings by cis-white men. It has gotten to the point that anyone who isn’t straight, white, or male can argue that they are oppressed, and that they demand to have justice served for them.

Now, I neither condone nor pardon white people for having done horrible things in the past, including slavery, colonialism, internment camps, and so forth. But to say that those today are all still racist and prejudice, let alone should be forced to atone for their ancestor’s actions, is extreme. It is like saying that the Chinese should hate the Japanese today for what their ancestors did during World War II, in which the latter pillaged, raped, and killed the former for control of the country. That would mean that I should hate my best friend, who is Japanese-American, for what her ancestors did to mine, and to make her kneel in front of me and apologize for it. …

About

Rebecca Tang

World traveler who has set foot in 50+ countries. Ready to explore culture and the unknown. Also a massive penguin-aficionado.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store