+delayed gratification+

Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification.  To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport.

Pope Francis, 266th and current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church (1936-present)

Note: I wrote this when I was first starting off my blog.  I wanted to post this because I wanted to insert comments on what I wrote, reflecting on how much I’ve changed, three years later.  X ENC

Turning 18 is a rite of passage where we become full-fledged adults.  Even then, we still don’t get to enjoy the ~luxuries~ of adulthood, like drinking, obviously (winking face emoji); in America, adulthood is basically synonymous to turning 21.  During that three-year gap between 18 and 21, we’ll still pretend to be adults, some of us hunting down a shady friend of a friend who makes convincing fake IDs, so we can sneak into the nearest bar/club/pub.  Since when did your baby face become a convincing 25-year old?

I personally never got a fake ID because during my lucky (?) three years, my friends got me into places.  It really helps to have connections and friends who know people, especially in NYC.  The power of word of mouth is undeniable.

However, turning 18 is still very important.  18 means breaking off the metaphorical chains created by society; we must make somewhat free choices that we must now claim responsibility to, a stark contrast to the past 18 years, filled with decisions we cannot, will not, call our own.  We are put through a flawed school system, which ingrains in us a belief that once high school ends, we will go onto college, and then possibly a professional school if you majored in something useless to the job market during the past four years.  After all those extra school years, we will be working, making bucket loads of money with the sole purpose of paying back the choices that have been made for our sake.  Supposedly.

Reading this again, I noticed how bleak my perspective on life was.  Sadly, it hasn’t changed – if anything, it has turned bleaker.  My younger self didn’t account the competition that will inevitably prevent us from making said “bucket loads of money.”

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Adulthood is an asset to us when seeking jobs that we want and buying ourselves things we want with our hard-earned cash.  If college wasn’t a choice all of us wanted, then working and spending money are two areas that we can control.

Oh my naïve self, thinking that we still have control over these things.  Our jobs are generally decided by whoever wants you, regardless to the places that you apply to work for.  Our wages are spent mostly on living expenses, unless you’re irresponsible and still believe that your parents will still pay for you.

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The Problem with Being an Adult

Growing up in a household where money was tight, I was always filled with envy, seeing fellow peers and famous celebrities prancing around with the newest gadgets and fanciest clothing.  Looking at those people, I would always think, “Just wait, that will be you in 20 years, when you hit it big and become famous, way bigger than the celebs you see now.  They will be jealous of YOU.”

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Now that I’m an “adult,” I want to cash in that statement, despite not having a job that can support the billionaire lifestyle.  My rationale for purchasing things I need, aka want, is my childhood saving habits that Warrant Buffet has always preached about – one should live frugally and save now, spend later.  However, going into college, I haven’t been consistent with myself, shifting towards spending now, and hopefully saving later.

I still agree with this because I have made questionable purchases over the past few years that I regret.  If I could go back in time, I would stop myself from making my “need” purchases, and saving it for something bigger for myself instead.

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Giving it a Label

This isn’t a unique problem.  I feel as though everyone has experienced the struggle of “delayed gratification” at some point.  We learned of this term in AP Psychology, through a famous experiment:

Children under 10 were given a cookie and told that if they didn’t eat it for 10 minutes, then they would be rewarded with five more cookies at the end.  Supposedly, the children who held off eating the cookie led more successful lives in comparison to the kids who didn’t.

The purpose of this experiment was to show that children didn’t understand delayed gratification and restraint because their brains weren’t developed to the point where they could comprehend the implications of waiting for things.  However, seeing the crimes and scandals written in The New York Times and The Daily Post, we can conclude that this isn’t a problem only found in children.  Even better, we can conclude that following rules is something we all struggle with.  Consequently, my spending struggles as an ~adult~ is something that goes beyond just a lack of development.

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Granted, I’m not like Rebecca in Confessions of a Shopaholic, but I do get tunnel vision, looking at the things I want, for days on end; I try to justify purchasing them.  Some of my reasons are, “I threw out my clothes, so I need new clothes to replace them,” “It’s a new season,” and sometimes, “I don’t want to be judged by what I own.”  My email subscriptions to Bloomingdales, Tiffany & Co., Vogue, etc. certainly don’t help.  I’m bombarded with enticing titles like, “Normcore is Back in Trend: How You Can Wear This Season’s Latest Trends.”

I still get tempted when Kate Spade sends an email with an awesome sale, but I feel like the key to ignoring them is getting so many automated emails, that you just begin to tune them all out.

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Conflicts with Getting a Job

I ask myself, “If I buy this herringbone tweed coat for $220 now, will I regret it down the line, knowing that I could’ve spent it on something more fashionable in the future?”  This sounds like a vapid first world problem, but it’s much greater than that.  The most materialistic things influence how others perceive us, and will affect our future job prospects.  First impressions are always important, and physical manifestations of a person’s personality through fashion choices give people a general idea of what kind of person they are.

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While judging is hurtful, at time, it’s a necessary evil because in a wired society, no one have the time, or wants to spend the time, getting to know each and every person they meet.  Probably outside of Silicon Valley, no one wants to hire an employee who looks like they’re going to get a visit from the fashion police.  Unless you’re wearing your grandparents’ vintage designer denim overalls from the 60s as a fashion statement, it’s probably not work appropriate, especially in a corporate setting.

I understand as a fashion lover that it’s important to create your own trends, but there are some societal norms that are hard to overcome.  Especially if you aren’t what people perceive as pretty, then it can be even harder for people to be accepting 😥.

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In the End of the Day…

Everything we do is a choice, whether it’s shopping for shoes, or only eating a granola bar for lunch.  All these choices have their own after effects and ripples.  Times like these make me appreciate the days when I was imprisoned to my parents’ ‘choices – at least then I would never have to feel the burden of responsibility.  Being an adult means making choices that we live with forever, the good and the bad.  I guess I answered my own question then – I’ll just wait another 20 years, saving so that I can only buy luxury goods in the future.

I think this was a good ending to my delayed gratification post, despite almost veering off course in the middle.  We don’t fully get to control our choices, but we still have to live with the responsibility of them.  And instead of being caught up in how others perceive me, I might as well just save until people look at me with jealousy because of my decision to save.

xoxo,

the girl who will be living a fashionable life soon

IMAGE CREDIT: Analysis & Opinion | Reuter’s

When a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry.

William Shakespeare, English poet, playwright, actor (1564-1616)

+pringles+

 

Not a playlist, but I just had to share this song.

Verse 1
I deserve it
I know I hurt you with the truth
I was certain
No matter what we make it through
I don’t mind perfect
If I really needed

Pre-Chorus
Would you le-le-le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand and pull me out
Would you le-le-le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand and pull me out

Chorus
I’ve been drowning in hot water
Yeah, I know I let you down
And I’ll find a way to say I’m sorry
But my time is running out
But would you le-le-le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand and pull me out
Would you le-le-le-le-le-le-le-le
(I know perfect)

Drop
Le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand
Would you le-le-le-le-let me drown
(I’m sorry)
Le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand
Would you le-le-le-le-let me drown
(I’m sorry)
Le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand
Would you le-le-le-le-let me drown
(I’m sorry)
Le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand
Would you le-le-le-le-let me drown

Verse 2
If you were on your last breath
And there was no one else around
Despite what I said
I swear that I would help you out
Like a siren
I hear that old familiar sound

Chorus
I’ve been drowning in hot water
Yeah, I know I let you down
And I’ll find a way to say I’m sorry
But my time is running out

Drop
Would you le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand
Would you le-le-le-let me drown
(Hot water)
Le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand
Would you le-le-le-let me drown

Bridge
Heaven knows you wanna let go
Heaven knows we’re caught in echoes
And I don’t know if you will let go of me
Like I let go of you
And heaven knows that I’ve got regrets
Heaven knows I meant what I said
And I don’t know if you will let go

Chorus
I’ve been drowning in hot water
Yeah, I know I let you down
And I’ll find a way to say I’m sorry
But my time is running out
But would you le-le-le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand and pull me out
Would you le-le-le-le-le-le-le-le
(I know perfect)

Drop
Le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand
Would you le-le-le-let me drown
(I’m sorry)
Le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand
Would you le-le-le-let me
(Hot water)
Le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand
Would you le-le-le-let me drown
(I’m sorry)
Le-le-let me drown
Reach your hand
Would you le-le-le-let me, let me drown

(via Genius Song Lyrics & Knowledge)

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While I do think this song’s pretty dope, I wish artists would make more ~hit~ songs about being single.  Us single people need love, as well as an anthem moaning about the hardships of being single.

Love sells, but shouldn’t the absence of it sell as well?  Just a thought.

xoxo,

the girl who wants to live vicariously (?) through music

IMAGE CREDIT: YouTube

You may say I’m a dreamer,
but I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one.

– John Lennon, Imagine (1971)

I believe there are two periods in life, one for the bike, the other for becoming active on one’s work.

Bernard Hinault, French former cyclist (1954-present)

+mindset+

We dream of having a clean house – but who dreams of actually doing the cleaning?  We don’t have to dream about doing the work, because doing the work is always within our grasp; the dream, in this sense, is to attain a goal without the work.

Marcus Buckingham, British writer, motivational speaker, business consultant (1966-present)

My all-time favorite Disney movie is the 1950 production of Cinderella because I have always felt a spiritual connection to the titular character.  Like Cinderella, cleaning meant getting on your hands and knees to wash the floors with a rag, and not with a smart robot vacuum, let alone a Swiffer.

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A Millennial Thing

I would say that a characteristic of millennials is that our childhoods are a mixture of old and new traditions.  Many of us grew up doing things that our parents did, but we also got to experience never before seen technological advances.  While many millennials may not clean with a rag anymore, I feel that its existence is something we can all relate to.

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The Backstory

Growing up, I dreaded frequent cleaning days.  A typical cleaning day began at 8:00 a.m., and was spent reaching for every little nook and cranny in the apartment, while we collected a pile of dust, hair, and other unidentifiable objects that camouflaged with the hardwood floors.  Starting the job was always hard because who doesn’t like sleeping in on a Saturday?

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Efficiency: Cleaning with Rags

If you think about it, vacuums and Swiffers are physically unable to clean the hard to reach corners because its rigid designs can only fit a certain size or larger.  In a fast-paced society, it’s only practical to clean the floor with a rag because if you use a device, then you will have to go back again with a rag to clean the areas that the vacuums weren’t able to reach.

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Looking Back

Today, I still get down on my hands and knees to keep my home clean.  It has positively contributed to my obsession with +perfectionism+ over the years because who doesn’t like living in a clean home free of dirt?  I know I do.

Besides the dirt, cleaning is cathartic because as I clean the floor, I also feel like I’m doing a spiritual cleansing.  When I pour my energy into getting rid of the physical markers of uncleanliness, I release any negative energy that has built up within me.

I will admit that at times, I do feel annoyed towards the process.  However, my aching back and sweat face is but a small price to pay.  Looking at my sparkling windows provides such a great feeling of satisfaction that my pain is forgettable.

Beyond just the physical and spiritual reminders, cleaning has been a valuable tool to getting things done.  You never want to do a shoddy job with a vacuum cleaner, but a thorough one with a rag.  It’s better to get it right the first time, rather than go back to fix the mistakes that the lazy method has caused.

xoxo,

the girl who used to think of her mom as Lady Tremaine

IMAGE CREDIT: Tonya’s Touch

Fashion is a dream.  It’s difficult, and there are many aspects of fashion that are very difficult, but if you love it like I do, because I really have a passion, now, for fashion, it’s not easy, but nothing is easy in life.

Carolina Herrera, Venezuelan-American fashion designer (1939-present)

IMAGE CREDIT: PUIG

+stir fry+

I can’t stay away from Chinese food.  I really love that stuff.

Shaun White, American professional snowboarder and skateboarder (1986-present)

My college is in a suburban town, just thirty minutes west of Philadelphia.  Not to be stereotypical or anything, but I’ve come to realize that every single restaurant there is either ridiculously health-conscious or just subpar fast food.  For example, I have never been able to eat some decent pork fried rice because if one takeout place puts the right type of meat, then they’ll mess it up by getting the flavor wrong, vice versa.

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A lot of my friends are willing adventurers and try out the various eateries off campus, and they mentioned honeygrow.  honeygrow sells healthy stir fry dishes and salads, and is just a five-minute drive off campus.   I was intrigued by this premise because one, it was a strange combination of foods to sell, and two, could you even make stir fry healthy?

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I found my answer when I visited honeygrow for the first time, earlier in the school year.  My friend and I had decided to eat at honeygrow because it sounded the best amongst all the options off campus, and because we were eager to catch up after not seeing each other since high school ended three years ago.

honeygrow’s ordering method is a millennial dream come true – customers craft their stir fry dish or salad through a touch screen.  They have the option of paying by card directly at the ordering station, or by cash at the food pick-up station.  For convenience, I paid with my card.

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When you choose your honeygrow stir fry, you can choose from pre-made designs, or build your own; the latter is created from your pick of protein, vegetables, sauce, toppings.  The instructions are clear and very easy to follow, making the whole experience painless.

As a popular establishment, I would say that I had to wait about two minutes on line before I could create my dish, then wait another 10-15 minutes before they finished making my dish.  honeygrow also sells carbonated beverages, but since I don’t drink soda, healthier alternative or not, I simply asked for a cup to get some water, as I picked up my food.

IMG_2761Our food’s here!
IMG_2764My dish – they put quite a lot of dried shallots.
IMG_2763Just a close up, it looks so good!!

As a lover of spicy food, I doused my stir fry in sriracha sauce, even though I picked the spicy garlic sauce for my stir fry.  The hotter, the better!

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The ambience is definitely on the louder side, or I’ve only visited them during their loud period.  It’s filled with middle and high schoolers from the area meeting up for dinner after practice, as well as families with very young children, young children who apparently love to cry there.  It would have been nicer if it was quieter because at times, I had trouble hearing my friend, let alone hearing myself to collect my thoughts.  The volume isn’t a deal breaker, however, as the food makes sure to keep their patrons visiting again and again.

xoxo,

the girl who’s eating healthy stir fry because she’s super healthy now 😏

IMAGE CREDIT: honeygrow

You have to love yourself or you’ll never be able to accept compliments from anyone.

Dean Wareham, American singer and actor (1963-present)

+alternative+

Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy.  It’s not about nutrients and calories.  It’s about sharing.  It’s about honesty.  It’s about identity.

Louise Fresco, Danish scientist, director, writer (1952-present)

Most of us spend a good portion of our lives consuming countless burgers, hotdogs, and pizza, whether you buy it from Nathan’s at Jones Beach or make it at home because you never celebrate the Fourth of July without a cookout.  According to Yahoo Answers, a super reliable source, Americans eat 22.2 billion hamburgers and 13.7 billion hotdogs yearly; just reading those numbers make me feel sick.

America has become a global empire built from machine made food that can probably outlast humans themselves.  How can an average consumer be sure if their hamburger “beef” patty is really made from a cow’s side?  Ignorance is bliss, considering how we eat tons of it anyways.

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I was once an avid hamburger consumer, telling my mom how I wanted McDonald’s Big Macs at my wedding when I was younger.  Today, the only time I eat hamburgers are the rare occasions when my dad decides to make hamburgers for Sunday lunch.

For me, a hamburger is one that contains a lot of raw onion, cooked onions, mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mayonnaise mixed with a little barbecue sauce, a patty, and of course a nice potato bun.  I feel like my subconscious knows how unhealthy burgers are, even if I don’t eat them often, so I try to add a lot of raw vegetables to it.

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My dad came up with two hamburger patty recipes that we follow, a lazy version and a stuffed version.  The lazy version is just grounded beef shaped into a patty, and while it’s being cooked, a little bit of ground red pepper will be added.  The stuffed version, however, is another story.

To make my dad’s stuffed hamburger patties, here are the ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of ground beef – 85% lean, 15% fat
  • ½ of a sweet/white onion
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. After washing your hands, dice the sweet onion into small pieces and mince the garlic cloves; they should be small so they can easily be incorporated with the ground beef, but it’s your preference really.
  2. Taking the ground beef out of its packaging, place it into a medium sized mixing bowl and mix along with the diced onions and minced garlic, using a clean wooden spoon, bare or gloved hands – whatever does the job for you.
  3. Once it’s all combined, portion it, depending on how many patties you want to make. My dad generally makes five large patties with this recipe, but you can make more smaller patties if you desire.  Shape each portion into a patty carefully because some onion and garlic pieces may fall out.
  4. Cook the patties in whatever manner you prefer, like frying, grilling, etc. Since I live in an apartment, we generally lightly grease a pan and cook our patties on it.  NOTE: you can save the uncooked patties by wrapping them in cling wrap and storing it in your freeze, but you should eat them as soon as possible, as meat that has come into contact with hands will start to deteriorate faster.
  5. Assemble after the patties are cooked to your liking.

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Even though there aren’t any preservatives or questionable materials in this recipe, I feel as though I rarely eat burgers, whether it’s homemade or from a Shake Shack.  I’ve become obsessed with eating lettuce again, so I probably won’t crave a burger for a while.  Nonetheless, everyone should try this stuffed patty recipe!

xoxo,

the girl who eats like a rabbit (sometimes)

IMAGE CREDIT: Serious Eats