Have you ever read a book and been so taken by a particular quotation that it just sticks with you?! There is a particular passage from Amy Tan’s book The Joy Luck Club that I can never seem to part with
Each person is made of five different elements, she told me.
Too much fire and you had a bad temper. That was like my father, whom my mother always criticized for his cigarette habit and who always shouted back that she should feel guilty that he didn’t let my mother speak her mind. Too little wood and you bent too quickly to listen to other people’s ideas, unable to stand on your own. This was like my Auntie An-mei. Too much water and you flowed in too many different directions, like myself.
I’ve always loved that part of the book and for some reason I always find myself trying to think of what mixture of the five elements make up me. When ever I really sit down and think about it, I’m a mixture of all of them; however, its the last one that always brought it home to me – water “too much water and you flowed in too many different directions.” That just seems to sum me up. I have all these ideas, all these thoughts but they never seem to really go anywhere. I have a degree in English but I”m not using it and yet here I am, back in school, trying to yet again make something of myself. I’m sure Amy Tan didn’t intend for readers to take her five element motif to heart. I just have never been able to express what I felt like inside, or what made me tick. When I read Joy Luck for a Folklore class in college several years ago, it all seemed to click into place for me. I was made up of too much water, my mind always went in all sorts of different directions. I flowed in and out of things, never completing tasks, never finishing books, hell never really finishing homework – I’m still bad about that.
When you flow in so many directions, with so much going on, it is easy to lose focus on the end goal. I have really tried to remain focused on what I want — to be happy and find success in a field I’m passionate about, media. It has taken me a long time to even make it this far but the journey has been a very rewarding one. I am so thankful I have a great support system that pushes me to go further and reminds me of what my goal is when stress seems to overwhelm me.
This coming week begins mid-terms and fall break is literally next weekend. Wait the semester just started yesterday, right? It really feels like the semester just started a few days ago and yet here we are in October all ready. I’m getting ready to make my class schedule for the spring semester, too. Does time always fly when you’re in college? It’s not like I could forget, I graduated only two years ago. Maybe I have, who knows.
Does the head-scratching and wondering ever end? I know I’m still young and have plenty of time to figure out what I want to do when I “grow up.” And yet I don’t want to end up being forty something and still wondering “What am I doing with my life?”