We All Live at Our Own Pace

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Author: Jason Thai

Category: blog | Tags: #thoughts

I attended my cousin P’s wedding yesterday and it was wonderful. It was not a big wedding and I did not know a lot of people besides her relatives and mine. I do not know my cousin’s husband well because we did not have any meaningful conversation before yesterday. All I knew was that they had their ups and downs, and it was not one of those smooth relationships where both my cousin and her husband got their blessings from everyone. I have not mentioned about this but the wedding was some sort of a last-minute decision, and I only found out it about a month ago. This meant that there was not much time for preparation. So I mean when I say that my cousin’s sister D and their cousin Y, who were in charge of this duty did a splendid job. They made a beautiful and gigantic flower wall as a background for guest photos. The wall was made of a variety of flowers and leaves glued together in a sort of random yet artistic way. The whole wall probably took almost 8 hours for 4 people to complete. We also drove to the flower district to pick out a few different flowers to decorate the guest tables at the wedding reception. Some balloons need to be inflated and decorations around the house. This all happened without a wedding planner.

You see, like any gathering, a wedding is an event where we see people we have not met for a while. It’s an opportunity to catch up and see what my cousins are up to. I chatted with D about her recent breakup and current work. D is one year older than I am but I sometimes am still caught off by both her maturity and the cheerfulness that she exudes. We both have different lines of work. I would describe her job as a labor-intensive type and that is something I’m not good at. She told me about her break-up and how she came to terms with it. It was disheartening to listen to her as she and her ex have been together for a long time. I also noticed the tiredness that she would show on her face. I felt she deserves a good break. It’s interesting to hear about what she does. There are different problems she has to deal with and that shows through the way she speaks. I think our work environment shapes the way we address and communicate with our colleagues and customers. She seems to be gritty and knows how to bounce back from failures. I’ve always felt D got her life together although it may not seem so. I, on the other hands, tend to be timid and not too over the top. Our conversation kept me thinking about how everyone has their own problems, and they are still trying to figure everything out as they live their lives. Lately, I’ve felt discouraged about my career progression at a whole and how my decisions have led me to where I am. I did feel a bit relieved, in a sense that I can also see her struggles and that we all try to keep it together. Her line of work is hard, and not something I’ll be able to do. It takes a different set of skills. Dao also has a sense of entrepreunership, which is something I lack off.

I also talked to Y, who is almost a decade apart in age. The reason why I highlight our age gap is because I found myself surprised at the way she talks. She seems a lot more mature than I was at her age. She loves dogs and is very good at making high pitch sound to get their attention. She was quiet at first and we didn’t have much to talk about. After a few more conversations, I learned that she was going to get her dog spayed. She then gave me advices on how to raise and take care of dogs. I found her knowledgable in this area. We talked about different dog characteristics and how we would travel with our dogs. It was a fun conversation. I also learned she wanted to pursue UX design, and was looking for an internship. I also remembered looking for an internship at her age. Y wants to move out at her parents’ and explores the world. I think that’s a very worthwhile goal and risk to take. I rarely see Y getting tired although she spent as much time preparing for the wedding as D. The difference in their stamina is nights and days. She also didn’t sleep much for a few days but was always cheerful. I enjoyed getting to know her while she was here.

The past few years have been unusual to say the least, and we keep seeing news about new strain of virusses, or the war, or recession. Connecting with people feels more precious than ever. I think we all need a break and to live with a slower pace than usual. D and Y reminded me that at the end of the day, those around us are the ones that matter. It’s nice to slow down and stay at their pace once in a while. Do you want to slow down or rush to the finish line?

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