My 31st Birthday

I think the most important thing that has happened in the past year has been my change of attitude toward publishing. Before turning 30, I saw it both as a test of my abilities and as an end in itself. Two factors are responsible for changing my attitude. The first was getting a couple of revise and resubmits—once that happened, I was convinced I had the ability to publish. And the second was the deeper acceptance that no one is going to read what I write. Accordingly, I now treat publishing only as a means to succeed professionally.

With that in mind, I should mention that I was recently notified that one of my papers was accepted for publication. More importantly, perhaps, is that though I’m happy about it, I’m not ecstatic. I take this as evidence of my attitude truly changing.

Another event that is worth mentioning is that I spent 10 days over the summer in Mexico with my family. We rented a house in Sayulita, which is a small village about 45 minutes away from Puerto Vallarta. Overall, the trip was just okay. I didn’t like the humidity and the mosquitoes, but I did like spending time with my family.

What this trip taught me is that I tend to complain too much any time I’m slightly uncomfortable. It’s to the point where I get annoyed at myself. I’ve also noticed that I complain even more when I spend time with my parents, and I think it’s because they do things differently than I do in such a way that inconveniences me. For example, my mom always brings a lot of stuff when she travels, which means that I always have to help her. When we went to Mexico, she brought an entire suitcase of food. And I knew before we left for the trip that I had to carry it.

My sister Angeline is really good at pointing out when I complain too much. She immediately attributes it to the fact that I was spoiled as a child. And I think she’s right. I never had to endure any hardships. I never had to help around the house, for example, because my grandma and my great grandma did everything.

Speaking of my grandma, the two-year anniversary of her death is coming up. I honestly still can’t believe she’s gone. It’s crazy to think that when she died, she took a generation with her. I grew up in a house with a family of 4 generations. My great grandma was born in 1905 and died in 2006. So 10 years ago my family was reduced to 3 generations, and 2 years ago it was reduced to 2. When Angeline had Bodhi, my family was once again 3 generations.

Thinking about my grandma makes me think about death and how I don’t want to die. I can’t articulate it well, but the idea of nothingness just scares me. I tell my religious friends that I wish God exists, because then there would be an afterlife. But I just don’t think the arguments for God’s existence are good enough. I know that some atheists aren’t bothered by death because they think it’ll be exactly how it was before they were born, but that thought doesn’t comfort me. I think I don’t want to die because I want to continue experiencing the goods things in life. I want to be able to laugh, hang out with my friends, eat a good meal, be in love, and, of course, do philosophy. And thinking about death in terms of pre-birth still means that I won’t experience those good things.