(The feature picture is a mini shrine; somehow, whenever I get lost, I always wander and find a mini shrine)
Hello, people of the internet! To start off, I think it’s been a productive week, in terms of my education. I realized that, usually we read half a chapter as homework; nowadays, we read the entire chapter as homework. Academics are progressively getting harder and harder. But besides the books, classes, and things that, as much as I love learning, it does stress me out from time to time. I digress, in this blog I wanted to talk about some recent adventures and most importantly, I read a wonderful book called “The Alchemist”.
Firstly, I met up with a friend from my home university this week! She was a Chinese tutor from Taiwan, and we finally set up a time to meet. At dinner, I learned about the recent changes in her life. Now, when I came to Taiwan, I often thought of placing myself in other people’s shoes, specifically the teachers that taught at my Flagship Program but they were from Taiwan or China. I wondered how they liked Bowling Green, as small of a town it is, when they’re originally from bigger cities like Beijing or Taipei. My college town of Bowling Green is wonderful, but there’s a large difference of living when you compare BG and Taipei. I thought of questions like, “How did they adjust?”, “Did they like our food?”, “How often did they miss home?”
I mean, in retrospect, it’s almost embarrassing that I didn’t think of these questions earlier. Maybe I have a shallow mind, but I never thought about their lives, I was in my world, living out my dreams of grandeur at my university while they had to adjust from such a populated area to a small town. Even now I want to ask these questions to all of them. I digress, so my friend went to college for a degree in teaching English, and as surprising as this sounds, whenever she came back from the States, she actually quit her job. She didn’t like it anymore, but it’s not as if she’s never going back to that kind of profession, she just wanted to go learn new things. Currently, she works for Valve, and she’s a customer service agent for their gaming program called “Steam”, she describes that her job is to respond to emails concerning lost accounts and hackers. I digress, it was amazing to hear how her life has changed just because she switched jobs. I thought her decision was admirable, and well, I probably should of asked her if she was happy about it.
To address the title, on Saturday I sat down for four hours and I read the novel “The Alchemist”. I interpret the book as “a self-help book disguised as an adventure book”. I mean, if someone told you about a book on how to find treasure beyond your wildest dream, a way to realize your destiny, and to also meet your perfect significant other, wouldn’t you want to read that book as well? It’s essentially about a Spanish shepherd who dreams of a treasure at the Egyptian pyramids, he meets a king who tells him about the “Personal Legend”; thus, convincing him to go to chase his dreams. On his journey, he meets his fated girl, held hostage by desert warriors, meets a real alchemist (people who can turn anything into gold), and even gains the power to become one with nature.
As a dreamer, this book is the best thing since sliced bread. It’s 5% novel and 95% self-help book. There’s a casual mention of chasing your dreams every 5 sentences, I mean, if the thought of chasing your dreams gets your heart racing, then I would recommend this book. One of my favorite quotes from the book is: “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”. I would like to mention that this line is repeated several times throughout the novel, you can’t avoid it! I love this novel because it’s telling me to ignore the pressures around me and just go chase my dreams; do what you want to do, go where you want to go, the “language of enthusiasm”, says the book. It’s simply wonderful.
To sum my life up so far, it’s classes, interesting small moments, and oh, I bought a pair of overalls because that was my dream. If there’s anything that “The Alchemist” taught me, it’s that, if I want it, I have to go and get it. I have to be realistic about it of course. It took me forever to find overalls in Taipei, but when I found it, the universe winked at me, smiled, and said, “Great Find Reuben”, and I waved back with gratitude.