My last post, which I wrote out in a record time of 1 hour (usually it takes me a few hours to write and rewrite my entries once I filter out the nonsensical strings of sentences) made me realize how different my thought process has become compared to a few years ago. The naive me would have completely said that our heart would win - no contest. But as I'm growing up I've come to understand the small sacrifices we have to make and the realities we have to confront in decisions of all sizes. I guess its natural to learn this, or maybe just fortunate to realize it now than later. And it's also allowing me to appreciate my parents in another way. I always think about why they don't go away on more vacations or chose a career second to what they wanted. But it's the turns their lives took that persuaded them to take steps that would be best for the family rather than just themselves.

I'd love to be able to make decisions from the heart (hell, I'd love to be able to make a decision as is) but as I'm coming to realize, I can't always do that. I've got people to look out for, goals to meet and plans to make and it all can't be done if I choose what I want first.

See? It's all adult-talk! What the hell...!? It comes out in spurts here and there, in wise-teary-eyed-caring-thought-provoking speeches that I didnt think I could conjure up.

And it'll only get worse.
First off, I have to apologize to the people I scared off with my last post. I didn't mean to sound as harsh as I did and maybe it's because I haven't posted in awhile, so a whole long rant came out instead of my usual off-kilter topics - my bad. But it was sorta amusing to mess with minds and see the reaction, but I promise (sort of..) that you won't see that side of me again...unless....[insert evil laugh here]. But now and then it's not such a bad thing to have that side of people come out - makes you seem more human I think.
So in regards to the title of this post. Yesterday a friend of mine had that as part of her MSN screen name: 'mind vs. heart...who wins?'. And her final tally was Mind: 1, Heart: 5. Now I don't know if she meant whichof the two should win, or which would win, because they are really very seperate things. And it would depend on how pessimisstic or optimistic your nature is, but as optimistic as I can be, I still would have to say that even though many time the heart should win, the mind is what would end up winning.

Face it - people are wannabe-rationalists. We need things to make sense, and despite what the scenario, there's nothing more satisfying then the validation of our actions. It's the reason why we go in search of a second opinion to support our own thoughts and decisions, why we make lists of pros and cons and why despite wanting something we go against our desires and opt for the choice that makes sense. Rational beings we strive to be, but are really not.

Many people would think that it's wrong to deny something we want from the heart, but that's not always the reality. Take for example a man who wants to be an painter (the artist kind), he can create beautiful pieces and gets a tremendous amount of gratification from his work; it's what his heart wants. But the mind seems to work in the other direction. His mind's rationale would tel him that he would not be able to support a family with the income from being an artist, so he chooses to be a banker. His decision does not ill-fate him to be depressed all his life or even resent his decision - he may come to like his career and the life that results from it.

On a smaller scale, we follow our mind when it comes to simple things such as eating. Should I have that caramel brownie with a mocha frappacino from Starbucks today because well let's face it - theyre amazing and I've had a rough day. Or, should I just settle for a regular tea with some non-fat milk and a Splenda to sweeten. Most often than not people would go for the second choice because it's better for you. Though choosing a drink from Starbuck isn't the most life-altering decision, it's still an example of how we choose our mind's decision over our hearts. And in the end it may just be better for you - the brownie/frappacino is loaded with sugar and fat which just isn't good for you compared to the tea and all the health research is there to validate the decision.

The more idealistic and romantic bunch may not agree with all of this. They'll come up with far fetched quotes like "following your heart will lead to eternal happiness" or some other sugar-laden thing like it. And to some degree it is true; you should follow your heart but only if the outcome is realistic. I want to travel during this time off from school and I got a really good opportunity to do some volunteer work in South America. Now my heart says I should go but the reality of it is that it won't happen. Following your heart may not always give you the exact outcome you expected and it may not be the most rational of choices, but there's something more noble and respected about a person who does take the unpaved road.

In the end, I don't know what's best. I don't think you can actually define what is best because it doesn't exist. We should take our hits and misses as they come and use the best of our mind and heart to make our decisions and choose the path, paved or not, that will give us the most contentment.
Saturday, March 19, 2005
I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that I've started and stopped writing a post about five times in the last month. Certain things prompt me to want to start madly typing away every thought that enters my mind, but then the whole drive dies down and I end up deleting everything. Lately I've been lacking a lot of things, motivation being one. It's one of the manical-depressive moods you enter when one thing goes wrong and problems start snow balling into one giant headache you can't rid yourself of.

I would start to detail all of these issues but it's not only the fear of seeming like a lunatic, but being that vulnerable and sharing things with absolute strangers - or worse, the people you know well and see every day. Having them eye you in a different way than yesterday would just get my OCD back in action and I'd tear my mind up wondering what they're thinking about me. It's difficult to open yourself up to people. Some people do it very easily and casually - they'll spill the most horrid and embarrassing details about themseleves to anyone, anywhere. But then again you never know if they're being honest or just using a false front to cover up real issues bothering them. Ever wonder that? No matter how well you know someone, do you really know them well enough. There are some people out there, many who are good friends of mine, who I can't help but wonder if there's more to them than the shallowness that I encounter. I don't mean 'shallow' in its negative sense, but rather the lack of depth and substance some people bring to their conversations. I am sometimes afraid to bring up certain topics because I can't imagine that person having a decent answer so I keep decide to stick to the general small talk about music, movies, and the lighter side of life. But the truth is that they may be just like me and be bursting to delve into a meaningful topic with someone as I sometimes am. It's really rare that we find these people, but it just may be a good thing - a reason why they're even called a soulmate or kindred spirit - when you find them life just seems to make more sense around you; you're not as alone in your mind as you thought.

It's impossible to imagine what really goes on in another person's mind, and sometimes I'd prefer not to know. There are people who live two seperate lives - one as the nice family guy who's got a steady job, while his "business trips" are actually a life he leads with a whole other family (seriously now I read all these stories in Time magazine...). Or people who end up committing suicide when you couldn't possibly imagine that they had a trouble in the world - turns out they've been suffering from untreated depression for years and it finally got the better of them. Or neighbors who turn out to be serial killers. (I've been watching too much of Desperate Housewives). I guess it turns out that we don't want to know that much about everyone, but on the same note, it wouldn't be horrible to get more in touch with our friend who we think we know. You may just end up helping them with a problem you didnt know they had and find a kindred spirit of your own.

On a similar note, I know who my kindred spirit would be. Zach Braff. You know, that funny guy from the show "Scrubs" (which has now taken over the reigning spot of ER as my new obsessive and favorite show. Yes, I said it. Here I've written it and posted it for the world to see and take shock over...ok, so not so dramatic). Back to my new buddy Zach Braff. Ever since I've watched the movie "Garden State" I've just been so surprised at how some perpetual stranger can take so many of your own thoughts, write them out, get Natalie Portman to help you act it out, and win all sorts awards for the movie. He also won a Grammy for the amazing soundtrack that he arranged for the movie (which he wrote, directed, and starred in). He's really funny too, he's got a web blog that he posts on and it's cool to see a star like him seem so down to earth. And Scrubs is unbelievably funny and an amazing one combines drama and comedy better.