On Nice Guys and How to Break the Friendzone

Are you a nice guy? Do you suffer from being relegated to the friend-zone, every… single…time? You know, like that one time with that girl who you really liked but rejected you only to go out with some Ivy league protein powder addict who really didn’t care about her the way you did. He really isn’t her type and you somehow just know it.  But girls always seem to fall for those guys. Maybe nice guys really do finish last.

Hold up, I think there is a little problem here.

So as self-proclaimed “nice-guys”, y’all think that just because you spend time listening to her troubles, ask her about how she is feeling occasionally, and is there for her when she needs you warrants an escalation into a serious relationship? Well, if that was the case, then every true friend who has ever cared for and dedicated their time to you must have been in a relationship with you too. Wow, you must have been active. God forbid that a girl enjoys your friendship, but does not want to have sex with you.

But that one time though, when she was really drunk at the party and you walk her back all the way across campus back to her dorm without even thinking about making a move on her. Nope, you didn’t even think about it. So are you suppose to be rewarded now for not committing sexual assault? There is a reward for that, it’s called not being in prison.

The real issue of being a “nice-guy” lies with your mind., A mind full of unreasonable expectations, sexual manipulation, and a skewed view of what friendship and human interaction really means can be a real problem. We treat others with dignity, respect  and honor not because we want something in return from them. This is not a transaction of assets. What being friend-zoned is is really an illustration of cause of effect, how skewed expectations and thoughts can affect our intentions and actions, and how those actions when met with unexpected results can lead us to feel very negatively about ourselves, or “friend-zoned”.

So how can you nice guys break through this friend-zone? By becoming genuinely interested in other people. Don’t get ahead of yourselves with unwarranted expectations. Make the other person feel important, and do it sincerely. Give honest appreciation. Treat people with the dignity and respect that every living being deserves. Do that, and soon you will be breaking down more than just friend zones.

Interviewing Wellesley Students About “Love”

So I am currently doing an externship (I don’t even know what that means) at Wellesley College’s Communication and PR Dept., and during my lunch breaks I have decided to be super productive and interview Wellesley students on what they think love looks like today…..in the modern world. However, I am not too sure if these folks are actually students, cause school doesn’t start for another wk, but meanwhile I will keep their identities confidential as they asked. It would appear that a lot of these educated folks here have had the opportunity to see Spike Jonze’s “Her”, as some answers pertains to the rise of technology and its effects on relationships today.

Q: “What do you think love looks like today?”

“Love is the antithesis of fear.”

“It comes down to the individual and their own needs, I guess.”

“Honestly, people today are always talk about ‘oh technology is bad, blah blah’, I think technology might modify how we go about meeting our basic human needs, but they don’t change those needs.”

“I think technology has taken down a lot of barriers, we are all more accessible now, sex can be technological transactioned and it makes it very tricky emotionally.”

Q: “How do you view separations and breakups?”

“Relationships are gonna end dude. If they go great and long, then all that means then is someone is gonna watch their favorite person die. Sorry, I am just bitter. They are the most important thing.”

“I just broke up with my partner, I really don’t wanna talk about this. But these separations is what stops me from wanting to start again.”

“Maybe it’s time, maybe the idea of monogamy is exhausted in this society?”

Q: “What does relationships mean to you?”

“When I feel like I can say anything to someone else.”

“It’s like you are sharing your life with somebody and it is just the best feeling ever.”

“Relationships are weird, how they work, how they function, how they fail, what makes them fail, how they disappear, and change? I don’t really get it, but they are still amazing regardless.”

PS: I decided to do this interview during my work at an all-women college partly due to my bias belief that somehow women are kinda smarter than man, in their attention to detail, their wisdom dealing with the minute interactions of everyday relationships, and their cunning introspection in regards to relationships and people.

 

Spreading the Love <3

In my short lived life of 18 yrs, I have been extremely fortunate to have not only a great foundation of parents and friends to ground me but also the unwarranted gift of being able to accomplish the things I have set out to do. I am grateful for that every single moment of my life. Which is why it is my life goal and daily endeavor to help as many people as I can to touch as many lives as I can before I return to the dirt. Few phenomenal events today further reinforced my believe in “spreading the love” and actively reaching out to other people for no ulterior motives.

I was  heading out to Philly tonight with my hometown homie “Mase-on” to watch the Philly screening of the movie Linsanity at Ritz 5 on Walnut and 2nd street. We get to the theater about 6:50 PM and the movie begins at 7:30PM. So we tots have the option of  40mins of free “freezing” time outside or find something else to do.  So being the lazy person I am, I decided to tackle the closest restaurant for warmth and security, which turned out to be this place called Zahav about 50 yrds away.  The Place had the look of a place that was way beyond our budget (“Do you have a reservation?” being the 1st question asked kinda gave it away), so instead of saying “hey we are broke-college students, whatcha got there for us?”, I simply told them we had some time to burn before a movie and would like a drink and some laffa bread to fill-up. The bartender gave us this look as if we were robbing their “potential income” by occupying two bar seats with our “$4 laffa orders and ginger ale”.

15mins in, I get kinda anxious when our laffas haven’t shown up, maybe they be secretly hating on us? Turns out it was on the side of a couple sitting right next to us, they not only return us the warm and fresh laffa, but also gives us all of their leftovers (which was plenty), including their “fried goat cheese thingies” which tasted like heaven (if one so do exists) and a bunch of other condiments for our laffa. We devour the laffa. Then order another one. This one takes 1min to arrive. We devour the laffa, again. The girl in the couple asks us if we are Chinese. We say “Made in China”. She says she is half, and her father is a man from southern China who wears cowboy boots and has a southern accent (b/c he lived in Texas). I check the watch. It’s time to go.

Just when I turned to ask for the check, the bartender says “no, it’s on me”. We were so surprised, and thanked them (couple and bartender) profusely for the next 3 minutes until we remember we had a movie to catch. Our initial reactions was “wow, we don’t deserve this, better do something good for other people starting now”. We march on to Ritz 5, and walks in right in time for screen to say “please wait 10more mins, but we have free posters and drinks.” What a night.

PS: So as my way of giving back, “Mase-on” and me will be at the SCI center the rest of this wk (until Fri) during lunch time to pay for random people who we don’t know and have no connections to as they hurry there for that “Asian cuisine”, you know just cause. 🙂

Stuff I Hear @College…

As you all know, I am not much of a talker. I don’t really like to talk nor do I do it too often, a benefit of that is that I get to hear a lot of things, very interesting things.  Here is a list of the some of the things I hear at Swarthmore, that I just haven’t had the privilege of hearing in my high schools in Walnut.

1.) “OMG, its 60 degrees out! It’s so warm today.”

2.) “Look! it’s the sun.” (And I came here with the thought that “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”)

3.) “I totally just failed that!” (ok tbh, I hear that at Walnut all the time, nothing has changed)

4.) “Wow, everyone on this campus is so attractive, I don’t know if I belong here or not” (ok, no one says that)

5.) “Do you wanna come over and study with me?” (like what does that even mean, never heard it before)

6.) “A: I haven’t slept in 4 days! B: I haven’t slept this whole semester!”

7.) “I was in Sharples the whole day” (like why?)

8.) “I have no friends!” (yeah, not with that attitude)

9.) “Sharples dining is just too good, I am really gonna miss it when I eventually graduate.”

10.) “DU parties are so sick, I am gonna go work at BlackWater and come back to party here when I am in my 30s.” (and it won’t be awkward at all)

11.) “Let’s get fuck’d up!!” (definitely have never heard that before, what does it even mean?)

12.) “Solid night, bro” (is there like a liquid or gas night?)

13.) “I am from Jersey, not the shore”

14.) “What’s your gender pronoun preference?” (definitely a new one but I like it, FYI you can just call me Jerry or Gerbear)

15.) “Do you identify as Asian?” (I really don’t have a lot of choices, do I ?)

16.) “Do you like this college?” (I mean I have only been to one college, and this is that one)

17.) “How did you get into Swarthmore?” (idk, I asked politely)

18.) “Where are you from? Where are your parents from?” (are we arranging marriages here?)

19.) “Oh sorry I can’t go, I have office hrs” (1st time I heard that term)

20.) “You are not bisexual, I think you are pansexual.” (what does that even mean?)
21.)” Yo, that shit Heteronormative bro”

To be cont’d

There Will Always Be Problems

Recently, I have come to realize that there will always be problems in the world. No matter how hard we try to prevent them or solve the present issues, there will always be new challenges and dilemmas. We live in a world of constant change, and constantly changing problems, that is a fact.

But that is what makes life itself worth it, if it was all dandy all the time, it would be like those movies that no one would want to watch. Living itself is difficult, and that’s the beauty of life. Because there will always be problems, we should focus on the present, the today, the now and solve what problems we already have in hand, instead of bitching about the past or worrying about the future. We should view the problems we face as a necessity to life, an ingredient to living, and the muscle-milk for personal growth.

Too many people today make the conscious choice to use their time to find excuses or look for “legit reasons” to shy away from confronting the reality (which is a world filled with problems), instead of thinking about how to “make the time” for something, why not just do it, then you will have made the time for it.

Problems will continue to exist, whether we deal with them or not will determine how long we will continue to exist.

Life @ Shaolin: What I Actually Do

With the backdrop of an rapidly advancing China led its new open-minded leaders and the rise of the commercialized enterprise called “Shaolin Temple” lead by its political minded abbot Yongxin, I think it is important to talk about why I am here and what I really do.

I came to Shaolin, not because of the flashy kungfu so often wrongly portrayed as voilence in action movies, but because of the “spirit of shaolin”; it’s essence of a peaceful mind centered around three parts the chan ( Zen Meditation), wu (martial arts), and yi (Chinese herbal medicine). These are the reasons why I came to Shaolin, and these are the principles that, many say, have been neglected in preference for tourists dollars, commercial deals, and personal indulgence in the name of spreading the Shaolin name. But just because many say it isn’t here, doesn’t mean I will just pack my bags up and leave (the thought never crossed my mind), and now after months of work and working my connections, I ended up with my own version of the “Chan, Wu, Yi”.

A typical day looks a little like this:
5:30-6:30 am: Morning Prayer Class with the few monks that actually wake up early enough for this, most tend to sleep in till much later.
7:30am: Breakfast at my current residence, a flat I rented on a nearby hill just beyond the temple’s view.

9:00-12:00pm: Traditional kungfu training with my master in the mountains behind the temple, away from the swarming tourists.

12:30pm: Lunch back at my place, follow by meditation then a nap till 2:00pm.

2:30-5:30pm: Training in the mountains, sometimes we train among the thousand yr old buildings in the temple to get a bit more feel.

6:30pm: Dinner.

7:00-9:00: Tea time at my master’s tea lounge, where I meet and learn from all kinds of people from Chinese medicine experts to martial arts film directors, it is truly one of the most enriching experiences of the day, even after all the training.

9:30: Usually when I go to sleep, once a wk, I will take time to reply to all my emails, fb msg, and etc. But most nights ends in me sleeping soundly.

This happens to me Monday through Friday, sometimes I have more Zen-centered conversations with my master during training, so I have to train more on my own time, but this is a rough sketch of my life here. On Saturdays, I head down to the Shaolin Orphanage a couple miles down the mountain to spend some time with the kids, they are just the cutest, weirdest, most awesome-part of my week. I play basketball with them, teach them how to rap to Tupac songs, educate them in the art of sarcasm, occasionally some formal English classes when the head of the orphanage is looking, but en general just spreading that “Jerry Wisdom”. On Sundays, I wash my cloth and myself included, clean the uncleaned, unwrinkled the wrinkled, write the unwritten, blog the un-blogged, and check usually send a call to my mother telling her that I am still alive and well and that I hope she knows how lucky and unlucky she is to be living in Amurica.

Surely, I did not expect to experience 90% of the troubles I have met so far, but life has a way of circling back to where it begins, so eventually I did end up with the Shaolin spirit of (chan, wu, yi), just in my own unplanned, unexpected, and unique way. And I made a whole bunch of friends along the ways, who are all in some way connected to my past.

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Once a month, women go crazy for about 30 days

The series of articles called “Just Being Jerry” is back, along with a set of questions I have acquired about this “society” after spending months living with monks in an isolated monastery.

One of the main differences between living in the monastery and living in anywhere else “not there” is the amount of females I  get to meet and have to deal with on a daily basis.  There are females around the monastery, don’t get me wrong, but they number around the teens and decreases in number as the season changes. So in reality we don’t see or interact with females at all. In fact do we even see or interact with people all that much, other than the bother monks we train with.

Being back in the society and living with people everyday, I am observing a lot of new trends that I did not realize before when I was a HS student living in the states. One of the first things I notice is that people (of all backgrounds and income) love to complain; parents complain about their kids not studying all the time, mothers complaining about their daughters not getting married soon enough, workers complaining about their boss not paying them enough, and woman complaining about just every little thing possible. Man can be guilty of this at times too, but it is a skill in which woman tend to excel in, without much formal training.

It seems that this constant complaining combined with unpredictable mood-swings and a loud screeching scream are some of the main causes of headaches, high blood-pressure, and receding hairlines in the male population. I have been living in the mountains long enough to be smart enough to avoid experiencing the above causes first hand, but a counterargument I hear is that woman drive the man crazy, causing them to lose reason and do things they wouldn’t normally do (excessive shopping, need for expensive goods, and over-eating) and thus helps to drive the economy. So put that together, you get “woman who drive man crazy, helps to drive the economy”. But my momma once told me that “someone can’t drive you crazy if you don’t give them the keys”. people-cant-drive-you-crazy-if-dont-mike-bechtle-paperback-cover-art

The Path Untraveled

It was the summer of 2007, and being the weirdo that I am I was home doing one of my favorite pastimes, watching movies (mainly documentaries). It was a summer that would shape my thinking and guide my action for years to come. It was the first time that I watched Al’s “The Inconvenient  Truth” that would later go on to win the Oscar for Best Long Documentary, and the first time I was really expose to the issue of Environmental Protection and the importance of Sustainability. I didn’t know the minor fabrications in data or the business implication behind it back then, all I knew was that there was a big problem with the way we were interacting with our environment and that I had to do something about it. Since then I have spent countless hours planning, thinking, organizing, and “doing something about it”. That one long-ass documentary has been rightly shown to me at a very impressionable time of my life, it was one of those forks in the road, and I decided to take the one on the left.

Now years later, I am thrust back into the path not taken, the right side of the fork, by a chance so freackin random. The Best Short Documentary of the 2007 Oscar is called “The Blood of Yingzhou District”, a film about an AIDS orphan in Anhui province in China, it was the documentary that I did not see back in that fateful summer, the right side of the fork in the road. I recently met up with a old friend of my mother who she hasn’t seen in more than 10 yrs, Mrs. Zhang, and apparently she has now become the Head Organizer of one of China’s only AIDS orphan organizations in Yingzhou District in Anhui Province, the most AIDS infected area in all of “the 1.3 Billion strong” nation of China. After hearing about her work, I immediately requested to go to the AIDS Orphanage with her today (which is a 2 hr  flight away), to better understand the work of her organization and more importantly to see how I help her and the AIDS victims in China by finding our more about them, first person and first hand.

I now sit on my train on the way to Yingzhou District, watching 2007’s Best Short Documentary, the one that I missed when I was 13 and the path not taken, until now.  I hope you can all watch the film, “The Blood of Yingzhou District”, not only to understand the journey that I have now embarked upon, but also to learn about the state of “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” when concerning AIDS victims and orphans in China.

I Miss My Friends..

Rarely do I express my “softer” side, but that doesn’t mean it does not exist.

Knowing that most of my friends have come home for Winter break, and seeing them post pics of meeting up with old HS homies really gets my emotions going and reminds me of just how much I miss you all. I miss talking to you guys, spending time together, and just being in y’all’s presence.

Making it worse are my painful injuries (in my ankle, and knee) which keeps from training and gives me the time to sit around and think about my old HS homies and how much I miss them. But do not worry, time flies, and it will be soon before we see each other again, so I am gonna try my best and learn as much as I can, so we’ll have something to talk about when I get back.

In the meantime, I am going to send y’all my best wishes for this Holiday season, have yourselves a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. The Mayan Calender might end tomorrow, but I believe it is just the start of new, and better future. Our future.

PS: Seeing people posting KBBQ pics and Boba pics really get my stomach missing things too. But if you would like a Happy Holidays msg from me on “why I miss ya”, you can just like this post or like its counterpart on fb, since I am nursing injuries, I got lots of time.

Midnight in Paris…..

Remember I told y’all that there was a French dude who is staying here to “experience our lives” for a week, well apparently after translating for him, I not only improved my French by miles, but I also made a great friend. I mean the guy just brought out the best of me, and to me that’s what a friend is for. His name is Michael, a dude of 29 working in Paris, who is also extremely interested in Buddhism ideals. He has been practicing martial arts for 3 yrs, and is now coming to Shaolin Temple to learn more traditional techniques. I don’t know why, but we always seems to have these conversations about race and society. It is only after he has left, did I begin to recall our talks.

I taught him about Mexican gangs and Korean BBQs in socal, he taught me about the different Muslims and Algerians in Paris. He told me that though Australian chicks are hot, they are also “bitchy af”, I told him that though all the monks here are Chinese, not all Chinese know martial arts. I complained about the Christian faith’s need to “convert” and he complained about his Muslim co-workers’s “selectively permeable interpretation” of their holy book. We did agree upon Buddhism’s intelligence in remaining inquisitive and always seeking out answers instead of followers. Our talks went on and on into the night (I normally sleep at 9:00pm, but we spoke till midnight) I spoke with my mix of 5th grade French and 11th grade English( cause I didn’t learn anything senior yr academically) and he responded with his flashy French and unfathomable English.

After some compassionate babbling  we reached this point of lucid pity for the first world nations of today (US, FR, GB), especially the youth of those nations. Because we realize that society today is too comfortable, too nonchalant, and sometimes even too care-free. And that impression of comfort and stability on the outside helps hides hideous and dangerous problems within. The problem? The problem is that there hasn’t been a big enough problem or disaster yet to make people realize just what’s wrong with themselves and our society. Back in the 70s, we had the grueling war in Vietnam that dragged on for yrs as a constant reminder of what’s wrong, in the 60s we had the struggles for civil rights that continuously screamed out what’s wrong, and in each of those cases, whether you like to call them “liberals”, “black-lovers”, or “hippies”, the youth or young people were extremely demonstrative and vocal in their protest of what they thought was wrong and in demanding answers and action from their government. But sadly, the youth of today seems overly concerned with watching the last part of Twilight, getting a higher SAT score, observing their favorite college football team, or getting $2 chipotle on Halloween than to actually perceive whats happening in their society and to take action in attempt to better it. Yes, some do act, but it is not enough. Individual actions matter and have a possibility of changing the world, but that possibly is rather low in comparison to what generational actions can do.

We are called the “Internet Generation”, or “iphone generation”, but whatever it is that we are called, it is about time we start making use of the “vast array of technology” in our hands to do more than to facebook stalk that girl you have a crush on. It is about time for us to use our iphones and macbooks, facebook and instagram, for more than ourselves. It is about time to clean your lenses and see the world for what it is. Well, at least that is what I think, for now.