I hate giving up. I really do.
It’s a mantra programmed into my mind from young. As a pre-schooler, you read books about the tortoise that never gave up racing the hare, or the princess that never gave up wishing for her handsome prince, and so on and so forth.
“Never give up!”
“Just do it!”
“Success is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration!”
If those slogans sound familiar to you…I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
I dropped my drawing class today.
I just did it. I went to my school’s web registration site, and clicked “drop course.”
“Are you sure you want to drop this course?” the site asked me.
My clicker quivered over the “yes” button. I hesitated, pondered some more. Then I drew in a deep breath, and clicked.
“You have successfully dropped the course Fine Arts: Drawing B” the site announced.
I sighed. It was both a sigh of reluctance and relief. This was it. No turning back now. I had dropped my drawing class. Which meant I would no longer be a fine arts minor.
I am—was—a print journalism major with a double-minor in Chinese and Fine Arts. My schedule for the rest of my school years were already planned and packed full in order for this to happen.
Before I signed up for my double minors, advisors on all sides told me that it was not the best idea.
”You’re going to have a full plate just with your journalism core courses,” my journalism advisor warned me. “They’re gonna take a lot of work and time.”
“Hm, wow, are you sure?” my Chinese advisor asked me when she saw my schedule.
“Why don’t you just take drawing classes without the minor?” my fine arts advisor suggested skeptically.
But no. I just had to do it. I had to have my triple degrees. Why?
Well, one of the reasons is because I truly am interested in all those subjects. Why, if I could, I would love to study Judaism and history and screenwriting and photography and piano as well. Why not? I’m in college! I should take advantage of the education offered to me!
In fact, I thought I was being rational by just narrowing my choices down to journalism, Chinese, and fine arts.
But to be completely honest, another reason I did this was to prove to myself that I’m some kind of a super human. Which unfortunately, I am not.
I still need sleep. I still need some rest and recreation in my life. I still need to eat regular meals and meet friends and just…relax. I couldn’t do that while juggling all my classes, homework, project, Daily Trojan assignments, blogging and social life.
No matter how much my mind pushed, my body resisted. I started dreading and craving sleep at the same time. As soon as one article was written, I had to start on another project, or another research essay, or another 60-page reading assignment.
I gradually stopped enjoying some of my classes, especially art classes. I had trouble getting up in the morning, so I missed a bunch of my art classes (which starts at 9 in the morning). I found myself just rushing through my art projects instead of giving them the full dedication and focus that my other art classmates did.
When your mind and body are tired, even something you were passionate about ceases to bring you joy.
Today, I missed art class again. I’d woken up at 6:40 a.m. in the morning, got up, drank some coffee, and then got back into bed again. I didn’t even know I had dozed off until I woke up in panic at 10:20 a.m.
I grumbled and groaned and cursed. Attendance is a huge part of my grade. With my attendance record, my grade was probably already down to a B. What the hell is wrong with me, I fumed, mentally screaming: F**K ME!!!!
And then I was suddenly aware of how ludicrous I sounded. I clearly needed the sleep, but I was upset because I might get a B in a class I was starting to detest because I was overworking myself to death. When did I get this dumb?
Well, since I stopped living to enjoy life, and started living to do more, more and more in life. I had gotten sidetracked by trying to make myself into some kind of superhuman, instead of enjoying the person I already am.
I remembered what my father told me that weekend. “A successful life isn’t about overworking yourself to achieve something,” he said. “It’s about living successfully with joy, love, and peace.” And then he added, “So remember to rest and eat something yummy.”
I swear the man is some kind of psychic.
So with that in mind, I give up my fine arts minor. I have yet to drop it, but without my drawing class, it’ll be impossible for me to earn enough credits to gain a fine arts minor degree now. But honestly…I am really bummed and slightly depressed. I still can’t seem to shake off the mentality that by giving up, I’m a failure.
Please, somebody pull me back before I go groveling at the feet of my art professor asking for re-admittance. And the best way to do that is to ask me out to dinner.
A couple weeks ago, I treated two of my friends to dinner at Culver City. It was because I had a late interview at Culver City, and I didn’t think it was safe to take the bus home at 9 p.m. and walk 2 miles back home in the dark.
So I asked my dear friend Valerie to pick me up and offered to treat her to dinner at Culver City as a way to thank her.
I also asked my friend Jordan (remember her?) along to dinner because she had driven me to and fro a few times before and refuse to accept gas money.
We (that means me) decided to go to Tara’s Himalayan restaurant. Valerie left the dinner venue to me because she said she trusted my tastes. Atta girl.
Tara’s Himalayan is a small, eclectic restaurant that sells Nepalese and Tibetan cuisine. I’d never had Himalayan cuisine before, and neither have Valerie or Jordan.
The place is dark with low ceilings and gaudy curtains. When you enter it, you feel like you’ve entered a tent. It had soft, chanting music playing in the background, and some intriguing trinkets hung on the wall.
It was way past 9 p.m. when we sat down, so we ordered right away. We first got some complimentary papadum, which is a crispy Indian cracker/flatbread:
With a small dish of sweet potato chutney:
I really didn’t expect the chutney to be sweet potato. I was expecting the typical sweet and sour flavors, but this was slightly smoky and deeply sweet.
The papadum itself was really tasty. Speckled with whole cardamom seeds, it was crunchy, delicate, and very palatable.
She also got a side of regular naan with some mango chutney:
Really, really good naan. You can tell by the way they tear apart. Nice flaky exterior, amazing chewy interior.
Valerie had the flu that day, so she stuck with something to clear her sinus:
She got the Thukpa Sherpa’s Stew, which is a stew simmered from fresh vegetables, tomatoes and mountain-grown spices in a hearty broth with noodles.
For the lack of a better word, it tasted AWESOME. And for the lack of a better comparison, because I’ve never tried this dish before, it tasted like a more intense, jacked up bowl of tom yum soup. It was spicy, sour, savory and hearty all at once.
But if I may so modest (or not) to say so, my dish was by far the best of the night. Heh heh.
I got the Yak Chili:
No, not yuck at all. It’s yak. Yak! Yak is this hairy bovine raised in the Himalayan mountains. It looks like this:
Ooh. Quite the tough-looking beast, isn’t he? But let me tell you, he’s seriously yummy!
My yak chili came with boneless sliced Yak, sautéed with fresh ginger, garlic, onion, tomato and bell pepper. I asked for it to be as spicy as possible.
Why do I do this to myself? I seriously underestimated the Nepalese ability to make their food insanely spicy. No wonder the waitress smirked when I asked the chili to be spicy as hell.
She probably returned to the kitchen and told the cook, “This crazy Korean girl thinks she can outspice us!”
The cook probably chortled and said, “Ha! I’ll show her the true meaning of hell!” And they all probably cackled out loud at the poor foolish girl who didn’t know what was awaiting her.
But yeah. It was dreadfully spicy. The stuff was coated in some kind of fiery red chili oil or something, and my nose started running. The fact that it was an unusually gusty night didn’t help.
The basmati that came on the side kind of helped, but I could still feel years of nose clogging being unleashed (sorry, TMI).
But for what’s its worth, the yak chili was outrageously delicious. Even though my stomach was starting to burn, I couldn’t stop stuffing my mouth with more.
The yak meat itself is kind of tough and dry, but that was the selling point. It had the texture of a tenderized beef jerky—and I loooove beef jerky. Plus you can’t say no to chili oil saturated with garlic and ginger.
So. I’m doing a few mental calculations right now. Now that I’ve dropped my art class, I would have about 8 to 10 extra hours a week. Guess I’m going to be dining out a lot more.
After all, in the words of my daddy, success is having sufficient rest and eating yummy food. Something to that effect, anyway.
Question of the Day: What was one thing that you had to give up for the good? The hardest thing you had to give up?