Back to Buffalo, Back to Worries

Return to Buffalo - 3

Spoiler Warning: If you intend to enjoy this film / book, you might not want to read this…

While flying the last stretch to Buffalo, I read this book called “The Secret” which was made into a film as well. From what I understand, the film and book have enjoyed major marketing hype, and even the cover of the book tries to sell itself a little hard. Hopping off the plane at the Buffalo Niagara Airport, an airport staff spotted the book and said that he watched the DVD and felt it was great. So does the fluff bluff?

Yes, I wouldn’t have read it on my own. Given that it was a gift from a good friend, I easily plowed through the colorful pages (yay, picture book!) and realized that it simply spoke of how we think as a projection of how we want our realities shaped. That is, if you’re depressed, it’s because you keep thinking of depressive thoughts. This ties into the law of attraction which the contributors subscribe to. If you have a positive outlook towards life, positive outcomes will be expected.

I can see why this was given to me as a “feel-good” farewell gift… being in Buffalo, not many of you know how depressive it can be to me. While it gets worse in winter, this is a place where I have a lot of personal freedom, but am confined by my mind (or the sheer amount of work I am suppose to be doing).

If you’ve read my blog long enough you’d know that I’ve mentioned this before, that academia might not be the thing for me as I find it too restrictive. Academic rigor is important, but I enjoy going out, getting hands-on and working with people. In contrast, writing papers just seems too solitude an exercise to me. I’d love to work with others on research, but part of the requirement in my program is to work alone to prove my worth, aka sole authorship. The thing that keeps me going is the goodwill academic work brings to mankind, by being directly responsible for the understanding our world, and eventually the meaning of our existence.

I do wish there were some way to find happiness in what I do… waking up each day in Buffalo in cold sweat isn’t exactly enticing. One year to get everything done, or else.

P.S. Note to self… aren’t you suppose to stay positive? It’s all in your head.

15 thoughts on “Back to Buffalo, Back to Worries

  1. Great to know that you have just returned back to Buffalo safe and sound. Well, the important thing is to complete that last stretch.

    From a person who have been through that phase, just focus and put your mind to finish it, you will feel much better after the whole thing and wonder how you have managed to do it. If all that you do are not so fun, you still have a group of friends back home rooting for you.

    Hope that all are well.

    Take care,

  2. Nice to know that you have reached back in Buffalo safe and sound. Yeah I heard you mention to us about the solitude and loneliness there too, but at least you have a chance to be an academic and enjoy its accompanying benefits. I would love to study for one, but I find that I am stuck currently due to the high opportunity cost of leaving my current job and being a fulltime student. But the thought does occur to me now and then. Perhaps the time will come when I will also go back to my books.

    Meanwhile, enjoy the snow and remember to keep us posted on your life there. Remember that Singapore will always love you, inspector gadget!

  3. hey kev,

    just watching you on That’s IT on channel newsasia now.
    was reading email on my mac and had digital CNA on the background and suddenly hey, that voice seems familiar. it’s you. now it’s on the front window. LOL

    glad u are safe n sound in Buffalo.

  4. Thanks for the heartfelt responses guys. I’m glad that folks back in Singapore enjoy what I have to share. Now it’s a matter of me making it work in Buffalo.

    I’ve had prompt advice from family and friends and the bottomline is for me to do what makes me happy, even if it means not getting my PhD. I was consumed by how being a doctor would be the ultimatum to me, but I think there’s more to life than that (even though it’d be useful to have).

    Will do what I love, and if fellow academics apprciate it, then good for all. 🙂

  5. hey man, glad to know that you’re safe there…Keep in touch ya? And keep doing what you do coz you’re making a huge difference…=)

  6. Hi, I definitely understand how it feels, the endless cycles of joy and depression in doing research. I have one more year to go as well. The sight of fellow grad students successfully completing their thesis is motivating, albeit often with a dose of anxiety as I wonder when will be my turn. So good luck to you and bon courage!

  7. Wow… can’t even blame team-mates for mistakes, that would suck. But yeah Kevin, push your way through! You make such an amazing impact here, and I think everyone who knows you can’t wait for you to come back.

    Like Veron! 🙂

  8. @Ridz: Thanks for the emo support.:P

    @Chris: Glad to know I’m not the only one experiencing this too. I’ll get things in order and work for the best. 🙂

    @Farinelli: 🙂

    @Otterman: Yeah, time for me to reflect on everything that has transpired.

  9. I think (well, actually, I know) that’s its really common for PhD students to feel like this sometimes. Lots of people stop doing a PhD, but they all learn stuff from the experience. Just don’t stop blogging!

  10. We all have these cycles of ups and downs. I find that it helps when we think and do something for others, other than doing only for ourselves. Volunteer work etc. Yeah, where to find time right? Well, if we get sick, we find time to see the doctor. So might as well do something now that get “sick” later. 🙂

  11. Kevin,
    Welcome back to the States!
    This will mark my many years here. Enjoy your time before Winter hits, sounds like you need an extra boost during those months.
    For the other readers who have not endured or survived a winter in the Northern US, it is a bruttle experience. You will either love it or hate it. My kids (half Singaporean-Ang Moh) grew up here, they enjoy it. We have temperatures at -10F with 2 inches of ice and 1 foot of snow above it (that is what we wake up to).

    Well, Kevin, welcome back north. Good luck with your academic pursuit. Remember you are not alone even in the great white cold.
    PS. as least you are near a Chinatown.

  12. Hey Kevin,

    Take care of yourself in Buffalo. And man, I have always wanted to try the buffalo wings there. 😛

    The Secret is an interesting book/movie. Caught it last year and although everything was a marketing message but I saw the message that it was trying to get across.

    Be in the space of happiness and not supposed to be.. see if it helps 🙂

    See ya ard!

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