Tag: community

A Tribute to My Late Mom

I’m happy and honored that I had her as my mom.

She showed her love for her community by helping her neighbors with their social services paperwork, voting, sharing links to news articles, and contacting politicians.

She showed her love for me by saying, “Go do something fun,” at the end of our conversations. It made her sad how much I ruminated about stressful things, and she encouraged me to try to tap into the more refreshing side of life, which I’m still working on, thanks to her.

She showed her love for my dad by putting minutes on his phone for him every month, since he really struggled to figure out how to do it.

When we hung out, we spent most of our time together watching crime shows and playing Pokemon. We had so much fun! One of the last things I told her as she was dying, which she unfortunately couldn’t respond to because she was in a coma, was that I’d continue our criminology tradition by trying to get a volunteer job in the field, such as possibly visiting kids at the juvenile detention center.

Halloween was her favorite holiday. This is the day her spirit tells me that she wants me to do the most for her every year in her memory. Monster movies, such as the Frankenstein ones, were among her favorite kind.

Aside from criminology, her other favorite subjects to learn about included anthropology and linguistics. Sadly, she regretted not majoring in anthropology in college, but she did get to minor in linguistics. At least one, maybe a few of her classes were in anthropology. We shared both fascinations and frustrations with trying to understand people.

Security was one of her values that was most important to her. She was very mindful about things like going to her medical appointments and having two phones in case one of them was lost or stolen. It seems that her favorite aspect of security to learn and discuss was finance. She enjoyed going over her budget and scoping out sales and other ways to save money. Recently, she contributed a guest post involving safety in the kitchen.

Aside from Pokemon, she also enjoyed playing Sims a lot. She had a routine of playing every Sims game the same way, by having her sims run a nectar (their word for wine) business from their homes so that she could manage their needs more easily. In her Pokemon games, she liked more variety, and gave herself little challenges to entertain herself. One challenge that she’d sometimes do was to beat a Pokemon game with a team full of Pokemon of the same type, which was tricky, because there are 18 types, which have different strengths and weaknesses to each other.

Thank you, Mom, for being part of my life.

 

 

A Simple Mathematical Thought Experiment for Finding Hope

If you’re suffering from depression or anxiety, using even very simple math may help you feel more hopeful that your life can get better.

For example, I currently only know my parents and professionals who provide me services, such as my therapist. One source of my mental illness has been wondering if I’ll ever have friendships in my life.

I just thought of an easy mathematical thought experiment today that has somewhat improved my outlook. For the sake of easy math, I rounded my age up from 24 to 25, and estimated that I’ll live to age 75. That would, theoretically, give me about 50 years to try to make friends.

If, for 50 years, I go to one social event (i.e, a book club at my local bookstore) per month, that’ll give me 600 opportunities throughout the rest of my life to meet potential friends. If I have a 1% chance of meeting someone who becomes a friend at any given event, then theoretically, there would still be six events in my lifetime at which I’d meet a new friend. Making six friends throughout my lifetime would still be better than the number of friends I’d have if I don’t socialize, which would be zero.

If I manage to go to two social events per month, that would be around 1200 opportunities to meet potential friends. At 1% odds, that could be 12 friendships throughout my lifetime.

If I go to four social events per month, that would be around 2400 opportunities, and that could be 24 friendships throughout my lifetime.

I know that in reality, the probability that I’ll make friends is a lot more complicated. There are a lot of factors involved. The purpose of this exercise, at least for now, isn’t to calculate what exact odds of making friends, but to give a broad overview of how simply spending enough time socializing throughout our lives, in itself, can give us better odds than we might initially think of finding the connections we hope for.