What’s your M.O.?

“What’s your M.O.?”

One of my brother’s close friends asked me this question earlier this week. I think I must have given her a funny look because she backtracked to clarify: “M.O. means main objective. What’s your main objective, in life? Like, what is it that you want to do in your life, and what informs the decisions that you make?”

She and my brother then proceeded to give some examples. One of their friend’s M.O. was to “be happy.” Hers was to “do interesting things,” and my brother’s was “help others.”

Both she and my brother told me that there wasn’t any pressure to answer that night, over our quickly-melting ice cream (Sweet Rose Creamery you are divine). It’d taken them more than a few minutes to figure out theirs, and my brother later told me that it had actually taken him an entire week for him to arrive at his.

In another 24 hours, it will have been a week for me, but I’m still not sure if the answer that came to mind that night in Los Angeles, just a day after my graduation, is really an answer with which I’m completely satisfied. It’s not been for lack of trying, or for lack of words to express my M.O. (Is there anything else a person can do but think when she’s between responsibilities? And clearly, it’s more common for me to have too many words than too few.)

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Photo by Courtney Cheng

Frankly, I’m just not sure the M.O. I’ve come up with can actually constitute as an M.O. Are there rules for this? I think someone — or some people — needs to provide more instructions for me *nudge*.

In lieu of receiving more instructions though, here’s the M.O. I’ve decided upon:

To love people.

Yes, I know. Cue the cheese and the “aw”s and the “ew”s. This is horrendously sappy, and I apologize for it. Now do you understand why I was trying so desperately to find another M.O.?


My cursor’s been sat in this same spot, or well — My cursor had been sitting at the beginning of the previous line for almost 30 minutes before I went for the cop-out, line-break transition rather than bungle together something that would still be dubbed “awk” by any reader. (Not sure if this is any better…)

I’d spent the past half hour debating whether or not I wanted to explain myself and offer evidence to support my M.O., but I realized, given the unpredictability of my readership, I had no clue where to begin.

How do you tell people that you try to love everyone you meet, when everyone and their 4th grade teacher know it’s better to “show, not tell?” In lieu of taking all of you with me on my upcoming travels (unbelievably excited) in an attempt to show you, I’ll offer the second best option:

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Photo by Courtney Cheng

I can’t hold long-term grudges: I’ve befriended people I’d sworn would only be a “cold acquaintance” and I’ve found myself giving the nod of acknowledgement to an ex with whom I shared an incredibly awkward, prolonged, we-are-never-speaking-again breakup before I properly realized who I was addressing. (To this day, I’m not sure if he reciprocated. I was walking a little too quickly to see.)

I keep every piece of memorabilia and souvenir, ever: If there were none to be bought, I’ve literally made memories out of scraps of paper. I’ve kept every single ticket stub (movie, concert, play, ballet, you name it) I’ve ever handled, regardless of the memory associated with it, and once actually spent a full hour mourning the time that I thought I was okay with tossing out few of them. (#alltheregrets)

There are many more things that could be said, but I’ve always been a fan of self-preservation.

TL;DR I care. A lot. About you. About everyone. If you need someone to care, hit me up.


P.S. What’s your M.O.?

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