I just wanted to write a bit.
I’m glad that I started this blog a few months ago. I like being able to read old posts and rifle through pictures and memories which I hope doesn’t come off narcissistic. It’s just that I’m still working on knowing myself and conveying the mess of thoughts in my head and being the kind of human I’d like to be.
Sometimes, I worry I sound too dramatic or teenage-angsty or strange. Or maybe I’m oversharing and some things are better left to myself. The internet is so strangely archival. Sometimes, I don’t really want reminders of the past. And if I embarrass myself or bare too much of my heart, I can’t quite take it back. But I’ve decided I’d rather overshare, be unapologetic about the weird creature I am, and deal with the consequences as I go than be so reserved and closed all the time. What do you care what other people think? Damn this is so hard to internalize.
Thanksgiving break is so close I can almost smell the stuffing……….this past month has been so hectic. I’m thankful for the opportunity to catch a break and be with my family.
I am the physical manifestation of stress right now. A chain of irresponsible decisions to procrastinate due to various excuses has led me here….I have 2 midterms this coming Tuesday, but I have 7 hours of class tomorrow followed by 4 hours of grading other people’s midterms oh boy. I’ve forgotten how exactly to decompress lately…sitting at my desk thinking about the impending doom to follow my midterms did nothing for me except send me off in a spiral of panic and anxiety…I sat and simmered in my own stress for at least 30 minutes, even resorting to lying down on my bed. Even now, it is 11:40pm and I still have to study for two subjects that I almost entirely don’t know. My brain is eMpTY. EMPTY.
Oh man. I know that these tests won’t make or break me, but they sure as hell will make me unhappy when I walk out of them feeling like a mound of braindead mush…aaaaHHAHHHHHHHHHHHhhHH (my perpetual inner monologue).
(on a more positive note, I hosted my first radio show today. Things went ok. I had to frantically message other DJ’s to ask how to turn on the mic though. And I didn’t really know what to talk about…)
(I am stress. I am stress. I am stress………and I have no energy or time to do anything)
Holy shit I can’t focus on homework ……….I hate sayings like “sophomore slump” because all of life is a huge slump, right? But gosh I really am feeling an extra slumpy slump this time around. My head feels like this swarming mass of limp noodle thoughts that keep wriggling and interweaving madly. I feel so anxious because of school. And that fact alone is perplexing and strange and annoying to me all at once. School is not everything! School does not mandate my psyche! But it does. But it shouldn’t! But it does. But it is so much hurtling at me all the time that I can’t help but feel nauseous or have my heart quicken (and not in a romantic way in the least bit) when I think about all the homework sets pummeling my brain and sleep schedule into dust. I’ve tried to meditate lately with this app called Headspace. I think it helps me recenter when I feel like my mind is bouncing off the walls of my head. But what if this is a chronic symptom? Symptom of what? I have been spending so much time to myself all the weeks I’ve been here. And I think I prefer it that way. But I can’t tell. I prefer it that way I think, but my current state of being is just student student student. I’m a student and nothing more. I’m a robot student who turns in her programming assignments and Latex-typeset proofs and then repeats the process perpetually. College is so lonely sometimes. I want to be alone because I keep telling myself I don’t like people. But I don’t think that’s entirely accurate. I like the idea of not liking people because it means you don’t have to bear your little heart open to these people you wind up liking and then being inevitably let down in some weird way. And it’s not that people suck and let you down. It’s more like you find they’re not as pristine as the mold your mind had constructed for these people (which isn’t fair for them) or that they’re too different for you and your comfortable comfort zone. But also they let you down sometimes. And unsuspectingly. And mostly it’s yourself you’re upset with because you don’t want to feel so let down because of your unrealistic fantasies. And I don’t want to need people. But maybe I do need them in some way. I feel like I’m always going to be living my life on a separate orbit. But also in perspective what are my problems and why do they matter? Isn’t it so strange? A completely different life. A completely different set of worries. And all these worries are just as valid as the next. Just different. I’m so privileged. I know! I’m at this great school with these great opportunities and bright minds and endless resources. I live such a comfortable life and my biggest worry is just some stupid fabricated computer science assignment probably created by some old white man. An assignment that DOESN’T MATTER IN THE LONG RUN. I’m going to be 50 and look back on my worry wart self and laugh! LAUGH! But nothing seems that laughable right now. Just scary. And stressful. I still feel so turbulent and terrified and lost and uncertain and small. And all these people around me are getting internship interviews and making neat things and instituting change in this world. Isn’t that terrifying and amazing and humbling all at once? And I feel like I complain so much about school. I’m just a monkey student. That’s so sad. I just talk about school all the time. School school school. Class class class. This isn’t the only facet of my life I think I hope. Why is it the most worrying and upsetting though? There was this “School of Life” video that talks about why we overeat. We do it to fill some other void that isn’t necessarily the hunger in our stomach. It’s a hunger for love, for fulfillment, for self-actualization. School is upsetting and stressful because my underlying self is turbulent and upset and confused and stressed. Not just about school. About love, meaning, purpose, and what these stupid things even mean. I feel lonely. The actions I go through are meaningless. And I have no sense of purpose. How do you pile a mountain of schoolwork on top of a wobbly assemblage of rocks? How do I patch myself up so that I can FOCUS and DO SOMETHING.
I feel so. nauseous.
Breathing fast. Breathing anxiously. Breathing. Life here is too fast. Too much. Too “too.” Stop this train!
Unstuck in time
This is a long overdue video, but I couldn’t get around to editing until yesterday. I stayed holed up in the fine arts building basement for 7.5 hours editing this video like a madwoman. Thank god for school Macs that have sophisticated video editing software and immense memory capacities.
For Fourth of July weekend, I hitched a ride from my college friend up to Baltimore, Maryland to rendezvous with some of my sister’s friends. From there, we drove down (or up?) to McHenry, a small area of Maryland located precisely in the middle of nowhere. I won’t rehash all the details because they’re mostly in the video. I’m going to need creative, non-trite ways of saying “my heart is so full” because I might have used this phrase past the point of meaninglessness these past few weeks. But how fortunate I am to have felt this way so often…
What was undocumentable was the clear, starry sky up in McHenry. I never took the time to glance up very often during this past year in Philly, but it wouldn’t have mattered since the stars are imperceivable through the light pollution anyhow. In McHenry though, even the elusive Milky Way gleams and twinkles so luminously. Imagine this: 3:09am. You’ve never heard your own breath or the soft mushing sound of damp leaves under your feet so clearly. You lie down with your back on the lake dock–a private dock, but who’s awake at this hour to chide you for trespassing?–and for a while, you forget how chilly the air is and how the moisture from the beads of water on the dock are diffusing into the fibers of your shirt–because you look up. You look up, and you see a city of stars, twinkling in and out of existence, it seems. You know how silly and cliche and histrionic it is to gape at the cosmos and be dumbfounded by how infinite the universe is and how ephemeral your own tiny existence is in comparison, but you flicker through these thoughts anyways. It’s humbling, after all. And it’s beautiful–for a human to be put in perspective and to come back down to Earth every once in a while.
Ok, I didn’t make any of that up. I just wanted to be the dramatic dweeb that I am and convey what one of our nights in McHenry was like since no video could have captured this adequately.
(also, Stephanie and I saw a shooting star [which, I know, isn’t really a shooting star but actually a piece of space dust that burned up as it entered the atmosphere]…you bet your stars I made a wish faster than you could even exclaim, “shooting star!”)
Let’s talk about this valorized, magnificent “4.0”, this grade-chasing phenomenon. At the end of my high school career, I promised myself I would begin to focus on more on growing as a person as opposed to obsessing over my grades. Fast forward to my first semester in college, and I decide I want to internally transfer into my university’s school of engineering. Obviously, I wanted to put forth an appealing application for my internal transfer which meant having good grades. Consequently, nothing about my mentality concerning academics changed from high school to college. I still put my letter grades above all else, including my personal growth and mental wellbeing. I’m not so brash as to claim that academics are the source of 100% of my strife, but they have played a large role in my unhappiness at this school (because yes, I am not particularly enjoying my time here, but that’s a subject for another post).
We’ve all heard aphorisms like “your grades don’t define you.” And words can sound nice and perhaps make you feel something. But at the end of day, I still struggle to internalize such sayings. I value hard work, and I like to throw myself completely into what I do because if I don’t, why do anything at all? But I feel I’ve lost sight of the line between valuable, meaningful conscientiousness and unhealthy grade-chasing. An A+ on an exam sure feels damn good, but tethering self-validation to and becoming so emotionally invested in grades is noxious. College is hard. Professors can be unreasonable, so a C or an F doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a prize idiot. It means you had an off-day, or a teacher wrote a brutal exam, or the course is simply that difficult. So from here, I am trying to improve my notions of what matters to me. Paradigm shifts aren’t easy, and Rome wasn’t built in a day. But I think/hope the payoff will be worthwhile.
tl;dr: fuck grades.
testing the theme. here’s a picture of me and my stunning friend
So I’ve decided to start up a blog again (see previous 3 failed blogs on blogger and 5+ various tumblr sites). My goal is to have a space to untangle my thoughts, share small things that are meaningful to me, and rekindle my penchant for amateur iphone photography. College has been hard, and I feel like I’ve lost my foothold in everything I’ve valued. So blog it is. Mostly, I am feeling somewhat, uncharacteristically inspired after revisiting old blog favorites (esther-fromthesticks) and looking back on my small little blog adventures as a young high schooler. So yeah, let’s do this thing.