(anxious) homeostasis

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fuzzy plant at 6am
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home; reading Ready Player One with a snack of clementines
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first sunset back on college campus. a little bittersweet.
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part of my trek home from class
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view from my 17th floor room; dust and window smudges
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campus–unnaturally quiet at night

Time stamp: Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. 12:16am.

Instead of completing my two daunting school assignments due tomorrow, I’m going to prolong my night and write a blog post. Today marks the end of the 3rd week of school and the slow beginning of the influx of deadlines, lectures, quiet nights, and Spotify study playlists.

I hope to make the most of this semester. I’m not even sure what that really entails, and I know I say the same shit every year, but at least the optimism lingers. That’s better than despair and a broken spirit (slightly). This past week has been so emotionally, mentally, and physically draining. I can’t keep living deadline to deadline. Last semester, I had no regard for whatever basis of “physical/mental wellbeing” was and let my stress and the fluctuations of daily minutiae dictate my psyche.

I found this old iPhone note I wrote this past summer:

11:52pm
I feel like my life is in flux. I know this is temporary, but when all the embellishments and distractions peter out, I’m left with my own shell of purposelessness. Usually there is enough buzzing about to distract me. I don’t know what possessed me today, but I felt so lost all of the sudden. Is life always going to be glimpses and reminders of this excruciating loneliness and meaninglessness? I finally meet people I like. People with big hearts and thoughtful actions. But they operate on a completely different belief system? How strange. I was hanging out with some friends today and felt a growing abyss between us. If our most fundamental belief systems, our building blocks for who we are as humans, differ so starkly, how can we ever connect in a non superficial way? We can never fully understand each other.
God. Is it always going to be like this? I feel such a gaping void inside of me. And maybe it’d be nice to fill it with thoughts of “god” and his unconditional love. But those are beliefs I could never fully subscribe to myself. To me, that’s a cop-out answer. I need to figure out how to ascribe meaning to my own life and actions; it just hasn’t happened yet. Maybe I tried to fill that void with ______ too. Maybe I tried to fill it with ________. Maybe I tried to fill it with some outlandish ideal of a kindred spirit. But these things were tenuous.
How do I go forth from here?

There is no metric for progress as a human being. I have no way to measure if I’m growing soundly and steadily. I still identify with this summer rumination and the strange feeling creeps in sometimes late at night when I’m left with my own thoughts for too long, but I have a deeper understanding of myself and my perception of the world. There’s nothing really to be said or done in response to the “meaningless” of life. You accept. And you make sure to not fly too close to the sun or sink too far down the pool where dark thoughts fester. That’s it.

Being around the friends I’ve met in college is a humbling and earnest fill of time. Despite everything, good things happened today. I need to remember to express gratitude and recognize the love and goodness in life…if I could really project out to the world my wishlist for the rest of eternity, it would consist of handwritten notes and letters. My friend wrote me a thoughtful note. For some reason, the kindness in this gesture made my heart break in that same way it does when I feel so thankful and undeserving for such gestures that I don’t know what to do but cry. Maybe a simpler way to put it is that the note really moved me. Today, in preparation for Felicia and Aliya’s birthday, some friends cooked a dinner of bibimbap, homemade pizza, meat buns, and cake. I felt at home…in college, a place that for so long seemed cold and hostile. There was also Cookie Night a few hours ago, which is a weekly gathering of friends in Katey’s room, where she serves freshly-baked cookies and sometimes hot apple cider. The room is shoved to the brim with more people than I could have even imagined in a tiny college dorm, and the atmosphere is warm, both because the body count almost poses a fire hazard and because everyone is kind, friendly, open.

God I feel, like, a thousand emotions all at once right now.

Sometimes I still worry that I — nevermind. No time to worry!

Ok, I have to do homework now. I’m really excited for my Intro to Buddhism class–I can tell it’s a good class because I walk out of the lecture hall feeling light and introspective. There are a thousand things I want to pore over and think about. This semester, I’ll do my best! Ganbarimsasu~ がんばります

(Also, I’m in the process of making a vlog for this past week)

(Also I hope whoever might be reading this has a genuinely seriously honestly good day and that the little things maybe touch you or make you feel at least a little bit glad to be alive)

(Addendum: when I turn 20, I will be entering my 3rd decade of existence. THIRD. This whole time, I kept thinking “ok this will be decade 2.” But 3 is a much larger number than 2…I can barely keep my life together. I starve sometimes because I forget to feed myself and my cacti are dying and I didn’t even know that was possible. ?!)

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dreams of suburbia

1227_bryanThis past winter break, my friend Bryan and I reminisced on our old photography schenanigans. After a year away in college, we decided to regroup and revisit old artistic endeavors…these photos were taken in my old house, which I lived in from birth until the first half of high school. Nothing can compete with the warmth of sunlight that tinges this kitchen with hues of pink and orange at sunset. I’ve come to associate this cozy house with my childhood, times filled with reasonless laughter  + basking in the sun.

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so long, fall semester

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Winter break is here! I’m a little bit loopy and in immense pain from wisdom tooth extraction currently, but I will write a full reflection/debriefing of the end of my semester in a few days, or whenever I recover, if I recover. Pray for me please.

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Thanksgiving break is officially over which means we are back to the hell that is college. Campus is beautiful and all, but I don’t think it quite makes up for the soul-crushing, spirit-deadening workload. But I’m trying to figure out how to make the most of the slice of fall semester that’s left…still a work in progress…

floating islands of thoughts

Photo Oct 15, 9 38 49 AMPhoto Oct 12, 9 16 37 PMPhoto Oct 10, 6 03 06 PMPhoto Oct 05, 10 57 56 AM (1)Photo Oct 04, 6 56 54 PM (1)Photo Oct 22, 9 25 59 PMPhoto Oct 13, 9 13 58 PM

My brain is mush because I just pulled my first all-nighter of my EXISTENCE last night and feel very uncentered and unwholesome at the moment, so I won’t be capable of stringing together any coherent thoughts for this post. But here are some things I’ve been thinking lately:

  • I think I’d rather be kind than successful or intelligent or cool….although of course these traits don’t have to be mutually exclusive. But I’d rather just be a HUMAN first before anything else, if that makes sense.
  • feeling unhealthy. I need to eat fruits and vegetables…
  • I need to figure out how to not be a chronically compressed spring of stress. Once I descend into my frenzied state of panic, I am rendered useless for at least 2 hours and not much can salvage me at that point, so I should probably try and figure out how to avoid reaching that stage.
  • time as a concept and as a token of…care? concern? regard? compassion? I’ve been in such a quagmire of schoolwork, extracurriculars which I’ve overcommitted to, and intermittent existential crises that I struggle to allocate enough time to myself to recenter and be whole. It follows that there’s even less time that I have to spend with people here. I want so badly to be able to give time and spend time with people here, especially since I’m finally coming out of my rut and feel like I can actually maybe probably connect with humans. But there’s always a buzzing voice in the back of my head reminding me of the impending doom of responsibilities that are poised to strike at any moment. Always feeling like I’m missing something and running out of time.
  • Sleep is a necessity. unfortunately.
  • I can’t tell where I am. I hit really low low’s. But I don’t stay so despondent for months at a time anymore. And that’s great. That’s progress. But I’m always in this perpetual state of flux and never feel fully at peace with myself or where I am in life. Perhaps that’s what it is to be human.
  • The word “nauseous” is quickly being adopted into my daily vocabulary
  • I started this “INITIATIVE TO IMPROVE MY LIFE” which is an ambitious Note on my iPhone enumerating at least 10 different bullet points which, if followed, will drastically improve my life. But so far, that’s not going so great. I don’t feel in control of my life which sounds passive and almost lazy, but I feel like this piece of fluff being thrust around by the whims of winds and external forces…