It is spring break, and I am no longer in that depressing pit of a school in a the middle of a snowstorm. I am in San Francisco, and life is wonderful.
Here, the sun exists. There is a warm breeze, and, though the nights are chilly, I am fairly comfortable in my t-shirts. Life is great here. The food is inexpensive in comparison, and there are bubble tea shops everywhere. People here smile at each other, love the work that they do, grin, laugh, joke around with each other. There is a lighthearted feeling that I have not felt in so long. People here love. They love each other, and they love themselves. I watch them. I am in awe. I am jealous. I too, want to be like that. I want to let go.
Everything here is so wonderful, that I don’t think I would ever want to leave.
I don’t think I want to go back.
A friend once told me that when we remember an event in our past, we are actually remembering the last time we remembered the event rather than remembering the event itself.
When she told me this, I realized how fragile my memories truly are. They are like leaves, dried and kept far too long past their lifetime, crumbling to dust between my fingertips. Next, I became afraid. all the happy memories that I have treasured so much, the ones that I pull out from the depth of my mind to cheer my up during those bad days or weeks, are getting so worn out that they may not be even real anymore. Each time I relive those happy times, the times when I first helped my sister choose a cat to adopt, the time when I climbed onto the roof of my school with some classmate, the time when got into the college of my dreams, all these memories are getting more and more damaged, more and more altered each time I think back to them.
The happy memories are the ones that I want to keep forever, and yet they are the ones that I am destroying ever so slowly. The unhappy ones, the ones that I lock up in the depth of my mind and hope that no one would ever try to pry it open to see the horrors that lies inside, those are the ones that I keep forever, intact, in their original, disgusting, embarrassing forms.
It seems to me that I should learn to let those bad memories go. I should think about them every so often, take them out of the depths of my mind and fiddle with them for a while, until, they too crumble away into nothing.
I dislike the night. I dislike it for all the obvious reasons, and some more.
It’s dark at night. At this point you might be rolling your eyes, thinking, “no really?” but bear with me here. It’s dark and it’s lonely and there are monsters under your bed. When was the last time you woke up in the middle of the night because you had to pee? Like when you were in grade school right? And when that happened, what did you do? Did you get your parents or did you try to go by yourself? For the people who tried to go the washroom alone…did you walk back to your bed or did you sprint because you knew that if you didn’t, they would get you?
It doesn’t matter who “they” are. All that matters is that “they” were there, and “they” were going to get you. It’s dark, and you can’t see “them”, but “they” can see you. In the dark, you are at a disadvantage.
It’s cold at night. The sun isn’t there to warm things up. My sun isn’t here to warm me up. So what do I do? Well, the only thing that I can do, actually: I roll over and shiver until I fall asleep.
It’s silent at night. The only sounds are your own breathing, the creak of your bed, and the sounds that you imagine yourself hearing. You strain your ears, but you are only trying to convince yourself that you are safe, and “they” haven’t found you yet.
It is dark, silent, and cold at night. It is at night, that you are confronted with all the questions that the noise, warmth, and light of day drives out of your mind. You think about the things that you hid from the world, but because no one is watching anymore, you let it reveal itself… manifest itself… in the form of “them”.
You lied. You know exactly who “they” are. They are your fears, your worries and your anxieties. They are your shortcomings, the embarrassing things that you did this morning in front of your crush, they are the ones who keep replaying that scene of the embarrassing things that you did this morning in front of your crush. They are the fear that no matter how hard you try, you will never be good enough.
They are always with you… they just have the courtesy not to bother you until the night.
But enough rambling from me… Here are my three happy things of the day =D~!!
1. MET A SUPER CUTE BOY TODAY! He was really nice to me, and we talked for a long time! I think we really understood each other, and I hope to meet up with him again
2. My experiment worked! Even though my lab partner and I messed something up that all our samples had the wrong colors, it turns out that they data we got from the computer was still A-OK! That is awesome…AND I got to leave early today again. I absolutely love my lab partner.
3. Did I mention I met a super cute boy? I mean with this, I have enough happy things to talk about for a like a week!!!
For everyone, there is something that is a trigger. There is always something, a item, a song, the face of someone special, that will set off a tornado of emotions. These emotions sometimes set off a joyous cheer deep in my chest, sometimes just creates a torrent of inexplicable tears. And I hate it, I want it to stop, I don’t want anything other than me telling myself how to feel.
Today, I ran into someone who used to be special to me. And, at first, I didn’t feel anything…but after a few seconds of awkward small talk…it became unbearable. I couldn’t be there anymore: I was getting suffocated just being next to that person. I had to get out before I lose control of how I feel.
And it is the idea of control that perhaps I am obsessed with. I want to be able to say that I am disciplined enough such that I would never be affected by some outside source….but I am not that good yet.
One day, though, I will make it.
As for self-improvement, here are my three happy moments of the day:
I met two more people today, who are both interesting and kind. They spent over two hours helping me with my homework and allowing me to work through all the problems that I was confused with. They were super kind to me. I think I will bake them something yummy next time!
I went into lab today, and I messed up an experiment badly, wasting a lot of money unnecessarily. However, my supervisor was super kind and told me that as long as I learned from my mistake, it was ok. I should not do that again though. It is nice to be forgiven so easily without having to beg.
I ate ramen. Appreciate the little things! I love ramen! It was wonderful =)
It is so easy to lose track of what makes you happy when at college. For me, so much time is spent on worrying about silly things, about things that, later on, would not matter as much…
I get caught up in winning other people’s approval. I am constantly wondering to myself, do other people think I belong here, or do they think I am a joke? I am caught up in comparing myself to others. I stress out when I realize that I am not doing as many activities, taking as many classes, losing as much sleep as other people. I tell myself that I am not hardcore enough and people know that and judge me for it. In reality, no one else cares and all I am doing by caring so much is destroying my own self confidence.
I realize this, but it’s such a destructive cycle that I can’t seem to escape it unless I catch myself in the act. When I do, I tell myself that I am doing enough..but the heavy feeling of inadequacy never really leaves.
But a little bit of that feeling is ok I suppose. It keeps me motivated and it keeps me brave. There is some sense of comfort in being imperfect after all.
Here are my three happy events for the day:
1. I made a new friend today! I got to study with her and we discussed our homework together. She is super nice, and really smart too. We had fun talking about the open-ended problems on the homework due tomorrow.
2. My lab partner and I finished our lab in record time! We worked so well together, and we got out of lab approximately two hours ahead of schedule! That was a nice thing that allowed me to finally have lunch at 3 pm instead of at 5 pm!
3. I performed at an event at another local college! Even though I often think of myself as a poor performer, the event coordinators were very excited! They came to the parking lot to pick up our equipment for us, the introduced us and cheer us on, they video taped our performance for us, and they even went out of their way to save a plate of *REAL* dinner for us. That was totally not required of them, but just such a kind thing to do for us.
There are times when I feel as though I am in so deep of a pit, that there is no reason to even bother trying to get out of it.
And then there are times when I tell myself to just suck it up and try harder. This is one of those times. I too, want to be happy.
This article write talks about a few things that one can do to rewire the brain for positivity:
1. Scan for the 3 daily positives — I plan on doing this here everyday! =)
2. Give a shout-out to someone (daily) — Also plan on doing this. If anything interesting happens, I will write it here
3. Do something nice — I will try I suppose…this one is a bit harder.
4. Mind your mind — this one is probably the hardest of them all. Sometimes, I just feel so desensitized…my brain just thinks whatever it wants and I can’t even stop it…but now is not the time to believe that. Now is the time to suck it up and do it.
So the happy things of today:
I got to see my awesome friends in another dorm today! They welcomed me with open arms, treated me to dinner, let me chill and do homework on their couch, picked up my print jobs for me, baked me an apple pie, and we watched a silly video about Critikal QWOP. It was wonderful.
Even though my print jobs did not arrive in time for me to teach my class, the students were all very respectful and understanding of my stress of teaching without any of my materials prepared for me. Even when a frantic parent ran to my room to report a MIA teacher, my class waited quietly for me to put out a few fires before returning to the lesson plan I had for the day
I got to talk to my sister today! She seems to be doing well and it is always a pleasant surprise for me to be able to talk to her. We’ve had our rough times, but now I feel as though we are closer than ever, which brings me much happiness.
The more I write about all the happy things that I did today, the happier I feel. I can push my unhappy thoughts to the back and tell myself, “you know what? It was a good day. It was a special day. It is not every day that these things happen… when was the last time you got to eat a homemade apple pie? See what I mean?” And then everything seems a little better. Not a lot, but still….better.
I remember when I was I first began college, I was afraid of walking alone. To class, from class, anywhere. I didn’t want to be by myself. It wasn’t so much of the loneliness, but rather a fear of what others would think. If other people see me walking alone, what would they think? That I am a loner? That I have no friends? That I am perhaps too socially awkward to have companions while I run through the schedule of my day? I was afraid of what other people would think.
And I don’t even know why I was afraid. Why should I be afraid?
Sometimes, walking alone is exactly what I need. I need some time for introspection.