Monday, January 31, 2011

Don't you know those times when...

Even staying up feels like a great effort. You have to make a conscious effort not to feel, because feeling will remind you how miserable you are right now and how much you want to cry. Crying is good, but it attracts attention. Not good in a shared space.

Numb, so numb, and I don't even know how I got here.

This too shall pass.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

More journeying

I'm in a nostalgic mood today. Reading through old emails brings back such fond memories, memories of being loved and sticking through difficult times. I think one is better able to appreciate the storms one has weathered after the fact: musing on how despite everything, life goes on. It's almost overwhelmingly sobering to see path-dependency in action: how our small actions, repeated everyday; and thoughtless habits, create our whole person. We are what we do and we think. The choices we have made (and NOT made) in the past have decided who our friends are, what kind of things are important to us, and what constitutes our identity.

Right now, I feel so young despite my almost 22 years - my naivete, my desire for all the joys and insights of life right now, right here. But I remind myself that everything that is worthwhile is not easily gained, and the journey is important. Yes. Don't lose sight of the road, while one dreams of castles in the air.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

In the dark I can be everything

So it's night now, I'm at J's (hi J if you're reading this) and he's fast asleep while I am fast awake, which is unusual. Not many people can outpace me in sleeping.

It's been a good few weeks of holidays, been touching reality very much and fostering new friendships and being with the ones I love - except for family, always miss family at these times. In general, been much too busy to think, which in some ways is very good. When I have too much time to think my thoughts veer towards the negative. I don't look at the lustrous fabric of life, I look for it's frayed edges, it's loose threads. Sometimes it feels that those loose ends tug at my heart and I wish it weren't so. That most people can overlook them and walk on with life makes me wonder if those flaws are only in my head.

Yet I can sense that I've come some way - in choosing a metaphor that addresses these moments (deceiving phrase, this can last hours and days and even months) of disconnect I know that I have not completely abandoned myself to the melodramatic. The missing and the incomplete does not jeopardize the whole in a way that it once would have. I can see life as generally good, instead of an exquisite glass sculpture hanging by a thread and my realization of the fact being enough to snap the thread and let it hurtle to the floor and smash. (Incidentally I'm quite familiar with that split-second when you know something is going to fall and break but can't do anything about it, the breakage somehow always feels worse than if you didn't see it unfold.)

I've wanted to blog for quite a while, but I have profound thoughts at the most inconvenient times. Usually when I'm around people/outside and I want to write because I know I'll forget, but I can't. And I do forget. And now when I have all the time in the world to write I can't think of anything to say.

It's a New Year and I'll be transitioning out of my 21st year of life and becoming a boring 22 years old. I'm most most certainly going to be an adult soon. An adult still in an American college, with few responsibilities or direction, but an adult nevertheless. In the spirit of the newly-birthed year I'm in the mood for impossible resolutions. Life is not a direct or predictable journey from point A to point B, nevertheless it's useful to have a moral compass of sorts to look back on and compare with one's actual position.

What I hope from this year: a more diverse and interesting group of friends who will challenge and enrich me in all aspects: mental and emotional growth, adventures and exploration, forward-thinking, academic striving, facts and knowledge. I don't expect all of these from all friends, and I don't want it to be a one-way street either. I just want more of it than I have right now.

What I want from/for myself:
1) more creative pursuits and projects. It's all the rage (which is quite a turn-off), but I want something that I can branch out into and become skilled at.

2) Better time management is an important goal for the new year. A lot of the stress of the latter part of this year (and possibly the former too) has been as a result of this not being implemented well, mostly due to unrealistic expectations for myself and correspondingly not allotting enough time to self-care, laziness, interruptions, time with friends etc.
I have to learn to prioritize quality over quantity - at the same time, I'm quite amazed at how productive a year this has been. Friendships made, relationships embarked on, painful relationships resolved, personal projects blossoming, coming to a greater peace with myself about God.
There *are* still so many things that I want to try or get better at while still enjoying college life; things like dance, music, taking classes outside my chosen majors (courses in sociology, computer science, religious studies and perhaps English stand out), traveling, getting involved in activities (although that urge has lessened somewhat, getting more self-centered now and thinking about internships and grants where it used to be colleges and competitions and scholarships).
Time management goals, keeping it simple, would be to eat well, sleep enough, stay active and in tune with my inner feelings (which I realize can be less intuitive than I expect), and more often choose to be happy and see solutions instead of being crushed by problems.

3) I want to travel. Europe, here I come!

4) This is somewhat vague, but I want to establish stronger psychological boundaries between the world and myself. I feel like part of what makes me special is that thinness, that one-inch thick that separates me from my surrounding world, but I've let it get to me too much sometimes and for lack of an encouraging word or a different perspective, lapse into despondency. It's something that I can use better, this knack for feeling the pulse of people and situations, by learning how to ignore it and know that the negative aspects of it are sometimes just me being hard on myself.

5) Attending to my loved one's needs in a way that they want, not how I want it. Practical ways: skyping with friends more often and checking up, remembering birthdays and giving gifts, being there for important events, making time for conversations and being inquisitive about other's lives. Also, realizing that consistency, while not my strong trait, is important to many people and working on that (besides it also being helpful to me personally). Giving constructive feedback, and not taking criticism personally but being to view it objectively.

That's about all I can think of now. Here's to an amazing, mind-blowing 2011!