new beginnings!

19 Decembre 2017 10h30

Hello! I’m alive! It’s been exactly 2 months since I last wrote to you, which is a shame because I’ve had quite a few drafts in the past couple of months simmering on the stove-top that never quite made it to you.

There is so much to fill you in on, so let’s go over today’s agenda:

  1. Fall Quarter is Over!
    • Sophomore Year glows a different kind of light.
    • I changed my major!
  2. Mental Health, throughout it all: new manifestations
    • How I felt,
    • and why I felt it
  3. Let’s Go: new beginnings
    • Looking Forward
    • A New Outlook

Keep this in mind as you read– a part of my last journal entry:

If there is anything I love doing, it’s arbitrarily declaring myself new beginnings. Time to lean into change, discomfort, complexity, and uncertainty and know that’s where my power lies. I’m done waiting and done wishing; it’s time to start.

Here we go!

Fall Quarter is Over!

I. Sophomore Year glows a different kind of light.

Things are much quieter now, at least for me. The novelty of everything has definitely worn off, but that doesn’t make every day less beautiful or exciting. Don’t get me wrong, Sophomore Fall was still chaotic, but it felt like real life. I’m no longer suspended in this idea or disbelief that I was in college, living in a dorm, taking exams, living without my parents, or at Stanford. Things feel normal. Still wack– but, it feels more and more like a true reality, in which I consciously navigate, every day.

I suppose a concrete manifestation of this is that I don’t have a video for this quarter, and I don’t know if I will next, or the next or the next (we’ll see). I had a lot of beautiful, quiet and private moments this quarter, a lot of which didn’t warrant me whipping out my phone and screaming about how incredible everything is. A lot of Sophomore Year, so far, has consisted of me tenderly smiling at the people, things, and places I was introduced to last year and getting to appreciate how far I’ve come in relation to them.

Whether it’s Brenna, as she continues to be my best friend, growing more and more ridiculously into herself, and loving the fact that we are both, together, becoming more and more unapologetic versions of ourselves.

Or it’s MemAud and Gaieties, and remembering how I felt last year when I first saw that huge red room from on-stage, as well as getting to experience it in a completely different role, on staff, with completely different people, given the chance to love it in a whole new way.

Or it’s Meyer Green on a sunny day, bustling and alive, and feeling more like a part of it as I walk through, and less like someone watching it from above.

That being said, Sophomore Year has also brought a lot of new, beautiful, and precious people/places/things into my life that I am ceaselessly thankful for. I have come to understand the nature of love and light more thoroughly in these past 3 months than ever before. Grateful, as always.

II. I changed my major!

In other news, I am no longer studying Product Design! I am declaring a B.S. in Science, Technology, and Society after this quarter with a minor in Creative Writing while pursuing a notation in Science Communication.

While it was clear that I was not enjoying a lot of the coursework relating to Product Design, I really had trouble motivating myself through those courses because I was struggling to connect myself to the greater purpose of what  I was working towards and working to understand. It turns out, while the discipline is incredible and the work is very important, it’s never been about making for me. I cared more about studying how humans interface with what is made- whether it be a product, an idea, or information- and what the implications of that relationship are, given the context.

I’ll go more in-depth at a later date since there’s so much to talk about but know that I’m excited.

While this is, of course, subject to change, I really don’t think that’s likely. I’m committing to this! I look forward to all of the classes to come. And, most importantly, I feel aligned, as far as my academic interests and personal values go.

Lean into change! Listen to yourself! Know yourself! Let’s go!

Mental Health: new manifestations

I. How it felt,

AS YOU KNOW, I have anxiety. Yes, this is established.

I linked my anxiety post from this summer that describes my experience with it above.

HOWEVER, this quarter was odd and quiet, and that is in part due to my anxiety manifesting in a very different way than it did Freshman Year. My anxiety last year was very manic and very volatile, as I explained before.

“My heart starts to beat really fast, I feel tingling in my fingertips, my breath gets shallow, sometimes I feel all the warmth flush from my face, and I have a “lifting” feeling in my chest.” x

As of late, my anxiety tends towards more of a depressive state than a manic state. I think this is because the tail-end of this summer introduced me to this further established optimistic nihilistic outlook that eased me off any manic tension in my veins, allowing me to no longer face energetic anxiety attacks. However, it flipped to the other extreme, where I would experience anxiety by dissociating and shutting down. I grew disinterested in things that used to excite me. I felt small, stagnant, and unmotivated. I’d lie in bed for hours and go straight to my room after class on too many afternoons to count.

II. and why I felt it

I think the main trigger of my anxiety now is that I would obsess over whatever I was anxious about, finding dissonance between believing the idea that the thing I am worried about is of little consequence, from an existential standpoint, yet also reconciling it with the scale of its real and present impact (on me or others).

Whether this is hurting someone’s feelings, a project not getting done, saying the wrong thing, not feeling wanted, etc.. I would just lie there, dissociating, trying to distract myself and act like things are fine– not allowing myself to properly process how I felt. It took time for me to come to terms with the fact that that the scale of the issue and my emotions in response are valid; even when adamantly holding onto this belief in cosmic insignificance. I’ll explain that last part another time, too. You can watch this video for now if you want for a baseline idea of what I live by.

So, basically– I went from one end of the spectrum to the other. Where everything mattered a lot!!! But then, shifted to the other, where nothing mattered at all!!! 

Yet, I have arrived at a healthy medium now! Let’s see how my anxiety manifests itself in weeks to come. I’ll keep you all updated. Things are okay, everything is still big and small. And I am still trying to figure out how to operate in that middle ground, even though I’ve arrived at the importance of this “middle” countless times.

Let’s Go: new beginnings

I. Looking Forward

SO, what does all of this mean? It means that I’ve done a lot of reflecting! Look at me, growing! That’s what I love about Winter Break. It gives me a chance to separate myself from a place where everything is overwhelmingly important and energetic and present. It brings me back home: a place where a tiny 16-year-old girl started a blog and dreamed of going to Stanford and dreamed of becoming an astronaut and was not intimidated by the prospect of limitless possibility. 

She’s back. She’s here. Sometimes I forget how to reach her, but I hope I don’t lose again her anytime soon.

Next quarter, I’ll be 1) taking classes that pertain to my new major (classes I am deeply and genuinely excited about), 2) in the midst of a new chapter for Sophomore Cabinet now that Mausoleum is over, and 3) in rehearsals for Ram’s Head’s production of Chicago as Velma Kelly. I’ll be working on campus, applying to go abroad to Paris in the Autumn, finding opportunities for summer, and working on grant proposals. She’s back on her grind, everyone! No stopping this train!

It’ll be hard, but I’m so excited. You know me– no matter how tough it is, I always make it to the other side, and I always appreciate how far I’ve come. In the words of Bre, “Life’s circular and it always gets better.”  

II. A New Outlook

I am done wishing and I am done waiting! I am not a child, I am not intimidated, I am not scared, I am not paralysed. I am capable, I am passionate, I am strong. I have everything at my fingertips and all I have to do is start. 

I’m rebranding a bit. No more apologizing for existing– no more apologizing for crying, no more using the word “just,” no more diminishing the authority and agency I possess over my very being. I’m loud and proud and here. Choosing love, choosing passion. Pushing. Starting, again and again.

 

If there is anything I love doing, it’s arbitrarily declaring myself new beginnings. Time to lean into change, discomfort, complexity, and uncertainty and know that’s where my power lies. I’m done waiting and done wishing; it’s time to start.

Will write soon.

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2 Comments

  1. carolwanders

    Oh my gosh!! A long-awaited post from Izzy!!!

    But in all seriousness, I am so ecstatic that you have come back to us with your soul-touching words and I am very excited to see what’s to come. Everytime you post, I feel a genuine self-identification or even self-help (if you can call it that) in your compositions and I just want to let you know that you truly have an impact!

    Lots of Love!

    Liked by 1 person

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