May 21st, 2018 21:19
Hi, sweet friend. Long time no see.
I’m writing today because my mind has finally gotten too loud for me to hear myself think. It’s been a few months since I’ve checked in, almost exactly 3, and I’m doing fine. I’ve been waiting for a moment when I had something substantive to say, but I think for posterity and transparency’s sake, I should take the time to write right now.
I also typically wait for local emotional peaks to write, but I can’t think of a moment where I probably would need to write more than right now.
I finished Ram’s Head’s production of Chicago one month ago, and the experience was pretty much indescribable. I got to be Velma Kelly for 4 months or something, and she’s definitely rubbed off on me in a lot of ways, particularly in the fact that I just wear black and red lipstick more often than I used to. As much as I love the people involved, rehearsals were exhausting, and while performing was probably one of the most incredible and fulfilling feelings in the whole world, I am still struggling to adjust to life at Stanford post-show. Nevertheless, I am thankful for the experience and for the piece of theatre that we created together.
Another update, I’m now studying Symbolic Systems, however, am waiting to officially declare to decide if I want to gun for a straight Computer Science major or not. Out of all the classes I’m enrolled in (FRENLANG 3, PHIL80, and CS106B), 106B is absolutely one of my favourite courses that I’ve taken at this school. I don’t think I have ever been this enthused, awed, or energized by a class as much as I have been with this course. It has definitely been kicking my ass, but it’s a kind of grind that bends time. I can sit there for 4 hours and not even realise 4 hours have passed. That’s how I know I really enjoy it.
I’m not married to the idea of graduating in 4 years. Whether that be because I take some time off in the future, or that be because I don’t finish my degree on time, who knows? As far as academics go, I have certainly taken a lot of time to deep-dive into many different things, and if it took me 2 years to finally stumble upon something I deeply enjoy, I’ll take that and run with it.
Socially, things are getting better. I’m slowly finding the balance between time spent with Austin and time spent with my friends. I am very hopeful in slowly but surely reconnecting with some incredible people in my life that I’ve felt distant from after becoming somewhat of a recluse this year, by my critical standards. I turned a lot of my energy inwards, which definitely was purposeful, but I believe I lost touch with a lot of the people I care deeply about in that pursuit. I’m taking very small, yet intentional steps to try to bridge those gaps again, but it will take some time. Trying to forgive myself, always learning, and hoping for the best.
I will be back on campus this summer as a Head Mentor for High School Summer College (hehe surprise!) and take a French conversation course and hopefully find another part-time job to save up some money and keep up my French before heading to Paris to study abroad in the fall.
I will be a Junior Class President next year, as well, alongside some of the kindest, most intentional, most authentic, and driven people I know. It has been such a pleasure to build our friendships over the past couple months or so, and words really cannot describe how grateful I am for this team. (I should probably try to tell them all this sometime soon though.)
Underscoring all of this, this past month (and honestly probably the past 4 months before that, though I did not even have time to fully process it because I was so busy) I have been grappling with classic symptoms of depression, though I have not taken the time to ask for help. I struggle to go out or fulfil coffee dates or text back my friends sometimes because of intense discomfort or anxiety that comes with the idea of following through with it when I could just stay safe and watch the Office at home with Austin. I’ve felt aimless and helpless and disinterested, etc.. I’ve felt very distant from my sense of self, from my friends, from the things that I used to love doing, and from anything that used to fill my heart a long time ago.
It’s really easy to get lost at any point in time. At least, purely speaking from my own experience, I have found that in pursuit of finding myself, defining my interests, choosing where to invest my time and my spirit, I’ve felt almost paralyzed.
To combat all of these bad feelings, I’ve been trying a new daily regiment. Kind of like prescription pills or a diet or a workout plan, except with smaller things.
Everyday, I’m trying to go on a walk and just see things, things that I used to relish in— like the trees or the blue sky. I’m taking care of my skin more and drinking 3 bottles of water everyday. I’m trying to eat, and not forget meals. I’m also trying to eat more intentionally, because I tend to snack a lot when I feel awful. I’m trying to take my vitamins and pills regularly everyday, so my hormones don’t get all out of whack. I’m trying to listen to more music every day, because I stopped for some reason. I’m also trying to stay out of my room and do homework at the library, to vaguely connect with people to some degree in the same way I mentioned at some point in a past post. I’m also going back to writing all the good things that happen in my day. Trying to get back in touch with myself and the things that make life warm.
I think that’s how I would describe this past quarter or two. I feel like I lost touch with a big lesson or feeling of peace that I experienced over summer. I didn’t think it would happen, going into sophomore year, but of course, it did. I just have to work harder to remind myself of that peace and where it can come from, every day.
I won’t say that I’m feeling one way or the other as of late, but I will say that I am trying so hard. I’m trying as hard as I can, even if I don’t give myself enough credit for my efforts. I have been trying to get rid of this feeling of guilt that sits at the bottom of my stomach every day— guilt that derives from not maintaining friendships well, not taking care of myself, not doing what I need to do. All that guilt does is make matters worse.
I have every right to give myself space to breathe and process. I have every right to be myself and not some weird, optimized, type-a concept of my future self that I’ve grown obsessed with. I also deserve to just be.
I hope you’re doing well. Writing this was definitely an exercise of trying to speak positive things into existence so that you’re not left with a puddle of my strife after reading. There’s a difference between earnest vulnerability and speaking problems into existence, and I’m trying to lean towards the former more in my daily life. A friend of mine said that optimism is highly underrated and I have to agree. I’ve somehow managed to lose my optimism, patience, and willingness to forgive (particularly regarding myself) in the past few months and I’m desperately trying to find it again. I think it’s what I need most right now.
Thank you for reading all of this, if you’re here. I don’t know how much I’ll be writing in the weeks moving forward, but I will try to check in with you a bit more often.
So much love to you.
All my best-
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