Multidimensionalism: realization

Something that got me thinking was when I saw one of my classmates making a separate “food” Instagram account, and then telling everyone on FaceBook to follow her on it. It was a lot of an eye-roller, I will admit, but that is not the point of this post. I just want to understand why so many people, especially young people, find the need to create an entirely new Instagram, typically titled (Insert your name here)eats, or something to that effect. It’s honestly so unnecessary. Why can’t you just upload food pictures to your current Instagram? What is so difficult about doing that?

But the answer I am likely to hear is not a pretty one. It is almost always that these people want to be “discovered” as food authorities. They want the likes, the attention, the fame. They want an entirely different account for their food-related lives, in addition to their personal accounts, just to double the chances of them gaining likes and followers, which in turns, is supposed to help with their self-esteem and just making them feel better about themselves. And some people might make the argument that “oh, they don’t post the same photos in their Foodstagrams as they do their normal accounts!” But trust me, they do. Half the time, I get the same photos circulating my feed because they double-dip photos between both accounts. That’s why I came around to this conclusion.

Now, I just don’t understand why we can’t consolidate our photos and interests to one account. Yes, half of the this post is to call out people who are obnoxious enough to do that, but the rest of this post is to question the necessity of it. Are people, we are allowed to have more than one interest. We can express ourselves through these different topics and interests. Compartmentalizing ourselves to just one thing, or separating that one aspect from the rest of our lives, is it really worth compromising the multidimensionality of our personalities? And for those who double-dip their food photos between their two accounts, just why? Does it make you feel better to know that there are more likes on at least one of the same two food posts? And if you want a separate Instagram just to sort through your food posts, why make it public or go out of your way to advertise it to get a following? Those sorts of things, make them private, since you’re probably just using them to reference certain things you’ve eaten or made in the past. Or just be a less obnoxious human being a make a folder on your computer. Being able to see the different occurrences of your life, through your photos, whether it be a selfie, a photo of a sunset, or a picture of a dish you ate, that sort of variety is a lot more worthwhile if it is true to who you are as a person.

For me, I used to struggle with having that sort of variety at all. I came from the opposite issue, where I was obsessed with food and had literally no other interests. That is why I prefer and cherish that variety. Seeing others revert into something that I personally had to overcome, it’s unsettling to say the least. And for them to expect to be rewarded for that kind of behavior, again, it makes me uneasy knowing how vain or shallow certain people are. Now this blog is dedicated to good vibes, so I want to end this post on a positive note. embrace the different sides of your personality and admire them as a whole. Life is too short to be lived in pieces or compartments. Being able to showcase your interests in a great big mosaic, as opposed to smaller, separate ones, is a lot more impressive and makes you a much more beautiful human being. Don’t let stupid things like followers or likes define who you are as a person or what you are worth to the world.

 

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misty

Walking along the rugged path, a tall, tanned youth frowned to himself. He had left behind his home to find a cure for his beloved, who was lost to the cold. It was up to him to embark on this journey. He had to find those elusive smoke lilies. Those purple and black flowers held a nectar that, when mixed with ginger root, should melt his prince’s locked heart. These lilies bloomed at the very bottom of the mountains; beneath the mist rested entire fields of them. His prince, the youth dreamt of ending his ailment.His sweet master used to be so kind and loving. But then it happened. The mist began to flood the mountains, in the midst laid their castle. Their paradise together, away from the world beyond. The benevolent boy was saddened.His tears had caused everything to be shrouded in the dark clouds. THe prince’s heart then fell into the coldness. Snow crept onto their kingdom, their haven, slowly draining life from all of its denizens. The youth had to flee, not only to survive, but to find those smoke lilies. Diving through the mist, he was determined to save his home. His prince was waiting, alone and scared. He was separate to remove the snow. He pushed himself forward, through the dark and cold, reaching for any hope. He wanted so badly to hold his prince in a tight embrace. Not as his knight, but as his beloved.

Sky Bird: Conclusion

Hi, whoever actually read my story. Firstly, thank you for reading Sky Bird. It was a really fun story for me to practice writing, because of the entire concept of the story being based on my high school experiences, but making the main character, Kendall, based on somebody who actually bullied me in real life. I just figured I would write this post so that I can put a true end to Sky Bird, and address any questions or thoughts you might have after reading this story series.

The reason why the real life Kendall bullied me was actually a combination of reasons, but it was not too unlike what happened between him and the Chiangs. Money, specifically financial statuses, could really sour relationships or cause others to question your abilities: the real life Kendall assumed that rich people could buy talent, which was not always the case. Trying to understand why he thought that way was key for Kendall’s character development. Unfortunately, I never quite reconnected or reconciled with his real life counterpart, but I can somehow live with that.

To be honest, I wanted Fanny to be the main character originally. I just enjoyed writing his character because he was so sassy and forward. I even considered writing a spin-off with Fanny as the main character, but because of how inherently interesting and progressive his character was, it would have been too easy and it would not have particularly challenged me. I found it hard not to completely develop Fanny’s character here, because he was not the main protagonist, and I tried really hard not to make him overshadow Kendall’s character.

Chloe and Megan’s dynamic was inspired by my own friendships in high school, specifically when I was in cross country and was really close with one or two of my teammates. I did not really get to develop their characters too much, unfortunately, but I wanted both to come across as competent, capable, and in Chloe’s case, more lighthearted and childish, while Megan would come across as more responsible and easier to anger.

Sophia and Carly each took qualities from a variety of my friends from high school. I wanted Sophia to be more of the outwardly shy, inwardly brave type of personality. In Sophia’s case, I really wanted to make her have a constant presence in Kendall’s life, something you can pick up on when you reread earlier chapters. I tried to make her more relatable towards the middle and end of the story, focusing on showing more of her perspective, just to further imply that she would get together with Kendall in the end.

I tried making Carly outgoing, but I wanted her to come off as generally uninteresting to Kendall, just to make it apparent to him that they were not I wanted Carly’s presence to completely overshadow Sophia’s in the beginning, since the story was told by Kendall’s perspective, and her initially being his crush. Carly was supposed to come across as the girl next door, and also a little miss perfect-type of figure.

For Jared, I really only took the name from somebody I went to middle and high school with. Aside from that, he was an original character from my high school experience. Since Fanny was gay, I wanted there to be somebody who could help Kendall become more accepting of Fanny, so Jared’s role changed from being a homophobic background character to being Fanny’s closeted boyfriend. For Kendall, seeing one of his closest friends date his mortal enemy, it challenged his views and priorities: would his hate for Fanny overcome his friendship with Jared?

Matt’s character, it was left relatively undeveloped. He was directly based on somebody I knew in high school, even down to the name. I really did not know what to add to his character, mostly because I felt like Jared already accomplished everything that Matt could in terms of the role of Kendall’s confidant. At one point in the story, I considered pairing Matt with Carly, in hopes that their relationship would help develop the characters, but I opted out of that, because I felt like at that point, almost all of the characters would be dating and that would just be a copout. So I left his character along with Carly’s relatively untouched. Needless to say, Matt is a very nice and funny person, both the character and the real life version. I hope some of that easygoing humor was able to come through in the few moments he actually had.

One of the recurring themes I wanted to capture was the idea of brotherhood. I focused a bit on the dynamics between Jared, Matt, and Kendall, trying to show the friendship between three young men. I also focused a few chapters on Kendall and Gil. I originally had bigger plans for Gil, wanting to expand his role into a main character, but him being a middle schooler made it difficult to include him as much as I would have liked to. Gil’s character was also left relatively untouched, but I hope I did include enough to make him a character of some interest.

Overall, I am happy with how the final story turned out, plot-wise. I honestly had no clue where I was going in the beginning. For a fleeting second, I thought about making Kendall and Fanny a pairing, but decided not to for the sake of it being way too polarizing and Romeo and Juliet-esque. I even considered putting Kendall with Carly in the beginning, but the more I wrote about Carly’s character, the more I felt they were incompatible. I was really happy that Kendall and Sophia wound up together, because when I first wrote in Sophia, I was expecting her to be a background character and remain relatively uninteresting. The first vision I had for Sky Bird was for Kendall to be a family guy, close with his two siblings, and using his family as an escape from the antagonistic Chiang family. But I added in more characters and started to expand the world, and it wound up being a story about acceptance, love, and having an open mind. I hope you enjoyed reading Sky Bird, and I look forward to continuing my next work, Road Movie!

Meant to be: realization 27

I mentioned before that I was a chronic perfectionist. I wanted things to be a certain way, and it got to the point where I’d have emotional breakdowns when things did not go the way I wanted them to go. How things should have been or were supposed to be. I honestly cannot stress enough how painful it was to see my visions left unrealized. My goals, the hopes I had for aspects of my life, the way things were meant to be. But the whole concept of things happening because they are meant to be is utter garbage. Nothing is ever meant to be. Nothing is ever pre-destined to happen. As human beings, we have the ability to break the molds we are set and cast in, and do whatever it is that we want to do. If anyone were to tell us that we were meant to be a certain way, we can prove them wrong. That’s called independence. As for when things do not go your way, then just learn to adapt. You cannot expect to control the outcome of a situation if not all of the deciding factors are in your hands.

I was always transfixed on making my life a certain way. Graduate, get a manager in training position in accounting, get promoted to director of finance in two years, then move to Japan to open my own bakery in 10 years. Having that sort of life plan, down to the ETAs of my occupations, it’s neurotic and stressful. And I doubt it will happen. Simply because there are so many factors that I have yet to account for. Pun intended, I guess. I can’t control the people interviewing me for this MIT position; if I don’t even get that position from the get-go, then I can’t even start on that track, and I will need to think of something else. So why bother thinking about each step? I have one goal. To open a bakery in Japan. There are so many other routes I can take, ones that give me more industry-relevance and credibility, than to be in accounting and transition to food and beverage via baking.

That kind of stress, always worrying about how things are supposed to go, it’s unnecessary. Being fearful, about the what if’s, if something goes wrong. Then what? In the past, I’ve had emotional breakdowns and cried. I couldn’t stand behind myself because my self-confidence was so low. But now, I just have learned to roll with the punches. When things blow up, I access the situation at that moment and make my decisions as I go. I refuse to worry about things going a certain way. I have a vision, and I will try to execute. If it works, then good, if not, then I will try to make something out of my mistakes. I refuse to wallow in doubt and self-pity any longer. I will always find a way to get back up, and continue fighting back, and showing the world that I will not give up because one thing didn’t work out. Throwing a hissy fit over that, it’s called being a brat. I don’t want to do that.

Rather than feeling bad about the things that have already happened, or how I could have or should have done something, I need to focus on the present. What’s there still left to be done? I can’t let my past demons come back to harm me. While yes, it’s important to embrace yourself, past, present, and future, you can’t let yourself get lost in what you perceive to be mistakes. Embrace the present as in accept the outcome and do what you can to improve off of it, rather than be angry about the fact you couldn’t quite accomplish or achieve what you attempted to. Opportunities to do that will arise another time. And another time after that. You have a long life to live, with many doors and windows left to open and go through. Just knowing that will help you keep a feather-light mind.

 

 

Responsibility: realization 24

With great power comes great responsibility. That cliché has been one I have seen throughout all of my team or organizational experiences in college. People who are given leadership positions, they really have the power to change entire groups of people in whatever way that they want. I have seen entire organizations fall apart because the leader is not competent. When I became an editor-in-chief, I was internally freaking out at first. I did not know if I was cut out to do this. But I quickly realized that to be a leader, I needed to just train my subordinates so that they can do their individual jobs better than if I were to do them collectively on my own. And that has been working thus far. Not going to jinx it. However, with great responsibility, it comes with great fear. For me, anyways. You need to be a mature person so that you can wield power in a responsible way. And my biggest fear is that I am not mature enough to be responsible. Hence, that’s where the fear comes into play.

For me, being mature means that you can typically handle a serious situation in a composed and calm manner, and when you cannot, you take, maybe 2-3 hours for a small argument, no more than a day tops, to get over your emotions and then confront the problem. Basically, you know to put your own feelings aside and try to solve the problem before it gets any worse. It’s funny to think that there are still so many people, even in college, who are passive aggressive, non-confrontational, and even evasive. That sort of cowardice, you have to live with it. You have to live with the guilt of knowing that you were too afraid to confront the problem. You bear that regret of not being able to be brave and face your fears head on. You will start wishing that you actually did something, rather than running away with your tail between your legs.

For that very reason, I try my best to be confrontational at the very least. Being passive aggressive does not solve anything. Trying to involve other people, using them as messengers because you are afraid to look somebody in the eye, it shows that you are just immature. You are not strong enough to fight your own battles. As an adult, you need to be able to do that. There will not always be a time where you have the luxury of making someone else be your human shield. When it comes down to it, if you have a problem with somebody, speak up about it and to the person who needs to hear it. While I will admit that I am emotionally frail and inept, being unable to control my emotions properly, I know that this is my weakness and to compensate, I typically just don’t use my emotions, especially not when making decisions. I can still take most confrontational criticism constructively (unless I am in an emotionally charged state, but that is why I do not use my emotions to begin with). Bottom line, there’s a reason why I am afraid I am not mature enough to handle being responsible. The moment emotions get involved, I am literally the worst. And I have to take ownership of that.

I will not deny the things I say or do, even when I am not in control of my brain or heart. I have to stand behind myself. I will not go around, spewing that I have changed or that the person who said those hurtful things was not me. Because that is an unfortunate part of who I am. I am still working on being less emotional, but that’s a project in itself. Being responsible or mature ultimately to me means that you will own up to whatever mistakes you have made, and that you will be confrontational when it comes to clearing up any misunderstandings. But at mature as you try to make yourself, keep in mind some people just aren’t mentally or emotionally mature enough to listen. Those kinds of people, just let them live, and ignore them. They are not worth your time. Stick to people who will hear you out and give you their time of day, and not make you wait to confront. And within yourself, find ways to make yourself someone you can be wholeheartedly responsible for. That way, you can live a feather-light life, where you are the one in the driver’s seat when it comes to your own actions and thoughts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How I overcame my anxiety: realization 22

I used to have panic attacks because I felt like my life was meaningless, or that the basis for my existence was flawed or incorrect. I still remember that sensation all too well. I would get short of breath, my eyes felt like they were going to pop out of my head. My heart would be pounding out of my chest. Every single ounce of doubt or guilt I have ever had, rushing through my brain and overwhelming me. And the worst was the thoughts. Thoughts of pressing a blade against my wrists. How easy it would be to reach into my knife bag and take any of them out. I still remember the first panic attack I ever had. I was still in depression, and clipping my nails. And then I started thinking about what it would be like to use the clipper on my veins. Immediately, I was able to snap out of it, and I threw the clipper at the wall. It was terrifying. I was really scared.

After the whole suicide attempt, I had a lot of time to really reflect on why I came to this state. Most people think that it’s a waste of time to reflect or figure out the cause. But I know that isolating and better understanding the cause is key to moving forward and overcoming the fundamental reason for my anxiety. For me, these anxiety attacks started because I felt useless and helpless. In a previous post, I spoke about how for a while, I only gained confidence through being of value to others. That sort of validation from helping and caring about other people. Well, my roommate at the time, they were somebody I really cared for. But they were not necessarily the most receptive to my care. And in the face of that, I kept trying harder and harder, because I needed affirmation that I was being valued. And they did not make any effort to acknowledge that, and it hurt me. It caused my self-esteem to plummet.

My self-esteem being so low is one of the biggest reasons why I fell into depression. I did not feel comfortable in my own skin any more. I began to resent myself. On top of resenting myself, I doubted my own potential and capabilities. I started to think I was worthless and would amount to nothing. My anxiety attacks were these feelings manifesting themselves whenever a problem or obstacle arose and I just could not solve the issue. That frustration, mixed with panic, fear, and doubt, created these episodes where I basically resented myself and had to fight off the urge to slit my wrists or throat. Ultimately, the last time I had a panic attack was when I tried to kill myself. It was tough, but I managed to stop myself. I realized how much happiness there still is left in the world, and no matter how little I believe in myself, I as a human being have the potential to do a lot. When you are having panic attacks, you need to realize this as well. Life might not go as you planned, and that happens all the time. That’s because this world is so much bigger than our own needs and wants. Learn to go along with things when they don’t go your way, and stop thinking about what could have or should have been. So you wanted to be a firefighter, but wound up a cop? Then learn to be the best cop there is! Maybe things don’t go the way you want, but you can still make something out of the situation you have! Learn to believe in yourself. And I know it is hard, but you can do whatever you put your mind to. That’s something I will basically spam across how ever many posts I have already written.

It took me a long time to realize this, but I genuinely do love this world. Even though there are horrible people in it, and I am left confused or hurt a lot, being alive and being able to smile, laugh, and enjoy simple things like cooking, baking, nature, it’s honestly all I need to be happy. To be able to share my stories, and show that there is a brighter side to things, I am glad if even 1 person out there reads this post, and can realize that life does not always have to be about what went wrong or how we screwed up. We can embrace ourselves, regardless of the wrongs we committed, and learn to love both ourselves and those we hold dear. Anxiety is a bad thing, yes. And if you can’t handle it on your own, go see a psychiatrist. And don’t feel bad. We as human beings experience this all the time. It is perfectly normal and understandable. Accepting that a lot of things are beyond our control, it is important if we want to live a feather-light life.

Perfection: realization 18

We can’t be perfect for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, there is no true definition of what it means to be a perfect human being. We all have different ideas of what it means to be perfect. For a good majority, it’s being good-looking, smart, and athletic; basically being good at everything. But others have lower standards of what it means to be perfect, and some might even have higher. For example, going to school in Harvard might make someone perfect in the eyes of their peers. Going to a college at all could be too. The sad truth is that we can never truly be perfect in the eyes of all. Simply because there is no universal standard, therefore we cannot really ever reach that level.

That being said, I still strive to be perfect. Not by anyone else’s definitions. But rather, my own. I want to be the perfect version of myself. Someone who is caring, hardworking, smart, witty, not-fat, and all around likable. I want to be well versed in my interests and talents. For me, if I am perfect, I would be somebody others would aspire to be themselves. I want to be somebody who can live a life of pure satisfaction, validation, and happiness. However, to reach that standard is still difficult, and would definitely take an entire life’s effort to attain. To be recognized for those traits, to be appreciated and admired, it means that I need to first accomplish something noteworthy.

I continue trying to pursue perfection, because it is unobtainable, and by trying to reach for it, it will only drive me closer to my ideal vision of what it means to be a perfect person. To become this strong, capable, and independent individual would feel fantastic. I want to show the world that I can accomplish anything and everything I put my mind to. Trying to be a perfect person, that to me is a healthy goal. Trying to make everything around you perfect, maybe not so much. I have spoken in the past about needing control and being obsessed with that. You really can only ever control yourself. Your actions, emotions, you have full 100% control over those (with some obvious exceptions, of course — namely when depressed or under the influence). So be the person you want to be.

As a human being, you are gifted with individuality. You can become almost anything, so long as you continue working hard towards it (again, there are exceptions because that’s how this world works, so don’t go around saying you can become a magical fire-breathing unicorn if you try hard to, because that’s obviously not going to happen). Embrace the qualities you are proud of. And keep pushing yourself to grow into that perfect version of yourself. The best version of yourself. Never settle and never peak. It is okay to be happy with who you are, so long as you know you can be happier with who you can become. Always grow as you move forward. Always try to reach for perfection.

Solitude: dream 11

Being alone. Yeah, we finally get around to talking about this. What makes this more of a dream post than a realization is that it speaks more to taking isolation and making it an opportunity, rather than just being a self reflection on being lonely and how to overcome that. That being said, solitude. Just being alone can be very difficult for people. But as an introvert, I thrive on it. I need time alone just to recharge, relax, and really grow. And to truly be alone, I need myself to be my sole concern and thought. To reach that state, it requires a lot of isolation. I just feel so empowered in my little bubble.

When there is nothing else around, I can finally take a moment to think about myself, my needs, my wants. While yes, having the company of others is nice and appreciated, being alone is really how I thrive and grow. When I am with other people, I am so distracted by their problems and lives that I cannot focus on my own at all. Their needs consume and overtake mine. I cannot love others and myself at the same time. I always put others first when it comes to my attention and time.

There is a point where it is okay to be selfish. It is okay to want something for yourself. In this case, I think time and space are very important. I need time and space for myself so that I can relax. When I am relaxed, I see the world in a different way. I can truly begin to appreciate the beauty around me, learn new things, and develop more as a person through gaining this additional perspective. My biggest source of happiness comes from walking on the beach… alone. Yeah, it sounds like an e-harmony profile gone wrong, but it’s the truth. I need to be alone so that I can enjoy the view and the sensations. When I am with other people, I get nervous for their safety, self-conscious about how I am presenting myself, and the entire experience becomes that much more different.

Being alone, soaking in the solitude, that’s how I continuously learn more as a person. I can ask myself what I really want from life, and what it is that I really love to do. Being able to escape from reality, it gives me the clarity to find those answers. I don’t have to be distracted with that class assignment or those job applications or paying my rent. My only concern in those moments is me as a person. I can give my life more purpose and reason.