Sensitivity: realization

I always had this issue in life where I would take things too personally. Little comments, remarks, small gestures, they would have such a huge subliminal impact on me to the point where it would bother me for ages. Sometimes I would act on it, albeit overreact and give people the rise they may or may not be wanting, or I would used to shelve it, and it become a massive mess when I would go volcanic. Instead of shelving any pain, I have been just trying to get it out of my system by exercising, and learning not to take things so personally. Rather than seeing anything as a personal attack on me as a person, I just try to understand where they are coming from, what their intentions are, and what I did to affect them to cause such behavior, or if their attitude was just normal to begin with, and I was misinterpreting their actions.

Half the time I get hurt or affected by the behavior of others, it is because something is stressing me out already, such as getting a job, family or friends-related issues, for example. I am already at a vulnerable state at that point, so little things would just get under my skin easily. I would always get so bothered to the point where I would not stop thinking about comments or remarks that irked me, and I would even lose sleep over how angry or annoyed I would get. It was not a pleasant habit, in the slightest. This kind of toxic, grudge-forming behavior is what caused a lot of problems for me in the past. I would burn so many bridges and be outcasted by so many people because I would get so easily hurt and would push other people away so quickly.

Unfortunately, that sensitivity had stages. The second paragraph described stage 1 of my toxically sensitive behavior. The second phase, it would get worse. I would not stop being affected by the fact that I pushed people away. That sort of guilt, it really does eat away at you. I would feel more remorse than you could imagine over hurting people like that, and it quickly turns to self-resentment. And I’m sure I’ve written enough about that to the point where it is guessable where self-resentment would eventually turn to. Like I said, sensitivity to that extreme, it is a vicious cycle that I have been trapped in for two occasions of my life already. At that point in time, I thought that I couldn’t really do anything about it, but that’s not the case. There is a way to break out of the cycle.

Distract yourself from these things by not thinking about them, but rather, focusing on things that you enjoy doing once you cannot do anything more in pursuit of your goals. Do not let the little things and thoughts bother you. Don’t read to deep into things, and try to excavate hidden meanings beyond what is actually there. Some might call it a naive way of living, but I call it building up a wall of indifference so that you have the space and time to grow thicker skin to these kinds of comments and remarks. I genuinely can’t stress enough how important it is to not take things to heart so often. When you do, it opens you up to that vulnerability, and if you are an overtly sensitive person to begin with, it will only end with you taking everything too personally and getting offended quite easily. Learning to relax, let go, and not get offended, that’s what it means to live a featherlight life.

 

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.

 

Stronger than you: dream 31

The inspiration behind this post stemmed from a cartoon, Steven Universe, where Garnet, a character voiced by Estelle, sang a song titled Stronger than you. Yes, I watch cartoons even though I’m in college. I also watch Adventure Time, but I find that Steven Universe‘s themes are a lot more relatable to me. The song itself talks specifically about how Garnet is the metaphorical and literal representation of a same-sex relationship and how she is more than just a gimmick or a phase. Garnet is a “fusion” of two female characters, Ruby and Sapphire. Typically, fusion is temporary, and it happens between characters with that are named after the same type of Gem; Garnet is usually fused together at almost all times, and she was made of two different Gems. Because of this, many characters are initially uncomfortable with her controversial existence. Regardless, in the song, Garnet speaks about being like a feeling, therefore never-ending; regardless of our own life spans, every human being is entitled to feeling sad, happy, excited, angry, and more analogous to Garnet herself, love.

A lot of the song actually dealt with Garnet fighting the villainous Jasper, who looked down on Garnet for being a fusion; Jasper saw fusing as a cheap trick to become stronger. Specifically, Garnet speaks about how Jasper will always be alone compared to her, because Jasper refused to combine forces with anybody else. Then Garnet speaks about how since she was made of the love between Ruby and Sapphire, and how through it, she will always be stronger than Jasper, who has no love in her heart. That’s why the song is called “Stronger than you”, simply because Garnet’s love will always help her overcome any obstacle or challenge that it presented to her. My personal favorite part of the song was when Garnet stated that she was more than just Ruby and Sapphire. She also stood for everything they cared about, and that she was Ruby’s fury, Sapphire’s patience, and ultimately, she was a conversation between the two of them. She is symbolizes synergy between these two lovers, which is why she will always be more than just the sum of the two.

The song itself just helped me get through a really rough time in my life. Coming back to college after almost trying to kill myself, I was extremely nervous. I was afraid that other people would judge me or look down on me for having that period of darkness and weakness. But this song reminded me that I can be strong. If I fill myself with love, specifically for myself and what I personally represent, then I can overcome any misconceptions people have about me. Love is more than just romantic. It can be platonic, it can be symbolic. In this situation, the love I feel for myself is supportive. I want to be my own biggest cheerleader, just because I want to drown out the noise from the surrounding world, and just focus on me. Even now, I know that I face judgement from certain people, who think I am better off dead, but I just ignore them. While they are busy looking down on me and writing off my potential, I will be busy realizing it, starting by standing behind what I represent.

Garnet stands for Ruby’s fury, Sapphire’s patience, and both’s love. I stand for determination, hope, and love. Through this song, I was able to realize how I have every right to be fearless and that no matter how bad things get, so long as I love and support myself, nobody can stop me from achieving my dreams of opening that bakery. People might see me as somebody to be ashamed of, but as Garnet herself has proven, strength comes not from what other people think, but what we see in ourselves. So when I close my eyes, and think about who I am, I know that those people who act condescendingly towards me are mistaken. They do not know what I am capable of. For me, I have just the faintest idea of that too. But I know that if I push myself hard enough, I will be able to achieve my dreams. I will  be stronger than them. In a world of my feather-light dreams, everyone will naturally find that strength from within, and live life loving themselves.

 

Sky Bird: Chapter 25

“Congratulations! You have finished another year of high school!” Ms. Park smiled at everyone. It was the last day of school. Unlike most schools, Kendall’s high school had all of the finals on the same day. Everyone had just completed their Physics finals. “Kendall, can I see you after?” The teacher looked at him. “Uh, okay.” He was nervous. Did he mess up his final? Everyone filed out as Kendall sat there nervously. Once the classroom was empty, Ms. Park got out a folder and walked over to him. “Kendall, as you know, I used to be a scientist at UCLA for their Physics program.” She began. The brunette started thinking why she would preface with that statement. It probably was not a scolding? Although he has watched Hell’s Kitchen before and seen Gordon Ramsay faking out contestants like that before. “Are you doing anything this summer?” “Probably working part-time at Mitsuwa, but that’s really it.” “I see. Would you like to be a quantic optics intern at UCLA? This would be a great opportunity for you to learn more about engineering and you will be mentored under an industry professional. And it’s paid.” Kendall’s jaw dropped. He could not believe it. That was a perfect opportunity for him. “How do I apply?” “Just fill out these forms. I will handle the rest. UCLA always looks to me to recruit people for this program, and I will highly recommend you for this because you excelled in this course.” She smiled. The brunette quickly handed back the forms, all signed and filled out. “Thank you so much, Ms. Park.”

“Time’s up! Hand in your exams!” Ms. Ling stood in the front of the class as people passed their papers over to her. It was third period. Kendall felt great about the exam overall. He had went over the topics repeatedly and he knew what to expect for this test. “Kendall, you have had a rocky road with this course. But I’m proud to have had you as a student and to see you grow. Keep doing your best and if you need any college recommendation letters, my door is always open.” Ms. Ling offered him. “Thank you, Ms. Ling. That means a lot to me.” The brunette almost felt like crying. He never felt so touched before, having so many wonderful people in his life. “Absolutely. You have a lot of potential in the engineering field. You’re a smart kid.” “I’ll make sure to take Chem AP with you my senior year!” The brunette promised. Today was a good day for him. Even if he failed all of his exams, Kendall never felt better about just being himself. After spending half a semester loathing himself, thinking little of his own abilities, he was surprised by how much his teachers actually valued him. It was much needed.

“How did you think Pre-Calc went?” Sophia was sitting with Kendall, Jared, and Matt, picking their brains on how the exam went. “It was not the worst. You’ll do fine.” Matt assured her. It was lunch time, and the boys just finished Pre-Calc honors. Sophia had that exam for her sixth period, and was nervous about it. “You’ll do fine. You were smart enough to date me.” Kendall grinned cockily. “And I was even smarter to dump your arrogant ass.” She frowned sarcastically. “Ha! And I thought Fanny was sassy.” Matt sniggered. “I am sassy.” The blue eyed brunette froze. “Uh….” Fanny was right behind him. “Well, I just technically finished sophomore year. No Japanese final since I got a 99% in the class, and sixth period is post season.” He turned to Jared. “Babe, are you doing anything after lunch?” “I have my Chem final and that’s it.” “Want to go do something during sixth period?” “Sure.” The blonde nodded, trying to diffuse the awkward tension between Fanny and Matt. “And Matt,” the Chinese boy started, wrapping his arm around the brunette’s shoulders, “don’t you ever forget how sassy I am.” He whispered into his ear, before getting back up. “I need to go back to helping Carly study for Algebra 2. I’ll see you guys.” He walked off as a confused and terrified Matt whimpered. “Aren’t you glad you’re not dating him?” Sophia smirked at Kendall. “Yup.”

Fifth period Japanese 2 was quiet for once. Kendall, Megan, Sophia, Carly, Fanny, and Sharquiqui were the only people who were exempt from the final, so they sat off to the side. Everyone else had scored less than a 94%, so per Kawaguchi-sensei’s policy, they were required to take the final exam. “I’m so bored.” Kendall wrote and passed a note to Sophia. But the girl was busy studying, so she just shook her head and returned to her Pre-Calc Honors book. Sharquiqui and Sophia were both studying intently for their next and final exams. Megan and Fanny were nonchalantly doodling together, barely staving off the boredom. Ugh, this is boring. Kendall sighed to himself. He could not even enjoy his freedom with his girlfriend. Sharquiqui and Carly were talking about the potential existence of a plankton that can make your food turn glow in the dark. The wait was torturously slow. He just wanted the day to be over. The brunette drifted off to sleep.

“Hi, Kendall.” The brunette found himself in the field of flowers again. He turned around, trying to see where the voice came from. It was not the same voice as before. This was not Sophia who was calling out to him. “Who’s there?” He called, expecting a response. Nothing. There were no other people in the field as far as he could tell. “Hello?” His voice echoed off into the distance. “Who called my name?” “It was me.” A bird glided down, and perched itself in a small bed of flowers before the brunette. “Who are you?” “Darby.” It chirped. “Darby?” It was his grandfather’s name. The bird flapped it’s wings, and took off into the air. “Wait!” He beckoned, hand outstretched. It was too late. The bird had disappeared into the horizon. Before the brunette could do anything else, a white light filled the sky. The brunette woke up to a bell ringing. “Alright, see you all if Japanese 3. Unless you failed this final, in which case, you suck at life.” Kawaguchi-sensei frowned. “Hey, Kendall! Let’s go!” Megan whispered, tugging his arm. Fanny was waiting at the door for the two. “Oh, shoot. Okay, hold on.” The sophomore grabbed his bag and joined his sister and the Chinese boy in walking to the gym.

“Hey, there, Kendall!” School was finally over. Kendall, Jared, Fanny, Matt, Chloe, and Megan were greeted by Carly and Sophia. The eight of them were in the front gates of the school. “We’re finally done with another year.” Jared groaned as Fanny latched onto his shoulders affectionately. “We’re finally done with our first year.” Chloe and Megan giggled at the couple. “Well, let’s go on an adventure!” Matt proposed to everyone’s delight. The eight took off for Fanny and Kendall’s cars; Jared, Chloe, and Carly were riding with the Chinese boy, while Matt, Megan, and Sophia were with Kendall. “Alright, Chloe, you’re waiting for Megan’s text, right?” They were relying on Megan to let them know where Kendall was going to drive to. “Where are we going?” Sophia looked at her boyfriend. “Anywhere with you, it’ll be a great adventure.” He smiled at her. Matt and Megan just groaned in irritation. “Geez, stop rubbing it in that we’re single!” The two passengers crossed their arms in frustration. The couple just ignored them. Kendall was genuinely happy. This past semester, he managed to let go of a longstanding grudge, gain an incredible internship opportunity, and most importantly to him, find a girl who he was madly in love with. While he did not know for certain what his future had in store for him, Kendall knew that even if he finds himself in rock bottom, he will always find a way to soar above the obstacles, and take for the sky. Figuratively, or hopefully, literally with his dream plane, “Darby.”

Panic: realization 28

Whenever I am late to things, I’d typically default to the habit of panicking. My eyes would tear up, I’d start hyperventilating, and the adrenaline kicks in for me to get moving. It’s a terrifying feeling. I get this sense of panic, where I cannot stop thinking about needing to do something. To get my closure. To finish the task. It’s all consuming, obsessive, and most importantly, something that needs to stop. People tell me all the time I need to calm down, take a breath, and relax. My personality, it’s naturally neurotic, highly stressed, and it just is not something people want to be around. The last thing somebody wants is to get panicked or scared every time they are in my company. And the last thing I want for my own health is to be constantly panicked, stressed, or terrified.

This sense of urgency that drives me being panicked, it comes from my need to complete things and my strive for perfection. But panic should not be the reaction I have to being pressed. I should be driven, I should be motivated, but I should never feel scared, helpless, or incompetent. The main reason why I feel this way is because I do not like to fail. And I do not like surprises. I don’t care if it’s a good one like surprise party. I do not like them. It also goes back to me wanting to feel like I am in control, and when I lose control of my situation, it scares me. That sort of uncertainty, my reaction to it is to relinquish control of not just my situation, but me. I shut down and freak out.

Being forced to adapt to sudden and unexpected changes frustrated me. Typically, these were changes that were out of my control; others were being incompetent, and now I am being forced to compensate. It was so frustrating. But with time pressing on, my frustration and urgency come together, and it shuts me down. I just get angry, scared, it’s a mixture of emotions that I struggle to channel properly. What I hated the most about panicking is that I did not understand how to control it. But what people were saying to me, rather than taking it personally as me being stressed equating to being annoying, I just took that as advice. I’d take a breath. I would cut off contact with the source of my stress. Between doing both, the panic goes away, along with the tunnel vision that comes with it so to speak.

My panic attacks, they stemmed from a similar feeling of me thinking very little of myself. Something I have come to realize is that I have already achieved a lot and I have a lot left to achieve. Rather than thinking about what other people think of me, I need to think of what I know about myself. If I am a capable person, what’s there to be panicked about? And if I am not, then now I have a goal to aspire to. I need to first make myself a capable person, so that I will not have to be afraid again. By becoming a capable or competent person, then sudden changes or feeling useless won’t happen. You can become the person you want to be, and ignore any fears or doubts.

 

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.

Editing: realization 9

Editing is something that I did constantly when I used to be an editor-in-chief of an online food publication, especially when I was working my way up the ranks. Editing, in the context of writing, is an important tool that we use to take a rough draft and bring it into something more presentable. We need it for essays, speeches, and interviews. Editing can also refer to self-improvement. We edit ourselves as human beings to make ourselves closer to who we want to be, either appearance-wise, personality-wise, or in terms of intellect or career.

In terms of editing and why we need it, it can be used as a tool to improve ourselves. Every night, before I go to sleep, I try to think about three things I could have done better that day. It could be “oh, I could have helped that old lady across the street” or “maybe I should have helped that guy who was lost and needed directions.” In that sense, editing does make you a better person. But never let that need to constantly improve become a self-loathing habit. It has happened to me where I started to dislike myself for doing things a certain way.

Unfortunately, I do not really edit my posts for this blog. This blog is a chance for me to truly express myself, raw emotions and all. I don’t want to have to dumb down or touch up my writing and be somebody I am not.

The idea of editing to me, it reminds me of this need for things to be done, written, or portrayed in a certain way. There’s this sort of need for perfection that editing allows us to meet. Essays, dishes, interview responses, even the way we act and portray ourselves, through editing, we can make those things that much closer to being our own idea of perfect. But, and this might be a bit rough to hear, is there really perfection? Editing should be less about trying to reach a certain bar, and more about making you feel more comfortable with who you are and what makes you happy.

Excessive or constant editing can prevent us from being who we really are or just loving ourselves. When we edit ourselves, we try to hide or change up our own self-perceived flaws. We try to be who we think the other person wants or perceives us to be. I get that we need to do that for interviews, just because those are short encounters where first impressions are important, but in real life, do we need to edit? Knowing what is a good change, and when to make a change, that’s the key to being feather-light.