Final thoughts for 22

My 22nd year began by stepping completely outside of my comfort zone. On a rainy Saturday, I trudged through a ropes course and ended with ziplining, which I was actually dreading. I hated to try things I didn’t know, or didn’t know if I would be able to do. I didn’t like for people to see me fail, and I still don’t, but damn did it make me feel alive.

From that point, I vowed to get out of my comfort zone. I flew across the country to the west coast and loved it, so much so that I went back. I took some classes outside of my major on international relations, learned most of the countries, and became obsessed with maps because I felt more connected to the world. I started to improve my writing skills and learned to write precisely, factually, and casually in a corporate setting. I learned the things I liked to do and the things I didn’t.

I decided it was time to start living for myself, and when I say that, I don’t mean it in a cliche type of way. Every grade in school, every award, every accomplishment felt like it was for someone else. For me, 4.0 was where I set the bar, and any less was a disappointment.

Part of living for myself meant getting my tattoo, a line of deep significance for me. I was always within and without. The more I learned and the older I got, the more I realized that the world is filled with so much opportunity and so many chances to create, though I would just as equally feel the pain of not being able to do it all. Sometimes feeling the deep rejection of being misunderstood or naively falling in love with the person I knew you could become instead of the person you are. I am so enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life. In another light, I am within and without in most aspects of my life. It always feels that while everyone else is on page 1, I’m alone on page 3, and it’s difficult to get people to understand page 3.

 

After graduating, I changed. I realized that when it came to the world, being an undergrad had given me rose-colored glasses. I became unsure if the things I wanted before were actually what I still wanted now. I stopped reading and I stopped writing and I cried. I started losing myself. I threw myself at people that never actually really knew me and were pulling me off the path of myself pretty quickly. I thought I needed someone to want me back, and I made excuses for the way they treated me. I broke away from love and tried to live without it, choosing to avoid love from the one person who did know me best.

 

I floated through a dream of love from every angle doused in too much wine. I began standing alone because of it. I started to go back on my promise to live for myself and I begged for approval, again. I begged for love from someone incapable, or if they did love me, they didn’t love me in a way I understood (catch the reference?).  This will never be about the person you think it is, and you’ll never know, but what I know now is that someone can want your body but not your mind, no matter how many times you’ve poured yourself out to them. It is possible to fall in love with the idea of a person and then feel the torture of having to be around them all the time.

 

To cope, I started writing. As of today, there are 37 pages of my journal filled with the pain of Summer 2017, but there’s beauty in pain. There is beauty in brokenness. Kintsugi.

 

I wrote some of the most powerful, painful, AUTHENTIC  words I’ve ever used and I keep them hidden because it was only ever about being true to myself. The words on those pages were my reality, and some would be shocked to read them. Some judged my life even though they’ll never get to read one single word on any of those pages.

 

Today, I know that these words are my comeback. My salvation, as someone close to me put it. I started to become Woman. I demonstrated for myself that I will get up and I will live. It’s all still a work in progress, but whether it was heaven or hell this summer, it was true.

 

Here’s to 23

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You don’t need somebody to want you

I’m not sure if this is a girl thing, or an INFJ type thing, or just a human thing, but I’ve realized now more than ever that I have a very strong internal desire to be wanted.

Needing to feel wanted can be defined in different ways and hold many connotations. Some people feel a need to be physically wanted by someone else, or emotionally wanted, or just want to feel valid and accepted. Our brains tell us: If I am wanted, I am included, and I belong. 

But what happens in our minds when someone who once wanted us, no longer does? What happens to our levels of confidence and validation when suddenly, we aren’t wanted anymore?

From experience, there is a world of pain to be had in trying to prove your worth to someone who stopped wanting you. Wishing I could go back, delete those memories from my mind, and start again. It’s almost a desperate panic; please want me again.  I will do anything…

Reading that last part makes me cringe because of just how wrong it is. But our brains can react this way when we feel weak, when we dwell on these thoughts. Isn’t it absolutely insane to think that we would be so willing to completely change who we are to be what someone else wants, and even in doing that, they still can choose to not want us. A disgusting and pitiful cycle that will leave you absolutely barren. It will sit you on the couch in the evening with a racing mind and convince you that you don’t feel like going swimming, or spending time with your friends, or doing anything other than sitting there replaying memories in your head and creating scenarios of what could have been.

If sharing yourself and your life with anyone is difficult, or it hurts, then stop. It is not for you.

It will feel like you’ve deeply buried your roots in them, and I promise you, you will feel the pain of every single root snapping as you rip them out

one

by

one.

But what I want to share with you is this: you can’t see it right now, but the remains of those roots will sink back into you and something new will grow. I can’t tell you what it will be, and you won’t even know yourself, but you will never be the same. Your soul will have even more depth and beauty because of this. 

Find Yourself – LET GO

It’s funny how things work reciprocally. They say if you love someone, let them free. If they truly love you, they’ll return. They also say distance makes the heart grow fonder.

In your early twenties as a college student, you are bombarded with deadlines. Assignments, presentations, and exams consistently fill the To-Do list, but once the last assignment of your Junior year is handed in, the reality sets in that you have one more year left.

Have you figured out where you want to work? Have you applied? Do you have an interview? Are you going to have enough experience? I’ve heard and thought of these questions for months. I started skimming Indeed for entry-level communication/PR jobs. I started thinking of some companies I could imagine myself working at. The scary thing was when I realized that most of the paths were are exposed to (marketing communication/working at an ad agency) still felt mundane to me. Yet again, I thought to myself, there is more I am capable of than dishing out campaigns like a factory. 

A few months ago, someone suggested that I watch House of Cards on Netflix, a political drama that had just released its fourth season. I dreaded the thought of starting a new show only to not understand the plot and become bored by the third episode. Only that isn’t what happened.

Through analysis (and a whole lot of binge watching) I discovered my dream job, and not only that but also the person I ultimately want to become. Now, some who have watched the series may cringe when I say this person is Claire Underwood since she is particularly ruthless in various episodes. Claire was previously the CEO of the fictitious Clean Water Initiative, a non-governmental agency fighting for human rights to clean water. She lives and works in Washington D.C., frequently liaising with Congress and other governmental entities to receive funding for her advocacy organization. From this moment, I knew that was the job I wanted. I started telling my family about how I never skip the opening sequence of House of Cards, which is about a minute long time-lapse tour of Washington D.C. set to an orchestra. I never skip it because I have fallen completely in love with the atmosphere and aesthetic of government, which is a very strange thing to say in our current time. When Claire became the United States UN ambassador on HoC, I knew I was on to something.

The point is, I just discovered some crazy relevant things about myself and who I want to be just by doing something I enjoy, in this case, watching a fictional political drama on Netflix. No, it isn’t a fad, because seeing a powerful woman in that type of job resonated with me. I want to be a power-wielding woman for good. Needless to say, I’ve truly discovered the missing piece of my puzzle by letting go.

P.S. Here’s the opening sequence – I couldn’t resist sharing it with you