Hi guys! I was writing in my private diary this morning, when the following thoughts spewed out, and I decided to turn this private internal conversation into a public one. Enjoy!
It’s Tuesday of Week 4 at UCLA. Currently 6:53am. I’m sitting inside the Starbucks next to the Fox theater. This has become a new favorite study spot of mine. Did some good Russian studying here yesterday.
Ahh.. just got up to grab my pumpkin spice frappuccino– grande with whipped cream. Tastes sooo delish… Figured I’d reward myself for getting up early to exercise. I’m trying to get back on a healthy track, though this frapp doesn’t seem to be helping. But what the hey? I felt like getting a frapp to wake me up for the coming day, so get the frapp I did.
It’s a little chilly inside here. My outfit of the day: black velvet pants from American Vintage (it has this really cute front zipper that zips up to the belly, thus containing my ever-growing paunch); black tank top; and black wedges. I parted my hair to one side today, as my bangs are growing long enough for me to do so.
I think I’m doing a good job of preserving my sanity at the moment. Especially given the whole medication situation. I ran out of Prozac last week, and have since made the decision to stopped my mood stabilizers, so my moods don’t get too low. I don’t think it’s healthy for me to play doctor. I really need to schedule another appointment with Dr. Rees.
I have some big news, Diary– I’m writing my first book! It’s gonna be a compilation of my blogs from 2014 to now, with some private diary entries interspersed in between. It’s gonna be great. I’m super excited. That’s part of the reason why I decided to get up so early today– so I can work on my writing before class starts at 11:00am!
Man… I don’t think getting 3 hours of sleep out of PERSONAL CHOICE was a particularly good decision. I’m starting to feel the drowsiness. Eyes glazed over, vision blurred, mindlessly sipping on my frappuccino, shivering because it is so damn cold inside Starbucks. I think I’m gonna head outside, where it is warmer. Ah, the sun is rising, finally! Be right back.
Alright! I’m outside now. Definitely better out here, without the blasting AC and all. Sunlight is also keeping me awake. Man, why do I always do things like this? Thinking I can subsist just fine off of a few hours of sleep (I slept at about 1:30am and woke up at 4:30am)… I oftentimes overestimate my true capacity. We all like to believe that we can do ANYTHING; that we are super-humans, with no sense of personal limitation.
I believe that one of the most courageous things one could do, though, is to recognize one’s own limits and accept the times when they are immutable. I’m a firm believer in growing yourself beyond your innate capacity, but I’m beginning to recognize that sometimes, you just gotta accept certain aspects of yourself that won’t change, no matter how much work you put in.
Take, for instance, the whole sleep situation. There are some people in this world who can function just fine with three to four hours of sleep (I have yet to meet one personally, but I’m sure they exist). I, on the other hand, need at least seven hours to operate at my full capacity. I doesn’t matter how much I try to “train” myself to be able to subsist off of less sleep; seven hours is the biological minimum number of hours of sleep I need.
Let’s look at a better example. Like personality traits. For most my life, I’ve strongly identified as an introvert. Throughout high school, I suffered from crippling shyness that took years to overcome. Even now– a more confident, outspoken college student– I still have times of inward withdrawal, during which the social anxiety creeps back in, and I’m more likely to be found in my room than out at some social event or party. I used to feel so much shame attached to my “quiet” moments. A large part of that is society talking– society seems to better select for the extroverts and outspoken leaders, and for my entire life, I’ve been trying my best to fight to “submissive, quiet Asian kid” stereotype in hopes of better molding into society’s upper echelon.
In rejecting one stereotype, though, I simply conform to another. Where have I– Belicia– disappeared to, through all of this? When we take society and outward expectation out of the equation, who am I, truly?
Like most things in life, my identity is neither black nor white. I do have times of loud, outward projection– that’s usually the manic Belicia talking– during which people perceive me as the epitome of extroversion, the life of the party, the outgoing, charismatic friend with the larger than life, “super extra” personality. Then there’s the other Belicia. The one who simply craves her alone time. The one reluctant to speak up for the group, but does so anyway out of felt obligation to live up to others’ expectations. The one whose palms sweat when meeting a new person; the one who’d rather cut short a conversation out of personal exhaustion, but smiles politely and continues talking, so as not to appear rude or (more importantly), blow my guise as the secret introvert only my closest friends and family know.
All my life, I’ve been endlessly haunted by the need to bend my back to others’ expectations, so much so that my spine threatens to break. My god, I just long to be FREE! I just want to live, unabashedly me, without shame or judgement. I want to build so solid an identity and self-awareness that I don’t keep changing my outward appearance, my demeanor, or my ideals, based on surrounding people or environment. I don’t need others to hold such power over my life. I don’t want to live for other people. I owe no one anything, aside from the people I truly care about. I know that statement sounds blunt, rote, harsh… but it’s the truth. Anyway, I just want to be me, without shame or fear.