Blogmas Day 4: Sluggishly Dragging Onward

Hey guys! It’s currently 12:24pm. I’m sitting in my bed as I begin today’s Blogmas– it is quite chilly in the house, but I feel really warm under my covers.

Contrary to what I had planned, I did NOT manage to wake up at 5:30am. I woke up instead at around 9:30am, after falling asleep at around 11:00pm. I think I need to start waking up gradually, instead of going straight to 5:30am… And I need sufficient sleep, too. If I am to wake up that early, I must go to bed earlier… Hopefully tomorrow morning turns out better!

I had a breakfast of oatmeal, homemade soup and my mom’s famous smoothie, which was especially chunky today. I know, my brothers and I are so spoiled, having a mom who wakes up each morning to cook us breakfast. I think she really misses having her children home, and is thus going to extreme measures to pamper us. As much as I appreciate her efforts, I sometimes feel a little stifled from her hovering… being away at college, freed of parents and living independently for the first time definitely merits a shift in family dynamic, when we come home for holiday.

From a freshly-returned college student’s perspective, I would feel better if my parents would lay off, just a little… give me my space… not dictate what I should or should not wear outside, or what I should and shouldn’t eat. I know they all mean well… but after over two months of being away from home, parents should understand that, even though their children will always be their precious babies, they no longer wish to be treated as such. There, I said it. I don’t want to be treated like a baby. And I know that this will be a lifelong struggle… doesn’t matter if I am 6 or 46– my parents will always think they know what is best for me, no matter how much I may disagree.

Anyway, back to my day. After breakfast, and a heated argument over what jacket I should wear outside (I opted for a Northface, while my mother wanted me to wear something warmer– I acquiesced to her demands, by the way), Austin and I headed out for a dentist appointment. I ended up having a single cavity, that will be fixed this coming Thursday.

Upon arriving home, I finished reading the book, The Bell Jar (stay tuned for a book review), and promptly began this blog post. I will soon be having lunch. Can’t wait for the dinner-table argument that’ll likely ensue, with mother egging me to eat on, despite my complaints of how full I am.

After lunch, I plan on driving to the gym, where I’ll do some cardio and stretching and conditioning. Today feels a little sluggish, with the cloudy sky and cold weather… which is all the more reason why I need to get out of the house and get my blood flowing.

Don’t really feel like taking a break from writing right now, as writing gives me great pleasure, and also serves as a breath of fresh air amidst the mugginess and lethargy of my current state. But the day must continue onward… I need a set of coping mechanisms when such dysthymic moments settle in.

  • Exercise! No matter how little I want to, this is a must. Exercise will get my “feel-good” endorphins pumping, and from a physiological standpoint, I will feel better.
  • Write. As always, writing is a great catharsis. I lose myself in my words, and the suffocating emptiness characteristic of depression loses its sharp edge.
  • Dance? This one is a little bit iffy. Even when I’m not feeling depressed, dance practice does not give me much joy, at least not the way it used to, when I first began dancing, nearly three years ago. It’s not like gymnastics, where you’re training with a tight-knit team, with a coach overseeing your practice, dispensing critiques, criticisms and validations where deemed fit. Dance practice can feel quite lonely at times… no matter how many dancers surround you on the dance floor, each couple is on their own track. Dance training is definitely a lot more independent and self-structured than is gymnastics. You have your private dance lessons, and then are told to “go practice”. But how must one practice?? You must create your own structure, which can be a difficult thing to do. Lately, I’ve been struggling a lot with finding motivation to dance. It’s like dancing has become a chore, rather than a source of joy. Of course, I had my plateau periods in gymnastics, too– but then, I was a lot younger then, and I had coaches and parents to push me through such walls. Once I started getting better as a gymnast, I began to enjoy the sport more… It was a positive feedback loop– the better I got, the more I enjoyed training and improving, resulting in even more progress. I’ve been dancing for nearly three years now. The initial excitement of dance that once drove me has long since faded… The honeymoon phase is O-V-E-R-over. Now, is the long haul. I must find a new source of motivation to continue dancing. Dancers are inspired by different things. Some dance to create beauty. Others crave a means to express the language of music. Still others dance because they genuinely love the process of learning and mastering such a beautiful art. I believe my motivation lies in the competitive realm… I love competing, and I love performing. I shine brightest when I’m on the competition floor. I’ve always been a competitor, to the core. I need to get back out there, in the public eye, to find my “why” once more, with dancing.

4:00pm

Came back home from dance practice! Danced for about an hour. It was a very productive practice– cleaned my cha-cha routine and recorded videos of my practice. I basically broke down my routine into three parts, and repeated each part five times. On the fifth time each round, I’d record myself dancing. The structure of my practice really helped in terms of productivity and efficiency. Overall, I am very happy with how my training went for today– I got a lot done, in a short amount of time!

4:53pm

Just got back from a brief walk with my mom. What was supposed to be a nice leisurely stroll on the levee turned into a heated argument about how my mother never seemed to support me in my ambitions. It was always me pitted against her strict, conservative ideals, be it with gymnastics or dancing.

She asked me if I liked school. I told her the truth. I told her that, as much as I enjoyed college, a part of me never really enjoyed classroom learning. I told her that, if I had a choice, I would have pursued my gymnastics full-time, while doing online high school, just as Olympic athletes do. I would then postpone college, or do college part-time, whilst chasing down my ambitions– ambitions that can only be achieved in youth, seeing as my passions lie in the physical manifestation of art. Only then, when I’ve exhausted my dreams and were absolutely certain that I could go no further in perfecting my craft, would I be able to wholeheartedly focus my energies on school. But, because my passions for gymnastics and dance have always been tossed aside as mere “hobbies”, all in the name of school, a part of me resents being a student, despite being a scholarship student at UCLA. If I could do it over again with my own child (if I ever decide to have children), I would give them guidance and instill good values and morals in them, but I would never shoot down their dreams just because I happen to disagree with them. I’d reason with them, yes, and express my concerns… but at the end of the day, if my kid wants to put off school for a little while to pursue their athletic or artistic careers in their youth, I will fully support them in their endeavors. Financially, mentally, emotionally… I will do it. Because I don’t want my kid to live with regret, wondering what could have been. had they not given their dreams an honest shot. I’ll be the first to admit that I think not in shades of gray, but in black-and-white. It’s all or nothing. Either school or dance. Never both. You can go to school full-time whilst relegating dance to the status of a hobby, which is what I’m doing… but you can’t expect to become a great, professional dancer, if you’re going to be a full-time student as well. If you want to be the best at something, you give it your all. Which brings us back to the question of what entails a meaningful life. Be the best at one thing, or live a more diversified life, but renounce any shot at a gold medal in the process? Be a specialist, or a jack-of-all-trades? Questions to think about…

 

 

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