Hello, friends! It’s been a while since I last posted, so I decided to do a regular updates-on-my-life type post for all my overseas friends. (Which means it will be informal, probably not sense-making, and also probably uninteresting to those who don’t personally know me. LET’S GO)
The past few months have been really interesting for me, because I’ve changed a lot through them. However, it was a kind of ambient change. It wasn’t intentional. I’ve learned the importance of keeping promises to myself, and not just to others. I’ve spent a lot of time tending to friendships and growing new ones (no, like, seriously, I’ve made like six new friends and I hang out with people I just met all the time and this is a very strange experience for me, but I really like them). All these friends have something in common with me, too, so I have friends who enjoy Korean culture, anime, video games, and learning languages all hovering around my atmosphere now. It’s wonderful!
I’ve also learned a new kind of self-respect that I wasn’t aware of. I’ve always respected myself, but I don’t think I respected my emotions. Like, I would deny I had them and shove them down because I didn’t want to be seen as weak or pitiful. But now, I just say what I’m thinking 100% of the time, and I do what I want 100% of the time as long as it doesn’t hurt someone. Which means that I’ve been singing down the sidewalk unflinchingly and making incredibly arrogant comments in class.
No, really. Yesterday, a guy in my fiction writing class asked me, “Are you nervous about your story being workshopped?” and I said, “No. Why, is there a reason I should be?” and the sheer arrogance of it sent him tumbling into a fit of laughter. I was a bit surprised myself. But rather than thinking that my story was really good, I was comfortable with where I left it. I knew there were flaws, but in writing the story, I learned a lot about myself and my creative writing process, and I did what I wanted to do, so I was completely satisfied and the opinions of the other students were helpful, rather than something that affected me emotionally, I guess.
In that way, I’ve become a lot more comfortable with myself and with other people. I always said IDGAF when it came to what other people thought of me, and that was true, but only to an extent. Now, I’m living it daily. I think, when I saw Morticia Addams (Addams family) living her life unabashedly, and her husband, something kind of clicked. Like “Aha! That’s what I’ve been missing!” and since then, I’ve been having a lot of fun doing really weird things that I would usually be embarrassed after with no regrets, and I’ve been easily revealing things about myself I used to be worried about concealing in case I insulted someone.
Which brings me to something else! I’ve stopped caring so much about being politically correct, and about racism and sexism and things. Which is to say – I still think these things are important, but I don’t think they’re how I want to live my life. After a family friend of ours died, I went to the funeral and her father talked about how things that seemed important weren’t anymore,big conflicts and political splits. It hit home with me, and jived with something else I’ve been thinking about. Reading things about how shit the world is on tumblr, or in those stupid articles on facebook, and about how something is sexist or racist – none of that is helpful. And neither was my sitting around ranting and raving and complaining about how bad I have it or how hard it is to be who I am in our society. It wasn’t extending an olive branch for friendly discourse. It was just pure emotion, and it was unhelpful. It divides more than it brings together and hurts more than helps, plus – everyone has it hard. Why are my problems anymore valid than yours? Shaming people into behaving a certain way because it’s “right” is wrong, the methods are wrong. And most importantly, it made me extremely unhappy and kept me feeling disempowered.
Basically, these issues are important to me, and if I see something that is wrong or if I can stand up for something, I will do it. But I’m not going to post about things that I’m honestly pretty ignorant in just because I think being born a certain way gives me an authority to speak on it, nor am I going to live my life as a campaign or spokesperson. I’m an authority on my own experiences, and nothing else. These issues are important, and I’m thankful for those doing the work they’re doing and I will support them. But my life does not and will not revolve around these kinds of things. With this in mind, I’ve gone around my blog and taken down the more ignorant things I posted when I was convinced that just my opinion was enough for useful discourse. There are a few I am leaving up, but in the coming weeks I will be heavily editing them to ensure they don’t do this type of harm.
And speaking of the close family friend of ours that died, when I found out, I went into a kind of manic overdrive mode for a week, and then two weeks before my short story was due, we went to the funeral. It was absolutely awful, and I was shattered by it. I didn’t realize how much it affected me, though, until I realized I was sleeping almost all the time and had stopped doing most of my assignments in school. I was under some major burnout. When a teacher asked me to write for the creative writing blog, I foolishly accepted because I thought I could just write it up and be done, since it’s short. But it ended up being a very long drafting-related process, and every time I sat down to write it, I would get actual physical problems. So I could only write for like 15-30 minutes, and then I had to get up and do something else because my head would be spinning and I would be exhausted and eventually in pain. But somehow, I pooped that thing out, and once that was done my writing process was reestablished and I managed to churn out that short story in two days. Naturally, it wasn’t particularly good, but it ended up being a satirical romantic comedy, and the students in my class thought it was really funny, so not only did I manage to break the burn-out, but I succeeded in writing my first intentionally comedic story.
The whole funeral made me re-evaluate how I want to live my life in an amazing way, as well. I no longer want to live my life without regrets. Regret… to me, it only shows that I care deeply about my life and the people in it, and that I will learn from it. Trying to live a life free of regret, I think, means that I would end up living it too safely. Humans accumulate things as they live – memories, regrets, dreams, hopes, etc. etc. This is just another one of those things. If I regret something, I just want to be able to accept it. That’s all.
And I really want to prioritize my friendships in my life (which I’ve been doing, so yay!). There are a few friendships that have been a bit awkward, mostly because I don’t know what is the most friendly thing to do (you know those situations? is it better to bring it up or leave it alone — it’s a bit like that). But overall, I’ve grown a lot closer to people in my life, and realized just how lucky I am to have them and how much I appreciate them and value them. I think I’ve grown to be able to see love as fluid, and eternal, and multi-faceted, and for what it really is. Somewhere in there, I lost the kind of desire to control I had before (the desire to control people to make sure they stayed close to me or loved me). I don’t know how or why, it’s just gone.
In its place, I’ve learned not to care so much about certain things, to care more about others, and basically to live life enjoyable and much less seriously. I’m easy-going now. It’s interesting. I’m happy with it.
AND ON THE HOBBY SIDE OF THINGS, I’ve almost completely 100% completed FFX (I even dodged the 200 lightning strikes, Kate! In only three tries!), I’ve watched a lot of dramas, read some books, made some games, and discovered a ridiculously intense interest in music. I used to only listen to them for the atmosphere, story, or emotion, but now I’m really into the sound, the production, the process, and the artistry of it. I’ve also grown more interested in rap and more interested in older music. Oh, and in old movies and films, and in comedians (especially foreign ones – Australian comedians are hilarious!) and in tablet games (there is so much to learn about game design from them seriously though). So, in that spirit, I will leave you with two things: 1. Don’t Go Home, a beautiful, funky song by G-Dragon and TOP (I’ve been really into songs that have any kind of “funk” in them) and 2. an Australian comedian by the name of Adam Hills.