Fifty One

Within a year,

I have done more than people usually do in a few years, said my mom. She was just trying to make me feel better, I know it. All I’ve done was get married, travel to China and Denmark, and change my career. I guess when you’re in your 20s or at least when you leave school a lot tends to happen within a year.

Currently, I’m in a love-hate relationship with my potential major (product design). Loving doing the thing, but I hate the people in my class. I just dislike people in general and I don’t warm up to strangers very well. The group last semester was fine, but this semester, I have to adjust to a whole new group of people, none of whom are that willing to be close friends with me. After most of my classmates from last semester left, I’m unwilling to make any steady friends until I get in.

Also, my career seems to be a lot of waiting and being on hold. I have classes Tuesday through Saturday except for Wednesday. My Tuesday and Thursday classes barely have any homework but I can never finish my work for Saturday!? That has gotten me down a lot. As a result, I’ve felt so inferior that I was going to quit until an admissions counselor told me I don’t suck. Everyone was happy to hear it, but the effects have worn off on me. Back to being depressed about my life and the increasingly nagging feeling that I should go back to some kind of normal school.

I miss writing. I miss reading. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I also miss science. I look at my old classmates sharing science related stuff on Facebook and I no longer miss science. Or, at least I don’t miss sharing pop science and trivial studies just to legitimize my career choice. At least I am being honest with myself when I say where I am now is leading me to what I want to do.

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Forty-Seven: I QUIT/(medically withdrew from) COLLEGE. (Long post)

I have never been happier. I have been avoiding it, but I’m just going to go ahead and reveal what college I attended: Smith College. I don’t regret going there. In fact, I’m wearing my Smith sweater right now, because I almost graduated. I was two semesters away, but I decided that I didn’t want that 3.52 GPA with a B.A. Neuroscience that’s “going to open so many doors for me” (roughly quoting my concerned advisor) or whatever.

Let’s just say my relationship with Smith was toxic, and it was a happy breakup. The before I left, I hung out with my dearest friends I met in Bridge and a dear friend who I only knew for one semester. They were one of the top three reasons I stayed there besides needing to know I can do this college thing and also not knowing what other career I will have than a miserable one in Neuroscience or teaching biology. Might as well stay in miserable Western Massachusetts if I have nowhere else to go.

I learned a lot in my three years there. I might learn a little more if I stayed for one more, but that night, when I was working on a paper for Systems Neuroscience, I decided: I know don’t want to do this in the future now. When I worked on that paper, I got so frustrated that I threw my butcher knife against the wall, my hairbrush, tin jewelry container, etc., screaming. I’m pretty sure I woke up some of my poor floormates. Looking back on my semester, I got dry eye from all the reading I’ve done for the semester and cuts on my shoulder out of self-hating frustration at my Neurophysiolgy professor. I couldn’t live like this anymore.

I guess from the past year of going through all the rough spots with my boyfriend, I learned that life is too precious to be with someone you don’t love and too short to have a career that I am no longer inspired by. I’ve changed so much from that girl who wanted to do research, be a high school biology teacher and eventually, a university professor who cares for her students, because she (still) thinks neuroscience students are very special and intelligent. Being in the neuroscience world, however–the classes, professors, and overall research culture–broke down the last bit of curiosity and drive I had for the subject. I loved neuroscience, once, but I no longer have a future in it. In fact, I might have committed suicide before even getting a job (see previous posts), and my dean knew it. Don’t worry, the school put me on Lamictal (…will write a post later about my meds and being bipolar), thank goodness.

I made the exit the moment my boyfriend suggested I should do something with my artistic talent and taste, so I decided: Design. I have a good eye, and not only would preparing for art school heal me psychologically from three damaging years studying science at Smith, I can help make things instead of being stuck in a dead end job that involves no creativity for the rest of my life. I would work five years to a B.S. in Industrial Design or Product design than get a B.A. in Neuroscience in a year any day.

Forty Six

Regarding my friends on the East Coast,

I haven’t been making any effort to see them, because I feel like honestly, it’s time for me to move on. We haven’t fought, we haven’t argued, but I feel like I’m in a world so different from theirs now that I feel alone whenever I hang out with them.

I don’t want to splurge personal secrets that may hurt my boyfriend on here, but they knew things that I told them thinking they were mature enough to handle it. I was so wrong and so unsurprised when I watched one of them (who talks non-stop anyways about everything that pops into her head and was a very sheltered child) basically shout what I told her throughout the dining hall. Another friend sat next to her and shrugged, “Well, these are your decisions and shame is one of the consequences.” I learned that the motor-mouth friend also told another friend, who we all know can’t keep a single thing to herself, and I felt so alone.

I forgive my friends, because they, like many people at my school, are naive. The world works only one way and it’s obvious who the bad guys and good guys are to them.  Going through the things I told them has made me learn how to stand my ground and feel invincible, so they do not hurt me when they judge my boyfriend and I and our dreams whenever I see them. They can still be my bridesmaids. Two of them can still be my kids’ godmothers. I am just tired of being verbally beaten down by them all the time and being thrown things I’ve already been hit by.

There are so many things wrong with this. I know I shouldn’t sacrifice my friends for my relationship, because they care about me. I am not sacrificing them. I still care about them. When they are hungry, I give them food. When they need somewhere to be because they don’t want to go bed yet, they can hang out in my room. When they want to see me, I go downstairs and hang out with them. I make them laugh, give them the same bad advice, and voice the same questionable opinions. We are still friends. It’s just that we are too different for me to say that we are friends, because we all have so much in common, because we really don’t anymore. My friends on the West Coast though, they’re chill, and I’ll talk about them in a later post.

Forty Five

Since an hour ago,

I only had 373 days before I graduate from this school early and begin my life with my boyfriend. As you can probably tell, I like counting things, but once I reach post number a hundred on this blog, I want to put my blogging on a countdown to the days I get out of here on a non-anonymous blog (hm… I might be prepping for it right now. No one will ever know). This is so my remaining posts on here aren’t garbage like the last one, and because I can’t link any of these posts to my new blog in any way. Some things have to end, and before I end this, I’m going to dump all awful secrets of my life on here that I can only do anonymously. I can’t be that depressed girl running a secret, anonymous blog writing about things that I don’t want anyone I know to know about for the rest of my life. I’ve changed too much over the course of the one year to see that this isn’t the only way to publish myself.

I am happy now. Yes, I’ve been through some serious mental shit, and I know my limits now. But since I’ve learned what it’s like to work for something I truly want—someone I love, happiness, sunshine, and a family—I literally have nothing to complain about except for why I could never feel happy in California, and why I could never feel happy in Massachusetts. It’s because I never had this purpose or drive behind me, or I guess, the power of love to be very very cheese.

Still though. There are so many bad things that I haven’t vomited on here, and I can’t say horrible secrets once I reach 100 posts, which is supposedly when I start acting like a real adult and keep these complaints to myself. I mean, once I start an apartment, a job, a family, using a blog to dwell on all the bad things like I have this whole time is so unhealthy and restricting. I want the world to see my happy face, my accomplishments, and my precious notebooks. In other reason, I also found a reason to keep bad thoughts to myself in handwritten diaries, which I’ve grown a habit of writing by now.

I hope I can make these last few posts count.

Twenty Two

After spending an entire day indoors,

I should have known that I was going to lose my mind. By 8:30 PM, I wanted to cry or scream and throw myself against a wall and bang my head until I pass out. I took this as a red flag that I need to shower and end my day or my body will end it for me. Now that I’m fresh and ready for bed, I’m still trying to process that familiar trapped, hopeless, frustrated feeling from earlier, because I get it almost every other night. This is a problem and a very dangerous feeling.

There could be several reasons for sitting there dumbly with my mind screaming and buzzing out of control: 1. Hulu 2. Silence 3. Dehydration. Since today is a snow day, I spend my free time catching up on Special Victims, New Girl, Bones, and Modern Family. When it comes to me and TV shows, I’m one of those people who goes through the entire emotional rollercoaster with the characters and laughing and emotionally sniffing for multiple episodes for four TV series may have resulted in emotional exhaustion for me. During the afternoon, I was listening to music while I did my essay, reading, and more reading. After dinner, I neglected to plug in my earphones, and I must have lost track of time completely, which would have caused feelings of self-blame again. Another reason for me being tired is not drinking enough water. Pretty simple.

So I’m going to find a solution to each of those problems: 1. I will just avoid Hulu until Spring Break or something, since I usually don’t watch it when I’m busy anyways. Lesson learned. 2. I will make a habit of listening to music – an activity I enjoy anyways – to avoid losing control of my time and feeling like shit, which happens whenever I study. 3. Drink agua. Again, other than feeling weary, I feel totally safe and normal now. I organized my day tomorrow, and I’m ready to face the cold again (sort of). One more week, and I’m halfway to spring break, which means I’ll be halfway to California. I can do this.

 

Eight

Sorry about being 10 minutes late. The internet was down. 

Since I didn’t learn to drive until last-last year,

I never visited many places on my own. I was often picked up and dropped off by friends and family for outings, school, or tutoring. I also had this “I will go to New York where people are more cultured and less dependent on cars” phase in high school that quickly died when I learned that I’m not a fan of public transportation, pretentiousness, or snow. Maybe it was my lack of freedom that caused my angst, because now that I can drive, I feel in control of my decisions. I drive myself to cafes, bookstores, and libraries where I can focus. I also drive myself to the gym every other day where I can finally exercise and be in a health positive environment. I even drive myself to the mall to reward myself with small purchases that add some, well, “normal” young adult fashion to my Khols sweaters and Gloria Vanderbilt jeans (Note to self: Write a blog post in the near future about my weird wardrobe). Overall, I’m officially a southern Californian who drives more than she should and can’t go a month without visiting a fancy mall or eating decent Asian fast food.

The rush of Californian traffic is also therapeutic. In my car, I would play music with the windows always rolled up, even when it is steaming hot inside, because I own my space with sound. The travel time, the background music, and the reassurance that I am going somewhere gives me the perfect environment to sort out my thoughts. That’s why I love long drives on the highway ever since I got my first MP3 player and ear buds. I would watch the road marks appear and disappear in beat with my music while my family argued or slept in the van. Even now, I enjoy long, half hour rides to my therapist listening to songs on repeat on my perfect HTC One phone and Beats Solo headphones. Something about watching cars go by and the sun shine down on a green valley or dry, grassy hills makes me take a deep reflective breath and promise to never leave southern California again after college. The New England snow is beautiful and the trees and little houses there look like they’re from a postcard, but the glow of the Californian sun is more than precious gold, it’s also a warm, reassuring feeling that another beautiful day is waiting for me tomorrow.

Escapist Moment: Thinking about my future

 

Today was a pretty good day. I didn’t fail my calculus test and I did decently in an AP Government debate. So now, I’m just going to turn on my Spotify radio and treat myself to a stream of consciousness before cramming in my pre-med diagrams.

All I want to think about is what will happen once I get into Smith. I want to explore the nearby forest at dawn and stroll by the lake at sunset. Well, I wouldn’t see a sunset since I’d be in Massachusetts. I want to huddle with my housemates after a day of studying and classes. I want to visit the nursery and sit down at a bench somewhere and just drink my tea on a chilly day. I want those things to become a reality.

Then again, I learned from past experience not to set my mind too much on one goal. I remember crying for hours after I received a B on a test, just because I was unable to accept anything other than an A. Thankfully, I earned some B’s that allowed me to face reality and do better. Likewise, I decided that I won’t kill myself if Smith rejects me. I got Mount Holyoke, George Washington, University of Rochester, University of Michigan, and Boston University waiting for me. Of the list, a college admissions nerd would immediately assume that Boston University is my safety school. Yes, it is safe, but after I attended a conference for Boston University, it definitely isn’t my last. The conference talked about students who are extraordinary. There are BU students who talked one on one with the professors who won Nobel Peace prizes, students who travel worldwide and do a plethora of community service and research projects. I want to be one of those extraordinary students. [Right now, I’m also listening to a Iain McGilchrist’s TED talk on the divided brain, and it’s muy interesante. Check it out.] I can see myself gathering up the courage to ask the professor a question after class and, of course, studying in the grand but cozy library after trudging through snowfall.

I think… this scenarios helped me learn to love the colleges I apply to. Even if I go to community college or UC Riverside–I shudder at the thought–I will look forward to wherever I’m going with vignettes in my mind, the little moments that motivate me. Solitary coffee shop moments, that Friday feeling of relief, having complete control of where I go and what I do in a city that doesn’t operate on traffic reports — the list could go on.

With that said, I have a pre-med test tomorrow. More importantly tomorrow, I have an interview for Smith College that I really want to do well on and a George Washington University conference that I’m ready to be inspired by.