September 11th

Today marks the anniversary of the September 11th attack on the twin towers. Many people died in order to protect others in this country. But I don’t think that just because such a terrible thing happened, that we should just be sad and gloomy all day. Besides, I have a feeling that’s not what those people would have wanted. Let those brave people be honored with the fact that because people still have birthdays and wedding anniversaries and other events on this day, that it shows that Americans have once again proved they can come out stronger and inspired. I believe that we should all take time today to reflect upon this event and honor those people by remembering with pride what Americans can do, and remember that those people sacrificed their lives, so that other Americans would be able to still laugh, love, and live.

This is probably the most patriotic I’ve ever been in my entire life, and though I wrote this several years ago, I still sincerely feel this way. I know everybody’s got their own opinions and significance for this day, so please know this is just how I personally feel. Thank you listening/reading respectfully.

*Note: By “this country” I mean the U.S., I think it’s somewhat evident but I don’t have the greatest writing skills, so I just wanted to clarify. And though I write through the lens of the U.S., I do think of global values as well. Because I just am

~UniversalLadyN

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College Capstone (8/27/16)

On Thursday, my Capstone class professor happily informed us that as we collect all the work we’ve ever done for our major, we’d be going through “your best work and best years of your lives so far.” Almost the entirety of university has been the worst years of my life so far, ever.

The only (past) times I felt smart, got decent grades, and had self-motivation during uni were Fall 2012-Spring 2013, and Spring 2016.

In Fall 2014, I lost 22 pounds and my eyebrows due to sheer academic stress, caused by a single professor and her “teaching”. At the end of that 3-month span, I was 5 feet 3 inches tall and only 98 pounds.

I made wonderful friends during Fall 2014, but during Spring 2015, the following semester, we met the Perfect Disaster. He and I aggravated each other’s problems, and jeopardized my relationship with these friends, but miraculously I managed to salvage those friendships. I allow the Perfect Disaster to stay in my life only as a scar upon my memory, a reminder not to repeat those mistakes.

In April 2014, I confessed to my family how I was. How I could feel myself being a burden and nuisance and self-pitying, but couldn’t stop myself. How I often felt sad or empty or out-of-body for no reason at all. They took me to a doctor and I was officially diagnosed with Depression, Anxiety, and also borderline for Thyroid problems. My parents DO try, but one has the same issues as me, diagnosis-wise, so whenever my issues arise they make both of ours worse. My parent had been getting better before I confessed that I had problems. So they were getting worse and couldn’t be around me and my problems, feeling my illness is their fault. Family guilt complexes.

I took meds for a while, but they didn’t really work for me. The doctor’s solution to this snafu was to increase my intake level as soon as minimum waiting time was met, and just safe enough not to cause toxicity. Even after, I spent summer 2015 crying myself into excessive sleep, and crying myself awake. Another 3-month span. I honestly cannot recall anything else I did that whole period of time.

I didn’t do anything all summer, but I didn’t feel ready for school. Yet I also didn’t feel able to do a job. But I justify (as an M.O.)  my not having a job for now as long as I am concentrating on school. I reconciled with myself to try school part-time, but parents pushed for full-time, and I was trying to turn pretending into being better, so I went with it.

By Fall 2015, I was all too much for everyone, especially me. As a result, I had a breakup with my bestie #2 about a week before my 21st birthday, as well as my longtime mentee, and my “sis-in-law”. I truly didn’t want any celebrations, but my mom had been trying to arrange a surprise party for me. I appreciated the gesture, but because my mom doesn’t know how to plan things, she gave up the surprise and made me plan the party, which I really didn’t want right then. But it was too late, because she’d already told my friends about it. A best friend breakup is just as, if not harder, than a romantic breakup, let me say.

I started skipping some classes and attending but not doing the HW in others. My own fault. One day while I was skipping class, I had the thought that since I felt like I needed to hide issues in order to allow myself to continue living with my family (since I have no job and am financially dependent for shelter and school costs) and couldn’t go see a pro (b/c parents would have to pay, and then be reminded of my issues, a problem that literally is just mine and comes from me), that I’d go to my university’s psych counsel.

My Shakespeare professor was the only one I managed to tell about any of this, while it was going on. She tried really hard to help me. She suggested that I should probably get a note from my doctor to explain the situation, so I could drop her class and re-take it once I was better, without her having to give me an F for super-late withdrawal. She gave me tissues and patted my non-snotty hand. But with the counseling, I was feeling better and motivated and I thought “I’d rather go down swinging than give in, and I’m ready to fight.”

That DID help, but it was too late to save my academics. After that, I felt ashamed because I overestimated myself, and really stupid, so I stopped going to class again. The worst part of it is, all my Shakespeare professor asked of me was that I keep her posted on how I was doing. I was so ashamed, I didn’t even do that. Someone so kind, such a simple request, and I just didn’t. I failed 3/5 classes, and was just shy of the borderline for academic probation.

I did still keep seeing my counselor, though. My counselor was a really cool dude and talking to him DID make me feel better. I decided that the following semester, I’d really just do things part-time, to make sure I do well in all classes, so as not to waste more money and another semester. It’s more important to do something well the first time than to rush through shoddily just to get something done.

However, while the part-time plan was solid for getting myself back into a safe range of academic standing, I had to risk my little recovered sense of security and sanity, in exchange for uncertainty, self-doubt, and academics, because “Counseling services are only provided for full-time students”–Including psychological counseling, unless you’re suicidal.

(Not being sarcastic here): Thankfully, while I’ve had suicidal thoughts and in general contemplated death (IMO it’s foolish and narcissistic not to, at least once in your life, contemplate death) I have never seriously considered acting upon any suicidal thoughts.

I understand that the school has limited time/money/resources, and it’s the system I’m upset at, not my counselor. He was a student himself, he didn’t make the rules. But I think it’s real shitty that only full-time or suicidal students can get psychological counseling.

I also had been continuing to visit the doctor. And I felt somewhat better, until the panic about my classes for Fall 2015 semester. So, upon advice of Shakespeare professor, well before the end of the semester, I set up an appointment with my doctor. She had to cancel on me, due to family reasons. That’s fine, I’m not suicidal, I wasn’t having a life-threatening crisis, and these things happen. But she was booked for another 3 ½ weeks. That was cutting it really close to my timeline. Again, that’s on me for not doing better, and for overestimating myself. I knew the school might not accept a note at that point anyway, but as long as I had one before finals, they would at least know that I wasn’t trying to come up with a retroactive excuse for bad grades on my finals. I’m not a cheat. Honor is in my top 3 values. So, I took a reschedule for 8pm, the night before a 7:15am final. (Again, I decided that even though I was guaranteed to fail, I would fail having put in some effort.) However, the doctor canceled on me AGAIN, this time with the explanation that it was kind of late in the day for an appointment. Which I knew. WHY HAVE SUCH AN OPTION IN THE FIRST PLACE, THEN?

When I finally got to see the doctor, two weeks after the second canceled appointment, my appointment started late because she continued small talk with the previous patient (I know because I was sent in to the exam room, then sat there waiting). When she actually came over to me, she gave me the standard physical, which took about 5 minutes, went through a checklist on her computer with me for 3 minutes, then spent 2 minutes trying to set up a follow-up appointment with me, for the next month. That was it. A whole month trying to see her, for 10 minutes, to result in seeing her the following month. (Being sarcastic here:) What kind of healthCARE is that?!

After that appointment, I lost all faith in my doctor. In between the time I was waiting for and finally got to see the doctor, I entered a romantic relationship. The Big Cheese was lovely and motivating and understanding. He helped me concentrate and make goals, but also helped me re-learn good distractions, like playing and laughing and having hobbies, and to take care of myself as well as others. Also during this time, the increased dosage of my meds was giving me severe, consistent headaches every time I took it. So I decided to quit both my meds and my doctor cold turkey. Amazingly, I didn’t have any medical problems* after that, what do you know!

[*Wordplay. I am still dealing presently with my lack of eyebrows and healthy weight. Also, going cold turkey on meds is usually a BAD IDEA. DO RESEARCH FIRST. Most of the time your body needs you to build up, and go back down, GRADUALLY.]

The Big Cheese officially broke up with me in January, a week before the start of the Spring 2016 semester. After that we had an unofficial relationship that was pretty similar, just with reduced time together. Then that all stopped, seemingly for good so far, since late May. But we ended on understanding, good terms. I consider this to have been my first healthy romantic relationship, so I don’t regret it and hope that he doesn’t either, and that he’ll be ready to be friends again sometime soon.

Even though I miss him tons, at the time of break-up I think I had a reasonable amount of sadness that people experience at the end of a meaningful relationship. But in the meantime, I still had those same wonderful friends I’d made during my initial decline semester, and some new ones in the class I’d just started post-breakup.

My bestie #2 and I reconciled in early June. I think the time apart was actually helpful for both of us. We have better understandings of human psyche, and are carefully re-building our relationship.

So when my Capstone professor says “best years” and it’s my turn for her to stare me down to try and reject my silent refusal to submit to saying a falsehood– she’s not going to win the siege. But when she claims we’ve done our best work so far during our time in college–although she’s referring to growth in writing essays and reading only–I may not entirely disagree.

Horrid Hormones, or Who Do You Love (7/27/15)

Kinda wanna cuddle and maybe make out with a boy, but which one? Or does it need to be any of them, or would any random respectful boy I find aesthetically attractive suffice? I want someone long-term eventually of course, but how do I tell if I want that now? Am I just lonely? Is it just hormones? Or some combination?

Was I ever in love with PD? With Gary? Am I in love with either of them right now? If so, when and how? Or which one? And what about BC? Did I or do I have true love for any of them?

Does being in love differ depending on who you love? How is true love defined, and does it differ depending on who you love? If being in love and/or true love DO differ depending on WHO you love, then how do you recognize when you are in love with someone, or when you have true love for them? How do you recognize such states when YOU are the recipient?

And if you are both in love with someone AND have a true love for them, how should you deal if you have lost them and they don’t want to give it another try? What should you say or do for a person when they feel and think about YOU like that?

Or what do you do if you rejected someone before but now you think you wanna try with them because you understand how they define love, and your definition is the same?
When you have that thought, is it because you truly are in love with that particular individual now, because of the way they love(d) you? Or because you just want to be loved in the same manner of how YOU love? How do you tell?
And what do you do if you finally love them how they loved you, but you rejected them and now they don’t feel the same or don’t want to try? How should you deal if it’s too late?

Timing is the main obstruction to love.

End of an Era (12/4/16)

Lots of advice says not to give up on someone you love, but to help them through and persevere. But what if that person wants you to go away? What if they truly mean it? What if they reject your desire to help– and that’s perfectly within their right– but what if they also want you to go away, and don’t want any sort of support, company, or even contact from you?

That’s in their right too of course, but then how are you supposed to follow “You’ll never have what you want if you give up” or “Nothing will change/can happen if you don’t try again”?

What if you aren’t allowed that chance?

Then there’s the opposing advice: “If they can’t see/appreciate you/that, then it’s not meant to be/that person’s not right for you” and “Sometimes you just have to give up & move on.”

But how can you know at what point to give up trying with someone? Whether you should keep trying for who you love or stop trying for who you love? And on whose behalf?

There’s the quandary: “Can’t love if you don’t, I can’t try if you wont.” I know.
I know.

Thus, I recognize the most likely thing is I’ll have to face the music at some point. In my case, to get beyond trying to let go and move on, and actually do so. “I hope you know that I don’t blame you my dear friend. Always will love you still. But Astoria must end.”

This is true for me too. But then how can I ever make or reach a true end?

So Soon

Most of the time, I’m not lonely when I’m alone; I generally enjoy bouts of solitude, especially if I can be out meditating or just chilling in the forest.

Yet lately when I’m by myself I do feel a little lonely. What’s weird for me is even when I’m at school, surrounded by people, I feel it too. I could understand that thought because my school has around 20,000 students I believe, so of course there would be more people who are strangers than familiar to me.

But the weirdest thing of all is, even when I’m with my friends and family, and there is nothing sad or depressing or boring going on, and by rights all things are going well or should be peaceful or exciting- I experience the pleasing sense of the activity and company, yet still feel lonely. And I don’t know where this is coming from, which makes me sad in the way Amy Pond cries in “Vincent and the Doctor” but sincerely has no idea why. My loneliness usually stems from feeling not as interesting/intelligent as my friends’ other friends, or nostalgia, or wanderlust, but none of that’s occurring this time. I’m not feeling depressed or in that odd indescribable state I was in during Fall 2012, it’s just plain loneliness.

I don’t know where it’s coming from or why. And there’s an odd dialogue that runs through my head wherein I’ve got Marianas Trench’s line “Why can’t you just be lonely?” playing and being answered by my separate mind with “I already am.”

I am, but why?

What IS flirting? (10/21/14)

Today another girl commented that she thought a boy I had liked (she doesn’t know I liked him, and he doesn’t either) likes me! So my grounds for thinking that earlier weren’t entirely delusional! Such a relief. Oh, if only that could be! But I told her, “No, he has a girlfriend.” Then she said, “Oh, maybe he’s flirty then…? Nah.” which I took as a general statement but still she looked pointedly at me when saying that…so is she implying that he’s flirty just toward me?

You see, I hadn’t known him for very long anyway but found him attractive both as a person and physically as well (which has never happened to me before) so I wanted to get to know him for a few months and then maybe ask him out. But I gave that up as soon as he mentioned he has a girlfriend. I didn’t know him too well anyway, so it didn’t take me too long to get over my initial tiny disappointment; and this person is nice and interesting and cool still so that being friends only with them is enough.

But a thing about me is that I tend to tease people all the time even without knowing their relationship status/gender/sexuality, because I automatically consider all acquaintances and friendships default platonic. Like when I tease people I’m making light fun and I tend to call them “fool” and such. I feel like flirting is a kind of teasing but with intended underlying romantic/sexual undertones, and that in order to be flirting you must be consciously deciding to do it. Therefore to my knowledge I am never flirting with anyone, I am just teasing people in a joking manner.

For by my own definition I have only been teasing in fun; but now I wonder, by others’/society’s definitions, have I been flirting with him (and everyone else I know) without knowing it? I ask this question because several times in the past, when by my perspective I was just teasing people, others have said that I was flirting. But I couldn’t see how. So apparently my ideas about the concept are different from the norm. Thus I don’t entirely trust my judgement, since I don’t seem to have much natural intuition.

Anyway, because he has a girlfriend, and due to my own default to jovially tease people within the allowances of the realm of platonic friendship, as soon as I learned of his girlfriend I’d dismissed the idea that he was interested in me in any way other than platonic. I just thought he was teasing me in the manner in which I tend to tease people. Therefore I’ve been taking his teasing as just straightforward joking, but now I’m questioning: is what I thought of as him teasing me- is it actually him trying to flirt toward me?
And does he think I am or have been flirting with him? I wonder about that especially because comparatively I actually haven’t teased him to nearly the amount I usually do toward everyone else I meet.

I would love to hear anyone’s ideas on the definitions of and differences between friendly teasing and flirting. I would appreciate clarification and perspective on this, so would anyone care to enlighten this poor oblivious soul? Please feel free to send me your thoughts through here in any way you’re comfortable with. Thank you!