Resolutions | December 31, 2014

Resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something

Last year, I had a hefty list for me to achieve with mostly phrases of encouragements that I should apply to myself. It consisted of things from reading 100 books before the year ended to having perpetual joy. As I looked back onto the list, I’ve realized that I had actually done some of the things without planning to. On my list was simply, karate and I did martial arts-kendo. I was also pretty close on some of them. I had set one of my resolutions to hit 50k for NaNoWriMo and I wrote about 46k. Despite my year being pretty challenging, after looking back at the list I made last year, I did pretty well.

As for this year, I want to keep it even more simple by shortening it, so I could focus on it more.

New Year’s Resolutions of 2015:

1. Don’t worry

2. Don’t be afraid

3. Life my life to its fullest

4. Laugh in all circumstances

5. Embrace who I am

6. Love according to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

7. Be strong

8. Overflow with kindness

9. Release the painful past

10. Stand firm

 

I wish you all a wonderful new year! 🙂

Alice

Slip of Paper|December 27, 2014

On the last day of my writing class, the professor had us do something that wasn’t really writing related. He boosted our self-esteem. Well, at least he boosted mine.

First, he had us take a piece of paper on which we would answer his questions. It sounded like a quiz and he assured us that we would get extra credit.

He had us write down a thought that always seemed to go through our minds and hurt us. This was a little uncomfortable for me to think about since I just had a bunch of anxious thoughts coming through. I quickly scrawled a thought down and adverted my eyes as I watch everyone else write down their reoccurring thoughts.

Underneath that thought, he had us write a thought that we should think more. Once he said that, I kind of had a feeling of what he was doing. I wrote my thought to counteract with my first negative thought that I wrote. Then, he had us answer a few more questions and the exercise was over.

A few people bravely shared their thoughts that they would try to have more often and I imagine that everyone was trying to figure out what thought would constantly bombard the other person. After people shared, the professor had us separate the first thought from the rest of the paper. He had us tear it up and then walk over to the trash can and throw it out. He went on to say that even though that negative reoccurring thought could still appear, the action of ripping up the paper, walking over to the trash can and throwing the tiny pieces of paper out would be deemed as a useless action by our minds, so we would associate that thought as useless. I started to smile as I realized  that that thought, that negative thought, was completely useless and time consuming. It was through the mind trick that I realized that those thoughts really don’t help or even build me. With the second, better thought, he had us separate it from the rest of the paper and put it in our wallet- where the money is. With that, he said that our mind would associate that thought as something important and useful. If we made it our computer background, then we would see it too much and just become numb to it. Unless we go through our wallet hourly, we’re not going to really remember that the nice thought would be there and when we see it, it would be a nice reminder.

So, I thought I’d share that technique/ mind trick with you. Perhaps you could try it on New Year’s Eve to just let go and remind yourself of what’s really important.

If my writing professor somehow finds this post, then I just want to say that I didn’t think it was cheesy. It actually helped me a lot, so thank you.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and I hope you have a great start to the new 2015!

 

Alice

Temporary|December 17,2014

It’s kind of crazy how dependent our lives have been ever since smart phones have come out. I have never considered myself one who was always using my phone, but after I lost everything on my phone due to my stupidity, I realized that I needed my phone.

Initially after getting a fresh and resetted phone back, I was shocked since my phone was technically not mine because most of my identity was gone-All of my pictures, apps, contacts and messages. I didn’t really mind about the apps, but it was the meticulous placement of my apps and the thought that I had to put them together again really unnerved me. The prospect of fishing numbers from people and putting in all their information back gave me the shivers as well as setting up my wallpapers.

I don’t usually get texts, but I do read through my past texts like a dialogue in my head. To me, past texts are a journal entry of what happened. They’re conversations between me and the recipient, but only in text form. They really comfort me when I reread them with the reasoning that I had a conversation with that person. Now that they’re gone, I feel empty. Almost like I have never talked to that person when that is certainly not the case.

I’m writing this blog post mainly for my own comforts. I want to get over the fact that I lost everything on my phone and that things just move on. I want to tell myself that even if all my contacts are gone, I still remain their friends and those moments aren’t erased or replaced. I want to tell myself that everything is temporary and I shouldn’t have placed most of my identity on something that I can hold. My identity should be something that I am sure of, not quite something that I have to depend on. The wallpapers and my grammar usage don’t actually mean anything. As the saying goes, it’s the thought that counts.

As of now, my phone is a bridge between me and my friends and it is not something that I should ever depend on. It’s just a phone. Yes, I agree that it can save lives and connect people, but aren’t there other ways to talk with people?

What I’m trying to get as is:

– Don’t place your worth on something temporary

In my opinion, someone is defined by their personality and how they handle the world in regards to their maturity. They are not defined by their grades, what school they go to, how many Snapchats they have sent, how many likes or reblogs they get, how many contacts they have, what clothes they wear and even what job they work at. People are complicated beings and we should pride ourselves in that. We are not our phones and blanks we fill in. I think that identity just keeps on piling on and there’s no real limit to what defines you. It will definitely take a long time to discover who you are and we’re all doing so with every moment that passes.

Well, I suppose I’ll take a deep breath and look at my phone differently. I’ll seek to talk to more faces rather than typing out words on a small keyboard. I’ll interact more with the world rather than through a phone. This won’t be easy, but I had to learn it the hard way.

I hope you had a great day and don’t forget to be yourself!

 

Alice

Kendo | December 10, 2014

tsuba different angle bokken and shinai

I  joined this sports club two months ago called, Kendo which is basically Japanese fencing. I came across it in a student involvement fair in September and my friend was actually the one who was interested. I put my name and email down just to be polite. I just didn’t think that I, the quiet and clumsy, would be able to do such a sport.

When it came to the first orientation practice, I went, but my friend did not since she was busy or something. There were like 40 other people there and I saw the advanced members dressed up in the traditional Japanese style uniform and I saw them practicing a little and I knew that this was something new and cool I wanted to do.

I, along with 40 other people had no idea how to do this kendo thing. They split us into two groups since they didn’t have enough shinai, a bamboo sword. One group worked on footwork and the other group worked on using the shinai.

The footwork was kind of odd. Well, everything was to me since it was a completely new beast. The footwork was basically the act of dragging your right foot around with the left foot leading. The right toes have to be aligned with the left heel and both feet must be parallel. I suppose this certain footwork is for optimal agility. We practiced learning how to shuffle forwards, backwards, left and right. The “Coach” drilled us and sooner than later, we were shuffling around pretty quickly.

Then, we switched groups and I finally got a hold on the shinai. When the foot group was practicing, I saw them shouting and air whacking which seemed much cooler than shuffling around like a penguin with a stuck leg. The shinai looks kind of like an inverted deflated umbrella with a string and a straight handle and it was pretty tall- it came to about the center of my chest.

Of course there was a certain way to hold the shinai. There were three ways to hold it. The first way, was used for when you’re actually doing something with the shinai up and the left hand at the base of the shaft and the right hand on the upper middle. The string also has to be facing up since that represented the faux back of the blade. The second way to hold it was when we weren’t busy whacking others and that was with the shinai casually resting downwards in the left hand. Always the left hand. The third way is also used when we aren’t busy hitting others and it’s just with the shinai slanted off to the side, but with the same hand positions as the first way.

We learned our first strike called men and it is basically striking the forehead and then we had to bring it back down to the neck and maintain correct distances between your hands and where you’re striking as well as how far you hold the shinai from your body. It was a lot to think about.

At the end of the very first practice, I left with a new thought process about this sport. It was pretty cool and I want to continue with it. I realized that it was definitely something that requires a lot of focus as well as building up confidence, but that’s what I wanted to get out of this sport. I also wanted to hit people as evil as that sounded.

Fast forward two months and I’ve gone to every single practice except for one since I had gone home. There were some practices where I learned at least 3 new techniques and there were some practices where I just reviewed what I had learned the past practices. I’ve also come to know the instructors better and I can call them my friends. I suppose they’re my only friends at school and I only see them twice a week, but that’s alright with me. Over the course of 2 months, I have learned all the basic strikes and gained enough confidence to shout loudly.

The thing with martial arts is that you have to shout. Shouting is what gives you spirit and energy. Plus, in kendo, it adds up to earning a point. After a couple weeks of coaxing a usually quiet girl to shout, I managed to give the loudest shout and now I really like shouting. It relieves a lot of stress. You have to be careful when you’re shouting. You don’t really want to shout with your throat or else you’ll loose your voice and your throat will hurt. Instead, you have to shout with your stomach and throw your voice with all the air. But that leaves you with a really powerful and intimidating shout.

Anyways, it’s the end of the semester and we had our last practice of the semester. I got my uniform so that I looked more like I knew what I was doing. I earned it all and I’m proud of myself not only for joining something I never thought I could do, not only for being able to hold a shinai and walk correctly, but also for gaining my confidence.

Of course, there will be more on my Journey to Kendo and I’ll definitely be telling you all more about it. Especially when I get my armor and spar with my own instructor as well as my first matches next semester.

I suppose in this 900 word post that the moral of the story is to don’t underestimate yourself.

 

I hope you have a great day!

Alice

Nervousness|Mentality

I’m going to start a new series called “Mentality” and it’s basically me trying to write about what goes on in my head and everything else.

Things you should know about me:

– I am quiet.

– I am also very nervous about everything.

When I booked an appointment to go see a counselor about my anxiety, the phone call itself made my hands sweaty and shaking as well as a mentality that I couldn’t do it. I saw the counselor and instead of helping me, it did more internal damage to me than intended. It was definitely not the counselor’s fault. She did a good job of being a nice and understanding, but I kept on worrying. My hands were like prunes from sweating and I tried to relieve my mind from the crumpled thoughts by wringing my hands in my pockets, never letting her see just how anxious and nervous I was. She gave me the option of leaving or continuing with the session, so I opted out. Being extremely nervous for a straight 45 minutes was enough for me. As soon as I left, I felt much better, but it wasn’t until I got back to my dorm, did I feel more like myself.

I have to deal with my anxiety and nervousness every time I go out in the public and they usually coincide with sweaty hands, stuttering thoughts, practically silence from me, and just overall discomfort. If those get any worse and if my worries start to intensify, I will have an anxiety attack.

Yeah, I have a lot on my hands. I’m a nervous wreck at all times, I worry constantly and I have a pile of anxiety disorders backing me up. Going to see the counselor was suppose to help me, but I was so nervous that my mind couldn’t settle and trust the counselor enough to really go forth with my sessions. And that’s really painful since I know there are times when I wasn’t a nervous wreck with worries flooding me. Those times are precious times since they’re quite rare. Those times are always when I’m with people I love since they know me the best.

Yet, I want to be better so badly, but I’ve gotten used to dealing with my nervousness and anxiety my own way, distractions, that it’s hard to apply what the counselor taught me. I don’t think I even remembered what she said since I was busy keeping my mind away from exploding into a nervous breakdown. I want to be able to just go to the bathroom without thinking too much about it. I want to be able to go shopping without worrying that someone is going to judge me over how much I’m spending and what I’m getting. I want to be able to just go outside and take a walk. I want to be able to talk on the phone without shaking. I want to have a proper conversation without having worries getting in the way. I want to live without worry.

Ever since coming to college, my nervousness has gotten worse. I’m constantly on edge with shaky and sweaty hands and a mind full of thoughts and distractions. I can’t even walk to class without having to tell myself that it will be okay. It’s just so difficult to do such simple tasks.

I’m sorry that the past couple of posts haven’t been very positive, but this is what I’ve been going through- nearly my entire life. This post doesn’t even explain the magnitude of what I feel. But this is why I write because I can finally express myself the way I want to be expressed. With topics like these, it is difficult to express it without being me, but it’s the best that I can do.

 

Thank you,

Alice

Two Scars|December 6, 2014

On my left arm, there are two scars. One where my watch usually is and one on the other side of my arm and just under my wrist.

I cut myself.

I deliberately inflicted harm onto myself.

When I did it, I finally felt something in a while. I was so afraid and I just needed to remind myself what it was like to feel again. Once I saw blood coming out of the cut, I realized what I had done. Yes, I could feel again, but all the pain came rushing back to me. I felt so ashamed that I had come to this point and with feelings of shame, guilt and fear coming back to me again, I had an anxiety attack.

I am not like this.

My body isn’t something used in lieu of my own dark feelings.

My body is a temple of God not something to be mistreated.

 

The cuts have healed now, but there is still a scar. The one on my wrist, where my watch would normally be is very visible since the cut was deeper. The other one that’s on the underside of my arm has faded away, but I still know exactly where it is.

My scars serve as a reminder that I am better than them and my past. I am not my scars, but it is a reminder of a promise I took. My friend was saddened that I had caused such pain on myself.  I didn’t want to hurt my friend any more, so I vowed to myself that I would never inflict pain on myself to relieve the pain within me.

I still have pain and that nagging voice still constantly attacks me, but I have to resist picking up a sharp instrument to inflict harm onto myself. It has been nearly 3 months since I had cut myself and I don’t plan on ever doing that again since I keep my promises. I also want to learn to deal with my problems before it gets to the point where my injuries warn me of my direction.

It’s a quite hard for me to write about my scars and my reasoning behind it, but nevertheless, I got it out in hopes that I will help someone out there who is dealing with the same thing as me. We’re not alone in this.

 

If you are struggling, please resort to something else to express yourself. There is nothing good with cutting yourself. NOTHING AT ALL. Please do not hurt yourself. Instead, please remember that you are loved. You are a unique being, but you aren’t unusual. You have a heart, a mind and a soul. You have long flowing locks and energetic eyes paired with a glowing smile. I don’t know what you’re going through, and I know that it is not easy. I do know that it will pass and you will come out stronger.

 

Alice

EDIT: This post is going to be under the “Mentality” category since it deals with depression and self-harm.

I am a horrible blogger|December 5, 2014

I am indeed a horrible blogger. I have no sense of time and I am super forgetful.

I hope you forgive me.

There’s nothing I can really do to compensate for all the lost time on this blog because I know that I’ll continue to forget.

I am completely human and I am just a freshman in college. What can I do?

Oh, I can do so much, but not enough.

I thought I would give you guys an update on how I’m doing.

The first semester ended and it’s finals week. I’ve been procrastinating a ton, but I’ve found that everyone does as well. The thing I’ve learned in college is that no one is the cool person anymore. Everyone is weird and messed up. That’s what brings us together. You won’t learn that in your gateway class.

It’s really weird that I won’t be seeing the same people I’ve been seeing for 3 months in my classes now. I’ve gotten used to their mannerisms and I recognize them by their voices and the back of their heads. I know about when they usually come in and who they walk into the classroom with. This is basically one of the interesting perils of being a writer. I’m super observant and people may perceive me as being a creep or really judgmental when I’m just…looking.

As for NaNoWriMo, I wrote 46,171 words which is very close to the 50k. I’m rather proud of my achievement and I’ve definitely improved if you would compare my progress with last year’s. Last year, I got up to about 25k since I was balancing college apps, homework and a 50k novel. This year, I had more time until I went back home and dedicated more of my time with hanging out with my family and friends.

Yes, I went back home for Thanksgiving break for 10 days and I got to see all my lovely friends again. I’m really liking the hello hugs, but I always dread the goodbye hugs. I dislike goodbyes. I wish I never had to say goodbye and that I would stay with all my friends forever.

In a more positive mood, I will be going home in about 8 days for a month for winter break. Of course I’ll be lounging around and simply enjoying all the privacy and the freedom I have. In return, I have to do the dishes and I don’t mind one bit. I’d much rather do the dishes in company than around strangers.

 

So, I wrote a blog post. I’m still here, but I can’t always guarantee the best. What do you suggest that I do?

 

Alice