Vulnerability

I started out thinking I was going to write about Scholarship weekend that happened last weekend, but now I feel that I’m going to write about something else. Though I will say it was a good experience and I had been paired with the sweetest of girls, as did my friends. We all know at least one confirmed, while we’re all collectively hoping that the rest will come here as well.

But what I’m going to actually speak on is how I was recently vulnerable. The thing is, when people are getting to know me, it takes time. it takes years to really know me, and I still have a lot of friends who don’t know everything. Maybe one or two know more than the others and that’s only because one is known over the internet (no shame, quite proud actually) and the other because they’ve known me since middle school. And that was a long time ago, so knowing people for a few months and being any sort of vulnerable is…a big deal for me. I’m a generally open book, but I hide big things from people. My views on religion are closely guarded unless I find like-minded people or open-minded people, a good portion of my family still assumes I’m Christian/Catholic and I’ve never actually voiced what I am to my friends, though I guess they kind of assume I’m some sort of off-shoot of something. And then if I’m ever having an issue, I tend to internalize the problem and try to either ignore it or deal with it on my own. I might mention something here or there, or simply seem sad and like I was crying, but I never say anything. I always say I’m alright, even if I feel beat up on the inside. Talking about things is…hard.

The last time I spoke to someone about a ‘big’ issue, was with that friend I know online. Admittedly I mentioned it a little bit to a friend that drove me someplace to get that checked on/walked in when I may have tearing up over certain possibilities, but that was out of necessity. If things turned out worse than they had, I wouldn’t have told anyone. It would’ve been a secret to myself with a smile on my face.

But this weekend, when my friend group and I were going out, I had some thing on my mind that made my heart hurt and, well, when we weren’t watching the movie or talking, I started crying. I managed to hide it well and at first only the friend sitting next to me in the dark car on the way back noticed something, but I only grinned and bore it. When we got back on the hand, they all noticed something off. I said I was fine, moved the topic on wards, but when it was only me and one friend in the room and she wouldn’t let it go, I told her. Ironically enough she and I have a similar issue going on, so it was easy-ish. If I tell my other friends or not is yet to be seen, if only because I don’t like talking about things in groups and I tell different people different snippets of my story. Why? Because certain people are better able to help with things. It doesn’t mean I’m pretending with anyone or that I don’t trust anyone, it’s just that I don’t tell everyone every thing nor at the same time. If my friends had all seen me crying and knew that’s what it was, they probably would’ve locked the door (as we apparently do now) and tried to see what was wrong. All with good intention, sure, but that’s not how I talk. I talk one on one, not four on one.

Either way, I was vulnerable sooner than I am with most people. I’m not sure if it’s because we see each other every day or what, I just know that shows a lot of trust on my part. Being vulnerable is a scary, scary thing to me. It’s like a giant mountain covered in ice for me; something really hard to climb over. Probably that’s part of why all romantic relationships/potential relationships, go the way they do for me. In any case, it’s a big thing for me to tackle so soon.

This realization in and of itself is scary. I’ll have to see where this goes to know if I should be afraid or not.

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Hidden Desires

To be perfectly honest, I should be sleeping. My friends have the right idea; enjoy the hotel beds for as long as we can, since we have to get up early in the morning. But I couldn’t sleep in the first place, and now, after a shower of course my mind has wandered. If I’m honest with myself, it might be in part due to Valentine’s being tomorrow, well, today. I’ve never been a big fan of this holiday, even when I was in relationship during this day once a long time ago. I just don’t see it’s point, but with everything boasting love and happiness…you can’t help but think. Well, after you think of the discounted chocolate to go on sale the 15th and 16th.

In any case, I’ve realized I don’t get attached real easy, but, when I do, it’s a close attachment. I care about you, I worry for your well-being, and I’m highly empathetic and cannot stand it if you’re upset with me. Apparently this translates over to crushes. Yes, the general time for crushes to last is four months, and, supposedly, anything over that means you are in love. In my adult life, I suppose I’ve had two crushes that people who apply that logic would call love. I did not love at least one of these individuals, I’m still contemplating the other. One of these was a two year long crush, not much helped by this friend’s flirty behavior. Of course I flirted back. Friends knew I was interested in him. I still don’t know if he knew it or not. All I know for certain is that seeing him flirt with others hurt me and broke this illusion I had that he felt the same way to me as I felt to him. People told me to tell him how I felt; I didn’t want to ruin our friendship. So i stayed quiet, even when I was on the brink of tears one day because the illusion was crashing so hard.

One of the last times I saw him, he kissed my cheek and I felt so ecstatic. And then he promptly asked where another friend/acquaintance was who I knew he was acting his flirty-self with, too, was. This girl was in the same state as I was; liking him but keeping her mouth shut. Only she hadn’t been secretly desiring him for two years. Either way, knowing that he wanted to find her kind of…. I guess it was the last ‘illusion break’ it took for me to be able to move on.

My issue with these hidden desires I seem to keep harboring is that I try to stuff it down until someone does that sometime that gives me hope again. It makes me hope, it makes me want, and when I realize it’s stupid and silly and that they want nothing the like in return…it makes me teary eyed. Because it hurts. And it hurts so much when you sit there and realize you’ve spent so much energy hiding this emotion for years. Sometimes you can even manage to hide it from yourself, until it pops its ugly head back up again, whispering these fantasies into your ear. But you stuff it down again, as best you can, and try to move on.

I think one of my friends is like me. She’s bolder than I am, yet she doesn’t like telling people if she really likes them. The only difference is, she tells our group of friends. We give her advice, we try to help. We want to beat up the person that makes her so tired. With me? No one even knows these things I’m feeling. The two year long crush was one that was only known because of the fact I was flirting back with him. I was a bit more open and playful with my affections, just…keeping it more on the friendly side. Basically if there were no seats and he offered his lap…I didn’t say no. If he wasn’t a bit flirty himself and the amount of time he and I were around the same people was quite large, no one would have known.

It sucks stuffing emotions down into the dark and dusty corners of your hear that even you forget about sometimes. And, as much as I hate to say it, sometimes it truly is the only viable and helpful option. It’s the same advice I gave to a few friends before. You could always go tell the person, but…sometimes it’s just best to not.

Hidden desires aren’t always so hurtful and sad as my experience with them, though. In a try to be optimistic, for others than myself granted, I will say this: sometimes these hidden feelings can be expressed in the smallest of ways, whether it be in connection to wanting to be with someone or wanting a certain career path or whatever else, and that small action can push things forward so that you do have your desire met. Not all hidden desires are meant to die with you, sometimes they’ll grow and blossom into something so very wonderful. Sometimes you can be lucky. Sometimes you need to reveal your want. Even if you’re afraid doing so will end horribly, there’s a good enough chance it will go well. So, well, since today’s the day before discount chocolate day: if you feel a strong way to someone, let them know. Even if it’s just friendship, tell them that you care. And if however you feel is hidden in that dark, dusty corner? Maybe think about sweeping it into the open.

Body Image

Today my friends, who are constantly trying to do things with confidence as they have enough to go around, tried to tell me I have pretty much an hour class figure. Turns out they are a little bit right, as I noticed by looking at myself and thinking while changing into my pajamas. The only reason I do have one is because I have a naturally cinched waist, I think, and wider hips, the only thing that cause any curvy look. Though as I looked, I decided I also have better sized breasts that I thought, and then I realized my face isn’t but so bad. I’ve always liked my eyes, lashes, and added my brows onto that when I realized strong brows are not a bad thing. My hair even looks nice, even though it’s already growing back after only about a month of having been cut.

I’ve long been of the opinion that I’m average. It was more of an ‘acceptance’ than anything else, and I’ve accepted words from others calling me ‘pretty’ or ‘cute’ as, apparently like others, I have words I can at least halfways associate with myself. Some have hot or sexy or adorable; cute and pretty are mine it seems. But I still thought I was average. I’m not saying I’m overly above it, but I think I can at least start personally applying the word pretty to myself. Not jsut others applying it to me, but actually looking at myself and feeling like it. Some times when I get ready in the morning, if my skin is just the right shade of pale and my lips actually have some pink to them instead of blending with my face, I think I look nice. Other days I just go on.

But I think my friends may have a point. I have a nicer shape than I assumed originally, even if it’s not always seen by how I dress. But it’s there, and it’s something people tend to strive for while I have it naturally. Sure, things might be more focused on women with curvier bodies recently, but I do have some curves, just more on the slender side. And, I think, for once in my life, I can fully accept my body and call it pretty instead of average.

I’m not saying this to seem narcissistic or anything, more that I want to say that, if you feel bad about yourself, chances are there’s not so much of a reason to. Just look at yourself, think it over. Really look at yourself. It…can be a bit liberating. Sometimes taking positive comments in, not just negative ones, can be really helpful. Just listen and look. I’m glad I did.

Memoirs of a College First Year #4

Right now I’m still coming down from a high spike of anxiety. My back and shoulders are less tense, but starting to get more to the sore part; my throat isn’t as dry and my voice is coming back; I am calming down. But I am still a bit frustrated. This could be something I write in my little journal and tuck it away, but it’s something that I’m thinking could be useful to others entering college/who haven’t’ had to deal with much stress during their college life.

I’m someone who doesn’t usually have to worry about workloads and multitasking, but this semester seems entirely different. I have a class with an extensive paper, another with some various writings spread throughout, a science project which shouldn’t be too too bad, and possibly writing a story in Spanish. Now, my issue is with the alter. I just need to pass this one language course, and then I am free, which is my sole reason for taking it. Otherwise, I have no interest in the language nor am I good at the writing and speaking portions. Another class that is offered has no paper, just work strewn throughout, and it also has a more lenient absence policy. Both teachers are apparently capable, but, unfortunately, I can’t wait to see how any tests are set up to make a final decisions. If I could see the tests, it would help a bit, but I also know that worrying about writing all those various things will hurt me. Apparently I have physical reactions to anxiety, something I did not know as anxiety, at least over work, is foreign to me.

The only reason I was upset, was due to my stubborn streak. My stubborn self was basically saying ‘no, you can’t quit. That’s giving up. Since when do you do that?’ while my logical half was pointing out that I should, of course, do what will allow me to pass and not be in pain. While the timing takes a bit from something that helps me relaxing, and something that allows me time with a friend, I like to think it’ll be better for me in the long run. My avoidance of painful course loads is really the only reason why I’m staying in undergraduate studies for four years; otherwise it would be three years and then I would move on. Doing a major and minor during three years is possible, but difficult considering the two that are my chosen fields of study. Psychology takes work as does business.

So, basically what I am getting at is to all you stubborn and/or overachievers: some times you just have to make compromises, even if it’s been grilled into you to not change a thing, to always hang in there and push through. Some times pushing through is more detrimental than helpful, while making a mild change is the most useful.

Though this isn’t me saying I would ever drop a course completely nor does it mean I’ll ever be the person to ask for help/money/etc., but it’s a start to being more flexible with some things considering how I usually am. Stubbornness can be useful, but, well, sometimes it be just as bad as some people like to claim.