a path of healing

a path of healing

I talk a lot about my experiences as a teenager on this blog. I mean, my subtitle is “Free Thoughts on the Teen Mind.”

I’ve always thought that it was important to talk about the not-so-glamorous parts of being a teenager (if there are even any glamorous parts). I’m lucky that I grew up in a very nice community, where I didn’t have to worry about money too often and that I got many opportunities I know others don’t get. Despite all of this, there were many times in my life where I wasn’t able to be in the right mindset I should have been, whether it was just normal teen angst or something that actually justified me crawling into a dark hole and residing there for however long it took me to get out of said slump. What is even more important is showing that you can have a normal home life, be surrounded by love, and live what seems to be a good life on the surface, and still go through things such as depression, or in a more slang term, slumps. 

I know that my life hasn’t been the hardest, but when I’m told that on top of the way that I already may be feeling, it doesn’t help motivate me at all. In fact, it makes me feel worse because I’m aware of the life I’ve been given, and how so many others have it worse than I do. I think this is something many people struggle with and is a topic that is very controversial in regards to whether someone can be considered depressed when they live a prosperous life. I believe they can, and it is showcased when a famous actor or celebrity may openly discuss their depression, or sadly commit suicide. One of the things I believe would help reduce this fear of expressing one’s sadness is having more people who are seen as doing well in life that may be depressed is being able to talk about it, and making others feel that they are justified in feeling that way, no matter what circumstances they are surrounded by. 

In doing so, I wanted to showcase and write my path towards happiness. I’m generally seen as a very happy person, but in the past half year or so, I’ve gone in and out of really bad slumps in my life. But with the help of some wonderful friends, I’ve started making changes in order to be a happier and more fulfilled person, instead of dwelling on my sadness. I wanted to keep a written record of my progress so that not only will I be able to physically see the progress I made, but also for other people to see that they really aren’t alone (no matter how corny that sounds) and that hopefully it’ll help at least one person understand that someone else feels the same way they do. 

I’ll end this here, but I’ll definitely be posting soon about the changes I’ve made to to be a happier person.

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Passion makes Perfect

Passion makes Perfect

In my opinion, having passion is one of the most important aspects of being successful. I know this is an overstated sentence, but has been something that I’ve thought about in depth this past week. No matter what career path and/or major that you’re pursuing, having passion and love for said major is a key aspect in being successful in that area in the future. I see so many people that pick a certain major that they think will bring them a large income, or just a major they think their family wants them to succeed in. But these students are ones that are going through their days without any direction, and never enjoying any of their classes because they’re taking ones they have no interest in. I know this is said over and over, how if you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. This is something that I absolutely believe in, but think can be modified. Just because you love something doesn’t mean that it’s not hard work. I’m a political science major and am on the Executive Board for my school’s Model United Nations. I love what I do, but that’s not to say that it’s not hard work. We spend weeks upon weeks researching the same topic in order to write a 2-page paper that we base all of our arguments upon. Do I love spending hours researching a topic that might not have been my first choice? No, but what I do love is the feeling I get when I prove my point and get a resolution paper passed during committee. The passion I have for my major doesn’t discredit the fact that what I do is time-consuming, but is what drives me to work hard and to continue to pursue the career I hope to be successful in despite the challenges that I may face.

Just a small blurb that’s been floating around in my mind.

My version of family

My version of family

Family is a funny concept. Some people think that family can only consist of your blood-related relatives, while someone else’s concept of family includes people they aren’t related to at all.

Personally, I never felt close to my traditional family. I come from a large, Vietnamese family, with 10 aunts and uncles, and even more cousins. I have a (mostly annoying) little brother and two parents. From an outsiders perspective, my family probably looked relatively normal, and if I’m being honest, I know how lucky I am to have a family while there are so many out there who don’t have that privilege. But I still never felt the overwhelming love for my family, whether it be immediate or extended, that some of my friends did. I do know the reasoning behind this, and it’s quite messy, but to sum it up I think it was the fact that my parents were big believers on “honesty” and “tough love,” when all I really wanted was affection and confirmation. I know they love me in their own way, but I can’t help feel some sort of resentment that I never got the childhood I always wanted, and that my friends got. All I ever wanted to was make my parents proud of me, and to receive some sort of confirmation from them that I wasn’t a complete failure. Sadly, this never really seemed to occur. I wasn’t athletic, I never had straight A’s, and I go to a junior college. Needless to say, I’m definitely not the favorite child. This used to bother me a lot more when I was younger, but since this has been going on most of my life, I think I just adapted and became okay with it. Sounds sad, but it’s a way to me to sort of cope with things.

Whenever I talk to my friends about my family, it’s always like treading on ice. I try not to overshare because these people know my family and I feel like it would be awkward to share too much in case they encountered them. I also feel like I sound like I’m ungrateful in some ways, because I live in a relatively nice house, in a safe neighborhood, and I don’t have to worry about money for the most part. But it’s come to a point where I’ve squished my trauma and feelings down so far that it’s overflowing, and I’m scared one day that it’ll bubble over. I’m getting better with communicating my feelings with my friends, and I’ve surrounded myself with people I love and trust immensely, so I know that they’ll listen to me and give me the reassurance I need.

Maybe it’s because I’m young and a millennial, but I can honestly say that my friends make up the family I’ve always wanted. My friend group is unique, to say the least. I always love merging friend groups and introducing my ‘band friends’ with my ‘model united nations friends’ and I think it’s one of my favorite things to see the people I love interact with each other.

Whatever your thoughts are on who you think makes up your family, I hope that in the end, they love and support you no matter what you look like, how successful you are, and what you choose to do with your life. Sounds corny, but we really do only get one shot to live an amazing life. So, just choose who you live that life with wisely.

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Some thoughts on love

Some thoughts on love

Sometimes I sit and wonder what it feels like to be loved. To be loved by someone you have desired for so long, that it finally feels like God has answered everything you’ve been wishing for. What does that feel like? I wish I knew.

There is only one boy I can say I’ve ever fallen in love with, and he’s crushed me to the point that I’m scared I won’t ever be able to love again. Will I ever forget him? A part of me wants to, so badly. Another part of me is scared that if I do forget him, I’ll forget the way he made me feel. The joy whenever he laughed at one of my jokes, the butterflies that erupted when he would compliment me, the smiles that popped up on my face when his name appeared on my phone screen. I’m afraid that these good memories I have of him will disappear, and I”ll only be left with bad memories. The ache in my chest I felt when I would miss him and we would stop talking, the betrayal I felt when he would visit home and choose to visit someone other than me, the despair that I felt after he had confirmed what I had been thinking all along. But what if all of these feelings disappeared? I think that would be equally scary. What if I forget the pain he caused me, and I let myself go through that again with someone else? How will I protect myself?

There is a boy. A new one, who has caught my attention and made me feel the same way he used to make me feel. This boy is different. Less cute, but with a softer, more gentle personality. I actually feel joy around him, something that has been overshadowed by my sadness for so many months, and whenever I make him smile, I forget about things that worry me. But I don’t have hopes for this. Deep down, there is a part of me that knows what I want to occur never will. He’s too beautiful of a person. Kind, intelligent, funny. I’m not the only one who thinks this way. Almost everyone who meets him is entranced by him. Even if the obstacle that blocks my path is cleared, there is still a 99% chance that this will never happen. The saddest part of it all is that I would still be willing to try for that 1% chance of it occurring. But I know I shouldn’t. I would rather keep him in my life has a happy memory before ruining it and tainting his beautifulness. So for now, I’ll admire him from afar.

My 2017.

My 2017.

2017 was a whirlwind.

I know this is a little late, seeing as we’re already two weeks into 2018, but hey, better late than never right? I wanted to do a post reflecting on things I’ve learned in 2017, and how it’s changed me, but no just for the better. Sure, I did some personal reflection and I have improved a lot of things, but 2017 brought out some parts of me that I’m not the proudest of.

Starting off with what is probably the thing that influenced me the most, was the 2016 election. The election results affected everyone, and as a political science major, it was interesting to see Trump’s first year in office play out in the news. It saddens me what he has done with the presidency, and in my opinion, I think he’s made a mockery of democracy. He bullies members of his administration for their loyalty and constantly fires back childish responses to other leaders of the world. I’m still learning about the difficult rules of politics myself, but the decisions President Trump has made this past year have me questioning what direction our country’s ideals are headed towards.

I’m not going to lie, having Donald Trump as our president also affected my personal relationships with friends. I no longer speak to a few close friends due to their choice to support President Trump. If you are someone who wants to show support for a President that has made our executive branch of government into a joke, that is completely your choice but is one I don’t have to tolerate. There were so many controversies over people losing relationships due to this and how some people thought it was childish to stop being friends with someone over their choice of candidate, but I think it is perfectly reasonable. If you support someone who is outright sexist and racist, then you are not someone I want to be associated with.

Excuse my politics tangent, I get a little carried away sometimes.

2017 has made me into someone much more independent. I used to be the type of person who would always want to go do things with people, and I would hate having to run errands alone or go to eat alone. Because so many of my friends were either at different colleges or still in high school, the availability for me to see my friends cut down. Although I wasn’t able to see my friends as much, I believe that this strengthened our friendships and made me cherish the times I had with them more. Each time my friends and I went out to dinner or just spent a few hours catching up over coffee, I left with my heart full of happiness. My friendships became stronger because I knew that my friends and I could survive distance and still maintain the same level of love for each other.

I also made new friendships! I started my first semester at community college, and while the classes were difficult, making new relationships seemed to be even harder. But I did manage to make a few new friends, and I’m so happy I did! These people helped me get through difficult times throughout the semester, aka midterms and finals, and the bond created through crying over math problems can never be broken.

One last thing I wanted to touch on about friendships is taking the initiative. I used to hate messaging my friends first to make plans because I thought I would be annoying them. Funny enough, it turned out to be the exact opposite! I’m a very Type A person, so I like to plan, well almost everything that goes on in my life and my friends understood that which is why they knew that I would plan dinners whenever my schedule worked out. They didn’t mean to seem like they weren’t interested in hanging out with me, but instead knew that I liked things to happen a certain way, and they were okay with that. Because of this, I’m no longer afraid of annoying my friends by messaging them first. Taking the initiative on things has been a huge part of 2017, and I hope that I continue to have a take-charge personality throughout 2018.

All in all, I had a pretty good 2017. I graduated from high school, began my first semester at college, and got a lot closer to my friends and family. My one wish for 2018 is to just become the woman I’ve always wanted to be. I’m 18 now! It’s time for me to start finding my place in the world and to pave a path as to where I see myself in five or ten years. In the wise words of Blair Waldorf, “Destiny is for losers. It’s just a stupid excuse to wait for things to happen instead of making them happen.” Screw the idea that “everything happens for a reason.” We’re ignoring fate this year ladies, and making our own dreams come true.

Inner Feelings of a Teenager

Inner Feelings of a Teenager

Loneliness can be a powerful feeling. It can consume your thoughts and actions without you even realizing it. Personally, I sometimes feel that teenagers can be some of the loneliest people in the world. We spend all this time to have the perfect lives, complete with a 4.0 GPA, extracurriculars, time for family, and a social life with friends. The constant pressure for these things can become overwhelming, as it did for me towards the end of my sophomore year and continuing to my junior year. My grades dropped, my relationships suffered, and ultimately, I wasn’t happy with myself nor with the people surrounding me.

I sometimes felt that I had no one in this world who was willing to just sit and listen to me talk about my feelings, or my problems. It made me feel alone in this world and just the feeling that I had no one who truly cared about me had a huge impact on my feelings. I started to shut people out, and the social butterfly I once was became a quiet, soft spoken girl, who kept to herself most of the time. I was stuck in this state of isolation and couldn’t figure out how to pull myself out of it.

After going through a period where I almost always felt stressed and unhappy, I made the choice to focus on myself and the things that make me happy. I cut out the people and things that I believed to be toxic, and started to find new interests and hobbies. I found joy in reading again, and started writing more. I started exercising  more, and it was a healthy way for me to let out my stress, instead of binge eating unhealthily like I had in the past I created new bonds with friends who became my support system, and gradually rediscovered who I was. Putting myself first was something I learned was a priority for being happy, and is one of the most important things that I’ve learned through this process.

Of course, I’m still growing as a person. I still have many things to learn about myself and about the people who I surround myself with. But knowing that I was able to draw myself out of that lonely, unhappy state inspires me to continue to try and be the best person I can be and to help the people I love be their best version of themselves.

An Insight to Me

An Insight to Me

I’ve always found it hard to find the balance between being polite to people while also being able to have them respect you and have your voice be heard. Growing up, I was always encouraged to be kind to others, and I believe that I’ve grown to be a kind person. However, looking back over the past few years has led me to a realization that I tried too hard to be nice and helpful to others leading to letting myself get walked over. I remember one specific incident that happened in my english class as a junior, where one of my ‘friends’ in the class got mad at me because I refused to help him cheat on a test. Another example was when another one of my ‘friends’ asked me to pee in a cup for her because we had a random drug test at school, and she had smoked marijuana a few days prior. The line between being kind and letting people take advantage of you was slim, and I hadn’t been able to distinguish the difference between them for a long time.

Of course, as I grew older, I matured and grew a backbone. I became more confident in voicing my opinions, unafraid to stir the pot a bit. As a future political science student, being able to grow this way has helped me tremendously. I’ve become one of the most vocal students in my ap government class, which is something I’m proud of, considering how timid I was in the past. I’m still trying to find the balance with being strong and vocal while still taking other’s feelings into consideration. I’ve stopped putting up with people who try to bring me down with their comments, and I’m almost too brutally honest. I learned that sometimes voicing your opinion at the wrong time can take a turn for the worse. However, I’m still young, and trying my best to find balance in all aspects of my life. In starting this blog, I hope that I’m able to grow both as a writer and as a person, and to hopefully realize who I am exactly.