Wednesday, February 27, 2013


One of the perks (among many) of being a young person is having a continual sense of how transitory and fleeting everything is. Like, not in a morbid or Buddhist sense per se but in a grateful way. It's hit me lately that the things I enjoy today, I may not be enjoying five years from now.

For example, my parents and I hosted an Oscars viewing party on Sunday evening and invited my grandparents and my uncle and aunt over. We've done a lot of things like this over the years--had people over to watch football games or other random crap. Nevertheless, I was very thankful for the gathering, just because I don't know how much longer my grandparents will be able to travel, or how much longer I'll be living at home with my parents. I made a huge pot of chili with brown rice and my favorite braised collard greens recipe. My aunt brought over spaghetti with multigrain noodles. My grandparents brought delicious fried chicken from Skyway. It's the same thing we've done time and again and yet I was very grateful for it.

Or I was thinking about how special it was to get together with my close girl friends the day after Valentine's Day and share dinner together. I think about my mom and how her (formerly) close friends have husbands and kids now, and it's much more difficult to get together. Just the fact that my friends can come over and we can play jenga and laugh at our own unfunny jokes and binge-eat chocolate... I'm just really glad that (for now) we can still do that. It's actually incredible that we're still in the same geographic region (again, for now).

Or even last Friday taking light rail from work and getting picked up at the station by my grandpa (like last year when I used to live with him and grandma) and eating piroshkis with them for dinner while watching the six o'clock news.

Or walking to work with my mom at 7:30 in the morning while it's cold and windy, but her hugging me and wishing me a good day--I mean, isn't that sweet?

Or meeting up with my Christian friends for coffee and knowing deep down that they care about what's going on in my life and the things that I think and stuff?

These fleeting moments of togetherness with the people dear to me--I've really been taking them to heart lately. I don't know where I'll be two years from now; I don't even know where I'll be one year from now! All the same, though, life is good.

Thank you, Lord. Thank you, God. Thank you, Lord.
-my standard before-dinner prayer

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Reflections

Kay had a couple of epiphanies so I need to type them out really quickly before se me desaparezcan.

Romantic love and desire to to be worshiped

I was doing some self-examiniation this morning--just trying to press and prod myself to figure out why in the world I'm so bummed to not be in a romantic relationship at the mo--like, I don't really understand it? THEN IT HIT ME LIKE A TON OF BRICKS (hackneyed idiom use is ironic, duh): I miss being worshiped! When I was in a relationship, I had this constant stream of affirmations coming my way (at least when we were in the initial honeymoon phase). It was like, every time my ex would find out something new and unexpected about me he'd be like, You are just the cutest thing! I wanna put you in my pocket! He basically thought I was adorable. I felt adorable. I was like, Yah, that's right, I'm the sh1t!

Being in a relationship fed my vanity so much, because my ex would tell me in person or through his hand-written letters (yep, we were one of those couples) all of the little detailed things about me that he loved. Wow, I could get used to this. Someone is fascinated by me. Finally, I'm getting the recognition I deserve for being so amazing! HAHAHAHA. This is nothing new, but it's nice to be noticed. It's nice to be paid attention to.

So on Valentine's Day, when lots of people are going out to celebrate with their "special someone," I'll admit, I miss having a person to treat me like I'm special! And I berate myself for being an ungrateful brat because obviously, I have so many people in my life that appreciate me on a daily basis--mostly my parents and Rachel and HALF and, like, hella women at church are super affirming and nice to me--soooo why am I pining for a guy to gush about how awesome I am? I don't know. Why do I feel what I feel! "STOP. POOPING." -Chris Traeger of Parks and Recreation.

The point is that I realized that some of my motivation for wanting to be in a romantic relationship is purely selfish and vain and needy and weird? K. That's one epiphany I had.

Romantic love as discovering another person

The other plus to being in a relationship is, like, really delving into the mystery of who another person really is. Having a crush is exhilirating because I'm thinking to myself, Who are you? Definitely meaning to be arrogant, I can usually "get" people pretty quickly--like I understand their motivations for behavior and can predict pretty well how they'll react to me. I guess it's a gift? Intuition, BAM. Thanx, Lord, for making me the way that I am. The exciting thing about having a crush is that there's more of a sense of a challenge.. Like, the guy I am interested in currently, I can't read for crap. It's like, I seriously don't know what he's thinking, or how he'll react to me. It's frightening because I'm proved incompetent in the very area that I profess to be infallibly competent (intuiting peeps), but also great???

Thank you, nedroidcomics for your eerily apropos art.

Anyway, that's enough self-actualizing for now. Happy Valentine's Day to my readers (e.g. Mom and Rachel). Don't worry. I'm, like, 67% content with being single, and a D+ in this department is pretty much good enough for me.


Positivity and the like.

Thursday, February 07, 2013


Every time I have tried to write about this I get too afraid and I quit before I even begin. I think it's because I feel that I haven't "arrived" at a "good place" regarding self-hatred, but I've decided I'm never really going to ever "arrive," so I may as well just write about it. Warning: This may get dark.

Since a young age I've always had a deep-seated fear of not being good enough. Okay--before you protest with April, don't be so hard on yourself; what are you talking about; you're so good at _____, etc. let me explain. I'm not fishing for compliments by being self-deprecating. I know that my fear of inadequacy is dramatic, and I know that it's irrational. Knowing it's irrational doesn't make it any less real or powerful.

The way I've coped with this nagging fear that deep-down I'm a useless deadbeat is by trying to be perfect, by pushing myself. So I try to excel and most of all, try to be competent. Capable. This is unrestricted and applies to all domains of life: academically, professionally, physically(!), relationally and spiritually. No matter how "good" I am at any certain area, I can always be better. It's exhausting to demand so much of myself and all it does is feed my need to be "adequate," whatever that means.

A couple of weeks ago I came face-to-face with my self-hatred and it was terrifying. I had a moment of realization that the Charles Bingley/Jane Bennet relationship I'd mentioned in an earlier post--yah, that whole thing was more just a one-sided unrequited interest on my part. FOOM--what little self-confidence I had imploded completely. HE DOESN'T LIKE ME! my inner voice wailed, as I spiraled down into the depths of the it's confirmed--I'm no good inaccuracy-chasm. Frankly, I was heartbroken, and beating myself up even more for even liking a guy in the first place (setting myself up to get hurt). It was just an awful week. It was like all of the dormant negative self-talk within decided to ignite and I'm, like, surprised I wasn't consumed by the fire? (God, am I writing horribly on purpose? Whatever. That's more negative self-talk right there.)

But my mini-crisis had less to do with this boy than it did with my own toxic thinking. I think cuz I'm so afraid of not being good enough, I have this sick, slanted view where I try and confirm that fear. Like, when I get rejected (romantically or otherwise) I think to myself, "Oh, yah, I guess I should have seen that coming. Not. good. enough." Things that would appeal to my vanity (like getting offered the permanent position at work or being complimented on the way I look), I try and downplay, like excelling in whatever is just to be expected, like NBD, why all this hoopla; I didn't even do that much to deserve it?

Wow, it's cathartic to write down all these dysfunctional thought patterns. I mean, I recognize them as they're happening, but it's just such a habit to be down on myself and accusing myself that it's a huge effort to fight against it.

Last week was extremely alarming because the way I decided to cope with not being liked back by this guy, or whatever, was to be all anorexic. What the heck? I was hating myself so much, I was just like exercising as penance for being such an unlikeable person and ate, like, a bite of my lunch and threw the rest away. Like, my brain was so twisted and messed up that it actually made me want to gag when I put food in my mouth. As a friend aptly put it, You don't deserve that (the food you're about to eat). I was internalizing the stress by punishing myself. Ah, what the heck, brain, why are you so sick???

Thankfully, after some prayer and good conversations with close friends and family, I've mellowed-out quite a bit. I'm eating three full meals a day, and not feeling horrible about myself. It was an eye-opening, albeit hollowing (and "hallowing," I suppose?) experience to realize how much I hate myself. I know, it sounds super bizarre, but I'm all for self-reflection and self-awareness, so this was fascinating in a masochistic way.

It would take a whole nother post to unpack how self-hatred interacts with Christianity. Maybe I'll get to that someday. Or maybe I'll just watch TV with Rachel and eat chocolate and do my nails. You know how it goes.