To Arizona: Thank you <3

Here’s to you, Arizona. Thank you for the past 2.5 weeks. Its been.. refreshing.

In the beginning of these two weeks, I was an emotional wreck, and accidentally wrecked my hands too. I also said something like this: “I promised myself, that when this largest scab on my hand falls off, I would be emotionally recovered as well.” 
The last piece fell off today, the day of my flight back to Cali.

And looking back, within this past month I think I cried harder and more often than I’ve ever done in my life, and had more self-loath, confusion, repressed emotions since high school. However, through some of the most intensive energy and emotional management I’ve ever attempted,  I aced all my finals, got a higher GPA than any other college semester, trained myself to be in the better shape than I’ve ever been, got back in-touch with old friends from years ago, started communicating with my family, made some new friends who understood my context, re-familiarized myself with basketball, realized that guys can actually be interested in me (a guy I randomly met in Tucson even tweeted about me?!) . Oh, and decided to be an adult and get a smart phone. 😀

I used to be the girl who would rather arm-wrestle the boy than admit I liked him. I religiously worked out to put up the “piss me off and I’ll kick your ass” image because I knew my (formerly ripped) body would be able to handle physical pain much better than my marshmallow-soft side can handle emotional trauma. Ironically, after this I think I’m a gentler person, because this month I proved to myself that I was able to grow and recover from both types of hurt. I don’t need to put up that front anymore.

So by the pure grace of God for my finals (dude, seriously-grace of God I say), and through the support and distraction of my friends who hear my infinity rants and even more repetitive emotional craziness, I am now recovered.

And to the boy who made this all possible: Thank you.  You gave me the perfect context which allowed me to prove to myself that my soft-side was much stronger than I ever thought possible. What happened to me was exactly what I used to be scared of the most. Now that it has finally happened, I am no longer afraid. None of the good things I said above would have ever happened, if it wasn’t for what you’ve done. Best of luck to you, and I can only hope I helped you as much as you helped me.

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On having crushes and feeling complete

Five months ago in Spain, I wrote a note to a new friend, telling him that talking to him made me realize how much I have recovered from the emotional mess I was in when I landed in the new country. I think I wrote something along the lines of this:

“When I first realized I liked you a bit, I was actually really happy. For the first time in 2 years, my attraction to someone made sense. It wasn’t all-consuming, it wasn’t a perpetual ‘why in the world do I like him and why is he completely hijacking my brain?’ I had a small crush on you, and that felt nice.”

(…I’m glad he handled my tactless farewell revelation that with enough grace to actually keep talking to me.)

Anyways, as I am deleting my API study abroad contacts today (It was hard, I miss you guys!), I realized that there is definitely correlation between the intensity/randomness of my crushes, and my general state of emotional well-being. For example, this semester I didn’t have any crushes at all, which felt awesome. This was also one of the happiest semesters I had, where I had no inner-complexes to tackle, no sense of isolation, purposelessness, or hopelessness. I was very… well-rounded emotionally, I had all the support I needed, and I am living a very rich life.

Compare this, with say, May–October of 2011. During this time I was content, for sure. But I felt a bit lonely, extremely stifled, and quite bitter. Within this span of 5 months I can name off about 10 guys which fulfilled the category of “brain infection” (some of whose Spain numbers I deleted). Pure infatuation, sure, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t have full control of my emotional well-being and my default state of mind. This mad-crush season happened more than once before: there was a similar period around freshman year, where I was pretty much a depressed, cynical wreck.

Does anyone else feel the same way? Who knows, I have a theory of having crushes as a forced way of feeling connected, that your body simply imposes upon you. In my life, peak crush-season happens during depression recoveries, when all of a sudden I can feel intense happiness and sadness because of something other than my own thoughts. Maybe it gives us an extra boost of energy, an extra burst of color because something inside of us feels so empty.

Maybe its because you see something you need in another person. Some of my most intense feelings were for a boy because he was my outlet to express my angry, screw-the-American-middle-class-PoliticallyCorrect-ignorant-nonimaginative-default-state-of-my-life side. I used his character and image to become part of me. Which, uhm, is kinda unhealthy for both parties.

Regardless, I’m starting to have a feeling that maybe, some crushes are just forced, fast remedies which your body creates- to fix something wrong about you that you don’t necessarily see in yourself, or your life. They aren’t bad, but are definitely unsettling: they are complex, powerful, fast, unpredictable, and fickle. They skew people’s logic, change people’s attitudes, and add an irrational  and uncontrolled element in our lives.

I guess, this is just brain vomit from connecting some related dots in my life. Please don’t get the idea from this post that I think crushes are bad: in fact, they do add quite a bit of flair, a touch of life-lessons, and a whole lot of fun. But its important to see these little butterflies and heart-thumps  for what they are, what they are not, and sometimes, why they’re there. Sometimes we let the emotions whizz by us, and other times, we can take a good look at this product that our (experiences+hormones+subconscious?) have generated, learn from it, and understand a little more of ourselves, and the way we perceive others around us.