growing up with privilege

I may not reek of privilege, but I certainly am not short of it.

I am privileged to have a family that loves and supports me; I am privileged to have friends that understand me and connect with me; I am privileged to have a house in a neighborhood in a town I call home; I am privileged to enjoy the miantiao that my grandma makes for lunch; to have met people I admire and learn from them; to have a properly functioning body; to enjoy the delectable rush of sound that comes from four people with string instruments and the rumble of open C against my chest. I am in no way short of privilege.

But that can be constricting. My parents are first-generation immigrants who came to America with nearly nothing (yes, I’m aware this is a classic trope) but scholarships and the ambition of carving out a life (not even necessarily in the United States- my mom had planned to leave after uni). Together, they’ve given my brother and I a stable home, a family, love and nurture, a supposed head start in life.

That makes failure feel worse. Because when I don’t live up to expectations, of starting here and ending here, I face my own qualms of letting people down- letting myself down. I see other people who have started in roughly the same place as me far, far ahead of me. Why should I keep pushing forward when there’s no way I’ll be able to beat them? But I do anyway because that’s the track I’ve decided to take. I know I’ll end up at the finish line, maybe without distinction but at least I’ll be finished.

I wonder how I can be successful, how I should go about carving my own life. But there are so many choices and I falter at every step, second guessing myself. Is this path really going to lead me where I want to be? Do I even know where I want to be? So far all I’ve done is kept my options open, leaving the future a gaping question mark.

See? No room for large failures, because I haven’t committed to anything completely. And, I think, that’s precisely why I’m not distinct. I’m not sharp edges and straight lines; I’m a blurred amorphous blob quivering indecisively. Even when I know how much needs to go into a particular passage, I don’t know how to give myself, to completely go in without reservations or trying to save face. But the lack of commitment is wrecking me; it’s a form of self-sabotage because I’m left with so many ends to pick up and maybe somehow tie together.

So this is where my privilege leaves me: I have the opportunities, but I have yet to be someone of worth, someone worthy of privilege.

a vessel filled to the brim yet always empty

Alternative title: romance is dead

I’ve realized the problem with myself. My problem is that I want to be too many things at once, but I have so many things I already need to be, and not enough of myself to do it all. Instead, I am a half formed glob of artiste, yes i did put an e at the end of that, writer (thought dumpster), cellist, scientist, student, teacher (of little kids, at least), daughter, cousin, friend, human

Because, after all, this all brings us back to the age-old question: who am I? This is certainly not the only time I’ve thought about it. My dad is driving me back from school and I’m staring out the window, thinking that a part of these neighborhoods is forever embedded in me and how wonderful yet terrifying that is. That all the experiences I’ve ever had have left an imprint on my being and that everyone carries what is around them. That maybe globalization isn’t so great because then we’d all be so similar, and life would be so dull if all we ever heard were our own thoughts back and back again.

The latest essay I read for my english class was an essay by Brian Doyle called Joyas valoduras. (Not too sure about that spelling or punctuation but that’s how I say it in my head, at least…) That essay was confusing to read. Yes, it was beautiful. I appreciated the sweeping view of all life forms, and upon closer examination the parallel structure between paragraphs and sentences and phrases and words, even. Yet it was hard for me to grasp the crux of Doyle’s purpose in writing the piece; was it to pay tribute to the exquisiteness or fragility or variety of life, or was he simply pouring his own thoughts down on paper, suddenly astounded by constellations in his mind? And how did it all connect to each heart being alone, because we cannot bear the closeness of another person inside?

P.S. regarding the title, I am conflicted. I like the sentiment, but “yet” doesn’t read as effortlessly as it should, and “but” is much too clunky. Which one is preferable to you?

today’s inspiration gallery.

songs to listen to: false confidence by noah kahan; behind the sea (alt ver.) by P!ATD; thinking 2 much by jeremy zucker


i wonder why
i tear myself down
to be built back up again

pending life decisions: should I try to music major/minor in college? should I get bangs? what if I got my ears pierced?

look at me all fucked up over someone i’ll never meet

which colleges do I apply to? what do I write my college essay about? should I practice cello? I really need to go to sleep earlier. Is it worth it to do robotics again next year? should I drop art? should I start a sketchbook? how do I be the person I want to be? why should I even try?

probably should have made holiday cards for my teachers and friends…

don’t take your self so seriously

happy first hours of vacation

split

split ends? i have none (in my hair, at least).

there’s a split in my life. it’s been there all along. the sciences and the arts and the career planning are at odds with each other.

as a result, i’m here writing a blog post that no one will see because i can’t decide how to use my time. i’m here after seeing so many wonderful and inspiring people through the internet, and i’m here trying to imagine myself as one of them, as someone inspiring and worthy of admiration and whole, someone who isn’t splitting apart, atom by atom.

mindless

a poem.

At 10 am, i stir in my sleep

The empty-headed scrolling on my phone from the night before catches up to me I have a headache

Today is to be a busy day, so much 

work 

to do 

i get up with effort, concerned only 

with breakfast and teeth brushing, those things that are now 

robotic with routine

the warmth bundles me in a fog

my feet welcome the cold of the kitchen tiles.

it is so late that i vaguely decide i don’t need a 

proper breakfast 

yelling at my grandma that no, I don’t want to eat anything else, thank you very much 

(yelling is the only way to get her to stop, quickly.) 

i bring a banana upstairs.

senses still muffled by sleep, 

i hardly register the sweet mushiness flooding my mouth

a faint acerbity-  

just keep eating 

and eating 

until it’s gone and then 

i walk out of my room and attempt to throw the peel 

into the laundry basket. 

hot and cold

When i was younger i was so warm i drank cold water in the winter

When i was younger i was so warm i drank cold water in the winter.

I drank cold water and i loved the snow and if anyone ever asked me if i’d rather be too hot or too cold i would always say too cold. always. When i played outside i didn’t mind when the snow got under my layers because i didn’t feel the cold until i went inside and it felt so warm When i was little summer was always too hot and i would play in the sprinklers out on the front lawn with my brother I didn’t care about getting wet because i was a swimmer and i would never hate the water. Never. My favorite color was yellow then. If you asked me now i would have to think for a second, even if there’s nothing much to think. The truth is i don’t really have a favorite color now (maybe turquoise?) It’s winter and i find myself sitting in my room for entire afternoons with everything and nothing to do Even when it’s white outside i crave the warmth of my room and force myself into bored stupor. I dislike taking showers I’m no longer a swimmer. I don’t like the cold any more Yet even after a hot shower in a steamy bathroom the cold still finds me. I drink hot water now.

my deepest, darkest secrets

yikes

  1. I have an irresistible attraction to cookies.
  2. In fact, my self control is nearly non existent.
  3. I avoid personal confrontations like the devil. That’s probably why I’m inadvertently nice to everyone.
  4. I have a friend that I don’t really like, but I don’t think the feeling is mutual.
  5. I have read smutty fanfiction and I enjoyed it.
  6. When I was little I masturbated without knowing what it even was. I just knew that it was something that felt good. I had no idea, so I sometimes did it in public.
  7. I disgust myself a lot.
  8. I sometimes wonder what would happen if I didn’t go to college.
  9. I sometimes wonder what I would have accomplished if I never started cello.
  10. I pile all my dirty clothes in the closet. I hate cleaning.
  11. I don’t really have a best friend.
  12. I don’t do what I say I’ll do half the time.
  13.  I honestly would be happy with a B+ in AP Chemistry. (My parents wouldn’t.)
  14. I ate some cake today and it might have been moldy but I don’t really care.
  15. I spend hours on Youtube under the guise of doing homework.
  16. I really like watching ship videos.
  17. I am always cold these days.
  18. My social anxiety is so great that sometimes my face gets red just from talking to people. (like teachers)
  19. I really dislike my history teacher. Her mannerisms, philosophy, method of doing things… a lot of little things irk me irrationally.
  20. I actually don’t have any good ideas for art at the moment. I have art class tomorrow.
  21. I’m more average than anyone thinks I am.
  22. My reputation often precedes me. Which really sucks.
  23. I have a crush, but I can’t imagine being in an actual relationship so I just ignore it. (But I’m to anxious around that person to become friends with them.)
  24. I’m really mean to above-mentioned person sometimes, because I have no mental filter.
  25. I said I’d organize a concert but I haven’t.
  26. I’ve missed like 439872358109 LINK lessons. (I’m supposed to teach some kids over video chat, but since I lost my phone I’ve been using my Dad’s phone and I forgot about our last lesson and didn’t wish them Happy New Year.)
  27. I don’t really care that I don’t have a phone at the moment.
  28. Half the time, my smiles are fake and mainly for awkwardness diffusion.
  29. I don’t actually like chemistry any more? But I’m still willing to suffer through it.
  30. I’m willing to suffer a lot. But not for other people.
  31. I also have a hard time saying no.
  32. I don’t like math either. Because it’s hard. (stupid, right?)
  33. I have absolutely no idea what to do with my future. But having had a talk with some nice strangers, I have a little hope.
  34. Oftentimes I have an almost uncontrollable urge to break things.
  35. I yell at my parents because that’s the quickest way to get them to stop talking to me.
  36. I also yell at my brother.
  37. I regularly stay up past 12 am, even thought I “finish” my homework before 11 pm. I’m trying to change that habit, however.
  38. I’m making this list to procrastinate on thinking of art ideas.
  39. I’ve imagined committing suicide, but I’m not at the stage where it’s actually something that I want to do.
  40. I suppress a lot of my natural urges. Like being sleepy, thirsty, or needing the bathroom.
  41. I am nostalgic in the sense that I want to return to my past.
  42. I think the value of life has decreased.
  43. I get sick of things very easily because I indulge in too much of that thing too quickly.
  44. I didn’t give any of my teachers presents or cards before winter break, contrary to my mom’s beliefs.
  45. I have never given a present to my cello teacher, though she’s amazing and I often think about how I should give her one. But I missed Christmas, again.
  46. Sometimes when I look like I’m thinking I actually not thinking about anything. At all.
  47. Most of my thoughts are not remembered, even if they are really useful or insightful.
  48. I’m still procrastinating. Because I have no willpower to stop. Inertiaaaaaaa
  49. I am currently running away from my problems.
  50. I am scared of financial dealings.
  51. I am still in debt to one of my friends. The debt was indued several months ago.
  52. I don’t know what indued means. I just hope that the meaning gets across.
  53. We didn’t get my Dad a Christmas present this year.