Lately, I’ve felt this kind of thirst/ache/longing in my chest that I used to feel a lot when I was younger. In recent years, I’ve been a lot more comfortable — less inclined for that same sort of otherworldly splitting open. It’s not a negative feeling; in fact, it makes me feel so vivid and alive and ready to take on the world. It does make me long a lot more for the lack of stagnation. To stretch, to worry, to do something bigger than myself.
things I appreciate
- warm socks
- that kid who always says “howdy” as you walk by in Lenfest
- when a grade works out
- dressing up when you need a mood boost
- late night conversations
- couches in academic buildings
- seeing people do what they love
- seeing their hard work pay off
- phone calls from my mom
- lines that solve problems in a story
- friends who check in
- kind RAs
- cozy dinners
- nights you feel included
- getting to know interesting people
- mountain views
- staying busy if you’re bummed
- being a twin
- camper love
- finding a discipline you like
- having a clean room
- getting into PE 180
- in-the-moment moments
- ballads about people getting what they want
- sun lamps
I think a lot about random acts of kindness. There are small acts people have done for me that make my heart ache, even years later. Two weeks ago, when I was so sick, a random girl in one of my classes — who I’ve maybe had two awkward-but-pleasant conversations with — messaged me because she’d gotten me soup. Out of the blue.
I’m a hopeful person. I think people are kind. And there are a lot of ways in which I could improve and be a kinder person as well.
Still, I like to pull those random acts and mull them over sometimes. How I still think about things a person has done for me days and even years later — how they as people have made lasting impacts. How the soup nearly made me cry, because I’d been super lonely and sad about being sick at the time.
It’s so cliché that you’ll never know what can turn a person’s day around, or what someone’s going through. I’m a big believer in telling people if you think something kind about them, because a lot of the time we’re just totally oblivious to whether or not we’re doing anything worthwhile. I won’t even try to say anything original on that subject.
Being in a place like the small town I’m in and the college I’m at and with the people I’m around, I really do believe that people are good.
On a bit of a different subject, I’m currently typing away in Charlottesville in a purple metal chair outside a coffeeshop while the light falls. Last year, I got in a bit of a trap of stewing in my stress/negativity when I was really stressed out. This year with access to a car (!!!), I’m treating myself and studying outside of town. Partly because I get really distracted. It’s been really lovely, just watching people who don’t know me and working on my translations.
I was talking with a friend the other day about how sometimes you just have those people you mentally unwind to, and it makes you seem a lot more stressed out than you are. I have like, four people I go to when I need to talk/cry, and that’s mostly because I trust that they won’t betray my confidence or make me unjustified or act like I’m always unhappy. The way we settled on the concept was that you have that small portion of your brain you need to unload when you’re around those people, but that doesn’t detract from being a happy person. For the record, this blog is one of those “people.”
finally understanding a concept
random acts of kindness
sitting in art galleries
texts from frands
peace with yourself
Take It Away sandwiches
the satisfaction with yourself after doing laundry
the blue hour
a really good drum beat
old white doors
a full night of sleep
seeing people be good people!
I think after a few years of doing these, they’ve gotten a little repetitive, but I don’t entirely mind.
Beyond thrilled that I made it through this week, and this weekend is just as busy. Parent’s Weekend: lots of structured cocktail parties, stilted (but lovely) introductions, crisp dresses. I just have to make it four more days.
When you haven’t seen someone in a while, you have all this pressure to have a good conversation — to recall all the stories or cleverness you might have had at another time when you weren’t around them — instead of the fumbling, casual talk of everyday life.
One of the things I love most is when someone is utterly a default person, like my sister.
Last week, I ate dinner with one of my best guy pals from last year (and this year.) We happened to have run into each other after the gym and swooped into d-hall for some food. After a few minutes of nice, stilted small talk, he brought up the weather and I stopped him. Said hey, dude, I love you and it bums me out that we can’t just have a conversation like last year. I wish we could go back to the nitty gritty. The details, not the overview. If I had known I’d lose that this year, I would have paid a little more attention when we were all in the dorms.
He visibly relaxed. Although confronting the feelings of being with guy friends again after being physically separated by our housing was awkward, I’m glad we took the pressure off.
Kind of like, even if we can’t impress each other with our current conversation, I trust that your life has been interesting lately. (I also trust that we’ll be closer when people are less busy, or even just by making the effort to reach out to them.)
I don’t know why I just feel so much more awkward around girls this year. Like I just don’t get some intrinsic knowledge they’re blessed with. I do have tight girl friends but I have significantly less patience for exclusivity and cattiness. Not to say that guys are exempt from that or that girls are like that often, but it does exist and make me less comfortable. Because if a friend says something shitty to me about another friend, who’s to say she’s not talking about me when I’m not around?
With guy friends — not all guy friends, but mine specifically — I’ve felt much more default. More relaxed. More like they appreciate who I am without the element of what I can do for them, which is a distinction.
I’ve loved living where I am this year, but it does make me hyperaware of how our physical separation has been isolating in some ways. Both with my guy friends and girls who rushed other sororities. In the same vein, I’ve also gotten a lot closer with girls in my pledge class who I didn’t know last year.
Would it be weird to — after rush is over and rush dates are gone — still continue getting coffee with people I find interesting? I think I will, because that’s something I loved to do in high school. We can draw invisible lines all we want but there are too many fascinating people at this school for me to be okay with making my world smaller. There are people beyond friends who I’ve been frustrated around lately.
I also feel the default way with Hannah, which is why I’m grateful that she’s here. Right now, we’re both dead silent and on our phones just for a quick mental break: no pressure to be interesting or funny or cool. Just to be there with each other.
A happy list, but with a twist. I’ve had a bit of a rough time lately — not a bad time, because I do differentiate the two. It’s not that I’ve been unhappy; it’s that I’ve had a lot on my plate and a lot to sort through, mentally. I’ve found a lot of joy in the process though, and wanted to share some of the flip sides.
Recently, I read a Brain Pickings piece about a Shel Silverstein story. Although Maria Popova does a much more lovely way of explaining it, it feels rather applicable to the freshman-to-sophomore transition I’ve been facing at the beginning of the year.
A lot of people give me grief for liking children’s books, but oftentimes they do a better way of explaining concepts than I do. In fumbling for the words, the meaning gets lost. “Overthinking.”
I don’t know if I’m an aggressive personality, or even a loud one, but I’m definitely a specific one.
There are (obviously) parts of myself I love and parts of myself I dislike. There are bits of myself that I’ve shed over the years — even over the past weeks — and others I’ve picked up. I think a lot about the concept of “every you, every me.”
Every you does not know every me. The versions you are with other people. The versions of myself I differentiate. The beliefs that have evolved, not necessarily through some epiphany (in some cases) but little things that broaden or narrow my perspective.
If I’m close with someone, I generally go back to the basics at some point. What’s your favorite color? Favorite movie? What do you eat when you’re sick? What upsets you? What gets you passionate? What do you think about why we’re here? At some point this fall, I should do that again even though I feel pulled in so many directions (and bruised.) Although I’ve been mourning that I feel like I’m always the only one who cares about sustaining friendships, or reaching out, I’m probably still going to be the one who texts first or asks to hang out first. Maybe that’s just the way it works.
Although I fall into some patterns back here, as a sophomore, it’s also equally enlightening to me to see the ways in which I have changed. And although I have a lot of worries about some social aspects right now — drifting or loneliness or what-have-you — I find myself grateful for friends that do let me change my mind.
books that make me cry
pictures of the Pacific Northwest
peeling apples for Thanksgiving
having dates set for your next month or so
paint under your nails
seeing old friends
taking care of drunk folks
handling something better than you’d expected
the color yellow
being proud of a friend
finding something you’d misplaced
certainty you could fall asleep right away