On being vulnerable

This is a cop out post because I’m really just posting a TED Talk, but I’ll give it a bit of a preface:

I suck at being vulnerable. I can handle pain and stress and grief. I can be perky even when I’m tired and I can talk to just about anyone. But what I didn’t really realize until watching this is that what I really struggle with is allowing people to see me with all of my faults. I spend a lot of time putting on facades. I guess we all do to some degree. The difference is that I don’t know how to go without them. I like people to see me as this sunshiny, smart, determined, witty, put together girl. Even my close friends and family. Maybe especially them. The idea of the people I care about seeing all of my fears and insecurities scares me so much. I know they’ll love me anyway, but I still don’t want them to think of me that way. I guess mostly I don’t want their pity.

Brene Brown says that we need to be vulnerable in order to connect with people, and I can feel intuitively that she’s right. I just don’t know if I can do it. Being with Nob is amazing, but also terrifying because he sees through my facade. He just has this way of knowing when I’m nervous or scared or worried even when my smile fools everyone else. It’s one of the things I like about him, but it also freaks me out. Part of me just wants to push him away when he gets too close to knowing the real me.

Anyway, check out this video. Even if it doesn’t reveal deep-seeded issues the way it did for me, it’s also just really entertaining and informative.

 

T-minus 24 hours

Tomorrow I move into residence at the university. This time tomorrow perhaps I’ll be sitting in my res room listening to Vampire Weekend pumping out of my new Bose speakers (a belated birthday present from my dad), or maybe I’ll be eating dinner with some of my floormates in the fantastic cafeteria, or starting a game of pick up soccer out on the lawn.

Even though we were actually on campus today paying fees and picking up my student card, it’s still hard to imagine actually being there, like really living there. University is all I’ve thought about all summer during all of those long, hot shifts at the diner and late nights staying up with my laptop. I’ve imagined a zillion different scenarios for that first day, and now that it’s finally here I don’t even know what to think. I keep ending up arguing with myself:

Me: I should wear a t shirt and shorts and be super chill and casual on the first day

Myself: Oh my god no people here are probably so trendy I don’t want to look like a loser I need to put an outfit together like stat. Crap my fedora is all crunched from my suitcase…

I: Who cares! Just wander around and go up and talk to people. You should try to be outgoing and meet a ton of people right away!

Me: Well I don’t want to try to hard…maybe I’ll just chill in my room or something, at least for the first night…

Myself: But then who am I going to eat with? If I don’t meet people I’ll have to go to the cafeteria by myself and sit alone…

I: See this is my point, we need to get out and meet people! Who knows? We might meet our future best friend or boyfriend on the first day.

Me: Crap that’s a lot of pressure for one day.

So yeah. Wish me luck. As you can see, the hype for this day has gotten a little ridiculous.

In which I massively overreact

Okay I’ve always heard that you should never google your symptoms when you’re sick, but I thought that rule was only for hypochondriacs.

My right ear got clogged with water when Lis and I were swimming in Idaho last week. I wasn’t too worried at first. I figured it would pop when I dried out in the sun. Then I assumed it would happen during the drive home. Then I thought maybe I just had to sleep on it. I even hoped that the loud music at the club last night would do it.

It didn’t happen and I was so frustrated. It didn’t hurt, but the pressure was so uncomfortable and I could barely hear when someone stood on my right side and talked to me. I tried cleaning it out with a Q-tip, plugging my nose and blowing out, chewing gum, yawning really big…nothing. The pressure bubble just kept getting worse. Then again, maybe it wasn’t getting worse, it was just making me go crazy to the point where it felt like it was getting worse.

Anyway, desperate times call for desperate measures. Or at least that’s what I told myself. I turned to the internet. This is what it told me:

-The plugging my nose and blowing tactic I had been using was probably going to inflame my ear and give me a massive infection

-For that matter, blowing too much could actually blow up my eardrums

-I probably have an ear infection that could make me deaf if I leave it for long

All I can say about this is never never never web MD your symptoms. I finally went to the doctor tonight and she just squirted some water in my ear. Turns out a ball of earwax was blocking my ear and some lake water got stuck. That’s it.

Yeah.

So anyway, good news, I’m not deaf or dead. Bad news, I may be a hypochondriac.

Does the fact that I just diagnosed myself as a hypochondriac make me an even bigger hypochondriac? That’s kind meta eh? Diagnostic-ception…or something.

Home Alone 5: The Kay Edition

My dad is always worried about me when he goes away for a few days a month for business. He thinks I’ll get lonely or go hungry or something I think. I’m not sure why. By now I’m so used to it that I know how to make is fun.

-I have music on. All. The. Time. Loud, angry punk rock, or maybe the soundtrack from Rent or Les Mis or Wicked, or if I’m in a certain mood maybe some sappy country. You better believe that I sing along at the top of my lungs.

-I pee with the bathroom door open. That’s right, just because I can

-I sleep wherever I feel like sleeping. So maybe in the floor with my laptop or on the recliner watching tv. Sometimes I wake up with a kink in my back but whatevs

-I make big ole ice cream sundaes with chocolate sauce and fruit and nuts and I sit on the counter and eat it and no one can judge me. Not that my dad would anyway, but it’s the principle of the thing

-I watch Game of Thrones with full sound and don’t have to worry about my dad walking in during the semi-pornographic parts

-I talk to my cats about my life problems and they listen attentively. jk they fall asleep, but still

Except I just realized that my dad is coming home tonight and the house is a disaster. Guess I know what I have to do now. Yay dishes.

How to procrastinate

-Say you’ll do it after you finish season three of Game of Thrones

-And catch up on all the stuff backed up on your pvr (I’m looking at you, Pretty Little Liars, and summer repeats of Girls)

-Take your cat for a walk. He looks bored. I mean, cats always look bored, but still…

-Before you get to work you should probably eat, so time to make an elaborate and time consuming lunch. I’m thinking tomato basil bruschetta with melted mozzarella on crackers, and nice little salad on the side…maybe a smoothie too…

-Read self help books like Arlene Dickinson’s Persuasion, about how to build your career…while you know, avoiding doing work for said career

-Stare at grad photos on Facebook from two months ago and wonder how your white grad dress still makes you look pale. Like blue, veiny pale.

-Consider going to the beach right away to get a tan

-Realize that it’s like 15 degrees out and cloudy

-Decide to write a blog post because that seems easier than the article you’re supposed to be writing

-Wonder if you’re really cut out for journalism school if you can’t even motivate yourself to write one article

-Decide to stop torturing yourself and watch more Game of Thrones instead

The four types of yearbook signatures

Looking through my yearbook, the signers can pretty easily be divided into four groups.

1) The complimenters. It doesn’t matter how well you know the person, they have like eight nice but generic adjectives to describe you with, like “sweet” and “cool” and you can be pretty sure they wrote almost identical things in everyone else’s books. That’s okay complimenter, I probably won’t remember you in a few years anyway.

2) The rememberer. Again, it doesn’t matter how well they actually know you, they will dig up some obscure memory from that one time you hung out like two years ago, or that one thing you laughed at in that one class that one time. Examples include:

“Remember that time we went shopping? Thanks for introducing me to Forever 21.” (I forgot we ever did that)

“I still have the sonnet you wrote about me getting struck by lightning” (Rigghht…I remember that…now…)

“I’ll always remember physics class with you, especially your bad Swedish accent while doing calculations.” (I forgot about that too. I hated physics)

“I will literally never forget you climbing up on a chair at your birthday exclaiming, ‘Guys this is how I twerked in Africa!'” (I wish I could forget that one. Also the horrible dancing that followed. And the falling off said chair.)

3) The real friends. You can tell the real friends because they say things that would normally be offensive/don’t make sense, but are okay because you know each other so well. Examples:

“I hope that you marry a Filipino guy so that you can have grandchildren that look like Angelina Jolie.”

“You’re still the girl who cried STD.”

“You should get your schizophrenia checked out.”

“I still want a sandwhich.”

4) Then there’s the things that made me cry when I read them:

“Thanks for your brilliance and wisdom. I know you will change the world.” (My favourite English AP teacher)

“You are the only person I know that commands 100% of my respect and you are my best friend. You always will be even if you’re on the other side of the country. All I can do is thank you for being there since there is no way I can truly say goodbye.” (Mat)

“You are a tremendous person, full of talent and promise.” (My soccer coach)

This was supposed to be a funny post, but then I started reading through all the messages in my yearbook and now I’m getting a little teary and nostalgic. Maybe I’m going to miss high school a little more than I had originally expected to. I mean, I’m excited for university, but it is beginning to be hard to think about leaving all of this behind. Although when I think about high school I often think of it as saturated with boredom and stress and grief, but it was also so full of laughter and this intense sense of belonging. I was crazy to think that I wouldn’t miss that.