Stuck in the kitchen…

Dear blog,

I don’t know why but recently I feel like I need to get out of my house more…to eat out, to do something meaningful. I feel like sometimes I am stuck in the freaking kitchen cooking and cooking. And even though I did like it sometimes, when I do it too much and it becomes tedious I feel like I don’t wanna do it anymore. Especially when I experience “Food fails”. There was one period last few weeks ago when I did not want to cook at all, so I just ate chips and cookies. My stomach did not respond well to that. My stomach is such a picky lady. But I don’t know, I am kinda stuck in between “cooking at home” and “going to the restaurant”. I cook too much at home now that I feel like I don’t feel like eating my foods because I lack ideas and sometimes my food tastes bad (maybe because I am also less enthusiastic)

Okay since it’s a whining post (and by writing I feel like I can find the solution), here are some of the things annoying about cooking

  1. Washing all the dishes afterwards. Sucks. Terrible for my hand skin and take a lot of time
  2. It takes a lot of time.
  3. I see my friends (and me sometimes) enjoying cooking. I do, too, but sometimes it can be too much. I get it, the joy of seeing the food coming out of the oven in a beautiful shape, or when I found a recipe that I feel like I am super excited to do – yes, I get it. But my life needs so much variety that sometimes I feel like that cannot catch up.
  4. To cook a beautiful, tasty dish takes a lot more time than cooking an average food that can stay for a week, which leads to another two problems below
  5. The beautiful dish is often for one day (at most) portion and often very tasty. The week-long dish is often for a week portion and often less tasty.
  6. I sometimes do not like my week food, and when it’s too much, that could be another problem –> I either have to eat it all, or throw it away (which means all the time, ingredients and time washing the dishes (plus one more container containing the food I throw away) are gone)
  7. Sometimes I feel like I constantly have the needs to “produce” foods.
  8. THE VEGETABLES!!! I hate cooking vegetables because they cannot stay long, and I cannot make it very simple. Whenever I cook, it can’t be too simple or I won’t like it. I don’t like eating bland food. I want to eat good food.
  9. One of the biggest annoyances – I CANNOT DO ANYTHING ELSE WHILE COOKING

So many dilemmas…

Needless to say, I like cooking. It’s just that everything has ups and downs. Now I feel like I am in the “down” for cooking: I lack ideas of new food, I don’t want to eat my food anymore, I don’t feel well sometimes eating my food, I often get mad at the amount of dishes I have to wash, sometimes I get mad for spending 3 hours to cook the amount enough for one meal, etc

So what can I do?

I feel like it’s time for me to change for something newer, because I feel like I’ve reached a point in my life when I am ready to do a makeover for lots of things. I start to notice this for the last month: I start to feel like I am trapped in a circle of things I do again and again, yet too lazy to get out of it to do other things because “I don’t have a reason”. “I don’t feel like”. Yet when I do those things in a circle 

  1. Maybe I’ll start going to a restaurant for about 1 time per week, or 1 time bi-weekly, if I like the food there. I better not think things like: But I want to go with someone! I don’t have money! I am too lazy! I notice there are months I do not go eating out at all! Which is good for my pocket but not very good for my hungry mouth.
  2. Maybe I should (again, I did this before) learn from the past: I only cook on one day (Saturday, Friday night) for the rest of the week. And then don’t cook/don’t expect to cook.
  3. Maybe I can chop the vegetables beforehand.
  4. I just realize how useful the dishwasher can be for my hand!
  5. I realize one of the reasons I start getting mad is that I often cook late (6pm) when I am already very hungry. So probably I should cook after I eat (no way), or start like 5?, 4:30?
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Feeling down today (hopefully getting better tonight)

Dear blog,

I’ve been feeling a little down today. I don’t know why. But here are some reasons.

I am bored with a life of repetition in which I am living right now. Today I basically spend most of my time in my very dark, brickly apartment at Campus Village. I almost talk to no one and feel like I don’t talk to anyone. The issue is when I feel down I don’t want people to see it so I don’t want to talk to people. I feel bad though for ignoring Carson, one of my best friends (even though we don’t even hang out that much) today. I don’t know if I can ever see him again, though. Well, I’d rather do things that makes me feel good. But right now I don’t really know. The only thing I know for sure is that music makes me feel good. At least I know it can always raise my energy up.

I also realize that I hate cooking…too constantly. Yesterday and today I feel like I am stuck at the kitchen. The weird thing about cooking is that sometimes I feel like it takes almost a million year to finish cooking and if I am one second late then things got burned. I had to deal with a messy, burned pot yesterday and I didn’t like it. And cooking takes so much time! And when I eat it, it’s gone in the matter of hours. I don’t like it at all. Besides, I feel like the quality of my food has gone down recently. Sometimes I want to go to a restaurant, but I don’t feel like going, because: 1) It’s far and I’m lazy. 2) They are not that good. 3)Expense (not the best reason but sometimes, definitely) 4)Sometimes they get me sick (that time when I went to 88Buffet and ended up burping for the whole evening. 5) One of the better reason: I only feel like going if there are people going with me. I don’t want to eat alone!

Which also leads me to hate eating in my apartment alone. I just don’t like that at all. I feel like eating starts becoming a task and I feel like I am in a period in which I don’t enjoy eating as much as I used to. Which can be a good thing if I am losing weight…

Well, still I have to say that I am pretty proud of how much food I cooked for today, still. I can have foods for three days.

Also I realize drinking water makes me feel much better. Right now I can say my feelings have been up a little bit since I drank some water and met and talked with some people. But at like 11-4pm, I felt like a total mess. This morning for example I felt like shit at 11am (I felt stressed! Which thankfully I got back to bed a little bit, so I am thankful for that).

Maybe the fact that today has been cloudy attributes to that kind of moodiness too.

Well, it should get better yesterday. You know I am still recovering from that dreadful philosophy paper.

But, seriously, I hate my living environment right now. I feel like I cannot totally relax, and feel like going outside of it all the time, even though lots of time I don’t have a reason, I just feel like getting out of that dark place anyway.

Maybe next semester I should buy a lamp or something like that?

Later today I spent a little bit of time saying goodbye to a few seniors. They look like they all have nothing left with this school.

Me too. I feel like I will not grow to have any attachment with this place after 4 years. I feel like I am done. I feel like if I graduate, I will not miss any of the buildings, or anything. I feel detached and isolated from this school. Which, for a lot of times, can be good things. But I feel like I almost have no friends, nor even anything hinting for a relationship. I don’t feel like I am obliged to have any kind of memories here, because all looks so professional, so isolated and so separated.

Again, that’s not a bad thing for lots of time. That just means that this place is isolated and disciplined. The people are polite, but they are distanced and independent. And I feel like I am slowly becoming that person, too. Maybe that’s what I should expect first when I come to the US.

Still, why can’t I have relationships like those I’ve been watching in American movies, and in a lot of “groups of friends” here I’ve been seeing on campus?

A desert of feelings…Maybe that could be a good thing for me for lots of time, but other time is not so good.

Well, I should go check out the guy at 6:30

The dilemma

Dear blog,

I just finished a lecture with my professor Lindsey as a notetaker, and I’ve been able to realize one thing. I don’t think I can become a professor as a full-time job.

But somehow in this liberal art space I feel like the only option available for me is to becoming a professor or something: I’ve been pushed to think towards it multiple times. They often talk to me about how much freedom their job as a professor can allow them to be. But so far all I’ve been seeing is that professors are stressed out, they still need to produce their results in one particular way, they work while others don’t, and most importantly, the amount of grading is just …

Okay this might take a while for my actual thoughts to come up, so I just keep on writitng.

I don’t think I’d like to go home for my future, but at the same time, I don’t like living here in the US. I just cannot find a way to find a connection or any kinds of friendship at a deeper level that I want with anyone here.

People here are so binary, they’re so opposed to each other. I’ve been to all the places on this campus (okay well maybe my experience is limited to this ultra-liberal Earlham), and all I’ve been seeing is subgroups of people with the same idea, same thinking that never talk/oppose vehemently with other subgroups of people. This morning I’ve been show lots of American movies and the sameness of those stories kinda strike me: always one main character seems to oppose to their world and then become a hero or some kind of romanticized “me against the world”, “me saves the world” kinda narrative. I feel like they are all doing the same thing.

The worse thing is I begin to realize I start to do the same things as they do too. I don’t recall the exact moments I suddenly realize this, but many times I feel like I become super-super individualistic. Like I suddenly realize I am wearing headphones while being in a place in which everyone is wearing headphones.

But I don’t know if I want to come back to Vietnam. I don’t want to live in a place where people are so binary (even the one claiming they are non-binary? heck yes, they just had a concert in which their flyer is exclusionary: “we don’t welcome cis men” blah blah. Now what they gonna say? “We want them to feel what it is like to be excluded” –> So at the end, all they are doing is becoming exactly who they oppose to. Works?).

Here are only a few examples:

  1. All the science papers repeating the same thing at the introduction: people have been studying this and that but THIS is underrepresented –> we gonna stand out.
  2. Basically the whole cafeteria: you’ll see subgroups sitting with each other.

Tragically enough, I feel like to be a more financially independent person so that I can break out safely if my parent suddenly discovered my gay behavior (not a lame gay identity), I need to find a job in the US that I can make a substantial amount of money, which may likely be in the Science, at least for now. But the more I’ve been taking Philosophy, the more I begin to feel distaste and cynical in the Science and Social Science. I feel like after all the Philosophical lessons I’ve been learning, I cannot even act! I’d question anything I act, and everytime I am in something I would raise all these questions which make me become very anxious afterward. All these philosophical lessons I’ve learned can tell me what not to do, but not what I can do. And then I’ll go around asking all thse lame questions on all the sciences and then I feel distraught.

So I am really re-evaluating whether I should take 2 classes with Ferit next semester. I seriously don’t want to grow into adulthood getting depressed. No I don’t.

At the same time I don’t feel like going back to my own country where I know is not very open to gay marriage, or even to homosexual behavior in public. I don’t want to go yet I want to go back home, though. Where people are friendlier, there are more relationships and interactions between people, I just feel there is more “life” in general. Here life is isolated, people are connected to each other by opposing the other party, and I don’t find I belong to anyone.

Even though I just learn that from Transurfing that I don’t necessarily need to have that kind of importance, it takes time for me. Maybe I am still on that way.

Still, being friended, being liked, being approached and being loved is something I’d like. I cannot feel like my life would be complete without it.

Maybe I should think about it like this: my next job in Science would be a “safe” job, allowing me to enjoy monetary benefits and independence, but my real dream place to be is to become a singer-songwriter. I am still realizing that, but during that time, my safe zone is a career in some topics that would allow me to make safer money.

But how much money is enough? I feel like I don’t need a lot. I don’t need luxurious car, fancy clothes or all that kind of things. I just need to be able to be independent of all my family, so they can’t do anything if they want me to go home to “treat” my disease. That doesn’t mean a lot of money, to be honest.

Streams of thoughts

Hey blog,

I just get out of a dark circle a few minutes ago: my dark apartment. I felt almost like empty and having nothing to want, nothing to do, nothing to like. My energy was low. I constantly checked kenh14 and myvocalanalyses like a million times, because I did not know what else to do. I did not check movies. I did not check the music. I did not know what I want to search on YouTube. I just did not know what I want to do.

But it’s not like I am depressed. I am far from it, indeed. I don’t feel sad. I don’t feel hopeless. I don’t want to kill myself. I just feel really, really bored. So I decide to walk to the library. Where there is light. More people. Even though a lot of them do not even talk to me, a lot of them will not even talk to me, and a lot of them do not want to talk to me. There’s something about being around with people that makes me happy. No matter where.

But even though I am not depressed or anxious or stressed, I still have to acknowledge that I still feel less joyful than I used to back in Vietnam. Interestingly, my life there would be perfectly described as “the most boring of all”. Last summer I spent the majority of time lingering around my house and barely walked outside of it. I do not have lots of friends, or did not really watch lots of movies at all.

Here, every week there must be something happening. Even everyday. Let me list some. I can go to Jazz Rehearsal, which I really like being a singer in (and also one of the few things I like this semester, besides 19th Philosophy with Ferit, of course). I can go to baseball games, basketball games, lacrosse (which I did last week). There’re all the events of clubs around campus. Free Pizzas a lot of days at noon and I can come and listen to several talks by many people around the US about what they research about.

In other words, there are lots of “toys” for me to play with. And indeed, I like those. I like coming to those. So no offence to those events and stuffs. But, I just feel like I do not have the same level of happiness from those toys as I have when I am able to talk to one person with all my hearts out. Even when I do all of these things and I feel good afterwards, that good feeling does not last really long, and I am soon replaced with boredom. When back in Vietnam, where I have less “toys” to play with, I feel like I did better emotionally.

A lot of times recently, I feel stuck. I feel like sometimes all I need is just a friend, or someone whom I can really “talk” to, you know what I mean?

Not those kinds of talk. The kind in which I can only know how they are doing and what are they doing. And if I stop talking, they stop too. Some people here do not even seem interested in communication. And some just straight out don’t seek talking. And some talks like Alexa. (Siri is a better communicator, at least she got the edges).

How? Please? How can I know your emotions? How can I know your stories? How can I get to really know you. All I have been receiving and discussing so far, 95% of the time in my lfie here are “polite talks”, “surface talks”. And I am not just talking about the people in the US, lots of those in international do the same thing too! I don’t feel like I learn anything more from you after talking to you! I sometimes feel like I am pushing a conversation.

Same thing with professors. Back at my high schools and middle schools, there exists a relationship between the students and the teachers almost like a familial one. But I cannot find it here. All I can do is one of the following: some I need to stay super-professional all the time. Some I can have a deeper level connection, but that level stops at jokes. I don’t know why in Vietnam lots of time I needed to try to stay super formal (because disrespecting teachers is a sin) but our class still managed to have a “close” and “familial” relationship with our teachers (we even host birthday parties for our teachers), but here I can talk to our professors like friends (using first names, can make jokes in class, sometimes even make fun of them) (well also at least at Earlham, I know other institutes where people treat profs like saints) and then I feel like there is a distance. A huge distance.

And that’s probably why there are people whom I talk to in my 1st and 2nd now who do not seem to even know who I am when I say hi to them at my 3rd year.

The best, I can hope, of me for right now, is to continue surrounding myself with people. I feel dead if I don’t see people (or other animals) for a day. Also sunlight. There’s something coming from the sights of all the human beings that feed my energy, and make me feel like I am still okay.

Is that why coffee shops in here are full of people? Also the library and CST. Why don’t everyone just study in their room anyway? Why walk? Are they also lonely too? Are these places actually full of lonely hearts like myself, who want to talk but cannot express? (well I can but I don’t know if people’d like to do that back!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Low on Energy

It seems like I am a little bit obsessed with the Transurfing book I’ve just read. It really, really changed my life for the better. Yesterday I checked my Psychology Depression Test and I was surprised at how much less stressed I become.

Which sometimes can be an issue. Recently I realize I am becoming lazier and lower in energy than ever.

In the past when I feel overwhelmed, I always feel like I don’t have enough time for everything, and I can think of a million things in my head to do.

But now such instances happen rarely. Instead, a new phenomenon come: there’re lots of time in which I really do not know what to do. I’ve been observing this for the last couple of weeks. The good side is that I become more calm with my tasks and do things. The other not so good thing is that sometimes I just feel like I don’t know what to do! Even though I know that this is due this time, and due that time, and know that sooner or later I’ll have to do these things/these things will be good for me in the future, I still don’t do it. This is completely different from who I was in the past: trying to cram as much as I could and worry about not having enough time for everything!

There are multiple ways I have been finding so far that could increase my energy level, or bring it to the point where I actually feel energized to do things on my list:

+ Not spending time on energy-draining activities (like fapping or drinking, or drugs)

+ Going to the pool to breathe and rejuvenating my breath (also good for my breath support too)

+ Being at a place with people. I don’t know why but I feel more inclined to do things when I see other people around with me. I am not good at working with myself alone. I am a people person

+ Eat on time, and eat more veggie food. Today I’ve been lazy on eating greens, and I do suffer. Also eat slower.

+ Take a shower.

Or maybe today is just one of the lazier day for me. I fapped this morning (after two consecutive days), and did not really exercise much, and ate at irregular times.

Also maybe it’s just today. Tomorrow will be a better day. Things like this happen a lot. Sometimes there’s a period of downness but the next day I wake up and feel energized again to do things. This is one of these times.

Wait I am a people’s person?

Last week there’s been something really weird going on in my life. I just discover recently that I like being around with people, a thing I haven’t even thought about since a very long, long time.

To start with I created two list in my phone. One is a “YES” list and the other is a “NO” list. The idea of the game is simple. Everytime something causes me distrust, bad feelings, stress or anxiety, I put it in the “NO” list. Everytime something makes me happy and cozy, comfort, I put it in the “YES” list. Simple. But that’s the way for me to get closer into contact with my heart, which I have been forgotten for a while.

It’s a very fun and revealing game. The first revealing thing is that I fill up the “NO” list very very comfortably, while the “YES” list not so much. This means that I do not really have anything to like!! But I know a lot of things that I HATE, or feel tense about. That being said, if writing on this blog makes me feel tense, then I will put it on my “NO” list for a while as well.

I can also turn a “YES” into a “NO”, if I allow my brain to ruin everything. My brain loves to set deadlines, set timer, set a plan, and see everything in control. I find myself in a lot of times feeling tense and stressed because I DON’T HAVE A PLAN. Whattt????? Then when I have a plan and it doesn’t go as planned, I go STRESSED as well. Sometimes, when I do something and then I want to do it faster, that creates a lot of stress as well. See, there’s tons of ways for me to be stressed, because of my brain’s tendency to control everything.

But since I start pay attention to the feelings of my heart more, I notice something even wierder. That I like to talk to people. Or just be around people. Isn’t that wierd? So far I’ve been considering myself to be very, very recluse. I remember even mentioned in the blog that sometimes I don’t even want people around me.

Then I realize that a lot of times in the past, my brain kinda controlled that decision. It told me to stop seeing people so that I could do work, do more work, and become more productive. In the past, I could invent a tons of things for me to do, as well, because I was hooked into lots of pendulums such as prestigious places, or things that I thought I “should” do. And as far as I know, lots of time in the past did not go well for me emotionally.

But now I want to let my heart free a little bit, I realize that I feel very comfortable around people. I feel comfort just being around people, and I like talking and getting to know about people’s lives. In the past, I liked to work in my apartment so that I could work more productively, but now I absolutely hate that because it’s so dark and lonely, and productivity does not really lure me as much as it does in the past. (Still a lot though because I still have an implicit contract to do 5 things per day, and tons of time I get frustrated at myself for not getting things done faster, and lots of time I feel frustrated for not having the motivation to do anything when I feel like I should).

I realize that when I talk to people and getting to know them, all of the sudden my importance on stuffs kinda dissipate. I give my attention to them, wholeheartedly. I feel like with that I don’t have much importance left. And also stress too. As long as I feel like I don’t have to justify anything. Or justify my ego. Just give it all to them. I feel like when I give my attention to people, my problems somewhat dissappear too.

Like crazy. Even in jobs that I really do not like right now such as my RA job, I couldn’t explain why I can make lots of jokes in the meetings when everyone is tired. Or group projects in which I heard a lot of fights among groups but I didn’t see it yet in myself.

Isn’t that wierd? Or is this just that the signs that my heart is getting out of the box that my brain is trapping it for so long? Now I am not so much worried about productivity anymore, it kinda changes everything. But I realize when I want to do something really productively, that’s when I don’t want to be around people. But even that starts to change too. I used to like being alone by myself, but I feel like now it’s kinda changing too. We’ll see how it goes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walls between us.

I do not know why I do not feel connected with anyone here so far at a deeper level than my skin.

What I have seen so far in the culture of America, especially in the liberal College campus I am living in right now is that they’re trying to promote a culture of intersectionality, of diversity community. I get that, and I don’t have anything against it at all, but all I’ve seen is not the thing I imagine.

Imagine the SAGA cafeteria. There’re lots of round tables in there, with close proximity. Every dinner and lunches people come there and sit together. Well, together. Each table is one subculture of this school. If you’re in one table, then you’re in that subgroup of friends, with close proximity to another subgroup of friends. The distance between two tables is so small, but the distance between two worlds is so big. That’s why some people sit in one table for the rest of their life at college.

Okay I don’t really make sense here but I am trying. Or imagine roomates. Well, roomates are supposed to get to know each others well, I guess? That happens kinda lots in movies I’ve seen. But so far I do not get to know my roomates at all, and all of my attempts to get to know them were met with really lukewarm smiles or fake greets. And on the other hand, they do not try to get to know me, even “nosily” try to get to know me. Not the case back in my high school, or my secondary school at home. I think that I was one of the more silent ones in the class, but in someway or another, at the end we all got to know each other. They even created a “family tree” within each classroom, with a subgroup of friends calling each other moms, dads, daughters and sons. Of courses there are subgroups of “cool kids”, “richer kids”, or “team something”, but I do not see much of a disparity between the people like in here.

Here it is so hard to get to know people. I don’t know why. And when you get to know people, immediately you’re often placed in one “subculture” which makes you even more separated from other subcultures. If you’re between, can you penetrate into each highly organized subculture to get to know people without getting sucked in? Do you know what I’m trying to say?

I feel that wall between us when we’re together. If walls are broken between some people to form a group of friends, another wall is built to separate that group of friends from “the others”. The ones between walls, I assume me, will be like one visitor at the museum, watching people being in the world, their subculture. I may be sitting with those people very closely in my classes, be their roommates, be their classmates, be their students, but after it is done, all is done and we’ll forget each other. I’ll get to know them at the best their daily activities and their plans, but never their thoughts and their souls.

And ironically everywhere in my school, and I guess probably outside of my school too, they’re promoting the world “diversity”. Diversity in what? What I am seeing is a lot of bubbles in close proximity. More diversity means more bubbles enclosed together at a place, I guess? I don’t see diversity in the way I want to see it. I don’t get to know and feel, and be real friends with any, if at all, people here at all than the ones I know at home. I feel separated from them, all of them, all the time. Is this the diversity America is trying to promote? In that sense, we have more diversity in Vietnam. Because I feel like I can get to know more people in different backgrounds at a deeper level, and feel more comfortable “touching” them. Here at this school, I feel like I can’t. I can’t feel the people. I can’t “touch” anyone, and thus can’t let anyone “touch” me. I don’t feel like I can fuse into someone and talk about their problems and my problems. I feel like I cannot touch anyone. I feel like a business, of trying to get to know “friends” with all of the “commercial” questions “How are you!”, “What are you doing”, “What is your plan”, “What’s your class like?”. The kind of responses that indicate they are not interested in letting me know more about them unless I ask for more. The kind of responses that are enough to make us seems like friends but can easily ignore each other the next day. Everyone seems to hide something underneath, and I am not “enough” to get to know that yet. And then all of the sudden, I overheard a very “deep” conversation between two people, and I be like “Wait, he’s my roommate but I can’t know about these things?” Do I lack “social skills”? Am I too dull? Am I not “cool enough”?

Walking between the walls,

Boo.