Scatter-Brained

I am writing this post out of sheer necessity. I’m sitting here at home with so much to do and no idea where to start. My thoughts are racing a million miles a minute. I am at once manic and depressed– a “mixed state”, my psychiatrist calls it. So many things to do, but no means of following through.

I started this post with a million things to talk about, but now I find that my mind is drawing a blank. What is going on? I’ve been taking my meds consistently. Why are my moods and thoughts so out of whack today?

Well, I guess I’ll start off by telling you about my day. I woke up around 10:00am after a restful night of sleep. At least I’ve been getting sleep. I paced around the apartment for a bit, trying to plan out my day. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Eat
  • Do laundry
  • Watch my online lecture
  • Read
  • Prepare for a conference on Friday, for which I will be the moderator
  • Teach a dance fitness class
  • Drive to Santa Barbara

So much to do… But where to start? Well, my stomach is grumbling a little bit, so I guess I should eat. But what to eat? There’s nothing left in the fridge. Guess it’s take-out then. Should I Postmate food, or get my ass out of the house to a restaurant? I think the fresh air will do me good. Fine, restaurant it is.

I decide on Denny’s because it’s close, has wifi, and serves breakfast food. I order pancakes (the healthy 9-grain kind), scrambled eggs, and two sausages. Wolfed down my meal whilst watching my online lecture for this theater class I’m taking. After paying for my meal, I leave and head back home. I turn on the AC because it is BAKING inside. Pace around the apartment yet again… mind racing, what to do, what to do? I have several hours to kill before my dance fitness class at 6:15pm. Gotta be productive between now and then.

I decide to finish  my lecture and homework assignments, because I don’t want to do any schoolwork during my three-day getaway to Santa Barbara (I’m leaving tonight). I’m so excited to see my two good friends, Callista and Cassandra, who are rising seniors at UCSB. They’re picking me up at 8pm tonight.

Oh snap! I need clean clothes for the trip! Guess it’s time to do laundry. So I grab some quarters, two tide pods, and lug my bulky bag of dirty clothes to the 1st floor laundry room. The timer went off about ten minutes ago, as I was in the middle of writing this post, so I guess I should go grab my clothes now. Be right back!

Hey y’all, I’m back! Okay. Where were we?

I think the main thing that’s consuming my mind right now is this guy I’ve been seeing for the past week and a half (read my previous post for deets). It saddens me to say that there has been trouble in paradise. I hesitate to reveal all, just because I want to respect his privacy. But in short, the first five days of our “relationships” (if you can even call it that) were nothing short of magical. I’ve never experienced such passion, intensity, and lust for another human being. He was all I thought about all day, and we were spending almost all our time together. He showered me with love and affection and attention, and I, having never experienced anything close to what he showed me, was completely enamored. We were taking things very fast, in part because of the unusual state of our situation (we met three weeks before my departure from LA, so as you could imagine, there is a bit of a time crunch). The past few days were a little bit shaky, though, for reasons I won’t get into. We met up yesterday to talk it out, and though I feel a little bit better after our honest conversation, a part of me is still uneasy. Anyway, we decided that a little bit of distance would do us both good, as it would prepare us for the ultimate distance we’d face when I go back to the Bay. So for the next couple days, while I’m in Santa Barbara, we aren’t allowed to call or text each other. Then I’ll see him Friday night when I return.

Honestly, maybe that’s why I feel like I’m going crazy right now. I want to contact him so badly, just to hear his voice, or to know that he’s thinking about me, because I’m sure as hell thinking about him.

What else, what else? There’s just so much on my mind right now. Like the fact that I feel so uncultured, even after three years at UCLA. I have my degree, but what is it worth, if I can’t even carry on a simple conversation about politics? I certainly need to read more books, lest I wish to appear a fool every time I open my mouth.

I recently finished a book about bipolar disorder. The book, written in comic form, was truly enlightening and helped me gain a deeper understanding of my illness. It explained a lot of my past erratic behaviors, which made me feel slightly less ashamed about my past actions.

God. Bipolar sucks. You make a million plans when you’re manic, then fail to follow through on any of them when you’re depressed. It fucking sucks. Just gotta learn how to manage and maintain stability. But do I even want to be stable? I love my hypomanias. I love how creative and energetic and confident I feel when I’m high. Stability comes at the cost of such highs. Am I willing to pay that price? I’m still deciding for myself. But that’s a silly internal argument to have. Of course stability is something I want in life! That’s the whole reason why I’m going back home– to get better treatment and ultimately manage my illness.

Okay guys. I feel just a little bit better after writing this post. I’ll talk to you all soon!

 

 

 

Best,

Belicia

A Budding Romance…

Hey guys! Long time no talk, how are y’all doing?

Lots of big changes happening in my life lately. For one, I am moving back to the Bay Area on August 26, so I’m spending my last couple weeks in LA working, taking classes, and enjoying this beautiful city.

Another big change– I met a guy! It was Saturday, August 3, four days ago. For privacy’s sake, I will call him “John”. On Saturday night, I was hanging out with some friends at a bar in Koreatown, where I met John. We hit it off right away. Little did I know how much time I’d spend with him during the next three days! We hung out Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. So literally every day. We’ve been texting and calling each other on the phone, and it’s been absolutely thrilling, knowing that someone is actually this interested in me!

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why on EARTH would I even think of starting a relationship (it would be my first one) a few weeks before I move back home? I could honestly ask myself the same thing. I had no idea how well I’d get along with this guy, and how much we seem to like each other and enjoy each other’s company. For now, that’s enough. I’m just taking it day-by-day, reveling in each moment spent with John. He just graduated from USC’s MBA program and is working on a startup. He was also a Bruin, graduating with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Smart dude and super funny.

I was supposed to meet John tonight for a date– we were going to go to Topanga Canyon Viewpoint at night to enjoy the view. Sadly, he had to cancel because he was getting sick and didn’t want to get me sick either. I think a little time spent apart would be nice as well, since we’ve been seeing each other a LOT these past few days. After all, distance does build desire…

Man. I’ve never fallen for a guy this fast, and a part of me knows I’m playing a dangerous game and will very likely get hurt at the end. The fact that I’m leaving so soon complicates things and is a big reason why we are seeing each other so frequently. My friend told me about a friend of hers who met her now-husband very shortly before he moved to Alaska. Once he moved, they did long-distance for five years before getting married! Now, I am in no way implicating that John and I will get married– although who knows? Life is wondrous sometimes and you never know what’s gonna happen!

Welp, whatever happens will happen for a reason. No use in worrying about an unforeseen future. Just gotta take it day by day and enjoy the limited time I have left with John! And it’s not like I’m moving overseas. I’m only a 7-hr drive away, and if this ends up going further, I’m sure we could somehow make it work.

Alrighty folks, I gotta go get ready to celebrate my friend’s 22nd bday! Going to the store to grab some cake, and we’re going to celebrate at midnight.

Toodles!

 

 

– Belicia

Gap Year Blog Series: Day 20

Hello everyone! Happy almost-hump-day! It’s currently 2:46pm on this sunny Tuesday afternoon. No class today, just work in the evening. I woke up at 8am and had a great morning workout with my friend Anna, who is a UCLA gymnast. It was really cool seeing how UCLA gymnasts train. The workout was undoubtedly intense, but not as unbearable as I anticipated it to be! Oh, another thing– I saw this cute guy in a yellow shirt in the weights room this morning, and if my eyes don’t deceive me, I believe I caught him glancing over at me a couple times? Once as I was working out, and once as I was leaving the gym. Oh, what a feeling that was. But no matter, nothing is coming of it, as I’m leaving LA in a couple months, on September 14th. No point in stirring up romance where it doesn’t belong.

One of my goals for this gap year (and life in general) is to take better care of my physical health, which means getting back in shape. Having graduated college, I no longer can pull the same old excuse of “oh, I’m studying all the time so I can’t work out”. I am now more committed than ever to accomplish my long-term goal of getting fit, and gaining back my pre-college toned physique. Later today, I’ll be working out again at around 5pm, after which I will teach an hour-long dance fitness class at UCLA’s gym. I find that two-a-day’s (aka working out twice a day) works really well for me.

So what else have I been up to, since I last spoke to y’all? Well, my job at the figure skating rink is really taking off. I recently started teaching a rhythmic gymnastics class at the rink, and the girls seem to be loving it! My Saturday 11:50am class is super big– 10 little girls in a small off-ice area twirling ribbons, bouncing balls, and spinning hoops. And I have to oversee it all. Definitely NOT an easy task, but as long as they’re enjoying, that’s all that matters. Clientele is really building up for me. Word got out that there was a new stretching/rhythmic gymnastics coach at the rink (aka me), and a lot of parents have been hitting me up for lessons. Oh, how it breaks my heart that I must leave them so soon! Indeed, my decision to move back home in September was not an easy one. But I know I must put my mental health first, and if going home to gain access to better and more accessible mental health care is what it takes, then return home I must. Even if it means giving up a great job at the rink, as well as my job as a dance fitness instructor.

Alrighty, guys. Time to get some studying done before heading to the gym. I’ll talk to you guys soon!

 

 

 

XOXO,

Belicia

Gap Year Blog Series: Day 9

Hey guys! Happy hump day / day-before-July-4th!

I’m actually sitting in class as I begin today’s post. The lecture is not particularly engaging, and the material is nothing I do not already know. So here I am, passing time by writing this post!

Life is really good. Busy, but good. I’m taking classes and working full-time at the skating rink and school gym. Taught my first dance fitness class yesterday, and I think it went really well! Turnout wasn’t super big, but that’s to be expected, as many students are gone for the summer. Plus, it’s the week of the 4th of July, and some people are out of town. As for my skating rink job, I’m getting a lot of new clients who are demanding private lessons in stretching, conditioning, ballet, and even rhythmic gymnastics! There’s one mom in the rink who is super desperate for her kid to get flexible. She’s been demanding private lessons three times a week and giving me a detailed list for things to work on with her kid. Talk about a crazy skating mom! But she’s also been really helpful in spreading the word about my services, and because of her I’ve been gaining more students, which is great for me.

Mental health-wise, I’m doing pretty well. While I’m very busy, I don’t feel super stressed, as really do enjoy work, and my classes are not too difficult. I finally picked up the phone and scheduled a therapy appointment, which will happen on July 18. If this therapist specializes in bipolar disorder, that would be ideal, as I’m very eager to learn more about my illness and how best to cope with it. I read somewhere that it takes at least 10 years before people with bipolar can find a medication and behavioral regimen that works to keep their moods stable. Lots of trial and error in the process, and I was only diagnosed about two years ago, so I still am a long ways away from stability. Sometimes, though, I wonder if gaining mental stability is worth the cost of giving up my hypomanic episodes. For it’s when I am in my states of mania that I feel the most energized, creative, and passionate. Maybe that’s the illness talking… but the fact is, when I am on my highs, I am able to do what most normal people cannot.

I am currently on a 30-day sober cleanse, meaning I am not touching alcohol for at least 30 days. I think it’s about day 6 or 7 now. Honestly, cutting alcohol out of my life has been the best decision I’ve made in a long time! My liver will surely thank me for it! It was definitely hard at first, resisting the temptation to go out to the bars with friends and drink. I remember laying in my bed at 10pm on a Friday night, feeling such FOMO because I had decided to stay in that night. The next night I also stayed in, and the next, and the next. Slowly but surely, that nagging temptation to go out grew smaller and smaller, until now, on day 7 of the cleanse, I no longer have the desire to engage in nightlife! Go me!

Alrighty guys. I’m about to study, so I shall bid you all farewell. Until next time!

 

 

XOXO,

Belicia

Gap Year Blog Series: Day 5

Hey y’all! How are y’all doing? It’s currently 11:55pm on this Sunday night. I actually just got back from a date, which I think went pretty well! Summer classes start tomorrow– though I graduated class of 2019 and was able to walk the ceremony, I still have two more requirements to complete before I can receive my official diploma. I am taking Physiological Sciences 5 and Theater 120A, the former being my last GE, and the latter being a random upper division class to fulfill required units.

Today was pretty chill. It was my last day of “vacation” before work and classes ramp up. I took a beginner jazz funk class at Edge Performing Arts Center, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I’m in the process of reading “A Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde, which is a book I’ve always wanted to read. At around 8:00pm, I went on a nice and wholesome dinner date with a guy named Gilbert. He was really sweet, and we ended the night on my rooftop, enjoying the view. While the date went well, I don’t know if I like him enough to see him again. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.

This week is going to be extremely busy. I was called for jury duty on Tuesday, June 25, which means I’ll have to fly back to the Bay on Monday– aka, tomorrow night. I’m going to call in tomorrow and see if I need to go to jury duty, or if I can possibly be exempted. If I have to go to jury duty, I would have classes Monday from 11am-4pm, then fly home at 8pm, have jury duty all day Tuesday, then fly back to LA Tuesday night at 10pm. I have classes again on Wednesday, as well as my first day of work as a dance fitness instructor. Thursday I have work all day at the figure skating rink. Then, on Thursday night at 11pm, my best friend and I are taking a bus back to the Bay, where we will hang out until Sunday. So yeah, rough week ahead. Really hope I don’t need to do jury duty, LOL.

All right, time to head to bed, even though I am not the slightest bit tired. I’ll talk to you guys soon!

 

 

 

 

XOXO,

Belicia

Meeting the “Dancing with the Stars” Pro’s

Hey guys! I have some exciting tea to spill!

Yesterday, I took a Latin ballroom dance workshop at the esteemed LA dance studio, Playground LA. The workshop was hosted by none other than Dancing with the Stars professionals Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna (Johnson) Chmerkovskiy! Also there were professionals Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Peta Murgatroyd, and Alan Bersten. I was fangirling so freaking hard and managed to say hello to all of the dancers! I even got to dance with Alan Bersten briefly! The highlight of the workshop (besides learning the awesome cha-cha dance) was when Maks gave me a hug and kiss on the cheek, after I waved at him maniacally and gave him a high-five.

I was a little bit sad when it came time for groups to perform. Jenna hand-picked ladies from the class to perform for the camera, and I really wanted to do it. I thought I was good enough to perform in front of everyone. However, Jenna didn’t pick me. I want to believe it was just because she didn’t see me in the crowd. But my insecurities set in, and I wondered if it was maybe because I wasn’t good enough, or didn’t have the “look” to be in front of a camera. Oh well… I’m still grateful for learning the dance and having a blast!

It’s 8:50am right now. I woke up early in the morning and started crying because it finally hit me that I have graduated college! They were bittersweet tears of relief, nostalgia, and fresh fear of the uncertainty that the future holds. I still can’t believe college flew by, just like that. It was such a roller coaster, but I honestly would not change a single thing– even the lowest lows– because all these moments have shaped me into the person I am today.

I don’t have much planned for today, other than attending another dance workshop at Playground. It’s a heels dance workshop at 4pm, taught by celebrity dancer Marissa Heart. Super excited!

Alrighty, friends. Time for me to do some reading. I’m gonna pick up the book A Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I started the book but never ended up finishing it. Man. When was the last time I even read a book, cover to cover? It’s been too long! Okay, I’ll talk to you guys soon!

 

 

 

 

XOXO,

Belicia

Gap Year Blog Series: Day 1

Good afternoon, everyone! It’s currently 1:36pm on this cloudy Tuesday morning. Had a pretty productive morning– fit in a run and a workout earlier, learned some new dance choreography via my good friend YouTube, and called maintenance over to fix our clogged kitchen sink.

Gap years are often called “growth” years. It’s not a time to just screw around and waste your life away. Yes, of course, a big reason why students take gap years is to relax and recharge after experiencing burnout from undergrad. But a gap year should also be a time to grow yourself in some dimension, whether it’s traveling the world, gaining professional work experience, or focusing on personal passion projects. The way I see it, a gap year is a form of education in itself. It’s an out-of-classroom learning experience. A transition from student life to post-grad life. Oftentimes, when you are stuck in the insular environment of college for 3-4 years, you tend to lose sight of the fact that there is indeed a world beyond classes, exams, drinking, partying, and hook-up culture. I definitely lost perspective on the bigger picture. I also lost a big part of myself while at UCLA– the self-disciplined, focused, passionate Belicia who worked hard each day for her goals. A big part of my gap year will be devoted to getting back on track, straightening myself out, cutting out the bad habits and temptations, and living my best life once more. Heck, I’m thinking of rejoining the Mormon church, so I can be surrounded by a wholesome community who will help me get back on track.

I found that I’ve been writing less and less frequently on this blog, especially these past two academic quarters. That lack of daily self-reflection has honestly taken a toll on my well-being. I am no longer living with a calming sense of clarity. I feel like I don’t really know who I am anymore, as I am so different from the person I used to be, before UCLA. Some of that change is good, but some of it is really toxic and unhealthy. For instance, my lifestyle. I’ve gained a considerable amount of weight from stress-eating and not exercising every day and drinking/partying too much. I am currently in the worst shape of my life, both physically and mentally. It’s easy to point to college and college culture as the scapegoat, but really, all of my actions and choices were in my control this whole time. It’s my fault I chose to go down a toxic path, and it’s up to me and only me to change my direction.

Warren Buffett once said, “Write down your top 25 goals. Draw a circle around your top 5. Focus on those, and say no to the rest.” Here are my top 5 goals for my “growth” year.

  1. Live a healthier lifestyle. This means getting back my physical shape, cutting out alcohol, meditating, doing yoga, sleeping early and waking up early, and staying away from toxic people who don’t serve me.
  2. Take care of mental illness. Meaning, finding a bipolar specialist and attending regular therapy sessions. Staying on my meds. Practicing mindfulness meditation every day for 20 minutes. Checking in with myself regularly to see if I’m doing okay.
  3. Get back into dancing. I think I started losing myself the minute I stopped dancing as a hobby. I miss the feeling of getting hooked onto a passion and waking up each morning with intention and eagerness to continue improving. As scary as it may be, I think I need to get back into Latin ballroom dancing to feel like myself once more.
  4. Become financially independent. My dad is retiring next week, which means I need to start supporting myself. I need to pay my own rent, at the very least, and cut down on unnecessary spending.
  5. Continue writing. Voraciously. This is a given. I love writing so much, and like with dance, once I stop writing regularly, I feel like a big part of me is missing. I’m actually planning on writing a book (I know, it’s been my goal for a long long time). And now that I’m out of college, I will finally have time to do so! I’d say, working on the book for an hour or two a day is enough to get started.

So, there you have it! My top 5 goals for the immediate and long-term future. I will make it my purpose during this growth year to tackle these goals, and ultimately get back to living my best life. I’m getting started today– I’ll be taking a Latin ballroom dance workshop taught by Val and Jenna from Dancing with the Stars! Super pumped to meet and learn from such great dancers. I’m sure I will walk away super inspired!

I’ll talk to you guys later. Happy Tuesday and keep on growing each day!

 

 

 

XOXO,

Belicia