Lonely Nights

Hi guys. I hope you all are having a good Monday night. One day down, four days to go! Y’all got this!

I wish I could say I was doing well… but I’m not. Not tonight. I tried going to bed early at 10:30pm, but couldn’t fall asleep. I was feeling… lonely. Lost in my negative thoughts surrounding all the drama that’s been happening in my life lately. Fighting the depression. Gosh, whenever I find myself with too much free time on my hands, I get depressed. It’s been a consistent pattern for the past four years or so. Obviously there is so much I can do with my time… read a book. Study Chinese. Go to the gym. Dance. But that motivation is lacking… I’m ambitious, but lately, I’ve been lacking the follow-through, which concerns me. A part of me is excited for the school year to begin, as I will be busy once more, and I won’t have time to ruminate on negative thoughts.

It’s so bad– lately, I’ve been experiencing a constant urge to party and lose myself in reckless abandon. Whenever I am not clubbing or going out with friends, I feel… empty. A long stretch from the girl who used to study flashcards in her room for fun.

I sometimes feel like my life went to shit the moment I stopped dancing competitively. The choice was mine, of course. I was disillusioned with the ballroom dance world, and felt the need to take a break from the politics and drama surrounding the industry. However, I will say this: dancing gave me goals to work towards. I found it immensely fulfilling to see my continuous improvement. The time when I was dancing most, I was also the happiest I have been in my life. I feel that, if I return to competitive dancing, I will find fulfillment and meaning in my life once more. At the very least, I’ll be getting consistent exercise, and stay out of mischief.

It’s interesting. Whenever I write, I feel better, almost immediately. Tonight, I cried, as I was trying to go to sleep. I felt a mixture of emotions. Shame… Regret… Disappointment in myself. I prayed to God to help me through this difficult time. I even prayed to my late grandmother and late godmother, both of whom are watching over me from above. I know they would not be proud of the person I’ve become, as of late. And no one could be more disappointed than myself.

I miss high school, sometimes. I was a very different person. A better person. Focused. Disciplined beyond my years. Mature. Goal-oriented. Stable. I had so much potential and promise of success. I really hope that I can get back to that state I used to be in. No more mischief, wasting time, fooling around. I must get back on track.

Alright, it’s time to face my demons again. Time to let sleep come to me… blissful, sweet sleep. The only time I can be at peace. I wake up, and my overactive mind instantly turns to anxious and negative mode. I really need to see a therapist.

 

 

 

Belicia

Stripping My Life of Toxicity

Hey friends! Hope you all are doing well. I know I haven’t been writing daily, as I have promised in the past, and I apologize for that.

My life of late has been… quite crazy, indeed. Beyond my philosophy class, which I am doing surprisingly well in, considering that I don’t understand 90% of what goes on in class, I’ve been hanging out with a new crowd that I met at– get this– a strip club!

I’m not sure if I mentioned this in any previous blog posts, but a few weeks ago, my friends and I decided to go to a male strip club, just for the experience. Little did I know what would happen to me, that fateful night. Basically, one of the male strippers saw me dancing, and wanted to recruit me into a ladies Burlesque dance group that he was managing. We exchanged contact info, and I met his other friends, including the other manager, whom I will call Haley, who was in charge of the ladies portion of the group (the entire group is comprised of male and female subgroups).

Before I knew it, I was officially recruited into the group. Let me be clear– this is basically a stripping group. In the beginning, I was under the impression that the group was strictly dance-based– no stripping involved. I was wrong. But, I made it clear to Haley that I wasn’t comfortable stripping or giving lap dances, and she said that was fine.

There is no denying that the men of the group are… hot. Very, very attractive. And really great at their job, which is to seduce woman with flattery and affection. Unfortunately, I was one of those women. There were two men in the group in particular– whom I will call Trey and Matt– who sweet-talked their way into my heart. And I was dumb enough to believe that they actually liked me in an intimate way. The following is a personal piece I wrote last night, when I realized that their so-called “affection” was all an act:

My heart is a little bit heavy. Just kidding. It’s a LOT  heavy. Basically, Matt played me. He made me believe he liked me, when in reality, it was all a big fat joke for him. A way to stroke his ego. And Trey did the exact same thing. He even told me Matt liked me. As did Haley! I sometimes wonder if it was all a part of a grand ol’ scheme to manipulate me into staying in the group, or something. Well, if it was, it certainly failed, because now I’m not sure if I wish to stay in the Burlesque group at all.  It’s not just the fact that Trey/Matt hurt me. It’s the fact that I don’t agree with the lifestyle and culture of the stripping industry. It completely goes against my long-standing morals. Seducing women/men for money? Treating them as nothing but ATM machines, rather than actual human beings with emotions? Toss a little wink here and a caress there, and expect to earn a buck or two? Gosh, I would never be a part of something as objectifying and superficial as that. Then again… a part of me is intrigued, with the possibility of making good money, as Trey promised (which is probably just a lie, like everything he’s said in the past). More than that, though, I love the feeling of being flattered and accepted into a group. Everyone in the group (at surface level) has been so welcoming. The boys are really good at charming their way into women’s hearts. Which, unfortunately, is what happened with me. I succumbed. I fell victim to their manipulative, sweet seductive words… words that mean nothing at all. But maybe a part of me is holding on to the fantasy. When I’m around them, I can pretend that they actually like me, which of course is too good to be true in real life. Gosh, I’m so stupid. As Natalie so eloquently added, it’s “all practice for the big show”. Terrible. This is why I hate this industry. There’s no such thing as real, genuine intimacy. It’s all a game, to these guys. If there’s one thing I learned from all this, it’s this– I’d better watch out for guys like Trey and Matt in the future. Sure, they’re hot, and boy do they fucking know it. They also really like their egos stroked, as do most men (and sometimes women, too). So they try to make every woman fall in love with them… for no real purpose, really, other than to feel good about themselves. It’s sickening. Guys like them… they lack maturity and integrity, at least when it comes to the realm of intimacy. I remember something my dad told me, a long time ago: “Never go for the guy everyone is after.” They can have anyone they want, and they know it. So who are you to them, at the end of the day? Just a statistic. Another girl on their long list to fuck and conquer. There’s nothing personal about it, at all. I was a fool to believe Matt could actually like me. And it’s not a reflection of my own character or beauty. It’s the fact that Matt is INCAPABLE of loving and experiencing deep emotional connection… not in his line of work. And Trey. Bitch, don’t even get me started about that FLAKE, that WOMANIZER, that PLAYER. I swear, that boy can sweet-talk his way into any woman’s beating heart. Trey was the guy I was going for in the beginning. I fell for him that first night at the strip club, and was dumb enough to believe all the empty promises Trey made to me. He’d call me and shower me with affection and promises of intimacy and fun together. It was a sweet fantasy… but don’t worry Trey, I’ve seen the light. And I’m done with you, for good. I don’t want you anymore. If I do decide to keep my name on the Burlesque roster, my relationship with you will be strictly professional. Same goes for basically every man on the team. Professional. Drama-free. No strings attached. Natalie is right. The best way to exact revenge is to show them how good I am at what I do. To SHINE on that stage and fucking kill it. Show them that I’m not to be messed with. Make them BOW to me, then CRUSH EM’ like a bug. Ok, that was a little extreme… but you get what I mean. I want them to hurt, the way they hurt me. Maybe that’s not the healthiest attitude, though. No. I want to be the bigger person. If I try to hurt them back, it shows that I actually care. They don’t deserve my mental energy. They just don’t deserve it. So I won’t give it to them, simple as that!”

So, there you have it. I’m ready to cut out all the toxic bullshit from my life. Not necessary. I need to surround myself with people who will bring out the best in me. People who build me up, instead of tearing me down. People who make me feel comfortable in my own skin, instead of insecure.

Alrighty, guys. Thanks for reading! I’ll talk to you soon.

 

 

 

Best,

Belicia

Life Update: 9/6/18

Hey folks! Long time no talk! I hope you all have been well and are enjoying the last days of summer.

My life of late has been… interesting. I had some childhood friends come visit me over the long weekend, and I took them to their first clubbing event (I know, I broke the no partying rule… but this was a special occasion!). I also took them to a strip club– yes, you heard me right. A couple weeks ago, my girlfriends and I went to our first male strip club EVER. The show was, let’s just say… entertaining, to say the least. I received more than one lap dance from the strippers when they came out into the audience, which was an interesting experience. I actually ended up befriending one of the strippers and his friends, and get this– after watching me dance, they wanted me to be a part of a ladies’ burlesque dance group, managed by one of the strippers himself. This is a legitimate group that will tour cities around the US and get paid for their shows. The fact that they thought I’d be an asset to the group (which is comprised of some very sexy ladies), is honestly so dumbfounding. I’ve never seen myself as “sexy”, not in the least. I guess that self-perception is outdated. Either way, I haven’t committed fully to the group, as there is no way I could fit it into my busy student life. Still, the idea of joining remains intriguing… If I did still want to be a professional dancer, I’d see this as a window of an opportunity. But, alas, that dream has faded.

Anyway, where was I? Ahh, yes. I took my friends to that same strip club this weekend, where I watched the show for a second time. I was happy to see that my friends enjoyed the show, and received their first lap dances!

How are summer classes going, you may ask? Well, philosophy is still difficult as ever… but we’re almost done! Our grades are comprised of three papers, 10 reading responses, and participation points. We’ve completed 2 papers already. I was disappointed with my grade on the first paper– 88%. The class average was a B, which meant I scored higher than the mean. Apparently the highest grade our TA gave the class of 40 was an A-. He’s a tough grader, that one. I’m eager to see how I did on paper #2, since I worked quite hard to perfect it. Now, I’m working on paper #3. I had a productive morning, completing 3.5 of the required 4-6 pages. Our paper outline is due tomorrow, but I submitted the assignment yesterday. Peer review due September 13, and final paper due next Friday, the 14th.

I’ll be going home on the 15th with the same childhood friends who came to visit me last weekend. They were nice enough to have offered to pick me up in LA, then drive me all the way home (we’re actually neighbors in Redwood Shores!).

In other news, I’m currently living between two different apartments– my summer apartment and my school year apartment. Due to poor planning on my part, my two leases overlapped. The summer apartment’s lease ends September 15th, while the school year apartment lease began August 24th. I’ve been staying mostly in the school year apartment, since my best friends live there, and it’s fun having their close company.

The depression has been acting up a little bit. I woke up today feeling reluctant to get out of bed, but eventually mustered the strength to do so. I found that keeping an “Accomplishments” list, and filling it out throughout the day, really helps me keep up the positivity and motivation. Already today, I’ve accomplished the following:

  1. woke up before 9am
  2. worked out in the morning at the apartment gym
  3. bought a pair of dancing heels, for only $15!
  4. worked hard on my paper

At 1:30pm, I’ll head to the ice skating rink for the first time in over a month. I’m eager to get back into skating and improve as much as I can before the school year begins.

I was supposed to go to Toastmasters today and give a prepared speech. However, I chickened out, using skating as an excuse to forgo the meeting. I went to Toastmasters last week, and delivered a very shaky one-minute impromptu speech, which honestly shook my confidence in public speaking. I know I should have picked myself back up after the terrifying experience, and bravely continued on my conquest to overcome my fear of public speaking. But I didn’t. Which makes me very ashamed of myself… I promise, though, next week, no matter how afraid I may be, I will go to that meeting. I must commit, in order to see change. It’ll happen, guys, and I’ll make sure to keep you posted on my progress.

As for dance, I’m still taking a break from Latin ballroom, and am moving on to other styles, like jazz and heels. If my schedule allows, I will be taking a heels dance lesson tonight at 8:30pm.

I might actually have a date later today! But we will see, because the guy I am seeing is unusually busy. I’ll update you guys later on how it goes (if it happens, that is).

I hope y’all have a great rest of the day!

 

 

 

Best,

Belicia

Where I’m At, and Where I Wanna Go

Hey y’all! Today is Tuesday, August 21, 2018. Can’t believe summer is ending so soon. Seems like just yesterday we were rounding out the 2017-2018 academic year. In some ways, I really wish I had been more productive this summer, in terms of personal and professional development. I had planned on studying intensively for the GRE, but my momentum for that quickly fizzled out. For shame, Belicia, for shame. I also had planned on brushing up on my Mandarin Chinese, since I’ll be taking Chinese this coming academic year. I studied one chapter every three days for about a couple weeks; then I got a really bad flu and lost all my studying momentum. I had also hoped to get back in shape. I can’t say that goal went totally unfulfilled, as I have indeed lost a bit of weight since the beginning of summer. But I had hoped for more progress. Figure skating was going great for the months of July and August, but once summer school started, I stopped skating regularly because of time constraints.

The one thing about this summer I am happy with is the fact that I was able to evade depression, for the most part. Every summer since junior year of high school has been rough. When I find myself want of a structured schedule and things to do, the dark cloud of depression resurfaces. Of course, it’s easy to then point to a logical solution– just keep yourself busy in the long summer months! But that’s the same thing as telling a person with a broken foot, “Just start walking!” Depression is an illness. There are times when its effects are less magnified than others. Even when you may not necessarily feel depressed, your illness is still there. Certain environmental factors may trigger the depression like a switch. For me, it’s summer (and, most recently, winter) vacation that turns on my depression. It’s not enough for me to simply fill my day top to bottom with activities and pray for depression to steer clear of my soul. Don’t get me wrong– keeping busy will surely help mitigate the effects of depression. But it’s definitely not an end-all-be-all solution. Nothing really is. There’s no such thing as a magic pill to cure depression. Likewise, you could have an entire arsenal of coping mechanisms for depression– mindfulness, meditation, positive thinking, etc.– and still not be 100% cured. My goal at this point is not to find a cure for depression. I simply need to manage the illness, so it doesn’t cause too many ripples in my daily life. I need to be able to stay as productive as I can, with the depression weighing down on me.

Speaking of productivity and working towards my goals… I thought today’s post would be a good chance for me to evaluate where I’m at in terms of professional development, and compare that to where I hope to be.

So I’m currently going into my third year at UCLA. In all honesty, I haven’t done nearly enough for professional development as I should have. A big part of that reason is because I spent most of my first two years at UCLA figuring out my path. Up until my sophomore year of college, I thought I wanted to become a professional dancer. For a while, I operated with a “get college over with so I can move on to dance” kind of mindset. All around me, I’d see my friends working in labs, getting summer internships, becoming learning assistants, working on campus, joining pre-professional fraternities, and I’d think to myself, none of this really applies to me, since I’m going to be a dancer. Which was, in retrospect, a terrible mindset to have– especially in college, when there are SO many resources for students to snatch. It’s really a shame I didn’t bother with any of the professional development and leadership stuff during my first two years. Don’t get me wrong– I did get involved in extracurriculars I enjoyed, including dance (ballroom and hip hop), the Daily Bruin, and HOOLIGAN Theater. I briefly worked at Bruin Cafe, mainly for the experience. But I feel as though I sold myself short. I never bothered pursuing leadership positions in the clubs I was involved in. At my lowest point, I was anxious and depressed, and my relationship with UCLA was strained, as I didn’t quite understand why my parents weer paying so much money to be at university, if I wanted to be a dancer.

Then came the enlightenment. I realized that a dance career was not truly what I wanted for myself. So I was no longer able to use the dance card as an excuse to avoid everything I really should have been doing in college– fostering relationships with professors, going to professional development workshops, taking on leadership roles, etc.

And now, here I am. Hungry to press the gas pedal and start down the road of self-improvement. I realize that I’ve fallen behind in comparison to many of my peers. And if you knew me, you’d know one thing– I HATE being at the bottom of the pack. Then again, I must look at my path leading me to my current point. In addition to being on a totally different career track than the one I’m on now, I struggled a lot with mental illness during my first two years at UCLA. It took just about everything in my power to keep from crashing, let alone do well in class and take on leadership positions. I have to say, to have come this far with the grades I’ve achieved is an accomplishment in itself. Now it’s time to keep on improving.

Here are some things I hope to accomplish by the time I leave UCLA:

  • become a seasoned public speaker through consistent practice at Bruin Toastmasters and speech and debate club
  • work at a job that emphasizes leadership (New Student Advisor, Bruin Ambassador, Undergraduate Learning Assistant, campus tour guide, editor for Daily Bruin)
  • continue pursuing my love for dance, and share that passion with others through teaching (maybe I can become a licensed dance instructor and teach a ballroom/jazz fusion class at John Wooden Center!)
  • form relationships with my professors. That means, at the very least, making my presence known to them. Go to office hours; participate in class; perhaps even join a research lab!
  • become much more confident in social situations. Rushing a social sorority may be a cool out-of-comfort experience. Again, taking on leadership positions will definitely help me develop a confident public persona. Even going to parties (sober, of course) will challenge my social anxiety.

You see, there are so many things I long to do before my short time at UCLA is over! I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of my bucket list. I had originally planned on graduating UCLA in 3 years instead of 4, just because I could. Now, I’m strongly rethinking that plan. Why would I ever deprive myself of a year of immense growth, opportunity, learning, and friendship? It’s an expensive year, yes… but the kinds of experience and connections you make in college are priceless. Besides, I’m thinking about double majoring in Psych and English! Believe it or not, I’ve never had formal training in writing. College is the perfect time for me to hone my craft and develop my voice under brilliant mentors.

So, here’s my college journey thus far in a nutshell. I got off to an excellent start. Did well in school. Made lots of friends. Partook in extracurriculars I enjoyed. Had so much potential. Hit a road bump when I began questioning what I really wanted to do in life. Several more road bumps ensued. Mental health suffered. Too much partying. Bad attitude. All this and more led me to put professional development and other things of import on hold, while I struggled to get back on track. Now, finally, I’ve found my direction again. And I have two more years to develop myself further. I’m on track. I’m fine. Everything is going to be just fine.

 

Why I’m Done With Partying

Hey friends! It’s Monday today– oh, the most glorious day of the week. I hope y’all are doing well.

I’m currently sitting inside Kerckhoff coffee shop, listening to some Camila Cabello while writing this post. My stomach hurts– I just swallowed a classic breakfast sandwich whole. It was my first meal of the day, but now I’m regretting eating it so fast. Anyway, onto today’s topic– why I’m done with the partying lifestyle.

So here’s the deal with college culture– partying is huge. More so in some schools than others. But generally, partying is just something that most college students do, when they leave home for the first time and have the freedom to do as they wish.

Surprisingly, I didn’t party much my first year of college. I was still pre-med then, and the academic rigor of my science classes didn’t leave much time for going out. Even without partying, I was able to find outlets to release stress. Dance was a big part of my freshman year. So was writing.

Then came sophomore year. I switched my major to psychology and jumped off the intense pre-medical track. Without the pressure of medical school looming over me, I didn’t feel the need to study as hard. I had a lot more free time to hang out with friends. Thus began my partying adventures. Once or twice a week, my girlfriends and I would head to the night clubs or frat houses and lose ourselves in reckless abandon. Was it fun at first? Yes. It definitely was a new experience. I soon grew to enjoy dancing with my friends amidst the booming music and flashing lights. As a dancer, I especially enjoyed dancing in the middle of circles, with strangers cheering me on as I busted out my moves. It was on the dance floor that I felt at home. I was hooked.

Here’s the thing, though. It’s fine to have a little fun now and then. But when you’re consistently going out to parties, the whole experience loses its initial luster. You wake up the next morning, head pounding from a nasty hangover, wondering why the heck you went so hard the previous night. And more than that, you wonder, what was the point of it all? Sure, bonding with friends is fun. But there are surely more wholesome, healthy ways to spend time with friends. Activities that don’t involve alcohol.

That’s the main thing– alcohol. It is so, so accessible to college students. Too accessible. Drinking isn’t just a thing people do on occasion, to celebrate the end of finals– it’s inextricably tied to college culture. People drink before parties (we call this “pregaming”). People drink at parties. People drink to drown their sorrows. It’s out of control.

I never thought I’d be one to partake in such behavior. But, low and behold, I did. And now, here I am, going into my junior year at UCLA. I’ve had my fair share of the “college experience”. But the whole wild-child scene has honestly become jaded. I want to be on my A-game, at all times. And drinking/partying inevitably throws you off your game. Clarity of mind is the first to go. So is productivity. I just wonder… what good does partying do? I can have fun in other more conducive ways. Dance. Figure skating. Writing. Hiking. Watching films. Eating at new and exotic restaurants. Even casual dating! Things like that!

I totally understand the need to let loose once in a while, especially when you’re stressed with academics. And it’s hard to be the only one to stay home, when all of your friends are going out. You may feel as though you’re missing out on the fun.

But I’ve already experienced my fair share of transitory “fun”. I am ready to leave that kind of toxic lifestyle behind. Close that brief chapter of my life. Work towards a better me.

So there you have it. My little spiel on why I no longer wish to party.

Have a great rest of the week!

 

 

 

Belicia

Social Anxiety Update 8/18/18

Hi guys! Happy Saturday!

As promised, I will be posting a weekly social anxiety update for y’all– primarily to hold myself accountable to my goal of becoming more confident in social situations.

I definitely gave my anxiety a hard blow to the face this week. On Thursday, I went to a Bruin Toastmasters meeting, where I volunteered to give a 3-minute impromptu speech about what I would be doing the coming weekend. While I stumbled my way through the cold speech, lacing it with my fair share of filler words, I am proud of myself for facing my public speaking anxiety head on that day. Each time I look fear in the eye, I grow a little bit more confident. Slowly but surely, the fear will relinquish its power over me, until one day, the once gripping fear becomes nothing. A mere afterthought. I signed up to give a prepared speech for the next meeting on September 6. I’m looking forward to seeing how I carry myself in such a situation.

Another way in which I battled my social anxiety this week was by attending a party hosted by my two friends on the UCLA gymnastics team. Together with some other members of the UCLA gymnastics team, we watched the USA gymnastics national championships. The reason why this party was a social challenge is because I hardly knew anyone there, save for my two friends. The rest of the party attendees were girls on the UCLA gymnastics team, including one of my all-time idols, Kyla Ross. Having been a gymnast myself, I truly look up to these incredible athletes– and to be the only non-UCLA gymnast there was a bit intimidating. But, I like to think I carried myself with grace at the party, trying my best to mingle with the girls and have a good time. At the end of the day, though, does it really matter what others think of you? It shouldn’t. Which is why informal social gatherings shouldn’t be a big deal– as long as you’re being yourself, that’s all that matters.

This coming academic year, I hope to get more involved with Bruin Toastmasters, which will definitely help my public speaking anxiety. Joining a speech and debate organization will also serve a similar purpose. Writing for the Daily Bruin will force me to get out there and talk to strangers– professors, UCLA staff, students, the like. I also hope to take on more leadership positions for mental health organizations. There is a club called Morning Sign Out, which is basically a student-run medical journal, where students write about current topics in medicine. I hope to take on a leadership role in that organization as well. Leadership, leadership, leadership! A realm I have yet to explore. But it’s an important skill to have in life, both professionally and personally.

Believe it or not, even the act of dating can help a person break out of their shell. I actually went on my first real date yesterday. We had dinner at a Korean BBQ place. It went well, even though I was a bit nervous beforehand!

Bottom line is, any situation that involves you putting yourself out there and being open to the judgment of others can be really intimidating. But you can’t hide forever. Sooner or later, you’ll have to get over that anxiety, in order to have a successful personal and professional life.

Alrighty guys! Time to do my philosophy readings. Will talk soon. Ta-ta!

 

 

 

Belicia

Diary of a Manic-Depressive

Hey guys! Bel here. Hope you all are well!

It’s 8:30pm right now as I sit on the floor of my friends’ apartment, writing this post. Life has been quite blissful lately, save for the ridiculous amount of philosophy reading I have to do. I’ve been staying over at my friends’ place nearly every night. We study together, eat dinner together, have singing and dancing parties in the bare living room space, watch scary movies, and talk. A lot. It’s like a slumber party every night! Very different from the kind of life I used to live. Back in high school, my life was a lot more strict and focused. I’d go to school, then head to dance practice, then go home and do homework, then eat dinner, then sleep. I had very little time for a social life. Now in college, for the first time in my life, I have really good friends whom I spend most my time with. I love them with all my heart– they’ve filled my life with such joy and laughter.


 

13 hours later…

Hey guys! I’m back! I never got around to finishing last night’s post, so here I am, completing what I started. It’s currently 1:25pm as I sit here in Powell library. I’m feeling quite overwhelmed, to be honest. I just had philosophy lecture and, as per usual, I didn’t understand what was going on. We discussed type vs token identity, identity theory, and objections to this theory– all of which went over my head. I still don’t fully understand the difference between type and token identity. Some of the people in the class are so smart– not only did they fully grasp the concept, they were also able to generate thoughtful questions about the material, while I sat there, massaging my head and tugging on my hair in a vain attempt to understand what the heck was going on. Philosophy is hard! That’s why I’m going to email my TA to schedule an emergency office hour, so I can hopefully better understand some of these insanely abstract concepts.

So, yeah, I came to Powell to study philosophy, but, unable to bring myself to begin a 17-page reading, I decided to write this post instead. I suppose there are worse ways to procrastinate, though.

Onto the topic of today– a deep dive into my personal experience with bipolar. So, I’ve been reflecting a lot on what it felt like when I used to spend most my days in the mania phase of bipolar. There was one particular instance that stood out to me.

It was spring quarter of freshman year, when, for a period of a couple weeks, I decided to adopt a British accent. I know, crazy, right? I’d go around everywhere, speaking to everyone in what I presume to be a terrible British accent. Even in lecture, I’d continue to carry out this accent. Once we had a guest speaker– a dentist– come to lecture. I remember raising my hand to ask a question. I spoke in my terrible British accent, and everyone around me stared at me in disbelief. I enjoyed the attention. Soon, my friends in lecture were texting me, asking me what the heck I thought I was doing. There was fits of laughter all around the auditorium, which further encouraged me. The next day in discussion, my TA told me that I was famous– no one, including the three professors who taught the class, would stop talking about the little stunt I had pulled in class. Thank goodness I wasn’t reprimanded– but in retrospect, I think I should have been, for creating a such a distraction, in front of a guest speaker, no less!

Now I understand that my British accent phase was really a manifestation of mania. Zero social inhibition. With the help of mood stabilizers, I am now, thankfully, stable. In my current state of normalcy, I am in utter disbelief that, a little over a year ago, I did what I did. It’s like I was a totally different person! Good grief. You can see now, how bipolar disorder, when left unchecked, can be a huge problem for both the afflicted and those around them. The most important thing now is that I’m stable, with my mood and better judgment intact.

Alright, folks. I’d better grind through my philosophy readings now. It’s gonna go something like this: I’ll have a pretty good understanding of the first three pages; then the author will introduce this crazy abstract concept and I’ll lose their train of thought; my eyes will start glazing over the page; by page 10, I will be thoroughly confused; by the end of the reading, my heading will be pounding, eyes burning, and I will have retained nothing.

So yeah. There’s no avoiding what’s to come, though. So let’s do this.