Coaching the UCLA Gymnastics Team!!!

Hey guys!

It’s 8:41am on this beautiful Friday morning as I write. I’m feeling dazed as I write… You see, this morning, at 7:45am, I had the most amazing experience of leading a 30-minute Latin dance warmup with the UCLA Gymnastics team!

I was invited by the mother of UCLA Gymnastics, Valorie Kondos-Field– colloquially known as “Miss Val”– to give the team a little intro to Latin dance. Miss Val and I had met towards the end of spring quarter last year, when I accosted her in the dining hall. I knew all about Miss Val from pop culture– there was a Netflix movie made about her and the UCLA gymnastics team– and I immediately recognized her upon seeing her at Bruin Plate that fateful morning.

At the time, I was going through my big internal struggle of whether or not to pursue a dance career, against the will of my parents and society. I had already planned on leaving UCLA to focus on dancing back home, in the Bay Area, but was facing some doubt in my decision. I knew Miss Val had been a ballerina in her youth, so I figured that she of all people would understand my dilemma. And so was born my friendship with Miss Val– legendary coach and inspiring human being.

This past quarter, I ran into Miss Val a few more times at John Wooden Center, our university’s main gym. Last week, I texted her, offering to teach the girls some Latin dancing, if she would have me. Little did I know that she would actually accept my offer, and have me show the team– featuring former Olympians Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross– some of my moves!

I was at UCSB for a dance competition when I received Miss Val’s text. My two friends at UCSB who were with me at the time, bore witness to my utter elation upon hearing the news. I was both beyond excited and understandably anxious to teach the UCLA gymnasts how to dance Latin. Look at it from my perspective– I’m probably the biggest fan of UCLA gymnastics in this school (and UCLA’s a pretty big school). There are OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALISTS on the team– Maddie Kocian, Kyla Ross, and Jordyn Wieber (the assistant coach). These are girls I’ve long-admired on the television screen. I’d cheer them on from afar as they competed on the world’s greatest stage, longing more than anything to meet them in person… get an autograph… take a picture. And today, I got to do more than that. I got to be their TEACHER. How crazy is that, to have the tables turn the way they did?

I arrived at the gym at 7:45am. The girls were filing in and began doing some warm-up stretches. I chatted with my friends on the team, Anna and Grace (they are identical twins), whilst doing some stretching of my own. Then walked in Miss Val, along with the assistant coach, Chris. Upon seeing Miss Val, I ran up to her and gave her a big hug! I also introduced myself to Chris, who has the bluest eyes ever. Lol.

The girls then lined up single file, facing their coaches. Miss Val made some announcements, during which time I used the restroom. I came back to Miss Val finishing up her spiel. She then said, “Alright ladies, it’s Friday– LATIN DAY!” She pointed over to me– a cue for me to introduce myself to the team. I was nervous, but I delivered my introductory spiel in a relatively calm manner. Judging from their slightly perplexed faces, I suppose the girls had never had a Latin dance warmup before, which made me all the more excited to introduce the beautiful art of Latin dance to these incredible athletes.

We started with a little warmup of neck, chest and hip isolations, as well as some light stretching, to Justin Bieber’s rendition of “Despacito”. After warmup, I taught the girls some basics of salsa, followed by a three minute song to dance to. I then moved on to samba, and did the same– taught the basic steps, then played a song. The last dance of the day was cha cha. Too soon, my 30 minutes of instruction was over.

I didn’t know what took over me when it was time to start dancing… but it was as if all shyness disappeared, replaced by sheer confidence and excitment. No longer did I feel intimidated by the fact that I was teaching some of my greatest gymnastics idols how to dance… As time wore on, I grew more and more at ease with my role as an instructor, and my enthusiasm for dance seemed to spread to the girls, who were laughing and having fun. I repeatedly told the girls to be “sexy” and to not be afraid to “touch [themselves]” and “play with [their] arms/hair”. At one point, during the salsa side basic, I turned around, told the girls to “keep going” while I went around and made some corrections. I walked up to Madison Kocian, 2016 Rio Olympian, and said, “Ready, Maddie?”; then I proceeded to dance the salsa basic in front of her, to show her how it was done. Cheeks flushed, eyes bright up and smile on her face, Maddie looked so happy while dancing– something so out of her element. As did the rest of the girls on the team! Some struggled, while others picked up more quickly… but dance is very different from gymnastics. Gymnastics is a sport of precision and perfection. Dance is all about freedom and creative expression. Latin dance, in particular, is about getting in touch with one’s inner sexuality and femininity. I remember transitioning from gymnastics to Latin, and being freaked out by the idea of touching my body and being “sexy”. Now, almost 3 years later, I wear my sexiness loud and proud, and I’ve grown much, much more confident in the way I carry myself.

I suppose my confidence projected today during the workshop, as Chris, the assistant coach, remarked to me, “You’re amazing! It’s your confidence I admire most about you.” At the end of the warmup, Miss Val told the other girls, “Look at Belicia. She’s only a second year. She came in here today with so much passion for her craft, and completely took charge. No shyness whatsoever.” If only they knew how nervous I was to conduct this warmup, beforehand. Lol.

Overall, this experience was tremendously formative. You see, lately I’ve been questioning many parts of my identity, asking myself whether my past actions and public persona was the true Belicia, or simply the manic-depressive illness talking. I know that, in times of mania, people tend to be unusually confident, charming, charismatic, talkative and socially uninhibited. For most of high school, I suffered from low self-esteem and extreme shyness. I worked hard to overcome my social anxiety and began to open up during senior year of high school. My confidence continued to grow as I transitioned to college– making friends became easier than ever, and my social inhibition shed rapidly. Upon receiving my manic-depressive illness diagnosis, however, I question how much of that increase in social confidence was genuine, and how much of it was my manic self talking.

Today, I was able to lead a group with confidence, without the aid of my illness. That’s a huge step in a positive direction towards gaining genuine self-confidence. I feel more motivated than ever to continue to challenge myself– not only socially, but in every facet of life– to prove to myself that I CAN be successful without the help of my hypomanias.

That’s all for today, friends! Enjoy your night, and I look forward to chatting with y’all soon!

 

 

 

 

Best,

Belicia

Life Update: Romance, Midterms, Identity Shift

11/3/17

Hi everyone! Happy November! How have y’all been? I apologize for not posting at all this past week. ‘Tis the season of midterms– aka all-nighters at the library, hair-pulling and binge-eating. Not a fun time, but thankfully, it will all be over soon. I think I’m actually handling this round of midterms with more grace than I have in the past. Working hard, yes, but not stressing too hard, like I would in the past. Whatever happens, happens. I try my best, learn the material, give it my all in the exam room, and hope for good results.

Yesterday evening, I had my LS 15 midterm. Professor Phelan’s exams are notorious for being tricky, but with the curve, I should be fine. I have a Russian midterm on Monday and a statistics midterm on Thursday, so my whole weekend will be spent studying.

I actually pulled an all-nighter last night. So I’ve been up for a good 24 hours. I know that, at the beginning of the year, I had vowed to avoid all-nighters at all costs, but last night, I felt it necessary. These past couple days, all I’ve been focusing my energy on was prepping for the LS 15 midterm, at the expense of my other two classes. So now is a game of catch-up in Russian and stats. I biked to the library at around 1:30am, stayed there until 5:00am, headed back to the apartment, busied myself with cleaning and experimenting with my hair– yeah, don’t know why the hell I didn’t just take a nap– and around 7:00am, headed back to campus. It is now 7:45am. I am sitting inside the warm, cheerful Kerkhoff café, writing this post. My fingers itched to write, so write I did.

Things on my mind:

  • romance– or lack thereof
  • low motivation to study
  • midterms, midterms, midterms!

Ah, yes… the topic we all know and love… Romance. Or, in my case, lack of a romantic life. I don’t know, guys… Lately I’ve been feeling apathetic– antagonistic, even– towards the whole concept of romance. Having never had a boyfriend before, a large part of me is terrified of what being in a committed relationship entails. I’m happy as a clam, being single. Nobody but me, myself and I to worry about. Plus, I have so much to sort out with my own crazy mind, I can’t imagine bringing another person into my helter-skelter life, at this point in time. Then again, a part of me feels that, in spurning romance, I am missing out on a very important life facet. I want to experience EVERYTHING (not talking about doing drugs and other vices of that persuasion, to be clear)… and experiencing love is one thing I have yet to familiarize myself with.

Maybe I’m afraid of commitment. Romantic relationships, like with any relationship, takes a LOT of work and maintenance. They are emotionally draining. They can be exhausting.

Maybe I’m working on loving myself first, before letting another person love me. I need to build up a strong pillar of confidence and sense of self-worth, before involving myself in an intimate relationship. I need to know that, with or without such a person in my life, I will be okay.


 

11/5/17

Hey guys! I’m back! I’ve been busy studying (or trying to get myself to study) for midterms, so I wasn’t able to find time to finish this post ’till now, on Sunday night– the eve of my Russian midterm. Yeah… probably should be studying for my Russian exam, as it is tomorrow morning at 9:30am… but I’ve since renounced the practice of going OVERKILL with my studies. I now study enough to learn the important concepts and get an A on the exam. What really is the difference between an A and A+, anyway? For all the extra time spent studying for a couple extra percentage points, I could be doing other, more meaningful things– dancing, writing, hanging with friends, making beautiful memories.

I’m definitely see a positive change in my mindset and, in turn, lifestyle habits. While I still live with great ambition, I no longer equate my worth with my achievements. Because of this, I no longer feel the need to “prove” myself by striving to achieve exceptional feats (i.e. winning dance competitions, earning perfect exam scores, etc.). And a more recent development– I am learning to stop placing so much of my identity on my ability to work hard. Yes, a strong work ethic is indeed a great quality to have, and it is one I’ve been blessed with. But I am so much more than just a hardworking person. Once I learned to embrace that truth, I no longer felt so much pressure to live up to this ideal of “Belicia the hard worker”. I am no longer so high-strung… so eager to prove myself to others… so afraid of letting loose my reins… I no longer carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. This quarter, I’ve really relaxed a lot more, and I don’t see such a change as a bad thing! In fact, I perceive it as a sign of growth! Less perfectionism; less weight placed on external validation; greater focus on learning and growing.

Slowly, I am channeling my energies outward. I think less about how I am perceived by others, or what my actions say about me. My actions are driven less by the question, “How can I prove my worth?”, and more by that of, “How can I make a positive impact on the world?” The latter question has gradually replaced the former as my driving force. Of course, if you want to make your greatest imprint in the lives of others, you must first become the greatest version of yourself. Such is no easy task, and it is a lifelong journey of constant reflection and maintenance. This is where the importance of introspection comes into play, and this is why I insist on keeping the fog off the windows to my soul. But what is the next step, beyond looking within? It’s using your knowledge of yourself to then give back to those around you. At least, that’s what I believe. I want to somehow make a lasting, positive mark on the souls of individuals, and I will do so with my talents, be it writing, dance, or something completely different.

Alrighty, friends. It’s 11:00pm, and I should get sufficient rest for tomorrow’s midterm. My last midterm of this week is on Thursday, so after then, I should be more free to write! I’ll talk to you guys soon!

 

 

 

 

-Belicia

End of Week 4 Reflection

Hey guys! It’s 3:05am right now as I start this post. My friends went out to a Halloween party tonight, but I decided to stay in, as I have an influx of midterms (round 2) coming up next week. Gotta study study study!

Sleep, again, is a lost cause tonight. Probably because of that double shot pumpkin spice latte I drank at 11:00pm. On the bright side, at least I have more time and energy to write this post!

Lots have happened these past couple days! Yesterday, my parents gave me and Austin a surprise visit from home. I think the real reason they came down was to deliver food to me, to make sure my roommates and I weren’t starving in our apartment. Quite frankly, they came at just the right time, as we literally had no food in our apartment, and none of us had the incentive to go grocery shopping, with the vast amount of studying we all had to do. But man… how great are my parents? Seriously… they drove the 12 hour round-trip commute, just to give me homemade food. I don’t know anyone else who’d do that. I love my parents. Their love for their children is boundless. They are truly the best. I’m excited to see them again in a few weeks, for Thanksgiving holiday!

Next topic of discussion– studying. Goodness. It’s been a true ordeal, studying for midterms. I’ve been having so much difficulty with concentration, which has never been a problem for me until now. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it has something to do with me stopping my medications. By the way, I started taking my meds again, after my dad brought me a fresh prescription of Prozac. Hopefully, once the medications kick in, I will feel more like myself.

My inability to focus when studying may also stem from the mania, which has been creeping back since I stopped taking Lamictal and Abilify, the mood stabilizers. I can’t sit still for long periods of time. Eventually, I gave up on sitting while studying, and resorted to standing up, with my books and laptop conveniently placed on a cardboard box. I pace around when trying to grasp concepts. It scares me that I no longer seem to have full control over my mind. I’ve always prided myself on my ability to focus for long stretches of time. Now, I cannot boast such a quality.

I know I want to major in psychology, but none of the prerequisite courses for the psych major are truly related to what I wish to study. This quarter, I’m taking a statistics class, a “science for non-science majors” course, and elementary Russian. All of these classes have their respective difficulties. I have the notoriously difficult professor for my stats class; the pseudo-science class I’m taking, as interesting as it may be, is more challenging than expected; and don’t even get me started on Russian… a very difficult language indeed.

I will be seeing my psychiatrist down in SoCal tomorrow, so I hope talking to her about my recent mental battles will alleviate some of my stress.

To be honest, I’m almost halfway through my college journey, and I have not enjoyed most of my courses– especially not the science ones. I have hopes that, once I hit the upper division classes, things will get more interesting, as such courses will align better with my interests. I’m starting on my potential English minor/major next quarter, taking English 4W. Very excited for that. And I plan on taking a psych upper div class, which should be very engaging. Things will get better, I know it.

Dance. Seriously guys, dance has been the reason I’m still sane. Whenever I feel like my brain is going to explode, and I can go no further with my studying, I break out my dance shoes and release pent-up tension and negativity. I’m so blessed that I have dance as a passion and outlet.

Last night, my friends and I went out to get Halloween costumes. I’m going to be a 1920s flapper girl this year! I’m so happy I’m not sick this year on Halloween, like I was last year. I shudder at the memory of being bed-ridden with a nasty respiratory/GI virus last year around this time. The tossing and turning in my tangled bed sheets; cold sweats and shivers; hacking cough; dizziness upon standing up; going to the bathroom every ten minutes; not feeling strong enough to eat food; etc. etc. Yeah, it was a trying time. And my illness hit me right around the time of midterms, which was a nightmare! But this year, there’s none of that. Probably ’cause I’m living in an apartment, which is a lot cleaner than the crowded quarters of the dorms.

I really really want to go to a Halloween party on Tuesday with my friends, but I have a midterm on Thursday for my science class… That’s why I’ve been staying up so late– to study hard so I can have fun on Halloween day.

Alrighty, guys! It’s 3:30am now. Starting to feel the drowsiness sink in. Gonna get some shut-eye and start again tomorrow!

Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

XOXO,

Belicia

Wednesday, 10/25/17: Reflection

Hey guys! It’s 12:49am as I begin this post. Technically Thursday morning, but who’s keeping track?

I’ve officially renounced sleep as a lost cause for tonight. Got an iced cappuccino by my side and a stack of homework papers and textbooks awaiting to be studied. Decided to take a little study break and recap on the happenings of today!

I had planned on waking up at 4:00am this morning to study, but that didn’t happen. Instead, I awoke at 8:45am, dragged myself out of bed and arrived right on time to my 9:30am Russian class. I was pretty exhausted from the start of the day… no amount of caffeine could perk me up. The iced vanilla latte I drank after Russian class kept me from nodding off while studying in between classes, but my consciousness was still very much blurred throughout the rest of the day.

My LS 15 group and I had our debate today! As I had not spoken in public for a bit, my skills were a bit rusty, and I was ostensibly nervous. It didn’t help my nerves that I had stepped up to be one of the “rebuttlers” of my group, a role which required one to think on one’s feet. Impromptu speaking is definitely not one of my strong suits, but I’m eager to improve! As I’ve regained momentum towards my goal of becoming a confident public speaker, I will 100% be attending tomorrow’s Bruin Toastmasters meeting, and hopefully get some public speaking practice in! Very excited to see how far I can grow as an orator.

My parents have decided to come down to LA once more this weekend, to “visit” me and Austin, but more likely to make sure I’m not starving in my apartment. As you all know, my diet of late has been absolutely unacceptable, and I must change my eating habits, left I wish to gain any more weight. I’m too scared to even step on the scale at this point, because I already know I’ll quiver at the number I will see. Just gotta regain that discipline surrounding healthy lifestyle habits, like diet, exercise and sleep (*cough cough I should probably go to bed soon).

I don’t remember feeling this overwhelmed with studies last year, as a pre-med student. The three classes I am currently taking are not notorious for being especially difficult, so I wonder why I must put in so much work just to stay afloat. Russian is understandable– it’s a brand new unfamiliar language, and a complex one, at that. I’m taking Psych 100A with the difficult (but very good-looking) professor, Dr. Jaffe, so I guess that explains why I must study so much to do well in his class. LS 15 did not live up to its potential as an “easy-A”. Not by a long shot. I’m playing catch-up in that class, since I didn’t put in nearly enough time into studying the material, what with my preconceived notions of the course’s difficulty-level.

I was thinking of going out with friends on Thursday– remember what I said in an earlier post about my desire to EXPERIENCE as much as I can while young? I’m not sure if I can anymore, though, with a Russian quiz on Friday and my LS 15 midterm in 9 days, and a dance competition in a few weeks’ time. Lots going on. Must care for mental health and preserve my sanity.

I’m gonna end tonight’s brief post here. I’m just about reaching the watermark of overload. Which means I should try to get some rest… at least try. And then start the grind once more tomorrow (or today, I should say).

I’ve been trying this new thing whenever I start to feel overwhelmed with stress. I recite the script in my head, “Everything will be okay. Don’t stress. Life is beautiful. All will be fine.” Something of that variation. And, even though such words may be difficult to believe in that moment, I still find comfort in them, as they puts my stressors into perspective, drastically reducing their overarching significance. It’s like taking your mind on an airplane ride and leaving on the ground all your stressors– quizzes, exams, midterms, responsibilities, etc.– until the stressors that once were the size of trucks, is now no larger than an ant.

Alrighty guys! Take care of yourselves. Happy Hump Day, and have a great rest of the week!

 

 

 

Love,

Belicia

 

 

THE COURAGE TO BE ME

Hi guys! I was writing in my private diary this morning, when the following thoughts spewed out, and I decided to turn this private internal conversation into a public one. Enjoy!


6:53am

Hey Diary! Long time no talk? How’s it been? I’ve been sharing a lot lately with your sister, “Teenage Struggles”… but of course, since she tends to be more public in her ways, I haven’t been able to divulge all to her, the way I can with you.

It’s Tuesday of Week 4 at UCLA. Currently 6:53am. I’m sitting inside the Starbucks next to the Fox theater. This has become a new favorite study spot of mine. Did some good Russian studying here yesterday. 

Ahh.. just got up to grab my pumpkin spice frapp– grande with whipp. Tastes sooo delish… Figured I’d reward myself for getting up early to exercise. I’m trying to get back on a healthy track, though this frapp doesn’t seem to be helping. But what the hey? I felt like getting a frapp to wake me up for the coming day, so get the frapp I did.

It’s a little chilly inside here. My OOTD: black velvet pants from American Vintage (it has this really cute front zipper that zips up to the belly, thus containing my ever-growing paunch); black tank top; and black wedges. I parted my hair to one side today, as my bangs are growing long enough for me to do so.

I think I’m doing a good job of preserving my sanity at the moment. Especially given the whole medication situation. I ran out of Prozac last week, and have since stopped my mood stabilizers, so my moods don’t get too low. I really need to schedule another appointment with Dr. Rees.

I have some big news, Diary– I’m writing my first book! It’s gonna be a compilation of my blogs from 2014 to now, with some private diary entries interspersed in between. It’s gonna be great. I’m super excited. That’s part of the reason why I decided to get up so early today– so I can work on my writing before class starts at 11:00!

Man… I don’t think getting 3 hours of sleep out of PERSONAL CHOICE was a particularly good decision. I’m starting to feel the drowsiness. Eyes glazed over, vision blurred, mindlessly sipping on my frappuccino, shivering because it is so damn cold inside Starbucks. I think I’m gonna head outside, where it is warmer. Ah, the sun is rising, finally! Be right back.

Alright! I’m outside now. Definitely better out here, without the blasting AC and all. Sunlight is also keeping me awake. Man, why do I always do things like this? Thinking I can subsist just fine off of a few hours of sleep (I slept at about 1:30am and woke up at 4:30am)… I oftentimes overestimate my true capacity. We all like to believe that we can do ANYTHING; that we are super-humans, with no sense of personal limitation.

I believe that one of the most courageous things one could do, though, is to recognize one’s own limits and accept the times when they are immutable. I’m a firm believer in growing yourself beyond your innate capacity, but I’m beginning to recognize that sometimes, you just gotta accept certain aspects of yourself that won’t change, no matter how much work you put in.

Take, for instance, the whole sleep situation. There are some people in this world who can function just fine with three to four hours of sleep (I have yet to meet one personally, but I’m sure they exist). I, on the other hand, need at least seven hours to operate at my full capacity. I doesn’t matter how much I try to “train” myself to be able to subsist off of less sleep; seven hours is the biological minimum number of hours of sleep I need.

Let’s look at a better example. Like personality traits. For most my life, I’ve strongly identified as an introvert. Throughout high school, I suffered from crippling shyness that took years to overcome. Even now– a more confident, outspoken college student– I still have times of inward withdrawal, during which the social anxiety creeps back in, and I’m more likely to be found in my room than out at some social event or party. I used to feel so much shame attached to my “quiet” moments. A large part of that is society talking– society seems to better select for the extroverts and outspoken leaders, and for my entire life, I’ve been trying my best to fight to “submissive, quiet Asian kid” stereotype in hopes of better molding into society’s upper echelon.

In rejecting one stereotype, though, I simply conform to another-. Where have I– Belicia– disappeared to, through all of this? When we take society and outward expectation out of the equation, who am I, truly?

Like most things in life, my identity is neither black nor white. I do have times of loud, outward projection– that’s usually the manic Belicia talking– during which people perceive me as the epitome of extroversion, the life of the party, the outgoing, charismatic friend with the larger than life, “super extra” personality. Then there’s the other Belicia. The one who simply craves her alone time. The one reluctant to speak up for the group, but does so anyway out of felt obligation to live up to others’ expectations. The one whose palms sweat when meeting a new person; the one who’d rather cut short a conversation out of personal exhaustion, but smiles politely and continues talking, so as not to appear rude or (more importantly), blow my guise as the secret introvert only my closest friends and family know.

All my life, I’ve been endlessly haunted by the need to bend my back to others’ expectations, so much so that my spine threatens to break. My god, I just long to be FREE! I just want to live, unabashedly me, without shame or judgement. I want to build so solid an identity and self-awareness that I don’t keep changing my outward appearance, my demeanor, or my ideals, based on surrounding people or environment. I don’t need others to hold such power over my life. I don’t want to live for other people. I owe no one anything, aside from the people I truly care about. I know that statement sounds blunt, rote, harsh… but it’s the truth. Anyway, I just want to be me, without shame or fear.

 

 

A New Outlook on Life

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Hi guys.

It’s currently 8:33pm as I sit at Powell library– not at my favorite desk, unfortunately, as someone has already claimed it. Anyway, before I crank out a late night study session, I want to take a few minutes to release some thoughts and emotions.

I haven’t been feeling like myself lately. I find it difficult to focus on tasks, be it studying or dancing. I’ve tried different strategies to help me better concentrate– changing study locations, eliminating as much distraction as possible, treating grueling assignments like games, with food and Grey’s Anatomy being the reward. Still, though, something is up with me, and I think I know the reason why.

On October 17, I ran out of Prozac, and was planning on sticking it out until October 20, the date of my scheduled appointment with my SoCal psychiatrist, Dr. Rees. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of scheduling a 7am appointment, and unsurprisingly, I slept right through it. I have yet to reschedule an appointment with the doc. Until then, I must make do without my medication. It’s all my fault for not having prioritized my mental health by rescheduling an appointment the minute I had missed it. Since my last prescription came from the Kaiser in NorCal, I can’t call the phone number on the old prescription bottle, as my psychiatrist up there doesn’t do mail-in medications, and she’d rather I figure out all my prescription stuff with my doctor down here. It’s kind of a mess, but I’m hoping all will be fine between now and my next appointment. To my a long story short, I’ve been feeling the lousy way I have, largely because I abruptly stopped my medications, which in turn did a 180 on my brain. The mood stabilizers work to suppress my high moods, but without the Prozac buffer, I worry that my moods will dip below the threshold of normal. Moral of the story: STAY ON YOUR MEDS! I wish I had the capacity to know which medications at what dosage to take and when it’s safe to stop taking them… but alas, I’m no doctor.

I must be kind to myself, though, and realize that my recent low productivity and inability to focus on tasks is NOT a measure of who I am– don’t worry, Belicia, you are not suddenly a lazy and useless noodle unworthy of love or respect– you are just going through some brain chemistry changes that will soon be fixed. There, I said it. Now, it’s time to believe it.

I’m gonna start studying now. LS 15 is kind of kicking my ass. Russian is a lot better, after Friday’s marathon studying. Psych 100A is not too bad anymore either, also owing to the hard work I put in on Friday. Just gotta keep it up! I’ll talk to you guys later in the night, when I take my study break.


 

Monday, Oct. 23, 2017

6:56pm

Lol guys. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to finish this post yesterday. On the bright side, I was able to finish most of my studying and am, for the most part, caught up with all my classes’ material.

As I’ve told y’all before, my diet has been absolutely horrendous. I can’t even begin to list out all the trash I’ve been ingesting these past few days… it seems as if all my self-discipline surrounding food has gone down the drain. Very, very bad, Belicia. Starting tonight, I will try harder to get back on track with a sticking to a healthy diet. Kind of difficult to do, though, when your apartment-life menu options are limited to frozen dinners and ramen noodles. My parents strongly advise I get a basic meal plan, just so I’m guaranteed at least one good meal a day. I’m beginning to think that’s a good idea. Even though doing so may be a little more expensive, my health and wellness surpass all talk of money. I need a well-functioning body to perform at my greatest mental capacity.

I woke up this morning with the intention to start treating myself KINDLY; replace the drill-sergeant voice in my head with a more loving, compassionate one. The shift in mindset has made me feel a lot more positive and accepting towards myself. I am no longer scrutinizing my faults and hating myself for being the imperfect being I am. I’m learning to accept imperfection as a part of what makes me, ME. I’m learning to separate WHAT I DO from WHO I AM. I’m no longer taking myself all too seriously. I laugh at my countless social faux pas’s and embarrassing “Belicia” moments. I now try to perceive things like college exams, projects, dance competitions and performances as fun challenges– not end-all-be-all stressors that put my face at stake.

I am in the process of expanding my worldview beyond the small, titular world of standardized measures of skill. While grades do matter, they far from encapsulate everything of importance in life. There is so, so much more in the grand scheme of things than earning straight A’s. My goal has shifted from being a perfect student to doing well in school, whilst experiencing as much I can in my youth, at a place of limitless opportunity like UCLA. As an aspiring writer, it is of utmost importance that I know life from the inside-out. It is not enough for me to read about life through the lenses of others. To be a student of the world, I must experience things for myself to truly understand how others think and feel in different circumstances, and ultimately paint such deeply felt, universal experiences into words.

It’s approaching 1am as I wrap up this post. Got a long day ahead, and I look forward to what wonders, beauties, knowledge and joy tomorrow will bring!!

 

 

 

Love,

Belicia

 

Life… It’s So Damn Beautiful

Hello, dear friends!

It’s 1:57am, technically Sunday morning, but I’ll just pretend it’s still Saturday night. This following post will be brief, as I am in dire need of some shut-eye.

I’m just in one of those strange moods where, in spite of all the tragedy and turmoil happening in this world today, everything in my little bubble, in this very moment, seems just right. Everything feels as if it will work itself out in the end.

We all live, and we all die. Death is a great equalizer– it’s one of the only certainties of the human condition. The question, what do we do with the in-between? How do you as an individual want to live your life, until your departure?

I speak to you from the philosophical, existential state of mind I sometimes find myself in, usually during times of tumult, but sometimes during moments of peace and contentedness, like right now. I don’t know. Maybe it’s the exhaustion from studying all day yesterday and today talking. Whatever it is, all I know is that, in this moment, I live in a state of utter clarity. I’ve gotten a rare glimpse of the searing sunlight, and I’d like to share with you all what I see.

What is a human life? It’s but a tiny speck in the grand scheme of the universal lifespan. When you step back from the day-to-day stress, deadlines, responsibilities, leave your little microcosmic self-formed bubble of negativity, and open your eyes long enough to see Truth– that we are all creatures of the Earth, brought into this world without having a say, and destined to die– you should feel an immense load lifted from your chest. Life is short, life is beautiful. Cherish each day you have here in the land of the living. Love endlessly, and let yourself be loved.

I told you this post would be short. I bid you all a good night (or, in this case, a pleasant morning) with my utmost positivity, love and goodwill. Whatever struggles you may be facing at the moment, I sympathize with you. Just know that such times will pass, and soon become a fleeting memory. All the while, the clock will keep ticking, the Earth will continue spinning on its axis, and life will remain in motion. You don’t know when your last day here will be. Tomorrow could be it. Or 70 years from now. Who knows? Only He does. Let’s make a promise to one another that tomorrow, we will live each second with the utmost gratitude simply for being alive and breathing and healthy! Screw unnecessary stress. Let it all go. Life’s too short to put so much pressure on yourself to be perfect. Just be you, and that is enough.

 

 

 

 

With my best,

Belicia