It’s like sometimes the universe knows.
I’ve been feeling jaded and overwhelmed because of everything unfolding recently and these feelings are so strong they’ve seeped even into my dreams (as I’d mentioned previously). I need a
n out break from the gaysian group.
Then out of the blue, I noticed it was twitter girl’s birthday on Facebook and without thinking, I decided to wish her a happy birthday. We got to talking and she asked me how things were on my end. Giving the timing and prevalence of what’s been happening, I let her in on the gay drama that was unraveling. We hadn’t spoken in months, but she hadn’t changed – listening with patience and empathy. Next thing you know, she’d invited me to a birthday gathering. I had made prior plans so I messaged her to give her a heads up.
Next thing you know, we’re making tentative plans for a monthly queer dance party. I’m assuming this is with her gay friends.
I have no residual feelings for her (I stress they were invalid in the first place and for the idea of her rather than her, herself), but I certainly respect her for her social activism and strong moral compass – just because we had no chemistry doesn’t change that fact. It’d be nice to reconnect and catch up.
It’d be nice to get out of this circle for a while.
I’m still always shocked by how oblivious I’ve been my entire life, taking my family for granted. Upon listening to my other (Asian) friends lament the tension between them and their parents resulting from news of their queerness, I’ve begun to realize how unbelievably fortunate I am.
A friend – J – and I went for coffee today to air out some thoughts and completely unplanned, she ended up meeting my mom, who’d dropped by to drop off some food. Despite us just being friends and it not being a “meet the parents” kinda deal, she was nervous – I suspect it stems back to her bad experience with (Asian) parents and queerness.
My mom was also slightly awkward (but I was unsure if it was her being normal — now that I’m thinking back to how she meets my other friends, I suspect it was her normal. I guess she’s just a little socially awkward). I checked in with her shortly after, letting her know, “that was Jenny. She’s gay. We’re just friends.” Her response:
I almost doubled over from the mix of guilt and emotions. On the one hand, I’m asking “what did I do to deserve this.” On the other, I feel like this is how parents should be.
It’s just that the latter is obviously not always the case.
I had a troubling dream last night:
I was either inebriated or tired and accidentally sent a text to my ex-person – something along the lines of “I’m sorry for how it ended”. When I realized what I had done, I immediately panicked and opened my phone to delete it, only to find she had texted back, essentially picking up our conversation from where we had left it… about a year ago now.
[Wow. It’s been about a year.]
It’s problematic that I apologized in my dream when I’m adamant I was not at fault – me choosing to end our friendship was an admittance that this person was not good for me and I finally had the gumption to walk away after over a year of periodic abandonment. Regardless, I’m inclined to think dreams are less about what happened, as much as they are about underlying feelings.
And these feelings are about the shit that’s been happening in my social life currently. I’ve feared for a few weeks now that meeting so many gay friends so quickly was getting me too entangled in all these social circles – I suspected a recipe for disaster as the gay(sian) circle is so small.
Lo and behold, in the past month, lines have been crossed, dialogue has not been open, and toxic feelings have been kept hushed. Several moving parts in my queer circle have combusted – and I’m affected not directly, but by association. It’s been a little overwhelming, developing such close connections and having things explode in your face.
I think that’s what subconsciously instigated the dream – I suspect my terror and jadedness from all this is deeply overwhelming and my subsconscious is telling me “flight” — go back to a less complicated time, go back to a safer time.
At the time she felt safe — she didn’t/wasn’t really; sober she never was a safe space; in hindsight she was an absolutely terrible influence on me; she would leave me behind in a second — and it certainly feels chaotic in my queer social circle right now.
It’s not that I’ve been thinking about her (at all) but she’s certainly crossed my mind more than I’d like recently. I know it’s a bad idea but when it comes to reaching out, there have been a few “what if…” thoughts, which I stamp out before it sets the whole forest ablaze.
Happy one year …
It’s no surprise that the Gaysians I get along best with are “white washed”. They have solid knowledge of pop culture and I can throw in quick jokes making reference to whatever’s going on and they’ll catch them.
What did surprise me was when I opened up to them about my long-held preference for white girls, they shared the same memories. One went so far as to say “I first rejected the (Asian) girl I’m with now because I held on tightly to the idea of only being with white girls”. They’ve been together for years and they seem very happy.
It surprised me because I thought, given that most of my friends are white and the planners are almost all white (and the fact tat my sense of humour and taste in everything is white washed), it makes so much sense that I’d be into white chicks.
When talking it out with them, they told me it was because of media – all these tumblr posts, and the scraps of queer plotlines we get thrown (RARE AND DISMAL growing up pre-2011) would always feature white women. Too many minority identity markers and you’d lose the audience (or so thought network executives). So queer women, regardless of ethnicity, would gravitate towards this and idealize a white partner.
So the last two Asian girls that I caught ~dA fEeLiNgZ~ for caught me by surprise. The first one was a complete 180 (although in hindsight and analysis, her conscious, thought-out flirting made it make sense), but the second one that followed made sense*.
*Long story short/ quick update: Caught feelings, we talked it out, we’re just friends, I learned more about her, and it helped to rationalize my feelings away. It’s better this way and I’m glad she brought it up. My only regret (if any) about the situation is I wish I’d asked her out and got rejected at face value – at least I can say that I tried, hah. But regardless, it’s better this way. No harm, no foul. Moving on.
I guess the only difference and the lesson learned from this is that I’m more open to dating people now. Being friends with the Gaysians, I can talk about things white people wouldn’t catch on to – e.g. things having to do with childhood, certain Asian foods, traditions, etc. Of course, on the flip side, there are certain cultural values that Asians hang on to that I have rejected, which I can “bond” with white people over. On the other hand, the bonding is mostly passive and complete obliviousness on their side and conscious rejection on mine.
TL;DR: APPARENTLY I’M OPEN TO DATING ASIANS NOW?
Every 365 days, we force a time to reflect on our lives and examine ways we can improve ourselves. Though people make fun of this tradition for never being held for all of the following 365 days, I want to put my goals for myself here to (try to) hold myself accountable.
1. Stop overthinking.
If 2016 has taught me anything, it’s that I overthink and that’s a bad thing. This is especially true for relationships and romantic interests. It also manifests itself in the duration of my writing – it takes me embarrassingly long to craft a good blog post on here as well as a report at work. This was also true for writing emails – I would backtrack, re-read, and re-edit until I was satisficed – although that, with practice, is less of a problem now.
I need to recognize when I am overthinking, and replace it with other thoughts or distract myself with activity. Something else that would help is asking yourself “will this matter in a year? Five years?”. Unless the answer is yes, there’s no point thinking it through.
2. Stop checking your phone/social media so often.
I’m addicted. It used to be just Twitter, but now it’s mostly messages. It’s an impulse that’s destructive to my productivity as well as my mental health. It’s certainly related to FOMO and not wanting to keep people waiting, but really… if it’s important, they’ll get to me by calling or by texting directly to my phone.
I need to put my phone on silent and out of sight (/out of mind). Every time I get the urge to check my phone, I should replace the urge with something else – perhaps take a deep breath or sip of water instead. Taking a page from the previous resolution, I also need to remind myself that unless they’re trying to call you or text you directly, it probably doesn’t really matter.
3. Listen to your body.
My lips are chapped and my hands are dry, especially in the winter. My face has recently started breaking out and I don’t know why (perhaps it’s stress-related. I’ve never had this issue before summer 2016). Sometimes I’ll also over-eat and snack mindlessly. Whereas I’d get sick at most twice a year before, I’ve fallen sick at least four times this year, twice within the past three months. My sleeping habits have gotten out of hand – I had the excuse of “being productive” by not being distracted at night and having the “luxury” of being unemployed before, but I can’t ignore the changes in my body any longer.
These are all indicators of bad habits and I need to start listening before anything gets worse. I need to take better care of myself – eat healthier, drink more fluids, moisturize. Sleep earlier (by midnight) and not have my phone recharging by my bedside.
4. Put in more effort with your family.
Until my friends lamented on the rejection their families place on their queerness, I never realized how lucky I am to have an (Asian) family that accepts their gay daughter/sister. It really hit home during this conversation with my mom:
It was hard at the beginning but since coming out, I’ve gotten a lot closer with my family. My brother is also incredible and I don’t give him enough credit for how much 1.) patience he has with our mom and 2.) effort he puts into keeping the family together. He’ll sacrifice time from his friends and his own time regardless of what is at stake, to keep me and my mom happy. It’s ridiculous and almost saddening. I put less than a fraction of the effort he puts in and it’s not fair. I need to try harder and take my family off the back burner.
5. Be more in touch with and more fearless with my emotions
It’s almost with pride when I tell people that I’m emotionally constipated. While true, the pride stems more from my self-awareness – that I actually know myself well enough to diagnose this – and not from being emotionally constipated. But it has to stop. It’s not healthy – and it’s a wonder I haven’t targeted earlier. The badge is more a to-address item and I need to not bottle up my emotions anymore – whether out of fear or not expressing them all my life, I need to be better at expressing myself.
I put love on a pedestal. I don’t use words lightly and “love” in particular, I reserve. The concept of love, I guard and use stingily. What I need to do is not be so guarded with it – because something is valuable does not mean it cannot be shared with the world. It’s precious, but you cannot cage love and expect it to thrive in the dark. I need to be more open about my feelings, allow myself to be vulnerable – not for the sake of being vulnerable, but more so for the sake of allowing myself to fall in love.
Yeah, I want to fall in love this year. I know it’ll be a delicate balance not being desperate to be with someone while trying to find someone – I don’t want a domestic partnership, I want someone I absolutely love. I don’t think it’s too much to ask. I’ll put myself out there.
6. Spend more time outside my head
Aside from taking a break from the sometimes-tumultuous havoc in my head, I’d like to be more present and take in more of where I am, what I am feeling, the outside. I need to do this.
Take deep breaths. Pause. No music, no nothing. Just take in where you are, how you’re feeling, everything outside of your mind – take it in.
I’ve set a reminder on my Google calendar every month to check-in. These things are so important to my physical and mental health and honestly… it’d be to my own destruction if I don’t abide by them.
Here’s to 2017.