The November Diaries: Day 10

9:10pm on this Wednesday evening. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! I know I’ve said it before, but truly, there is so much to be grateful for this year. Both my brothers are home, as is my grandmother. The Tang (nuclear) family is all reunited for the holidays and I can’t be happier about it.

Tomorrow is an exciting day, as it marks the first Thanksgiving that my brothers and I are completely taking over the reigns with cooking. I expressly told my parents, this year, that they could sit back and chillax while we kids cook the Thanksgiving meal. I’m in charge of mashed potatoes and cornbread. Austin will do the veggies. And Chris is Turkey Boi! We got it covered!

Another thing I’m looking forward to tomorrow is my reunion with my besties, Callista and Cassandra, who are driving up from Santa Barbara for Thanksgiving holiday. Gonna catch up with them at 3pm tomorrow!


But… why so future-oriented with this blog post? I’m completely skipping over the events and happenings of today! Today… boy oh boy, it was a doozy. I had a study session in the morning, worked on my final paper, and exercised for nearly 4 hours at the gym. I’m trying to get in shape rapidly, as I recently was invited to choreograph and participate in a contortion show, directed by my former contortion teacher, Serchmaa. I must look my tip-top shape before taking the stage. So, it’s time to diet, and it’s time to exercise the shit out of this old 23 y/o bod. The timing is a little unfortunate, as I am kickstarting my training right around the holidays, which is usually a time of heavy feasting and treats. Must exercise restraint and moderation.

I’m also having a mini “crisis of desire”, as I described it to my friend, Mikey. I’m not gonna get into the details of it. But basically, I’m feeling things that I hate myself for feeling, and I don’t know why I feel them, which leaves me confused and self-critical beyond imagine. I’m gonna turn to my private journal to hopefully unpack what’s going on in my brain, at the moment. Usually, cathartic writing and honest introspection does the trick, and I’ve gotten pretty good at examining the truths of my own mind, and recognizing denial patterns and distorted thinking when they pop up. Everything will be a-okay!

Aaaaand, it’s officially 9:20pm. I’m literally a grandma, these days. I’m in bed by 10pm, which is amazing. One thing I discovered about myself today is that if I eat too heavy a breakfast (i.e. heavy carbs), I am highly susceptible to a morning food coma. Unless I can offset the drowsiness with caffeine, I am almost certainly going creep my way back into my bed and go to sleep. To fix this little fault of mine, I will make sure to keep my breakfast light and protein-rich, drink hot caffeinated green tea, and bolt out of the house before my brain goes back into hibernation mode.

Of course, I can also get back into my cold shower habit as a surefire wake-up method, but honestly, cold showers in the winter are BRUTAL. If I were half as masochistic as I once was, I would totally subject myself to such physical misery in the name of character-building. But therapy has softened me up a bit, and I’m now recognizing that balance and moderation is the way to go, at least for mental stability and long-term, sustainable happiness. It’s a new concept, not going 200% with goals and taking things to the extreme… but the practice of holding back and approaching my goals slowly and steadily has done wonders for my mental health, and I don’t care that I’ve lost a little bit of my competitive edge, in the process. To make peace with my new way of being, I try to look at it this way: I can’t be competitive and achieve my goals if I’m bedridden with depression and burnout. So, I choose to pace myself. And I try also to remind myself that life and meaning derived from it is not just a sum total of the goals you achieve; there is more to life than achievement and endless striving… striving, trying, fighting… there can be honor in the struggle, but you have to know why you are struggling. Don’t blindly struggle because it gives you self-worth, or that you hate yourself so much that masochism is the only reality that can bring you a semblance of peace. If your self-worth is contingent on you throwing yourself, your health, and your happiness, under the bus, then that is a sign of toxic thought patterns that may stem from emotional abuse and brainwashing (hello, gymnastics).

Anyway, enough of this rambling. I’m gonna head to bed soon (after reading some of Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson– amazing book, by the way). Oh, and also do some journaling so I can get past my crisis of desire. Sending much love and gratitude your way!

Love,

Bel

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