Krish(na) ● They/Them ● ↑20

aries sun, aquarius moon, libra rising

Hello! My name is Krish, and this is my personal blog. You can read a little bit more about me and my blog here. I also have a personal site that has more about me if you care for it.

Cliques, Listings, and Webrings Under the Cut

Media Roundup: Q1 2024

Throughout my time on the independent web, I've seen a lot of people have pages dedicated to things they've read, songs they've listened to, or games they've played. I've always wanted to do something similar on my site at some capacity, but my perfection kept getting to me. How do I categorize the media that I consume? Do I create a seperate layout for each page? What if I read something like an online article that I have thoughts about that I wish to share, where does it go because it's technically not a book? Would I have to create a seperate page and layout for articles I read too now? I spend a lot of time watching video essays. How do I share those?

I'm not sure why I didn't realize I could create blog posts inspired by a media diary post from a blog that I follow to serve as periodical media logs earlier!

The form of media that I'm into very much depends on the time of year and what other things I have going on in my life at the time; for example I've been in college this first quarter of 2024 and have been completely burnt out of reading for pleasure at the time of writing this. It becomes a lot less mentally taxing not have to worry about consistently having sparse, unupdated pages or redundant layouts on my site. I feel like I can focus on just getting down my thoughts about the things I consume, which is what I wanted in the first place. On a personal level, one of the ways that I reflect back on my life is through the media that I was consuming at a particular time, so having it all chronilogically grouped feels natural to me. I tend to get through media very slowly compared to others, so I believe that posting media roundups every 3ish months is the most managable for me and makes the most sense for the way that I operate.

This first round up is obviously a bit late because I figured out it's formatting and structure a little more than two-thirds into the first quarter of 2024, and is subject to edits as I randomly think about things and go: "oh yeah! I did read this short comic/play this game/watch this movie/etc. back in January/Feburary/March 2024, wanted to share some thoughts about it but didn't have a place to at the time.

General spoiler warning for everything that I choose to write about! I don't want to have to censor my feelings writing my media round ups.

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ʚɞ ⁺˖ ⸝⸝ Books

Books that read this quarter either physically or through audiobooks.

Not a lot of reading these months because all of the focus I have for reading goes towards reading my school textbooks ://) haha

I'm Glad My Mom Died written by Jennette McCurdy (Reread): Originally read this book summer of 2022, decided to come back to it after watching the Quiet on Set documentary. My heart hurt for McCurdy just as much if not more this time around. This book is a very candid account on the abuse McCurdy suffered at the hands of her narcissistic mother and how it became a part of her acting career. I never watched iCarly growing up yet enjoyed this memoir, so I certainly don't feel like knowledge of her acting history or her as a person are necessary to enjoy this book. I appreciated her sense of humor and wit while recounting her objectively traumatic life. I pray that McCurdy makes more from this book than Nickelodeon could’ve ever offered with their hush money, and she is able to pursue a fruitful writing career.

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ʚɞ ⁺˖ ⸝⸝ Games

Games that I experienced this quarter either by playing them myself or watching let's players.

Monster Parlor developed by MetaphysicalMonsters: I loved the unique designs. Beauty is pain.

Welcome to the Karoshi Club developed by Kamishibai Interactive: This story follows Kenji Haishima, a former game developer trying to find a new job in our dystopian society. Reminds me heavily of Junji Ito vibes. Finding a job that won't exploit you these days is hard.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective developed by Capcom: The story follows Sissel, an amnesiac ghost with supernatural powers, and his journey to rediscover his identity. I was super young the first time that this game was released, so this was my first time playing it. The early 2010s vibes it gave me were incredibly nostalgic. The puzzles were fun and I was not expecting the ending at ALL.

Fia's Night Out developed by ArcadeKitten: Fia sneaks out to get what she wants and everything is normal. This game is ncredibly short but it's very sweet. I'm interested in seeing how it connects with the rest of the overarching ArcadeKitten lore...

Buckshot Roulette developed by Mike Clubmika: I was obsessed with this game for like a week. I watched multiple different Let's Players play this game just because I was so intrigued by how different people would approach playing this game. There's not much of a story behind it, I just enjoy the strategy and whimsy behind this game.

Open House Simulator developed by Corpsepile: In this economy? A good price for a house...just kidding! If you play, make sure to have the volume up.

Thirsty Suitors developed by Outerloop Games: I watched Materwelonz play through this game, and I'm glad that I did. The story follows a young woman named Jala as she navigates a recent relationship break up and is haunted by her several exes. I was a big fan of the casual lgbt Indian representation in this game, and will probably be one of my favorites for this reason.

Poppy Playtime Chapters 1-3 developed by Mob Entertainment: I literally only consumed this because DanandPhilGames played this. Surprisingly, I'm actually a big fan of the overarching story. I'm not a fangirl for it by any means, but I'll probably keep tuning in.

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ʚɞ ⁺˖ ⸝⸝ Movies

Movies that I watched these past few months.

Bottoms directed by Emma Seligman: I started a Kat Blaque video reviewing this movie not thinking that I was going to watch it, heard her refer to it as "Lesbian Fight Club" and immediately clicked out of her video to go watch the film for myself (Sorry Blaque...I came back to watch your review after watching Bottoms though!) and enjoyed it throughly.

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ʚɞ ⁺˖ ⸝⸝ Podcasts

Podcasts that I listened to this quarter, whether it be me tuning in weekly or just listening to a singular episode because the topic interested me.

A Bit Fruity with Matt Berstein: I was previously aquanited with Matt Berstein through their Instagram social activism posts, so when a podcast episode of thiers popped up on my reccommended I decided to give them a listen. Matt gives a very calm energy in all of their epidodes, and I'm a fan of all the guests that are brought on.

Two Hot Takes: My guilty pleasure podcast. I am too lazy to spend time on Reddit myself so I love that there is someone out there to do the curating and reading them out loud for me.

Very Really Good Podcast: I am a proud citizen of Kurtistown, so of course I will listen to my mayor yap. I put this on in the background when I don't want to be sitting in complete silence, but also don't want a podcast I need to deeply be paying attention to. I have no idea how this man sustains a podcast all by himself.

The BCC Podcast: I was a fan of Sarah Schauer and Brittany Broski's Violating Community Guidelines back when it was a thing, so imagine how thrilled I was to discover it's spiritual successor. To be honest, I think I prefer the BCC Club's vibes more because of the two hosts being lesbians. I don't really have the time to do deep dives on random internet topics like I used to, so I'm happy to have a podcast that does it for me.

Sad Boyz: My favorite podcast ever. I first discovered it back in 2019 as a senior in high school because I enjoyed Jarvis Johnson's videos, and wanted to hear more from him. This podcast was the first time I heard someone speak about their immigration struggles and how their life always felt like it was in limbo, and it was the first time that I felt seen. Emotional pervert for life

Do We Know Them: I started watching this podcast after ditching H3 because I wanted a podcast that I could listen to about internet drama without them being zionists. I love Jessi and Lily, and the energy and care they bring to the subject matter they cover.

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ʚɞ ⁺˖ ⸝⸝ Television

Television shows that I watched this quarter.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Seasons 1): I actually never read the original books that this series was based on, but I wanted to watch this because a lot of my childhood friends did and I wanted to feel included. Because I don't have the original books to compare them to, I don't feel some of the levels of dissappointment that OG fans might.

Yellowjackets (Seasons 1-2): I decided to watch this because lesbians. An incredible mix of mystery, suspense, horror and comedy rolled into one shoe. There are times that the characters frustrate me, but I have to remember that I'm not a teenage girl anymore so their actions won't always make sense to me. I love the fact that they jump back and forth between the teenage versions and adult versions of the characters.

Fleabag directed by Phoebe Waller-Bridger: A filterless woman navigates life and love in London. I was convinced to watch this show because of a Youtube Short where fleabag confesses to wanting to fuck a priest...I meana, how could I _not _after that? A very unique show and one of the best ones that breaks the fourth wall.

Hazbin Hotel directed by Vivienne Medrano: To be honest, I only watched this because my family has an Amazon Prime account and I wanted to be able to understand some memes about it on the internet, it's not something that I would've been inclined to watch otherwise. It was okay. I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either. The art style isn't the most appealing to me, and it feels like the dialouge was written by a teenage edgelord. I don't think the show needs to necessarily become "family friendly" persay, but it would come off a lot more developed if it leaned into the darker aspects a bit more to give the story more depth. The setting is Hell after all! On the positive side, I did enjoy the music. I will probably tune in to watch season 2 if/when it releases because I am curious to see how things further develop. Also, I relate to Charlie a little too much for my liking.

Avatar the Last Airbender: The Legend of Korra (2014) created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko (Rewatch): I chose to rewatch this because I felt the intense urge see my girlfriend (Korra) again. The first time I watched this show I was 17, and it hits so much harder as an adult.

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ʚɞ ⁺˖ ⸝⸝ Youtube Videos

Youtube videos that left an impact on me in some way, shape, or form that I'd reccommend to others. I put on a lot of Youtube in the background while I am doing other things so it'd be impossible for me to list every video I watched, but these are the ones I have things to say about.

The Sims 2 Castaway: The Weirdest Sims Spinoff Game created by Izzzyzzz: I didn't grow up watching the Sims, so I'm always intrigued by any type of Sims retrospective.

That Time Tumblr Invented Its Own Genders created by Strange Aeons: I was pretty young when MOGAI was more "in vogue", so it was interesting to hear about it from somebody that was actually old enough to understand what was happening in that era.

The Sudden Disappearance of PBS kids Sprout created by Lulaloopsey: As someone who has been trying to figure out where "Sprout" dissappeared I was thrilled to find this video. Again, thankful that someone else did the research for me and compiled it into an easy to digest YouTube video.

The Tragic Tale of Just Pearly Things created by J Aubrey: If Pearl has zero haters I'm dead.

The Scandal That Rocked the Fishing Boat World created by Grayson's Projects: There is nothing that could've prepared me for what this video was actually about. I love hearing about mundane drama that I have no stakes in.

What the New Twitch Meta is Actually Revealing created by Kuncan Daster: Honestly I'm not active on Twitch so I'm not familiar with the Twitch "culture", but I had fun watching someone analyze it.

Kurtis & Dean: Always a Looming Apology created by Kuncan Daster: My mayor was involved, so I wanted to hear about what was going on.

A Very Deep Dive into Shifting created by Strange Aeons: Absolute banger from Strange Aoens. The topic of shifting has always fascinated me because I've always just thought of it as intricate lucid dreaming, but this video dives much deeper.

I lost my cat and found him 6 YEARS LATER...but now it's too late. (a story of letting go) created by Outer Edge Outpost (Isaac Marion): A story about love and loss. I'm not crying, you are.

I Quit Social Media and Created a Website created by Lauren Julie: I think that it’s important to share perspectives from people who didn’t necessarily find joys in website building through Neocities. I like how...offline this video feels.

The Subversive Power of the Lesbian Cheerleader created by Rowan Ellis: I love femme lesbians! I love when we subvert hetero norms!

WEIRD Christian Knockoffs of American Girl Dolls created by SAVY WRITES BOOKS: I didn't grow up with American Girl dolls, so I watched this video as an outsider looking into this world. Incredibly fascinated by the number of people who thought they could do American girl dolls "better" but instead ended up doing it worse.

"I never thought I'd fall for a scam, but..." created by SAVY WRITES BOOKS: This entire story was a trip from begginning to end.

The Rise Of Frutiger Aero created by Izzyzzz: Recognized this style, never knew it had a name. It makes me sad to think about how optimisic we were about the future of technology before, lol.

YouTubers Need to STOP Promoting BetterHelp created by The Kavernacle: The more I learn about BetterHelp the more I am disgusted by them.

Is this author's husband trashing her novel on Goodreads? Maybe, but there's a bigger problem here. created by With Cindy: I love goodreads drama.

Rich Girl Allowance Simulator: The Shopaholic Games created by Li Speaks: These games were my childhood!

The Most Cursed Section of GirlsGoGames created by Li Speaks: To be honest I don't really remember this section of GGG, but I'm glad a retrospective was made on it.

↬ Consuming Content is NOT a hobby... ? created by Naomi Cannibal: A good reminder that content sonsumption is not a hobby!! We are more than the things we consume!!

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ʚɞ ⁺˖ ⸝⸝ Misc. Media

Miscellaneous things I consumed this quarter that I want to log and share that don't fit in any other category.

Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV (2024) directed by Mary Robertson: Words cannot describe how much of a gutpunch this entire docuseries was. I actually never watched any of the shows mentioned, funnily enough because my mom found them inapropriate for me to watch, but Nick was still a big part of my childhood through their cartoons. To a certain extent I've always been aware that the acting industry was throughly corrupt and vile especially for children, but some of the things this docuseries brought to life were things that I could not have ever concocted in my wildest dreams.

Do I Contradict Myself? Very Well Then I Contradict Myself, (I Am Large, I Contain Multitudes.)

⊹ ࣪ ˖ ꒰ঌ Currently... ໒꒱ ⊹ ࣪ ˖

Mood: Accepting

Weather: Mostly Cloudy

Listening to: "So American" by Olivia Rodrigo

Reading: The Premed Playbook Guide to the Medical School Personal Statement: Everything You Need to Successfully Apply by Ryan Gray

Watching: The Legend of Korra: Book Two: Spirits

Playing: Nothing (...Pokemon Go? Neopets?)

Drinking: Iced Caramel Latte

Perfume: Sweet Tooth by Sabrina Carpenter layered with Midnight Amber Glow by Bath and Body Works

(Title references this poem.)

Feeling yourself grow up and change is so strange. Whenever I notice something different about myself, even if it's just the accumulation of a bunch of small changes finally making a bigger difference in my life, it feels so alien. When I become aware of a "shift" in who I am and what I value in life, my immediate feeling is discomfort. It really sucks that this is my gut reaction because more often than not, the changes that I notice are positive and serve to enrich my life. I think I just don't like change. It's not a matter of disliking not being in control, because as I previously mentioned, it usually is a result of me taking control that things change. I actually consider myself to be very "go-with-the-flow" and adaptable when changes occur as a result of other people. Part of it is because I've had to be, but regardless of why I'm like this I've been told that I handle stress very well when things go awry due to external influences. So why is it that when I start to crave exercising everyday, a goal that I've been working towards for ages now, it makes my stomach sink?

I'm not diagnosed with anything that would make me neurodivergent, and will never seek any diagnoses because of the implications it'd have on my life as an already marginalized person. That being said, I find a lot of ADHD and autism tips that get sprinkled across the internet to be extremely helpful. Something that people with autism struggle with is "static thinking" or "black-and-white thinking", and I find that this resonates a lot with how I think about myself. I feel like I hear about "black-and-white thinking" a lot in regards to external situations, but I personally struggle to see myself as a dynamic ever changing organism. The monkey brain in me wants to perceive myself as a static person that will stay consistent like a fictional character. But I'm not a fictional character. I am not plot driven and two dimensional. I am influenced by the world around me. For as long as I can remember, I've hated exercising, but now that I've started to enjoy exercise (or how I feel after I exercise), it fills me with a feeling of malaise because who I am is changing. Now that I have some semblance of why I feel this way, I'm trying to become okay with feeling the initial discomfort, sitting with it, allowing my perception of self to change, and proceeding on in my life healthier and happier.

When I started to spend more time by myself, I realized that I didn't really know who I was and was dependent on other people to define who I am for me. Honestly, I perceive that a lot of the world pities me and looks down on me. Once all that noise disappeared I was forced to discover who I was, find parts of myself that I was not fully aware of before, as well as find places that I was lacking in that I'd like to develop more.

Something that I used to be really insecure about in the past was being "out of the loop" of popular culture. Between being a child with niche interests and having immigrant parents that I couldn't learn cultural references from via osmosis, I often had no clue what my classmates or friends were referencing or talking about. It seems like a really miniscule thing in hindsight, but at the time I was already dealing with feelings of detachment from others, so my inability to connect with others in this way made me feel awful. At the time, there were many popular television shows that I hadn't watched because my mother wouldn't allow me to, and many popular musicians I hadn't heard of because I felt like I couldn't relate to liking their sound or lyrics. At that age, I better related to anime characters in extremely exagerated fictionalized environments and vocaloids that told elaborate stories through their songs rather than listening to another pop song about heartbreak on the radio or watching serious movies about social norms that I couldn't understand. At one point, I became determined to no longer be an "outsider" in this regard, and I became addicted to watching countless television shows and listening to music from musicians that I didn't care about just to fit in. As a combination of my addictive personality and desire to catch up socially, there was a time in my life where I'd spend hours of my day wasting it on the internet just to make sure that I knew everything about anything that I could, just so that on the off chance that I was in a social interaction with someone, I wouldn't be ostracized for not knowing about something. It was awful. I hated myself for it. Especially because I know that if I was not living with my parents, I wouldn't have been able to take care of myself sufficiently. I have a lot of interests, and a lot of my interests have communities behind them: the personal/independent web, jfashion (girly kei and lolita), vocaloid, youtubers, game dev, podcasters. Even in my more niche interests, I didn't want to be "behind". I never wanted to be behind. At some point, it got to the point where I wasn't completing the basic things I needed to survive or get done. Luckily, because I lived with my parents, I was always well taken care of, but there was always a gremlin in my soul tugging away at me for not being a normal "functioning" person. In my head, everyone was born into this world with a little handbook teaching them how to be a functional and social human and mine never got delivered. So I've always been behind, always been forced to try to catch up.

I was always afraid to even indulge in some of my interests online because I was afraid of being seen as a "fake fan" of something if I didn't go "all the way" for some of the things I loved like constantly attending livestreams, or running and being an active fan account and being a good "mutual". I was perpetually keeping myself in a state of misery because of my own toxic standards and need to be everything to everyone. But it's impossible to be everything to everyone. I thought that the only things being worth into is whatever's "popular", not the things that I personally enjoyed. But the reality is, I work in seasons. I have a lot of interests, and they ebb and flow, and modern social media and the relationships that they cultivate do not allow space for that. People are expected to "niche down" and I don't want that for myself. Although I don't believe that modern social media is all bad, it's undeniable the effect it had on my perception of people, relationships, and myself.

I sadly don't recall which Youtuber said this, but they talked about how sometimes Youtubers who decide to quit the platform and pursue a "normal" job sometimes feeling like they are "losing the game". But are they really losing the game if they are quitting Youtube to pursue a career that is better for them? Having social credit and being popular isn't everything, especially being popular on the internet. It made me think about my mindset about having to feel like I was caught up on everything. I realized that I really don't want to be caught up on everything all the time. I used to believe that it was social media feeds that were the problem— the ads, the lack of privacy, the algorithm, the shortform content. In truth that was only part of the problem for me. I discovered RSS, and subscribed to the RSS feeds of everything that I could, but that only raised new problems for me. The longer I'd avoid my RSS feed, the more unread feed items would appear. At some point, I was spending more time than I was comfortable with just clearing my RSS feed reader. I wasn't even meaningfully interacting with the content that was appearing on my RSS feed anymore. It made me realize that I needed to let go of the feeling I've felt since a young age to "catch up", even if it filled me with an initial feeling of discomfort. I will never catch up. It is not possible to catch up because there will always be an endless feed of content to consume. I have to redirect my addictive tendencies elsewhere. I needed to let myself finally "lose the game": achieving the unttainable goal that I had set up for myself when I was younger. What I thought would make me happy (always being up to date on everything) was not bringing me happiness and fufillment. So I finally let myself lose the game. I want to use my completionist and perfectionism tendencies towards building a better and more fufilling life for myself.

I have been redirecting my addictive tendencies to other places now. Rather than allowing myself to become addicted to long form content like 2 hour long YouTube video essays or the endless tiktok or twitter scroll, my hits of dopamine come from completing tasks on my to-do list and doing small things to take care of myself, including but not limited to my exercise goals. I've been channeling my addictive tendencies into becoming invested in musicians and their discographies. I have only been allowing myself to be sucked into the things that serve me. Music is shorter than television shows or movies, and if I choose to take a break from my work to listen to a song, it will only set me back in my schedule a couple of minutes rather than setting me back 2 hours or giving me task switching hangover. Music also is a way for me to connect with other people, so I am still giving myself a way to be able to form connections with others whether it's through bonding over enjoying the same musicians or being able to introduce them to something new. I am able to listen to music while doing other things (i.e. my eyes don't have to glued to the screen to understand what's happening). I love being able to decipher the stories that musicians tell through their music. It is also capable of putting me in the mood to do more of the things I like: writing and art! In the past community wise, I was spending so much time consuming other people's work for "inspiration" that I wasn't even creating my own art anymore. It'd end up turning into doom scrolling, because I'd start to make myself feel worse about not creating while also obsessing over other's work. Ever since I started sourcing my validation from myself, I'm less inclined to feel pressure to be active in communities of my interests in order to make sure that people will interact with my content. I feel lighter and free. It's a lot more fun for me to channel that obsessive energy into things that I'll personally never be a part of like the music or movie industry. It hits a little less close to home consuming these things, so I'm able to consume that content without guilt. I don't feel lazy for scrolling instead of creating. Instead, I bookmark the pages of artists and websites that I like, so that I can choose to go visit on my own terms.

Maybe there are people out there who are able to be socially aware with the happenings of the world, take care of themselves, while also being able to do heavy brain things like keeping up with their school work. But I am not naturally one of those people. I've learned what's important to me and what to prioritize, and these things might not be the same for everyone. Accepting myself where I am as who I am has greatly improved my quality of life. I don't want to be the same person that I was when I was 16 years old. I want to grow and change and blossom into the person I want to be, even if it brings me discomfort due to change and letting go of things that were once important to me. I want to accept that although I was not the best person in the past, I simply did not have the resources and the experience to be the person that I am today. I don't want to hate the past version of myself for having different priorities than I do now; I want to accept myself growing and evolving, just as humans are meant to do. I want to accept that as I gain more life experience, I will change and I will have to get used to it. I want to accept that a "future me" may contradict a "current me" and that's normal. I was not put on this Earth to be popular or understood by people. I was put on this Earth to simply live.

Went through my old Tumblr blog from 2017-2018 and found this image that I had tagged "mecore". I need to remind myself of this sometimes!

Applying to Med School Makes Me Feel Like My Insides Are Being Scooped Out By A Melon Baller (Yet I Persevere)

⊹ ࣪ ˖ ꒰ঌ Currently... ໒꒱ ⊹ ࣪ ˖

Mood: Anxious, but Determined

Weather: Partly Cloudy

Listening to: Can’t Catch Me Now by Olivia Rodrigo (+ her album GUTS)

Reading: My Figure Zine by Ophazines (You should read it too here) (๑>؂•̀๑)

Watching: The Anti-Trans Propaganda Film Made by a Cult Video Essay by Jessi Gender

Playing: That's Not My Neighbor

Drinking: Iced Lavender Matcha Latte

Perfume: Fireside Flurries by Bath and Body Works

I generally look forward to writing blog posts as a form of mindfulness, but for whatever reason I've really been struggling with articulating my feelings this time around.

I will be attempting to apply to medical schools again within the next few months, and if I'm being completely honest, thinking about it makes my insides turn inside out. I was supposed to apply last year and only take one gap year, but midway through the process and application cycle, in lack of better words, I fell apart. I try not to be too hard on myself about it, I was in a really dark place this time last year after everything I was forced to shoulder immigration wise on my own with little presedence or guidance. I want to be a doctor, and I want to work in the healthcare field. This much I know. Being completely candid, if I'm not doing something in healthcare, I'm not sure what else I like enough that I'd be willing to do as a job.

I'm in a better place now, but everytime I start to work on my application, I feel myself become paralyzed. It's weird. I should be excited to be making tangible steps towards what I want for my future, but instead I become full of dread. I mentioned this a couple of blog posts ago, but I don't let the world define who I am anymore. It's not a mindset that I adopted overnight. It took a lot of hard work, discipline, and a year of girlrotting to change my unhealthy thought patterns. Ever since I was a young child, I depended on the opinions of other people for my sense of self. For example, I used to think I didn't suit the color pink or soft aesthetics because I was a midsized brown person, not a pale ghostly thin white girl. I saw myself as a brutish and uncouth individual. Whenever I was in a same sex relationship, I was always seen as the "masculine" one. Whenever I saw brown femmes unabashedly embrace their feminity I felt myself become green with envy, because why were they able to ignore what "society" deemed appropriate for darker skinned femmes? I always thought that I'd be making a fool of myself if I reached for the things that appealed to me rather than what the world thought suited me best.

Since unintentionally isolating myself after graduating undergrad, I learned to listen to my own inner voice a lot more without letting other people sway my thoughts and emotions. For the first time in my life, I was free from the expectations and pressure of "keeping up" in my life. I've since come to understand that I both look and feel my best when I'm being true to myself, and trusting my gut. I feel like ive reached the point where i dont feel like i need to overexplain my circumstances and life story to validate my emotions to other people, yet im gonna have to essentially do that in my application again, and this subconciously keeps me from prepping. It feels like returning to a mindset that I've outgrown. By recounting my memories of undergrad via writing for my application and reaching out to old mentors for letters of reccomendation, I feel like I'm taking steps back in my mental health recovery even though that's not necessarily true. I don't want to have to verbalize and recount how I felt during 2020, trying to learn acid-base chemistry during the peak of the pandemic while simultaneously being worried sick about USCIS processing delays and the possibilities of Trump being elected again for another 4 year term, and not even having a voice in what happens in the country I live in because my family cannot legally vote. I am afraid of how dehumanizing and re-traumatizing it is going to make me feel trying to verbally articulate why I am American through and through despite not having the legal papers to prove it. I am afraid that I am going to set myself back mentally, only for it to end up meaning nothing if I don't get accepted to any medical schools this cycle. I am not looking forward to "traumadumping" on my applications while simulataneously having to play it off as it having not affected me for a sliver of empathy from an admissions comittee. I know that there's no way for me to truly "go back"— I was who I was back then, and between me aging, becoming wiser, and having life circumstances change there's really nothing that will bring me "back" to being my "old self" that I worked so hard to grow past. But sometimes feelings are illogical and irrational.

I am not going to be a perfect medical school applicant. I've failed classes, I've retaken classes. My grades are good, but not perfect. I don't have a 99th percentile MCAT score. During my undergraduate days, I used to live in constant anxiety that nothing I do will ever be good enough and that I'll never get into med school no matter what I do. I've lived in the United States since I was eight, but got stuck in the greencard backlog and aged out of my parents' application, so when I apply to medical school, I'll have to apply as an international student. Medical school acceptance rates for American citizens are about 40%, which is already pretty low. But that’s nothing compared to rates for “international students”, which are about 8%. Because of this, even though most of my life has been in the States, I don’t know if I have a future in this country, and living in this constant state of limbo is extremely mentally exhausting. Before I finally had time to refine my coping skills during the past year, there were many days where I could barely hold it together. It was a horrible feedback loop of knowing that I had to keep studying and working hard because I'd be stressed about my future, my mental health would become worse because I was overworking and overextending myself, the quality of my work would decrease, rinse and repeat. I had to continuously reassure my parents that they hadn't ruined my life by moving to America, and I was always afraid to voice how I was really feeling because I didn't want them to feel like their sacrifices were nothing. I felt like I was being divinely punished by god that I had to work harder than the people I grew up with just to live the "same" lives as them, just because my dad was born in the "wrong" country. I didn't understand why I wasn't allowed to do the basic things my friends around me could do: get their driver's licenses, get their first jobs, take out student loans to move away far for college. I didn't understand why I had to work 10 times harder than everyone else to be considered for an entry level job, hope and pray that said entry level job would be willing to extend a work visa for me, and then maybe, just maybe sponser a greencard for me. And then, maybe after five years of having a greencard, I can study for and maybe pass an American citizenship test. Just for a piece of paper that will give me the rights that my 14 years (and counting) of having lived and grown up in the United States isn't enough to afford me. There were many times during undergrad that I had to advocate for myself just to be given opportunities. It became so exhausting to act strong all the time. I was always so tired. I am still very tired. That's why I became a hikikomori for a year unintentionally after graduating. I wasn't able to keep the strong person persona, and I was afraid of it costing me my already limited opportunities. So I dissappeared without saying anything to my IRL friends and mentors. It was easier than dealing with the consequences of potentially letting my mask slip.

I am stronger now. I listen to my inner voice and gut a lot more. I have a better understanding of who I am these days. I give myself the space to feel sad and other negative emotions now instead of feeling like I need to act like a strong and inspirational person all of the time. I've changed my mindset to make sure that the only person's opinion that I value the most is my own. I can't change how the world sees me. I can't change how the world thinks of me. But that's okay. At the end of the day, everyone else can walk away from me, but I have to live with myself forever. I might as well be someone that I like. Hopefully along the way of being authentically myself, I reach my dreams of working in the medical field, I hope as a doctor, but I'll be okay no matter where I land. I hope that I make and keep friends who see me as I am and love me for me. I've mastered loving myself and spending time with myself while self-isolating, but my next step is mastering loving myself while dealing with day to day stressors, both from career and interpersonal relationships. I need to learn how to keep loving myself and who I am while being face-to-face with a person who pities me or doesn't think I'm worth my oats. Something that I didn't understand when I was young, is that everyone is born into this world with their baggage of sludge. Some people are born into poverty and live paycheck to paycheck. Some people deal with being born with an absent father, emotionally or physically. Some people live with particular health conditions that make living difficult. My immigration story is my baggage of sludge. I'm still me despite everything. I'm me because of everything I've been through. My history simulataneously makes me who I am and does not define me at all. It's wonderful.

When I was beginning my healing journey in 2022, a book that really helped me was Supernormal: The Untold Story of Adversity and Resilience by Meg Jay, PhD. In this book, Jay recounts the histories of ordinary people who came out of their adversities extraordinary. Something that stood out to me was her acknowledging that there are adversities out there that do not have a label associated with it. At the time, I didn't know that there was a word to describe what I was experiencing (immigration insecurity), but it made me finally acknowledge that I was experiencing hardships in my life, and that I as a person, am not inherently stupid for struggling through it. On the contrary, I am very strong. I am extraordinary and resilient for surviving it all and continuing to do so. It is a wonderful book and reassures it's reader that they are not predestined to any particular behavior. The book does contain research, statistics and the history of psychology but were integrated in the story, in my opinion, well. I reccomend this book to anyone needs reassurance that they are not alone, and that they are resilient.

Recharging (Like a Battery)

⊹ ࣪ ˖ ꒰ঌ Currently... ໒꒱ ⊹ ࣪ ˖

Mood: Tense

Weather: Windy

Listening to: Traumatic Livelihood by Jazmin Bean (+ her entire debut album)

Reading: The Premed Playbook Guide to the Medical School Personal Statement: Everything You Need to Successfully Apply by Ryan Gray

Watching: My anatomy lectures....

Playing: A Short Hike

Drinking: Iced Vanilla and Brown Sugar Latte

Perfume: "Fireside Flurries" by Bath and Body Works

It feels like there's something in the air— a lot of the people around me both in person and online have either been talking about or actively have been withdrawing from socializing as of lately. I can't even be mad, because I've been feeling similarly! I deactivated my Neocities profile for like two days, but as of posting this have reactivated it. I don't want people to feel like they can't keep up with my site updates if they don't use RSS. I have just accepted that I won't have the energy to actively check my Neocities feed for a while, even if I plan on continuing to write blog posts and updating my site. If people decide to unfollow me/unmutual me over this it's whatever. I used uBlock origin's element zapper to hide my Neocities profile's views/follow count a long time ago.

Despite the seemingly social nature of blogging and maintaining a website, I actually see it as a very solitary activity. The point of the World Wide Web is for people to come across other's sites and thoughts, yes. Despite this, to be completely honest, I don't necessarily desire an audience for my blog. Something that I've personally been working on these past few years is relying less and less on external influences in dictating what I do and enjoy. I see maintaining a website and blogging as mediums for expressing myself, not necessarily as a way to socialize with other people. I think that having multiple ways of expressing yourself is important! I use this one to talk about my life in a casual way as if I were catching a friend up on the happenings of my life, without the pressures of maintaining an actual conversation. I find it really therapeutic to make it part of my routine to reflect on my life using blog posts as my medium about every two weeks. I indulge in the fantasy of being perceived alongside the awareness that nobody could be reading this, or caring at all.

Part of the reason why I feel the intense need to be alone is to recharge and figure out who I am again. A few weeks ago a video called "I deleted all my social media and made a website" by lrnjulie showed up on my Youtube recommend. Part of the reason why I chose to watch it was because I wanted to hear about the perspective of shifting over to a personal site over social media from someone who wasn't swayed to make a personal site by exploring Neocities. In it she says "...are we overconsuming inspiration from social media? I think we are because of how social media apps are designed to keep us on there looking for inspiration for way longer than we actually spend creating art. It's like an inspiration overload so none of them really stick and we're not even getting proper time to reflect on them and actually incorporate them into our art". This quote in particular was about art and social media, but I felt it resonate in my soul about my life in general. I'm the type of person who doesn't say no to things, as a result I feel like I've been spending a lot of time doing a lot of things I am lukewarm about instead of doing things that I enjoy. I've felt like I've been spending too much time exploring other people's sites for inspiration rather than working on my own. I feel like I've been spending too much time listening to other people's music recommendations rather than organically discovering what I like. I feel like I've been spending too much time looking at other people's art for inspiration rather than creating my own. I chose to disconnect from social media feeds because I felt exhausted by the need to keep up with other people, yet I keep playing "keeping up with the Jones'" in other aspects of my life. I want to break the cycle. When I think back to my happiest days as a young child, it was because I chose to let my natural curiosity take me where I needed to go, both online and offline. I want to experience life like that again, and for the better or worse it means it means I have to disconnect for a bit.

In regards to life happenings, I had the privilege to run into a friend on campus that hasn't texted me back for about 2 months. One of the rules that I live by is "I don't chase, I attract", so I let myself trust that she'd text me back whenever she was ready. I chose correctly. She looked happy to see me, and apologized for not texting back. She didn't go into details about anything in particular about her life other than mentioning having the worst semester of her life. I didn't want to prod too much if she wasn't going to share organically, so I just let it be. We hung out for an hour just talking. We didn't do much of anything other than that, but I was just happy to know that she was at least okay and in one piece. I have no idea when I'll see or hear from her again, but it was good to have tangible proof that there were no hard feelings between us or anything of the sort. Like I mentioned earlier in this post, sometimes we just need to spend time by ourselves recharging, and that's more than okay.