How to not deal with emotions

Hey readers,

I feel like I’ve been abusing this blog too much by going on and on about my personal life and all its nitty gritty details! Am I being too selfish? Here’s one last personal post for this summer before I get to work and fill you guys in on all the fashion stuff.

I thought writing about personal things would be the hardest, since, from my experience, no one’s really good at voluntarily and truthfully exposing themselves to the rest of the world. It usually takes lots of time, memories, and shared secrets for people to pluck up the courage to simply show themselves to each other. It’s a ridiculous human trait now that I put it this way, but it’s also understandable, since as a species we humans are so good at picking each other apart for who we really are. In this sense, it’s quite natural for me to be afraid (or at least nervous) of putting myself out here, writing myself down, on the internet(which is infamous for bringing out the inner brutality in people-hello haters?). But contrary to my original thoughts and popular belief, I actually feel most comfortable when I’m sitting here alone with my old broken laptop with a mug of iced latte, telling hundreds of people I’ve never met before about my personal inner self. I think it’s interesting. Don’t you?

I think it’s easier for me to be honest here than to most people I know in real life because we(you, reading this, and I, writing this) don’t have any strings attached. As humans we actually are capable of being genuine and caring about each other without calculating profit(shocker, I know). We just never get the chance to do so because our society is built upon structure and class pyramids and all this give-and-take. It gets to my head sometimes. I mean, a lot. That’s why I’m very proud of myself for creating a little haven on the internet here where we can all just chill together and be who we are and not be judged or discriminated or used. All I ask of you is to be genuine and honest.

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(It’s a shame that I try to cover the camera lens all the time when people try to take photos of me. Maybe I just haven’t fully accepted myself yet?)

Speaking of honesty, a personal thing I want to share with you here in my personal haven called my blog today is that recently I’m realizing that I haven’t been a very honest person, in terms of emotions. To myself and consequently to other people, too. In the past I thought I was amazing at the art of self-expression. After all, I’m a (self-labeled) artist, writer, blogger, and photographer. Back in London, my favorite class was drama-when I was a child I wanted to become an actress. I was the epitome of self-expression; the queen of expressing human emotions. Or so I thought. Until yesterday.

I was always good at coming up with expressive, unique ideas that no one else in the class could think of. But I know now that that does not make me good at ‘self-expression’. Expression through art and real honest emotional expression are two different concepts. I could convey certain emotions through my literary skills or art skills or acting skills, but (especially as I grew older) I lacked the ability to communicate what I myself was feeling in real situations in my life. As I hit puberty and matured, I absorbed the ideals of profit and give-and-take that my competitive surroundings(hello, private prep school) were feeding me, and my inability of honest emotional interaction got worse and worse and hardened inside me, becoming a solid characteristic trait of mine. And not only did the inability stick, but in my mind I also started to form prejudices against emotions themselves. I thought emotions made people weak, and that the stronger people were the ones that knew how to not let petty things like compassion or ‘feelings’ affect their lives and their paths to success. I idolized logic and cold-blooded-ness. My face lost its aptitude to move its muscles to transmit what was going on inside my emotional chamber. In middle school people(friends, ex-boyfriends, teachers) would often tell me I should smile more and stop looking so devoid of emotion all the time. In high school(which I’m still attending), when doing “What type of person are you” quizzes on Buzzfeed with my friends, my friends shout out “emotionless!” on the “How do your friends describe you” question. Even then, I smirked silently inside as I gave myself a pat on the back for succeeding in concealing my vulnerability-my emotions. And all the romantic relationships I’ve had probably don’t qualify as romantic relationships since there is no romance in faking, saying things I don’t mean, and being a user. (I hope my ex(es) are not reading this.) “I don’t believe in love.” I would state, proudly.

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Up until a few days ago, my whole 17 years of ego and self-esteem were built on my pride in my absolute devotion to logic and complete disregard of childish emotions, and my belief that that made me tough and gave me an advantage in life. What I didn’t realize was that hiding and ignoring my emotions did not make me a stronger person. I was blinded by my obsession over rationality and accurate calculations, and my bias on human emotions. Whenever I could feel my feelings seeping up from the barren asphalt of my mind, I would try my best to squish them back under the surface and coat another layer of asphalt on top of the crack from where they had seeped out. What I didn’t know was that burying the emotions alive wouldn’t kill them. Ignoring the emotions would get them out of the way for a while, but the emotions would still be there inside me under the layer of asphalt, bubbling and boiling and knocking on the surface to get out. I was basically just planting volcanoes in my mind and heart. And those volcanoes erupted yesterday.

All the anger, sadness, and vulnerability I had bottled up inside me finally got the best of me. They had been eating at me little by little from the inside, and yesterday they erupted like there was no tomorrow. Something inside me exploded. I cried and laughed and felt more numb than ever all at the same time, and my mind, which was only used to pushing emotions out of the way, wasn’t trained to handle emotions, so I panicked. I was in a terrible state. I acted out by being rash and not thinking(a total opposite to my usual habits of over-thinking everything) and doing something very stupid. Luckily, my friends helped me out and stopped anything too big from happening.

So here I sit in this cozy chair in a cafe that I usually go to on my street, after the storm. I now finally see how ironically irrational I was actually being.

I remember I once asked my best friend, “Are emotions important?” And he said, “Yes.”

“Why?” I demanded. “They just make you vulnerable.”

To this he said, “They’re what make you human.”

I now understand what he meant. Emotions aren’t childish. Trying to ignore them is. And ignoring them comes with terrible consequences. Everyone has them(unless you’re a psycho/sociopath… in which case you should go see a doctor right now). Even I have always had them. Thinking back now, I’ve actually experienced many deep emotions(I think I actually probably have a pretty high EQ). I just refused to acknowledge them as a part of me.

Now that I’m removing the veil of prejudice and clouded thinking before my eyes, I can see that me trying to appear emotionless was only a manifestation of my insecurities. I didn’t know how to deal with my insecurities and my own vulnerability and was afraid of them, so my mind reacted to the fear of showing my weak spots by just not showing anything. I was a coward. I thought it made me strong but it made me weak and almost killed me inside. Now I’m going to practice exercising my emotions in a more healthy way; practice being human.

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Image Credits: http://theladyawkward.blogspot.kr/2014/03/evil-cold-hearted-ice-queen.html, http://www.pinterest.com/pin/329748003936339933/

Bon voyage, everyone!

Hey readers,

I don’t really get to travel a lot because being a high school student in Korea takes up so much time and energy(Gahh I’m not kidding-I have lots of friends that only get 3 hours of sleep every night even though it’s the summer holidays right now), but sometimes I do find the space to just get away for a while and relax. A week ago I went on a family trip to the seaside! There’s this island called Jebudo on the west coast of Korea. We stayed there for just two days but I had an alright time, writing stuff, reading Shakespeare(okay to be honest the reading part was pretty boring), taking long walks along the shore, and barbecuing!

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(No kidding. I was reading Shakespeare in Jebudo.)

Aside from the stay at the island, one thing I noticed during the length of the whole trip was that for some reason I enjoyed the journey of getting to Jebudo more than actually being there. It occurred to me that this wasn’t the first time. Thinking back on most of my past trips, I had always anticipated and loved the journey to the destination more than the destination itself. (But don’t get me wrong- I don’t mean that I don’t appreciate the experience of mingling with people and chilling out at vacation spots. I just tend to enjoy it less. If that makes any sense.)

To be honest I think it’s partly because the ride there gives me some time to breathe; some ‘vacant’ time. It’s a time when I’ve got nothing planned and can rightfully waste time without feeling guilty-since there’s nothing planned which means it’s basically blank time, right?(Okay writing this is making me feel guilty… I guess being good at self-rationalization has its drawbacks!) Seriously, it’s one of the best feelings ever to just sit in the car/plane/train/whatever and look out at all the buildings and people and fields and cows(I really did see some cows on a field. No kidding.), imagining what their lives must be like. Although, life as a building is probably pretty boring. I love the moments of simply listening to good music, eating snacks, and writing about whatever comes to mind, like there’s no tomorrow. Usually I always have to think about my schedule and plans and all the things I have to do, and that gets to my head sometimes.

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(Journey to the top of the mountain…in my favorite comfy oversized knitted sweater.)

However, ultimately I think it’s because, when I’m going on a voyage, I like the feeling of knowing that the immediate future is unpredictable and may hold unlimited fun and happiness, even more than the sensation of the actual ‘having fun’ part that happens at the destination of the journey. In my daily life I spend way too much time worrying or being paranoid about my future-“Will I get this done on time?” “Will my teacher scold me for this?” “What if I screw up on this test again?”-that, upon hearing the phrase ‘the future’, I seem to unconsciously light a fire of paranoia inside my mind, and the fire catches on and I start worrying about everything related to what I was originally worrying about. So when I have something to look forward to, it’s great to have that tingling feeling of positive anticipation about the future for a change.

Is this ultimately a good thing or a bad thing? I really don’t know. But I do know that, in a certain aspect, it can be a positive trait, if I interpret it in the right way! Unfortunately, I often observe that many people forget to enjoy the ride to a certain destination, whether it’s your dream job/school, fighting an illness, or even making a peanut butter sandwich(yeah, enjoy your sandwich-making, people). People are so focused on their destination that they don’t think to enjoy the journey of getting there. “Oh I’ve got that test next month? I guess I’ll just sit and memorize everything meaninglessly and lifelessly until I know enough to just get an A. And then I’ll empty all the information out so that I can start memorizing for the next test. Even though I hate studying. God I hate studying.” Honestly. I swear some people think like this(and it’s annoying…). I mean, I understand that goals are made for achieving. But Dorothy wouldn’t have met the wizard of Oz without spending all that time making weird friends and getting into trouble with those witches! One way or another, Dorothy had to follow the yellow brick road to get to Oz. It was up to her to either enjoy the road or to whine the whole way there.

Let’s enjoy the journey together! Let’s imagine a bright future and dream big, so big that it scares us just thinking about it. And let’s work hard but enjoy all the little things along the road. I’ll be there for you : )

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(I am the statue of liberty and I shall make you feel better-from my debate trip to NY)

Let me know about YOUR journey by leaving a comment(click the title of the post first, then scroll down to the bottom of the post- you’ll see the comment box and like button) or reaching out to me at konnikim@gmail.com. Actually, it doesn’t even have to be about your journey, it can be anything and I guarantee you I shall respond to everything, sooner or later. I haven’t been able to respond quickly to comments lately so sorry! But now I can! : D

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(“What? You wanna talk? Gurrl I am listenin’.)