Learning to Love Myself More

I haven’t written here in six months. Within that time span, I started to see someone new, intern at a beloved Asian American literary nonprofit, and took an online book art making workshop. Each endeavor making me happy in a variety of ways.

In fact, I was at a baby shower, and my old friend Prateek told me that I seemed happy based on my facebook posts. That I underwent a transformation since I last saw him months ago. His observation surprised me but after some thought, I agreed.

I’m exploring new ways to write, the guy I’m seeing is genuinely patient and kind, I’m doing fulfilling work, and I’m reading more and more. I’m actually curating a box of books for my dear friend, Sal, who kindly lent me money. It’s been so much fun to finally read these books, knowing that they’ll like them too. I usually kick myself for not reading it sooner hehe.

The only downside is I can’t really talk about the books cuz they might see this post. I really hope they like them. They’re pretty weird which is what they want hehe.

I can share what I got at the 8 Ball Zine Fair No. 14 this past Sunday though. I always wanted to attend! It was held at a pool hall. (Clever) I really liked how all the zines were set on the pool tables with table cloths. Pretty neat DIY. I bought from Sad Spells Press and Printed Matter.

Extinction by Luis Neer (Poetry) & Other Women by Nicola Maye Goldberg (novella) captured in a gossamer bag

The woman I talked to at Sad Spells was really nice. I wish I remembered her name. She read the novella within a single night, said it was similar to Plath’s Bell Jar, which I haven’t read yet. I like that it’s in second person and that the individual is someone the main character shouldn’t have fallen for. The poetry book had lines that just drew me in. I love how she gave me a tulle like bag to carry them home. I think I’ll reuse it for @abandonedB2DBC, my public art project where I abandon books, writing, small gifts, and lit mags for strangers to keep for Bored to Death book club. I’m aiming to leave the next package before the year ends. Hopefully I can, here’s what I’m reading now.

Teaching for people who prefer not to teach by Miriam Bayerdoerfer & Rosalie Schweitzer, bought from Printed Matter.

This above book was written to break free from the trudgery of teaching. To conjure creativity. It’s an intriguing read, reminds me of Learning to Love You More which I have a copy of now. My most favorite find at my alma mater’s library. These would make interesting dates hehe.

I’m volunteer reading again and there’s one story so far that was worth succumbing to the clunkers. The writer had such strong diction and a flair for language. I loved their fresh approach to seemingly inane, everyday topics. I wish it was a novel so I could read even more. They were that amazing. I’m starting to read Leanne Shapton’s Swimming Studies which talks about her experiences in competitive swimming and other instances of bodies of water. I LOVED “Important Artifacts” which is experimental literature that involves the fictional auction catalog of a separating couple. So voyeuristic and fascinating. Yet, it took me some years to pick up her swimming memoir from the library, which was utterly foolish of me. I don’t know how to swim and didn’t think it would interest me. But I read a few pages and my gosh her writing is so electric! A sign of a brilliant writer is if they have the talent to turn mundane topics into intrigue. And maybe, I’ll be less fearful of water and actually try to swim once I’m done reading this.

I’m considering turning this blog more bookish. It would be great to have an online record of what I’ve read and what drew me in. Right now I’m trying to figure out my top 5 for reading this year for Bored to Death, but I’m fuzzy on it. I also need to write in my book journal more often. It’s languishing.

As we close out 2018, I’m thinking of the ways I can explore the new year and feel more fulfilled. I feel less lost when I encourage others and listen to them, dive deep into a book and finishing it, attend readings and witness others’ truth, fill up pages, and giving letters & presents to the dear ones. I loved writing letters to my guests on my 30th birthday and I’m thinking of continuing the practice beyond their own birthdays and Christmas. Writing in my muji journal and pasting in ephemera and stickers fills me with such joy. Going to readings and tweeting about them makes me feel so lucky. It’s a reminder to keep composing and sharing. Reading books feels glorious and inspires me. Playing with my little cousins and talking to them fills me with utter love. And how much they love me right back. One on ones that allow for vulnerability and camaraderie grant me faith in humanity and hope for myself.

I wonder, am I aiming too low? This life could be so much more, I know this, but there are times when I don’t feel good enough to get there. Is this depression talking or myself? Anna tells me to take it one day at a time and that thought relieves stress. I do feel that I’m more aligned with my passions now. I’m starting to pursue more which is fantastic. I want to build a life of my own, to be less dependent on others. I think I’m too comfortable being at home with my parents. Maybe I am using my mental illness as a crutch. Though I’m currently stable and overall happy. Considering the future makes me anxious. But I am capable of being more than this present state.

…right?

So I’m going to write more, read more, submit more, and try more. Hopefully blog more here as well. I will carve out a space for myself in this world. I will learn to love myself wholeheartedly. I will keep my pen and this blinking cursor moving. I will try to remain open-minded when opportunities arrive and stop saying “No” to myself at the first sign of discouragement.

I am lucky to be alive. I am blessed to be stable. I have loved ones who only want the best for me.

And I’m starting to believe I deserve the same.

It’s so much easier to say no, but I realize now that it comes to a cost of myself. Loss of self-confidence, low self-esteem, limited future, no growth whatsoever. I’m at a better place than before but there’s still room for improvement.

I want to be a better example to Den Den & Dominic. I want to take them to cool and cute broadway musicals and shows. A monster truck rally for Dom. Spongebob Squarepants for Den. I want to perform at readings. I want to have more bylines. I want to be in more lit mags and zines. I want to feel beautiful exactly on the first gaze at the mirror. I want to allow myself to fall in love. I want to document this life more closely and more often. I want to keep these full lips moisturized lol.

Less daydreaming and more enacting. I finally found my make it happen notebook. It’s been a few months since I updated it with some immediate bucket list goals. Maybe I can cross some off before the new year arrives?

>> I can #abandonB2DBC in NYC, just need to finish reading the books and writing the inspired piece (and finding the right, damned tchotchke)

>> Record a video of myself a.) to the me 5 years from now b.) for achieving a milestone such as pregnancy, moving out, loving someone romantically

>> Compose a fan letter to a role model with a small gift within. I’m thinking cool stamps

Honestly this little book is so far the best method to keep me motivated and striking through desires. I love using the daruma stamp in an array of colors and doodles, and filling up each blank eye. I love thinking about what goals I want done three months from now. I love that’s it’s a collection of favorite stickers and ephemera. I love numbering each page and making the notebook bulky. I’m hoping to fill it up in five years. There’s 56 pages and I’m currently on #16. I started it a little over two years ago so that’s pretty good progress.

I’m feeling pretty hopeful for the new year. I believe there’s a lot in store for me, and most of it my doing. I think I’m capable of making my dreams come true, I mean, I totally have already haha. From dream internships to curating my first reading, I think I have more power and ability than I give myself credit for.

Learning to trust myself is hard, but I need to get out of my own way. For far too long, I’ve said no to myself before I even attempted. Or even before letting myself have a single daydream. I’ve been told that I’m talented and highly intelligent, but I have felt that I wasn’t enough at all. Even recently.

I want to give myself a try, just like The 1975 video hehe. Love their latest album, so so good.

I feel like I’m meant for more but I’m not acting like it. This blog is a step forward though. At least I’m writing here again. I just hope it doesn’t end here, with only words typed out and not acted upon. I have a terrible habit of doing just that.

Okay, that’s enough babbling haha. I want to finish going through the submissions and read some zines and books.

I think way too much lol ugh

eileen

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