It is hard to want so many things and have so many goals not yet met without feeling a bit empty. To want so much but know you have not achieved it is a somewhat cruel existence.
It’s my senior year of university and I find myself running out of time and trying to also outrun it. I’m a board member for 2 organizations, one social and one social/cultural. Both clubs have my heart for different reasons, and I’m so passionate about my roles but… a girl can only do so many things in one day.
For my social organization, I am the Recruitment & Outreach Chair for a transfer student-specific, co-ed fraternity. I am responsible for advertising the frat to the transfer student body, scoping out events for us to volunteer and recruit at, organizing Rush events for the first week of every quarter, and educating new members on frat history, structure, and rules. The workload probably averages out to about 4 hours per week, but it feels like so much more. Between constantly messaging other board members about budgets, scheduling, other members, or misc decisions and my own responsibilities, it’s a lot to handle while also juggling a part-time job (15 hrs/week) and full-time student workload (13 units).
On top of that, I am the Intern Chair for a social/cultural group and am responsible for fostering friendships among old and new members and teaching newbies about club history and board members in hopes of them signing on as interns. So it’s similar to my position in the frat but significantly less demanding. The time commitment is about 1.5 hours a week.
On top of my specific duties as a board member, I also attend weekly general meetings and board meetings. For two clubs. Ultimately, what it comes down to is I have an hourly planner that shows me each week how many hours I have to do homework and personal tasks each day. I legitimately pencil in when I can eat meals.
I know, I know: I signed up for this life, so I gotta sit in the hole I dug for myself. I get it. But it feels exhausting to have so little time as a transfer student yet so much passion for my interests and getting involved. All these commitments will look juicy on my resume (because I ain’t doing all this work just to downplay it on paper) but why must it be so tiring? Why don’t I feel fulfilled rather than drained?
T-Swift is back on Spotify and honestly, it’s such a wonderful service to everyone. Binging on all her music brings back all these feelings I felt when I was a young teen, and I have resolved a lot of the emotions. In fact, I think some things have only intensified.
For example, on her first album, the self-titled one from 2006, she has songs about heartbreak, jealousy, and quite a bit of loneliness. Or at least, that’s what I read from it. Songs like “A Place in this World” and “Tied Together with a Smile”. With lyrics like,”Maybe I’m just a girl on a mission, but I’m ready to fly. I’m alone, on my own, and that’s all I know. I’ll be strong. I’ll be wrong, but life goes on. I’m just a girl trying to find a place in this world” how can a listener not relate? I just turned 21 last Wednesday and am on track to graduate next spring with my bachelors. But what then? What is my place in this huge, crazy world? For “Tied Together with a Smile”, there’s still the relevant topic of mental health and the weight of other’s expectations. “You’re tied together with a smile but you’re coming undone” resonates with so many people in their moments of exhaustion, doubt, and disappointment. The fact that she was what, 15?, when she wrote these blow my mind. I’m in my twenties (eek. how?) and these emotions are part of my weekly thoughts. I don’t think it’s a matter of maturity or anything like that, but more of a testament to her musical artistry of being able to tap into human experience and emotion.
And then there’s, of course, those sounds about clumsy romance and feelings broken for the first time like (you already know it) “Teardrops on My Guitar” and “A Picture to Burn” that transports you back to the first time you felt darker feelings and it’s reassuring in a way only hindsight can provide. They’re songs I think I’ll always come back to, because this is probably the third(?) time I’ve come back to this song and it still hits all the feels. Recently, I felt similar feelings when the guy I had feelings for asked me to meet his new girlfriend, after telling me a few month ago, “dating makes me feel like I’m so tied down” and telling me we could go on a date and then preceding to never bring up the topic again. Okay, dude. Yeah, I bet she’s beautiful and a great person, a girl loaded with all these qualities that I don’t have.
Sprinkled into this same emotion mix of an album is the idealism so precious in youth, heard in “Our Song”. I don’t think I’ll ever skip that song when it comes up in my queue, because it’s bigger than just the story of a teen romance. It’s about chasing after something you care about for maybe the first time, and doing that with recklessness, innocent curiosity, and joy. There’s this realization in the power of passion. Like the excitement you feel talking on the phone when you shouldn’t, or the in-the-moment presence of writing something down on a napkin, or the simple happiness in driving in a car with someone you care about. There’s so much life in that song; it really shouldn’t be underestimated. The vulnerability and lost wonder in this album really makes it timeless. I really didn’t expect to feel such connection to her music, let alone write a blog post about it 10 years after its release. Ha, I guess I’ll always kinda be that 13 year old girl afraid of other people’s perceptions and loneliness at heart. And that’s kinda okay with me..? We’ll see.
tldr: Tay Swizzle makes me feel all the feels and I’m binging all of her songs 5ever.
Dear Boy Whose Smile (I thought at one point) Could Resolve Wars,
You aren’t as special as I thought. Your smile is still just as big, just as perfect of a natural crescent, and your wave is taht same styled wave of licorice black locks, but it’s all changed. It’s been different for a while now, but did you notice at all? No, probably not… and even if you did, you would go on pretending you didn’t just so you wouldn’t have to deal with my emotions. It’s not worth the awkwardness, right?
You’re such a soft boy (see definition). I’m not sure if you intended to follow that archetype or if you’re just naturally an asshole, but I cringe at myself for ever dreaming of a future with you. As soon as I learned your favorite sports team, I imagined us watching a game together with all of your friends that you talk so much about and your family who you love so much. I’d buy a jersey. Or maybe you’d let me wear one of yours even though they’re nearly *sacred* to you because I look cute enough in it to let it slide. I daydreamed about you stopping to look into my eyes and say you’ve finally woken up. You’ve realized that you’ve been dumb and been missing out on the beautiful person sitting in front of you. That you’ve been blind but now all you want to see is us. I told my sister that I could see us growing together, going on adventures, and laughing hysterically at each other’s oddities. And when I learned about your passions, even thought they didn’t align with my own interests, I drank in every damn word because learning about what you loved was one small step toward learning about how to make you interested in me. And you noticed that. You saw how I’d give feedback and listen to your monologues about cars when I know nearly nothing about them and text you back every time you sent me alien-looking sports cars because I was “a decent enough human being to do so”. All that attention I gifted you, all those times I racked my brain for something funny or thoughtful to reply with amounted to being a “decent human being”. I spent hours in your room talking about class, literature, cars, our families, our friends from back home, food places, pet peeves, sexual preferences, so many more things. And I think doors were opened–like you stripping to take a shower, coming back into the room with a wet chest, hair, and back and wrapped in towel, and offering your bed to me to sleep if I was tired when I live above you–but I didn’t cross the threshold because maybe you were just being nice? You probably meant it like a friend, right? No, you don’t like me, you’re just being a good guy.
But does a nice guy give you a $100 Nike jacket that smells like him because it’s a little chilly outside and “it’s too small” for him and “looks better on you anyways” when you live in the room upstairs? Does a nice guy say getting a late night snack with you is the best part of his day? Does a nice guy say things like “Dang, you’d get along wth my parents so well” or “I’m so glad we met. I think we really click” or “You’re one of the few people in this huge place that I actually trust” or “I’m only weird when I’m with you because I feel comfortable with you” or “Hey, if you’re tired, you can sleep here next to me” ? Does a nice guy give you a vague response back when you profess your feelings to him after you insisted that you didn’t want/need an answer, and then follow it with “I can’t say I’ve never thought of you that way, too… So do you wanna go on a date sometime?” ? You are the epitome of mixed signals. Your words made me feel like I was teetering right on the thin edge of being something special to you and being just a girl you talk to when it’s convenient for you. You never made an actual move. You shied away from my flirting. You went home a lot on the weekends, granted for family stuff but still evading me. You ghosted on me. And I wouldn’t care so much if I hadn’t believed you were actually my friend.
I told you to your face that you’re a soft boy, that you’re someone who fucks with girls’ emotions and make them believe you’re interested and maybe think they’re special all because of mixed signals and obscure statements that could be read as being really nice or as meaning something more. But at the end of the day, you don’t fuck all of them. You say all these foggy things and confuse them because that way, you can say you’re just being nice and can come back to really pursue them later if you feel like it, or if you’re bored after a different girl, or if you feel insecure about your own attractiveness and need a little confidence boost. Okay, I didn’t say the last sentence to your face. But you agreed with me that you were a soft boy. Did you think it was a joke? Do you not take my words seriously? Or maybe you’re just that dumb, or you’re one hell of an actor. Yeah, I’m bitter.
It’s because I’m hurt. I had never had a crush on someone the way I did for you. I couldn’t say your name without smiling. I looked at doors sometimes hoping that they’d open and in you’d walk, seeing me immediately. I studied in shared spaces near you hoping to bump into you, or that you’d find me. Or maybe you’d look for me, text me to see where I was, ask if you could come over and study with me. I wrote a little poetry about you. I blushed harder than ever when I gushed to my roommates about you, about my feelings, about the walks you asked me on at 2 AM. You don’t just do that with anyone, right? He’s totally into you. He likes you! Awe, I want you guys to happen. You’d be so cute together. It all made my heart jump in circles and stars and all the shapes in between. I drew hearts with your initials in it. I would force myself to wait a few minutes before opening your texts because I couldn’t let my excitement be that obvious. Some days I couldn’t study if we didn’t talk. I’d look at your profiles, search for any hint that you were an inkling as enchanted by me as I was with you.
But I think I really knew that you didn’t feel anything for me. That’s why I waited two months to say anything to you about my feelings, and why I told you in the first place and why I didn’t want any response. I didn’t want hope. I wanted catharsis. I wanted to be past you, because I knew you’d never be with me.
Now you have a girlfriend. You beckoned me away from my friends to meet her, and the stupid girl/good friend that I am, I went. I walked over and saw her sitting there with her pale skin, hazel eyes, blond hair, wearing your favorite jacket. I guess jackets are a thing with you, huh? I’m glad I got the one you bought last summer and outgrew this past quarter because you’ve been working out and growing and just don’t wear anymore even though you still think it looks really cool. She’s great, I’m sure. I’m not upset at her. I’m mad at you for not being honest and saying that you weren’t interested from the start. You should have been honest especially if you said you trusted me. Trust means knowing the person will try to understand and will keep your words with the utmost respect. Just say I’m not your type instead of calling me over to show me what she looks like and making it obvious which side of the table I’m on. I’ll tell you my feelings if I ever decide to waste my breath on the explanation or if you ever try to listen to someone other than yourself for more than 15 seconds. Goodness knows you won’t actually care about my feelings.
And yet here I am writing this lengthy blog post about you that I would never want you to read because it bares all my let down dreams and embarrassment from thinking “maybe…”. It’s fine, though. This will be the last time I ever waste my time with you.
So, to the Boy Whose Words Mean Nothing, have a nice life.
i wonder if everyone’s kisses feel different. the way your first love kissed was not the same as how you next love kissed. and i’m not talking about mood or if it was more or less sexual or if they favored the top lip over the bottom one. i mean the tingly feeling, something intangible that distinctly branded their kiss and theirs.
everything is different. the temperature of their breath floating over your lips and chin. the softness of their lips. how they tasted a little bit like their cinnamon toothpaste and also like the smile you placed on their lips right before. or maybe their lips were salty from tears that you were trying to kiss away. or were a little broken from being nervously chewed on and your kisses were the gentle remedies.
yes, each kiss must feel different. there are too many pieces of life intermixed with them to ever make two kisses exactly the same.
i hate when songs have the lyric “no one will ever love you like i did” or “he’ll never love you like i can”
like, that’s why we broke up. that’s the point of me not wanting to be with you. i don’t want your love.
also, bullshit on any truth in that lyric. you do not have the authority to measure love, the love i receive or to place your love higher than another’s. that itself defeats the pure intentions of love.
s/he won’t love me like you did? Good.
Living at my university, it’s so easy to find inspiration. I find it in the numerous plaques around campus dedicated to famous figures or broken records. I find it in the professors who bring so much knowledge, expertise and personality to their subject.
Most of all, I find it in the students around me. We are such a hub of incredible potential and intelligence that it blows my mind. Every person I’ve talked to has dreams and skill sets and ideas that expand my mind endlessly. I love my peers. You are amazing, and you are like me, and I am like you, and this is all so unbelievable to be surrounded by this many qualified people.
There is so much hope in this little bubble of university.
breakfast as dinner is bomb though.
and breakfast as a late night meal.
something about eggs is so comforting at night. maybe it’s just the right amount of saltiness or warmth, or it could just be my Japanese American upbringing consisting of 80% of comfort foods having eggs in it haha