June 7, 2016

Okay, so I haven’t been using this blog very much. That is mostly because I have been busy doing, well, absolutely nothing. Why make a daily to-do list if you can just sit in bed and watch Suits all day?

I’m not proud. I know I really do need to start doing things.

The only productive thing I have been doing perhaps is learning how to drive. I started with SA driving school last week, and Ali has really helped me build my confidence. Every lesson is 1.5 hours, and each one is incredibly helpful. The scary thing, of course, is driving with my parents (who don’t have dual controls), but I know I’ll get there, slowly and steadily. This, of course, is a big deal for me. Ever since the accident 3 years ago I have been terrified of getting behind the wheel. But I know this is something I have to do – I can’t put it off forever.

I am also now fully caught up on sleep and well-rested; I am reading for pleasure; I am exercising more and eating healthier (I just started the “GM diet,” but I’ll get to that in a second); I’ve gotten started on Rosetta Stone for French; and moreover, I have been given space and time for myself to heal, rejuvenate, and quite literally detox from this past semester.

One of my goals for the summer is to really gain my confidence, inspiration, and discipline back. There were two main factors that sort of hurt my confidence this past year:

  1. I gained quite a bit of weight. Before I left for college, I think I was about 135 pounds. After I came home from Beach Week, I was 144 lbs. (I did lose quite a bit of weight during Miami, but then I gained it all back.) Yesterday I started the GM diet, something my mom has done before and guarantees shows results. The first day was the hardest – I could only eat fruits (except bananas, which are forbidden). I did cave and drink a cup of black coffee in the morning, without any cream or sugar. I also did eat a little bit of potato and peas in the evening, which technically isn’t allowed till Day 2, but I really needed it. By the end of Day 1 I ended up getting a headache and had no energy, but when I checked this morning I had lost 2-3 pounds already. Today I feel a lot better; Day 2 is vegetable day, so you can eat all the vegetables you want (baked potato, salads galore, corn on the cob, sautéed broccoli, etc). I think the first day is the hardest because it’s such a dramatic change for your body.
  2. And then the whole thing with Mr. Prosperous. I didn’t get the guy I really wanted, and then he chose another girl instead of me. (I know, my life is so hard. It’s not like a have a nice house in a safe neighborhood, a college education, and family and friends who love me. Oh wait…) Of course, I know it’s not the end of the world. But I still ended up getting pretty damn hurt, and the whole ordeal really shaped my emotional state this past semester. Happily, I’m a lot better now, and I’m relieved to have the entire summer and Oxford to just heal and move on. However I’m afraid of boomeranging back (in whatever capacity) when I get back to UVA in August and have to see him constantly again. That’s why I really really need to use this summer to move on, 110% percent. I need to flush Mr. Prosperous completely out of my system; a double-detox, both physical and spiritual. I need to gain my confidence back – just because one guy turned me down doesn’t mean I’m worthless, or somehow inferior to “the Other Woman.” It doesn’t mean I’ll always be alone. It doesn’t mean I’m not good enough, or smart enough, or sweet enough, or attractive enough. And it’s also not his fault, either. He was true to himself, he followed his heart, and he was, for the most part, honest with me. While I know these things, I really need to internalize them and work on finally believing them. I’m already 75%  of the way there.

I’ve also had a lack of inspiration lately. It’s harder to say when that started – probably during senior year of high school, when I realized I’d be going to UVA. All those lofty dreams I had about studying in the UK or at some fancy brand-name college dwindled away. I gave up on being just a pure music major. I came into college with no direction, no real passion – no sense or idea of “this, this is what I’m here to study, and this is what I need to do, what I have to do.” Part of why I’m going to Oxford is to get inspired again. I may not have made it there as an undergrad, but I’m hoping that the city of dreaming spires will remind me of where I can be in the future, and what I really want in life. I’m hoping that my great passion for history, and for all things old, will return as I explore Europe’s cathedrals and castles. I’m hoping that, when I return to UVA, I’ll be driven to work harder towards my dream of being a scholar.

And lastly, I need to work on my discipline. In high school, I was driven to accomplish many things on my own – to practice piano every day, to read on every subject, to write for fun. I think it’s because (a) I still believed I could do anything if I worked hard enough, like go to a conservatory or music school, (b) I had the pressure of college admissions, and (c) I had a much less distracting social life. Now I’m not quite as driven or as disciplined as I used to be – I just do whatever it takes to get by, to be good enough. I’m hoping that with fresh inspiration, as discussed above, my motivation to be disciplined will be revived. But I’d also like to set some goals for the summer and for the coming semester that I think could help get me on the right path:

  1. (College) Absolutely do not go out more than twice a week. In fact, spend some Friday nights in the library (at least once a month).
  2. (Summer and college) Keep and maintain a daily planner. Write down your homework and your goals for each day. Use it to keep track of when papers are due and when exams are.
  3. (Summer) Stop watching TV. Alleviate your boredom by reading or going outside. Which leads me to:
  4. (Summer) Read a lot more.
  5. (Summer) Memorize the capitals of each country. This is something you’ve always wanted to do, and if you achieve it you’ll feel good about yourself.
  6. (Summer) Get through Level 2 of Rosetta Stone so that when you go to Paris in July, you can use your French with confidence and again, feel good about yourself. Also you don’t want to get anything less than an A in French this fall.
  7. (College) Go to EVERY professor’s office hours. Make sure all of them know you by name. Keep in touch with Hedstrom and continue asking him for advice.
  8. (College) Find a new family on Grounds. 1st year it was IRO, but now you need to branch out. Try out for Jeff Soc (even though you kind of hate them), the Wash, UGuides. And of course, still continue with IRO.
  9. (Summer) Brainstorm a personal project you can work on and cultivate.
  10. (Summer) Write poetry!

That’s it for now. We’ll see how it goes. Until then, stay tuned.

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