Today was my last day as a student, ever. Unless I decide to go completely off the edge for a Ph.D, but my mom can dream if she wants to.
It’s a scary sense of freedom. School is like a safety net for the mistakes I’ve made in life, “Oh, I’m a student so I can mess up.” Now that’s gone forever.
I don’t know what’s next and I’m scared/excited. Scarexcited? I’ve said this before, but I truly believe that uncertainty is a canvas for beautiful, vast possibilities. When there’s no clear path, “meant to be” can run loose in your life.
So I say no fear. Just patient wonder for what’s next.
If I’m passionate about it, I produce much better work.
And I produce it much faster.
And my natural style of writing comes about easily.
And I feel more confident about it.
And I feel more confident about myself.
…Never underestimate the power for someone’s passion for something.
So we were going through LTG questions (which is basically a list of incredibly blunt questions that force you to be vulnerable and honest) in discipleship today and I came across one that really stuck out to me, which I will rephrase as “Are you capable of being happy for someone else’s success?”
It’s an interesting question because at the root of it, it has a lot to do with my own identity in Christ. Ever since I was little, I was being compared to other people. God love my parents, but I was incessantly compared: my grades, my height, my attitude, my looks, my abilities, my boob size, my shoe size, and the list goes on and on. I grew up never knowing what it meant to be confident in myself because I was made to believe that other people would always be doing better than me, achieving more than me and even worse, that they deserved it and I didn’t. My self confidence became non existent because I wasn’t raised to see myself as a strong, radiant Asian American woman. I was raised to cower.
It all became the butt of jokes. Friends and I would exchange stories of how our super traditional parents would do things like this, but then I started to realize the really harmful residual affects: I had an incredibly hard time being happy for people.
My first reaction was to think I was a horrible person: “God, why am I not happy that ‘Susie’ got a promotion at her job? Why do I hate ‘Susie’ for getting into that grad program?” Am I such a terrible person that I can’t share in the joy of my friend’s hard earned success?” For years I was stuck in that pit. Being happy for people could never come naturally and I felt so much guilt. Every single time a friend did well, I felt worthless and I’d hear a voice inside my head telling me that I sucked and that I’d never amount to anything. Anyone’s success was a threat to my identity.
Eventually, I realized it was because of the huge emotional baggage I had carried with me since I was little. I had always been compared to others growing up, so it made me automatically see everyone as adversaries, people who were gonna make me look bad.
My identity was f——- up, to say the least.
My self worth was measured, was defined by how well others were doing. So, if someone’s doing well it diminishes me. That was my mindset. I couldn’t separate my own self worth, my own identity from someone else’s. I will tell you….it. is. a. horrible. feeling.
Once I recognized that though, I felt a sort of odd freedom. Like, “Gee, thank goodness I’m not a totally evil person!” But as we all know, lifelong scripts are hard to reverse and when the grooves are so deep in the path you can’t help but to want to trace them and fall back into those dark places. But I have to steer forcefully into the truth, which is that when God created me, He did it with every intentionality. He doesn’t compare me to a single person, because He knows very well that I am who I am for a reason. God will not love me any more or any less for the things that I do and in my greatest weaknesses He is made strong and His power rests in me because of it.
My identity rests in Him and no one can rob me of that unless I give them permission to.
It’s sooooo important to hold on to who you are in Christ. Through Him I know that I’m worthy, I’m beautiful, and I’m deserving of all things. Through Him, I have no need to look to my left or look to my right. I just have to look towards Him and the rest will be, at rest.
Franny, the sweetest cat ever. Wonder what her favorite book is…
Some late thoughts about my first time covering an election:
1. I never want to cover an election again.
2. Talking to voters is super interesting. Some are incredibly intelligent, some are just crazy.
3. There’s something about reporting on politics that makes me feel really somber and dark. It feels like a game, like a sound bite over and over again and I’m literally physically pained by the lack of any real sincerity (as evidenced by the rash that developed underneath my right eye as well as on my eyelid).