And then

After one year, I went to the free and anonymous anxiety screening session to find out if I really have anxiety or not.

Long story short, it was a completely useless event. An online search for anxiety survey would have saved me a trip if I had known that it would be nothing more than checking a few boxes with extremely broad questions and having a trainee psychologist stare at me in silence after asking me what I wanted to do.

The moment I sat down, she said, ‘hmm looks like your scores were low… you have some anxiety… so what do you want to do?’ And stared at me from behind her false eyelashes with a stupid condescending smile.

(Thank you, Captain Obvious, for stating that I have SOME anxiety. I could have told myself that too.)

And I’m like, ???????? She’s asking me?????

She continued, ‘There is individual counseling and then there’s group counseling. Which are you thinking of?’

(How the fudge am I supposed to choose when you have given me NO information. And do I have anxiety? What kind? Can I tell you my problems? Is that not what you are here for?)

She kept suggesting that I attend group counseling and when I asked her how I could do that, she said I could just call in.

If she bothered talking to me a while longer, she would know that I have social anxiety when it comes to phone calls. I avoid phone calls as much as I can.

‘Do you have any questions for me?’ she asked, not looking interested in answering any that I potentially had.

I asked her what types of anxiety there are, hoping the conversation would go somewhere.

Her reply: ‘social, phobia, general…’

No discussion of my scores, no ‘how are you doing’, or ‘what’s been on your mind lately’ or even the slightest comfort in any way. She was NOT warm, NOT welcoming, and certainly NOT helpful.

So that was messed up and I left, feeling shocked that those people can even be allowed to be psychologists or counselors. I have spoken to teachers, friends, and strangers who have offered me way better words of wisdom and comfort. I am concerned for the people who have larger mental health issues that saw those ‘counselors’ today.

But even though those people didn’t have anything to offer me, I kind of stumbled upon the kind of anxiety I might have. High functioning anxiety, is what it’s called. I don’t know how valid it is but I read several articles on it and I could relate to almost everything they said about high functioning anxiety (HFA).

At first, I doubted it because I looked at the statement about how people with HFA sometimes feel the need to leave a room full of people immediately without reason. I thought, I don’t do that. I don’t know who I was trying to kid but it suddenly hit me today that I certainly do that. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been at a social event and suddenly I turn to my sister (or myself if I’m there alone) and say, oh God, I want to leave right now. I need to leave right now. Can I leave now? And I would sometimes even feel sick.

I had no idea it was even a thing. I thought I was being over-the-top. I am type A, I always need to ‘go, go, go’, I don’t catch a break, I stretch myself so thin by taking on everything (omg this), I compartmentalize my emotions to the point of thinking that I’m fake with people because I can’t show my real self because people will hate me if I show them my real self, I always think I’m not good enough and not doing enough and letting people down.

This is me. Now I get it.

I have no real ending to this post but somehow knowing that there are people out there are feeling the same way I do makes me feel slightly better. And also, I guess after meeting such cold and unhelpful counselors. it makes me want to be the person people can come to, can feel safe around, can feel vulnerable around without feeling judged.

Please be kind.

Raine
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Something good

This week, I have had several moments. Some bad, some very bad, and some good. When I say very bad, I mean, having at least three moments while walking across campus, feeling extremely exhausted and defeated to the point of wanting to just stop and collapse to the floor. I literally thought, what’s the point of going any further? And wanted to just sink onto the ground and not move. The waterworks might also have turned on in the library twice this week but nobody can confirm that, can they?

I don’t want to talk about the ‘very bad’ today though. I actually want to talk about the bad which turned out to be good in some ways.

I had a phone interview this week for something I applied for (not a job) and it was my first ever phone interview, I believe. And I was calm about the whole thing until the person called. Then I was a word-spluttering tornado who sounded really disorganized even though I had a lot of important stuff to say. The point is, I likely totally bombed that interview. Which sucks, because it would have been nice to not have done that but what’s done is done.

But what I realized after the phone call and in the midst of trying not to replay the conversation over and over in my head to scrutinize (duh) is that I really enjoy talking about what I was interviewed on and I am passionate about that interest. And that solidified yet another layer in my ‘I want to be a teacher’ block.

I want to teach. I want to spread the word, shed light on important things that people should care about, share my knowledge, interact with others, discuss ideas and action plans, help them, help myself.

I spent the next morning in class, coming up with lesson plans on how to teach kids about my topic of interest. And I was shocked at myself because I always told myself that I won’t make a good school teacher. And well, okay, maybe I started decorating my dream office with cool stuff in my head.

This experience has taken me one step closer to realizing my true career goal which is to be a teacher. For that, I’m happy. Maybe I won’t become a conventional school teacher. I just know I want to teach in some way.

Also, I realized that I’m a horrible public speaker. But I try and that’s what matters.

Raine
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Good afternoon, February

I realize that it’s been two full months since I’ve blogged here. My ‘I’m busy and uninspired’ excuse is pretty stale but it’s the only one I have. But whatevs because I found these golden videos and I need to share.

My Home – GOT7 is pretty much the best discovery of last week. And this 360 degree video?? It blew my mind! I can spin the screen and look at ALL my lovelies?! Technology is so winning right now. Important observations: JB being all cool (swoon), JinYoung handsome-ing all day every day, YoungJae dancing/floating in his oversized sweater, Mark singing the bridge, Jackson being Jackson, and the maknaes being maknaes.

And in case you’re like me and can’t get enough of JinYoung being hyper and dancing on the road, this video is for you.

Other GOT7 songs that were previously not on our playlist but are now: Feels Good, She’s a Monster, Dreamin’, Mayday, Hey.

You Were Beautiful – Day6

JYP is really killing it at bringing good, new voices onto the music scene. We were video-surfing the other day and came across this video. This is not your typical Kpop group, by the way. These guys can sing AND play instruments. I definitely want to see more of them this year.

And in other news, my sister is loving TaeYang more than I expected. LOL.

That’s all I have. See you when I run out of excuses not to blog here.

Raine
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So long, 2016.

I wasn’t going to write this post even though I’ve been doing it for the last 3 years but lots of things can happen in one year so I’ll make this short and sweet.

2016 was rough, I’m not going to lie. It. was. rough. Most of it being in the 2nd half of the year.

Rereading last year’s annual reflection post was hard. I felt like someone else wrote that post. On one hand, I am proud of last year’s me and on the other hand, slightly jealous. I didn’t achieve as much greatness as I did last year. I didn’t do as much as I would have liked and I certainly did not grow into the person I hoped to become. I am filled with disappointment and regret which is honestly really sad but there’s not much to be done now that the year is over.

I interned over the summer and learned that I hate being stuck behind a desk. Then I went to potential future work places and realized that maybe being stuck behind a desk isn’t so bad. The honors program thingy? A total letdown, thanks to a bunch of empty promises made by an irresponsible professor. I worked hard to get into the program – nobody truly understands how much mental work went into simply applying for it – and in the end, it turned out to be like this.

But so as to not be ungrateful and unrealistic, good things did happen. 2016 was the year of discovering KPop. I discovered Teukie who needs to find me so that we can hold each other and have a heart-to-heart. Okay, more than that, I did meet great people (friends and teachers) along the way and I had some enlightening moments. I made mistakes but I will try to learn from them and push myself in the right direction.

We discovered Yogurtland and I ate a lot over summer. I lost a lot of weight but I put most of it back on – half good, half bad thing, I guess. I had some kitchen successes – making my own alfredo sauce, okonomiyaki, foil-wrapped everything aka easy cleanup. What else… More and more gingko trees are being planted on campus; I want to be engulfed in their blazing yellow beauty. Oh, and I did read some awesome books so I guess that’s a plus right there.

As for my birthday, I had cake, lunch at my favorite Thai restaurant, dinner at our usual dim sum place, and I got great gifts – a meaningful necklace from my mom and original artwork from my sister. Can’t complain.

I want to be kinder, I want to be more patient, I want to appreciate the little things, I want to remember that it’s okay to ask for help. I want to stop being so hard on myself, to stop comparing myself to my past selves/others, to stop giving in to negativity. I want to remember that I am responsible for my actions/emotions and that my emotions are not my enemies. None of that is going to happen by itself so it’s going to have to be me making the effort. Most of all, I want to tell myself that I am capable of all this.

I don’t have new goals or resolutions for next year.

Happy New Year. Hopefully you made it out of 2016 better than I did. Let’s take on 2017 together.

Raine
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Shawol forever

I take back what I said about Shinee not being close as a group. I have watched enough of their interactions to say that they are, undoubtedly, close. And yes, I have a favorite. Taemin forever because I’m secretly still 16 at heart. And turtlenecks on Taemin forever.

Other members: Proud mama JongHyun when talking about/watching Taemin perform, kind-hearted flaming charisma Minho, dork tofu leader Onew, and fierce dancer/fashionista + say-it-like-it-is Key. I will go to a SHINee World concert after I go to my first Super Show whenever that may be lol.

Here are some of my favorite songs:

Don’t Let Me Go – SHINee

Favorite song right now. I’ve been listening to this a lot.

Feel Good and 1 of 1 – SHINee

Winter Wonderland – SHINee

Your Number – SHINee

The song that started it all. This is one of the first few SHINee videos that I watched and thought, ‘this is pretty good’.

Enjoy their fab dancing, especially Key’s.

Raine
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Still GOT7 week

I wanted to write about my week and tidbits on what has been happening on this end lately but I’ve calmed down a bit so I’ll turn this post into another GOT7 appreciation post. Hooray!

I love Jackson and JB but right now I love Jinyoung. He’s good-looking and I like his voice *_* He dresses well but I think he looks better dressed down… that’s just me though.

What about the others? Youngjae is so adorable, especially when he tries to mimic Mark or Jackson’s English. He’s like a sea otter, I have no idea why. BamBam seems like the mild type and he balances out the AmeriThaiKong (Mark, BamBam, Jackson) part of the group so well. Mark is unexpectedly quiet and easygoing, and it’s hard to tell that he’s the oldest.

It’s interesting to see every KPop group’s maknae (the youngest member) because you never know what kind of maknae they are until you watch their videos. Poor Yugyeom, the maknae, gets pranked too many times for their hidden camera episodes but I think he’s definitely got a bit of the evil maknae side haha.

I LOVE the mini episodes that they film for each album release. I’ve jumped here and there and I’m currently watching Real GOT7 season 2 but I’ve watched all the GOT7ing episodes. I tried to pace myself – 1 video on day 1, the rest of the videos on day 2. Pretty good, right?

Observations: these guys can eat A LOT. And they need to stop showing us all the delicious food they eat in all these episodes.

I love ‘A’ and the fact that this is the first GOT7 song my sister listened to.

You’ve probably seen enough ‘If You Do’ in the last post but I haven’t seen this one so here it is. This is eyeliner version.

Love the song and the video. Dorks.

So fun to see them relaxed/horsing around in their dorm (I think). I feel like the saying ‘boys will be boys’ fits this video.

The dance at the chorus and the baseball concept got me hooked.

Bonus:

GOT7 at a Korean BBQ where you can see firsthand the boys eating a lot! The first 1/3 of the video is Jinson (Jackson + Jinyoung) arguing over Jinyoung’s never-ending complaints about Jackson only taking BamBam out for meat lolol. But then they finally eat meat together here so hopefully all is well now.

And that is all. I’m craving Korean BBQ now.

Raine
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SHINee and GOT7 week (I realize that’s a lot of capitalization)

It’s only been ONE month since I fell head over heels for Big Bang (TAEYANG IS MY EVERYTHING). I have spent a lot of time listening to their MADE album from start to finish and even though I previously didn’t like Zutter, I have ended up listening to it anyway. There have been more discoveries lately so here’s a post about that.

But first, I have something to say. I read a blog (I think) where two people were ‘reviewing’ the members of Big Bang and they were absolutely tactless and ruthless in attacking TaeYang’s looks and character. It was painful to read, mostly because I felt sorry for the authors. I hope for their sake that their thinking matures and they see how unnecessarily mean they were.

Somehow that’s an awkward paragraph to transition from but I’m going to try my best to mention female groups in this paragraph. If you couldn’t tell, I’m the one who digs for male groups while my sister is all about the girl groups. She has been trying to get me to watch some videos but I think my problem with female groups is my preconceived ideas of what they have to offer. So it’s on me to get over that and just try watching their videos.

Anyway, I found this video below and that’s how I’m listening to most of Taeyang’s Rise album. I thought I only liked Stay With Me and Ringa Linga (please check out the dance practice video which is the most music-video-like dance practice video ever) but Taeyang’s live performances have won me ovvver.

Omg, the way Taeyang twists the mic stand at 0:52. Part of the basis for this post was writing about the small yet oddly significant things Taeyang does during his live performances. Like the way he likes to tuck the hem of his shirt very slightly into his jeans and his signature poses. In the words of a 21st century teenager, Stahp, I can’t even. His harmonization is always on point and can we just stop to appreciate his cute swag factor?

Taeyang can sing and even though his hair styles are always questionable, he’s got a heart of gold and is probably as sweet and humble as his members say he is.

So who’s first on the new favorites list? Shinee!!! It’s stylized as SHINee but let’s just go with non-capitalized in this post.

shinee-the-saem-eco-soul-bb-cream-2015

L to R: Onew, Taemin, Jonghyun, Minho, Key

Here is what we’ve been listening to/watching:

1 of 1 is off their newest album which is 90s-inspired. Their fashion is A+, also something I don’t think I could ever pull off but props to their stylists for letting them rock ugly turtlenecks, leather vests, and classic denim.

I’m surprised that we have become Shinee fans because when a friend said she loves them, I was like, yeah okay they’re not bad. The one who didn’t want to watch ‘View’ with me – cough my sister cough – is now the bigger fan. Shinee is fun to watch onstage but as a group, they’re not very close and don’t mesh well so their interviews can be dull and awkward. I find it a shame that they’re not close but I guess there are reasons for that?

Next up: GOT7. I’m the only one on the IGOT7 boat right now but I’m having so much fun. I watched them on various entertainment programs like Weekly Idol then I watched their interviews before I started listening to their music. I like their personalities, that’s why I ventured into their music.

got7-1

L to R: Yugyeom, JB, Jackson, Jinyoung, Mark, Bambam, Youngjae

ALSO CAN YOU SEE THE HAIR ON THEIR LEGS?!!!!! Never seen before (at least, for me) – body hair on male KPop idols. That’s what I wanna see.

JB comes across as a responsible but caring leader, like Teuk. The difference is JB can sing (sorry Teukie, you’re a wonderful DJ and MC with your silky voice but your singing is like umm, hahaha). YoungJae has a nice voice, too. There’s never a dull moment where Jackson is involved and the others seem decent. I think it’s great that they are a multinational group yet they function so well and seem close to one another.

Look at how dorky they are. I want to see Super Junior have a pajama dance party like this too. And just for extra measure, here is a video of them dancing to ‘If You Do’ at 2x speed on Weekly Idol:

Oh, and a fun fact I discovered today while looking up GOT7 member profiles is that only ONE of the members is older than me. That tickled me. Ahh, I can call them kids, right? Stay humble, kids.

As for BTS or Bangtan Boys (I had no idea they were the same), if you’ve been reading my tweets, I have dipped my toe in the water but I’m not convinced. I watched them on Weekly Idol out of curiosity and the member who stood out the most to me was Suga. Call it instinct or whatever you like; I can recognize my kind when I see them. And that is all I will say about this.

ENJOY!!! And yes, this blog has been taken over completely by Korean music fans.

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