Tuesday, August 4, 2015


It is somehow August already. Summer is coming to an end, and college is coming very, very soon. The nights are alternatively hot and cold, so my ceiling fan settings are never quite right. I was thinking about ceiling fans the other day, how I am lucky to have one. When I was much smaller, I'd visit friends' houses; they'd all have ceiling fans and it was something they took for granted, nothing special at all. Another day, I made lunch, and I was so entranced to realize that my quesadilla had chili and avocado. Avocado! It was so small a thing, yet so drastically different than what I was accustomed to. There was a time when I would not have believed that was possible for me. I can't pinpoint why I thought it would have been impossible, or perhaps it's unusual for any person, but it made me realize how I am oh-so-fortunate to live in the situation I am in, for the most part. As much as things could be better, they could also be far worse, so again, it's all a matter of perspective. Make the changes you can make, accept the things you can't.

It hasn't really felt like summer. Work takes up most of my days. It's the exact same thing I've been doing the past two years for free, but now I'm getting paid for it. It makes it feel like a really long weekend, rather than summer vacation. I wake up whenever I want to, I eat ice cream whenever I want to, and I sleep whenever I want to, and repeat it all the next day. Today I'm having a root beer float, in a last-ditch attempt to quickly catch up on all my missed childhood before I enter the "real world" as an adult. They are few and far between, as most root beers are sold in large packs or 2-liter bottles. I had forgotten how good they are.

I'm stretching myself thin, trying to live in the past, present, and future. I've downsized my social media platforms in preparation for college. I haven't logged on to my personal Facebook in days (and to be honest, I'm actually enjoying the time off, though I fear I will need it again for convenience in college). I combined several Tumblr sideblogs, such as my space blog and art ref blog, and I've absorbed my aesthetic blog and fashion blog into my main blog. I'm still not sure which blog I want to use as my main blog. My current main blog is now about 40% aesthetic, 40% trash posts, and 20% social justice/other, so it's the one I use the most. I want to keep it because it's a one word url, which are hard to come by. However, I did claim "realhayleyatwell" to use as my fandom blog url, which is the closest I will get to having a canon url (realhayleyatwell is the real Hayley Atwell's Instagram handle). The claryjsimmons account is reserved for original content, so I know I won't be using it very much, but it's also a candidate for main blog position, for obvious reasons. Anyhow, I'm thinking out loud and rambling. The point was to mention something about tinkering at the code for the themes. It does make me very happy when something turns out exactly as I want it, but the process is so frustrating, and therefore I know I do not want to be a compsci major. I wouldn't have the patience to make something entirely new, only readjustments. But that is enough to satisfy me; it is more than enough to improve with little steps.

I was mulling over why I chose a pseudonym for my online presence. It seems a bit conceited and strange to me, and I always feel awkward explaining how it works to a friend. "Yes, that is me, but not really. Am I changing my name? Well, probably not. Yea, I don't know." I guess it is in part due to the fact that I want to be a special snowflake. My real name is surprisingly common, and I was always annoyed at having to tack on numbers and special punctuation to make a username. This one is clean, fresh, new, and unspoiled. It is all mine, nobody else's, and especially not my parents'. It is a unitary identity, consistent over every social media platform (speaking of which, I made an Instagram). It gives me a sense of control and cohesiveness.

Yet somehow, this ideation is inconsistent with who I think I am. I am indecisive, and since I was much smaller, I've never been able to choose a single identity. I wanted to be a marine biologist, and an interior designer, and a business owner, and a teacher. I wanted to be American, and Chinese, and a very small part of me wanted to move to Canada and become Canadian. Is it possible to reconcile all of these things?

I applied as a political science major, and in a few semesters, if all goes according to plan, I will declare it and work towards a degree in it. Like many, I can't help but be plagued with doubts over if it is the right decision. Berkeley has neither a public policy major nor an education major, so I am worried that polisci isn't the major that is most aligned with my goals.

Then there's the issue of goals outside of education. Formal schooling is a common struggle that unites all students, and a while ago I started to analyze my friendships and I feared that I had nothing in common with the people I called my friends. Perhaps it is true that we are not alike, or had few shared interests. That's what keeps it interesting. But at the same time, I hope to meet people in college who share my likes and dislikes to the same degree that I do.

It is August, almost time for college, and I have not learned Morse code, become fluent in Spanish, achieved ambidexterity, read all the Tolkien books, gotten my license, dyed my hair, or bought an iPad yet. There is still time, but I think it's time I realized that I need to take things slow. I can't possibly do everything. I'm very much so an instant gratification type of person, but the problem with a fast paced life is that everything passes so quickly. It's time to dial down the speed and savor things. By the end of this post now, I've already forgotten how good an ice cream float is again. But then again, perhaps it is better to keep things moving. ◊

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