Sunday, June 25, 2017


After a terrible Friday wracked with social anxiety, I found the will to leave the house this weekend for a number of exciting adventures. First was seeing Wonder Woman in Friendship Heights with Diana. I struggled a bit with navigating the Metro, but I made it in the end. We also visited the Botanic Garden, which was absolutely beautiful and very humid. On Sunday, I started off with a trip to the Dupont Circle Farmers' Market with a couple of Cal-in-the-Capital friends. The peaches were in abundance, but not yet at peak ripeness: the juicysweet flavor of summer has yet to sink in all the way to the hearts of the fruits. I love how colorful everything is at a farmers' market — as if the fresh produce and human goodwill intermingle and produce a new type of vitality. We also made our way to the Newseum, a highly recommended attraction. The top floor balcony boasted a magnificent view of the clouds and the Capitol building. I love the sky in D.C.; unlike Berkeley where a cloudy day means a completely overcast sky, here, the luminous puffs dabbled across atmosphere exude an effervescent mood. On our way back to the bus stop, we passed numerous Classical buildings of imposing stature, reminding me I still have so much to explore. If this good weather keeps up, I have no doubt that it will be a very fruitful summer. ◊

Friday, June 23, 2017


I enjoy my own company very much, but like any conversation, there comes a time when the exchange has run its course and there's nothing left to say. This week while my internship office is on break, I've been struggling to figure out what to do with my time. I've been leveraging connections to meet with alumni, but for the most part, I've had nothing to do.

I supposed it's not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes you need to push and sometimes you need to take breaks. The problem is that I want to try new things in my breaks, but I'm too anxious to leave my apartment.

  1. a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.

On the plus side, I have a lot to look forward to. Talking to alumni and mentors was an incredibly rewarding experience, and I've come to realize that this is one of the greatest benefits to being in DC. I wouldn't have made those conversations otherwise.

I've also somehow secured my dream internship at the National Education Association, starting next Tuesday. Once that begins I suppose I'll have more to do and structure my day around, but until then, I'll have to figure out how to deal with the ennui. ◊

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Lorde Owns My Soul & I Have No Regrets

I know it sounds fake, but I swear my entire outlook on life has changed 180˚ since Lorde's new album Melodrama came out on June 16. It is an absolute masterpiece, and I haven't listened to anything else in the last few days (except her old music as well).

Unlike Lorde's last album release, I now have the financial independence to do what I want with my money, so I bought merch for the first time. There was a tote that had the gem of a line, "your sweetheart psychopathic crush," written in filigree cursive, but ultimately, this hat and the delicate plant sprig won out.

The flip side of financial independence is that it's easy to get carried away. I also bought tour tickets — four of them, in fact. One for myself, one for a friend, and two because my other friend convinced me to get them and sell them at a markup. I don't know how that's going to work so it was a bit of a risk, but hopefully it pays off. The concert isn't until March, so I have some time to figure that out. Until then, I'll have to wait on the merch and savor the lyrics and rhythms of Melodrama a bit more. ◊

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Lovely Day on the Potomac

This post was a long time in the making because for some reason my computer refuses to import the last photo I wanted to include, but at this point I've given up and accepted that I'd rather post this without the pic. Anyhow, just as I was building anxiety about what to do over the summer, a friend from Berkeley who lives in Maryland suggested that we and a few other people go kayaking on the Potomac. It was a lovely day with perfect weather and I'm so glad I went. Paddling east, we saw the Kennedy Center, the Watergate Hotel, and the Lincoln and Washington memorials in the distance. We also wandered around Georgetown for a bit, which was quite scenic. We headed back just in time to see the sun set over the river, which made for a very picturesque moment. ◊

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Perfect Places

With a lot of free time spent in isolation, I've been blogging much more lately than I have all semester. It would be nice if not for all the anxiety gnawing at the back of my head. What for? I'm not sure, but I think it has something to do with the ever present threat of inadequacy.

Can I accept that I don't have it all figured out? Can I accept that I've acknowledged my negativity but it's not something I can fix overnight? Will I ever come to terms with the concept of my mediocrity, that I am, perhaps, not meant to be effervescent?

I can suffer from everything my anxiety throws at me, but at the end of the day, it's still my responsibility to do something about it. I am accountable for taking care of myself. As much as I wish someone can fix things for me, it's not going to happen.

My dissatisfaction with my internship. My frustration at being alone. My uncertainty about my future. These are all things that only I have the power to change. Yes, these are areas of my life that I feel inadequate in, but they do not last forever.

I'm nineteen and I'm on fire — still young and chock full of potential and opportunities and the overwhelming desire to do good things. The last sweet dregs of teenage glory dry up in less than a month: why did I ever waste a second of it feeling helpless? ◊

Monday, June 12, 2017

All My Friends Are In Relationships And I'm Still Single

"I give up on relationships," I say, lamenting my lack of banal relationship drama so wonderfully evident between Wei-Wei and Daniel. Without skipping a beat, Wei-Wei retorts, "That's dumb."

I'm nineteen. I can't give up already, can I?

This post has been a long time in the making, but the issue really came to a head last night when I found out my roommate has a girlfriend. I'm in a new city, I don't know a lot of people, and at the very least I was hoping to be able to hang out with my roommate and explore DC. But nope, she spends her evenings Skyping her SO. Cue me going to bed and reading articles on being happily single (and yes being single is great, but more on that later). A heads up, this post is going to be long and rambly because I've tried to edit it so many times, so I'm putting it under a cut.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Really, Truly Alone

I can say that I'm comfortably settled in to DC now. I have my room set up, my work duties down, groceries in the fridge, and physical health taken care of. However, I am confronted by my neglect of one essential component of living in a new city — I legitimately, 100% do not know how to make friends. I haven't been at work long enough to get to know anyone, there are no friendly RA's to introduce everyone to each other in the dorm, and to top it off, overwhelming social anxiety leaves me too scared to even leave the room on my own. I'm getting sick of looking at my window and staring down the door, yet still intimidated by the thought of going outside. Luckily, I'm not lonely, as I'm texting and calling friends from back in California, but I'm upset at myself for spending all of my time by myself in my room instead of being out and doing things. And I don't know what to do about. I am at a complete loss about what to do with myself. I don't know what the point of writing this is as it's not helping me solve my problem; if anything, this is an excuse to stay indoors with some semblance of purpose. I supposed I'll be forced to figure it out sooner or later, but as of now, I don't know what's going on and I don't know what to do. ◊

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Pride and Protest

It's the weekend in DC, and things have gotten hot! Specifically, the weather — yesterday being high eighties and today over nineties Fahrenheit. Despite the heat, I went with my roommate to watch the DC pride parade. We walked around Dupont Circle for a bit, where I saw an Ace flag (but didn't get a picture, sadly) before settling into a good spot on the curb in the shade and waiting over an hour for the event to start. The beginning of the parade was very exciting: the gunning of motorcycles, the procession of armed forces, and the very enthusiastic crowd. However, a few cars in to the procession of notable people, the event started to stall. I later found out that a protest was blocking the start of the parade, which was unfortunately because I was hoping to see the whole thing.

My roommate left to get food, while I decided to walk down the block to see if I could see more of the parade. The crowd was extremely dense — at certain points I was legitimately worried about getting trampled, being the single small human being that I am — but I managed to squeeze in a few blocks down at a bend in the parade route. A deflated bear inflatable and a few floats of drag queens drifted by. Parade marchers tossed beads into the crowd, and I managed to snag a purple strand that now hangs festively on my lamp. As much as I wanted to stay, the spot I was in was much too sunny, and the imminent fear of sunburn forced me to retreat back to my dorm. Nevertheless, it was a fun experience, and hopefully next year I'll be able to see more! ◊

Friday, June 9, 2017


I've officially survived my first week in DC. Things have calmed down considerably since my last post — my congestion has gone away, I bought a new water bottle, I've located my camera at the airport lost and found, I have my room and bed set up, and I'm getting accustomed to my internship and the neighborhood. I also was able to meet up with my good friend Diana, who took me to get food at a really good empanada place, followed by the novelty of rolled ice cream next door. The empanadas were delicious, especially with a cilantro, parsley, and lemon dip, and the rolled ice cream was worth the Instagram, even though it didn't taste any different from regular ice cream. We also made plans to hang out on Sunday, which should be fun and help me settle in to DC a bit more. Overall, I'm doing a lot better, but still a bit anxious about getting to know the city and finding a new internship. Even though it's going to be tough, I'm looking forward to the rest of this summer! ◊

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


It's been three days in D.C. and things have not been good. In the first twenty-four hours I've already lost my water bottle and polaroid camera. I'm extremely stressed and frustrated right now, and painfully aware of how negative I'm being. I feel bad for bothering Diana and Anisha with my text spam, and when my friend Soli called I started ranting without even as much as a, "How are you," because I felt like exploding. I'm irrationally scared when no one's responding to texts, knowing full well that they're busy, and I'm upset at myself for being so negative.

I didn't start off on the right foot coming in to DC. Last Friday night I was going to go to sleep early after visiting my friend Dana to use her wifi to check in to my flight, but then a whole bunch of new notifications and issues arose. I ended up sleeping far later than expected which led to me sleeping through my alarm and being late for my flight. I was supposed to arrive Saturday at 5pm, but ended up getting here on Sunday at 1am. As such, I didn't have any bedding, and after showering to get the ickiness of the airport off of me, I had wet hair too. I kept waking up every two hours because I was uncomfortable and cold.

The next morning was a bit better. I was able to go shopping with my roommate to get the dorm set up, but I ended up spending a lot of money. I immediately realized how expensive it was to be here: I'm paying rent for my old apartment, new apartment, and the dorm here. Plus living expenses and transit expenses, and overall it's going to be a very costly summer. Luckily I have a scholarship which will help out immensely with the financial burden, but it does require a political science or public policy internship, which it turns out, my internship is not. I thought it would be a "Programming and Outreach" internship, referring to the operation of a non-profit, but it turns out it's more of managing a summer camp (not that there's anything wrong with that kind of work, but I was really hoping to learn something new from my experience in DC). I asked my supervisor about this concern, and she said that there were no opportunities for networking or connecting with the education policy community. I'm currently looking for another internship that I could do, which is additionally stressful.

Furthermore, the weather in DC itself is not something I'm used to. In Berkeley in the fall when the weather changes, I get mildly sick as I'm adjusting to changes in humidity and pressure. Here, going from California to DC in five hours, that adjustment is a hundred times more severe. I'm ridiculously congested on top of being physically sore from moving all of my stuff between apartments and hauling luggage to DC. I'm having a difficult time acclimating to this environment — physically, socially, and emotionally.

I'm stressed and frustrated and I don't know what to do or who to talk to about it. But that's ok. I can always rant here where no one is forced to partake in my misery. I just wish I had done this earlier so I wouldn't have freaked out to actual people who I am now worried are annoyed at me. Hopefully in the coming days that will be sorted out too. I just miss having close and consistent conversations with people. Luckily, it hasn't been all bad. I was able to decorate my apartment a bit with a washi tape bear decal based on the ASUC logo. I was able to straighten out the subletter situation at my old apartment and the rent situation with my new apartment, so I'm no longer as stressed about those things. I'm genuinely excited to be in DC and I'm enjoying it despite the setbacks so far. I imagine that things will get better soon. ◊

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Misadventures at the Airport

I used to be a punctual person. I'd calculate a precise travel time, accommodate for additional potential delays, and generally arrive 10 minutes early for everything. Somehow, this is no longer the case, and as a result, I'll be spending the next twelve hours at an airport.

The issue isn't really the planning. I knew my flight was at 8am, with about two hours to check in and go through security, plus an hour on public transport to get from my apartment to the airport. Factor in about half an hour to eat breakfast and get ready, and about half an hour just in case anything takes longer than it should, and a 4AM wakeup time is sufficiently reasonable. Of course, my alarm goes off at 4AM and I end it almost out of muscle memory. I wake up to an incredibly annoying bird outside my window. I check the time — 5:30AM. I grab my suitcase and run (thankfully everything was already packed and ready to go); a face wipe later will have to do. Note to self: set multiple alarms.

In my panicked and unthinking state of mind, I set out for the downtown Berkeley BART station. In hindsight, Rockridge is closer and does not require a transfer. It takes 14 minutes to take the bus to downtown Berkeley, another 14 minutes to wait for the train. Another 14 minutes waiting at MacArthur station to transfer onto a train going to SFO. A 40 minute BART ride turns into an hour as the train is stopped and delayed.

I arrive at SFO at 7:30AM. I've already checked in thanks to the power of mobile apps, but no! The gatekeeper at the security checkpoint tells me my carry-on is too big, despite having used that suitcase as a carryon on previous flights. I'm forced to wait in line to check in my bag. The phone rings. An airline representative calls me asking if I'll be joining them for the flight to DCA. I explain my situation but unfortunately there is nothing to be done. At the check in line, the representative tells me there are no more flights to DCA today, but she is able to give me a standby pass for a 2:40PM flight to IAD. I take it, but my seat is not guaranteed. If there are no seats left on that flight by the time I arrive, I'm have no idea what happens. I also pay $25 to have my bag checked, unsure if I'm even going to find it at the airport when I arrive.

I fly through security. It is now 9AM. All things considered, it's not too bad. It's not like I haven't wasted five hours of my life doing nothing on a Saturday before. There was a yoga room that looked promising, but it was actually really small and it smelled weird. I plunk down on a seat and browse social media apps for two hours. I haven't had wifi for the last two days at my new apartment, so there's a lot of content to catch up on. I want to do a #heavythinking post about the things I've learned at therapy, but I'm not sure I have the emotional bandwidth for that right now.

The last few days have been intense: packing up my old apartment, setting up a subletter, working 10 hours a day in San Jose, moving everything back in Berkeley to my new apartment, unpacking and putting away everything in the new apartment, and finally packing for DC. I'm actually quite proud of the fact that I managed to accomplish everything, but it still feels like there's so much more to do. I'm excited to live in the new apartment next year. I was able to arrange everything exactly how I wanted to, more or less; half of my string lights stopped working and one of my command hook shelves fell off the wall, and I still need a lamp and chair, but those are fairly minor issues. I still have some rent issues to sort out, but that can be done in DC.

Even more so, now that I'm at the airport and it's imminently real, I'm going to DC! My three main goals are to enjoy my internship, finish my incomplete essays, and take time to explore what the east coast has to offer. Hopefully this standby flight works out and I make it to DC with my luggage in one piece. I have no idea what the near future has to offer, but I'm eager to find out. ◊