Overdoing It

“You should limit the number 

Of times you act against 

Your nature, like sleeping 

With people you hate. 

It’s interesting to test your 

Capabilities for a while 

But too much will cause damage.”

– Unknown

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Rutgers Fam: Eveleen

I don’t think there will Snapchat-6333530972880186566ever be enough words in any language to describe how I feel about the girl on the right. There are always so many feels whenever I introduce her to someone or when I talk about her to someone. It was truly a blessing that I didn’t see coming when I met her my freshman year of college, and I am so happy that I don’t have to imagine a life without her.

The way we became friends was definitely odd and strange. It is definitely not how people usually get to know each other, but it worked for us. Because little did we know, it would have set us up for the type of friendship that we have been growing together. There have been a lot of people in my life who feel completely comfortable around me. But there are very few people in the world who I feel equally, if not more, comfortable around. And for that, I want to thank you. I want to thank you for always being the genuine, down-to-earth, caring, and loving person that you never fail to be around me. As always, thank you for always being my support system no matter what. To be able to call a person like you my friend is what brings me real happiness everyday.

Eveleen, I don’t think I’ll ever stop talking about you or stop feeling blessed by your presence in my life. Even if for whatever reason we stop being friends in the future, I will always look back on our friendship warmly and fondly. It sucks that we are separated for the time being, but I’ll be back soon enough and we will make up for all the lost time. I will miss the late night talks, whether it is in our room or around campus. I will treasure each and every conversation because I know that every single one was from the heart. I will miss our inside jokes and random bursts of “I don’t give a fuck”. I will miss randomly singing songs from certain phrases or words that either of us say. But most of all, I will miss the person who always seems to see right through me and always has my best interests in mind. It’s going to suck to not always be able to just find you and talk to you face-to-face, but I know we will find a way to make it work.

This post got pretty sappy and you’ll probably give your half-smirk and push my buttons for being a mush, but I look forward to it regardless. There is a lot more that I can say without a doubt, but we still have time and we are still young. I can’t wait for the rest of my youth spent with you and beyond. Love you Eve, can’t wait till the next time I can see you ❤

OCA Fam

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Jeez, where do I start with this one? The person you see on the right of the photo? I never would have thought that I would get as close to him as I have in these last few weeks. But through and through, he has proven to be yet another person in my internship class that has made a big difference in my experience. To the person who was there for me through and through after my break up, even when he wanted to throw stuff at me to get myself together. To the person that I couldn’t imagine this internship without getting close to. To the family I never thought I could find in ten weeks. And most importantly, to the person with the biggest heart I have the blessing of getting to know.

Whether it is becoming best friends on snapchat, having deep conversations at any given time of the day, or even just enjoying each other’s company – I am so grateful that you are a part of my life. Much like Angie, you have become my rock during this internship and I really wouldn’t have been able to get through any of it without the both of you. Allen, thank you again and again for being there for me. I hope that without a doubt, we remain friends even when you are back in California (especially since you go to Cornell anyway, we’re just a four hour drive from each other). Let’s make this last week in DC count!

OCA Soulmate

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From June 30th to July 5th, I was in San Francisco for my internship programs national convention. In those six days and five nights, the girl you see in the picture above on the right? She’s the reason I was able to stay sane and collected during the whole convention. Whether she was being weird with me, listening to my rants, calming me down in my times of emotional distress, or taking power naps with me in the middle of the day – I could not have survived without her.

There are not enough descriptions I could throw out to really make y’all feel the way i feel about her. She truly has turned out to be one of my soulmates in this cohort and I could not be more grateful that we became friends the way we did. I really can’t imagine the next six weeks of this program without her and now I’m glad that I don’t have to. Angie, thank you for bothering with a person like me and being a genuine friend. I cannot wait for the upcoming memories and time spent together in the next few weeks because I know that even when she is back in Oklahoma and I’m back in New Jersey, we will still be talking when we can and by the time we meet again, it’ll be like there wasn’t a gap at all.

Anxiety Attacks

For the past few days, I’ve felt like my lungs have been in a constricting bird cage. It was very difficult to breathe and it was hard to think clearly. I became more sure of this when I got to work today. At first, I thought it was the Monday blues. But slowly I realized that was too easy of an answer. So, I trudged through all my work and slowly sauntered home. I have learned at this point in my life that I think most when I’m alone, have my headphones in, and I get lost in the environment. Before I got on the bus home, I walked a little slower and drank in my surroundings more. I saw the people walking past me, the buildings teeming with employees, and the sun beaming on what it chose to shine on. By the time I got on the bus? I was sure of what was going on with me today.

I have a tendency to agree to all things that will keep me busy and then let those things easily overwhelm me – causing my judgement to become cloudy. Today, I just took a deep breath and started thinking to myself on the bus ride home. I understood that I was letting everything feel like the end of the world while attempting to keep my outer appearance calm and collected. I was keeping everything in internally and lying to myself that I felt better when I talked it out with others. I decided to shirk that. I let myself look panicked, stressed, and distressed. I let myself tear up a little and also scream out in agony. Of course, I did all this in the comfort of the apartment I’m staying in, but doing it at all was a huge step for me.

As a person who constantly feels the need to guard my emotions and figure out everything on my own, this was an extremely huge step for me. Of course, the next step from here is to be honest about it to those closest to me and those who care for me – but I will get there at my own pace. For now, I’ve managed to allow myself to feel and more importantly, look human. For the first time in a long time, I actually felt alive. To be honest, I haven’t felt this way since my soul searching journey I took a few years ago and my journey through different temples 2 years ago. And it felt hella good. Now, my lungs feel a little more free and my thoughts aren’t attacking my brain anymore. More importantly? I was able to remember that everything happens for a reason and that is why I didn’t feel like the ground beneath me was crumbling bit by bit, taunting me until the very moment that I fell into an abyss.

I still have a long way to go before I truly feel better, but I am willing to take the time each step needs. I am going to work harder at not overwhelming myself immediately. I will breathe and then take each step breath by breath. The world is not ending, so there is no way “my world” is ending either.

Leaving Home vs. Leaving Family

For a long time now, I have been caught between what I want to do once I graduate from undergrad. I’m almost sure that I will have to go to grad school to truly finish up my studies, which will cost a lot of money and will probably require me to be a part-time student – meaning it will take longer than it should. Unless I get a job straight out of school, I don’t know what I could do. And then I’ve been thinking about whether it would be a good idea for me to stay at home or not as I try to figure out the next step in my life. It has been a pretty rocky two years coming back home on breaks from school, and although I am rarely the person that gives in easily, I’ve been thinking that maybe it would be better if I spent some real time away from my parents.

There is no question about it: I would do anything for my family, especially my mother and sister. But I just want to feel like I’m really doing something with my life and I think the first step would be to move out once I get a stable job and save up enough money. It doesn’t have to be my dream job, I can always work up to that. I just don’t think it would be a smart move for my own personal growth if I stayed at my parents house so that I have one less financial concern. I need to be away from my parents so that I can truly appreciate all they have done for me and also finally feel that I can really be self-sufficient for the things I want to accomplish and not be reliant on my parents.

Also, I honestly feel that a relationship cannot be improved until a significant amount of time is spent away from each other. You start to treasure the little things that you got used to having everyday. Whether it be the conversations, inside jokes, little quirks, and the overall comfort – it cannot be genuinely appreciated until you miss it all. And maybe in this way, I will be able to truly have a better relationship with my parents instead of all the miscommunication and walking on eggshells that I feel has been happening for the past few years.

My relationship with my sister was not always the best, but we have gotten better with age and time. When I got this internship in DC and I knew that I would be living with her for the summer, I set a goal for myself and said that I will try to build a better relationship with her with this time we have been given. I don’t really know what to say about the progress so far, but it definitely has been different than it used to be when we lived in the same room together back home. I can only hope for the best from this point on. Hopefully I will have good news to report.

In this case, I come down to the real question: is leaving home the same as leaving family, or are they two different things with separate connotations? That is what stunts me in this future decision for my post-grad life. Sure, I still have a few more years before I really have to think about this…or do I? I feel like I have to start saving up money just so I know that I can make it happen in the future. But then again, seeing myself so conflicted right now, maybe that just shows that I’m not ready to be thinking about all this right now. The right time will present itself and I will be sure in my decision.

After the past three weeks in this internship program, I feel that I have gotten a lot of time to self-reflect and really think about what my life could be like once I graduate. And all of it cannot be possible unless I plan it out reasonably and set the proper things in motion. Until then, I guess I put this post up in hopes that someone else who may feel like this knows they are not alone. The quote “Pick your battles, win your war” never resonated more than it has been in the past three weeks.

Gems

I had a really great conversation with my roommate last night and I just thought that I would share it here:

Last night I got pretty sentimental and nostalgic with the spring semester of my sophomore year ending in a couple weeks, bringing me closer to being in DC for the summer. I had some time to really reflect on a lot of different parts of my life so far that have led me ultimately to the person I am in the present moment. I have long accepted the fact that I have gone through a lot of hardships, whether it concerned living my own life or most of all, my family. I have long accepted the fact that a lot of people have come and gone out of my life on both positive and negative terms. And most of all, I have long accepted the fact that I will always be working harder to fulfill my own crazy ambitions.

But amidst all those facts above that I have long accepted, I had not taken the time to count all the gems in my life. What do I mean by that? Well gems for me could be memories, milestones, people, relationships, friendships, and a plethora of other things in my life. And those gems are things that can never be destroyed even if they become lost or decide to part with me in the future. Last night specifically, the gems I reminisced on and came to acknowledge were the absolutely amazing friends and people that have come into my life and those who have stayed in my life. My roommate Eveleen has definitely proved to be another gem of a human being in my life. My most treasured friend Meghana has been a gem for a long time and I hope will continue to be in this lifetime. And last but definitely not least, the people in my life right now who I hope are on their way to becoming gems in my life that I can embed in the happy crevices of my brain along with the others.

Despite all the bad times, unfortunate events, and difficulties I have faced and continue to face for the rest of this life, I am so blessed and utterly gracious for the gems in my life. I always find myself in a moment or time of bliss at random and different times of my life and that makes everything worth it.All the positive and negative things become worth it and just another important part of my life and growth. I don’t know if anyone that is mentioned in this post will ever read this but if by chance you do, thank you from the deepest depths of my heart and soul. I cannot say that enough and so I will never stop saying it or ever forget.

To all the people who follow this blog and read  it, my wish from now and until the end of your lifetime is that you continue to collect gems in your life and have happiness continue to grace your life. Remember, things are always how you make them out to be.

Your Happiness

“I mean our body is us, so of course it influences our happiness based on how comfortable we are in our environment.” 

Above is a direct quote from one of my closest and most treasured friends. She moved back into college today and we still managed to hold a conversation despite the hectic-ness that she was probably experiencing. She is probably one of the few people in my life who is the near-perfect example of a friendship that is both give and take equally. For a while, I neither thought that was possible nor even in the cards for me. But after five years of friendship with her, she has proven me otherwise. 

I have known her since freshman year of high school and to this day, we still do not know how we became friends or how we are still friends. And if that wasn’t crazy enough, our parents and pretty much everyone around us pretty much wonder how we became the close and true friends we are today. And I think that is the beauty of our friendship. Sure, we still bring up how we don’t know the roots of our friendship, but that has never mattered. It never deterred our friendship in any way and our friendship grows stronger every day. She is one of the few people that I feel the most comfortable and happy around, and that says a lot. 

I have always been the person obsessed with my personal bubble. You had to be allowed into my personal bubble and even then, hugs were unheard of. And if that weren’t insane enough, I was even particular about the circles of friendship and acquaintance-ship and everyone was well aware of it. You kept in whichever circle I categorized you in and you never questioned it or stepped out of bounds. But she is the one person that immediately made it into the closest circle to my heart and mind without a lot of time having to pass. Our friendship escalated quickly and it is one of the most amazing friendships to have graced my life. 

We got into a conversation about how weather, temperature, and our environments effect our moods, attitudes, actions, and temperaments and that above quote made me realize that she is one of the few people that I feel comfortable completely comfortable around, if not the only one. I will not name a name, but you know who you are. If you ever read this entry, thank you time and time again. You are truly one of the only blessings that I am constantly reminded of in times of happiness. Thank you, I love you to death. Kill it in your sophomore year of college, we will be reunited again.

Goodbye Freshman Year

Prologue: I started writing this post a while ago, but I never got around to finishing it because I just didn’t know how to. But now I finally got around to it and I’m okay with the conclusion and the post in general not being perfect, because any mistakes I made or rambling I had done in this post perfectly describes my condition during my freshman year. 

I can’t believe that nine months have already flown by. It feels like just yesterday that it was a burning hot day and I was moving into college. But now, as if Mother Nature believes in full circle endings, I am moving out on a burning hot day.

When my elders had told me that once you graduate from high school time flies even faster and before you even know it you’ll be onto your chosen career, I should have taken those words of wisdom as a warning. I know that was one big run-on sentence, but that is how I feel. If I had, maybe I would feel less regretful about my now ending freshman year of college. Do not get me wrong, I have been blessed time and time again and reminded that I am lucky throughout this first year at college, but there is so much I still feel that I have messed up and I wish I could have that time back. It is as if every time I told myself I would study later, it was already the night before the exam. Or if I promised to meet up with friends before the semester break or if I promised to visit friends at other schools, there wasn’t enough time because of all the homework, studying, and job shifts I still had to do. It is insane just how much my responsibilities have jacked up since entering college. 

High school seems like such a faraway time now even though I had only graduated about a year ago. It feels like all the memories, advice, and opinions have become a thing of the past that I only reminisce about when I’m with my high school friends. And on that note, it definitely has been quite some effort keeping in touch with the high school friends and childhood friends that I care for. I never would have thought that I would have broken ties with the people I thought I had known so well and I DEFINITELY didn’t think that I would have become friends with the people that I have. It has been such an emotional journey above anything, the physical stresses seem like nothing now.

But before I truly ramble on more, I think I will sum my first year as one big learning lesson. Of course I will make tons more mistakes as I keep moving onto the next year of college, but I will not forget the ones I made in freshman year and I WILL learn from it. I will not make promises, because I am afraid to break them but I will try my very best. 

Choice

Today, I was discussing with a friend of mine the concept of influence. How much of our lives are influenced by others? And how much of that influence goes unnoticed and unacknowledged? When thinking of even the simplest things such as drinking water or even waking up early in the morning, there is so many aspects of our lives that are influenced by others. For example, drinking water. We drink water because our parents tell us it is healthy and good for us. Our parents tell us that water is healthy because scientists proved and urged people that we as humans cannot live without water and that it is essential to our survival. I never thought about that process in that manner, but my friend brought it to light.

But where did this discussion even spark from? You are probably wondering why it even matters to us at all. Well, it all started with the hijab. If you don’t know what a hijab is, it is a veil that covers the head and chest of women and is generally worn by Muslim women. We were talking about whether it is really an individual Muslim woman’s choice to wear or not to wear the hijab. Using the water example as a foundation, wouldn’t the choice be influenced from the woman’s parents (more specifically the mother)? And wouldn’t the parents be influenced by the culture? So in the end, who really made the choice? Why wear the hijab? Is it because of culture or your parent’s persistence? Or is it really the woman’s choice solely?

Of course, I am not a Muslim woman, so I don’t know about all the aspects behind wearing the hijab, but the point I’m trying to make is the idea of choice. Do we really have a choice in all the decisions we make everyday? Just thinking of the water example above, I’ve come to realize that there are a lot of influences that float around and exist in our lives, and unknowingly, we come to be vulnerable to them and follow them. Of course, this idea of influence is usually applied to much bigger issues such as cults or even politics. But I think we easily forget how even the little decisions in our life involve influences that we may not know the roots of and more importantly, how much of our choices may not actually be solely our own.