Meeting strangers; Loving thyself
It's my final semester as an undergraduate at university and one week has already gone by. The day before the start of my last first week, I felt excited, but I was also overwhelmed with fear and anxiety - I was alone this semester since my close friends/batch mates had already graduated. It was also beginning to dawn on me that this was almost the end; I was going the graduate, I'd have to look for a job and that scared the bejesus out of me.
An article I came across online alleviated some of my self-inflicted anxiety from the pressures of becoming a fresh graduate. I thought about it for a while and realised Molly (who wrote the article) was very right - I didn't need to find a job immediately once I graduate. I'll be working for the rest of my life anyway, so why not take the time to find a place I'd really wanna be at. This thought of an unknown future still scares me once in a while, but I've learnt to embrace this fear to work on some exciting things once I'm finished with school. First stop: Korea! (Yes, again.)
Last week at school was... peppered with moments of unexpected blessings. I was very prepared to power through this semester mostly alone and interact with hoomans only when it was necessary - i.e. when I had to participate in group discussions. At this point in my life, I am very happy loving the people in my life and keeping them close, so I really didn't want to engage in superficial interactions. What surprised me, was that I ended up having such beautiful conversations with people I'd just met. I happened to sit beside a lady, who was also taking the class alone and we ended up having lunch together. Beyond talking about school stuff, we were sharing experiences that we had overseas, we were exchanging views about bigger issues like security and media. We were really vibing. And even though there was a possibility we'd never cross paths again (since she was intending to drop the class), I thoroughly enjoyed that lunch.
Now that I am working in a new restaurant, in a new environment with new people, I love that I am facing a different set of challenges beyond school. One thing I've enjoyed that I didn't get to enjoy at my previous restaurant, was the conversations I get to have with customers. At the old place we didn't get to speak with customers as much and I genuinely appreciate such interactions. Reminds me a little bit of New York, when I'd have conversations with people (staff/other customers) at cafes/food places and people were friendlier. I do, however, miss the camaraderie with my ex-colleagues. I did, however, have a couple of beer with a friend from the workplace and we ended up chatting for a good 4 hours. I love meaningful conversations like this.
Going back to school meant I had to prioritise certain things over work, so film production is taking a backseat while I focus on savouring every moment of my last semester and working at the restaurant to make money. That said, I am excited to be acting in another short film coming February; it seems I am drawn towards roles that involve death and coincidentally do better at those kinds of auditions. Hmm... And before school gets busier, I got to catch up with some of my favourite people. :'-)
It's only the first week but I'm already feeling exhausted from juggling work and studies, which only serves as a reminder for me to love thyself. I've had a habit of overworking myself in the past, which took a toll on my health, so I'm stopping myself before I fall back into that cycle again. And this is a timely reminder for whoever reading this to love yourself first. Self-love shouldn't be frowned upon nor should it be confused with narcissism/selfishness. Self love, by dictionary's definition, is a regard for one's own well-being and happiness, which is important. So often I observe people around me let work take over their lives and fall ill from stress/unhappiness it's worrying.
Take a break once in a while; go out for a walk without your phone or take a long bus ride with your phone on silent mode listening to your fave music. Enjoy spending time with yourself and your thoughts. I left my phone at the restaurant the other night so I was without a mobile phone for 16 hours. That was liberating. I ended up on Whatsapp Web for a bit, but then I decided this was a good excuse to be away so I turned off everything. It was one of the best sleep I've had in a while.
Also a little bit about love as in bgr (HAHA haven't referred to a romantic relationship this way in a while): it's amusing how people I've crossed path with lately react weirdly when I say I am not seeing anyone, nor am I actively searching for someone. I'm very happy navigating life alone. I'm not opposed to meeting people, but I'd much rather spend the time/money on meeting with people who I love and want to keep in my life. Also because I am one to love deeply, I don't wanna love someone who I know I wouldn't wanna keep in my life long-term. My sister wrote a lovely piece on her blog about loving deeply based on her recent experience on Tinder...
It is now week two at school. Already. 🙃🙃