50 Days

A few highlights of the last two months

To be honest, the social media fast was surprisingly easy. It made me realize that nothing really is indispensable, that we are far from dependent on things we think we can't live without.

I took an extended hiatus because I actually enjoyed my time away. Sure, I yearned every now and then to check in, but it was overall quite pleasant. Once I realized how unnecessary and superficial a lot of social media was, I was reluctant to go back. I decided to go for 50 days to round out the number, and when that 50 days was up, anxiety overtook me as I stared at my first social media login screen. 

I had plugged in all my instagram login info, but couldn't bring myself to hit the blue login button. I almost had a friend do it for me, but curiosity at everything I missed and pride got the best of me. With a tentative touch, I was back. And right away, I questioned myself.

Social media can be a beautiful thing with all its networking powers, but its dark side leaves me feeling empty. On my first day back, I noticed that I wasn't as present, that I wasn't as happy, that my newly-established harmony had been overturned. As humans, we are intrinsically thirsty for attention and social media exploits that.

It's a constant struggle to restrain the temperamental beast, and even after something as cleansing as 50 days away, I'm still searching for balance. I've more or less decided that I have way too many platforms. I may abandon some altogether. But of course blogging will always have a special place in my heart as a creative outlet and relationship-builder.

I must apologize for my lack of presence on the blogs of all the wonderful friends I've made throughout the years. I've been a silent content absorber lately, and it may have to stay that way until after graduation. I'm so excited at all your new happenings, and can't wait to happily converse with you all when I finally return to dedicated blogging. 

I may feel rather ambivalent about everything now, but it's undeniable that the past two months have been a perspective changer. I spoke French with an African woman from Cameroon on my flight. I played in my last youth orchestra concert. I read for leisure. I visited colleges around the country. I went to prom. There are so many stories to tell and not enough time to contemplate, to form coherent thoughts. But I'll try. I'll be popping up every now and then until June with random ramblings just to expel the pressure of bubbling emotions. 

It's a mad dash on the final stretch, and conditions are far from ideal. I'm sweaty, exhausted, gasping for air. But I am determined, and have much more left within me than I can ever fathom.

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A Letter to Myself

This post was scheduled on March 4th. The below letter is inspired by Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet.
Button down, thrifted Ralph Lauren | Cardigan, thrifted H&M | Pants, Old Navy | Shoes, Keds | Necklace, Target | Glasses, prescription Ray-Ban

Dear Lily,

Things are getting real. It's March--the month where all the sweat, all the angst, and all the hope collide with the bitter taster of dejection and the soaring sensation of ebullience. It's begun already--disappointment and exhiliration pepper life's canvas, a beautiful mess of clashing colors and haphazard textures.

I cannot mince words: college decision month will not flit by like a breeze. Sometimes it will storm. Sometimes the gray gloom on the heavy clouds will seep into your mind; do not, however, let it seep into your soul. For without sorrow, there is no delight. There will be sunshine amidst the rain. After all, aren't the clear skies following a storm most brilliant?

I'd like to keep this short, but let me offer you some advice:

1. Don't compare

Your greatest fear is wistfully watching those who did not work nearly as hard as you enter more prestigious colleges. Stop it. After all, didn't the lovely and wise Sara Bareilles say "compare where you are and where you wanna be and you'll get nowhere?" The admissions process is so subjective, and where your applications are accepted or rejected cannot define your worth. You are more than a college decision. And above all, regardless of your outcome, remember one word: empathy.

2. Let loose

Don't be so hard on yourself. You cringe too often at circumstances that have gone awry. There exists no eloquence without babbling, no sweet without acidic, no poise without stumbling. It may be a bad day, but embrace it. Things will get better.

And certainly look to the future with hope, but do not forget the present. The quotation, "I look to the future because that's where I'll spend the rest of my life" is clever and true, but what about now? How are you spending the present?

College is overly romanticized. Swept up in a frenzy of what will happen, we leave what is happening behind. Pick it up. Dust it off. Dance a little. It's normal to long for college. But do not reject the rest of your high school experience (I'm telling you now--you'd better go to prom again). You may miss it. Savor every remaining moment of this phase of life you'll soon shed.

3. Don't overanalyze

Each decision may seem monumental and life-changing, but remember what your former English teacher told you: everyone ends up doing what they're supposed to do regardless of which college they attend. Stuff happens for a reason, yo! Keep your eyes open to the possibilities. 

I'd like to keep rambling, but calculus and other joys beckon enticingly. It's for your own good that I'm doing this now. You best be grateful. Please excuse my inconsistent colloquial and formal prose today; many things are on the mind. I pray these words find you well. My parting thoughts: Put what you've already learned in life to good use. You're well-equipped for this. Go get em, kid.

All the best,

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Note: this post was scheduled on March 4th. This is me improvising since I was unable to receive the final two guest posts before I left the blogosphere. But hey, we all are swamped with priorities outside blogging, so it's no big deal. I like being spontaneous anyways. Below are five of my recent instagram posts, a smaller size than usual so you can take in the entire photo all at once.
Found these beauties for only $3. Nothing like flowers to brighten up a cold winter day
Made with chopsticks and love
Dreaming of summer
"If you say we'll be all right, I'll follow you into the light." --The Light, Sara Bareilles
I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky

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