discouraged /dəˈskərijd/, adj.

For the past three and a half years of my blog-keeping, I’ve tried my best to keep my blog sterile. Many personal details remain partially shrouded, almost no names are dropped, and each of my blog posts generally ends on a positive note.

I’ve talked about my mental health and politics and sexual harassment and assault, but even then, I kept myself from being too down in the dumps. There had to be an action item, something I learned from it, or anything that would, at the very least, give the blog post the impression of being tied with a nice little bow at the final period. I always thought, If I just let myself write just for the point of venting about something, then there was no point in sharing it online. Anyone can vent; I should share something that people want to read and find some purpose in it for themselves.

Then, this week rolled around. Two weeks ago, I’d written in my Personal To-Do List “Blog post.” Now, my mind was empty. I flipped back two pages to review what had happened in the past couple weeks: lunches with friends, dinners with Candle Boy’s friends, reading, meetings at work, the usual. It had been a fine two weeks, but there was nothing particularly noteworthy to mention (aside from the fact that I’ve been binge watching Jane the Virgin and determined that Jane Villanueva plus Monica Bing, née Geller, are my parallel TV show characters).

This is part of the reason why I like keeping physical planners. It’s so easy to recall what’s been happening in your life at a particular point in time. Perhaps you won’t write down the exact meeting minutes of your day, but because you know yourself and can recall why you wrote down that extra reminder in red pen, instead of black, and what you meant when you penned someone’s name down in the Good Things That Happened box for the week.

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Photo by Courtney Cheng

What I ended up reading out of all my incessant reminders—to write, read, practice Chinese, schedule doctor’s appointments, and pay my bills—was what I hadn’t written down. I was lacking motivation. I was discouraged and disappointed and downtrodden by my own self. I recognized this, and the fact that I needed to write all this down in my planner in hopes of holding myself accountable to being productive and potentially improving my mood. (Of course, that was assuming I wouldn’t lack the self-discipline to keep myself from binge watching Jane the Virgin.)

Even as I write this, I can sense that I’m convincing myself all this is okay to say and write and admit. There’s a huge part of me that wants to push this all aside and say, “Look at all the great things you have going for you and stop moping. Or if you want to keep moping, make yourself feel better by doing something fun.” (I have. That’s watching 49 episodes of Jane the Virgin in less than three weeks. I am not sure I feel better yet.)

I’ve tried other things as well. I’ve tried praying, I’ve tried talking to people, and I’ve tried using Headspace more. But none of it really seems to be doing what I need it to do, so, I’m going back to something my counselor told me at one of my first sessions with her: acknowledging my emotions.

If you thought I was going to do a 180° from where this blog post started, sorry friends, you’re out of luck. Some things remain personal. However, admitting that I’m feeling lost and, like many of the Asian American authors I follow on Twitter, in want of reassurance, motivation, and support from hype people is a personal truth that is not beyond my pride to admit. (Even if it’s because my counselor said so.)

But maybe this will at least be a start. (And cheers if you got to the end of this post. If you’re feeling down and in need of venting, clearly, I feel you and I am here for you.)

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