Calming Awareness

img_6579Yesterday, I found this little balcony behind the triple-decker house we’re staying in and sat here working on my computer with the birds and wind as my companions. The sound of leaves rustling against each other and the dense foliage transported me temporarily to my own little forest of a world in the middle of Somerville. I’m experiencing a lot of cognitive dissonance between the Somerville I know via being a Tufts student and the Somerville I’m seeing/living in now. There are so many streets I’ve never walked through because I’ve always relied on routes that have been predetermined for us (T, bus, car roadways)… I’m finding joy in wandering the streets without relying on Google Maps, getting in touch with my inner sense of direction (which is not too shabby). I was able to go to and from the meditation center based mostly on my sense of where things where are.

At the meditation center, I sat meditating for 45 min, which was challenging at times but very fulfilling. I surprised myself too because I haven’t meditated consistently in well over a year. While I was meditating I thought of a friend I worked closely with in my first year of college. I remember one time I asked him, how do you continue organizing  and still keep yourself in tact? He replied saying that mindfulness and meditating every morning is what has kept him afloat. He entered my conscience at one point in the meditation and I had messaged him yesterday to ask if he lived in the house because I remember he once told me he was going to live in a meditation center soon. After the sitting session, I slowly made my way downstairs, taking my time to notice all the little tidbits on the walls. I was reading the bulletin board when all of sudden I heard footsteps coming towards me. I wondered if it could be this friend, like what were there chances of that happening? But before I had time to contemplate, I turned around and guess who it was? It was this friend I had thought of.

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When I’ve entered deeper states of conscious awareness, I find more meaning in the little things. Maybe it’s not so much that we’re “summoning” the spirits (lol) but just getting more in touch with our own needs and desires in that moment. Actualizing the presence of this friend was not purely a chance encounter. I like believing that things align for a reason.

 

Hello, world!

IMG_6057The middle mark of my time in college has turned out to be an unexpected turning point. When I graduated from high school, I was extremely eager to begin college right away. I noticed peers around me deciding to take a gap year, but I couldn’t relate. I conceptually understood why people take gap years/semesters but it wasn’t something I was ready for. The last two years have been … it’s hard to find words that can adequately sum up what my time in college has been like … and right now, in my burnt out state, I’m still seeing more of the negatives. It’s been hard and draining, but also life-giving. So there’s a contradiction for ya.

 I do know, however, that college provided me opportunities—to meet the true friends I’ve made, to form relationships with mentors, to experience and learn about myself and the world I’ll always be a part of, and to find communities that make me feel loved and supported. My decision to take a semester off from school comes after months and months of fear and uncertainty. But after spending a month home with family, I see taking time off as needed for my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. I am opening up the coming months to learning without having to prove my worth by reading JSTOR pdfs and writing 12-page papers with MLA citations. 

I want to learn by rediscovering what it feels to want to live in this world, to feel alive, to feel vibrant, and whole, and loving, and capable. Recently, life has pulled me down to a pretty low point. Had it not been for the people closest to me, I would probably still be in the really bad place. I really don’t know how to properly thank the ones who have helped bring me back up. You all know who you are. Thank you for reminding me that I don’t have to do this alone, to continue doing things that make me feel alive, that not having a period and my social withdrawal are not normal. I have not been feeling completely myself for a while now, not just since college but since my first year of high school. It has been a long time coming and making this decision has not been easy, but I’ve made it, I’m here, and I’m feeling lighter already.

IIMG_6267 don’t know exactly where I will be and when I will be there yet, but I will be listening to my heart and doing things the things my soul craves. I want to reconnect with nature, spend a lot of time outdoors, learn about Traditional Chinese Medicine, Buddhism, and Daoism, hang out with my grandma.

I will likely be in Asia through most of it, closer to home(s) and family. Over the summer, I’ll remain in Boston, as planned, working with Chinese Progressive Association, EMW’s Borderlands team, and (potentially) as a house cleaner at Cambridge Insight Meditation Center. My plans for the fall are, as of right now, uncertain. In the winter and spring, however, I will be studying abroad in at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) University of London, reconnecting with my birthplace and reuniting with two of my dearest friends.

I am starting this blog as a platform for sharing my thoughts and feelings. If you want email notifications for whenever I post, you can subscribe to the blog. I plan on sharing my musings through all sorts of mediums, so look forward to writings, videos, photographs and more!

Possible opportunities include working on an organic farm through WOOF in Taiwan (What’s WOOFing?), trekking in Bhutan and Nepal, hiking in Hong Kong, and much more.