“WHY ARE YOU SO NEGATIVE?”
Recently I got confronted with such questions:
“Why are you so negative?”
“Cuz you don’t know me :)”
“Why would I want to get to know you if you are so negative?
“Then don’t. It’s none of your fucking business”
Then I deleted the convo. Because I was truly upset by this confrontation. I was furious, especially because this convo happened not long after something really negative traumatized me, both physically and mentally (will explain this at the end).
“Why would you portray yourself like that?” (The person said [insert pronoun] genuinely wanted to know and did not mean to scold/blame me.)
I did not reply then.
And here is my answer, after giving this question a thought for quite a few days. Well, more like I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days so here I am, jotting my thoughts down and trying to trace my life path of recent years.
I guess it is time to go down this path. To review what happened and how I have changed.
A little bit background about me. I have been an international student on this soil for more than 5 years now, which means I haven’t been home for Lunar New Year for 5 years. I come from a middle class family, definitely not poor, not rich either. My family are an ocean away from me. Home is an ocean away from me. In fact, as being able to afford studying abroad is viewed almost a luxurious thing in my home country, my parents never thought to let me study abroad before I made up my mind and brought it up to them. I fought with them over this. And it took me almost a year to win this fight. So now here I am, writing in English (probably still shitty English), telling you my story to explain“why [I am] so negative”.
2016 was a really bad year for me. For almost an entire semester, I had regular counseling appointments. I was dealing with relationship issues, grievance, and many other ones. I lost three people in this year. And I wasn’t able to be by the side of the ones I love because I was so faraway and I had school. Of course, school came first. Tuition was expensive as hell here and is even more now.
I had deep doubts about myself, about my values, about my everything. I started questioning, whether I was a good person or not.
I had terrible break-ups. Nope, don’t want to talk about it here.
I hurt myself so many times. I can still see the scars on my arm.
I shut down myself. I didn’t want to know new people. I drank on weekly basis, sometimes daily, and I always just ranted to my best friend. (Shout out to my best friend Wiwi for putting up with my shiets.) So no, I will not deny that during this time, I had most negativity in me. I hated it as well.
But did I give up?
No. I went to my counselor because I knew I needed help. I relived the bad experiences and cried so many times on that couch, in that office, holding on to my green backpack. It was almost traumatizing every time we talked but I knew I had to get over with it somehow. I got up early to do yoga.
I did get over it. So when you confronted me, or politely (?) asked me, why am I so negative. I lost it. I stormed back at you. Because I felt attacked. I worked so hard to get back up and with one single sentence composed by 5 words, you denied my work.
“What do you know about me? Am I negative to you just because I don’t party, I don’t rage, I don’t f**king get sh*theaded?” You can call me unreasonable how you want. But I will not lie that this was my reaction. I just did not type it out. I held it.
Now more about this negativity thing. Why do YOU think I am negative? How could you tell that I am negative? It’s not like that I rant to you every day every week or that you know all my dark secrets. No, you don’t. So how?
Oh, of course, social media.
I don’t really use twitter. So mainly Facebook and Instagram. And I don’t post much on Facebook. That leaves Instagram. I have to say that Instagram story has provided my such an outlet for my emotions, and for me to record my food-intake/travel logs (Yea this is how I want people to view me: always doing FUN stuff, though majority of the viewers just skip through my stories like you said before. So I still wonder how you got the note of me being this negative). Of course, as a basic and extra millennial, I post some random thoughts or quotes with black background at 2 or 3 in the morning sometimes. What is so wrong with letting some of my real emotions come out occasionally? Do I always have to be “fake” and just present a “perfect-looking” life?
No. I am human too. And humans have emotions. The very existence of social media has starting to cause people to hide who they truly are. They only show you what they want you to see and present an impeccable life to you. Doesn’t that sounds somehow depressing? I don’t want to be “the cool kid” because I know I am not. When I express that I am sad or I am struggling something, maybe I am just sending a passive SOS signal. Instead of having a friend ask me if I am okay, I got asked “why are you so negative”.
I actually want to ask this society-“why are you so negative”. As I mentioned at the beginning, I was recently traumatized physically and mentally. For those who are patient enough to make it here, I was harassed and assaulted by a homeless man on Telegraph and Blake on last Tuesday, August 29th, 2017 while walking with my best friend who was visiting from Boston after dinner. It was merely 9pm and there were people walking on the street too. He called us bitch and punched me in my face after I told him to watch himself. I was wearing glasses. My glasses were completely broken. My nose bled terribly for a good few minutes. I had a small wound and bad bruise on my nose bridge and a very very mild concussion. I just have been slightly stupid for the past week.
Shout out to the officer who responded to the scene and sent me home afterwards.
Shout out to Michelle, Ryan, and Percy for rushing over and accompanying me at ER.
Shout out to Mofy for hugging me, letting my cry on your shoulder, and checking up on me afterwards.
Shout out to Yilun for talking to me when I couldn’t fall asleep that night and making the post on wildfire.
Shout out to Wei for cooking delicious lunch for me.
Shout out to Percy for literally walking me everywhere these few days.
Shout out to everyone who still stick around and put up with me.
Is this still rant or negativity?
Meh. If it is, I am not going to apologize for that.
There is so much more to write. I am anxious about my future. Not just my future, but also the family responsibility on my shoulder. As I said, my family is not poor, yet not rich. I am extremely lucky to be able to study abroad. I remember a few months ago my dad told me, “Daughter, to be honest, I had no idea how to pay for you tuition when you said you want to study abroad. I only had enough for your tuition of the first year.” That first year was referring to 2012, my first year of high school in the states. The tuition of that year was at most half of what is it now this year at Cal, and I had a quarter scholarship. The debt I owe my parents, man. Family story is another story.
It is currently 3:38 am and I am having over flowing emotions. But I have to sleep. So here it ends.