I’m not too articulate with my words, but I’m going to try writing my feelings down so I can finally get started on studying for this calc test.
Something about writing a blog and posting it online terrifies me. I’m opening up about my thoughts, emotions, and experiences all while giving the reader permission to interpret and react to my writing in any way they do. Attention petrifies me. It’s nice to be admired on a large scale, but everything won’t always be sunny — praise is always accompanied by criticism. However, the last few months have been transformative for me, and a special someone has been encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and that’s exactly what this blog is for.
Moving 2000 miles away from my perfect little bubble to a women’s college in the South was the best decision I made. I’m not happy with where I am in life, but that has more to do with being young and in school than it does with my geographic location. Everyone always asks why I left sunny California for Atlanta of all places, and I usually respond with because of the scholarship money. While it’s true to an extent, I think I moved because I never felt fully comfortable in California. Despite being the third largest state in the country, California felt small, because no matter where I would go for college, I would know someone. If I chose to stay in the Bay Area, I would be spending time with the same 3 girls I spent all of high school with. If I ventured down to southern California, I’d still be surrounded with the same type of people. It’s difficult to explain, but at the time I sensed there was something about all these people (especially Desi people) that put me off. I couldn’t quite identify what exactly it was about them until I distanced myself.
The pattern I pinpointed was how sheltered and privileged everyone (especially upper-middle class Desis) were. We weren’t all that different from the White people we often criticized. The whole chai-runs-through-my-veins type of feminism became performative and purposeless to me. Who exactly are we helping by reclaiming the bindi? I started to separate myself from the mainstream Desi feminist/activist movement. I realized devoting my life to activism (as a career) would be exhausting and I would eventually lose hope. I applaud anyone who devotes themselves fully to genuinely helping the world, but I couldn’t do that.
Being a vocal “activist” was such a part of my identity in high school, and now that I’ve separated myself from that, I’m not too sure what defines me. From what I’ve heard from people it’s my looks. “You’re the pretty friend!” “Everyone knows you because you’re pretty.” I’m not going to sit here and complain too much, because there’s nothing more annoying that a conventionally attractive girl whining about how distressing her life is because of the difficulties that come with being “pretty.” I will say though that I don’t like the idea of being characterized by my looks. There’s more depth to my personality that I want others to acknowledge.
I’m in flux in terms of my identity, my career, my friendships, my everything. It comes with the territory of being 18. Yet, this whole “adult” thing becomes increasingly frightening with every passing day. Though I often find myself wishing I was thirty, flirty, and thriving, I understand that even turning thirty won’t guarantee stability in my life. Perhaps all those corny tumblr posts are right and I should fall back since it is more about the journey than the destination. Well, if that’s the case, when can I take a quick pit stop?