May 7, 2023 · 8:44 am
My last two blog posts both pertained to dating a man. For the most part I’ve observing the pattern without judgment. Still, desiring a m*n isn’t entirely aligned with my values, so I’m thinking about why this theme keeps coming up.
In my early 20’s, I felt confident about my mission: to help people in some way and to promote social justice. A man would enter my life or he wouldn’t. Continue reading →
Filed under Personal, Society
Tagged as amatonormativity, an education, freedom, friendship, heteronormativity, independence, life, mental health, reflection, romance
April 26, 2023 · 8:49 am
I turn 28 next month, which activated an early-onset midlife crisis. Not to be a Capitalist Connor or a Girlboss Greg, but in the career domain, I’ve crushed it. I progressed directly from high school to the honors program at a mildly reputable undergrad, from undergrad to a fully-funded Psych PhD program, from my PhD to my residency in the Boston area, from residency to my tenure-track job. I faced bumps along the way though thanks to both my privilege and my perseverance, nothing stopped me. Reflecting on this relative smooth sailing made me feel angsty when I thought: then why haven’t I found a queer man of color to
[REDACTED] with me form a long-lasting romantic relationship with?
I first felt some self-judgment and shame. Continue reading →
Filed under Personal
Tagged as coping, gay, gina chung, grief, life, loss, mental health, relationships, romance, sea change, vulnerability
February 19, 2023 · 8:16 am
I waited over a month to email the news to my two past long-term therapists. When I said bye to C in June 2022, I had already planned when I’d reach out to both her and L again. It’s perfectly reasonable to email your two therapists who saw you for multiple years when you get your tenure-track job, I thought to myself. It’s just a casual update so they know how you’re doing and so they can hear the good news.
I reached out to C and L with the update in February, a month after I secured my academic and clinical positions. Continue reading →
January 11, 2023 · 7:00 pm
I wrote the first draft of this post back in early to mid-December, right before deciding which academic job to accept. When I started out on the job market, I had no idea what would happen, like if I would even get any initial interviews. I felt some sense of relief when I started to hear back from schools, and soon enough one college in particular rose to the top of my list.
This college felt perfect to me. I loved its location, its atmosphere and the collegiality of my specific department, and its purported values system. Even though the three-day-long in-person interview tired me the heck out, I still walked away thinking, okay, yes, this is my top choice.
When the department chair called me and extended me an offer to join the college, I felt so relieved. Though I saw positives in my other options, this place rose to the top. However, a few days later, as the high of getting the offer faded, I noticed some imperfections about the position. Continue reading →
October 27, 2021 · 7:21 pm
I have seen my current therapist, a white lesbian woman, since June of 2018. When we met on Wednesday a week ago, I brought up an exchange we had during a pre-COVID session. Back then, I had told her once about how when one of the straight guys I played tennis with drove me home, I felt a strong physical attraction to him to the point where I would have wanted to make out with him if he had identified as queer and provided consent.
“I’m so jealous of you because when I told you about that, you literally said that you would have wanted to vomit if you had been sitting next to him,” I said, smiling. “I don’t know if there’s anything I wouldn’t give to be physically repulsed by men, honestly.”
“I get your frustration,” she said, laughing. The session contained a lot of positive energy. “But if you weren’t attracted to men, you wouldn’t be you.”
I have felt annoyed when my therapist has made similar comments in the past. Continue reading →
July 4, 2021 · 2:30 pm
This past Tuesday afternoon I talked with my therapist about my elongated struggle with men. I told her about how that morning, I spent around half an hour investigating when Caroline Knapp, one of my favorite writers, met the romantic partner she later married, Mark Morelli. I used my millennial/Gen Z cusp internet sleuthing skills and pulled up several articles about her, such as one about when she and Morelli went to couples therapy together and another that shared that she got sober at 36.
“I figured out that she met him in her early 30’s,” I said. “Which is kind of helpful but kind of not because if I do want to date a man, which is questionable, I want him now.”
“There’s a sense of urgency here,” my therapist said. We had stopped wearing masks at this point, both of us vaccinated and sitting at least six feet apart, so I could see her smile. “I wonder if you can think of this like growing a garden.”
Omg, she’s about to solve all of my mental health problems with florals, I thought to myself. Continue reading →
Filed under Personal
Tagged as attraction, control, dating, friendship, life, romance, self-compassion, self-love, therapy, trauma, vulnerability
January 31, 2020 · 10:58 pm
Growing up with an emotionally unstable mother, I developed a strong preference for planning and control from a young age. By eight, I knew I wanted to be a psychologist to help others. By middle school I planned out the one college I wanted to go to to escape my family. Now, as an adult, I am one of the least spontaneous people I know. I plan almost every day out by the hour; I once had a near-breakdown in undergrad when I thought I had lost my planner. A friend who I’m kinda on pause with once characterized me as “regimented” on her blog, a word that Google defines as “very strictly organized or controlled,” which fits me embarrassingly well.
This desire for control and planning emerged the other week when I ranted to my therapist about my typical life conundrums: men, friends, the men who date my friends, etc. Continue reading →
December 27, 2019 · 10:39 am
In high school, I dreamed so much about going to college. I identified my top choice university my freshman year and worked my butt off the next four years to get in. I took tons of honors and advanced placement courses, I studied SAT vocab words while running on the treadmill to Lady Gaga and 2NE1, and I talked with my friends all the time about this school. While on one hand I saw college as the next step in my dream to becoming a psychologist, I also viewed it as an escape from my abusive mother. I saw college as a dreamland where I could free myself from her endless shouting and screaming and escape into freedom, into pure bliss.
I got into my dream school. But it turned out that college kinda like, sucked though. I spent my first year and a half in an unfulfilling, borderline-abusive friendship. Then when that friendship ended, post-traumatic stress disorder hit me like a brick. I cried in a lot of bathroom stalls and meditated in the midst of panic attacks in many others. I wanted pure bliss and got a ton of mess instead.
But not all of college sucked. Continue reading →
March 9, 2017 · 5:29 pm
After submitting 15 applications, traveling to a new state every weekend for a month, and taking a lot of time to deliberate, I have accepted an offer to attend a renowned Counseling Psychology Ph.D. program in the D.C. metro area! I almost cannot believe that I started this blog as a sophomore in high school, and now, seven years later, I write this post just a few months before graduating from William & Mary and beginning a doctoral program in August. In addition to sharing this good news with everyone, I also want to reflect on a few ideas inspired by the film Before I Fall, which I saw a few nights ago and loved.
I am also in shock that this book came out in 2010 and that I read it in high school, so many years ago. Image via goodreads.com.
This intense application process and film both made me ask: why do we do what we do? Continue reading →
July 5, 2015 · 7:08 pm
Imagine driving down the highway on a bright summer day. The wind flits across your skin, the sun filters every car around you in a lucid glow, and your vision shifts down for just a second. Then, the moment you look up, your life ends.
Exhibit A: wrecked car, with some supplies on top.
I acknowledge my melodramatic word choice. However, when the accident happened, I felt like my entire world – and not just my car – had crashed. After fidgeting my limbs to see if they still worked and checking to ensure that the other driver suffered no injury, I proceeded to have a little bit of a meltdown. Continue reading →