I’ve always had some sort of problem with my identity. Everything about my outer image is a mess that I’ve never been comfortable with.

The shallowest of those messes is the way I dress. I’m horrendously picky when it comes to shopping for new clothes, because I can never find the kinds of things I like that look decent on my 5’4″. So I settle for less, and come a few weeks, tell myself I need more clothes, because I seem to be wearing the same thing every day.

When it comes to fashion (or anything, really), people like to throw around the words “Express yourself.” Unfortunately “expressing” myself comes at the cost of pick-and-choose from somebody else’s expression, to say nothing of my limited budget.

Make my own clothes? I’m afraid of sewing machines.

Okay, well people also say “It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside; it’s who you are on the inside.” This is even worse of a situation. Let’s use, as an example, a soft-boiled egg.

The shell, the image I think I project to the outside world is quiet, in a don’t-mess-with-me-or-I’ll-rip-you-a-new-one way. Well I try. It keeps most people away. I’m also picky about the people I interact with, and very quick to judge others. While the shell keeps out unsavory sorts, it also prevents me from interacting with new, interesting characters. To be honest, I really don’t know how to make friends. I don’t know the science of how it happens. I end up falling out with a lot of my ‘friends’ and now I’m really wary of this whole process.

The white of this egg, is kind of soft and squishy. You get to it by tapping through the shell with a spoon. Now and then I run into some people I really like, who actually tolerate me in return. These are the kinds of people I want to keep around me, but there’s always a part of me that worries I’ll end up pushing them away.

I’ve had a lot of little fights with my very best friends, but we’ve always patched things up and moved on together. Actually, if I think seriously about the spats I get into with others, it seems like it might just always be my fault. Friends grow apart slowly, don’t they? Is this a natural part of life? Or is it a fault of mine that I am intolerable of others’ faults?

I don’t really know if anyone’s quite gotten to that runny yolk of mine. I’m sitting on my bed, talking to a close friend on the phone; I’m writing a letter to one of my favorite guys; I’m having a heart-to-heart with a great girl friend over lunch… but at the same time, I always feel like none of them really get me. Of course, this is because I don’t want anyone to ‘get’ me.

Maybe it’s because I watched too many movies at an impressionable time in my life. Maybe it’s because of something my parents did. A lot of other factors, I’m sure, contributed to the basic idea that if you hand another person a knife, they could very likely stab you with it. All my friends lived on the internet at one point in my life, because if you tell Johnny in Singapore that you like So-and-so whom you see in the hall every day but never talk to, Johnny won’t show up at school one day and tell a hundred of your classmates about it.

School counselors and teachers are ineffective at dealing with asshole kids who like taking it out on little Chinese girls. I cannot justify their actions. When you get your hair pulled on the first day at a new school, that’s no big deal, right? When they pull up their eyelids and chant in pseudolanguage, it’s all a part of trying to get your attention, right? Why don’t you be a little more understanding and forgiving?

When you make the mistake of speaking to quickly, and what should have been a small, easily corrected misunderstanding results in a year of being taunted at recess by all the boys in the class, who will defend you? Why do you have to swear on your religion to be let in on a secret? How can you not have a religion?

Why is it okay for a girl you don’t know to shout “stupid Chinese” at you from the gym bleachers? Why is it okay for a guy to throw pens at you from across the room? Why is it okay for a girl to shove you into a locker, causing you to tell her loudly to ‘fuck off’ in front of your algebra teacher?

Dear junior-high guidance counselor, why can’t you see that she’s fake-crying while she’s trying to explain how I threatened her friend who claimed he just “dropped” that pen. Why can’t you do more than tell her to stay away from me? Why don’t you realize that this will just mean all her stupid friends get no holds barred on me in French class, on the staircase, with rolls of toilet paper on my front lawn?

What does this make me? It makes me want to break the barrier of race, religion, sex, and image. It makes me withdraw into myself, makes me reflect, search, and contemplate. It makes me judgmental, self-conscious, and avoidant.

It makes me cling singularly to female classmates who project strength, stability, and openness. I change my image, my thoughts, personality, words, in an attempt to find those traits I am in desperate need of. Naively, this does not in any way contribute to my maturity level or help me interact with others beyond the shallowest layer. Obviously this is not working.

In reaching high school, I am thrown into a class that stops me short in my tracks. A group of the most intelligent and beautiful people I have ever met. I am not the only one to be sucked into daydreams of that kind of glamour. I can’t interact with them on any level. My two attempts end disastrously.

I change my image again, project my thoughts into two years of poetry and stories. I cling to strong friends, try to shake off the weaker ones, and grow in a haphazard fashion. I am not the only one to dive into that source of high school glamour. Trying to be the illusion breaks the illusion, as we found out.

I think realizing this was worse for me than for my companion in the process. I spent a year in the misery of floundering in other people’s ideas and personalities. Clothes-shopping in a way. Having never had an entire role-model, I’ve been picking out pieces of other people that I want for myself. I’ve been doing this for so long, I don’t know what I want anymore.

Should I worry about looking more feminine? Should I not bother with it, because it’s just another ruse to objectify females? Should I read classic novels so I can present myself as an intellectual? Should I date a stoner friend because that would be rebellious/cool? Should I not bother with guys because high school relationships are shallow and a waste of time? Should I become a lesbian because that’s edgy?

It’s hard to say whether all these years were or were not a waste of time. On the one hand, I could have done something with the what-ifs I have now. On the other hand, I’ve probably learned something, and those what-ifs wouldn’t exist otherwise.

Still, nobody knows much about that yolk. Even I prefer to stay on the white, because frankly, the inside holds things even I don’t want to deal with. It’s mostly a jumble of fears and confusions. Things like spiders and needles, that I won’t say in French, because frankly, my French class doesn’t need to know about them. Things like despite how the word “Renaissance woman” keeps being tossed in my direction, I actually don’t know how to do anything for myself. It’s probably not dumb luck, but who can say for sure? Things like how I pretend to know more than I really do, how I secretly feel inferior to a lot of my friends, and how I’m probably a hypochondriac.

I don’t talk to people who have realized that I’m all talk and no action and called me out on it. I don’t date my male friends, because it always looks like they try to convince themselves that they are in love with me, regardless of what they say otherwise. I’m afraid that within one or two years I’ll have lost contact with the friends that did support me this year, the ones that I have very seldom hung out with outside of school, but have bonded with through stuff like physics or diffeqs. I would trade all the time spent with forgotten friends to get to know that vertically-challenged, brilliant-minded girl, or that vitriolic, enigmatic boy.

College begins in a month, and I’ll try not to fuck up majorly. I don’t know if I’ll be posting here again, unless it’s another late night with nothing to do and too much to sort out.

I’ll see you when I see you.

Even though seniors are done with high school classes, I have been at school every day this week.

On Tuesday, I finished reading Lolita. It was disturbingly good. During the weekend I’d read most of it sitting in a park with quite a few nymphets running around, let me tell you. I kindly kept the cover hidden so parents wouldn’t be weirded out.

On Wednesday, I went to a graduation party and met this really cute guy. He was also rather nice and talkative. However, he is very promiscuous and has/had an STD. Not entirely sure what to think.

On Thursday, I watched a lot of TV.

On Friday, I stirred up some drama regarding what happened on Wednesday. Full details upon request.

I want to get started on my novel, but I can’t bear to pick up the pen. That writing scholarship will be the end of me : (

1. The fact that the “Save” and “Publish” buttons are right next to each other resulted in last week’s post being saved as a draft instead of being published to my blog. And now it’s obsolete and uninformative.

2. Since next week I have three tests in a row (physics, chem, and diffeq), I’ve actually been studying this weekend. And it seems that the process of diffeq studying is by far more enjoyable/easy. Should that be weird?

3. I wrote a list of things I’ve learned in high school. It’s up on Facebook. I’ll post it here eventually.

4. I went on a date with an ex-best-friend’s ex-boyfriend in order to annoy her. We (me and ex-bf) agreed that it was simply a friendly date, since the only things we ever hear about each other are through ex-bff and mainly consist of lines similar to “He’s such an asshole. She’s a bitch, oh my god.” I had a good time. I liked her reaction when I told her about it.

5. Meme time.

What were you doing ten years ago?

Ten years ago my family moved here from Stillwater, Oklahoma. I was not happy to start over at a new, rundown school (Fairview) where the first thing that happened to me at recess was getting my hair pulled by a couple of idiotic boys.

What are five things on your to-do list for today?

  1. Relearn Laplace transforms.
  2. Relearn rotational kinematics and related stuff.
  3. Learn about gas laws and equilibriums.
  4. Write a paper on Alphonse Mucha.
  5. Take a shower.

What are some snacks you enjoy?

Do I snack anymore? It’s an on-off thing with me, and I’ve been trying to cut down my sugar intake. I like potato chips, cereal, chocolate, the occasional cookies… but if it’s around 8 at night, I’ll probably go for a banana or an orange.

What would you do if you were a billionaire?

Pay for college tuition. The cost is ridiculous, and I’ve already been denied a bunch of scholarships.

And then I’d fund some useful science projects and hire quality hitmen to pepper off stupid politicians.

What are three of your bad habits?

  1. Checking my email incessantly.
  2. Sleeping in class.
  3. Excessive swearing.

What are five places where you have lived?

  1. Hamilton, Ontario
  2. Princeton, New Jersey
  3. Stillwater, Oklahoma
  4. Columbia, Missouri
  5. Very soon to be true–Ithaca, New York

What are five jobs you have had?

  1. Math tutor –decent pay, kid was stupid and learned nothing.
  2. Biology tutor –I got dinner out of the deal.
  3. Lab rat –no pay, grad student couldn’t speak English, professor was a jerk.

Tag five people.

Tag yourself.

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

1. The Academic One

Consider a lengthy, disgusting series of math problems. Consider that it is the first assignment ever given in this class. Consider spending 2-3 hours in the computer lab trying to beat Mathematica into submission.

And then consider a friend deciding not to work with you and trying to do it on his own, and finally asking you for all of your numbers so he can derive his own conclusions from them. What to do?

Give him a little bit of data, and tell him to do the rest of it himself. But what if he comes back the next day asking for more numbers? Ask him why he didn’t actually work with me and why he didn’t decide to just use Mathematica. And what if he claims that it didn’t work?

Well why the fuck didn’t he just call me to solve that problem?

2. The Competition One

Districts Quiz Bowl is tomorrow. Four or five of us have been to every competition so far. Our four main players hold down history, politics, math, pop culture, and the sciences.

We have not done as well as we could because the fifth member is bringing us down. In the spirit of fair play, where we have to let him in on two rounds of each game, we lose valuable points. I, being of the math/science persuasion, or T, our other science person, have to switch out whenever Fifth Person goes in. And as it happens, Fifth Person sits there doing nothing, while I or T are sitting out in agony at not having been able to answer the science questions.

It seems we are taking 8 players to Districts tomorrow, and we’re only allowed one team, 4 players at a time… we are so going to lose.

T and I have discussed this numerous times, but there’s really no way to tell our sponsor or even Fifth Person himself that he sucks. How callous of me.

Update: Haha. We won. Never mind.

3. The Romantic One

I agreed to go on a date with a new friend. So far, mutual friends have made these comments.

“I don’t think he’s really mature enough for you.”

“He’s TOTALLY into you. He likes you a lot.”

There’s way too much to fit into one blog post, but I’d feel really bad if he were really to like me as much as I hear he does. Because I definitely don’t return that, and it’s starting to eat at my conscience.

Hopefully this changes when I actually see him again. We’ll see.