Studying abroad kills you in a thousand ways, but it makes you smile in a million. So do it. Take a thousand pictures, make a thousand memories, meet a thousand new people… and leave with a thousand ideas and plans for the future.
Katie, on remembering study abroad and looking to the future
There was an 18 month long period of my life that I really wanted to go see a therapist. But after a lot of introspection, I finally realized that I didn’t want one to tell me what my problems were or how to deal with them; I was well aware of both and could present them with a detailed report if they wanted one. I mainly just wanted someone objective that I could pay to have just listen to me. Coming to that conclusion was what broke my heart more than anything that I wanted to talk about.
I make a whole lot of tangible products through my INTERNET GIFT SHOP and they’re all really personal and pretty literal. But just in case, here’s a brief backstory to a handful of items, from a letter I sent recently.
I hate to read out loud. I read much faster than I could possibly speak and due to that I tend to stumble upon my words. People mistake this as me not being intelligent enough to read or for a lack of skill. It’s highly irritating to be taken for a fool too dimwitted to read when I’m actually just ahead of my own voice.
During my freshman year of college, my roommate got upset with me and became very passive aggressive, but instead of asking her why she seemed so upset I outright ignored all her side-eye glances and brow-twitches and rude tones, acting as chipper and cheery as ever, delightfully feigning emotional ignorance. If people have a problem with me, they ought to be candid and direct. I know that they’re upset and why (people are so transparent) but if you want a human reaction from me, treat me like a human who warrants your truth. Until then, I refuse to communicate with you.
Took a refreshing walk outside this evening and documented my therapeutic autumn date. A few pine needles attached themselves to the bottom of my jeans so I decided to preserve one of them in my journal to remind me of perfect nights like these. Plus I’m fond of the piney scent!
was it hard to come out as gay/bisexual? did people assume you had a girlfriend?
to be honest i kind of never came out, i was just gay when i got to college and everyone could tell because i wore an H&M scarf even though it wasn’t winter yet. nobody assumed i had an anything because i was so awkward. i did tell my sister once in like, a deliberate moment, but she thought i was joking and then we played mario kart.
i think “coming out” is a personal decision. sometimes you need to have a big reveal because it’s cathartic and liberating. but i also think you can just “be gay” and people basically know. “coming out” seems to be a big, stressful ordeal that doesn’t really seem worth it unless you’re literally a white male model in which case it’s really good for video views and new subscribers.
sometimes in my life now people assume i’m straight, because i can pass when i’m not excited, with other gay people, near my boyfriend, or listening to basically any music. but generally speaking people make their own decisions in their heads and we don’t have to talk about it. nobody should ever feel like they owe it to anyone else to explain themselves or who they are. just be yourself. if someone drags a conversation out then you’re free to handle that however you like, if you’re comfortable talking about your personal life, go for it.
i will say that i know it’s different when you’re a teen, when you live under your parents’ roof and you’re worried about their reactions, having to explain yourself, or still being loved. but the good news is that people in your life will love you no matter what. i wish there was another phrase because “it gets better” is a punchline now, but honestly, it does get better. you get to a point where you’re responsible for yourself, you don’t have to rely on too many people and you will feel a sort of freedom that you know is coming but can’t totally imagine. and that is terrifying (because real life is terrifying) but at least you can kiss whoever you feel like and you have your own seamless account.