golden hour reflections
The delay, or lack, of posts has been due to several things: I'm spending much more time making youtube videos, organizing a fashion show for this year's Festival de Mode et Design, and chronic summer syndrome (waking up past noon makes the day fly by).
Before my over-hectic summer schedule, I had a lot of free time by myself. It was my first summer in a while that I hadn't gone to Korea. Usually, my summer is spent lulling around in Seoul with family and friends. So, being alone in Montreal for that long made me even more anxious about wasting time. Looking back, I'm really glad I had this small interval of down time to really narrow in on who I am. During the school year, I am so busy with all the craziness that everything I do is because I have to do it for school, or I do it because my peers are doing it. But when I have days and days of no schedule and commitments, my only task of the day is to find something that I can do to please myself.
First, I tried to fill this bored/lonely void by texting all my friends and lining up lunch dates for every day of the week. It was great to catch up with those I don't see much during the school year. But the fun I get by being with others is so temporary and evaporates as soon as I come back to an empty house. I found myself creeping for hours on facebook and instagram, which leads to the endless cycle of self-pity.
I started to make a list. Oh boy, do I love making lists. I wrote places I could travel to, cooking classes I've been wanting to try, dance classes, guitar lessons, you name it... But after a long call with my mom, I realized that I was again trying to fill the void by planning on doing activities that I could add to my list of skills and achievements. Not saying that all those things are bad, but I was way too focused on my external self and things I could do to grow my internal self.
So, I scratched that list and went the polar opposite direction. I taught myself to learn to enjoy boredom. I'm using "boredom" for the lack of a better word, but it's really just time that isn't specifically allocated to anything. I'm such a schedule freak that this was hard for me to adjust to, but now I feel much more calm and mellow. Being mellow is also something that I am more of now. It's an odd mood to be in: it's neither happiness nor sadness, but rather a neutral feeling. I also spent more time reading for pleasure, a foreign concept during the semester. I developed a regular routine of waking up, exercising, cleaning, reading, making a video or blog post, and doing pretty much the same thing the next day. Not exactly the summer I had in mind, but I learned that calming down and not doing anything "instagram-worthy" during the day isn't the end of the world.
This down-time (even though it lasted only about a week and a half) made me realize that I may be more of an introvert than the extrovert I thought I was. Or maybe I changed. Either way, I find that I feel refreshed after a full day of being by myself and doing routine-based activities. Exhilarating.
So yeah, after about a week and a half of enjoying this routine, I went through a "omg what should I do with my time" crisis, which left me juggling too many projects and part-time jobs/internships than a girl can handle. I applied to too many jobs and said yes to pretty much all the ones I got hired for. Big mistake. I thought I would be able to handle it, but I ended up resenting myself for taking my own summer vacation away and disappointing my employers along the way. In the end, no disasters happened and I'm now mentally stable with my schedule.
I learned through this experience that spreading oneself too thin is a bad situation all around. It's just my ambition (or FOMO) that always leads me to say yes to every single opportunity that arises. I learned that everything and anything I give my time to during the day will eventually amass to something, whether it be work experience or just having a fun time. That is why I promised myself to devote my time only to things that are 100% worth the experience. I'm not advocating for taking the safe road all the time, in fact, that's the opposite notion I am implying. It's just that before taking, or even applying, for a certain job, I should consider if what I can gain from the experience will outweigh the time I put into it.
Why am I sharing this? Good question. Well, personally, I've had this blog for four years now, so it's fun for me to have a post like that I can read back on to see what little Dahye thought about her life before. But I also feel like sharing insights I gain from my own experiences could be helpful (or just entertaining to be inside my head) for those who are in the university hustle.
There's always next summer for another internship or study abroad program. Spending a summer doing a whole bunch of nothing is also an experience and privilege to have while you're still in school, so go at it!