In reality, I’ve been able to find happiness precisely because I fail constantly.
I am feeling so lost with my gender.
True love requires an element of forgiveness — Forgiveness that comes from one’s heart, Love that is not rude and that doesn’t forgive with rudeness.
If it’s something I’m good at, it’s lying about how I feel to myself — finding a more reasonable feeling I should feel to replace how I’m actually feeling. It’s inauthentic of myself and it feels wrong, but I do it anyways and I need to learn to stop and tell myself it’s okay to feel things as they are, as they come, and as they go.
Right now, I honestly feel kind of lonely. I know I’m not really alone in this world, and that I’m surrounded by incredible and loving people, but I can’t help but feel lonely amongst my friends on campus. I keep wondering who my life long friends will be or who my friends after college will be and I actually don’t know because I don’t have a group of friends I call my own. I’m always an extension of a group. I can’t really name anyone who will remain in contact with me or want to. I feel loneliest when the only time I hang out with people is because I initiated it. But when I decide to step down, and just wait for someone to ask me, nothing happens. I’ve been spending a lot of time in my room. I’ve been eating lunch everyday in the campus ministry office which has become my new home, because I don’t have anyone to eat my meals with outside of the space and I feel welcomed there. Nothing makes me happier than when someone simply asks me if I want to spend time with them, or even simply ask me how I am. I’m tired of inviting myself, and being the first to make things happen. It just makes me wonder if my presence is valued amongst my friends. If I seem distant or that you haven’t seen me in a while, it’s probably because I’m waiting to be cared for.
Today I was working the front desk at campus ministry, and one of our staff members comes up to me and says “Maya, I’m so sorry, I accidentally slipped up and used the wrong pronoun on you and I feel so bad.” I forgave her, but it meant a lot to me that even though I wasn’t around when this happened, she still apologized.
I’ve gotten so used to calling out people on pronoun usages that I almost slip up and almost correct my parents when they say she/her but I know that is potentially dangerous for me, so I have to remember that my life outside of my parents is different.
I have a hard time saying no to things.
I was debating whether or not to be a New Student Retreat leader again, and while part of me said to take a break and focus on academics and work since I’m busy, I also ended up saying yes and applying. I had my first meeting with all the other leaders and suddenly everything felt right. I think I will be able to stay committed. I’m looking forward to work with a new community of people since there are only 4 returning leaders including me and a lot of younger classmates who went on the retreat when I lead it are leading it with me this year (which is super exciting!) I think it’s going to be interesting to see how my style of leadership will change this year versus last year. I already see that this year will really challenge me and help me step out of my comfort zone again.
Gods and Daemons 1905 (by Blue Ruin1)
An Osaka maiko (apprentice geisha) wearing an odori (dance) costume decorated with Noh Theatre masks depicting a variety of Shinto kami (gods) and oni (daemons). The mask on the sleeve that she is holding appears to be Saruta-hiko-no-mikoto, the greatest of six earth born gods, who is depicted as a large, powerful figure with bushy eyebrows, fang-like teeth and a long nose.
For my crime and punishment class, we had to fill out a survey about criminality, laws, gender, and ethnicity. Our professor turned all of our survey answers into numbers on a chart and me and my friend who don’t identify with the gender binary x’d out the question, and so on the chart, it showed two people who’s answers didn’t correlate with male or female. A few classmates were confused by that, and so professor went on a long explanation of the binary and how people don’t feel comfortable or don’t identify with the binary. He even talked about pronoun usages and how gender neutral pronouns exist. It was really cool to see him talk about the gender being a social construct. He wanted to make the survey anonymous but instead we had to reply to him by email so he knew who we were and our answers to the survey. He mentioned in class that he knew who those two people who put something else for gender were. So that meant he knew that it was me and my friend and he also knows about our pronoun usage. I was feeling really uncomfortable at that point because topics about gender make me really nervous since I’m not fully okay with my gender yet. Anyways, I was really hopeful, until he asked a question where everyone raised their hands except for two people (including me) and said “everyone raised their hands except for these two women.” I did not want to be called woman, and that was just really dysphoric for me. I wanted to hide. But I did appreciate him talking about the problematic nature of him asking a question about gender as well as the problematic nature of race/ethnicity especially because historically Irish and Jewish people weren’t considered white.
Even though I’m fluent in speaking English, I think the reason why my English is sometimes not so good and I tend to stutter a lot over my words, sentences or my pronunciation is because I was raised around my mom and dad who are not native speakers. I speak mostly to my mom who is unable to speak english with perfect grammar and who prefers to speak to me in Japanese.