rainbow, organized

isn't it ironic

"Do you... do you think that things happen for a reason?"
"No. No, I absolutely don't. I think that people look back on things and find reasons."

Well, maybe that's what I'm doing.

Sometimes you do your best, but it isn't always a good thing. Sometimes you do your best, but you're doing it in the wrong direction, or you're doing TOO much your best.

Sometimes, you start out with the right intentions but it doesn't work out that way.

Sometimes, you start out with the right intentions, shit happens along the way, and the outcome is as you would have wanted it in the first place, except that you're not sure that's what you want anymore.

And sometimes, the "what you want" part doesn't even matter because it wasn't yours to want at all.

So, maybe because I need to look back on things and find reasons, I decided to mourn our friendship by buying my first pack of cigarettes. Well, not my first. The first time I've bought a pack of cigarettes with my own money with the intention to smoke them. Ironically, the first time I bought a pack of cigarettes with my own money at all was to give them to you not even two days ago, when I thought things might be okay.

I like timing. And symbolism. And finding reasons. Maybe it's a good thing this happened on a Sunday. The world can start over now, because that's what Mondays are for.
  • Current Mood
    drained drained
i don't know what to do, nervous


Sometimes, I wonder if my priorities are in the wrong place...

On Thursday, my mom had surgery. I KNEW that she was having surgery. I knew it! But, this last week was extremely hectic for me. I slept less than 2 hours every night and spent every free moment studying, doing homework, and researching for term papers... it was just one of those weeks. Anyone who's ever been a college student understands these weeks.

Well, being that I'm a first-generation college student, my parents don't. I didn't call or do anything or check in on the day of the surgery because, well... I kind of forgot. And so, my mom called me yesterday morning pretty upset, which led to a crushing spiral of guilt that led to me cancelling me shifts at work this weekend and Monday and going home (which I should be doing soon.)

I'm so down about it. I feel a little lost. Family First, that's what I've always known, and only recently did I realize I could love my friends as much as my family. But am I valuing their time more than that of my family's, too? Because, in my world, it still doesn't seem like the right thing to do. Yet, I'm doing it, aren't I? I drop everything for JSO stuff, every time. Not just because I'm the vice president but because I love being part of that group and doing things for it. But yet, I couldn't find it in me to try and make it work out and go home for Easter last weekend.

This isn't really an existential crisis, but I do feel really guilty right now. I feel like I need to sit by myself for a while and sort out my priorities, but that's never been something that's been good for me. I'm the kind of person that if left alone for too long will just descend into self hate. I prefer to be surrounded by people, because then I can focus my energy outwards.

Ahhh... priorities... it doesn't help that I'm probably not going home this summer because I was able to secure an internship here in Columbus. I'm really excited about it, but it does mean less 親孝行 and more わがまま from my point of view.
rainbow, organized


It feels kind of surreal sitting in my bedroom in Toledo doing homework at the desk I used up until I came to Ohio State. It's not the first time I've done it, but this year, I've realized is almost identical to my senior year in a lot of ways. I'm trying to keep up with the present while constantly worrying about the future, in particular how to PAY for the immediate future plans.

It's kind of funny how life comes full-circle sometimes. My senior year of high school I spent hours sitting at that desk juggling homework, job applications, and scholarship applications all in the hopes of being good enough to receive money and making money for going to Japan and also to pay for school. Now I'm back here, doing homework during the only downtime I'm going to have for the rest of the semester, because this semester has been filled with JSO stuff and also scholarship applications and other miscellaneous bureaucratic stuff for studying abroad next year.

Crazy haha. It's crazy to think of how I've changed since then, how dynamic we really are as people. I've never been happier that I decided to come to Ohio State and have become who I am today. I hope that, like the last few years, I can be able to say "This is the best year of my life!" every year. Already, I feel it.

Wow. 2013 is almost 1/4 done. Crazy.

Time flies. Gotta make the most of it!
rainbow, organized


On Friday, some of the best friends I can ever imagine having did a very awesome thing. My Japanese Student Organization family threw all of us who would have celebrated it in Japan this year a 成人式 (seijinshiki, or Coming of Age Ceremony, which I think sounds dumb in English).

I thought it was just gonna be a party and another (of many unnecessary hahaha) excuses to drink on a Friday night with my friends. But then, as the date got closer, my friend who planned the whole thing kept talking about the things he was planning and I realized how serious it was.

Still, nothing could've prepared me for it. I was the one to reserve the room, so I originally got us a classroom since there were only going to be like 20 of us tops at this event, but he wanted a large lecture hall with a podium and microphone so I changed it. I made fun of him for wanting something so extravagant for so few of us, but I feel kind of bad now that I know how much work he put into it.

Anyways, I got there and us "seijin-ers" who were being celebrated had to wait outside until we were allowed into the room. When we were finally let in, all the lights were out and everyone was taking pictures of us. It was kind of disorienting, but we found our seats at the front of the hall facing the audience and sat down.

The national anthems (seriously, both of them) were played and sung accordingly, and then the ceremony officially began.... with self-introductions by all of us. (This is a theme with my friend. At the first JSO meeting this year he made us all do a Japanese-style self-introduction even though we all knew each other...). That took some time, but then we finally got to eat the food that was brought (I made furuche and chocolate-strawberry daifuku!).

After eating, the real meat of the ceremony started. Our friend gave a speech about why he wanted to do this and it was really touching. Then he showed us videos that our friends in Japan made for us at his request on only Monday! It was just... it was a lot. All of these people were celebrating the fact that we were twenty years old and it was just really touching. I can't explain it so well; maybe it was a thing where you had to be there, but it was just... awesome. I mean, I love my parents to death don't get me wrong, but especially in my teenaged years my birthday wasn't really a big deal. I mean sure, my mom made breakfast for me and whatever dinner I requested, but I never got anything extravagant. May is kind of a bad month on our financial calendar, I guess, so I never really ask for anything and so it's just a small thing.

Therefore, having this huge ceremony for me and five other people was just a lot for me to handle!

Finally, after seeing all these videos made for us and hearing another touching speech about our friend, we had to give speeches of our own. I couldn't say everything I wanted at the time, though I said some of it, because there were too many emotions running through me, so I'll say it here.

From the time I was old enough to understand it, it's been drilled into my mind that family is absolutely the most important thing. You can't change who you're related to; you just have to accept and love them the way they are, even when they're not being the best of people or necessarily doing the same to you. Aside from a small but violent blip when I was in junior high school, I understood this and believed this implicitly.

I have had close friends throughout my life, don't get me wrong. Some I have held into my heart alongside my family, keeping them in similar regards (you should know who you are!). But there's something about blood relatives that is different. For one thing, they have no qualifications for being held in my highest regards. They're just there and related to me and that's all it is. I will roll over for them, give them any amount of money, anything they can ask.

And that's fine. I like that about myself, because I like to be able to show that family is that important to me in a tangible way.

However, years of "Family First" and not being able to do some of the things I wanted as a child because of filial obligations have led me to kind of keep my friends at arms length sometimes. I accept people for who they are as a general rule, but it's easier for me to get frustrated with my friends than it is my family, for things that might be considered of lesser import. Especially the friends that I've made since I came to OSU, I've always felt that funny floaty feeling when I think of them, but I never considered them as close as my family, or as close as the friends I have grown to consider "close to" family.

But my friends throwing this huge ceremony for us made me realize something that I think I've known all along. They often say that friends are the family that you get to choose, but I always kind of scoffed at that saying. "You can't choose your family, but you MUST love them unconditionally anyways!" I would always think. "It's selfish to withhold yourself from your family while giving all of yourself to your friends." That kind of thing.

But I realized, that more than a few people in my life (you should still know who you are), my JSO friends have really and truly become my JSO family. And I'm so happy that they are the family I got to choose. You DO make very long-lasting relationships in college and I know that this group of people is the group that I will always be close to, even if we can't talk for months at a time.

It's such an overwhelming feeling of love. I feel like all at once I realized how stupid I was and just yanked that barrier out of my heart and let everybody in at once and it's exciting and giddy and... well it's emotionally overloading. I cried at the ceremony, I cried and drunk Facebooked at the after-party (oh god), and I wanna cry when I think of it now.

For life experiences, this almost tops the list. I am on cloud nine; I can't get off of it! It's just... it's just really really really great.
  • Current Mood
    touched touched
rainbow, organized

i just want you for my own

Ah, it would appear that happily being home has gone on for long enough.

I suppose it's about that time. My sister can really only take about a week of me at a time before she begins to become upset that my presence happens to be here in Toledo instead of in Columbus.

I can't decide who's more selfish: her for wanting me gone, or me for wanting to stay. If we weren't planning to go to Buffalo for New Year's, I would half GLADLY go back to Columbus for the end of the year! Hell, I have a lot of friends that would love to see me down there rather than an awkward tension with my family.

But I am a firm believer of family first, no matter what. And so I will not do that, no matter how much fun it would be, because going to Buffalo to see family is pretty much more important to me than anything else.

Still, I suppose it's frustrating. And sad in some ways. I don't know how I can become a better person for her not to dislike me. My instinctive urge to make myself more "perfect" is to study study study and be a perfect student, but that really won't help matters. I suppose I could spend the days holed up in my room where she doesn't have to see me, but that's not fair to the rest of the family who does.

Now that I mention it though, SHE stays upstairs all of the time. And it's not just because I'm here! That's normal for her...

Ugh. I just don't know what to do. The high road is so, so hard sometimes...

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rainbow, organized

don't try to fix me

Well, it's that time of year again...


On the first topic there, I am sooo burnt out at this point... I have a term paper to finish titled "Standardization and Dialects: A Japanese Perspective" that I really am super into as a topic but I'm just dead. And I have my hardest final tomorrow, and I've hardly studied for it so far because of the paper... so consider this a little study break to release some steam I guess!

As for the second topic... it continues to baffle me. Every year from December 1st to March 31st I feel a consistent longing to go back to my hometown.

There are SO many reasons not to. Let me count the ways:

1) Um, the economy?
2) When was the last time you heard of the distinct Japan-Buffalo relationship for me to put my Japanese to use for?
3) There is NOTHING THERE for me. Most of my family doesn't even live in Buffalo proper anymore.
4) Kenmore and Tonawanda, the neighborhoods I lived in, aren't actually that great. In fact, they're pretty shitty.
5) I actually kind of don't like driving in Buffalo at all. I'm just not familiar with it.
6) It's expensive
7) Psychologically speaking, I probably should just move on with my life

HOWEVER I recently was checking out grad schools and of course had to check out SUNY Buffalo. Not only do they have a fabulous linguistics program that my linguistics hero, a man who has done extensive research on the Buffalo dialect, worked for BUT they also will probably pay for me to go there if I teach Japanese.

So. Maybe there's something for me in Buffalo after all. It's a secret dream of mine to do some extensive research on the Buffalo dialect; it's fascinated me ever since I moved from Toledo and discovered I had one. To be able to study Japanese, Japanese linguistics, and dialectology all at the same place? Well... it's too good to pass up...

So maybe that's why this feeling is hitting me again. Also we might go to NY for New Year's this year, and that makes me nostalgic, too, because we haven't been for New Year's in a loooooooooong time....

Ughhh this feeling. It's not like S.A.D. persay. More like selective homesickness.
rainbow, organized

wheel in the sky keeps on turning

All of this study abroad stuff has my head spinning...

So many applications... so many deadlines... so many what-if's that won't be answered until the last possible moment...

I don't know if I can do this. But I have to go into it blindly anyways, otherwise I'll NEVER know if I would've been able to.

It's so scary...

And lately, I've been hearing reports from a friend of mine who transferred to a university in Japan that Japan isn't the dream land he envisioned.

Granted, I KNOW that already, but it makes me nervous... for him, the longer he stays there the less he likes it. I DO still want to live there at least for some period of time in my life... so I NEED this study abroad to see if that's something that's actually suited for me...

Ugh.... I hope it works out. I'm trying so hard.







rainbow, organized


Ahhhh, Livejournal... there are times when you are the best option.

Like now, at 1:42 in the morning in my kitchen procrastinating while listening to Mumford.

In the last week, I've noticed that I think (somehow), this year I've become the college student I've always wanted to be. I think I've finally found that mixture of work and play that I've been looking for since my freshman year. I think I finally have friends I can feel as close to as my friends back home. I have awesome room mates, but not so awesome that we NEVER argue (Sarah and I are so well-suited to each other it's scary hahaha).

And finally, most importantly, I feel like a student leader. And I think I've always wanted to feel that.

Last night, my close friend and room mate Sarah were in a small study room in the 24-hour Science Engineering Library studying when a friend of ours came in. Immediately we started talking about how busy we were, but it was in such a GOOD way. Furthermore, all three of us were e-board members of three different but interconnected groups.

It felt.... really great. I don't know. I can't explain it.

I'm just really enjoying life right now, I guess. That's... that's all hahaha.

By the way, for practice sake, I'm going to start translating my posts into Japanese. So I'll cut to it!
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  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished
fake smiles, 頑張る, fragile


Once again everybody, of course it's been a while...

Well I've just submitted my application to study abroad at International Christian University for the next academic year.

(I picked ICU because of their linguistics program; it turns out nobody who goes there is Christian except for the professors who need baptism certificates in order to be hired...)

The estimated cost for studying abroad in Japan (this is the whole number for EEEEEEVVVERYTHIIIING you can think of) is $35,000.

That is a big number.

I have no idea if I can come close to that number.

But I've gotta damn well try my best.

Ahhhhh, this is the feeling of my senior year in high school all over again... somehow it's extremely motivating. Thinking about the amount of work I need to put into everything to make everything work out suddenly makes me less tired, less hungry, less concerned about anything other than getting it all done as efficiently as possible.

Alas, Japan has turned me into a robot u_u (Just kidding hahaha)
  • Current Mood
    anxious anxious
friends, social, family


Nope, still haven't lost my penchant for obnoxious, unrelated music lyric titles.

It's been a long time, guys! >o< I just looked back on my old posts and realized I described one of my room mates as "fantastic" earlier... oh, how quickly our relationship dissolved...

Anyways, here's a general update on ME since January!

I got over not working at the desk pretty quickly. Unfortunately, between the bullshit I suffered through last year (I have no problem with my room mate sleeping with our RA, persay, but when they break up and get back together and break up again and said RA is stalking our room, I get uncomfortable, and when no one in Housing does anything about the situation... well, you know.) and the final blow at the desk, I became much much much less enchanted with the idea of living in the dorms again and these days, I literally am there for the 2-8 hours it takes to sleep.

As for the RA application... well, the short story is the aforementioned mentor who became really bitchy when I asked for a recommendation called me down to his office in the middle of the night very soon after I lost my job at the desk to berate me and pretty much speak to me like a child about how I should have TOLD him (It honestly slipped my mind) and that he would have to put this lack of communication ability in his recommendation of me for the application. From that point, I was really scared I wouldn't get the job, so I signed a lease to an apartment with my room mate now. I really love my room mate (and our other two future roomies) and the apartment and I was really attached to the idea by the time interview time came around. After what this mentor said, I hadn't thought I would make it to the interview, but they passed me into it so after a brief panic moment, I declined the interview and got out of the process.

To be honest, it's been nothing but up from there. After a brief blip where I finally admitted to myself that I really just hate business I dropped my business minor and picked up a linguistics major which I am IN LOVE WITH. I've never fallen in love so fast with an academic topic before, seriously. I read academic linguistic journals for fun and managed to worm my way into taking grad-level Japanese linguistics next semester (overriding the pre-reqs of needing to do a million pages of paperwork and actually being a senior to take it, might I add...)

So of course, now onto what actually inspired me to post again which is.... a problem.

These days, Nell and I have become miraculously much closer than we used to be, for which I am ecstatic for obvious reasons. When I went home for my birthday a couple of weeks ago, her, Salvina and I actually sat around the dining room table and talked and had fun with each other for the first time in YEARS. And she baked me a birthday muffin!! All in all, I'm really really happy that our relationship can improve.

Nell really wants to go to Bowling Green next year for school, but the bottom line is that she doesn't have the money. She hasn't admitted it yet (because she is stubborn) and it's quite the sore point between her and our parents, but it's seeming to shape up like that. She still needs another $7000 to attend and it's just not happening (This is after loans). She doesn't want to go to UT at all and isn't even looking into the possibility at this point, which is scary because she needs to make a decision like NOW.

Next year, I was planning on not renewing my loans since I am fortunate enough to have a tuition scholarship as well as a couple extra that would be able to finance my apartment on top of two jobs (I picked up a job making pizza at a campus dining area). It wouldn't be 7 grand, but it would certainly help, and I'm thinking of giving it to her.

Of course, my mother doesn't want me to because she wants Nell to start taking responsibility for her own actions, and also she isn't so sure of how she'll fare the first year. My reservation doesn't come from this but a more selfish reason...

I see many people who are studying abroad next year (or are supposed to be) really panicking at this point because of course the cost of studying abroad in Japan is higher than OSU makes it seem. The biggest problem is they won't know their financial aid award (From applying to study abroad scholarships etc) until next Friday, much to late too really effectively make other plans for the year if you can't afford to go.

Keeping this in mind, I'm starting to think about taking out the loans anyways but saving them and now using them, but keeping them in store for my study abroad the year after next. Of course I'll also apply for scholarships, but while my GPA has made a stellar recovery from trying to study business, it's no 4.0, so I can't be sure I'll be a good candidate for many scholarships.

I KNOW I should keep this money for myself... but I know how it feels to want something so bad you can't admit you can't afford it until it happens. In my case, I was more selfish. My parents took a personal loan to help me pay for my Japan trip, and I regret the fact that I don't regret making them do that. So I understand where she's coming from... not sure what to do here :/ I just want her to have the education she wants.
  • Current Mood
    pensive pensive