Kevin Kwan’s 2013 novel Crazy Rich Asians caught my eye upon its release, if only for its flashy cover and provocative title (are the Asians themselves crazy, or just crazy-rich? Can you have the latter without the former?). I admit I didn’t think much more about it until I heard the book was being made into a movie, coming to theatres in summer 2018. Remembering that after Catwoman (2004) and Electra (2005) both tanked at the box office, we didn’t see another female-led superhero movie for twelve years, I figured I would have to show up and support this all-Asian cast and help it become a true Hollywood hit, for the sake of Asians on the big-screen if not for Kwan’s story itself. And since I rarely sit down to a film adaptation without reading the source novel first, I decided to give this crazy rich wild ride a go.
Sometimes things aren’t okay. When you’ve had bad depression or anxiety – the kind that sinks in and takes over completely – every subsequent bout of sadness or nervousness can trigger a panic that the Bad Monster is back for good.
I’m trying to take matters into my own hands and make things okay. If I can’t get rid of what I don’t like, can I train my brain to reconceptualize elements in my life to make the bad things smaller and the good things bigger?
Last post, I said I would take up “worry blogging” as a way to combat anxiety and then proceeded to not post a single thing on the blog again. I’m happy to say that’s largely because the intense depression and worthlessness I was feeling at the time has subsided considerably into more of a vague suggestion of impending doom colouring my peripheral vision instead of the monsoon of dread I was weathering at the time. I’ve been making some exciting plans which helps me think positively about the future and feel like the wheels on my life are in motion instead of just stuck in the mud. However, making grown-up life decisions also, in this case, involves spending money, which also makes me worried and afraid. And the cycle continues. So it goes.
A month ago (has it already been a month?) my dear friend Charlie tagged me in a Facebook challenge that asks you to think of seven things you love about yourself and write about them, unironically, for a week. I try to avoid using my Facebook for such challengey things (Facebook is exclusively a platform for cat memes and feminist rants, is it not?), so I figured I would do my “love thyself”-ing here instead.
What surprised and saddened me the most was how difficult this aptly named “challenge” turned out to be. Every time I thought of something about myself that I liked, I would immediately think of some reason to de-legitimize it. “Oh yeah? You like that you’re funny? That’s awfully presumptuous to assume that anyone at all finds you funny. Maybe you should say that you love that you THINK that you’re funny or that you TRY to be funny.” And the cycle continues. So it goes again.
So here’s me trying. On a night when I’m tired and feeling at the bottom of the pack, here are seven things about me that I still love (with all the gifs because that’s how I bribed myself to even make this list in the first place):
I’m back home after my visit home. I get a kick out of saying that. I always feel a nostalgic sort of blueness when a trip or visit comes to an end, but I usually take this as a happy sign that the trip was an enjoyable one. After a day to get settled into my old routines and habits, the blueness usually goes away, and things go back to normal. This time, the blues have lingered.
About a year ago, I made it one of my life goals to become a good cook. Not necessarily a great cook, but one who can be trusted to host a fancy dinner party for friends, to have a hearty supper on the table for my future children every night, who has the skills to create any food I might have a craving for. My dad is a great cook, but he didn’t become one overnight either. So for the last twelve months, I’ve been slowly building up a repertoire of homecooked foods I can trust myself to put on the table. Sometimes I don’t even need to look at the recipe anymore.
Last night, I made homemade alfredo sauce out of cream, butter, and parmesan. It was easy. It was delicious and fattening. I felt like a wizard.
Today, I decided to make my own salad dressing. Another no-effort sauce, just oil and vinegar shaken together. I’d keep it in a jar and never have to buy salad dressing again. However, my poorly-supplied kitchen became my downfall.
After finishing my blue ripple blanket, I took a break from crochet to save money (yarn ain’t cheap). However, stress and anxiety hit me hard this semester. My supervisor suggested that since there are much more destructive and expensive ways that students often deal with that kind of pressure (like alcohol or lots of nights on the town), I might as well indulge if it will help me keep calm and sane. It doesn’t take much to convince me to pick up a new crochet project, so the result was this cute, pink mini-afghan! Continue reading