misconceptions.

You don’t drink alcohol, so you must be boring and don’t know how to have fun.
You don’t smoke or do drugs, so you must think you’re better than everyone.
You don’t talk much, so you must be arrogant.

We’ve all been there before. Maybe it was a bad first impression. Maybe it was one bad choice. No matter what we’ve said or done, I’ll bet at one point in time (at the very least), we’ve been judged. Some people don’t care and are completely comfortable with being their complete selves. On the other hand, others like myself take things to heart a little more.

I don’t drink alcohol, but that doesn’t mean I’ve never tried it before. I choose not to drink primarily for health reasons. I am also highly sensitive to alcohol so even if I have a little bit, I start to feel dizzy, my head hurts, and I don’t feel well. Also, I just can’t acquire the taste. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t know how to have fun and it doesn’t mean I judge people who DO drink! My friends drink all the time but that doesn’t change my perception of them. They’re responsible when they do drink and if any of them go past their limits, I’m happy to drive them home if it means they get there safely. Being around alcohol does not make me feel uncomfortable. Yes, sure…sometimes being the only one at the party who doesn’t drink makes it a little weird for me, but I always try to find a way to have fun regardless of the situation.

I have never experimented with a drug or ever smoked, but that doesn’t mean I think I’m better than everyone else. Just because I may be straight-edge doesn’t mean that I should be defined by that label. We all have the freedom of choice. I choose not to do drugs or smoke because it’s just my personal preference and that’s it. But never once, have I ever thought I was better than anyone else because of the choices I made.

I’m a very quiet person. Until you get to know me, it’s difficult to pull me out of my shell. I’ve asked my friends what their first impression of me was and they all said I came across as either arrogant or mean/rude. I may not talk a lot, but it doesn’t mean I have anything to say. The truth is that I struggle in social situations. I DO have lots to say, but I can’t get myself to say it. I’m an observer. I prefer watching people interact with each other than engage, which is something I’m trying hard to work on. This is probably the misconception about myself that gets to me the most because what I display on the outside is completely different from the person inside. When I’m with my close friends, I can be goofy, I can be witty, I can be the one who makes people laugh…but if you’re an acquaintance or I just met you, you’d never know that.

The point I’m trying to get at is that you should never judge a book by its cover. Get to know the person first. In one of my classes in college, I met this one girl and right off the bat, I didn’t like her. The worst part was that I couldn’t exactly pinpoint what it was that annoyed me so much. I never thought we would be friends. But as I got to know her, my perception of her began to change. By our senior year, we became pretty good friends!

One summer, a group of my friends from college came down to visit me right after I moved. There was an event in Los Angeles we were attending. During the second night of the event, there was an after party at this place called Jillian’s. I think this was the first time my friends really truly saw me come out of my shell. Typically in social settings, I like to blend in with everyone else and people usually forget I’m even there. But that night, for whatever reason, it was like I flipped this switch and I became this extremely outgoing person (and that was all without a drop of alcohol in my system). I was talking to people I had just met like I had known them for years. It was a completely different side of me. I have no idea what got into me, but all I remember is that I couldn’t remember the last time I had that much fun. Instead of being my usual uptight self, I let loose a little and had some fun.

My quietness will always be a part of my innate personality and it’s always going to be a part of who I am. But I think the more I challenge myself to be a little more outgoing and push myself outside of my comfort zone, I think it could benefit me in the long run. I will never do it to please people. I’ll never do it to win the acceptance of others in social settings. When you want change, you should do it because it’s what you want, not at the expense of others’ wants. For all my quiet/shy people out there wanting to become a little more outgoing, I encourage you to push yourself. Something I constantly have to remind myself is that people are not paying as close attention to what I say and do as much as I think they are. In psychology, this is called the spotlight effect. The spotlight effect is a phenomenon in which people tend to believe they are noticed more than they really are.

The last thing I have to say about this is, don’t ever let people’s misconceptions about you define your life. Do you and live your life. If people don’t have anything nice to say, pay no attention to them. This is your journey and do what makes you happy.

beautifuldarkmystery

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you are your own worst enemy.

Self-doubt. I’m sure at some point in our lives, we’ve all dealt with this. I am someone who’s been struggling with it for a while, and unfortunately, as I grow older, it only seems to be getting worse. The same thoughts flood my mind every single day…

Am I good enough?
Will I ever be successful?
What am I doing with my life?
What is my purpose?
Why isn’t there one thing I excel at?
I feel mediocre.
Sometimes, I wish to cease to exist.
Why can’t I just be outgoing like everyone else?
Why is it that things that come naturally for others, are challenges for me?

But I’m not here to make myself the victim or complain about how much I suck at life. I just wish I could get over this irrational fear of failure because that’s essentially what this is. I think I’ve always been afraid to admit it, but I do, in fact, have a fear of failing. As a result of that, my life has been affected in so many different ways. I’ve missed out on opportunities. It’s prevented me from moving forward in life. It’s stinted my growth as an individual…and just reading that makes me cringe.

I know that there’s no such thing as perfection, yet I’ve somehow convinced myself that I need to be perfect. If I don’t, I feel like a failure (not to sound dramatic, but I don’t really know how else to explain it). Life’s supposed to be about challenging yourself…going beyond your comfort zone. My problem is that I’ve become too comfortable in my comfort zone and I don’t like change. I like routine. When I see or hear the word challenge, I automatically think of failure. The only way to grow in life is to make mistakes. So why is this so difficult for me? How did this get to be so bad that I’ve now become the only person standing in the way of myself?

The only answer I can think of is my shyness. I hate being described as shy, but it’s true. I’m not the most outgoing person. I get embarrassed very easily. I care way too much about what people think of me. I’m always monitoring what I say and how I act around people. I always knew I was the quiet one, but as I grow older, it seems to stand out more. I notice that in group settings I don’t say a word. If I have an idea, I don’t share it, because I’m afraid of rejection. But as long as I blend in to the background, how am I supposed to get anywhere in life.

Sometimes I feel like my life’s one big catch 22. I don’t want to appear stupid so I don’t speak up, but then my quietness is sometimes misinterpreted, therefore giving people the wrong impression of me, which leads me back to the point of caring what others think about me. I’m getting a headache just thinking about all of this…

It’s easy for someone to say, “Well, just speak up. The worst thing someone can say is ‘no.'” But those who can relate to my situation know that this is no easy feat. To be completely honest, I think most of this is genetics. It stems from personality traits. I can’t think of a situation I’ve ever been in that would have “traumatized” me and made me change my behavior.

I have my moments here and there. Sometimes I surprise myself. But it still takes me twice as much effort to talk to a stranger than it does for someone who’s more outgoing or extroverted. It’s a constant tug-of-war between wanting to push myself beyond my comfort zone but not actually following through with it.

I am my own worst enemy. I look at a lot of people and see how charismatic they are. They are great public speakers, exceptional team players, and embody all the right leadership qualities. Sometimes I feel like as much as I want to be the leader sometimes, I’m always going to be the follower and that makes me sad because what does that say about myself? I don’t want to continue living life with this negative image of myself. It’s easy for people to say, “Well, if you don’t like where you are in life, do something about it.” Well, that’s the problem. I don’t know what to do or where to even begin. Sometimes I feel like there’s something really wrong with me because of these thoughts I have and how much they consume me. It literally affects my everyday life, and, like I said, the older I get, the more pronounced it becomes and the more I notice it (which is bad because then I just focus on it more).

Again, I’m not writing this for the sake of complaining and victimizing myself. My hope is for other people to read this and know they are not alone…because sadly, sometimes I feel like I’m alone and that no one can relate to what I’m going through. So if anyone out there is struggling with self-doubt, I’m right there with you. I know life’s not supposed to be easy, but sometimes, I feel like it’s harder than it needs to be (and it’s my fault for making it that way). I just want to get to a point in my life where I’m happy with myself, the self-doubt is not a magnified issue, and I can just life my life. But I know that the only way for that to happen is if I make a change.

-beautifuldarkmystery

do it for you and not anyone else.

The older I get, the more I’m learning about myself. But that’s how it’s supposed to go, right? Well, right now I’m in a situation where I don’t really know what I want to do with my life or what direction I want to go. I thought I did, but I’m lacking that fire, the passion that everyone around me has.

I recently applied for a job that I really want. I have not heard back from them yet, but if I do hear from them, it should be some time soon. The weird thing is that I haven’t wanted something so badly in such a long time. I kind of put all my eggs in one basket with this because I have not been looking at other jobs, I haven’t applied anywhere else. I know it’s crazy, but I want to hear from them first.

One of the main reasons why I want this job is because I want to push myself. I’ve always been a quiet and passive person, and I’ve heard that those qualities are ones you’re born with and can’t change, but I believe I can. By no means is it going to be easy…because what may come easily to others does not come as easily to me…but I know that if I really push myself outside my comfort zone, I can achieve what I consider impossible.

It’s one thing I’ve learned from past internships. I’ve surprised myself and done things I never thought I could do. It’s all about how much you want it and how far you’re willing to push yourself. It was very uncomfortable for me…something as easy as talking over a walkie to yelling and being loud (something I’m definitely not used to), but I did it enough times and it became comfortable. With practice, I felt more and more confident.

I’ve always been the type of person to believe when someone tells me I can’t do something. It’s a terrible mindset to have and I know I’ll never achieve anything with that kind of attitude. But as I’m growing older, I’m learning that, it’s more important to do it for yourself and not anyone else. I don’t owe anyone anything. If I want to push myself and I want to reach a certain goal, I have to do it because I WANT it.

I know it seems like common sense, but this is yet another one of those lessons that’s taking time and I’m going through it right now. I don’t think I’ll end up where I currently am. I don’t think this is my calling or what I’m meant to do. People may ask me, “Well, then what would you want to do?” I don’t know the answer. As frustrating as it is, I have to remind myself that it’s okay that I don’t have all of the answers. Things will happen for me when they are supposed to happen and if this job opportunity works out, then great. If not, then it’s not meant to be.

All I know is that I haven’t felt this passionate about something in a long time. I haven’t wanted something so badly in a long time. I don’t want to get my hopes up, but I don’t want to lose hope either. Until then, I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

-beautifuldarkmystery

they say enjoy college while it lasts.

And it’s true…I can’t believe that in just five weeks, my years as an undergrad will be over. These last four years went by so quickly. I hate to sound cliche, but it feels like it was only yesterday that I was entering college as a freshman, scared of the unknown, worrying about having to start all over again…new place, new people, new school. While it did get off to a rough start, I eventually found my way and made some of the most amazing friendships, ones that I hope last for a very long time.

Now, as a senior…those feelings are coming back to me as I prepare to embark on the next part of my journey…I will be taking a year off from school before going back to get my Masters. Yes, it scares me…it’ll be the first year I won’t be in school and on top of that, I have to try and look for work. To add to that I’m moving away, which means starting over…again.

But what I’ve come to learn over these last couple of years is that there’s no point in worrying over things I cannot control. The future is scary yes, but I have to have faith in myself that I will land on my feet…I’ve already started building a great network here, with people who would be more than happy to give recommendations for me. Sometimes life is about going beyond your comfort zone…otherwise you’ll never know what else is out there. That above anything else has been a challenge for me, but I’m hoping with a little more practice, I’ll be well on my way. But I need to keep pushing myself in order for that to happen.

For now, I’m going to enjoy the time I have left here…spent with friends, making short films, and gaining as much knowledge and experience as I can. I regret waiting until my last two years to get involved in the department, but better late than never, right? As I’ve said, I’ve met so many incredible people and have had the privilege of learning from some of the most passionate professors. I truly consider myself to be blessed.

– abeautifuldarkmystery

i’m afraid.

I’m afraid that I’m digging myself a hole that I won’t be able to get out of. This summer has been amazing, mostly because “Tom” and I have grown super close. He says it’s all thanks to me because I picked up on some of his hobbies/interests, but honestly, he’s made more of an effort as well. This was the first summer in the two years we’ve known each other, that we’ve talked (texted) almost every night and actually hung out and saw each other over the 3-month break. The best part is that I FINALLY feel like I can be myself around him. For me (as well as a whole bunch of other people), when I like a guy, I am SUPER aware and conscious of how I behave. Being an introvert, I tend to think people are analyzing me more than they probably are so that results in me being super awkward and quiet. However, this summer was different. I wasn’t afraid of embarrassing myself or having my moments. He made fun of me of course, but it was all in good fun.

However, as we grew closer this summer, the more we acted like we were in a relationship. The time we spent together at the beach during the film, had me questioning if he still has feelings for me. I’ll never forget the one day we were just hanging around while everyone else was filming and he pulled me onto his lap and wrapped his arms around my waist. Do friends do that to each other? I don’t think so, but maybe they do.

The day he came over, a couple of days before school started, it was just the two of us at my house. We watched a movie and ate pizza, but then we started the tickling/wrestling matches. If this was us two years ago, we weren’t anywhere near that stage in our relationship. But there were times I caught myself staring at him and times I caught him staring at me. The way he pulled me off the couch so that I landed on top of him. The way he wrapped his arms around me so that my legs were draped over him and my head against his chest. The way he rested his head on my chest as we lay on the couch together. I don’t know…to me, these are things that friends don’t just do with each other, at least me and my friends.

The thing that worries me is that I’ve become so emotionally invested in this guy that at times I just want to straight up ask him what are we doing. I want answers. I want to know how he feels about me. At the same time, I don’t want to ruin the risk of having things go back the way they were, when we felt uncomfortable around each other. It’s like I think he wants the relationship, but he doesn’t want to ruin the friendship that we have and unfortunately, he can’t have both. But for me personally, I can’t separate my feelings from the friendship. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but it makes sense to me. Like, I don’t know that I’d be able to be “just friends” with him. In my mind, it’s as if we’re already in a relationship, it’s just not “official.” I can tell you right now that if I were to see him being all cuddly with another girl on campus, it would break my heart. I don’t know what to do. I’m so scared. I want to have this discussion with him, but I’m afraid that because of what happened before (the last time he told me how he felt, we eventually wound up in a fight which resulted in not speaking to each other for a month). This sucks.

-beautifuldarkmystery

Has anyone else been in a situation like this before? What did you do? 

untitled.

I wrote this a few days ago at 2AM…just thought I’d share it.

It’s nearly two in the morning.
If we were still friends right now,

We’d joke about how late it is for me.
That my bedtime was four hours ago.
But we are not friends.
My mind still comes back to you.
Why?
The silence is deafening. 
I just want to sleep.
Drowning in a sea of hypothetical scenarios.
What if I’d said this differently?
What if I did this instead?
What if I never said anything at all?
It’s a constant mind game.
Remorse, regret, repeat.
Over-thinking kills.
Clearly, you’re fine without me.
So why can’t I feel the same way?
I wish I could move on.
But I can’t. 
Something’s holding me back.
A feeling from my gut.
Not my heart this time.
Something is saying,
This is not the end for you and me.
Everything happens for a reason.
Well, it better be a damn good reason. 
I never thought we’d end up this way.
In a perfect world, I’d look at my phone,
And it would light up.
New text message.
My heart would race when I see your name.
I read it.
You say you want to make this work.
I say you have to show me.
Words are not enough.
So you come to school next week.
We have our first encounter since our falling out.
You don’t say a word.
Instead, you take me by the hand,
And pull me close.
As you wrap your arms around me,
I begin to cry,
Because I know I haven’t lost you forever.
And because I miss your hugs.
After all, they were my favorite ones.
You’d tell me our friendship means more to you
Than this stupid fight.
And we’d carry on with our lives.
In a perfect world, you wouldn’t give up on me.
I know you think I gave up on you.
But I haven’t. 
I’m still here.
Broken and bruised.
But still working, still hoping.
I know I shouldn’t expect anything more from you.
Actions speak louder than words.
And your actions have spoken.
But here’s the real battle.
I know you’ve moved on.
You have plenty of other friends.
You don’t need me.
So you think.
I honestly believe you need me
More than I need you.
Even though I know I don’t cross your mind these days,
I’ll always be waiting for that text,
A text I’ll never receive.
You may have put up the red flags,
Your actions contradicted your words,
But at the end of the day,
No matter how hurt I am,
No matter how how many people tell me
That I don’t need someone like you in my life,
I’ll always look for the best in you.
What does that say about me?

i’m an idiot.

So I was walking to the library when I saw him walking away. I thought it would be a clever idea to see if I could catch up to him, but as I was walking, I was so concentrated in looking for him that I didn’t even notice he was now walking towards me. He waved and that’s what caught my attention. He was walking with a girl, I’m pretty sure I’ve met her before, but I don’t remember. Then, because I suck at lying, I basically said that I saw him and that I was trying to see if I could catch up with him and surprise him, but I think I ended up making myself look like an idiot in front of both of them. Then I walked as quickly as I could to the library, which was in the same direction they were walking, which made me look like more of an idiot. FML. Seriously…I definitely need to stop trying to hard sometimes. I am so embarrassed right now. I know things could be worse, but still…I think it was because that girl was there. She’s way prettier, and here I am…no makeup, wearing glasses. I wish I wasn’t so introverted sometimes because I end up magnifying my flaws a hundred times more. NEVER doing that again. Words cannot express how embarrassed I feel right now. I know it’s not that big of a deal, but seriously.