Ask Me Anything: My Answers to Your Pressing Questions

Hi there!

Thank you all for the very interesting questions you’ve submitted on my ASKfm.

Let’s just get to it.

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What are you most insecure about?

You know, I’ve got so many insecurities, I’m not sure how to even begin with this question. Let’s just tackle something physically feasible. One thing I’m very insecure about is my tendency to laugh at everything. I’m often afraid that some people will find it obnoxious or not take me very seriously because of how easy it is to make me laugh. I also don’t consider my laugh to be very “pleasant-sounding.” I can see how it could get annoying, but I just can’t help it. I guess something on a more mental level is I’m insecure about how “giving” I am. I’ve mentioned this before, but some people have told me that I’m “too nice,” and it makes me overly self-conscious to the idea of being taken advantage of. Some people might think it’s weird to be insecure about being “too nice,” but I definitely hate coming off as someone who can be pushed around. With that, I also struggle with finding a balance between being nice and being very upfront or aggressive. I don’t know. I guess I’m just insecure about how I appear to others in general. I want to make a good impression without being labeled as something I’m not. I hope that’s a sufficient answer, haha.

How many guys ask you out/confess their love to you on a weekly basis?

On a weekly basis? Typically, zero. I’m not very popular. Shocking, I know. Someone did confess to me this week in my ASKfm, though. Still no idea who they are.

What is the most embarrassing thing you have done?

Oh man, what a tough question. I can’t think of the most embarrassing thing I’ve done, but I’ll name one embarrassing thing I’ve done. I once got really excited that my crush got me a $10 Dunkin Donuts giftcard for Christmas and bragged about it to my best friend. In that same instance, as she began to say, “Oh, that’s so nice,” she opened her locker to find that this same exact guy left a bunch of candy and stuffed animals as her Christmas gift. Approximately 8 seconds later, this boy comes over to wish us both a merry Christmas and I couldn’t scoop my jaw off the floor in time to save every little scrap of dignity I had left. It was an extremely awkward situation. Hopefully that is a good-enough answer to your question.

What is your favorite memory?

In the 7th grade, my best friend and I were working on our history fair project (it’s like the science fair, but with history) at her house. We had invested far too many hours into researching, typing up everything, and assembling our poster board, and when it came time to glue everything on, the only glue she could find was this strange, industrial-quality glue that smelled like gasoline. The fumes were so strong, and we were already so delirious from all of our hard work. Not even an hour later, we found ourselves rolling on the ground, laughing at random stuff in her room. We were losing our minds. We even recorded a video of ourselves playing with stuffed animals, bursting into mad hysteria as we processed aloud the fact that our history fair project was destroying all of our brain cells. I don’t even know where that video is now. Pretty sure my friend was responsible for keeping it safe for us to rewatch at one of our weddings, but she has failed miserably at protecting our precious memories from that day. Man, good times.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever wanted to do?

Growing up, my dad used to take me fishing all the time. I loved going fishing, but I never learned how to fix-up a fishing rod by myself. My dad didn’t trust an amateur messing around with his gear. I’d still like to learn how to do that, along with how to catch a fish with my bare hands.

If I asked nicely would you venmo me 5,000,000 dollars?

Depends on who you are, how badly you need it, what you would use it for, and if I have at least 1,000,000,000 dollars in my bank account to begin with. Fun fact: I don’t. So, I guess my answer is maybe.

As a masters student, are you still interested in speech pathology? Has it become more or less fun? Which part of grad school do you enjoy the most?

Great question! I am still very much interested in speech pathology. In terms of “fun,” I’d say it has both been fun and not-fun, haha. I would say it has become less fun in that I’ve had trouble adjusting to the pace of the program for a while. My coursework has been very intense. I don’t think my undergraduate education really prepared me well for the amount of work and material I’ve had to navigate through, but I wouldn’t say that has made me less motivated or regretful in my decision to pursue this field. It has been a rewarding experience so far, and I am so grateful to have such a supportive team of classmates and teachers to help me whenever I need it. It has become more fun in that I am able to do more hands-on work in clinic and gain experience in the treatment processes. I am not one to shy away from hard work or opportunities to learn, so being able to engage with real clients and play a direct role in their success has been awesome. I’d say what I enjoy the most is being able to go home at the end of the day and feel that I had some influence in changing someone’s life, even if it’s just a little bit.

Hey! I just found your blog! It’s really good. I like your writing style. I had a question as a fellow grad student. Do you ever have days where you feel insecure about yourself? And if so, do you have any tips for dealing with it? Currently dealing with that and your advice would be appreciated!

I like to say that Confidence is an absolute stranger to me. I very rarely feel confident in a lot of different aspects of my life. Something the faculty and staff in my department have been trying to emphasize is the idea that you should “not to feel as if you’re a fraud, or as if you don’t belong here,” and that we have been chosen to be a part of this program for a reason. I have felt that way far more times than I’d like to admit, but as I’ve said before, I’ve gotten a lot of support from my classmates and teachers. If you feel insecure about your place in your program, I’d encourage you to consult your teachers or classmates about it. It’s really hard to open up about that stuff considering you’ve been admitted to the program with the utmost confidence that you would be capable of handling all of the work that comes with it, but we are only human and we are bound to feel as if we’re not good enough when confronted with the success and expectations of those around us. I often talk to my clinical supervisor about how I’m not always confident in how I handle procedures or methods, but he reassures me that I am still learning and that I don’t give myself as much credit as I deserve for someone so new and so perservering. You’ll find that seeking the perspectives of those who observe your progress on a daily basis will provide you with insight that you don’t have for yourself. They know your worth, and it is their job to ensure that you’re on the right path to achieving your goals. I encourage you to seek them as your resources and continue to remember your worth, and that you add value to your program with the skills and assets you contribute to it every single day.

Are you happy in this next stage of life?

I’d like to refer you to a previous post I wrote, but also add a few more things. I think I’ve become a few steps closer towards feeling “fulfilled,” and I don’t think I feel as “gray” as I did during my senior year of undergrad. I think graduate school has helped me become reaffirmed in my desire to pursue speech-language pathology, which I would consider a factor of fulfillment at a career level. Also, I think I still have a lot of growing to do, but that I have also solidified my identity and regained some satisfaction with who I am. I think I am more sure of what I want to do, but feel lost in how to do them, and having that knowledge has provided me with some solace. I’m not sure if I’m 100% “happy” per se, but I’m learning to become more content with what I have. It’s an arduous process.

When are you going to play ranked?

This is referring to League of Legends. The answer is never. Probably.

If you could date any famous person who would it be? **I rephrased this question in case someone important decides to read my blog. 

I think this question is hilarious because whoever asked it clearly does not know me very well. My friends (and everyone on Facebook) all know (and are too aware) that my all-time celebrity crush is Grant Gustin. Alongside Grant are Steven Yeun and Luke Mitchell in that exact ranking. So, my answer is Grant Gustin.

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What’s your weirdest fantasy?

I genuinely do not think I have a “weird fantasy.” I swear, it’s not a cop-out. I seriously do not know. Sorry for not having an interesting answer. 😛

Why am I sexually attracted to this song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Nz89BQPc7o ?

I think you need therapy. Or to critically analyze your attraction to snowmen. Or maybe both. Just a thought.

Why is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Nz89BQPc7o the best song of 2017?

‘Tis not the greatest song of 2017. Anyone who tells you otherwise should be cut out from your life.


 

This was quite the experience. I hope you all had as much fun asking these questions as I had reading and answering them. 🙂

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What it’s like to abandon your dream

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I mentioned in my last post that I used to dream of becoming a famous writer or a best-selling author. Let’s take a waltz down memory lane for a bit, shall we?

I first really dove into creative writing in the 4th grade. I was introduced to metaphors, analogies, short stories, new vocab, and all the basic concepts of how to develop a story. By 5th grade, I began entering city-wide essay writing and creative writing contests, competing for scholarships, fame, and glory, but never making it far enough to bring any of those home. I would spend a couple of hours every day reading new books, and I would go through dictionaries and thesauruses to explore the new words that I would find — like “livid” or “ardently” — so that I could incorporate them in my short stories to add some oomph to my writing.

In the 8th grade, I read The Giver for the first time, and I was inspired to take a 5 page “What do you think will happen next?” essay and transform it into a 30-something page sequel to the book. I don’t remember what it was about or the quality of the story, but I do remember my English teacher offering to be my copy editor for a couple of weeks. At the same time, my best friend and I took an Intro to Journalism Concepts elective and started an advice column that only released one single publication before going up in flames. In my first year of high school, I was the only freshman in a Creative Writing class full of seniors. Intimidating? Very. I was introduced to methods of developing prose and learned how to write poetry for the very first time. I had a teacher who, on the very first day of class, told us that he did not care about our feelings and would crush them to bits with his harsh grading and unrelenting criticism and commentary. After months of blood, sweat, and tears — trying so hard to generate something I was confident enough to turn in that was finally worthy of his approval — on the very last day of class, I made a class full of 18 year olds cry with a cheesy poem about heartbreak; an achievement that warranted a slow clap and a thumbs up from my stoical instructor. In later years, my poems were published in my high school literacy journal,  and some had won prizes and honorable mentions in local poetry contests. I even managed to do a few spoken word performances through high school and into college.

Clearly, writing — in a variety of forms — has always been very important to me, but it wasn’t until I joined the newspaper team in high school that I realized how important. After taking a journalism class, submitting over a dozen profiles, reviews, and breaking news articles, and learning how to shoot great pics at sporting events with over-priced cameras, I set my sights on becoming a journalist. I wanted to make writing my career, and I had zero fear of newspapers becoming a dying breed of literature. I figured that news would never go out of business because it was something people consistently depended on, and I was excited to be a part of how it would evolve with the advancement of technology. It was also something I thought I was good at. I’m typically lacking confidence, but this was an area of my life where I felt that I was “in my element.” The plan for my life was simple: major in journalism, work a 9-5 job as a journalist, hire a ghostwriter and become an author in secret (’cause I’ve got to maintain some normalcy here), move up to “Best-Seller,” retire as a journalist, reveal identity as the true author of my best-selling books, then live life like J.K. Rowling. Easy.

When junior year of high school came along, I started exploring colleges. Every place I visited was just another networking opportunity for me to meet other journalists and build connections with them. I knew jobs in the news/journalism market were skim and I wanted to get a head start. At one college visit, I had the opportunity to meet an editor for a very large, well-known newspaper that I will not name. It was rare to have actual editors from Anon_Press come in to do talks at college visits, so as the networking nut that I was, I waited patiently in line to introduce myself. Once I got to the front, I told him my name, that I was involved in my high school newspaper, and how honored I was to speak with him. He immediately laughed at my youthful eagerness and said, “Let me guess. You want to be a journalist.”

“Yes! How did you know?”

“Alright, listen. I have an important question for you. And it’s very, very important that you take it seriously.”

“Lay it on me.”

“Are you willing to starve for the sake of this profession? Like, not just as a writer, but literally, financially starve? Are you passionate enough and driven enough to be comfortable without a job for a very long time, taking up multiple positions in different fields and places to make ends meet, capable of just ‘getting by,’ and not knowing how long you’re going to be sitting in the same office?”

“Uhh…”

“You hesitated.”

“This is my dream, sir.”

“Dreams are hard to let go of, but this is hard stuff. Are your dreams enough?

I think about that day a lot. That was the day my dream died.

I realized my dream wasn’t enough to pursue journalism or writing full-time. I was comfortable doing it in my high school newsroom, but I wasn’t sure if that was enough to get to where I wanted to be in the future. There was this huge discrepancy between what I wanted to be and what was practical. I wasn’t going to be a famous writer overnight. I had to struggle for it and be willing to die for the art. And, surprise! I wasn’t. Not at 17.

After that, I thought, “Well, what now?” I was surrounded by people who knew what they wanted to do in college, and it was such a weight on my shoulders to be so unsure. I had clung to writing for so long, and I hadn’t taken the time to investigate other fields that I could see myself succeeding in and enjoy doing for the rest of my life. At that point, I had already started to entertain the idea that I was a quitter and shouldn’t have let the opinion of one man dictate what it was that I wanted to do with my life, but it was too late to go back. I had already begun to abandon that part of me that could find the motivation and ambition to continue to pursue that dream, and I knew that I would only be forcing myself to push for something I didn’t really want anymore.

Finally, during my senior year, I started volunteering at a nearby senior care center. It started as just a job to obtain volunteering hours for National Honor Society, but it later helped me realize another passion of mine: helping others. I’ve always been told that “I give too much of myself away,” both in good and bad ways, and I found that providing for older adults was something that satisfied my inclination to be of service to those in need. A year later, I decided I wanted to pursue speech-language pathology to give a voice to the underrepresented; to provide for those with communication disorders — conditions that are often overlooked in older populations. So, I let go of my old dream and embraced a new one. I still write poetry in my free time, and as I said in my last post, writing in this blog allows me to live out a little piece of my old dream. I might not be a famous writer or blogger, but who knows? Maybe that will all change one day. But for now, I’m excited to see where things will go with what I’m doing now.

 

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God, I’m such a cheese. 😥