At the orientation for international students, I encountered many good friends.
However, as we have different majors,
we naturally lost contact with each other for a while as soon as the orientation was over.
Each of them was busy with their start of master's and doctoral studies, so it was inevitable,
and I thought it made sense.
But, starting with Ariel, who came to the campus to avoid a hurricane,
today was a sumptuous feast of meetings that I really missed.
After the semester began, today was a resting time for me, who spent most of my time at home, mostly at my desk, except for going to Koreatown or other marts for grocery shopping.
It was an unexpected and lucky day.
'Having a guerrilla meeting like this isn't bad! +_+
It's nice to have time to chill besides studying! :D '
Feeling not fulfilled, I contacted Dotori and suggested hanging out today.
She agreed, and we heartily blossomed many flowers of conversation and laughter. Furthermore, as much as the time we hadn't seen for a while, we shared each other's "deep" stories.
One of the most impressive parts of the conversation
─albeit we have different lives and different styles/strategies of managing ourselves─
in common, we found that we got started to reflect again on
how to respect and take care of ourselves,
how to have self-esteem in the right direction,
how to put ourselves priorities,
and how to live our lives genuinely as we are.
In my case, it was hard to count how many times I have been generous to myself.
It was too scarce to remember that.
Of course, at some point, I began to make an effort to make up my mind; however, whenever I made mistakes, whenever I couldn't achieve the level of completion I expected, I scolded and blamed myself mercilessly.
Even though I achieved 80% of 100%, I just kept pushing myself to the cliff blaming and denying the 80% I had due to the missing part of 20%.
However, I no longer live that way.
That was an unreasonable way of thinking;
it is impossible to keep treating myself so harshly;
furthermore, I wanted to have my new self in a different and healthy way.
After coming here, I made countless mistakes, asked for countless help and advice, and had to admit that I was clumsy and unaccustomed.
I had to accept that I could be vulnerable sometimes and feel challenged, including knowing little by little where the point I could not handle, what working style I preferred, and what communication style I usually took.
Nevertheless, I don't feel so detestable about myself as it was.
For sure, I still am scared and feared though, but at the same time, I'm so proud of myself for taking one step forward day by day.
Taking multiple times of trials and errors, I got to know where I have to learn and fill.
In this way, I'm getting learned and realizing what is the genuine inner power of self-respect thanks to other people and their thoughtful consideration surrounding me.
Dotory's major is bioscience.
She told me that she experienced a new transition in the concept of "failure" after coming here to study abroad.
In times past, failure freaked me out; it was not easy to unseal and admit my failure.
Making the failure revealed could thus give room for having my weakness seized upon by someone; in that sense, my failure could be others' pleasure and opportunity. Furthermore, it might be considered stigmatization, exposing my incompetence, and a waste of time and energy in an atmosphere requiring prompt results.
However, she is a science major.
Which means a succession of endless experiments and failures.
In her field of major, failure merely does not mean "not getting good results or failure of getting expected achievements."
Because it is similar to "brainstorming" or "mindmap," failure can be a creative experience in that it continuously conceives new methods and possibilities with considering probability and various possible results that follow after one failure/attempt.
It is a succession of experience and inquiry, and productive wandering.
Even though it can't guarantee an exact conclusion, it is worth taking for further exploration.
"Embracing myself as I am" is easy to say, but it is the practice that should be able to accompany a perpetual endeavor to strengthen psychological muscles.
Our inner strengths are being nurtured while experiencing many trials and errors in our journey.
And expect to encounter our new selves whose core has become stronger than before while training to "centering" ourselves.