Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!
It is now officially August, which means it’s BLOGUST! That’s right: for the next 31 days, you will be getting a daily dosage of our letters! We started this series last year, and I honestly loved dedicating my time and focus on something I was really enjoying, so a year later we’re bringing it back!
Last year, we started the series with a reintroduction, and in the spirit of Blogust, we’ll be doing the same thing. Let’s face it, we change within the time span of a year.
So, without further ado: Hi, I’m Liz!
My first name is Elizabeth for those who may not know, and years ago I had some sort of identity crisis over it. I used to believe that “Elizabeth” and “Liz” were two different people; kinda like how teachers are Mr./Ms. whats-her-face, and with a more personal group of people, you are on a first name basis. I truly thought Elizabeth was this person I had no access to; she was the better person I was supposed to be in the future. Nowadays, I treat my name like a goddamn name: you will call me Elizabeth if you chose to do so, or you will call me Liz. Preferably, I like Liz better than my actual first name, but so be it.
I’m a fat, Italian/Puerto-Rican 25-year-old woman from NYC. Like I mentioned last year, NYC is truly my home, and I don’t know if I see myself ever leaving it, but I do hope that people who come visit or decide to move here don’t see it with rose-tinted glasses, because NYC is not as glamorous and amazing as people think it is. But then again, I’m a resident here, not just a person on vacation that does commonly known tourist things, y’know?
Also, yeah, I’m fat. Calling myself fat isn’t a negative thing either, so don’t think to even say, “don’t say that, you’re beautiful!” I say it because it’s facts: I’m fat, and it’s taken me a very long time to come to terms with that and start accepting my body for what it is. You can actually read my journey of self-acceptance called Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.
Also, I’m half Italian, half Puerto-Rican! When I was younger, I looked a lot more Hispanic than I currently do, but between my sibling and I, I definitely have more of my father’s looks than them. Being half-white and half-Latina sometimes mean that people question my Hispanic heritage, or consider me to be completely white when in reality, I’m just half. Although I know I carry a white privilege from being Italian American, some of my loved ones from my Puerto-Rican family, including my father, have been racially profiled by authority and wrongfully committed for simply minding their business. Although I know I will never have to face these issues that my Hispanic side does, I still identify as both white and Hispanic, and I stand by what’s right in society and try to use my white privilege as much as I can to help those who are silenced by white supremacy.
Whew, that got heavy. Let’s continue:
Within the last year, I’ve been enjoying a lot of different types of music, thanks to the neighborhood I live in and to my partner that’s a walking Shazam machine, I kid you not. I live in a neighborhood with predominantly Asian people, and every now and then, I come across flyers and music playing that is KPop. A year ago, I discovered KPop in a laundromat, and the rest is history. Since then, I find myself listening to more KPop than mainstream Top 40 these days, and at first, I was quite embarrassed to share my interest in KPop, but as time went on, those around me have come to learn that I’m a big fan of KPop. If you guys will like to see some of my recommendations (I mainly listen to girl groups; I’m not a boy group kind of gal), you can read my KPop Favorites, as well as my KPop Rookies Favorites. I also listen to a lot of oldies but goodies, meaning I like to listen to music from the 80’s, 90’s, and early 2000’s. I was born in 1994, so I grew up with 90’s music, and my whole adolescence years were surrounded by music from the 2000’s, and I just really enjoying listening to old gems I forgot about all these years! I guess you can say I hit that age where I don’t really know mainstream Top 40 music anymore…
I have social anxiety disorder as well as major depressive disorder, and because I do, I am a huge mental health advocate. I was diagnosed with SAD last summer and MDD during the holiday season, and I talk about my journey and the topics I struggle with so publicly because I hope that one day, mental health will be taken seriously and that people will stop thinking of mental health as some sort of taboo. We are in a generation where mental health issues are quickly multiplying, and it’s so important that these issues get treated and helped by a doctor like it was your own physical health. I’ve written tons and tons of letters on my own mental health journey, so you can find some to read anywhere on the blog.
Although writing is my craft and I identify myself as being a writer, my passion as expanded into academics; rhetoric & writing composition to be exact. In grad school, I took a course that ultimately changed my life forever, and although I will always love writing, my next challenge is to help college students and college-bound students take ownership of their writing and to not be afraid to express their voices through their writing, despite popular belief. My Master’s Thesis speaks more about this topic, and I’m currently turning that piece into a journal article for an academic journal. I hope that in the near future, I become an academic advisor for college students to help the next generation of students have a smoother experience in their college life.
Lastly, although sometimes it’s hard for me to tackle things and keep going forward with all the amazing things I’d like to accomplish because of my depression, I am still very happy with myself and who I’m becoming. This time last year it was rough for me; my grandfather had just passed away and a lot of my inner demons wouldn’t let me relax and focus on myself or whatever I needed, but things time around I feel a lot more confident, in control, and willing to improve no matter what aspect of my life it is.
There you have it, folks! Day 1 of Blogust has wrapped up! Stay tuned for the other 30 days to come for Blogust!