Hey, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!
As I’m writing this, it’s been a while since I got to sit down and actually write something for the blog; not because I’m disinterested or anything, but because I have this weird thing where I can only focus and write when I sit in my kitchen, and lately it’s been waaay too hot to sit in there and sweat while I write some content for the blog.
Although I try to be consistent and even do Blogust every year, I do tend to write less in the summer because summer is the season that my seasonal depression kicks in. I physically get sick from the heat, I sweat a lot and it’s sometimes hard to make it stop, and I feel very restricted to what I can or cannot do during the summer because I just don’t do the “normal summer things” that people do with their friends. If anything, the summer makes we want to stay in even more, in my bed, and just rest.
It is times like this when I wish my job was still open because I feel like if the pandemic didn’t hit us, a lot of the depression I usually feel in the summer wouldn’t be as intense because I’d be busy being productive and being around people that I really like. But, I do work at a college bookstore and we just don’t know what is going to happen with the colleges in the Fall.
Prior to my last therapy session, I had started to get myself into a community that I was secretly an outsider looking in: the world of Kpop trading and selling. For months, I quietly collected photo cards here and there and as my collection started to build up, I so desperately wanted to be a part of the community and hope to trade for cards that I couldn’t find anywhere and that I was missing. I made my own trading account on Instagram, and honestly the rest was history. I got to meet a couple of other fans who liked Victon and connected through that, and I got to trade and buy some cards that I thought I never knew I needed! Seungsik is my ultimate bias in Victon and I pretty much completed his entire album photo card collection because of this community. It’s really insane, to be honest.
Even though I’ve been happy, I still struggled to feel as if I belonged in the Kpop community; being a 26-year-old collector felt childish to me, but it’s a collection and people collect things all the time. I don’t know why I can’t accept myself in the community when everyone else has, but it’s a constant struggle for me to openly embrace that I collect Kpop photo cards.
In a conversation with my therapist at our last session, I opened up to her about the fact that this has become a hobby of mine within the last couple of weeks and that I really enjoyed it. It was the first time physically speaking about this to anyone before; sure, my family knew what my time was being spent on, but not to my therapist for anyone outside of my household. It felt weird, and it felt embarrassing, but she said something that made me change my perspective on it.
She told me that she was happy that I found ways to keep myself busy during these crucial months of my depression and that I shouldn’t feel ashamed for having this hobby because hobbies are a healthier anti-depressant behavior. It keeps me busy, it keeps me engaged in social activity during a time where it’s so easy to isolate yourself for a long period of time, and it’s something that makes me happy. I didn’t see my collecting as an anti-depressant behavior, to be honest but I have to be real, talking to people like Ella, Amy, Laelonie, and the rest of the beautiful people I met through trading have been keeping my mind off of my depression and in a positive space! It has helped me really go through the days and weeks as smooth as possible, and although my summer depression comes every now and then, for most of my days it hasn’t been as intense as it has been in the last couple of summers.
So, yeah – that’s how I’m coping with my depression! I found a really great hobby that I’m interested in and I’m learning how to embrace it as much as I would embrace the fact that I write blog posts as a hobby! I know many of my readers are not Kpop fans, but I hope that my love and passion for the genre influences you to give it a listen or if you are Kpop fans I hope that I introduce some new music for you to listen to!
Take care if yourself by engaging yourself in something you enjoy in life.