Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!
Also, Happy first day of Lizmas! I genuinely love having this space to freely write about anything that comes to mind; not only does it allow me to share some things about myself, but also it’s refreshing to talk about things in my own universe rather than my writing one. But! I very do much love my writing universes and because of them, I got some new readers who are very invested in those characters and their stories. It truly means a lot to me that anyone likes my very mediocre writing, so thank you for loving these characters as much as I love thinking about them and writing them on theoretical paper!
So for those who may not know the writer behind these stories or maybe you’ve been a longtime reader; it has been a very long time since I introduced myself on the blog. So, without further ado – here’s a 2022 introduction of me!
Hi once again, I’m Liz! 😀
I’m starting to phase out of my K-pop collector identity, but now I feel like I enjoy the music so much more because of that. I started collecting K-pop things during the pandemic in 2020, and I believe a lot of people who were interested in K-pop also began to collect within this time. It was when I met some of my closest friends, and that I was able to establish my identity after feeling like I didn’t have one previously. These last two years have been a crazy one, especially within the collecting community. I guess as time passed and my interests have changed, I don’t feel as connected to my K-pop collector identity as I once did.
Collecting has its toxic tendencies, and I truly look back and sometimes regret that I sent so much money on a collection just to say I collect it, y’know? A lot of that toxic mindset came when I was able to get every single Seungsik photocard that was coming out through my friend, Ro; in a way, I was deemed as the Seungsik collector because of that. But things got hectic and out of my control when it came to later comebacks and although I try to collect everything for Seungsik, I physically and financially can’t keep up. But in sight of accepting that I will never be able to collect everything out there, I also realized that I am able to enjoy comebacks and new releases more and that I’m not really a multi-collector anymore. Before collecting, that is what got me into K-pop in the first place: the insanely good music that came out of it! I still do collect my Victon boys, but I am trying my best to be okay that I can’t and refuse to collect everything these days. It’s just not a major interest of mine anymore.
2022 Liz was faced with new titles and hobbies. I left my job in early February 2022 after I was offered a position within the Registrar’s Office at the college I had gone to and worked at in the bookstore. The main reason why I took this job was that this new job had steady hours, which means I had a good idea of what my paychecks were looking like every time I got one. It was also my first “big girl job”, meaning I technically work for the city and get benefits and all of that. It was a job that gave me room to move up in without ever having to leave my job. Of course, I faced transitional challenges that took months to finally get over, but I’m glad that I took this job because I felt like this was now my second chapter in life, whereas my first chapter was at the bookstore and I felt like that chapter needed to be closed desperately.
Within this new chapter, I was also able to realize that I have new hobbies! Just recently, I began going to the gym and I didn’t realize just how much I actually enjoyed going! I try to go at least two or three times a week, but whenever I do and work out, I always feel great afterward. I was surprised that my fear of “working out and being sweaty in public” wasn’t as prominent as I thought it would be since that was one of the reasons why I never went. Needless to say, the gym just makes me feel like I can release any bad energy or tired energy in a healthy way. I’m very proud that I made it a goal of mine to start working out not just for the hell of it, but to also be in control of my body and maintain the weight I am currently.
I learned that I have challenges with control in my life. Maybe it was apparent even before having bariatric surgery that this challenge of control was present even when I was in my K-pop collecting days, but this year taught me that I face challenges when it comes to having control over my life. After having surgery back in July 2021, I didn’t really have to worry about my weight because my body was still recovering and for the most part, I wasn’t in control of my body; I had to listen and read my hunger cues and learn my body all over again because it wasn’t like how it was prior to having this surgery. It wasn’t until the weight loss began to slow down that I was worried I wasn’t doing enough or that this was the end of my weight loss journey. I didn’t know how to balance it out; some days I felt like starving myself will bring me back to where I was early on in my recovery, but then there were days when I ate because I always felt hungry even after eating.
On top of that, being the youngest and newest worker in an office where everyone has been there for the last decade was stressful and worrisome. At the time, I didn’t have the most supportive boss, which made things even worse considering I wanted to be a good worker but didn’t have any control over that since I didn’t know how to even do the job well. A lot of things from February to May contributed to my anxiety and inability to have control over my life. I still have to remind myself to this day that I can only control my actions and behavior; I cannot control other people’s thoughts or actions or behavior even if they affect me in any way possible. Within this time, I symbolized me gaining back my control by getting a tattoo! It’s sometimes embarrassing to tell people the meaning behind it when they see and huge ass “CONTROL” tattoo on my forearm, but it still holds great meaning to me and reminds me that even though struggling mentally with something so different and new for me, I am able to have control over my life.
I became a cat mom! Over the summer, we unexpectedly lost our senior cat, Babygirl, due to her old age. She was roughly 16 years old, and her passing was a heartbreaking one. She was the reason I actually started to like cats, even though she was in no way shape or form fond of me! I was like the aunt of Babygirl while my sibling was her hooman. After she passed away, my family and I went looking for a new cat to adopt, and that’s when these babies came into our lives! Porkchop and ShyGuy are brothers, and we adopted them when they were roughly 3 months old. It was definitely difficult the first couple of months over the summer since my family and I were not used to having kittens, so needless to say we lost a lot of sleep during the summer.
Because my summer hours made me stay home for most of the week, I became close to the kittens as I was playing with them, fed them, and spent time with them for the majority of their days. I didn’t realize that eventually, they would somewhat declare me as their hooman. ShyGuy follows me around like a shadow; he will follow me into the bathroom, to the kitchen, and when I’m working from home in bed or whatnot, he’s sleeping inches away from me. He’s not the biggest cuddler, but he adores getting kisses and chin scratchies. Porkchop is the cuddler. He will jump on my bed and purr to let me know that he wants to cuddle and watch some YouTube videos with me. Because he’s still a baby and really doesn’t know how to relax, he hasn’t stayed asleep on my bed when everyone else is asleep, but I know once he gets older, he’s definitely going to be the one that sleeps on the bed with me. As for now, I have to kick him off when he decides he wants to bite my computer and phone wires and scratches when I pull him away from them. But yeah! I just realized I rambled on about my two cat children like they were my human children!
With my newfound confidence, I became an assertive person. One thing I struggled with in my early 20s was the idea of being assertive. I had a hard time telling people my limits, or even how I felt if it meant I was going to get into a confrontation. I spent years in therapy trying to find ways to be more assertive and every time I felt like I was now being assertive, something came up to challenge it and it was always something I wasn’t ready for. I learned that assertiveness comes with a level of confidence I never had before. In my journey now becoming more confident, I saw just how easy it was to be assertive with myself and my energy. Some people may see this change in personality as now me “being a mean person”, but it’s not being mean if you know what you deserve and how valuable your presence and time on this earth truly is. Make time for those you love, but also make time for yourself. Tell people how you feel not because you want to be bitchy or mean, but because you know the friendship or relationship deserves open communication.
Again, I am still learning what it means to be me and how I handle new situations that I will never be prepared for. I think my worst fear out of everything is to have a really good sense of self, then allowing it to completely crumble when something happens to me that I didn’t see coming. As I get older, I realize that while there are going to be good and great days, there are going to be bad ones, and it’s really up to me to let it alter me as a person and allow it to retrograde my process as a person. Yes, my anxiety is still present in many different ways and I still have depressive episodes, but it’s truly about how to handle things and have control over yourself when unexpected things occur in life because they are bound to happen.
I think that’s it for now! I hope that wherever 2023 takes me, I continue on this path of growth and to continue learning more and more about myself! Plus, next year will be my last year in my 20’s, so it better fucking count. Haha, here’s to this year’s Lizmas and I hope you all enjoy the next eleven days to come!