November 21, 2011

Hugs From Strangers

Last year, around this time (or earlier, I don't exactly recall) I was struggling with my life. New surroundings, tough academic pressures, extracurricular responsibilities, internship hunting, all added to create a rather stressful environment. I was also a part of the Brown University Debating Union. Every few weeks, I would go to a tournament for the weekend and debate with other teams from different universities.

Most of these tournaments were held in Boston since there are many universities there. My friend from high school, Carol, also went to Boston University and I figured that we'd meet up since it had been a while since I saw her last. We made plans to meet up after my last debate round.

What is stress?
When I saw her, she gave me a hug because, well, that's what friends do. It wasn't a special hug in any way. It lasted the same amount and probably had all the same intentions behind it. But I felt so empowered by that simple gesture. The instant she hugged me, I had realized how long it had been since I felt wanted or cared about. I had been so caught up in my new life at Brown, that I had forgotten what it felt like to be hugged.

It was like an epiphany. I hadn't even realized how stressed I was and how much I neglected my own mental health. Even today, I have difficulties in admitting my own stress levels. I seem to have a history of this. I guess you could call that a weakness of mine?

When I was a Freshman in high school. I had an ulcer. To this day, I have no idea what exactly caused it. The doctors said that it was stress. But I don't really agree. Me? Stress? Seems like an oxymoron. I've never for a second considered myself as stressed. I don't like "stressed." I like "easy-going."


On a side note, I don't really know what I'm doing with my life right now.

1 comment:

Jeffrey Shiau said...

Well, we should meet up and give each other hugs and talk about what we're gonna do with our lives. Sound like a plan?

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