Blogger Widgets Ender-Chan's Thoughts: June 2016

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

10 Things to Know About Anxious Extroverts

  1. We are often torn between showing a result and hiding it, fearing that it will not be good enough. Extroverts thrive on positive feedback. Not all of us are blessed with the ability to be satisfied with ourselves without it. However, negative feedback tears us apart. This means one critical comment can make us rethink our ability to be "good enough".
  2. Anxiety often manifests itself as tenacity. I want that solo. I will practice until the keys on my flute fall off so I can get it. I just know I want it. I want those grades. I will study until I have a raging headache. I want to be good enough. I'll do more and more so I can reach that standard! We often find ourselves pursuing goals as an attempt to divert ourselves from our anxious thoughts. This, however, often fails because more expectations lead to more anxieties and it snowballs downhill from there.
  3. We don't always come off as extroverted. Unfortunately, the stimulation we crave fuels anxiety. We need breaks from it every now and then from the hustle and bustle the world, even more so with anxiety. Being overcharged is as detrimental as being drained. An overcharged extrovert may find themselves feeling tense and irritable and, thus, need to drain to counteract the effects of overcharge.
  4. Performance is important to us. Performing arts tend to attract anxious extroverts (really, anxious people in general), but doing well at work, school, social events, and even home is performing. We don't let our anxieties show and can even forget them in the midst of our surroundings while performing. 
  5. We are, more often than not, hero types. Many of us would love to be your knight in shining armor--if we weren't so concerned about doing something wrong. We love rescuing and protecting, but are reluctant to be rescued and protected ourselves. The thought of burdening anyone with our anxieties will utterly destroy us. Anxious people are known to be compassionate and, coupled with an extrovert's audacity, the combination makes the perfect (if there is such a thing) hero.
  6. Like our introverted counterparts, we seldom judge. We are likely to pursue your interest alongside you, even if we may not like it ourselves. The general rule is that anxious people are quick to recognize the battles of others and acknowledge that people have different backgrounds, temperaments, learning styles, internal motivations, and distributions of intelligences. However, us extroverts are more likely to approach you about things we notice in you. 
  7. Small talk is a diversion and a tool. We want that deep existential conversation, but we take steps to get there. Small talk is often the first step. Going too deep too quickly scares people and we have no intention of doing that. However, the last thing we want to be is a boring extrovert that only small talks. Help us get to the next step. Don't call it shallow or pointless when we likely built up an incredible amount of courage to work up the guts to say something.
  8. The prospect of leadership is as daunting as it is inviting. A chance to instill our values onto others? Why not? Then again, power tends to corrupt. We despise failure too. Letting down the people we lead the worst of failures. However, when we lead, we do it well. We are understanding and empathetic, yet driven individuals. We do not lead people into ditches because we know what it's like to be stuck in a ditch ourselves. 
  9. Extroversion does not nullify the effects of anxiety. As I mentioned before, extroverts often know how to perform for an audience. However, that doesn't mean our act can't fall apart. It tends to do so at the most inconvenient of times as well. There's nothing like trying to contain a full blown panic attack in the middle of a test or band rehearsal.  
  10. We are tenacious to a fault. Us anxious extroverts share the blessing/curse of not knowing when to quit. While this comes in handy for achieving our goals, it can tear us apart if we don't know when we have exceeded our limits. This leads to burnout, frustration, anhedonia, and getting caught in what I call the good enough loop: "If I can do this, I will be good enough!" Even if we are overachievers, our anxiety is still valid and should be recognized.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Forget About the Grades Lyrics

No canary in a cage for me
This canary's ready to fly free
Cut the cord
Are those the marks I once adored?
They're more useless than an albatross
No great loss
Forget about the grades.

Pull the plug
'Cause all they do is pull the rug
They're lower than an alley cat
Dirty rat
But I flatter
Forget about the grades
Forget about the grades
Forget about the grades

And in the moonlight
Don't you think about them
I know you're much better off without them.
You can blow the blues a kiss goodbye
And put the sun back in the sky
For when school comes crawlin'
I'm not fallin'
Shout hooray and halleluh!

Now me and all these tests are through
Grades don't prove anything,
Just some things like endurance.
Forget about the grades
Forget about the grades
Forget about -
This new C. These new Cs.

Straight As
Straight Bs
Mixed grades
Killed for a B
Praying for a B
Just want to pass
3.85 (three point eight five), all four years

New Cs, oh new Cs. 
These silly grades.
On my heart they abrade.

Cut the cord
Are those the marks I once adored?
They're more useless than an albatross
No great loss

Forget about the grades.

Pull the plug
'Cause all they do is pull the rug
They're lower than an alley cat
Dirty rat
But I flatter
Forget about the grades
Forget about the grades

Forget about the grades

Sunday, June 26, 2016

If You Think Math is "Good For Me"

I know you just want me to do well in life and, as of now, school is required in order to find other opportunities. Math is a core subject in school and one needed to graduate. We learn a variety of subjects to enhance the mind in all its areas in order to prepare for real life. However, the subject of math in school causes (and/or exacerbates) a great deal of anxiety for, not only me, but many other students, the kind that utterly robbed me of my self-confidence and dreams for the future.

I only hate academic math. I do not hate all of math. To do so would be a travesty. Who could hate architecture, medicine, computers, art, and combinations of these things? Then again, who could love sitting at a desk expecting an adequate number for your numbers on a page? Who could love sweaty palms and dizziness that result just from entering the room? Who could love failed quiz after failed quiz despite honestly trying your hardest? I cannot love the nausea, fatigue, and headaches that came routinely with math. I cannot love how I could barely eat because my sympathetic nervous system was on overdrive. On one occasion, I felt like my head was vibrating.

I get that all subjects have benefits and drawbacks, but is exposing me to something that makes me physically ill on a regular basis really all that good for me? This happened to me every time I was in math class and was almost specific to this class (except for chemistry on a few occasions). I had no other option other than to tough it out, hide my symptoms, and crank out the grades. I did everything math class-related with no passion or motivation.

Taking everything else into account, I consider myself lucky to have survived sophomore year. Yes, "survived" is the correct term. I've considered suicide as, not just a viable option, but the option for me. Handful after handful of psyllium pills with each attempt (seven total, I think), never did the trick, though. They never got lodged. I was blessed/cursed with a strong esophagus. I've considered driving a knife through my ribs, but I was not prepared to suffer. Such ideas often resurfaced in math class, where I regularly felt worthless. I would have fallen on a pencil if I didn't keep forgetting to bring them.

You know very well that I am not a lazy student, at least not if you consider showing up to something that made my physical and mental health suffer greatly just to crank out some number because I need it to graduate lazy. Every quiz I've retaken and every half-completed homework assignment just reinforced that I was a failure, that I couldn't do anything correctly. This led to anhedonia, a gray cloud that turned even the music I love into mere noise. Even language brought no joy to me.

This is everything math classes did for me. I don't understand how repeated exposure to something that hurts me with no tangible redeeming benefit is good for me. If the benefit is a "test of character", tell me what trudging through a morass of numbers with no motivation says about my character. Perhaps it says that I am obedient with a good work ethic, a "good girl". Perhaps it says that I am too cowardly to follow my dreams. Either way, I can never consider math classes "good for me", especially when they almost killed me.

Song: Lost One's Weeping
Artist: Neru (Dub by JubyPhonic)
Language: English dubbed from Japanese
Song: World Domination-How To 
Artist: Neru
Language: Japanese

Song: Re-Education
Arist: Neru (cover by Kradness and Reol)
Language: Japanese

Friday, June 24, 2016

Loving Yourself and Loving the Process of Change

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. For that reason, take my words with a grain of salt.

Body positivity campaigns have received backlash for seeming to promote unhealthy lifestyles by telling others to love their bodies. While the campaigns can come off that way, I think they address the subject of loving yourself, but avoid addressing loving the process of change. Some people think of the two ideas as mutually exclusive (e.g. "If you want to change, you must hate some part of yourself.") However, that is not true. It is the opposite, actually.

Telling people to hate themselves is the quickest way to prevent them from wanting to change. It encourages apathy and combativeness with regard to improvement. Promoting self-hatred can serve as a breeding ground for self-destructive behaviors, anhedonia, and hatred of others. If it fosters any desired change, the changes come with no desire or pleasure. Such changes are craved in excess and, in this case, may lead to the development of an eating disorder.

This is not limited to body image. This concept is prevalent in arts, athletics, and a myriad of other practices. I'm sure Galway learned how to love the process of change as well as himself as a young flutist. The key to this process is to be content with where you are, but not settle for it. Keep wanting more from yourself. If you cannot go any further at that point, take a break and look back positively at your progress.

The thing to say to yourself (if that kind of thing works for you) is "I like myself where am, but what will happen if I improve a little?" Make those small positive speculations and then make them reality. That always comes by starting small. If your goal is to add a block to your route for a month, walk that extra block with pride. If it's to jog your normal route, jog your heart out! If it's to even find a route in the first place, map it out.

Work out this goal at your pace on your time at your intensity level. People possess a wide variety of temperaments, cognitive processes, value sets, and, thus, motivations. Some people are motivated by outdoing others; others prefer to outdo themselves. Yet another group is interested in outdoing no one and just wants to avoid conflict while another is more interested in having fun. Some people are intrinsically motivated always, with others it varies, and others just simply aren't. Find out what motivates you, in a healthy way of course.

What do YOU think allows you to love yourself and love the process of change?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I'm Not Much of a Visual Artist, But...

Here's a chibi-style painting of my OC Caitlin Netherfield! The painting is supposed to illustrate her personality.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Go Ahead and Fire

It is easy to abandon my principles in such a time as this. I could deep down believe in loving all people, but vehemently hate instead. Such a lie I refuse to tell. In light of the recent Orlando shootings,  I hope that others will learn to love perpetrator and victim alike the way I (at least attempt to) do.  Shooters are human. They have needs, motivations, dreams, lives, and (gasp) morals like the rest of us. (Granted, those morals are often warped, but they are morals nonetheless.)

There is no way to justify these actions, but these people are not just violent rage machines planted throughout the world like android time bombs. As abhorrent as murder is, I find reactions to it to be just as bad. Victims need compassion, but perpetrators need it just as much, if not more. They are the ones going back to their lives (in most cases) with a cloud of regret, a tarnished reputation, and the same loneliness that likely motivated them to turn to the gun in the first place.

I do not think murdering other people by any stretch of the word is a valid way to resolve feelings. Even wishing death on others for a split second is murder by the moral definition of the word.  By that standard, I am guilty of such a crime a thousand times over. I do not wish death on the Orlando shooters, not even retribution of some kind. I wish them forgiveness and a change of heart. God calls us to love our enemies, something I personally struggle with.

But I choose it. I choose love, no matter if anyone deserves it or not. I choose, not just the love of a friendly hug or a knowing glance, but the kind of radical love that transcends all others: agape. I choose agape in all circumstances. That means I empathize with and display compassion to everyone, not just people who deserve it. I doubt that the last thoughts of victims were spite directed at the shooters, but concern for the ones they left behind.

Choosing what is right is not always easy or popular. Then again, what is easy or popular is rarely right. I considered rallying alongside victims calling perpetrators "monsters" and disregarding their humanity altogether. It would have been popular, convenient, and even partially right. However, since I believe in seeing things from all sides, it would have violated my principles to do so. You have the right to disagree with me and call me a radical. You know what? Call me that. I am proud to be a radical.

Now that you all have your verbal guns, go ahead and fire. I have nothing to lose. I won't even dodge or try to protect myself. Have at it. Go ahead and fire. I won't care in the least.

I'm an Actress

I dabble in a little theater. I do drama camps here and there when time permits. I'm not considering acting as a career, at least not directly anyway. Few things are as rewarding as delivering a line, thrilling as putting on a costume for the stage, or grueling as running choreography (Jazz squares, anyone?). I would love to be in a school play, but time does not permit me to do so and I am nowhere near as talented as the others.

Being autistic is like having a lead role in a musical you know nothing about and never auditioned for in the first place. You usually learn how to act first. You gain the context of your performance and  learn how to look like you belong on the stage.  Whether you sing or dance first depends on who you are. I myself have awkward feet, but I love to sing. (I'm still self-conscious about my voice.) You may not be able to match a single pitch, but can step kick kick leap kick touch like a boss. You may catch onto both easily or not at all. However, ultimately, it's your stage. It's your choice to either fade into the background or step into the spotlight.

I have always loved performing of any kind, playing the parts people wanted me to play. When I didn't have a role to play, I felt lonely and unneeded. Want a flutist? I can do that. First or second? Want a student? I'll study my hardest. Want a blogger? I'll go pitter-pat on the keys until I crank out something readable. However, performance has an ugly side that I am all too aware of. As glamorous as it is, the glamour gets old quickly and I get so used to the sensation of sweating under stage lights that I can barely feel myself without their heat.

The drama teachers who run my latest camp (Take the Stage LV summer camp) recently complimented my acting skills, calling me talented at acting. I wish that were the case. I just have a lot of experience, not really onstage, but offstage, and at practically every moment. Acting is really all I have. I find what I want to be and be that until someone needs me to be something else. Some days, I have felt more like a disposable prop than a human. Don't get me wrong; I still love performing. It's just difficult to find respite.

I am an actress. Am I a flutist, writer, arranger, composer, etc.? Yes, but those are all just roles I enjoy playing. Acting is a great thing, but ask yourself: Is it for me? It gets tiring, frustrating, and lonely beyond what most non-actors can imagine. However, nailing an enjoyable role (or making a less-than-fun one awesome) is among the most fulfilling things in life. "Myself" is a role I have yet to learn how to play as the script is still being written.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Terminating the World Translyrics

I wait for the train to pick me up and take me where I want to go,
But the last one has passed me by and left me behind.
I’ve always saved my dreams in my piggy bank for future use,
Even so, I don’t have a cent that I can spend.

Are you frustrated yet? Why don’t you try again?
I understand it. I understand now, but
I do not have a choice.

But no, oh no, I can’t forgive myself for not achieving anything.
I drag along my hammer, my hopeless future is the only way and
The siren in my heart has long been silenced.
Even so, if we are truly okay this way,
I’ll terminate the world to save myself

That guy got swallowed by the Tokyo Monster only recently.
It seems that the world and its ways have tampered with his head.
Oh, sure, everyone seemed happy in the past, but now I see
That his smile has been fallen prey to what they say.

Just like how you first sung, why don’t you try again?
Shut up, won’t you? Why don’t you shut up?
Because it’s not like I have a choice!

But no, oh no, I can’t forgive myself for not achieving anything.
I lack the talent others have, but what is talent in the first place?
I do not care if you want me to stop thinking.
I don’t care what happens to them, no longer.
I’ll terminate the world to save myself.

I have left everything,
Abandoned everything.
Right now only loneliness resounds within my soul.
Forgive me about the times when I was young,
Won’t you?
Why won’t you?

But no, oh no, I can’t forgive myself for not achieving anything.
In the end, it’s all so clear that I’m to blame for everything around me.
And, if that is so, I will not mind being alone.
I guess I will find a way to spread my awkward love.
Even so, if we are truly okay this way,
I’ll terminate the world to save myself

    Saturday, June 11, 2016

    Rolling Boy

    Lonely boy, he lives within his head.
    It's filled with dreams that can't be fed.
    So much noise swarms around inside his mind.
    Can't you see all the pain?
    Can't you see all the pain?

    "Nothing's wrong" he says so easily,
    But those words are just dust in the breeze.
    Stubbornly, he so insists
    That he is fine, but he will still fall from the hill.
    Because life made him spin.

    One more time, one more time
    I will keep on rolling because that's all I know.
    And so he said, so he said
    Hiding all the meanings, though it's a futile effort.
    One more time?
    Not much more.
    I would keep going, but there's no end in sight.
    I might as well stop my own breath
    Right now.

    Rolling Boy, now at his limits' ends,
    Cannot recall the hues of the past.
    Every voice shouting from within his head
    Muddles into itself, muddles into itself.

    "Nothing's wrong" he says so easily,
    But those words are just dust in the breeze.
    He won't care what happens, right?
    So let him roll from the same hills, the same slopes again.
    Let him roll, can't you see?

    Ah, one more time, one more time
    I will keep on rolling because that's all I know.
    And so he said, so he said
    Finding all the pieces to all the hidden meanings.

    You okay?
    Just a little more.
    I will keep going because the end's in sight.
    And that is to stop my own breath
    Right now.

    One more time, one more time
    I will keep on rolling because that's all I know.
    And so he said, so he said
    Smiling through the voices with no other options.
    You okay? It's all fine now.
    Aren't you so fed up with how your life is?
    Your breathing will stop rolling out
    Right now.

    Saturday, June 4, 2016

    General Life Update: Good News and Bad News

    The Good News
    • I got accepted into the LVYO Symphony Orchestra.
    • Playing piccolo for graduation 
    • Arranging by ear is easier than I thought it would be.
    • I'm taking musical theater lessons over the summer. 
    • Handbells should be fun. 
    • I'm already started on my senior showcase called Project Diva C (a concert with entirely vocaloid music)
    • I'll be a junior in high school. 
    • I found more sheet music.
    • Marching band
    • Incoming freshmen
    • My grades are more or less where I want them to be.
    • I finally know what's wrong with me.
     The Bad News
    • LVYO conflicts with handbells.
    • I can't find good vocaloid songs for beginning string orchestra. (Ideas on arranging?) 
    • I don't know if I can pull off Project Diva C???????
    • I still feel horrible despite the fact that my life is going swimmingly. 
    • I'm having anxiety-induced auditory hallucinations (It's a female voice urgently calling my name and it either sounds like my mom, a teacher, or another student.).
    • I feel as though I am just surviving rather than thriving.
    • Even music fails to serve as an anesthetic to my pain. 
    • Speaking of music, I choked on the intro of Pomp and Circumstance.
    • At the end of the day, I'm still some maladroit nobody with everything to prove and nothing to show.

    Friday, June 3, 2016

    Will You Press This Button to Become Gifted?

    Go here if you cannot access the embed.


    • If you are already gifted, you have a more mixed bag as to what will happen. Your giftedness, if the button is pressed, can:
      • Switch from isolated to generalized 
      • Area to area (e.g. verbal to mathematical)
      • Become more severely pronounced in its existing area
    • This is just an activity. None of this will actually occur.

    Comment on whether you would press the button or not. Tell me your reasons for pressing the button (or not). If you're feeling creative, write a story about the new you.

    If You Want My Response:
    Seeing as the complications are all from my personal experience, I would not press the button. Isolated verbal giftedness (146) is bad enough and I would not want to further complicate things with other forms of giftedness or a higher extent of it.