This Is Me…as of Today

Can I be honest?

I’m a first-generation college student coming from a pretty traditional Asian-American household. Instead of pursuing a career in the medical field like my many aunts and uncles, like my parents wish, and my older sister likewise, I am finding a place for myself in engineering and computer science.

Let’s just say I have a large file when it comes to my medical history, especially for a young girl my age, and I don’t want to have a career around being the person others rely on for health related issues when my health has almost always been an issue since day one of life (literally). Ever since elementary, I started having one health issue after another. For a while, I went to the hospital for check-ups and follow-ups with my specialists more times than I could count. So for as long as I can remember, my parents always had to worry about me medical-wise. And now, I’m struggling even more.

Can I be honest?

After finishing this school year, I’ve met a group of people who have been through a lot with me where school is concerned. They are a group of wonderfully smart and energy-filled people who strive for success. They make the long hours in lecture shorter and the long days on campus a little better. They’re a group of hardworking people. They’re a group of brilliant students. They’re a group of priceless and irreplaceable friends. It’s wonderful having these people who understand how hard it is to get through the countless hours of studying at night. It’s amazing having this group of friends who are there for you and have your back when it comes to school. I probably would not look forward to my long lectures as much as I do if it weren’t for their presence.

Can I be honest?

As I fight countless battles of what seems to be this endless road to achieve…better health, the people around me mean more to me than many of them might know. I have days where it’s hard for me to even walk because my head is spinning and everything seems to make the stabbing pain worsen. I have days where it’s hard to get out of bed because the pain is pinning me against my pillow and making me struggle to breathe. I have nights where my body is just getting a little too weak, and it’s hard to keep your head up during times like that. I have nights where all I want to do is to be held in someone’s arms because I have no energy to be anywhere else.

And during these times, when I get more of these days and these nights, I can barely crawl through life yet it still makes me smile when my friends’ name pops onto my screen, when they ask me how my day was or follow up with me on something I had said was going on. It makes those hard days that much easier to get through. I remember having these days, and it would drain every ounce of energy I had, but every morning I would get a text telling me I’m beautiful, I’m strong, and that they hope I have a wonderful day; I would see the same stranger walk through the door before lecture and wave to me happily as they said ‘good morning’. I’d get a message telling me how happy someone was to have me in their life, and it meant the world to me because it went both ways.

Somehow, it reminded me to continue fighting these battles that appear in front of me. Somehow, it gave me strength to continue on because I know I’m cared for. Somehow, it made a huge difference when I’m struggling to do daily tasks. Somehow, it told me what I was fighting for and working towards was worth it.

Can I be honest?

I know a specific few people who will read this post, who have been a large part of my life, as of recently, so…

Can I be honest?

I might not always tell you about my struggles. I might not always be happy when you see a weaker side of me. But it means so, so much to me that you are there for me. I might try to fight my battles alone, hidden behind the curtains, but know that if you give me a little push (sometimes you have to push a bit hard) I’m easy to win over. Because of where I grew up and how I was raised, fighting my own battles is an expected part of life. This doesn’t mean I don’t ever wish for someone to be there by my side through it all.

There are times where it’s simply easier for me to deal with my problems on my own because it’s quicker than having to explain my medical history to someone who just met me. It’s a lot to take in, and it’s a lot that many people will never understand (thankfully) because they have never been through it. But at the end of the day, the little things mean the absolute most.

Can I be honest?

Life might be tough, and sometimes it just plainly painful, but the relationships I’ve made make the harder days that much easier. My close friendships mean the world to me.

You mean the world to me.

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