the thing about having asian parents…

there is never an action i do where i do not think, “is this benefitting you or advancing you in any way shape or form? if not, then why are you doing it?”

i think this as i individually pick up dried water beads with my finger tip and scrape them off into a container. i have been doing this for the past 30 minutes. i really have no reason to keep these things and quite honestly it feels unhygienic to keep and reuse them since i have thousands of them and they were $10. i have 45 unread books scattered around me, a novel i haven’t started writing, meal prep to do, clothes and dog toys strewn around the floor, an unmade bed, a bunch of PT exercises i haven’t done in days, a piano i haven’t touched in a month and here i am picking up itty bitty beads and putting them into a jar while all these other bigger things go undone.

the thing about asian immigrant parents, if you don’t accomplish their version of success then what are you and what did they sacrifice for?

there is no room in my life to breathe even as i make this choice to waste time on a mindless task that benefits no one. each minute is saturated in guilt. i should be writing. i should be reading. at the very least i should be cleaning the house or making dinner. at the very least i should be making a budget of some sort so i can find out where we can save money. i have that same affliction samantha irby wrote about. that “i grew up poor so now that i have money expensive useless things like special face wash make me feel good about myself.” and while i’ll take my addiction to toiletries that don’t do anything to make me look better and insulated hydroflask water bottles over an expensive purse and/or shoe addiction any day i still don’t feel that great about it. ideally, i wouldn’t be addicted to material things. ideally, i also wouldn’t be wasting time dehydrating water beads by the handful on my desk.

i walked out of hilary’s office and limped down the steps (as a person with chronic knee pain often does) and out onto N Williams Ave thinking about how i spend an hour a week trying to figure out why i think i’m a lazy garbage person with privilege she doesn’t deserve and how do i stop feeling this way because i really can’t be all that bad of a person. i’ve never killed anyone. i say please and thank you and often god bless you when someone sneezes. i hold the door open for people even if they’re far away and i never let my bag take up a seat on the bus.

one theory is that i’m lacking mirrors. i’m lacking people in my life who reflect back to me and reinforce my inherent goodness. i have my husband. i have my therapist. but all my friends live all over the place and i don’t have that daily interaction with people who know me and can provide this positive reinforcement.

being an introvert and an empath and an adult who does not have to go to an office everyday i’m faced with the impossible task of making friends.

i’m so not good at this.

so i continue to keep my life insular. i pet my dogs. i do the mundane useless task. i buy an expensive shampoo. i feel like a failure. i kiss my husband. i contemplate if it’s a “me” character trait or a general Cancer (sun sign not disease) thing. i wonder how other people do it.

but i dare not ask the internet. i’ve shared some of my frustrations and anxieties via intstagram stories and have been met with one part heart emojis and one part “have you tried cutting sugar from your diet or intermittent fasting?”

wtf people.

get your shit together. if you’ve been paying any attention to any of the content i put out there you’ll know that your suggestion of occasional controlled starvation is not wanted or tolerated.

i can’t depend on social media interactions to be my mirrors because i don’t trust it when it sends me shit like this from people who only vaguely know me.

i need some IRL friends which feels impossible to make while i continue to think and act like i’m a complete loser.