Social Anxiety & Community: To “Fit in” vs. “Belong” in a Temporary Home

Yep I said it- social anxiety. I am not using this word lightly, nor do I want to undermine the experiences of anyone who has/had the disorder. Rather, I would like to ask you to read this in the lens of me being vulnerable in sharing my own personal story with the intent to make space for more honest conversations about mental illness and the stigmas surrounding it.

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In our day and people-pleasing culture, we spend a tremendous amount of energy  to try to”fit in”-to be sociable, interesting, likable, and relatable. Perhaps you are extra blessed and could care less about what people think of you (not trying to act “idgaf”, but actually dgaf), excel naturally at socializing, feel confident wherever you go with whoever you meet, and find complete peace and happiness in who you are. Shoot, the old me would have loved to be you instead (okay…maybe even now). Regardless of if you’re another victim to people-pleasing like me or if this is not a general concern for you, it is innately engraved in our human heart and mind to harbor the desire to be accepted by others (“fit in”) and have a place to feel belonging. Somehow, these two desires got skewed and synonymous to one another, when in fact they are quite the opposite.

At this moment, I can call myself a very “social” person and most people would agree with me. I am naturally very relational, strongly value close relationships I can deeply connect with, and have decent interpersonal skills.

Okay, get to the point- So why is someone like you, then, talking about this particular subject matter?

Let’s take a short *ahem*  trip down memory lane.

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About Me:

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My name is Angela Cho. You can call me Angie if you want (I actually really like nicknames <3)
This blog’s name is a play on words with my name, if you ever wondered. I do not think I would actually choose to eat chocolate gelato- I much prefer vanilla ice cream.

I am full Korean, 1.5 gen. Age 24.
I resided most of my life in the sunny land of Southern California. Ironically, I am happiest in gloomy and chilly weather, enjoy winter fashion, and adore all things Fall-esque.

I fancy hand-lettering, capturing moments through photos, food, cat art, iced coffee, derpy dogs, watercolor painting, and feel-good music; a little of everything, no surprise here. If I see a dog, I will most likely scream or comment about it and forget about everything else happening around me for at least 5 seconds. I used to think I like to hermit, until I met people who accept me for who I am and that I love doing everyday life with. Still learning much about myself, HAH~ go figure! My soul thrives in a creative environment and with good vibes plus good company.

My second family is with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and I can’t imagine college without this authentic community of passionate followers of Jesus. Truly, so many lifelong friendships have blossomed through pursuing the same mission, towards the Kingdom of God.

I am aspiring to be a future Registered Dietitian, currently pursuing a Master of Public Health at UCLA in the Community Health Sciences department. All in all, just seeing where God leads me with my passion in people, justice, health, and nutrition. I would love to someday work with a minority population in a multiethnic setting, aiding women, families, children. What and how I am unsure, but I am sure of being called to be a bridge builder. We shall see how things unfold, trying not to grip onto my own plans and I’m not too worried where I end up. 🙂

Did I give away my love language and myers briggs personality through this? Pfffft.. It’s a joke… Ha.. Ha… Ha.. I know, I’m just the funniest.

Aside from all the rather (un)interesting small talk,

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Why this is truly a new beginning

Hello and greetings!

Ah yes, I am more than happy to welcome you here. You must be either a good friend, a curious bypasser, a bored night owl, an accidental clicker, or an unlikely fellow human who actually enjoys reading personal blogs like moi. I consider this to be like a fun house warming party, except that there is of course no food, no obligation for gifts, and 100% introvert friendly! This is in fact a Korean house hold, so take off your shoes and come on in!

*closing the door to corny introductions*

It’s been a close part of my heart to be a part of the blogging world all throughout college. I have created numerous blogs in the past (discounting the 10 tumblrs I had in my life time … is that considered blogging nowadays?), designing templates and planning the contents for days only to delete it soon after. I do a similar thing with journals too- I love starting a fresh new one and get excited to write in it. Then I find myself eyeing the stationary section at a store for prettier ones or having little patience to finish the current one until the very last page. There’s something about having new beginnings that are more attractive than necessarily efficient or productive.

So why is this truly a new beginning?

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