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How to Feel Safe & Seen

All these months in, and I've realized that in terms of interpersonal dynamics, I haven't felt this suffocated since high school. I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that I'm terrified all the time of how people see me, how people will see me, how people judge me, and what people think of me.

I remember my college experience fondly. From breaking out in the dance circle at Sail Away, to playing a game of intramural soccer with bright lipstick, to running out to Taco Bell or Taphaus at midnight with my roommate for a Crunchwrap Supreme or a shared Stiegel Radler, to climbing up to the roof of the Chemistry building via a secret ledge. Even now, when I revisit my alma mater, I will happily roll down 4.0 Hill and onto the brick steps in front of the Campanile to do stretches and calisthenics like I own the place, like I kissed the love of my life in that same plaza 3 years prior in the fog at midnight, like the school was my home.

In a city setting, I remember kind s…

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