Scared but not alone

WechatIMG12  By Qin Xia

I don’t know if you have the same feeling as me, but if I am scared of something, I will force myself to face my fear until I am not scared anymore.

When I was a kid, I forced myself to get used to hearing the iron scratching sound outside my window, but it left a lump in my throat. I have checked under the bed three times before going to sleep to make sure no monsters were hiding there. And I stared outside to make sure my place was free of ghosts.

But not this time.

On November 7, it was almost 1 o’clock in the morning when I woke up to two “bang, bang” sounds. I was not sure if the sounds came from my dream or from outside my Park Blocks apartment. But when it was followed by screaming, I knew something was wrong. I was too scared to move. I just lay in my bed. I felt like even a slight movement would cause the attention from the shooter, even though I was in an upstairs apartment. This time, I didn’t force myself to open the curtain, because I was so scared something bad would happen.

The next day, I had to get up and continue my daily life. But I felt safer when I saw the yellow cordon tape. And I felt warmer seeing the memorial candles when I got back home. I felt even better when people around me kept checking with me to see if I was ok.

I know, I will be scared of something now and for the rest of my life. Danger is never very far away, and I will have to deal with it and not always know how. But also, I know fear might be a good thing when it keeps us together.

 

I see, I saw, I am here

WechatIMG12 By Qin Xia

“I love to accept every day’s challenge!” That’s hilarious, because like most people, I don’t like change. I’d love to live in a stable situation with some traveling, but totally not like this.Before I decided to study in the U.S., I barely knew the life here. I am not a research kind of person. I just wanted to go. And when I first came here, I hated it.

My PSU life began Winter term 2107: 20 days of snow covered roads, 30 days without any sunshine, endless rainy days. Strange language, strange faces, even the air. I barely understood the classes. My self confidence crashed. “I want to go back to China,” I whined like a toddler. I was such a nuisance that I even hated myself at times.

Then I saw. I saw a large lady wearing tight jeans walking down the street proudly. I saw a mother with a beard taking care of his/her little girl really well. I saw a girl in a bikini lying on the grass during the first spring sunshine. I saw a man after I refused to give him “a spare dollar” still wish me a nice day. I saw people define their identity by their own thoughts.

I saw lovers show their love without any fear no matter if they are homosexual or heterosexual. I saw a man sitting on a bench crying freely without any embarrassment. Then, I see myself. I am not scared of tight jeans any more. A huge butt might be another kind of sexy.

I will allow myself to cry when I think I need to cry without any concern if it’s a weak thing. I can do whatever I want to do without thinking about what others think of me. I feel safe and free to be who I am here. I still hate change, but for now, I am enjoying it.