September 14, 2023


Dear Diary,

Loneliness is killing me. I always push people away or ignore them but I don't know what to do without them. Even when I keep them away I know I can always go back to them when I need to. But now it's just me. What now?

I got two new coworkers, they seem nice, very quiet but everyone is their first couple weeks. My other coworker is planning to leave in a couple months, maybe less. Probably less. He is *very* frustrated with our managers, and he doesn't get paid enough to deal with it.

I found out recently that the food servers in our restaurant make $40 an hour, the cashiers make $24, but the bussers (me and my coworkers) make $16.80. Even though we come in just as early as everyone else and we leave the latest, sometimes an hour after everyone else has gone home! We have the most responsibilities by far, including responsibilities that frankly should be for the other workers to do.

So I get why he's leaving. The bussers are the workhorses of the restaurant. He's the workhorse of the bussers.


But, more on loneliness, timelessness, placelessness. I don't feel like I belong wherever I am, or that I know what I'm doing. Except at work, actually.

I don't really know what I do all day. I've been reading more, about topics that I think are interesting and important. But it doesn't feel important. There's nobody close to share it with anymore. I feel like nobody in the world, like a ghost.

I'm losing track of time and space. I don't have a plan, really.

I still need to get some medical stuff sorted out too, so I guess I should do that.

I could go on all day about my "don'ts"-- I don't have this, I don't know this, I don't feel this, I just wanna know what I *do* have still.


We're going over some concepts in my Communications course that might help me. I'll use this as my journal prompt for this entry.

Self-concept is the consistent set of values and beliefs you have about yourself. It tends to be change a lot until you're about 30. 

Some things that have always been consistent with me are my interest in social sciences, my passion for art, and my love of reading. Those are usually the 3 things I say when someone asks me to describe myself. 

I'm also queer, and I've always been a quiet person. I don't have any strong beliefs or convictions, except not to mistreat people I guess. And I have a tendency to sympathize with underdogs. I can be an elitist sometimes. I'm a perfectionist, too, with a lot of baggage about it and an unhealthy competitive drive that I've curbed over the last year.

And I often seek out the approval of authority figures. And I've always had a keen sense of self-awareness, sometimes I'm *too* self-aware. I try to be as nice as I can to others and I often find myself trying to come up with justifications on the behalf of other people. If I get yelled at I try to remind myself we're all under a lot of stress, so I shouldn't take it too personally. 

I often feel the need to justify my own actions in advance. When I'm at work, I'll start doing something out of instinct and then in my head come up with a reason for why I'm doing that afterward. I realized recently I was coming up with justifications just in case someone walked by and interrogated me about it. I hate that. I hate when people question me or my competence and make me justify myself.

I'm not good at a whole lot of things but I'm very good at what I care about, and so when people question me about it I hate it. I *know* I'm a good worker. I take pride in it. So when people at work especially try to insinuate I'm some kind of incompetent I get pretty upset.

This is because of my father, who has never been proud of me despite me constantly striving to surpass his expectations. I stayed on top of school, I've never smoked in my life, I learned to drive, I got a job, I saved and made lots of money, I graduated with honors, I applied for college and financial aid and I'm still keeping up with everything and it just never feels like enough. There's always something more to do. I'm waiting for him to just say "Okay, that's all. You can rest now. I'm proud of you." But that will never happen.

And it's not reasonable to make my peace dependent on his approval and pride.

Self-image refers to the kind of person we perceive ourselves to be, inside and out. My self-image is that I'm a competent and even advanced student and employee but I'm a total blunder socially. Physically I'm happy with myself, though I think I'm too skinny, but I don't wanna change my diet to put on more weight until I start my medication (when I turn 18 this fall).

I think I'm a romantic and attractive person. The flipside of this is that I feel like a manipulative monster incapable of really loving anyone too. But I know I felt true love once or a couple times. You probably heard about it. Katie. Blah blah blah, Katie, why did she leave me, blah blah blah, I'll never love again, blah blah blah. I've said enough about Katie.

Right now, at this point in my life, I guess I see myself as some kind of noble, silent sufferer. All alone, cast out by the world, crushed and defeated but standing upright on broken legs with all of my dignity intact. I'm bloodied and sore, looking up to the hot red sun, the California sun. She's smiling at me, kissing me on my face, alone. I'm alone in California.

My friends have abandoned me, my mother and her- *our* family abandoned me, my community has abandoned me, California has abandoned me, and I love them regardless. Deeply, now and always. Even if I love them against my better instincts. This is what I mean by noble sufferer. It's a cliche narrative but it's what I need to tell myself to feel like this means something.

Self-esteem is how you feel about your self-image and self-concept. Overall.. I don't know. I feel immensely proud, arrogant even in some ways. Like my work. I'm proud of my work and hobbies. I'm a good busser, I'm a decent artist, I like to draw just for its own sake to know that I can. I like to do what I'm already good at, honestly. It's hard for me to enjoy something if I'm not immediately good or above average at it. I've tried and failed to learn Spanish and Esperanto a couple times.

Also, I'm upset that I live in a very Spanish-speaking area and work with almost all Spanish-speaking people and I have Mexican-Filipino blood, and yet I don't know Spanish. Terrible! I'm visibly very Hispanic but I feel like a poser calling myself so.

I say that I have good self-esteem in some ways, but so much of this also comes from just trying to please the people I respect (father, manager, teacher, etc.). Would someone with high self-esteem really care about that? Probably not. Probably not at all.

Also, feeling unimportant and out of place everywhere is not high-self-esteem behavior.

So in sum I'm Carly, the Noble Sufferer of California, the Abandoned and Hopeless Lover. The Orphan Archetype, in Jungian terms. Kind of badass, no?..


One thing I'm grateful for is getting to see my half-brother and sister more even though I don't see our mom anymore. Football season has started so my dad and I have been going to his games. We're actually about to go right now. I don't know anything about football. At all. I'm just excited to see them.

Gotta go.

Love me back,