Week X: An Update

24 Jun 17

I’m not going to apologize for my three-month long absence from #theROYCEproject because I ran out of things to do, so I took a break. In reality, I was supposed to get a tattoo to address my fear of long-term commitment, but I had a beach trip planned for the week I was supposed to get one. If I had gotten one anyway, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the sea because I wouldn’t have been allowed to get my new tattoo wet. Even when I returned, I found that I couldn’t afford to get one, and I can’t allow myself to borrow money from my savings just to do it. Plus, I wasn’t even sure if I could get one because of the restrictions for getting into the Bar.

Skipping getting over that fear and taking a break from the project doesn’t mean that I completely let it go. Every day, I practice making decisions that would help me attain my goals without letting fear get in the way of attaining them. For instance, I swam at the beach sans rash guard because I wanted to go swimming, and my rash guard was still packed in my suitcase. If you had asked me to swim at the beach without anything covering my upper body a year ago, I would have told you that I wasn’t in the mood to hide that I was too ashamed to take my shirt off. Today, I’m over the humiliation associated with my back rolls. If I want to swim without a rash guard on, I can.

I’ve also been weighing myself more regularly. Unfortunately, I gained back 10 of the 40 pounds that I lost, but I didn’t let that break my spirit. Who wouldn’t gain weight after four days of trying everything in Taipei’s night markets, anyway?

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Taking a break sort of reset what getting over my fears meant. While I ran out of fun things to do, I also realized that there were some things that I was afraid of admitting, and I have been ignoring addressing the same things. One of them was that I haven’t gotten over my previous relationship. It didn’t end well, and I have yet to forgive myself for not admitting sooner that I was just dating the wrong person. What I did, instead of using that as an excuse to quit dating forever, was to throw myself out there again. I’m convinced that the right one is still out there waiting for me. After four months of still dating the wrong person, I eventually found one who made me happy.

Royce on a date

I also started just being out there in general. I made a lot of new friends between the last issue of #theROYCEproject and now. Take my cousin, for example. I felt dread when I found out that we would be roommates on a five-day trip in Japan. I was anticipating the heavy weight of awkwardness between us because we have never spoken to each other since I was born. One beer was all it took to get us chatting as if we knew each other our entire lives (uhhh… we did, but you get the point).

Just a few weeks ago, I joined a pub crawl in Boracay alone, and I was forced to make friends there (Turning strangers into friends is literally the activity’s tagline). I met some pretty cool people. One was like me, who was coerced to enroll into law school, which made it 1000 times more difficult than it already was, and that person told me that once I get into it, it doesn’t get easier, but I will find my rhythm. Another was a social worker from Ireland, and she was exploring Asia for the first time. I also met someone from my school, and she invited me for drinks with her friends the next day.

I made friends!

I keep telling myself how much of a success #theROYCEproject has been, even though its consecutive run ended after only 12 weeks. Six months into 2017, I am unrecognizable from the person I was in January (it helps that my hair keeps changing colors). I am confident that I’m going to use what I learned from this to get that comma-J-D at the end of my name five years from now. I mean, come on. I can jump off of a mountain, how scary could law school be?

by Royce


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