New Year, New Me: Mental

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Taking better care of my mental health isn’t really a “new year’s resolution.” It’s more of a thing that I’ve known I had to take care of for years but didn’t, for many different reasons. Like finances, it’s become important to me to be more open about my mental health because it currently isn’t something that I talk to anyone about.

For example, I only told my mom that I was going to therapy after nearly 5 months of seeing my therapist – and even then, I was nervous to tell her! Nervous! I am very proud to work with a lot of mental health providers, and I respect their work immensely, but I’m still a bit shy to discuss my own mental health with others. Why am I so nervous about talking about mental health?

There’s a ton of reasons – social judgement being the big one – but part of my mental self-care has been adopting a “fuck it” attitude, and this feels like a great place to start.

I’m planning much more in-depth posts throughout October about my mental health care journey, but there are a couple of lessons that I’ve specifically learned during quarantine that I want to bring with me into the rest of this “new year” – read about them after the break!

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My Name: The Power of “a” Syllable

“What do you prefer – Trish or Trisha?”

“I don’t care, as long as you’re consistent!”

I’ve never been picky about my name. Unlike my brother’s name, which was my grandfather’s, my parents have ceded that mine holds no deeper meaning besides “sounding pretty.”

Some people have no problem with my answer and choose one option right away. I like it when this happens because it takes the pressure off me to choose for them. After all, I’m not lying when I say, ‘I don’t care.’

Other times, people hesitate and think for a second, sometimes pressing me by saying, “No, seriously, what do you prefer?” – to which I think, ‘Why would I lie and say I don’t care when I actually do?’ … but then I realize people would actually lie about that, and then I get sad.

“No, I really don’t care, I swear!”

Whenever this happens, I love seeing what people choose.

“Trisha,” as my full name, has an air of formality around it. The vast majority of people call me Trisha and do so because they never thought to ask my preference, which is totally fine! Why change the status quo for no reason? Sometimes, they are acquaintances who ask the question as a way to break the ice but also don’t want to break the ice completely by using a nickname too quickly, so they continue with my full name, which I find mildly amusing.

The other day, the instructor of my improv class asked this question while in the middle of teaching (which may or may not be the impetus for this entire post), and, in the moment, chose my full name, which I completely expected based on the scenario we were in. My response even got a couple of laughs, which is always welcome in an improv situation!

“Trish” has more the air of a nickname, so most people who choose to call me this are more familiar. In the literal sense, this includes most of my family (read: “Ate Trish,” “Tita Trish,” etc.). Among friends, this usually includes those who I’ve known for a while and only thought to ask my preference when they catch themselves calling me “Trish” randomly when they had been calling me “Trisha” for ages, which, again, is totally fine. Unlike the aforementioned acquaintances, they usually know me better and are more comfortable using a nickname.

I’m actually thankful for these moments, as they give me a tiny barometer reading of our friendship, along the lines of, “Aw, they would really call me Trish? We truly are friends!” (Not to say that people who call me “Trisha” aren’t friends – people show affection in different ways, after all.)

The only options that is weird to me is changing between the two. Just like a child thinking that they’re in trouble when their parent uses their full name, a sudden change in what someone calls me is a signal that something is off.

Did that person just call me Trish for the first time without asking? Are they coming on to me? Are we really close like that? Alternatively, does that other person usually call me Trish but just call me Trisha? Like the kid mentioned above, am I in trouble? Are we about to have a serious conversation?

At the end of the day, there is only one answer that is consistently incorrect – Patricia. In the words of the (immortal) Ting Tings, “That’s not my name!”

I Love You, “I Love You, Man”

“I will see you there… or I will see you on another time!” (Source: IMDB)

“I Love You, Man” is my favorite movie. If I had a bad day at work, I’ll throw it on as soon as I get home to help me relax. If I’m having a good day, I’ll throw it on to make the day even better. If I need to get work done, I’ll throw it on so that I have some sense of the passage of time. If… you get the picture.

It’s definitely a niche choice. I’m sure that, in the grand scheme of things, it’s probably not the most memorable work in any of its cast members’ filmographies. It’s no “Star Wars” or “Lord of the Rings” either – people don’t go to conventions and scream “SLAP-A DA BASS” to each other (… as far as I know??).

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