I'M SO EXCITED
Welcome to the first installation of my newsletter! If you don’t know me, my name is Asaka and I’m glad you’re here. Amongst other things, I’m a writer, content creator and a disability advocate. I’m starting a newsletter because honestly, there’s just SO MUCH I want to talk about and not all of them has a beginning, middle, and end, a unifying theme, or a clickable headline. I absolutely enjoy being a guest writer and hope to one day write for major media outlets, but I also wanted a way to relay my thoughts, feelings, and opinions, directly from my thingamabob to yours. At first I thought about using my Instagram, but I’m not one for short, succinct writing. I don’t like limiting myself to 2,200 characters count, and I’d rather be able to use formatting tools, like hyperlinks. So Substack it is.
I’ll send out newsletters when I feel that I’ve hit a turning point in my life, rather than sticking to a strict schedule. It could be a big, monumental breakthrough, or a brief moment of reflection. I’ll aim to hop in here once or twice a month, to keep my insight juices flowing — we’ll see.
I’m glad I’m writing regularly again. It means the world to me. I first started writing to cope with the myriad social obstacles that came with my disability. It’s given me a way to reclaim my story and seek closure. But I soon realized that writing isn’t just about explaining myself to others… It's also about explaining myself to me.
Positive self-talk hasn’t always come naturally, mostly because I don’t have a linear internal dialogue. I always go from Point A to Point Z in a flash. I sometimes think in flitting, fading images. I type my thoughts out on a computer to converts my thoughts into a more workable format. There, I reword, rephrase, and move things around to build an empowering narrative. The way I write shapes the way I think about things. With language as a common denominator, I can put my story in conversation with other people’s stories. Hitting “publish” solidifies a sense of closure I find within myself, and at the same time, opens up the doors around me — I’ve had so many touching conversations and have made so many friends because of my articles. I constantly get overwhelmed by my paradoxical desires and emotions, but writing helps me stay anchored.
The biggest thing I’m currently working on is being more present. AKA living in the moment. AKA focusing on the here and now. Basic, I know, but it’s important — and worth every effort. Because let me tell you, it’s not easy. At all. Staying focused requires discipline and sometimes, I stumble. But I know that I’m strong enough to pick myself back up and brave enough to ask for help when I need it. And I’m so grateful to my friends for being present with me. I could never do it alone — no one can.
The past year I worked my ass off to build the foundation of a fulfilling life — a life I won’t feel the need to constantly escape from. I still can’t believe that I went from wondering if I should stop writing to dashing off 5 full articles (and 2 drafts) within six months! You know what, actually? I can believe it. I have so much strength, knowledge, and resources at my disposal. I can’t let that go to waste.
To the chagrin of the defeatist in me, I’m doing great. Like Billie Eilish, I’m happier than ever. Thank you for joining me, and I’ll see some of you on campus. 2021 has been an incredibly transformative year and I’m ready to explore new frontiers.
Until next time,