Gift From My Invisible Twin is a graduation gift for myself. It is a self-help and self-motivational kit, which is meant to help me to stay disciplined and give myself mental strength to deal with obstacles. The project is based on motivational and mood-boosting words that I gather when I talk to myself, and the most frequent thoughts that show up in my mind.
To me, this project helps me to keep my life on track when there’s no reliable external support. To other audiences, this project is meant to provide them an example that shows the possibility that even when things become really bad at some point, one can be his or her own power source, and how one’s negative experiences, thoughts and emotions can be utilized.
The project has three parts:
1. A video that demonstrates how I interact with the other “me” that I’ve been talking to. The story is narrated from my invisible twin’s perspective.
The video is meant to help people better understand how my invisible twin(the other personality of mine) helps me, and where the text content of the other two parts comes from.
2. A collection of 3D printed cards painted in black and pink that has a sentence that gives me a boost in the morning.
The idea behind the cards is to create a ritual using a stack of black and pink cards that I can mix together randomly, and each night I will choose one but not read it, then I will place it beneath my pillow and read it until the next morning. This ritual is meant to serve two purposes. First, I will go to sleep knowing that the minute I awake, encouraging words will greet me. Second, the motivational text will allow me to start my day with intense impulses, which keep myself from inertia. I am creating my own system of prayer. This way, the plates and the texts on it will work as a gift sent by the version of me from yesterday.
3. An LCD screen packed in pink and purple case that displays the most common thoughts in my mind.
It serves one single purpose: to present my most frequent errant thoughts and casual conversation contents of me talking to myself. Since my errant thoughts were usually about a few topics, with which the conversations are related to, the thoughts were typed in the device before use. By doing this, I was able to check it anytime and anywhere, and when I checked it, it presented in front of my eyes, instead of going everywhere inside my mind, mixing with other important things that I need to pay attention to. It helps me to put things off my chest and stay focused.
Quite a few of my social experiences have taught me the fact that when it comes to things or incidents of interests, I should never put my hope in anyone else except for myself.
When I was attending the University of Iowa a few years ago, I suffered from depression due to my breakup with an ex-boyfriend. I sought help from the school’s therapist. Instead of helping me out, she not only judged me for reasons that have remained unclear, but she also accused me of saying something that I had never, and would never say. The unethical therapist made up something based on what I told her: details about how I felt, how I felt about my previous relationships, how certain people made me feel, etc. I was forced to drop out of the university. Although the incident ended as I reconsidered my future path and decided to go to design school, I will never forget how much my parents worried, but at the same time, misunderstood the humiliation I was suffering through.
During past years, besides the Iowa incident, a few other things which were also impactful to me (mostly, in a negative way) happened. Surviving these negative incidents has taught me a few lessons. First, friends are not 100% reliable, no matter how close you are at any given moment. I know there are still a lot of people who tell their homies everything when they lose their motivation or when they are simply in a bad mood. I’m a bit jealous of them because it’s unlikely that I will ever trust someone in this way again. Second, even though some people are truly supportive with good intentions, no one can 100% understand another person. Pouring all the feelings to those who truly care can give them too much worry and anxiety.
Under the pressure caused by these negative experiences, and my trust issues, as well as my unwillingness to burden my closest ones, I started to have conversations with myself instead of anyone else. After doing this for years, I realized that I have probably awoken my shadow personality, which was not necessarily a bad thing. I’ve got a lot of advice and solutions from my other personality, and I know that I can never receive some of them from anyone else, because they sound way too harsh.
Since this is a graduation gift from my invisible twin(the other personality of mine), the kit is packed in a black gift box, along with a letter written in her tone.
I’m aware of the fact that some people will not share the same values as I do, and it’s totally acceptable for me. I’m not showing the project to educate anyone. Instead, all I want is to show people another possible way to handle the negative side of one’s life, and it’s up to them to agree with it or not.
At the moment when these hurtful thoughts are presented next to my eyes instead of being locked up inside, I figured out that quite a few people who caused these thoughts are actually forgivable. Even for those who are not, putting things off my chest makes it easier for me to move on. My experience has proved the strategies that the project is based on, which are having conversations with myself, writing everything down and coming up with inspirational contents for myself accordingly, works when hard time comes. Hopefully I can let go of all these negative things, and same hope for everyone else.