when you are having a bad day, and you decide
to crumple up your feelings and throw them in the garbage,
i will dig from the bottom of the trash can, savor them and
hand them back to you, and when your stomach
boils with anger, i’ll be sure to turn off the stove so that
you may return to a state of peace, and when all you
can taste is the saltiness of your racing tears, i’ll hand you
a napkin, a shoulder, and at least 3 reasons why
you look so beautiful when you cry. when your heart becomes
dusty, i’ll be sure to brush off every last piece of lint,
and polish it so meticulously that you shine.
for every time that you believe you are unlovable,
i will love you with every fiber left of me.
i will love you, i will remind you, i will show you,
until you remember to love yourself again.
do you remember when we were walking to the car and then you put your arm around me and threw out a joke? in that moment, i looked at you and then i rested my head on your shoulder for a brief second and gently sighed because i never know what to say when i’m around you except meet your dashing words with dashing comfort.
that’s when i learned you didn’t like silence. that’s one of the many times you broke the silence by a simple touch. that’s when i learned that you felt comfortable enough to seek out comfort from me. that’s when i learned that sometimes acts of bravery are the most gentle gestures. that’s when i learned that your skin craves mine, too.
In moments like these, I realize that there is a path, a quite simple path at that, to happiness.
Take the initiative to surround yourself with people that uplift you. I am not trying to propose the idea that you discontinue friendships at all. I’m saying that you should spend more time with people who understand you, who value you, who you not only have a good time with, but those who you feel alive around. Those friends that you drink with bimonthly, who’ve known you for 4 years, will always be there. Make new friends. Mend old friendships. Find meaning. Don’t do the same old shit all the time. There’s a reason why it’s called the same old shit. Do what your heart desires. Please. Search for something fresh. While creating peace with all that is around you is vital to growth and understanding, sometimes life is not always about incessantly meeting halfway with every encounter. Sometimes life means weeding out what doesn’t contribute to your happiness. Stop waiting to see if you’re in love, to see if your “significant other” is the one for you. They probably aren’t but you have convinced yourself to remain where you are. Stop confining yourself to the known instead of branching out into the unknown. If you always play it safe, you’ll never see all of life’s treasures. This waiting game is a losing game. Exit now. Don’t sit around waiting to be happy, waiting to be noticed by others, waiting for something to change. When we wait, nothing happens. We put our lives in the hands of our environment. We let the environment control us. Instead, leave what doesn’t make you happy. Be brave enough to start over. Know that starting over also does not necessarily mean a blank slate, it means shifting your perspective in how you process the world, and in hand, how you take action from these thoughts. Understand that it is important to take care of yourself, to love yourself, that your happiness should not be far and in-between. Happiness should not be a sigh of relief. Happiness should be the very core of your life, found in work as well as with relationships, and most importantly, with you.
William Gibson, a fascinating science fiction novelist whose intelligence skyrockets through the roof, once said, “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.”
I am so unbelievably happy when I walk into Jamba Juice on a warm day and order a Razzmatazz smoothie. It makes me so happy when I wake up to a sunny kitchen, because my kitchen window faces east, telling me it’s going to be a bright day today. I love when I finish showering before the water runs cold, and I love when I have the motivation to cook breakfast, whether it be oatmeal or scrambled eggs or anything simple really. It beats just taking a slice of bread on the go, if even that. I love when my thirst for life outweighs my everlasting desire to lay in bed, because I tend to justify this behavior due to my love for lucid dreaming.
Every day I wake up and realize that less and less is needed to make me happy. Does this make me passionless? Of course not. It’s, actually, a silent but ever constant light enthusiasm. It’s bubbly. Today I woke up at 8:30am. After heading to bed close to 3am, I am surprised myself, seeing as I don’t have work until 11:30 and I would have otherwise woken up at 10am, probably 10:15am to be honest, and you know what, probably actually 10:30am because I have a committed relationship to the snooze button. At 8:30, the air feels alive, airplanes are zooming by, flocks of bird are zipping by. Everyone has already left for work at this time. I can feel the alluring noiseless sensation.
The less I need from the outer world, the more I can create from the inner world. What does this mean? This means that all the little things not only satisfy my soul, but my heart screams with happiness. Instead of trying to create happiness in the outer world, I find happiness in the still-life. Dare I say, I find happiness in the mundane? A good find at a bookstore, a cheaper item than expected, a toddler who shares with me his thoughts, the smell of laundry, freshly brewed tea, and back to what originally started this entry: a lavender-pink peplum top.
We can be happier at a more constant level when we simplify our lives. Instead of filling in every space in the calendar, take time to do nothing. Take time to sleep, to rest, to breathe. By simplifying our lives, this does not indicate that we reduce our lives to nothing. This does not mean you quit your job, find new relationships, and fly out to a new place, although if that fits your niche, then go for it! By loving life as is, instead of expecting change, we don’t set ourselves up for perpetual disappointment. Simplifying our lives does not suggest that our lives have become less meaningful. Instead, it’s to recommend a new set of eyes with how we approach our life. If we can walk a little slower, talk a little slower, become aware of our emotions and what our body is trying to tell us, and follow this, we can become much more at peace with ourselves. We are in a constant fight with ourselves. Our body wants sleep, yet we go out for not only that Friday night, but Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Our body sends signals to us that we’re hungry, but we’re too “busy” finishing an assignment at work or too lazy to get off that couch and into the kitchen to grab something to eat.
I can tell you what makes me happy. I know that I’m happy when I’m baking, and I’m off to share it with my friends and co-workers the next day. I know I’m happy when I’m writing, when I’m laughing with friends, when I discover an article or a piece of artwork that melts my soul. I know I’m happy when I drink orange juice and when I read poetry.
What doesn’t make me happy? Working 40 hours a week. When my dad asks me when I’m going to go to graduate school. When I’m irresponsible, whether it’s bills, parking tickets, or overdue library books, and am fined as a consequence. When I can’t seem to relate to the people that I’ve met, but I still say yes to that Friday night of drinking and put on a smile because I tell myself friendship with all persons are important. When the food in the fridge expires or has gone rotten because I was just too lazy, for many days on end, to cook. When I put others’ needs in front of mine in such a manner that it ceases to contribute to my own happiness. When I apologize when I shouldn’t. When I constantly respond to, and adjust my energy to, pestering people in my life because I don’t have the heart to tell them that I feel stressful when we converse.
Do you see the pattern in what I have just listed? The overarching theme is that most of my suffering is, indeed, self-induced. What does this mean? This means that if I live within the borders of an unhappy life, it is my choice. I choose to stay where I’m at instead of becoming aware of what I can do differently, and extracting that plan. This is the hardest part to admit for some people, that our lives are in our hands. We commonly put the fault at others in order to negate our own responsibility for the lack of action we take in our lives. We wait for other people to change so that we can be happy, instead of being courageous enough to alter the situation ourselves. It is important to fight for your happiness, right? So what’s stopping you?
If you’re unhappy living at home, but there is an offer to live at a friend’s place, then so go do it! Close your laptop, find a job, save up enough money so that you are able to live on your own, so that freedom and independence may soar through you. Stop buying that morning coffee. Let’s say you buy a morning coffee every weekday for a whole year. If you extinguish this behavior, there’s a round trip ticket to Europe right there (with spare money!). Instead, replace this act by waking up a few minutes earlier and let the smell of freshly brewed coffee illuminate your home. Work hard, know that the small details contribute to the big picture, but don’t let the work prevent you from starting.
I’ll tell you a secret. Our fear of missing out on what we already have prevents us from moving forward. Once, I told someone, there are no such things as missed opportunities. You can’t miss what didn’t happen to you. He exclaimed, “that’s exactly what it is!” But here’s the thing, when you justify what you have now, you’re trying to rationalize an emotion, you’re trying to tame the impulsive.
I leave this with you today. “I know it feels like you have all these options and when you make a decision, you lose a world of possibilities. But the reality is, until you make a decision, you have nothing at all.” -Janet Fitch
there is an old controversy theory suggesting that ingenuity and madness
are interconnected, just look at van gogh and sylvia plath
and alfred tennyson. psychiatrists have found that artists
have the highest incidence for bipolar disorder. of these artists,
writers are the most bipolar. dig a little deeper, poets are the most
bipolar. we can narrow it down further, mystics are
the most bipolar. they speak of elation and misery,
of rapture and wretchedness. psychologists say that bipolar disorder
may be one of the mental illness’s that is strongly linked
to creativity, i think anything
is, when you fall to stay within the borders of a bell-shaped curve.
i read that van gogh created 70 paintings in 2 months before
he went into the field and shot himself.
have you ever looked at louis wain’s drawings of cats
that simultaneously depict of timeline of his battle with schizophrenia?
why is it that the people who study depression and
mania also the ones who also suffer from this disease?
i once heard about depressive personality disorder,
before they erased it from the guidebook, because
it was too hard to diagnose
a depressive personality seemingly ingrained in one’s being.
i fit almost all of the criteria for manic depressive disorder,
does this make me a functional walking disorder?
does this make me a genius or a lunatic? manic depression is
the overwhelming ability to feel a wide spectrum of emotions, and
awareness of how minute changes trickle much larger effects.
could this be a gift? is this a curse? my best friend once asked
how am i the most depressive person yet so full of life,
it never crossed my mind before that. i thought these
waves of euphoria and melancholy were phases. can i argue that
manic depression protects me from insanity,
that i am too crazy for insanity, too crazy to ever truly be afraid?
mary mccauley describes people like me as “the few who
have a profound understanding of the relationship that exists
between art and madness” one time i expressed my fear
of being on the brink of insanity to a friend, and she said, no
you aren’t insane, but you would be, if you didn’t
reflect the way you do. again i ask, is it possible that my insanity
keeps me sane? or is this insanity in the making?
i now propose the chicken-egg situation: madness or creativity?
The point between real life and a simmering dream
is where I found you, you seem a little sleepy,
like a dream that never fully wakes,
the coffee that sizzles on your tongue
masks the smell of Whiskey from last night,
and in-between the sips of coffee,
I hear a little voice, a voice that screams,
a voice that feels misunderstood,
a voice that hasn’t been heard,
someone who longs for their hands to be held
before the empty hands set in after the finished coffee.
I have always loved violently and barbarically. My best friend, my brother, a character in a book, a McDonald’s meal, the vibrancy of grass after a good rainfall, and the way the sky looks like a watercolor painting when the sun is setting. I fall in love with everything.
I have always loved in the moment, but it was a bittersweet feeling. I couldn’t linger onto a moment, I could only remember what it felt like in that second. It was a frequent problem. I cycle through hobbies. I have bursts of creativity but I never execute any of my ideas into reality. I didn’t know how to be interested in a boy. Everyone knows that about me. I could meet a thousand boys and none of them would touch my heart. I’d just enjoy the time that I have with them and I’d move on. It’s all just fun and games, shits and giggles. I never delved into the world of boys because it was the least of my concern. I didn’t deal with them because I simply didn’t have the time and dedication. I was a free bird. I would refrain from emotionally involving myself with someone. It just seemed like a waste of my time. But I wasn’t pessimistic. I still believed in love very much, more so than anything in the world. It is the one thing that I believe in. Always.
I knew that even if I could never find love, I could at least believe in it. Because it was everywhere, and maybe if I was lucky, I could find love too, but I didn’t know what the world had set out for me, and I didn’t want to expect it in my life. I couldn’t ask for that much.
There is a reason that I don’t pursue any sort of emotional intimacy with another. It is because I feel that I am often misunderstood, and I end up pushing them away. Therefore, in an attempt to not feel misunderstood, I avoid it all. It’s a downward spiral of an emotional breakdown of a once broken-hearted girl from long, long ago that lingers into the now. Because I’ve come to a point where I understand myself and I am not tattered by the fact that I am misunderstood by friends. But it’s different. It’s different when I add romantic intimacy to the equation. I am emotional and I have too many thoughts clashing at once. I may be distant and closed-off. I feel as if I am constantly distracted by the visionary experiences in my head. I am confused despite flashes of clarity, but then I am back to square one. I can’t provide solid answers because I am so indecisive all the time. I don’t understand…this person that I am and what I’m supposed to be.
But.. I’d to think somewhere else is someone who does and will want to figure it out and also leave it to the hodgepodge that it is. I’d like to think somewhere, someone is just like me. And that there is someone, there is someone who understands the madness of it all and can tell me that I’m normal despite all my absurdities. There has to be.. and there must be someone who could be the balance that I need and would be able to tolerate the ambiguity of all the personal constructs that I am. That.. out in this chaotic world, there is someone just as lost as I am. And I am sure..that there must be someone who wants to learn about the distant corners of my consciousness just as much as I want to learn about theirs. There is, and I know there is someone out there who nurtures their dreams instead of dismissing them, and all they want is a believer who postulates about how the impossible can be transformed into the possible too.
So I keep pushing, because in such an enormous universe, there has to be someone. Someone, anyone. There has to be someone who won’t mind that I don’t understand myself…that I understand myself less and less as time progresses. There has to be someone out there who wants to be in love just as badly as I do, someone who just wants to be understood after years of being misconstrued, someone who understands all of what I don’t even know exists yet, someone who is my match.
And so I believe. I believe that we spend the rest of the years looking for that safety, looking for a person that helps us feel protected. And so that’s what we do. We search for that other soul that we would have late night conversations with that inevitably turn into morning conversations with the sunrise by our side. We spend the rest of our lives looking for each other.
And maybe it isn’t that I didn’t know how to be interested, maybe it is that I never met the right one.
Because then I met someone who understands all of it. I met someone who understands all of me and he hasn’t even begun to see all of the contents of my heart, even the layers I haven’t revealed. He knows it’s there, the once brokenness of it all. I can’t hide it when I’m with them, and I don’t plan on trying to. And he waits patiently, just like me. I wait patiently too, hoping one day his scars of yesterday will one day heal when the sun rises tomorrow.
Because when I spend time with him, I often find that little parts of my soul are flying free into the world. And how…how can I put this emotion into words? I can’t. It’s as if the fabric of my soul is always flourishing for the first time… so naturally without conscious thought or reflection. It feels like my skin is made my fairy dust. I feel like a balloon. Moving freely. Going somewhere, always moving up, but feeling so..so limitless and light.
And everyone hides behind something. Everyone does. We just seem bulletproof. But when I’m with him, I have nothing to hide behind. I may not be able to formulate the words, but I am void of secrets around him. I don’t have the best of both worlds, I have the best of all worlds. And it feels…it feels unreal. It is impossible that I can…actually feel this way.
Because when I’m with him, I’m healing.
And.. I hope he’s healing, too.
Age is a number. That’s what they all say yet they all follow the rules.
Age isn’t just a number. Age is just…age. Why are we controlled by this concept? It places us relative to others around us instead of what we want. People say age matters because they see life through a lens of how others view us. That’s the whole metaphor, after all.
I used to look at other people’s fashion blog and grouch at the fact that their taste in fashion was so extravagant at age 16, and there I was, wearing oddly bright and mismatched colors with Payless flats at age 16. I thought I was literate until I met someone who was, arguably in my perspective at the time, “more literate.” I began to tease apart all the book recommendations I’ve given. Geez, am I really just a poser of a well-read human? At age of 19, I began to question the validity of my taste. I used to think I loved my poetry and writing until I started reading other people’s writings on the Internet, whether they were 17 or 40. I was intimidated by the fact that my writing was subpar compared to either age. Can you even believe that? I was so taser-ed by a year’s difference. These are such minor details that should not ever, ever cross my mind. How can I ever grow if I constantly fall back to negativity? It stunts my growth!
I thought to myself, Newton discovered the laws of gravity at age 23, what am I doing with my life? When I started cooking, I thought I became the newest master chef. Then I observed that everybody else around me knew how to cook their style of food, whether it be Mexican or French, and I thought that my Chinese food looked and tasted atrocious. Okay, this is silly, but like you, these are perpetual thoughts that command our next step, which is usually, retreat.
Why do we judge people’s intellect and knowledge of the world based on how old they are? I hate when older people tell me I’ll understand when I’m older. Fuck you. It frustrates me when people in their mid-20′s tell me I don’t know what real life is. Shut the fuck up already, you look idiotic. Why do we judge people who have dreams at such a young age? They tell me that within a decade’s time, you’ll see why they were called dreams. Shut up, Jesus mother-fucking Christ. While I was in Rhode Island, I saw an older man, probably in his 30′s, enter the ice-rink and he immediately fell. He immediately startled me because he was right behind me and I was holding onto the railing and I thought he was going to run into me next! He laughed and stood back up. Throughout my time at the ice rink, I observed that he kept falling, but he just kept going. I could tell it was more of the adventure of ice skating than the actual idea of mastering it that mattered. He had so much spirit.
Let’s face it, most of you would not have the backbone he did in those moments. And it’s okay! It happens to the best of us. We care about how we are perceived. However, if you always care what other people think of you, they will always have the upper hand. If you’re not willing to struggle, to shed off those layers of perfection, to let yourself feel embarrassed, then you’re probably too bland anyway. Your mind is generally blank besides this and just this compare-and-contrast business. You probably don’t understand happiness, just unhappiness, which you generally believe is caused by others and not something deeper within. You probably don’t even have dreams, you probably don’t even care about being inspired, you just want to get through the day. If you are one of those people, this piece of writing is irrelevant for you, as is most of my other writings. Your deepest obsession is probably the last time you had sex and when this agonizing pain will be relieved again. You care about the longevity of your eyeliner and finding the man of your dreams. You’re probably uncomfortable with change and don’t even know that it exists. Your idea of change dwells in changing makeup brands. You only go to the stores you go to for the strict reason of its prestige, but you convince yourself it’s out of quality. You wouldn’t dare step into Wal-Mart, and you wouldn’t ever be caught found at a trashy dive bar because it’s damaging to your image. What worries you the most is if anybody will get too drunk and ruin your night. Late night thoughts consist of when you will get married and have the platonic family you’ve always dreamed of. You’re materialistic and status-conscious. So again, this isn’t for you. But even so, this is for you if you do fit these descriptions and also want to change but don’t know where to start.
What happens to us is that we naturally steer towards the negative side of thinking because it is much each easier than trusting the world around us. We look at other people’s works and we personalize it. We begin to think our work, that we loved so fondly just a second ago, is now trash. Start to recognize that you are your own unique style. You are not the compilation of what is deemed acceptable. This does not only apply to the work you create but also you as a human being. Start to recognize that you are special in people’s lives, that the world would not have the same hum if you did not exist. Stop comparing your friendship to the friendship of others. Quit questioning. You arealready important.
The purpose of life isn’t to compare it to who you should’ve been or who people already are. The purpose of life is to see who you are, today, yesterday, tomorrow, and love all of it. Let your identity be integral to who you are, not these little bits and pieces cut into failures and successes. You won’t be able to fully flourish if you are tied to the idea of compare and contrast. That’s the whole fallacy, that idea. When you compare, you place yourself next to what already exists. We live in a society where we only know of the past patterns, we can reflect but we can’t grow. Our thinking patterns are representational of how we lead our life. Be bold enough to innovate. Quit looking for validation from society that whatever you do is good. We become stuck in being “good” enough, but as I’ve said time and time again, there isn’t such thing. What is good may have captured Steve Job’s interest but not Deepak Chopra’s interest. We live in a world where we are struck by this idea of perfection, but we only want to be perfect to others. We don’t already see that we are already perfect within. We struggle to seek this acceptance from society so that we never have to accept ourselves.
Stop letting these labels take over you. Stop containing yourself in these walls that prevent you from being the very being you are. Start being yourself. There is nobody else in this world that fits that label more than you do.
Okay, this topic got off track. What I’m saying is that age is just a number because it’s never too early or too late to learn absolutely anything (this is what sparked my interest). My friend who is a dancer is hopefully going to teach me how to dance, because I find choreography to be thrilling. You can learn, and as a matter of fact, relearn an old hobby. Just because you didn’t learn how to paint when you were 8 does not mean you cannot paint. Did you know during Van Gogh’s time, he only sold one painting? His paintings spread across the world long after his death. You can still try that sport you’ve been wanting to play as a child instead of watching from the sidelines. You can still climb trees, you can still play hopscotch, and boy, you can still play hide and seek and pick dandelions and make wishes.
You are not meant to only have playtime when you are 6. You are always meant to play. You canalways have fun. Life is so much more than just learning to play the violin in 3rd grade and paying bills as an adult. Life is a blend of all things, all beauties, all interests. It is never too late. Nothing is ever too late.
Break the cycle. Do not participate in this culture of misguided people. This does not mean life is one big ball of chaos, because I already know, yes, your first thought is that there will be disorder. There is disorder within order just as much as there is order within disorder. Stop falling for definitions. Life is too vast and too beautiful to fit into any definitions.
Stop sitting in front the TV. Get up and do something. Take the time and patience to achieve on your own schedule, not what society considers permitted.
Do not let your life be one masterpiece of discouragement. Even worse is to live in ignorance of this exact aspect. Become aware. Become your own inspiration. Become very much of who you are.
- – -
(guys, i was so determined to write this out before all the passion and thoughts escaped me that i forgot about what i was cooking, and these boiling tomatoes are now mushy, pout face)
I wish everything in life was as easy as writing. Geez, why do all aspects of life require….effort? Hahaha, no I mean really. Relationships, work life, pursuit of other hobbies, chores, anything.
I mean the real question is: WHY AM I SUCH A LAZY BUM?
Anything could happen.
Everything will happen.
How do you know?
Because I’ve lived this life already.
Hah. And what does that exactly mean?
It means I’ve already read about this life, the facts are written in textbooks and the heartbreaks are written in poems found in shoeboxes.
So what happens?
Nothing really. LIfe is a fractal. People are sent out to face their fears. That’s why you’re still here, facing these obstacles. You will die and be reborn as many times as needed until you begin to understand your darkness.
And what happens if the pattern keeps repeating itself?
That’s the goal. The goal is that it won’t, that people will restore to a state of love. The day you love is the day you die.
But, wait, that doesn’t make sense.
What confuses you?
You can’t die for two opposing reasons.
One is out of environmental circumstances, the other personal. In the first situation, they kill you. In the second situation, you choose to die.
Who’s they? And why would I wish death upon myself if I knew love?
Me. And you will figure that out with time.
Why would you kill me?
Because I am you.
This doesn’t make any sense.
That’s because you do not solve contradictions in this lifetime. It will be the next one.
Then what happens to me after that life?
You are talking in circles.
The fact that you believe I am talking in circles is indicative of the fact that your mind is spinning in circles. Everything I say has clear direction.
You haven’t told me any answers!
What a bold accusation. I’ve provided you with many, more than I tell most.
When do the patterns stop repeating themselves?
They never do.
But you, you just said the goal is that they don’t!.
The purpose is that they do, and always will.
Ugh, what is the purpose of this conversation?
Wouldn’t you like to know?
“We’re going to play a game, okay?”
“I’m going to ask you a question. If you raise your right hand, it means no. If you raise your left hand, it means yes.”
“Do you like me?”
In response, he clasps his hands together, a gesture akin to the act of praying.
“What does that mean? That’s not part of the rules!”
“I didn’t say I was going to follow your guidebook.”
She stares at him pensively. He laughs.