There Is A Light…

But with light, there is a shadow.

Speaking from personal experience, I’ve found that no matter how full of light my life is, I always feel my shadow creeping up on me. I never not notice the dark trail behind me.

My shadow embodies my fears, insecurities, doubts, anger, and so much more.

Perhaps, it is due to the series of adversaries that has occurred in my life that I can’t seem to believe in the good anymore. In the words of Drake, “trust issues” would describe me perfectly. It’s not that I don’t believe in good people, I just don’t believe that good things could ever happen to me.

Sometimes, when something seems too good to be true, in case of Lynn Ly, it is. I thought my mom would marry someone great – and at first, he was great – but then his true colors came out. Now, my home back in Sacramento feels like a grey storm with no sun in sight. It’s quite the twisted situation, if you ask me.

With a shadow that will forever endlessly chase me, I have this vision of myself constantly running away but in the end, my shadow will catch up to me regardless of the distance. No matter how good my life is, my insecurities always seem to take over and I can’t seem to grasp the fact that there are actually genuine-hearted people attempting to be in my life.

I’ve concluded that this shadow will forever be a part of me and is not something that I will ever lose. This shadow of mine is not a stranger or evil spirit following me. This shadow of mine is actually me, not all of me, just half of me. My shadow will always be there, just like my anxiety and woes will always be there, but it doesn’t mean I should let the shadows take over.

Life is about balance.

We need the dark to know what is light. When shrouded by massive amounts of darkness, it becomes easier to find the sliver of hope. I, like everyone, hold darkness but I also hold light within me. So, what’s my light? I have a core made up of so much goodness that’s occurred in my life. I hold many remnants of good memories contained inside: acts of kindness by strangers and friends, genuine words of appreciation, elated memories where I had pure fun, days where I felt loved, and the times when I realized that life is worth living.

Now, I welcome the darkness because I have an inner and outer glow to keep the gloom at bay.

Let’s Listen: Never Be Like You

Flume is an electronic music artist who recently played at Coachella. One of his well-known remixes is his remix of Lorde’s tune, Tennis Court. I actually caught part of his set during Coachella and he is indeed the definition of serenity. When I first caught ear of this song, I paid attention to the lyrics and felt aligned with the words I heard. Despite the fact that I didn’t stay long enough to hear him drop this song, I listen to this daily on my way to school or work.

During my commute to either my internship or class, the more I let the lyrics go through my ears and brain, the more I feel like this song defines me to the T. Here, I’ll break down the lyrics as to how certain lines reflect me.

/ What I would do to take away this fear of being loved /
I have a great fear of good things happening to me. It’s not due to the fact that good things never occur in my life, it’s just that I’ve had a history of those ‘good things’ become twisted and not so good, after all. What this line also means to me is that I wish I didn’t have these insanely high walls and that I could just trust people. No matter how close I am to someone, in the back of my head, I know that I could never trust them fully. With that said, I wish I could banish these fears and be fearless.

/ Allegiance to the pain /
I’m no masochist but I’ve been through enough trials and tribulations that I feel as if pain is a regular bump in the road that I often encounter. I expect to be hurt by people, never saved by them and I’m always disappointed by the people I let in my life. I know that life is never a smooth path, but sometimes I just feel like I’ve been struck specifically with bad luck and bad people. This emotional boot camp I often find myself in has taught me that pain is the incognito instructor of hidden lessons. Disappointment hurts because I honestly did have hope for these people. Failed friendships remind me that not everything lasts forever, even if it felt like it could. Broken trust makes the fear of being hurt that much greater. But the beauty within the cracked mirror is that I can still see my reflection, so I can still see myself with the opportunity to seal the cracks and mend the wounds of the past. Anything crumbled can be recreated and rebuilt to be resilient.

/ I would give anything to change this fickle-minded heart /
I’m indecisive so I never know how I feel about someone or something until it’s too late. My wishy-washiness not only clouds the perception of feelings I have but it delays what could happen in my life. Not knowing my true passions in life makes it tough to know where I should go and what direction to follow. Not knowing my sincere feelings for people makes my personal life essentially scarce or nonexistent. It seems as if all I know is that I don’t know anything about how I feel. It’s virtually impossible to find answers if I don’t even know what my questions are in the first place.

/ I’m only human, can’t you see /
I never strive for perfection, only progression. If I can be better than who I was yesterday, then I’m just one step closer to being the better woman I hope to become one day. It’s challenging because when problems occur, I feel like I’ve been taken 5 steps back on this path where it’s so strenuous to take even just one step forward. Backtracking is frustrating, but it happens, and it just means I have to work twice as hard to get back to where I once was. Going from level 15 back to level 5 feels like all my accomplishments disappeared and my confidence diminishes. As I look up to my role models, I wonder, “Will I ever be like them?”

 

 

Karma Is Not Real

It’s true that we can never choose our life or what happens to us. No one wants their mother to hit them or their dad to leave them, but it happens and for me, the only thing I can do is change my own future. My past was hard and I pushed a lot of memories in the back burner, but I’ve grown so much from the ashes of what was once the young me. I’ve rose from the grave of lost memories but I haven’t reached my highest potential yet.

Some people never change but my perspective of the world can. If I can learn to be less cold and distant, maybe I’ll warm up to people a little bit.

I can never change the way people will treat me but I can change the way I treat myself and how I react from it. As much as I want to do certain things, I know I can’t. It’s malicious and wrong – revenge never solves anything but builds more hatred and animosity. The day I learn to forgive is the day my whole life will change.

For a large chunk of my life, I strongly believed in karma. “You get what you deserve.” “Karma will bite you in the ass someday.” Any of these sound familiar?

If someone treated me in a bad way, I told myself that karma will get them, making it even, and somehow that thought made me feel better, back then anyway. On the other side, whenever something misfortunate came my way, I thought, “This is karma for doing [something irrelevant] beforehand.” But as I think deeper about the series of events that occurred in my life, karma really doesn’t make sense or exist at all. There are questions where karma cannot ever be the answer.

What did I do to receive the abandonment of my father when I was just born? Where’s karma now to put the person who molested me in jail? Did the person who robbed my house two years ago ever get their own house robbed, too? What about the person who threatened my mother with a knife? My little sister, what did she do, as a young kid, to get holes in her heart?

Saying “karma will get them back” is the lazy way out. Shit happens because that’s life. Life isn’t always going to be perfect. There are people who have committed crimes who live life prison-free. There will be people, who are angels on Earth, who get cancer and pass away. There are many good deeds that go unnoticed and wrongdoings that go unpunished.

Bad things happen to everyone. But life isn’t all bad – there are good things that happen, and karma isn’t the reason why those events take place. People who do good things because they think they’ll get “good karma” back aren’t doing good at all. There’s greed behind their actions, a desire to receive something back, and there lies the secret intentions. I truly believe that if you do something nice, you cannot expect something back and it must be out of pure generosity, and if not, are you really doing good? Think about it. This pop culture definition of karma doesn’t exist and it’s not real. At least, not in my world.

Karma won’t save or help you with your desired revenge or expected rewards – be your own hero and save the day by making it better, not bitter.

History Repeats Itself (Annoyingly)

During a prior chapter of my life, I saw a person from my past when I least expected it. A skeleton out of the dark closet came out of somewhere I swore I shut and burned. It was disturbing, but I knew my mistake, and I learned from it. Learning from my mistake and having time pass definitely let the sour feeling go down a bit but it didn’t permanently erase everything.
Seeing someone from your past is the physical manifestation of all your regrets, bad thoughts, and animosity. It’s like seeing a monster in real life. I thought I had gotten over it, forgave myself since I learned a huge lesson in life, but when I saw that person, it felt like the guilt never left.
As I enjoy the gift of the present time, seeing someone from my past triggers a flashback, a flashback where I see the old me in the body of that person. It felt like rereading a letter of anguish I had written long ago. I knew what words came next, words that were quite hard to swallow, and each sentence just brought back the regret more and more. But, now that I reflect upon this, remembering who I used to be is just another motivation to be better.
So, who exactly was I at that time? I was 18, inexperienced, gullible, and unsuspecting of any consequences from my actions. I misinterpreted what was going on due to misconceptions I had about friendship. After this friendship ended, I never thought I would cross paths with this person again.
But, it is a small world after all. In some instances, it’s a living nightmare.

Human Trafficking

Recently, someone I know had a family member who was involved in a human trafficking case. This is definitely a reminder that the world is full of evil and sick-minded people. Why succumb to such acts? How is it ever a plausible option to use other human beings as income?

California actually has extremely high child sex trafficking rates. This breaks my heart. In the cities of San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, there lies stories that taint the images of these cities. Behind such grand areas full of prosperity and culture, there is a dark shadow that follows the sunshine.

Every year, thousands of people, perhaps more, are trafficked. Every year, thousands of families lose someone dear and become incomplete. Every year, thousands of people have their will and human rights stolen from them. Every year… thousands of stories aren’t being told.

Why do people feel like this is an option to begin with? As a society that is steadily advancing with miraculous technology, why are we still stuck in the olden days of where we barter people as items? How is this fair, morally right, or even justifiable?

The answer to this sinful action is due to one of the seven sins… greed.

Human trafficking is slavery. It takes away the rights, voice, and will out of people who cannot escape the structure that has chained them. Most importantly, human trafficking robs people of the equality that they deserve. This is a reminder that the world is not yet right – that we are not where we need to be – so what do we do?

This is a grave problem that requires a glorious solution. Sadly, I’ve no plausible ideas to present myself but all that I do have is the hope that the world will change when people change.

Check out this TED Talk that inspired this post.

What My Depression Taught Me

  • It’s okay if the only thing you want to do is be in your bed all day, because being around other people doesn’t make you feel better, and a lot of the times, being around people made me feel more alone and hurt.
  • Whenever you feel alone, that is when you are most wrong. So many times I felt alone and didn’t realize that many other people felt lonely like me too, and I guess, if there were other people on this Earth who felt left out, then I guess, altogether we weren’t really alone, technically.
  • Some things that made you happy once can make you angry, sad, or not make you feel anything at all. That’s normal. Depression sucks the passion out of your life and it may never be the same again and that’s normal. Depression is never a friend but a leech that sucks the joy out of your life and sometimes steals it forever.
    • It changes your perspective on many things: friends, activities, places, and events. A lot of things matter less and few things matter more. Depression and stress heightened my anxiety. Because I’m much more aware of my anxiety, now I know why I can’t go to certain places, which is good but sucks at the same time.
  • Sometimes, depression never goes away. It can come in waves – intense sadness that never leaves because from time to time, you’ll feel fine and then suddenly, something hits you and it feels like it never left at all.
  • It gets better and you will be alive to see it. There will be many nights where you don’t want to wake up, where you wish to be one with the darkness and never see life again, but that route is never the answer. It doesn’t get better instantly and it’s never easy either, but it’ll be worth it.

Pulled from my Tumblr post.

Here’s The 411 On My Blog on 4/11!

Why a blog?

Well, I’ve been itching for an official website with the “.com” at the end and nothing else attached, such as “tumblr.com” or “wordpress.com”. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – but this makes my words more formal and established. I’ve paid my dues and can’t keep this secret in hiding forever – so hello! Welcome!

I’ve been online blogging since the late 2000’s, I’ve had Blogger, Tumblr, MySpace, all that but I’ve also been writing since I was young. I wouldn’t say that I’m a strong writer – but I want to become one – and in order to do that, I must expose myself. Also, I want to be a published author someday, so I have to start my journey eventually!

For quite some time, I’ve kept my writing to myself because I only wrote when I wasn’t happy with life. But now, I know that life encompasses so much more and goes beyond just sad moments. Additionally, I believe that my mind entails more than what my mouth can spew out.

Moving along, I will shamelessly confess that I love writing. Sometimes, I forget what the word ‘passion’ means, but then I write, and I remember what passion feels like again. I love that it is a creative expression but it is also like a device that helps me understand my emotions. I think I really fell in love with writing because it was a reflection of myself, but in letters put together and sentences constructed. Whenever I feel sad or upset, I feel like pieces of me are discombobulated and writing helps me tie up loose ends and formulate how I’m really feeling in a post. When I use analogies to describe my sadness, I can understand how sad I am.

Writing also helps me understand my fears, desires, and regrets. For example, sometimes, my anger is like a slight sting that goes away swiftly, but, there are moments where my anger feels like a coal that seethes endlessly.

As I introduce my blog to the public, I welcome and encourage responses! I would love to know what you thought of my own thoughts.

WELCOME TO THE CHASE. LET’S BEGIN.

Read my About Me page to find out the meaning of my URL.

Pair of L’s

My name is Lynn Ly. The L’s in my name are parallel. In Geometry, it means those lines will never meet, intersect, touch, or interact in any way or form. Similarly, in my life, I’ve noticed that there are many parallelisms that have struck across my mind.

In my college years, I have walked past an uncountable number of students, faculty, strangers, customers, and our lives align for a moment where we can see each other, notice each other’s presence, but after that, our lives will remain like two parallel lines: continuously going on without any type of interaction. Our paths are not destined to cross – only seen and sometimes, forever forgotten.

In the midst of my commute to my internship, I think about how we, as Southern Californians, constantly take the freeway to get to where we need or desire to be, but what road are we on, if we were to be wholeheartedly honest with ourselves?

Sure, everyone on the 57 is headed towards different places, but perhaps, could it all be for the same reasons? As people park their cars, they could be unconsciously aligning their lives with someone else’s fate. Everyone is working – some to survive, some to provide, and some to pursue their dreams. Deep down, are we really strangers or do we share a human but unfathomable connection? It may be both of those thoughts.

We all have a story and there is never not a story to be told.

What’s your story? Does your story line up to mine?  The possibility that we share something substantial with someone is exciting. But because our lives are parallel, we will never cross paths or be able to interact and that can be quite disheartening because… that’s reality.parallelpains

See It, Think It, & Receive It

One particular aspect that I’ve taken note on in my life is that I constantly see “things” over and over again, and suddenly it’s in my life.

Last year, I constantly saw a White Toyota Camry, specifically the 2009 model, and guess what? Now, I drive one.

This past Spring Break, I saw police everywhere whenever I drove. As someone who’s a resilient AUX Cord user, I’m always changing my music. Each time that I’ve put my phone down, I’ve had a cop pass me, either on a motorcycle or in a car. When I headed out for my internship, I’m always tempted to go into the Carpool lane, that so many single drivers go into, but the couple of times I’ve been enticed by the faster lane, I’ve caught eye of CHP.

Throughout Spring Break, I kept thinking that I would have an encounter with the lovely navy outfitted officers.

So today, on Monday, April 4th, I got a citation from campus police for ‘obstructing traffic’. What happened was that I walked when the red hand was flashing, with less than 10 seconds I will honestly admit, and the moment I reached the sidewalk, it was already green for the cars to turn right.

I’m not upset.

I’m not shocked, either. This brush of fate with the law enforcement just reinforces my belief that if I see something, think about it frequently enough, then it’ll happen.

Perhaps, this is a reminder that I should look both ways before I walk, look at the walking sign, too, but also, look at all the signs that life throws at me.