The Obsession with Perfection

It’s 2010. I’m in high school and there’s a website called “FormSpring”, a place where people can anonymously submit thoughts, questions, or in my case, rude remarks about my physical appearance.

Pig nose. Volcano face. People asking me if I was a boy because I didn’t have much cleavage (and I still don’t!). I don’t consider myself someone who was bullied in high school because I know there are others who have had it worse and but looking back, it’s insane how these comments have stuck with me longer than most of my high school friends.

While the Internet was a damaging place for my self-esteem, it was also a place full of research. So, in high school, I looked up all the ways I could clear up my skin and then spend my $20 monthly allowance on skincare products and makeup so that I wouldn’t be called a pizza face. This was just one of many times where I did something for the sake of other people’s opinions, a habit I have not yet quit. I remember a moment when my cousin and I were looking at ourselves in the mirror, and my cousin told me that pretty girls weren’t smart and that smart girls were ugly. I looked at my reflection and thought, “I must be ugly.”

It was a strange time when former First Lady, Michelle Obama, was called a “gorilla”, even though she’s one of the smartest women out there and incredibly influential. I say strange because I had felt conflicted with myself – thinking absurd thoughts that perhaps I was ugly because I was smart, that I should give up my mind for some physical beauty if a genie ever appeared, and other unrealistic thoughts because I craved for the same attention that my pretty friends got from now-irrelevant high school boys.

Fast forward to now, eight years later, there’s Instagram, Tumblr, and tons of other websites where beautiful women are scattered and always on display – picture perfect with clear skin, amazing bodies, hair done by the gods, and flawless makeup. Both media and society are over saturated with pretty girls everywhere, creating this pressure and standard to be flawless and perfect. But there is something odd about this obsession with perfection. It appears to be never-ending.

The pressure also seems to have layers. “Oh, once I have clear skin, I’ll work on growing out my hair, but at the same time, let me go to the gym and get my body looking like this, and then I’ll get this done and then I’ll do this”—but when does it ever end?! There’s always weight loss commercials, new skincare products, new makeup products, new clothes, new shoes, new teas, new this, new that – advertisements that set the standard of how I should look and that I should buy it as soon as possible. Of course, I’m human, I feel this pressure to be pretty, so I’ve succumbed and have spent many, many paychecks on makeup and clothes, and embarrassingly enough, I even got myself into debt trying to keep up with everything and everyone.

Now, I’m a young adult, but I still struggle with my appearance and some days, I feel more insecure than I was when I was a teenager. But overall, I have more good hair days than bad, and I would say that I am more confident than I was in high school, as I’ve learned quite a bit about makeup from YouTube, but hey, I’m not saying I look like Beyoncé. To be frank, in recent years, the compliments I’ve received about my appearance definitely stroked my ego – an experience I never felt in high school – and I grew accustomed to knowing and feeling that I was less ugly. But, makeup has its limits and I can’t wear it 24/7.

For example, last year, in 2017, when I went into my now former job to pick up my paycheck, I had just gotten out of the gym so picture me sweaty, probably a little stinky, with no ounce of makeup on, and hair tied. So, when my old coworker said, “Whoa, you look so different,” I was taken back.

She wasn’t wrong. But after the recent years of being complimented and called “beautiful”, I wondered if my ego was actually fragile and I wasn’t as strong as I had thought myself to be. Of course, she shouldn’t have said that, but, a year later, I’ve realized that life isn’t a game of fairness and kind words so there will be many, many things people will say and do and the only thing I can control is my reaction. I don’t hate her for what she said, I actually thank her for saying that because it’s catapulted into this thought-provoking post, and as an aspiring writer, anyone who makes me write is someone I appreciate.

And if you’ve gotten this far, thank you! I appreciate each person who reads my content. Truly, I do. As I’ve rambled about my high school insecurities, most of them I’ve managed to “fix” with makeup and skincare, I found myself in a new situation I can’t conceal quite so easily. For most of my adolescent years and in my college years as well, I have always been skinny. Thin with ribs showing. Thighs that never rubbed together. Size 25 in jeans.

But with my lifestyle choices the past two years, I found myself at the heaviest I’ve ever been, with stretchmarks in places I had never seen before, clothes I had for years not fitting, constantly deleting photos because I couldn’t believe what I saw nor did I recognize myself, but perhaps the thing I struggled with the most and continue to struggle with are the unwarranted comments made by anyone and everyone.

I get it. I don’t look the same as before and I’m not bashing anyone, but this whole experience of being called various things from my family, friends, and others was new and is still new for me. So new that I have not managed my emotions well and to be quite honest, I cried in the bathroom of my work place last night. I was overwhelmed thinking of how much I’ve had to take in. All the comments about my weight gain, my body, and whatever else had accumulated and finally came out in the form of tears. I forgot I was human and the façade I had put up by making fun of myself had cracked and so did I. It was inevitable and it was time. I’m not invincible. I let the tears and pain run out and I woke up feeling a little bit tougher and little bit wiser.

I’ve learned an incredible lesson here, one I wouldn’t have learned if my body never changed, and for this wisdom and strength, I thank my body and I vow to be more kind to my body, because I haven’t been lately. Hating myself and hating my body is a dangerous path that leads nowhere good and I want to walk proud of what I have now.

While I begin on this journey for a healthier me, I also want to work on a new obsession. I don’t want to be constantly worrying about how I look that I forget how I act and treat others. Even though I have no control of other people’s opinions about me, I would hope that when others think of me, they disregard my physical appearance and think about how I made them feel and if I was a good friend. And it’s easy to say, “I hope they say good things about me,” but there comes a time when hope and faith doesn’t cut it and actions speak louder than words.

Nothing in life worth having ever comes easy and if I want people to think of me as an honest friend, someone who has a lot of integrity, and a woman of her word, then I have to be truthful, I have to mean what I say and say what I mean, and be there when I promise to be there. Material things such as long hair, cute clothes, and whatever else are superficial and attainable. But good friends can’t be bought and I’ve always said that if I want good friends, I myself must be a good friend. Beauty eventually fades but having heart and integrity will always be in style. And that is a trend I’ll be following forever.

Thank you for reading.

This is a post I wrote and posted in a few hours, which is lighting fast compared to my previous posts that take months to write and proofread, so it’s not as strong and powerful as I’d like it to be, but I wanted to share this personal post on my website because being vulnerable is important.  And if you’d like to cringe at my original post, you can find it here.

Also, today is September 9th, which means it is my friend, Andrew H’s birthday! Thank you for loving me no matter what size I am. You are kinder to me than I am to myself. Happy birthday, Andrew. No matter the distance, I value our friendship and I thank you for being my friend. You deserve the best today and forever.

Liquor & Lies

The color of crimson coated the garment you wore in the evening I saw you. False innocence was the scent of your perfume that night before it all fell apart. The aroma was sly, it passed by me swiftly, and I wondered if my senses had swindled me. Doubts swirled around my mind, I teetered on trusting you, but then I remembered that the game of playing the victim is a game where no one wins. I lost my respect for you and you lost your credibility. Everyone has flaws– some are out of our control, but some are made by choice. Your flaw? Lying.

Dishonesty is what I cannot accept and your constant lies tore me away from you. With each lie you spewed, the chances of us ever being friends again became slimmer. Now, the chance of us reuniting is thinner than a spider’s silk. With the web of lies you’ve spun, I found myself just hanging on a thread of hope that maybe you could change and we could salvage what is left of our friendship. But second chances are next to impossible to grasp, like a whisper in the wind dancing in the ever flowing air.

Perhaps you never listened or perhaps, it’s my own fault for never telling you how much I detest liars and I revere honesty above anything else. Am I to blame for assuming that you’d know that lying isn’t fair in any friendship? As the months passed and the seasons changed, I grew tired of being disappointed by your lies, like an autumn leaf loses its vibrancy and life as the cold and bitter winter strikes. You were just another friend who was not meant to be my friend. This cycle of losing friends has made me wonder, “Is it me?” The unpredictable occurrence of losing a friend is an art I’ll never comprehend.

Every human is a living piece of art and I had painted this picture of you with soft trusting colors of lighthearted pastels and rays of yellows and light blues, a budding friendship between us had been planted and I wanted us to bloom. But, I questioned if my vision was hazy and not fully the truth. When I took off my rose-tinted glasses, I saw the latent lies that had been hiding between the lines. You were a magician but the magic wore off and I no longer believed you. The tricks you had up your sleeve had no effect and the game of smoke and mirrors was a game you could no longer play.

And when there is smoke, there is fire. It may have been that I had mistaken your warmth for something gentle and comforting, but you were a coal that was going to burn me to the bone if I had not let you go. No amount of liquor would allow me to accept your lies back into my life. I burn bridges not for the destruction and dismay, but for the light and the new pathway it creates. It becomes easier to see that certain routes with certain people are not journeys to take, but to steer clear of and forget. I’m certainly no saint for we are all sinners in this world but my version of forgiveness is letting you go and I pray for your growth and prosperity.

Perhaps, from the ashes of our friendship, you will rise from the cinders as a phoenix: brilliant, resilient, and revering honesty as much as I do. I’ll watch you fly and hear about the stories of how high you soar but I will not be flying with you. Your journey is one I am no longer aligned with – our paths crossed for a moment in time but this time, you will go east and I north, a fate with a guarantee of never crossing paths again.

The Moment I Knew

 

Before I left to college, I deleted all of our pictures so that both my laptop and I could let go of the megabytes and memories. I wiped it clean to feel some sense of a new start without you. I had more space on my laptop for new memories with new people and the space between you and me became apparent, only to me, selfishly I will admit. We continued to talk but you never knew I had erased most of our memories from the digital space. I was undeserving of your loyalty but deep inside, my soul sought a new perfection. A new piece to the ever-changing puzzle of my persona and I knew I was going to change, for my piece was destined to be too small to fit into your space and yours too big for my future.

The moment I left whatever was left of us, it was a moment long overdue. But, I was a coward to not let you know how I had been feeling. I robbed you of the truth and the respect you deserved and now, there is no proper payback for how I wronged you. You were ghosted and now, evil spirits have arrived. I left a storm for you alone to get past while I abandoned you, leaving you in the past.

Confusion, betrayal, and anger are all mixed in the air and you try to find an answer in a room full of questions. White lies and wrongful whispers from the wind make their way to you and you hear scattered pieces of the truth from everyone but me.

I admit, I deserve the reputation I have because I didn’t give you an ounce of honesty. When it comes to love, there are responsibilities one must commit to and I left you on your own to figure out the mystery of what went wrong. But, you’re right, all I do is run away from my problems. It’s an embarrassing solution and not one I pretend to have never practiced. What I did was nothing new to you but it meant a new start for me.

I disconnected from you because I no longer felt a connection – the lively spark that once ran wild in our laughter and loud nights ran out. Light turned into gloom. I couldn’t find you in the dark. Despite the fact that there was so much life in the nonchalant and naive conversations we had years ago, I couldn’t live in the past anymore to find solace with your current actions and behavior. I closed the book on the story of us with no way of allowing anyone, not you and not I, to read between the lines of blank pages.

Now, we’re on adventures without each other, making history in different books in separate libraries and lives. I lacked the confidence to let you know I was leaving, and in some twisted fashion, I can only say that I have enough confidence, right now, to let you know that I won’t be coming back.

And, I know you feel the same.

The moment I knew, I was 17. That moment never left, even years later.
It wasn’t until I was 22 I was certain we were over.
23, I see that the storm hasn’t settled and the cloud of rain continues to reigns over your head. I’m not asking for forgiveness, I know I don’t deserve it. I just hope the best for you.

Who Are You in The Dark?

Show me the scary parts.

What does it mean to be human? While there are an infinite amount of answers and we could debate for eternity, I have one that will suffice for this post.

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Being human means having a spectrum of thoughts, emotions, and fears. To put it simply, we are complicated. Man, am I cliché and corny. But, regardless of this overstated statement, there is beauty between the twists and bends. As I search for deeper and meaningful friendships, I find myself curious of my friends’ thorns and what made them tough. Nobody is perfect (seriously, someone stop me with these clichés!) and that is what peaks my interest. I enjoy meeting people with a rugged edge and following the stitching of rough patches of their history.

Perhaps, there is a scientific and psychological explanation for this, or perhaps not… But, I tend to be more drawn to those I share some sort of darkness with, as if there’s a magnetic alignment that occurs when they open up and show me their scars. I’ve always instantaneously connected with girls who revealed that they too were sexually abused in their childhood. Though it’s a bond due to a harrowing moment of our history, it’s a bond that can never be denied or doubted.

postigivenegative

There are positives in finding the negatives. Picture this: a vast forest of dead, rotting trees, but the thorns and broken branches have remained sharp, one wrong step and I could bleed. The view of the forest is foggy and the air is frigid. However, I do not desire to be out of the woods so soon. I don’t have a map but I trust where I’m going. To find treasure, there are times where one must endure some trials and tribulations. It takes time, too… Days, weeks, or months to be able to find the core of someone. To bare your soul is to be stripped of your strengths and for all of your sins and scars to be shown. But when we reveal our vices and flaws, we come to find that we are not too different at all, you and I.

In a lighthearted daydream, I may seek to obtain a perfect perception from others, but truly, I do not wish to paint over what had tainted me in the past.

Six or seven years ago, I would have done anything to be able to time travel and reconfigure my history, undoing the actions of he-who-must-not-be-named and redefine my destiny. Now, I thank the universe for what happened to me because I’d rather it be me than my sisters. I cannot bear to think of what would be the answer to, “If not me, then who?” As far as you and I know, time machines don’t exist. So, we have to build the strength to move on and manufacture our own resilience so that we can navigate through life wiser, stronger, and more confidently.

You are never alone in the dark.

Those moments of my past are utterly the darkest I’ve ever lived through but I find that the darker the history –  the brighter the refulgent light shines without resistance and refusal. We all have darkness within us but when we share our darkness with our trusted friends and family, light appears and we find that we aren’t alone in the dark after all. The light that appears after a storm comes along in the form of love, friendship without judgement, and compassion. Individually, humans are strong. But together, the force of friendship is powerful enough that the painful parts of our lives seem to disappear and we move on quicker and better.

None of us can change what has happened to us – we can only control how we react and our own actions. No matter how dark the past was – I hold onto my faith that the future will be iridescent. I look ahead with hope and a touch of happiness, enough to keep me going and move forward without hindrance.

Thank you for reading!

Title and first line of this post are lyrics from Camila Cabello’s song, In The Dark.

Disclaimer: I am not one to romanticize suicide, depression, or mental illness. I do not encourage self-harm in any form. This post is not meant to encourage any dangerous behavior to oneself or to others.

I see my stepdad everywhere.

I find him in people I once trusted,
once believed to be kind and sincere
with no intentions to sin.
I find him in people who wanted to fit in,
and move into the few and small available
crevices of my heart
with no true intentions of staying true to who they were
and the words they told.
I grew tired and my patience thinned,
I whispered to myself for the umpteenth time,
Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 2.17.07 AM

I find him in people who lie.
People who want something out of me they won’t say
with their words, but
their hands and actions change with time and
the room reeks with an out-of-the-blue betrayal.
Dishonesty is a dense fog.
It fills the space between us
with disappointment and weary air,
But I
remain honest to keep my vision and morals clear.
Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 2.35.13 AM

I find him in people who smoke and drink,
drink when there’s nothing to celebrate,
smoke like they want to die in a day.
Cigarettes and alcohol every hour,
addiction has you chained,
corrupted, grotesque, and sour,
I know you’ll never change.
How much more poison can you devour?
A stench stained in his shirt and soul,
the smell of tar and beer,
a putrid odor that signals the devil is near.
Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 2.36.33 AM

Your touch is tainted and toxic,
desired by no human
I only hope and wish
the next person to hold your hand
is the Grim Reaper.

An attempt at poetry – I’m still new to this! Writing poetry is not my forte but on occasion, I am inspired. Thank you for reading! – Lynn

50 Shades of the Good, the Flawed, and The Evil

Take a moment and think about the current state of the world. How does it make you feel? What’s your view of everything going on right now? Regardless of the chaos and cheer, the world will never become what we individually desire it to be, so the task at hand relies on our perspective of it all. Is the world good, bad, just majorly flawed, or pure evil?

In my previous post, I stated that humans are various shades of evil and good.

So I have to ask, what’s your definition of a good person? Is it when the balance of good triumphs the not-so-good characteristics and wrongdoings of an antagonist? But, what makes someone bad but not evil? And… When it comes to pure evil, is it always unforgivable? In the situation of these judgements of others, do we all have a valid and justified pass to make such criticisms? Perhaps so, perhaps not, but we’re all biologically wired to participate in this sense of awareness and perception of our surroundings.

And when it comes to our surroundings, is the grass greener on the other side or where we water it? One of my countless flaws is that I focus and magnify on other people’s flaws so much that it becomes difficult to trust. Another challenge for me is to try to see the good in those who have shown me their not-so-good moments. Of course, it’s as clear as a cloudless day that I’m being hypocritical here because I have numerous flaws but I can’t seem to accept others’ negative characteristics. I’m not looking for perfection, as I’m far from it myself, but I am, however, searching for that balance. The balance of taking in and accepting the mistakes of former friends while I turn in my shameful and unnecessary pride that was a burden and hinderance to forgiving X, Y, and Z.

Giving up on people was a habit of mine these past years. Looking back at my track record, I have a history of simply letting people go, forgetting that we are all humans, because I kept thinking of their flaws, forgoing their great attributes and genuine souls. Judge me for saying this, but… I’m not a fan of second chances. I don’t even believe that I deserve second chances with some people. But, maybe, it’s this belief that I tell myself that I’m not worthy of forgiveness from others that it results in me not being able to forgive others.

In high school, I read somewhere that how you view others is a mirror representation of yourself. Now, there are many people whom I love, adore, respect, admire, and can gush about for hours straight. But, there are a dozen more people whom I can rant about, spew out harsh words, and not make one good remark about them, regardless of our history. And I ask why. Is it the way I’ve unconsciously built myself to be or is it because I haven’t learned to let go of such intensive grudges? The only answer I have right now is… I’m 23. I don’t know it all and I have so much, so much to learn and even more mistakes to make.

Being in my early 20’s, I don’t know every lesson in life to live a peaceful life. If I did, I wouldn’t have broken relationships, lost ties, and painful silences when I’m around X, Y, and Z. A year or two ago, I would have said that I hold onto grudges as if it’s a rare lifetime achievement. But it’s not. It’s draining. Life is better when we all get along and have our spirits dance in a sparkling and harmonious manner. And… when it comes to the judgement of our inner beings and souls, aren’t we all just mixtures of being good, heavily flawed, and a little twisted bit of evil?

AUTHOR’S NOTE: As flawed as I am, I wanted to sprinkle some goodness onto this post by wishing Kim a very Happy Birthday. I’m jittery and anxious as I type this out right now, but, you know what? Life stops for no one! And I have no intentions of following negative thoughts this year in 2018 and so forth. If I wanted to be comfortable and stagnant, I would do nothing. I wouldn’t even publish this post. But if I want to be a better me, I will write what I feel and showcase it to the world. Thank you for reading. X – Lynn

Fitting In

One embarrassing struggle of mine is when I try to fit into a pair of jeans that no longer fit me when they were a perfect fit on me a few seasons ago. There’s the physical aspect of me not being able to breathe in the black high-waisted denim and the visual proof that comes in the form of a muffin top. But, in this superficial situation, I can simply remove my pants, put on my sweats, and call it a day. Even at the mall, I can try on a bunch of ill-fitting jeans just so I can deny my weight gain in front of a mirror and a sales associate just to be proven 20 pounds wrong. But, clothes are just clothes and can always be altered to fit, and if you’re not stubborn like me, you can just get the next size up.

But when it comes to emotional situations of feeling like you don’t fit in – that you don’t belong somewhere or anywhere –  what’s the solution to finding that “perfect fit”? Is there a perfect fit for everyone? And if there is, do we all get to be lucky enough to find that space? As social creatures, humans belong with other humans. No matter how independent anyone is, I think that we all need to connect with others in some quantity and form. And as creatures of habit, creating a routine consisting of people and places seems to be the first step of many to finding that “perfect fit”.

In college, I felt that I fit in Southern California because I had a routine. I knew exactly when my classes started and ended, when my exams were coming up, and when I had work. I knew I had people to talk to, friends to hang out with, and definite and concrete plans for the next week and month. But moving back home, it all seems up in the air. At the moment, I’m grasping for some kind of solidification that I have a space in Sacramento. What are the pieces that I can hold onto to feel a sense of security and belonging? Or should I not commit and attach myself to people and places because I know I’m going to leave?

Going back to Southern California brings a spectrum of emotions: excitement, wonder, hope, but also nervousness. I haven’t been in my friends’ lives for so long I question if I even belong in it anymore. Yes, you can call me insecure because I am. Like I said earlier, humans are creatures of habit, and once you leave their life, they will eventually be able to get over it, and close that gap where you once belonged or fill it with someone or something else. Sometimes, I wonder, since I’ve been gone so long that, perhaps, should I stay gone? Maybe I should stay in Sacramento? These thoughts and questions stem from my insecurity. They’re notions I shouldn’t succumb to due to my lack of validity in other people’s lives.

But what I forget is that I shouldn’t live by the worries of my anxiety, but live to step out of my comfort zone, and do what I need to do, no matter how frightening or friendless my journey may be. Now, I’m not saying I have absolutely no friends, I’m stating we must be brave enough to do things alone, even when it is intimidating and the results are unknown and unpredictable.

When it comes to clothes, comfort is key. But when it comes to life, the key is having the courage to do what is uncomfortable and unfamiliar. And so the famous quote by Neale Donald Walsch goes, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

Why Are You Angry?

Looking back on 2017, I am unimpressed. Majority of it has to do with myself and of course, the tragic events that occurred across the world that was out of my control. Disappointment barely scratches the surface of the reflection I have of last year. Self reflection is like trying to swim in murky water because I really don’t know where I’m headed. Am I going to dive into a dark and cold space of hating myself and not finding any treasures or does the water clear up because I realize that it’s all about positive perspective?

On the first day of 2018, I asked one of my friends, CT, what she was going to be working on this year. She mentioned inner happiness and fueling her creative soul. I noted that I need to work on my anger issues and my temper. Even typing out the word “temper” shocks me because most of my life, I rarely got angry and never described myself as someone with anger issues. But in college, I found myself lashing out at others, unable to handle this alien emotion of “anger”, and never focused on repairing the situation, only putting a band-aid on a wound that needed to be dissected deeply in order to be understood.

Therapy is expensive and until I have the proper answers from professionals, I can only assume and guess what is triggering my anger. I would love to put the blame on my stepdad, but to what extent can I point the finger at him and for how much longer? Not taking responsibility for my mistakes and episodes means I’ll continue to run amok, not caring about repercussions, even though I see the damage. Labelling myself as somewhat of a villain is justified because in my perspective, I know what I’m doing, I know it’s not right, but I do it anyway. I believe that humans are various shades of evil and good, but my behavior has been reckless and red with anger.

I could blame it on stress and explain that my bouts of anger is a form of letting out excessive negative energy. But what makes my stress unique and an excuse to be nasty to others? There is no excuse. Being cruel to myself is one thing, but being cruel to others is another. So this year, I will work on being kinder, less impulsive, and less reactive. My friend, CT, said not everything deserves a reaction and I shouldn’t waste my time and energy on every incident that upsets me. While I believe life is short and I shouldn’t refrain myself from speaking upon issues I feel passionate about… at the same time, life is too short to be spending it angry at the world.

“Anger is a manifestation of a deeper issue… and that, for me, is based on insecurity, self-esteem and loneliness.” – Naomi Campbell

“Speak when you are angry – and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.” – Laurence J. Peter

“For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Let’s Reflect: 2017

Wow.

That’s all I can say, sarcastically and literally. 2017… was not what I expected it to be. And this shall be a raw post – so no massive editing and no overthinking over many weeks and months on a post. I will post this as is. So expect many grammar AND spelling mistakes and a tangent from my usual choice of “fancy” words, hah. 2017 went by so fast and furious but not in the way I wanted it to be. Setting expectations for myself that I didn’t meet – and being the hardest critic I know – I know that no one was more disappointed in myself than, well, myself.

In the Spring, I was enrolled in community college, but out of anxiety, I dropped the class and fell into a depression. I will be honest, as I should be, as we all should be, I wanted to die. I wanted to not be alive. I wanted to see black. I felt so much darkness and it almost consumed me to death. Moving back home was one of the reasons why I wasn’t as happy as I used to be in Southern California, seeing my stepdad constantly, and not finding a full-time job really hurt my self-esteem and made me question my self-worth. I judged myself in such a harsh manner that I mentally could not handle it. I hated myself. If anyone in 2017 said they hated me, trust me, I hate myself enough for the both of us. Maybe three times more.

I honestly did not want to write a reflection post for 2017. Why? Because I felt – at the time – that I had nothing remarkable to comment on. I still don’t have a full-time job, I’m more insecure than ever with my body and self-esteem, and not meeting the goals I set for myself. But after hearing about a certain YouTuber’s video in the Suicide Forest of Japan, this thought ran across my mind: my little sisters saved me from myself, my depression, and they made me want to live.

Moving back home wasn’t glamorous nor was it the funnest thing that ever occured in my life. I felt like the amount of friends I had diminished and I felt incredibly alone. In SoCal, I wasn’t alone. At least, I didn’t feel alone. In Sacramento, feeling alone was an emotion I feared and hated. Why? because it got to me. Because I believed it. Because i wwasn’t strong enough to power through and keep myself positive. But those times I felt alone – 90% of it was when I was alone in my room, in my bed, before I fell asleep, so it was the devilishly perfect recipe for the loneliness to hit and hurt me.

But what made me not want to be dead was the times my little sisters unconciously made me feel alive. Whenever they cracked a joke, I laughed and felt a spark I hadn’t in a while. When they said something cute or drew me something, I felt… appreciated and noticed. That kept me pushing. I wanted to spoil and thank my little sisters and I couldn’t do that if I committed suicide. My little sisters are my role models. They are smarter than me, taller than me, and have better skin than me, hahaha. And to be their big sister, to have that responsibility, it made me feel like I had a purpose. Before I moved home, my little sisters didn’t really get along with each other and they seemed like strangers. I noticed how everyone had dinner at different times and in different spaces of our house. Now, we all eat dinner together and laugh together. My little sister, Lucy, surprisingly sits in the back of my car with my other two little sisters when we go to Target or get boba.

So. So what if I haven’t landed the full-time job with health benefits and a 401k that I’ve been covetting and chasing ever since I graduated college? So what if I’ve gained 20 unhealthy pounds and feel insecure about my body? So what. SO WHAT. It wouldn’t even matter if i had a full-time job if I was depressed and about to kill myself. I’ve been depressed many times before when I was skinny. So what is this random, unprofessional, not put together post all about? 2017 had a lot of down falls, negativity, and not so fun times that I could dwell on. But that is NOT what this blog, website, track of my written word, whatever this is, is about. This is about GROWTH. This is about looking at the POSITIVES. In 2017, I didn’t give into the darkness. In 2017, my mom and I went to the gym together for the first time ever. In 2017, I made new friends. In 2017, I didn’t dip into my savings account at all. In 2017, I chose to live. And I hope I continue to do so in 2018. and 2019. and so on. Because life is worth living. And I have my little sisters to thank for that and so much more.

So to Lucy, Lily, and Lina – I love you. Happy New Year, everyone!

Too Good At Goodbyes

I remember driving home one night, I opted for the radio and not my aux cord, and this song came on. The serene beginning was refreshing from the fast-paced tunes currently trending. It caught my attention and ears without a question. The soft and subtle piano keys playing in the background of the song reminded me of a Spoken Word night and when I listened to the lyrics, I was hit with how much the lines resonated with me. Sam Smith must have read my mind and now I demand some song writing credit. Kidding, of course, but I’m comforted by the notion that we aren’t all perfect and sometimes lose what is good for us, and sometimes we lose what was once right in front of us.

Sam Smith is an English singer and songwriter. Born in May of 1992, this 25-year-old is known for songs such as, “Stay With Me”, “Latch”, and “Omen”. As of right now, he has 4 Grammy’s, one Golden Globe award, and many more. In 2014, he publicly came out as gay and in October, he revealed that he is gender fluid. A talented vocalist to say the least and his lyrics in this particular song will be the topic of this post. So, thank you Sam, for your voice and writing.

Now, let’s break down the lyrics and I will reveal to you as to why this song spoke to me so well.

I’m never gonna let you close to me / Even though you mean the most to me

I have an insecurity of letting people in and allowing them to see how less “perfect” of a person I am. I like people to know that I’m funny or a light-hearted person but I fear that the moment they catch a glimpse of how serious I am and how seriously hurt I was – I fear my true self will be what ruins my bonds with others. When I say I have baggage, I mean that I have an endless amount of demons I carry inside. I am enduring a never-ending battle and I cannot allow you to see how much darkness there is within me. You seeing me for who I truly am… is a risk I am not willing to take. I’m sorry that even when we are face to face… there will always be a locked gate between us.

‘Cause every time I open up, it hurts

I am no stranger to a painful past. Emotional scars are scattered all over my mind and body and I can tell a story for each and every inch of me. Talking about my past is never easy because I have to revisit all the moments I was broken, unearthing what I’m trying to bury, and then relive the past during the present. There is never a day that goes by where I wish I wasn’t someone else. I hate my past more than anything else and frankly, no one hates me more than I hate myself. It hurts because I haven’t healed. It hurts because I am still working on making sense of everything and how I can move on. It hurts because I don’t know how and I don’t have all the answers.

But every time you hurt me, the less that I cry

Pain is something I’ve accepted to be the norm. I have been hurt so many times that I’ve learned to protect myself – perhaps too well – so whenever something terrible happens, I am not shocked. Luckily, I take each disaster as a lesson: to be smarter and stronger. I almost become jaded, learning to wear other people’s disappointment like jewelry I’ve owned for ages, but at what cost? I noticed myself trying to predict future failures, envisioning the evil of people that has not yet appeared, and attempting to protect myself from mishaps that may never happen.

I know you’re thinking I’m heartless / I know you’re thinking I’m cold / I’m just protecting my innocence / I’m just protecting my soul

Stuck up. A bitch. Rude. Angry. These are just a few words that I’ve heard others describe me, more to my face than I’d like to hear, but we cannot choose what others say about us. But, I can choose what I can say about myself. And, right now, I will let you know that I care, maybe too much, about what others say about me. The fact of the matter is that I do care about the truth versus what is not. Am I stuck up? Am I a bitch? Am I always angry? Yes, perhaps not all the time, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t rude and unfriendly at times when I meet strangers or see former friends. Despite being 23, I very much feel that I am 10 and still retain that inner child who I am trying to protect at this older age. Call me repetitive and redundant, but what happened when I was younger makes me reluctant to pursue any personal relationships in fear of history repeating itself. Not everyone is evil, but I’ve met and experienced enough evil to always keep my guard up.

Baby, we don’t stand a chance, it’s sad but it’s true, I’m way too good at goodbyes

I’m a firm believer and spokesperson for not giving people second chances. Actually, no, I am an ambassador of self-destructive habits. In 2017 and years before, I’ve made countless goodbyes, some deserved and some I regret, but I’m not comfortable with being so ‘good at goodbyes’. I pushed people away before we prospered in friendship and love. I carried scissors secretly to cut ties with people I had not yet properly embraced. And if I wasn’t destructive enough, I lived to see the embers of bridges I had burned but couldn’t muster the strength to stride through the ashen layers of memories I scorched. How much longer will I let go of people before I am alone with only myself? This cannot be my anthem forever or for much longer, so I am seeking a new melody now. In 2018, I am saying, “Hello.”