Regret, Regrowth, and a Promise

Regrets

As 2019 budded into Spring, I reflected and realized how some of the toxic roots that I unknowingly planted in 2017 had sprouted as poisonous plants in the garden of my mind. Now, I’ve decided to weed those habits and thoughts out of my head before the heat of the summer sun warms up all the wrong and twisted vines.

One specific incident with one specific person has taught me one incredibly vivid lesson: maybe, you didn’t hurt me as much as I had thought back then, and that maybe, I was clouded by my selfishness and my need of you to be there for me–that what I found to be more virtuous and vital is that no friend ever hurts you willingly.

I did not think to look at your intentions because I was too focused on the indentations on my ego. My ego said, “You should have been there for me.” But what I didn’t realize yet was that I was in a fog and couldn’t see your light, so I thought you weren’t coming to find me and you did not care. What I realize now, is that fog is thick, and if I had reached harder to find your intentions, I would have found your light had I waited just the right amount of time.

But… I wasn’t patient. My ego said, “You should have been there for me.” I was selfish and kept count of the times I had been there for you, but a true friend does not keep count of the good they do for their friends. I’ve always denied the existence of karma and here I was, holding what I’ve done for others against them. I wasn’t ready to admit that I had expectations of friends returning the favor immediately and accordingly to my desires.

Now, my heart says, “I miss you.”

My mind admits, “I’m embarrassed and I regret losing you.”

I’ve learned a lot from my friendships. But, I’ve learned the most when those friendships cease to exist. To the person this post is about, I wish I had the courage to tell you this but I’m not ready…yet. Until then, I wrote this for you. Hope you’re well.


Regrowth

I watered areas of my mind I had let dry up. I embraced the warmth and love of my closest friends. I planted small seeds of hope though I wasn’t sure what would bloom, or if anything would sprout. I plucked petals of daisies, wondering, “Will they forgive me? Will they not?”

Days turn into months.

I revisited the garden of my mind, pleasantly surprised at what I planted had now bloomed. Bushes I had left in a mess became fuller and greener, for I had changed my perspective of what had happened and who you were into a brighter and softer picture.

Our memories are dependent on our moods. On my bad days, I resented you. On my better days, I missed you. These days, I have more good days than not. Even on the days I’m not feeling my best, I now reminisce on our best days as best friends.

It took some time and some trimming but I’m proud of where I am now mentally and emotionally.


A Promise

Some say they hate receiving flowers as gifts because flowers die. But some things don’t last forever to teach us the lesson of valuing what we have now. We must appreciate the sweet scent of life’s flora while we can. Worrying about tomorrow steals the precious moment of the present.

Losing you made me realize that I cannot keep pushing people away when I feel vulnerable or hurt. Losing you made me realize I have to change the way I react to situations that are uncomfortable and at times, painful. Now, I promise to be less reactive and more patient. I promise to hold onto the ones I love a little harder and give second chances to those deserving of it, a notion I never really believed in or thought I’d say or type.

In life, all we have are the memories we share with each other. How we make others feel, the impact people have on us, and the laughter we share–that is what life is about.

Thank you for reading.

Starving My Ego

This was one afternoon I’ll never forget. Two people, one room, and I wondered if anyone heard the volume of my emotions through the walls. When our words were exchanged in your small room, they were like small sparks that ricocheted from the papers and wood of your desk. All in a matter of a minute, the room felt smaller and hot, but the space between us grew. I was taken back by what you said but I should have been more taken back by how I acted. Without revealing too much about who and where, I learned a lesson about my ego and how being where I am right now is the best time to make mistakes, not recklessly, but in a manner where I keenly learn and don’t repeat those mistakes again.

I never considered myself an egotistical person until I reflected on how I reacted when someone gave me feedback I did not take well. I always thought of an egotistical person as one who’s arrogant, someone with a ravenous appetite to be full of oneself, someone who can never admit to their wrongs… the list can go on. But I suppose we know only what we feel and think, but not always how others feel and think about us.

Humans are conditioned to be comfortable, or at least, we get used to events that occur on a predictable routine, like people we see on a daily basis, lifting the same dumbbell at a certain weight, or in my instance, being fed compliments and consistently given plates of acknowledgement and appreciation. I’ve dined on desserts getting to know the sweet taste of being valued and needed, but we all know too many sweets can make one sick. After a buffet of nothing but positivity and praise, when I was served a dish I forgot existed, the gluttonous animal in me was repulsed by the flavors and aftertaste. I caught a swift glimpse, of the monster that I was, in the always sparkling silver plate, but the hand that fed me was mine, for it was my own ego I had tasted.

I had let all the delicious and satisfying treats of adoration fill my head, inflate my ego, and I was left wondering why my head hurt when you told me I had to work on myself. Perhaps I was not as diligent as I thought I was. Perhaps it was tunnel vision, a food-induced coma of compliments and smiles, the excitement of knowing what I could do with my skills, or a mix of all three. There certainly can be more reasons as to why I felt so powerful yet fragile but it does not matter why my nasty ego came out. What matters now is that I no longer feed my ego in order to the maintain the beast of arrogance and pride inside of me.

You see, an ego must always be fed. An ego is supreme yet shatterable because it makes me feel grand, better than all, like a king who can conquer all the lands and yet, it can be ruined when the slightest risk not being liked looms and the terror settles in when I realize that having such an ego is like living in a glass house. When the day is alive, the refulgent light floods the house with a warmth I’ll never stop yearning for and the sunlight soaks my skin with happiness. But when the night comes, darkness has no mercy and I wonder if I’m safe at all. My ego cries for the day to return because in the dark my insecurity reeks. Am I confident or am I dependent on others praising me?

Is it ever possible to live without an ego? How do we live without seeing ourselves in our actions and who we allow to be in our lives? Do we keep our ego at a healthy size? My thought is that the ego can be maintained and set at a nondistracting distance. Sizable enough to keep us aware of who we are and what we’d like to be, but not too large where we hurt others and ourselves with the blind assumption that we are who we are not.

At 24, I am still figuring out to swim with the waves of my ego. For the most part, it comes in soft waves of just confidently and politely kissing the sand with the right amount of sanity to keep the peace of the waters. But that one afternoon, that was a storm because my ego erupted from the bottom of the ocean and sought to demolish whoever dared to humble me. It wasn’t pretty, but it was necessary. Growth isn’t easy nor is it comfortable, but it’s a beautiful sight to see when the seas have calmed and the air is safe.

Thank you for reading!

Let’s Reflect: 2018

As I type this, I realize that 2019 is coming soon, yet it feels like it was just January. Time flew by and as the new year creeps up, reflection and review is a must. I did 2017’s reflection in a scurry so I’ve decided I will devote more time and care for this year’s reflection.

This January, I finally returned to Vietnam and the moment I saw my family members after years of not seeing them, many I did not remember embarrassingly enough, I instantly regretted that I had not visited before when I had the chance(S!!!) to. Ugh, another disappointment to add to my never-ending list of regrets, but it’s a lesson that has inspired me to visit my family more often. I told my mom I want to visit Vietnam every year and my mom laughed! I guess the plane ride is one that she needs a few years break from, haha. One of the reasons I still appreciate my trip to Vietnam is that I realize how lucky, privileged, and dare I say it- powerful I am. I’m in a position that so many across the seas would they were in and I can do so much that many cannot. I cherish my home, MY TOILET AND SHOWER, my clothes, my family, my friends, food, driving NOT the newest model but having a car at all, and last but not least, the job that I have right now.

When I came back to America, all the problems that I once thought I was so troubled by- disappeared. People who irritated me became people who no longer bothered me. Crazy as it sounds, I feel like my patience has grown so much. Things could be worse and yet they aren’t because 1) they aren’t 2) my positive perspective keeps me grateful 3) see 1.

As I think about what happened after January, I go, “Oh,” because something shitty and absolutely terrible happened to me and it was 10,000% my fault. However, it has taught me so much, especially in terms of gratitude. I thought I was grateful before when I had returned from Vietnam, no, what happened to me in the summer taught me an exponential level of gratitude. Like I said earlier, things could be worse and thankfully, I bounced back from that situation and even if time travel was possible, I wouldn’t change what had happened to me. It is what it is and it was what it was – the past is in the past and to be stuck in the past is to be stuck in an attitude that doesn’t allow me to grow, and obviously, if I can’t be 5’8″ then let me grow mentally and emotionally more mature!!!

Fall came and I turned 24, and I forgot what I even did for my birthday. I still think I’m 21 or 22. Oh yes, I remember I had just quit my job and was already interviewing for the job that I have now. Now, I recall an incident that occurred before my birthday and in the past, I practiced a toxic habit of cutting off others before they had a chance to explain themselves and I wouldn’t give them the time of day. I made hasty decisions that have resulted in not-so-good long term results. So, I knew this wasn’t a habit to keep nor was it an action to be repeated once more. I unlearned something that had been a safety net for me and it’s been one of the best mistakes that I never made. It’s honestly one of the biggest strides of my life and it made me realize that if I, someone who can be hardheaded and prideful, could change my negative ways, then perhaps, the people I had cut off too soon can change as well (and maybe they already have).

This year, I became incredibly insecure of my body and physical looks. Without getting too into my woes of my appearance (because you can read it here), I knew I had to do something if I wasn’t comfortable with what I saw in the mirror. So, I did. I lost weight, cut down the alcohol, changed my diet, and changed my workouts. This is not a fitness blog so I’ll end this topic here. The lessons to be learned here is that HEALTH IS WEALTH and if I truly want something, then I cannot sulk and wish that a genie will make my desires come true, that I have to put action to my thoughts, and CONSISTENCY IS KEY!!!

Overall, this year was 100% better than 2017, despite the fact that I did not move back to Southern California. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and what is meant to be, will be. I definitely am more happier this year and it comes not from the height of my highest and greatest moments, but from how I picked myself up from my lowest of lows. With that said, I feel hopeful about 2019 because of the painful lessons I have learned this year – I feel more confident and ready to tackle on the new year!!

Happy New Year and thank YOU for reading!! XO

 

The Beauty in Betrayal

In 2018, I travelled to Vietnam and came back with a new-found perspective and patience, so when I let go of someone I once considered a genuine friend, instead of being harsh and bitter, I was and am still thankful for the way we disconnected. It was never truly a loss for it brought me one step closer to knowing who my true friends are and I don’t mind having one less friend. It makes my circle smaller, yes, that is true. But my circle of friends becomes richer and I often feel spoiled with the luxury of loyalty I have from my real friends.

“Show me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.” — Vladimir Lenin

We wipe away the dust from the mirror to see the clearer reflection of who we are–you showed me who you are–and that in turn, showed me who I am. I am someone who won’t give up on a friendship even if I had a few relationships that went south. I know that I value friendship greatly and I will take what I’ve learned from you and put that energy in the current and beautiful friendships I have now.

You not showing loyalty reminds me that I have to give others what I would want in return–even if I don’t get back. Integrity is tattooed on the back of my spine and that’s where you stabbed me with your lies. Maybe I let you in thinking you would be different and maybe my ego made me think I would be different enough for you to not lie but dishonesty discriminates no one. Fibbers have no favorites to be honest to and now your name leaves a foul taste in my mouth but alas, not all lessons are sweet and easy to swallow. But, in an intriguing manner, I’m grateful for the poison I’ve tasted from your lies because it was an experience I was meant to encounter, perhaps once or twice more again in this life.

Life is fugacious and so was our friendship but I thank you for being the reminder that people are never black-and-white but mixtures of good, wrong, and bad. In 2017, I would have given this situation too much flame and burned myself in the process, but 2018 has taught me there is beauty in the ugly, even if the ugly is full of betrayal, lies, and deception. 2018 has also taught me that forgiveness isn’t just a word, but a feeling that helps us move on in life.

“When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.”  — Bernard Meltzer

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” — Mark Twain

I forgave you when I realized how much you taught me. Thank YOU and thank you for reading!

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.

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!

Are You Comfortable?

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During my first year of college, I disconnected myself from a toxic relationship and to say it was facile and fast would be a lie. I contemplated my decision and often went back and forth – I almost did not go through with my decision – but thankfully, I did. Granted, it was not a graceful gesture nor was I pleasant and polite in the process. But, when is it ever a cozy experience abandoning an area we deem comfortable?

Of course – I must digress – there are specific situations where being comfortable is more than ideal, such as being comfortable with one’s body and looks. I apologize for the tangent, but being comfortable with my physical appearance is an item I still struggle with and often find myself far less than comfortable with how I look. So, in this instance, being comfortable is the goal.

But, when does the state of comfort become a hinderance? In situations where comfort leads to being lethargic, it’s a limitation we might not often notice. Comfort can be damaging and preventing us from achieving more.

I thought about this while driving and even more dangerously, I wrote down the lines while driving. In stagnant and nearing dead end relationships, comfort is like sleeping while being entangled by silk sheets, surrounded by lush softness and satisfaction. But, when we wake up from the hazy dream, we realize there are no silk sheets but rather a snake strangling us in bed. Stiff with no positive movement is how I would describe past friendships I have let go for the betterment of all involved.

As I typed this, I asked myself the question, “Are you comfortable?”

At first, I answered, “Yes.” Then, I changed my mind and said, “No.” I suppose for certain aspects of my life, I am quite comfortable and in other areas, I am not comfortable at all. However, that answer is terribly vague and does no justice for my goal of being vulnerable. Therefore, that answer is unacceptable. To provide a proper answer, I will divulge and divide my thoughts into categories.

❖ Friendships ❖

I am both comfortable and uncomfortable. I would say that I am content with the quality friends I have in my life but I will frankly admit I do miss my old friends and wish they could forgive me. But to accept what is done, I often remind myself that I dug my own grave and now have to tend the flowers at the site of what once was a beautiful friendship. On the other side of the spectrum, making new friends is exciting and scary at the same time. Being vulnerable, having to build trust, sharing laughter and secrets, all these acts slowly build a bond and while it’s been fun, I still have my worries and self-destructive habits to work on. Being vulnerable is uncomfortable but I truly believe that with risk comes reward.

“Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.” – Khalil Gibran

“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” – Woodrow T. Wilson

❖ Forgiveness ❖

On the topic of forgiveness, it’s an area I have not found my way around and often wish I had the light my friends have to be able to get through this unknown territory. I remember one night, years ago, I submitted a Reddit post saying that I’ll eventually forgive my stepdad but now, I am not so sure. The concept of forgiving my stepdad seemed plausible when I was over 400 miles away from him, but now that I’m less than 40 feet away from him, the possibility of forgiveness seems impossible. But the concept of forgiveness seems one sided if I wish that my former friends could forgive me but I can’t seem to forgive others. It’s selfish and not what I want to be in this harsh world. Perhaps, I can forgive others in my own manner: slowly, but surely.

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” – Mark Twain

“Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were.” – Cherie Carter-Scott

“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” – Katherine Ponder

“A life lived without forgiveness is a life lived in the past.”
— Asa Don Brown