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

The Act of Ossification

ossification

It’s officially been one year since I’ve moved back home. Before this anniversary, there have been more than several moments where I am struck with an uncomfortable thought. It’s the realization of how I haven’t softened and if anything, I’ve remained rigid and restricted. I’ve reflected on the past several months about the woman I aspire to be – the person I am working myself to become – just to realize I am nowhere close.

To put it simply, I feel that I am regressing. Unknowingly, the cold suit of armor I had not asked to wear has been reapplied on me. I’ve been on guard, two fold, and though I feel protected with my weapons, I cannot deny the feeling of loneliness.

I must state this – I do not fear being alone and independent. I fear only when the capacity to handle the feeling of being lonely reaches its limit and I am left with anger, tears, regret, and fear.

Fear of the darkness consuming me and the forbidden thoughts appear. Fear of allowing those menacing thoughts to be my reality.

I forget I am human and not a steel mechanical robot. Perhaps, in another life, I will be less fearful and more forgiving.

If there was a genie to grant me one wish, I would wish to be softer. I wish I could let people in and trust them, too. I wish I would stop running away from potential friends and lovers. Being vulnerable brings about numerous fears and the stakes are high. Being vulnerable continues to be the task at hand – a task I find myself attempting but failing.

But, being vulnerable is the epitome of the human experience. Being vulnerable means taking chances, making mistakes, but also making memories and creating relationships that fill our souls. I constantly sway on this pendulum of going back and forth with vulnerability. Curious, I’ll take one step out, and with the flashbacks of my past of being hurt and wronged, I take that same step back.

In the realm of wizardry and wonder, I could become fearless and take every risk without fear with simply a spell and the flick of a wand.

However, this is the real world, and in the real world, there are no mystical genies. There is no potion I can ingest to eradicate all the walls I’ve built. But, however, perhaps the magic of it all is that I don’t need a genie, spells, or any type of sorcery. No witchcraft is needed and I also don’t need to wait for my next life to be who I wish to be. I often forget that we, as individuals, have the power to do so much without the help of anyone or anything. I may have a cold suit of armor on but it is not my skin, it’s merely a shield and a removable one at that.

Thank you for reading.

* I also wanted to wish my dear friend, Andrew Scott H., a happy birthday. Thank you for allowing me to be in your life and thank you for staying in my life. You’ve seen me at my most embarrassingly vulnerable moments and have never loved me less. Being vulnerable with you is easy and never a regret. Happy birthday, my old friend.

Dear Dad(s),


I often wonder when we would meet, if ever.

I wish we never ever met.

I hate you for not being there for me all these days.
I hate you for being there in all the wrong ways.

I wish you never left. I wish you stayed. I’ll admit that I see you as the knight who never was the hero — the person who could have saved me from the dragon — but I suppose you were another battle I had to fight. This fairytale I write of you being the alternative ending to my distorted reality — I hold onto this false hope — but perhaps you are a dragon, too. Your missing presence adds to my story and my strength. I made cards for a father who would never hold and cherish the papers. I write letters that will never be seen or held, as I to you. 
I wish you left me alone. You stayed far too long. You are overdue company — a guest who’s stayed unrightfully for ages in my abode. You were a false knight in shining armor. You concealed your malicious scales — silver I confused for your suit of armor — and revealed yourself to be a grotesque dragon. A witch casted a spell which turned you sadistic and now I’m another girl who’s a proven statistic. I wish there were potions for us both to be cured — me of your toxic touch, and you of your morbid mind.

Because of you, I live life questioning if I’ll ever find you. If I could, I’d ask you how you had the audacity to leave a woman you loved and a child you brought into this world. My childhood curiosity remains an enigma to this moment and time. The answer may sting and my eyes might swell but I’ve built myself to be a warrior, not a worrier.
Because of you, I live life in fear because I know there are men like you. Even if I could, I wouldn’t ask you how you had the audacity to rob a child of her innocence and destroy her childhood. There are no justifiable reasons to excuse your abominable behavior. You stained my soul when you tarnished my body with your corrupt touch.

I wish you taught me how to ride a bike — all my friends learned from their fathers. Maybe you taught my half-siblings in Canada. 
I wish you never taught me to triple check that my bedroom door is locked at night. Maybe I’ll keep this habit forever.

I wish you were here to show me all the good there is in this world.
I wish you had never shown me what sins exist in this world.

To you both: Some lessons in life are learned in the most undesirable ways. I value learning and wisdom, so in this twisted manner, I have to thank you two. Thank you for teaching me the disappointing lesson that we should never have expectations for anyone, not even our own parents. I do not need a father or a father figure in my life. Thank you for not being there and thank you for not doing what was right, because I’ve learned to be tenacious and I doubled my ferocity to be what you could not.

Sincerely Not Your Daughter,
Lynn Ly

Author’s Note: This post is an old Tumblr post I’ve revamped. Unfortunately, I was unable to find the original post. It could possibly be deleted or is lost in my archives. The italicized lines are for my biological father and non-italicized are for my stepfather. This is a personal post for me but I felt it was necessary to be vulnerable and honest with my emotions and thoughts. I hope you enjoy and as always, thank you for reading.

dear