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,
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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.
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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.
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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.”

 

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

My Post College Experience: A Series

Hi everyone! I’ve been wanting to share my post college experience with you all since it has been a year since I graduated and moved back home. It’s a three part series with an extra video about body image and weight gain. Grab a snack, or cook dinner, and enjoy these videos! I hope you enjoy them and let me know what you think. Let’s start a conversation about this! Thanks for checking in. Let’s hang out again soon.

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.

What’s In My Bag?

This video is askew from the content I post on here (which can be seen with my loudness and immaturity) but you know what? Women are multidimensional! I believe that a woman can be loud yet sensitive, immature at times while still maturing into adulthood, and be able to talk about depression and superficial items all at the same damn time. Women can do it all!

Life is too short to be serious all time so here is this fun video! I hope you enjoy and most importantly, I hope you laugh.

Also, I’d like to give a special mention to Tina B.! She is a frequent reader and I always appreciate her feedback and support. Happy birthday, Tina! Enjoy today. X