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Monthly Archives: February 2013

I was talking about one of our mutual friends, and she stops me in the middle of my sentence.

“You really love everybody.”

And I’m winded, I don’t know why she has said this so randomly, and I ask her what she means.

And she says, “The way you were just talking about her. There was a word you said, I don’t remember which, but it’s like you just loved her so intensely for a millisecond and then you kept moving on. It’s like you live in a world of loving people. You have really strong emotions for everything. It’s like you hide it.”

And I started to cry. Because it’s true. Because I live in a world of relationship anniversaries and best friend birthdays. I live in a world where that freeway exit reminds me of your house, where my aqua-colored flats remind me of that one time you wore aqua-colored jeans. Every time I buy a certain fruit, I remember it’s your favorite fruit and I buy it in honor of your wonderful existence in this world. When I see a painting of Salvador Dali, the first thing I think of is how much you love Salvador Dali, and how I would love to buy this painting for you. In that moment, I don’t even remember that I love Salvador Dali too, because I love him with you. It’s all without thinking, it’s all without conscience. It’s just the way I lead my life. I live a life of emotional associations with all of whom I’ve met. I live in a world where the next holiday is the next gift for the twins I babysit, because it gives me an excuse to shower them with presents. I remember you when you don’t. I live in a world where I stumble upon everybody’s happiness. Every time I pass by a store that my mom adores, I think of how much she’d love the proximity of the mall from my studio, whereas the mall is 2 hours from her home. I don’t live in a world of me. I live in a world of you.

And the world always reminds me of you.

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3 shootings in Santa Cruz within the past 2 months. A rape on campus. This is all so unfathomable to me now. How has violence perpetuated to this state? How is there so much pent up anger that it is now suddenly being released with no filter?

It’s just so saddening to me that everyone who resides there is now in a state of alarm, even I am shocked and walk the streets a little bit more carefully, not only is the idea of violence is horrifying, it also spreads a message to the possible upcoming instigators of violence. Violence is ambiguous. Violence perpetuates violence. Violence awakens anger. And that’s what scares me the most – that this isn’t the end of it, that this is just the beginning of a domino effect, that this is just the space between the last and the next violent attack.

I hate that I live in a world where I walk in the middle of the street from my studio to my car so that I know far-ahead of time if anybody is going to approach me, opposed to walking on the sidewalk close to the fences and doors where anybody could walk out at any second and catch me off-guard. That is my logic. I hate that if I have to wonder if the person approaching me from the opposite end of the sidewalk is a good person. Because the truth of the matter is, he is. It just depends whether he’ll show an act of kindness while we pass, but I don’t take that chance because I switch to the other sidewalk. I hate that I am in a state of fear when the sun starts to set. And I know, and I laugh about this sometimes with my friends, which is that I have no reason to be scared. It’s all in my head, it’s all my anxiety forming unlikely possible outcomes. But then there are events like this that remind me of the very reason that this paranoia infiltrates my mind.

Why do I live in a world where my basic needs, such as security and safety, are not met? I already know my fight-or-flight response is freeze. Why is it that when i first started at UCSC, I heard recommendations of a free self-defense class for women? Why is it that I have a likelier chance of encountering a dangerous situation on the streets than in a dark forest? I hate that I have to clench my purse. I hate that I even have to worry about my safety, that I live in this so-called world where so many devastating events occur, one after the other. I can’t deal with pain, but I do, and I take the world’s pain into my little, little heart.

The other day I was driving to work from San Jose to Los Gatos and traffic formed on the 17. It was 11am, so it was an odd hour for there to be traffic. Minutes later, I realized I was going to slowly pass a traffic accident. As I passed the white SUV, I noticed the door was completely detached from its hinges, and the driver was already sent to the hospital.

In that moment, I cried. I cried because everybody on this road with me is worried about getting somewhere on the time, just nosy enough to slow down to see the accident, but fired up enough to only care about their own needs. In that moment, how much has changed? The scales have been tipped. How many lives are affected by this accident? How many loved ones will weep because this driver’s life is at sake? The fact of the matter is when certain events like these occur, it is not only the victim that is traumatized, but also everyone interconnected to it all. We are all connected to the pain, sympathizing with the pain.

May we all look up from here. May we all gently walk this Earth. May we all heal, love, prosper, hope, and prevail.

We need to know there is a light. We need to know that this violence will no longer continue. We don’t need to address the problem, because the problem is already so illuminated for us. We need to meet the perpetrators with love. These acts of violence symbolize a lack of being heard, a lack of understanding on both ends. Instead of viewing at the chain of events as what has happened to this world, we should now look towards the future and see what we can change for a better world. Spread the message of peace, for that is the town needs, that is what the world needs.

I just…quit my job. I just…I just did it. It was a disaster, I was spewing tears but I had to do it. I had to quit because I needed time for myself. Ever since I’d been 15, I had been working my whole life. I don’t even remember taking a break when I was younger. If I wasn’t working 40 hours, I was taking summer school. I started my new job just a week after I graduated, and it would have been sooner if I hadn’t gone to Boston and Providence for 5 days. I just had to quit. I told her that I keep myself tied to this job and I know it. There are so many opportunities I could take, but I allow myself to commit to my job. I told her how I wanted time for creativity, for traveling, for anything and everything. I’m beginning to realize why people drop out of school and quit their jobs, because having a schedule and having planned commitments takes up space in the brain. It’s what you think of first. On the contrary, allowing space for nothing means giving space to everything.

I remember the other nanny constantly telling me how she’s in shock that I work 40, if not over 40, hours a week. And I always told her it was nothing, you know, because everybody works 40 hours, and when I’m off work, I go home to my quiet studio. She told me how it’s crazy that I just jumped into a new job whereas most people visit home for a few months and take a breath of fresh air from college before working. I guess I never thought about these things. I’ve just been used to working all my life.

And I realized I just have to take care of myself. And I realized I had to do it the way I did it even if I ended up crying as much as I did. I told her that I was originally going to write her a letter and she asked me why I didn’t do that. I told her it’s because writing a letter is courageous, however, it’s within my comfort zone. I’ve written letters to people my whole life. Whether it was to reconcile with a friend, whether it was to emphasize how much I love a friend, or whether it was even to read out loud what I had written in the letter because I knew I would stumble and trip over my speech if I tried to replay the words from memory (I’m a better writer than speaker, I have yet to see this change). I had to be brave. I had to just say what was on my mind. She called me brave, although I think the whole conversation went horrible compared to how I pictured it in my head. And she and the other nanny were handing me tissues as I was bawling, but it’s just because I care about the family so much and I’ve never just…done something before me. Okay, there have been a few minor exceptions but that was out of complete madness instead of rational thinking. It was the first time I took a huge step and just did something for myself.

I could feel how shut off she was and she asked me why I wasn’t okay with leaving the conversation as is, and I told her it’s because I wanted to reach a medium together. She told me it’s not about what she thinks, but what I want. I understood this, but I still repeated that I wanted to leave on a better note. She asked me what she wanted from me, and I said I didn’t know, but I could feel that our energies didn’t match. And it wasn’t about me matching towards her energy, or her energy matching towards mine, but reaching a platform together that we both love. I told her it’s not that I care about what she thinks, and it’s not that I’m a doormat or pushover, it’s that I strive for an optimal agreement on both sides. It’s not about you or me, it’s all about we. This has something I’ve learned from 2012, because I used to be a fiercely independent person who wouldn’t allow help from anyone.

And eventually, through more tears, we came to an agreement. She apologized for not opening up and then she thanked me for pushing her, and creating this bridge between us, because originally it was just about what we both wanted but working on it separately. She then told me, “Come here.” and she hugged me and I saw all my tear drops stain her shirt. And she just kept hugging me again until I felt at ease.

The most powerful lesson I’ve learned throughout this interaction is that although communication is key, it is important to express what you are honestly feeling.

She told me that she’s never had someone approach her like this before, someone who cares so much about meeting halfway so that both parties win, and I had really taken that as a compliment. 2013 has been strange, especially this February. Whereas last year was focused on experiencing emotions, this year it’s about communication and honesty. I’ve had this across so many relationships as of late, and it’s astounding how people seem to be riding the same waves.

But I did it. I did it. I am still in so much disbelief. I don’t even know how I just quit. It seems unreal as I look back, but now I will have all the time in the world. I’ll be finishing up this and next week and that’s….that. I don’t..even believe this is happening.

I want to now go home and visit my family. I want to write in Chinese. I want to sleep in..forever. I want to get so belligerently drunk that I black out and not have to worry about being sober for work the next morning. I want to go play in the snow. I want to have all the time in the world that doing laundry or cleaning my studio isn’t a hassle. I want to this. I want to that. Everybody tells me I grow up too fast and it’s true. I just want to stay young forever. I don’t want to have responsibilities.

I want to live. And so I shall. This is the beginning of something new :) fresh air. space. calamity.

Image

pink sweater: crossroads trading co. (forever 21) – $9
floral navy mini skirt: demasqe – $10
black boots: ross – $17
over the knee tan socks: forever 21 – $3

(nov 2012)

I have always loved violently and barbarically
I have always loved in the moment, but it was a bittersweet feeling
I knew that even if I could never find love, I could at least believe in it
There is a reason that I don’t pursue any sort of emotional intimacy with another
But.. I’d to think somewhere else is someone who does and will want to figure it out and also leave it to the hodgepodge that it is
So I keep pushing, because in such an enormous universe, there has to be someone
And so I believe

an entry i wrote during class before i decided to stop going to class:

“I am thinking about love, about possibilities, and missed opportunities. I am thinking of my best friend, my brother, my friends, strangers, even. How many chances do we take each day? Do they even affect our life in the grander scheme? Are we but an amalgamation of our experiences or are we much more? Do we define ourselves or are we identified by the lives we live? By the people meet, the places we go, the places we leave, the books we read, and the people we love? Are we clouded by love or does it provide a reality we’ve never known of? Why are elevator rides so quiet? Why would we rather run away than pursue? Is madness an uncontrollable flood or drops falling from a leaky sink? Are we crazy humans confined in such a mundane society? Do we love, and if so, how much? Why don’t people love more? Why are we afraid to reach out and give? Why do we have expectations? Why do we let people destroy us? Does time really heal pain or do we forget about it?”