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Archive for April, 2010

O’Death

Such a good eerie promo for the Season Finale.

Can’t wait. Too bad I have my hardest final the next day. Boo.

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I am struck with the realization that I am in a better place. I am … happy.

I had dinner with Coopaloop and we talked about the randomest things like we always do and we shared our secrets. You know those things that you wish you could tell someone and not be ashamed to even have those thoughts and feelings much less say them out loud? Yeah those, we talk about those kinds of secrets. 

At one point, he looks at me point blank and says (something along the lines of), “I’m so tired of this sad shit, be a happy panda already, will you?”

I automatically reply, “I am, you idiot.”

And what do you know, he might have cured me.

It’s not that my life is perfect. There are a lot of things that really, really are far from perfect. But you know what? Life goes on. I can sit here and keep my heart shut and have all these hurts and fears build up until it bursts like a dam, and I would definitely need some serious damage control then. Or I can open it and let it all out slowly and surely. Let it out so there’s space for some light and good and hope.  I can pout and complain and cry about how unfair life is and how I will never have the right opportunities, but then that’s all I would ever do. Pout. Complain. Cry. And in the end, those things can be really exhausting. They just drain all the joy out of everything such that I’m just a bitter pouter. Not cute. So I could accept the way things are, look at the things I can change and the things I can’t…and choose to make a change for the better.

Life will keep moving forward, whether I’m ready or not, whether I want it to or not, and most of all whether I can handle it or not. When my little boat of safety capsized, I struggled. I wanted to stop the current and push my little boat back to where I was before it tipped over. Maybe I could have changed something. Maybe I could have been better.  But that’s just damn near impossible. When I stopped panicking and being afraid I could never fix things, I realized that the best bet was to just go along with the current, keep my head above the water, my feet forward and watch for obstacles and navigate around them.  I mean, before I kenw it, I found several spots of peaceful waters. I found calm again.

Who knew that I’d have fun along the way?

Who knew I’d be smiling and saying, “I am, you idiot.”

I now know that it is possible to get back into the boat and gain control of my life again. But I know this won’t be the last time I fall over. But it’s okay. Cuz…I get it now.

I really do.

Despite the lame river analogy. Ha. It just came out. *shrug*

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There are markers for the passage of time. The seasons change, temperatures drop or rise, one side of your planner gets thinner than the other until it’s almost time to buy a new one, movies that were in the theater are suddenly now on DVD or Blu-ray, friends’ birthdays come and go, and before you know it you’re standing right at the edge of a precipice and staring into the unknown. The kind of unknown that comes with the pages of your planner running out, or the next chapter of a story starts but you gotta flip the page to know what happens next.  The kind of unknown when you find yourself at a crossroads and you can’t know what happens next until you make a choice first.

Yeah, the scary kind.

There is comfort in the everyday. There is safety in routine. There is something very reassuring about knowing what’s next.

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned living in this skin is that life is about change.  Life never really lets you be comfortable for far too long. After all, how else are we to mark the passage of time but in the changes in ourselves?

The only way we grow is to be pushed past our comfort zone. The only way to learn is to reach out towards the unknown. Sometimes we’re ready for it. Sometimes it more or less hits us like a line drive out of nowhere knocking us off our feet. And mind you, line drives have killed people. (Trust me, I watch CSI — and the Drillers’ first base coach, Mike Coolbaugh, is an example of a fatal line drive too.)

But change will come. And we just do our best to roll along. I’ve learned that if I try to hang on to things too hard, I start to turn a blind eye to things that would have helped me deal with the changes. Things that could have helped me grow, be better, be prepared. And you know, that’s usually when things get all screwed up.

If you keep looking backwards all the time, you won’t know what’s coming right at you. And when it’s a line drive headed for you, you might wanna duck.

But despite change, there are also things that feel like…they never changed at all. You go on living everyday and there are these parts of you that just somehow still stay the same–or at least not as changed as it ought to have been by now. Like old wounds that should’ve healed by now — but I guess I keep pickin’ at it, so it never really gets a chance to fully close.

And of course, I’m still me. Still the same girl throughout the years. Kind of spunky, kind of always in trouble because I’m too impatient, kind of scared but annoyed that she does get scared, kind of the jeans-and-t-shirt girl despite efforts at being not, kind of tomboyish, kind of girly, kind of smart but slightly ditzy, kind of a goof but more of a dork, kind of battle-worn from life, and kind of still hopeful.

But then of course, as the years go by, I’ve changed too. Maybe a little more jaded, a little more sad, a little less book smart, a little more street. I’m a little bit wiser and a whole lot older, the smile’s changed from the full-on I-grin-and-the-world-grins-with-me, to a more tentative will-you-smile-back-at-me one. I’m a little bit stronger, tougher, less cool. I have a lot less faith in people, but a little bit more in the world. I’m a lot more careful about being hurt, but a lot more reckless with my life.  And while I’m still hopeful, I don’t quite know what to hope for anymore. 

It’s that great paradox Jacob Dylan sings, “I ain’t changed, but I know I ain’t the same.”

And in the end, time is just passing along, the seasons change, fashions come and go, the clouds in the skies change before our very eyes, and we move forward into that unknown.

“It’s up to you how far you go, if you don’t try you’ll never know.” –> that’s from The Sword in the Stone, and it’s what my dad always told me whenever I got scared to try something or whenever I didn’t know what to do. And in the end, it’s still how I deal with change. It’s up to me how far I go. I can stay and be the same and rot away…or I can move forward with the changes and grow.

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I don’t really know the power of “Sorry.”

I was watching the Season Finale of Celebrity Fit Club (yeah, don’t judge), and Kevin Federline apologizes to Shar Jackson. He finally says sorry. And she proclaims that it meant “the world” to her.

I’m sorry…but No.

I’ve been at both ends of that word.

At one end, it is everything. At the other end, it is absolutely nothing.

When you’re the one who’s sorry, it can mean everything to you. It means that you’ve accepted that you’ve done something wrong. It means that you’re ready to move on, to grow up. It means that you’ve lowered your pride and admitted fault. It means that you’ve reached a certain degree of self-realization, self-acceptance such that you can look at the bigger picture of your life and say I did something that wasn’t good–that hurt someone else.

And you are SORRY. You will change. You will grow up, learn and be a better person.

But when you’re at the other end of sorry…well, it doesn’t really change the fact that you were hurt. It doesn’t turn back time and it sure as hell doesn’t erase all the pain and scars that were left behind.  Sorry just means you get left behind. It means the other guy knows he has done something wrong…and can move on from that. It doesn’t mean that you get to be all better, too.

It’s not fair, almost. When the other person says sorry for hurting you…does it mean you can’t be angry with them anymore? Does it mean you have to forgive? Does it mean you aren’t supposed to feel the pain anymore?

It just doesn’t work that way.

I think the flipside to being told the s-word is forgiveness. I’m sure it’s got the same effect as being the one who says the S-word.  And maybe, right now…I’m just not ready to forgive.

So when you’re sorry, I’m glad you figured it out and feel that way and can move on. But I’m not ready to not be angry because I still hurt. I’m not ready to forgive because I still can’t wrap my head and heart around it.  I do hate feeling this way and I am working towards it.

But for now, unlike Shar, your ‘sorry’ doesn’t mean the world to me.

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Dear Jason,

When I found out about your death, I cried.  I know…it seems kind of weird, right? The last time we saw each other was more than six years ago. But then again, you were one of those people who kind of helped me to become the person I am now. You’re not the kind of person someone just forgets.

You were one of those kids, y’know, with that special light inside. You kind of struggled in life. I saw that, even as kids. When we had those peer counseling sessions, you were tough on the outside, but definitely one of the sweetest guys I’ve ever met. I remember a few times when you used to help me get over what was bugging me. You always gave and you never really expected much in return.

You once told me, “Just be brave,” like it was the easiest thing in the world. I was crying after a Peer Counseling session about how hard it was to transition from the Philippines to the U.S., how everyone was so mean.  You were balancing on your skateboard, absent-mindedly doing tricks, while I sat on the curb. You kind of always had your way of seeing things that was kind of simple, but saw right to the heart of the matter. And you never felt sorry for me or made me feel like I should be someone I wasn’t. I will always appreciate that.

In fact, I kind of always had a crush on you because of that. And the fact that you were half-Filipino.

I don’t know what had happened in your life in the last few years, but I do know you were still fighting the good fight. Looking for love. Trying to shine through the hardships.

It makes me so sad to find out that your light has gone out. The world is short one amazing, talented and kind person.

Rest in Peace, Jase.

Jason Joiner, 27, was gunned down at 12:35 a.m. Sunday March 28, 2010. He was shot while in his car at an interesection in Stockton, CA. The Police has declared that he was not targeted specifically. Several other cars on the street were also hit by gunfire.

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