Sunday, March 24, 2013

On the Count of Four

I'm in a sort of state of shock.

But that's no matter.

It's the fact. I'm in a sort of state of shock right now and I can't seem to be able to explain why. Let's just say that the past 72 hours have been emotionally straining, culminating in a phone call this afternoon. Let's go with that.

I'm in a sort of state of shock in which I can't figure out where I'm supposed to go.

I've been noticing something lately about my friends. They've all been moving up in their lives, getting married, engaged, graduating college, getting new jobs, moving to new cities, having children, being promoted. And for some strange reason, I seem to be stuck.

There are a few things I'm aiming for in my life right now.

First, is to make it through school without failing or getting so stressed I drop out.

Second, is to get promoted at work so I feel like my true talents are being put to use.

Third is to fall in love.

And fourth is to start feeling like I actually have a glimpse of a future.

I feel so stuck, because there are things, something, that seem to be holding me back. I'm watching all these people move on with their lives, and I can't do a damn thing about it. It's truly frustrating me.

On the first count, I'm doing somewhat successful. I just want to graduate. Unfortunately, I've a few things in my way right now, such as a math class I  can't pass, and a whole other year in my future. All my friends save four or five are graduating in a mere 55 days. No such luck for me.

On the second count, I have reasons that are holding me back. Things that are really out of my control but I'm trying to take charge and push through. But despite my efforts, I feel as if my screams are becoming all for naught.

Third is a thing I've been trying. Seriously trying. And every time I think I might find a glimmer of light, something unfortunate happens. It happened again only recently. And it frustrates me because I feel as if I can't catch a break. That all of my friends are happy in their significant relationships, and I'm a long string of bad decisions and "in another life"'s. And as sad as it sound, for me this directly correlates to the fourth.

I keep seeing my friends move on into their future. Within a short period of time, I took giant leaps and experienced things that no one at my age should be forced to experience on their own. As a result, I feel as if I should at least be 5 years older than I actually am. I feel as if I'm 10 years older than I am. I feel as if I should have my future out because I'm a 30 year old, acting as if I'm 25 but in reality I'm only 20. I've got nothing, and such a large life ahead of me that I shouldn't be worrying quite yet.

But that doesn't stop me.

I keep seeing the significant people in my life make all of these worthwhile decisions, such as traveling out of the country and moving out of the state on a week's notice...and I can't help but wish I could be one of those people. I wish I could feel as if I have little to no responsibility to weight and tie me down.

It's funny because I spent 18 years of my life trying to void myself of all ties that would bind me, and as soon as I moved and got my job, I wound up getting attached.

I hate being attached.

For once in my life, I wish I had no responsibility. I wish that I could simply move from place to place, that I didn't have a job and a lease to tie me here. I want to leave the country. I want to go back home.

But I can't.

And I see all these people who are doing this, who are leaving me in order to move along. And I just want to shout to them "Stop! Please! Don't do this! Don't leave me here! Can't I convince you to stay?"

But I can't do that to them. I can't find it in my heart to ask anyone to stay in my life for just once. I can't find it in my heart because I feel as if they potentially have a fate and a future that lies outside of my own, and for me to take that away from them would be selfish.

I wish I could convince them to stay, but I can't take away their possibilities. As much as it kills me.

I just want to stop feeling so old. I wish I could let go for once, get rid of the ties that bind, and for once in my life, learn how to live. Learn how to speak to people and speak my mind. Simply learning to let go and fly.

A wise man tonight told me that if I fix one thing in my life, that it could potentially fix many other things.

If I could fix one thing in my life, what would it be? What could it be? What could be the one thing to fix that would help in all the other areas of my life that severely need help?

I need to learn to let go.

To let go and fly.





Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Waking Up

I was pulling out of my parking spot at my apartment the other day, just like I have been doing at least once a day for the past ten months.

Ten months.

I don't know why this time it was so different. But all of a sudden I realized that I was pulling out in MY car, from MY parking spot, at MY apartment where I have been living, paying rent all on my own for the past ten months, the second place I've lived at on my own since I moved by myself to California.

It was like all of a sudden I came to this realization, as if I'd only been going through the motions until then.

I've been having these moments a lot over the past few years.

Moments where I suddenly just have this moment of clarity, when I finally realize that all I've been doing is going through the motions of living. I haven't been truly living until that one solitary moment when I realize that what I'm doing is an excuse for what we call life.

I pass through the days, not making much note of anything. It's become routine. Wake up after a restless night's sleep, go to school, study, go to class, go home, go to work, press buttons or direct traffic, go home, shower, spend some time on the internet before I attempt to sleep for the night. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Each day is the same lately. The same things happen, day in and day out. The moments that stick out are the moments that break me from the ordinary. I will remember yesterday because I had to run across Disneyland to change from a Fantasmic costume to a Haunted Mansion costume, a side-effect of working for the Happiest Place on Earth. It was hot outside, my make up had all run off by the time I got to costuming, where I had to fight with them to let me take my costumes out.

I remember that.

It was different from the millions of times where I've simply arrived at work in the correct costume, with no need to worry because I'd be working my scheduled shift. Simple.

Yesterday, for a brief moment, I lived. Even if just for a moment.

It used to be when I had these feelings, where I finally, for a moment, realize what's actually happening in my life, that I would remind myself that I am an actual citizen of Earth. I'm an actual living, breathing creation who moves and creates a life on their own.

I'm alive.

Lately, it's changed, to me being immovable, going through the simplistic things in life, without putting much thought or action into what I say or do, knowing full well that no matter what, I cannot change my fate, I cannot change what's going to happen. Despite my best attempts, I might not be able to change a damn thing because my life is this constant string of unimportant happenings and I am damned to face my fate. These moments are just a brief reminder in time that there is so much I could be capable of...if only I were able to live.

From alive to barely breathing.

These moments are fantastic in a way. To remind me of all the things I'm doing, of all the things I'm capable of. Maybe. Someday. If I try hard enough.

Each time I feel it, I feel as if I'm waking up from a long period of sleep, only to bat my eyelids, examine that it's still too early and my alarm won't go off for a few hours yet. And just like that, I'll fall asleep again.

These moments are the brief reminders that I will be forced to wake up soon.

I barely remember what being awake feels like. In the past few months, I've been in a state of shock for I had had a decent amount of time where I felt alive. Where everyday was an adventure, and I couldn't wait to wake up each morning and see what it was that I could accomplish. That was a great feeling to have.

Since it ended, it's like I permanently put myself to a state of waking unconsciousness.

It started with me not being able to sleep on my own. I averaged 20 minutes of good rest each night, if that. I spent my days a walking zombie, going through the actions. Unable to forget the feeling of being alive that I had had in my grasp, that I had played with and taken for granted. It soon went from that, to being used to the feeling of going around without a sense of life.

I forgot what it felt like to be awake.

Lately, I've been realizing this. I was looking for lipstick the other day, when suddenly I realized it was in the bag that I had taken out with us one night, and when I had gotten home that night, I placed it on my counter. In all the time that has passed, it hadn't moved.

It's like I've been stuck since that day.

But everything inside of me is trying to scream and yell at me to wake up. Slowly, but surely, I'm waking up. That moment in the car was the first of many. The moment where I realized that here I actually am, alive and breathing and moving and operating 2 ton moving vehicles with nothing more than 8 fingers and five toes. The moment where I found my lipstick right where I'd left it all those months ago. That moment where I ran from one side of Disneyland to the other and back again.

They're all moments begging me to wake up.

Right now, it's too early in the morning. I'm batting my eyes, glancing at my clock, and rolling back over to go back to sleep.

But soon my alarm will go off. Soon, I will feel as if the world is mine once more.

I'm beginning to wake up again.

I'm going to live.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Learning is Everywhere

Learning is everywhere.
That’s the campy idea behind going to a sort of prestigious university. While on their hour-long tours, which is often the make or break point for many high school Juniors or Seniors on whether or not they chose to attend the university, they promote this idea from the moment they leave the Visitor’s Lounge. Learning is everywhere you go.
Look at this student union. See them studying? Learning is everywhere.
Look at this building that’s over a hundred years old. Student’s classrooms are in there. Learning is everywhere.
Look at these state of the art housing options. See how they have multiple lounges which include television and study spaces? Learning is everywhere.
Look at this fountain. See the students surrounding it, enraptured in their intelligent conversations with their classmates as they sunbathe? Learning is everywhere.
Learning. Is. Everywhere.
Each day I sit by the fountain in front of the library at Chapman University. Each day I watch the guided tours, sometimes with five potentials and their parents, sometimes with forty-five potentials and their entire family. Each day they walk past the fountain, speaking about the library, the Argyros Business School (which is what many of the Asian’s only interest is), and the five pillars of education of Chapman (or whatever the symbolic statement actually is, as it is never mentioned again after the first day of orientation). They walk through the fountain on their tours everyday, examining the learning that is occurring everywhere.
Sometimes the students look bored out of their minds. Usually those are the ones who wind up at the local community college or perhaps a state school. Others look truly intrigued. Some continuously ask questions about Greek life so that they will be able to forget the fact that they’re in a somewhat prestigious university. Others ask about study abroad options, already looking for a way out. The younger siblings shout about wanting to go to Disneyland soon as soon as the tour guide reaches the part of the tour where the statue of Chapman himself is supposedly facing the general direction of the theme park only 6.2 miles away. Little do the parents realize that Disney is a social way of life here, and if they send their child to Chapman, they might as well buy them an annual pass because that’s where they’ll spend most of their time (even if they should be in class).
Learning is everywhere?
The fountain is almost as good as a place as Disneyland to sit and watch people. Not just the frustrated teenagers that walk by on tours, but those who actually made it past the tour and onto campus for the next four to seven years of their life.
How did any of us end up here?
I remembered my own tour of Chapman, already knowing that I wanted to go to school here, not only because of its Creative Writing program (something of which I balk at now) but also because of it’s close proximity to the Most Magical Place on Earth. Let’s be honest here. I remembered walking down the AF Walkway, towards the theatre and music school, and looking down the street, and seeing how absolutely quaint it was. I could imagine myself renting out one of the houses down the street, and studying under the large oak tree.
Learning is everywhere.
The more I look around the fountain in front of the library, the more I laugh about my final decision to come to Chapman in the first place. True, out of all the other schools that I applied to (and technically attended in many cases), Chapman felt the most like home. But I laugh at the reasons for which I came in the first place. Back when I thought California was where I was meant to be. Back when I thought I was going to be the most studious thing in the world and maintain my 4.0 average. Back before I learned how nearly impossible it is to live on your own in the state of California, when you have no support from your family, and spend more time working your slightly-above-minimum-wage job at Disneyland than you do hitting the books. Back before I learned that this might not be what I want to do with my life after all.
Learning is everywhere.
I look around the fountain at Chapman and see the other students and I question how any of us ended up here. Were any of them actually happy with their decision to come here (other than the students at Dodge whom, for some reason or other were always an exception)? I can look around the fountain and see so many students, wearing the Greek letters, talking about how drunk they got at the last fraternity party, or their plans for the upcoming weekend.
Is this what we’ve come to?
Learning is everywhere?
Around the fountain, there are students everywhere. Sometimes photographers come and take pictures of us, or of their models standing barefoot in the shallow side of the fountain. Sometimes they’re reading some smartly bound book, looking inquisitive. If they’re graduating, they’re overjoyed for the end of their learning.
Students sit with their laptops open to Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, Twitter…anything where they can discover more about the world outside of themselves. Learning is everywhere. Even if learning is discovering that the guy they think is hot in their Friday afternoon class is Single. They spend hours on their laptops, complaining all the while that they have so much homework to do and there’s no way they can finish it in time, as they click “Attend” to that night’s rage.
They sit in circles on the stone walls that jut out awkwardly every ten or so feet surrounding the fountain, gossiping about their friends. Some catch friends from last semester up on their lives since they had last seen one another. At such a sort of prestigious university, connections are always being made, and it’s easy to forget or move on from the people that you shared such a connection with in last semester’s Introduction to Analytics course.
The tours traverse their way through campus, and across the fountain, dodging in and out of bikers and skateboarders, telling facts about the sort of prestigious university to only half interested high school students. I could tell them the real facts about life out here, I think. If they don’t have a mommy and daddy to anchor them down, I can give them all the best tips and tricks for surviving in the society of the upper middle class white kids of Chapman University. They might not learn about the school, but they’ll certainly receive an education. Which is what we’re here for, right? Education?
Learning is everywhere after all.

Friday, March 8, 2013


"I don't want to be your friend anymore."

I was 5. In Kindergarten at the school down the street. One of my closest friends, I think her name started with a T, just relayed this information to me.

God, kids can be harsh.

Luckily, just as my eyes were welling with tears, my dad pulled up to the school's drive and I managed to run into his car before they let loose. He knew what was wrong, and immediately he drove in the opposite direction of home. We traveled down Power Road until it left the city, and turned into a wildlife reserve, trailing around the Salt Lake.

We drove and we talked about things that weren't bothering us. And I forgot all about the girl who's name might have started with T.

"Everything will be ok," he told me.

It was another day, when I was 13, stressing about my life in Junior High. I'd gotten out of school early, he did not have to work. But neither of us felt like going home. And so we drove, this time down Brown, up the mountain, talking as we curved up the winding paths.

Age 16 and in High School. It was a Saturday, and only a week before, we'd gotten a foreign exchange student. The two of us didn't quite click at first. And so my dad took us on a drive, far up north, to a lake we'd gone to when I was 4 when we had gone camping. We walked along the water's edge, and then made the drive back down the mountains, and we started singing Disney songs. My dad and I in English, my then-on sister in French.

Age 18 and my dad was going to drive me to California, to college at Chapman University. I was to be the first person in the family to ever earn a Bachelor's degree. He was so proud of me.

That was a drive we never got to make.

I spent a lot of time in the car with my dad.

He took me to all the places I know. Everything from picking me up from school and driving me home, to my first ever job, out to Phoenix, to Disneyland all those times, up to the mountains, across the country to North Carolina and Florida, both times to San Francisco. He was the one who taught me how to drive. All the time I spent with my dad in the car, was all the time we got to know one another. Many times, in the early morning drives to Las Vegas, he and I would be the only ones awake in the car, and we'd spend the few precious hours speaking quietly, getting to know one another. We told each other our biggest secrets in the car. He learned about the first boy I ever fell in love with on a drive, and he told me the story of how he failed college Algebra three times when he was younger.

After the drives stopped, it never quite hit me why I had the strange urges to get on the freeway and simply drive. I never quite understood why the idea of a commute never bothered me. Or why I had the desire to explore the hill past the Target on Meats, to learn as much as I could about my new surroundings.

I never understood this feeling, until I realized that my fondest memories of my childhood took place on the road, in a car. My dad introduced me to the world as I sat in the passenger seat. It was a world that I hungered to know.

Now I sit in the driver's seat, driving myself too and fro in a strange city, far away from home. But I don't mind.

I miss my dad a lot lately. I miss the way when we would drive, how he'd put his hand on mine and smile at me. I miss his cough, and his sneeze which scared everyone each time it happened. I miss how we'd always go to the movies, miss the way he and I challenged each other to be our better selves. I miss when he would bring home flowers for my mom, miss the way he and I could make up shit that anyone could believe because we were that good. If our relationship were literature, he would be Mr. Bennet and I would be Elizabeth.

I miss the drives, when I was able to sit in the passenger side. I miss being a passenger as my dad helped lead me, not only down the road, but through life.

I'm 20 now. Twenty years old, which means I've been street legal for four years. One-fifth of my life. For two of those years, I've been driving myself, unguided, and not knowing where to go, only relying on the tips my dad gave me so long ago. I don't want to be the driver forever. I want to switch off and on, from passenger to driver.

And, eventually, there will come a day when I will be driving someone through their life as well. Someday there might be someone, who's name may begin with T, and I'll be the one driving down the road, out of the city and into the wildlife reserve, as we talk about all the things that don't bother us. And I'll be the one to say "everything will be ok".

And that scares me. I have a lot to compete with.

Despite the accidents, being in the car makes me feel as if nothing can go wrong. As long as I'm in the car, I'm going to be ok. No matter if it's a drive back home where I'm crying because my heart was broken, no matter if someone's decided they don't want to be my friend anymore, no matter if it's a 6 hour drive just to go home and see where my dad now rests in peace, nothing was going to go wrong.

"Everything will be ok."

Saturday, March 2, 2013



Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

I've been told before that cussing is no way in which to express yourself. That the wonder's of the English language can accurately portray your emotions without the use of profanity. That intelligent people don't cuss. Well, guess what. My fucking IQ is out of the roof, and my favorite word is cunt.


Words are a way in which we express ourselves. Yet, I find it difficult to portray anything through the use of words. Despite being a writer, words are not my friend. They run from me, find themselves slippery, just outside of my grasp.

Writing is the only means in which I can express myself much these days, and so it is to writing I turn.

Words, what are words?

I never understood this glimpse into the metamorphosis, until just recently. What are words? Can words accurately describe anything outside of pure appearance? Sure, words can tell you that the door is a rich mahogany, heavy to pull open, but simple to close shut in the ornate doorframe. But, can words accurately describe the emotions going through our mind as we close that door, knowing it is the last time, knowing that everything is about to change the minute you walk through?

I don't think they can.

Words are only skin deep. Words can't explain the heart and soul of a person, place or thing. This has been a sense of frustration for me lately, because I can't understand why a person makes me feel a certain way, just that they do.

Words are failing now.

I don't understand this feeling. Fuck.

If life were different....

I keep thinking that phrase.

If life were different then maybe the situation would be different. But that's the frustrating part. Life is not different. Things are the way they are. It's a big old bound up complicated piece of shit that won't pass.

I feel like our lives, these lives, would have gone on without one another. In another life we would have been inseparable.  And then something strange happened in this life, causing a chasm, if you will. Suddenly, the lines between this life and that life were mixed.

And here we are.

We're stuck, halfway in this life, halfway in that life.


And it's beginning to kill me because I want that life. Of us being inseparable. If life were different, I wouldn't have to be so confused about how I feel about you.

You, from time to occasional time, say how much it bothers you. Words are not my friends. And thus I can't put it into words how it is the same for me. Because if life were different, we both know exactly how things would pan out. We both know that in another life, things wouldn't be this complicated. In another life, these things would be natural.

I can't say the words for which my feelings are trying to convey because they are too big, too complicated and I'm afraid to give a voice to the thoughts which plague my mind.

Words, what are words?

Sometimes I have perfect control over these thoughts and feelings. Manage to quell them, make them dwindle until there is nothing left to give and life continues on as if that's how it's meant to be. And then something happens, on any night, on a night like tonight, where it all comes rushing back. These things that I can't hold suppress for so much longer.

Fuck fuck fuck.

I wish life were different.

Others see it. We see it. And yet we're stuck in the continuum of having two separate lives where the lines somehow got blurred together. And there's nothing we can do about it. But no regrets.

There's so many things to say, and yet nothing said. Words don't get to the core of a person, they cannot accurately describe what makes a person a person. We're stuck at the surface, stuck on a metaphysical level which is nothing of what is the truth in actuality.

What are words?