a quick write

I’m running late for my endorsement but when I promised myself I’ll try my best to write on my diary or online journal everyday for at least fifteen minutes, my only option is to be true to my word. It’s a Saturday and supposed to be a rest day, but I have to be in school in a bit. I cooked spinach pasta with garlic pesto sauce for breakfast and I realized it’s the first breakfast I’ve had in months. Due to my busy hours and hectic schedule, eating breakfast has become a luxury. Most days I only eat once a day, either in the afternoon or when I get home from work and school, around 10 pm, which is really bad for me. Nevertheless, finals week is approaching and it’ll be the holiday break soon, so that’s something I’m looking forward to. At least I can catch up with sleep and reading. Ah, reading. One of the greatest (and freest) things in this life. I went to school yesterday even though I didn’t have class just so I could stay in the library and read all afternoon. I also had an hour talk with a good friend before leaving school and it was good having to let out my emotions, because I never, but I know that I cannot keep things to myself forever, so I’m glad for good friends who are there to listen.

I finally finished Bradbury’s Golden Apples of the Sun yesterday (quite disappointed in myself for taking a week, actually, because it’s just over a hundred pages!) and lately I’ve been sticking to short stories instead of novels because I know my schedule wont permit me to devour a long winding novel in one sitting; reading short stories make me feel more accomplished with my reading goals because I get to finish a couple in just a few hours. In Bradbury’s Golden Apples of the Sun, a handful of stories moved and stuck with me, most especially the Fog Horn and A Sound of Thunder. My fixation and love for dinosaurs go a looooong way back—back when I was in first grade and memorized every scientific name of the dinosaurs from the Jurassic, Cretaceous and Triassic periods from my flash cards. These magnificent creatures affected me in a way no other animal ever has; I don’t exactly know what, but they are such beautiful and brilliant creatures. Whenever someone asks me what my favorite animal is and I say dinosaurs, they tell me, “But they’re dead.” And it annoys me so much because who cares? They’re majestic. I can blab about my love for dinosaurs all day long, but sadly I do not have all the time in the world anymore 😦

But yes, Golden Apples of the Sun, I’d say, is a 4/5 for me and I’d definitely read it again to go back to my favorite ones. There are other notable stories in there that I loved too, such as The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl, The Murderer, The Great Wide World Over There, and The Pedestrian. I then borrowed The Martian Chronicles and quite excited to start with it today!!! (After my endorsement, I suppose ugh) even though I am also supposed to be studying for my oral exam on Monday and quiz on Tuesday so I guess I have to put it off for now…or stay up late and read around midnight. I also borrowed a collection of Elizabeth Bishop’s prose. I’ve never heard of her; I don’t know, maybe because I haven’t read every book in this world so I’m not really familiar with her, but there’s just something about the book that called to me, so I’m excited to read her too. Of course I am still with Neruda’s Odes to Common Things. This book, in particular, is one I never want to return. I want to keep it to myself forever, scribble down notes on the margins of the pages whenever I find a phrase or a piece that strikes me. But I have to return it soon, and just thinking of it breaks my heart. I hate saying goodbye to borrowed books, but I also know there’s a next reader waiting and they must must must be touched by Neruda.

I love Neruda; if there is any writer in this world that makes me love the most mundane things in life, really, it is Don Pablo. He makes me see the Beauty in life. No one else. No one else. From the way he writes poetry about boxes of tea, bars of soap, scissors, plates, onions, tomatoes, a freaking spoon! He can make anything in this world magical with his words. It’s funny because every time I read Neruda, I am left overwhelmed, with a racing heart and tears in my eyes. What a man.

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of late

Yesterday, my dad told me, “You’re just a great waste of a brilliant mind.”

His words rang in my ears the whole day, haunting the very recesses of my brain. I spent the entire afternoon crying in bed, my room a mess, me still wearing yesterday’s clothes and with unwashed hair. I was heartbroken, I must admit. I took two sleeping pills to calm myself down and spent the night drifting in and out of sleep, unable to determine if I was in a dream or reality. I woke up at midnight, my head feeling heavy and cloudy; I hate taking sleeping pills because it always gave me bad headaches. I spent an hour editing my staff writer’s article before falling back to sleep. I woke up this morning with a heavy heart, hesitant to step out of my room, feeling like a stranger in my own home. My eyes are swollen and my nose feels stuffy; I refused to eat lunch with my family for the second week.

It’s seven in the evening now and I’m sitting in a cafe away from home. I still feel a bit irritated from the inquisitive taxi driver’s endless questions; he spoke like a machine gun, very persistent with his inquiries about my personal life. I don’t like talkative people, to be honest, and my energy was drained by the time I got down from his cab. I bought a ticket to a math rock band I love; I thought it would be a great experience going alone, but I’m sort of regretting it now. I feel queasy and my knees are gelatinous; why on earth did I bother going alone? What if I look awkward? What if some creep tried getting it on with me? I have an hour left before the concert starts and here I am, sitting in this cafe with my overpriced watered down espresso, trying to calm myself. I find it so funny that I went out tonight for a concert, yet I still brought with me my journal and a trusty book. Tonight’s pick? Odes to Common Things by Pablo Neruda. And I can gush all night about Don Pablo because he is out of this world, but I don’t want to sound annoying. Anyway, I am sitting here and I’m torn between writing and reading. I haven’t written much, but I haven’t read much lately either, save for a couple of short stories from Bradbury’s Golden Apples of the Sun. I have finally convinced myself to push through with the concert anyhow. I don’t know why I’m freaking out. I love being alone. I’m a loner. Being by myself is my thing but maybe it’s because of the situation. I wouldn’t mind being alone in a library or a cafe, but a concert where people are usually in groups? It gives me the heebie jeebies. But of course I will keep on. I came here for the music and most likely I’ll stay in a corner at the back. I should stop being so neurotic. I’ll probably write about the concert when I get the time.

Here’s an interesting thing (and I feel shy admitting it to myself in my own journal ugh). I think I’m attracted to someone. I know it’s real because I couldn’t care less about his physical appearance. If I asked myself a year or two ago, I would say, No way! But I really like this guy. And I think it’s real because I don’t care if he’s shorter than me (I’m 5’9 anyway so) and that he has horrible fashion sense (white t-shirt, baggy jeans with frayed hem, anyone???) but I don’t care. I like him because I can trust him and he’s brilliant and honest and noble and intellectual and kind and thoughtful…I can go on, but I think I’ve made my point clear anyway. I like him, but wow, I have no way in telling if he likes me back. I doubt it because my intuition tells me he only thinks of me as a friend or, worse, a child—and that royally sucks, okay. But yeah, I like someone! I think this is serious stuff because it takes me an eternity to be attracted to someone! Also maybe why my mother thinks I’m lesbian lol.

Anyway, it’s now 7:18 and I’ll be heading to the concert hall in 27 minutes. I feel so weird. First time I felt anxious being alone but who knows, going alone to a concert can be the worst (or best) idea. God, I should stop being a tool. Who even overthinks this much?!?!? Holy shit. I’m supposed to unwind tonight; that’s why I left the chaos of my house in the first place. I can’t be stressed here too. I should stop overthinking things.

Moving on. I’ve been plotting my life timeline a few days ago and I plan to leave my parents’ roof by the time I turn 22. My goal in life is to be independent and self-sustaining, and free myself from my parents’ chokehold and religious carceral bondage. Another goal of mine is to help my younger brother do the same. My parents are so radical with their views they’d disown me if I left the church, but I’ve been contemplating for the past two years and I realized, I don’t mind. Anything for my freedom and happiness, and I realized, there’s no excuse to not be able to live my life. I don’t mind (but of course I do) if they disown me, as long as I am free—even if it means losing everything I have right now. And that’s why I’m busting my ass every day because I know I will suffer even more once I get out, but I also know that at least, if I do make it in the end, I can call my success my own. And I also accepted the possibility that even if I work so hard every day, there’s no guarantee at all that I will be successful. And that’s okay, too, but I’m living every day with so much determination to get myself out of here. Everyday I am mentally preparing myself for The Great Leave, whispering goodbyes to my favorite inanimate objects at home because I know I wont forever see them, that home wont be home some time soon. My four walls are testament to my nightly cries of the heart; they have seen everything. And I will get myself out of here.

My younger brother told me three days ago, “You don’t have to do things alone.” And I get his point because he has an amazing support group, from his huge group of friends to his best friend who is also his lover; his support system is really solid. I have a few countable people in my life who I trust, but no matter how much I trust them, I will always keep them at arm’s length. And this has nothing to do with me not trusting them enough; it’s just the way I am, I suppose. I keep to my own. My problems are my own. I get my brother’s point, but I also felt angry when he told me that. I don’t have to do things alone? No shit. I have to. He doesn’t understand and perhaps he never will and that’s okay, but I can’t go around twiddling my thumbs. I have to do things alone, just like how I always do. And I can. And I’ve done it before and I will do it again. I don’t need a support group. Yeah okay sometimes I envy him and the love he receives from his friends, how they always keep each other up; how, no matter dark his day gets, his best friend / lover is always there to kiss his sorrows away and sometimes, sometimes I long for that kind of intimacy. Just someone to squeeze my hand, I guess, and kiss my ear, in silence, and the silence will mean everything. But I guess just that one person who I can run to every night. I don’t have that person in my life. I have never. And sometimes I wonder if I will ever have that or will I never because of the way I distance myself from people; but you know, it’s just a silly thing, I guess, more of like a fantasy, I think. The thought is very tempting to entertain, but I think in reality I’m too proud and too chicken shit to open myself up like that to someone. And that has its advantages and pitfalls. By keeping people away, I am able to displace myself and my baggage from burdening anyone, but I also risk losing the people that matter to me by isolating them. And I will never win this, I think, but knowing my stubborn self, I will still keep on. Until, I guess, someone slaps reality to my face. For now, I am fine this way.

***concert update***

Right. So it’s 7 am of the following morning and can I just say I had such an amazing night last night! It wasn’t as awkward as I dreaded. Apparently while I was in line to go inside the concert hall, I met an acquaintance and his friend and we pretty much just stuck to each other the whole night! The atmosphere was phenomenal and we grabbed dinner and a few cold beers afterwards. I’m weak shit, so I felt out of it on my second beer. We finished around midnight. It was pretty funny, I think, because I am not in good terms with my parents but they fetched me last night because it was late; I think even though my parents and I fight all the time and don’t see eye to eye, I think they will always worry about me. And that makes me feel bad as a piece of shit daughter; of course I appreciate them picking me up and not wanting me to go home late at night by myself but that doesn’t change my plans, of course. I still plan to leave this place. People would say I’m an ungrateful bitch. I don’t think I am. Maybe some people will never understand, but like what I said, there’s no excuse to not be able to live my life.

So today’s a Monday morning. Quite thankful my professors canceled classes today because I need the extra hours to myself; I still have to go to internship this afternoon, but I also have a lot of things to finish. I have to get some reading done for my research and of course, editorial duties again because when do they ever end??? I’m not complaining and I don’t want my staff writers to think I hate my job because I don’t; I dont want this editorial job to feel like a chore. I want to love what I’m doing and I do, but sometimes it just feels robotic. Or maybe I just lack discipline so I guess I need to work on that more… Internship is also ending; today’s my last week and it is bittersweet for me. Glad I am out of this bureaucratic corporation, but sad I will be leaving the people behind, these people who are trapped in this bureaucracy with no choice. I’m going to miss them so much, but I am also ready to move forward. I’m thinking of taking spinning class or wall climbing next term; I got soft this term because I didn’t work out at all. I will give all the excuses and reasons (because I’m busy with school and being an editor and with internship and my part-time job blah blah blah) but really, I just sound like a dumbass. I need to be active again and of course, lose the pounds and just be healthy. I may be vegan, but I’ve been eating shit lately. I have two terms left before I graduate from university; the fact itself makes my heart race, out of excitement and anxiety, but leaning more towards anxiety!!! I still don’t know what to do. Definitely not a corporate job in HR, that’s for sure, but lately I’ve been exploring a lot of stuff, such as online content marketing writing and data analytics and the opportunity presented itself a few days ago when an older woman who i met from one of my writing gigs two years ago messaged me and asked me if i wanted to do content marketing for her because she’s now, apparently, a digital marketing content manager—a work-at-home job that allows her to be with her baby the whole day, i suppose. and it’s cool, because the opportunity came in good timing and at least i get to earn a few bucks from it. good enough to cover my allowance when my mother’s been withholding mine l-o-l.

wow. i’m like a bottle that has lost its stopper, my contents flowing freely from my mouth. i don’t mean to ramble, but it just feels so good to write this down. maybe it’s because of all my pent up emotions; the release is almost orgasmic. ha.

i’m looking out the window of the kitchen balcony and looking at all the things in this floor and it’s just sad that i would have to say goodbye to all of this soon. i think of all the people in this world, those with no families, those who left everything behind to build a new life, starting from nothing, as if reborn again, but this time without the support of their parents to teach them how to walk. how did they do it? what if i can’t do it? what if i fail? and i think of people who don’t really have homes, and of people whose only homes are themselves. like snails. like me. what makes a home? is it the presence of a family? of one’s favorite things? peace and quiet? Solitude? a welcoming doormat? is it the contents of one’s cupboard? books gathering dust on the shelf or the kind of flowers in the foyer vase? is it the notes held by magnets on the fridge? what makes a home? is it the photographs that hung silently on the wall—silent, but speaks a thousand words? or is it the shoes stowed away behind doors, or the laundry basket filled to the brim with soiled clothes, or the waste basket with its certain sundries, each piece of trash personal and distinctive to its maker?

I’m only twenty, yet I feel so old, as if I’ve been around forever. And i feel so so weary, as if I can sleep forever. I’d like to believe my life is just starting, not ending, even though I always feel like it is. I’m still trying to make out what home really is and what it really means; what I have right now is not home, but I will figure out someday what home is for me. I will make my own home. Away from here.

A clean, well-lighted place

I finally forced myself to clean my room yesterday even though I was anxious of cleaning up after myself in denial of whoever knows what. I folded my clothes, took out my trash, swept my room, mopped my bathroom, cleaned my drains, emptied my laundry basket, arranged my desk, and finally changed my sheets. It took me two hours, though I think this is only because my avoidant coping behavior kicked in again and I would take numerous breaks from cleaning to procrastinate and avoid cleaning.

I really hate this avoidant behavior of mine. It’s what I’m doing now. I’m supposed to be doing my thesis’ review of related literature, but here I am typing this just so I could avoid it, telling myself I’ll write first before proceeding but I’ve been going around in circles since 10 am and, fyi, it’s already 6:36 pm. It’s disgusting behavior and something I’m really trying my best to battle, even though I feel as if I really am not trying. Though to be fair, I did finish the marketing project for my internship last night (though I did sleep at 3 am) and I tell myself I can always do it earlier so I don’t have to sleep late, but I am so stubborn and difficult that even I don’t listen to the more rational side of myself.

Either way, this day felt pretty good. Definitely better than most days. I didn’t cry the moment I woke up, for once, though the dark thoughts are still at the back of my head. Still, I was able to heave myself up from bed at 9 am and make myself a banana soy smoothie. I started rereading Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman comics again today and found myself lost in the Preludes and Nocturnes volume. I actually finished the entire volume today, and plan to finish the other nine volumes in the next nine days. I realized I’ve been far too busy and depressed that I’ve forgotten the joy books give me; after finishing Preludes and Nocturnes, I found my heart racing and my hands shaking from excitement and just happiness. I’ve never felt this way in so long and cannot wait to get back into so much reading again.

The last comic book I read was Alan Moore’s Watchmen last term, about June or July? It’s already November, and I know I need to read and write more and I really am angry at myself for not being able to, but really, I just miss the feeling of losing myself to a long winding body of literature, not even noticing that the entire day has passed me by. And Watchmen is deserving of another post; that graphic novel changed my life, no exaggeration. Alan Moore is a genius and I can see why; he is totally unmatched and he changed the entire game of superhero comics. Rorschach will always be dear to my heart, and his death will always put me to grief, even more depressing than the Ride of the Valkyrie, and I will never not be angry at Veidt’s sick utilitarian mentality, playing with human life to achieve his “greater good” not out of goodness, by the way, but just another reason to intellectually masturbate himself and tell the world, “I am right.” Okay, I digress. But god, I just miss reading so so much.

Finishing volume 1 of Sandman today put me in such a good mood, as if nothing can dampen my day and, I think, if I want to be in a good mood the next few days then I must continue reading because so far it’s really the only thing that takes away my blues. And I don’t know if it is just me, but I always feel insecure because I always think I’m not reading enough books and novels and poetry and not listening to enough podcasts and what-have-yous, but it’s just one of those stupid thoughts. There’s nothing wrong with doing these at my own pace, I know that, but there’s just so much books to read and things to appreciate and wow, I just get so overwhelmed! A lifetime is never enough.

On another note, I finally fixed my tiny balcony and took out my dead plants to create space because I’m turning it into a pottery shed. I transferred there all my stoneware clay and ceramic pottery and my pottery wheel, and am already feeling excited of getting back into pottery. School and internship and work definitely suck the soul out of me, and I just long to spend entire afternoons doing slab work and pulling endless walls for my bowls. Today I found myself watching videos of my favorite potters and sculptors creating magic with clay, and I told myself I will never get better if I keep putting off practice. I tell myself, “I know how to do pottery” but my skill and knowledge of the craft will disintegrate if I don’t hone it.

I still have difficulty centering my clay on bad days, still end up pulling lopsided walls when I try to make a cylinder, and, after reading an article by Jane Gross today, I realized (affirmed by her own musings) that the clay will tell me how and where I am. I can only get better with practice, and a lopsided lip or a ruined wall or an uncentered clay only says one thing: I lack practice and discipline. And answering these faults with aggravation and frustration is fruitless, because it is my own fault for not nurturing my craft, and I will always always always scold myself for neglecting pottery because I do not have the right to even dream of becoming a skilled potter if I don’t put the hours in. And I must put the hours in.

But, on another note, out of the many things I’ve learned from pottery, my favorite thus far is how much the craft of pottery encourages me to be unkempt and make a mess. It feels so good being encouraged to make a mess while doing pottery, especially when people have been telling me my whole life not to make any. And so, whenever I do get the change to do pottery, I try to make as much mess as I could and don’t bother if I splatter water and mud all over my clothes and walls and floor and face, because there is so much beauty and happiness in this chaos, and it is only here wherein I can really truly cherish my mess and be proud of it. Which is why, I think, my most favorite state of myself is at the cusp of just having finished a pottery session, when my hair’s all disheveled and I’m covered with clay and everything’s a wet mess, because I know I basked in my own mess doing something that gives me so much joy (albeit sometimes painful and frustrating) and I did not have an ounce of inhibition that muddled with my mind. So definitely, more pottery practice in the next few days.

Right now I am sitting on my desk in my sort-of-clean room, typing this because I am still avoiding writing my review of related literature. I hate forcing myself to do tasks whenever I am not in the mood, but I can’t do this forever. Because when will I ever be in the mood? I know, for myself, that what I lack is discipline and discipline is something anybody can learn, through time and perseverance. And I don’t need rocket science or a PhD to learn it and, in fact, just need to have strong self-restraint and will. This avoidant coping behavior has go to go, it is disgusting and inefficient and no good ever comes out of this kind of behavior. I must uphold discipline and fight the mediocrity. It is so much easier said than done, but this is something I don’t want to beat myself up for. I’ve been this way for the longest time, ever since I was a kid, and I think this stemmed from years of being bullied and being insecure? And so, I must nurture myself and try my best, and try not to ever hate myself if ever I find myself slipping. I have to be kinder to myself also, I think, and more patient.

Right. So I have to read more, practice pottery more, be more disciplined, and be kinder to myself. What else?

Well, I think I have to show people more how much they mean to me. I hope it isn’t just me, but I always feel unworthy and undeserving of anyone’s time, and sometimes on social media I browse through people’s posts and see them out with their friends and I think of how much fun they are having going out and seeing places,and I tell myself I don’t have to always be afraid, that there’s nothing wrong or scary or guilt-inducing about asking a friend out to hang out with me. And tell them how much they matter to me. And out of all the things I mentioned above, this is what I want to improve on the most: Just be a more open and loving person to people that actually matter to me. I don’t have to be all holed up all the time? And I should tell people how much joy I feel whenever I spend time with them. There really is no point not saying it, because it is the truth and, of course, what else can be better than telling the people you love that you love them?

Again, easier said than done, but as long as I am trying my best then that’s all anyone can ever ask for, I guess. I also bought a ticket to a concert of a band I do not know—and I’m watching alone. I don’t know what was running in my head when I bought the ticket to a band I do not even listen to, but I told myself, Just try something new. And who knows, I might like the band after all? And it wasn’t that expensive, and I guess I wanted to treat myself also, but not in a way that I usually do, so I got the ticket on impulse so I can experience something new and out of my comfort zone. I remind myself, I dont have to be anxious because I’m going there for the music, and even though there will be lots of people there with their friends, I don’t have to make it awkward for myself. I enjoy my own company, so I doubt I’d have a hard time (I hope!) and I’m quite excited, actually. I do not know any of the band’s songs so it would be a surprise as well.

Anyway, I think I’ve avoided my review of related literature long enough. My mind has calmed down and I feel at peace rambling here, so I think I can finally work on my thesis. It is 7:16 pm and my heart and mind feels lighter. Sometimes I tell myself it’s okay to put off things to write if it means giving myself the peace of mind—and it does, and if it’s good for the wellbeing of my mental and emotional health, then I shouldn’t feel guilty about it.

But as a note to myself:

1). Be more open and intimate to the people that matter to me, and don’t be afraid to show and tell them that I love them.

2). Read more—for my sanity’s sake.

3). Practice pottery more, because neglecting to practice a craft is insulting.

4). Be more disciplined with tasks and try harder in getting rid of my avoidant coping behavior

5). Be kinder to myself. There’s nothing wrong with rambling and writing down my thoughts and emotions if it’s for the wellbeing of my mental and emotional health—and I shouldn’t feel guilt for this.

6). If all else fails, I can always try again tomorrow.

Dark hours

I was trying to write my mortician feature story late last night, but found myself  blank and unable to write. Prior that, I spent the past three hours editing the articles of my staff writers for the November issue and realized, after breaking my back for hours, just how tough and thankless the job of an editor is. I am not complaining, by the way, it’s just a Truth I need to come to terms with. I think editors and writers in general feel in the beginning that writing is a thankless job. Unless you’re famous, no one comes up to you saying, “Thank you for writing, you changed my life.” It’s the type of work where you need tenure to actually get the respect you deserve—and sometimes, you don’t even get that respect, no matter how long you’ve been in the field. But here’s the principal question: Why do we still write?

I have no straight answer to that question. I’d like to believe that someday I will, but for now, I guess I cannot think of anything rational. It certainly isn’t a lucrative field; if I wanted to be rich, I would’ve chosen a different path, yet why are we still here, writing? I guess it’s because it’s the only way I can keep myself alive and amused, it’s the only way to make this life bearable. Writing from the cheap seats, to reflect the times, to release surges of emotions, to escape, and critique a profoundly sick society. I honestly believe we have too much of men in suits and less of teachers and writers and anthropologists and professors and researchers and historians and artists. And, I think, at the state of our world right now wherein violence and war is the answer to everything, we need these people now more than ever to remind us what it really means to be alive.

My parents, I must admit, always wanted a corporate job for me. And I don’t know how I’m going to tell them, Hey, I want to be a forensic anthropologist and spend the rest of my life in the fields, digging up bones, and confined in research labs, writing dissertations. I want to do research and teach in classrooms, I want to continue writing features and fiction stories on the side, what are you going to do about it? 

And it sucks, because I do not get the support I need from the people who should be my support system, and that’s okay, because we can’t have everything and I won’t demand for their support if they’re not willing to give it wholeheartedly. I know we should never compromise our finances—that is just absurd and irresponsible, but I don’t see the point in life if I am forced to live a life I have no interest in living.

I am actually doing my internship at a property management corporation right now, and this internship has helped me so much in realizing what I do not want to do in the future. Certainly I don’t want to spend the hours of my day trapped in a cubicle inside a cold, characterless, behemoth building. That I know for sure. The people have been great and regardless if it’s corporate, I am learning new things which I believe is always a good thing, either way. But a week ago, I was talking to my boss and my other colleagues and they all said the same thing: “This isn’t what I want to do.”

And I get that we have to sacrifice sometimes. Some people aren’t privileged enough to go about what they want, knowing they have families to feed and bills to pay. And it just makes me so sad that we have to suffer this way, giving up what we want and love to make way for something else, something that we don’t feel so strongly about in the first place. And I hate so much that some people are never able to live their dreams because of the sacrifices they made and they die lonely and unfulfilled because they never got to do what they really wanted to do, and it just makes me so depressed that even though I am saying all these things right now, there is always that possibility in the future that I will be a hypocrite to my own word and work a job I do not love and as much as I try to align my actions to my own principles, I have a fear that I will be betraying my own word. And I wish I never have to reach that point in my life wherein I have to sell out just because I am forced to. I will never forgive myself for that.

Sigh. To be honest, I think this whole mortician feature story is messing with my head. When I interviewed the mortician a Friday ago, we talked about life and death, and how his work has changed his entire life. But listen here. This mortician never wanted to be a mortician in the first place. He was studying engineering in university when he had to stop because of lack of funds. His father, a mortician, taught him the trade and he decided to just take his father’s job on his shoulders. Decades later and here he is now and he tells me he is happy with his job. So, I suppose, it is possible to get into a job we don’t initially love and learn to love it down the road, I guess? The mortician did tell me that although people still have a stigma towards the nature of their job, it’s important to be reminded that we all die in the end. And the phrase, memento mori, popped up in my head. Remember that you must die. 

We all die in the end. I am 20 and already feel really old, as if I’ve been here forever. I was contemplating the other day whether I wanted to die young or old. I realize I don’t want to die young, having achieved nothing, but I am also deathly afraid of getting old, to be honest. Of being wrinkly, and losing my mind to dementia, where it takes away the very essence of what makes me human. But I also know that I have a lot of things to learn, lots of books to read, lots of stories to write and tell, and of course, lots of people to love—and I want all that stretched out in decades. Not everyone has the privilege to reach an old age and share the wisdom they’ve learned throughout the years. I want to see myself at that point; wiser, more confident, more humble, with so much love for the world.

Perhaps I am overthinking things again, but I always tell myself it’s better to overthink than not think at all. I’d like to believe that this whole thing has been heightened by the mortician feature story I’m currently writing, but I cannot help myself. I always get attached to the stories I write and sometimes, these stories are too heavy to tell, but still need telling, to remind us that we are only human. Insignificant compared to the astronomical universe, but relevant to the tiny blips of people we matter to.

Maybe if we looked at life at a different vantage we’d appreciate it more. Eating, drinking, laughing, spending time with loved ones—these are things we so easily take advantage of. And I guess, what I’m trying to say is, I just want to be more appreciative and content with the things I have and do, because I am so tired of feeling like I will never amount to anything.

That there is absolutely no reason to beat myself up for going too slow or not doing the same things my peers are doing, that I am absolutely doing perfectly well at my own pace, that there is no need for me to compare myself to anybody but my yesterday-self, that I only have to worry about my possible future self, that I don’t have to mind other people’s lives and businesses, that I don’t have to be depressed every time I go out of my door, that I don’t have to be afraid all the time, that I will be fine as long as I keep walking, regardless if I do it with a limp or with two steady feet, that being insecure at times is fine, that being flawed is perfect because it always gives me something to strive for, that I don’t have to make life so difficult for me, that it’s fine to appreciate the mere fact of sitting down, breathing and just being alive, that I can take a rest and not feel guilty, that no matter what happens, no matter how conscious and angry I feel with myself, I can always pick up my pen and write, and that if I do find myself stubborn or weak at times to pick up my pen, I can always stow my shoes away, climb to bed, sleep, and wake up the next day to try again.

Bad conversations

11:30 pm. October 18, 2016

I just swallowed two ZzzQuil Nighttime Sleep-Aid liquicaps and I’m hoping I get to write my thoughts down for 15 minutes before the diphenhydramine starts kicking in. I think this whole “writing in the margins” thing is working out for me. I may not have all the hours in the day to write, but taking advantage of small windows of time to at least put my thoughts down on paper seems effortless and almost therapeutic.

Anyway, I had a bad day today. I had a quiz for my first class this morning (which went well, btw) and then we watched a film in my social psychology class afterwards. All seemed pretty well until around noontime. I went to internship right after my classes and the hours just started to trickle by ever so slowly. It was a slow slow day in the office and I was just not in the mood to work nor be confined in such a small space. I started chatting with my boss and supervisor, and questioned them about their dreams in life and they told me none of them feel as if they really love what they are doing, and it just made me think about what I really want to do in life. How many of these people, confined in these cold, white cubicles, inside these bureaucratic behemoth buildings actually enjoy their job? Do people really enjoy what they’re doing when they’re just another cog in a machine? Anyway, that conversation put me in such a contemplative mood, even when I was on my commute back to school.

I arrived back in school around 6pm to have dinner with my best friends, S and I. Now I know they are my best friends, but we really don’t have much in common, which is okay because spontaneity is great in friendships. And I know we are all flawed, but it’s just something that I noticed in them that whenever we sit down for dinner (and dinners together rarely happen because of our busy schedules) they always end up talking about other people’s businesses and lives. And I’m all for conversation, especially with people that mean a lot to me, but it just gets so tiring and toxic whenever they talk about the life of a friend’s friend or an acquaintance, and discuss their romantic lives (and even their sex lives) and it just bothers me so much because I really don’t give a fuck about those people. When I sit down for dinner with a good friend, I’m expecting a good conversation with them, and discussing other people’s lives just seems so pointless and meaningless to me. That’s just another potential good conversation reduced to gossip and I fucking hate it and I’m just so tired of pointless conversations. And I confronted my best friend in a joking manner about it, and they laughed at it but told me they got my point, but I just hate that they think it’s okay or they think I care or am interested hearing about the lives of people I don’t know and had no significant effect or bearing to my life? I frankly do not give a fuck about other people’s lives if it doesn’t concern me. At all. And I get that it’s so tempting to talk about people’s lives, but it just bothers me so much. I fucking hate it. I find it so small-minded, and the fact that this has been going on for the past few months just bothers me and I just snapped tonight, to the point that I was so upset that I actually went home crying.

Because every time I sit down for conversation, I have to mentally prepare myself and this could just be me ranting as an introvert and hermit, but I want good conversations when I know I’m interacting with people and my energy has to be drained to the last drop–at least I know it’s worth it because I’m actually thriving in the dialectics, but really? Discussing people’s lives who I don’t give a fuck about (because I am not friends with them and they are strangers to me) just doesn’t sum up and it just upsets me because I’m so tired of worthless conversations. And on the way home I was telling my best friend, I, about it and she seemed to get it but I am just so so upset. On the brighter side, at least I was able to tell them and be honest about it.

Anyway I got home around 9 pm and on the commute home, I stopped by a shady 7-11 to grab a coke because I felt my eyes drooping and I hate myself for it because I’ve cut off soda for almost 5 months but whatever. I was just so upset. I may sound like I’m overreacting, but bad conversations just affect me so much in a way that it messes with my mentality and spirals me into depression. I’m already having a hard time finding meaning in this life as I am and having meaningless conversations with the people closest to me just makes it worse, and affirms my belief that nothing really ever has meaning in this life. And I just hate it, because I know there’s nothing wrong with my best friends. It’s normal to talk about simple things, of the mundanities of life, and I’m starting to think that maybe I’m the problem, that I can’t adjust to other people and have difficulty connecting with them because I cannot relate to what they are talking about. But in my defense, I just want a conversation wherein I feel as if I am not violating someone else’s private life and really, discussing people’s lives over dinner is just fucking pointless and annoying, and I just feel so angry and upset that people do this. I’ve been scolding myself for the past hour thinking I am just overreacting, that I should be more patient with people, because you know, we can never escape small talk. Sometimes, people just want to talk about light, fun things and that’s fine, because life really is mundane and sometimes we just have to talk about the weather and the traffic and that’s fine, I just hate it when people start talking about other people’s lives specifically. That, per se, is not fine because people should stop being nosy fuckers and mind their own business.

It just drives me to the edge, because I fucking hate it. And I don’t know, I just feel so upset. I think I should distance myself from friendly lunches and dinners this next few weeks, because I realize the things people talk about usually put me in a bad or somber mood, especially when it’s gossip and I know I should adjust to others (and I always remind myself this!) but I really just have no interest in discussing other people’s lives. Really. I know I’m just going around in circles, but it upsets and depresses me so much because it’s all pointless information that I will never use, information that does not concern me and has no bearing to my life. I am just so upset to the point I had a breakdown when I got home because I am so tired of the pointless meaningless conversations, but I also think this is just my depression getting the best of me, to which I keep reminding myself to try harder everyday to be strong and it’s just so so difficult, but I really am trying. Really.

11:48 pm.