Quiet Wednesday

Listening to the background noise in The MET museum. There’s very little

Thinking about job applications, the future, and all the angst that goes into finding a job that is meaningful, that I can love

Trying not to panic over (not) hearing back from places I’ve sent my applications to

Again, thinking about the alchemy maxim, Solve et Coagula. Dissolve and coagulate. That something must be broken down before it can be built up.

Hoping for a calmer state of mind, a bit more kindness from myself, to myself

Feeling annoyed of my recurring back pain

Wanting to just get home and cook my dinner. I plan to bake onion and leek rolls and make a hearty pumpkin soup from scratch. Which reminds me, I have to go to the groceries  to pick up a pumpkin when I leave the MET in a couple of minutes

Stuck on: The warring hotness and coldness of this one person, chapter 4 of Alan Moore’s From Hell, chapter 6 of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, and chapter 1 of D.H. Lawrence’s Women in Love

Dreaming of sticky pistachio bundt cakes and a quiet solitary afternoon in a gallery

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bad teeth

(i have a major exam tomorrow so obviously i’m writing about my fear of dentists, my mother, childhood, nostalgia, and other things that have no connection whatsoever with my exam)

i never liked dentists. my mother is a dentist. as a child i would often go to her clinic for my monthly cleaning. her clinic was in the middle of the busy town market, across the butcher shop and vegetable stalls, on the second floor of the rundown apartment complex we owned. there she’d sit me up on her chair and probe and poke around my mouth with her foreign metal tools. every time i am there she would scold me for my bleedy gums and cavities, and how i always have cavities even though she reminds me to brush my teeth every night. up, down, side to side, the backs of the teeth, the corners, the in-betweens, the tongue, never forget the tongue! yet i still had bad teeth, worse than my brothers who never ate fruits and vegetables. from this she surmised that i was just that: a child who never cared about my teeth. but she was wrong. i was very much obsessed with my teeth. or, perhaps, very much obsessed with ruining them. i’ve lost five permanent tooths since then, mainly because of all the sweets i secretly devoured. i couldve given her the brightest smile, but instead i gave her rotten teeth. perhaps unconsciously i was ruining my teeth on purpose so i’d get her attention, because even though she’d scold me, i know she was still focusing on me. only me. and that was what i wanted. it was only during my cleanings with her that i found tenderness and closeness. she made me nervous and afraid when she’d sit on her stool in her white, characterless coat, wearing soury rubber gloves and a mask that hid the planes and features of her face. i would feel nauseous. i hated the clinical feeling of it all, but in my head she was still my mother. i was being probed and examined and i felt naked and guilty, but this was still my mother.

and perhaps why i never liked dentists was because i always thought the insides of my mouth were only for my mother’s eyes. and i cannot let others touch my teeth and see the worsts of my mouth because only my mother can know of my secrets. because it’s for her. i still don’t see other dentists. i don’t think i ever can, because when my mother examines my mouth and prods it with her tools and fills my cavities with filling, she is gentle and soft. and if it was some other dentist it wont feel the same way because they wont have tenderness for me and they wont have the softness of my mother’s hands, they wont have the familiarity of it all. because if i look up at them from my seat, i wont have longingness for them. because when my mother fills the hollowness of my cavities, it was her filling the empty spaces inside of me that have always been crying for her. because even though she’s angry at me for not brushing my teeth, i know that if i scream or exaggerate my pain, she would caress my cheek and soothe me with her voice, and here i’d feel her love.  because the only time i saw tenderness from her was when she’d wipe my drool away and tell me to gargle well and not spill, when she’d touch my cheek and my chin and ask me if it hurt. when, deep inside, i wanted her to ask me instead if her distance hurt more, if it hurt me more to be right there next to her and still feel her detachment, as if we were never umbilically connected once, because she doesn’t know that when i open my mouth for her, i am letting her love me, that this is me reaching out to her. and that when she works on me, she is so close to me that i wonder if i may just be able to hug her and touch her hair if i reached up.

and i always dreaded the time when she’d finish with me, when she’d take off my bib and push me up from the chair and make me gargle one last time, because i know it would all be over. and as a child i wished our cleanings would last all afternoon, but they almost always took only an hour, and then i’d have to wait another month again to feel her. it felt too fast and ended too soon, and being a child i figured that if i had more cavities, she’d spend more time working on me, being with me. because when it was over, i knew she would go back to her awkward person, unsure and uncertain of how to love me.

perhaps because i push her away, perhaps because i am something she cannot figure out, because she isn’t like me. or i am not like her, or what she wishes me to be. because when she asked for a daughter, she wanted a daughter the way she wanted a daughter exactly, and not what ever i was going to turn out to be. because when she prayed for a perfect and unique model, what she got was an ugly pastiche. because i am not a box she can put things in with whatever she wants and adorn with frills and ribbons. because i am a stubborn box that refuses to open to her. because i do not want to be like her, do not want her failures to be my insecurity and failures. but it happens the other way, and i find myself becoming more and more like her—the worst of her. and i hate it. i hate it so much. because i am more pigheaded than i believe, because i said i will be my own person, because i said i will break the cycle. because if theres anything i don’t want to be, it’s to be like her. but here i am, and i am just that: an awkward person, uncertain of how to love and show my softness and tenderness to other people, and so i stand here, helplessly wringing my hands.

i’m 20 now. i think i am a young woman now. i don’t remember the last time i had a cleaning with her. i have a cavity or two that needs checking and filling, but i am afraid to go to the school dentist because they will only scoop my eyes out and judge me for all eternity. and i am deathly afraid of reaching out to my mother, because i am not a child anymore. i cannot pretend to be in pain and demand for her caress, because i know she will smell my phoniness., most of all, i am afraid—really, really afraid— that if i sit on her dentist’s chair again, i wont find love and tenderness there anymore.

the past month in retrospect & other life things

-did an ethnographic research (for the first time) on a cult two fridays ago and, to my surprise, enjoyed it thoroughly. we presented our findings and analysis to our professor (an awfully brilliant anthropologist in her own right) yesterday and we have to do minimal edits on the paper, but so far so good. i think we did well, considering the fact that someone from the other class cried from her criticism during their presentation :\

-met my thesis mentor last Saturday and we’re finished. i can breathe easy. we’ll be passing our chapter 1 and 2 on Friday to our panelists and just have to wait next week for the results of the deliberations; fuck, i hope we pass and get to go on the next level. our mentor told us we’re good to go, but of course, i’m still wringing my hands. i cannot sit still. this undergrad thesis can either make or break my academia dreams.

-been trying so hard to control my maladaptive daydreaming. i still do it at night when my head hits the pillow and i’m left staring into the darkness because i cannot sleep, but i’ve found a solution to that. sleeping pills!

-of course, i don’t want to be dependent on sleeping pills, but the melatonin sleeping pills have been a huge help to me these past few weeks. i fall asleep within 15-20 minutes of taking it; i just put one pill under my tongue and wait for the citrusy pill to dissolve. it doesn’t make me feel nauseous and dizzy after waking up. i’ve had bad experiences with bad sleeping aids in the past (don’t take ZzzQuil, people!), and it would always give me nasty headaches that would last the entire day. i don’t know, perhaps because the dosage is also quite big so that could be a factor, but still, i didn’t get any of the bad side effects from melatonin which is great! as much as i don’t want to take a sleeping pill every night, it’s the only thing that works for my sleeping problems.

-discovered samosas and mango chutney in school two weeks back. honestly, the only reason why i go to school every day!

-i arranged my desk book tower, dewey decimal style. i enjoyed this thoroughly, too, and honestly considered doing it for a living. if there’s door to door evangelizing, there should also be door to door dewey decimal classifying (i’ll make it into a Thing!). i wish this were a real job, though i wager i’d probably do it for free for people because i’m just too nice hmph. anyway, arranging my desk book tower put me in a contemplative mood; not the entire time, because i found myself arguing with myself whether i should put Alan Moore’s Watchmen under graphic novels or  American Literature…technically it’s a graphic novel, but it is still one of the Greatest Novels ever written and it’s under DC, so i considered it American Literature. don’t argue with me on this. it’s a brilliant fucking piece, plus graphic novels never get enough respect! got that? good haha

-i dropped my Fitbit in an Uber while i was on my way school two weeks ago. thank goodness for kind Uber drivers. the man drove back to my house the next morning to bring it back. phew! now i can go back to counting my steps and counting my sleeping hours and counting the ounces of water i drink daily…… lol

-i’ve been utilizing my Bullet Journal for more than a month now. it hasn’t been that long, but i’m never going back to random to-do lists every again. i need to be more consistent with it, of course, but i am enjoying thus far!

-i think in order to live i need to have this rat-like cunningness and curiosity towards life, so i am always i am on the hunt for good or new stories to pursue. so far i have a couple of ideas in my head, but that’s all. i’m stuck on ideas. i need some fucking follow through, but i have so many roles to play in life and gosh, wouldn’t it be so nice to just drop every responsibility i have and just write???

-i went to a book thrift shop over the weekend. i stopped going to book thrift shops lately because the ones in my city never have any good ones and believe me, i’ve scoured every nook and cranny. but lo and behold! buried beneath heaps of tacky ghetto romance novellas was a The Atlantic magazine! i enjoy reading articles and stories from The Atlantic online so of course i bought the magazine……even though it was more expensive than the usual thrift shop steal……

-i met up with a local herbalist a couple of days ago. no, i don’t mean a drug dealer lol though that was what my brother assumed hahaha. this woman studies herbalism and makes natural skincare products for a cheap price. lately i’ve been more conscious of my purchases and threw away all the face products invading my bathroom sink. now i just have a jar of coconut oil and witch hazel on my sink; i definitely don’t want to be a slave to capitalism, so i’m looking for other options that are more sustainable and also friendly to local businesses. i thought this herbalist was very much apropos because she’s a mother who homeschools her child, and she uses her earnings from her skincare products to her child’s homeschooling so i thought that was a great cause. i got a facial toner and an oil cleanser from her for really cheap; it’s cheap because she concocts and brews it herself and there is no plastic packaging!!! it’s vegan AND zero waste, did i mention that? it’s vegan and zero waste, people!! and so far i’m liking the whole natural approach in skincare. it’s not loaded with horrible chemicals and parabens, and i love how the herbalist uses natural ingredients in her products such as witch hazel, tea, herbs, plant and oil astringents—natural ingredients i actually know and can pronounce lol. i used to think putting a ton of shit on my face would make my skin better, but the more i spend on overpriced skincare products, the more i realize how shortchanged i actually am because i sold my soul to capitalism.

-been wanting to buy a new typewriter. my first ever purchase of a typewriter (using my own money!!!) was during my 18th birthday in 2014. I didn’t throw any party or celebration, but i did make a vow that i would buy myself a typewriter. so i did, and it was my first big purchase as an adult lol. I bought a portable Smith and Corona Model #3 in mint condition which made newly-18-year-old-me keel over because of the price. B-U-T it’s going to be about 3 years since then and i think i’m ready to buy another one! i don’t have any vices or enjoy any other luxurious in life nor do i have a boyfriend or dates to spend onnnnn, ok, i’m a frugal (and broke) college student, but i am willing to drop cash on vintage typewriters….and a couple of bonsai trees. ANYWAY, I’m looking into buying an Olivetti, perhaps a Lettera 33 or an SM9. I’m planning to scour thriftshops too; part of the reason why my first purchase was expensive was because I had to get it shipped from the US and the shipping fee was just too expensive. If I am patient enough in digging through junk shops & thrift shops around the Metro and smart enough with haggling then I shouldn’t have to spend so much……

-havent written much for my novel because of the stressful month. i honestly hate myself for this because i have deadline to work under (a month!) and I don’t know how i’m going to pull this off, if i even can :\

-i have an interview tomorrow with an NGO for my research paper in my social development class. i’m looking forward to it, i just hate that it’s so out of the way and i have to immediately go back to school for my stupid quiz.

-i haven’t been eating clean the past month; i am bloated and i think i gained weight. whatever.

-i went home to a couple of plants today which, i must admit, are the highlight of my day. i have three stevia plants, two tarragon plants, a rosemary plant, and a green tea plant. (thanks mom…) i think my plant hospital/pottery shed is coming to fruition (i just need to get back into pottery ugh). if i can turn back time i’d go back 4 years in the past and pursue agriculture or farming. i’m not even kidding. farming is the only thing that makes sense in life.

-i finished two Murakamis in two days. South of the Border, West of the Sun & After Dark. I’m three chapters in on Hardboiled Wonderland and plan to finish it before finals week. Honestly, I’m still speechless over Murakami. No really! I need a separate post to talk about him……………

-been listening so much to Michael Hedges the past week! Woman of the World just speaks to me (honestly, listen to it people!!!) On the other hand, I am deeply frustrated because I cannot find my Nat King Cole CD. I started looking for it once Murakami began his jazz rhetoric in SotBWotS, but also because Murakami kept mentioning Nat King Cole in it and at that time, I just wanted to listen to Nat while reading about Nat!!! Unfortunately, I cannot find it and I’ve searched everywhere. I would honestly be devastated if I never find my Nat King Cole CD 😦

-Bernie Wrightson passed away. That’s another of my childhood hero, gone. Honestly, Swamp Thing changed my life. Of course, I am biased towards Moore’s run on Swamp Thing, but still, there would be no Swamp Thing without Bernie Wrightson. I loved his illustrations on Frankenstein and Creepshow too; those took my breath away just as much. He’s a legend and the world knew that; the entire world wept for Bernie Wrightson’s passing. Swamp Thing will always be special to me, though. Even now, as a vegan, I take the quotes in Swamp Thing to heart. Fools, if Nature were to shrug or raise an eyebrow, then you should all be gone. It says so much about us humans; we just go on and on and on destroying the very world that we live in. I cannot wait for the day mother nature spites us all. (shouts to Donald Trump: Climate Change is real!!!) Go Green or The Green will be angry! I love you so much, Bernie Wrightson, my hero, you will live on.

-i have a quiz tomorrow that i haven’t studied for…… which is why i’m not sleeping tonight and why i have to brew coffee in a few minutes. i need to study! as much as i want to go to bed and lie in my sheets and pillows that smelly faintly of peppermint (ughhh i want to sleep!!!) and pop a sleeping pill, i cannot. i. have. to. study.

i think i’ve ranted enough to thin air. til then!

life currently

Reading– too many books at once. I started with The Illustrated Man a month ago and am still not halfway done with it because I started on Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore at the same time, read a few pages, put it down, then started on Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, did the same, and am now reading the first few pages of another book by a local writer. Honestly, this habit makes me so angry at myself because I cannot multitask with my reading. I have to focus. I pushed the other books away, and am now back to Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man. I can finish this today if I really put my mind into it. No reading other books until I finish what I started with first sigh

Writing– the review of related literature of my thesis. scared and paranoid at the same time, because academic writing is so different from the writing that i usually do. it’s so…cold and unfeeling. it’s a challenge, but i think i can cope with it. it’s the researching of past material that’s killing me.

Listening– to Racing Glaciers’s Moths with tears in my eyes. I love this song so, so much.

Thinking– about my future, what I want to do, whether I will graduate on time in October or not, if happiness will ever be constant for me, my wellbeing, why i’m not trying hard enough and excelling enough and achieving enough and doing enough and being enough

Hoping- always for better days and good moods.

Wanting- to be left alone and at the same time be held so tight. wanting to be more expressive with my emotions, more open to people, exude more warmth. i’m trying, perhaps not my hardest, but i’m trying

Feeling- heavy and invasive, as if i’m taking up too much space with my being. feeling afraid for reasons unknown. feeling upset about my parents and ended up crying after they left. feeling depressed over everything in my life, but also feeling a bit happy that a lot of my staff writers went to storyboard yesterday. it was great. missed their faces.

Eating- a good breakfast. well, maybe brunch, because i heaved myself from bed at 11 am. brewed a cup of coffee and toasted two slices of walnut wheat bread and gave it a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of basil and a pinch of salt. the simplest breakfasts are the best.

Needing- to get my shit together. i cannot wait to get “into the swing of things” and should just force myself to do my responsibilities without complaining and being whiny. most of all, without being affected by my depressive state of mind.

Loving- my gel highlighter pen. it’s so smooth like a crayon!! i’ve used marker highlighters my whole life and absolutely hated the bleeding pages. this is revolutionary! also on my 3rd day of bullet journal-ing. it’s crude and messy and definitely not Pinterest-worthy but i’m loving it so far.

Dreading- my debate later in class. yesterday we had to do public speaking in another class and i was h-o-r-r-i-b-l-e. totally forgot what i was going to say and just stood there like an idiot for many painful seconds. i detest speaking in front of people. give me a pen and paper any fucking day.

Lately

Reading Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta. I was trying to choose between reading V for Vendetta or Swamp Thing, but chose the former instead after asking around in comic forums. I’m quite excited, to be honest, because I was on my toes the entire time I was reading Watchmen. Knowing Alan Moore and his ingenuity, I can tell that V for Vendetta will take my breath away just as Watchmen had.

Writing: I am stuck writing the first chapter of my novel and I hate myself so much because I cannot bring myself to write anything. I’ve been staring at my screen and walls and ceilings for hours for the past week, but nothing’s coming to my head. I think I am too burnt out that I need to stay away from writing as work and go back to writing as leisure for the time being.

Listening to Comptine d’un autre été by Yann Tiersen. This was in the soundtrack of Amelie and I fell in love with it the first time I heard it. Most times I turn to this or Philip Glass’ compositions whenever I write or read.

Thinking about what I really want to do with life. My belief that life is futile just gets more and more affirmed as each day passes. I find no value in anything I do; perhaps I am tired, perhaps I am burnt out, perhaps I need a break, perhaps I need to get away. I don’t really know, but I am not okay.

Hoping for better days. Or productive days, at least. I feel so useless.

Wanting to be away from everybody and everything. Perhaps just the people here at home; I am longing to spend time with this one person, but cannot because I do not know my place in this person’s life. He’s so special to me; I don’t think he realizes that at all. Not that he ever will, because I will never tell him either

Feeling unhappy. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with my life. The year is ending and I’m nowhere where I want to be.

Reading and Writing Goals 2017

Reading Goals

In Search of Lost Time (Six books) – Marcel Proust

-I am quite daunted; I think this is the reading project I am gearing myself for the most! I have commitment issues. Meaning, I’m not entirely sure whether or not I’m ready to read raw all 1.2 million words / 4000+ pages of Proust’s magnum opus. I want to experience Proust, I want him to get in my veins and under my skin and inside my thoughts, but knowing myself, I always abandon a book and come back to it at a later time and In Search of  a Lost Time, I think, is no ordinary book. It’s a cumbersome read, and I don’t even know if it’s advisable to read it raw or buy a guide. I don’t like the idea of starting it and never finishing it but also detest the idea of reading it in one go. Perhaps if I can get into an agreement with myself, I can spread the six books out and make it my reading goal for 2017. I definitely don’t want to rush with this one, especially since I have a lot of other books I want to read, but this is a challenge I’m ready to take.

Fahrenheit 451, Dandelion Wine, The Illustrated Man – Ray Bradbury

-I started reading Bradbury just last month and already finished The Golden Apples of the Sun and The Martian Chronicles. I found myself falling in love with his writing, the poetry and magic intertwined in his words. I think he will be a favorite of mine too; The Martian Chronicles affected me deeply and The Golden Apples of the Sun had a handful of gems that left an imprint on me as well. Truly Bradbury is a magician, and I cannot wait to explore his other works!

V for Vendetta and Swamp Thing graphic novels – Alan Moore

-Watchmen blew me away; right now, I’d rank Alan Moore in my top 5 favorite writers of all time. I seriously need to get more of his work. He is a genius, no doubt about it, and I cannot get enough of him!

The Sandman – Neil Gaiman (all volumes) 

-It has been far too long since I’ve read Sandman that I’m afraid I’ve forgotten most of its splendor. I need to reacquaint myself with The Endless

Ilustrado – Miguel Syjuco

I have seen the man in various protest rallies I’ve been to, but have yet to read his book. He’s one of our local contemporary writers whose book won the Man Booker Asia Award a few years back. I need to read more local authors and want to try his book as a challenge

Foundation series and Youth – Isaac Asimov

-One of the great scifi writers of all time! How can I not?

Hyperion – Dan Simmons

-A gem in the world of scifi.

Norwegian Wood and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – Haruki Murakami 

– I have only heard good of this man and am ashamed to have never encountered any of his pieces.

Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden 

On Stories – C.S. Lewis

The Prophet – Kahlil Gibran

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Some short stories by Anton Chekhov

No Logo – Naomi Klein 

Authors I want to read, but haven’t decided what to read from them: 

– Nick Joaquin

– NVM Gonzales

– Ninotchka Rosca

Also read: 

Poetry and prose, both local and foreign

Writing Goals

-Write thoughts and feelings in diary/online journal more often. Don’t keep anything from self

-Utilize bullet journal

-Make headway with novel / short stories

-Write more articles; do more investigative journalism

-Experiment with poetry

Film Goals

I’m not a movie/film person, I must admit, I hate watching from a screen thanks to my short attention span. I think I have to move on from YouTube videos and embark on a journey to explore the beauty of the world of film. Perhaps I can start with a few Fellinis!

Any book and film recommendations to kickstart my year? Your suggestions are welcome!

Darker hours

Karen Carpenter’s melodic voice croons from the turntable and I realize just how much Mondays get me down. I live for rainy days, but there’s just something about this day of the week that sucks everything out of me: My energy, happiness, hope, motivation, and the want to accomplish anything for the day. It’s 2 in the afternoon and I’m sitting by the kitchen table with an empty stomach and unwashed hair. Across me there is a shriveled lemon on the fruit platter, an orange from the market two weeks ago, and my dad reading Stephen King’s Duma Key. We don’t speak to each other, of course, but I don’t really mind because I never have anything to say to anybody. I have been avoiding confronting myself the past few weeks, but now seems like the better time to try again because I’m stuck with my avoidant behavior again, procrastinating and putting off chores and tasks with every chance I can get.

Every night I’ve been going to bed with a storm inside my head and heart, and waking up late every morning with the world on my shoulders. I feel so depressed, and my room is just as depressing. Tissue, dust, shoes, hair, clothes, and trash scattered on the floor. Hair and dirt clinging on my tub’s drain and tiles. There’s a freaking cobweb behind my bathroom door and I broke my drawer after yanking it too hard some time ago; I can’t seem to put it back anymore and it has now occupied my pitiful tiny single mattress, leaving me no space to sleep in. Heaps of dirty clothes are piled up on my bed and my bath things are in disarray. My desk, my only working space, is covered with stacks of paper, vinyl record cases, too many pens I will never use, spilled paper clips, sleeping pills, and a stupid synthetic leather purse that I never wanted but still wasted money on. I have no space to work in. My room is gross, just as messy and disordered as my mind—perhaps even more than. I have no initiative to clean up, yet I’m wondering how long I can ignore the mess in my room until roaches and mice start cohabiting with me.

I’ve been eating horrible too. Just because I’m vegan doesn’t mean I eat well; I’ve been stuffing myself with junk food the past weeks, which I believe is just as bad as eating meat, and I haven’t gone running and biking at all. I feel bloated and like crap. I keep putting off my review of related literature for my thesis as well as my marketing project for my internship and I just feel like utter shit. I’m not trying very hard and it’s so so difficult forcing myself to function every single day when I just want to hole up in my room and disappear. I don’t want to see anybody, I don’t want to go out of the house, I don’t want to talk or even hear other people talking. I really don’t know why I’ve been feeling this way, and I’ve been trying to get to the root of this for the longest time but I never seem to arrive at an answer. I just feel so down all the time, for no apparent reason. And yesterday I was making a list, like how I always make lists for everything (even a list for all my lists) but this particular list was on things about myself.

I wrote in my list of myself: I always feel like an impostor. I never feel like I belong or feel drawn towards anything I do. I always feel like a crook about to get found out, and every day I go on about my lousy day with my guards up, my fight or flight response kicked into high gear, constantly looking over my shoulder in paranoia because I am so afraid of being discovered and called out as a great pretender. Being called out for what, that I do not know, but I always feel as if I am impersonating someone, like I stole someone’s identity and took it as my own, and that my achievements are never really mine (not that I have any, because I don’t) and any time now, I will be hunted down and exposed as a giant quack.

I wrote, I beat myself up over the littlest things. I hate myself over things people don’t notice and see, but are always visible to my eyes. A neglected task, a dropped hanky, a passing but not perfect test score, an overdue library book, forgotten keys and umbrella, an un-refilled water bottle, a stray thread from my hem, starting my sentences with coordinating conjunctions—everything, really. And every time, I see the need to punish myself for these little faults, purposely drowning myself in guilt and starving myself, reminding myself to not screw things up again or else. But I still end up screwing things again. I always do. I always end up forgetting things and missing things and losing things and dropping things and breaking things.

I also wrote, I hate having other people help me. It’s not because of an inflated ego, I think I just don’t like the idea of inconveniencing people, of having others stop what they’re doing to make way for me. It makes me feel so so so bad having someone help me, no matter how little a thing it may be. I feel an astronomic amount of guilt and shame, and have the need to always repay it back—not out of gratitude and gratefulness—but just so I can say “Now we’re even.” I had a drunken night a few days ago and was incapable of taking myself home, so my former editor, J, had to drive me home in the early hours of the morning. The enormous guilt I felt during and afterwards just spiraled me into so much self-loathing, but even though I was inebriated and half seas over, J told me that I still insisted on paying him for the ride and, apparently, handed him money as I stumbled out of his car. And I felt angry at myself after knowing, because if I did the same thing for another friend, say a friend got drunk and I brought them home and they paid me for it, I would be gravely insulted. And it sucks because no matter how drunk I get, my inhibition and fear of being helped and being deemed a liability for my incapability to take care of myself will never go away, that I will always feel guilty and ashamed of being helped, of being looked after, and taken care of, that I will always feel undeserving of these, and I really don’t know why I am ever this way.

I feel guilt for everything. I cannot even send a text message without putting my phone face down, three feet away from me, as I cringe and wait for a reply. I cannot even eat without telling myself I don’t deserve it, because I never did anything and shouldn’t be so hungry. I cannot even go to bed without telling myself I can’t sleep because I never finished any task for the day. I cannot laugh without being worried of being too loud. I cannot walk down streets and hallways without feeling I am taking up too much space. I cannot even ask dear friends out for dinner or a drink without first thinking, Oh no, I’m inconveniencing them or What if I smother them for being too clingy? And when I do get the courage to ask someone out to spend time with me, I feel shame and guilt for wasting their time, and I think, No one wants baggage.

And I fear for my baggage, because they come in endless stacks and stacks of boxes, each box filled with more fears and insecurities and paranoia and monsters than the last. And I am so afraid of having anyone peek inside my boxes and see their secrets, so I stow them away and keep them stacked, but the monsters struggle to get out and in the end the boxes always spill over for someone to see their sorry contents. And, I think, I will never really be able to get rid of these boxes. Wherever I go, whichever place I settle with as home, the moving van containing these boxes will always follow me.

And it just gets so tiring and difficult wrestling with my mind to the point that it’s much easier for me to avoid everything and everyone, and just keep to myself because why bother. And maybe that’s why I never ask anybody out to spend time with, because I always feel unworthy and undeserving of anyone’s time. And maybe that’s why I don’t have great memories with other people, because I keep denying these simple joys to myself. And that, really, the only memories I have are of me being and doing things alone.

I have stupid post-it notes around my room and one says, Celebrate small triumphs. And I feel like a hypocrite, because I have no triumph to celebrate, really. I do know I should lighten up and stop beating myself up over the littlest things, but it’s so so much easier said than done. That I am more stubborn than a mule, that I will always hate myself for something, and it makes me cry because I also don’t want to be this way forever, but I am stuck and each time I try to take one step further, the quicksand pulls me down deeper, and I feel so crippled.

But, I guess, no one is really scrutinizing me with a telescope or a magnifying glass. Maybe god, if it is real, but I have stopped believing in one a long time ago. I do not really need the promise of heaven to do good and find worth and purpose in this life—though this is something I have yet to tell my religious parents in the future, much to the dismay of their poor hearts. But the only one scrutinizing me, really, is me. And I should stop (even though I know I never will). I should stop. I’m not saying I will, but I should, because it’s what my mind needs.

And really, I realized, if there is one thing I love the most about being an editor, a journalist, and in general, a writer, it is the existence of deadlines and shitty drafts. Time is against me. My days are numbered. I will die someday. But there is always something to finish. And death gives life meaning for that simple reason: There is always something to get done. And that shitty drafts, no matter how imperfect, can always be edited until it passes muster. And if it doesn’t, then who the fuck cares. Imperfection gives me something to always strive for.

I think I have exhausted myself crying and writing. Bye and have a better day