i solemnly swear…

a commitment, a promise to uphold: 

I swear to keep my head held high even when I am

against the current.

I promise to love my mother, my father, my sister, my brother 

for eternity. 

I promise I will represent my filipino nonnie and my black grandfather 

as I walk down the street with my hair as

big and curly as ever. 

I swear to be as spiritual as my grandmother, 

And to not let the stress overcome me.

I vow to teach my sister everything I had to learn alone.

I promise to heal those around me with love and joy.

I pledge to never bleach my hair. 

I  vow to not express through harshness but through 

my passion. 

And,

I will never forget my heritage 

I will remember where I came from and be 

humble 

I will come home, 

wherever home may be 

I will always listen to soul and jazz music that comes from 

the heart of New York,

or the deep south. 

This is set of rules, guidelines, and obligations that will set a path for me in my near and far future. I may break or might not keep these promises but I will try. These promises and statements will shape me and prepare me for the unknown. 

Photo Credit: pintrest.com
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Portraiture

There is something deeply fascinating in the looks people give no one but themselves.

Right after you drive by someone smiling, waving out the window.

And it’s unbearable eye contact with yourself in the rearview mirror.

So deeply it cuts, your focus lands into your own conscious 

Like staring through the viewfinder

And as you rotate your hand the background comes into focus

your eye lands upon your own face staring back at you

Frowning

And you can’t figure out why you might look so sad

I think I ignore myself so often that sometimes when I happen a glance in a mirror

It can actually be scary

Disturbing

Upsetting even

Is that a function of me forgetting to be introspective?

Maybe focusing so much about what other people think of me

That I don’t think of me

I want more than anything to capture those moments

In other eyes

So that maybe I could make someone think of themselves

So that maybe they might glance into their own eyes

And horrify themselves 

To allow for excruciating introspection

And to showcase

or maybe even just to see

those moments of introspection.

The moments where instead of looking out

Your vision rests precariously on the inside of your eye

That would be a good portrait

The kind of portrait I want to take

But I have to figure out how first.

The Smell of Rain

Every inhalation of Petrichor,

Every breath I take sitting and watching the teardrop water fall to the ground.

I am calm, grounded, grey.

I can’t describe the smell of rain in scents, only in feelings;

calm: an encompassing blanket wrapped around my shoulders and a companion sitting by my side. We are together, we are in love, we are safe, or at least we think we are in the moment.

brave: walking alone on an empty road. Only thoughts to accompany me. I am strong, I am powerful, I am one with the nature that surrounds me. Fuck the world, society, my responsibilities; I will walk until my legs give out. And when I collapse, my time has come. Like a wild rabbit in the jaws of a wolf.

sad: the sky is crying, so am I. But the sky’s tears feed the earth, maybe mine will too.

solitude: lonely, but lonely is not always bad. Today it’s peaceful, but yesterday it was harrowing . But today it’s peaceful

The smell of rain

One second it drizzles, the next it pours.

Ever changing.

Thunder follows lighting.

A bolt hits a tree, a fire starts

It is only natural.

Some days the rain makes me feel gloomy, somedays it makes me feel safe.

Today I feel thankful.

Thankful for the sun, thankful for the rain, thankful for the world, thankful to feel something.

Thankful for the memories.

The scent of Soaftsoap Milk and Golden Honey reminds me of kindergarten. The scent of petrichor reminds me of a time when things were different.

I can’t go back to kindergarten, but I’m starting to believe that I can go back to being happy.

Here I sit, watching the rain, breathing in the scent;

I feel gloomy like the sky, but I am grounded like the earth. my emotions are ever-changing just like the rain.

I am one day closer to jubilation.

I am breathing in the Petrichor

Image via Pinterest.com

Yet another piece of unsatisfactory writing!

I know today should be the day

the one where i take care of it

where i get it out of the way.

I give you the closure you need and i start anew.

But this happens too often

I think someone’s different and that I’ve fallen out of my pattern

and that’s when I tend to fall right back in.

It’s selfish to give myself the benefit of the doubt.

Capable of love,

capable of getting close,

capable of staying there.

At this point it is selfish to give myself the benefit of the doubt.

Maybe the September blues just have my tongue

but then again it’s almost October

and my feelings change with the month.

Everything I know is an extraction of someone else

of something else.

I’m off to a slow start this year.

And I couldn’t ask you to try and understand why that is.

There’s so many things I want done but

I don’t want to take the steps to accomplish those things.

So instead I bite my tongue,

pace back and forth,

stare at the ceiling,

tune people out,

bounce my leg up and down,

speak the same empty words that I do every fucking day (and yet I continue),

crack my knuckles,

evaluate lyrics.

I spend time dreaming about how I should be writing and how I could and how I hate what I’ve created here but I won’t change it

It’s easier to glide by,

like so.

And until I have the time,

until I have the headspace ,

this is how it has to be.

Even if I hate what it makes me do

High school wasn’t designed to make you love yourself.

photo credit: Pinterest.com

Far from Home

“You need to fulfill your camping requirement,” the tall, built, bearded teacher who wears a Hawaiian shirt tells me. In order to graduate OVS, students must go to 2 campings a year. “You are going to Mount Pinos.” I don’t want to go.

Mount Pinos is located in the Los Padres National Forest. Its summit is 8,847 feet high, which is the peak of Ventura. I’ve been assigned to this Mount Pinos camping trip for 3 years. Relatively speaking, it’s an easy trip. Unlike the many backpacking trips that make you walk for 50 some miles. Once I went to Topa Topa backpacking trip last year and got bitten by a tick and had to dig a hole for bathroom. 

Mount Pinos still looks the same: the tortuous path, the fast-moving clouds, the pine trees… Good old Mount Pinos, here we go again. It gets bitterly cold when it’s dark, so we’d start a fire. Starting a fire is easy, but keeping it going is difficult. Taking one from warmth, from civilization, from your weekend… it just seems like masochism. I don’t get it. Do people actually go camping because they like to be tortured? 

Mount Pinos doesn’t have as much pine cones as it did in the previous trips. We only found 1 and a half pine cones this time. In the past, we’d burn all the pine cones we found and it would smell amazing. Maybe it’s because of the newcomers—there are way more campers than before. They would smoke stuff and play loud music. But Mount Pinos is still the same even without the pine cones. It still gives me the feeling of being far from home.

Photo credit: 100peaks.com

it’s 6:54 PM

Now it’s 6:54 PM. 

Sitting on the bench on the big field, watching the sunset, one of my favorite things to do.

I still feel like it’s summertime, although autumn already started a week ago. 

Intermittent music can be heard from afar, I don’t know where. 

The sun is sinking in between the mountains far away, and bringing sunshine to the people on the other side. 

I wanna keep the sun in my sight, but I don’t wanna be selfish. We should share it with each other evenly, so we keep rotating.

I can hear birds singing from the distance casually, as always.

Once in a while, when I look up, an airplane is flying over me. I wave my hand at it, say hello to the people on the plane.

The air is getting cold, and the mountains already engulfed the sun completely. 

I probably should go back. 

photo credit: pixabay.com

Colorblind Autumn

California will always be the greatest state to me, don’t get me wrong. We have everything here. Some of the best skiing in the world, iconic beaches, wine country, incredible and unique cities. But despite all of these, the golden state lacks one thing- seasons. For me, and probably many of us who were raised here, Fall is warm breezes and dry air. The landscape maintains a tan and green hue, and the blue skies yield temperatures in the 80s. Here, it isn’t harvest season. The skies are not gray. Sweaters are not the garment of choice. Yes, we do have an abundance of pumpkin spice themed foods at the local Trader Jose. But it doesn’t quite make up for an abundance of colored leaves and ominous sky. In some ways it feels like fall. The lighting is different than summer, and the nights colder. There’s a general sense of giddy unease, and everything is a shade darker. But it isn’t the same. Visiting colleges display fold outs of orange yellow and gold tinted campuses, scarves and beanies, coffee and scarecrows resembling the flourishing crops. I know I’m not the only one that yearns for this, but sometimes it feels that way. California I love you, but there’s a few things you lack. Don’t even get me started about winter. 

Credit: TripSavvy