Nostalgia hits hard

Nostalgia isn’t just a feeling, it’s a crash of emotions that befalls you when it’s the most unexpected. Not just homesickness, but a mix of remembrance and sadness, as you’re only nostalgic when you are not home, stranded, helpless.

Nostalgia may be a current of water. It flows from your head to your stomach, then back to your eyes, uncontrollable, rolling out like a waterfall. Sometimes you don’t realize its existence until your mouth takes a sip of that salty drop.

You’d laugh at your woe and call it odd, but the current will not halt. So I comfort myself. Don’t cry, child, for you don’t have time for it now.

Nostalgia is more than a feeling. I hope whoever has it can return to their loved ones in a short while. 

Nevertheless, will you still miss your home, if your lover is stranded as well?

(I’m a Chinese international student in the US. Because of certain policies that were made for the coronavirus, I cannot go back home. I don’t know when I’ll get the chance to meet my family and friends. The uncertainty is a real menace, it’s eating me alive. What if something happens to someone whom I love while I’m overseas? What if at the end of the day I’m left behind as the only one living? The uncertainty is killing me. I hope everything goes well in China, I hope there’ll be an antidote for this madness. I feel really helpless and overwhelmed because there’s literally nothing I could contribute to better the situation, I could only sit and watch the number of infected and deaths go up and wish that my circle of people has nothing to do with it. It’s truly rotten when you are a spectator of your fellow countrymen’s deaths. 

I just hope things go well. I’m praying for a change.)

Photo Credit: phys.org

the dove and the hare.

I saw my future last night, 

In the white feather and the rabbit that crossed the road at 11:03

while he drove the car.

I saw the girl that I was meant to become 

As I cross the river, 

Into a new territory. 

/ / /

I saw my past last night too.

I saw a blonde, curly-headed girl give me validation to leave

To say goodbye. 

I saw fear, hesitation, and hate in her eyes. 

/ / /

I saw my angel, 

kissing me on the cheek 

As tears stream down her face, stinging her scars.

She wore her denial of the reality that hit her like a truck 

a mask over her face.

/ / /

And for the first time in six months, 

I saw clarity and

Felt serenity in my life. 

I understand where I have to go, 

How to cross the river, 

How to express and emote. 

photo credit: pinterest.com

Today, I look at the blue sky with the white blurs, 

And the blooming lavender and the blossoming rosemary with faith, 

And soaring red hawk with ambition, 

And a single rose on flourishing bush with purity. 

a scene from a 2000s christmas

photo credit: floridamemory.com

The beach houses that my mother would find always seemed so big to my four-year-old perspective. 

With a staircase that I remember to be spiraling and

a brown and cream-colored chess board in the middle of a large living room

which was later to be covered in wrapping paper is what this house seemed like to me at the time. 

My mother was always frantically scurrying around the house to make sure everything was perfect for my grandmother, 

meanwhile, she didn’t mind the imperfections but simply didn’t have the power to say anything. 

The uncles were catching up as the oldest was in Chicago and the youngest was living his life in Australia.

My brother, was playing with his GameBoy, 

eyes locked to the screen. 

My grandfather was looking at the beams and the ceilings to find some reason why the house wasn’t architecturally perfect in his eyes.

And then there was me, either in the corner or on the couch next to my grandmother, where I would play with my Polly Pockets being relatively quiet.

/ / /

I do not remember a lot at the houses except for the people and the feelings surrounding the time.

The presents and all the other material items around me did not matter,  especially because I knew the reality of the grandmother’s illness and how she had limited time here on earth with me. 

I do remember the smell of the house, 

a mixture of palm trees, 

salty ocean mist, and

the sand that has been carried many miles, 

just for me to feel that unforgettable warmth between my toes. 

I also reminisce about her during the holiday season. She wore fuzzy socks. I still have a worn out, baby pink pair of her socks stuffed in the back of my drawers. 

From cuddling on the couch, with the chaos of my family 

to being on the beach, with the rolling waves and the roaring wind, 

her amenity still remains within me. 

an ode to the ones i love.

Sometimes I feel really young when I look at the experiences I have compared to the experiences I have not been through. I might seem like I am naive by saying this but I love where I am at with my relationships currently. This is an evaluation of all my current relationships as a seventeen-year-old: 

When I am with you, 

You take me out of my fixed headspace 

That can sometimes be crippling

You talk with purpose, even if it is to yourself, it means something. 

You make me feel like Stevie Wonder when he talks about the people he loves,

unconditionally and without limitations. 

you give me relief and let me express myself without shame 

which is something that i have lacked in my past relationships

photo credit: pinterest.com

i look at the little things like your laugh 

and the way you smile at the things that make you happy,

i look at the things that make you mad or irritated

i look at the touch from your hands and your tenderness 

it’s weird that i feel this way cause i have lost so much in the last couple of months. But, i can always control how i feel. that’s something that my mother taught me. 

To conclude: You make me happy, in a giddy, platonic way. 

Dreams from my Childhood

Before I was proficient, understanding language, my dreams would be primarily in symbols (I wasn’t a very verbal child). Now I’ve never written this down or spent much time reflecting on it, but from around the time I was 3 to the time I was 9 or 10 I would have very odd, indescribable dreams; a single, short line, accompanied by a circle and a square I believe would race around the room I would sleep in while remaining totally silent. And at moments I would hear a deep buzzing that I could not describe, the racing became more intense and increasingly antagonizing while appearing exactly the same. An unnerving simplicity that I didn’t understand frightened me beyond my greatest beliefs and I couldn’t describe them to my family for the life of me, haunting me for years after I stopped having them.
I used to live in a three-story house. To be fair it was a house divided down the middle with a wall so it could house two families, but regardless it felt large to the small child that I was. My house had an area where the stairs, which were all right above each other, and near the basement, there was an entrance to my dad’s office which was leveled slightly below the ground floor of the house but still sheltered slightly from the basement. And in the mornings or late afternoons when things were dark, but not enough to turn lights on, that area would have a shadowy appearance that terrified me. So sometimes, I dreamt that I was standing there, alone, in the early morning, when my parents were still in bed an eternity away on the third floor of my house, I would be frozen on that landing, surrounded by shadows and uncertainty, where I would hear a despaired howling, like one would hear on the Alaskan tundra on a cold winter night, but unnervingly human. And I would be unable to escape that desperate gale-forced cry, and then it would just end.
Photo Credit: Mechanics of Being

the playlist of my life…this far

Sometimes, I find myself being guided through life through the wisdom of songs. From songs that don’t have lyrics to songs that only have lyrics, melodies will always lay a path for me to follow. Being 17, I have a lengthy list of songs that have shaped me. 

As by Steve Wonder has taught me how to love the people through all four seasons, through thick and thin, through the mysteries of tomorrow. I learned how to love, always. 

Man in the Mirror, MJ; This song was, in my memory, the first song that highlighted the less fortunate. At a young age, I realized how blessed I was to have a roof over my head and a full plate of food 3 times a day. 

All for You, homegirl, Janet; The “I just wanna have a fun” song of the 2000s. 

Superwoman by Alicia Keys. I am SUPERWOMAN, yes I am and yes she is! Alicia, thank you for teaching me that being a woman is super! I have never been more proud!

photo credit: pinterest.com

Fade Into You, Mazzy Star; The song that sends me into a mindset of creativity, and lets me let go of the worries from the day like fading into a different dimension of my mind. 

Cobrastyle by Teddybears takes me to Venice, California, windows down, with my father behind the wheel and my brother in the passenger seat. 

Me, Myself and I by Beyonce makes me believe in the power of me. I do not need a man to support myself, fuel myself, provide for myself, or feel good about myself.

This is just a mere look into my childhood but each of these songs are inspiring and evoke vivid images of happiness. From my mother dancing in the living room to my dad telling my brother about his latest music find, my family has inspired my preference in music and I am proud.

comfort food

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”

Maya Angelou, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes

From the smell of fresh baked goods always circulating the house to the comfort of a warm bed, the idea of home sparks warmth and happiness, and I have been so lucky to consider my home in that way.

The white door that creeks and the roof that leaks is where I find home currently, but I have a vision of where I want to be or see myself once I have finished growing up.  

Being a mix of all cultures, the Philippines in itself represents me. Living in a higaonon hut on one of the several islands, I would devour salty chicken adobo and lumpia.

Settling into my home, I would write in my journal about the culture that I experienced that day while looking out from my hut into the orange sunset reflecting off the ocean. 

With beams of warm colors bouncing off the water, I would feel my late grandmother and her mother, wrapping their arms around me with their soft, delicate arms. Eventually, I will feel a sense of comfort and understanding of my surrounding culture.

Living the simple life and knowing my roots, I would sense closure and be able to flee to my new home in San Fransisco, California. 

Even though I was not born there, my roots are in California and more specifically, San Francisco. Like my little Filipino grandmother, I would come from the Philippines and go to the Golden City.

My fate would bring me to the perfect two bedrooms and bathroom apartment on the seventh floor having an auburn red door. Decorated with poems written by my father, my apartment would have the smell of essential oils embedded into the walls, specifically lavender representing my mother’s spirituality.

This would be my sanctuary where tears would be shed, laughs would explode, and love would be felt. 

The Mission district, where my brother was born, would give light to the art forward theme that I created in all the rooms but made sure that every area had its own distinctive flair.

Wanting to explore more about my culture and ancestors, I would travel to the plains of Africa. Settling down in Nairobi, Kenya, where the lifestyle is filled with the history of the Bantu people and the Swahili language, my home would be in a Kikuyu house with no rooms.

Compared to my other homes, I would be connected with the earth where elephants and antelopes have carried their children on their migratory voyage.

This home would give me insight to my African heritage before Europeans came into their territory, before slavery, and before segregation. Instead of learning about the hardships of my culture, I will learn about the rich tradition that the country brings. 

I have always been a homebody. I find extreme comfort with the idea of my home and enjoy its atmosphere. I am excited to see where my future home may be.

photo credit: pinterest.com