Nostalgic Pride

I like divulging stories and experiences from my childhood so I think I’ll do that again.
 
5th grade was an interesting year for me. I spent the whole year knowing it was my final year in China, that I would soon be moving to the promised land that I had only know as Hollywood from movies and the few visits I had made to the southern coast of California. I fostered friendships I knew wouldn’t last, I got moved up to the highest reading group, and I ALMOST kissed a girl. All the subdued craziness afforded to an awkward twelve year old was incredibly liberating, however at the same time, it was shrouded in the despair of having to leave behind everything I knew.
 
Aside from all that depressing stuff, my fifth-grade year was the perfect culmination of all the time I had spent in China. My friends and I released more videos in a single year than we ever had before, under the name of our production company, “Yovodka United.” My homeroom class won the elementary school dodgeball tournament, even defeating the teachers somehow, making for one glorious pizza party. I finally read the final book of the TinTin series from the library, after waiting nearly two years for someone to return it, and I gave my final goodbyes to the friends, the school, the city, that had raised me and taught me so much, walking off stage, throwing glow sticks into the audience, after our heartfelt class song.
 
The Skype calls that seemed to go nowhere but made hours fly by in minutes. The new era of pop music, Maroon V, Imagine Dragons, Taylor Swift, The Script, and Gotye, creating a perfect soundtrack that could encapsulate my memories into a single playlist. The Minecraft LAN parties that involved poor WiFi, pizza bagels, and lots of griefing. I don’t know if I can ever recreate a year as packed with mixed emotions and shameless exuberance as my fifth-grade year, but I only hope I can one day look back on my high school experience, my senior year even, with the same kind of nostalgic pride.

Scars

scars never go away.

no matter how many dollars you spend on Mederma.

they fade, but their reminiscence will always remain.

cuts, bruises, scratches, and blisters hurt

but cuts will heal. bruises and scratches will vanish. blisters and sores go away,

scar takes a different type of hurt. a different type of stab. a scar is a much deeper pain.

happiness, anger, regret, remorse, and fear burn.

but anger will simmer down, regret will turn into acceptance, remorse will turn into forgiveness, and fear will be overcome.

but love is a different type of burn.

love is a different type of hurt. a different type of happiness. a different type of pain.

just like a scar, love fades.

just like a scar, love will never go away.

just like a scar, love is a weakness that can be cut open at any time.

for better or for worse…

photo credit: Pinterest 

The Art of Boundaries:

Boundaries are a part of our healing process. Many of us grew up in homes where boundaries were non-existent. As children, our boundaries were crossed so often that we become adults without them. We were told how we felt, how to behave, and how to interact with others. This disconnected us from our intuitive responses of stating (and following through with) our own personal limits.

All healthy relationships require boundaries. There’s no shame in us not having boundaries in our relationships if we never had this behavior modeled for us. It’s something we have to learn. And practice. And slowly integrate into our lives.

Disclosure: when I first started setting boundaries it was terrifying. The reactions I got often sent me into fear along with many panic attacks. Being in toxic relationships in the past, confrontation with others was my number one fear. I would completely shut down with the thought of telling someone how I felt about the way they were treating me. It took me a while to realize I am not responsible for the emotional reactions of others. It took me a while to see how this benefited me and everyone I had relationships with. 

Boundaries are kind. They provide clear limits of where we end and another begins. They allow other people to understand how to best engage with us. Setting and receiving boundaries can feel terrifying and guilt ridden, especially coming from codependent dynamics.

And for those with unresolved trauma, boundaries can feel like abandonment. They can trigger defense mechanisms within us. All we can do is objectively deliver them with grace. Then hold them regardless of reaction.

Objectified

ob·ject
noun
/ˈäbjekt/
1.
a material thing that can be seen and touched.

                                    …

Dear strong, capable, powerful, being,

you are not an object.

Nowadays, many people are objectified. Not just for sex, but for money, popularity, and much more.

Dear strong, capable, powerful, being,

your purpose is not just to fulfill the wants of others.

You are beautiful. You are intelligent. You are unique.

And you are here on this earth to do much more than to satisfy someone’s wants or desires and then to be put on the shelf until they want you again.

No person is single-use. No person is only good for one thing. No person is an object.

And no person deserves to be treated like one.

Photo credit: artsyrose.com

Indisposable Disposition

I try to stay cheery as much as I can. I avoid being serious as much as I can, and even when presented with attacks on my character I often try to disregard them or make jokes. This often has the unintentional effect of making me seem weak, oblivious, or daft, but I allow it and move on with my day. It’s not that I fear confrontation, that I can’t stand up for myself, but because I’ve found that by making this change, I’ve created a very friendly environment, at least in my own headspace.

I like acting unaware sometimes because it detaches me from the monotony of everyday life. During finals, college applications, or other stressful moments in my life, I find that I myself am never as stressed as my peers, often they go on about how late they stayed up studying and how stressed they are, and I’ll chime in occasionally, but all-in-all I don’t contribute much because it isn’t the case for me. I feel as though my seemingly carefree attitude has translated into the parts of my academic life that don’t affect my performance, thankfully.

But I stray from the main idea of my post – I don’t like to take myself too seriously. I like being able to laugh at things that some friends would otherwise correct me for, trying to change me for whatever reason. Because of those little things, the incoherent gibber-jabber I have with myself walking down the stairs from lunch, the little dance I do on the curb by the hill of the English classroom, all these things keep me sane during the most stressful time I have ever been through in my life.

This method always works perfectly well until it doesn’t. It could be a few simple things throughout the day. I get blamed for the failure of something that I did for a group, I get called out for something I have to defend myself for, something that forces me to drop my jokes and get angry, that’s when it all comes flooding in, the test scores, the admissions calls, the loaded commitments. It’s moments like these I have to pull over on the side of the mountain road leaving school, I have to roll my window down and watch the sunset as the lights turn on over Ojai Ave. as the road clogs with headlights of every vehicle in town, and call my parents. My parents taught me to live my life embracing the positives, they reflected this idea in their own lives, making jokes and keeping me calm throughout all the hardships that they encountered when I was a child. After a few minutes of this, I hang up the phone, roll up my window, turn my music back on, and I’m ready to keep on chugging along.

Wandering

Let me be your beacon,

let me be your guiding light.

I know you’re scared, tired, and broken,

but I’m here to hold you tight.

I know you hide your fears from me,

you get ashamed when you let them show,

but babe,

I’ve cried in your arms many times,

so please just let me know

what’s going on in that beautiful mind of yours,

your wicked, twisted, brain

filled with lies and awful times,

but babe let me be your change.

I just want to love you,

you’ve been through so god damn much,

your beautiful soul deserves the world you know,

I wish you thought the same.

I’m sorry for everyone who hurt you,

you’re scared to let me in because you fear I’ll do the same.

Everyone you’ve loved has done you wrong,

but darling I’m not the same.

So let me be your beacon,

let me be your guiding light.

I know you’re scared, tired, and broken,

but I’m here to hold you tight.

Photo via: searchengineland.com

Noodles

Recently I had a dream no different from most, I was at a grocery store with an old friend of mine. It used lightbulbs that just made the store appear sickly (obviously not LED), the flickery hospital lighting that evokes the smell of latex gloves from nowhere. Anyways, apart from the lights that bothered me a lot, the shelves were only partially stocked, but they were all stocked wrong and without any tags. This made it especially difficult to find the ramen that my friend and I had gone in there looking for. After wandering through rows of of tall, black, and poorly built shelves with pretty much anything thrown on them, we finally came upon the milk section. Now this was a bit of a problem because we had gone in there looking for ramen, and I was now browsing cartons of milk that looked as though they smelled like goat urine. After my brain had somehow remembered that the dream had begun with the task of looking for ramen, we began to move away from the milk and towards the rest of the store.

Now, personally I do not know why I so vividly remember this dream. I can only attribute it to me having had a boring day, and the dream being the only interesting thing that had happened to me since the morning.

When we finally came across the ramen, it was behind some boxes of Chinese snacks that I can only describe as milky bread sticks. The ramen was also sub-par because it was the off-brand Korean kind that was made to burn your eyebrows off that once made me sneeze chili powder. I was upset but still willing to take it, because after an extended period of time in a poorly managed grocery store that I have dreamt about many times before, I was getting fairly irritable. However, this is when my hulking, pigmy of a friend decided to grab it and run off.

I was furious, I had just wasted so much time staring at milk, wandering through aisles of nothing, and putting up with stress-inducing incandescent lighting, all to have my crappy ramen stolen away from me. Normally, this is where I would wake up, barge downstairs, and make myself food, but my dream-self was feeling particularly determined tonight. I continued searching for ramen, I spent hours searching the shelves of the store, running into half-asleep janitors, and many soulless patrons, destined with the same fate as I was.

After my search of the store came up empty, I somehow stormed myself to the loading dock in the back of the store that for some reason was also the location of the dumpster. It was beside this dumpster that I had found almost exactly what I was looking for, garbage bags full of contaminated ramen noodles. I do not know why I thought to look in the trash bags, I do not know how I knew they were contaminated, and I also do not know why I eventually took two bags home, but I do know that the story did not end well for me.

I don’t remember exactly how the dream ended, I eventually woke up, and I remember being fairly put off by the end, but as is common with dreams, I quickly forgot it. I didn’t find much meaning behind this dream. This is by no means the first dream I have had about grocery shopping, those have always been quite common for me. I didn’t think about the dream again until I came home that day from school, and saw that among some of the things my mother had bought from the grocery store was a few packets of ramen. Needless to say, I did not eat the ramen. That was the night I discovered that perhaps store bought ramen wasn’t for me, that was also the night that I discovered I was clairvoyant. So if there’s anything you should take away from this experience, and I seriously doubt there is, I’d say it’s probably to use LED bulbs, because they won’t cause irrational and dangerous decision making like incandescent bulbs do.

Photo Credit: Imgur.com