I feel like I'm not cut out to work. I don't know what I'm doing, where I'm going, and I'm tired of wanting to do so many things but being bogged down by work and always doing jobs that lead to nowhere and take me noplace.
I'm sad that people can feel so much hate that they are willing to run people over via car.
I'm sad, although slightly relieved, that the Republican party has finally shown its true face.
I'm sad that we have a president that won't denounce White Supremacists for their actions.
I'm sad that we don't have a minute to breathe as we go from one chaos to the next, but I am proud that people have not stayed silent.
I'm sad that people can't seem to listen to listen to either side without calling each other names.
I'm sad that certain people can't seem to understand the pain that they are inflicting on everyone else, and how everyone just wants to be on an equal playing field.
I'm sad for everyone that is in a disenfranchised minority or community.
I'm sad that Millennials get a lot of heat for things that are beyond our control, and for the fact that the previous generations seemed to hand us a full plate of mass chaos for us to deal with.
I'm sad to think about everyone that came before us, who were stuck in an oppressive system.
I'm sad that so many Syrians have died or been moved out of their home. I can't imagine my land becoming a terrorist free for all, running and swimming my way out of a country and then being hated by the biggest country in the world.
I'm sad that we are represented by a man that not only has no experience in political work, but seems to openly dislike working to unite the country.
I'm sad that Mitch Mcconnell was so intent on getting rid of healthcare even though his life was changed and improved by Federally funded healthcare.
I'm sad that Tomi Laren is utilizing Obamacare herself but thinks that everyone else should have their healthcare removed.
I'm sad that we even think that healthcare is a choice, like there are rich people out there openly opting out of healthcare because they feel like it. Like somehow we are all out there debating on whether or not we should have something that is so obviously necessary for a long and fruitful life.
I'm sad of all of the people who hate me and my friends for things that can't be controlled. Our skin color, our gender, our sexuality, where we're born and who we're born to is deciding too much about our fate and its unfair.
We all sit with these heavy heavy burdens, aging us daily as we sit through another day of mess. What I am proud about is all of the protesting (in more ways than one) that has been stopping most of the bad things from happening. It is the main motivation to help make the world a better place. We must continue to fight for our right to be who we are, to have more equal opportunity, and for some semblance of peace or else there will be no United States.
I worry that there will be more deaths to come, but I hope that we get through the year unscathed.
There is no party worth my future.
I've been studying for the LSAT lately, and since my course started, I haven't had much time for all of my usual ritual of weekend drinking and music events. Life has slowed, but it's been pleasant and healthy and calm. I feel like I'm in the center of chaos, tranquil amidst the madness.
I've been noticing how much the little things in life have been making my day. Yesterday I made curry, and a few days earlier I used some of the spices my mom gave me to make fried rice Japanese style. I cleaned my house, and I went to the Indian market by my house for the first time. I took a break from the day with a walk. It's small, seemingly inconsequential things that have been making my life worth it. I'm on my way to something bigger and better and greater than I can yet imagine, but for now, studying and focusing and being healthy has been the recipe for my success.
When the sun sets on the city, the madness turns into tranquility, and on a slowy, dreamy night like this one, we get into the car for no reason, other than to spend time together as young kids brimming with boredom. Sleepy and slow, with the sea breeze slurring the humid air around us, we weave in and out of the few cars still on the road, taking in the special energy of this time of the night.
We crank up the music, take in our youth. Our hair blends in with the night, the occasional lights from the street lamps hitting perfectly against the glass to create a strobe, our little escape from the pains of youth. Everything is okay here- music is our savior, and our city is the canvas.
We are poor, we are young, we are stupid, but none of that matters. It is the best time of our lives, free from the shackles of responsibility and a moment of bliss before we return to a lifetime of work ahead. We will be doctors, lawyers, artists, writers, engineers, leaders, mothers, fathers, and more. We have a world of things to do, but the night air will always belong to our sleepy youths.
They expect me to be a walking ray of sunshine and it is exhausting for me to bear. I am supposed to be unafraid in the face of pain and calm during the moments of crisis, but I am human, and I am not as strong as they want me to be. I feel sad when things don't happen the way I want them to, annoyed when people bother me, and mad, happy, glad, and more during all hours of the day. I am as complex as nature made me, chemicals swirling through me modulating how I feel, attached to a mind that does its best to maintain me through the day. That is all that I am.
I am expected more.
I have to be resilient against stress, a sponge against the evils of time, soaking up everything happening around me without expressing how I feel, what these things do to me. Even in moments of doubt, of confusion, I am treated like my unlikeable traits are a burden on the rest of the world, like somehow I cannot have my own reactions to the many problems that arise in any normal day. Why am I forced to feel guilty for not being happy and pleasant all of the time? I am not irrational in my attitudes throughout the day, but when something happens, why am I forced to feel like anything less than a smile is somehow a plight against the grains of society?
I will no longer let anyone dictate how I am supposed to feel ever again, if only to maintain ownership of who I am. I will scream in moments of rage, love in moments of passion, and I will let my emotions, no matter how undesirable to the perceptions of society's gaze, roar like the thunderstorm it can be. The world has told me what to do enough, you have told me what to do enough. No more. I am mine, and my emotions are here to stay.
Lately I've been feeling like there's a hole of loneliness I never felt before. I feel time slipping through my hands, the world failing to give me a chance to grasp onto reality. So much is changing- people are leaving, family are leaving, and I feel like somehow I am being left behind. I am trying to concentrate on anything, everything, to get it together, and yet, I am the one crying at the end of the day, alone, tired. No matter what I do next, the summer will keep on keeping on, and I will be here, trying to get it together.
It's been a bit crazy here, and I'll start writing again very soon to explain everything that's been happening, but for now, here is my summer reading list.
- When Breath Becomes Air, Pal Kalanithi - I was drawn to what felt like a clash between his desire to be a doctor and a desire to be a writer, as well as the tragedy that ultimately befell the incredibly brilliant Stanford Neurosurgeon Nueroscientist. He was objectively a brilliant man, and his time was decades too soon, but in his constant confrontation with time, he showcases the true importances of life and gripping to sanity when the floor gives out under us too soon. I actually just finished this book today, and it's probably going to be one of my favorites in terms of writing style, brutal honesty, and eloquence in the way he kept his head high through every moment.
- House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski - I don't know a lot about this book, but from what I hear it's incredibly intense, but any book that can sweep away readers is one I'm interested in tackling this summer. I can use a break from what will probably be my most mundane summer as I dive headfirst into studying for the LSAT.
- It, Stephen King - Admittedly, the stunning nature of the upcoming film's trailer, combined with King's alleged drug abuse whilst writing this novel has me interested in the book. I don't think this book will teach me any grand tales about life, but I'm sure this one will be entertaining.
- White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg - Growing up I knew I never considered myself a conservative- I remember when I asked my mom what a Republican was when I was eight and newly moved to the US, she told me it was "someone who didn't think that rich people had to give up any of their money for the poor," and I remember knowing I didn't agree with that. From then on, politics had always fascinated me, and in today's age, the American right has always fascinated me as I often find my own logic goes against their very essence, and vice versa. How and why we are at our current state has me deeply interested, and anything that can teach me how we got here is something I'm incredibly interested in reading.
- Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond - Continuing on that thought above basically, this book takes a look at another aspect of our socio-economic structures. America is vastly complex, and understanding its core nature is fundamentally important for every citizen to continue growing as a private citizen.
- Ayoade on Ayoade: A Cinematic Odyssey, Richard Ayoade - I'm a massive fan of Ayoade- from his directorial efforts to his zany acting in the IT Crowd, I'm never one to shy away from the writings of someone as truly brilliant as he is. If he's anything like he is while being a guest on television shows like Big Fat Quiz, this one is sure to be a fun one.
- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz - I stumbled upon Diaz's writings when I was on the New Yorker once, and I quickly fell in love with his honesty, his ability to draw in readers utilizing imperfect and, at times unlikeable, characters. Bringing in his Dominican upbringing into his work, he showcases real people with incredible flaws with such precision that his characters burst through the page. I hate his characters often, at least the ones in his short stories, but their realness proves why Diaz is one of today's most exciting writers, and probably one of the books I'm most excited to read this summer.
- White Teeth, Zadie Smith - This was one of those books every list I read had on there, so I honestly have no idea what this book is about, just that everyone keeps saying to read it.
- In the Darkroom, Susan Faludi - People are fundamentally complex, and nothing says that more than Faludi's exploration of her father, who transitioned into a woman in his elder years. Complex and exploratory, this one seems challenging and menacing, while still being brutally raw.
- The Sellout, Paul Beatty - I haven't caught up on my modern day satirical literature in a while, so this one should be interesting. I also haven't gotten the chance to get into Paul Beatty
- At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails, Sarah Bakewell
- The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin (1963) - It's about time I got into the work of James Baldwin, and the writing style of this text is intriguing. I think I read some of his works in some classes I had in college, but honestly I can't seem to remember much actual academic activity taking place while I was at UCLA.
- Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates - I wanted to read this and Baldwin back to back actually- their writing styles are different but apparently the texts are similar enough to consistently draw parallels. Still, their both incredible writers with a wealth of experience when it comes to the modern day Black American experience, and it seems important than I dive into as much about the lives of White Trump supporting blue collar workers as Black males to deeply understand the complexity that is the American life.
I got three bottles of patron, a bottle of another kind of tequila, and a half drunken bottle of sangria on my birthday.
Best. Party. Ever.
Sometimes the best gift is a notebook. Almost every year around my birthday or Christmas-time someone gives me stationary as a gift, and every time it's like they've provided me with a brand new world, under my command and always at my direction. It's an incredibly powerful gift that gives me escape when I need to, refuge when I'm tired, power when I feel weak, and strong when I'm broken.
Today I received something very special from my friend in New York, for no reason. It was a beautifully bound notebook. The kind anyone would be proud to carry around. I'm no real great writer of any kind, but there's no other feeling like running fingers through unwritten, untouched pages. Clean and clear and ready for my words, I feel grand and ready to take on the world.
I'm almost too afraid to write in it, it's so perfect, but I figure I'll know when.
Every year I try to write all of the things I did that year, tuned to the age I'm leaving. So, without further adieu, here is 23 things I did at 23.
- Saw Dave Chappelle for like a 2 hour show randomly one night
- Met Snoop Dogg!
- Getting ready for the LSAT
- Worked PR (and left it...)
- Saw Noah Purifoy stuff on a weekend at Joshua Tree
- Sent someone to the Medical Tent at FYF (...although not directly my fault)
- Moved to LA
- Reconnected with some friends I never thought I would see again
- Worked freelance full time
- Magnetic Magazine
- San Diego trip with Jonathan!
- Trip to SF to see Jonathan
- Stopped taking in sugar
- Started walking and running every (other) day
- Blueprint Sessions LA
- The Eagle
- Booked tickets for Japan!!!
- Learned that roller disco is not in my future
- Went to a rich white person wedding of the Martinelli Family
- Got into golf again
- accidental acid
We fall in and out of old habits, naturally. Life is silly, humans are stupid, and love is blind. When we are together the world is imperfectly perfect, when we are apart, we fall apart. We can never be, and yet for little touches of time things manage to line up perfectly. Moments of beauty in what will be a friendship of pain.
One day this will all fall apart, and I know I innately wait for this chapter of my life to close. But I am in no rush, for saying hello to a new chapter is just another game of chance.
I wish my brother had more time to talk to me. He's been too busy for me since he was 16, when the world of dance seemed to swirl him away from the rest of the family. At home, we often joke that he's a roommate rather than family. I think I honestly might spend more time with my parents than he does, and I live in a separate (albeit pretty close) city.
That was alright for a while, but I can feel the whispers of change through the winds. My parents are embarking on the next chapter of their lives and unintentionally causing a ripple in our world. They are moving away and my brother and I will be all that remains of our family in Southern California. What then? Will my brother have no time for me? Will we meet up during the colder months to cook mizutaki and shabu-shabu together so that we can remember the tastes of home? Will he call me when he's short on money and visit me? Those are all things that have never happened before, and thinking that the future involves the two of us being a solitary team is both frightening and confusing.
I've always considered us close but we don't text each other frequently or call to catch up. He's 20 and too busy for such a thing as familial bonding. I suppose in some ways I was that way too- I ran off to college while he stayed, so I had my chance to be away. But still...
I just wish he knew that I am here.
I admittedly don't think about you often; the ravages of time have placed you often into the back of my deepest memories. We weren't friends for long anyways, and in the timeline of stories on Earth, our friendship came and went in the blink of an eye. It probably wasn't even that significant for one another. We came and went, like leaves swirling in the wind. But on nights like these, I go back through our years together and relive the simple moments, before things got hard. I never got to say goodbye and I wish I told you I was sorry.
We lost touch over time, but I always thought there was going to be some set aside to make up for the bad memories. In the future, we were supposed to run into each other, and it was then that I could apologize for the pain I once brought. I imagined that we could be friends one day again, but life disagreed.
We never managed to mend anything, but it was probably the least of your concerns when things took that dark turn. It's all I think about now when I think of you though. I wish I could have seen you travel and see your bright face shine. Go to college, fall in love, fall out of love, and become a new person. You were always so full of light, when did things go wrong? There was and still is life beyond the walls we were once confined in, and you of all people should have gotten a chance to see it.
Our times together were small but meaningful, and every New Years Day I pour out a little drink and say a little prayer for you. Should I have been there? Could I have been there? All I know I can do is promise you that I'm going to live as much as possible for both of us, for all of us, for all that didn't make it to today because the Earth and our bodies were too cruel and punishing us for just wanting to live. That's the only real form of repayment I can give you now.
Until we meet again, friend.
The drug is many things.
Sometimes it is home, for those longing to return to a place to a comfortable time and place.
For others, it is the elixir of love, seducing its subjects to its warm, enveloping touch.
And yet, for others like me, it is the truth.
The chill at the end of every breath.
It is at these moments when we understand our fundamental truths.
The drug is whatever we need it to be at that moment,
but when it is the truth, the world finally begins to make sense.
So my friend Sam started this Instagram, where she writes down friends goals for the year. Of course, she just asked me a bunch of questions and I had no idea what this was for in the middle of a party, so I've spent this entire morning thinking about what my goals actually were. Some I'm already working on, others are a little more... down the line haha.
Here they are:
- Take the lsat in september
- Get more flexible
- Go to japan
- Eat better
- Workout and get a body worthy of LA
- Spend quality time with friends
- Go to more non-music events
- Go to more comedy events
- Volunteer somewhere
- Visit ATL
- Hike more
- FYF music festival
- Travel more in general
- Appreciate and love my friends
- Get into continuous line art and drawing in general
- Take more photos of when I'm out and about
- Practice writing short stories
- dress well every single day and invest in some really nice outfits
- Write more
- Keep a proper journal
I've never really felt all that comfortable in my skin. I've never liked the extra layer of fat my body never seems to be able to shed, and I'd never been the girl that guys talked to at the bar. It never bothered me overall, but ya know, with everything, it can to me during my vulnerable times. My friends were always beautiful, so it was sometimes shitty when it felt like I just did have that oomph that they all did.
This one came from someone I've never met or talked to ever again. In fact, sometimes I wonder if this ever happened at all. My friends and I went to the beach one day, ditching the second half of the day during the summer. We brought picnic blankets and snacks, and my friends went running towards the water to do cartwheels or whatever you do when you're drinking in the afternoon.
Out of nowhere a guy from a short distance yells over "you're beautiful and you don't even know it," and then kept walking. The guy might have been crazy, but in the culmination of all of the shitty feelings I was experiencing on a daily basis, I almost burst into tears. I don't remember what he was wearing or what he looked like or who he was at all but there was no one else close around that I could tell. Believe me, I looked.
Nothing changed after that. I still feel shitty a lot of the times. I'm still not really paid much attention by a lot of people. I still have a lot of insecurities, but when things are really bad, sometimes that moment takes me back. I'm not sure what prompted him to say that, or if maybe Olivia Wilde was behind me at that exact moment, but it doesn't really matter why, just that it did. It's moments like that where my agnosticism falters. I'm 95% sure there isn't a god, but those little moments make me believe there is something or someone watching for me out there.
My favorite compliment in the entire world came from my boss while I was at UCLA. Since I didn't have a car at the time, one of my bosses drove me and a student coworker to a restaurant for a group dinner. We were pretty close knit, at least as much as college students with nothing in common working in IT and a bunch of dudes in their twenties and thirties could.
My boss was and still is interesting. He's incredibly intelligent in nearly all subject matters- history, science, politics, economics, and more. Beyond that though, all the student workers and him loved chatting about movies and music. He put me onto Busdriver, and at the time Run the Jewels was just starting up, so we talked a lot about that.
But anyways, we were sitting in that car, talking about movies, I can't remember what, when he said to me, "one day when you're making the remake of Rear Window, I'll do anything to work on that set."
I'd never made any kind of mention about wanting to make a movie before. It always felt out of reach, something that would be so amazing to do one day, but it was just something I would never even think about approaching as realistic. For the record, I still don't think that I can make a movie. It doesn't seem like the career trajectory I'm on currently, but I don't know. A compliment like that made me feel like I could maybe do anything I want. Nothing seems impossible. If he thinks I'm capable of creating a movie one day, then surely I'm capable of anything.
I doubt he even remembers anything about that moment, but it meant a lot to me. It's my favorite compliment.
Love is a challenge. It's not easy, and it's not supposed to be easy, and all of the years of lies that accumulate in films, and tv shows, and songs don't like to mention that love is work.
People are too complex, and the concept of love is too simple.
There is no such thing as 100% compatibility, 100% of the time. Everyone has baggage and everyone has problems, but it is in these areas where our greatest test within ourselves lie. We can't leave when things are tough. Not at least without trying. Friends, family, and our significant others, they are supposed to be worth the effort, and this is where the true test of a man lies. It's easy to love when things are good, but it's a cowardly and weak move to leave because something gets tough.
Of course, there are always solid reasons to leave. But I know I'll never leave without trying, without putting in effort, and without doing everything I possibly could to make it work.
Life isn't always fun, and love, in whatever form, isn't easy. There are tests and challenges along the way, and I know that with everyone I lost throughout time, I gave it a fighting chance and I'm proud that I don't let people go that easily. I love my friends, and I love them hard. None of us are perfect, or attuned to knowing about the same things, or easy to bear all the time, but I know that if there are people who love me and I love them, and we have fun together, that's all I need to be happy. I have fiercely loyal people in my life because I'm a fiercely loyal person. I always put the people I love first, and I don't understand a person who can't appreciate that.
It's selfish and pretentious to think that the world should revolve around one person like that. To assume that there are people out there who are just going to click and things will be nothing but sunflowers and sunshine for the rest of one's life. To think that there aren't times when I want to chop my boyfriends head off or I want to cut off a friend because they are being stupid or extreme. The world doesn't revolve around anyone, and if you want to stay in orbit with everyone else, there are concessions to be made. It's idealistic to dream of a world so perfect, but it's childish to dream of this world and not put in any effort.
The last couple of weeks have admittedly been a blur. Work has been busy because of the annual clusterfuck that is March - thank you SXSW and MMW- and with the added aftertaste of my personal life, things have been all over the place, chaotic, and I haven't had too many moments to sit down.
I've been nonstop writing, and for a while, they were babbling that meant nothing. I was writing simply to stop myself from crying or just feeling sorry for myself. It's good to know that I don't ever stay a mess for long though. For the most part, I've gotten back to my old self. Perhaps a slightly more worn and tired version though.
People seem to feel sorry for me, which I resent. I want to be fine, and I feel like I am now. I don't need anyone being sad for me. I'm 23, life doesn't stop anywhere close to here.
I am afraid I don't know how to trust and open up to people again though. How can I trust anything when I didn't see what was happening before my own eyes? Do I really know what's going on? I'm not sure. Time will tell.
The summer is coming though, so for now, I'm back to my old ways. I feel like I've started a new chapter already.