Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Truth

 The truth hurts. It's been said countless times before, but that doesn't change the fact that it's true. It might set you free afterwards but when you hear it or feel it, it hurts. It hurts so bad that it makes you want to howl, and scream and never stop. I have had to deal with a variety of terrible truths in my life and I am dealing with just one of many hurts one truth has caused now.

The truth is supposed to set you free, but before it does that.... It binds you like a corset and then it pulls the strings tight so hard that you can't breathe. The truth traps you in place and for a moment, it makes you unable to think or really decide.

I'm a truth-seeker. I choose the red pill. I know that truth is the only real thing that I have and that logic is the only method that I have to judge that truth. But it's just... Sometimes, I want to close my eyes and forget what I know forever. Sometimes, I just want to forget everything that I know and dig my head in the sand once again. I don't need it, I want to say. I just don't need it. Even as someone so based in logic, sometimes I want to escape into a fantasy world.

But the thing is the truth is oh-so- necessary. I can't live in a lie. I can't pretend that I'm happy when I'm not. When I try to do that, it only makes me feel worse. It only makes me want to escape even more. Instead of producing that fantasy world, it produces a world of hell. Ultimately, the only thing that makes me happy is living in the truth even if the truth takes a while to take effect. This is because the truth builds up and explodes in the worst moment to collapse the lie.

Truth takes a while to sink in and it takes a while to take effect. You hear it and then you're in shock. It's the sensation of the shock fading that's the killer. It's that sensation that sends third degree burns all across your body.

Lies only offer temporary relief. But when those lies collapse, it offers a pain worse than ever before. In relationships, if you lie one time, it's easy to keep lying. It's easy to keep those feelings inside- those little lies that build up.

The truth, I suppose, isn't as hard if you tell yourself it from the start. It's only when it becomes major, when it builds up to a mountain that it hurts. And it can hurt to varying degrees depending on the nature of that truth.

I have lived with a variety of terrible truths. Each truth becomes harder and harder and harder, it seems. This is a truth I have lived for for such a long time, but it is only killing me now.

The truth exploded last night. The rubble is still around us and still all around me and I'm afraid that the debris will never truly end up going away. I am glad to have it off of my chest, but I feel so terrible for the hurt that it has caused. Because that is my terrible truth- the truth that I told and the truth that it is hurting her. But such is how it goes.

Maybe one day it will set me free. But the fact of the matter is that I've told her already, although never like this. She knows. Our relationship has been toxic for so long; it has been all about measuring up and putting each other down and feeling such a bitter hatred and love in my chest at the same time for somebody who cares nothing for how I feel.

The terrible part of this truth, I suppose, is that things might never get better. She's upset for now, but the terrible truth is that she's not upset because of how she's hurt me but she's just upset that I dared to hurt her for once instead of cowering in the corner. I might have to cut off things completely one day. But such is how it goes when your sister has become your bully.

The truth has set me free from holding everything inside and pushing back an anger I've told myself that I was never supposed to feel. The truth has set me free from cowering any longer. I am so angry that I will never let her hurt me again. The truth has set me free from some toxicity. One day, it will even give me some sort of peace at dealing with what I cannot change. One day, I will stop hating her but simply feel a cool, simmering anger towards her that won't consume me. But for now, it is boiling me from the inside out.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Mountains

There are two types of people in this world- mountain people and ocean people. While I am most decidedly an ocean lover, I can see the wonder and majesty involved in mountains. I just went up to the Poconos and as we drove, it hit me.

Mountains are an entirely different terrain for me. It doesn't make me want to run out and explore it all like the ocean makes me want to do, but it still makes me gawk at it. I was in fourth grade when I first saw mountains and... My first association with mountains was the sensation of feeling my ears pop. The craggy roads triggered my motion sickness and I hated it. But then... Then we started to climb it and look around and it was actually pretty nice.

Of course, I admit that I am a little scared of mountains especially when I drive up the roads. I look and I think about what would happen if the car drove off the cliff and into the lake below. As we drive upwards, I think about it tumbling down. Yet most of the time, I can put those feelings behind and just enjoy the scenery when we stand there.

Also, I don't like the forest thing going on in there. I don't like the whole nature thing, so being in a forest is kind of annoying. But oh well. The best thing about a mountain is looking down from one at the scenery from the comfort of an air-conditioned house.

Mountains still produce a feeling of awe for me- a total feeling of awe when I stare out at it and see its depths. I remember the time that I trekked the mountain and looked at everything all around me and I felt some sort of awe.

The difference between the mountain and the ocean for me is that I can survive without being around a mountain. If I never saw a mountain again in my life, I probably wouldn't really care all that much. But if I never saw an ocean again, I would be pretty upset and experience quite the urge to go and see one once again.

But a mountain is nice. It's actually pretty nice looking out. Being in the Poconos was definitely a fun time and I can see the appeals of a house up there.

But mountains certainly do hold a unique appeal to it. I might not be a mountain person, but I certainly am hypnotized by it.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Names are the defining feature of an item. A person, a thing. Most people and names have mundane names, names that nobody thinks about. Yet sometimes, names are just enough to pull you in and make you turn around- for whatever reason.

I first started thinking about names after I read Esperanza's thoughts on names in House on Mango Street. While I'm probably going to stay childless throughout my life, I always swore that if I did name my kid something, it would be a distinct name and it would mean something. It's always seemed so odd to see parents floundering over their kids' names only to name them something mundane in the end (that often is shared by other classmates, of course). My kid would be Angelou or Honor or Rhett or Atticus or Triumph- something meaningful like that and something that sounds nice too that's pronounceable and not quite fodder for teasing. My kid would not be another Sara or a Sophie or a Jake in a class with three other kids with the same name as him. That just wouldn't happen for me. Those "normal" names would be distinctly middle names for me for sure (as in what the kid might call themselves if their name "embarrasses" them too much).

But, of course, names can extend to other things to- titles, objects and things like that. For example, I always felt that I failed in naming my blog. In my eagerness to start writing, I failed to adequately give this thing a name that really stuck. Only later did I think about a title that really stuck. Yet now I actually have a following (thanks, Jade!) and.... Changing the blog URL might cause a lot of confusion. Plus, I'm not entirely sure I feel like making another graphic. So in a way, I'm stuck.

Of course, it really is quite interesting to think about names and about what their purpose is. Names are identifiers, something that people and things are known as- a simple sound and set of letters that conjures their image. A title for a book, for example, might be enough to make you turn around and end up taking a second look at it. A child with an interesting name will stick out to a teacher and make them call them it. Names are so important in that aspect, which makes me even more amazed how two people can have the same names (I mean, shouldn't names for people and animals be like footprints? Or should they change with age based off of qualities that the person has- like what the Native Americans did? With each name acting almost like a Social Security number).

Another thing to consider is how names link back to language. They're another reminder of language's ability to convey a point, to convey an image. I suppose that we could always function as nameless people, calling out people by what they mean for us. Yet for some reason, human beings constantly need to name things, know things. And that's something incredible to think about. Instead of gesturing to a fork and calling it "that thing", we have called it a fork.

Names are what people call things. They are what people think of them as. And, when I think about it, names make me marvel at language all the more.
Of course, as readers, what do you think? Keep the blog URL or change it? Also, what do you think about names? 

Monday, August 20, 2012


Summertime leaves me with no routine. There is no plan; I can do what I want. Yet as the school year comes back again, I can taste routine coming back in my life once more. I can feel it; it is a ticking time bomb. In two weeks, I will be in school again, toiling away at useless homework assignments and listening to lectures about things that I will never use in real life, all of that precious writing time gone. 

Of course, routine hasn't been a total stranger for me this summer. I mean, I did go to two different sleepaway camp and I did go on vacation. I was required to wake up early in all of those places and be on a regimented schedule. But still, it's nothing to the brutality in school and at least I felt like I wanted to do it. 

Routines are a funny little thing, of course. Same thing from day in and day out without change. During the school year, it's up at 5:50 every day. Every day except Saturday and Sunday. They are so mundane and yet there is a glory in the little thing. Something to write about as a whole later on. But from the day to day rhythm of life, it makes me want to clench my teeth and scream. 

I'm not entirely sure I want to enter the rat race routine of my morning routine- waking up early at an insane hour to rush to get ready and make the bus. Not when my summer routine is just a non-routine and one I much prefer. Oh well. 

The thing about routine is that most routine are born out of practicality and need. And I know deep down in my heart of hearts, that there is a reason that I put up with the madness of school. There is a reason that I endure what I endure- to eventually deal with a better life ahead of me. There is a reason for the whole routine, of course, even if I can't always see it or appreciate it. 

Routine is also born because they produce order and structure. And the order is a necessary element in school, where hundreds of teachers are responsible for educating thousands of (mostly) unruly students. Structure and order are far less scarier and far more predictable than the little things that spontaneity brings into a life. Structure and order also leave little choice and creativity, which is another aim of public schools in America. 

Routines because they are easier. Switching things up takes effort and thought, which is something I don't want to do in the wee hours of the day. It's easier knowing that my routine then just waking up and starting to dress myself rather than eat my breakfast or some small change like that. I want to go to school knowing I have Class A rather than have it be totally up in the air. 

Of course, with the sudden countdown of school, I am forced to reconcile with this evil force of nature called routine and, being as I have not had one most of the summer, forced to think about it. . I will be forced to be the circle crammed into a triangular-shaped hole, shuttled off to school in the cattle car known as the school bus. Sure I'll meet my friends again and all that jazz but I'll be ultimately lose everything I know and love once more because unfortunately, school cannot accommodate my no-routine routine. I am staring across the river and I see only work-filled monotony on the other side. 

My summer stolen away

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Existence of Evil People

I used to believe that people were good. They did bad things and thought terrible, misguided things but... I still thought that they were good. I clung to that belief, determined that I would be that better person. Deep down inside at the very marrow of their bones, the goodness was there. As I grow older, I am starting to realize the truth. Some people are just rotten to the core; sometimes, there is nothing redeemable about them.

We have produced so many good people. So many bad ones too. But the fact of the matter is that most people are just... average. The really good and the really bad are anomalies, people that make other people stop and think. Of course they are, considering the definition of the world. Most people are just in-between, nothing special. They are tools for the more powerful minority to use. They do not think; they are just there. They are not evil, but enablers of evil. What does that make them then?  I don't know. All that I know is that they are the oxygen that allows even to continue to smolder. In a way, they are evil too.

Recently, I got a virus on my computer. My father told me that there were people everywhere on our computer, people trying to scam us. Someone else used my mother's credit card until the credit card company realized that they were frauds. Recently, I talked about welfare to a bunch of Republicans. They mentioned all of the users of the system that they had seen, people purposefully trying to manipulate and steal. I had to think. I could not live with the ideas that had comforted me for so long but I had to face the truth. It's the little things that add up, that make me wonder how one person could cheat another and never even blink.

The line between good and evil is so blurry, shrouded by clouds of gray. Good people can be corrupted so easy by material things or by people who are not good; evil is as easy to spread as Ebola sometimes. There are so many people that do not technically qualify as sociopaths, but they function as such and sometimes, they are almost there.

So evil exists. It exists inside of the human heart and not inside of the human act. This I must accept; this I must truly know and acknowledge. Yet despite my intelligence speaking, my hope somehow swallows it out. Something in my heart tells me to believe in something more. But I cannot. Anne Frank was wrong- not everyone is good at heart. Sometimes, people do bad things to good people... and they never, ever get punished and never, ever even suffer a guilty conscience while those good people continue to suffer on and on and on.  

I always thought that I was a cynic before, but that was before I realized how much that I believed in the human heart. Now I am losing that faith. There are good people in this world and there are people who stand up, but they are not nearly enough. I wonder how we can expect politicians to care about us and our problems this coming election season when we cannot even care about our neighbors.

As I think, I want to cry for a part of me that I know is lost forever. I have accepted that I probably cannot rely on a higher power to protect me and I have accepted that I cannot always rely on my parents to protect me. I am only starting to accept that people out there will not only refuse to protect me, but look to deliberately hurt me and others for no reason at all (and these number of people are more than I have thought). This heavy knowledge weighs on my shoulder like bricks and now I must wait for it to settle on my chest until it becomes a weight that I finally grow used to.

by girltripped at Deviantart (girltripped.deviantart.com)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Ocean

From the east coast, it’s blue-green, murky and dark. Mysterious, almost and scary to many. From the Caribbean, it’s such a clear color of blue that it took my breath away the first time I saw it. Alluring. In Hawaii, I heard that the sand around it is even different than it is back home. In both places, it is endless and farther than the eye can see. That, of course, is the ocean. I am amazed at how boundless it is, how it stretches across three-fourths of the world.

I have had a love affair of the ocean since I first saw it. My parents, apparently, first took me to the shore when I was three. Apparently, I ran right in and my dad had to speed up behind me to make sure I was alright. From the first moment that I saw the ocean, it was my home. When I was little, I used to feel a visceral connection with it and I thought that I could literally feel Poseidon. It was one of the only times when I felt spiritual and sometimes even at peace.  

Of course, I heard the mountain had the same allure. I was curious for quite a while, but when I went, I just didn’t feel the same thing. Right away, I knew that I was an ocean girl forever and I looked forward to the time when I would be near it again. My father coined me “Fish Girl”.

When I was older, I became less of a fish girl. The water was cold, the saltwater stung, no one wanted to play… I played in the water but I didn’t hear the ocean anymore. I tried, but I felt nothing.

Yet, in many ways, I still am a fish girl even if I don’t swim as much as I used to swim. I feel at home next the ocean, hearing the lull of its rocking waves and the sound of laughing people within it. The sand curls under my feet when I sink my feet into it and even the sun on my body feels good. When I jump waves, I feel almost as if I am on a roller coast. When I tore through the wave, I felt reborn. Even when I was pulled under or ended up with sand in a bottom piece that almost tore off, it felt right and it felt real in a way I didn’t feel anyone else.

I have just left a place where I saw the ocean every day. I could walk out of my hotel room and it was there. We had went there for one day and spent the entire day nestled beside it. Of course, being as I am in my shorehouse, I can still be in saltwater but… In the version of a lagoon and not the ocean.

The ocean is wonderful in a way most things aren’t. It is so unique in a way that absolutely nothing else is with its vastness, with its danger, with its beauty. It can offer fun and comfort and just about every other possible thing. It can leave you laughing even when you mouth is dry and you feel so uncomfortable everywhere. I don’t usually like nature but the ocean somehow is different, like it defies all rules.

The ocean is my home. I miss it and already I can feel it tugging at my heart. Yet the ocean is in my heart, in my memories. And I know that I will end up returning to it again even if it is next year.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

People Taking Advantage of the Vulnerable

There are good people and then there are bad people. Sometimes, the bad people take advantage of the good people who happen to be in a bad spot or who can’t fend for themselves. These facts are obvious parts of life and some people just grow to accept them. I cannot, though. It just seems so wrong and so sad that sometimes it eats me up inside.

Just recently, I’ve seen this in action. I just saw a waitress come to a table where a big group of people had just up and left- she would have to foot the bill, even though she’s probably a young college student barely getting by. My laptop just caught a virus, a notice that locked our computer and claimed that I had been fined by the FBI for copyright infringement (and had to pay my fine to MoneyPac). All of these are real reminders that good people get screwed over by those who just don’t give a damn about how they’re hurt.  

And that just seems like the worst kind of cruel. To take advantage of someone who is already so low. Someone is vulnerable can’t even speak up for themselves, can’t even begin to utter a sound in defense. To just hit this person when they’re already down or will have difficulty getting up is the worst kind of wrong.

That vulnerable person just has no way of getting off up the ground and no one to help them. Sometimes, those vulnerable person never gets up because they don’t have any resources around them and because everyone around them either hasn’t seen it or has looked the other way.

Worst of all, in that case, there’s no way for any justice to occur. There’s no way for the one who has put them down to receive any sort of repercussions for this and life just goes on for that person. The vulnerable have to nurse their wounds by themselves, nurse all of the wounds that they might receive.
Yet the thing about those who take advantage of the vulnerable? They are weak, oh so weak. Instead of attacking someone who is on their level, they will make sure to attack those on a lesser plane because it’s easier. Even when it’s a careless, I-want-something-and-I-don’t-give-a-fuck-about-who-I-hurt kind of a thing, it’s still the weakest, most pathetic course of action. Instead of having the strength to be careful of one’s actions and to help someone else… These people don’t do it.

Lately, I’ve been having difficulty accepting this cruel reality but it is still the case and the thing that I have to deal with. There are cruel, cruel people and more than I think. Most people are not good; only some are good. I have come face to face with these cruel people and I have been this vulnerable person…. Yet this instilled faith in humanity is so difficult to remove.

There are also people that speak up for them, but those people are few and far between. Most people commit the cruel act of neglect, walking away from this vulnerable person with a guilty shrug.

But that’s not how injustice is stopped. Injustice is stopped by standing up and speaking up for the voiceless and the vulnerable. Injustice is stopped when good people take action. There just aren’t enough people to do this and so the cycle continues.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Experimenting in Writing

Experimentation is what I live for as a writer. Experimentation brings on the thrill, something entirely new. I have written in pretty much every genre as a writer, engaged in as many writing exercises as I could ever find and took as many classes as I found/ my mom was willing to pay for. I have tried every form of writing that there is to try and I've tried to write every form of those kinds of writings. Through experimentation, I found out what I was good at and what I wasn't good at when I came to writing.

I can be surprised sometimes when I do it, even once in a while. When I experiment with my writing, I never know what to expect. Sometimes, my writings turn out to be a complete flop because, throughout the whole thing, I had no idea what I was doing. Sometimes, because I didn't know what I was doing, it was super hard and I hated it. But then other times, I'm free in ways that make me just want to write and write and write. I find that I love doing something that I didn't think that I'd love to do. And then I come back to it and write more and more like that.

The unexpected results can be the most beautiful thing about experimenting with writing. It's so beautiful, so whimsical in that. The first time is the hardest, of course, but sometimes when you come back to it, you can find that you're quite good at that form of writing. If you're bad at it even, you have nothing to lose either.

Experimenting challenges you, most of all. I've found that experimenting has pushed my boundaries like nothing else has and tested me like nothing else can. That's the most important thing about it, I think. Certain forms and genres of writing are so different than other forms. If you're used to writing in one form, you can find that writing in a different once forces you to stretch your mind and think in ways that you didn't think of before.

That certainly was what it did to me when I went to writing camp. It came up with one of the best results that I have ever come up with when I have experimented and took one of the biggest leaps that I ever took.

Just recently, I wrote the character of Harry Wei. Harry Wei is an Asian, gay, born-again Christian pothead  with a few, um, interesting qualities and explanations about the world (and pretty much a total loser). When we first came up with him in my group (our assignment a character sketch), he was a joke. But then I wrote him, took him on and... He became the class mascot. I soon found that I was writing story upon story upon story in his voice.

I usually write dark stories. Most of the time, I write fantasy novels and short stories but when I write realistic fiction, I always write them dark. Ambiguity is something that I need to work on and so that's what I've been trying to do. Harry Wei introduced something that I was never quite able to pull off... Humor. Humor was that forbidden stretch that I was never quite willing to really cross into before.

Also, I think experimenting with writing will keep your writing mind sharp and you from every being in a rut. Ruts, of course, kill writing and makes a work bland and trite. I've seen so many of my favorite writers get caught up in them and it's always such a tragedy to see them peddling out book after book of the same old generic thing. Experimentation forces you out of there and writing in an entirely different way. It keeps you entirely on your toes. Of course, it can be scary place to be and a hard one, but it keeps you out of the rut.

One base thing for me to remember is that experimentation is what made me a writer. Through it, I found out what struck home with me. I found out what I was good at, what I was best at writing. I worked at it and I got better and better and better. Continuing to experiment will keep me a better writer.

It's easy to do the same old thing, to stay in the same nice corner. But as a writer, I can't. There's so many thing to write, so many thing to try. I will keep trying the pallate of different writing tastes until they burn my mouth off.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Saying Goodbye

SciFi and Fantasy Art Saying Goodbye by Meredith M. FrenchGoodbye is a simple thing. It just means leaving something or someone for a while. Sometimes a day, a year, forever. Goodbye. It can be so simple sometimes and so terrible other times. Saying goodbye can mean so many different things to so many different people.

Today, that’s all I kept saying. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye. My arms almost got sore from hugging and I hugged everyone today. I was sweaty and I was gross, but it didn’t matter. I just held everyone and talked to them and just… felt them. I could also feel them leave, knowing that I probably wouldn’t see some of them for a whole year and I probably wouldn’t see some of them ever again. Knowing that our next contact would be minimal.

Goodbye felt like my heart was being yanked out of my chest a little bit each time and I wanted to go with them.

It’s only been a few hours but… I’m already thinking about them. I’m already thinking of their quirks and their mannerisms. Imagining them talking about the weirdest things and sometimes talking about deep things. I’m already thinking about all of the laughs in writing sessions and sharing all of our writing and just being so, so open about everything there.

I had to say goodbye to the camp too. Goodbye to the atmosphere. Goodbye to the taste of virgin mojito drinks. Goodbye to hot sticky air and leaning up against the window at morning meeting. Goodbye to dragging my mattress back from a sleepover. Goodbye to crappy food and sitting by the corner and debating aloud whether or not I should eat all of my dessert. Goodbye to the people and the camaraderie.

It was just as painful and heart-wrenching as last year. I’m feeling this sad, empty feeling in the pit of my stomach that only they can fill. While I’m thankful for the memories, I don’t want to go. I don’t understand why I can’t have more awesome people like them around in school.

So this is what it is. Goodbye. What does that really mean? Goodbyes are like that. They’re painful but not quite real until you drive away. A hug and a few words that will never mean enough. Goodbye today meant I-will-see-you-again-but-it-will-be-a-long-time-until-I-do and I-might-never-see-you-again-but-I-really-want-to-and-I-hope-we-keep-touch.

Goodbye is the final chapter. A closing of the door. One thing is lost and sometimes, another thing is gained. Sometimes goodbye leads into the sequel of your life and sometimes it doesn’t.

Goodbye can be an opportunity for something else, something new. Sometimes, the silver lining only emerges somewhere. It can be a time to look at the future and see it for what it is. Just like last year, this camp is making me think about it for what it was. I’m not seeing the opportunity, though. I feel like the opportunity has ended and now I have to go to real life. I have to go back to assholes and high school and anxiety with no one who understands me and memories that make me shudder.

With goodbyes means moving on. I have to move on; I have no choice. Eventually, the pain will fade.

Goodbyes are life, because nothing is constant. All I can do right now is appreciate that it happened even if I am sad that I have to see it go.

So, to my fellow campers: