Bedsheet, Canvas, Camera, Paper

Ohh...hello? I barely even remember how to post here, but it's National Poetry Day so I can't resist! 

 

in the heat of love
he called you angel,
goddess. 

heaven-sent present
made perfectly
for him. 

but you are not divine.
not alien to his earth. 

this:
this is your world. 

bedsheet, canvas,
camera, paper. 
all are your instruments
and you are the maker.

you are the artist,
and the nude.

you are the writer,
and the muse.

Moving On

Exactly a year ago, I gave Squarespace some credit card info and decided that I was gonna write. What exactly would I write about? Dunno! That didn’t really seem important at the time. The important part was that the idea scared me, so I thought it would probably be good for me. A couple things about it made me nervous:  

1) I had never shared my personal writing with anyone outside of my tiny writing classes, because it was too dear to me. As long as I was the only one reading it, I could pretend I was good at it, and keep it sacred in that way. If I shared it and people found me to be a shitty writer, I was pretty sure sad times would ensue.

2) I'd spent the last couple years being extremely private about my life, because I wasn't exactly proud of it. Failed relationships left and right, tiniest paychecks, and not even one pet cat to show on Instagram – it's safe to say I was a bit ashamed of my choices. 

But on January 12th, 2014, at 3am, I felt compelled to write my first blogpost. By hitting publish, I committed to sharing my words and mess of a life. I basically committed to making myself uncomfortable on a regular basis :D

It's been an interesting process, becoming accustomed to seeing these little bits of my mind exist outside of my own head. It's been interesting to see how people receive them as well. One of my favorite pieces to write only picked up like 20 views, while a piece I considered to be a quick throwaway became the most popular. I never really planned what to write, and never knew what to expect when posting. The first few times definitely made me feel nervous every time I hit publish. "Wait, why did I write this? Everyone's gonna think I'm the dumbest, and I'm pretty sure every other word is misspelled..."

After a while it became more natural though, and I've gone from feeling nervous about sharing, to finding it comforting. One of my 2015 resolutions is to keep moving, and to expand my comfort zone by doing things that scare me. So on this one year mark, I'm feeling ready to move on. This space has become comfortable. I'm sure I'll return to it once in a while, but I want to untether myself and take up the challenge of writing elsewhere. Maybe I'll pop up on Medium more often, maybe I'll find new ground, maybe I'll get to collaborate with some of you! 

In any case, it's time to find the next thing that scares me. Thanks for indulging me this year :) Genuinely sending out love, best wishes, and the energy to always keep moving. 

GIVE ME A HUG. OK, BYE!

Holy Fuck, 2014

On December 31st 2013, I found myself crying over a horoscope. Not my proudest moment. But a terrible January? Struggle until July? Whyyyyy?! Where was the bit about winning the lottery and being rescued by a hot dude on a pony?

The previous year was marked by separation from my husband and living on a thousand a month. I thought that had been a hard year, and I wasn't sure I could handle another one. But the horoscope turned out to be right.

2014 was a fucking doozy.

I started it off by losing my phone and gaining the flu in the polar vortex, and perhaps a bit more traumatizing: the relationship that I had used as a crutch to hobble out of my broken marriage crumbled, leaving me feeling weak and unsupported for the first time…maybe ever? 

I flew back to California and was greeted by my shitty apartment and divorce papers that needed fixing. It wasn’t all bad though – my sweet roommate had also left a collection of healing items on the coffee table for me, including “Inner Peas” (so apropos <3), various teas (I’m an addict), cigarettes (not an addict! for emergencies only, kiddos) and flowers. Roomie had recently been spending most of her time at her boyfriend’s place, so I found myself a bit more alone than usual.  

I’ve always loved and valued my alone time, but 2014 brought it in a new way. My business partner was also met by monumental life challenges, so our working relationship (which we both had been in love with) ended too. I distinctly remember a day early in the year when I was simultaneously struggling through divorce forms, filling out paperwork to dissolve my business partnership, and feeling wahmbulance about my ex. My family was far away, my roommate wasn’t around, and my closest friends in the area had moved to other cities. All the people I had relied on were falling away.

I sensed a theme. Ok 2014, I get it! You want me to face my deepest fear: Being Alone.

I realized I'd been focused on relationships of one sort or another my entire life, and wasn't even sure what it felt like to look at my own needs first. It was high time to find strength in myself. 2014 was the year to embrace being single and handle my company solo. Instead of investing in the dreams of a significant other, I threw myself into my own work. Instead of confiding all my thoughts to a boy between the sheets, I started this blog

And then something happened I hadn’t expected. People kind of read it! Some were even compelled to reach out and reconnect. This silly little space to impulsively unload helped me find more like-minds than I ever knew I had. What started as a tool to teach me to be alone ended up bringing so many wonderful people into my life. I really want to thank you guys for accompanying me during this crazy year, if even for a moment <3

2014 was a doozy. I faced and got over a lot of fears: silly irrational fears, the fear of sharing my writing, and the fear of being alone. This adjustment was less than comfortable, but the more I got to know myself, the easier it was to be on my own.  I realized I didn’t need the guy on the horse. I stopped wanting to be rescued. By the second half of the year, I felt like I was finally rescuing myself. Feeling stronger also meant that I could start to be present for others again, and get closer to a sense of balance between selfishness and selflessness. I still have a ways to go, but I know now how much can happen in a short amount of time.

December 31st, 2013, found me surrounded by snotty tissues, and filled with an odd sense of dread. December 31st, 2014, found me surrounded by the positive energy of others, and filled with an undeniably magical sense of optimism.

Looking back now, 2014 transformed and shaped me more than any other year. It was the hardest year.  
It was my favorite year.

I Love You But You’re Driving Me Crazy

HEY GUYS IT’S THE HOLIDAYS!

If you’re anything like me, this means you’re spending more money than usual, eating more sugar than usual, and your family is driving you nuts. Oops…I know my sisters are reading and not loving this right now, but give me a minute. I’m allowed to say this because we’re completely secure in our love. We know that we’d do anything for one another. But let’s face it. We’re fucking annoying.

My parents were both free spirits, and raised the three of us to be true to ourselves. As a result, our family is made up of very distinct, headstrong personalities scattered across the world. Getting everyone together in the same place at the same time always proves to be something of a challenge.

The steps go something like this.

1. An initial email sets off an explosion of conflicting dates:
“Hey Fam, what’re people’s schedules looking like?”
“We have school until the 19th!”
“I have to fly back to Zurich the 20th!”
“I have a wedding the 22nd!”

2. Thirty emails later, we’ve figured out a timeframe that works for everyone, so now it’s time to fire off our opposing passive-aggressive demands:
“I have some friends I wanna see that week who need a place to stay so…”
“The house isn’t really ready for visitors right now, soo…”
“I was thinking maybe we could go somewhere totally different, sooo…”

3. Thirty more exchanges, and we’re so over emails that we finally finish solving the equation with various calls and texts between different members of the family. By the time we have a solid plan we’re already sick of each other.  

Why do we go through all this trouble again?? We can’t always remember. But like whales migrating, something pulls us. Wait no, not like whales! We've been eating like monsters this holiday season and would rather pretend to be something daintier...umm so like birds. Like lovely, reasonable-amount-of-food-eating birds migrating, something just tells us where we need to be. And thank god it does, because:

4. As soon as travel is done with and I walk in the door, I see those bright little familiar faces and just can’t be annoyed anymore. I got home from the airport at 11pm on Monday night, and by 11:23pm, I’d already laughed harder and longer than I had since last summer when we were all together. That’s not to say we’re in for a week of peace signs and rainbows – we still have our very distinct personalities and preferences, and there’s guaranteed to be at least one big fight. But there’s something about the chemistry of our complete set that is so precious, so worth any amount of money spent or any number of logistics wrestled. So…

5. Hey darlings, let’s do it all again! Send me your stupid dates and stupid demands! I can’t freakin wait <3

Love you like crazy.

What's Your Currency?

I plead guilty to being an internet-stalker last week! Well, it wasn’t my idea, but I found myself on the phone with a friend, looking at half-naked google image search results of a girl I didn’t know. Heyho world~ we are the creeps of the internets!

“I’m so sorry.” I said to my friend sympathetically, “She is super hot. There’s no way around it.”

The situation was rough: my friend’s new boyfriend had recently been propositioned by his friend’s ex, who of course happened to be a model.  

My friend, one of the most gorgeous and fascinating girls I know, was now suddenly feeling a little insecure. I think she called me for reassurance, which I fully intended to give, but what popped out of my mouth first was: “WHAT. How can a human person be so amazing to look at?!?”  

My bad.  

After the initial shock though, I calmed down and reminded her: This girl is a professional model. Her looks are inseparable from her success. She has guidance from her agency, and she has to invest as much time, money, and energy into her appearance as we do into our respective careers, so to compare our faces and bodies with hers just doesn't make sense.

For most of us, our looks are not our currency.

I took this concept from an Amy Poehler interview I heard on NPR recently. I love Poehler-bear, and think she’s cute as a button, but in the interview she talks about struggling with body and beauty issues.

From NPR: 
When comedian Amy Poehler was in her 20s, she read her boyfriend's journal and found out that he didn't think she was pretty.

Poehler says it taught her that the earlier you figure out your "currency," the happier you'll be. “I learned, or decided early on, that my looks were not going to be what I leaned on, and once I decided that, it was a little freeing.”

Poehler-Express also describes her insecurity as a “demon voice” in her head that tells her things like “You’re not as pretty as this person.” 

Eek, nothing good comes of comparisons, guys!  Another recent conversation I had with a friend went something like this:
Ewww see this? New Year’s Resolution is to get rid of this. I’ll try gym-ing it away, but if that doesn’t work, promise not to hate me if I try lipo.” 

I honestly couldn’t really see the "this" my friend was referring to, but I assured her that 1) I’d never hate her 2) there was nothing wrong with her body and 3) if I were into chicks I’d totally wanna do her for life.

She sighed with exasperation, “I just wanna look like Taylor Swift!”

I see my cute friend as perfect because I’m not comparing her to anyone. She is awesome in so many physical and non-physical ways. She is exactly as she should be. But she sees herself as imperfect because she’s comparing herself to her ultimate hot girl, Taytay.

I disagree with her completely, but I get it, and I’m not above this kind of comparison either. My ultimate hot girl is Penelope Cruz <3 <3 <3 

I loooove her! I love her accent and her humongo eyes and her ridiculous curviness. (What does it feeeel like to be that curvy?!) Obviously if I compare myself to her, it does not go favorably. She has an hourglass figure, and I have the figure of a 12-year-old tomboy. But part of growing up for me has been accepting certain things. I’ve come to accept that resembling Penelope Cruz is not my currency. And you know what? It's for the best. Because if I were her I'd probably just talk to myself in a mirror all day :D

I'm still figuring out exactly what my currency is, but I think it may be something like my ability to laugh at myself even in the most trying times, or my ability to seem like I’m listening when I’m not. People love that right? No?

Anyway pals, whatever your currency, you look hot today and I adore you!

Kitchen Table Lashes

“Don’t ask her about her eyelashes.”
My mother said
on a drive up to Boston. 

“What do you mean?”
prickles of curiosity. 

Lately my mother’s friend
had been crying through telephone lines
garbled by the pains of raising a daughter. 

Lately her daughter
had been pulling the fine hairs
straight from pink eyelids.

“She says that she’s an ugly girl.”
Her mother said to mine.

I scribbled in my notebook
as trees batted by.
Boston welcomed us
with a fanfare of foliage. 
The lashless girl was absent
when we first arrived.

We were instead shown a photo
of when Meryl Streep stopped by,
a private art studio
that painted mom’s heart green,
and a famous poet friend
who did me the service
of reading my first poem. 

I apologized, explaining
it was not a poem yet.
He frowned at me and said
“It is perfectly a poem
until you tell it that it’s not.”

I scanned for signs of the girl
but found only a landscape
with a figure trying to hide:
a boundless tumble
of dark brown hair
shrouding slender bend
of body like a willow. 

That night it was too cold to sleep
so I imagined weeping willow girl
pulling filament intruders
from the soft rims of her eyes
like so many cacti splinters. 

In the dark,
I tentatively tugged.
Nothing budged.
Yank.
Holy hell.
Is that what calyx feels
when we pluck petals to
“he loves me…”?
Probably not. 

The next morning thawed
with avocado toast
and sunlit tea
In slipped the girl.
prickles of curiosity.

The "ugly girl"
was a quiet thing of beauty.
Pale boston,
eyes that matched brownstones
and stared back 

bare.

My ownlids felt heavy
and quickly fell. 

On the kitchen table,
a scattering of lashes
formed the question
I wasn't supposed to ask:

Who was it that told you
that you were not a poem?

I Want It That Way

Grief can hit at the most unexpected times.

It’s a Saturday and it feels perfect. I’ve just wrapped my last client meeting with one of my favorite couples at one of my favorite venues. Ready to let loose and enjoy the weekend with friends, I speed along my favorite highway. No traffic, just sunset. The lighting, clouds, hills, are all so gorgeous, I can’t help but roll down my window to exclaim “I love you world!” (I tend to catcall nature when I'm in a good mood; I hope she doesn't mind).

Brimming with good feelings, I flip through radio stations to hear:

“You are –– my fi-ire, the one –– de-siiire…” 

OMG this song :D It always makes me laugh. I wasn’t too keen on the Boys, but my mom saw them on Entertainment Tonight once. As was her habit whenever she saw something on TV she wanted to share, she used her this is an emergency voice to shout: “NESS, I mean MEESH, I mean TREE! Get in here, quick!” I sprinted over to see the Backstreet Boys dressed in white, and mommykins turning her expectant face to me to ask “Do you like them?” with shining hopeful eyes. 

I was not an easy teenager. I was prone to meltdowns of the door-slamming variety, of the screaming “I hate you, I just wanna diieeee” variety. I spent too many days wallowing in angst and too many nights sneaking out. But my mom never tired of trying to find ways to connect. 

So a few days later, I found this on my pillow:

Ha. Alright. I decided to humor her, and popped it in the CD player. You know how sometimes you do something to make fun of it, but then you end up “making fun” so often that it just becomes your thing? That summer, I Want It That Way became our thing. We entered rooms the other was in accompanied by this move:

bsbgif.gif

We AJ-finger-pointed to "Am I your fire? Your 1 desire?"

We sang it while cooking dinner, doing art projects, on drives home from McDonald’s with the windows down…

…as I’m singing along with the wind in my hair fifteen years later, I feel my hands start to tremble on the steering wheel and my vision start to blur. This isn’t the first time I’ve had to pull over on account of crying, but the last time was a few years ago, shortly after cancer suddenly diminished my mom's body to a frail 78 pounds. Not even the constant pain could dull her personality though. She smiled and joked with the nurse who cared for her on the first day in the hospital. We couldn't imagine her being conquered by anything, so we talked only of getting better, of miracles, of hope. But soon the pain made talking hard. Then the morphine made it impossible. And just one day later, instead of a turning point for the better, that hospital room became the end. 

In the months after losing her, it was often a struggle to drive without crying, but I've since regained control of my emotions. And yet, years later, I find myself on the side of the highway with the Backstreet Boys imploring "Tell me why?". My former self would be alarmed by this regression, but life has since taught me that progress and process are not linear. It is not as simple as slaying obstacles and feeling great until a new challenge arrives. There are some events that become part of your being and resurface depending on the tide. 

I met with a friend last week who lost her dad very recently. She's in the thick of grief, and asked how long it took for me to feel normal again. I was sorry to tell her that although there are definitely brighter and easier days ahead for her, after a loss of great magnitude, I'm not sure if you ever return to your old "normal".

There's no going back to "normal" after you've watched someone you loved your whole life dwindle to a body you find it hard to recognize. I will never look at life the same way after feeling it leave the person whose hand I was holding, after feeling everything that I was hoping and praying for crash inside me.

It’s true what they say, it gets easier with time. Everything does. But if you lose someone very dear to you, there will always be moments when you realize: no, you’re not okay with the fact that they’re not here anymore.

I’m not okay with the fact that my mom never got to see my life and career in California. I’m not okay with the fact that she wasn’t there to help me into my wedding dress, that I couldn’t confide in her during the divorce, that she’ll never meet whoever I end up with. But that’s part of growing up: having those pieces of not-okayness, and embracing and loving your whole life’s package anyway.

Not being okay with her being gone reinforces my conviction in how lucky I am. How lucky to have had someone who made me laugh so hard, who believed in me so fully, who created a family dynamic that will last forever. How lucky to be alive, and to be my mother's daughter. My mom was f***ing awesome (she also hated it when I swore). I will never not miss her. And that’s how it should be.

I guess I want it that way.

And despite the fact that the Boys made me cry behind the wheel, this video will still always make me laugh:

Aren't they neato? :D

“I hate you on facebook”

I recently had a dream about running into a girl I haven’t seen in years. I excitedly said “Helloooo!” and tried to hug her, but she rolled her eyes at me and said:

“Ugh, I hate you on facebook.”

She dodged my hug and kept walking, adding, over her shoulder:

“You’re always posting annoying little stories that you try to force into dumb life lessons. Just stop.”

Wowch. My feelings! I was hurt, but not angry, and replied:

“Aw man, that sucks that my posts annoy you. I get it though. Can we still be friends in real life?”

I woke up wondering if this had been one of my psychic dreams. I could very well be facebook-rubbing this girl the wrong way, along with hundreds of others (that sounds kinda gross, my bad). But, short of killing my account, can I really do anything about it? We pretty much all annoy one another all day every day, thus the many lists of how to be insufferable on facebook. We all use it differently and want to see different things on it, so no one is winning with everyone.

I imagine that for some, when I pop up in their newsfeeds their thoughts might look something like this:

“I swear to balls. If I have to see one more picture of this bitch in a photo booth…”

or

“Yes. Do tell us another whiny anecdote about how someone asked for your number and you got offended because you’re feeling feministy today.”

or

"How did you know? Another shitty poem about divorce is exactly what I needed to brighten my Monday!"

and definitely

“Do you have to link to your fucking blog every time you fucking post?!”
 

“Can we still be friends in real life?”
 

My hope for anyone who has had any of the above thoughts or similar: Unfollow so we can still be friends! :D

With social media now such an integral part of how we experience our friends and acquaintances, we’ve started to include what they tweet, facebook, and instagram into our opinion of them. There’s a difference between “real life” and social media life though. I definitely have friends who I love to spend time with, but who annoy the shit out of me on facebook. Some of these friends I’ve unfollowed as a way to better maintain our love :) On the flip side, there are also people who I get excited about on facebook because we seem to have such similar likes, but then when we meet up in person I can't wait to leave and like them from afar.

Others I’ve unfollowed because I noticed their posts were making me feel a little dissatisfied with my life. “Oh...you’re shopping for a new car again?” [sadly looks out window at very dirty minivan].

So what is the "dumb life lesson" that I'm trying to force out of this "annoying little story"? I guess it is this: try not to judge people entirely on their social media personas. Be forgiving, and know that we are all equally annoying. Know also that people can be different online and in person, and curate both your newsfeed and your real life in ways that provide you with the most positivity.

For the record, friends with cats – I will follow you for life. Or at least for the life of your cat.
Oops, that must be another one of my offenses: 

"Why this bitch always talkin bout cats when she doesn't even have one?"

Oh you guys. Just you wait until I get one. Just. You. Wait.

Writing On The Bus

Since moving to the city I've been taking the bus much more, and often catch little interactions that I love. People are just the cutest sometimes <3 There've been some bad things too, but we'll save that for another post! 

Haven't had time to structure these notes much, but the above are just some snapshot observations made on the 22. And yep i spell "mustache" the uk way sometimes, cuz it brings to mind a cartoon mouse with a moustache, and i'm into that.

Happy Wednesdayyy xoxo~

What. We're Asian?

“I am NOT Asian…am I?”

My nephew exclaimed in horror from the backseat of our Honda. At seven years old, he’s not yet big enough to sit in the car without a booster. I thought however, that he was old enough to have noticed our Asian-ness. His question caught me off guard. 

“Oh sweetie…yes, yep, you are Asian. We’re all Asian.” I said, gesturing to the rest of the snack-munching car occupants. We were on our family beach trip, and incidentally pretty much the only Asians in town. The population at this particular beach was definitely whiter than the sand. Earlier we had passed a gated swimming pool, and joked about breaking in that night. My dad said “Nah, better not. They’d definitely recognize the one Asian family on the island.”

This is what prompted my nephew’s question, and he was completely shocked by the answer.

“But I don’t even speak any Chinese!” he insisted.

“You do a little! …you can say xie xie…”

“I don’t remember how to say anything!”

At first I felt sad hearing him deny his roots, but then I remembered feeling that same defiance at an older age when people tried to align me with ideas about Asians that I didn’t relate to. [I’m sure your parents just made you do homework all day. Naw dude, I spent the day painting landscapes with my mom all over the kitchen walls!]

So I didn’t push him to remember his Chinese. And I didn’t want to talk about physical differences and make him self-conscious of his hair or eyes. I felt like it was a pivotal teaching moment, which made me nervous about screwing it up. He’s so adorably innocent, and props to my sister for providing him with a wonderfully diverse group of friends. He knows that each kid has his or her own look, but he doesn’t group and label them. 

Once while watching a dance show on TV, he said “Wow, did you see what that black guy did?” I looked up to see a guy in a black hoodie doing b-boy tricks. HE IDENTIFIES PEOPLE BY THE COLOR OF THEIR CLOTHING. God I love him! So adorable.  

I didn’t want to be part of ruining this innocence. I still feel bad about being the one who accidentally taught him the word “stupid” at age 2, his first negative word. So the pressure of teaching him what it meant to be Chinese American was making me a bit stupid now: a parade of unhelpful stereotypical “Chinese” words was commencing in my brain. Panda! Chopsticks! Soy Sauce! Fortune Cookie! Kung Fu!

I was trying to think of peppy things to say, because for some reason the atmosphere had become bad-news-at-the-doctor-ish. I could feel my sisters similarly struggling. We wanted to give him evidence of our heritage in our daily lives, so, holding our various bags of crunchy snacks, we started talking about some of our favorite things to eat.

“You know those awesome spring rolls your Mama makes? Those are Chinese!”

 “You like zongzi too, and won ton and bao zi.”

 He perked up. “Oh yeah! And I like sushi.”

“Mm hmm! That’s Japanese. Also Asian.”

“Yeah, and I like seafood and fried chicken. Filet o’fish!” 

“Oh my gosh yessss I love filet o’ fish! And fries! And your mama loves burritos!” 

Pretty soon we just got excited and carried away by talking about our favorite things to eat, from the Jamaican place near home to the barbeque joint by the beach. And I realized we didn’t really need to teach him what it meant to be Asian. He’s going to create his own definition, just as we did. And it’ll be different from his mama who loves Capoeira and Kimchi, and different from my other sister who speaks French beautifully and Chinese comically. There are parts of Asian culture that resonate with each of us, and we’ve embraced these as part of our characters. But there’s no teachable or right way to identify as Asian. It doesn’t define or confine us. We're lucky in this day and age to be able to absorb things from so many different cultures. I definitely identify with more than just Chinese and American, and I know there are ethnically non-Asian people who probably identify with Asian culture just as much as I do. 

Sometimes I feel guilty for not being more “in touch with my roots”. But while it’s important to respect what came before us, it’s equally important to branch out from these roots. So instead of trying to show my nephew ways in which he’s Asian, I’m going to let him discover and create that himself. And I can’t wait to see what his version ends up being.

As for me? I manifest my Asian by flashing the peace sign during mild road rage instead of the finger. I'm also a damn good driver ;) What’s your Asian?

I AM SO SUCK AT WRITING RIGHT NOW

I can’t. do it. Make the sentence. Complete an thought…what? Where the fuck am I? DKI@#$J09^TGHK! Maybe you’ve noticed…I’ve been feeling completely inept at writing lately. 

I’d blame it on busyness, but we’re all always busy. It’s just a matter of how we stack our busy things. While writing is still stacked close to the top, it just hasn’t been happening. I have been trying, kind of: I’ve started about 9 posts but keep losing focus.

I’ve also been writing in my notebook, but most paragraphs end with the word “Ahh!” followed by a smiley face. So if it’s not busyness, I think I have to blame it on happiness. And not exactly the peaceful type of happiness, but a weird sort of giddy elation I’m not really used to.

It’s also possible I’ve developed adult-onset a.d.h.d.

What was I saying?

Oh yes, happiness. I realize now that I’m more comfortable sharing sadness than happiness. To declare one's happiness sounds boastful at best, desperate and inauthentic at worst. Every post I started was bubbling over with this newfound excitement for life, so every time I read what I wrote, I just put a lid on it and pressed command+q quick as I could, because it gave me the creeps.

But one of the evolving reasons I keep this blog is to share my human experience in a complete way. More complete than other platforms will allow at least. And if happiness is part of my experience now, I shouldn’t just wait until it goes away to write again, right?

I’m gonna force myself to talk about it, in a (fingers crossed) unboasty way.

Something about moving triggered this drastic mood shift. I didn’t see myself as unhappy before, and have always tried to approach life with joy. But a lot of shit went down the last few years, and part of my psyche started to believe that I would just always be sad about it, that adulthood was just an accumulation of painful experiences, and that I would get stronger from carrying them.

Moving helped me realize that I could put them down.

My first night here, some friends came over to help me assemble furniture and explore the neighborhood. I could hear myself incessantly cheeping “Everything is different!” as I looked around in awe, but couldn’t really stop myself because I was just so elated. It’s been a few weeks, and I still feel that way. I'm getting better at keeping it quieter though :)

Packing up my old apartment with all its heartache, and leaving behind that part of the Bay with all its memories helped me feel like I could move on from the things that had hurt so much the past few years. I’m still the same person so I’ll still carry the scars, but I don’t have to carry the weight. I can change my circumstances.

You can too. If you ever find yourself in a dark place and you can't remember which direction the sun will come from, or you're wondering if it's even coming back for you, just keep moving. You'll find it.

Cheesy as shit right?! I told you, happiness makes me a terrible writer!

I’ve lived enough to know that this happy place is not a final destination though. It’s as impermanent as the previous stage of my life, as fleeting as every other moment has been and will be. I know that I won’t always be smiling at every dog I pass and asking how his/her day has been, but I do want to remember this time.

So, as uninspired to write as I have been thus far, I’m going to make an effort to write through this period. Just go easy on me and know that quality control is out on a picnic!

bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air,
tria 
xoxo

Rockets

Let’s go launch rockets like when we were kids
in your friend’s backyard.
Before we had learned that every skyward flight
crashes back down, hard. 

Let’s ride our bikes to the beach,
hands above handle bars, candy between teeth,
like when trips were about adventure,
not mapping shortcuts to point B. 

Let’s rush into the ocean
like before we knew we could drown
arms stretched up high
shouting, daring waves to knock us down. 

We’ve felt water closing in by now,
flipped over handle bars,
floundered, found it hard to breathe,
gotten scraped, gotten scarred. 

But let’s build those rockets anyway.
Set them off.
Count down.
Let’s take off with them,
who knows:
We may not hit the ground.

Meant To Be?!

AHHHHH I’M MOVING TO THE CITY NEXT WEEK AND I’M SO EXCITED!

Life is so interesting guys. There are times when I feel like the universe is pulling me and moving itself to create clear paths, and times when I feel it simply loses interest. I felt this sense of universal indifference when I started apartment searching last month. The perfect fit was just not popping up. I had options but nothing that moved me, no sign that said this was the place. Then a trusted friend provided a connection to her friend whose name rhymes with mine, and it’s been poetry in motion since then. Quick and chaotic motion!

June is the craziest month of the year in my calendar, bringing an avalanche of weddings, networking events, flying, roadtripping, bacheloretting, bridesmaiding, and stopping by Marylanding. Somewhere in the midst of all this, I met my two potential housemates for a quick lunch, saw the house, and felt the magic. I seriously love this place you guys! Come visit :D

The fate-flavored icing on this crazy cake came on the plane ride back to SFO last night. With 27 insect bites on my body courtesy of North Carolina, and 35 cough drops in my system, I was the second grossest person on the plane. Thankfully there was a lady behind me who took first place, bless her phlegmy soul. I spent the first hour focusing on coughing less than her and trying to stay positive. When life moves so fast that I get sick, I wonder sometimes if I’m in the right space to make good decisions. I still felt excited about the new housing situation, but was subconsciously wanting a little affirmation that it was meant to be, and not just me impulsively signing contracts and writing checks.

As I pondered this, the elbowy chap in the middle seat next to me got up, never to return. I guess I was too gross to sit next to? I casually glanced at the person in the window seat. “WHAT. That guy has literally the same face as my future housemate!” After scolding myself for using the word literally in a stupid way, I decided it would be too much of a coincidence. This was a completely random connecting flight from Philly, and why would he or I be on it at all, sitting in the same row no less? Too weird for reality! But then he ordered a water and I heard his Irish accent, so it had to be him!

I didn’t say anything at first, because all I could think of was Hi! I’m the second grossest person on the plane and I’m moving in with you soon! Ta daaa! But after a little while I swallowed my germy pride and asked if it was really him. It was. What followed was a lovely chat and even some chocolates that he’d brought for the house from Ireland! What a nice housemate! What a crazy world! It just happened that we were both on this flight returning from weddings, and the guy sitting between us apparently stepped off the plane. Amazing.

So I’m feverish and itchy and chock full of snot, but feeling pretty grand! Having that reassurance that there’s some magic in the world, that the powers-that-be exist and are helping me out – that’s all I need to feel encouraged and excited. San Francisco, I’m coming for you, and we’re meant to be. Let’s make it work <3

Octopus

Andrea Gibson is a goddess of a poet, and she recently shared something on facebook about how octopi have 3 hearts. For some reason I kept thinking about this. After a quick wiki, I learned, among other things, that they also have really good memories, and evade danger by changing color, expelling ink, and dropping limbs.

All this got me pretty excited, so here’s my bit of fun about an octopus:

 

Surfacing

She crawls along the ocean floor,
upturning rocks and scattering sand.
The water’s growing far too deep
and a lightning storm’s at hand.
Her skin, fluid and shifting,
a twilit autumn sky,
blushes darkly to reflect
the coming of the night. 

She’s trying to escape
being wanted or preferred:
two hearts lie silent in her flesh
she cannot spare the third.
When camouflage runs out
it’s on to spilling ink,
a cloudful of words.
Pursuers pause. 

She thinks:
A body is heavy when it’s dragging along
two failed hearts
and a cluster of arms
wrapped tightly around
dead trophies of the past.
It’s time to leave behind
the memories at last:
the blood of one lover
the face of another
clutched in tentacles, fall:
Her shape is uncovered.

Soon the living heart is pushing 
the dying hearts apart
They tumble far below.
She’s propelling forward.

With a start
She breaks the surface
New breath, new feel
No more tangle of arms
Not octopus: 

Electric eel. 

The Months

Month 1 

My hand in your hand in your pocket.
You squeeze three times and without question or pause
My fingers press back in return:
–  ––––  ––– .
We don’t ask to see what it means.
We smile, we know. 
 

Month 10 

We laugh and unpack suitcases in our new room,
Put pictures on the wall of our summer together.
I wear your soft green t-shirt and knit you a scarf.
You fold my clothes and staple my notes in order.
In these small ways, we are stitching our lives together.
Don’t use thread okay? It breaks too easy.
Grab me that string from the kitchen table.
We are kites holding each other’s strings,
Flying while keeping each other rooted.
You sweep me up so high I can brush my fingertips
On the rough ceiling we view from our bed.
It’s better than the night sky:
Only the two of us can see it. 
 

Month 100

I’m seeing you for the first time in weeks.
You’re still the most beautiful being I’ve ever loved.
We’ve gotten into the habit of talking in your car
Because I’ve cried in front of too many waitresses
And families at parks.
It’s been a year since I asked you to let loose the string.
To be honest I can’t tell if I’m flying or falling.
I tell you I’m trying my best to untangle it all,
To follow the frayed tail back to myself…
I just don’t know if you’re at the other end of it too.
I tell you what I can’t tell anyone else.
That I question myself every day and can’t always answer.
That I’m trying, but I’m so tired.
So, so tired.
You listen.
You place your hand on my hand in my lap.
You don’t squeeze. 
 

Month 1000

I think you’ll have married
A sweet, stable second girl.
I think I’ll have loved
And been loved
But not by the same man at the same time.
Maybe we’ll outlive all of these people.
Maybe your finger will catch on a kite string one day
And you’ll find me at the other end of it.
Maybe we’ll tell each other everything that happened
In all the months that we missed.
Or maybe we’ll be too tired,
And you’ll just hold my hand.
Maybe you’ll squeeze.
Just once.