Wednesday, November 21, 2012

On a Year Ago.

I didn't like how I originally wrote this entry. I half-fasted it. And I knew that.

Been lagging on this entry. I passed the actual "year ago" mark and in some way to me, I feel as if the entry had lost its efficacy. But nonetheless, I find it necessary for it to be document this 'narrative' in my life. Man, what a difference a year makes... 

Last Thanksgiving I stayed at my Aunt's and slept for what I think was the longest I've ever had. 13 hrs. Yuppp. It was mid-semester, my first year in grad school. And for all those who suffered that program with me, knows exactly how it was. Swamped with endless quizzes, exams, and syllabi. I remember coming home to Rangai and feel like I could finally let down my guard. I was finally 'safe'. Life was kicking my ass. Life 1, Ellen -82.

I had just flown out to Detroit to create my own romantic film and was exhausted.. I was so dumb. So, so dumb. I was trying to resurrect, what now I see with full clarity, a relationship facing its ultimate doom. I was so gloomingly optimistic. I remember my cousin trying to cock block me from going, being the big sister that she is, prophetically knowing that if I were to go that it would be one rather painful experience. And man, was she right. Definitely in the books for worst trip ever. 

I can remember sending a picture to my girlfriends back home where I was staying for the evening. Alone. That was my Halloween 2011. Man do I know how to party. What kills me is that months later he tells me he met up with me because he "felt guilty" - You idiot. What you need to say is, "out of respect" you met up with me. I was the one that flew out there, so that you can do the dirty work of ending it. And still! You didn't. 
"... I feel really guilty for that time when you flew out here to try to keep us going because I know I was really cold and heartless that weekend -- not wanting to see you. It was the guilt that finally got me to have lunch with you. I'm sorry for wasting your time there because really I had been dating and sleeping with someone since the beginning of October. I was scared of being alone and I wanted to make sure I had someone to hold on to. I'm sorry I put you through that...  
 I never apologized for ultimately using you that entire time. I want to apologize for lying to you about all of that. I don't have any agenda except to do what is right which, again, should have done a long time ago."
This (still) brings me to tears. I don't know what's disappointing, his words or the fact that I'm still affected by them. May the records show, I am over him but not so much the break-up, or so it seems.The break-up meant, what I thought, reflected my self-worth. It's unfortunate that this sentiment still finds its way in my thoughts. But this entry wasn't to reminisce on what was but what is, now..  

A year ago, I bought a ticket to visit someone who could care less for me. I paid a taxi, a hotel, the works. To have a single lunch with him.. to end a relationship. Then, a year later, I find myself in quite the opposite predicament. Someone purchased a ticket for me to see him, met me at the airport, took care for my lodging, and had not just a lunch with me.. but multiple lunches and even a couple breakfasts (even if it was the Waffle House)! Hah this guy's awesome. And the best part of it all, was that his agenda wasn't to get into my pants or rekindle any lovin (my heart's unfortunately sitting in an ice cooler, at the moment) it was just two people that got to catch up and come from it, a sincere and honest connection for two. I'm grateful. Not only because I was in such a shitty situation a year ago but because I could also see how much work I've done to be able to "be there" and welcome in that moment so much gratitude.

So, what I'm grateful for this year, is this.. Shitty ass situations. Because it's in those moments - and we all know them so well - that when things do turn out the way it all sort of does or needs to be, we are so much more open, so willing, so evolved that the level of significance to a situation rises because we most certainly know the real value behind it. .. Like my friends from school, applying and getting accepted in medical school.. Success is so much sweeter. And because we are grateful, we can exploit this and approach what we were given with such greatness and receptivity. Crazy how shit can turn into something sweet. Hah okay, okay bad visual. Very bad visual. And with that, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

On a Man's Urges.

So to pseudo-rebuttal my last post, On a Woman's Needs. I thought it was only appropriate to write the opposite of a "need" and speak of the extraneous. A luxury. The fulfilling one's desires. Now, of course, not all desires are superfluous. But there are 'urges' that we have that aren't always justified. I actually googled man's urges and got this article about this husband/father that "loved his wife" but can't help his urge to be with other women. He says he has "no complaints except for these feelings", those urges to be with another person. It'd make him happy if he could. But is he justified, then, just because by fulfilling his urge, it'd make his life better? Define better. I know I posed that question in a way you feel obligated to say 'no' but how many times have you said 'yes' in your life? I have.. had. And hurt people by doing so. Also, on the other side of the coin, I have been affected otherwise by people who wanted to "fufill their urges".. Sucks. Never irrevocable. 

I was reading an email that my recent ex-boyfriend wrote me and all I could hear from what he wrote was 'I had an urge to do _____ and to no regard to what that means for you and what we had/have." He cheated, then lied. Now, don't get me wrong. I don't have a clean record; I am not trying to deny that. But my point is this: how/when we fulfull our needs, our wants, our desires, our urges... are we entitled to do so? What if - what we want, what we think/feel makes us happy - hurts another person? Or worst, ourselves. Even when we don't think it does at the moment.. Is there a place where we draw the line when what we do, effects another in a negative way? Are we always justified to do what it takes to "make us happy"? Is that the point of life, at all costs, do what you want to do. Fulfill those needs, satisfy those urges. As attractive as that all sounds, I'm utterly repulsed to think that is the goal of Life. Self-fulfillment.

I can hear my ex-boyfriend, saying. Do what makes you happy. I used to love hearing him say that to me. Until, of course, that ideology hurt me. He had this motto, using the words of Ayn Rand, I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine. Yes, it exemplifies self-accountability, responsibility. The lack of depending on others for your needs. Do what you want but do not expect others to make those exceptions for you. We are individuals, competing for resources in this capitalistic world. If we are to achieve the best versions of ourselves, we must do whatever means to achieve that... Yet, in this context, is "best" a synonym for "happiest"?

We should all achieve to be the best version of ourselves, of course. I'm not stupid. But we are so, so interconnected with one another that very rarely do we make decisions that don't affect one another. I believe, being insensitive to that is dangerous. As simple as choosing to not put your blinker on when driving, effects the driver behind you. Or choosing to become a doctor ultimately effects many lives. For the doctor and his patients. What we choose to do not only matters for ourselves but to those close by. 

There is beauty in this osmosis of our decisions. In this intricate world we live in, where we are intermingled, the effect of one decision to another is inevitable. Whether directly or indirectly. And I get it, sometimes we have to make decisions that will make people uncomfortable, will make others feel pain, even when what we say or do is honest and even well-intended. (Although, for the record, his cheating = not well-intended. It was Selfish. His words, not mine.) But isn't that where we have/need to draw a line? What is the difference of self-fulfillment and selfishness? Both got the word, "self" in it. And of course the 'self' isn't innately bad per se. But how does one juggle with what his needs, which are dependent on the survival of the 'self' versus the what he wants, which are part of the his 'self' as well? Wait, am I missing something. What is the purpose of life..? Is it for yourself or for others? Seriously. Not rhetorical.

Yes, yes. The ideal is not absolute but a beautiful blend of both, with least amount of collateral damage. But still. Self-happiness is overrated, whops did I just say that. Ummmm I can feel people 'not liking' me at this very moment.. But I guess the first step is, define what are your 'urges' are. Because sometimes it's not as simple as "I want sex with lots of people". Rather, your  'urge' is a sentiment of not wanting to feel lonely and instead, wanting to be desired, sexy, maybe even loved. Even for a night. Agh, that's what I used to do. And to be honest, wasn't worth it. I think when you can rightfully identify that "urge" and fulfill it in a way that is true, with kindness and compassion, with integrity and courage, in regards to how it may change a life of another. I wish men of my past understood the potency of their decisions. Because the worst part of bad decisions, is that it becomes a permanent narrative in another's life. Ayn Rand's statement is limited. Yes, we should not bow down to anyone or vise versa. No one should be a bitch to anyone. But those that are selfish, those that use others to fulfill their urges, forces others to become theirs. How damaging is that.

.... For what it's worth. I think life is for others. But that's just my two cents, which may be all its worth in the end. Hah! But I believe, I hope that that's not true - the worth two cents part - not the "for others" part.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

On a Woman's Needs.

A woman's needs. My needs. Endless, it seems. Agh and the worst is denying those needs, makes me want it even more. But when I can't name what I want, let alone admit it to myself.. then all goes to shit. The WORST is when I fill that one single need with other things.. Oi vei!

We all hungry for it. Probably more than what we would ever want to admit to ourselves. I know that it may be somewhat presumptuous for me to say that this is something we all want but I highly doubt that what I feel is completely foreign. This feeling, this need. To be loved. It's universal and not limited to gender. It is of our strength and our weakness that we humans are able to do this - love! How lucky we are. I want it. More than ever. And not necessarily in terms of a relationship, although I would be totally remiss if I was to say that I am completely closed to it. And whether or not that happens for me again, where I can say I love a man, my current obsession lies not so much in our ability to love but more on what we do to be loved. We are crazy. What we do to be of someone's affection, either directly or indirectly.

For example, let us examine what I did in middle school. I saw my crush playing basketball and so wanted to play but wasn't wearing a cute outfit. So, most logical thing to do for me, was go home, change for a shameless amount of time and then come back, only to see that he already left. Wasn't so smart back then, let it be said. I want to kick the kid-version of myself. Heck, even the adult version sometimes. Ha! 
But the point is, don't we all sort of do this to some extent, in some version, in our current lives? Where how we present ourselves to people become so vitally important, in particular to those of potential (or even, current) lovers of ours? Why is that? What is it that the clothes we choose to wear or how our hair is, become so seemingly relevant. Note, this is not limited to just exterior traits. Our internal features are also included. Just the main difference, and sorta the beauty of it in a way, is that there are less creative ways to fake a less attractive soul. Whoa sorry slight regression, with a hint of resentment. Anyways! 

How we present ourselves. What we do with our lives. Where we spend our energy. How we use our time. All molto importante. Why we do what we do, why it even matters to us. Of course, in the end of the day, we do what we do for ourselves and for no other reason. We do 'what makes us happy'. But would you be upset with me if I were to say, that in part of what makes us happy, is knowing that what we do is not only accepted but also appealing to others? That a part of us wants that feeling that - who we are, what we value, what drives us and motivates us to live the life we've chosen, is something someone finds attractive and dare I say, worthy of love and respect? I'm not saying that we only do whatever we think is accepted by another. With that kind of intention, integrity to oneself would be compromised. What I am saying is, that wanting to be loved is real and tangible. Because! When we don't love, when it may not be returned, either from our family or our friends or our lovers - what we do to fill that void, to compensate, to numb and "be okay" becomes real. We obsess over, occupy ourselves with, to keep ourselves busy, so to not feel the real ramifications of actual loneliness, of being alone. We almost do so subconsciously; to remedy this sentiment of being unloved. I felt it before. We all have. And in turn, did x, y, z things to not feel that way. Unloved.

What I'm trying to say, thought it may not be as obvious, is this. Don't judge the need. It's scary, I get it. Because unlike any of our other needs like food, water, warmth, etc. There isn't necessarily a direct place for you to go to or even if you are "there" it'd be gauranteed. It is a lot less active on our part, less under our control. Our need to be loved by another is not our say. ...Dammit, Freewill! But what we can do in the meantime, and what I'm hoping is enough, is to be authentic and honest with ourselves and with others. And with faith, believe that who we are, and choosing to be every day, is beyond sufficient for love. Hmm, there is one other option to fill one's needs but I'd rather leave that for another entry, another day..

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

On Those Big Questions.

It all started when a number of people asked me, "Why aren't you married yet?" 

Now, I can take it two ways. Those that asked knew me when I was in these long term relationship. And so it was assumed that in due time that the 'next step' would be that. Major deductive fallacy. And thank God that it is.. Or, they think that I'm "a nice girl" and that it's surprising that I haven't "caught someone" yet.. agh, seriously?! Grant it, most of these friends are from childhood or high school, so they aren't up-to-date with my current status quo. So, what seems like this irrelevant question to me is actually something appropriate despite these inconvenient feelings I have. I mean, we've all heard them before. Just in different forms. You know, those questions that if unable to provide an adequate response, a sense of discomfort and almost inadequacy rushes on by.. 

What college are you planning to go to? What are you doing after you graduate? Where are you going to move? What kind of work do you do? Are you dating someone? Do you love him (or her)? What's your next step? When are you guys having a baby?

I cringe to some of these questions, which is funny because I actually have answers to some of them! What I think makes these questions sometimes so difficult is that unless we have these stellar answers at hand that 1) not only are the answers people want to hear but also are 2) something that we are proud to say for ourselves. That is not to say that we do things in hopes to impress another person, per se. But there is this definite and almost immediate satisfaction when being ourselves leaves a positive impression with others, i.e. what we do and even more so who we are, are not only accepted but also attractive. 

The reality is that there are these certain steps, these presumed check boxes of things we need (?) to accomplish in our lives. School, job, marriage, home, children, etc. Okay, maybe not all of it but it is suggested, in that order. And for good even logical reason, I believe. Now, before you go and hate on my lack of unconventional ways, I say this only because I am a clear byproduct of all that is non sequitur. Trust me, in that I am not coming from this high horse of conventionality, looking down to those who did not follow this proposed path. I respect and even appreciate the life I experienced, thus far. But I also wonder, would some of those difficulties, despite the lessons and the character I derived from those experiences (which mind you, wasn't always an easy task to find that damn silver lining) could I still have been as 'good' of a person given a more direct route. My friends that lived a more linear and traditional life are they not of the same value as I? And vise versa? If then we are valued the same, then why did my route to the same endpoint became so much more ___- consuming.

I hate that I can't give people more direct answers now in my life. I always was able to, until now. And yet, I am the first person to tell you that I am grateful for the path I've had. I just question its necessity if there may have been a shorter route.  The quickest way from one point to another is a direct line. Given any deterence from that line, there is more time, more money, more energy put into that path. I leave this now with yet another question. Why? Why would that matter - in a specific time - in a specific way? Why do we think that our proposed 5-year plan is best? Why are expectations of others mean so much to me, to you, to anyone? Why. ... Okay but seriously, Why?

Monday, September 3, 2012

On Sex.

It's hard to explain to people what I've been doing this past month..

No, not "the sex" but the talking of it. If it wasn't obvious via Facebook posts and pictures, I am a proud, proud member of this production called Speak About It. Though it would be easy to call it the show about 'sex' or the show about 'rape' its actually far from that. There is a more staple description that describes it as a show on "consent, boundaries, and healthy relationships". And yet, that doesn't give it justice. 

The other day I had to explain why I wanted to be part of this show. There's shallow and other less shallow reasons. One reason is a friend of mine knew I was involved with Vagina Monologues and thought I'd be a good fit. Another is that it worked with my schedule and needed money for applications. True but more of an effect than a cause. The real reason? Well, that answer is a little less convenient. Now, I'm not trying to rehash the same stories from my past (Read: On Vaginas) or something rather recent (On Going To Far) but it is because of those moments, because those feelings of 'losing power' were way too consuming and too familiar; I then had the opportunity, the medium to do the one thing I did not do before. Speak

My most unfortunate moments that dealt with sex were in the moments that issues, facts, limits.. were not discussed. And because of that. Because of that lack of communication. People got hurt. I got hurt. These few weeks where I got to talk, to use my voice, to speak to others about sex, about relationships, about consent, about boundaries in forms of monologues and scripted words, to engage in this dialogue has been so enticing. It hits me right in the G spot of my soul. And from talking about it, I realized a common thread to my sexual narratives. Now before your mind plunders into that gutter, this is not an entry about the sexual endeavors of my life. Sorry. Need a little more beers before I may delve into that material. Rather, this is a hypothesis to you on what I believe makes sex so sexy. It's the unknown. It is taboo, encrypted, mystique, an enigma. Exciting and fun, yet can also be dangerous. But the thing is, the thing we all forget about, as we're hiding it under the sheets is this very important thing.. How great it really is. How sex earns its provocativeness not from its secrecy but from its very existence. Sex is great. It does not need to be shoved under the rug. What it needs is to be in the light, to show off. It is. A very, very beautiful thing. But it is in the context of how we use it and what purpose we have it serve in our lives that must be conscientious and honest about, at all times, with ourselves and our partners. 

Sex rears its ugly head only when certain rules are not played, acknowledged, respected. When lines are crossed or a dialogue is missing, when people don't know what they don't want and are not willing to explore those desires, when people can't voice their needs or don't know what they need to know; when all this communication is lost, particularly in the context of sex, things can get fucked up (no obvious pun intended). When we use sex in ways to hurt people or compromise their health, that's where we're wrong. That is when we turn what is good, into something ugly and even sustainably painful. Whether it was the story of my father or the stories of my childhood or more recently, the stories I've created as an adult.. I can't help but wonder that if I/my family/my friends had the sex talk (and I don't mean the ol' birds & bees spiel) but rather an honest conversation of what sex means and the responsibility that comes along with it - would had happen to me could have been prevented or at least, been less severe

I realized I can do this for days.. the talking, of course, not so much the sex. That requires a different type of endurance, womp womp. But I'll end with this. Conversation is the new foreplay. Nothing's more sexy than the opportunity and ability to say what you want and what your needs are, both in the sack and in life.
So, honor people's words and their bodies even better.

A shameless but well-worthy plug of the show, Speak About It!
The Show, the Cast, and of course, the Facebook.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

On Ex-Boyfriends.

To my ex-boyfriends. I was a horrible girlfriend and heck, even ex-girlfriend. Okay, maybe not totally true. But there was an obvious end to those relationships. Something I did or didn't do brought it to its final point. Although I'd like to believe that when we did have moments of pure love, they were, in part, because of me. I worked really hard in my relationships, and I want to believe that we dated for as long as we did because it was good. I mean, the 'shortest' of my relationships was the most recent, a mere 3 years.

I have made choices in the past that were self-centered and hurtful towards those I cared for, both during and after our relationships. And I believe in some twisted way, it was what I received is what I deserved. Not to say the universe always plays with this quid pro quo rules but that sometimes it conveniently does. I cheated in a long standing relationship, then later got cheated on in another. Interesting concept. This idea of (in)fidelty. And yes, I can complain to the universe how "karma's a bitch" but that's so uncreative. If anything, She's become my teacher of compassion, empathy, and wisdom.

Despite the obvious, this entry is not so much about how 'ex-boyfriends are lame' or a diatribe on my last relationship. Far from it. If anything, I would want to happily reminisce of this man I dated in college. How sweet that after four years or so, we briefly spoke across an email and both came to peace with how we ended. And for the record, the email was in no way like what the recent ex-boyfriend did. #sy #majorfail 

When I emailed my college boyfriend, it wasn't an excruciating tedious, unnecessarily lengthy, pompous laundry list of the sins committed in the relationship that I wrote in order to clear my name so that I can change my Facebook status to 'in a relationship' and not feel guilty about it.....ahem.. No. Rather, I sent him an apology after a few years past. As genuine as I could with this understanding of the pain I caused him and acknowledging that although it does not change our current situation, I was apologetic for treating him with such lack of respect for a person I loved. Anyways, the email went something like, how I loved him and how I hoped he understood my poor choices was never a reflection of him. The pain I caused was unnecessary and that he was a good man. He responded as simple as, 'I am grateful for the time when we were young and in love. That is what I remember and happy I shared with you.' The unfortunate reality is that we, as people, do fall out of love with another. That is not exceptional. But how we do that, how we transition from current to ex's is delicate and is not always intended to be this messy free fall. It's difficult in maneuvering through this evolution of un-loving someone - a person that you were the most intimate with, emotionally, physically, sexually, mentally, daily - and knowing that transformation of that relationship ending can be handled in ways of respect and dare I say, love? Even if it may be residual.

Soo, I hung out with someone the other day and he mentioned to me this beautiful rendition of his last break up. He spoke so highly of his ex-girlfriend despite the expiration of their relationship. It was graceful, almost sweet. And I get it. Call me naive but I think my original problem was that I assumed that all the relationships I entered were going to be 'forever' and when it didn't, I was resentful and angry. It took me a while to accept that people can come in and out of your life, whether be for a night or three years and that is a-okay! It's lived it's course, as organically as possible, with a beginning and an end. But just because the party's over and it's time to leave, don't leave it as a hot mess - hold some dignity, respect, and heck, maybe a little love during that inevitable departure. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

On a Date.

So went on my first official date sometime last week. Like met a guy at a bar. Exchanged numbers. No friendly lines, just shameless-flirtatious crap. He picked me up, paid for dinner, possible kiss good night. The whole bit. And if I could sum up the experience in one word, it'd be: awkward. And the funny thing is that after hanging out with him, surprisingly, I may want to date again. Not him. But dating, major possibility. I just don't want to "date" people that are I think are hot or because they stroke my ego or because I'm lonely. I'm just done dating people that I know I wouldn't want to spend my time with. I want to share my time, my energy, my thoughts with men that I believe complement me. Challenge me. After being in each others company, makes me feel good, warm, content. Like in the heart, not necessarily down south. I want to leave after spending time with him, with the biggest and goofiest smile on my face. That, I think, is the definition of the best date ever. Not the after, per se. Though sometimes that can attentuate an even more awesome date if that be the case.

So the dude. He's the "guy from the bar" guy. Musician I met at Beehive. Cute. Skinny. Aka, I have bigger calves than him. Which reminds me, I need to date bigger men. Almost a jerk at first glance and yeah, sorta was. But you can't judge a person by his looks. Oh wait, you totally can. Ha. And as much as I don't wanna judge the process - I mean, I do have an amazing story of a best friend meeting her now husband at a bar - I would like to be realistic and think that the world won't be as generous with me as with them. But if this "dating" thing may be an activity I may partake in, how and where do I play? I've only dated only guys I've dated. Aka, never been friends before, which may be the reason why those past relationships failed. We jumped in with such strong agendas and never got to be ourselves vs. ourselves on-the-prowl. We'd jumped the chute and held hands before we knew each other's stance on politics and sex. As for dating my friends, I know there's some discrepency that its "not worth sacrificing" the friendship, I think sometimes it is. (Although, I'd be shocked if any of current guy friends find this attractive since some of them know me way too well/I'm way too comfortable around them. Definitely do not bring the sexy back when in their presence). So, not totally against that either. And for the record my buddies are pretty cute. Would totally tap that.

Anyways, back to the date. I felt like an asshole. Particularly, when he tried to hold my hand and I just slapped at it like a low-high five. It looked like we were playing patty-cake as we were walking down the street. In the end of the day, the reason why those pseudo-dates aren't dates is because my mental space isn't there. I know you can't plan this stuff out and trust me on this, I hate compartalmentalizing my life. Not a cute way to live. But for just this moment, where I can just breathe and figure out what the hell my needs are, is just too delicous right now. After almost 8 years of this, I need this more than ever. Wait, am I shifting my stance on dating again in a single entry? Hah I most certainly am. Last thing, I swear..

I want to believe that I may be able to date someone again, if/when the universe deems fit. I also may never date again too. Another real option I may need to spoon the idea of. But one thing I most certainly do now, is make decisions of how I use my time and energy in ways that make me happy either at the moment and/or for the future. Because, though you would never want to do this to "attract a mate" just imagine how attractive it is, for a person to see another being simply enjoying their own company and building the lives they want for themselves, every day. Sexiest thing ever. And by doing so, imagine the bees attracted to that sweet ass honey. Would you want someone attracted to you based upon the decisions you make and not because you wore a cute outfit to the bar? Shouldn't dating be just about that? The sharing of two lives of two very amazing people. Ha, that is the goal.

Friday, July 20, 2012

On Cocky Ass Bastards.

Cocky.. Ha. No pun intended.

So, to switch things up a little bit, I have a question for everyone. Why do you guys either 1) I want to be more than friends with them or 2) that if I was looking for someone, that it'd be them? I get it. I obviously like people, hanging out with them, sharing conversations over coffee and/or beer, heck I even show affection. Touching the arm, pat on the back. I like my pseudo-dates with friends. Sometimes, I send borderline flirtatious texts. Do I want somethin out of it? No, so stop "reading" into it. This is not also limited to my guy friends. Same rules apply to my lady friends. Trust me, my love knows no boundaries.. Unfortunately. I adore my friendly 'dates' with my friends - it's everything minus the spooning in the end. As for my man friends, there is this unfortunate trend

I literally had so much more guy friends the beginning of the year. Then, one by one. Each one whittled away. Either because they wanted more, explicitly (no assumptions here, trust me). Or they made the assumption that I wanted more, because Lord knows, who wouldn't want to be with them (sarcasm pouring out here) and didn't want to lead me on. Muther effers. Either way, someone did not get something as expected/wanted something. But for the record. I don't want anything, from anyone. An honest, sincere, loving friendship would be great. But that's all for the moment, folks. Really.

Why is it that my intentions can be easily misconstrued as something more than a friendship with the attracted sex? Does it go back to that age old sayin that men and women can't be just friends? I doubt it. But def feels that way. Who set up all-or-nothing? Like because we exist sans sexual tension, for the moment or for ever, why withhold the friendship? Pompous. I feel, once a guy either thinks I want more or realized that I want to be just friends.. they check out. As potential lovers, passing flings, FWBs but more importantly, we lose that real opportunity to be friends. Which despite all indications I may present, is all I ever really wanted.

Was Harry (with Sally) onto something? Is it not possible to be just friends because there this lurking agenda that one of the two, or two of the two for that matter, wants to sleep with the other at the end of the day.. I mean, night? Heh. Quick disclaimer: I do not mean this btwn men and women - this can go for men with men or women with women. Gender is irrelevant here. Anyways, what I am slowly (and sadly) realizing is that I have lost a number of guy friends over time. I would hate to think it's because I have changed in some way or dun dun duun, changed for the worse. I don't think so. Or else, that would be all my friends, not just the dudes.

Get over yourself. To make it easier for the both of us, let the record show, I will not fall for you. I promise, there is no way I will/want anything with you. Now. Or ever. So, get over it and give me back our friendship, please. I'm so sick of this. [Picture was added later.. and even then, it's still implying the "possibility". Don't even want that. I want to laugh, talk, hug. I don't want a boyfriend. Let it be said. No "start off" just at that moment. Good.]

Sunday, July 15, 2012

On the Human Spirit.

Wrote this back in March. Which, coincidentally, helped my secondaries a bit. For myself more than anything. Definitely didn't copy and pass this one for applications. <3 elle

These past couple weeks, I've been outside of myself. Doing things that only youngin's do. Now I joke around that I'm this old lady, all the time. I know that is far from the truth, but I do have to say there is a sort of an advantage of where I sit. And its not so much the number of years that has passed but rather, because in those years I've been able to experience a number of things that not every one gets the chance to feel. A family death, an abuse as a child, a fracture, love, and amongst other things. 

Funny thing I'm actually screening this list, so to not have people think that I'm making this up. It all starts to sound like a joke but it's not. It's my life. And by saying that I went through certain things its never for bragging rights. Nor would I ever wish this for anyone, or have these experiences to make me "cooler" because I went through them. I guess, my sharing allows air to them, had I kept them inside. Sometimes, I think it's for a sense of validation from you but that's more of a scary thought to think that its true. 

After all that I've gone through, I still question resilience. The spirit. The thing that we all can't see but do.

I question if that still lives in me. This agility of the spirit. Have I lost it. I would not be here, to be able to smile, to joke around, to be the joke, to have good sustainable friendships, to be able to pursue the things in my life, if I did not believe that that existed. To move on from that shit that I found myself in and/or put myself through. Had I not had this, this "spirit", I really don't know where I would be right now.

People call it faith, some call it religion. But in the end of the day, it is this almost elusive version of ourselves that we 'feel' resides within. It has to. Right? I mean, I see it in others. Often, in fact. You know those moments when you're talking to someone and its just beaming out of their eyes? Every time I have an honest conversation with someone, I just see it in them. That's the part of them that I fall in love with. So, I must have one too right?

My whole pursuit for medicine is because of this. I want to protect that human spirit that resides in these physical body. I want to honor it, acknowledge its presence every day. I worked two years in clinical rehab. It is there where I fell in love with the human body. I know that the body is physical. We are a jumble of chemical reactions and physiological mechanisms to maintain homeostasis. But amongst all that jazz, there has to be a spirit that roams these physical entities. From my experiences with working with people - patients - I realize that the only thing that holds a person to come to a doctor's visit, to continue therapy, to find some sense of purpose through the pain require some sort of unspoken advantage. A spirit. A hope. A feeling that there is, or could just possibly be, something greater than themselves that is orchestrating its way through their discomfort. 

I know as 'scientists' we are to believe how certain things work, we must be analytical. There is no room in the sciences for the intangible. It's all about facts, numbers, graphs, physical ailments in response to certain triggers or stimuli. We must remain critical with the facts before us. You must always have an analytical mind, as my aunt always tell me. But I believe, partially bias since I minored in religion, that there is something substantial about the world outside of the physical realm we see every day. I know it sounds so simple as a decision to 'just believe'. That in reality, we all believe in something and it is only a matter of what basket we put our eggs in that matters. 

But in the end of the day, what 'believing' requires is work. A lot of it. Don't be fooled. Just because you can't touch it does not mean that a physical investment does not need to be made. I guess, that's sorta of the trick with it. Even though you can't see it, you have to practice in hoping that it exists, each and every day, in this concrete world.  that intangible form from within. I know it's there. I need to stop doubting it. By not believing, it screws me up. Yeah, I'm gonna stick by it. It's the only way to go. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

On The Descendants.

I love this movie, The Descendants.

Yes, yes. You probably haven't heard about it, to some it won't even be rental worthy. George Clooney is in it; that girl from Teenage Mom.  Its not an action film or a chick flick. Very Sideways and About Schmidt-like. I watched this the first time when I was with in LA with my mom and again in Boston with this guy I didn't want to watch anything romantic with/knew I can't wait until the DVD came out.

I find this the most appropriate for today. Father's Day, Hawai'i, a parent passing.. I realized the reason I loved it was because even when a parent or a person passes away, the film reminds you it doesn't necessarily clean their slate. Yes, it is easier to "let bygones be bygones" but the thing is that there are actual consequences to the choices that those who had passed away made. They just don't go away after they die. We, the living, have to work through their choices even when they are gone.

For example. My father. Now, I am not saying that my entrance to this world is a mistake, per se. But I wonder. Does my father living a certain life that may not have been parallel to what he may have wanted, take away the credibility of my existence? Yes, yes. Heavy. But my point is that I was searching for a long time if I was meant to be here. Not this, what is my purpose in the world kind of thing but more of, if me being here was an "oopsie" then is there a deliberate reason or telos of why I am here. The only way I can justify this is that dads, moms - parents are fallible. Just like their children.  There is no miraculous shift when one becomes a parent that makes them impervious to mistakes. They are human beings. They lie, they cheat, they lack confidence. But their mistakes are not necessarily their regrets. Nonetheless, I wanted him to explain himself. I wanted to know the truth, give him the third degree. I hated that any information I would get from him, to understand him, was always secondary. From what he wrote, from people's stories, from everything else but his own voice. Side note, there is a quick taping that my cousin has, from an interview he had with my grandmother on a tape. His voice is so soothing. Eloquent. Anyways, I guess the beauty of not being able to speak to him now is that there is no additional info infiltrating in, I can just work with the facts I do have and mobilize it to an idea of him in the present. Makes it easier to juggle. Not fun but easier.

People tell me he loved sitting outside at caffes, spending hours at museums, knew plants scientific names. Unfortunately, my image of him as a father is faint. I'd pretend that he would have enjoyed my presence, my conversations, my thoughts... my hugs, as his daughter. I hate that I am limited to any tangible experience with him. But back to the movie. There is this last scene where it ties in so well with my father's narrative. I would picture myself in the waters of Hawai'i, giving peace to him just like in the last scene. Nonetheless, let the records show, it was my choice to not have gone. I did not want that to be my last image of him. I hope he's not mad at me for not going. But if I could explain to him about that day, it would be: I'm sorry Dad that I couldn't have been 'there' for you. Both when you were here and when you were not. I was limited and fallible in what I knew and what I was wiling to accept in my life at the time. I know you wish you were with me here, too. I love you. Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

On Sayin I Love You.

I have this profound fetish for saying "I love you" to my friends. Whether they like it or not. I know it sounds juvenile, this amicable puppy love. Its commendable but not of merit. I mean, I get it. It's not the same love 'love' we give to our significant other. I know the difference, I've shared those words in a number of serious relationships (and grateful that I have) but there is something so cute about saying those words to a friend. Especially for the first time. There is this gittyness, this rush of feelings that consume you when say I love you to that friend, dare I say, can be as delicious as saying it to a lover.

Why is it that, just because we don't share the most intimate positions - I mean, conversations - that they are any less important? The beauty of any friendship is that it doesn't need as much diligence as an intimate* one, but its resilience seems to be so much stronger. I joke with my best friend that she's been my longest relationship. She's been there from the very first one and to what feels like my last - though I'm not entirely giving up, quite yet - but we'll see if ever I'll be as lucky :) Anyways, the fun that comes out of love from a friendship, in contrast to the intimate type, is that - monogamy's not necessary. How awesome is that. Love is love. After my break up, I thought that my love from him sort of dissipated to my friends. Like this transfer of energy that was necessary for it to thrive. But one doesn't "transfer" love. It is not a limited entity. As a child, I thought love was given as 'tokens' - that there was a limited amount that we can give to others. How wrong was I. CS had my love and I had his; while simultaneously, sharing and enjoying the love for my friends. Exclusive to that of his. And thank God it is. 

I never really understood what it meant to be "in love" with my friends before until this year. I've had great, great friends in the past. From cheerleading to high school, to college and dancing buddies, to the people I met in New York and now Boston. The fun thing about my Bostonian clan is that none of us are really from Boston. It's fun - this immigrant-like family of mine, full of nerds. The range is aspiring. There is a certain spice that each one brings. I love them. Cue barfing noises.. But there is something unique about them than other friends. It's like we're going through a war together. What we all went through this past year together - this current vulnerability that we all are facing and the constructive ways we try to care for one another. Yes, most of the time our means of reacting to stress was consuming alcohol, blah blah. But there are moments in between - I swear - that are so sweet and sincere and generous. I love it. Whether it was getting coffee with me, getting ice cream, beers... hmm now I see why I gained weight these past few months.. for letting me crash at your place, for giving me hugs and/or handwritten notes; the conversations we had were so much sweeter than any pastry I ate. We have went through such a hard time together and there is still so much more to come. Even amongst the very short time we spent together, I am eternally grateful. There is still a long way to go but thank God I am not alone. And I hope that they feel that same sense of consolement when with me as well - I have no problem giving my love and attention to those who want it. 

So, for my friends that had known me for years but may not know my current agenda and for the friends I see every day that may not know my past - I love you. I am enthralled by you. WarningPlease do not misunderstand my love because I give it so freely. It does not mean less to me nor should it be taken for granted. I know I can be overtly generous, in more ways than one, trust me, I wish I wasn't sometimes. It'd be less painful. Yet I will give because I believe you deserve it. Everyone deserves a little lovin. So don't abuse it. I am happy - in gratitude - to be surrounded by so much love. Thank you, Friends. May our love be one heck of an affair. 

Dedicated to you, a Spice Girls cover song but with swag.

* intimate = your standard boyfriend/girlfriend or boyfriend/boyfriend or girlfriend/girlfriend situation

Saturday, June 9, 2012

On Newton's Third Law.

Inspired by an old Facebook "note" I wrote back in 2010.

Who is it to say that you or I deserves anything or something? We have been taught to believe that when we do something, a certain effect must happen. The third law of Newton states that a certain force equals an opposite but equal force. Despite how we know this to be true in the physical world, how true is it in the intangible?

Is it that when we do a certain deed or act a particular way, we must await a certain reaction to our actions that compensate for it? For example, if I were to do something good, would I then have to believe that something good will return to me? Or vise versa, if I were to do something mean to another person, should I await the terrible consequence since it'll 'come back' to me in the end? The reasoning behind cause-and-effect bothers me. Frightens me, really. I hate to believe that what I do in the past will have a certain reprimand to it. People guise this as karma but that's not enough. Because the reality is, we've all fucked up at one point. And yet, despite those poor choices, we have been granted some break, some sort of grace from the universe - and even for us sometimes, a second/third/fourth/and counting..

Everything is not quid pro quo with the world. What are we to do then, if our world is so inconsistent? Maybe that's the beauty of it. The reality is, if we were truly 'awarded' for all the dings that we've created in the world, we would be screwed. We're aren't perfect. And because of that, to resolve the inevitable, what are we left with? To forgive and forget when we screw up - when others screw us over. Is that the force that we are supposed to reckon with? Reconciliation?

But Newton said, paraphrasing here, when something fucks you over, you push em right back. That's what the F's stand for, no? F = -F ... I wish I could. "Return to the favor" I never do. Unless I'm driving.. Because even after all that is said and done, particularly the situations I've had to deal with in the past months - whether it was the ex-boyfriend, or guys in between, or even worst, the one crossed the line - I'm still their friend. Seriously. Like I just had coffee with one of them the other day, sent an email to another. Oof and I'm sending back my ex-boyfriend's stuff that he left at my apartment on my bill, after he had left me for another girl. The hell is wrong with me? I actually still genuinely care for them. The hell. Even after all that. Shouldn't what they've done - cheated on me, stopped speaking to me, done things without my consent - come with much more heavier consequences? I should be the enforcer to this, hold back my time and my energy towards them. But I don't. I should equally hurt them as much as they hurt me. But I don't. Why would I provide not only my forgiveness but also a friendship to people who just don't care. About me. What does that say about me?  Am I the sucker, the pushover, the idiot? I would hate to think that this act of benevolence to forgive another makes me stupid. Vulnerable, yes. Stupid, no.

Forgiveness is the only compensation to our shortcomings. For others, for ourselves. Its like a hidden catalyst, a secret weapon in creating a swift, unpredictable change to our current predictable system. Much has happened in my life. Much. That required me to yield such regard. For my uncle, my grandfather, my 'friend' that went too far and most importantly, myself. Should we enjoy/fear what might happen to us because we 'deserved it'? Or do we hope to fall in this net of forgiveness? In the end I strongly believe there is only one option. I actually do not think that because I am willing to forgive others that I'm lame. I get it; it does make me defenseless against the dumb actions of others. Yet, I wouldn't have it any other way. I guess the reason I do this is, is because I know that I've messed up in the past and will continue to do so: act like a fool, fall on my words, regret my actions (goodness, I feel like that now). I just hope when it does, when I do mess up - someone will meet me with same amount of compassion along the way - not that I deserve it but because we all need it at many points in our lives. So, I guess in a way, it all does sort of balances each other out like Newt's said, when one force must equal another. Except this time, the "g" comes not from a direct recompense of equal malice but instead a place of kindness and compassion. That I can easily quite accept. Wouldn't you? A world balanced, grounded in much sweeter restitution. I most definitely would.

Friday, May 25, 2012

On What I Want To Be When I Grow Up.

My father died when I was seven years old. I was told that the cause of death was pneumonia and that was the end of the story or so I thought. It was not until years later after my first semester in college that I discovered a key element to his story. Pneumonia was only secondary to his primary cause of death, AIDS. This single but most important detail cascaded a number of questions. How did my father contract HIV? Why was my mother involved with him? How was it that I am here and healthy?

Uncertain on how to proceed from this, I spent most of my undergraduate career participating in a multitude of student organizations, volunteering in community projects, and even studying abroad in hopes to find rhyme or reason to my familial circumstance. Though personal inquiries of my father were still left unanswered, I found a temporary but resonating resolve through these acts of service. Whether it was building homes in Tijuana or producing a fashion show to fund student scholarships, I relished opportunities to extend my energy and ideas with others towards a larger, more productive goal. Utilizing my talents to create something tangible, while also formulating this interconnectedness with people developed this zeal within. By my senior year, I received the prestigious Senior Oceanids Award for my involvement in community service.

Motivated by this means of charity, I decided to work at Pomerado Hospital in order to make use of my skills in a new medium that is patient care.Working with patients learning to walk again after surgery; teaching a patient how to hold a spoon after a stroke - these simple tasks illustrated for me the subtle but relentless ways our bodies work towards healing itself every day. I saw firsthand the power that comes from a mobile body. Mobility produces functionality; functionality begets autonomy and without this, quality of life is greatly compromised. I realized thereafter that I wanted a life devoted towards enhancing the condition and quality of one’s life was in the role of a physician. 

Moving to Boston, working at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, volunteering at Massachusetts General Hospital and ultimately, enrolling in the MA in Medical Sciences program at BUSM; all were substantial to my professional and personal growth. However, none was more meaningful or impressionable to me than my time at AIDS Action Committee as a hotlines counselor. People called with general questions of HIV/STD transmission, while others spoke of scenarios of some possible exposure to a sexually transmitted infection. More often than not, calls were less concerned with physical ailments and more so for support as a caller waits for her test results or another discovers he is HIV infected. I became accustomed to consoling others through my words and realized that despite the information I could provide, it was my approach on how I spoke to them that made our conversations most productive. I had to assess what their main concern was, understand the expectations of that caller, and then fulfill those needs exclusively through dialogue. I would imagine each caller as a patient; probing for some solution to a certain, health-compromising predicament, and my voice was the only means of treatment. In the past, my ideas and my hands created the environment conducive towards helping others. This time, however, it was my aptitude to audibly observe the needs of another that produced a positive outcome. What was difficult about these anonymous callers was that for that brief moment I was on the phone with them, I would imagine that I was speaking to my father. This was the closest I have worked directly with the community my father was a part of, and with each case I would catch myself saying the words I wish I could have said to him. Saying the words like, your diagnosis does not make you who you are. Viruses are not bias upon your sexual preference. You are not alone, and you are surrounded by those that love you and care for your health.

Looking back on college, I questioned the reasons why my father died the way that he did. I realized now that my attempts to rationalize his death does not, unfortunately, change the outcome. It was in his lack of presence that I discovered my purpose in service, in the medium of patient care, and now in hopes, in the role of a physician. My father is my constant reminder of how valuable a life is, and how unfortunate it is when that life is compromised or shortened in such inopportune ways. My uncle, a physician for decades, told me that the eyes and ears of a clinician were the tools that direct accurate diagnoses and ultimately, better treatment of care. Understanding these details of the human body is imperative to become a doctor but the ability to mobilize this information in an advantageous way for the patient, using those skills of keen observation and effective communication, are as equally important if not more to become an influential caretaker. I want to use my talents to prolong, enhance, or at minimum withhold pain from a life through my words and actions. I am conscientious in cultivating these skills -- seeing, hearing, speaking truth -- and practice their mastery every day, so that I may be the physician I know I can become.

N.b.  A draft to my personal statement. Copy this, and I will kill you. Love, elle

Saturday, May 19, 2012

On Boyfriends.

I found a few old posts that I wrote pre-break up and when I read it, I was just flabbergasted on how short-sighted I saw myself, the truth of the situation, and how unfortunate it all was. And, of course, the word "boyfriend"came up pretty often. Is it weird that the word boyfriend is actually something I can't really see myself using anymore? Not just for the moment but in general. I literally used that word for almost 7 years of my life, straight. It's not bragging, I humbly recognize that it was a privilege .. Maybe by declaring that I'll never say that word again, I won't be shocked if that actually happens. I mean, let's be honest. What if I don't fall in love again? This is a completely, plausible outcome. Am I ready for that? The idea of never using that 'B' word again. I might just have to be. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I am not entirely closed off by the idea of meeting someone. It's just that I want that if someone does come into my life - all cute and smart as I imagine him to be - to be cool with the idea that he is not just a 'boyfriend' or 'best friend' or whatever 'friend' version of mine that may or may not include benefits. I want that person to be who he thinks/identifies himself to be and not worry so much of what role he needs to play in my life. I used to be offended when my boyfriend at the time would introduce me by my name and not as his "girlfriend" but, by whatever his intentions was by doing so, I realize the power in him identifying me by my name than so much as the person I am in his life, was all actually endearing

Despite my declaration off men, I would want a family someday. With people other than myself, a home, possible kids. A man to hold hands with on a Saturday afternoon. But here's the problem: how do I get there when the idea of a 'boyfriend' makes me want to shake my head at the moment? This may be a problem. I would want to think that I could be in love again. It's a fun, whimsical thought on trying to guess the how and where and who that may be with. How I get there, not quite sure. And what choices would I have to make if that is something I may want in my life not necessarily now but later? Will I have options later down the road? Is it (too) bold to say to the universe that - one day - I want to share my life with another? A "friend" of mine spoke hypothetically about his future partner in life, with this flair of confidence. As if he had already knew who she was but doesn't. He isn't dating anyone, that I know for sure. But I wondered how he imagined her in his head. I was sort of envious, not gonna lie. This notion that he knew he would fall in love again.. how was he so sure

So, at the moment, I'm actually attempting to suppress a crush of mine. Why? Though as fun as it's been to have these shamelessly cute feelings, it is annoying as hell. Plus - 1) I don't think he's interested and 2) this is probably, most likely the worst time for me to even get slightly involved with anyone. Let it be said. I need a  breather. It's hard, though. I can't differentiate whether these feelings come from actual value of him or because it is an oh-so-famiiar feeling. But let the records show. I think the reason I liked this guy was because he was the antithesis of my ex-boyfriend. He was focused but with a heart. Sentimental but funny. And as much as I hate to see this go - for both practical and lack of reciprocation, it was my pleasure to have had that feeling again. That reminder.

I did not expect myself to be in a place where I would have feelings for someone, anyone, anytime soon. And yet, I did. I speak so much of the resilience of our bodies, and I think I may have underestimated the ability of our yearning to love (and in return, to be loved - thought not always guaranteed). And though nothing will come from this, except for a minor loss of some self-dignity, I am grateful for the glimpse of these feelings. I never would have thought that I could feel like this again again. Feelings of hope and endearment for someone else. It's nice to know that the heart still skips a beat, the face still blushes with the thought that there could be - someone out there to be.. whatever he and I needs to be.

Monday, May 7, 2012

On the Last Day of School.

Poor Entry. The titles keep on changing on this. It was first "On the First Day of School" then "On the First Day of the Second Semester" and now.. we're on the last day before finals. Awesome. Procrastination is real. Took me a good, what 9 mnths? Not bad, not bad at all.

My first intention was to write entries on those actual days so to capture that 'moment' right before we knew the outcome of it all. And yet, we're all still in that situation even after two semesters. For most of us, we don't know where we'll be as of next year for professional schools, much is relying on how we perform in the next couple days and the MCAT and - heck, for some of us, summer plans aren't even quite settled. All this is fun, aint it? Jumping for joy.

No, of course not. I don't know about you guys but I'm scared shitless. And yes, I know we all can play ducks. Where we are chillin on top, everything looking cool hanging out on the water but really our feet below is kicking around like crazy to keep afloat. I know, I know. Ducks aren't always treading but you get my point.

This year is going to big. Has been and continues to be. By the end of the year, we would of hopefully been invited to those very coveted interviews for medical school. Little secret, remember those people we saw during our first semester - the people on tour for their interviews?  I was envious of them. How they were in that part of the process, closer to the dream. Closer than I at least. I understand that we all have different paths and how we get here of there does not have to be so linear. And that, of course, is the beauty of our story. But. It's hard not to judge this whole process when its about comparison and scores and where you rank on this iron-clad ladder for medical school admissions. Also, side note, I wanted to kick their asses. Because I prematurely judged them for not knowing how lucky they really were. How oh so lucky. But the ass that needed the most kicking was obviously myself. So I used them as friendly reminders of how much more work I need to put in, for myself and for my dream.  

I remember sitting at the Keefer Auditorium listening to people who completed their first year, telling us the number of hours they studied, to read before class, to not fall behind.. It all seems so trivial now. What they should've just said was, Get your shit done. Well. And how ever way you do that or works for you, figure it out fast and do that constantly. And also how we all secretly wanted to beat one another and at one point had said "I didn't come here to make friends, I came here to do work!" And yet for the most part, we did both. Cuz Lord knows had I not had the support, the hugs, the coffee breaks - I would be insane. I'm pretty close to that now but imagine without my friends to keep me straight. Crazy. Absolutely crazy.

I believe we're good for it. All those hours and hours of work put into class, libraries, bed rooms until 2 in the morning. The amounts of coffee consumed, conversations we've had with one another to settle nerves or motivate us. All that and then some. None of it is wasted. We are finally learning what we want from ourselves, asking our selves, our bodies, our minds to work and expand and become something that it needs to be in order for us to be where we want to be. We have a glimpse of the life we want, and we all know we want it that bad. With that, let's kill these finals. Fourth quarter, two minutes on the clock. Time to make our mommas proud.

This year is going to be a big. I can feel it in the core of my bone marrow.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

On Going Too Far.

You went too far. You messed me up. I had a groove, I had confidence. I felt good. But you? You went too far, you took something that wasn't yours, touched something that wasn't meant to be given to you. I hate that you do not see the lines that were crossed, the situation you put me into, and the facade we play to play it cool. You thought you could do what you do but why? You fucked up, dude. It's crazy how in a moment. Feeling my worth, just slipping away. One attempted gesture, at a time. 

I volunteered the other night, and the subject of sexual abuse came up. It's weird. For all that I went through, it was for the first time to put that word "abuse" as part of my vocabulary to tell my story. I never thought of it that way, never wanted to see it that way. And there it was. Honest and real. 

And my whole justification of it was, I've been in worst-er situations and that this is nothing in comparison to what I had felt when I was a child. This now as an adult, I play off as "no biggie" and I justify it for you that we do stupid things when under the influence. But. No. I'm old enough, smart enough, wise enough, know my worth enough to know that this shit is not cool. Why are we not compelled to not think of it as a 'big thing' because - until it happens to you - you don't know how it feels. This feeling of no control, the lack of ability to decide what is happening to you. Your body. Trust me, I know it is easy to belittle this, I want to belittle this. But now, I can't. Not anymore.
You're an ass. And I'm angry. You're not supposed to do that. You are my friend. A person I trusted. You went too far, crossed boundaries. How can I trust you?! Knowing you were willing to do what you did. You disgust me. I forgive you, because I think it's your stupidity, lack of foresight, lack of understanding the consequences of your choices that brought you here. Don't you dare do this to anyone again. Please understand this. Your attempts were not welcomed. You hurt me by doing this. You really did, and I pray that you never put someone in a situation like you did with me again. Ever. Respect the women that brought you in this world, the women as in your family. Respect them - those that you know, those that you don't. Because. They are someone's daugthers, someone's sisters, someone's best friend. You just DO NOT DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO without the consent of that other person. You hear me? Never. Again. 
Funny thing, my most recent posts have been so superficial. The irony. The quest of attention via aesthetic needs, yet that coveted attracting-attention can bring all this. Unwarranted attentiveness. I know this is sorta reaching, but lately I've not been taking care of my health. Not big things, no heavy drinking or drugs. Just not working out as much or eating junk food. I know, I know. Not a big deal. But part of me thinks it's me trying to sabotage how I look, so I won't get that attention I don't want. By gaining weight, making it seem "less sexy". It's stupid, I know. But really. I feel protected in it, almost. Yet I'm the most happiest, the best when I'm taking care of health. And for now, I don't know. I'm trying to resurrect this feeling of self-worth with ballet classes. 

This weekend, I get to re-perform my piece to VagMo, which is like visiting a good friend. That space that this show provides me is, amazing. I am the voice, for even a moment, of the women that shared similar stories. That show has meant so much to me and hate to see/let it go. But until the next medium of where I can express and be part of something bigger than myself, I have at least this. My own monologue, here to share with you.

Monday, April 16, 2012

On Being Naked.


This entry isn't about being physically naked. However, I was asked to pose nude for a photographer recently and hence, the inspiration of this title. Sorta weird, kind of embarrassed. He's a legit photographer from Brklyn but most likely, would put my family to shame if I did this. So possible no-go. I mean, definite no-go. Anyways.

I am constantly putting myself "emotionally" naked in front of people. People I know, people I don't know, people I may know but better know afterwards since they know way too much about me at that point. Constantly. Which leaves me semi-uncomfortable afterwards. Not because I regret the story in it of itself nor is it because I want the nakedness reciprocated. I don't give in order to receive. But it's more of, I am uncomfortable because - here I am, exposed and I wonder, is it enough? Is it good? Do you hate me/love me more after what I have told you

Like posing nude, you wonder. What is it that you like about my body? What is that you don't? What curves are your favorite, which moles do you dislike? What is it, about me that I can or can not change - that you enjoy? It's not perfect, yet you are pulled towards it, inspired by it. Why?

I realize that the exposing of myself leaves me inevitably vulnerable. And though I would like to think that I am a person of honesty and humility by doing so, vulnerability isn't necessarily those things. It's embarassing, difficult, and sometimes unfortunate. 

But because I can share these things with you, I believe that I am strong and not incarcerated by some shame that I felt when holding it in. Exposing it shows it's weakness. I'm allowing that story to be mobile, not hidden, open for all those to see. And sharing this with you, shouldn't take away from that experience. Your opinion should not matter. Almost irrelevant to my story, my self, and my life. 

And yet. I do. Fuck. I feel used, over-exposed. And not enough. Why? I am everything that I need to be, and I have much to be proud of. I'm here, standing after what I have gone through - much of which is shared in this blog - and I smile. Still and often. Should that not be enough? You have no idea what I have gone through. I'm not trying to compare notes but you just don't know how it is. To feel a parent's death, a fractured femur, or be molested. I would never want those things to happen to you or anyone. None of it is cool but because of them, I am the woman you see now. And that should be enough. More than. 

I end with this. When you have sex with someone for the first time, you are exposed to fresh eyes. Naked as hell. And you wonder, is it enough? Do you like what you see? I am who I am, and you better like it for the next 20 or more so minutes. Cuz we're kinda stuck. Jk. But what I'm trying to say - and I type this as I'm blushing away - there are things you can change and then there are things that you can not. And just like those experiences that sort of end up on your skin, the person that sees you "naked", whether deserving or not, is lucky to have. Because in the end of the day, it just shows you who you are. Uninhibited, comfortable, and cool.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

On Vanity.

There are far more important things in the world than what we see.

This is a rebuttal to the "On Aesthetics" title. Funny irony, my most read entry that I wrote is, "On How To be Sexy" It just reached it's 800 hits. Crazy, isn't it? And that's the thing. I had to read those words for myself today. We need to remind ourselves, outside of the media and even day to day conversations that we have with one another (yes, boys I'm talking to you) that sexiness, swagger, hotness - all that biz comes from the way we treat one another, what we do and not the aesthetics. Isn't talent sexy? Watching someone play an instrument or play a sport or perform in a play. Or, watching someone care for and love their family? Goodness, fathers holding the hands of their children are sexy as hell.

I know that I said that what we wear, how we do our hair and of course, our bodies and face blah blah blah. We are submerged in all types of media telling us what is sexy, what constitutes as "hot" but I encourage you to see beyond what's in the tube. I encourage you to stop labeling girls as that. Because the sad thing, we're listening. We equate our value to our appearance. Just how with men equate their value to their work, if not accomplished. There is a feeling of inadequacy, am I right? And I don't mean that it's only women than care for their appearance or that men are only concerned with their career, of course those concerns are not gender exclusive. Women are just as worried about their careers, men with looks.. I know you know what I mean but back to the ladies.

The worst is that we go to these extremes of maintaining some sort of appearance. Botox, ____ jobs, waxing our wohoos. The list is endless. We're cutting ourselves short. My person, the "who I am" is so much more cooler than my facial structure. Don't you want that from others? To see you as who you are. To see you as a person that provides affection, intelligent, for an array of talents? Isn't what we do every day, how we treat one another - more important than the label of our jeans or shirts or shoes?

And as for the person receiving that "attention" you wouldn't want someone that cares about how you parted your hair or decided to just wear jeans instead of that tight, tight black dress. Is it obvious that I still have issues on this? Again I am not fishing and am grateful for the face I have, but I want to be known for the heart I give than having an ass. Is that too much to ask? Someone told me the other day that if I tried to be "hot" that I'm selling myself out. I should be glad for who I am and accept that I'm just not going to be that girl. The hell. What does that mean - thank you? Okay, before this gets any more snippy I think I'm going to take a run and come back. Hopefully, refreshed, exhausted, and clear-headed.


Back. Realized there's more important things in life than appearances. And for those who are too lazy/too impatient to see sometimes beyond the aesthetics are just not worth it. Yes, I know that the previous entry was all about how aesthetics is so important but the reality is, so many other things are as well - equally and more so. Let's just say, I'd rather be with someone that can articulate their thoughts and can show their love to themselves and others anytime. It's should be about the size of their minds & hearts, not the size of their...

Yea, I think I'll be a lot happier believing/knowing that there is more to life than the things on my face and the shape of my body. Peace out, Vanity. (Updated 04/13/2012)