Thursday, November 18, 2010

Muling over Secrets

It is quiet for now. The classes upstairs have not yet been dismissed from their morning lectures and early arrived athletes scurry in for a quick meal before the rush.

The mediocre cup of coffee tastes burnt with neglect. There is no warmth from the condensed and formed paper that can take the chill out of this room. Perhaps it is the four set of doors in the small space, opening and closing every five minutes that makes her shiver. But, deeper she fears it is more than a wind chill.

She sits alone.

Images of tiny feet flash through her mind. Clenching her stomach, unsettling nerves bring back the nauseous feelings. He would not understand if he knew the pain. Brushing it aside and blaming it on stress and over thinking the final year of college.

Someone yells.

A stampede of footsteps echo throughout the cramped cafe. Her mind struggles, jumping from loud, overbearing conversations centered around nonsense, and the small worry eating away at her soul.

Why is it the older some people get, the more they resort to immaturity and dramatic affairs of youth?

Deep breathes, don't stop.

A psychology book to ease away from the focused thought of "her problem." But, what if? Would he leave her without even looking back? Then again, secrets always saved the relationships of her past.

But to lie?

The clinic should be open this afternoon. A crashing tray of eggs snaps her back. He'll never have to know. "I am the only one who can take care of me," she whispers. Throwing the book and other belongings into her bag she rushes to class.

The cafe is teaming with hungry college students. The door fly's open and she is gone.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

reversing time

The walkway was long and overgrown with the ferns and new sprouts of the past summer. Chestnuts were starting to pop up on the cluster of trees by the broken fence which divides the corn field from papas yard. Papa would give us 10 cents a nut if we could pick them up, in the end he always paid more than he should. I can remember the smell of burning wood in the evening as my father disposed of the recent trimmings from the oaks. The sky would fade from its vibrant day blue into hues of purple and gold. An autumn wind blew a slight chill through the air as I walked up the steep steps of the backdoor, and rushing into the kitchen, felt my skin prickle with the combination of night air and heat from the oven. The smells were always enticing; of pies, polish dishes, and anything nana could get her hands onto. And there she was, stirring the potatoes as they boiled for supper, gliding between the oven and table where she whistled and prepared the evenings meal. The house always smelt faintly of pie, I never could put my finger on it. Everyone would always cheerfully congregate around the table to tell stories and feast, there never seemed to be a care in the world.
What happened in the elven years between blissfulness and chaotic depression? How did the world start to feel as if were slipping through clenched fists and the social norm became the depravity of existence? Independence replaced imagination and life began to attack an unarmed child who lacked the basic training of worldly politics. To once again run without worrying if it is the right way, or care not of the thoughts and feelings of others. That would be life. Instead, it feels as if each day takes a bit of the child who once ruled the kingdom of my mind and replaces it with a bitter king, too old and tired to rekindle the past. Breathing without feeling like an anvil is on my chest. The adventurer in me wants to say the answer is just around the bend, to hold it out for a few more moments and there, the promise land will be nestled in the future.

Just around the bend. To be young again. To close my eyes and just be.
I was walking back from the meadow at the bottom of the grassy lane. Back to the pink and white house on township line. Leaves in my hair and a slingshot in hand. It is about supper time. I open the back door and I'm home.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Settling in the dark

It was a long and drawn out day at work. When I arrived home it was bustling with my loud family and their usual antics. My youngest brother was getting ready for his afternoon run, stretching by the living room couch. Dad was listening to some motivational speaker, one of about three dozen that he rotates through, on his ancient laptop in the kitchen. My mother and other brother sat on the couches in the family room. They were watching the Laker game in spite while arguing and yelling randomly at the figures on the enlarged screen. I proceeded to walk upstairs and watch something on t.v. that didn't involve any yelling or confrontation. I had been surrounded by such an environment for a nine hour shift this morning and would rather not take the beating of harsh voices at the moment. Being worn and just about ready to fall over from the demanding spring semester of school and work, my emotions lay spread thin. I had just returned from counseling an old friend, a thing I should retract from my services, but nonetheless, I see a need and attempt to meet. My whole week actually had been sprinkled with the aiding of certain, let's call them needy for lack of a better word, friends. No, needy sounds like I dislike them, I love them, just not their lack to rationally think through their problems before throwing them up on the first available ear that will listen. Usually, that's me. And I digress. But this blog isn't about my emotional and tormented friend. It is about a moment I came to many hours later. In my room I sat, regurgitating the information processed for today, and my interwoven mind began to bring up the moments throughout the week, the past, the pushed away and hidden past. The kind one tries to dispose of deep within the cerebral but for some reason, can never fully get rid of. One of my favorite artists came on my ihome, the song was one I had heard countless times, a favorite actually. But, a line in it began to make me think. "And here i rest where disappointment and regret collide....Lying awake at night." My mind began to spin around this phrase, the words disappointment and regret standing out like bright lights on a darkened highway. I began to realize that it was I who sat, in the night, allowing these thoughts to keep my mind from moving on in the 24-hours of the day. I was so focused on the present issues in my family, my friends, and even my own life, I wasn't enjoying anything to the fullest anymore. It is like my brain is a running machine without an off switch, nothing to just stop the wheels from creating product of thought and reasoning. It keeps me in a state of unease more than I'd like to admit. But, how can I stop allowing the lives of others to influence my own? Trust me, this isn't the first time the light bulb has been turned on. Do you sacrifice a part of yourself to aid another? Or do you be selfish and remain a vessel which only sifts through the practices, frustrations, and intelligence of your own? I will probably never stop helping people. Only time will tell if this gift of aid will ruin my happy ending as I attempt to construct anothers.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Grey Zone

The small coffee shop just off campus was bustling with the afternoons exchange of students eager to buy an adequately made and overpriced latte. I was talking with a friend about his life before college, before this year, what had he done and did he have any regrets? We had been in a heated discussion for hours now, back and forth over the mistakes made and slowly over time forgot. He said one thing that stuck with me, it was in response to the people he had interacted with over the years, many of which the mistakes were made. The statement was more or less along the lines of, "I can't say that I still feel terrible about it all, it was a grey zone in my life, things were hazy and I made mistakes but, now I'm out of it and in the light." My astonishment lies within the question raised after his statement; how do we as individuals find our light? Almost anyone has had a time where they find themselves in this "grey zone" and frequently exit with regrets and instances wished to forget. It is as if life's winding road travels through deep canyons laden with fog and if you miss a turn, you will forever be lost in its thick mess. I have found myself drifting back into memories I wish I could use a neuralizer to rid of as Will Smith so easily does. It is knowing this pain will transform into enlightenment that keeps me from allowing the darkness to engulf my world. Knowledge obtained over time does not come easily nor can it be Googled. The journey to new thought will bring wear, but the outcome is worth every deep bruise and tear-stained face.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Thought bubble

I drove through a blizzard of styrofoam a week back. The freeway danced with the small white balls escaping from a nearby semi and cars yielded to their thick looming cloud. The sun was setting just beyond the hills of Covina as I made my long drive back home from work, the same I make 4-5 times a week. The 57 freeway, as usual, began to bunch up as the menacing drivers from the 10 merged into us with less than 3/4 of a mile to do so. I drove appreciating the sights here and there, trying to refrain from giving into my body's cruise control, which happens when you make the same drive every week. I prepared for school, yes work in the morning and school the rest of the afternoon and evening, congratulations to me being a full time college student with bills. My job is, not the best per say, but allows me to have over 18 units a semester while maintaining enough hours to pay financial aid. But, it was yesterday that I was able to really take a look into my future, not just daydreaming on the freeway, actually connect all I've been thinking with reality. For an advanced news reporting class we are put in "real life" news situations and expected to write a "reporter worthy" story. This weeks assignment was a press conference, sounds boring right? Well I though so too, until I actually got down there and rolled up my sleeves to do some reporting. Union Station was the site and transportation issues was the topic. A rally of unhappy transit and anti-pollution advocates more than kept my attention for two hours. From interviewing them to seeing their decorative signs I had more than enjoyed getting to know the "little people" of the situation. I then proceeded up the stairs of the LA Metro Headquarters and convinced one of the women at the desk to allow me to attend the invite only/closed press conference. Don't ask how, I have my ways. I took notes and left, speaking to a senator, several advocates, a few CEO's and with that my morning was complete. I could not believe the rush I had, not to mention the boost in confidence from the interviewees. But, that small fact is far from the point. The point is I actually enjoyed it, for so many individuals their career or job hardly excites them. While I still feed of the rush from Friday morning, others dread going to work, as I do now with my current job. It is knowing now that I am in the right field that gets me through the complaining customer, failed financial aid, worries of getting a job, etc. In one of my books for class the author talks about every writer needing to find their arrogance for through it they will achieve confidence and overall success in the writing field. Well, I found mine, and it feels refreshing and exciting, I'm just waiting to get out there in the world and begin. Let's just hope people don't start taking me as an arrogant B... it's confidence in disguise guys you should try and acquire some, it might be the deciding factor that lands you your dream job rather than just an outlet to pay bills.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Letting go

From when we are born we are expected to be something, someone, a figure in this massive world. No one ever is quick to admit it, but the fact remains the same. We are held to a standard, a standard we are issued by our family, religion or even over time ourselves. We look for commentary in our daily duties, a simple pat on the back or point of the finger to lead us in the direction one seems fit. Instead of listening to our own desires and passions we now paint our picture of life to attract the ones we look to for approval. But, how wonderful and innovative would Da Vinci's work be if he had created it for someone else? Or how inspirational would Thoreau's words be if he had written it for the American people of his time, for their approval? We are not to create for another, we are to create for ourselves, to voice our deepest thoughts and opinions. We must take all of the social rules and conformity's we have come to obtain over our life time and toss them aside. We must find who WE are and not who someone else wants us to be. We have passions, a creative self within us that was put there to do, not to sit by and mold into whatever the mood of the moment is. Take off the chains you have wrapped around yourself over time and freely create what it is you most desire, what makes you tick, think, what makes you be you. For so long I struggled with pleasing others, basing every action and thought I would make on their reaction. I even still battle with this from time to time today but have made it my goal to rid of this leech completely. How many hours have I wasted worrying when I could have been creating and more importantly, living?! How many others have done just the same and have failed to realize it? Life does not stop for us, for our decisions on whether we will get positive feed back on our choice of major, career, husband/wife etc. Life presses on without even a look at these things and so should we. Go abroad and live off the little money you make doing what you love. Get the experience you want, we sit by and see these movies or read these books that talk of people who live their dream and wish we could do the same. Stop wishing, go be your own protagonist and make your story the way you want it to be. Because in the end, all that matters is that you lived, not who praised you while living.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Paper thin

I sit here, early this Tuesday morning listening to my ihome and playing on my mac. Nothing about this seems odd or unfamiliar to me, and why should it? But, so many fail to have a life like this, a life where they can own these "gadgets" that have become as familiar as my own hand. To so many, a regular meal is something to look forward to, a roof over their head, a family who listens, or just someone who cares. But how can I, a college student in the suburbs of Southern California, come to give those people a taste of my life. I complain about financial aid not working my account out to register for spring classes and there are people dying as I pout. The worst part is that no matter how hard my brain works, how many wheels turn in my mind and sleepless nights I accumulate, life continues on without me helping one of those starving children. So what do we do? How can we get through this life and help those who need us. Do we join the Peace Corps? Send all our money to agencies who help those in need? Do they even help everyone? They cannot. It is impossible. Only a select few can benefit from your donation of thirty dollars a month. Then why do we do it? Why do we try to help the world when it seems like every step we take we are already eleven steps back and our advancement makes no dent in the travesties we set out to fix. It is an endless cycle that we continue to follow in hopes that we can somehow satisfy the call to a greater good. We cannot run a rut into the ground where we are tracking back and forth attempting to accomplish this. If we cannot aid directly than we must find another way. We need to find ourselves before we can aid others, create something within us, for us, and there you go, you have become more than just a walking jubilation of matter. In knowing this little more about life, about you, you have become open to the world, allowing people to become part of your life and you of theirs. This is how we can help someone, it isn't the money, the endless focus on attempt to change the future. We can become enlightened, allowing ourselves to just be, and in this we can be used in greater ways than our minds can fathom.