Table Of Contents

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

no. 025 [my day in monterey (please come home)...]


"Please Come Home" by Dustin Kensrue



They say home is where your heart is. Sometimes I question where my heart is, where it has been, and where it will be next. I guess there's a time in every person's life where they just want a break. Sometimes home sweet home can be the most stressful place for someone to be.

People deal with this in a lot of different ways. Some just want to be alone, some shut themselves off to the world, and some just need to get away, even if it's for a minute or two. Sometimes it just takes a little time to yourself, and a new perspective to figure out just what we're running away from. Whether it's a change of scenery, and change of pace, a change of people, the will to be free, or the fear of becoming just like them.

Sometimes when we "run away" from home we figure out that home wasn't so much the problem, but more the solution. Sometimes we look for a place to call home, to be accepted, then when we go out looking for it, we realize that we've been there all along. I guess the grass is always greener.

Unfortunately life isn't a TV show, or a movie. We don't always get a happy ending. And sometimes in going back home you realize why you left in the first place.

I guess in times like that all you can do is try your best to get through it. As a wise old man told me, "sometimes we may feel as if we don't need our home, but in reality it's our home that needs us." I know that he was talking about much more than just a roof over our heads. I guess in that scenario, there's only one thing to do...even if it's the last thing you want to do...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

no. 024 [there's a meaning for this...]


"Is There A Ghost" by Band Of Horses

Everything happens for a reason. I'm a very firm believer of that. But sometimes it's hard to find meaning in something. Sometimes it can seem as if there is no reason, no meaning for something that has happened. It can be that it doesn't make sense, you see no need for it, or you just plain don't understand it. But more times than not, if you really look into it, you might find a meaning, or a reason.

I think if more people would keep that in mind things would be a lot easier. But for some it's a little harder to believe. But I think if you look hard enough, and ask yourself the right questions, you may find that meaning, or reason after all.

Of course not everything will have the same meaning. Sometimes different things can have different meanings to other people. But I think that everything is meaningful in its own way.

Whether its trying to understand your feelings, trying to understand your actions, trying to understand 'them', trying to understand yourself, trying to understand why a good friend would just up and move away within two hours notice, trying to understand why your iPod is making a screeching noise, or even trying to understand meaning in the lyrics to a song that repeats the same verse five times. Everything, and everyone has meaning, you just gotta look for it. If you dismiss something as being meaningless the first time, you may never really be able to see what it truly means later on…

Friday, November 30, 2007

no. 023 [my head vs. my heart...]


"Over My Head (Cable Car)" by The Fray

I hate it when your feelings get the best of you. My feelings have the worst possible timing. What I hate even more is when I'm the last to know. Everyone already knew?!? It's so cliché, but it happens.More now than ever my feelings for her are growing. It's so ridiculous because my head is saying, "it won't work out", while my heart is saying "go for it!" Why must they fight so much?

I think there is more to it than I really know. But I can't be sure. All I know is that I have no idea what to do. At least I know I'm not the only one.
When our head fights our heart we tend to ignore them, and let them go at it. The only thing that does is cause more internal harm. It's such a weird phenomena, because we can't really choose who we have feelings for. Sometimes we think we do, or we don't, then we get slapped in the face and realize that we now have no control over how we feel, when sometimes we'd rather not feel that way. It's such a double-edged sword.

Now it's a fight between the idea of letting her know, or just keeping it inside. Which will do the least amount of damage? I just don't want to regret my decision later...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

no. 022 [my thirsty fish...]


"There Is" by Box Car Racer

It's never fun when life throws you a curve-ball, deals you a huge blow, gives you lemons, whatever metaphor you like best. It can change so much. It can change the way you act, the way you think, your view of someone, your view of yourself, it can change so much.

I try to take every bump in the road, curve-ball, lemon, what have you, as a chance to learn something. More times than not you learn something about yourself.

I honestly think that feeling alone is a universal feeling. At any given time there is someone, somewhere who feels lonely. Sometimes it's not that bad, other times it can eat at you inside, and unfortunately for some it could become life threatening. I can honestly say that I know that we've all felt alone. The degree to how alone we've felt will vary, but everyone has felt alone.
It's almost ironic. Just think about it. Loneliness is the greatest universal feeling; so many people, feeling alone, at the same time. It's like a thirsty fish.
You never want to hear that someone you care about feels alone. That's hard news to deal with. It's even harder when the news makes you think about yourself.
I think it's easier if we all think about it in rational terms. No matter how we feel, there will always be someone else, somewhere, that feels the exact same way. Whether it be happy, sad, angry, confused, scared, nervous, even lonely. It could seem as if no one feels what you feel, but in reality, that someone who knows what you are going through could be closer than you think.

Sometimes its that bump in the road that makes you examine yourself in a whole new light.
I think if we speak up we'll realize that we're not alone. Talking about it may seem scary, but in reality I think it's a tremendous help. If we don't speak up people won't know how we feel. (And there, I did it again without thinking about it. I took one idea, and connected it to a bunch of others.) Whether it's expressing your love for someone, telling someone your opinion, letting someone know that you're scared, or expressing that you feel lonely.The idea of the thirsty fish, to me, is that we all have our problems, but the solution is out there. Sometimes, in the case of the fish, it's closer than you think. But if you open your eyes, and look hard enough, you might just find it.

Monday, November 26, 2007

no. 021 [my little nephew...]


"Little Wonders" by Rob Thomas

Life is an amazing thing. There are so many possibilities, so many outcomes, so much to do in such little time. Now more than ever I've been able to realize how important and precious life can truly be. It's still incredible to think about how fast our lives are going by. It feels like time is just flying by. Things are changing so fast that sometimes it's hard to keep up. However, there is always that little glimpse of light that one sees very rarely, that assures you that everything will be okay.I was able to hold my newborn nephew, Omar, for the very first time a few weeks ago. It may sound corny, but it was truly truly amazing. I think about everything that i have left to do, and how Omar's journey has just begun. It's so mind-boggling to think about or even try to comprehend the idea of a brand new person, just being brought into this world. Looking at him I couldn't help but realize that Allie was right in what she said at Josh's house that one night, "every life is precious."

I like to think that everything happens for a reason. Even though we may not know the reason at the moment, I still have a feeling that everything will make sense to us someday.


For me personally it's very refreshing. Within the past three months I've experienced the end of one life, and the beginning of another, but the beginning of two brand new journeys.


It is truly the little things in life that make it all worthwhile, because those little things will end up being a huge part of our lives, forever.


It's the idea of a fresh start, a new beginning; it's not
necessarily the end of something great, but the beginning of something greater. Whether it's going away, starting your new life, or becoming a parent, these new journeys will all lead into greater things. If we can hang onto the memories, the love, and the little things that got us to where we are today, then everything will be for the best. We just need to keep them in our hearts, alive, forever.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

no. 020 [my 5 things (a paper on stress)...]


"Bend And Break" by Keane

I've spent the last few days thinking about stress, what stresses me out, and how I deal, or sometimes not deal with those issues. At this point in my life I'm confused out of my mind. Sometimes I'm confused about being confused, but I look at it as a part of growing up. To ask me to write a paper about five things that stress me out right now is somewhat of a difficult task. First to limit it to five sources of stress is bad enough, second to go into detail about each, and third to discuss what I'm doing to cope with each. Right now in my life I feel as if I'm my own worst enemy. I over think everything, I am constantly double checking myself, and I am questioning things that really shouldn't be questioned. Dealing with the recent death of a cousin, coping with a good friend moving 3,000 miles away, worrying about money, trying to figure out what I want to do with my life, or worrying about a close friend who I would have never guessed would be in the position that he is, mainly because he's going through the same things I am.
I think those are my biggest stressors. Sometimes I try to cope with them, and sometimes it feels better to just let some of them be. I've come to terms with the death of my cousin, even though sometimes, well, most of the time it feels as if she's on a long vacation, and I'll see her again someday. Sometimes writing, listening to music, or even crying is a good way to cope with the pain of missing her. As for my good friend leaving, I'm trying to spend as much time with her as I possibly can. My best friend keeps telling me that everything will be all right, and I really hope he's right. The most difficult part about letting her go is debating whether or not this choice is right for her. That's one of those issues that I'd rather ignore.

The money and school/future ones kind of go hand in hand. The way I cope with it is to just go with the flow. I don't want a career that I'll make tons of money at if I'm going to be unhappy. Unfortunately my parents and grandparents aren't too happy with my choice to work in radio, but as long as it makes me happy I should be fine. It just stresses me out right now because they aren't happy, but I just have to keep telling myself that it isn't their life.

The biggest stressor than anything is the fact that a good friend of mine has been diagnosed with an illness that I could very well be diagnosed with also. He's going through almost exactly the same things I'm going through, and that scares me to death. The way I'm dealing with that is to mainly ignore it, and to take it one day at a time. In my belief I don't think his illness is as quoted, a "disease". I'll just try to keep my head above water, and if I ever get that bad, then I'll seek help. But until then I think I'm just fine.

I think with each one of those stressors I cope with them differently, depending on how I feel. Sometimes it's too difficult to try to deal with them all at the same time, but I try to remember one thing that helps me get through, "nothing in life worth having is easy". And that helps me out with each one of those stressors. Whether it's looking for meaning, looking for an answer, looking for a solution, looking for happiness, or looking for a way out, I gotta deal with all of this "crap" first. And I know I'll be a better person after all is said and done. At the very least I'll learn something about life, others, and myself.

Stress can be a very dangerous thing if not dealt with. It can drive you crazy, or worse, make you sick. But stress can also be used to our advantage. Stress helps you improve with things, and it keeps you from fighting yourself. It lets us know that we have to make certain changes. And in that aspect I guess sometimes stress is a good thing.

chow.mein.lesson.learned.

(yeah i went back to the original ending)

Friday, October 26, 2007

no. 019 [my deja vu...]


"Good Life" by Francis Dunnery

Yesterday started off like any other day. However, right off the bat it seemed like I had been here before. I couldn't understand it, but it seemed as if I was reliving certain events and feelings. It started off with some little things, like how I woke up before my alarm went off, or how the uploads I left running over night failed again, or how Mike was standing by the front door waiting for me to take him to school. I just brushed those all off as a coincidence. But it was a familiar voice in a phone call asking for a ride to the airport that had set the entire day into what I like to call "reverse motion." It's funny how someone that was so close to you can just disappear from your life for a few months, then just reappear out of nowhere. I could have been a dick and told her no, but I decided to be nice, and since my last class of the day was canceled (again, weird) I had some time on my hands. It was such a repeat of an older blog of mine ([my trip to the airport...]), an event that I was almost reliving entirely. From a repeat morning, to two exact same car accidents five seconds apart from each other, to a music test, to my seat under the stairs, back to an airport, I felt as if all of this had happened before. I knew that she would be back in about a week, just like last time, but this time I wasn't going to hold my breath. It felt like I was being given a second chance to make it work out, and I didn't take it this time. The beginning was the same, but the ending was different.
"Aren't you going to tell me to let you know when I've decided what I want again?"

When given a second chance one should say yes to what they didn't before, right? That would be what's expected when given a second chance, right? This time I just couldn't do it. This time I realized that I had no feelings for her, whatsoever.

"No...not this time. I'm sorry..."

I think second chances aren't so much for the person to say yes this time,
or to do things differently. I think second chances are meant for us to do what we know is right this time. This time I made the choice that was best for me. And this time I wasn't going to wonder "what if", or wait until she comes back, and this time I didn't watch the plane take off. I just drove home, to end what seemed to be just another day...again.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

no. 018 [coping (everything’ll be alright)...]


"Everything'll Be Alright (Will's Lullaby) (iTunes Live Session Version)" by Joshua Radin

I woke up today, knowing very well what today meant. No matter how much I didn't want to deal with it, it seemed like every little thing came back to her. It could be life lessons that she taught us, hearing her laugh, or someone smiling.

It's hard to believe that it's been two whole months. It sometimes seems like time is just flying by. Slowly I find myself crying less and less. It still hurts inside, but like someone said, "the pain won't go away, you'll just get used to it." I'm slowly starting to understand what she meant by that. As I'm sure others are too.

More now than ever I've paid closer attention to those around me. I've been observing what others have done to try to cope with this loss.

People have different ways of dealing with heartache. To add onto a Scrubs quote, some do something life affirming, some resort to childish mischief, some do something impulsive, some drink away their sorrows, some lash out at everyone around them, some try to keep as busy as possible, some pretend that everything is fine, some can't pretend that everything is fine, some try to move on, and others wish they could, but almost all will remember her life lessons, and take them to heart. For me, I guess it would be a little bit of everything, but a lot of the last one.

I think the hardest thing for anyone to go through is losing a loved one, because unfortunately, as human beings, we don't know how important something, or someone is until we lose it. That, in my opinion, is the great flaw of mankind.

I think in coping with death we will all go through similar stages: hurt, denial, anger, sadness, regret, and hopefully, eventually, happiness, and thankfulness.

"When it's time for something to happen you just gotta let it happen."

"And sometimes it takes a little while to realize that."

I didn't want to deal with it today, but had to. Slowly I'm learning what works best for me to try and move on. I have found some outlets to help me cope, the best of course being writing. The more that we avoid it, the more it'll hurt later.

These past two months have given me a lot of time to heal, reflect, remember, laugh, cry, and think. At first I wasn't sure if everything would be alright again. After a while we'll all go through it. From not knowing, to hoping, to thinking, to believing, to eventually knowing that everything will be alright.

I've had glimpses of the feeling of knowing everything will be alright, and it's a good feeling. I think what helps me more is to think that I'll see her again, that this is not the end. Like I saw on someone's page, it feels as if she's gone on a long vacation, and eventually we'll see her again. And eventually we will meet again. And with that in mind, it's a lot easier to know that everything will be alright.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

no. 017 [death ends lives, not relationships (my best paper)...]


"A Bad Dream" by Keane

PREFACE: I read this today, and thought that it was very appropriate to start this one off...enjoy. -Ant

"Dumb Star/Smart Moon"
today may be the end of the world. i tell myself that from time to time. it may sound psychotic but it can be helpful. an important thing to remind yourself is that while the earth may not explode into a million pieces today… you might not be around tommorow to see if it does. take in the air and breathe deep. take chances. give love and allow yourself to recieve it.


this is just a blurry focus.

seemingly lost, something is found.

all by your lonesome

you are alive.

-colin (of Circa Survive)

SPECIAL BLOG:

I don't post these to make anyone sad, or to keep bringing back any "bad memories". You have to understand that this is my way of coping with a tough situation, and hopefully those that read it can take something from this to help them cope as well. Thank you.

My very first paper at California State University Stanislaus
(written as a Reaction Paper to the film "Tuesdays With Morrie" for my Human Development: Adulthood & Aging Class, September 2007)

"Death Ends Lives, Not Relationships"
aka "my best paper"

(you may have to click on the pictures to read them)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

no. 016 [my 'twin sister'...]


"Made In Heaven" by Queen
In life we meet a handful of people that impact our lives the very moment that we meet them. They help shape our lives, they are always there for us, and they make life worth living. For me Isa was one of those people.

I've known Isa for as long as I can remember. We were only two months apart, and even though we weren't related, we still had this close connection. From preschool, to sharing our hometown, to close family ties, and a love for music, we had so much in common.

We've had so many good times together. Like the time we went camping, and she didn't bring an air mattress, or how we made cherry 7/7's on New Year's because we didn't have Sprite, and the natural flavored 7 Up was just nasty, and I remember how we each took one sip of our "concoction", and we couldn't drink it anymore. Or the time we went to see the movie Click, but we didn't want each other to see us crying at the end of it. Or most recently, the last time I saw her, when we teased her for losing her voice on the 4th of July.

I think it's the little things that I'm going to remember most about her. Like how when I'd come over she'd run down the stairs to give me a big hug, or how she would text me and I'd call her right afterward, and our conversations would always start with her saying "I just texted you!", or how she was such a lightweight when it came to drinking, the way she'd always ask me to tune her guitar with an innocent "please" smile on her face, or the way she'd eat more than I did, but especially her laugh. Those are things that I'll never forget.

People that have read my past blogs know that I like to pre-write them, and edit them before I post them, I couldn't do it with this one. This one had to be solely from the heart. I've been walking around this one for a month, and I've been putting it off. It's not so much about not having time, but more about letting time pass, so that I'd be strong enough to write this.

I think in the 21 short years Isa had with us she's lived a more fulfilling, exciting, loving, and happier life than those in their seventies or eighties. She approached each and every day with a huge smile on her face. I don't think I've ever heard her say one negative thing about anyone, or anything, ever. She was the absolute definition of an optimist. She took life by the horns and she did it with a smile. She followed her dreams, touched every single life that she came across, and she lived life the way she wanted to. She had the one thing I wish I had, the ability to not care about what other people think.

I wish to retract the way I talked about her, as if she's gone. As long as we keep her in our hearts she'll live forever. I told someone not refer to her as if she was in the past, and then I go and do the very same thing. Isa 'wasn't' one of those people that helped shape my life, she still is. That's how much of an impact she left, and is still leaving.

Unfortunately we can't really understand what we have until it's gone. Being the oldest of four boys I always wanted a sister, but I was too blind to see that I only spent the first two months of my life without one. To my opposite, my first real friend, and my "twin sister", you will be in my heart forever, and not one day will go by without me thinking of you, or your smile. Until we meet again, I will try my best to carry on, and do what God put me on this Earth to do.

As she begins her new journey, her new adventure, deep down in my heart I know that she's doing it with a huge smile on her face. She's gone back to where she came from, and now, even though she was from the day she was made in heaven, she's an angel. One day, when my time here is over, I'll see her smiling face again. And she'll be up there, waiting for me, with a cherry 7/7 in one hand, and her guitar in the other, waiting for me to tune it, and she'll give me the biggest hug ever, and she'll do it all with a huge smile on her face, like she always has…

Friday, August 24, 2007

no. 015 [my last day...]


"Work" by Jimmy Eat World


I came into my last day of work tired, beaten, and excited. I just wanted those eight hours to go by as fast as possible so that I could leave. I was more focused on what was ahead, rather than what was at hand.

In a way I had learned a lot from working at Basalite. I hated working there, but I also enjoyed it. As weird as it sounds, it's the truth. I think the best thing about working there this year was that I learned something from each of my co-workers. I learned that being lazy never ever pays off; I learned to keep a close eye on the future, because if I'm not careful I could end up exactly like one of them; I learned that giving respect is truly the only way to gain respect; I learned that I shouldn't give a shit about what people think, more importantly what people that I don't care about think of me; and I think the most important lesson by far was that as long as you believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything, whether it's getting through 2 ½ hard months, putting up with annoying lazy people, battling your co-workers, battling yourself, learning to drive a forklift, or dealing with the fact that being the best isn't important.

It goes back to the previous blog, I think the best thing about working there this year isn't that I had a new mentor, or that I learned new things; its that along with the experience, the knowledge, and the paychecks, I took memories, jokes, and more importantly new friends.

Despite how much I loathed working there, I'll actually miss it. When I left last year I had no feelings towards leaving, it was just over and done with. This year it's a lot different. It's nice, because I know that I've come a long way from where I was a year ago.

Of course there aren't always happy endings, there's always something, or in this case someone to ruin the moment. At least I was surprised, because out of my five co-workers, four of them actually shook my hand, yes, even Craig.

I came in wanting to leave as soon as possible, and I ended up wishing that it wouldn't end like this. I guess the grass is always greener, but I'm not going to walk away from this one with any regrets. If I could go back, I wouldn't change a thing. These past two and a half months have been a crazy ride, but the next ten days should very well add onto all of the excitement.

As I drove away that night (after all of the damn battery trouble), I thought about everything I had experienced working there this summer. From the characters, to the many breakdowns, the jokes, the broken pallets, the dirt, the struggles, the fun, and the laughs, it all came down to one thing, I was glad it was over.

chow.mein.lesson.learned.

Friday, July 27, 2007

no. 014 [my forklift...]


"In The Sun" by Joseph Arthur

The topic of learning is nothing new to my blogs. Neither is disappointment. So this one really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

When I started working at Basalite last year I was the new kid, I was scared out of my mind, and I knew absolutely nothing. I think what made last year easy for me was the fact that Thong (my old boss/my "Dr. Cox") took me under his wing and was my mentor, my teacher, and my teammate. By the end of my time at Basalite last year I was dubbed "The Golden Boy", because I could do anything, and I did it well. I actually liked my job. This year is a little different.

I think it was the thought of being welcomed back that threw me off. The night shift had no idea who I was, to them I was just another temp, another new kid. When I started off I came in with a cocky, take no shit attitude.

Junior (my new boss) was quick to knock me off my high horse, and bring me back down to Earth. He realized my strengths, and had me work on my weaknesses. I hated doing that, because it made me very aware of one simple fact, that I wasn't "The Golden Boy" anymore. I got so good at doing one thing, that I was afraid of doing anything else. I think that as soon as one really sees themselves, they become someone else, someone that they didn't think that they were.

In trying to open up my eyes, Junior put me on the forklift, and wanted me to teach myself how to drive it. Long story short, Malcolm was my only real friend on the night shift, and he was also our forklift driver. He was fired for not passing a drug test. So Junior chose me to be the new forklift driver.

I hated that no one would help me. I thought the idea of learning on your own was stupid, until Junior showed me something that I will never forget.

I came upon a pigeon on it's back, it was trying to get up from a fall. As I approached it to help it up Junior held me back, and said "No, it has to do it on it's own, or else it will never really learn."

I knew at that moment that he wasn't just talking about the pigeon. I guess that if we always have someone holding our hand through something we'll never really be able to do it on our own.

I guess it's the sense of being alone that makes it that much more difficult. But we all have to find our own way. And as I left that pigeon alone, I couldn't stop thinking about how much I wanted it to be okay, and for it to get up and fly away. But I guess no matter what we do it will always end up the same. God has laid out a path for us, and we will all reach the goal in the end. As I came back to work the next morning I checked the spot where the pigeon was, and there was nothing. I'm not sure if it made it through, all I'm sure of is whatever it was meant to do, it did.

So that day Junior was going to put me on the line again, but I climbed into the forklift instead. I had a hard time, but I tried my hardest. I had some bumps in the road, and knocked over a couple of pallets, but I picked them back up, brick by brick, and continued on, all by myself.

I think if we keep at it nothing can hold us back. Everyone has their obstacles that they have to overcome, whether it's school, family problems, moving out, feeling alone, relationships, or learning to drive a forklift. Never quit, and try your hardest. I think that I have taken more from this job in the past month than I have in the past three months that I have worked here. I think it's when you can take something more than just a paycheck from your job that it becomes more than just a job. It's when you can take a lesson, a mentor, and more importantly, a friend, that's when a job becomes something else.

And as things seem to slow down, I just hope that I'm on track, and no matter what happens I'll find my own way, and do what God intended me to do.

chow.mein.lesson.learned.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

no. 013 [my trip to the airport...]


"Winter" by Joshua Radin

I think it's unfair that when people reveal that they're scared, they are looked at as being weak. I don't know, I think a lot of people have a hard time admitting that they are scared of something.

I'm not sure about someone anymore. I mean, lately I'm not surprised. The one thing I never thought she'd do to me didn't even faze me. It was as if I didn't expect it, but deep down inside I did. I don't know what is more disappointing, the fact that she lied to me, or the fact that I wasn't surprised.

Then again, I'm not sure about many things anymore. You'd think telling someone something really hard would come back at you tenfold, but it didn't. I think he wasn't surprised either. And that also disappoints me.

I hate how things have been lately, from confronting someone about a lie, to having to tell someone something that you didn't want to, to having to accept something that you didn't earn, to making the decision to stay and to go to school closer to home, to accepting yourself the way you are…

Life is scary, we can't go on pretending that we're not scared, but at the same time we can't wear our emotions on our sleeves all of the time. I think the hardest part about being scared is finding a balance between showing it, and not showing it. That balance is dealing with it.

In my own personal opinion, I don't think admitting that you're scared makes you weak, in fact, I think it proves that you are a strong person, strong enough to admit how you feel, strong enough to stand up to a friend, strong enough to put your pride aside, strong enough to realize what's best, and strong enough to admit your flaws.

We all get scared sometimes, but we have to deal with it. I am still afraid of the unknown, but it's not gonna stop me from venturing into it. The future may seem scary at times, but it is what it is, you can't control it, but don't let it control you.

And as I saw the airplane leave, I knew that she'd make the right choice for herself, no matter how long it took. Hopefully she won't disappoint me again, at the very least she admitted that she was scared too, and that's enough for me.

chow.mein.lesson.learned.

no. 012 [my hometown...]


"Franklin" by Paramore

I don't know what possessed me to go back, but I did. I think it was the notion that I kept getting, the whole "what if?" thing. So I took a day for myself to reflect, to visit, to see, to experience it all over again.

Growing up you think all is perfect. As a child you know nothing really of the outside world, you know what you see around you, and you assume all is as it should be. This past Friday I was truly able to see how ignorance is indeed bliss.

As a child I thought all places were like Hayward. I never thought that there could be a quote, "better place". I hated moving out to Manteca. I thought this place was the worst possible place to live. Going back I was really humbled, and for the first time in my life, I was actually glad that my parent's were able to get us (my brothers and I) out of that place.

I think after going through the experiences that I have, and seeing Hayward for what it is today would make anyone change their mind about that place. I almost feel as if I'm betraying my hometown by being happy that I'm out of there. I mean, the crime, the poverty, just the whole dirty feel of it, it isn't the city that I grew up in, and loved.

I think the most disappointing thing about my trip back was realizing that my dream home, my grandparent's old house, isn't what I thought it was. I think that was the hardest thing to deal with. I loved that house so much, but just like the rest of the city, it also changed. At least I hope that's what it is. Deep down I really hope that it all changed, and that it wasn't like that the entire time…

Don't get me wrong, this isn't an attempt for me to clear up my "street credibility", or prove that I'm "hood" or whatnot. Anyone that really, and truly grew up in that kind of environment that has at the very least an ounce of self-respect in them will tell you that's not what it's about. It's about being able to share your story, and to be able to say "yes, I grew up in that kind of environment, and thankfully I got out of it."

It's nothing to brag about. Being from "the hood" doesn't give you any credibility, or respect, but the plain fact that you were able to live that life, and still be here today, in a better place, I think that's what does.

I will always have a special place in my heart for my home, because you can always change where you live, but you can't change where you came from. When people ask me where I'm from, I say Hayward, not because I'm ashamed of Manteca, not because I want the "street cred", but because that is where I was born and raised. In going back home I learned something, things aren't always what they seem, whether it's your dreams, where you are, where you were, or where you want to be, be sure that it's what you want. I know what I want now, and I've wanted it all along…

I love my home, but I don't plan on going "home" anytime soon…
chow.mein.lesson.learned.

no. 011 [my mature decision...]


"New Slang" by The Shins

These past couple of weeks have been pretty crazy. I don't know how to explain it, but I'll try my best. From feeling alone, to being annoyed by pretty much everyone, I've been on an emotional roller coaster.

I think being out for just you is boring. You know, looking out for number one? Only doing things that benefit you. I'm not good at not caring about anyone else. I guess that's my problem. Realistically I care so much about what other's think and how they feel that I try my hardest not to hurt their feelings. However, in doing so I just end up hurting myself, and then later everyone else I tried so hard not to.

For the past couple of weeks I've taken some time for myself. I apologize to everyone that I've "flaked" on...but at the same time I'm not. Sorry, it is what it is.

I guess it goes back to the whole thing about being truthful. The truth hurts, but it's the best policy. Whether it's telling someone how ridiculous they are acting, telling your best friend something that you really didn't want to, telling your family (parents included) that they do more harm than good, taking a chance by telling someone how you really feel, avoiding anyone and everyone to have some alone time, or just admitting that you're scared. The truth can hurt a lot, but it's better in the end.

I guess sometimes we have to take the realistic route. By playing it safe I'll be able to realize my dreams, in a semester or two. As much as it pains me to stay, I'm refocused on what I HAVE to do in life, as well as what I WANT to do in life. And I'll have more time to do so.

chow.mein.lesson.learned.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

no. 010 [my midnight mistake...]


"These Streets" by Paolo Nutini

"It's not what it looks like" is an over-used phrase. I never thought I'd have to use it, or have it used against me. It's so cliché, or TV-esk. Somehow it doesn't surprise me that I had to use it, or that I had it used against me. Karma's a bitch.

Actions speak louder than words. But sometimes they say the wrong things. Words, I feel, can be equally as effective as actions, when used correctly. But how do you use them correctly?

During these past couple of weeks I've learned a lot. I learned who really cares for me, I learned that I can do anything if I believe in myself, I learned that I'm not always right, and I learned that communication is everything.

Without communication we can only go on actions. But actions, and looks, can be deceiving, they really can. You go on your first impulse, and often jump to conclusions. Trust me, it's not a pretty landing. Just seeing something for what YOU think it is can be damaging. I don't think people can really understand what someone else is going through until they are put in that exact same position. Lucky me, I was put in that position. It wasn't until I experienced it first hand that I realized how much of a big deal it really was. I knew how she felt, because I felt the same way. It felt as if someone had reached into you, and ripped your heart clean out. And it leaves a sour taste in your mouth, and your stomach hurts for days.

People do stupid things when they are in love. Yeah, they really do. Whether it's stopping your life for that one person, moving across country with them, telling them how you really feel, or just doing the worst possible thing imaginable in front of them…people do stupid things when they're in love.

I've seen all of these scenarios backfire in the past couple of weeks. I've been witness to each and every one. Turns out that move wasn't worth it, because she already has someone, but you continue to say that you don't have feelings for her, that she's only a friend, when it really is eating you up inside; and that your words actually made her stay, because for once she heard what you had to say, only to have it bite you in ass at around midnight at your graduation party in the backyard; or having the same thing happen to you, and realizing that Josh was right about her, and why your cousin was so overprotective.

Lack of communication results in failure. I hate failure. Now I have to untangle this huge mess, and I don't know where to start. If I had just spoken from the heart from the beginning things wouldn't be so bad. The same goes for the other people in this blog. Take note, speaking from the heart is how you use words correctly. If you speak from the heart it's usually the most positive way to use your words. People do stupid things when they're in love, right? I think people do worse things when they THINK that they're in love…yup yup.

You gotta look at the positives, it could have been a lot worse. But somehow I think I'll be just fine. Like the most beautiful girl I've ever had the pleasure of meeting said, "We'll always be friends, no matter what. And you'll always have a special place in my heart." And as I type this with her head on my shoulder reading every word and smiling, I know that we'll be okay…we really will.

As for everything else, you live and you learn. Don't be afraid to take chances, be sure to communicate, and most importantly, be yourself. When you lie to yourself you lie to everyone. Trust in yourself, and others will trust in you. Oh…and be sure to lock your damn gate to your backyard after 11PM!...haha!

"Not funny!" -her

chow.mein.lesson.learned.