Getting Out

I’m an elephant on my hind legs, up on a ball. I’m juggling many things, and I can feel the warmth of the spotlight. I don’t know how long I have to perform, but I know everything falls down at some point. I’m a disastrous spectacle.

I’m a nested doll with many layers. I can’t write that without thinking Shrek and onions. I’m not smelly. I’m layered.

I’m self absorbed when there’s so much outside. I’d like to open a door, and step outside myself. Look at the cloudy blue sky, and the treetops rustle. Do you hear the laughter? I’d like to think there’s a time we can all step outside ourselves, shake hands, and talk it out. Because I have a lot I want to say, but I gotta package it so you don’t trash it.

But let’s stay outside, where we rode the bus and walked through parks; where we stayed by the water and heard the quiet of the world through the ambient noise; where we walked until our souls were sore, and then we retired into a cafe, where we talked about how nice this is and how we couldn’t believe we got this. This and that. This and that.

I got full-body raincoats so when it rains we can sit in the rain. I guess we could have worn trash bags, but that’s just ridiculous.





Time + Effort = Something Better

I’ve been preoccupied with time lately. As an exercise of gratitude, I imagine myself a year ago. I try to remember all the problems I thought I’d never overcome. There was this dread that I’d never escape; that whatever situation I was in was this fixed reality. I suppose that was immature of me.

It’s kind of amazing/scary how much things can change in a year, let alone a few weeks, even in a day.

I like to change my appearance to remind myself of this control. I grow my hair out. I shave myself bald. I grow out a mustache. I get a tattoo. These are all superficial of course. I quit my job. I do nothing all day. I do something today. I do many things today. I think we’re all oblivious to the effects of these seemingly minuscule acts. In the grand scheme of things, they seem meaningless. But nothing seems important when you step back that much. It’s through these little acts every day that you end up somewhere different and hopefully somewhere better. It just sucks when you go through it, every second, every minute, every hour until everything is different. Or they’re not…

Maybe that’s why having faith is important. If not faith in a God, faith in yourself. Sometimes I wish I believed in God or Buddha or something because I don’t have a lot of faith in myself. I prayed for the first time in my life. I took too many edibles and lost control of my limbs. I couldn’t speak or think properly. I saw a tunnel split in 4, each with their own hallucinations and colors. I just had this inkling that there was this whole spectrum of things outside of myself that I would no longer have a grasp over; I was staring through my eyes with a distorted glass and I just had this vague understanding that I was not OK. I thought how my family would have to support me, and how I failed them when they needed me. I thought of how I would just be this vegetable. I was so afraid I prayed. I prayed that I would be better. Two days later, I felt myself recovering. But I had this horrible realization that some people only know that reality of being barely conscious -that vague understanding of their actions and the effects of their action on their surroundings and the people immediate to them. It’s stupid I had to go through that just to appreciate being able to walk, talk, drive, write, having a grasp on things.

It’s weird how much I can keep mining into myself. It’s a lot funner being outside. It’s like being able to breathe again. Let’s climb out of my head, and end on a happy note. Time + Effort = Something Better.



Growing Pains

I always wondered whether home is something you create or something you stumble across. I’ve been to places, where I simply didn’t want to open myself up. I had this affirmative feeling that it was not for me. Looking back, it might be my own hang ups. With a clearer mind, I reasoned that had I invested the time to learn more about the place, the people, maybe it wasn’t as terrible as I thought. Maybe.

But I’ve been to places where I had an instant connection. When I step out of the car, the train station, or the door, everything just made sense. Yes, this is for me. Maybe it was completely in my head. But it felt like things just fitted. It verged on the spiritual, atmospheric almost. It’s like I was a piece of the puzzle and I was finally placed into the right spot.

For a long time, I clung to the idea that home is exactly where I am. I wanted to be an appreciative person. And it did help. I saw things with happier eyes. But I’m so much happier on my own. I guess with many things in life, it depends on the person. You’re either a puzzle piece or you’re an amorphous blob that can fit anywhere. While I wish I were the latter, I am coming to terms with myself.

I secured my hoodie by the drawstrings and I biked home from Jack’s. It was my regular bike ride of shame after spending the entire night at Jack-in-the-Box in a frantic attempt to write a piece-of-shit essay. Truthfully I ate more than I wrote. I remember the concentrated misery as I stepped out into that pre-dawn grayness. My stomach was loaded with an ungodly number of tacos, my bones chilled, and my joints ached. I biked wobbly to class, where I fell asleep in lecture. Bless my professor, who taught through my snoring.

College probably wasn’t for me. I learned a lot, but I wasn’t brave enough to reap the rewards. I finished my English degree in three years, but I should have pursued a creative writing emphasis. I was two classes away from a Spanish minor too. I remember feeling burnt out, disillusioned, and thinking my degree wasn’t going to help me in the real world. I considered dropping out too, but the familial shame! Not that they were proud of my English degree anyways. It’s pretty funny now.

Throughout college, I struggled with a fear of failure. I had spikes of inspiration, when I would try really hard, and then it deteriorated into a long stagnant period of why bother. I never finished reading the books I needed to. I never reciprocated the efforts my professors made.  So I coasted. I never failed, but I never succeeded. That’s some tasty food for thought –how one can just straddle this gray area between success and failure in this attempt to never feel the highs and lows of life.

I want to say I caught myself before the slow, painful tumble downhill that could only conclude with a spongebob-esque explosion. But maybe it’s too early to say that.

What am I trying to say? This is all about coming in terms with myself. I couldn’t do that in college, and I think I failed to meet my true potential. I was overly preoccupied with what my parents thought, with what others considered success, and measuring myself to some standard. In the end, I didn’t embrace my talents and interests. But I think this goes beyond self-acceptance. I’m mildly ok with being Alan now. I still want to do some more growing. At the same time, I have to accept that I can only be me. This must be some silver lining shit, I think.

I guess with everything, there’s always a choice of acceptance or a fight to change. But my god, it’s hard to change.  I think I finally understand that Imagine Dragon song: “I get a little bigger, but then I’ll admit I’m just the same as I was.”


Meh Heh Weh Meh

I like to write to music. I like to write about colors. I like to imagine my brain bleeding, oozing, overflowing with ideas. Take a plunger and extract this mental, mystery goo. Splat it on paper. No it’s not shit color. It’s beautiful brain goo color. I like to imagine it sparkles like diamonds.

I like to imagine chasing clouds on my plane. My goggles are strapped to my head, and I’m zipping around. The wind is so cold it cracks my face. My skin is like the dirt floor when it’s a drought. The clouds are so big, they look like mountains. They’re like mountains of melted vanilla ice cream. I’d like to fly by with a spoon, and take a dollop. If you don’t think daisy, then you’re not as mindless as I am. Welcome to my intrusive thoughts. Come along for a ride. I promise it might be weird.

This was the latest of my happiness. It was a sunny, hazy day. The spring breeze came, and we were swinging. We watched the bees gather pollen among the weeds. I like to imagine it’s a bug’s life kind of thing for them. They’re at work, but we’re not on Saturday. I told myself to remember this moment because I’m going to need it through the week.  Not sure what that says about my happiness. But it’s okay because I found myself smiling. I don’t remember having to remember happiness.

I remembered it rained on my parade. It rained for a while, and eventually I thought I liked the rain. Thinking back, I’m not sure what changed. But when I was drenched, I never imagined I’d see a day of sunlight again. I guess it’s always a good time to practice patience. It just sucks when you got water in your eyes.

I imagine I’m fishing in a small boat in a big pond. I like to imagine it’s foggy, but there’s a big ass mountain silhouette right in front me. I hear the owls hooting, and the trees rustling. If there’s a place like this in the real world, I’d like to see it for myself. But I’d probably worry about big ass fish looking at the silhouette of my boat. That looks tasty.

This is the easiest writing. I don’t have to hide it in any shape or form. I’m just perfectly and terribly Alan. Now, I just wish I could be this in life, in every moment.