I wonder about my own perspective a lot. I can’t tell whether the things I experience and see are true. And I know if I can change my perspective on a lot of things, I wouldn’t be such a miserable person. But then it gets more complicated if you consider others’ perspectives. Is living just a series of exchanges between people’s perspectives –this attempt to make sense of each other’s understanding and trying to fill in the blank? It’s overwhelming thinking that every one of your actions can elicit multiple interpretations from different people. The only sane thing to do is not consider anyone but yourself because you’ll never really know what another person is truly thinking. And maybe that’s why life’s better for selfish people…

The weird thing is I can’t turn my brain off to others. And I can’t tell if I’m overthinking or there’s actually something there. But even then, does it matter if I notice how a person feels or reacts to things? I try to tailor my actions and words to them. Somebody told me you’re not meant for everyone. Somebody also told me that if everyone likes you, then you’re doing something wrong in life. This is good for me. Self-advocacy; if you can’t advocate for yourself then no one else will.  I’m sure you can’t be extreme about any of these things either. Otherwise, you’re an asshole. So again, it’s about balance?

And then there’s projection. It’s also a matter of perspective. How can people not project when they only have their perspectives? Isn’t that just functioning as a person –to take in whatever’s happening around you, try to process that, and then react to it? But I think projection is when you fucked up and didn’t consider that your interpretation could be wrong. So you’re an accidental asshole. God, I sound like a robot trying to be a person. But this is stemming my fear of overreacting.

This is why I get tongue-tied. So much is lost in translation between my brain to my mouth. I wish my words could truly capture what I’m feeling and thinking. But it often comes out in an anti-climactic slurry: ‘duh, nice weather heh’.  Very rarely do I string together a coherent, meaningful thought in conversations. It’s like playing guitar hero, and you have to hit all the right buttons. Subject. Verb. Object. Oh no you messed up! I steam potatoes? Words are hard.



I made it through

I made it through. I made it through. When I heard this, I thought I could cry. I sat there in the sunlight. My life had flipped 180. I crossed these things off my list. These things have been on my list for years. I promised myself I’d never go back.

But shit has a way of piling on, and this is probably what it means to be an adult. I’m caught between restless and tired. It’s sleep and go, and it doesn’t stop until I’m dead. At least, that’s what I figured.

Strange ideas keep popping up in my head. I think something’s wrong with me. I think it’s in my head, in my blood. I think something’s wrong with me but somethings wrong with everyone. Every night I feel that I’m being watched. I check the rooms to see if I’d find a stranger there. I know I’m delusional, but I know if things weren’t good, I’d believe them.

My car got smashed in. I called it hit and run but it’s probably Karma. That’s a strange faith I’ve found this year: fate and Karma, but no God. So I smile more and sigh a little less. That’s how I’m making sense of all this.

We drive through rain and desert. We’re listening to Frank Ocean. I think whenever I hear this song, I’ll think of this moment. I smell of cigarettes, but I tell myself I like this smell. We stink of sadness, and I’d like to imagine there’s people our age who never smelled this scent. But what do I know?



The woods ring with running water and birds chirping. A layer of fog sleeps on the woodchips. Dew drops cling to the blades of grass. I’ve visited this place many times in my head, and each time I know I’m an intruder to its tranquility. The earth crunches beneath my feet, and I feel clumsier with each step. I fumble around these spirals. My eyes twist with them into obscurity. It is here I wait for meditation. It’s not easy for me to acclimate to the natural silence. I bring so much noise with me. My breathing is loud. My bones creak even when I sit because I won the genetic lottery. And there’s nothing to do, but to die in silence. The roots entangle my limbs. The soil eats my flesh, and I am my bones. Have you ever touched your cheek bone, and imagined the flesh stripped clean off them?


I remember sinking my teeth into ribs. I yank away, and the meat rips clean off the bone.

Therapy Dos

Let me talk about dreams. Because I realized this world isn’t as pretty as I thought it’d be. There’s a whole lot of nothing in between these shopping malls, these cracked asphalt, these businesses struggling. Wherever I go, I see the world in money. How much does that cost? How much does it cost to do anything? How much does it cost to keep your friends? How much does it cost to keep your family’s love?

Childhood is a dream, and even then it was a nightmare. Every day I thought this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. Where the fuck did you go? I’ve watched those planes, wondering which was yours for years. Why do you only yell and hit me? Why do we only fucking yell? And when I erupt, why do you look at me like that? Like you don’t know where it came from.

But that shit is long dead. I’ve killed it and buried it. And now I smile at you. I smile at everyone. Because if you know, then you know that you don’t know. I’ve been meditating. I’ve been reading. I’ve been writing my anxieties and fears away. They’ll tell you the shit you go through is purposeful. I guess I’m grateful. Because I saw the ugly and now I know the beautiful.

Kendrick Lamar inspire me. Marcus Aurelius teach me because god knows I didn’t learn shit in school. Tolkien and Martin, can I dream with you guys? Can I chain the words together?

In the meantime I’ll walk the walk and I’ll talk the talk. I’ll wear the clothes that they tell you to wear. But I know this isn’t me. Who the fuck am I? I hate that question because the answers aren’t pretty. But I’ll reinvent myself as I invent another world.

I am peace. I am kindness. I am love. I am good, so I do good. This is the man I dream to be. Let me put it into practice. Wanna see a mental somersault?  I see good wherever I go. I tell myself if I look into the details, if I can comb through this tangle of shit, I’ll find happiness and love.

Every day I return to the drawing board.  Read the list and count my blessings. Check them off and throw out whatever prayer I got. This is the life. This is me. There is only one of me.

If you look around you, then you’ll know. You’ll know that you don’t know. Everyone is going through shit. We’re all just caught in ourselves, caught up in this push and pull, and I’m running to the light at the end of the tunnel.








Whatchu talking about, Lilis?

I see you place an orange on your head. You do a dance, and I wish I could paint you as you are. When I saw you looking into the mirror with your sad eyes, I wish I could have stopped their reckless words. I find you lovelier each year.

Remember how you stopped those kids from smashing that baby squid? You ran over and you shoved that fat kid away. You brought it back to sea. You are a Disney princess. I remember how you held that hummingbird until it was ready to fly again.

I like the way you look in the mornings. I like the way you look in the moonlight. I like the way you are wherever we’ll go. I like the way you are here at home with me.

Remember how you sat on the handlebars with your hair blowing? I remember how still you sat, but I remember your smile most of all. You are my E.T., and I don’t mean you’re some scrotum-faced alien. I mean I can’t keep you a secret forever. I want everyone to know how lovely you are.

I hope you laugh. I hope you smile when you read this. It is as you told me. I wish you can see yourself like how I see you.












Happy is me Happy is rain in California Happy is a book with sunlight Happy is milk tea with caramel, please.

Happy is a dog when you haven’t seen her for a while Happy was my dog she lived to 19 and then we said goodbye but she went happily.

I went on a trip and I found happy Happy is where you are and what you have Happy is coffee with friends.

Please walk with me on this sunlit sidewalk. The clouds are bathed in fading fire and we finished all we had to do. We have dinner and that’s enough. I’m happy in your hands and I’m happy in my skin.



A little too introspective

My mind is sand upon a shore. Every morning, I build my castle from the ruins. And I watch the waves, ripple after ripple, anxious, breathless, with the knowledge that all will be destroyed when I lay to rest. I’ve longed denied that this is the nature of myself, and in that denial, I relapse into weakness. I look to others in some tortuous exercise. What do they have that I lack? How are they so blessed while I inherently damaged? Well, today I’ve found some clarity. Shut the fuck up. How much shit do I have to purge from my mind? These conspirators, they want my castle aflame. They are arsonists. How they search for any fuel to start my destruction. And yet, they are undoubtedly me. I am at war with myself.

If not the fires of my own evils, then its the waters of an indifferent world. It’s high waters now. The shore, everyday, is being eaten. Every morning, I stare to sea, trying to understand the nature of this world. I’m trying to see the goodness. Excuse me, I’ve been wearing my negative lenses for some time now. I see love. I see good-will. I see family and friends. And I tell myself these are good. These are the only good. But how do I see the good in myself, when they told me I was shit for so long? Fuck that. Fuck this schizophrenic exercise. I am me. I am my problems as anyone is his. It’s time to make peace.

I am not fucking sand. I’m not fucking king. I’m over-complicating it. I am me. And I wish I can just shed my evils, but this is some life-long shit. This is until death. I am losing my focus. I lost sight of my dream. I lost the beauty of my words. But I’ll find it all. I’ll find it again.


Verbal Vomit

I misspent much of my days scouring my memories for the halcyon days that never were. And in my search, I sometimes find snapshots of some kind of happiness that I most likely manufactured. Why do I partake in this stupid nostalgia searching? Perhaps it’s to convince myself I’m not hormonally imbalanced. That I’m not this depressed nutjob. It is that or revel in my anxieties as I entertain the numerous ways everything will go bad. Worrying is my luxury and privilege. But how do I flip the switch? How do I say I am no longer this person? I try. I can’t. I suspend myself, always, at this point of discomfort. It is a balancing act. I am a tightrope walker. If I fall, it’s either bliss or its torture. And inevitably I do fall.

I guess that’s where writing comes in. In this never ending cycle of picking up the pieces, writing takes it all away. Step one I vomit on a page. Then I put it away, and maybe re-read it later with the same ‘this-sucks’ mentality. But in the least, in that afterglow, I can just exist. My mind is unfettered. I am numbed, tranquilized, and wonderfully languid. And with that I will now attempt to write something.

I like sunsets because I like to imagine that everyone is relieved on their commutes home. That when they sigh, they’re thinking of something comfortable like binge-watching the Office the fifth time.  I like sunsets because I can sit at Portos and drink my coffee. I can play writer as I struggle through chapter six. The trick is they don’t have Wi-fi. Don’t get me wrong, I need to write. But there are a lot more interesting things to do than write.

I don’t write high because that’s a waste of drugs. One time I made the terrible mistake of smoking with my roommate before writing an essay. It was a great steaming pile of shit that I ultimately submitted in defeat. I couldn’t look at my professor in the eye for a while. Thinking back, I doubt he even cared. I was just another C in the room. If I ever become a father, I don’t know what to tell my kid. It’s like yeah grades are important, and you would want your kid to give a damn, but in long the run, who the fuck cares? I blame Asian parenting. It wasn’t the end of the world! Then again, I’m not rich and I didn’t graduate from Harvard.  I was just that kid caught in the middle, trying to be more than I really was. WEH.

I’m getting existential. I like to believe I’m not here just to work at some job and walk the line of ordinary -special snowflake shit. But that’s sounding pretty good with the bills coming in. Grass is greener kind of shit. I want to end this on a happier note, but I’m tired. FACT: STEAMY POTATOES > COLD POTATOES.