Category Archives: Ramblings

What’s in a name?

Is it too cliche? Is it emulating Juliet too much? Should I start over?

And yet.

I associate too much so much with a name.

J—. The smell of black coffee and overroasted beans and used filters. The always-made bed. The Lord of the Rings reading marathons. The textbooks and notebooks of organic chemistry. The faded striped polos and the khaki shorts.

J—. The revelation of red lines on thighs. The Butterfly Project. The Bracelet Project. The counseling center on campus. THe 2am panic attacks and 3am texts and 4am calls. The hour-long sobbing sessions. The blue sweatshirt that had J—‘s comforting scent. The hand-holding in the hospital.

J—. Silence. Betrayal. Cruel end.

D—-. The late-night security shifts. The blue work polo. The old black belt hanging on my closet door. The video game case. The Pokemon shirts. The cafe smoothies and sandwiches. The singing-along to pop songs. The simultaneous gaming sessions. The sweetie and em and anh.

D—-. The cuddling during rainstorms. The kisses on the forehead and cheeks. The arm around the waist. The sitting on the lap. The intimacy that’s as close as possible and everywhere. The I love you’s and pinky promises. The sharing of everything.

D—-. Sobbing. A slap. Bitter end.

E—. The everyday texts. The snapchat streak. The boba and food hangouts. The school rivalry. Te banter and humor. The six-hour conversations filled with laughter. The purple hearts. The missed calls. The byeeeeee.

E—.  The silver car with windows down and sunroof open and music blaring and leaving everything else behind. The 3-D glasses over normal glasses. The red thread of fate. The piano fingers. The promises of dancing the night away (a year from now). The surprise birthday plan. The snow globe.

E—. Smiling. Driving. Don’t end.

What’s in a name that it can hold sights and sounds and smells and sensations? How can a single name hold the power to make me cry and sob and scream and laugh and smile? Why can I not hear certain names without cringing or remembering or wishing?

Even a distant conversation with a specific name overheard will tear apart my self-control and bring me to my knees, and god, you cannot trigger warning name. Because it’s a goddamn name.

We give new lives these names that they will probably carry for the rest of their time on this earth, and what power that is. I could bestow a name on a child, and years from now, that name could bring thoughts of love or hate or nostalgia or betrayal.

But what’s really in a name? If only Shakespeare thought to answer through Romeo…


Birthday

There are a million and one things I could say about my birthday, and yet, I cannot write them into pretty poetry prose no matter how much I want to.

So I’ll say it all plainly instead.

Thank you to one of my closest friends for one of the best birthdays yet. You went above and beyond, and I’m still disgustingly cheerful about it the day after. I have said “thank you” a bunch of times but only because I want to emphasize how much your surprise plan meant to me. You are the best partner in crime, the Clyde to my Bonnie. And I will always look back fondly on us wearing 3D glasses over our glasses (double glasses, we’re such nerds) and singing along to Avril Lavigne on the way home.

I am now twenty-years-old, and I don’t feel any different. I didn’t expect to, but it’s a rather momentous age (the end to my teen years). Does my age now make you feel any less “weird” and “creepy”, Guy-I-dated? I still think your reasoning for totally disappearing was pretty lame. But I suppose it’s a bit of my own fault – I guess I shouldn’t go for them older boys. But dating aside, I am that much closer to graduating college and needing to get started on my career. I am an adult, and yet, I do not know if I am ready to be a real adult in the real worldIt’s not like college courses teach you how to pay bills and do taxes and vote and whatnot.

I am still so young, but I have lived 20 years. Have I accomplished enough? Will I continue to succeed? Will I find what I’m looking for? Here’s to a year of uncertainty, a year until I can “truly celebrate” my birthday.


Inadequacy and its friends

My family, immediate and extended, has raised my generation in a very competitive environment. From a young age, we were compared to others: strangers, family friends, second cousins, classmates, each other, etc. We had to be the best in everything we did. If we weren’t, why weren’t we? Why weren’t we as good at playing piano as that cousin? Why weren’t we doing as well in class as that student? I remember that getting an A in a class is not enough; it has to be the highest A. What I don’t remember is when I began to internalize that bad habit. Even today, i compare myself to others, academically and otherwise. I know it’s not the healthiest of habits, but I don’t know how to stop doing so. I compare myself to my friends, and as much as I try not to, I keep doing it. I pick out all their better traits and wonder to myself at night, why aren’t as I good as them? Logically, I know that everyone is better at something else, and that I could never be the best in everything. But it’s just hard to internalize the idea that no matter how hard I try in calculus, for instance, there will be people my age that are already far advanced and will do better with much less effort. I was smart in high school, but where I am now, I am just average. I understand that there are phenomenal people out there, but then where does that leave me? What can I do? At my lowest points, I feel like I can do nothing. I just feel inadequate. Inadequate in everything. What was I thinking, taking this class load onto myself? I don’t know that I will do well. I will try my best (and thank goodness for my loved ones who support me, no matter what), but that doesn’t actually guarantee anything. Someone teach me how to stop feeling inadequate. Please.

And if inadequacy wasn’t enough, it also brings up melancholy and insecurity, and if that’s not a bad combination… I don’t know what is. I don’t know how to stop this cycle. I try to push through it and think logically, but I end up crying to my friends. What am I doing?

That is not to say that I am ungrateful to my friends. No, they are wonderful people, but it is hard to internalize their beliefs when my beliefs run so deep.

If insecurity is my boogeyman, then inadequacy is his sneaky sidekick that hides in the closet while he hides under the bed. I’ll beat them eventually. (Ironic. I never was afraid of the dark as child, but I am afraid of the darkness in myself…)


Insecurity is like the boogeyman

Everyone is insecure about something, whether or not they admit it, whether or not that insecurity is big or small. We are all insecure, and as everyone is different, everyone’s insecurity is different. Some people are insecure about their appearances, others about their romantic relationships, some about themselves, others  about all of the above. Personally, I find that insecurity is hidden in nooks and crannies, in the closet, under the bed, in the commonly ignored recesses of your mind, and it comes out when you’re most vulnerable, when you’re in a dark patch of your day or your life. It creeps on you, unbidden and unwanted, slowly and sometimes suddenly. Before you know it, it’s there, looking you in the eyes, breathing down your neck, whispering in your ear, crawling into your mind until it’s a constant presence. The smallest thing could push it out of its hiding spot. You could be fine, you could be over whatever happened to you that created that insecurity, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s gone forever. It could still be there, a fragment maybe, but still there. You could just be reminded of that incident, or you could be facing a new issue. But then it attacks, not violently, oh no, subtly and quietly, gripping you and not letting you go until you conquer it. Until you take it by the hand and squash it down, stomping on it with all you’ve got, using the strength you’ve found within you, either by yourself or with the help of your friends and family, and then smothering it out of existence. Or at least visible existence. It might take more than one try, and the process may be repeated again and again, but you hope that this time, it’ll be gone for good and won’t come back for another round.

But that’s the hardest part, conquering it, I mean. You know it’s there, and you think about it. You let it fester, not by choice, no, but because it’s powerful, and even more powerful in the darkest portions of your mind. You try to control it, or at least ignore it, and go about your day. But then you remember what caused it to come out again in the first place, and you can’t ignore it. It bogs you down, making you question yourself and your decisions and even your life at its current point. Sure, you could talk to your friends and family, your loved ones who (probably, no surely, no definitely, and must because they want to not because they have to) care for you, but do you really want to do that? Do you really want to bother them again (even if they say it’s not bothering because, love, it never is a bother) because you’re feeling insecure again? No, you don’t because you’re afraid that bothering someone too many times will make them leave you, and you’ll lose that pillar of support, and you can’t do that to yourself, won’t do that to yourself. No, instead you’ll push on for as long as you can, until either you conquer that insecurity or until you really need help. But not until either point. Because losing someone hurts. And that’s what made you insecure in the first place. And you won’t risk losing someone else because your insecurity pushed and pulled at them until they had no choice (or maybe even wanted) to leave you to get away from your toxic insecurity. So you’ll lie in bed, staring at the ceiling, trying to make yourself realize that the boogeyman under your bed might be real, but you’re not afraid of him and you’re not going to let him control your every waking moment or steal your sleeping ones.

You’re stronger than this. You’re beautiful and intelligent and wonderful, and you have a family and friends and a boyfriend who all love you and won’t abandon you just because you’re struggling to conquer a powerful enemy. And fine, it might take days or weeks or months or years, but you’ll conquer him. You’ll win. You won’t be insecure anymore. You’ll remember that initial incident and every following issue that made you remember it more strongly, but it won’t be able to take hold of you anymore. You’ll have moved past him, into a bigger and brighter place, and you’ll leave him to his shadows, and without you, he’ll be consumed. He’ll be gone. Your insecurity will be no more.

At least, that’s what I hope what happens, and that’s what I hope will happen to me because I can’t wait for the day until I can say the boogeyman, my insecurity, doesn’t bother me anymore.