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The Write Help, or Why I’m So Good at Making Atrocious Puns Related to Writing [8/20]

Today one of my good friends from high school asked me to proofread her personal statement for pharmacy school. As I went through the piece, noting my thoughts on things I would change or keep—general editing—I realized how much I enjoy helping people with their writing. Now that I’m actually editing on a daily basis for pretty diverse (geographically and culturally) websites, I’m beginning to see that actually being able to communicate through writing is a highly developed skill that not a lot of people have. The personal statement was great, and I tweaked it only a bit; the satisfaction didn’t come from necessarily helping her write better prose on a grammatical/technical level, but just smoothing things out where they ought to be smooth and tightening things up where they ought to be tightened. The satisfaction came from seeing someone’s ideas and clarifying them, and through that, becoming much more powerful in terms of language.

I’m aware of how nerdy this post reads, so I’ll stop it here.

The Tumblr Shadow Realm, or The Home of My Poor Writing [8/20]

So the Tumblr app really likes to eat my posts and discard them to the Shadow Realm. Maybe it’s a good thing for the people of this plane so they don’t have to deal with angst-ridden, pseudo-philosophical posts about a twenty-two year old realizing that it’s okay to literally breathe every once and a while.

I do feel bad for the people of the Tumblr Shadow Realm though, but I guess you ought to have done something terrible to end up there, so maybe my posts that get sucked away are some form of capital punishment from the Tumblr gods?

I guess that’s flattering.

I wonder which side this one will end up.

Long Time; No See [8/17]

So it’s been about four days since I’ve last published a blog, a huge absence, I know. And as much as I’m sure that said absence was felt by no one, it was actually nice being away from this blog. It often feels repetitive and tired, just me blogging about my futile attempts at understanding elements of life that a normal, 22-year old should have figured out. I don’t mind that, but it’s also not how I want to come across.

While I was gone, I helped my older brother move with his girlfriend of almost a year to San Diego to start school at SDSU. In that four day time period, there was plenty of material to blog about, plenty of kindle to fuel that self-discovery flame, especially the last two days—the hellish drive from San Diego to Petaluma and being upset at my little brother. I could’ve definitely blogged about it all, but I’m glad that I didn’t. I’m glad that I actually took a step back, thought about what I was going to write, and decided that nothing really meaningful was going to come of it.

I still want to blog everyday, but I want to verge more along the lines of actually thinking about what exactly made a day “blog-worthy” outside of something I’ve learned about “life.” Essentially, I want to stop producing writing on this blog that allows me to sum it all up in one hashtag—life. It’s great and all, I like learning more about myself, but there’s always something more interesting about it, right?

I genuinely think I’m a relatively interesting person (who qualifies everything with an adverb, apparently). I feel like I need to share that, not to anyone in particular, but to myself.

Bittersweet Butterflies [8/13]

Leaving for San Diego soon, so I probably won’t get the chance to blog much at all today/tonight.

It’s sort of strange that a lot of my good friends have no idea or never met my grandma. It’s something my family doesn’t like to talk about at all. I say it’s strange because that one lady compromises almost 90% of my life and pretty much shaped me in every way possible, but the people who came in to my life after that day would have never known that.

I still remember that day, twelve years ago today, August 13, 2000. For some reason, the first thing I always remember was that it was dark and the only light on in the house was the one over the staircase. It gave off that warm orange light because of the old incandescent bulbs. Then I remember my brother, my cousin, and I sitting on our blue-carpeted staircase, with my mom a couple stairs above us explaining what happened. My dad was in their room; I want to say he was moving around a lot, pacing, but I’m not too sure because I couldn’t comprehend much after my mom told us the news.

And then my little brother walks into the house. He was at our good friend’s birthday party. They went to Six Flags that day, just the two of them and his parents. I’ve never asked my brother what he remembers, but it had to have been overwhelming to walk into that orange-lit house, with his two older brothers and cousin in tears, and his mom trying to hold back the grief of losing her mom and having to tell her children all in a maternal effort to not make things worse.

Twelve years since, truthfully, I forget the date sometimes. I would’ve forgot about it today had my mom not told me this weekend was probably going to be hard for her because it’ll be twelve years today. I’m pretty sure I know why I forget, because as a kid I never wanted to remember. But now, even on this day, I don’t feel too upset, definitely not as much as previous years, especially the after shock years just after the “Big One.”

That’s not to say that I don’t feel weird today. Because I do, but it’s mostly feelings coming out of the strangeness that is the overaching feeling of how recent it seems that it all happened. I guess twelve years really doesn’t feel that long, and that’s both good and bad—bad because it can still feel as fresh as that day, something my mom surely understands, and good because it doesn’t feel as long since we’ve all lost her. I wonder why, aside from twelve years generally being a short amount of time in a life (this is a newly dawned thought for me), it feels like yesterday.

It might be because I saw a white butterfly yesterday. When my grandma died, my aunts and mom told my brothers and I that whenever we were feeling sad, we should look for a white butterfly because it’s always a sign that your lost loved one is around. It was a coping mechanism, I’m sure, but to this day, whenever one of my brothers sees one, we always make sure to tell my mom. And so, it might feel like yesterday because nothing is ever really lost. We find ways to hold on and remember. And then remembering becomes less painful. And soon, it isn’t even bittersweet—bitter at times, yeah, but nothing compared to the overwhelming sweetness of seeing that all-encompassing butterfly.

Building, Proud [8/12]

I never really thought I’d be the type of person to just start building a career path out of what I wanted to do, but I’m slowly beginning to realize that’s essentially the steps I’ve taken this summer. I’ve always been the type that knew the type of track I wanted, that I was on, that I was going to be on and did everything according to that; I was, and still very much am, focused. But I guess it took something like graduating—completing the track I was on for so many years—to finally live off any beat.

I didn’t really understand what I was doing when I just decided to apply and volunteer at League of Legends websites. I guess I figured it would be fun. Little did I know that I would see and gain actual, insider (in terms of the original content side of the industry) experience.

I think largely it has to do with the fact that I minimize every achievement or accomplishment almost the second it happens so as to not get “complacent” (I think that’s how I trick myself into reasoning it), but there are those moments, like today, when I saw my name by a byline, where I’m genuinely proud of myself.

Breaths [8/11]

The term “vacation” feels wrong. I’ve been thinking a lot about this Europe trip, and maybe because I’m planning it all out, but it doesn’t feel like a “vacation.” I guess that term, for me, connotes a sense of complete inhibition in regard to expenses. It’s more apt to describe the types of trips you take with your parents when you’re a kid; it’s a “vacation” because you have no perception of costs or cares. A “vacation” is infantile in that sense.

Thankfully, the Europeans have a much more apt word:  the “holiday.” I don’t know why, maybe it’s because I’m going to Europe, but the word feels much more descriptive of the trip’s relation to my state of mind. It’s essentially a break from oneself, a break from adult worries, cares, responsibilities—life. In America, a holiday is simply a recognized day where work is prohibited (in most cases, just unadvised). It’s to breathe, recollect yourself, and then start back up again.

I guess you could say there’s an element of finding yourself in between the time off. You learn more about yourself as you exhale, when you take a moment to relax and clear your mind. But I believe you learn a greater deal when you take that following breath—the inhale—when you face your life again, ready to tackle it after a break, a holiday.

Hometown Blues [8/9]

The last two days I went back to my hometown with my mom because she had to take my grandpa to the doctor’s.  We stayed at our long-time family friend’s house, whose two kids are both some of my longest, closest friends. I’ve kept in touch with them both a lot over games so it wasn’t like I was seeing them for the first time in a while. It was great, hence the lack of blogs those two nights. Another very close friend of mine (again who plays with us, so it wasn’t a long time without talking to him) came over for dinner with both of our families. It just felt nice, almost right. It was easy. For some reason, the idea of friends has been on my mind recently, the ones I have, the ones I miss, the ones that I grew apart from, and, really, what a friend is in general. I don’t know why those thoughts occupied my mind (and do we really ever?) and I can’t give you a reason why. All I can say was that it was nice to be in my hometown with my hometown friends, friends that have transitioned through each stage of my current life.

Other than that though, being there, in my hometown, felt wrong. For the first time, I actually felt a slight disdain for the place. Maybe it was because the people I was with don’t live there anymore either, just visiting during the summer. Or maybe it’s because the nostalgia of what that place was for me is completely gone. But I felt uncomfortable while I was driving with my mom around the town and surrounding areas. To be completely serious, it felt like I had lost a friend, but ran into them again unexpectedly. You try to not make it awkward and you try to find some way to relate to a person or thing or whatever that you used to care about, but when you stop and really think about it, it’s all forced and contrived to the point where such attempts are doing either party any justice.

Honestly, I used to think I would write about my hometown. Even as a kid, I used to think about capturing all the fun I had with my friends, riding around the neighborhood, living and dying by the sunset, the universal sign to come back home. But I truly feel like I can’t do that anymore. Those memories exist in my head, vibrantly, but actually spelling it out would feel wrong—sad in a way.

While I was staying at my friends’ house, our moms had us go get stuff so they do crafts and as we drove back to their house from Michael’s, I caught a glimpse of the sunset. That’s one thing that has made an indelible mark on me. There’s nothing quite like the sunsets in my hometown; I grew up in the sunset, seen totally and perfectly throughout the town, especially in the nothingness of the back roads.

It sets though. And it’s not home anymore, hasn’t been for a while; it’s an old, lost friend and I’m okay with that because we have to be.

September 6th [8/6]

In exactly a month’s time, I will be on a plane, probably somewhere over the Atlantic, headed to Europe for the month of September with the intent to do nothing but see everything.

I’m scared. I would be lying if I didn’t say that. It’s not a debilitating sort of fear though, not the kind that stops you from doing something by a constant questioning of whether you can do it. No, instead, it’s a fear of not knowing what will happen. It’s a manageable fear, a fear that doesn’t tend to bother a lot of people, but it’s also one I’ve confronted a lot of times throughout my life; I’m the type of person that manifests it easily. And in some instances, it has stopped me from doing what I wanted, but not too much to call it difficult, so I call it manageable.

It’s the fear of the illogical in the mind of the logical. But I know in that mind that I can’t be doing anything else but going. I’m scared, but I have to go, and that sense of duty toward myself is exciting because I’ve never really felt that sort of positive self-pressure.

Soon I’ll finish planning where I’ll be in months, details only dictated by the number of nights I’ll spend in a hostel in a country, and once that’s over, I’ll have everything “logical” planned, and I’m not letting myself figure anything else out. Because I’m starting to understand that there’s no fun in that. Sometimes, it’s okay to not be fun, but in these large moments in a life, anything that comes in the way between the potential “fun” of that moment is idiotic.

Fuck [8/5]

So I just wrong a huge blog, and the Tumblr app completely lost it.

Fuck that. I’m genuinely pissed the fuck off right now.

Friend Queue [8/3]

In my sickness, I’ve been binge listening to Jake and Amir‘s new podcast, “If I Were You.” I’ve been a fan of the two for a while, though, like many others, I lost interest in their actual show. But with this new podcast, I’ve come to enjoy the duo again as their real life personalities, rather than the characters many have come to know them by.

Anyway, I listened to episode 9, “Communism,” with their special guest Streeter Sidel, and somebody asked something about friends growing apart to which Amir equated the whole subject to two line graphs and how eventually people are just on a completely different trajectory that you can’t even begin to relate to anymore. He also mentioned that distance (both physical and temporal, as in your friends 10 years ago versus your friends 2 years ago) and how has a large effect for fairly obvious reason (if you don’t see someone a lot, you probably will just fall out of touch). Jake and Streeter agreed for the most part, though stated it wasn’t a universal truth.

I guess listening to this podcast in my foggy, sick state of mind had an effect on me as last night I had a dream that largely included most of my high school friends that I hadn’t seen in a while. I still consider them friends, but after four years on an opposite coast and them coming back home to a new place, 2 hours away from them makes Amir’s comparison very apparent in my own life. I would be naive and ignorant to say that I didn’t actually note the difference while in college; there are always some people that you grow apart from and it happens pretty quickly (in the podcast they called college “the great destroyer of friendships”).

I don’t know if the dream meant that in some way I want to see them again. In thinking about it for the past few hours this morning, I thought it might’ve meant something along the lines of wanting to be around people who are similarly going through “the 22s,” as if to make the uncertainty feel better once it’s a collective. As much as I love having the close group of guy friends I do have, they are two years younger than me. Although that makes very little difference, especially as we grow older, at this very unique point in my life, it would be nice to have the support of someone equally scared and anxious.

But it seems as though it just happens that way, that maybe it’s just a part of life to have to deal with this time of your life by yourself as everyone around you—and you yourself—is starting to figure out where their lives are going. And if you need something from someone, you have to be the one to extend the offer. I do think Amir’s comparison was very apt, even if it means that some friends are gone for good, but trajectories are never permanent.

That’s what keeping this blog has taught me.

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