Midnight

Hello again,

The weather has been changing here. It’s been a drastic change. Upper 80s, then a tornado touch down nearby, and now unending rain with temperatures in the upper 40s. Honestly, I was told it never gets this cold this early into the cold seasons here. It’s potentially affecting my body’s comfort levels too. I never thought that weather affected me that much physically (besides basics like put a jacket and gloves on), but I’ve been having bodily aches. Haven’t been able to sleep well either.

I’ve been obsessed with this one song called You Exist In My Dong by Wanting. Been feeling a pull to reconnect with my culture’s language. I haven’t given up on Spanish though. I’m not sure why but I’ve just been feeling rather lonely recently. I know school burnt me out since two weeks ago, but I still haven’t recovered. I’m still feeling like the amount is too much, and not on top of getting it all done punctually. And my stomach has been off. I never know what it is exactly that I want to eat. I have a pain in right side of my lower back. I can’t get entirely immersed inside the books I’m reading. It’s like I’m unsatisfied? Or unfulfilled? I read a random Chinese artist bio, and they used to live in this area I know extremely well. I lived nearthere, and know people from the same high school they attended. It threw me into a loop of nostalgia that was kind of hard to pull myself out of.

I am basically in a stand-still moment. I was going full force forward before, and now it’s like I used up all that energy and I can’t gather enough will to just keep pushing forward any further. I have things running in my mind, but I’m so unorganized and my to do list is always behind that I feel like I can’t get things done. Ugh. I hate this feeling. I’m going to try and fix this. I need to pull it together come end of the month. There isn’t time for this. I have goals I want to reach, and they aren’t such unrealistic goals. I can do this. I am going to regret being awake this late in the morning.

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School Life Update: Personal

It has been a long time, WordPress. This blog post will definitely not be aimed for entertaining anyone besides myself. The audience has been forewarned, so don’t waste your time on reading past this unless you really want to I suppose.

It’s been hectic. Fall 2018. It’s a marker in my life’s timeline. I began my studies for a web design based future career, and I began it excitedly, nervously, and readily. It’s about week six now I believe, and now I’m just scared. I feel a bit overwhelmed, a bit burnt out, and not anywhere do I feel prepared. I had my goals set up, and the timeline for those goals, and I expected to not meet all those goals in an exact and punctual manner, but I expected a small cushion room. Like, maybe a one month delay type of cushion room. Right now, it feels a lot like a one year delay cushion room is going to be needed. It totally scares the heck out of me, because I don’t want to wait that long for my career to begin again. I had my doubts before too, because I know that in me there’s a writer waiting to bloom, but I am putting it on hold for this web design path I chose, even though I feel ready for that writer’s path to begin at the same exact moment I feel ready to begin the web design path. It’s conflicting! It’s confusing! It’s frustrating! I don’t want to know what to do almost!

I have only four classes. An HTML & CSS3 coding class, a Photoshop class, a Flash and After Effects class, and a traditional art Design 1 class. I’m learning a lot, truly. I feel that I am exploring what possibilities can happen with all my computer based classes, and that’s part of why I feel so lost, a bit burnt-out, and overwhelmed. I’m exploring, so I’m putting even more time into these classes than if I were already familiar with the subject (such as the traditional art based Design 1 class; I’ve already taken Design 1 class before, and any art classes from pre-university days were all like it). At the same time that I am exploring these programs and codes, I am expected to have projects ready to turn in on the teachers’ timelines. I honestly would not feel stressed at all by these expectations IF I were more familiar with these subjects. IF I weren’t exploring what I can do with these programs, I’d feel totally fine. However, that’s not the case. I AM exploring all these new programs, and what amazing things I can do with them, so every time there’s a project due, I feel unprepared as is to do them. I don’t want to create half-assed projects. I want to create something beautiful! That’s what these programs were designed for, to create beautiful things. I don’t want to create a half-baked, barely utilizing what these programs can truly offer to do projects to turn in. And that’s perhaps the core of the problem. Perhaps the teachers expect us to turn in some little I explored what I can do to this one thing using this one or two feature(s) available on the program projects. I don’t look at a piece I’m turning in as this is one aspect that will someday become a whole, I want it to be part of a whole. Whether that’s a really simple completed object, or a really complex completed object, it WILL be complete and cohesive as a singular object. I don’t want to showcase any incomplete idea to be graded, rather, to be judged. But there’s such limited time. We have to move on to the next lessons. I have to go to the next class. I have to eat lunch, damnation to sustenance and all.

HA, lord, just now I made the mistake of viewing what else is due on Monday, and realized that I have at least three more assignments to do before my Sunday is over, and I already did two assignments this morning. It’s overwhelming! I want to say I hate it, but I really just hate the time crunch involved. It drives me nuts. What do these teachers expect? Rather, this one teacher now. We’re all most likely full-time students. And just because we had an exam on a class day, how does that somehow turn into now we have to do two units’ worth of work by the same next day? Not our fault you didn’t plan the syllabus to accommodate the exam time. Why do we have to pay for that? And your class requirements are too by the book. Do you honestly think that students who have a full-time schedule can be expected to keep up this type of clockwork? Do homework reading, go to class, listen to lecture based upon the homework reading (attentively), watch video based upon the reading and lecture post-class, take a quiz based upon the reading, lecture, and video post-video, do new homework reading. That’s just for one class. Now we have to do that for at least three other classes. That does NOT include the extra time we have to put into each subject in order to fully understand/grasp the content meaning and skills. Classes themselves last at least 1.5 hours each, almost always with at least a 45 minute break between each class, plus driving time to school and then to home, -time time time. Take into the fact that we also have to eat, perhaps work, sleep, shower, and other responsibilities to just exist within society? How in the world can it happen? That would be expecting a person to stay “ON” 24 hours. Sleep wouldn’t be something pleasant, it would become a function necessary to support everything else. Down-time may be time not spent well, or time spent doing absolutely nothing productive, but it’s essential to health, all aspects of health. It’s processing time. It’s time to absorb everything that has happened, and catch up with it all mentally, physically, emotionally.

I am behind. On all the readings for all of my classes. I do not want to feel as if I have to give up a part of my personal time in order to put it into class time. Not to this extent at least. I have a three day weekend, because my schedule is set for classes M-Th. I’m not an extreme procrastinator. If I am feeling this way right now, how do these other regular students with schedules M-F feel? I took one day off to do what I wanted Saturday, and it leaves me so bogged down in classwork that I might not even have my Sunday evening to myself. I don’t think it should be like this. Why should our lives have to feel like a well-oiled rigging machine in order for us to feel “good” or like things in our lives are “functioning”? We can’t be machines, damnit. That’s not life. I can’t commit to believing that a “waking at x-hour, morning get ready routine, do at least half responsibilities in the morning, have lunch, take a scheduled break, do the rest of the half of responsibilities, have dinner, shower, get ready for bed, sleep by x-hour, rinse and repeat in varied algorithms of the above” schedule is somehow meaningful and worth sticking to.  Am I being greedy? Is 24 hours really enough, and I’m just not as good at time management as I thought I was? Is the only way to do things satisfyingly to work like clock machine? Which, by the way, needs to be reset for time to time too because they also either get ahead or slow down. Sigh. I’m weary. I’m tired. I don’t want to feel this way, not weary/tired, but… this whole message, blog post. I don’t want to feel this way.

Loving My Mom

Before I start, the question of what is or how to love should be defined. I don’t have it defined yet, which is why I am writing this to help sort my mind. Right now, I just know that to love her should maybe feel more happy rather than annoyed.

She’s a difficult person. She loves to complain, which I hate hearing about. She is extremely passive aggressive, but if you confront her about it she is ready for a verbal throw down. She is a picky eater, and therefore always cooks every meal (really, I can probably count the number of times we ate out on my fingers, until I turned 18 and left for college). She is a workaholic busy-body. I think some of these things are like blessings in disguise. After all, I had a very healthy diet through all of my growing years, and hell, I learned what qualities people really dislike and thus what to avoid doing in my own behavior. Perhaps that was a bit of an inverse ‘blessing in disguise’ for me though. Anyways, my mother is my mother. I know she cares about me. I know she misses me when we’re apart. I presume that she loves me. I’m part of a particular percentage of Chinese where family does not show love openly, nor praise. I grew up with what people might call a tiger mom. For me, it just felt like a sad life. Many other factors made it a miserable and lonely life, but at the end of it all (a.k.a the present now) I feel that I turned out to be just fine as a person. A little cold in some people’s opinion maybe, because they like hugs and touches, but if I wanted to give a hug and a hand, I’m perfectly capable of giving them. I just normally don’t.

Calling our parents regularly once we are no longer living under the same roof is common practice. How regular a practice it is, well, that’s another story. For me, I kind of avoid calling my mom. Or I even just plain forget. When I do remember, I always get this feeling of I don’t want to do it because I know she will nag and complain, which c’mon, who actually wants to listen to that every time you give someone a phone call. Like, if that’s the result I am expecting, of course I don’t want to call. It’s so negative and I don’t want to invite negativity into my mindset on a regular basis. But maybe I should just listen to her and try to instill some positivity into her mindset. That could work. Maybe. Potentially. When I’ve avoided calling her for long enough, she’ll call me, and that’s when the guilt kicks in. It should’ve been me to call her, because she’s the parent after all. Propriety, Confucian philosophy, societal expectations. What can I do? She’s already called me before I called her; it’d be even worse if I didn’t pick it up. So I pick up.

Sometimes she surprises me. She’ll have a good laugh over something in a movie on the television, that’s a common one, and I enjoy it because we can bond over that. Other times she’ll completely surprise me by casually suggesting that we go out to do something other than grocery or supply shopping. It shouldn’t surprise me too much, but it does. My aunt told me that they used go out shopping, go to the movies, go for car rides, etc. quite often as kids. Why didn’t that apply to my mother’s adulthood any? Or her motherhood any? It confuses me how it used to be so common in her childhood, but now it doesn’t seem to exist. You can’t just throw your past away like that, it follows you in life! She has so completely immersed herself into this… minimalistic-ish lifestyle that I do not know how to make her happy or enjoy a day in her life without it relating to some type of chore. I cannot buy a gift for her, because it’s either wasting money or it’s an ugly gift or she doesn’t ever use it/loses the gift, or something else! I’ve tried. These are the results of multiple years of trying to gift her. Things that make her “happy” are helping her buy groceries or going with her to buy them (in which time we may also grab snacks and drinks to bring home and enjoy at a later time), helping her sort her mail and potentially doing some phone calls to help her sort the paperwork that came in, doing the laundry. The thing is that she’s set up this whole image of self-sufficiency that honestly, what can anyone do to make her life fuller is the question. We try to do materialistic things, and she rejects them or loses them. We try to do abstract things like helping her do work chores, and we get zero thanks or appreciation (oh, but if we decide not to help after having helped her once before, it becomes a guilt storm where she yells at you and guilt trips you for not helping her anymore. It isn’t a duty or expectation, mom. It was the only choice we had left to try and make you “happy”).

How in the world do I show you that I do love you mom? I don’t know. Most of the time, my actions seem to say I don’t care, but it’s because of the whole environment that’s been set up. I do not want to work like a workaholic, and I don’t want to have to do that just to show her that I care. I can say I love you, mom once in a while, an awkward while, but I’m not sure how that’s getting to her. Probably it just makes her feel weird, the same weird I feel by saying it. Hugs, that’s just extra weird. Honestly, I can’t remember us having any gentle touches (i.e, hand on a shoulder, passing plates, sharing food) in the longest time. I remember once I even backed away because she got too close. That upset me, and I felt terrible for it. Every time we have a phone call, almost every time, I tend to zone out once she begins to complain. The problem is she doesn’t have anything else to talk about. I don’t know what to tell her about either because saying oh, I’ve been lazing about most of the day instead of being a productive worker like you, well, that just doesn’t sound like great conversation topic. My interests and her interests don’t overlap for the majority. I wish, I wish, I really wish I could express to her that I do care about her and I want to love her (do I love her? I think I do), but I don’t know how to do that.

I remember when I was about 14 years old, I had these great dreams of creating an animated story. I was going to draw the pictures myself, and I already had all the great themes and morals thought out that I was going to put in the script. Then I watched a cartoon show that I really loved, and it broke my heart because this show had at least half of all the things I wanted to say already in it, and it did it so well because it made me cry. I was so pleased and so sad that my dreams were already out there, accomplished so damned well, but it wasn’t to my credit.

Now, I still have dreams of putting something out there. My ideas aren’t as solid as the one I had when I was 14, but it’s still somewhere along that path. I feel different now, older just a little bit, but not by a whole lot, and a little more weighed down. At 14 all the teenage drama and angst was definitely in me, but now it’s less drama and angst and more pushing myself. I had all the drive when I was younger, and all the time. Now it feels like my age is something to be used against me, and my time must be given to something besides my dreams (i.e, keeping a roof over my head, feeding myself, maintaining friendships because I don’t want to be lonely and sad when I’m much older). I know it’s all just me holding myself back, but I still can’t help but feel those above listed priorities as, well, important. I can’t ignore basic needs to live, and I can’t ignore those I care about. Okay, maybe I can sometimes. The point is that sometimes I just want to become a recluse in the woods or something like that, and spend all my time not feeling judgment and obligation. Except I don’t know how to survive by camping or anywhere not a concrete jungle to be honest. Like honestly, I’m living in a first world country, regardless of how big or small my city is, it’s still got lots of concrete and lots of convenience.

I’m going to think about camping more. And after I post this, I’m going to go look at the bills I have to pay, and figure out how to deal with my health insurance network. Back to reality.

On the Topic of Depression and Social Disconnect

I was scrolling past some social media on my feed yesterday night, and I saw a post casually addressing depression. It was one of those gif’s with commentary that read “me replying to messages 10 days late and blaming it on my busy schedule to hide the fact that my depression has me thinking simple correspondence is an actual workload.” It’s clearly social commentary, but it also shows how common place and quiet depression is. It’s talked about, but I think it’s still not empathizing with society. The topic definitely resounds within Millenials and Gen Z, but out main concern right now is more keeping the earth alive long enough to have more generations. Priorities right? But seriously, it’s an important message because I think so many of us born in or after the Millenials generation completely understand that feeling of simple correspondence as a chore. I definitely feel it. I’ve been feeling this way since I turned twenty.

I got my very first cellular phone when I was 16. I was quickly addicted to texting. At 18 I started college, at 19 I had dropped out and at 20 I was in my second semester at a new college. A lot happened, definitely that dropping out of college part of my life left me feeling depressed. When I was 20, at that particular moment in my life, I just needed to seclude myself away from others and deal with my feelings of loss and disappointment and beginning anew. Instead I was constantly surrounded by text messages, invites to go out that very moment or later that night, social media and all sorts of information thrown my way via the instantaneous communication. It was really overwhelming and never gave me the moments I needed to just be out of society for a little while and deal with my emotional and mental stability. There were other circumstances that added to that too. My family constantly surrounding me, and I mean constantly. I didn’t have a bedroom. I was sleeping on the living room couch, and every weekend I was seeing and hanging out with my family members instead of.. anything else that might have been solo time for me to deal with me. I moved to a new state, California. It was a culture shock for me. I never went out so much in my life prior. Basically every single day, Monday through Friday, was spent going to school and out with friends, then the weekends out with family. I’m an introvert more than I am an extrovert. There’s lot of nuanced details I could go into about that, but for this post’s sake, it means that I was getting zero time to recharge my energy levels. To sum it up, I began to feel an avoidance for people. Simple things like a text message asking me “how are you” became a chore. If I said fine, I’d be lying and probably would get an invite to go out. If I said not well, it’d lead to a conversation of talking to others about my feelings that I hadn’t yet sorted out. Sustaining a conversation, much less beginning one, was something I was constantly trying to avoid.

Even now I am avoiding messages. There is now a culture where people reply instantly. There’s also a split in this culture now where people just don’t reply until much later. It’s really crazy how instant messaging and internet and cell phones have blurred the personal boundaries line. I personally do not like to have a constant back and forth text conversation unless it’s been a long time and I really am trying to catch up with that person. However, once in a while phone calls work just fine for that too. But things like learning how to let a conversation die out is a skill people need to learn. Conversation topics die out, and if it’s a text message conversation, please, I want and need people to understand or learn that everyone has a life outside of the ’til then current conversation. And texting every day? Humans live by routine generally. What am I up to? Well x, the same damn thing I’ve been up to the other four days of this week, last week, and the past year really. Aka, working, eating, cleaning, and sleeping. Not much new to tell. Please stop asking me this every damn day.

Okay, this somehow became a rant. My apologies readers. Anyways, I want to sum this all up to depression is real, though it doesn’t manifest into something like constantly sad or anything super visible like that. It’s also different for everyone. Their reasons are their reasons. Not everyone will think they are depressed either, because you can still function. You can still communicate with people, you can still go to work and do your daily life routines, and you can take care of yourself well enough to function in society. Depression is something that leaves you feeling empty. Simply interacting with people becomes a chore, and you want to leave the interaction, but leaving also leaves you feeling empty. It’s become something of an age where there’a disconnect between people, and most of the blame is put upon technology, but there’s also blame in people not actively taking accountability to their own actions. Create boundaries, stick to them, let people know them. Boundaries doesn’t mean you don’t want to communicate and be friendly, it means you are taking care of yourself, and others should do the same for themselves and respect your boundaries. There’s no “if this were in person you wouldn’t xyz” comparison. This is an entity on its own, the internet and instant messaging age, which means that we need to set up new rules for this new setting/situation.

Saying Goodbye

This is a poem. It’s somewhere between a first and second draft. It’s totally bare bones right now. I see a lot where I can flesh it out and add, but I’m not sure what direction I want this poem to go toward just yet, so waiting to figure that out first. The title is also under construction. Not sure if I’m going to keep it the same title later down the road. Cheers, the world is going to publicly view my emotions now.

Saying Goodbye

It was never supposed to begin, but since it did, it was supposed to only be a summer fling.
We spent every single day waking up to each other’s touch.
Every night we had dinner together, walked together, talked together, and fell asleep together.
You spoke to me of promises to visit sooner than later.
You held me purposely,
and kissed me tenderly.
I was beginning to believe I loved you as more than just a temporary casual sex partner.
Why did you speak to me of promises to visit soon?
Why did you worry about if my feet were cold on the overnight bus?
Summer was ending, and we had to go our separate ways.
You cried first, but it ended with us both as blubbering babies.
And I thought I could end it there with both our tears,
but why did you give me the sweetest kiss goodbye on the lips?
You can’t do tears, hugs, and kisses like that if it’s just a summer fling.
I don’t know what to think. I didn’t know what to think.
We’re thousands of miles away now, and will be for a very long period of time.
But I’m still searching for a way to say goodbye.

Harry Potter Marathon

Okay, I don’t have much to say tonight. Although that might be due to the fact that I’ve been entirely distracted by this Harry Potter marathon that’s going on on USA and SyFy channel ❤️

This series is definitely a significant part of my childhood. I day dreamed about what Hogwarts would be like really if it existed, and what life would be like if I met a witch or wizard. No dreams about being one since I was past 11 years-old when I first began reading it, but ah, they were really wonderful dreams. I love everything it gave to my imagination. Also, the theme song is lit, haha. Thank you to John Williams for creating a theme song we all recognize within the first second (seriously, in one second I can identify the theme song).

Really funny thing I’ve just noticed, between the first and second movie, Daniel Radcliffe goes through puberty and you can hear how his voice changed. His face loses some of the baby fat too, so sad. I absolutely loved the first movie. It was positively up to the task of matching the imagination.

Alright, back to the marathon! Have a good night everyone.

Toxic People: Those Closest to You

Really, the title should be Closest to Me.

I would say that ever since I can remember, but perhaps not since I was born, I have had a toxic family. This is a rather personal and touchy topic, so I’m not sure how much I’ll divulge just yet, but we’ll find out as I go along.

I didn’t realize it when I was younger, but I was pretty much neglected and abused for the majority of my childhood. I don’t think my family did it out of purposed ill-will (well, none except perhaps one), it just turned out that way because of who they are as individuals, and because of circumstances in life. Only recently have I come to consciously recognize just how toxic my family members are for me. Not all of them, but as a general pod, my family isn’t good for my healthy balance. I recently moved back in with my mother because of my whole I’m changing career paths, I no longer am working, I will be studying again choice. It’s always a struggle living with family after you’ve had adult freedom. I got my first taste of it when I came back. There’s a bit of (a lot of) a tiff within the family right now, my mother and my step-sister being in the center of it all. Of course, any family members nearby get dragged into it though, which is precisely what happened with me.
I’m not going to say what happened, but it resulted in some very terrible words exchanged between my mother and I and one of my brother’s. Some really really awful verbal abuse came out of her mouth toward me, and it honestly pissed me the f*** off, and also hurt my feelings, and made me realize how terrible it is to be with my family, and also how terrible a person she can be. It also showed me how closed off she is too. I know I close myself off from others quite often, especially from family, but wow. She closes herself off from everyone too but with a different method than mine. I recall her saying she can make it on her own without us, and the feeling I had at that exact moment was the two aren’t the same. You can make it on your own, and being without us are two separate things. You can make it on your own, but we can be there while you do that. We can also not be there. It was also at that moment, recognizing my thoughts, that I realized I am so different from her and perhaps the rest of the family. I don’t think anyone in my family would have thought the same thought that passed my mind at that moment.

I can’t say much more without revealing too much, but it makes me feel sad that I feel that I cannot relate to my family or be close to them. It makes it doubly sad to me because I think that at least half of the family thinks I am the one who gets along with everyone/I am the one who is closest to being able to reach out to all the family members. I haven’t figured out much more on how I feel about that. I want to love my family. I say I love my family, or at the very least I care about them. But there are some moments where it seems clear that I don’t act like I love them..

Learning New Things at Any Age

I’m at a certain point in my life where I feel very much like I am late, but it’s not too late yet. I’m in my mid-twenties, in the process of doing an entirely different career change, and in the middle of this process I took a break and watched Christiane Amanpour’s Love Across the World documentary series.
It’s a 6-episodes long series, each episode covering a different country and how love, intimacy, and sex stands in their culture and current society. It was really interesting, and I liked it a lot because that topic also interests me. Episode 4 covered Germany, and I really loved the ending of the episode because (spoiler alert) there is an old 55 years-old woman who only just learned how love could be different from what she had imagined and experienced her whole life until then. The concept that the world always has something new to learn and experience, and that what you learn or experience can resonate so personally in your life, that inspired me and gave me hope. I have felt for a few years now that things were really stagnant, and my experiences in life were dull. I wasn’t learning anything new, and I don’t want to wait until I’m 55 to experience something mind-blowing and new, but the possibilities exist out there still, and that excites me.

I’ve clearly not been using this blog site very regularly. I’m still figuring out how to even make this blog site seem less like I’m a blundering teenager (actually, I’m trying to figure out how to present myself less like a blundering teenager in my regular life too), and I’ve got a lot of work to do. The thing is, that episode made me feel a little better about how ‘behind’ I am. Obviously it’ll take some time before I understand the blogging sphere comfortably, and that used to make me feel pretty nervous. I thought well, it’ll take time, but I ought to know it now if I’m going to try and blog regularly. Now, I feel like there is time. I would prefer to learn it sooner than later but I have time, and it’s okay that I don’t know it all right at this moment.

I made a lot of plans for this new and different path I’m going to step on. I’m afraid. I used to be a lot more excited. Several very disheartening things happened in the past month and a half that nearly extinguished any hope I had of succeeding. I’m trying to build it back up right now. I’m taking a leap of faith in myself and trusting my gut feeling that I can’t always be passionate about my goals. There’ll be stumbles along the way, and this just happens to be the first one. I’ll have to struggle and perhaps suffer and not enjoy what I’ve chosen, but I’ll still want it. The hope that I’ll experience something I can’t even imagine right now is keeping that diminished passion lit.