Dream as if you’ll live forever, Live as if you’ll die today

My Awesome Life

We’re responsive creatures, always yearning for some kind of carnal or spiritual fulfillment. So many of our conversations are dedicated to that one question: What makes us feel alive? For me it’s neither people nor adventures. It’s the shapes and colors that make up a city I love.

When I took a semester off in Cali, all I could think about was how much I missed NYC and how exciting it would be to blog about college life there. But four months after I returned to NYU I’ve only written four posts on my adventures here in the Big Apple. Ostensibly it’s because I just haven’t had the time. In reality it’s because I’ve kind of lost confidence in my writing. I don’t think I’ll ever be as good a writer as I would like to be, and I certainly don’t think I’m good enough to capture the sense of wonder I feel every time I step out onto the streets.

I’ve experienced no shortage of epiphanies walking on the same blocks, seeing the same things in different ways. Paradoxes run riot: tattoo parlors next to corporate banks, museums sandwiched by takeouts, apartments stacked atop liquor stores, and chains of buildings in alternating colors – black, tan, maroon – adorned by staircases twisting like rusty vines. It’s homogeneous yet dynamic, indifferent yet inviting. None of it makes any sense yet it all feels so right.

It’s a convoluted maze with a constellation of neon lights and no exit. Horizontal and vertical lines converge to make intersections that look exactly the same whether you’re in FiDi or Dumbo. You’re lost every time you’re out, but you never feel more at home. Last night I was strolling through Washington Square Park in the nicest weather in a long, long time, and I see the arch–silver silhouette inked against the black sky–illuminating the fountain and everyone around it. It was just so liberating. In that moment I actually felt so blessed to be alive. And I just couldn’t help wondering: Why then? I’ve seen that sight countless times in the past year and a half, and I’ve walked through the park in every weather, every hour. But that moment last night was the only time I’ve felt that kind of relief, the only time that those random bursts of sadness and rage I experience everyday felt so far away.

Despite the incurable bleakness of life and the shittiness of human nature, the world itself is still as sublime a vision as you will ever imagine. That vision alone is worth the effort of waking up every morning with a smile. It’s far more beautiful than life is ugly. It’s far more sincere than people are fake. Loving a place is far more satisfying than hating everything else.

Live with hope and live with love, if only for your surroundings. Find somewhere you love. See as much as you can before it’s too late.

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Yay May

Musings/Rants

Hi. I’m going to crash in about 29 seconds so this will be a quick post. May is always the last month of the school year, so in about two weeks I’ll be essentially a junior. Half of my college career has come and gone. I can’t even begin to describe the aching emptiness that realization stirs up in my heart. I’m more than happy with the strides I’ve made this semester, socially, emotionally, and professionally…but whenever I look back I just can’t stop wondering how much better my life would be right now had I made different decisions, had I been courageous enough to trust my gut. Regrets are such a bitch to deal with. Yes they help you reflect and mature, but honestly I’d go back to being that retarded immature kid if I could roll back the seconds and erase some booby tracks on my road map. I don’t care about lessons. I just want those years back.

You know how people always say mistakes and regrets teach you shit? That with them you’ll be a better, more complete person? So rather than loathing them you should appreciate them? But I just don’t, you know? Whenever I reminisce on my regrets (which I guarantee you is a lot of the fucking time), I don’t think about the lessons they’ve taught me. I think about the things I should have and could have done instead but will never be able to because time doesn’t rotate counterclockwise.

Yeah well I’m still crying over spilled milk. Can’t help it.

Hi.

My Awesome Life

Hi again. I’m back from the dead. Please believe me when I say I’ve literally had no time to blog. Without torturing you with insanely dull details, let’s just say I got kicked out of my dorm and pulled off 2 straight all nighters. Yeah, um, the building next to my dorm exploded. East Village explosion. You may have read it on the news. My parents certainly haven’t….either that or they just forgot my address. But uh, anyhow, I’ve ran the gauntlet of the most extreme emotional and physical torture and made it out alive. Barely, with a ton of bruises and scares that may never heal, but alive nonetheless. I’ve missed blogging. The whole time I was wandering around NYC at seven in the morning, sweaty and disgusting and homeless, I thought about blogging constantly. Blogging, writing, cussing, crying, anything that let’s me exorcise all the rage and hatred and sexual frustration burning inside my loins (lol). I actually had a nice long howl Saturday afternoon that left me relieved, exhausted, and extremely thirsty (lol).

And I had my second quarter-life existential crisis in two weeks. Who am I?? Am I making the right decisions? It’s so confusing because the various commitments I’ve taken up this semester require me to adopt several personas, all of which feel so foreign to me. And I’m cool with that; after all, you need to take risks and grow as a person. Yet sometimes I just feel like I’m pushing myself to become someone I’m not.

Fake it till you make it. That’s what everyone tells us. Especially us introverts who refuse to comply with the charismatic, articulate, extroverted personality standard that society lauds. The whole time I’m “faking it till I make it,” all I can think of is, “why do I have to fake it to make it??” Why do we live in a society where being introverted and quiet and perceptive is considered a weakness? I can’t remember how many times I’ve been told that if I don’t speak up I’ll never get anywhere. I just think that’s so fucked up, this idea that being a good talker is more valuable than being a good thinker or a good listener.

Since that’s the way society has become, I’m willing to change myself, to improve on my “weaknesses.” But at what point do I start to lose myself? At what point do I begin to see my “weaknesses” as real weaknesses? Knowing that I may really start hating my introverted traits scares the shit out of me. I have to remind myself constantly that it’s okay to be withdrawn, that it’s therapeutic to wander off into my little world and imagine weird, crazy things that’ll never happen, that it’s fine to leave the practical world behind for a little while. I do that because I truly believe that those so called weaknesses are the essence of my being. I do that because I’ve never considered my awkwardness or my inability to speak coherently a real weakness. Maybe that’s why I’m such a slow learner, but that’s also why I’ve never lost myself.

Truth is, I get attached easily but nothing sticks. I don’t have an addictive personality. Cigarette smoke invigorates me. If some guy walks by me with a cig dangling out of his mouth, I’d breathe in real deep and exhale real slow, bathing in that delirious blend of toxins. Sometimes I even get that irresistible urge to snatch it out of someone’s hands and take a drag myself. Goddamn. But if I don’t see it, I don’t think about it. Even when I’m smoking and loving the hell out of it, I know that it’s never gonna be a habit. That’s how it goes what everything I do. I’ll get involved and work hard but I know where my heart is. That’s the mindset I had going into this year, into some of the academic pursuits that I took on.

But I’m starting to think I’m losing my stand.

Moments.

My Awesome Life

If you’re one of those few awesome people who follow my blog regularly, you’d know that I’m obsessed with time. I used to write about it frequently until I realized that my obsession is so ironic because I’m always wasting time.

If I have a two hour gap between classes, I’d spend it stalking people on social media or playing that stupid new iPhone game instead of finishing those seven excruciatingly long pages in Symposium. That means those seven pages are reserved for midnight, after Netflix and dinner with friends and the internship columns and the ten other distractions that I can’t even remember right now. But at midnight I’ll remember that I haven’t showered in two and a half days and, being obsessed with time, I’ll feel obliged to change that. So instead of reading those pages and getting a good seven-hour sleep for the test tomorrow morning, I’ll hop in the shower and start thinking about the dumbest shit like the first time I’ve ever listened to Nirvana or that remarkably beautiful moment each fall when I realize that the leaves are no longer green.

And before I know it it’s 12.40am, but for some reason I don’t start reading until 1.40am. By then I’ll feel so guilty for wasting so much time that I only read 3 pages for 20 mins and hop into bed at 2am. But ofc I don’t sleep till 2.30 because my perpetually nostalgic mind will wander down memory lane to a bunch of obscure memories from 6, 7, 8 years ago that I had long since forgotten.

I haven’t stopped feeling guilty about my inability to conserve time until yesterday morning at 5am, when I went to sleep. I got back from a friend’s friend’s birthday party (because I have no friends of my own) at 3am, slightly tipsy and quite lonely and very, very depressed because all my (very few) friends ever talk about is their significant other halves while I, talented kind and exceptionally beautiful, remain directionless in life and partnerless in love. Anyhow, right after I got back two of my friends wanted to Skype together. I obliged despite my exhaustion because in that frame of mind I would have slept next to the security guard just to be next to someone. And as we Skyped and bitched about people and life and love and school, my drunkenness and loneliness and self-loathing slipped away one by one, so subtly that I didn’t notice anything until happiness, the intoxicating happiness associated with familiarity and company, pretty much made my head explode. Life is better with company. I fucking hate that line because it’s so fucking true.

And that, finally, brings me to my grand epiphany. Maybe wasting time is how we’re supposed to college. Maybe not knowing how to focus on the important shit is the beauty of our 20s. Drinking past midnight. Talking till dawn. Procrastinating on absolutely everything. Sleeping so late every night that morning doesn’t begin until the clock hits double digits. Reminiscing on the not too distant past, speculating on the not too distant future: nostalgia and optimism so closely intertwined that they’re almost interchangeable. It’s toxic, I know. But it’s temporary. We can’t afford to waste time and abuse our bodies so carelessly in our thirties, or forties, or God forbid fifties. Maybe it’s okay to be that reckless, spoilt college kid once in a while.

Profound Bitchings…Part 69.1

Musings/Rants

Someone in my Philosophy lecture just asked, “What is I?” That’s when I decided it’s time to check out. Oh Descartes, what are you doing to us? To be honest, philosophy is pretty interesting when you discard reality. Like, oooh the soul is the undivided machine that animates the body. The intellect is the only thing we have control over, so if we can keep external factors in check, there’s nothing we can’t conquer!! My professor just said, “the truth lives within us.” Did you know that??

But then you think back to the way you spent the last week, and you realize that you don’t actually give a rat’s ass if the soul is a principle or that the world mirrors our minds or where the fuck the truth lives. We’re just going through the motions most of the time. We wake up too late, run to class, sleep through class, meet whoever we think is our friend, and, and I don’t know eat or sleep or fuck or whatever goes next. Who actually ponders the paradoxes of human nature and man’s existential dilemma anytime during the day? Maybe we should, but we just don’t have the time. I’d rather ponder the pointlessness of optimism or the myth of true love because that’s actually kind of relevant in my life. But the truth…yeah, everything in my life is a lie so I don’t need some dead Greek dude to teach me about the truth. Descartes is Greek, right?

On a more relevant note, colleges really should start serving coffee and bagel during class if they want us to stop napping. Coffee. Bagel. Coffee and bagel. Coffee Meets Bagel. My God I need a boyfriend.

Lonely and Alone

Musings/Rants

“If you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it’s not because they enjoy solitude. It’s because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.” – Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

Parts of that quote are always lingering in the back of my mind, but I never could remember the whole thing. So I cheated and searched it up on Google. As a life-long introvert, I know exactly what she’s talking about, and if I let myself I’ll always agree with her. It sounds so good. It makes me sound so good, like I’m this quirky social misfit who’s just too hipster, too smart, and too mature for the crowd she’s unfortunately stuck with. But I don’t think that’s how it works. It’s true that loners like me don’t enjoy solitude, but it’s not because the rest of the world keeps disappointing us. It’s because we’re too afraid to disappoint the rest of the world.

It’s difficult to explain this to socially adept people, but to hermits like us the world is a stage upon which we’re always terrified to fuck up, and because of this fear we always do fuck up. You see, for everyone else it’s so simple: you plan one thing, you practice, you execute. Most of the time that plan becomes reality. You think of something in your head, you decide it accomplishes what you’re trying to accomplish, and you say it out loud. The effect on your audience is instantaneous – they’ll laugh or cry or cheer or boo at your command. You’re the puppet master when you open your mouth.

It’s different for us. In our heads we can come up with the wittiest jokes and the most eloquent arguments, but in front of other people we sound like dyslexic four-year-olds reading a poem for the first time (sorry if that was an offensive analogy). I’m not even talking about expectation vs. reality in the philosophical, existential sense. I’m talking about simple mind-mouth coordination here, the ability to coherently translate into speech what we’re thinking. That’s why we live in our heads all the time. Because it’s the reality we want to be stuck with, even if it meant never being quite present in the reality we’re actually stuck with.

So we retreat into ourselves. We develop what we’re good at to avoid stepping out of our comfort zones. We find solace in the alternate universes we’ve built for paranoid minds. And we’re always in denial: “alone but not lonely,” “company is overrated,” “everyone is so fucking phony anyway,” “I’m happy this way.” Pretty much the, “people continue to disappoint them” point that Jodi Picoult was making. I’ll just speak for myself here: I’m a coward. Maybe the reason I’m an introvert and so many aren’t is that I just can’t handle humiliation. Maybe it’s that I’ve experienced that particular sensation way too many times when I was younger and couldn’t string together the simplest of sentences in the English language. Maybe I’m not happy being alone but it’s sure as hell a lot sweeter than stepping right into that feeling again.

We’re just tired of trying, even though we haven’t even tried all that hard. Hope always feels so small in comparison to failure. When you want to try just one more time, you can’t help but remember what happened the last time you tried – that frustration of failing to say what you’ve planned to say, the subsequent disappointment of knowing you’ve failed to make the most of yet another opportunity. And eventually you start wondering what the fuck is the damn point. That life of always having someone to drink with, shop with, walk with, talk to is just not meant for you. You will have people around, people you really care about, but most of the time you’ll be alone and you damn well better accept it.

That was a much longer post than what I usually put out, but this is a topic that’s very personal to me. I’m not depressed, and I am proud of the way my life has turned out. Being an introvert has many perks, like being just a bit more perceptive, introspective, and sardonic than others, but it’s really not a pop culture joke. Sometimes it’s refreshing and relieving, but it’s not fun being a social hermit. I just wanted to clear some misunderstandings about…us, I guess. If aloofness is how we project ourselves then it’s just a defense mechanism. We want to belong, trust me. It’s just that much harder when you’re trying to hide your nerves all the time.

Home Again

My Awesome Life

Weee I’m back in the hospital. And it’s fucking awful. It’s 2 a.m. right now and I’m pretty sure no one is asleep…maybe with the exception of my 70-year-old roomie. I’ve been in the ER waiting to be assigned a room in the renal ward for the last 12+ hours. Mind you, 12+ hours ago they told me I only had to wait 1-2 more hours. Weeee. Yeah, you know, fuck this shit. Since I got back to New York about 3 weeks ago, I’ve pretty much contracted every sort of basic illness around – cold, fever, diarrhea, nausea, insomnia due to fever, headaches, cold sweat, and apparently very low white blood count, which is ultimately what landed me in here. Weeeeeeee.

The best thing is that I haven’t gotten a break at all. First it’s the stupid cold that hit me a week after I got here and has FINALLY, ALMOST ended. What kind of fucking cold lasts two fucking weeks? Then cometh my little diarrhea episode that lasted an entire fucking week. I know it’s probably tmi, but I think I’ve gone to the bathroom like 10 times a day that whole week. Now for the last three nights, I haven’t been able to sleep that well. Right before I get into bed, I’d be super cold, like shivering cold. Then I’d wake up in the middle of the night burning like bacon. And I wouldn’t be able to sleep. This morning I took my temperature and it measured 102.9. WEEEEEEEEE.

Which brings us to today. Well today was pretty uneventful. I spent the last 14 hours I’ve been here getting poked my needles, watching my blood squirt all over my bed sheets because my nurse was apparently so amazed by the abundance of my youthful blood, getting antibiotics and other liquids passed into my blood, getting my wee tested about five times (they’re still waiting for my poop sample but hells no), watching Friends, and reading Murakami. Ohh btw, this actually made this miserable day slightly better: in Murakami’s Norwegian Wood, there’s a very graphic lesbian scene between a 13-year-old seductress and her 31-year-old piano teacher. Reading that made me so happy.

ANYWAY, I don’t actually see the point of me being here because there is honestly no way I can sleep in this room. AND I HAVEN’T SHOWERED IN TWO DAYS. OH MY GOD. I’m sure wherever I’m supposed to be transferred to has a shower or at least some shower caps and stuff, but oh no no no not in the ER. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE ER for people who are admitted for a simple fever. Okay, rant over. Not really, but I’m stopping myself. The reason I’ve been writing so infrequently this month is precisely because I’ve been feeling so bad, and it’s been very frustrating. On the one hand, I want to do well at school since I’m behind for a semester, and for the first time in…ever, I’m actually involved with extracurricular activities – internships, clubs, frat. And for the first time in college, I’m actually BUSY. I mean, I’ve never felt BUSY before, and it feels fucking wonderful because it means I’m actually starting to do something right. But my body won’t let me be busy. As soon as I start to push myself, it starts complaining and whining and writhing in pain, and the next thing I know I’m back home. WEEEEEEEEEEEEE. I guess for the first time since I got my disease, I just wish I could be like a normal kid.

ValenFUCKINGDIEtines

Relationships and Shit

Hey, it’s Friday the 13th!! I don’t know, I always get so excited on Friday the 13th. It’s always Valentine’s Eve, which I’m less excited about. I don’t want to say anything more about that stupid fucking day because I just don’t. So in celebration of this dreadful holiday, I’ll repost something I wrote on it back in senior year of high school. It’s actually the first post and last post I wrote on my first blog. Ha. I’ve come a pretty long way.

Oh but before that I just wanna say that last night I fell off the stairs. Completely sober, btw. I was just really cold and really pissed off because I had to get my laundry in the basement, and my apartment had no elevator, so i had to walk down the freaking stairs and I kinda hate moving cuz I’m a lazy piece of shit. Anyway, so I was kinda walking weird and then boom, next thing I know I was spread-eagled at the bottom of the stairs. At least I didn’t have to walk. Too bad it’s not possible to fall back up the stairs. Idk what’s the point of sharing that.

K, here it is:

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Valentine’s Eve

So after years of brooding over the idea, almost two years after my former best friend Emma started her blog, and over four months after my girl Victoria encouraged me to start my own blog, I finally got down to it. Here it is: my first ever post. To be frank, this whole blogging business is a lot more complicated than I had expected; it had taken me an entire 20 minutes to figure out the difference between the “blog title” and the “post title.” As 1/2600th of the population of a competitive American high school, I normally would have sulked over all those wasted minutes used on something other than studying (not really), but then I remembered this one amazing fact: I’m now a second semester senior (SSS). Apart from goddamn AP Calc, I have no homework. I guess blogging without feeling guilty of wasting time is another of the many perks of being a SSS.

Anyhow, I suppose I should start with a short intro about my life, family, friends, favorites, fetishes etc., but right now I just want to bitch about how much I despise Valentine’s Day. As I sit crossed-legged typing on my hp desktop, I can already imagine all the balloons and roses and chocolates and pink and red and lips and wasted money that will surely bombard University High School tomorrow. Maybe I’m just spiteful because the last time I, sober and under the designation of “girlfriend,” held a boy’s hand was over two years ago. And that boy whom I so charmingly called “my boyfriend” haven’t talked to me once since I supposedly broke his heart a couple weeks after he summoned the courage to hold my hand. Now he’s at UCSD apparently hooking up with some Asian chick. How he managed to become the subject of female attraction is beyond me, but then again I was the giver of that attraction only a couple years ago. Anyway, enough about that asshole. As I was saying, I may be spiteful and slightly jealous, but even if I had a date I doubt I’d be head over heels in love with Valentine’s Day. It’s just so wasteful and fundamentally useless. If you love someone so much, everyday should be filled with romance and bliss; you don’t need to waste a million dollars to create a romantic paradise for ONE FREAKING DAY just to make all your single friends FEEL LIKE SHIT (In case you haven’t noticed, I employ a very hyperbolic writing style so please don’t take anything too seriously). Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in real but ephemeral love and I sure as hell think that we all deserve love. And as much as I hate to admit it, there have been moments in the last four years when I’ve caught myself wishing that some guy would buy me a bouquet of red roses and a gigantic teddy bear. But why does love have to be manifested into this absurd public display of man-made objects? Commercialization of anything makes it much less valuable. As Elissa quoted from this Spanish audiotape we listened to in class, “Valentine’s has become way too commercialized.” And girl, if you’re reading this, know that you’re one of the few people who have reaffirmed rather than undermined my belief in true love.
Well, that concludes my tirade on Valentine’s, but my brain is still reeling from the recent flood of almost-relationship dramas around me. School dances are usually a golden opportunity for the birth of young love, and Winter Formal was no different. Except this time, the guys turned out to be enigmatic little cowards who sorta hooked up with my friends but didn’t ask them out. So now I am currently shipping three couples and consoling some very distraught girls. And here’s a intriguing scenario: you’re getting ready to slow dance with a guy who has his hands on your waist; he looks at you very intently and then bites his lips, averts his eyes, looks back at you again, bites his lips, but DOES NOT KISS YOU. What does that mean? And what the hell is the girl supposed to think? If I were the girl, I’d do a lot more than just vent in silent frustration and cuss to my friends.
Alright, that’s all for now. I’ll write again soon because this is actually very fun and a whole lot less pointless than playing minesweeper.
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That was pretty painful to reread. And that last sentence…Oh, the irony.

What Dealing With Swollen Gums Taught Me About Life

My Awesome Life

Is that there is nothing more cathartic and life-affirming than pushing through the most excruciating pain to perform the act you love most (not sex okay). Eating a small, ordinary piece of barbecued meat that never previously garnered a second glance from you suddenly took on a spiritual resonance to rival that of a classic sermon. Never before have you been able to look at your soul with such openness and such clarity.

Yeah, that’s bullshit.

All that my ugly bloated gums taught me is that I miss ripping beef tongues and chicken hearts off of skewers instead of nibbling them like a fucking squirrel, and that life is a sadistic bitch for denying me the simple human pleasure of doing so. And that I’m pretty ravenous right now but the only thing within reaching distance of my bed is a box of apples, which conveniently happen to be too painful for my broken mouth to embrace so yeah if I die of starvation tomorrow you all know who the culprit is.

I’m actually considering poking my gums with a pin to deflate it or at least reduce it to a nice little pool of blood because apparently the internet, the INTERNET, is telling me that there is no medication to reduce gum swelling. No, no, no, because apparently, APPARENTLY, brushing your teeth and eating more vegetables are going to solve the problem, even though you’ve been brushing your fucking teeth twice a day (maybe except for the couple of times you’ve passed out because using a toothbrush requires you to be semi-conscious) for the last nineteen years and can actually count on two hands the number of times you’ve voluntarily shoved anything green down your throat since the late 2000s. So yeah, picking up a toothbrush and binging on greens now is definitely going to solve a problem that I’ve only had about four or five times in almost two decades. What the actual FUCK, INTERNET.

Maybe I should just go see a dentist.