Freshly Pressed??

Writing

So I logged onto WordPress yesterday afternoon to check on my new post and almost got a heart attack. My stats exploded. My notification feed was bombarded by dozens of likes, comments, follows all directed at my Dream post.

I freaked out. My stats have been pretty consistent – a couple of follows every couple of days, a handful of comments on more interesting posts, a few pity likes on the boring ones. Spikes have happened numerous times before, but never this drastically. I thought a friend must have found out about my blog and shared it with everyone on Facebook. But that doesn’t make sense because all the traffic was directed at one post, and I don’t have that many virtual friends, and even fewer actual friends who would care enough to check out my blog. Besides, I’m still real paranoid about showing my blog to people I know. The social sphere and the blogosphere are two entities that I’d like to keep separate. Anyhow, I browsed the WordPress homepage and stumbled on the Freshly Pressed feed and right there, smack in the middle of the top row, is my post with its long ass title. Then it all clicked, and I was at a loss for words.

Being featured for a days and a half has already doubled my following. It’s brought me more traffic in 24 hours than I’ve gotten in the last 2, 3 months. And the support has been overwhelming. I haven’t had the time to reply to all the comments, but I’ve read every single one. It’s an honor to know that my writing has touched many of you in different ways. I connect with you guys precisely because we know nothing about each other in the real world. We’re strangers but we’re all passionate about human stories. I hope a snippet of my life has left an impression on you, just as your blog posts leave impressions on me all the time.

Thank you WordPress team for sharing a piece of heart, and thank you everyone for all the love. I’ll keep writing and keep believing, so stay tuned.

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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.

Why I Don’t Consider Myself a Feminist

Musings/Rants

Because I want to be abused, manipulated, and humiliated by men. I am happy and proud to know that having boobs and a vagina makes me unqualified to receive as fat a paycheck as my vagina-less co-workers even though we do the same shit day in day out. I’d love to give up my career as a janitor or a freelance journalist or a screenwriter and spend the rest of my life changing diapers and doing laundry and mopping the marble floors of the $10 million mansion that I would obviously not be residing in had I not married a man. I want to breathe and live and sleep in the fucking kitchen because that’s my natural habitat and all animals are attracted to their natural fucking habitats.

No screw that, I’m too self-absorbed to not believe in feminist ideals. I think the world is one shit eating twat for under-appreciating and constantly humiliating the very species responsible for its existence. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. If every woman decides to get her vagina stitched up right now, we can end the human race and every little fucker who dared say “go back to the kitchen” within the next century. That’s how much power we have and you better believe it.

But still, does agreeing with some parts of a movement make you a believer? I’m an atheist but I wholeheartedly support the very Christian values of love and family…even though I think the keystone (that big fat book) of that religion is total bullshit. Perhaps I’m just too pessimistic to believe that feminism is going to inspire significant change in this era (by significant change, I don’t mean Charlize Theron negotiating a $10 million raise to match Chris Hemsworth’s meager earnings), but for me to really feel passionate about a cause I have to feel some kind of urgency. What would happen if we don’t ever close the wage equality gap? Are feminists going to hanging themselves in protest? To me, gender inequality, at least in first world countries, feels more like an inconvenience rather than a toxic social virus that needs to be immediately terminated. We’ll get mad, we’ll riot, but in the end we’ll still turn up at work every morning and accept 20% less money than the assholes who put in 20% the effort that we do. Ultimately, we still do get paid and we’ll live just fine.

It’s unfair as hell, and wage inequality is just the tip of a very, very large iceberg. But what can we really do about a problem that has its roots in biology? Women and men just aren’t programmed the same way, and to have the same laws or the same social attitudes governing two very different species is not feasible. Be honest, do you really go to dinner and not expect your date to pay for you? Do you really look around your 9th grade classroom and expect 90% of the guy to be porn virgins? Do you really go on Omegle and not expect the first guy who hits on you to be some hairy balding pedophilic 30-year-old rapist? Are you really not shocked when you find out that the person who kidnapped and murdered two children is actually a woman? We think of the worst in each in other, and that won’t change unless we evolve into hermaphrodites. But as much as we complain we still can’t fucking live without each other, can we?

P.S: My featured image is a seahorse because sometimes I wish we can all metamorphorsize into seahorses so we won’t ever have to waste time on this gender inequality bullshit and oh we’ll be so much prettier too

Me me me me meeee

Musings/Rants

I had a déjà vu moment on the plane yesterday. I was sitting next to two other college kids around my age. They could have been NYU students. We didn’t talk or even look at each other that often, but I kept thinking that maybe I’d bump into them around the city, in some random diner in the East Vilage or on the subway to Dumbo, or just in Econ class. There has to be some reason that three young adults were placed in the same row two days before spring semester took off.

That reminded me of my preschool days, when I was convinced that everything and everyone revolved around me. Maybe it’s a very typical prepubescent mindset, but the idea that most objects/people I encounter actually have nothing to do with myself and my life just made zero sense to me. I was still young enough to believe that everything had a purpose. Oblivion was a concept way too complicated and bleak for my untainted little head. I believed that everyone I spotted on the streets would, perhaps unbeknownst to me or them, shape my future in some small or big way. How or why never occurred to me. All I knew is that they wouldn’t have appeared in my consciousness if they weren’t important. Nobody passes by without leaving a footprint.

I don’t know if that was naive or narcisstic. It didn’t matter anyway, because I was a five year old dumbass. At five you can skin a cat and people would still call you cute. Uh I would, anyway. What I mean is that as a kid you have an excuse to be self-centered and naive. At nineteen you don’t. So I don’t know why the hell I thought that I’d meet those stupid people again just cuz they were my age and acted like me. Maybe because things like that happened in movies all the time, and I just wanted one part of my life to feel like a goddamn Hollywood cliche. Maybe I just haven’t been around college kids for too long. At least that’ll change soon enough.

Ink on Paper, Black on White

Daily Prompts, Writing

The last time I wrote something substantive by hand was probably on the third last day of high school. Our English teacher made us write letters to our future selves, which she would safekeep and send it to us, wherever we may be, in exactly four years time. I ended up writing about two pages of childish, clichéd, cringe-worthy bullshit that I really don’t want to read again, but still it was nice to hand write something that wasn’t an in-class essay.

Since then, I haven’t hand-written anything memorable or meaningful. Do Christmas cards count? Probably not. I still jot down ideas for new stories and sketch out rough drafts in my notebooks. But the final product is always completed on the computer. It’s just easier and faster. And Facebook is just a click away. As is Youtube. And Netflix. And Pornhub. K I’m done.

Still, I can imagine returning a pre-keyboard era. I’d like to anyway, because I love writing with a pen and all the memories it evokes. Ink on paper is intimate and human. It has character, soul, history. But the keyboard has speed. If we were to return to a pre-keyboard era, what we’re giving up is time. I don’t think we’re willing to compromise time for intimacy. Back in elementary school, I wrote notebook after notebook of journal entries, but to a kid time means nothing. The keyboard is not a magic wand, and the pen is not a liability. They just represent two different cultural mindsets in two different worlds. The world we live in right now is always short on time. Letters that can be delivered in a week or two need to be delivered in three days. Meals that can take hours to eat need to be consumed in ten minutes. We can’t afford pen and paper.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/pens-and-pencils/

F@#$***

Writing

I have a very foul mouth. If even an hour of my life was taped for reality TV, probably 60% of my lines would be bleeped out. On second thought, that happens to just about everyone who goes on reality TV. But back to the point. I wasn’t always like this. At one point in my life, during my younger Christian days, I actually regarded cussing as sinful. Along with lying and “taking the Lord’s name in vain.” Yeah, I was a sanctimonious little bitch.

Anyhow, I picked up the tween cussing fad when I was around 12 or 13. Everyone was doing it, throwing shits and bitches around the playground and demanding to fuck each other in everything they do. Integrating a “fucking” or a “shitting” into a sentence was the most gratifying experience ever. At least we had wits to keep our dumb little antics outside of the classroom. For about two years, I cussed just for the sake of cussing. I mean, if I can throw in an expletive somewhere without screwing up the grammar, then I sure as hell will make it happen. Somewhere along the way my severely underused brain realized that I was acting like an absolute retard. So I stopped doing that and became a natural cusser. Profanities just flowed out of me when it felt right. I never had to ruminate over the effectiveness or accuracy of using any particular expletive.

My predilection for obscene language does affect my writing, and that’s actually what I wanted to talk about today. Lacing prose with profanities is a stylistic technique that I often enlist in some of my stories. I think it’s necessary to capture the animated and frustrated workings of the teenage mind. Also for the sake of authenticity, since some of my more “troubled” characters are based on actual people who can’t put together a sentence without mentioning private parts. Yet, people have told me to go easy on the profanities because using them routinely dampens the impact they could have when the situation calls for it. It’s hard to argue with that, and I have been thinning out the fucking profanities in both my normal posts and my fiction pieces. Over-saturation is never a good idea.

But to be quite honest, I’ve never been bothered by obscenities. Writing shouldn’t always be confined by decorum and modesty. If vulgarity and irreverence is the theme you want to go for, then by all means go all the fuck out. It’s entertaining and funny as hell. You know, like The Wolf of Wall Street. Or that Beckett play. Waiting for Godot or something? Well, that one’s neither entertaining nor humorous, but whatever. Point is, sometimes it’s okay to shove a shitload of mud into your motherfucking mouth and just write whatever the hell you feel is right for your damn story.

Okay, I’ll restrain from cussing for the next two posts.

My sanctuary is the streets at night. Hectic intersections. A cacophony of sounds. Cabs everywhere, a sea of yellow. Shimmering orange dots illuminating the black sky. And people. So many people, gliding past one another like ghosts, never quite colliding.

Walking through those streets and absorbing those images always transport me into a totally foreign mental realm. It’s like nirvana or something. It doesn’t obliterate any of my fears or troubles, but it does put them all into perspective. Problems and feelings so complicated that I cringe to even think about suddenly become so simple and so clear. There’s something so liberating about being such a tiny, insignificant part of a busy, dazzling city – knowing that no matter how insurmountable your troubles may be, they’re still not important or serious enough to be recognized by anyone around you. For me, peaceful surroundings actually exacerbate foul moods. The more chaotic my surroundings are, the more organized my mind is. I like to beat fire with fire.

Chaotic Tranquility

Daily Prompts

Hell

My Awesome Life

So I thought I’d make a confession today: I’m taking steroids.

No, not the kind that turns you into Arnold fucking Schwarzenegger. It’s the type of anti-inflammatory drug that suppresses the immune system so your dumb body doesn’t blindly reject the foreign organ after a transplant. And I’m on it for life, which honestly seems like a damn good thing if I didn’t have to give up the two loves of my life: salt and sugar.

Okay, I guess that warrants a bit more explanation. Steroids like Prednisone, the thing I’m taking right now, can increase blood sugar and make you really hungry and really fat really fast. So if you wanna couple steroids with desserts everyday you’re pretty much sending yourself on the fast track to fat camp. With insulin shots. And uh, salt is just bad for your kidneys, especially those that don’t filter fluids very well. It leaks protein into urine and keeps water inside the body and shit, which makes you puff up like freaking Baymax from Big Hero 6. Excuse my very non-scientific and inarticulate explanations. I ain’t a pre-med major.

A very rational part of me thinks taking steroids to maintain good health is kind of counterintuitive, because my current situation looks a little like this:

Life+steroids+cardio-sugar-salt= DEATH

I’ve always eaten for the hell of eating. For the way it makes me feel rather than the way it affects my body. Oh, and I haven’t worked out in about two years. If I start gaining weight I just stop eating. Then I eat 500000 calories a day. Not even close, but you get the point. It’s all or nothing. I don’t know how to watch my damn diet. Hell, had I known how to watch my diet I wouldn’t be here today after torpedoing my parents’ bank account. Or maybe I would have. I dunno. Not all diseases go away just because you tell them to. You don’t always get what you want even when you do the right things.

I don’t know if I’ll be able control myself. I sure as hell don’t want to. But now I have another chance to actually do the right thing, regardless of the result. Maybe despite my efforts my disease will still come back and destroy the new kidney, but this time I would be able to blame fate rather than myself. And I’m hardly the only person in the equation. You know, it feels bizarrely empowering to know that I can disappoint a bunch of people by just sticking to my usual reckless diet. The right thing would be so much more appealing to impulsive people if it were easier to accomplish.

Well, new year new start, eh?

Fall Outs

Musings/Rants

Friends. Sometimes I think they’re the best things to happen to us, maybe even more so than family. They don’t ground you or kick you out when you make moronic decisions, and when they start to get on your nerves you can always dump their ass. God, that sounds horrible. My point is that friends are very, very important.

But despite our best intentions, we still let them slip through our fingers. We say we’d keep in touch and stay tight forever, but that’s just not how life works. And not how people work. Our circumstances and ourselves change too drastically and too frequently. Over the years, I’ve probably had four or five different best friends, none of whom I’ve talked to in a long time. It’s weird to think that at one point I told those people, especially the two from sophomore year in New Zealand, almost everything I believed in, dreaded, and dreamed about. If you’d ask me back then, I’d probably be crushed to think that once we go our separate ways I’d lose completely lose touch with them. How can you just never again talk to someone who holds some of your deepest, most humiliating secrets?

The truth is, however, I no longer feel anything about them. I mean, I still have a vague idea of what they’re up to through social media, mostly on Instagram and Facebook, but I haven’t personally chatted any of them in months or even years. It’s not a conscious decision on my or their (I think not, anyway) part; it just happened naturally. The people we were when we became friends are not the people we are now, and as we change we will drift apart. Maybe adolescent friendships are just meant to be temporary. Or…I don’t know if this sounds awful or not, but maybe those friendships just weren’t worth maintaining. Maybe the friends we make in middle school or high school are never meant to be a part of our real lives. Because if they really mattered, it would probably bother us a little when we no longer have them to confide in. Friends who truly made an impression on you don’t just sink into oblivion.

It’s been a year and a half since high school ended and I still talk to only about six or seven people. They’re probably the closest friends I’ve ever had, and I do envision us meeting up in different cities every five years or so and discussing all the stupid crap we’ve done. I hope we do, but maybe we won’t. Either ways, we’ve still had the most wonderful times together. We’ll have more friends who fade away than friends who stay. So with friendships, maybe it’s the experiences and memories that really matter.

First

My Awesome Life

I woke up in 2015 with a writer’s block. It’s been two and a half days and I have absolutely no idea what to say. Normally I just stare at my laptop for ten minutes and I’ll be bursting with random topics to rant about, but now there’s nothing. Nothing nothing NOTHING. It’s incredibly frustrating.

The thing is, I usually look inward for inspiration. Like, I’d form this mental map of all the places/people/issues I care about, and when I empty my thoughts one or more of those “points of interests” will automatically jump out. It’s much faster and easier way to generate ideas than actually walking around and observing things. Unfortunately, it also means that I’m always drawing inspiration from my memories, from experiences I’ve had rather than adventures I will have. After more than 100 posts, I’m afraid that I may have ran through my map, explored all the points I’m plotted.

And I don’t know what to do. Make a new map of new experiences? I won’t have any until late January when I go back to school, and I hate doing updates on my banal life. So I don’t know. I’m stuck. I hope not for too long but at the moment I got nothin.

This is a shitty first post. I’m sorry. But at least it can only get better, right?