Table Tennis

October 19, 2017

It’s true that you can bounce back from an all-time low, even if you’re not getting the full effect.

It’s true that your poor face can break out from stress, your hairline can bead with sweat, but you can still feel as confident as you didn’t believe you were.

It’s true that despite what you might believe about yourself, you are more intelligent than you give yourself credit for.

And it’s not a matter of convincing others of those realizations—it’s convincing yourself.

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The Sky is So Clear

October 17, 2017

It’s like a flat, solid-colored backdrop in a photo studio. It makes the buildings look photoshopped into the skyline, their cubical, mirrored faces reflecting the dull sunlight behind me. There’s not a trace of clouds as far as the eye could see over the horizon or hidden amongst the sparse downtown verdure.

It’s vivid and clear, like nothing could distort the perfection of what undoubtedly lay before my eyes, what story unreeled beneath me, surrounding me, making time itself slow to a gentle cruise.

When something like this manifests itself in my life, I’m astonished. I run, fearful for my life, my sake, my sanity, but all the while fascinated. Fearful, but fascinated. In disbelief of such a catastrophic yet constructive force of human existence. Terrifying, yet inhumanly beautiful.

Thrillseeker Chronicles

September 30, 2017

These four I would jump through hoops for, that’s for sure, this lovely company I’ve had the fortune of spending my entire life knowing, growing through every stage with.

They probably don’t know it. I know I haven’t outright told them. I daresay…

I love them.

They certainly don’t know that, but I do, I care about them. I can only remember getting along with them, formulating devious, diabolical and delinquent plans with them, building epic pillow forts, sharing expensive hobbies, making short, indie action films with what we could find in the old toy bins.

We started school together, phased through the angsty metalhead days together, graduated high school together. We’ve seen each other at our absolute worst and our fighting best, and continue to be present in each others’ lives whether by twist or manipulation of fate.

Even though we see each other but once every blue moon for a short amount of time, it’s like no time has passed at all. Just a simple “how’s life?” and we’re already caught up on each other’s lives.

We wander around quiet, sleeping neighborhoods at night, loitering under bridges by the bayou with graffiti covering the posts and sloping ground. We take short errands trips to buy batteries to power the flashlights we need to explore the area. We come together over a mediocre rated R movie and great wings for lunch, or rated R horror movies and halo-halo. We share each other’s bad experiences that taught life lessons as we grow out of adolescence and into the real world where our mistakes could cost us. We complain about our lives and the stupid people in them, we used to have sleepovers just so we can stay up all night playing console games until our eyes stung with exhaustion. We share hysterically funny stories of our shameful mistakes, insane classmates or roommates, our parents’ embarrassing tendencies.

I think, somewhere in the undercurrent, we love each other, whether profound or not. I hope my heart is not wrong about it, but I don’t feel the same way with any other people the way I do with them. I feel safe with them. I feel at home with them. I think, I know, that if the world came down to an apocalypse, I’d survive with them, we’d bend over backwards for each other.

I don’t know what I would be without them.

Forget About It

Re-reading a letter I sent to one of my many penpals just six months ago, I realize how much I’ve changed, how much I’m growing into the adult I never hoped to become, in a mere six months. The things I rambled about may well have been from an entirely different person with different concerns, different ideations, a still hopeful but ignorant, different perspective.

I no longer take things lightly and I don’t know if it’s a blessing or a curse. Everything means so much more than it should, but something that shouldn’t weighs more on my shoulders than it ever needed to.

I guess that’s just what real life does to you.

Now They Know Me

September 25, 2017

If they didn’t before, then they damn well should.

If they didn’t know my name, now it’s branded into their minds.

If they didn’t know my face, now they do.

It’s not wrong to love myself and to appreciate every aspect of me that I was born with—my awkward tendencies, my overexcited chatter, tripping over my own feet.

I thought for a second it bothered me, but quickly realized loving myself is too damn important to worry about why I shouldn’t wear my favorite five inch heels, why I shouldn’t spend time doing what I love, why I shouldn’t act like the youthful spirit I am and step out of my comfort zone sometimes.

And if they had nothing else to remember me by but the one time I didn’t hide in the shadows, then so be it.

While they stand by watching, I’ll bask in the limelight.

Palm Trees

September 24, 2017

Where I come from, if there’s perfect weather, it must be a good day. When the breezes are crisp, when the sun isn’t blazing hot, when there’s not a drop of water from the sky, that must be a good day.

I remember those palm trees, the ones planted in my neighbors’ yards, I remember when they were little stubs compared to the vast land they adorned. I remember getting whacked in the face by the growing fronds when I didn’t look while walking with my family or bike racing with my friends down the sidewalk.

I remember thinking the driveways were enormous and the street was too wide, so chasing after a basketball or soccer ball gone astray was always a chore. I remember hiding behind our neighbors’ bushes, crouching on their front porches when playing hide-and-seek at nine o’ clock at night, never being chastised for trespassing private property because we all knew each other.

I remember venturing off to the bayou behind my best friend’s house, the one that was bordered by giant metal gates that we, as small children, could easily climb under to take a seat on the downward slope of the hill to watch the Sun set behind the houses on the opposite side.

Somewhere near the bayou was my first elementary school. Somewhere beyond the bayou was the high school I would have gone to. Somewhere in the middle, I had best friends who never let me say the word “hate” because it was a curse word.

Sometimes I wonder what would’ve happened if I stayed.

Shaggy Chronicles: Square One

September 21, 2017

Would it be blasphemous to say that I actually look forward to seeing you now?

So many questions! So much to think about. Such unspoken yearning. How could I confess something without coming off with the wrong aura, if there’s even anything wrong to give off?

My young, naïve heart wants to regress to what it was during my freshman year in college. Not totally heartbroken and disdainful and wary of entrusting my heart to another person. Especially now that I feel like I can finally trust someone, I can trust you.

But the years have taught me more than I thought I could learn and now I’m confining myself to square one because taking a step out would be too daring, uncomfortable, and possibly painful or embarrassing to have to deal with.

It would be selfish of me though, to try to make you understand how I feel, because I’d be wasting your precious time and neither of us has any to spare. It would be totally ignorant of your time-sensitive needs, trying to make this thing work, all the while your life is unfolding around you.

But past square one, I know, I might discover happiness my life had never been enthralled, entertained with. I know something lies beyond the pain and heartache of discovery and I know it’s incredible, more so than I’ve ever lived through.

It’s just that I’m afraid to roll the dice.

Laugh It Off

September 20, 2017

That’s what you do when it gets stressful, right?

I mean no one’s perfect, nothing’s perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. No one’s a mind reader. Nothing’s exactly how you or I would imagine it; nothing’s predictable.

I shouldn’t be put down by it, right? That’s how the saying goes? Stuff happens, just laugh it off? But this isn’t something I can take lightly. It’s quite serious, in fact, playing with real emotions here, emotions like fire with a vengence. Emotions not like the ones I carelessly threw around before.

I’m scared now, terrified of another downfall in the history of my life. I’m cautious in every next step I take. I have been since last year, never feeling like I’ve given my heart in its entirety for a long, long time. I’m wary of giving it away again, my heart, my peace of mind, my stability, my sanity. It’s not an easy feat. I did it once or twice before, both ending in destruction of my trust and self-esteem.

But I had a peaceful moment where my heart was on my sleeve, just a breath away from the hands of another, someone I deeply trust will take it gingerly and care for it.

I could simply forget about it ever happening to me, like another disappointment in my life. But this one means a lot to me, for some reason. They say you shouldn’t have high expectations and the less you expect, the happier you’ll be. But shouldn’t you expect something when they tell you to dream, too?

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just rambling because I’m still flustered about my painfully short exchange I was hoping would turn into an ear-bending, heartfelt tête-à-tête.

Or maybe my dreams are much too good for someone as mediocre and totally ordinary as myself.

My Girl

September 19, 2017

It’s strange and charmingly unexpected, the places you can find comfort, the company you can find comfort in. Despite all that you feared and dreaded, your heavy heart had become impossibly lighter, freer—with a little help from The Temptations and two-versus-one ping pong with a near stranger, but it lightened nonetheless. Watching people bounce their heads in tempo, or clap and cheer on dancing spectators brings an interesting sense of unanticipated togetherness.

And even if only a fraction of dread dissipated, it became a milestone, a benchmark, for your progress toward better things, an ounce less of weight upon your weary shoulders that you can be grateful for having eradicated.

Four Pennies

September 18, 2017

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the selfless, kind woman who emptied her pockets to pay for me to send a letter.

Or the sweet smiles exchanged between the clerks and customers.

Or the habitual but meaningful walks to the parking lot with my classmates, griping about our mutual disdain for busywork.

Or the class’s uneasy laughter and comic relief.

Or the casual conversations about post office boxes and nothing else in particular.

Or the momentary fluttering of my heart at the thought of my future.

It was another darn good day.