September 1st, 2014
Then my aunt corrected herself, “If things weren’t right, she would cry. ‘Crying used to be her form of expression,’ your dad used to say.”
I laughed in response, knowing that phase was past me. But it just was who I was. It wasn’t good or bad behavior (as good behavior suggests that the baby actually understand what the adult desires which is simply ‘not to be seen or heard except when being cute’).
I was and still am the highly sensitive person in my family. As a baby, to my knowledge, I believe that I was fussy. My parents thought that it was cute that I cried so much. So much so that they have many photos of me crying. My face red with frustration and anger. And partly, it was because I couldn’t speak until I was older.
It took many years until I found ways to deal with disappointment, displeasure, and unhappiness.
What if we all had no forms of expression? That while our emotions would burst and everything around us wouldn’t understand why we felt such torment? That the only vehicle of emotion was through tragic outburst and facial expressions? That’s what it’s like. That’s what it’s like to be trapped in a body that can’t do anything. That suddenly in the moments of stress that nothing ever works nobody is in the right place nothing ever is right.
That’s the disaster.
My aunt and I watched my cousin’s 10 month old again. He twisted in his high chair tossing the baby corn and peas around the table. He smiled and stared. He already learned how to attract strangers to the side. All in silence.
August 31st, 2014
This is me:
Find your own pose!
The Colon is the chosen pose of individuals who, on their own, seem awkward or remote. They may be the sort who responds to telephone messages with email, or spends their lunchtimes quietly pedometer-walking in lieu of socializing with coworkers. But when a Colonist finds its mate, together they acquire a grace and ease that surprises friends and family.
I am not a touchy person, and many people have challenged me on this. I find comfort in connection through understanding and listening. Like really, listening. And building together. And I also overheat when I sleep.
In contrast, Chris is quite the opposite…
Find your own pose!
August 28th, 2014
Bottom line: I hope that it was worth it!
And in some way, I am mostly talking about graduate school.
A network to all my alumni. Not just during, but also before and after.
Communication design fundamentals.
Empathy for people, particularly users.
Access to free food and drinks. Once a year.
An impression that people think that I am incredibly smart.
The ability to say, “You went to CMU? I did too!”
Nerd cred. Sometimes.
The ability to say, “Oh yeah, I got a masters.”
The reason why I hesitate to get a MFA.
A chance to understand what cold winters and humid summers really mean.
The ability to actually “grow up” and learn how to do laundry. Or how to make horrible mistakes in laundry and learn from them.
What it’s like to live in a party house with people over the age of 21. Note: Fun, but every day fun.
Learn to live in “small town” America.
Being able to say “oh yeah, I totally lived in the east coast.”
Being able to say “oh yeah, I totally lived in the midwest.”
August 21st, 2014
I wear the hood sometimes.
When I was in the East Coast, I learned that wearing a beanie with a hood offered the best cold protection. There, I discovered that I loved just being surrounded by soft cloth as I moved. It’s comfortable as if it was a barrier between me and the world. I see nothing except what’s in front of me.
But sometimes I wonder if I am seen differently because I am wearing a hood. The hood is from my REI-branded sweatshirt or light athletic jacket. With only a peek of my hair blowing out in the hood, I wonder if I am seen as female as I stroll (or saunter) down the street? Do they expect someone with dark skin to appear?
This evening, I decided to take 23rd up rather than the bright lit 24th from my friend’s place. I was tired of dodging around the hipsters, but I hesitated as I saw dark lone figures in the distance. Yet with my pace and my strange walking gait, I wondered if I looked as menacing as them. Did their hearts cower in fear as a figure approached them? Did their breath stop as they assessed the face for trouble or calm?
A police car approached me as I crossed the street. I reacted with surprise and stepped to the right as my face turned to study the driver. The police car made a swift U-turn. At the time, I thought that they were just circling the neighborhood, but did they notice me? Did they notice a figure in a hood walking fast in a gentrified neighborhood once known for high crime and gang activity? Did they notice that my profile was so low-risk and they turned away searching for the more dangerous figure?
August 20th, 2014
I was giddy from the spicy ice cream I just consumed. The spice tickling the back of my throat and the sudden sugar in the morning is beckoning drowsiness. I overheard the girl next to me try to ask a man about the time in Spanish. He responded in English. My breath caught in my throat as I heard the communication channels gasp and sigh.
She spoke as if he would understand Spanish and he spoke as if she would understand English.
A moment passed until she said something to me. My trained Spanish tongue spurted out a few words: cuando, boleto, avion, porque.
“This is my first time on a plane.” Then she said, “I haven’t seen my mother for 16 years.”
My heart was caught in my throat. “Your mother?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said and smiled. She put her wrists together and continued, “I got asylum.”
August 14th, 2014
“It’s always a female role,” Chris said when I described my favorite role in a game.
I can’t help it. I want to be the person who heals. The one who makes other players feel better, feel good about themselves, and give them the energy to succeed. I am less interested in being the one who “succeeds”, the one who gets the gold, the one who gets the gold. I want to be the cranks behind the scene that everyone must rely on in order to get to the end.
Several months ago in a creative writing class, a prompt asked, “What would be your ideal writing environment? What would be your worst?”
For the latter, I wrote about feeling uncomfortable—a place where my allergies were acting up, where my writing utensils were unreliable…and most importantly a distracting feeling where my anxieties, stress about the past, present, future were overwhelming the present. Usually about myself and others.
But the former, it was in a dreamlike moment of the day, usually in the early morning. Where I could hear the soft snore or breathing of a loved one knowing that they’re safe. A clear signal that they’re resting and that they’re alive. Where I can see the world waking. That feeling of control.
I want to be the healer. I know this. I played Fat Princess and I wanted to be the priest. To grant wishes, to grant positivity. To be whole once again.
August 13th, 2014
So I hesitated. I was repulsed at first, because I didn’t expect it to be like that, but it is San Francisco.
I am talking about a public restroom here.
Now, I am all in support of gender neutral bathrooms to get rid of people’s expectations of gender and what not. After all, at home, all the bathrooms are gender-neutral, right? Why isn’t it the same in public?
But what surprised me wasn’t the fact that there were gender neutral restrooms at a restaurant I visited recently. Rather that the seat was up and that was almost enough for me to back up and hesitate. I noticed the lack of genders for the bathrooms and spent a few seconds looking for the gender. Realizing that in this high-end restaurant that it was all the same with eight stalls, I went in…and was shocked to find that the seat was up.
The most important thing about gender neutral bathrooms if they are established is not whether the genders treat each equally or whether there will be presence of perversion…but the most important thing to decide is what is accepted for the seat’s position?
I certainly approve that the seat is always down.
August 6th, 2014
Is this art? Yeah why not. As long as it has the intention and beauty in simplicity.
July 31st, 2014
This morning, I studied the notes that my colleague and I had put together. She requested, as a non-native speaker of English, that she do the more logistical tasks while I took over the description of the document. I had looked at her work earlier and besides small edits, I thought it was completely fine.
So in a few hours, I put together the descriptions, combing the notes, for keywords. Words flowed out my fingertips. Discover. Leverage. Allow. Build. Then at some point, the steam ran out and I got lunch.
After I returned and started working on another part of the document, my colleague returned and thanks me for writing so flawlessly. “What? Your writing was totally fine!” I exclaimed.
“No, but you told a story in the worlds. With simple words. Really, thanks for that. I am very impressed.”
I thanked her for the compliment and felt better about my work.
A few hours later, I received a rejection letter for program application. The disappointment filled my body. But when I was back on my bike heading to my 6 pm, the pain of the rejection faded away and I started dreaming about my writing. That perhaps, for once, my writing can be impactful. And that there’s still hope for publishing.
July 30th, 2014
There’s nothing motivating to me when I imagine someone hearing my story and they do that slight twist of the head. Their eyes widen for a moment and their mouth parts slightly in surprise. The words that come out of their mouth are “You know, I never thought about it that way.”