the father, the spirit, the holy ghost

I don’t want to forget about my Dad anymore. The dreams I have of him now are just a scent, a feeling. A lingering aura.

I used to dream of him in full physical form. His Ralph Lauren cologne, receding hairline and crow’s feet riddled smiles. I used to dream about running into his arms and the feeling of a Versace button up and sports coat wrapped around me.

Somebody asked me Why aren’t you over it yet?

My heart fades at the answer. Can you be over it?

I dated a boy once whose mother held the same sadness. The joy of being a father’s princess, and the desolation of having been a father’s princess.

She was in her fifties. A picture of her running into her father’s arms decorated the wall of her bedroom. He was brilliant, kind, so funny. A one-in-a-million man. She told me. A smile in her face and a broken heart in her eyes.

He had died forty years ago. His death propelled her into a millions-a-year career.

I wonder if people ask her Why aren’t you over it yet?

It seems like we create around us everything we desired to recreate the feeling of everything we once had.

If I close my eyes and cry enough my mind fills the room with the smell of his cologne and Marlboro-Colgate forehead kisses. My fingertips simulate the feeling of his designer silk shirts and Costco wifebeaters.

When pain comes, my father’s memory returns. My father’s arms reach within the sadness. In happiness there is often emptiness.

His death brought an angel to my corner.

People ask me if I believe in god. Some days there are just too many demons. Sometimes it is terrifying to be so loved.

I am stuffing my mind with new moments I feel like I don’t want to forget. The memories of my father don’t fight to be replaced. I can feel his crouched-down hug, his massive smile. The way he used to pat my head.

Life is meant for the living.

I can feel him kiss my hair. I can see his face as he walked me to my first Kindergarten class. His Heineken father’s belly, white wife beater, black-and-yellow Adidas track pants and slides. The gold and jade rings. Tan baseball cap. I remember the Camry keys in his hand. His wide smile. How badly I wanted to run back into his arms.

My hands gripping my purple Beauty-and-the-Beast backpack. Be strong. Have a lot of fun for me. You can’t cry.

I remember his hands on my arms. The forehead kisses. A daughter of Hao Van Vu can’t cry. I thought to myself. I sucked in my tears. Blew air into my cheeks to stop the sharpness in my eyes. He chuckled so proudly.

I puffed out my chest and walked into the procession.

I remember my father’s eyes. The sadness. The kindness. The deep browns.

I cry less for him every year. I know he smiles more for each lessened tear.

This is the journey of our past.


The house is still. A shell of our former home. The cat sits in your old office. She rolls over, rubbing her face on the carpet indentations of our old bed.

She meows from room to room. The echoes of emptiness meow back.

I know I can’t leave. I know there is immeasurable sadness left. There was melancholy that rotted our foundation. Love that bled, mixed, formed and shattered the drywall.

My brother asks why I want to spend more nights here.

It wasn’t always like this.

Witch doctors in Vietnam are superstitious about homes. They walk the grounds, float from room to room. Touch the walls, string crystals from window frames and dried herbs on door frames. They tell you about the residual energy and continued currents.

They would walk this home and tell you there was war here. Our fights would vibrate through their fingertips. The shock, then the stillness. I want to close my eyes in the hallway. Press them to notice what can only be felt with eyes closed and chests open.

The undercurrents of all two hundred nights stuffed with love. Hope. Desire. The thousands of good-mannered wishes whispered on the rooftop. All the dreams we laid to rest underneath a Vegas sky.

This home was ours. I was yours. You were mine.

It would be easier to hate you. To leave. To bury this carcass of a home and scrapped futures. It would be easier to forget. To pretend it was always terrible.

I can still hear our silly laughter chasing the stairs. The trails of clothing littering the laminate. I can still feel my heart jump at all of your little pop-out scares. The tightness of your arms around my skin. I ache for the annoying sound of you playing video games. My body still looks up searching for the tenderness of your lips against my skull, cheek, the tenderness of your lips tracing my tears, erasing my fears.

They are exploding out of my throat now. An overflowing fountain of bittersweetness. There is no bottling, no removing, no running. I am learning that emotions are not items to be thrown around in trash bags or locked into drawers.

They are living entities, entitled to their pounds of flesh and pain. Feeling is a gift. The harbinger of death is followed steadily by one of life. The Norse call this Ragnarök. I call this Fucking Awful.

I am looking to tarot. To religion. To superstition. To history, scripture, story.

We were child lovers harnessing fire to synthesize dynamite.

I sit on the staircase of this hallowed out home, bawling my eyes out in front of two maids and a cat. I am reciting every single inspirational, motivational, twenty-dollar Target slogan I’ve ever seen.

Courage is grace under pressure. Courage is grace under pressure. Courage is grace under pressure. Courage is grace under pressure.

Feeling is better than forgetting. We are still my favorite love story.

The fresh paint smell pollutes the air. I, too, want to shatter these walls. The sound of breaking glass and screeching Vietnamese of my childhood ring my ears. I see us in my childhood home, recreating all of my mother’s and father’s fights. Reenacting the steps of what I had once believed the greatest love I had ever known.

Again, the tears explode out of my chest. There is an aching that punctuates each heartbeat. Heavy reminders that there are parts of me left still living.

Breathe easy. The sobbing becomes choking. The tannins of love dry the air in my throat. The maids are mopping up the floor.

The cat sits at the top of the stairs, a white lamb purring amidst.

I will tell the Witch Doctor these memories are to savor, not to sage.

It seems, my love, the children had created fireworks, and the adults are fingering the debris.

I’ve been lying on the ground lately thinking about why I feel so down. I haven’t left the house in the past two years, why did the past five months affect me so harshly lately?

The recluse, the dreamer, the writer slash romance seeker. I am stifled, baffled, ruffled. The first year of my seclusion was spent making copious amounts of love and intimacy and passionate disagreements. My second year of my seclusion was attempting to figure out the mental and physical affects the first year had on me.

The third year is now. Specifically a month ago. I miss myself. I miss the tequila nights and mimosa mornings. I miss the white wine and caviar.

I miss traveling in tiny outfits. I miss not fussing with the fat on my body; I miss being in a body I was the most comfortable in. I miss being slightly vain and exceedingly proud.

I miss the taste of my own cooking, the feeling of my own satisfaction with disregard for another’s.

You dying made me reevaluate the value of my own living.

I want to be here, but not like this anymore. I hope that everyday this year will strike change. I hope that everyday this year I will stop living in the inbetween of who I am and what I feel.

I hope that I don’t fail myself again.

in fire & flames

Disclaimer: During this time there are more important things to read; specifically, events and proper journalism of the current BLM movement to stay active, informed, and giving to change the injustice that has been happening for far too long in America. I have been actively donating, supporting and helping the movement in every way that is possible to me and encourage everybody to do the same.

This website is a journal dedicated to preserve the vignettes of my own life and is not in any way shape or form attempting to distract from this important, critical movement.

“A day will come when you think you are safe and happy, and your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth. And you will know the debt is paid.”

There is so much of my life I never want to forget. There is plenty more memories that I have wanted, begged and attempted to forget. I am twenty-six. Over twenty years of memories that fade more and more everyday, and a learned appreciation for every singular moment that allows me to feel.

All I want to do is write. Find the voice inside of me, breathe it into life and transcribe it into immortality. I don’t know if I want to live forever, or if there are memories that I want to live forever.

I was thirteen when it happened. I had come home after school. The house was empty. I climbed into bed for a nap and woke up to so many unusual noises. My heart jumped. I walked out of my room to peer over the staircase banister.

Two big men came from my brother’s room. I yelled his name in fear. I knew he wasn’t there, that these men weren’t his friends, but there was a small amount of hope.

They ran out the door. I ran back into my room. I called my oldest brother’s workplace. Said it was an emergency. There were men in the home. It takes twenty-six minutes from his restaurant to our house.

My breathing was shallow. Two minutes. The noises came again. I looked over the banister. They came back; moving quicker now. I locked my door. Locked the doors in the jack-and-jill bathroom. The bedroom next to mine. I climbed into an old, styrofoam costume that barely fit my body. Piled my dirty clothes on top. Sat in the closet. Four minutes.

My brother had a 911 operator call me. I remember her voice. She was sweet, calm. She sounded like the age I am now. Asked me to talk about anything. Narrate the situation. I focused on steadying my voice. My heart was beating fast. Tell my brother I love him I wanted to say.

I hadn’t told my brother I loved him since my father died. I swallowed it. Today will not be my day. I heard them come up the stairs. The pounding of their feet was so loud.

My brother locks his master bedroom. I heard the bang, bang, bang of them knocking it down. I heard the footsteps in the hallway. I heard the bang, bang, bang of the bedroom next to mine.

Then, a knock at the door of my room. The jingle of the doorknob. My breath was a whisper. My body was warm. His feet walked to the bedroom next to mine instead. So much rustling.

It felt like an eternity. In that closet. With that woman on the phone. I refused tears, emotions. I refused to feel. This numbing state I learned. This objective, neutral stasis. I was void of emotion.

They were so loud. Everything being thrown. Clanging. Banging. Stomping. Voices. “Hey what about in here?” I heard them in the hallway outside of my door. My heart felt like a live, caged animal.

I prayed to my father.

“No we have to go” My heart stalled. My breathing disappeared.

I heard a car in the driveway. Running down the stairs.

The front door open and slam. Silence. I spoke to the lady on the phone. “I don’t hear anything.” Another minute that felt like forever. Maybe two, three.

My brother’s voice echoed. “Jenny?” I told her I was safe. “Michael?” I yelled back. I looked at the phone to hang up. Thirteen minutes and twenty-three seconds.

I took the styrofoam costume off of me. Found the muscles in my body to move. Open the doorknob. My brother was coming up the stairs, his Kendo stick in hand. I ran into his arms, for the second time in seven years.

He held me. Then examined me. “Are you okay? Did they touch you? Did they hurt you?” I can remember his panicked face. He walked through the house. Pacing. Checking on everything. “Are you okay?”

“Yes I’m okay. They didn’t hurt me or touch me. I’m okay. They didn’t go into the room. They left me alone. Did you think they knew I was there?” It was a waterfall of word vomit. The cops walked through the front door. Two men, full uniform. They looked up at me as my brother walked from room to room.

They asked a lot of questions. Told my brother to stop touching things. Told me I was brave or something like that. They were very, very kind. I sat at the top of the stairs.

It took hours for them to finish. CSI came. Lots of paperwork. Questions. Details.

I asked my brother what happened. He told me he ran every light. Couldn’t even remember if they were red or green. Told me he pulled up to the driveway as the two men were leaving. Had his kendo stick in the car. Hit one of them hard until he fell to the ground, then the other. He grabbed one of them by the shirt. Had both of them at some point. One slipped away.

The cops came shortly after and arrested the one he was still holding.

They scolded him for his vigilante justice, but with slight jest. He said, “It was my little sister in there.”

I think a lot about this moment. How I felt. How lucky I was. I still can’t really sleep in new places alone anymore. I still can’t really sleep when it’s too dark outside. My mind races when I hear unusual noises. When I think too hard alone my paranoia sets in.

I hate being in a house where one person isn’t awake. My boyfriend sleeps alone a lot of the time. I have sporadic night terrors every now and then.

My friends, the guy I liked at the time, some of my cousins, everyone all told me that it was no big deal. For fifteen minutes I sat in fear. In cold, frightened helplessness. It was one of the first times in my life I have ever felt true danger. It was one of the only times in my life that it had ever lasted so long.

It feels like when you’re riding shotgun and another car drives in front. You yell at whoever is driving to swerve and for about fifteen seconds you don’t know if he is going to. It’s the exact moment of cortisol, adrenaline, and all of your favorite memories repeated for fifteen minutes straight. Then, without your control, scattered throughout your life at the worst moments.

One, singular, definitive moment in my life where I have ever had to feel danger. I am lucky my brother is a superhero. I am lucky those men didn’t want to hurt me. I am lucky that I have never had to feel that again.

I am lucky, still, that when cops see my brothers with weapons our skin color alone protected us from prejudice. I am lucky, still, to live a life that is not in constant danger. This is a situation where one of the worst things happened but the best possible outcomes followed shortly after.

This is a situation where racist people will try to tell you it was the skin color of the people who broke in that mattered. This is a situation where the same people need to be reminded that it was the skin color of my brother and I that actually mattered, and how disgusting it is that it is ever something that comes into consideration.

There are people of every skin color will hurt you. There are people of every skin color that will protect you. We do ourselves a disservice when we do not treat the people we meet equally.

Latency & Lessons.

I’ve either been late or completely missed my therapy session for the past four weeks.

She called me out on it.

When I was three or four my mother and father bought me a beautiful jade bangle. It matched my mother’s bangle and my father’s ring. I absolutely hated it. I thought it was clunky, aged, ugly. She had cut me a fresh apple or peach. Quartered, but left whole. Wrapped in a damp napkin. Put on a plate or a bowl. She handed it to me, distracted by someone else of her age. She looked at me for a whole five seconds. Don’t run. I looked up at her, lingering when her eyes left. She had done the floors that morning, and I could tell because of the acrid bleach smell. The smoothness beneath my feet.

I walked a little out of sight. I can remember the exact floor plan of that two-story home. The carpeted living room but tile kitchen, tile dining room. It was 1998 or so and open floor plans didn’t exist, just those wide, door-less arches that connected common areas.

I knew she wasn’t looking. And god did I run. Just in a circle. Just for no reason. Back to the archway of the kitchen. And I fell. Slammed into the tile. Jade bangle first, plate second. A little too dumb, a little too young to properly brace a fall. I looked up and saw my mother run to me. I started sobbing. The bangle was in pieces, mixed with the ceramic. A lot of me was glad. What an ugly thing.

My mother scolded me in a half-assed manner. Reached to clean the fruit, the floor, the smooth, sharp pieces of bangle. The plate. She looked at me with equally edged eyes. I told you not to run. It was her friend who asked if I was alright.

In this household you do not get comforted over mistakes you were told not to make.

In my childhood I was only given a few pieces of jewelry. The jade bangle. A gold necklace. And a small, heart-shaped amethyst necklace, also in 24k carat gold. I remember when we bought it. I was eight or nine and we had just moved to a new house. After a six month sleepover at my uncle’s. I was holding both of my mother’s and father’s hands as we walked into a well-lit jewelry store.

My mother told me it had been too long since he bought her something. She passed through the displays. Her sapphire birthstone glistened in a corner collection. She pointed. My father laughed. She moved her finger to the left. An amethyst. A small, fingernail-sized heart amethyst. Oooh that one. She pointed. I jumped. Pulled on their hands. I smiled so widely it turned into gleeful laughter.

I didn’t know what jewelry was before then. What it cost. What it was supposed to make you feel, or why it made you feel. I didn’t know anything beyond the rings worn for marriage. And here I was, barely entering puberty, with my father putting something around my neck that made me so damn happy.

I wore it every day until the baby hairs in the back of my neck caught on the clasp so badly they tangled in knots. My mother took it out and told me she would have it cleaned.

My father let my uncle stay with us for a short period. He was a vagrant. A funny, boisterous, always-drinking, always-laughing man who wore a religious uniform of a gold chain, grey wifebeater, and track pants that went swish swish. He paired these with flip flops, cigarettes and very long pinky nails. He had dark, tanned, hard skin, and a single lesson for every hardship, pain, issue or argument: Ain’t no thang but a chicken waaang!

We were a family of 7 people and four bedrooms. One bedroom was always my parent’s. One for my eldest brother, who had a long term girlfriend and, to my father, had earned the right as a man. One for the rest of us. And, the last: for whichever friend or person or buddy in my parent’s lives that needed it the most.

A few weeks later I asked my mother if I could wear my necklace again. The look on her face told me we forgot about it. We went to where she had put it down last. In the bottom row of squares of her jewelry box.

This, and a set of her sapphires and silver were missing. My mother told me she misplaced it. Would find it soon. I knew, for an entire decade of my life, my mother grew up without many things of her own and would never nor has ever misplaced anything of value or not of value.

I looked down and huffed. By the time I looked back again I could feel my mother’s anger. It quieted the world around her. Her whole face, her whole body grows hot. The way it looks. The way every single muscle tenses. She walked into the bedroom, grabbed my phone and called my father. I remember the screaming. Get him out or I get out. Something like that in angry, biting, violent Vietnamese.

One day I came home from school and my uncle was gone. My father died a few years later. My uncle was murdered for heroin in a motel parking lot.

I bounced around homes. Came back to the one I grew up in. I was fifteen or sixteen or somewhere in between. My mother and I had got into an aggressive fight taking me home from school. She slammed the door of the Lincoln Navigator my father bought her so many years before. I sobbed into my own hands. The kind that makes you lose your breath. The kind that’s in between panting and hyperventilating. I had never felt so alone.

I self-soothed. My eyes were red, swollen, puffy, throbbing. They were dry and raw. In this household you do not get comforted over mistakes you were told not to make.

She had left the car keys in the cupholder. I lifted them.

My necklace.

I rubbed my eyes raw once more. Picked up the gold strand. The amethyst felt like a heavy, weighted diamond. The gold setting that held the amethyst was bent, but the heart was still intact.

Thinking of the story now I am sobbing. There are so many words. So many lessons in this life. There are a million my father has taught me. A billion more he never got the chance to.

A decade later I have been loved and admired enough to have received many more pieces of jewelry. Some of the most expensive purposefully lost. But in my entire life I have never had one more purposefully found: this small, necklace with a heart-shaped, semi-worthless stone that was, at one time, worth the height of my happiness.

It was four in the morning when I started this piece. My mind was wandering and my head was not so right. There were words and patterns swirling in my head. I told her I would not be late again. And if I was, I would write about why I was late. And if I wasn’t late, I would have a piece of writing to share. Pieces of my thoughts. The things that linger from memories that have yet to fade.

I spent another forty-five minutes looking for the necklace. Wondering what the lesson was worth if I still lost it in the end.

I always think that I don’t do well alone. That I’ve always been an amplifier, never the sound. I can understand more people, more viewpoints than most. Because I’ve spent my life being internally raised by two split souls: my father, my mother. The saint, the sinner. The giver, the taker.

My father would never have bought me something I cherished so much if my mother had never shown me how to cherish it so much. My father would never have been my father if my mother did not charm him, entrance him, tease him, keep him.

No matter how alone I feel, my father, my mother, my brothers and all the people I have ever collected and kept have always made it not so.

The necklace was stolen, broken, pawned, returned and once again, lost. The necklace was $100 when we didn’t have $100. It was a yes to what should have been a no. The necklace wasn’t love, but a reminder of love.

I was never stolen. Only broken, returned, and often times again and again, lost. I am not my my mother. I am not my father. I am not the people who have never loved me. I am not the people who have ever disliked me, hated me or ignored me. I am not my failures, my lack ofs, my shortcomings.

I am a reminder of all of the people who have ever loved me. The books, places, things, ideas that I love. I am the constant creation of everything that I have worked hard to decide that I am. I am not an echo, a mirage, a memory. I am real. My actions are real. I am important.

I can be the sound. If I want to be the sound.

x, 1

I started therapy the other day. A fulfillment of a promise I made to myself this year. One of many.

I hope you know everything you tell me is confidential

I know. I laughed, nervously. It was over the phone because of my newfound anxiety. Her voice felt like the first warm apple pie during a long winter. Was everything she told me confidential?

I cried within the first fifteen minutes. The kind of crying that waterfalls from your eyes with minimal sound and no force. The kind of crying that happens when everything of you is unbelievably exhausted.

I’ve been having anxiety attacks, aggressive, frightening, panic attacks. My stress has been leading to insomnia, causing an inability to focus or have regular, normal emotions. I no longer like being outside. Around people. I have developed an aversion to crowds, strangers, public spaces and unknown places. All of my previous favorite things. I cancel plans and miss flights because I find myself sobbing uncontrollably and screaming at myself, irrationally angry. I am the opposite of who I used to have always been.

Two years ago I had more hours in a day than I’ve ever had before. I suffocated myself in exponential growth and obsessive learning. I excelled in everything I attempted. One year ago I began to see the fruition of my wildest dreams.

A few months ago I started reading more biographies. Studying documentaries. Reading articles and psychological studies. Trying to find an explanation for everything I knew that started feeling wrong with me.

In autobiographies very few people mention their own crazy. They hide it in a bliss of madness; the insanity is laced through the brilliance. Most people who write about themselves romanticize their own psychosis. Or maybe it’s more simple and less sinister. In your own worldview, your mistakes are footnotes in all of your greater creations.

In biographies, secondhand accounts, witness statements–these same people are crucified for their short-comings. Their failures, mental breakdowns. These people (inventors, singers, actors, musicians, writers…) become known as divas, bitches, assholes, eccentrics… famed for their talents but colorized, largely, by snippets of mental instability. They are successful “but” brash, angry, arrogant. They are great but human.

My brother once told me that living is being in a constant state of flux. I think of my mind like this: a pretty jar floating in the ocean, perfectly buoyant, surfing with the tide. And when I’m sad or not right I close my eyes: the same pretty jar, swept by currents, swirling in a typhoon. Loud. All-consuming. Suffocating. I don’t know why I was led to believe I couldn’t ask for a life raft. A pulley through the rain. I don’t know why I was led to believe I had to fight the sharks and the tides and the fury.

I lived through it alone a lot. Through the years since my father had gone. I thought it was a yearly affliction that was attached to my weakness. A parasite bonded to my insecurities: a simple issue caused by my simple lack of enough.

I didn’t know it was a possible symptom to the conditions of existence. I didn’t know it was a prevalent side effect to just being sometimes.

We are, by evolution, chasing a perfection unallowed. A race of billions praying for a profound.

I attempt to cope superficially yearly. Different methods. Breaking quarterly. Wondering why a house isn’t enough when built on unstable ground. I fight constantly with who I am, measured up next to who I should be, who I think I want to be. I close my eyes and who I am never matches with this woman in my dreams and I wonder really who put her there. This whimsical waif made of diamonds and designer that speaks with poetry, sounds like velvet and fucks like magic. This beautiful being that was all the best parts of me at once with none of the disparity. I close my eyes and dream of the purity of my heart, mind & soul in harmony.

Intimately when I’m alone what do I want most? In the dark of my bedroom, bare skin under white sateen sheets. Who am I when all the rest slips away and it’s only me at night?

If tomorrow can be designed, what do I want most? The bills paid in advance, clients to be overjoyed, employees ecstatic and productive. Business partners impressed; vacations planned, wishlists emptied and cravings sated.

 The tiny waist and beautiful curves. My own full lips and hopeful jawline. Smiling whites and slanted deep brown eyes. Soft skin and a happy glow.

At one point of my life I had all of these separately but never all at once. I want to be in love with myself like how in love I am with others. I want to be in love with myself like how in love others are with me.

I’m half a bottle of wine in and I’ve been drafting this post for two months. I’m buried in irrelevancy; dipped myself behind the curtain to do great work for people in front of it. I always wondered if I could live, survive, love myself without the vanity. My therapist says vanity is human and there are a hundred levels of it.

We’re six or so sessions deep now. She told me about the duality of my soul: the disapproving mother and the overtly loving father. When you’re three and barely cognizant your mentality is forming without your choice. When you’re twenty-six and sobbing your mentality snaps back to these pointed stages, like a rubberband in the dark. Without your choice.

I want to write a million and two words. Scream at the mountains and pray to my father. I am overwhelmingly loved by so many except for myself. I know I am severely flawed, but have always tried to do good, even at the expense of everything else.

I am behind in every goal I have ever wanted, but I am alive. Happy. Working. Trying.

Were these all the goals I actually just needed?

an ode to my favorite revolution

i found out one of my favorite bloggers in the entire world from early 2000s closed her blog and i felt such an immense sadness when i found out that i cried.

i’ve followed it since i was in seventh grade. i had no real, constant female voice through puberty and i would obsess over her coming of age posts for advice and guidance and wisdom.

i remember the words she wrote of partying, love, body dysmorphia… weight, love, writing, work, and developed my own methodology for life based on this woman from the other side of the world. when i felt the most lost or confused i would binge her blogs like the most important commandments.

there were questions i didn’t know how to ask. i was fourteen, fatherless, mentally motherless, and beyond lost. searching for femininity, sexuality, hope. a life that i could look forward to growing up: something more interesting than thirty years of schooling, missionary sex and one man for the rest of my life until i died.

i became a voracious reader of textbooks, teen fiction, adult fiction, the great poets, novelists, and at night i would still fall asleep rereading the words of a woman who made adulthood feel like something worth making it to.

i befriended her when i became old enough to: sixteen years old and unabashed about having a hero. i think about showing her this post, maybe. how the stories of her life echoed with my brothers and all of my favorite novelists when i made decisions. how special and great it is when we have our few yearly correspondences.

when i think of quitting writing or this blog of my own i think of the girl i used to be; selfishly hoping that just maybe there is another out there reading my paragraphs in the dark.

the internet is a remarkable place for showcasing remarkable souls.

thirteen years of me were so blessed to read over fifteen years of you.

thank you forever, H ♡

character building

i can feel myself slipping through my own fingertips: everything i once loved and enjoyed cascading through my skin

there are new things i love. new parts of me, new stories and collected memories. there are new things i like. people, things, methodologies. coffee in abundance, schedules, assistants, and the feeling of steady employment and exponential growth

but why does it feel like a trade? the parts of me that i loved before feel lost, gone: distant pasts existing only in polaroids, mini dresses, stilettos and bottles of don julio blanco

i reread the pages of this blog, my private journals and public musings. the way i used to write about this girl i used to know: sweet, effervescent, dangerous, reckless and stress-free. she was one hundred and fifteen pounds of magic, trailing glitter and laughter and leaving memories and happiness like wildfire

i had two rules back then: live for the story and  do it with conviction. i’m technically late twenties now: punctuated by polite nights with treasured friends instead of loud music, blacked out memories and aggressive dancing.

they say when you get older you know more about what you really want. a cat and a home and a stable income. people who love me… but im twenty-six at four in the morning and if you asked me what i was missing now maybe the answer just might be limes.

my therapist asked me what i do now when i’m sad. write, read… bury myself in work.

and she asked me what i did before when i was sad. i laughed. oh jeez… drink, eat, cry, vomit?

i’ve lived six different lives so far. maybe wanting limes isn’t as bad as chasing with them.

lessons from twenty-six

last weekend i looked in your eyes and they looked exactly like mine. you’re almost seven months and they left you alone with me for seven minutes and my heart pounded and flinched at the amount of responsibility

you are magic I whispered you will always be able to do anything you want to

i saw you smile and i felt the world melt away. your mommy and daddy love you so much, I can’t wait for you to see 

I want to tell you everything I loved being told. I wanted to hold you forever. you squirmed and fidgeted and laughed.

I panicked and gave you back. there’s so much to know. I sat on the plane and thought what I’d tell you first.

i think about the past few years. how quickly i left highschool, the eleven cities i wandered lost. the places I loved most. the people I liked least. the man I loved the most.

i hope ten years from now when you ask me questions my answer will be the same. i hope twenty years from now when you ask me what to do i tell you the truth.

choose love. when it comes to life, feeling rarely becomes regret. the memories you remember the most are the ones that you fight the strongest for. when things feel difficult, it means there’s more to learn.

don’t hurt yourself too much. nobody can protect you from heartbreak; but the world has given you people who will always love you enough to hold you through them.

we are not perfect. people were not made to be stagnant. people were not made to live their lives in one perpetual motion. the people who come into your life are still important even when they have to leave.

even if it’s hard, try to remember. the memories that hurt the most are hiding the memories that feel the best.

life is about feeling; they’re too sacred to regret. pain is a lesson. you’ll meet someone one day and they’ll feel like heaven. if you don’t allow yourself to fall, you’ll always wonder.

growth will never be hating anybody who ever made you feel. sometimes crying purifies the soul. sometimes it’s annoying, wasteful bullshit.

choose love. in yourself, first. in your family, second. and whoever chooses you, too, third.

when it gets dark: breathe easy. the sun always rises if you have enough courage to last the night.

I wish I could give this life to someone who wanted it more.

My thoughts get louder and everything feels distant. I miss the silence; the over-confidence, the cleverness. In complete irony, I miss what everyone who I’ve met before laments for: the girl.