Hardest goodbyes aren’t always for what you think

I’m not good at saying goodbye. Some people say that and walk with elegance away while my goodbyes equate to tennis ball sized swollen eyes from crying and snot bubbles dripping down the sides of my mouth.

My goodbyes aren’t pretty. When I’m placed in that position to have to leave something behind and know in my heart that I’ll never see it again, I start to call back every memory I’ve had. The ones where I am transported and I can still remember the smell of my surroundings. The ones where I can see the exact shirt I was wearing and how that person made me feel.

Today, by a text message from a friend, I received a Redfin link to a posting for a house. The url already told me everything I needed to know before I even clicked on it, but like any masochist would do, I tapped on my phone to open up the listing to my childhood home to further affirm my dad was putting it up for sale.

The one where I finally had my own room and had to stop sharing with my mom on nights she couldn’t stand my dad. The one where I had my sweet sixteen party – however sad and pathetic it was to other people, that party was the best thing my parents could have scrounged to afford.

This is the house I snuck out at midnight when both my parents were asleep so I could be cool and thought I was badass to go up the mountains car racing with other high school kids. This is the house where my mom left.

The house that had an empty room I’d go in and remember how broken our family was. But this house was where my dad raised me and I so fondly remember everything he sacrificed to ensure my life was one of luxury, and even if we were just faking it, I could at least feel equal to my peers at school.

The bones of that house kept me safe. Made me feel things were going to be okay when I was all alone restlessly sleeping on the couch closest to the front door when my dad had surgery so I could run out at mach speed to the hospital once he was out of the OR.

This house persevered a kitchen fire. This house outlived each one of us leaving.

First, my mother after she filed for divorce.

Then I packed up for college and barely came back.

Now my father’s remarried and moved on with the wife.

But I always felt that I could go back if I wanted to one day. My dad had rented it out all these years, probably for the same sentimental emotions I seem to have attached so much to.

2020 has taken so many things away. It took away kindness from strangers and replaced their eyes with judgement and uncertainty. It took away our way of life and replaced us with a box to live in 24/7. It took away the ability to see family and hug loved ones. It took away the plans I made to travel and see Europe for the very first time. It took away a hopeful future while we all wait unsettled without a target date to reach for a sense of normalcy. And now, it took away my past. The one place other than my dinky little apartment where I remember life when it was good. So damn good that when I think of it, I can see my dad in the kitchen donning his never-emasculating checkered apron nursing a sweet aromatic chicken stew while I’m upstairs in my heavy eyeliner from the early 2000’s banging out to some Avril Lavigne until he calls me down for dinner.

Good times.

Gone.

If I could speak my truth to that house, I’d like to thank it for protecting me and putting up with me. The days when I yelled and cried for having to deal with curfew to the days I just needed a nice warm shower after a long day of ballet practice.  Maybe one day, I’ll pick up my kid from ballet and cruise by the street and show them, “Look, that’s where mommy grew up. That’s the house that saw all the good with the bad and kept standing tall to protect its family.”

 

TIT-Today I Tried…(Yes, it’s a funny acronym)

I’ve been a chronic, serial, addicted, whatever-you-wanna-describe-it, face picker. It started probably in college. Should I blame stress? Or maybe it was just my own obsession with these moon size craters on my face but picking at these gross yet hypnotizing gems that oozed out was rather satisfying and intriguing.

Fast forward a decade, my face is now a battlefield plagued with scars. Hence the entry of my newfound obsession: trying out any new technology of the modern age to make my face as smooth as those Korean pop stars.

Groupon has been a huge supporter of this obsession. On the daily, I’d get newsletters curated to my needs, begging me to enter in my credit card and get a new voucher that promised a beautiful face after each session.

This week’s tryout? The Microcurrent LED Light therapy facial. The Blue light kills bacteria that spreads my gross acne germs while the microcurrent tightens your face muscles with electrical currents and gives my face a natural face lift.

The verdict? At Groupon price, I’d come back once a month for 6 months to see what great changes my face has but retail is $175 and I can hardly afford that to try it for half a year for a noticeable difference.

I will say though, the experience is totally painless opposed to previous facials I’ve gotten that include extractions where the esthetician will poke, prod, squeeze, and drain until you’ve felt that even your soul has left your body.

My 5 Year Plan

So imagine grabbing a latte with an old acquaintance. Almost always, this is how the conversation starts out:

What have you been up to?

How is your relationship going?

How’s work?

These common 3 “small-talk” ice breakers are everything I dread about going out to see a friend I haven’t connected with in a few months.

The next question I absolutely resent people for even bringing up is, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

The younger me (okay so last year) would have mouthed off something to my interrogator and stood up on a soap box preaching the futility behind this inquiry. Partially for the below reasons:

  1. There’s science behind those who talk too much about their goals and never achieving it. So it’s better to keep tightlipped until the deed has been done. What’s the awesome term for this? Oh yes, hubris.
  2. Most people use this to evaluate what my priorities are. If I’m on a date for example, and I say I’d like to become director in the next 5 years, the other person would assume I’m too career focused. If I say, marriage, they probably would have bolted for their car on our first date.
  3. A real goal feels too intimate to share with anyone. I rather not have my secret hopes and dreams passed on, then having them tell their cohorts, thus creating our entire social circle focusing on my foreseeable future at tea time.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

So here’s my 5 year plan. The goals I hope to achieve that aren’t wasted on defining who I am by who I will be bound to, or what desk I’ll be chained to, or which professional title to brand me for the new few years. My goals in life transcend beyond the mundane.

Year 1: Fill my brain with beautiful stories – as many books as I can possibly read

Year 2: Master flexibility outside the physical entity of my being

Year 3: Understand the value of success is more than the digits in my bank account

Year 4: Observe and indulge in other cultures. Distance away from the routine provides fresh perspective

Year 5: Persevere through all things that pass through my way and continue spreading positivity

This is what I want to discover in the next 5 years. Career or love life… they’re just small percentages of our daily life and yet we attribute way too much in both. There’s more to our existence than how we make our fun coupons and who we choose to spend it with.

Start with this Reading List

2 weeks ago I pledged to finish 12 books before the clock struck midnight on 2019. I’ve since finished another book and am well underway with my next few targets.

Okay so this isn’t some soapbox exclamation that my list is the recipe for happiness for everyone but I love to fall down a rabbit hole and explore everything these books have to offer. It’s an escape where I’m screaming YESS YESS YESSSSSSSSS — tell me more and teach me deeply. Knowledge & wisdom from books will always transcend further than mind-numbing telly.

  • All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
    • What makes me happy about it?  Have you ever tasted something so decadent and rich in flavor it felt like swimming in the river of chocolate from Charlie & the Chocolate factory? Doerr’s prose makes you experience it all.
    • Status: I’m currently Day 2 in Shanghai and still plan to have this wrapped before I touchdown back in Cali.
  • Wildcard by Marie Lu (Book slated for Q3 2018 release)
    • What makes me happy about it? Three words: Female power overload
    • Status: About to pre order!! Those of you who haven’t heard of Marie Lu need to 100% make sure you do now. She’s an amazing writer for the YA and I’m seriously honored to have met her last summer. She tweeted to me on my birthday out of a request from a dear friend. She’s just an awesome human being and her stories inspires me to write and perpetuate the female protagonist.
  • Meditation by Marcus Aurelius
    • What makes me happy? Ryan Holiday swears by this, my life has 180’d since I’ve exercised Stoicism, and the excitement itself that I’m about to read the teachings from one of the OG’s simply makes me leap with joy.
    • Status: Book ordered & delivered. I’m so excited to open my package when I get home in July!
  • The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris
    • What makes me happy about this? Ferris found the loophole we all need. The key that frees the chain around our ankles. Life has never been about work for me, I just thrive to be in it and yet he found a way to do it with more efficiency.
    • Status: book delivered to my flat in Cali. I love having physical copies.
  • Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
    • What makes me happy? Rhimes is a creative storytelling demigoddess. She guts us with plot twists. She champions other women and she’s human. She’s so god awfully human like all of us and that motivates the hell out of me. I can be fabulous and so painfully human at the same time as well.
  • You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
    • Status: I’m awful at self-help books. Its been a bit rocky to finish them out. (I received & 7 Effects during college and it’s still sitting on my nightstand waiting to fulfill it’s destiny with me) But! Sincero has humor, Sincero has realism. I’m going to finish this because I’m already a baddie, I just need a reminder every once in a while.
  • Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
    • Status: delivered to my flat! I’m ready to sink my teeth.
  • My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
    • Status: We all need fiction in life, especially Kinsella’s casual light read stories to fulfill the days when we just need a homegirl by our side.
  • [REMOVED] Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them By JK Rowling
  • [ADDED] The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
    • Why it makes me happy: You mean to tell me the tactics I’ve used in life has been an actual device for power?! This is the Yoda for all things power and I am the young Padawan thirsting for more.
  • The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • [CODENAMED] My friend is writing a Trilogy and I’m beta reading Book 1.

9 more books to go, 4 of which I’ve basically sprinted through half. It’s rather cathartic to read and thrilling to log about it with a mission.

I hope you all find this list helpful in your journey to happiness.

Alcohol Provokes not Numbs

why does our mind stray to the insecurities

the pain

the suffering

when we’re uninhibited.

“uninhibited”

what does it mean anyway? each time we learn and we know we’ll drift back to these upsetting thoughts and yet still we sip, drink and spiral to where we are once again.

contemplating what makes us happy then in self realization wondering if we ARE happy…

we know alcohol does this yet we sip, drink and spiral back to this place.

sip

chug

and next thing we know, here we are again hugging our insecurities, lying with our pain and spiraling down a path of misery.

The music’s gone, my love

The music’s gone but I still feel it all.

The fire’s out but the warmth I once felt still lingers.

These five years have been challenging. We’ve both grown apart in our own way. I fell into a two year relationship that sucked the life out of me, while you figured out what you truly wanted. Through the two years we were apart, you’ve learned to compromise in order to be happy and I’ve learned to let things be instead of beating a dead horse.

Seeing you again, being in your arms again feels so different now. I’m not in love with you the way I fooled myself into thinking I was. Now it feels safe and sacred. I feel protected by a friend who’s loved me once and made me feel secure. I’m proud that you’ve learned to be more of an honest man. You’re doing right by a much sharper moral compass and I’m doing right by chasing what sets me free.

Our song ended 2 years ago when timing redirected us into two separate wavelengths. I committed myself into a serious relationship while you finally got out of yours. Go figure. 

But I still feel it. The buzz and familiar tune of the rhythm while our bodies tango as you hold me now that we’re reunited. The electrifying touch from your fingers as you caress my arms and pull me into a tight squeeze. It still lingers and I still feel it pulsating through my skin. Like listening to an old favorite tune, each beat bringing me back to a moment from our chapter.

But we’re just friends now. My body remembers, but my heart has moved on.

Goodbye dear friend. Let this be our last dance as we venture into a new story with our lives.

My phone will still ring and I’ll still be excited to hear from you, but we both know, it’s time we let go. I think a part of me will always be in love with you because of our unwavering chemistry. Timing and life just always got in the way. So let’s hold each other one last time, listen to the hymns of my soul connecting with yours as we bid our farewell because if timing screws us more than twice, it’s just not meant to be.