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.”

 

Where our arguments lead

We were like two ships in the night with a vast ocean separating us,

We’ll be in same sea, on the same journey but never meeting in between

a flicker in the light from your deck is all I can see,

The waves roll on swaying across the dark unknown

spilling fear and mystery,

I look to your light,

waiting and praying the flicker grows warmer and stronger, closer to mine

Alas, the storm rages on dividing our two ships with no means to an end.

Both lost,

both afraid,

and both stuck away from each other with no way back.

 

With COVID-19, A New Wave of Racism

Date: July 22, 2010

Mr. Martinez, University of California Riverside Professor in Sociology 

He had said during one our very last lecture in class, “We are not all different races; we all belong to the human race.” The quote really touched me. I had never thought of it like that. With the lack of the right education from our childhood, we’re not taught that we’re all the same. We learn in history about World Wars and Civil Wars separating peoples and confining them to their races, but nothing teaches us about the takeaway. What was it all for? Every little fire started from xenophobia. Why haven’t we been properly educated to understand that despite the wars that have created racism, we are all part of the human race and if you truly trace back our roots, we’re just all from the same place

Date: March 26, 2020

A decade later, a world pandemic spreads from Wuhan, China where the Coronavirus outbreak started and it seems a new wave of  racism towards Asians have emerged. With research concluding that this was a result of natural evolution, it seems the rest of the world is looking to blame the Chinese, further exacerbated by Trump calling it the ‘Chinese Virus.’ Unfortunately, it resulted in not just scapegoating the Chinese, but other Asians alike: Japanese, Vietnamese, Koreans etc…

As the coronavirus upends American life, Chinese-Americans face a double threat. Not only are they grappling like everyone else with how to avoid the virus itself, they are also contending with growing racism in the form of verbal and physical attacks. Other Asian-Americans — with families from Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar and other places — are facing threats, too, lumped together with Chinese-Americans by a bigotry that does not know the difference.

In interviews over the past week, nearly two dozen Asian-Americans across the country said they were afraid — to go grocery shopping, to travel alone on subways or buses, to let their children go outside. Many described being yelled at in public — a sudden spasm of hate that is reminiscent of the kind faced by American Muslims, Arabs and South Asians in the United States after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

But unlike in 2001, when President George W. Bush urged tolerance of American Muslims, this time President Trump is using language that Asian-Americans say is inciting racist attacks.

-NY Times

I woke up to this article and immediately started messaging my family, reminding them to not travel alone anywhere during this time. Reminding friends to tell their beloved to brace themselves for this new hate wave. I’ve noticed when I go out once every few days to pick up groceries, there’s a larger gap between myself and others waiting in line than other queues without anyone of Asian descent. I’m actually thankful nothing worse has happened to me or anyone else i know.

I’m realizing how very real and terrifying this disease has taken form from something that gives us daily hypochondria to fear that we can’t even walk outside alone or in the dark. It’s scared everyone else away from Asians even in the time when we all need to move away from racism and fight this disease for all human kind.

It seems we’ve forgotten:

that all men are created equal.

I’m deeply terrified for the younger kids who have to go back to school and face bullying. I’m painfully afraid of my parents who are much older now to defend themselves when they decide to take a stroll outside.
I’m disappointed that despite all the fake news we’re aware exists in the interwebs, there’s a stain and fingers pointed because it’s easier to have someone to blame than accept something else. Something the media hasn’t been broadcasting. Something media should educate people on but don’t.

The novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that emerged in the city of Wuhan, China, last year and has since caused a large scale COVID-19 epidemic and spread to more than 70 other countries is the product of natural evolution, according to findings published today in the journal Nature Medicine.

-Science Daily

Fast Love

I thought it was okay for us to act so juvenile.
I thought it’s what people starting out in relationships do.

Puppy love starts out great and giddy.
First and second dates turn from bashful to exciting.
Casual dating grows quickly to mutually exclusive.

If we were both chasing love and happiness,
then the goals were clear.
No matter how many differences, we’d get there somehow.
Because the sex was animal.
The lust was ravenous.

But alas, like oil and water. You can mix and mix and mix.
Go as fast at it and as hard at it you want in the beginning,
In a matter of a short while though, the two always separate.

Because fast love isn’t real.
They’re out as quickly as they came in.
Leaving you still pulling up a bra strap, when they’ve already called a cab.

 

I tried this thing called Cryotherapy

For my very post on a new category I started called, New Kid on the Block, I aim to explore all new experiences starting with this new fad, Cryotherapy.

I’m not here to state the facts behind it all or the conspiracy others have about it. I’m simply sharing my first time with you all in all my honestly.

Price tag: Less than $30 per visit as I bought a groupon for 5 visits.

So I went in the heart of summer heatwave out in SoCal. I was intrigued after hearing Tony Robbins preach about it on a podcast with Tim Ferriss. From my other posts, some of you may know I basically idolize his work ethic and free individuality to not fall into social conforms. So if he likes it, hell, I’m gonna try it!

Upon arrival, they ask you to go out to the ladies to change into a bikini or short gym gear (basically as nude as you can possibly strip down to get the maximum breeze in that manmade igloo).

Then when you arrive at the front monitor where they set you up with a timer, the attendant asks you to choose a genre of music you like. I was really thrown off at this point. I hadn’t come prepared with any music in mind, kind of how your friends throw you on stage at a karaoke bar spur of the moment and you have no idea what to sing except I’m A Little TeaPot. The attendant must have noticed how stumped I was and recommended some fast paced music: ie Rage Against the Machine or Club music. At this point, I was terrified. It’s the excitement of doing something for the first time but not actually being able to do it for fear of the unknown. Again, the attendant kindly offered that she’ll join me inside and we can do jumping jacks or whatever to make the time go by fast.

Based on my weight and size, they recommended 5 minutes max inside the cryo chamber. The adage about watched pot never boils can similarly be applied here but times 10 because you have to endure it instead of simply waiting around.

I was able to bear the first minute. It was the last four that seemed infinite. We were talking, doing jumping jacks, (attendant had a sweater, ear muffs and mittens on), and running around the chamber to exhaust time. By the last two minutes, I saw the other attendant through the window throwing up a peace sign to resemble the minutes I had leftover. By then, I wholeheartedly had forgotten the point of going and just wanted out.

Finally, when they opened the door and I was out, my skin had a stiff and brisk sensation then immediate warm as I stepped into room temperature.

Results:

I had expected to feel like my bones weren’t near 3 decades but sadly, my body felt about 1:1 normal than before I had gone in. The major difference for me using the cryotherapy was more of how awake I had felt. My mind was rejuvenated. I had all these tasks start piling in a mental list and the determination to do them all.

Final Thoughts:

While the experience is fun and can become a somewhat interesting story to tell at dinners, I will say it wasn’t all what I expected and I wouldn’t come back only to torture myself for 5 minutes in a chilling ice box. I think I’m more made for the jimjilbangs (Korean Spas) where you have the option to be in an ice box for your own decided duration and then can hop into a clay room to heat up your entire body.

 

 

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.

What we’re like to be in pain

It is so easy to feel bad for yourself
To wallow in self pity about everything that is wrong in your life and blame external factors for it

To feel as though an injustice was placed on you,
and you yourself is singled out to be worse off than everyone else.

It is so easy isn’t it ?
To listen to sad music and relate to the heartbreaking vocals
To sit outside watching rainfall while you light one up
To ponder at the same sky we all do and ask, “why me?”

When we’re at our worst, nothing feels better but hurting ourselves further
Testing our pain threshold more
Gauge how much more we can take.
Marinate in pain and sorrow.
Feeling sorry for ourselves.

It’s so wrong but feels so right to hurt

If I’m already in pain, what’s a little more ?

We’re all at fault, stop blaming others

Humans drew arbitrary lines dividing ourselves from our brothers and sisters.

Humans created a cancer pillaging Mother Nature by bulldozing down her gifts.

Humans made the poor shrivel while the rich bloat.

History then repeats though we foolishly instruct ourselves to learn from our grandfather’s mistakes.

We created the mess with our global climate crisis, then turn the other cheek hoping someone else will fix it.

We blame the government for not sharing, caring, and educating us properly. The same government we elected.

We choose selfishness instead of global community, then accuse everyone else for the atrocity happening around the world.

We forget every small change helps, it just needs to start with each of us. 

Even if it’s changing once a week to switch to a vegetarian diet so to give our environment a relief.

Even if it’s remembering to conserve energy whenever we can. (Guess what, you’ll save on electricity bill too!)

Even if it’s helping a stranger when you remember, so to pay it forward and spread kindness.

We are one small speck in this universe but we can spread wellness and make it better.