A little personal

Those who write understand that a “writing space” has got to have a certain look, a certain feel, and a certain mood–all to attract inspiration and channel whatever powers that be so you can bleed words. This is mine (yes, that’s a robot speaker with eyes that light up).

Goddammit, Pudge

It’s far worse to be sad about a book than about your own life. You form a special kind of attachment to fictional people whose happiness, loss, and heartache mirror your own. It’s a different connection, but it’s hard to explain. And sometimes you’re better off feeling these things on your own than telling your friends. Because you won’t have a decent reason to tell them why you’re sad. It’s one thing to understand things and feel them. It’s another to be able to explain why.

Death is a bigger tragedy for those who are left behind, that I know in my heart is true. You wake up every day trying to decide between remembering and forgetting. And somehow you end up doing both. It’s funny how sometimes you want to be less sad, and when you finally feel a little better, you’ll feel guilty because it’s like you don’t care enough to be sad. I really don’t know how to deal with death. There are times when I think I have to spend time crying that it happened, as some sort of remembrance. Because when I can’t cry anymore, then maybe I’ve forgotten. And you’re not supposed to forget that someone died. Dying is a pretty big deal. It’s the final curtain call. You know what they say about performing—the first and last performances are always the most memorable. So people always celebrate birthdays and death anniversaries.

I think that’s bullshit, sort of. I’d rather celebrate something more substantial than remembering I was born. Like, you know, coming in first place for the first time in a short story writing competition. Maybe that’s why I’ve never been crazy about my own birthday. It’s nice that other people are, though.

I know I’m not making sense right now. But hey, sadness doesn’t always have to make sense. You just have to understand it. And when you do, even stream of consciousness will seem like fucking poetry. It will flow and it will pierce your very own consciousness and make you bleed and rip you apart.

I’m now a few pages away from finishing Looking for Alaska. I honestly have no idea how it will end. I haven’t decided whether I want to finish the book or not. My brother never finished Catch-22. He refuses to read the last few pages. I forgot the reason, but he was adamant back when he told me.

Maybe I should just reread the days before so I’ll feel better. Nothing really was the same after.

Goddammit, Pudge. You break my heart more than Alaska did.

Everyone should come with a fine print

I wonder how much easier life would be if people didn’t think everything we are is all we ever were and all we’ll ever be. No one would condescend, no one would patronize, no one would put us on a pedestal we don’t deserve.

Imagine if people had fine prints like the ones you find in products that pretend to be healthy but are really full of preservatives; or in reasonably-priced deals and goods that end up costing more in the long run. Imagine if no one cared to spread bullshit and just let people know outright what they’re really like. If we’re not so scared to let others know who we really are, will we end up with the same set of friends we have now?

If I had a fine print, it would say: Introvert, observant, does not blend well with large groups of people, would rather spend quality time with one friend at a time. Painfully shy when meeting new people when sober; unbelievably chatty with strangers when drunk. Does not like to be forced to open up about life stories during first meetings (even in second and third). Loves to read books; does not judge those who don’t, but judges those who do with bad taste. Does not like theme parks. Hates the Ferris Wheel. Will never like peanut butter, olives and hugging publicly for more than two seconds. Likes people who are artsy and interesting and spontaneous and funny and a little bit of crazy. Allergic to clingy and insecure—especially to clingy and insecure men. Believes stupidity is not the lack of knowledge but pretending you have it when you don’t.

There. Too much? Maybe. How accepting could we be of one another and our fine prints? If we saw how fucked up everybody else is, just as we are but in different ways, would we end up with more friends or none at all? How would we see one another, then?

I’m really not sure but I’d like to find out. What would your fine print be?

Happiness Is

Maybe the problem with us is that we like sadness. We adjust to it more easily than we do to happiness. We always say, “Well, things may never get better,” and we decide we’re okay with it, which is depressing. When something nice happens to us, we always think that it’s going to bitterly end soon and we can’t wait for it to happen, always expecting the worst. We tell ourselves, “It’s only downhill from here,” and again, we take it as our only reality.

But I cannot live in a world where sadness is a reality and happiness is a dream. Yes, it’s easier to succumb to the cold and harsh tempest of solitude, but maybe we just haven’t really appreciated the warmth that happiness brings—the kind of warmth that isn’t caused by only one person; the kind that comes from within ourselves, from having a peaceful heart and being forever at awe with the world and everyone in it.

Maybe the problem is that we are looking for happiness from a specific source, when the truth is it is all around us only if we open our eyes and heart. Happiness doesn’t always come in a big and fancy package. It may not be our childhood dream come true, gift-wrapped and especially delivered to our doorstep. But it is the sharp pain in your stomach from laughing too hard with good friends. It’s the little crinkle in your nose from smiling when random people greet you good morning; the pounding in your heart when you’re waiting for someone for a Sunday morning date. It’s being able to sleep in late during rainy days and enjoy the summer sun, getting a tan. Happiness is not the destination. It’s the entire journey.