Yes, I can’t understand you

What does “understanding” mean to me? What does it mean to understand?

I used to be an avid tumblr user, but luckily I stopped going on there about 2 years ago. It became a toxic place for me. One of the things that stuck with me the most was the disagreement that came with the usage of the word, understand.

You see, people on tumblr said you can never fully understand someone 100%. Therefore, to use the words “I understand you” is simply an insult and a way to belittle and to generalize another’s pain. They want you to be more socially aware and use the phrase “I can relate to you” instead.

For years, I’ve been using the phrase “I can relate” or “I can see where you are coming from”, but I’ve had enough. It’s not that I care less about how people feel. It’s just that I begin to wonder at what point does it become an issue of over-sensitivity? At what point does other people put their emotions and well-being in the hands of other’s? I know I’m not an insensitive person. I try my best not to be, but how much am I really at fault for upsetting someone?

After spending time with my spiritual life coach, I learn that you can’t feel emotions you already don’t feel. I know that not everyone will agree with this, but it makes sense to me. I get frustrated at people, because there’s already frustration inside of me from who knows what. Things upset me because I’m already upset and because I’m just projecting that previous sadness onto somewhere else. If this is the case for me, then is this the case for others too?

Maybe I can’t make someone feel emotions they don’t want to feel or already feel. Maybe we, as humans, don’t have that much control over people than we think we do. Maybe we’re just so used to giving our powers away to people that we believe we have no choice but to respond and to feel in a particular way. Maybe that’s all there is to it. Maybe we need to start taking responsibilities for how we feel instead of pushing that onto others.

Maybe it’s time for us to take control of our lives again.

And with that said, I can’t possibly understand how you feel. I can never understand with 100% certainty that what you feel is what I feel.

Because the truth is, we’re different people. I will never be able to be under the same exact circumstances where the people involved think and behave 100% like the way the people in your situation did. It is simply impossible. We can get close to it and try to understand what it was like to feel those emotions, but we can’t ever fully understand what each other felt.

And maybe we don’t need to.

Maybe pain is just pain. Maybe frustration is just frustration. Maybe all the emotions each and everyone of us feel are universal, and yes this is a trick question, because I know it is. We’re all humans at the very core. We all share similarities and differences; it is what makes us unique but still human at the same time.

Maybe being human is all there is to it. I don’t need to be able to understand 100% what exactly you’ve been through to know that you deserve better. I don’t need to experience it to know that you deserve to be loved and to have people that will cherish and support you. I don’t need to just as broken or more to know that what you are feeling is real and painful. I just need to try.

I just need to try to understand and be willing to understand just what it is you want me to understand. I don’t need to walk through fire and go through hell. Maybe all I need to do is be a human. Not the stereotypical cruel and selfish human, but a human with the capacity to feel basic emotions.

Maybe we need to just stop putting a wall up and pushing people away on the basis that they might never understand what it was like for us. Maybe we need to just stop creating a divide between each other. Maybe we just need to recognize that at the very core, we are more similar than we think we are, and maybe just maybe that’s enough.

And sometimes I wonder maybe we choose to be ignorant, maybe we choose to push people away, and maybe we choose to not let anyone try to understand because we are scared of what it means for them to try.

Maybe we’re all just scared for someone to hug us, to support us, to care for us, and to love us in the moments we believe we do not deserve anything at all.

And maybe just maybe, it is that fear of understanding that continues to hold us back.

When can I let go?

Lately, I’ve been wondering what it takes to let you go 

All of the memories we had together still burn in the back of my mind. Whenever someone starts to get close, I start seeing smoke, and when they hide behind that smoke, I trick myself into believing that I found another you. But the thing with smoke is that it will eventually dissipate into the air. And when that smoke clears, will I be able to finally see them for who they are or will I see another facade I’ve created?

Lately, I’ve been wondering why I desperately need to find someone like you

No one I’ve met so far has gotten close to what it felt like to be with you. And the saddest part is, I don’t even get to call you a past love or get to call this a breakup. What we had, was that real or was it just another figment of my imaginations?

Because I remember bumping shoulders while we walk along side each other in the middle of the night. I remember the touch of your fingers against my skin; the way your body encapsulates me whenever you hug me. I remember studying and stressing out about school work in a coffee shop and how you would squat and lean your shoulder on the edge of the table and just stare at me. I remember your habit of parting your lips before breaking into a soft smile. I remember the weight of your head on my lap and the feeling of your hair in my fingers as I play with it. I remember when you told me you love me.

Lately, I’ve been wondering why I can’t forget you

Everything was not as peachy as I made it sound. I remember those moments when you screamed at me, dragged me forcefully by the wrist, and threatened to hit me. I remember all the constant put-downs you said out of “love”, and I remember the way you would tell me it’s my fault and that I made you do it.

I remember.

I remember the way your lips touched hers and how you were engulfed in one another’s love. I remember watching you slip out of my hands and how desperately I tried to change at every chance I get in order to make you stay. I remember how I constantly felt like I was never going to be good enough for you, and how even then, I still wanted to do anything I can to make you proud of me, to make you love me, and to just make you appreciate my efforts. But it was never enough. As long as I’m not her, I will never be good enough. She could have a thousands more flaws than me, but she will always be perfect and enough to you.

So I wonder why I can’t forget you and the pain you put me through

I already accepted that you will never be mine. I’ve already let that go. I’ve already let you go a long time ago. And I’ve been ready to let go of everything. But it seems like you still have a hold on my heart even if it’s just a little piece of it. It seems like I will never get that piece back, and it scares me to imagine that maybe that was the piece I need to complete myself. That without it, I will always be empty.

I’m so scared.

So scared to think that no one will ever truly love me enough to want me

 

 

Why I cut you out

If there’s anything to know about me, it is that I am too understanding and too forgiving. Often time, I go out of my way to make the people I care about feel special, loved, cared for, appreciated, etc. However, not only do these people hurt me time after time, they like to uphold double standards and label them as signs of affection.

Now, I know I’m not a perfect person. In fact, I’m far from perfect. There are many instances where I can be a hypocrite, and I’m not proud of it. It upsets me to know that I am acting and being a certain type of person I don’t exactly like or aspire to be. And I do beat myself up more than I should for every single mistake I make.

With that said, let me get to the main point. The reason why I cut you off is the simple fact that I have given you so many chances, yet you do not change. I want to move forward with my life, and I want to grow with the people around me. I don’t want to be held back or feel like I am holding someone back. It’s not particularly a nice feeling if you ask me. And to be blunt, you hold me back. Not only with your insecurities, but with your hatred towards yourself that you project onto everything you see.

Yes, it’s tiring. You say that you’re only being yourself, but I think you’re wrong. You’re not being yourself. You need to know that your insecurities are not actually you, but until you realize that, you will always make yourself act out based on your insecurities. And that itself is tiring. It’s tiring to see you go down the same destructive path over and over again only to have you say that it is something you cannot control. It’s tiring to be there for you when you do not show any appreciation for it. I am a busy person, and I’m putting my time aside for you because I care and because I love you. But if you aren’t grateful for that- if you take that for granted, then you can’t blame me when I say I’m fed up with it.

It wouldn’t bother me as much if you didn’t go around saying how great these other friends of yours are. I’m sure they are great, and I’m sure you let them know a lot of the times. But as a friend that has known you for awhile, it hurts. It hurts me to know that you talk to me only when you’re feeling depressed and/or suicidal. It hurts me to know that you only talk to me to complain about how other people have hurt you once again when you are actively putting your self-worth in them. It hurts me to know that if those two things don’t happen, I don’t exist.

And even I am there for you, I am unappreciated. Remember that time when you left me in the middle of the very serious conversation of you telling me that you were suicidal and you were going to carry out your plans? Yeah, that conversation- the one where you suddenly ghost on me. Imagine how I felt, how scared I was for your safety, how badly I wanted to make sure you were okay. Instead of telling me that you were gonna go or that you were going to be fine at least for the next hour or two, I had to find out through your snapchat story that your friends from college came to visit. I had to find out through snapchat that you captioned the footage “This is what true friendship is” or something along those lines.

Yes, I was happy you are okay. Yes, I was happy that your friends showed up and was there for you. But what about me? I was there for you for almost 4 hours straight, trying to be as supportive as I could have been. It felt like once they were there, you didn’t need me anymore. And it almost always felt like that. It’s either you come to me in those times or you don’t come to me at all. I’m sorry if it hurts you to know that I feel like I deserve a better friendship than that.

I’m also very sick of how I go out of my way to help you out of kindness and out of our long friendship, but you act like it’s a given. I’m not asking you to constantly remind me that you are grateful, but don’t you think it’s a bit insulting that you’re constantly saying how great these friends are when you barely ever tell me that? Or do you just assume that I knew? Because I’m here to tell you that obviously, I didn’t know.

You once asked me why people eventually leaves you. Maybe it’s time to look within yourself. Maybe it’s time to realize that believe it or not, you’re selfish and you hold a grudge against people. I think you can’t let things go because you don’t believe that justice has been upheld for you. But have you ever stop and wonder that maybe you’re the toxic one? And I’m not here shitting on you. I’ve been there. I have been the toxic one many times, and although I may not be proud of it, I embraced that fact because it reminds me that I can be flawed and that I can cause a lot of emotional damage to someone as well. I think if anything that’s just self-awareness. Knowing when you are at fault and owning up to it, instead of trying to find blame in others so you don’t have to take any personal responsibilities in working to change those bad and unhealthy behaviors.

Long story short, these things are not what drove me to cut you out of my life. What drove me is the lack of change and the lack of appreciation. Friendship is a two-way street and that can be said about any relationships. And yeah, I don’t think this friendship is a two-way street. And I’m sorry that this is going to hurt, but I rather be real about it than to make up some bullshit that we have grown apart.

Ice Cream

It’s the feeling you get when you stand in the line for the ice cream truck. The excitement. The anticipation. I, however, never liked ice cream to begin with. The sweet creamy taste only covers the pain you feel underneath. How many people actually get ice cream because they are happy? After all, these sweets will only end up as the fat around your stomach. I just don’t know why people love ice cream so much.

It leaves this bitterness in my mouth every time I eat or speak of it. I never really knew why since the brain freeze will just numb my thoughts and my feelings before I can even start to figure out why. Maybe my dislike for ice cream came from the disappointment you get as you take your final bite. You begin to long for it, yet you know it does not bring you anything but temporary happiness. In the end, it will fade just like how the ice cream will melt away.

I guess I just never liked ice cream to begin with.

Come to terms

My finals for this quarter have officially ended. Tomorrow, I’m going to fly back home. It’s going to be the last time I get to stay in that house.

It’s really upsetting if I have to be honest here.

I’ve lived in that house for about 8 years. That is the same amount of years I’ve lived in the apartment with my dad before my parents divorced. It’s scary that I have to leave behind another home of mine again.

Now, moving is no stranger to me. Before officially settling down in California, I lived in Houston, Texas for almost 4 months. I was only 8 years old and spoke zero English. To me, Houston was the beginning of my life in America until I was told by my mother that we were relocating once again to California where my future stepdad and his kids awaited us.

I used to get really bad nightmares. In those nightmares, I could never find my parents nor could I find anybody that existed. There I was, in the middle of the alleyway where I used to live in Taiwan, alone and frighten. I would tried to run up the stairs to the fifth floor where we lived, but no matter how hard I tried, the fifth floor did not exist and the stairs never end.

It just kept going,

and I just kept going.

Crying and trying so hard to find my family. To find my home. To find anybody that’s there that can comfort me. I felt so alone and so scared in those nightmares. In fact, I actually started to dislike stairs. I would avoid staircases, because it made me feel as if the moment I set foot on it, I might never reach the end.

But I discovered later that I was just lost and confused. I didn’t know where home was. Home was already America, yet a part of my heart still clung to the home in Taiwan- only to find that there is no home for me there anymore. That’s the realization I came to, and that is still the realization I am living by.

It’s just…how do I explain it?

You know how people say some issues are created as a result of the heart and the mind wanting different things? Well, what do you do when it is solely your heart that wants different things? What do you do when it is no longer a fight between you and someone else, but a fight between yourself?

I don’t know what to do. I still don’t.

The fact that I have to move again and leave behind this house- this place filled with so many memories both good and bad. How could I possibly do it so easily? I grew up here. I practically died and got reborn here many different times in the sense that I learned so many lessons in life during my stay here to the point that it is almost the birthplace of who I am now.

The birthplace of who I was as a 8 year old was not America. It was Taiwan. And the birthplace of who I am now as 19 year old is in that house located in Northern California.

Having to say goodbye to all I ever known all over again causes me tremendous stress, and there is nothing I can really do about it. This is beyond my control. But I’m a bit stronger now than before. In the past, I would just repressed all these feelings, but now, I’m writing about them.

I’m sure that if I keep taking these baby steps every single day, I will get there eventually, and I will come to terms with all these emotions and bitterness about having to leave. For the time being, I just need to cherish all the time I have left with my family and with that house.

And remember that this is just another lessons life is trying to teach.

 

Happy Birthday: A letter to myself

Happy Birthday, baby girl!

You are finally 19 years old. Can you believe it? 19 years old.

One more year and you will be 20. If you don’t think that’s amazing, I don’t know what else is amazing. You always thought that you will never live to see your 20s, but guess what? In one year you can. In 365 days, you will prove yourself wrong. To me, that’s amazing.

I know the day before your birthday has always been rough. In 2011, you tried to take your own life. You came home after being hit by the car in the traffic that you had thrown yourself into. You were limping, body covered with cuts and bruises, and face etched with tears. Your mom saw you, and you finally told her you didn’t want to live because everyone at your school bullied you.

It has been hard ever since. You grew distant from people, and you started to question whether or not people are just cruel. But you met her. You met your best friend. You met your other best friends, and you have been meeting so many amazing people along the way that is always wishing for your success.

Yes, it has been tough. I know. Especially last year when you wanted to take your own life the day before your birthday after having a huge fight with a boy you thought you love- after he screamed at you and dragged you out of his car. That day was horrible, and we both know that even though he treated you badly, you still found comfort in his arms when he came to see you after you told him you were about to end your life.

And I know it has been even tougher when you got your first boyfriend. You never been in a relationship before, and you are so scared that you might mess things up or that he might leave you for someone better. You had so many fears, and instead of dissipating them, he harmed you even more. You became another statistic. You were raped by the very person you trusted.

But you are so strong.

You are so strong for standing here today. You are strong for seeking the help you need when you arrived at college. You are “stronger than anybody even you can ever imagine.” Remember that line? In the poem you wrote?

You put yourself out there, and you have done things that you never thought you could. You became an advocate for sexual assault victims. You’re out there sharing your stories and helping others that are going through the same thing that you’ve have been through or are still going through. You performed your own poems in front of a group of stranger despite of your anxiety. You have allowed yourself to be open with people and trust in life despite all of the hardships you’ve been through.

You are so amazing for all the things that you’ve done and for all the things that you are still doing. You literally did everything those people didn’t want you to do.

You took control.

You took control back. And you’re doing all these things because it’s something you feel passionate about, which is so great. You took control back by deciding that you want to major in something that you love and not something that your parents want. You took control of your own happiness, and that’s all I can ever want you to do.

You’re succeeding and standing here right now when all those people want to see you fail and want to see you be held back by their hurt. You’ve been overcoming so much adversities in your life, and it’s about time that you realize just how strong you are and just how resilient you are.

So my birthday wish to you is that I hope you remember all of your strength, all of your beauty, and all of your love that you give to yourself and to others. You are an inspiration to me.

And one day in your 70s or 80s, I know you will look back on this time of your life and realize that you couldn’t have done things any better than you are doing right now. You will realize that you were wrong about not living to see your 20s.

So Happy Birthday, Jenice.

I know you’ll make a huge difference in the world.

Love,

Yourself

Do You Always…?

“Do you always think about boys?”

Somebody asked me this yesterday, to which I found absolutely amusing. Somehow, someone had the misconception that I am constantly thinking about boys.

To be fair, I can totally see how they ended up with that conclusion. Majority of the time when I talk to my friends, we end up having girl talk, especially the ones about boys. Now, I’m not the one that’s always talking about them. In actuality, often time my friends are the ones that are asking for advice or sharing the latest update on their relationships. But nevertheless, I still find it amusing that somebody actually thought that my life revolved around boys.

First of all, I don’t like using the term “boy” in this context because I don’t like boys to begin with. I like men as cheesy and cliche as that may sound. There’s nothing wrong with boys, except the fact that I am not romantically attracted to someone who is more inclined to be immature. Generally as a rule of thumb, when people age they become more mature. Hence the reason why I like to say that I tend to be attracted to “men” rather than the “boys” my age.

Strangely enough, I cannot see a guy my age (18 or 19 years old) as a man. Unfortunately, I tend to generalize guys during this age as a”immature horny dude that will do it with anything that moves” or as my generation and future generation call it, a “fuck boy”. Okay, I know I’m going too far, and it is extremely unfair to categorize guys into this stereotype that a good majority of guys do not even fit into. It is the same thing as categorizing girls who have multiple sexual partners in their lives as a “slut”. There shouldn’t be a double standard in which it is okay to label either male or female as “slut” or “fuck boy”. I guess we just do it so naturally that we forget that it is wrong to do so.

I’m getting a bit off tangent. What I’m trying to say is that even though there are these negative stereotypes out there for both gender, I think we can all agree on the fact that when you are younger, you don’t know what you truly want and truly need. Most of us at this age are either consumed by having the time of our lives or by working our ass off to get into Graduate school, Medical school, or the work force. I think there are only a select few that really know themselves well, and by that I do not just mean what they want in life. I’m talking about being in tune and in touch with not only their outer-self but also their inner-self.

Some of us do not even understand our feelings or what we’re feeling, and some of us don’t even bother trying to understand why we even feel that way. I think out of the many ways that make me different from my peers, this is one of the big ones. I always felt like I am an old soul. From a young age, I already learned how to tune in to not only my emotions, but the emotions of others. As a result, I think that made me less comfortable with being with people my age. Many of us don’t see how detrimental our words and our actions can be, and some of us don’t even care that it can hurt people. That in return makes me hesitant to befriend others or to associate myself with them.

Some people will talk shit about others in order to give them a few seconds of gratification and self-worth. Some people will throw tantrum if things do not go the way they wanted it go. A lot of people will put their self-worth and other people’s self-worth solely based on the way they look and the way they dress. It’s almost childish to me to see people behave in such a way. I have to constantly remind myself that even in college, there are still tons of immature people out there. I have to constantly remind myself that I shouldn’t judge them or treat them any differently or any less because they still haven’t fully mature yet. Hell, I haven’t even fully matured yet. And the thing is we all have to go through this cycle from childhood to adulthood at one point or another. We’re not that different from each other.

My problem isn’t that people can be immature. My problem is that because I’m surrounded by a good handful of people that can act very immature to the point that often time, I find myself having to conform to that immaturity for the sake of fitting in. I crack sexual jokes in the middle of lecture because I think my classmate might get a laugh out of it even though I know it’s inappropriate in both context and setting. It’s just this never-ending cycle of me conforming to how other people act just to make some friends.

Even then, only my best friends that I made in high school know who I really am. They know that I enjoy long deep talks about the meaning of life, the meaning of love, the meaning of just everything. They know that I am a deep person that feels everything. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s actually quite amazing. As much as I dislike getting dirty, there is just something about sinking your feet into the earth. It’s comforting, and it’s just an incredible way to ground yourself in times of stress.

See…my outer persona will never allow me to be this open and this deep or whatnot when I talk to people. The impressions I leave on people are usually too strong for them to see me in another light. In a way, it is almost twice as heart-breaking to see me break down and cry my eyes out. Normally, I come off as someone who is very confident and someone who is independent, so whenever I let my emotions show, people are surprised.

I guess I should get back to the main point. I don’t always think about guys nor does my life revolve around them. Take this as an example. My focus was on how I felt like I cannot connect to people my age. This is actually something that is constantly on my mind. This is a problem that I’ve been trying to find a solution to for ages.

For example, I kind of lock myself in my own room because I’m so used to being alone. Whenever I am in the common room with hall mates, I feel this pressure to be someone and something that I’m not. And I get awkward about it.  I don’t know what to say. I just sit there quietly, sometimes with my laptop or phone. Other times, I will crack a joke here and there or join in on the conversation only to leave a few minutes afterward.

I don’t understand how people make friends so easily through small talk. Maybe I just crave another kind of friendship. The one that is rich and filled with love and everlasting bond. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy having small talk here and there. However, it’s just not fulfilling for someone like me. I just want to dive into the deep end. I want to know what the person values or what they’re thinking in their mind. I want to know how they perceive life and how they cope and compromise when life throws itself at us.

So yeah…I wonder if anybody else feels the same.

I mean this is still the first quarter. Maybe I’ll meet someone on campus that understand exactly what I’m talking about. And if such person or people exist(s), it would be really nice to get to know them, and it would be really nice for them to get to know me. You know, the other part of me that I normally don’t show to others.

And I wonder if any of my college friends are surprised by the things I write about on here. I wonder if they ever saw me as a person that would feel such a way.

 


 

p.s. I love how the grammar is so inconsistent in this blog post. It just jumps all over the place. It’s great.