talk to me about fear.

There is no mistake, and let there be no confusion, I can do anything I desire in this world. 

The doubt that has existed in my mind has many origins, and there is so much sincerity in my efforts to handle these doubts in the humblest manner possible, showing care and concern for the feelings of others and the impressions I will make on their lives. However, it is now clear to me that the origins are nothing but fear-based parasitical thoughts that have nurtured themselves on my own doubts and lack of confidence.

I was bullied as a child, sexually abused, raised in a single-mother household, and exposed to a world of crime and disillusionment, drugs, and lying. But I am not a victim. 

I have been lied to in relationships, deceived, and thought to feel like I was not good enough. The one that made me chuckle was when I was told I would never find someone as good as that person. Here I am, though, and I am not a victim. 

I am a hero, having overcome the sirens who have wailed to bring me down, I stand heroic. I am not afraid, and I am convinced that I can really do anything I want in this world. I am a great leader despite all of the circumstances I mentioned, but also because of them. And nobody will trust a leader without a limp. 

That is the difference, and I see it all clear now, that I am not afraid to die in order to do what is right and serve in the highest capacity. I have gaps in my resume because I prefer to not have something given to me if it requires lying in order to obtain it. In all of my fear-based actions, I found courage. 

I committed myself to box, 4-5 hours daily, 6 days a week, for 2 years. Each session included thousands of sit-ups, sweat dripping from my forehead, blows shaking my face, taunting my consciousness, and bringing me closer to myself.

In my room, I found myself addicted to pornography. There was no escape, as I found the opportunity to search for something in the smallest moments of silence. I did not want to face myself. I did not want to come to know this addiction because I was a coward. I lacked confidence. 

I ran away from relationships and judged people who are now away and apart from me, but I am grateful for their presence and relieved for their absence. I have seen that I can do anything I put my mind to, and I will devour books even if it takes me twice or three times as long to read them. I will show up early at my workspace to learn how to code in Python or R, and I will stay long after everyone is gone.

I am relentless. I will not stop. I will not lose because I am not afraid to lose. When everyone gives up, wants to switch teams, and wants better opportunities and the culture sucks, and the job is too hard, and the hours are too long, I stand calm. Because I have trained for this my whole life.

I let go of material possessions, all of what I had worked for. I didn’t need it. Then I fell into the trap of materialism again, and now I teeter back to what I know. I am best when the weight of life approaches zero. I am limitless as the weight of my belongings approaches zero.

I will not be stopped. Never. 

On the subject of child sexual abuse – it happened to me. I pray for anyone else who has gone through these sorts of violations. As a man, it is hard to speak of these things, to acknowledge them, to come to terms with them. Because you feel weak and afraid. But there is nothing in the past that I will give the power to haunt me. And now, I have the power, be very afraid. 

notes on grief

Finished reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s short book, Notes On Grief. 

Called mom today. She said my Godmother’s cancer continues to spread, that my aunt is probably going for surgery again, my grandmother currently underwent surgery, my sister – I think she needs me right now. But I cannot be there. 

Notes on Grief, when her father dies, Chimamanda is unhinged. What is life’s meaning when life’s meaning gets subtracted? What is left when everything is taken? In her Notes, she remarks on the surprise, the futility of condolences, the upside-downness of the process, practically unchanged since the dawn of time, of how we deal with our loved ones when they die. 

In her Notes, she shares stories about her father. This is a Eulogy maybe, or an obituary. He seemed like a loving man, and I came to show admiration for him upon finishing reading the novel. 

Out in Colorado somewhere, I bought apples, bananas, beef jerky and snack bars for our trip to the Sand Dunes. The bagger packed my new purchases and when I tried to tip him for his help, he declined. He said, I already have too much money. 

Maybe I do too. Maybe I haven’t considered the fact, but I already have too much money. And then what? 

I sat on the porch as the morning breeze cooled me. That’s when I read the first pages of her Notes. When I embrace solitude, good things happen. But I am always running away, playing a constant game of tag with it. So I became depressed again, playing over unwanted memories of failed relationships. I never thought I’d waste someone’s time. After all, I never felt that way toward anyone. But maybe I did. 

Now who am I to become? What am I to do? It’s only me, and me alone, to face this long, winding road. 

losing…

They are all crusted into my heart like plaque that’s settled long onto teeth, a layer of sediment. These emotions are not easy to bear. I need help, and I don’t know who or how to ask. But I am up again tonight, wandering, pacing the hallways, the solitude haunts me. I download instagram, and then I erase it, and a few minutes later its on my phone again. My phone is a source for this disconnection I feel with myself. How ironic, but also, how unavoidable. 

I am hurting deeply inside. My conversations with my mother are so inconsistent, and they are not much better with my sister, with Johanly. The feeling that I may have passed away, and knowing that their life continued without me. All there is is maybe a few miles between us. But between me and me there is only time. What happened, why it happened, and how? The story unfolded in its own way. 

Recall the excitement of new jobs, new adventures, and before things got heavy how I smiled. Writing about the depression doesn’t help, and in some way it may reinforce it because it reminds me that I am not fixed. The feeling of brokenness, like a sound coming from an engine that used to purr, and now you hear it struggle to perform its basic functions. I feel a cough, beyond the sleep deprivation. I feel tears, I miss mom. I miss them all, and I don’t know how to get it back. 

It all ends. The women in my life, they’re not checking in on me. Remember those good morning texts? Remember, but how could you forget? All you can do is remember. Remember the time Natasha laid in your arms, and you felt close like friends, like the secrets you had shared were safe. Spend the rest of your life trying to convince someone to love you, when it’s you. Answer! Wake up, and say that you love yourself. Jump high off the ground! Run fast! Please don’t get old and tired. Please don’t get old and tired. Please. 

I urge you, write a book. Who cares if it sucks, but you have to. If you want any chance at the next decade being one that you’re proud of, please start writing. Make time for your studies. Start saving away your money. Don’t stray from your goals. Set goals again. You used to set goals every month, and now you don’t. Did you forget how meaningful that process was for you? Please don’t forget it.

I’m pleading with you, Ledimir. I am the voice inside, and we need to wake up. Don’t waste your time. Be intentional about every moment. Live out your dreams. Become intensely focused because that’s all you have. So forget instagram, forget facebook. Forget the junk food. Stay away from it at all costs. Save your money. Don’t spend it wrecklessly. Stop with the sugar. Stop with the late nights. Write for you. Write because it is your only salvation. 

Forget her. Forget all of them. Let them go. The best thing you can do is let them go. Let them all go. Please. Let them all go. 

You can change the story, but you have to commit to it. Only you can commit to it, to building your own program and going your own distance. You have to make the choice and no one can make it for you. 

What are you going to be sad for? For what happened with Ivan. He doesn’t care about you. Jeremy doesn’t care about you. Even Wascar, he cares, but not like he did. And this is your fault. Your fault entirely, and why you will end up alone. Who will love you? Who? 

They say everything you write is sad. Who cares? Life is sad, but I will fight. I mean, you will fight. The problem of consciousness, it’s like a mirror that’s absorbed its reflection. We both stand on one side now. You and I both, searching for something. Searching, always searching. Life is an endless search.

Do you understand what it feels like to feel complete? To no longer need to search? I didn’t think you did. But you need to find out.

I owe this much to you. I owe that much. Stopppppppppp. Shut up! Let me please just breathe, because I can’t anymore. I simply cannot, and I don’t know how it will go. 

Kim, what did I do wrong? All I did was show love, but it was never going to be enough. I don’t make money like you. It was hard for me to afford our dinners, lunches. I am not established in my career, and I am barely sure of this one. What did I do wrong? Why should I care what you think? You don’t really care about me either. 

I said I love you on like the 10th day. Fucking idiot… It just slipped or something. I wish I didn’t mean it, but I did. Caroline said the same things. Are you a person who truly loves or are you just one to catch feelings. The times with her were the worst. Even the good ones. Who am I to judge the past? 

Caroline… when you gave that guy your number… I still remember how much I hated that moment, and then you called me someone else’ name. Sheesh. Fucking – what did I do wrong? Where did I go wrong?

Diana, Bryant? Fuck… And then it’s like what about me though… What was I supposed to do? I am the one that moves on quick, but now its too much to bear. I needed to process things, and they are all in there. Cementing into graver problems. Writing. Writing is your salvation. 

Write. Write. Write. Write.

Homeless. I see it. But Goddamn, I want to avoid it. I cannot manage my money. I am struggling to manage my money and time. I am struggling to manage my time, and I am afraid. I am deeply afraid of the future. 

Oh Kim, I thought we had a good time at the aquarium. We left it on a good note, but it’s not good right now. There is too much, so it’s not your fault. There are tears that are too afraid to leave my eye right now. So they stay seated where they are at, and I cannot cry. I cannot force a tear no matter how hard I try. 

I left Boston, and I should have stayed because I was learning how to process it all back there. Until I slowly started to disintegrate. Could that be what is happening now? I am withdrawing again, avoid all people. The conversations are superficial, and I have so much to do. So much, but I cannot. Cannot focus. 

Leave the instagram alone. Close the tabs on your phone. Make it basic again. You don’t need all those features and apps. Make it just so its the minimum. 

Remember when that was ok for you. Now you have added more and more, but leave it to a minimum. Don’t worry, what is important will find its way to you. Maybe leave Strava and that’s all. You don’t need the others. 

keep your head up, its down

My head hung low today, and it was hard to match the passing person’s gaze. The future brings with it its own weight and uncertainty, and I am unsure of my role in bringing its fruits to fruition. Will I climb or will I fold?

What I am experiencing doesn’t compare to the realities of many of the world’s people right this moment, and I cannot lose sight of that. Right now, there is a child who no longer knows home as he used to, displaced, motherless, fatherless, brotherless. Right now, there are people who are watching the sun set on another day of uncertainty, homeless, aimless, with a gap in their stomach. There are people who have become familiar with hunger, so that a warm plate of soup, or a large, home-cooked meal is a surprise. Whatever I am going through, I must not forget that there are others whom I have committed to serve who are experiencing much worse. 

What is wrong with me? Perhaps I lost a meaningless game of basketball, maybe its the wall that I missed when I flipped while swimming. Yesterday, I was dropped from the pack while cycling, and I have struggled to consistently write, sleep on schedule, hydrate, express gratitude. But whereas meals are concerned, I have had some of the best meals of my life recently. I ate Korean BBQ for the first time in my life. I ate Oysters, twice, in the span of ten days. But its not the material that plagues me, its what is happening on the inside, in my mind. 

What would I do over if I had the chance to? What would you do? The lingering regrets weigh heavy on my mind. I toss and turn at night. I could’ve said that I was ready, but maybe I wasn’t. Or maybe it was more than that, sometimes we should share the blame. And who cares about blame. 

I write to clear my mind. I write because there are things that I could not say to anyone specifically when they ask me what is wrong, because unless I write it I do not know. I know nothing about the home I will live in this time next year, my life since I have turned 18 has been in a constant flux, and it looks to stay that way. This is the path that I have chosen. 

Noticing that I was down, my friend shared a quote from the movie Nemo. “All you have to do is keep on swimming, just keep on swimming.” What more is there to do?

blindness

I prefer to keep my eyes closed so that the tears would have to force their way out. I say I prefer as if I had a choice in the matter, and as if my eyes weren’t forcefully shut because I was not ready to see what I was beginning to see. 

The deterioration of the mind is sudden. By the time I am become aware of what’s happening, I am halfway gone – and without realizing it, I am lost, unfound in a haze of confusion. This is what I did not want to see, the tragic end to a life that began with boundless potential.

As a youth, I stared intently at the pieces of a chess game, pieces so controlled and with no agency. Perhaps they were made of the same stuff as we, having the poor to influence change, but unable to decide for themselves. I stopped believing in free will because I understood that we created games that mirrored life, and the games we most enjoy are the zero-sum kind. 

In these games, there exists binary relations between winners and losers. Winners excite us, inspire us – losers, there is a lesson somewhere to be learned. 

I spilled my coffee on my previously white shirt. The stain has left me sour, and I am unable to shake the feeling away. While my coworker talks to me, I start to think about the stain and whether it will be permanently there, married to my shirt, never to be separated until death or a drowning in a spinning vaccuum with a tide-pod extraction. The shirt shall be replaced now, and I am none too happy with the coffee this time either. 

I still order the oat milk latte with caramel flavoring that was her favorite drink. I don’t know why we hold on to things that people pass on to is. We accept behaviors and our entire personalities evolve. I went my whole life without knowing what I would order at a coffee shop, now I don’t think, I just say the words and the drink is prepared. But today’s coffee didn’t taste so rad, it actually made me want to attempt to slurp it all in one sip. What I actually did was toss the rest of it in a garbage can. 

She said I text like a book, and when people ask me why I don’t write, I tell them that I am a coward. Perhaps I believe this about myself, but I shouldn’t. After all, maybe I am just not ready for the writing that I am meant to write. Even as I write these long incoherent sentences. 

I disintegrate, and I cry. I am timeless at once, wandering in the past, lost – have I died yet. What if I didn’t notice when it happened and I am making my way to an Angel. 

I am missing my Guardians. My Wascar, my Ana, my Johanly, my Jeffrey, my Nelson. I am not abandoned, but I cannot find them here. I am alone, and my eyes have to remain closed. Because I am afraid again, and seeing is painful. So very painful.

im a little bit sad

The battles that have brought me down in suffering are the ones I will never forget. As I navigate adult life, I think back to those lessons – those moments when I ambled the streets of New York City with a scruffy beard, not a cent in my pocket, eyes long and droopy, stomache stretched like a pig-skin drum with ribs outlined. I felt hunger, loneliness, a feeling of discontent that I could not evade. But even as my circumstances have changed, and material items abound sometimes to a border with gluttony, I feel the same sadness seeping into my experience of life.

I cannot escape this feeling, and I know that the more I tell myself that the more true it becomes. Today I felt overwhelmed with my tasks, and I sat down defeated, unable to move on. It is hard to call this laziness, because I do what I am supposed to do. I have grown comfortable with not moving until it is time to move. I play a dangerous game with time, daring it to run out on me, declining to accept its impermanence. One day I will suffer my demise, the seeds of my underestimation. Because time waits for no man, and it waits with cold hands.

The other half of it I am dreaming of what could be, what I deep down hope would be. But hope is the falsity that burdens my existence. My friends say that my inability to hold tight to hope is a sign of my own lack of confidence. They try to convince me that I should believe, that I should hold hope that it will work how I want it to. But I find it so hard to believe that. After all, it hasn’t worked that way. And yet, this is the trap. My entanglement with my own self-worth creates a fog that makes it difficult for others to see me for what I am, what I could be, and even though I am dying to show them – at times it is hard. 

The hardest part is waiting for that opportunity. Saying no to what comes in between and waiting patiently for that which you have set your eyes on. I want to say no to candy, to sugar, to basketball, to Netflix, to girls and people I have no interest in. But I don’t. I accept what I am given, maybe because at a point I had nothing. And when you experience the weight of the nothingness, the first something that becomes available becomes everything and more. 

I want to smile again tomorrow. I don’t want to think these thoughts. I don’t want to feel this weight. I want to feel light, excited again. Here’s to hoping for that day. 

evading sadness impending gloom

All of life summarized, the rush to get to somewhere unknown will consume your peace. 

Every moment seems to bear an equal weight of importance. When I tell the story, I stop at every sign and open every door. I am seeking a truth that may have gone hiding away. The past is a labyrinth in which I sit down and weep. 

Today we talked about past lives and permanent dispositions. Can a child be born sad? Can sadness be inherited? I had always believed that it could be cultivated, and after so many years of attention and nurturing in that manner, become that way. But a sadness in-grown, and not merely adopted, that is a hard pill to … you know the saying.

Where do our thoughts come from? How do we crack the puzzle of our mind, eliminating intrusive thoughts? How do I move forward from where I am and open myself to something new? I need to give myself space and time to relax – somehow, someway, into the space within myself. I need to relax. I need to ease back. 

Have I processed enough of the past to make living in the present bearable? Now, when my writing becomes more question than answer, I start to think that something is terribly wrong. But here is my theory, it will get fixed, but not today nor tomorrow. But where do I place these hopes?

I sat at the book store, and I was able to get some work done. But I drank my Chai Tea with the expediency of a New Yorker. The weight of the world builds knots of tension in my body. I only want to do what I need to do to make progress, but I look back and all I have been pleading for is a moment of rest. A moment to put my phone down, close my computer screen, and return to me. 

I missed you, Natasha. I didn’t know that I did so much, and then tears formed in my eyes. My eyes, which grow tired and worn, but not from seeing, from not closing enough. From too much of it. 

I always thought I cried too much for a guy. Somehow, not being able to speak led to more of that. I cry when I think about hugging my mom again. I wonder, with honest concern, whether that will happen again. I used to be able to stroll to her room in my apartment and lay down beside her. She would place her arm around me, or I would just snuggle underneath her. That warmness, love. 

We are too often buried in minutiae. When nothing really matters, and here I go tip-toeing towards nihilism. Everything matters. The two bitter extremes. 

I wish I was on good terms with all the people that said they loved me. I need all of the love right now. I need it from people I don’t believe it to hear it from anymore. I need it from my mom. I need it from dad. I need it from myself. Not in the form of a text, or a phone call. I need a hug, a handhold, a head rub. 

I let the day sleep, but I was too tired to reach for it anyway. Tomorrow will begin a new week, I will be renewed soon. 

whoa, it’s me

I am convinced that there is a structural pattern to my moods, such that I am most optimistic towards the beginning and ends of the month and I hopelessly dread the middle. It could be due to the fact that I am very goal-oriented. I have often lost sight of the journey while focusing on the destination. Wisdom states that there is far more beauty in the journey. Why, then, is that beauty so hard for me to see?

The destination is unquestionably certain. The certainty with which we can assert that we have arrived is comforting, exhilarating. After working so hard at something, uncertain if it will materialize, that notice of arrival is like the hug you receive from your loved one after the hours of driving. Can you name a more comforting feeling?

Right now, all I wish is to be able to hold Caroline in my arms. I want her to cuddle in towards me, but the journey states that thousands of miles will have to be crossed before that can happen. How frustrating that can be, but in a highly characteristic end-of-the-month perspective shift, I want to change one thing about the way that I view these circumstances. I am proposing something simple, that the “woe is me” mentality for one day be “whoa, it’s me!”

Because two things can occur, I can finally discover that the cause of my misfortunes and poor attitude is not something external, like I believed. It’s not the fact that she’s not here right now. It’s not anything to do with my circumstances at all. It has all to do with how I am viewing things. In a Hollywood-worthy plot twist, with a Eureka howl, I see that all along it’s been me. My attitude. Whoa, it’s me!

But aside from that, from figuring out that I can be the problem, I can also see this. That the miracle of life is still present. Shucks, at least I’m alive. So, next time I look in the mirror, hopefully, I can at least feign surprise. Whoa, it’s me! Here still. Just one day older. And with a dim-witted smile, I can show thanks for that gift of life.

Well, now we get to wrap up the year. 2021 is in its final stages. I’ll set new goals for December, and I’ll try to get some rest by getting into bed by 9 pm every day.

another sunday

Weeks, they go by way too fast. As the final hours of a sunday come, surely they will go, and I am not the more rested nor invested into the coming week.

Thanksgiving approaches. I don’t remember many great thanksgivings, but there have been 2 or 3 where I’ve had great food and a decent time. The difficulty for me was feeling like I didn’t fit in amongst family. Everyone there was happy to see someone else, conversations were born, had their life cycle, and birthed another one before they died. There was dancing, footprints, and sole marks all over grandma’s linoleum tile. Some were there jovial, drunken, and then slowly they’d find a place and fall asleep, like at the kitchen counter or the couch, while the music played on. Loud, loud music. That’s what I remember, and I would be quiet.

I sometimes think, if I bring my kids around to places like that, I have to remember to check in with them from time to time. I want to make sure they’re ok, because sometimes environments like that are too hard to handle. But maybe I was just the black sheep. My cousins and sister all learned to drink at these occasions, they learned to dance, they learned to move around and socialize, and they played the roles of family better than I could even dream. Whenever I tried anything, I felt awkward and upset. These weren’t people I just met, these were people I’d known my whole life.

Anyway, now I am alone, and it’s hard here. But I am not necessarily missing home at these times, because for me, it was hard there too. As tough as it is to be alone, sometimes I think it’s the best possible world for me. Given my knack for finding unhappiness and defects, my life has become just that. Finding the most acceptable path, and moving forward. Like shopping at a thrift store, sometimes you’ll find a good thing, and it won’t even cost you that much.

no words

A feeling of no words, and while everything seems to be going well, I find myself losing my balance in some way. What could it be, when nothing is more important than another thing? Even the writing is sort of paced at incremental gains. 

Think of the game monopoly, the more players, the longer each turn lasts and the game quickly gets boring. No one advances, but once in a while someone gets lucky and another unlucky. 

I don’t know how to feel because I have so many books to read, so many songs to listen to, so many articles I’ve fallen behind on, so many emails waiting to be read, so many text messages and calls for attention, and I feel so lost. 

I haven’t wanted to work out in a couple of weeks. This always happens when I travel, when my routine gets shaken up, and I feel like I’m unable to make a good decision. Can I be trusted to make one good decision? 

The world is moving too fast, and yet it’s moving too slow. I can’t possibly connect with everyone. I need a system that works. 

The mental breakdowns in relationships. Pleas and cries for help, welp, I hope I could figure it out. Back then when I said I wasn’t ready, I’d considered the facts. But this time, I know it’s her, like she’s the one, but the doubts are my own. Am I some one she can rely on? This night will seem longer than other nights, but I should at least make my bed, and put my clothes away. How is it that you return from a trip and you don’t even unpack. 

It’s always like this one thing. If I drink more water, and disconnect for a few hours from the pc, the switch, just sit down and read. The panacea for my woes. But it ain’t so simple. No… no it isn’t. It will take some work.