a new day

Marking a new day today, one to smile, feel clean and happy as I move about. 

The plan, coffee at the favorite place, studying for the advancement exam, being kind to myself. 

The black mirror consumes me, so I must shut it off, embrace solitude, loneliness, await it as it comes. It will undoubtedly arrive, and I will have no choice but to welcome it again. 

That which you run from only stays with you longer. 

Last night I called her, but there was no answer. Part of me thinks, Thank God. The other part… 

I had a dream too, our relationship floundered while on vacation. I felt jealous as she spoke with the tour guide. Possessive, even in dreams. Though in recent dreams I have also been courageous, brave, heroic. So maybe I should place focus on those more.

My writing doesn’t appeal to me. My writing equals my lying because there are things I don’t want to address, I don’t want to explore. Why does the past weigh so much? Like a dumb elephant. 

That 7-mile run killed me. Am I about to get old? In less than a year I will turn 30. So who knows what that brings along with it. Maybe slower mornings. This one can be slow if it wants to, I don’t mind. I won’t say anything about it. 

A month from now the journey will take place in another place. Here is to hoping that is a good thing. Writing is my own salvation, to place the hopes of life on other people is selfish, and delusional. 

A new day today, to smile, feel clean, and happy as I move about. 

caressing a rose, or living in near extinction.

Evening came too soon, and sleep drags me away unwilling. 

I’d close my eyes and say a prayer, hoping you find love. 

For me, it’s always out of reach and so I question. 

Lessons never learned, a Sisyphean excursion, lending to more and more of the same taste food. 

Food? What an analogy for the experience, when someone says they’ve whet their appetite… Or, have you ever tried love?

We ran towards nothing, hand-in-hand, and shared the same slice of pizza. 

Bite by bite, do you remember? The Marguerita slice, in late September. 

We walked by and through the park, where we’d argue, summer nights and in the dark.

We took pictures of the protests, I was just learning to take photos then. But you came along, and this is how I want to remember you. 

I have a tendency for making bad memories into the ones that are permanent. The trauma-precedence, so I can’t remain friends even if I tried to.

Because I remember the times when I was most hurt, and I wonder now if you still wear the Acne Studios sweatshirt. Or maybe you threw it away. It always looked so good on you, it made me want to hug you. 

There were times when you were all I needed, and I cry sometimes because it’s not that way. You made a choice. I did too. And that was the last I saw. I wonder what the flight back home was like for you, what the nights were like, the days, endless. And now you’re probably alright. I know you were in Spain, or Europe, and you’ve found a place for yourself. I wonder what you know about me.

I have actually stopped keeping tabs, but I remember and I feel that in the distance, you remember. When you’re down and life is hard, is it me that you think about?

I think about the choices I’ve made, which were the good ones? Which bad? Who could determine it at this juncture? Tomorrow, I’ll sleep late with the heavy blanket that you shipped to me. I’ll hold it close, remembering, how the weight of you felt. 

I began to read When Breath Becomes Air. I am sad when I read, and I remember you shared with me how much you cried as you read it. You are the one love, and I hope you’re okay. But will I be fine? I don’t know much these days, about love, about life. It’s one endless day meeting an endless night. 

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?

exi

The old man watched as the boy struggled against himself. His great challenge was not the task in front of him, these were merely obstacles in his way. He had to find a way to overcome the limitations which he had placed on himself.

The old man remembered his own struggles with fear, how it would leave him paralyzed, unable to act, and defeated. Much the like the boy in front of him, the problems that plagued him were ones he had played such a large role in creating. But what were the origins?

Was the old man solely responsible for the beliefs he had grown so faithfully to accept? Was he truly weak like he believed? Had his intelligence actually been so limited that he could not see this firsthand? Here is a question, if you’ve gone crazy, like truly lost your mind and experienced dementia, how long does it take for you to find out?

Questions were all the old man could offer, but what the boy needed was answers. He wanted to know things for certain. But is there anything that fits that expectation? Could we truly know anything for sure? We can hope to know, but not much more than that.

When the old man asked the boy, what was stopping him, the boy said it was just that he was too tired. He needed more sleep, and he wasn’t getting enough. Then the old man recommended that he go get some rest and try again the next day. 

As the next day arrived, the boy returned rested and ready to conquer his challenge. But this time, he failed too. So the old man asked him what went wrong? The boy said he didn’t eat a breakfast, and that he didn’t drink enough water. The old man sent the boy to get some food and drink, to get rest.

The next day, the boy returned with a stomach full of food and having drank the right liquids. He was rested and ready to go. He had never felt better, but again, he failed. Now the boy was confused. He couldn’t say why he was failing, and when the old man came to ask the question, he dropped his gaze and said he is not good enough. 

When the old man, who had done this over 1,000 times approached the boy, he said, well good. Now that you know you’re not good enough, take a rest. Leave the task, and never come back again. I never want to see you try, and I don’t want you to even think about coming back. 

At this, the boy cried. He went home and he had no appetite, he couldn’t sleep, and he ignored his thirst. The boy had felt so sad, because even after each failure, he loved that he got to try. Now he couldn’t even experience failure. 

The next day, he wandered about aimlessly, and this continued for several days. The boy began thinning, waning, nearly disappearing. Everytime he looked back where he would stand, tears would flow down his face. He looked at the old man, and the old man pretended that he didn’t exist. He never returned his gaze.

One day, after many such days, the boy returned to play the game. He failed again, but he still tried. The old man still didn’t mind him, but the boy thought less about that. All he wanted to do was try. 

When it came time for him to return home to sleep, he didn’t notice it. He fell asleep at the game, and he missed meals, and he forgot to drink water. He didn’t talk anymore, he just played. Try after try after try. The voice inside of him grew bored of calling him a failure, and he stopped believing he was not good enough. 

The old man had to pull the young boy away to get his attention, and when he did, he confessed that the game was meant to be hard, impossible to figure out, that nobody really had the answer. Everyone wanted to know the meaning of the game, but that no one acknowledged the game meant different things to everybody. The boy could barely keep his attention, he wanted to return to the game. So the old man said to him, Son, you’re done. You have discovered the meaning of the game. 

At this the boy paused, what he had found in the game was so much more. It was validation, a personal weapon that killed the doubt he created. He loved it so much, he tried to fill all of his days with it, and he did. 

Eventually, he grew up to become an old man too, and he understood. The point is not to succeed, it’s to do it over and over again. Day after day, because that’s all you know. 

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. 

on presence

Over the next few days, I will be traveling for work and I will not be sharing my writing on happyperson. Today, I want to spend some time reflecting on what the past posts have meant to me and how writing has brought meaning to my life.

For the past 16 or 17 days, I have sat down at the end of the day to write down my thoughts. I have experienced some anxiety when facing the empty screen. Sometimes I am unsure of what I would like to write, and I sit down and think. I realize this pause for reflection is where a lot of my ideas spring from. It is a moment of intentionality, to think of what I would like to communicate to whoever the reader is on the other side of the screen.

At times, I feel I have nothing to say. I stare blankly, feeling as if I have said all there is to say. But we know this is never the case, and sometimes it all comes gushing out of me as my fingers glide tirelessly across the keyboard barely able to keep up with my speeding mind. 

Most recently, I have delved into past relationships, moments that live in memory and have even shaped core aspects of my character. Who are we if not the sum of our experiences? In some sense, this is what I hope to communicate through this blog, my experience with life and the articulation of my own self as I learn and understand its origins and purpose. 

I am alone again, and when I am alone I think of what I want to do when it is all said and done. I have come to understand that my knowledge of where I am at is more important than where I am going or where I have been, but I pay so little attention to the present and spend so much of my time floating elsewhere.

When I go for a swim at the pool, I design work outs that I was able to complete in my days as a swimmer at Colgate and at George Washington High School. I design workouts that I will be able to complete after I have swam and regained my strength and refined my technique. But rarely do I design workouts for where I am actually at right now. I am regaining form and I need to be patient with my progress. The same with the Officer package, I need to practice patience and commit to making small changes rather than drowning myself underneath the weight of it all. I can address it all one step at a time, and I will be thankful for it. 

Being present also means being here, locally. I don’t want to be in New York, nor do I want to be in Instagram, in Ukraine, in the NBA Finals. I want to be locally, in Gulfport, connected with the people around me, engaged in my activities, focused on my pursuits. The tighter the leash I keep on my mind, the more rooted I am in my person and what I am currently pursuing. 

I am becoming a good writer, and I am only saying this because I am actually writing. The prerequisite is just that, write words and you are a writer. Over my lifetime, I may become a great writer, and if I am lucky, committed, and consistent, I may become a known writer. 

For now, these words will do, because this is all I have.

growing confidence

I wish I had natural confidence. I spent the afternoon reflecting on how I have missed so many opportunities due to my lack of confidence – and how I wish I could have believed in myself to endure the tough times. 

But it is hard to judge if whether past actions that I took were due to a lack of confidence or a result of my confidence. When I judge things from the past through this single lens, it becomes hard to assess where the truth lies.

The list of things I am afraid of doing because of lack of confidence is long, but here are a few.

– Asking a girl out in person. Or sometimes even talking to a girl that I like.

– Speaking in public.

– trying something new, and the subsequent discouragement that results from the inevitable failure.

– traveling to a new country/city alone.

Maybe if I put myself in a place to challenge these fears, I can overcome them – and why not now? What better time?

Maybe when I go to New Orleans, I’ll strike up a conversation with a pretty girl. I’ll show interest, and ask what book they are reading, what coffee they ordered, where they are from, and what brought them over.

I want to learn about myself and why I bought into the idea that I am not good enough for this. It’s completely false.