Chasing Time

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These last few years, I feel as if I’ve been chasing time. Trying to make the most of it, trying to enjoy what I had even when I couldn’t, trying trying trying. And yet, time has always seemed to slip away from me.

Life is far too short for that. 

There is a whole lot going on in my world right now and I know some of you are in the same boat. I’m writing this for you just as much as I’m writing it for me, whether it’s a push to make the most of the last bits of summer or reminding all of us that we can. That it’s possible. 

Because every day I am reminded of the fragility of our lives. Even more than being afraid of what that means and the things that happen because of it, I am slowly learning to use it as a reason to stay here and stay alive for as long as I can.

That, and stay moving.

Now, they say that we keep learning and growing with this whole adulting thing and I guess I can agree with that. Sometimes. Because sometimes, even while I want to keep moving and keep living this life, I don’t know how.

Let it happen.

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Let what happen you ask? Everything. There are so many things in our lives that we cannot change or control. I am someone who has tried only too had to do so anyway, though ultimately in vain. In turn, doing so tends to hurt more than it helps, leaving us stressed, worried, exhausted, and feeling unfulfilled.

You have to let it go, trust that it’s okay to not have that control in your own hands.

Believe me on this one.

You’re still allowed to ask someone to sit with you in that turmoil, to weather it with you. You don’t have to do it on your own. But when it comes to the rest, focus on what you can control. Brush your teeth, check in with someone you love, put on something that you feel good in. All of this, this you can do with your own hands.

Do it. Leave the rest up to the universe.

Here are a few things that have gotten me through it all anyway.


Four things:

Acknowledge the dark clouds, remember the silver lining.

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There is always some kind of positive to every situation each one of us go through. Even when we can’t see it. It’s okay to be swallowed up by it all for a little while, that is always something you are allowed. Just don’t forget to dig yourself out every once in a while, wake up and smell the roses if you will. Because I promise, there are roses growing right now somewhere in the world and you deserve a chance to feel them around you. Do your best and if you need help, I can be on my way with a bouquet–just say the word.

Go gently. Or not.

Everyone handles things differently. Starting college, new jobs, taking on new responsibilities, dealing with new experiences. Some people take a step back, needing to go gently and take their time to adjust. Others barrel forward with a plan and a bigger reason to live their lives the way they want to. And if you’re neither of those, the rest of us are in between. Truly, it is okay to fall wherever you do on that spectrum.

Speak up.

Say it out loud, whatever it is. Have you ever heard a child talk about being afraid of something when someone told them this one piece of advice: Things are sometimes less scary once you name them and say it out loud. Just like being afraid of a rollercoaster until going on it and realizing that it wasn’t so bad. If you need to talk about something, say it; it makes things real. Sometimes, that’s exactly what you need to do.

Remember, this life is yours.

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No matter what you’re doing, this life belongs to you. For every one of us it is our responsibility to pick ourselves up when no one else will, be our own cheerleader, take initiative to reach for our passions and understand how to handle it when things don’t quite go our way. No one else can do all of these things for us, as much as I truly wish they could sometimes. We’re the ones who have to keep moving, who have to find dreams to follow and keep following them. We’re the ones who have to live our lives. And we call the shots. Even while the people we love walk alongside us as we do.


So hear me out on this one: I don’t know what’s going to happen in any of our lives in the next year, the next month, even the next five minutes. I used to wish I could just to prepare for whatever was coming next in order to not be afraid of it any longer. But if we’re honest with ourselves, we can’t do that—for good reason, that would be no fun after all. This world isn’t something we are meant to control, nor are other people’s choices or the things that they do.

We just have to do our own thing and trust the rest will fall into place, let them fall where they may. And if it doesn’t, your support system is made up of the people who will get you through that. Even when you feel like you don’t have one, reach out. Ask for one. I promise, someone will answer. 

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Remember that today is Friday and you have made it to another week. Hold on tight to the people you care about, remember that you are the shit, and live a little extra if you can today. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Two days ago was 9/11. Three days ago was World Suicide Prevention Day. Your life is valued, your life is important, and so are those of the ones we have lost. Remember that. And even more so, believe that.

See you next week.


PS. If you know, you know. My twitter handle is here and my email page is here; if you need something, let me know. Even if I cannot give exactly what you need, I can offer my company through it. Take care of yourselves.

Taking Back My Initiative

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It’s been a very odd week here in SLO. After heading home for maybe 8 days, Nick and I got back to SLO on Sunday. Let me tell ya, summers here are much quieter than the school year. I mean, there is space to park outside my house… That never happens. 

So much open space outside is starting to remind me that while I know change happens quickly, I kind of forget about it until it hits me in the face. A couple years back, sophomore year of high school I think, I convinced my parents to let me get a bunny while running errands on the way home from a track meet; after all, we found ourselves in a feed store and still had a cage left over from previous rabbits at the house, so when I saw all these little floofs in a cage running around in the store…

Gotta love impulse buys. Fast forward a couple years, I’ve been meaning to bring sed rabbit here with me to college but I’ve been worried about neglecting her. Beyond that being sad, rabbits legitimately need a lot of physical love and time around their humans if they’re going to stay healthy. Last week, I finally realized that this summer would give me the time to hang out with her and she could cool off from 100 degrees to 70s the whole time too. A win-win if I do say so myself. 

Photo by Brendan Church on Unsplash

But the dream didn’t last very long at all. Long story short, she died on Tuesday morning of a fly strike (if you have a rabbit and don’t know what that is, please do check out the link here) and Nick came running into my room at 7am just in time for me to hold her and give her company. My bun, along with all those little moments and hopes I had for our summer together, were gone in under 2 minutes.

It may seem small, but add onto that a 180 with the 6 month old german shepherd mix that my brother and I are dog sitting. I forgot what it was like to have a pet around that–unlike a small rabbit–has so much uncensored energy, let alone his compulsion to steal our socks constantly and take naps with me on my bed. 

Just like that, my plans changed. And I’m starting to realize that I’m tired being the one it happens to instead of the one that makes it happen.

After throwing myself into a different kind of change, my junior year was full of me constantly moving, completing tasks, starting new ones, connecting to this person or that one, trying new things, and more often than not, surrounded by a whole lot of people.

So I figured this wee would be a much needed change. At least I had hoped it would.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Unsplash

See, my plan for the summer was to work on my writing (crank out another novel, maybe two), teach myself to animate, working on storyboarding and art, painting, etc. You know, actually doing all the things I don’t have time to do during the year. And I’ve done almost all of it in just this week, minus the whole novel part. 

The challenge, though, is finding company to do it all with. Now I have to figure out who is here, who’s free/who would actually enjoy spending time with me, or where I can go make new friends. I mean, the thing about me is that I love my free time as much as anyone else, but spending my free time doing almost anything with the people I love is almost always preferred. 

In good company, any time can be a good time. But I’m also awkward in newer relationships to find sed company; without knowing where the boundaries are, I can’t always be sure if I can call someone at 11pm to drive around town with the windows down and the music up, or pull someone into late night shenanigans to attempt baking some random pastry at 2am because why not.

I can guarantee I’m not the only person who’s like this, especially in college or when our worlds become a revolving door of people and personalities. I told you, this year was the most social year of my entire life and the year ended just as quickly as it started up—while wonderful in the moment, such a thing tends to leave a little whiplash as to what just happened or what we’re left with at the end of it all.

Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash

After this year compared to so many previous years of feeling insecure in my friendships, these changes are hard. Going from group to group before landing on something that feels secure only for summer break to get in the way, it’s exhausting. And a girl gets tired of being tired after a little while, you know? So I decided, maybe I’m going to take a little bit of my control back. I might edit that summer plan a little—take out a novel, add in some extra people with a pinch of my own initiative around personal happiness instead—and see where it takes me.

Before I end up in the “real” world and have a legitimate job tying me down, here’s to taking the wheel back in the last summer of this freedom we’re told that we hold.

Could be fun. Happy Friday.  

Living on the Border– What Happens When That Line is Crossed

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Photo by Phước Lộc on Unsplash

I woke up yesterday morning, walking to my 7am class, the way most of us “millennials” do— trying to use coffee and twitter to drown out the noise of the snoring I could be doing, were I still in bed. But instead, I was walking through a cold building, dragging my feel to class, only to finally look down at the lit screen of my iPhone to find the news of Thousand Oaks staring back at me.

I wish I was surprised.

Because these things seem to happen, far too often, something I’m sure the few unlucky enough to go through this shooting and the Las Vegas shooting know only too well. So I sat through my first class of the day wondering about the trauma, the people, the lives…

How would the news twist this one?

Was the shooter white, would it become another not-so-subtle attack on race?

Would it be blamed solely on mental health, on the system?

What’s wrong with our system?

So I sat through class, nodding along and taking notes with hands only sort of conscious of what I was writing down. Then I left that class to go to another one, only this time, I was waiting for a text back.

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Photo by Edwin Andrade on Unsplash

We talked through the readings and went over what a writing center looks like, my leg bouncing and fingers constantly tugging at my pen for the next hour and a half; I was only halfway paying attention. Because it took me a minute to think about where Thousand Oaks is, to realize how close Borderline was to Pepperdine, to Cal Lutheran, to the college student friends I had who just might have been at that bar on college night.

Just like everyone else, I had to wait.

I didn’t want to find out through Facebook that another person died, not again. I didn’t want to sit in class and think about the 10, the 11, the 12 people who lost their lives.

I didn’t want to think about the fact that one of those people could have been one of my people.

I was lucky enough not to have to think that for too long— ironically Facebook was the bearer of good news this time when my friends checked themselves in safely.

Even while I was relieved, immensely so, I also worry about how it feels to be a parent in this day and age. You’re supposed to be able to send your child to a daycare at a preschool and not worry about the big what ifs: what if they they don’t come home, what if someone breaks into the school, what if they have a gun? What if I never see my child again?

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

People send their children to work, to worship, to college, into the real world, so they can understand how to live. This is what sets them up for the rest of their lives after all, this is when the living really starts. At least it’s supposed to.

I will never understand why or how things like this happen, let alone what we’re supposed to do after it does.

Because life goes on, even when it feels like it shouldn’t. Some people woke up this morning not missing loved ones lost, not wishing this reality was just a nightmare. People are going to work or to class or to school today, just like any other day. Some loved ones are accounted for, some aren’t, yet plans are still made for Thanksgiving, planes arranged for break, and people go on with their lives.

Tonight my PCE (Pilipino Cultural Exchange) family gets to welcome in over a dozen new members to our ranks, and tomorrow we all get to eat good food and celebrate our togetherness as one big club. Our lives go on, not thinking about how easily this could have happened in our town, at The Grad, or even to one of us visiting Borderline last night.

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Photo by Angelo Pantazis on Unsplash

That’s the thing about what happened, about what keeps happening: nothing changes. Not really. Sure, we get a little more scared and a little more worried, or maybe we hold people tighter for a little while. And we keep that up, until we don’t.

Personally, it’s a little exhausting and I sometimes wonder what it’ll be like to raise my own kids— would this have gotten better, worse?

I don’t know where we’re going from here, but something has to change. And I guess our lives will go on whether or not something does. For most of us.


I’ll see you on Tuesday for Poetry Place.