Monday, May 23, 2016

Life as a Student

I think a lot of people don't take students seriously, whether because they have been in school for too long, live at home with their parents, or unable to work a full time job.

Let me tell you this, being a student is in my book is an equivalent to having a full time job. I bet you never thought how many hours going into studying for one test, working on a project or writing an essay.

Students are some of the strongest people I know.

My point is this, don't underestimate your student friends who aren't working 40 hours a week. I challenge you to dig through their brains. They are lucky, to meet educated people who are willing to share information with them.

Let me share College 101:

Firstly, you will never, ever feel like you have slept enough. You walk around like a zombie 75% of the time and then when finals hit you will be walking around 99% of the time like a zombie looking for you next caffeine fix.

Secondly, you will end up spending way too much money on coffee, red bull, and monster especially if you take an early morning class or a late night class. Be prepared to spend your hard earned cash on caffeine.

Thirdly, you will never, ever have enough time to do everything. There will always be an assignment you wished you would spend more time on.

Fourth, the 3 weeks prior to finals, just start throwing food at your student friends. There is a huge likelihood they have forgotten to eat a meal throughout the day.

Fifth, just be kind. Lack of sleep, turns us college students into little devils. Just be aware, you never know when your student friend took a nap in the library the night before because they were studying. If you think that we don't take naps in the school library, you are mistaken.

If we spent a night of "partying", with our friends its pretty safe to say we didn't drink enough water the night before and we will have a hell of a hang over. So, please if you care about your college friends half way through the night start giving us water, we will thank you later for it.

But, although we might  do all of the above, let me share with you what we also understand.

We understand the struggle of working 40 hours a week, we just do a different type of work. College students, sit up to  8-10 hours a week of lecture alone, depending on how many classes you are taking. Depending on how many units your classes are, depends on how much studying is done outside of class. So, for example this semester I took 10.5 units in between 4 class, 3 of my classes were 3 units and 1 was 1.5. This means that for each  3 unit class I had to spend 3 hours outside of class working on homework. So, we have to spend about 10 hours a week on homework alone, on top of 4 hours of lecture time. And we are only talking about in an ideal situation and if you are physically going to class. However, if you are taking online classes because you are self-teaching yourself everything you would double the amount of time you spend, so now instead of only 10 hours a week you will be spending 20, add in all the extra activities we have such as work on an average we will say 15 hours a week. And your average college student is almost hitting full time at 35 hours a week between, school and work.  And we are not calculating hobbies and gym time, which is always a struggle to find.

So, before you go ahead and discredit a college student because they aren't working full time, live at home or spending to many years at school, consider the fact they study, work, sit in lecture and try to have a social life in the prime years of their life. Keep in mind that we are also constantly being thrown new information at that we need to learn to process and know how to use. College isn't easy, show support to your learners.

Remember, we create the world we live in, paint it the colors you desire. Its hard, its stressful, but don't let anything hold you back and discredit what you are doing.

One Love,

Thursday, May 12, 2016

I Validate You!

“Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a 'hot mess' or having 'too many issues' are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.” ― Anthon St. Maarten

Its so easy to discredit what others have went through. Its so easy to say "everything will be okay", or "you're going to be fine." And we say this in the most loving way but, we also discredit other peoples feelings.

You are never, ever wrong to feel what you feel.

I think we all know that no matter what we are going through, everything will end up being okay in the end. But, its not the matter of how it will end up, its the matter that whatever we feel leading up to the "being okay" part, is valid.

Let people feel, let people share. Yes, it makes us so incredibly uncomfortable listening to people who are hurting, and we try to silence them by saying that "it will be okay."

And I have come to this conclusion, our society is uncomfortable with listening to each other. We are uncomfortable with sharing. Maybe it brings up memories for others of their past. But, we hate when people share. Its so much easier to silence someone, then to stop and listen to them.

I think that is one thing that frustrates me, is how we are conditioned to repress our feelings, that if we share how we feel (our stress, our pain, our love and happiness) no matter what it is, someone may say "thats enough sharing", or "stop complaining", or "I hate seeing you so down, you need to be happy." or even "why are you so happy?" But, if you recognize,  none of those things stop a person from thinking them.

Society struggles with  sharing, taking the time to listen, and crediting other peoples feelings. I struggle with sharing, mainly for the reason that I don't want people to make me feel small for my feelings. I don't want to feel like I don't matter or the things that I feel strongly about don't matter.   I'm no expert but, at the end of the day I'd rather be told that what I am feeling is valid then I need to change what I feel.

“The belief that unhappiness is selfless and happiness is selfish is misguided. It's more selfless to act happy. It takes energy, generosity, and discipline to be unfailingly lighthearted, yet everyone takes the happy person for granted. No one is careful of his feelings or tries to keep his spirits high. He seems self-sufficient; he becomes a cushion for others. And because happiness seems unforced, that person usually gets no credit.” ― Gretchen Rubin

And I don't want to discredit my positive thinkers, because you are such freaking powerful people in my book. My mom is one of those positive thinkers, and I am always astonished at her ability to face problems with just positive attitude.

 But, not everyone is a positive thinker. Some may never get there, and some might just need to verbalize what they feel and feel like it is okay to share.

I am one of those people that needs to verbalize my feelings about things that I feel strongly about, and feel like it is okay to share that.  I didn't get that positive thinking gene. I feel, what I feel. I won't apologize for it. Some days, I am a mess and others days I am happy go lucky. But, whatever the day is, its okay.

The best safety one can provide someone is a space were people feel they matter, that their feelings, thoughts and ideas matter.  So, for all my friends, loved ones, random readers, I will say this, no matter what you are feeling, I validate your feelings. I validate your thoughts, please feel what you need to feel to get through the day. Remember that you are loved and valued. And no feeling is wrong.

 Please be kind to those around you, going through whatever they are going through. If you don't know what to say but want to encourage them the most important thing you can say is that you recognize how they are feeling. Remind them that they are a strong, wonderful human being that nothing is out of their reach. Your words can create change and inspire. And what a beautiful world, it would be if our words inspire others.

Be Kind, Be Loving, Be Authentic,Validate one another!


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Falling Away

It might be comical to some
A girl afraid of touch
But, this girl carries more secrets in her heart
Then expressed on her tongue

She will never admit to the pain that she's felt
She will never admit that "Love the way you lie,"
Was the soundtrack to that year
That his anger was so deep and her wounds were not clean

The echo of his voice
Still haunts her in dreams
Shaking with fear
Staying out of comfort
He was familiar
She, always contemplating to leave

Making Excuses
"It will get better."
It always did
Until another spell rose
And shook the ground from under her feet

But, it always got better
She stayed
Because it did
When it was Good
It was GREAT
But, when the volcano erupted
The whole world fell away as she fell to her knees.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Dark Places

It's nights like tonight that I wonder "what the hell you're doing?" And its nights like tonight that I can imagine myself easily calling you. But, its also nights like tonight that make me realize, thats not an option anymore.

Its that whole best friend factor, the biggest factor that has run my entire life. How do you go on without your best friend? But, maybe we weren't the best of friends in the end. Maybe, my head allowed itself to create this illusion of you and it wasn't really you.

And then there are nights like this that I sit and contemplate over and over and over again, how in the world did I open up so wide and without reservation?

There are so many song lyrics that remind me of myself. And I cynically smile to myself, imagining people knowing the real me. But, maybe I don't really know the real me, I know parts of me and you knew parts of me. I know, the dark pieces that most don't want to know about, because if they know someone else's dark pieces they will be forced to face their own. But, you knew my darkest places. Now, people just know the exterior, the bookworm, the yogi, the teacher. The last several months, I've been a closed book. I'm drained at working on open conversations with one word answers and I am so fucking stubborn to open up to people, because whats the point of bearing your flesh, your heart, your mind only for one word answers.

I guess if I look closely at myself, I want a real conversation. One with sharing and questioning and openness. And this need for conversation, is like a burning fire within me, its burning my insides begging to be released into the open. I want to be a part of peoples past, their present, their future. I guess I am just tired, of fighting and prying, to find my place in people's story so I've landed in the ditch of dark places.

One Love,

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Sound of Healing is the Choice of Living

To be a writer is to write blindly, at one point in time someone even said to me "I sit here writing to you blindly".  That was one of the moments in my life I felt completely and utterly loved. Chivalry is quite dead, but then there are those that surprise me. I am a true believer that you can fall in love with multiple people, at different times in your life.  Your heart is a muscle after all. And each person shapes you and gives you memories that you hold on to forever, because isn't experiencing life really what its all about?

I always wanted to believe that there is this one crazy, out of control type of love. But, as I get older I come to realize that maybe that crazy spiraling out of control love has to do with how much we love and cherish ourselves. I truly believe that you can't love someone else, until you love yourself. And thats such a complicated concept, because there are so many things you will do as a human that will make you hate yourself. And on top of that add the expectations of society upon you, self love is a difficult concept to master.

I guess this is a reminder to myself most of all then anything else to love myself. I often forget  how important self- love is.

There was a time when I would come up to my mom, and ask her " Mom, do you love me?" and I always knew that she would say yes, but I think that there is something to words that people miss.  I think they are very validating to those of us who speak more so in the written form than in any other form. Its reassuring. Its liberating. Its healing.

I learned through time that every person has their own language that they are comfortable to speak through, mine tends to be letters. Some speak through lyrics, dedicating songs to you. Others, dedicating their passions. But, I think it is important to find your own language.  Its important to share, I suck at sharing. And mostly because, I don't want to share and not be shared back with. And maybe that is selfish, maybe some people are incapable of sharing, or they are sharing but there is miscommunication. Which makes me a little selfish to want to experience people.  Somedays, I want to share my story but other days I want to hear other peoples story. I want to live in a fulfilled world, where sharing happens because you are filled with so much emotion that it is literally too much for one person alone to bare.

Which leads me to wonder, if broken hearts are at first like a shattering vase, falling and breaking into a thousand pieces. And then slowly, the vase gets put back together but its not perfect as it once was. It has ridges and parts of it are rough around the edges. In my mind the vase smooths over, overtime. Like a rock that sparkles in the sun, because it has been constantly rolled back and forth and back and forth in the sand giving it a luster feel. And then overtime, people are ready to share.

I guess in the end of the day, I like the feeling of knowing that I loved. I think its a comforting feeling to know your heart has been broken before. Its almost reassuring because, if you are capable of loving after you have been broken then you truly know about living.

I guess I'll sign off with this, I've loved, I've lost, loved again but most importantly I've also truly lived.


Monday, April 18, 2016

Migrating through the Winter

I never thought that I could feel so completely broken
It's like searching for the exit, down a long hallway
That never ending hallway
The closer I get
The longer it grows

I never knew my heart can feel so hallow
On days like this I just want to call you up
Drive over and turn that Good Charlotte CD on
The one, we couldn't get enough

Our endless chatter
Hot cheetos and cream cheese
Half-smoked cigarettes

Black Coffee
Your nails painted Black
Like your hair in your freshmen picture

Its like I turn it feels like your here
Like you're supposed to be
But, its moments like this that I realize that
you were taken to young

There is so much to say
Your phone number lingers on my speed dial
As the first person to call when in trouble
The first person to call when all was alright

I'm left with our memories
Our intertwined life resembled on pictures
Like migrating birds in the winter

I miss you today
I'll miss you tomorrow
Forever and ever
My bestfriend you'll be

<3Forever Young, See you at the cross lines V.G.

Monday, March 21, 2016

I'm not just anybody's daughter, I'm theirs

I've been blessed in my life to know the love of two fathers. And although that love comes with a lot of resentment, fear, confusion, and abandonment, it also comes with a lot of laughter, happiness and joy.

To the man, I call dad on a daily basis I am forever grateful to have you in my life. There are so many moments in time, that I have thought of how easy it is to not accept your significant others child. I have thought so many times that, the man I call dad could have rejected me. But, the reason he is my hero, is because he has shown me unconditional love without the presence of DNA. I can't explain the feeling when someone who years ago was a stranger to you, now calls you his daughter without holding anything back. And as the child, you feel the love, compassion and adoration coming from a man you now call dad without any reservations, well it feels a little like flying.

As years passed this man, who gets called dad, became my best friend and my partner in crime. He has supported me through my crazy experiments, from dying my hair blue to coming home with a nose piercing. On more than one occasion has he wiped my tears over a cup of tea, listening to me crying over a broken heart, a melt down over math homework or out of my control work stress.  He is one of the first people I will call to share something good, and the first person I call to ask for advice when things are a little rough. But, the point of this is unconditional love has nothing to do with who you gives you their DNA, its all about who gives you their heart.

And to the man, that gave me the best first 11 years of my life, I want to say thank you. I want to thank you, because you gave me life. You were never perfect, but as I got older I realized that your imperfections were perfect. The things I hated you for, were things that you did to make my life in a strange and twisted way better. I hated that you were always working late and I was home alone but what I didn't understand was that although you worked till the wee hours of the morning and I had to take care of myself not only were you teaching me to be a stronger person, but to value the little time that we spent together. I hated you, for leaving me and what I at the time considered was abandonment was really the best gift you could have ever given me. You gave me the gift of knowing another man, who comes just as equally important in my life as you once were. You gave me the gift to know what it is like to be loved, completely and unconditionally. But, most of all by you leaving you gave me the gift of having a family.

Today, I don't blame you for leaving, I don't hold that against you because I now understand that I was never the reason that you left. Leaving was something that you needed to do to grow and live your life to the fullest of your ability. And with relief I wish you nothing but happiness, and I wish that you can one day experience being part of a family. I know that some other little girl will be lucky to have you in her life.

And to that little girl, all I can say is; he will fuck up, we all do but in some way he will give you the most treasured gift of all his presence, his love and whatever little time that he has will be yours. Nothing is ever sealed in stone, and while he is around love him like there is no tomorrow and make him your hero, because no matter how much he screws up his intentions are always good, because he does want you to be the luckiest girl in the world.

Nothing is ever perfect, and some relationships aren't meant to last forever. Remind yourself to love all the little imperfections of people, because they are perfect and they are the way they are supposed to be. Don't rush time, everything will happens in the right moment and for the right reason.

One Love,