"Be the Change you wish to see in the world" -Gandhi "I will be a Hummingbird, I will do the best that I can." -Wangari Maathai "Where stereotypes begin with a grain of truth, cliches begin with a boulder" - George Watsky "And she's gonna learn, that this life will hit you - hard - in the face - wait for you to get back up just so it can kick you in the stomach, but getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs, how much they like the taste of air." - Sarah Kay "Do not fear what has blown up. If you must, fear the unexploded." -Suheir Hammad

What I've learned about balance

It's been almost a year since my last post, and two years since that one. I have moved numerous times. Gotten in and out of an abusive relationship. Lost friends. Lost jobs. Gained a new job. Had a rough patch with the family and then became closer for it. And now I'm just waiting for the ripples to die down, so I can move forward with who I want to be in life.

What's funny is that for the longest time, I didn't expect to live until I was 20. Each year since I've been amazed I'm still alive, as I am in constant fear of an accident claiming my life, and I have nothing prepared for when that happens. I was constantly being put into uncomfortable situations in my life because when you take the fear of doing ANYTHING (because it may consume your life) and mix it with my inability to tell people no, it leads to terrible things happening, and almost a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Recently, after officially hitting my rock bottom, I was talking with a friend about this lethal thought sitting in my brain. I had never put the thought into words before. In fact, I had avoided it so as not to jinx my impending doom. But I felt at ease, and the words just kind of came out. The same bolded words above, in that exact order, slipped out of my mouth as if the pressure of the secret fear had built up so much, they almost whistled their way out through the cracks of my emotional walls.

Ever since that hidden thought found its way to the light, I've been able to analyze. Now that vocals had been matched with the idea, it was real. It was a real thought I'd had, and a real problem I needed to solve.

See, my subconscious is a worry-wart. And what I've discovered from analyzing where this fear comes from, is that I don't truly believe my death is on the horizon. For one, the actual fear that I might not make it past 20 years old means transitively that I am in love with being alive. So in love, that instead of enjoying it, I have been fearing it leaving.

For another reason, I knew that it wasn't physical death I was scared of. My fear came from the unknown. It was a spiritual death I feared, because I couldn't see my path. So often I latched on to the path of others, scared to walk down my own unknown trail. And even if other people seemed scared of their journey, like I was, it was easier for me to help others than to work on myself.

The last time I wrote, 2014, was probably around the last time I was in tune with my spirit. At that time I was following a path. When that path became no longer available, and I had to turn down a side path, I was scared. And instead I ran to others for comfort. I was scared to walk through the dark tunnel of trees into the unknown.

Now a quick side-note, that will tie into everything, is that I have always been on a spiritual journey to discover what my truth is in regards to spirituality and religion. I have barely scratched the surface. I know the very very basics of only a handful of religions, and a crap ton about different protestant religions. But my working hypothesis has been:

The only thing that carries across all cultures and religions is that balance is necessary.

And I started testing that hypothesis in 2013, but only for about 2 years. When I dove into this wonderful relationship with my abuser, I put everything on hold. I had longed for someone to walk my path with me, and here he was. Ready to stroll with me. Well, he kind of was. It took a lot of prodding and dragging and pit stops, and I wasn't going at the pace I wanted to, or even in the direction I thought was correct, but I wasn't alone and that's what mattered.

So on this metaphorical path (that I hope you can fully imagine with me), I found a troll and followed him down what was clearly not my intended path. After some blood and bruises, I was able to turn around and leave him on his journey, and make my way back to my own trail.

Looking back now (with a different perspective), it's like while I was trying to walk backwards on that path, to get to my own, life was just not having it. It sent me crappy roommates, and debt, and worry. It sent me a PTSD diagnosis. (But life was balanced enough to provide me with a loyal, furry, four-legged companion to keep my company on the scary journey back.)

Now, 4 months later, I think I've found my path again. It's still dark, and it's still scary, and I'm still terrified of turning down the wrong path again. But that fear that I won't make it to the next birthday is gone. Not that I know for a fact that I will, but I've suddenly become at peace with the idea of going into the unknown. I feel like I'm back to where I was in 2013, but instead of being as blind as I was then, I now have enough knowledge and experience (albeit not a whole heck of a lot) to not fear the dark as much.

So what started this whole blog. This confession of my mistakes and declaration of change?

The rain.

Give me a bit more time to analyze how my brain Knievel'd its way to my conclusion. What I do understand now, is that while watching the rain, I suddenly noticed that the rain droplets are not all the same size. Some are super fat. Some leave barely a mark when they hit. And there's not raindrop checkpoint in the clouds that makes sure there are as many super fat ones as there are super tiny ones. Rain just is. And some days you get hit with a lot of fat ones, and some days it's like walking through a mist. And maybe there is a deeper metaphor in there that I'll work on for when I get drunk and want to pretend I'm a keynote speaker, but for right now the most important thing I learned is that as important as balance is, perfect balance isn't always what's there.

Rain is beautiful. It provides life. It is part of a very structured cycle. And yet that's the only structured thing about it. So often when I'm seeking justice and balance, I want the scales in my head to be even and structured, but that doesn't always happen.

So while I was telling myself in my relationship that all of my sacrifices and hard work and perseverance would pay off, and he would love me back the way I loved him, I wish I would've known that it never would happen. Because that would be a perfect balance. I give him love, he gives me back love.

But I believe that positive energy will balance itself out somewhere. I believe that it may not come back to me, but it will manifest itself somewhere else. And in future relationships, that may be how it is manifested. But it's not a guarantee.

So, when looking forward to my dark, scary, probably spider-infested path, I've learned the only thing I can expect in this world are my actions. Because I control them. I can't help someone on their path and expect an exact return of assistance. But I can control my own way. I can control the things I want and the things I bring. And thus, I can control my own internal balance.

And I think if I try hard enough, like really really hard, I might be able to tear down some of these walls and let a bit more light in, so my path isn't so scary.

Organ Transplant

Have you ever felt like you were born without a vital organ. Not like a brain or heart that would make life unlivable, but like half a lung or a kidney. And sure, you could survive for a bit without it. Eventually the doctor's would say they had found a donor for you. That they found someone who died or whatever, and you got one of their lottery organs. So you go into surgery. They put you under, you don't even know what's happening. Then you wake up and realize something is different. It feels better and weird at the same time. You can breathe better or you somehow feel cleaner. But then weird stuff starts happening that you don't like. You have suddenly acquired an incurable taste for chicken nuggets, despite being vegetarian. You crave cigarettes, even though your grandmother died from smoking. There are these changes that seem small, but ultimately have an impact on your personality.And they are things you don't like. And ultimately a few weeks later to a month your body rejects the organs.

Some times I feel like that's how my social life is. That I wasn't really born with my own personality, and instead transplanted others into my life. But they would leave bit and pieces behind before they leave. So when the next social influence comes in to my life, it disagrees with something about me.

And I've spent so long trying to fit into cliches. Why is a good question, but it's not one I have an answer to. I think because they were so easily emulated from the projections of media. And others around you played the part so well. It's easier to play Simon Says, than be Simon.

But some times you have people leave things in your life that you enjoy. And it resonates within you. Your DNA feels good, you can tell your body won't reject this. This is a missing piece in the puzzle of your identity.

Then the next social phase comes in and your compromise the little bit of your DNA that you discovered. You question its existence. Whether you ever truly felt that connection.

I have been everything from a bullied kid on the playground, to the girl who loved dogs too much, to the girl who loved to be outside, to the girl who couldn't be caught in the dirt and wore polos and pearls, to the girl who literally thought her translucent skin could pass as a chola, to a dark emblem bought from Hot Topic, to the girl who loved taking pictures instead of being in them and suddenly knew more about Ansel Adams then the man himself, to the girl who knew the entire Alto II part of the Rutter's Gloria and looked down her nose at those who didn't, to the activist for all the environment, then people, then animals, to the girl who loved services, to the businesswoman, to the Mormon, to the enlightened one.

To finally the broken and bruised and battered girl who trusted too many times and finally had too many horror stories of lost souls thrown in a pile in the back of her memory only to haunt her when she felt the most secluded.And each of those phases, no matter how contrasting all left a piece of themselves. I still love dogs and being outside in nature. I still like to get dolled up and preppy, especially when I'm getting a manicure and pinteresting Kardashian pins. I still have an absolute love for Mexican culture. I still have black hair, black glasses, black clothes, and black nails. I still love going to the art museum and looking at all the photographs taken through the years. I love classical music, and I love "conducting" music. Even if it is Diplo's "Revolution". I love serving, and I love fighting for things that deserve justice. I love the intricacies of the business world and spreadsheets in Excel. I love discussing religion and the it's fallacies and allegories.

And this right here is why I blog. Because in writing there are patterns. My life is built solely on patterns, and I need them to make sense of life. To predict the next move. And when I've lost sense of my own pattern, I can make out what the identity puzzle pieces are trying to tell me.

I still have more discovering. But I certainly need to take time and understand it's ok not to follow the cliches. No one is measuring how good you can be at being yourself. If you have "contradicting" personality types, you may of correlating values. You just need to look closer.

I love beauty and the asthetics. I love things to have a pattern. I love the aesthetics of the tangible as well as the idealistic. Beautiful, happy things are what I strive for. And when I remember that those things make me happy and help me find a focus, I can drive my ship better.

So maybe the the organ transplant theory was a bad example. It's more like, every time someone touches your life. They leave their fingerprint. And sure, fingerprints may be covered over time and smudged and unrecognizable, but you can still recognize the importance of why they were there.

Well that didn't work, but life is about trying, failing, and trying again.

So I watched Accepted the other day with a good friend of mine. I laughed and recalled my perception of the movie back in 2009 vs. the present and how things have changed, and how I understand things differently.

I immediately needed to check up on my blog post, "Why?" that I wrote in response to Bartleby's monologue at the end. Which then led me to reading some of my more recent posts.

Well ladies and gentlemen, I can say with full certainty that I failed in my new year's resolutions. First, waking up at 8:30a every morning was a bust. It's just a bad time. 8:30 is either too early too late. 5:30a might be a better option, and more feasible given my recent life change. Nonetheless, I can evaluate my actions, if I failed or not, and move on.

12 things to work on? One a month? The idea is great! Spread everything out. Make a habit in 30 days. Only problem is that the things I want to work on are not routine things, they are circumstantial. So I can't really make it a habit, then build on top the next month. I haven't had 30 consecutive days to make a change.

So I failed. I didn't finish my new year's resolutions. And that's ok. I learned other things this year. I learned that I have limits. A shocking realization that defeats my former adolescent theory of invincibility. I need breaks, but I need to balance the breaks with work. Not work until I'm dead and dry then sleep for 29 hours with netflix naps on the couch in between. Although I've been told for years that moderation is key, I learn by doing. (Much to the irritation of my parents.)

Another thing I failed at was my dedication to school. I know I'm capable of learning. In fact, I love knowing things. However, I find it incredibly difficult to maintain interest and dedication sitting in class. Plus I'm not even sure Geography is what I still want to do. The only people that talk about oil more than business majors, are geography majors. So I looked at Computer Science, Communication, Mass Communication, GIS, and more. Nothing pines my interest except Religious Studies, but that has no guarantee for a job, or at least a job I'd like to do after college.

So I'm taking time off. I'm going to work things that I want in life, and discover what direction I should be going. I'm going to pick up skills and tastes. I'm going to shape me. I'm going to reflect on the limits I've found.

First thing? I'm going to work. Second, I'm going to learn Arabic. Third I'm going to learn more about Druidism. Fourth, I'm going to lose 50 pounds. I'm essentially going to put myself in my own classes, my own degree, so that I can learn discipline and determination, and accomplishment. Then figure out what direction I need to take back in school. I'm just taking a much needed break. I'm trying to learn me.

And if you've read this far, and feel like I'm not too crazy, then please help support me. Tell me I can. I'll probably fall along this trail too, but help me believe that this is the best option.