2016

Inspired by one of my brothers, I decided to choose a word for 2016. The way he defined/described the purpose of the word was as an alternative to resolutions. Not only that, but it, in some ways, is even more than a list of things you want to accomplish. Instead, the word helps to guide you throughout the year and when it comes to decisions you need (or want) to make. It can embody a plethora of goals/ambitions/aspirations. I think I’ve done resolutions in the past, but I haven’t really adhered to them very strictly.

After hearing his take on having a word, I decided to think of one for myself and finally chose Endeavor. It has a couple definitions, which I’ve written below:

en·deav·or
verb
1. try hard to do or achieve something.
noun
1. an attempt to achieve a goal.
2. earnest and industrious effort, especially when sustained over a period of time.
  • an enterprise or undertaking.

 

The more I think about this word, the more I think it is perfect for me. I’m in such a weird place in my life. In almost every way. I’ve been feeling stagnant and stuck. I hate it, but I don’t know what to do about it. This year, though, I want to try to accomplish and reach for things that I want. Even if/although I think I won’t be successful..or despite all the fear(s) I have, I want to try. I want to intentionally pursue the things I want in life. I read a quote that basically talked about the significance of trying. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being afraid to fail…falling is part of life. But not trying is a whole different beast. This is going to be very hard for me and will require me stepping out of my comfort zone in so many ways. Not to be cliche, but I hope this is the start of a new journey for me. Come what may. (to an extent lol).

Wish me luck.

Stunted

19 days ago was the anniversary of my parents’ deaths. I didn’t write about it, the day of was a largely uneventful day..until the end of the day itself. I got really upset toward the end of the night. I was told that I was handling it well/dealing with the day well. I think those words took me back to a time where I felt like…if I wasn’t in pain, I was forgetting them or something. But I reminded myself that, earlier that day/leading up to the day, that whether or not I act in a manner that I or other people expect..when it gets right down to it, the pain is there and it is consistent. I have good days and bad days…good moments and bad moments. And the good moments don’t mean I’m not hurting. Just like the bad moments don’t mean there weren’t be good moments. Although sometimes I feel otherwise.

It’s still so weird being without my parents. It’s just…strange. There are constant reminders, sometimes more present than others, that they aren’t here. I watch shows or see people I know, or don’t know, turning to their parents in times of trouble or stress…and it always reminds me that I can’t do that anymore. My unhappiness is compounded by the fact that I cannot reach out to them. That I will not be able to. As I’ve mentioned before, it puts a damper on everything…on life itself. Even the small hope I have for the future, my future, seems unable to reach its full potential.

 

Baba

Disclaimer: Again, I ask for forgiveness for any typos/grammar mistakes. I wrote this fairly quickly & didn’t reread it all. 

I think this is the 1st time I’m writing something entirely (or at least mostly) about my father. By far, I talk about my mother more, though I feel both their absences so strongly. If I’m honest, sometimes I feel that I miss her more, which, at times (or maybe just in general), I do. Maybe not. But, then again, I think it makes sense. My parents were separated, reunited, and then divorced, when we were young. On TV/in movies, a divorce is often a horrible ordeal..even if the parents are amiable about the whole thing, the kids are usually upset by it. Not so with my sister and I. I think my parents only needed to be together to have us, but, other than that, it didn’t seem to work.

Even before they got separated, somehow I don’t have too many memories of my father being around. Then, once the divorce was final, he moved to another state. We were fine with it. I can recall being seemingly forced to go visit him over the summers. Part of the custody agreement.  We didn’t really care to go visit my father. I don’t think the main thing we disliked was going to see him, but we found his city extremely boring. I also tended to think, as a teenager, that he assumed he knew us just because we shared DNA…but in my mind, he wasn’t around that much, and we saw him once a year. What could he possibly know? I cried once, after something happened…I can’t even remember what it was, but I don’t cry easily. I just remember my sister phoning my mom and telling her that he’d made me cry.

My father died in 2013. It was only in 2008 that I truly believed he loved me. And only in the past few years that our relationship, to/for me, started to mend. When my mother died, my world was shaken. Though I still had my father, I still felt utterly alone. Slowly, that changed a little bit…after he died, I realized I would miss what could have been. I had only just started feeling that our relationship was getting better. The day he died, I was supposed to be leaving to go visit him.  I was excited to go..I hadn’t seen him in a couple of years. I felt guilty about that afterwards…at planning or beginning to plan an earlier trip, but I didn’t go. Either because I couldn’t or I changed my mind and postponed it. I was planning to give him a mug from the school I attended for graduate school. Because he likes tea. I was also planning to get him a large print Bible because he’d said at some point he needed another one. I was packed. I was ready. I had a graduation picture (from undergrad) to take with me as well, a big one..because I remembered/thought I’d only given him a small/medium one. After he died, once I got down to his city…I was shown the graduation picture I’d sent him previously. He’d had someone laminate it. Apparently he was really excited about me coming too…they had planned to have lunch set up for us in this common room. I was angry with myself, for putting it off. I was angry that it happened the same day my mother died 4 years prior. I was sad that it happened under the same circumstances as my mom: random, before Christmas, the semester before I was to graduate.

My father was an intensely private person. I knew this, but found it to be true even more, speaking with his/our relatives. I, too, am somewhat of a private person. I have to push myself to reveal the depths of my heart and, even then, I still have to push myself…and then I might not do it lol In my last post I talked about my introverted nature. I know I got that from my father. Oddly enough, I think I got my intense love for people from my mother..although it can be hard, that combined with being an introvert. They say hindsight is 20/20, and I find myself thinking more often about which parts of me I inherited from my father. Just like with my mom, I find myself thinking about calling him to update him on things. With Father’s Day coming up, I find myself also thinking about how I/we never…rarely got him a Father’s Day card on time. I am still struggling with some things I found out after his death. And I know part of the reason I didn’t go see him earlier was because I was still, whether consciously or unconsciously, holding things from our past against him.

All these things I know to be true. I miss the lunch we didn’t get to have. I miss the opportunity to show him pictures of my friends, discuss my classes, my ideas for the future. To learn, from him, about my family on his side. As I mentioned, I miss the opportunity to fully repair our relationship..or to see what it would have continued to grow into. My mother once told me my father had a hard time showing love. I can attest to that.

So much of me is him. I can’t pretend I’m not still confused/upset about…various things. Things that have made the grieving process even harder. But, I suppose, at least, I can say, finally, that I know he loved me.

Gatherings 

*DISCLAIMER*: I wrote this on my phone with the dictation function because I was too lazy to type It all. There is little to no punctuation and my capitalization may be all over the place. I may or may not come back and fix it. Carry on lol

I know recently the whole introvert versus extrovert thing has been all the rage. I usually try not to get caught up in such things but this has kind of caught my interest because I am an introvert. I think it mostly caught my interest because it’s helping me understand who I am and how I function, how I think, and how I feel a lot of the time. Granted, not everyone who is an introvert is an extreme Introvert and not everyone who is an extrovert is an extreme extrovert. But I think the basic characteristics, depending on your personality and character, can be true. I recently read this Book called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. It was very interesting for me, especially because I’ve been told many times to speak up or that I don’t speak enough or even constantly being asked what’s wrong because I’m being silent. The book may sound self-explanatory and for the most part it is. But it was still nice to read, as it took a look at introversion in a way that I’ve never seen before. My mother’s best friend actually recommended that I read it and I’m glad I did. I think one of the main takeaways from the book for me was that I don’t necessarily have to be loud to accomplish my goals. I’m using loud very loosely here, I’m kind of known for liking quiet more than noise. To me silence can be beautiful. I think we often take silence for granted, I think it’s great if I can be with someone and we can be comfortable with each other in silence. I’m definitely not one of those people who feels there always needs to be some type of noise. I didn’t realize until I read the book that in some ways maybe subconsciously I thought that I couldn’t reach my goals or that I wouldn’t be able to succeed or accomplish something unless I became louder. But this book and my cousin actually help me realize that this is not the case.there are many people who have done big things and little things, who have lived very fruitful lives and have been introverts, maybe even extreme ones. There are also those people who are introverts but are able to be pseudo extroverts. The book also talked about how society tends to make introversion seem like such a weakness and extroversion should of be/ is the ideal or what should be the goal. But if I’m honest, I never wish I was an extrovert or at least not really. Of course, there’ve been times where I wish I was a little more outgoing or a little more charming or charismatic maybe, but for the most part I’m happy with the way I am. I think the problem was I didn’t really know how to make the way I am assist me in contributing to society. This is especially difficult in office settings or corporate settings where it’s important to “stand up and stand out” or sell yourself. I don’t like doing any of that. I don’t necessarily want to stand out, not that I want to conform but I don’t necessarily want to put myself out there either. In my last position, one of the supervisors mention to a coworker and I that one way we could potentially further our careers there was to do just that: stand out and be noticed. But in talking with my cousin, I realized I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to do my job, and I wanted to do it well, but I don’t necessarily need to be noticed. So, it’s just interesting. I’m sure I’m oversimplifying the book, But I just recently finished it and I’m kind of just brain dumping some things that I remember. I thought it was a good read especially given everything out there about introversion/extroversion right now. It pointed out that,as I mentioned, there may be situations where you kind of have to “fake it till you make it” as far as being an introvert in an extrovert situation. However, in those times, if you need to recharge then take steps to ensure that you’re able to…whether at home or on a break (one man would even take breaks in the restroom). It also reminded me that there are strengths in introversion that can be used to positively affect one’s life. I can certainly say that I can see how some attributes of introversion work well within my personality and how I interact with others. I’ve always been someone who thinks a lot, maybe too much. There’s  usually a lot going on inside my mind. I like to think things through before I act or before I speak, And when I don’t, even if In anger or in error, I usually regret it later.

  

Our culture made a virtue of living only as extroverts. We discouraged the inner journey, the quest for center. So we lost our center and have to find it again.”

               B-Anaïs Nin 

  
I had an interesting experience tonight when I had dinner with my friend and two of her friends. It was a nice evening, good food, good and funny conversation, and facials. I always enjoy hanging out with my friends, but adding two new people can be nerve-racking for me. sometimes just the thought of trying to potentially make conversation makes me nervous or, given what I mentioned above, causes me to feel a little misunderstood. Fortunately, my friend is aware that I’m an introvert and how new situations/people can make me feel. For example, instead of asking me if I was okay because I wasn’t talking much, she asked if it was fine that we were going to stay later after dinner. She said she noticed that I got a little quiet and when I said that happens sometimes, she knew it. That actually made me feel a little more at ease, that she was aware of what was going on with me and was nice enough to ask how I felt about staying. not to say that I expect people to ask me these things all the time, but it was nice that she understood where I was coming from. Similarly, at the end of the night, she mentioned that she knew I had been trying throughout the evening. That was just funny to me because I really had been trying. I would try to contribute to the conversation in some small way, in an effort, a very serious effort, not to remain silent the entire night. The facial ended up being one of my favorite parts of the evening, aside from the facial itself being wonderful… Because it made my skin supersoft, the mask also went over my lips so I couldn’t speak 😁

I don’t know that I would go so far as to say that I feel misunderstood most the time. I don’t think that’s true. At least in my personal life I don’t. I’m blessed to have friends especially within my close circle who, for the most part,know who I am and don’t try to change me. Those who are closest to me, know that most the time I won’t do something that I really don’t want to do (because stubborn ) but there are also times when they help me realize that what can at times be my extreme introversion, can hold me back.in those moments, they encourage me and push me to step outside of my comfort zone. And I appreciate that. But tonight reminded me that I’m also grateful for friends who recognize that such things can still be difficult for me, [attempt to] understand where I’m coming from, and still allow me to, essentially, be me. 

Destination

Well, I haven’t written in here in awhile. I think it might be safe to say, at least for now (lol), that I won’t be getting rid of this anytime soon. I clearly don’t write in it very often, but it’s nice to come back to. I was showing M my blog recently and that made me want to reread some of my posts. It was interesting doing that- seeing where my mind was/is/has been and comparing it what it is now.

I’ve been getting frustrated lately because it seems like I either can’t get to what I want or I’m at the edge, but can’t quite reach what I want. Or sometimes that I don’t know what I want. But then I was thinking too, I have a lot to be thankful for- I have a job, I have food, clothes, I can pay my bills. I think sometimes when we get frustrated at something in our lives (or just our lives in general) we often feel bad and equate that with being ungrateful. I don’t think the two always go hand in hand. I’m beyond grateful for what I have. & actually, I don’t really want much more than what I have, in terms of material things. Sure, I’d like to change my quality of life, in some ways, but I’m not saying I want to be super wealthy. & even that, right now, is not my greatest desire. I’m not even altogether sure what my greatest desire is, but I know I’m not happy right now. It’s quite difficult feeling stuck and feeling unable to change the fact that you’re stuck. I see things that I want to do, but it’s like no matter what I do, I can’t get there. Either I can’t afford it or it wouldn’t work right now or who knows what. Sometimes I’ll tell myself, “well, it takes time.” Which is true, it does sometimes, but other times, the time has passed and meanwhile I’m still sitting here. Watching other people and their lives go by. And I don’t consider myself one of those people who “let’s life happen to them”. I also think that’s a pretty general statement, because unless you know just about every facet/detail of someone’s life, how can you say that? Or maybe you can, but just make sure. I don’t know.

In any case, I don’t consider myself that type of person (but who knows, maybe I am), it is more so that at times I literally don’t see how I can reach the things I would like to attain. It seems like a vicious cycle that I’m unable to get out of. I want to try, and I do, but any more than what I’ve already done and I worry that it’ll upset the other things I’ve got going on. The things that are crucial and have to be kept constant. My friend told me once she thinks the word “resilient” describes me. I’ve been trying to remember that and apply that to..situations…to life. I’ve never really thought of myself as resilient honestly. Right now I’m wondering if today will be the day that I lose myself, that I lose the ability to hold it all together. That my ability to take care of myself and provide for myself somehow crumbles. Then what? Am I still resilient then? Perhaps so, she would argue. She might say that my resiliency isn’t based on what happens to me, but on how I react. But even then? If I’m one step away from losing it all..does that include the resiliency? I don’t know. I’m tired, though. I’m tired of feeling this way. I think I told a counselor once that I feel heavy. It’s exhausting carrying around this feeling. There are days, most days, when I don’t want to go to work. For various reasons. Days I want to just stay in my bed, watch Netflix, and hide from the world. Again, different reasons. But my reason tomorrow is because I don’t want to face my unhappiness. And Netflix can bring happiness, however fleeting lol 🙂 But..yea. I guess, in the end, I just want to reach my destination.

Happyness

As always when I haven’t written in awhile, I’ve toyed with the idea of deleting this blog. Still haven’t done it yet though lol Tonight had a mini start of a conversation with my sister and decided to write about that. She asked me if I was happy and, when I asked about/with what, she said, “About/with life.” I answered, “No.” and kept the conversation going (as I do lol). The conversation went different, less serious, places, visiting this topic once, but it did make me think. I’m not happy with life, and I’m okay/comfortable with that.

I haven’t been happy for awhile, but one thing that has changed over the last 5 years/9 months is that I have an inkling of hope. It’s not much, but I am grateful for it and for where it has come from. I try not to stifle it or to suffocate it with my realist..or what, at times, can be pessimistic nature. It’s hard. It’s hard because sometimes I feel I’ve distance myself from life because all I expect is pain in some ways. Which feels/sounds cliche, but that doesn’t make it less true. The inkling of hope is a bit of an encouragement though I don’t expect or want it to grow for fear it’ll be taken from me. But it’s something. And it’s something I didn’t have before, so I think that’s good. I think C would agree. I’d like to be happy one day. The inkling tells me…well. I’m not sure. It either tells me that maybe it’s possible or that at least it’s not impossible.

Now

I’m graduating tomorrow..today, I suppose, technically. It’s an odd thing. A good thing, but odd. Neither of my parents will be here with me. Two of my aunts are going to be here though, a couple cousins, and some friends. and my sister of course. Sister said tonight she wished my mom was here and I echoed her sentiment. I also wished I could call my father to tell him about it, how I got a grade I didn’t expect, maybe about my outfit (though I’m sure he wouldn’t get it) and send him pictures later. My aunts remind me of my mom in so many ways. Expected heartache is different from unexpected, obviously, but just as painful. I haven’t really been focusing on things the past week and a half. Yes, of course, I’m excited to have finished what I seriously doubted I would. I was over school in so many ways lol But it is hard for me to enjoy it. I am happy. But I’m also so sad. My mind is constantly, unconsciously at times, preoccupied with the reminder that my parents are no longer here. And I fear that casts a dark shadow on every big event/accomplishment in my life.

It’s getting late though and I have to go to sleep to be ready to start tomorrow. It’s hard to be honest with myself, and others, about how I feel when I feel like people just want me to be excited or happy. & if I’m not, I’m not only letting them down, but wasting the time and effort they put into coming here. And yet…while I am happy, there’s also so much more.