Musing no. 25: Hello, Wordsmith.

Words. I’ve always fallen for those so good with words. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I love to talk so much, that when someone else speaks I prefer to listen. But that has never benefited me, to be honest.

I dislike when people say things they don’t mean. They say things you want to hear, claim to be honest, then if they fall through–and you did expect them to–they say you have no faith. Excuse me. If I listened in the first place, then I’d have lost my soul already.

We sometimes forget how our words affect others; the way we say things and what our words mean can be totally different. Some may claim to be pleased doing this, some may lie about it. Whatever. You’re in charge of what you do and say to others at this point.

 

There will always be disappointment. You’re literally surrounded by liars. Family, friends, lovers, what-have-you… They all lie to you regularly. Hell, you even lie to yourself regularly. No, Janet, those pants do NOT accentuate your bum.

But my point is, don’t lie to yourselves. When you lie–self-righteousness like “I’m not the same person I was… I only deserve the best… I have to become better for you” type of crap–you don’t like to the other person. You lie to yourself. No, you don’t deserve the best, you can barely handle a real relationship. No, you are not the same person, but that same person makes you who you are, and you can’t really escape it. No, you don’t have to become better for me, you need to become better for someone better than me, because in your eyes I was not enough and I was flawed. THERE. Isn’t being honest SOOO much easier? Jeez.

 

I can not wait until I find someone I can speak to with any thought–no matter how shocking or appalling, how wondrous and amazing, how insane and inane, how beautiful and awesome. Time will come. I shall wait. I shall speak, and I shall be honest.

 

And. So. Should. You.

Musing no. 24: Homebound

As some of you already know, I am headed back to Canada tomorrow to take care of family. I initially just wanted to dip out, and not tell anyone about it, but I need you all to understand something.

I’m here for whoever needs someone to rely on, talk to, confide in, and comfort them. Most of you know that. I just ask two things of you—please say a prayer for my family. Please pray for healing, and that we get through our trials.

The other thing I am asking for you to do, is to love those around you. You don’t know the struggles they’re facing, no matter how happy they seem on the outside. Help them even just by checking up on them. I have friends who know me so well that they check up on me every day, even when everything is seemingly fine. I have friends who feed me when they can tell I haven’t been eating and I’ve lost my appetite (Ronald, I see you!). But PLEASE, be kind to each other. Be kind to those you encounter. No matter how annoying you think they are, you don’t know if you’re the one inspiring them to follow their passions and end up making a big difference in the world. You’re capable of being kind—use it.

I don’t know exactly when I’ll be back, but I am aiming for before the beginning of the Fall semester. I still have unfinished business to deal with here.

If no one else around you is kind, be the difference. It’s so easy to be apathetic and dismissive of people in this city; it’s also easy to just be considerate and helpful. Don’t break hearts. Mend them. Don’t hurt souls. Inspire them.

And again, be kind. Coz Lo told you so. 🙂 ❤

Musing no. 23: Memories of Hooah.

A year ago today I got back from Fort Sill. It’s probably the most ridiculous thing, being sad about coming “home.” Training was my home. That’s where I felt most powerful, most respected, most apt. Hell, even for being one of the tiniest in the battery, I know I was one of the best. I knew all my stuff, trained at night, ate all the food I needed to sustain the strength, tried to get the sleep I needed. I was usually up first to do my hair before everyone. I helped those I can–strugglers, slower ones, the ones that cried at night after being yelled at during the day. I quietly agreed, even if untrue, when my Drill Sergeants told me I did wrong even if I wasn’t–like when I was accused of smiling at a male even though I was freaking squinting because of the sun, yeah we got crap for that. But I did my best. I wanted to be one of the best. I pushed myself to be the best. I did extra work. Hell I carried others’ heavy rucksacks more than the males did, because no one wanted to touch the females’ things–not even their rifles (when they were at sick call etc., we had to bring their crap anyway). And later on, that would take a toll on me. I got injured, because I kept going and didn’t know when to quit. I got hurt in training, but that made them want to get rid of me, because I was not built for it. After 8 weeks of training and being one of the top scorers for females, they wanted me out.
But what was the most challenging when I was away was fighting for my right to stay. I wanted to stay. I wanted to heal up, keep training, do my part, come back to NYC and be one of the first female medics in my unit–a National Guard infantry unit, the “Fighting 69th.” That didn’t work out now, did it? How can you defend ourself when the person prosecuting you works with the people who are supposed to defend you. You lose. 
So they send me back. And here I am, with fractured L5 facet joints, and a stress fracture on my right sacrum. Fun. And everyday I live with that pain. Sometimes I have to take pain medication all day because of it. Sometimes I lose my appetite because of it. Sometimes I’d rather stay in my room and sleep because of it. I can’t go running the way I used to before I enlisted. I can’t stand one way for more than 5 minutes. I ache like someone hit my back with a 2×2 if I went and took a nice long walk. I sleep for 6 hours, but I wake up every 2, because I have to keep moving my body and it hurts. There have been instances that I would be in so much pain, I’d lose my breath. But that doesn’t matter at this point. I’m just tired of the pain, and I have been doing everything I can afford to help ease it–acupuncture, therapy, cortisone shots etc..
Don’t take your bodies for granted. Go work out. Go run. Hell, go walk in the park. What I’d do to be able to do that without pain! 
Also, to those who keep telling me I’m not a veteran, I know. Good job, you did your part for your country telling us that. Nobody ever said I was one. Chill yo butt. Ain’t nobody got time for you. Go suck a duck. 
To my friends and family who have been nothing but supportive and loving, I appreciate you. Please keep doing what you do for me to others. You guys are sunshine and everybody needs a little ray. Being here in my–yes MY country, coz I earned tf out of that citizenship–country without any close family in proximity– shoutout to my Seattle Family–with y’all support helps a lot, even if we all have our own things going on. 
Okay that was a really long rant, and I doubt anyone would read a long long post. But anyway. Go enjoy this day. It’s beautiful. It’s heartbreakingly beautiful. Heartbreaking because this was the day I felt so defeated last year. 
But I’m coming back. 

Musing no. 22: Lullabies

When I was a toddler, my mom said I would pat my bum and lull myself to sleep, as if my parents were doing it. I needed that comfort of being able to sleep in a way that I am most comfortable with. I would even hum to myself, as if I were singing myself to sleep.

As a teenager, I remember singing myself to sleep while wishing I was back in my country the 2.5 years I spent outside of it. While crying.

As an adult, I rock and sing and cry myself to sleep, but doing these don’t work anymore. Do you think it matters that I can’t sleep? Yep.

But why am I wide awake at this time of night? Oh, it’s morning. 0401 to be exact. I wasn’t meant to be on this side of the planet. So the goal is to go back where I belong.

 

Sometimes Life gives you a giant reality check and hits you with all types of maladies in the different facets and connections in your life, and it just brings you to your knees. I respect life. I just wish things went well, for once.

If I passed away right now, what they’ll find are empty water bottles, clothes I haven’t folded, books I’ve been dying to read, photographs I’ve taken, letters I’ve written, things I’ve sketched, and my dead, naked body. I don’t know if that’s even of any concern. In fact, I doubt anyone I know knows.

Ugh no, I am not taking my own life. I just like to imagine life without me, and how easier it would be for other people if I weren’t around.

 

Maybe I’ll just move to a country where nobody knows me.

Maybe thinking of that will give me sleep. Sleeps are mini-deaths anyway.

Musing no. 21: Broken-hearted 

Oh the Broken-hearted.

Spent their time pouring affection onto people who don’t reciprocate, or recognize that their feelings are genuine; that they just want someone to pour their heart into and love. 

And now they’re stuck hurting because people can’t love them the same way they expect. They expect. Don’t expect. 

It’s difficult when you spend a lot of time letting people know you care, that you’re always there, that time will pass but your emotions will be the same. And now you’re slowly going insane. Because they can’t do what you’ve intended for them to do. It isn’t fair to them; is it, to you?

We break our own hearts by handing them to people who can’t do the same for us.

No wonder some of us numb ourselves. 

It’s so easy to say, “don’t give up, love will come.”

It won’t. It never will. Some have to pursue it, and other times it just stays still. 

So then those who are trapped with nothing end up hating. Being miserable. Projecting hate onto those who don’t understand why. And yet we all sigh, we all sigh. 

So I’m tired. I’ll just be still.

And I personally accept the fact that I should just watch idly by. And not pursue. And not wait. And not expect, and not hate. I don’t know if I was made to have a mate.

If I end up alone, I guess I’ll be fine. 

No one wants to end up with a crazy; no one wants to be just mine.

Musing no. 20: Emanating

Any emotion one feels emanates. 

You can see it in my eyes. You can see it on my smile. Whether it be joy, sadness, pain, or excitement, you feel it by observing.

And yet all I feel is a void that’s missing feeling. It’s numb. It lingers from inside your chest, out into your arms, your forearm, your wrist. It takes over your hand, and your fingers feel warm at the tips. I feel it, and I hate it. 

My dad was right. I need to stop being too happy because everything will be balanced out with pain. 

But now I can’t genuinely enjoy joy, or peace; I await the arrival of sadness and chaos. How morbid. Don’t be like me. 

I have 5 layers of blankets. It’s summer. It simulates a hug. Simulates comfort. An embrace that I may not ever find. By inanimate objects that can’t rewind. 

Don’t be stuck in my mind, it’s no fun there. Everyday is a struggle to have fun. Everyday is not a fairytale. Thanks for telling me that, &$)@. 

I’ll just go to sleep. Sleep usually fixes it. Usually. Fixes. It.

Musing no. 19: Freedom

What is freedom?

What does it entail? Does it mean you are genuinely free from that which enslaves you? Or is it just an illusion that keeps you in chains in a way that makes you think you’re in control?

Is freedom being by yourself, or having the ability to enjoy whatever state you’re in?

Is freedom being surrounded by people who feel the same, or being secure in your solitude?

Is freedom the ability to travel, when you could enjoy what’s around you without cost?

Is freedom your ability to speak without hindrance, or the ability to speak and not hurt anyone with your words?

 

What is it?

Is it defined by someone else telling you what you need to do to feel free, or is it defined by your ability to decipher that which benefits you most?

Is it a way for you to practice your “free-ness” by not being tied down to one person, and just jump from one to another on a whim?

Is it really freedom when you confine yourself in a belief solely yours?

I don’t know either.

 

I think true freedom is found when you have peace with what you do, and don’t hurt those around you; and yet find fortune in what’s within, what’s surrounding, those who are there, those who are everywhere. And you feel love and are able to love–without holding back. THAT is freedom.

 

 

Break: Desiderata

So someone on IG sent me out looking for this poem. I loved it. I love it. Love it.
Desiderata
 
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
 
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
 
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
 
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
 
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
 
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Musing no. 18: I’m an introvert.

I talk a lot. In fact, I talk so much you think I was a confident, outgoing individual that enjoys speaking to people about everything and loving it when people give me attention when I speak.

I don’t.

I cringe when people look at me when I start speaking. I act. I’m a great actress, in fact, I can make you feel like I’m really excited about what I’m talking about; whereas I’m actually nervous and scared you’d not want to listen to me.

I love listening to you, though. I love when you answer my questions with more than just one sentence, with the essence of your being slightly shared as you engage in conversation with me. That, I love. 

But I was not always like this.

I used to be the one who raised her hand when the teacher asked questions.

I used to be the one who volunteered to make friends with new people at church so they felt at home– those my age and behind.

I used to love being the center of attention and being in the spotlight. 
But then we moved; we moved to a country where I knew no one, kept myself isolated, and my comfort was writing a poem/prayer/letter every night for two and a half years straight. I listened to the saddest music, and the angriest music; I wrote in my blood, and pierced myself. It comforted me. 

I comforted me.

  Nothing anyone did for me mattered because no one did anything for me that mattered.

  FIghting everything by myself was no easy task, because no one listened to me when I asked for help.

Justifying abuse done to myself was not ideal to deal with, by myself. 

Trust me, I know. I’ve been there. 
Listen to your child when they speak of something that bothers them. Otherwise, they’ll just try to fix themselves to no fixable point, and confuse your effort to gloss over it with no care.

I talk a lot. In fact, you probably thought I was okay talking about this.

I’d rather write it out.

Musing no. 17: In Remembrance

TW: graphic content.

You hear them arriving. “Another one,” you murmur under your breath, as dust and dirt on dried sweat slowly flake off your brow… You know that there’s no chance, yet you have to fix this again, somehow. 

One by one you see them walking, or carried–maybe, assisted–being herded by medevac into the tent. An arm, a leg, two arms, both legs… an arm and a leg–all missing. Then the ones on the carrier…gone. And then you see the one–if lucky, two–who are so shaken you can tell that they wished they were blind, that there could be Mother’s skirt they could hide behind, but their shock is glossed over by guilt. 

“That should have been me,” their eyes tell you, as they pass you by, knowing at some point throughout this tour they will have to–no, they will NEED to talk to you about it. You have seen this, time and again. You, yourself, wonder, “Am I becoming numb of this?”

“Sir, we need you in the tent,” your assistant tells you. You follow him with your Book in tow, knowing it’s time; some are not going to make it but they seek some sort of transcendental comfort before they move on. 

“Home. I want to go home. Tell me Chaplain, am I going to make it home? It doesn’t have to be this one. How about the next one? The one you spoke about two days ago?”

So you reassure this young man, telling him that yes, he is going to make it home, as long as he commits his spirit and believes that Jesus is the Way and no one else. Sometimes, you question all these things happening and what you have been preaching in believing after they come back from the field like this, but you quickly rebuke yourself. “Stop, Jack, you know better than to question the Creator,” you chastise yourself.

You go back to your tent in anguish over the thought of the wives and children some of them left behind, the siblings they grew up with, or the parents who won’t be able to know that their child is gone–sometimes their only child–and won’t know about it until a few days, sometimes weeks, after.

Yet, you write about it in your journal. You write to remember for them, and hope that the souls you have spoken to indeed found peace and did enough–most importantly believed enough–that they could be where peace lies. Past the blue skies, that encompass all the the earth that somehow cost them–and demanded–their lives.

And now they lie in peace.

___________________
Enjoy that barbecue. The sun, the beach, the drinks, peace. But remember the fallen, remember the fallen. 

Enjoy the sky’s blue hue. The sand, the grill, the food, calm. But remember the fallen, remember the fallen.

But don’t just “Enjoy.” Live your life worthy of another life. Don’t burden yourself with living it too perfectly, though.
 Live it in a way that reminds you of how they were when they were here.
 Live your life to help those in need, to fight for those who don’t have a voice, to not stand on the side when those who are discriminated against struggle. Be their voice–those alive and those who’ve gone. 
Live your life, and take care of yourself. Your life is precious and you know that because those who did not have to, gave theirs so you can have and keep yours. 

Live for them. Don’t make it your sole purpose, but live a life that thanks them for what they did. 

Remember the presence they had. Remember how they were at home. Remember how they were in training. Remember how they smiled, ate, laughed, breathed, joked around, cried, chewed–every little thing they did that made them who they were, what they were, to you.

Remember the fallen–the brothers and sisters that were not your flesh and blood, but did more than your flesh and blood. Meant more than your flesh and blood.

And don’t forget those who felled themselves, too. They were still fighting that war when they got home.

And to those who are still here–just remember it, but don’t live in it. 

Live in the now, in remembrance.