For the last month, I've been on the fence about the decision I made to let someone back into my life. The reason for my uncertainty really has nothing to do with me and him; actually, we're doing fine. It's everyone else in my life who are making me wonder whether I made the right choice in forgiving (but not forgetting - let's make that clear). When things got all messed up last fall, I was miserable, and those around me told me I should be happy. Now it's winter, I feel calm and resolved, but everyone tells me I'd be better off without him in my life. I know that the people who care about me don't want to see me hurt again. But it really hurts when I'm trying to make amends, keep the peace, and let things just be normal, and they shoot me dirty looks when I talk to him or walk away when he approaches me.

Fuck. Only now, as I'm writing this, do I realize I'm a total hypocrite. I do the exact same thing to my friend's girlfriend, whom I despise.

What makes us think we have the right to determine other people's happiness? Perhaps it's because we know our loved ones so well; we can see their strengths and weaknesses, we understand their habitual patterns, we know what they deserve - all the things that lead us to protect and care for each other. Though, we can never really understand why people feel the way they do. Yeah, some of it can be attributed to genes or environment or personal history. But those are only a few pieces of the puzzle. First impressions, gut instincts, and chemistry take part in it too, and those all provide us with strong intuitions that we cannot ignore. So we have to learn to respect our friends' decisions, even if we think - or know - that it's the wrong one. Think about it: we spend years demanding that our parents let us live our own lives, but then we turn around and criticize our friends for making what we think are poor decisions and warn them about the perils that they will undoubtedly face. It is important to make our own mistakes so that we can learn from them. How are we supposed to come to know the true value of happiness and love without experiencing sadness or pain?

Moral of the story: keep your nose out of other people's business. Basically, keep your nose out of my business. My nose is enough.


EDIT: Okay, so, literally two minutes after I published this post, I went to YouTube to watch a video of an aspiring musical artist, Gabe Bondoc, at the recommendation of a friend. The video was of an original song titled, "Summertime." Aside from the song and performance being pretty damn good, the lyrics just really hit home and made me recall one of those memories which, despite all of the shit that happens to ruin everything surrounding it, that one amazing memory manages to miraculously survive, untarnished. It's things like that, those things that are my reasons that no one else can possibly understand.

I met you in the summertime
And I never had a summer better than the one I met you in...


on the other hand...

My best friend, Danielle, and I have known each other for a little over ten years now. We have been best friends for almost that entire amount of time, having met on the freshman basketball team at our high school back home in Antioch, California. We have very similar backgrounds: raised by Asian parents in a suburban town outside a large, diverse, metropolitan city; upper-middle class; parents married; one younger sibling; college educated. For the majority of our adolescent and adult lives, we were given the exact same opportunities from almost the exact same sources. And yet, we are completely different people.

I can't say exactly why or how Danielle and I ended up being such good friends. Our first real encounter happened after a scuffle on the basketball court, in which I tore off about half of Danielle's thumb nail that she used to slice open my bottom lip. As we iced our wounds, we bonded over the fact that neither of us are particularly aggressive people. Okay, well, maybe Danielle is a little bit aggressive. Me, not so much. But anyway, from that point on, we became inseparable for the better part of the next four years.

As we grew up, we learned a lot about ourselves through the other. That's what good friends are for, I suppose: to educate you about the characteristics you have that you cannot see - or choose not to see - yourself. The older we got, the more I came to understand why I needed her in my life. Danielle is almost my polar opposite. What I lack in myself, I have in her. And having her in my life reminds me that while I am a good person, I am made better by those who love me and whom I love. Her achievements inspire me, and her struggles provide perspective to my own. Life is a complicated thing, and every one of us approaches it differently.

We talked yesterday about boys, the ones we love and the ones who hurt us. Who, ironically, often turn out to be the same people. Despite being 3,000 miles away from me and a complete stranger to the people I tell her stories about, I realized that she is the one person, other than myself, who completely understands why I am going through. A lot of it can be attributed to our history; she is the only one on this earth who actually knows my entire life story, without a single detail spared, no matter how gruesome it may be. But aside from that, her life experiences have almost always reflected the flip side of our friendship coin.

Danielle has spent the last four years trying to negotiate the battle between her head and heart. For her, her heart always seems to win, regardless of the consequences of the matter. I, on the other hand, have spent the last four months trying to negotiate a similar battle between my head and heart, and because of my own different set of insecurities, I never let my heart have any say. She told me, "I gave him chance after chance after chance... And I let myself get walked all over because I loved him." As she said this, I heard my own conscience ask, "What about you? You are so scared of getting walked all over that you don't give anyone a chance to love you."

Well damn.

That's the trouble with love. How do you find that in-between place where you can let down your guard without letting go of who you are? I wish I had the answers.

I honestly have no idea where this post is going... I just have some very mixed feelings about a recent decision I made, and writing seems to be the best way to sort things out at the moment.

And on a completely unrelated, but important, note: Remember that you can't help who you fall for. Chemistry is a powerful thing.


bad timing

Reblogged via PostSecret

I can relate. Maybe someday we'll get it right.


looking forward

The start of a new year always feels like a chance to start from scratch. Erase all the bad things and begin again with good. That's what I'm hoping for anyway.

This year is unlike many others because for the first time in my life, I don't really know what's coming. I'm so used to being able to plan out the year ahead, make a rough draft of a plan of action. But because of all the changes that have happened in recent months, I can't even begin to imagine where I'll be three, six, nine, or twelve months from now. I'm graduating in October, and with that in mind, I'll be auditioning for performance jobs starting around June. Whether or not I'll get one is a big mystery. Will I still be in New York City by this coming fall? Will I still be working toward this huge goal of mine, or will I be shunted back to hallways, cubicles, and filing cabinets? Will I be surrounded by friends and loved ones, or will I be alone, once again? I wish I had even the slightest inkling.

I don't like feeling so unprepared. It's not like me. Though I suppose it's a good learning experience. Or something.

Don't have much else to say at the moment... Except that my first act of 2009 was one of forgiveness. That has to be good sign.