Last September

I was at the train station on my way from school when I overheard something from a conversation between two men. I started writing this on my phone soon after.

“I wish you strength through your struggles.”

And I said “wow”. Two men had just hugged as their conversation drew to an end. White, tall, one with a cane, the other with a bag pack and a face like the bad guy in an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie I can’t remember very well. He had meant it. I knew by his face that he had meant what he said, that he had been sincere in his well-wishing.

Strength through struggles. Wasn’t that a touching thing to say? It touched me, and I was across the platform waiting for the train coming in the opposite direction. Though I had heard the sentiment expressed before, I’d never heard those words put together in quite that way. Strength through your struggles. Isn’t that something we all need? Something we all need to be given by the ones around us? Because we’re all struggling?

At first I thought the one with the cane wasn’t participating in the hug. His legs were awkwardly set, and his left hand was by his side. I could see both the arms of the other man resting on his back. Then I saw them part, and the man’s right arm came down beside him with the cane in it. Oh. Maybe that was the most he could do. Maybe the most he could do was lift his right arm with his cane in it to return his friend’s embrace.

They kept talking for a while after. Guys are like that. They talk to each other a lot, and even after they’ve said goodbye there is more for them to say. I don’t know what those two men were talking about, I don’t know if they even know each other. But my immediate response to hearing that man’s words was to say wow. I couldn’t believe it. “I wish you strength for your struggles,” or did he say “through your struggles”? Whatever the case he gave the man strength. Or I’d like to think that he gave the man strength. And now I think wouldn’t it be nice if we all gave each other strength like that? If we all wished each other strength to go through our struggles? Because we’re all struggling.


From April

From April of last year. The opening words were said by the woman leading the singing at church on a particular Sabbath. I didn’t like what she said.

“We don’t deserve to live!…”

“Thanks for reminding me,” I said out loud. I stood unwillingly, with no intention of singing that hymn again. I hated when they did that. I folded my arms and kept my mouth closed and looked off to the side. Like I needed to be reminded. Like I didn’t know that already. As if there was any way I could forget that.

A miserable wretched sinner, yes I know. I was born evil and have no good in me and deserve a horrid death. And if I don’t deny myself and live completely for Jesus, I surely will die that horrid death. Never mind what I think. Never mind that I was dropped into the middle of a war that has absolutely nothing to do with me. But I have to make a decision anyway. I have to pick a side. Does that even make sense? You mean to tell me I was made so I could die? Love me or die. How on earth can you command someone to love you? And what if I just can’t find it in me to love you wholeheartedly and believe every word say? You kill me? Or leave me to die? Thanks a lot. That surely is unconditional love.

I was thinking this on my way to pick up my brother from daycare. I almost cried. I was thinking this before I went to bed last night. I shook my head and tossed the thought away. I’d been thinking this a lot lately. I’m being forced to do something I want nothing to do with.

Twenty-one, Not Six

Okay… I was going through my drafts again to see what I could edit and what I could get rid of. There’s no editing this one because it was a rant. I don’t remember what I was feeling or thinking at the time I started this. It doesn’t look like it’s in terrible shape though, so I’ll just publish it as is.

It’s been a freaking long time, a freaking long time since I’ve been happy with myself. And I don’t mean putting on an outfit and liking it and leaving the house with a smile because I think I look great. I mean…me, as a person, in my environment, in relation to the people around me.

When was the last time I felt okay with myself? My body? Forget that. Maybe a little after my first period…the question is, when did I start being unhappy with my body? What about my ideas? I don’t think I’ve ever been accepted with those. What I think has, most of the time, been at odds with the majority. In relation to other people, I feel like crap. I reach out, and I get turned away. Then I get criticised for not wanting to mingle with the same people who turned back my efforts in the first place. How the hell does that work?

I’m so upset that I’m so emotional. My life would be so much better if I wasn’t. Why do I over think everything? Why do I worry about everything? I completely kill myself with my mind. And I don’t get it. It’s not something I do on purpose. It’s not something I want to do. I just do it. It’s like a part of me, like a limb. I didn’t grow any of them on purpose. They’re just all there. What the hell am I supposed to do about this? I’m freaking twenty-one years old. I’m not six. Why can’t I grow up and be strong?

One, Two, Three

Several things:

One way or the other, my father is going to have to get used to texting, because phone calls just can’t always happen. Texting is way more convenient for me and they ease my unsettled heart. I know that I’m probably getting anxious for nothing, but I really do get nervous when I know I have to talk to him. Therefore, I prefer not to. Just text me back daddy. Don’t call me.

Okay so I messed up with the Korean guy. He probably thinks I want to date him when I’m really only interested in learning from him. I got a little too excited. My bad. I’m sorry if I offended him. I’ve actually withdrawn a bit from all things Korean and I wondered if I should take a break, but I’ve decided that would be foolish of me. It is full time I stop letting other people influence me that way. One small misunderstanding like that should not make me give up learning Korean (even temporarily) and my dream of actually visiting the country the one day. Come on girl.

God. He’s been crossing my mind lately. Or maybe it’s just religion. Should I really go seeking after it again, or should I just take things one day at a time? I don’t really have a stance when it comes to religion. I used to follow one. I don’t anymore. But I’m not atheist…

And my mother. I miss her. I wish she were here.

I Have a Confession to Make

I am one of those girls. Those girls I saw on television when I was little. The ones who got caught. I am one of the girls whose journal/diary was found and who had her personal and private thoughts exposed without her consent. One of those girls who was ridiculed because of those thoughts and who had to face negative consequences because of them.

I used to think those girls were stupid. The ones who kept diaries. The ones who didn’t hide them well, or who didn’t write in them with code. So I did it, because I was smart. I kept a diary. I wrote in it with code, and I hid it. I wouldn’t be foolish like those girls – the ones who weren’t careful and who got caught.

The thing is though, I didn’t have anything to hide, and no one was looking for anything. I got tired of it. I was only logging daily events anyway. I stopped. It was pointless.

I don’t remember how old I was then. I don’t even remember if I had gotten to the seventh grade.

Four and a half years ago I moved to America. Some time after that, I took up journaling again. It was actually some time before I started this blog, so over a year ago then. I did it because I thought it would help me. I had a lot of things in my head, and no one to really talk to. My best friend was left behind in Jamaica.

My writing started out as poetry. I would find myself writing a poem when I was frustrated, or when I was angry. When something good happened to me I would sometimes write a poem. I would write poems based on my religion, my relationship with God, my relationship with my new family, my new school and the people there, my own feelings, everything. They were coming out so much that I bought a book to keep them in. I even started a blog to share them.

Over time, they weren’t enough. Though they would help to release some emotion, they didn’t take everything. They still left me with something in me that I wanted to get out, but couldn’t. I thought maybe I should start a journal. I used Notebook and I made one. It wasn’t doing anything. I didn’t have much to write. Sometimes I would. Sometimes I wouldn’t. I bought an actual book and wrote in it. I liked that. I kept on using it until it was finished. It was small really. I replaced it with a bigger one. I used both it and the online journal. They both served me well. I used the online one at work, and the physical one at home and sometimes school. They were both still lacking in that they were not able to take all my frustration, but I didn’t have any other options. Talking to anyone who would listen didn’t prove very helpful either. I was just scattering pieces of my story, and that didn’t help to heal it.

I forgot though, about those foolish girls. I forgot about them and became one of them. I never wrote in code. Doing that is bothersome anyway, but I also didn’t hide my journal. This time I didn’t think I needed to. I had a bedroom. People don’t go into other people’s bedrooms. People don’t go into other people’s belongings. Even if you saw something, you’d leave it alone, because it didn’t belong to you. I thought, no one is going to come in here and read this. I was right, for a time. No one went in and read it. I never even thought about it much. I didn’t write in it every day, or every week for that matter. I didn’t have time for that.

But I shouldn’t have forgotten. I shouldn’t have forgotten those girls. I shouldn’t have been so trusting.

Now I’ve become one of them. I’ve become an idiot. An ungrateful and selfish person. A person who is negative. A person who hates.

I shouldn’t have forgotten those girls.

Brown Paper Bags

The world doesn’t revolve around me. I know this. At the same time, I can’t see from any other eyes than my own. I can imagine. I can try to understand, but I can only see from one pair of eyes; mine. My vision may be clouded because of where I stand, but I can still only see from my eyes. I can listen to your story. I can listen to you tell me what you see, but I can never see what you see – not the way you do. I can only see from my eyes. I can only see from where I stand. Me saying this is not me being stubborn. Me saying this is me telling the truth. I can never see from your eyes. I can only see from mine.