i’m not being extra. 

had a beautiful cry 

like i had a blade dragged into me to remove a dormant cancer that was hidden & resting but in great magnitude. 

before this cry, i had a productive day.

i laughed and smiled.

i worked on new projects. 

i saw people who i admire.

i had endorphins flowing through my body.

i had a cry @6A after a bike ride home during a call home to my grandmother. 

it was like blockage was removed and resting pain that existed inside me exited in bulk, in the same vain of my living joy. 

i could see myself screaming as babies do when they become aware of the vast world – life replanting me from my comfort zone to one more visibly boundless.

my grandma laughed and said i’m perfect. 

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the stars still sparkle despite the mess we’ve made. dust can’t mask the truth. masks can’t hide the truth. beauty is meant to be seen despite the mess we’ve made. we are fickle creatures. we are afraid of the dark. we block the light. there are many reasons we are inferior. we make our fear superior. do we know what is more important than the mess we’ve made?

sabai dee

it’s strange because it doesn’t feel strange at all. although i couldn’t sleep and didn’t have much of an appetite the preceding days before my arrival, now that i’m back in bangkok, i feel a sense of serenity, excitement, and hunger. i told someone and she said she was jealous.

i hopped on the metro rail link from the airport. there were a few English speaking Thais who were kind enough to try to help me but i knew exactly where i was going. i appreciated this act of kindness because i know that it takes courage to assert yourself in a language that’s not native. i couldn’t help but smile. then, i transferred to the BTS, stood in sweat unbothered, and enjoyed my phone being dead so i could enjoy relying on my instincts for direction and take in my environment. i lugged my 27kg suitcase and backpacks to terminal 21, which is a mall that more than likely houses the BEST thai food court in the world. i went back to the vegetarian stall that i used to frequent and used my eyes to order food that i did indeed forget how to pronounce. i ate it all for the equivalent of $3. fresh vegetables, seasoned perfectly, without the hormones. i told someone and he said he was jealous.

i caught an uber from the mall and it was a seamless experience. i didn’t have to talk, he helped me with my luggage, and he spoke basic english. i even napped in the mazda. a solid 35 minute ride cost me less than $8. i told someone and he said he was jealous.

i arrived at a former student’s house out in the burbs. she’s old enough to be my mom and still calls me “teacher”, even though I haven’t taught her in almost a year. she was at work when my uber arrived. i was greeted by her housekeeper who helped me with my things and had a plate of refreshing watermelon ready for me to devour. i unwound myself and slept for hours, unbothered, to awake to the sounds of tropical birds and roosters. i told someone and she said she was jealous.

so i say all this to say that, it’s damn good to be back in thailand. i know what brought me back but i also, i know that no land is perfect. i can say that i know many people who are discontent and unfulfilled, questioning the motions that they’re going through. why not live like you deserve? why not seek the fulfillment that you’re craving? why not feed your health positively? why not try to create your heaven on earth? it’s more than just geography.

don’t be jealous. just live like you deserve.

murakami

I cried on the plane ride. It was brief but it happened. I was returning to Atlanta, GA, a place that I hadn’t been in almost 2 years. This is a place that I hoped I never had to return to against my own will and only for a visit, never extended. On July 26, 2013, I boarded a Delta Airlines plane and flew first class halfway across the world to Asia with a little more than $2000USD and my only expectation being change & growth. My “home” never felt like home and I had been eager to leave since before I got my drivers license. I never had the desire to explore my own hometown on my own merit, but I always had the desire to explore places that would expand my worldview in a way that Atlanta and America couldn’t. I always knew that I wanted more than where I was at. I always knew that I wouldn’t become the best me if I didn’t leave my comfort zone that was never really comfortable. The journey out of America had many prerequisites, but now I’ll focus on the present and future. 

It’s been a little over a week since I’ve been back in my hometown and it’s been nearly 4 months since I’ve returned to America. I first landed in LA and was unsure of whether or not I should continue with a travelers mindset & just lightly pass through or try to embrace LA as a temporary home, as I did Bangkok. Life allowed me to fall somewhere in between the two lifestyles and I grew to love the city in a way I didn’t expect to. It was bittersweet to leave. Nonetheless, I understand my own humanly limitations enough to embrace the unknown to make the best out of situations. I do this as a way to combat any negative viewpoints that can arise from passing judgement. I’m learning to get better at this. Something I’ve learned during this journey, especially while dealing with all of those aforementioned prerequisites. 
Now, I’m laying on my bedroom floor in my grandmother’s house with postcards to send to friends in different time zones around the world to my left and my latest read to my right — Murakami’s “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”. A well timed and appropriate recommendation from a new friend I’ve made along my journey. This memoir is relevant in so many ways and has given me even more clarity on everything, essentially the reason why I choose — yes, choose — to live.
 
Murakami is a devoted runner. For some, he might seem to be an extremist in his habits. He’ll operate like a machine and push his mind to a subconscious state to achieve his own personal ideals. It’s more than fitness. It’s more than a competitive edge. He admits that there are times when he doesn’t want to run. There have been marathons that he hasn’t enjoyed. There have been times when he’s felt defeated. Yet, he always reminds himself as to why he chooses to run. He wants to be the best him and through that mindset, he genuinely appreciates every bit of what he experiences, specifically as a runner. 
I started reading this novel on Saturday. I’ve been running everyday since I began. Yes, fitness is important to me but I metaphorically equate Murakami’s passion for running to my life. I ran across the world to a foreign country to push myself to achieve more. Many people didn’t get it. I am like Murakami, I suppose. An extremist. I ran, somewhat hoping the run to become easier. How foolish. Life is a marathon. Cliche but true. Also, blantantly stated, shit gets real — often. That doesn’t mean that I don’t and didn’t enjoy the run. Sometimes the run feels like a hike, a jog, a climb, or a stroll. We run, or in other words, we live because we want to be the best we can be. We go on this journey to find another journey to stumble upon another to seek another to join another continuously. It might become easier for a while but there’s always more to push through. There will be moments where we feel defeated. I felt defeated by LA when the world peeled me away from such an appealing city only to make me return to the same plot I left with a zealous farewell. 
I realize now, there is no farewell. There is no end until we die. Things resurface, attempt to haunt us, distract us, steal our joy, and all we can do is live to be the best we can no matter our circumstances. We give it our all and fight being a victim. 
——————————————————–
This is what I talk about when I talk about living. 

14/02/14

Valentine’s Day 2014, I was online, on the prowl, which has been a hobby of mine for years; it’s just only been recently that I began storytelling of my online pursuits. Living in Thailand, it was a hobby and a survival tactic. What other options did I have? I was a frequent browser on okcupid.com. I was looking for someone to temporarily fill the void. I was just looking for some external fun. I figured that I had seen all there was to be seen until I got a notification of a recent visitor to my profile whose photo thumbnail seemed to arouse my senses. I clicked the box to enlarge his profile, which I found to be mysteriously scarce but interesting enough for me to spare some energy. We chatted for hours. I was unsure of how attractive I would find him, but we vibed so well and didn’t want to waste anytime. The irony of our connection manifesting on Valentine’s Day. We physically met on the 15th. I remember riding that motorcycle taxi trying to realize his profile photos. I wouldn’t have been able to point him out of the crowd. All I knew was that he was Chinese, around my height, covered in tattoos, and had urban appeal, as well as a hopefully fading drug addiction. He knew I was vegetarian so he was down to go on an adventure to a vegan restaurant in an Ekkamai. I stood on the corner and tried to focus on indifference. I remembered one match question on okcupid “What makes you more nervous: job interviews or a promising first date?” Him and I both chose ‘first date’. I remember what I wore – chucks, jeans, an oversized knitted cardigan, and a white tank. I specifically went out to buy that tank the day of. For some reason, it seemed imperative. I never fucking wear white. Maybe I wanted to accentuate my breasts. I think that tank became gym wear after that night, then sleepwear, then a floor rag, and then trash.

He walked from the Ekkamai sky train exit and spotted me exactly. I saw him from across the street but had no idea that he was my date. He looked so…upbeat and also dressed in a lighter tones. I didn’t reeeeeally look at his face initially. we just said our greetings, made casual convo, and began our trek to find this hidden vegan gem. Later at dinner, I would be forced to stare into the eyes of the fucking hottest man I’ve ever let inside me.

Dinner was fun. We laughed at the faux meat and I learned how much of a true carnivore he was, just open minded. He learned that I was an old school Disney enthusiast and was secretly turned on by my recognition of the restaurants acoustic, instrumental version of Aladdins “A Whole New World.” We later geeked out to the Beauty and the Beast intro song. Bon-fucking-jour. We liked each other.

There was not a doubt in my mind that I wanted to get to know him more after dinner. I waste no time when I’m interested in something. He shared the same outlook. We caught a cab back to his place off Sukhumvit. It was clean, but masculine. I wanted to fuck him but it wasn’t a necessity. My birthday was in a few hours, so I was trying to be as cool as possible, as to not give the engagement too much significance. We got lifted and did everything physically possible but penetrate. He didn’t have any condoms. I definitely couldn’t give the evening THAT much significance.

We explored each other until my birthday arrived and afterwards. I sacrificed my sleep and left straight from his place, home to shower, then off to work. I felt intoxicated the whole day in my excitement knowing what walls would be knocked down later that evening. I couldn’t hide from the significance that my heart wanted to place our interactions. I came over my birthday a few hours after work and he prepared a bomb ass indian meal for me, which made me completely bail on the workplace plans that my coworkers arranged without my consent — Korean BBQ/karaoke. We fucked like rabbits on my 24th birthday to the entire Lana Del Rey “Born to Die” album. How appropriate.

It happened so fast. We got acquainted on Valentine’s Day. We met on Saturday, the 15th. We had sex on my birthday, Sunday the 16th. He deleted his okcupid account on Monday the 17th. We were a couple on Tuesday the 18th. We were having sleepovers that weekend. We broke up randomly in late March after he got distant and said it was because being with me made him feel to use cocaine again. I still don’t know exactly why, but I’ve theorized. Although we had so much in common and everything was seemingly perfect, I knew our relationship wasn’t long term when I entered it, but I agreed to enjoy the ride.

I’m saying this all to say that there’s different levels to love. Some love peaks fast and crashes. Some love builds over time. Some love is fleeting. Some love is elusive. Some love is friendly. Some love is romantic. That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t love if it wasn’t unconditional and eternal.

just enjoy love and live. don’t live in fear of the end result. im not afraid of heartbreak. I’m happy I’ve felt that and learned that lesson so I can enjoy and appreciate the people whom I fall in love with. It’s fun falling in and out of love. It has grown me and I think it makes the love I give more genuine because I’m not seeking any title in return. I’m not seeking a destination. just enjoying the journey and possible one day, I’ll meet a passenger who’ll share the journey with me and we’ll find a destination together.