A friend I should’ve written about long ago

As you may know, fanfiction used to be a huge part of my life. Despite its bad rep, I have never been ashamed of being a fanfiction writer. Part of it is because I met someone who I’ve been friends with for eight years now.

We hit it off over Jackie Chan, for what reason, I have no idea. We had jetpacks and we used to send each other “glomps” like the cool teenagers that we were. Before Skype, before Facebook, before smartphones, we managed to connect with each other through only words on MSN. And fucking nudges (don’t think I’ve forgotten because I haven’t. I could have died by falling off my chair).

It’s likely hard for people to believe that in this day and age, we’ve only Skyped each other once and only recently started talking to each other on the phone. But I don’t really think that’s strange. Everybody has that one friendship that they just can’t quite explain to people, and this one of mine is one of those.

Our relationship is like drip coffee in the world of K-cups. Although we’ve always confided in each other, I feel that we’re still getting to know each other slowly. I didn’t know until last year, probably, that she doesn’t like sushi or cheesecake. I didn’t know how tall she was or her favorite colors. That sounds weird until you compare our friendship to others I’ve had, where I memorized their favorite foods and colors and birthdays and everything about them, but only to receive very little in return. I tried my best to be a good friend to them but those “friendships” are now one with the dust. Friendships are never about favorites, but about support.

We don’t have the luxury of spending so much time together that we’ve memorized each other’s wardrobes. We don’t have the power to comfort each other with a pizza party and tubs of ice cream like in those chick flicks. What we have are just words. But it is precisely with this friend that I felt again and again, the importance of words. In happy times she tells me that she is happy for me. In sad times she sends me virtual hugs. In difficult times she listens to me and supports me, and she believes in me so effortlessly that I start to wonder if she’s just crazy.

In comparison to her patient, generous, and compassionate self, I am just a bratty child. To me, she is a change-inspiring kind of beautiful. We are not perfect people, but how I wish I could have just a tenth of her giving personality.

Today is her 22nd birthday, and I am so happy to say that in 3 months and 11 days, I’ll be meeting her for the first time in a foreign land. We’ll be making new, physical memories with one another and that sounds more insane the more I think about it. Here’s to hoping we don’t end up hating and killing each other LOL

 

Feeling happy and excited

Today I wrote in my digital diary that I’ve been spending my days happily. But I think I might’ve only written that because these several days have been good for me. Especially today for some reason.

1. I only have several pages left to write before I can launch my drama review blog! I can’t believe I’m actually doing this but just thinking about it makes me so happy. I should’ve started years ago.

2. I finished my graduate school applications and have a somewhat complete-ish portfolio/blog that I also used for my application. Shameless plug right here.

3. Everyday on Instagram, I’ve been checking Joon Young‘s tag and leaving comments in Korean to the best of my ability. I’ve had exchanges with some people but I always wonder if they actually understood what I meant to say.

4. Today I decided to take the plunge to start a digital diary…in Korean, so I can practice. I also downloaded an app that can help check my grammar (except the explanations and corrections are all in Korean so it’s not as helpful as it can be). It took me forever to write an entry today but I’m so excited!!

5. I have also been addicted to the Joon Young thread in Baidu Forums. With that I’m practicing my Chinese to stop it from wasting away.

Unfortunately, none of those things I talked about has to do with actual school LOL But either way I will be done in April and I’m so excited for that too!!!! I need to stop with my exclamation marks, but just in case you can’t feel my excitement, you know?

That time I moved (again)

Moving always proves to be difficult.

“Oh, it’s nothing. I’m not one to be attached,” I’d say, but the lie breaks down in front of me when I’m surrounded by the past I’m to pack up into a box. A note I passed with a friend from Grade six, a plastic necklace from Christmas five years ago…all piled up in heaps on the floor. It’s the small details that are the worst. The ones that I’ve long forgotten, the evidence of a feeling that’s long gone.

But the worst part is sitting on the floor with the bowl in my hand, eating away with the disassembled table racked up against the wall. It’s watching the four walls, the chairs pushed off to a side, the disconnected TV, the sofa covered with a cloth. It’s noticing the cracks on the floor that were never there, looking at a space so littered with things but only seeing empty.

Empty, empty, nothing. Everywhere.

Will the carpet remember the touch of my feet? Will the walls remember the timbre of my voice?

The walls with penciled increments of my sister’s height, April, October, January. The lines a few feet above that I know are mine. The small hole on the wall where the calendar hung. The stickers on the side of my vanity in the washroom. The bad paint job left from the people before us.

Will the house remember me once I’m gone? If I ever visit again, will the place remind me of the things I’ve forgotten?

“This is a nice place, we’ll be here for a long time.” The lie I’ve carefully fabricated falls to pieces as we’re driving away, and I remember that I still haven’t taken pictures of the flowers now in bloom on my neighbour’s lawn.

 

** Written April 22, 2012

One person, some apologies

The last time I wrote about this friend was in April 2013. I wrote the opening paragraph so easily the last time, and this time it’s taken several days before I even wrote that first sentence.

I think it’s because I feel guilty.

The two of us have always argued about things, and sometimes it leaves us ending conversations in a bitter standstill. One time he was sending me off at a bus terminal and we managed to start an argument in those short five minutes that we had. We never talked about it again, but I still remember it. All those aside, we’ve never harboured any ill feelings towards each other because of those disagreements.

Until the time we really fought about one issue. For some reason, neither of us were willing to agree to disagree. Even to this day, I’m happy that I stood up for my beliefs and perspective on the issue because I was never the type to do so. I hate conflict and disagreements but for some reason I felt so strongly about it that I fought it til 4AM.

As you can imagine, the tension following that conversation was more than just a feeling. It built a wall of steel between the two of us. But I didn’t care at first because I was so angry about our conversation.

Then one day he reached out to me and said he changed his mind about the matter. Then another time he reached out to me and said he was sorry that he didn’t catch onto my rapidly crumbling emotional stability. I was thankful but I didn’t do anything more because I felt so awkward during those interactions. Although I have said sorry, I am thinking now that my apologies weren’t enough.

So this is an open letter to you. I am sorry.

Not for disagreeing with you, but for letting that tension eat away at our friendship. I am sorry for not saying thank you enough times to show you my appreciation for checking up on my mental health. I am sorry for not trying my best to resolve the awkwardness between us when we met up. I am sorry for not responding in time to your message. I am sorry that I don’t know how to say sorry well enough for it to warrant any kind of true understanding from you.

I won’t have any unrealistic expectations about our friendship from this point on, but I just hope my message comes off as sincere as I want it to be.

I am sorry. And thank you.

 

**I also have a new about page for a 21-year-old me :)

11 days into 2016

I have to say it’s been going fairly well. The weather has returned to crap but my spirit hasn’t been affected yet! I’ve been away from blogging for so long that I don’t even know how I used to write paragraphs without a thought.

Aside from my usual procrastination tendencies in my school work and such, my personal care has stepped up a notch. My floor is beautifully spotless, my plates don’t stay on my desk for longer than several hours, and I’ve been washing my dishes. I am a miracle worker.

I’ve also started a dream journal just before 2015 ended. I don’t know how useful it really is but it feels nice to just write about all the things I want in my life and the things I have in my plans. For this journal I am also throwing away my obsession with doing everything perfectly and staying consistent with pen usage. It’s liberating and I think all of you (in particular those with anxious personalities like mine) should try it!! I still like making it pretty but at least I don’t freak out when I find that one pen I was writing with ran out of ink.

Although I have no plans on training for 10K again (to be honest I just couldn’t fall in love with running), hopefully I can work on my fitness in some other way.

I think at this point I’m just rambling. But I’ve been feeling so solid in my well-being that I don’t even have much to complain about. Now I think that more than anything, self-esteem really has to do with a strong sense of certainty in myself.

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2016, I am so excited for you.

This may be the first time I’ll write a truly positive year-end reflection. 2015 was a dramatic year for my mental and emotional state. I battled with negativity, weakness, anxiety, and I lost parts of myself during that time. But I also found peace, strength, and hope in the most unlikely places, at unexpected times.

In 2015, I cried more than I can remember. I thought about endings, running away, and death more than any other time in my life. I had to go see a social worker for counselling and for months I felt like I was constantly struggling to breathe. I lost parts of myself in ways I could not tolerate and I was completely unable to regroup.

Then I found my first full-time job. I wrote the best cover letter I’ve ever written and I left the interview feeling like a million dollars. My job taught me countless things about the world, people, and myself. I rediscovered my passion for graphic design and practiced my writing every day.

I went travelling by my own desires and explored the different parts of my wonderful Canada. I almost trespassed into the badlands in the rain, played in my nation’s capital, biked for 30km, ran my second 10k race, went spelunking for city people, went ziplining in a city just an hour north of my home, and experienced the small town life in a true Canadian winter fashion.

My heart almost left me when I held my first business cards in my hands, because I couldn’t believe that something I had designed could come to life just like that. My feature story was accepted at the campus newspaper. I got my first freelancing paycheque for graphic design, and it all went to my black Friday purchases.

I went to my first hackathon, where I ate five meals in one day and slept on concrete steps of a lecture hall. The sun woke me up and I crawled out of my sleeping bag to take a picture.

Although I still sometimes wish for a different body, I feel good and beautiful for no reason at all. I am comfortable in my own skin for the first time. Remembering the times I traversed caves, reached the top during rock climbing, and coming close to winning a game of table tennis (officially won my first December 31, 24-22) makes me feel more powerful than I ever have.

In 2015, I haven’t done anything significant enough to make news. But I am a changed person, no doubt. Although I don’t look any different and my resume hasn’t beefed up as much as I would like, in my body’s center there is a calmness that anchors my heart while my soul flies freely.

I am excited about my future and about my life, and I feel more comfortable with myself than I ever have. My name is Flora. My spirit is a bit wild for someone with my upbringing. I love to create because it makes me feel alive. I still love to stay home and watch Korean dramas, but I would also be excited to go on a hike.

2015 was really hard but I managed to make it. Now I can’t wait for 2016, because I will make it wonderful to the best of my ability. And I am very capable.

Some words at 12:41AM

At times like this, writing makes me feel like I can live again. It’s a bit lonely with just me and my words, but it’s bearable. I get caught up in thinking about the best way to frame my thoughts and feelings and I forget about life for a while. It’s a blessing.

I want to thank my fatemaker (it’s not a word but it’ll have to do) for giving me a love for this craft. I don’t think I’d still be sitting here if I never wrote any of this down. Where would all my sadness and frustration go? I would’ve been eaten alive years ago.

But if there’s one thing I want to ask of my fatemaker, I want to be angry. When I should be slamming doors and yelling, I only find myself crying to songs that come on the radio. I don’t want to lead a life where my anger and disbelief becomes sadness before I get to express them. I want to be aggressive like the way I drive during rush hour. I want to scream when I’m hurt and not be so afraid of the way I want to act.

I’ve always wanted to be graceful. I’m still trying. But next time I’m angry, instead of giving me the urge to cry, let me yell.