beauty in the breakdown

hard knock journal

aloha oe
I woke up from another night terror and couldn't get back to sleep.

So, I decided to facebook instead and came across a series of videos a friend put up on the maps of Hawai'i. From there spent some time watching it then another documentary about the islands and to a excerpt of a documentary about Queen Lili'oukalani, the last monarch of Hawai'i.

Since I've been back from visiting Oahu and Maui, I just can't shake what I've learned and how it just touches to the deepest part of me about sovereignty and the self-determination of a peoples that's been so obviously and so overtly taken away by the greed of American businessmen. It is so recent and so apparent that it's impossible for any thoughtful "American" to ignore.

I guess I'm just deeply disturbed and moved by Hawaiian history but also the history of all indigenous peoples whose land has been forcefully taken away and partitioned for sale all over the Americas and across the world. It just makes me sick. I'm sure my indignant anger is only a drop of what actual indigenous people feel for their homes, their land, and their ancestors. These is something I feel truly helpless and immobile about. I know the answer is no longer reverting back to what was once indigenous but justice still needs to be served. We are the products of colonization, American exceptionalism, and the conveniences that all of those bring to our daily lives and expectations. I cannot separate the quality of life I expect and desire as the byproducts of western imperialism. There is no denying that first world privileges come from the backs of the third world. And yet, these are the exact comforts I expect because my parents escaped a war to come so I can be raised never knowing what war can truly feel like.

I feel so many contradictions and yet my heart still beats thunder for the people of Hawai'i, for the people of the Americas, and for indigenous people everywhere who are trying to sustain their heritage and culture that has probably outlasted all of western civilization but is rapidly deteriorating and vanishing because of rabid capitalist greed.

I will never truly understand the depth of the hole that Hawaiian people feel for their land and their ancestors but I know the holes that are left in people after war and the struggle to reclaim what has been forever lost.

my dearest sisters
my dearest sisters,

how are you?
i've been feeling you might be needing me
your contrived bravado
your nonchalant descriptions
of your self-destruction
your rawness covered with so much sawdust
you feel yourself made into wood
strong, wise, hard
hard enough to endure
hard enough to move pass pain
strong enough to brave the windstorms of life

but sister, i see you.

i see your rawness as it is
i see it bleeding you out
i see your heart break into so many pieces
each shard a sharp reminder
of blood spilled
heart broken
hope lossed
spirit bankrupted
soul numbed

eyes that glaze over
like doughnuts
sweet by touch but heart attack
if ingested
it tells me hazy images of slaps, stripper poles,
grabby hands, dirty money and frozen friends in alleyways
heart beating outside your parent's house
still waiting for them to lock it safely away

your strength
our strength
to survive past
torn skin
black eyes
ripped vaginas
cold stares
beating hearts waiting
to be whole

let me
that sawdust off
let me kiss your wounds
bandage it with a million cries of freedom
let me pick up the shards of your heart
and glue it with redemption
etch hope and strength behind your ears
and whisper Sister, you are not alone.

Olfactory Pleasures
Have a mini series with my friend JRR about favorite senses on my tumblr.

Reposting here... add your own!

Following JRR… (which I concur with EVERY ONE of them minus the lemongrass body wash), I love the smell of….

—> freshly cooked jasmine rice

—> your lover’s hair

—> hot steamy french bread

—> the fragrant loveliness of Pho especially with lots of lime and basil

—> newly bought magazines

—> lillies, orchids, and roses

—> fresh crisp air after it just rained

—> mangos

—>  just washed bedsheets

—> pillow your lovely other just slept on

—> jackets that have a hint of your perfume (almost like smelling yourself)

—> mr. sketch markers, particularly cherry and orange

Smells can take you back… to memories that you didn’t even think existed…


I just finished cleaning my room….

It took 3 hours to…
organize my shoes
hang up my jackets, sweaters, and shirts
fold and put away my laundry
throw away old conference agendas
put away safely all the beautiful cards people have given me
find old poems from old lovers
set all my products and tolietries onto one area
find my missing eyeliner
find my keeper coupons
transfer all my leftover mail from my floor to my desk
to vacuum the dust and leftover tracks from the past couple of weeks
to hang up all my bags
to minorly redo my closet so I can close the door
to find letters, post-its, flyers, and pictures from another life
to make my bed

and to finally breathe again……

[life's not a bitch its just sick of being personified - sage francis]
First post for the New Year. First post in over a month.

Even though I no longer (can) measure my growth and change by quarters, I now measure them by months and events. Or emotional revelations.

There too much to write. Again. This is what happens when I don't journal for so long. It becomes backlogged and I get completely overwhelmed and discouraged. Just like my life right now.

Let's start with the biggest things, I found out last night my mom got laid off last Thursday. Yes, that means a complete drop in income. A cut in her health insurance. The seemingly beginning of the end again. This is her 3rd lay off in less than a decade. It gets to me that both of my parents have worked themselves to death in a country that is suppose to make them prosperous but only end up 30 years later, more in debt and having less stable and secure jobs than ever, with no real retirement savings. I get angry. I got angry this morning thinking about that. How my mother, who worked for over two decades, in these various tech manufacturing companies, and where does it lead her? To having a kidney failure and relying on dialysis to clean her fluids for her and now completely without health insurance. I don't even know what to do anymore. I'm tired. I'm stressed. I'm overwhelmed. I don't want to be an adult. Responsible eldest Chinese daughter. I'm complaining. I'm whining. I don't care. I love my mother. I can't stand seeing us going through this again. I need money. We need money. I want to sell out. I don't know how. I want to have a career. I don't know the direction. My simple dream was just to make money and pay off my parent's debt, our house, our cars, everything. I wish I can be that daughter for them. I wish I can be that committed and dedicated to them to abandon my own ambitions for them. I wish I can be completely and utterly giving.

I wish I can just do it. Just quit this low-paying organizing job that stresses me out every week, every day, for a less stressful, higher paying, no moral, desk job. I wish I can be as invested in my family as I am of myself and my work. I wish. I wish. Iwish.iwish.iwish. I wish.

Fuck. I don't know. I dont know.idontknow.idk. I was looking at job postings on Idealist and LinkedIn. I was having delusions of working at some random foundation/private/nonprofit group that pays me at least enough to pay off all this debt. I understand it all. I understand my beliefs, my ideals, my vision, my imagination for a new world, a new horizon. But we're all still living in this one. And this world, this horizon comes with debt, medical problems, student loans, mortgages, loans, and other burdening socioeconomic weights. It's all sacrifices right? Sort of. Sacrificing our potential monetary success somewhere with blurry values for a place that matches our vision for people for a more just and dignified world. Too bad this world pays lower wages than if I worked as a unionized janitor at a university but expected to do the work of a 50-60K starting associate. Womp.

It's not about the money. I know. I know. College is such a cesspool for idealism and support for that. But, at sounding trite but not all the way jaded adult, this world of obligation, debt, responsibility, and ambition all mixed into this pot of milky thick overwhelming goo just makes me want to vomit and stay in homeostasis forever.

I need some advice. I need some guidance. I need to see a therapist or a financial advisor, the latter would probably be more practical. I feel lost again. Not that I ever felt found. But now I really feel like just vast ocean of uncertainty and my boat has holes and I'm slowing sinking into nothingness.

Lost. Lost lost lost lost.

Why do I feel like my life is in shambles again? But not crumbling, the pieces of my life are just jagged and forced into place. And it's starting to get uncomfortable and slightly painful. Where is the map to put all these pieces in place?

What's going on Universe? Send me something. Anything.

[ to reiterate anais nin... I do not see things as they are but as I am... ]
thinking, contemplative
How appropriate that this came on.

So I've decided that I am going crazy. And that I am crazy.

(crazydelicious!) Ahaha. Ok I'll stop with the references.

More like crazyridiculous.

I am awake at 8:16AM after dropping my sister off to take her SAT IIs. Bummer. I remember all that standardized testing bullshit just to get into college. I'm glad we don't have to go through that now.... well outside the GREs, MCATs, and LSATs if you want to go on to higher higher education. Womp.

Feeling better. revived. sleepy. ready. full. warm. comfy. in. my. bed. in 40 degree weather. outside. why. SJ. so. damn. cold?

P.S. The wonders of common, badu, and marley. why can't more hip hop/music out there bring solace like these 3 can?

P.S.S. Can't wait for HK REUNION PART II. OMG. It's going to be RIDICULOUS(ly) (FUN)!

[ as i am ]
thinking, contemplative
NEW LAYOUT. YESS. So much more fresh and Safari friendly! YESS. Turns out Apple released Safari 3, a much more stable and featured browser than Firefox (which crashes like once a day).

If any of you haven't picked up Alicia Key's new album... DO ITTTT. It's a fucking great album. There has been so many bomb albums this year. Jill Scott's album is ridiculously good. Michael Buble's is a classic. Keyshia Cole's is PHENOMENAL. And Alicia Keys is just.... emotionally poetic. My favorite on this album is "Like You'll Never See Me Again" and her "As I Am Intro" is fucking dope. Once she drops the beat on her piano solo.... aural orgasm. This album will definitely be in my car and at work for awhile.

In other GREAT news.... after looking over my room today and realizing I have a free Sunday for once in a blue moon, I decided to FINALLY do something about my room. Right now, it doesn't look like anything but I made such headway! Much thanks to Rebecca for her words of expertise (constantly selling me the Container Store) and motivation I am about 45% with cleaning and unpacking my room. I know. I am duly aware that it's been over 3 months since I moved back. That I'm still unpacked. BOOOO. Maybe right now I'm finally feeling comfortable being back in San Jose. I was looking at Craig's List this morning looking at different apartment postings in downtown SJ because I just could not deal with my room anymore... when I realize fuckk, why am I being crazy? I just need to grow a backbone and clean this one out before I decide to leave my free food/no rent haven of my parent's house. And it's good being with family on a DAILY basis after being gone for so long. I'll give it till June... when I pay off my credit card debt! HA! I'm so excited for that moment. But I also understand I'm fucking lucky to have parents so loving and SPOIL ME. Omg. The spoilage is ridiculous. It needs to stop so I can remember how I can COOK again.

I was reading over some of my old entries in my journal (my physical one) that I been carrying since 2005 - and damn... it's just funny reading a hodgepodge of entries and pieces that I would randomly write during intense emotional moments in my life. It's like skip 6 months an entry, then another one would be a month later, and another would be a year later. My LJ is even more consistent than that.

BLAAH. Random post. I need to clean my room. And be done with it before Rebecca comes. I'm sick of having people see the SIXTEEN BOXES in my room because I haven't gotten the fucking motivation and will to unpack yet. I'm going to do it RIGHT NOW.


[ some days i feel geometric so my poems go off on tangents ]
I was reading some of my old LJ posts and this one popped out:

Dated May 4, 2007:

I am feeling that I can be a better person. A more compassionate, loving, respectful, peaceful person. I need to remind myself of the respect that I want and that I must give for me to receive that. I need to remind myself of how secure I am in my feelings and my identity. I am everything and nothing at all. I am the one that holds part of the world on my back because not everyone would want to help carry it. I am the one that is reaffirmed by not just the love of people but the oppression that causes so much suffering. I am human. I am emotions. I am finally starting to feel again.
I am eternally grateful for being blessed with such understanding souls. I really vow to myself that I will become a better person.

I promise to be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind. To look at the sunny side of everything and make my optimism come true. To think only the best, to work only for the best, and expect only the best. To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature I meet with a smile. To give so much time to the improvement of myself that I have no time to criticize others.

So I began writing this post late last night... and I am in a different mindset now.

I just found a quote by Anais Nin that goes:

"We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations."

One of her other ones was "We do not see things are they are but as we are."

It's fucking potent shit. I want to read her works now. I need to go to the library or something and get her books.

But going back to the earlier quote by her and part of my past entry, we don't grow progressively. That's what it's basically saying, right? We are made up of layers, cells, constellations. I am a constellation. Read and formatted in non-linear ways even though I look at life, past, present, and future in that way. It's as if I have tunnel vision that never seemed to end.

I am growing. Constantly. Consistently. I need to be. Or else I would just slowly flake off and dissolve from this world into nothingness. I need to move on. I need to be moving. At all times. I can't even think by sitting down I have to be in motion somehow for my intellectual juices to take full effect. Is it me? Is it my insatiable need to be a nomad? Is that what I really am? My mechanism to always run away from problems, from insecurities, from everything that seemingly threatens me. Bores me. To be always in motion. To be always looking forward because to look backwards is too painful. I take each part, each segment of my life and pick at it with my very own home-grown psychoanalysis. I reason to myself these are the reasons and the experiences that created these neuroses and these memories are what created these insecurities. I try to become methodological while dissecting my past. Dissecting experiences that were too painful to even touch before. I am the product of me. I am the product of my world. I am the product of my own reality. If I choose to create my reality and reality is the product of me, then who am I really product of? Myself if logic serves correct... or God... or a higher power. Questions and ramblings of a inconsolable and neurotic insomniac.

But I digress... yet again. I've been thinking that I might seriously have a ADD problem. That when I listen to my people talk at length I tend to daydream... or is it only when I listen to my boss talk? I then have to kick myself and refocus myself to the conversation at hand. Not sure if it's just a side effect of working too much.... and dealing with random bouts of boredom.... and wishful thinking of something greener on the other side.

So change. Persistent and unconquerable change. The Perpetual. The Constant. The only thing worth living for. Yes. Not love, not peace, not hate, not anger, not war, not money, not even paradise on Earth. But change. The evolution of our minds molded by our experiences. The mutation of our emotions based on repeated chemical imbalances stemming from broken hearts to broken spirits.

I am a nomad. I am the runner. I am in motion. I try to create for myself but in the end it is not in my constellation for me to settle. No matter how much I want it I know I will never be satisfied. I am in constant, consistent, perpetual, perplexing, rambling, rumbling, wondering, wandering state. I shouldn't be afraid of it anymore. I shouldn't be afraid of myself. With myself. In the end, that's who's really left. Me. I am the one looking in the mirror. I am the one dealing with the fickleness of my heart. I am the one stomping forward. I am the one that sleeps with me. I alone hold the power to change my reality. And in turn weave my own fabric of space and set my own dimensions.

[ 3am ]
Why is it always in the middle of the night when these crazy pensive emo LJ entries come about?

It's 3am.

Well 3:13am precisely.

I am sitting... quite comfortably in my bed with the glow of the television illuminating my room with its messy shadows and hidden remotes. My computer also casting a ghastly glow on my face as I (nerd-ily) read about presidential candidates.... and other people's journals. While I listen to the musical genius of Nujabes.

There is such much peace in trip-hop/acidjazz that brings me to new levels of calm.

So... as I jump from subject to subject, I noticed that the last entry was dated May 17, 2007. Daamn... it's been almost 4 months huh? Seems like me and my LJ have a strained relationship or some shit. But I've just been... lazy... apprehensive....? to write down my thoughts and feelings. It's been so much the last couple of months and more to come in the coming months... but they all seem to become overwhelming to write down, to chronicle, to institutionalize in this digital journal of mine. But I know and understand the importance of it.

Me and Justin were reading Postsecret books at Border's today after lunch... and one card that he pointed out really hit home with me... "I masturbate to feel pleasure and I have sex to feel wanted". Crazy huh? To a certain extent, sex is definitely about pleasure, but doesn't it just reign so true? Wanted. wanted. wanted. needed. needed. desired. loved. loved loved. that's what it's about right?

Going back to the quote from the movie Before Sunset, "Isn't everything we do is to be loved a little bit more?", it's true. I feel that all that we do, we act out of our insecurities (how subconscious they might be), desires, and the need/want to be loved. Selfish reasons for unselfish actions (most times).

But that isn't the reason I'm sitting here at now 3:22am writing ramblings of a ridiculous insomniac who should have went to sleep 3 hours ago.

I don't know why I'm still here... I want to write down everything that I've experienced and thought about... but it just seems impossible at this point. Cramming deepness into an entry is daunting to say the least and disempowering at the most.

I feel unfulfilled. Glass is half empty... but I don't remember drinking the first half.

Pent up. Unfulfilled. Anxious. Nervous. Anticipation. Loneliness. Guilt. Pain. Hunger. Transition. Future. Present. Past. All at once. Swirling. Into each other. Expression. Is needed.

Maybe I'll write a piece. I think I need to, it's been 2 years since I've written anything... damn. so much as happened since then.

Output. Freedom. Liberation. Flying. Soaring. Above. All else.

[ i'm teething! ]
WTF is this?

I feel like I'm teething like a 2 year old. My wisdom teeth are coming in AGAIN and I, like a dumbass, have not gotten them out yet. They hurt like BONE is growing from my GUMS, ripping them apart as they come out and pushing my other teeth so they can take up more space.

It's so colonizing.

I need to get a dentist to end this wisdom teeth colonization. UGH!

-future chipmunk cheeks


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