Where the high school alternative/emo version of myself that never fully died
gets to have their time.
What to look forward to: Poems, Random Notes or Writings, Life Pictures, Who knows what else. Parts of myself that I don’t like to admit are there because I’m embarrassed???? Turning my website into a tumblr/blog that no one asked for. I have no idea why I am doing this. I think it’s a fun release to be able to share this part of myself? Also acts as an archive because everything has become digitized... even though shit is about to go down in the new world. But here we are.
OCT 10 2020~~/TIMEWARP/~~MAR 15 2021
First entry into this weird space, maybe I will re-organize because this is already stressing out my Taurus rising brain. Also worried that this visibility for reading just isn’t it.
Photo taken by my dad in my hometown on 3.15.2021, words written Nov.30.2020
11/22/22, 6am: She’s 27
Well I didn’t make it very far that year, and I doubt I’ll make it very far this year in this weird online journal. But I found I need an archive online in some way of the different feelings I am moving through. I won’t be able to say names HAH - I cannot commit myself to that kind of conflict right now. But I will talk about various concepts that pop up often in my life like grief, mutual aid, spirituality, organizing, art world bs, being a human, life lessons, family, chosen family, conflict, union, etc. Basically everything that ever makes you a human. I highly doubt anybody will be reading this, it’s only for myself and for if I die and somehow someone is impacted by my work, they can have more details. To make me more human and take out the damn pedestal that gets put under my feet because I’m an artist (don’t get me wrong I love attention, but pedestals are not helpful to anyone). I’m really not betting anything on the importance of this at all, and that is really freeing tbh.
I made it to 27 and it feels like it’s going to be a really transformational year. I don’t know why I feel it settling in my bones in that way. I know 25 is the year where your brain stops developing apparently - so theres that. But it feels like 27 is the year I can actually expand my brain. It also feels like a year where scabs that have been leeching onto my life source are finally going to fall off. Even if I’ve been the one keeping them on, I feel like the universe is like ‘bro you really can’t give your energy to this shit anymore’. It’s a year where shit is going to become clearer. Maybe not like I finally wake up and I have a narrator telling me my life purpose and what to do to get there, but I feel like the shit that is getting in the way of my path (I hate this word but it’s relevant and real lmfao ... it’s just so dramatic) will clear away. It will be painful, there will be conflict, but I am ready. I am also ready to learn more and collaborate more and really not let my ego get in the way as much as it has. I care a lot about what people who are close to me think, and that inhibits a lot of my movements. I could give two shits about a stranger’s opinion, but someone in my circle thinking I’m a shitbag really gets me in my feelings. Rightfully so I guess, why keep people you don’t respect in your close circle? Why keep people that only blow smoke up your ass in your circle? Is that the phrase? We need people who love us enough to genuinely tell us what was their ick and want us to grow and change.
By the way I say shit a lot, don’t use proper grammar and will be writing run on sentences. This is an online journal not the New York Times. I don’t want to use big unaccessible and irrelevant lingo just to look smart, I hate that shit. I used to try to do that because I thought that’s how people would take me more seriously, and that sophomore college version of me can catch these hands because that’s so embarrassing for our brand.
Anyway... into some serious life stuff. This solar return has been starting off really heavy. My grandma moved again and now is rapidly declining, she can’t even move or get up and she absolutely hates it. I’ve been grieving her while she is alive, and that’s such a wild ass experience. I feel like now I’m ready whenever she is ready, and I feel her being ready soon. My aunt has been taking on so much and I worry about her. I have been helping as much as I can and it’s a shit show. We can’t even mourn our loved ones without having to worry about debt, it’s disgusting, I hate this system so much. I have a lot more to say about that all another time. My friends mother died, then my other friend had a memorial for a beloved community member, and then I went to my grandma’s to help her move and just be with her while she cried the deepest I’ve ever seen her cry. Meanwhile the world is on fire; people are being impacted by the worst Typhoons, Iran is in the midst of a huge revolution (I would say its a revolution, but it’s terrifying for people there right now), our rights in the US are getting stripped away quietly and quickly day by day. So to say the least, I have no idea how to be a human right now, I can barely reply to texts, and form my mouth around a sentence. Collectively we are grieving so deeply what no longer serves us. We are also grieving all the life that has been wrongfully taken from our commmunities.
“Same Old Shit, Different Day” - Grandma Judy
I would end on a positive note, but it’s okay not to. We are allowed to let ourselves be sad and to be honest about what is. That doesn’t mean we aren’t also grateful for all the blessings.
11/26/22, 6:11am: Visiting with grief in your heart
I am not super familiar with having hospice present. When my mom died it was really sudden in a lot of ways. Sure, she had chronic illness and I learned that normalcy was dragging along a oxygen machine wherever we went. So in a sense I knew she didn’t have as long as other mothers her age. But we didn’t have a slow burn out, it happened all of a sudden one day. So in many ways I am very grateful to have hospice, even though it signifies something really sad. It offers a bit of closure to all of us, but the situation in which my grandma could only receive hospice was a board and care which she hates and doesn’t feel peaceful in. Which makes me really sad. It makes me think a lot about how we lay our people to rest, and honestly as someone who talks a lot about grief in my work, I am not sure I am fully in relationship with that. She also doesn’t come from a culture where death is really normalized. Death is tragic, death is something no one really wants to talk about.
When I was at a memorial for a friend’s loved one, it was bright, the community came out and celebrated. Sure there was crying and there were clouds of sadness. But there was also so much breath, so much light and joy in just how much their loved one impacted them. There was dancing and a huge altar. That’s how I want to celebrate my loved ones, and that feels accessible on my dad’s side a little bit more than my mom’s. It’s complicated acting as a bridge when you feel you cannot offer much passage to meet in the middle.
I say all this because I am leaving to see her this morning, and it takes a lot of mental preparation to see her unable to move. To hear how upset she is. But I just need to remember to tell her how much I love her and how much she has positively impacted me. Or we can just sit in silence and enjoy the last moments we have together. Knowing I will soon be able to call on her when she is ready and I am practiced.
Yesterday we walked 3 miles from West Berkeley Shellmound to Emeryville Shellmound. Led by folks with Save the Shellmounds. It was a prayer walk and a way to remind people shopping just what they are shopping on, which is a sacred site for Indigenous communities whose ancestors lie below. It’s disturbing to me how people can know that and still build overhead. Another way this systems robs people of mourning their loved ones. It is a sacred site and should be preserved as such. As I was walking, I was thinking of how my Mother would have probably loved to be here and same with my Grandmother. How they would have loved hearing from the people directly and how they would have been amazed by walking alongside the water. I think about my distant relatives on my fathers side and how many of them may be from different Indigenous tribes in the Philippines. I imagine if they could they would want to support our relatives here in their resistance and remembrance. So I walk with them and for them.
11/27/22, 8:15am: Culture of Death
Yesterday my Grandma asked me to kill her. She wanted me to put a plastic bag over her head and help her die. And I don’t blame her. I know she just wants out of this pain, and she didn’t want me to see her like this anymore. She has suffered enough. And yet life force still keeps her going. It’s the worst kind of waiting.
I’ve been on suicide watch for a short period for someone this year. Another person I was caring for in a sense told me how much they just wanted to die and I had to talk them down (and I still feel guilty about how I did a shitty job). Someone very close to me had multiple moments in the night where I had to make sure they didn’t hurt themselves. I cut myself many times this year. A lot of people want out. Some people just want support, and to be seen. Some people want to be free from the pain they experience in their human body. Some people want out of the war in their minds. Some people just want to be free from the suffering and oppression they face in these racist, abelist, homophobic, transphobic, classist, sexist systems. Some people believe there is more for them to ascend to once they leave their human form.
And I wonder how we got here. Of course, death is a part of nature. It is part of life. I also think about how much of us and our spirits are dead or dying under these systems of oppression. This is why people cannot take it anymore because it’s worse than death. This suffering is worse. And I look to Buddhism sometimes for this moment, that life is suffering. And that can be comforting, and it can also be lonely. I also know it means more in many ways. To not fight that very fact, to let yourself accept what you cannot change. To find balance and deep trust or faith. But I am still learning to accept these beliefs. I hope to come back around with a deeper embodied understanding, but for now I’m deeply traumatized, exhausted, dissociated and sad.
11/30/22 How Do I Let Go of Wanting Only the Truth
I am trying to learn how to let go of the rising anger I feel when people morph the truth to feel better about themselves. I understand why people do it, I do it too. But I absolutely hate it about human nature.
Particularly, it frustrates me when people act like they are showing up when they are giving you goddamn scraps. I would rather you just do what you can and be like “this is what I can do” but not put on a soap opera about it. But you are supposed to be grateful and they get to pat themselves on the back for doing a good deed. Shut the fuck up with that bullshit. If I know I can’t give you much of my energy, I’ve learned to say this is what I can do, but I’m not gonna make a show about doing the bare ass minimum. Because it is real to only have so much capacity and you don’t owe everything to everyone. But it’s bullshit to act like you are a godsend for giving a random houseless person $1 that day. Or to send prayers to someone who needs physical support.
I don’t know why it pisses me off so much. And I wish I could just be like “alright, that’s your truth”. But goddamn. That truth sounds a bit phony. Do I just go along with their behavior? I hold people accountable and call people on it when I can. I’m also tired of being seen as a bitch or an ingrate when I do so. I need to learn to just accept what is and leave. But I stay. I take it personal when people don’t choose to see the fullest picture and they just want to see their own perspective. I also need to focus that back to myself. Try to see the fuller perspective to help myself let it go, learn when and why I do the same behavior. It’s just hard when a surge of anger and sadness take hold of your whole system. I get really tense and have to hold it all in before I explode and get tunnel vision. Then I try to calmly explain why something is frustrating when I really just want to rip your fucking head off. This is toxic too, I’m reaaalllllyyyy trying to understand how to be in relationship with my anger.
I also know there are multiple truths. Sure. Not just my truth, or some perception of a whole truth. I don’t even know where to begin with that though. I know it’s what a lot of Instagram infographics offer as advice when you are dealing with conflict. But how can I let two, three, four truths exist at once in peace? That idea also only goes so far for me. Because I would never say that about colonizers.. like “that’s their truth” that they believe they are superior. What. Sounds like gaslighting to me. And how do we have those weird fucked up honest conversations. Sure, Colombus thought he had every right to do what he did and believed in his mission. And simultaneously there is the truth of Indigenous peoples to the Americas who endured this genocide and extreme horrifying experiences of pain and abuse (I’m not listing all the things that happened because it’s triggering for many people, but NOT because I’m trying to act like these things didn’t happen). Which IS the truth of what happened, but oftentimes their truth is gaslit and ignored in the name of Columbus’s “truth” as an “explorer” in history books and classes. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK.
This is obviously a different caliber than having a disagreement within a friend group. So I will say that. So I am still learning this concept of multiple truths. And I believe it to a degree to create a shared understanding, however I do not accept it in exchange for accountability.
12/09/22 Let Your Shadows Teach You
Readinng Be Not Afraid of Love by Mimi Zhu this morning ( I highly recommend ) and am being reminded to listen to my shadows, to listen to myself, to hold myself accountable and to give myself compassion. I am also being asked to more deeply understand accountability and our understanding of consequences versus punishment.
“My ghosts still float around me, though I have allowed myself to get to know them better. Some of them have drifted awat, to the spirit world, though some of them still linger. This does not mean that I live in the past, but that I allow them to hover with me in the present. While at first it was difficult to look them in the eye, I know that avoiding them pushed me further from my loving truth. I am not broken, even though my heart has been. I am not beyond repair, because I am constantly regenerating. I do not wish to cause harm, though sometimes I may do so unintentionally. If I do cause harm, my ghosts tell me that I cannot travel back in time or undo the damage that has been done, and that my commitment to being loving needs to be rooted in the now.
I cannot return to my former self, as I exist in the multidimensions of the present. Here, I am met with a plethora of realities and a plethora of selves. The conditions of punishment have long been planted inside me, and the only way I can unlearn the sharpness of shame is by engaging deeply with my active imagination. With the help of abolitionists, organizers, educators, friends, family and lovers, we can collectively dream into being what true accountability, sincere apologies, transformative justice, and healthy, loving relationships can be. While I know that the world cannot return to a place of pre-abuse, I can imagine a world that transforms and thrives beyond these forms of violence. I can see us imagine us breaking patterns of intergeneraional pain. As the world regenerates, so do we. In fact, I do not just have to imagine it, for I feel it, close to my heart.”
- Page 130, Be Not Afraid of Love by Mimi Zhu
Dec 10, 2022 - Under Water
Grief always visits me in an overbearing wave that swallows me whole when December rolls around. It bubbles up inside the waters of my belly and makes everything sit slightly off. Everything feels wrong or out of place, off script. I walk with very little sense of direction, purpose or understanding. The other day my spiritual coach, the amazing D (@universal.bridge) told be how in Chinese medicine, there are emotions that are tied with seasons. Grief being tied to fall. Mourning those we’ve lost as the leaves let themselves die out. Color fading in many aspects, giving space to what has needed a place to sit still. I have always associated grief with December because it’s the month my Lola, Mom and now Grandma (who is currently passing) were born. A time where we would spend cold nights warming each other up with our laughter has become a whisper. Something I wish to have again but also know will never be quite the same.
Dec 13, 2022 - The Good Guy
I think deep down I always want my good parts to be the only ones seen. I fear that if I show the bad parts or if people see too much they won’t want to get to know me anymore. I want to trust that my friends would call me out on my questionable actions, but deep down if I crave only my ‘good’ being celebrated and seen - who would I then choose to surround myself with, what would I then choose to only listen to? I also know I have surrounded myself with very very genuine, amazing, caring, real people. And so I trust that they would say something too. I can especially trust that, if I make room for it intentionally and don’t get defensive.
I am tired of being a good guy, I am tired of good guys, I am tired of needing to say things in a specific way to be heard. I am tired of people only validating my tears but not my anger. I am also tired of the ways I have done this to others because its been done to me over and over. Anger is a beast that I am learning how to dance with. I no longer wish to tame it in accordance with other’s comfort. And in saying this, I must recognize the ways in which I have abandoned, not heard fully or rejected anger by others.
There is also a line where anger becomes hurtful. I don’t believe feeling anger or rage alone is hurtful, some people do. I believe when you choose to take that anger out on others is when it becomes hurtful. Anger is a beautiful tool if you learn and are taught that you can listen to it. But when we are all walking around afraid of our rage or only in relationship to our rage in a way that is detrimental to the community or in order to gain power, then we’ve let anger take a hold over us. We didn’t listen to the part of us it was bringing to the surface that really needs that energy. Little me was scared, so adult me became angry to protect her. But when I am able to see that clearly, I am able to slow down my anger. I let myself feel it out so what is revealed is that some part of myself is hurting and scared. Not everyone deserves to see that more tender side of us. Especially those who aren’t patient enough to wade the waters of our anger with us. We also cannot expect everyone to do this, and I am in no way asking each other to stay in situations that feel harmful or detrimental to you. Not at all. You can also leave. Anger being taken out on others doesn’t just look like the more obvious things. Yelling, fighting, physical harm, etc. It’s harm can also look like passive aggressiveness, rude comments, mind games, manipulation. All things you do not need to withstand. Here is the delicate dance of letting anger be, but also not letting it hover over everything.
In my mind, Anger in their truest form is a protector. They are the beast that lingers in the forest that everyone projects their fears onto because it isn’t easily understood. It is also the protector of the forest babies and the other emotions that need to feel safe and haven’t had space to do so for a very long time.
**Please watch the show Oni on Netflix if you can, I feel like it shares a lot about this in a sweet accessible way. There are some parts where I’m like mmmm let’s talk about it lmfao because I’m a Sagittarius but overall I really enjoyed it.
Dec 22, 2022 - All parts are allowed space
I feel as if I have many versions of myself that need space to breathe and exist. Just because one part of me is still learning or existing doesn’t mean that I cannot fully embrace another part. Yet we live in a world with extreme binaries. I even feel this pressure inside worlds that say they are trying to break those binaries. We see it seep into many spaces. There are many folds to this... I’ll come back to write more later. Edit: Or I won’t.
Dec 26, 2023 - As we change
We learn the parts of ourselves that fear the light of day. I have been reading a book that has my noticing a twist in my stomach in the shape of fear. The last parts of ego that are holding me back, holding me alone, holding me in fear. Edit: Genuinely made the mistake of 2023 - I guess I was already ready for the new year
Jan 1, 2023
I received a clearing for the cords and hooks that have been draining me, and the next day I got sick. Sick with something unnameable. I’ve been lying in bed trying to imagine a new world or even have ideas of how to be. But nothing in my being is able to meet those questions. The world keeps on turning, people press repeat, we dream of new goals. I lie here feeling my heartbeat in my hand and in my stomach. It’s uneven and watery. I lay because I feel completely unable to move. Grateful to be at my aunt’s place where the sun shines, I hear birds and can hear water. I am grateful my heartbeat, however unsure or uneven is allowing my breath to circulate through my body. This is the most aware I’ve been in my body for this whole year. And it might only last five more minutes before I fall back into dissociation. I feel that I am dying. It sounds so dramatic, but it’s what I’m feeling. If I went at this moment, maybe I would be happy. Because it is a moment of peace. I am truly aware of how hard my body works to keep me going and I am grateful. I see the sun and feel it’s warmth. I don’t need to move for capitalism’s sake (I should I guess but I can’t even think about that right now, my body refuses). I dream of sending this feeling of relief to my grandmother who lies in a bed 2 hours away feeling scared and alone. We visit her but that doesn’t take away her pain. She should have been given a choice to leave peacefully, but now the system begs her to stay alive in pain, sadness, fear and dread. Why do we keep people alive when they are miserable? She is ready to leave, she has had her time, she is in pain, she wants to die. Why can’t we let her go peacefully while having the people she loves around her and in a sun filled room where she feels the warmth, hears the water, feels her heartbeat slow and the hearts of her loved ones cry with her. I dream of her transitioning feeling love and ease, knowing we love her and are grateful for her. It hurts that we are not able to give her this goodbye.
Jan 1, 2023
Hearing with a compassionate ear can really change the way you see a person, it can return you to our humanness. Talking to someone who has hurt me deeply but with a lens of care and wanting to understand changes everything. It gives perspective in deep ways that can shift things internally. But it also requires a lot of work and knowing when you need to not listen and honor your own needs and boundaries. Its a hard balance and a lot of the time it’s hard to listen with a compassionate ear when you haven’t been given the proper space to feel ALL you need to feel after you have been hurt. I also am not one that begs everyone listen from a place of compassion. I think we need to give ourselves the space to feel rage, sadness, pain, fear. You cannot listen with a compassionate ear if you need to tend to a fresh wound. You wouldn’t ask a stab victim to think in the stabber’s perspective when they are in the ER getting stitched up, that’s wild! We need to let ourselves have the time to heal before making amends, listening, or going through an accountability process. This is just my opinion, so remember that. But I think we live in a world that just wants to fix things so quickly. Put a bandaid on a situation so you don’t have to sit uncomfortably for months not knowing how something will pan out. Or wanting to apologize without really understanding why, so that you feel you can move on and wipe your hands clean. It’s how we have arrived at normalizing a carceral system that doesn’t truly aim to give space to the situation at hand but to quickly fix it and throw someone away. I also think not all accountability processes that don’t involve some form of consequence (not carceral, but think more communal) is something that will deeply value and protect a victim. I have seen the ways that transformative justice and accountability processes still somehow leave the victim holding their own pain and feeling so vulnerable and unsafe.
Jan 09 4:00am Ego is the worst fever dream
I’m not sure I have much more else to say - I just see the way ego breaks down so much of ourselves and community sometimes.
Jan 19, 2023 - Lessons to Integrate
Some lessons I have learned with some heavy shifts this year. I existed in deep portals of other peoples’ process and cord cutting. I faced grief in many ways, and still learning how to really sit with them. I learned about the depths of relationships - how our deepest fears rise to the surface when we feel safest. I learned about the ways I love and need to be loved. This new year I already asked for changes - and received them with ready and loving arms. Here are some of the reminders and lessons I hope to integrate for myself personally that hopefully can support you too. Whoever is reading this - idk
Note on usage “you”: I am talking to myself here when I use the word ‘you’- so I’m not talking to you the reader specifically, but a general you and also kinda myself lol - like looking in the mirror at myself saying “you are okay”
∆ Allow people and yourself to be right where you are and communicate honestly. Don’t rush to fix, remember your super power is being able to just be and let others do the same.
∆ Be okay with letting go - sometimes it is the most loving thing to do rather than hold on and act like you can control the outcome. It’s okay that you are human and not a god.
∆ Release the care of what other people say - Remember people say a LOT when they are scared, threatened, etc. Some of it is THEIR shit to sort and work through for themselves. Taking space is not abandoning, it allows for clarity on both ends. Come back when you are all ready and listen to each other and share honestly.
∆ You are not solely responsible for other peoples’ happiness - no matter how much you try. You can show support within your capacity but you cannot always take on projections that are thrown when someone does not get their way. This impacts our grounding and true ability to show up. Being a scape goat for someone who needs to face themself only prolongs them learning the lessons they need to learn. You can still lovingly be there as they do face these lessons, but you cannot take on their burdens for them. We can fight for equity and for people getting the resources they deserve - that’s a different thing. But interpersonally we cannot hold everything for someone else so much that they don’t face themselves.
∆ It is okay to not know, be honest about that.
∆ Letting insecurities run the show happens, don’t be ashamed. It’s okay to be insecure - it’s very human. Let yourself be honest that that is what you are feeling and let it go instead of letting it fester inside and cause you to act out in ways you don’t really want to. You are not in the wrong for being honest with what is coming up with yourself and telling others, but you are likely in the wrong if you let it control the way you treat others.
∆ You are safe to love deeply and be loved deeply.
∆ You are allowed to ask for something better for yourself and your loved ones.
∆ Hiding from yourself and your lessons only hurts more.
Jan 23, 2023 - quick thoughts on fame
Currently thinking about how fame and individualism can be really insidious. How do we continually check ourselves? How do we trust that the people we are keeping around us will help to check us? So that if we get more notoriety or recognition we can know how to continue to use that recognition in service of the larger issue, and stay focused on larger liberation. I often get distracted with interpersonal conflict and my own ego in the matter. It prevents me from knowing how to hold myself accountable in service to community sometimes. My own insecurities can come up. Then theres also the end where interpersonal conflict is important to note and work through because it IS a root and will come up again in your work and life and organizing if you don’t address it with compassion and also bluntness. Direct compassion. Ego is a ruler in a twisted way. So instead of fearing it, instead of hiding from it, instead of shunning it, how do you relate to it?