Wednesday, December 31, 2008

But something told me to run--

Cheer Up Honey Pie

And honey you know me, it's all or none.

Cheers, to deserving more than grey area and in between-ness!
Let's do this 2009.
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

All I hear is raindrops, falling on the rooftop.

Rain on an umbrella from passing showers

The rain makes sense to me.
The rhythm of the drops hitting the pavement is as obvious a song to me as anything I would hear on the radio. The wind whistling through the rain and whispering through branches and whipping across my face is as melodious as my favorite song. There's something powerfully poignant about rain; dredging up memories of lost loves, creating desires to make memories with new loves.


I stuck my tongue out, only to catch a few drops of disgustingly polluted rain.
"Oh, gross. Congratulations, you just tasted the grand ole filth of LA", he threw his gum wrapper at my head and ran past me.
"If I get to your car first, you're buying lunch", he flippantly tossed over his shoulder as he strode away on his impossibly long legs. Sighing, I ran after to catch up, only to land in a gigantic puddle, in my black Converse Chucks.
Even angrier now that my foot was sopping, I caught up "Jerk. Look at my freaking Chucks. I hate you", I punched him in the arm.
He bent down laughing to pick me up "No you don't. You love me".
With the rain smattering across our faces, he kissed me--
"Yum. Pollution".


We loved each other passionately and fought each other just as fiercely.
"Why won't you just tell me what's wrong so I can fix it?"
"If you don't know what it is, then I can't tell you what it is".
"That makes NO sense at all" I exhaled trying to keep my fury in check.
"Then maybe you need to fix that too".
"FIX WHAT??? Why can't you just be straightforward with me and TELL me what I did, so that I can prevent it from happening in the future?" At this point I didn't even realize that I was yelling into the phone.
"Forget it. If you don't know what it is, then we have nothing to talk about. I need to do homework. I'll call you later. Bye." his last word had all the bite and zing of a slap in the face.

I angrily slammed the phone down and took out my running shoes. As I was stomping out through the door, my mom warned me about the approaching rain. In my anger I ignored her and took off. As the state of indignation I was feeling wore off with every stride I began to wonder why it was that we had these fights that meant nothing to anyone but us. We said nothing-- just empty words, filled with anger and frustration, with the sole purpose of hurting each other. Yet, those empty, angry words meant everything to us-- because at the epicenter of the storm, there was the indestructible pillar of unconditional love; that no words, no insults could wear down.

When the rain started to fall, I felt the outrage and antagonism washing away with the rain. As soon as I got home, I called him.

"Hey. I know you said not to call, but I just wanted to remind you that I love you, okay?"
"I know. I love you too. I'm sorry."
"I know. Me too."

Standing in the kitchen, dripping water and the remnants of my ill humor, the chill that enveloped me felt like a warm embrace.


"Let's dance" he hopped up from the couch and held his hand out to me.
"Right now?" I asked in disbelief.
"Sure? Why the hell not?"
"This, coming from the guy that refuses to take me to Homecoming?"
"Hey, this offer is going to expire real soon if you don't take me up on it". He pulled me up from the couch and headed for the front door.
"What the hell, where are you going?!"
"Let's dance outside, in the rain".
"Okay, seriously. Who the hell are you?" He grabbed my hand and headed for the door. "I'm not kidding! It's like, 60 degrees out there. Can I get my jacket? My shoes maybe?"
He just laughed and dragged me towards the door. As soon as he opened the door, I felt the gust of wind rush in and knock the breath out of me.
"OH MY GOD, I'm not kidding! It's RAINING. PLEASE, let me grab a jacket!"
"It's SPRINKLING. The lady doth protest too much, methinks".

Before I could spew out any more complaints (or tell him how impressed and taken aback I was at the Shakespeare reference) he pushed me out the door. We didn't really end up dancing. It was really more a lot of running around and away from each other, but the one slow dance we did have was beautifully cliche in it's perfection.


I don't know how many times I picked up phone receiver and put it right back in the cradle in the ten minutes that had elapsed. The phone ringing in my lap startled me out of the inner debate raging inside of me.
"I GOT IT MOM!" I fumbled for the receiver, clinging to incredibly slim possibility that telepathically, I had gotten through to the one person I wanted to hear from the most.
My hello was breathless and weak from the anticipation.
"No, no, Mrs. Kim isn't here. No, I don't speak English. Yes, I can take a message".
Stupid telemarketers. As I hung up on the persistent saleslady mid sentence, I decided, that the only thing that I'd potentially be losing by making that phone call was my dignity.

"He's not home right now Jennifer, do you want me to tell him to call you back?" his mom sounded preoccupied and harried.
"No, it's fine. You don't even have to tell him I called", I laughed nervously.
She paused sensing the odd tremor in my voice,"Come visit me sometime Jennifer! I haven't seen you in a long time. I'll make your favorite noodle dish!".
My laughter belied my aching heart, oh how I wished, in that moment that I could see her again. But how could I tell her that I couldn't see her because her son didn't want to see me? After a lengthy goodbye I carefully placed the phone back in its cradle. I opened my front door and sat on my porch step; bare feet, shorts and a tank top in the middle of January.
Lost in my thoughts I didn't even realize that it wasn't my tears marking the pavement.
As I sat there, getting drenched from head to toe, I cried until the only thing running down my face was the rain.


The rain and I? We have an understanding.
It's beautiful and melancholy, or maybe, it's just beautiful in it's melancholy.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Someday you'll wish you were a better man.

The thing about relationships is this: it's a thousand times easier to act like you give a damn, than it is to pretend like you don't care.

In friendships, it's almost obligatory to act like you care-- regardless of the fact that a girlfriend has had the same dilemma with a boyfriend 400 times, if we care at all about that relationship, as a friend, we force ourselves to care. Doesn't matter if you're regurgitating the same advice for the 401st time; if they're really important, their problem is your problem. The closer the friend, the closer to home the problem hits: indirectly pulling you into the drama. But at the end of the day, if we're lucky enough to have a few trustworthy chums, we make it through. After all, knowing that someone empathizes and understands (or at least pretends to) us is the reason that we're able to function-- if we had nowhere to unload, how could we possibly ever feel better?

Significant other relationships are slightly different. If you're lucky enough to have someone that outwardly acknowledges that you are their better half, it's a requirement to care. Which, if I remember correctly is the reason why I used to ask such trivial questions: "How was your day?" or "What did you eat for dinner?". I feel like it's those everyday exchanges that make a couple, a couple. The mutual love and affection for each other is what makes such mundane answers strangely captivating. You don't act like you care in these relationships-- you actively, genuinely care, sometimes so much so that it's explicable even to yourself. At the end of the day though, if you're fortunate enough to have someone who asks you what you had for lunch and actually cares about your answer; you know that they really do give a damn, even if it's because they're required too.

For the rest of us single, bitter, lost, lonely, heartbroken souls-- it's a constant struggle to pretend like we don't care. We're constantly battling each other, fighting to be together-- struggling not to be alone. Then, we battle with ourselves-- trying so hard to look happy, and whole; that we're all perfectly fine without a significant other (pretending like we don't care that we're alone). And it's this constant fight that makes us "single" individuals lost and bitter, lonely and heartbroken.

"Single" is not synonymous to available. For the past six months or so I cared too much. That, in and of itself is wearying. If you can, just imagine how much more exhausting it is when you're pretending like you don't care.

He didn't text me today? I don't care.
He hasn't said anything about wanting to see me in two weeks? I don't care.
He's too tired to drive all the way over here to see me? I don't care.
And so on, and so forth.

But really, I care.
I feel like I would be a lot less emotionally fatigued (now, after a year and a half) if I had simply let my repressed emotions be what they were. I was so concerned about his well being and the thought that if I was difficult or angry with him that...
I guess by trying to repress my real emotions, the question that I was trying to avoid was,
"He doesn't want me?"
I don't not care.

I have spent these past seven or eight months trying to convince myself and everyone around me that I don't care if he cares. When, in fact, the only thing I've ever wanted to know was that he cared. So for him, it's easy to turn it on every once in a while to appease me-- it's much easier for him to pretend to care about me when he needs me, then it is for me to stop caring for him all the stinking time, even when I don't need him.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I'm feeling no relief in my head, just doubt.

A wrecking ball in action at the demolition of...Image via Wikipedia

When I quit six months ago, I honestly believed that my heart had already been demolished—a product of the wrecking ball steadily tapping against it for the past year. Apparently, the demolition crew wasn’t finished.

I keep comparing SCKY to a boyfriend: the tears and the betrayal I felt, the sense of accomplishment and happiness, the incomprehensible bond between me and it.

So when I finally “broke up” with SCKY, I knew for sure that the healing process wasn’t going to be short. What I didn’t bargain for however, is how hard it would be because it wasn’t a “clean” break.

A “clean” break—where all contact between both parties is nonexistent is agonizingly painful in the beginning, but as time slowly passes the pain recedes and moving on seems like a viable option. It’s the healthy way to end a relationship—leaving those tantalizing hanging threads makes it that much easier to fall back into a relationship that’s ended (and for very valid and legitimate reasons).

My break up with SCKY wasn’t a clean break, because how do I completely sever ties with 25 beautiful kids overnight?

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Then love, love will tear us apart again.

Love Will Tear Us Apart

I ran my fingers across his back, feeling the smattering of bumps and scars. I opened my mouth, curious about every scar, every bump. But I could hear his breathing getting slower and deeper with every passing second, and like every other night that I'd spent in his bed; I simply swallowed my need for verbal reassurance-- convincing myself that he was satisfied, he was happy, that I had done what I came to do.


I'm well aware that sometimes I'm intimidatingly sociable and annoyingly talkative. This is my nature, and I'm at my best when there are scores of people around to entertain. I live for the spotlight-- for being the screaming center of attention; if anything, I fight and compete with myself and every other average looking girl, so that I'm the one that people remember at the end of the night.

If my face is average, my personality must be extraordinary. This is something that's become sort of a self mantra-- "you are incredibly ordinary looking; your disposition must be fascinating". Over the years, I think I can honestly say that I've grown up and grown into myself. I've learned to appreciate aspects of myself that I used to hate (and with little encouraging, could still hate). However, I can say with absolute certainty that the most important thing about being extraordinary is confidence. Never, ever believe that some guy is too hot to approach; don't believe for a second that that slutty girl in the skirt is gonna dance with the guy that you had your eye on first, and the final rule: don't fool yourself into thinking that you are anything less than extraordinary.
I've learned that charisma is synonymous to confidence; and if it's one thing that I know I have, it's charisma.


There are two simple things that I look forward to when I go see him-- two things that are probably just passing thoughts for him, but for me are monumental keepsakes (and make the 50 minute drive worth something). The moment that I get to really see and examine his face: with my eyes, my fingers, my lips is the moment when I feel any amount of stress or lethargy drain away. When I get to touch and memorize; when I get to find the subtle differences from the week before; when I get to run my hand across his freshly shaved or stubble studded chin, I forget all about parking tickets, a less than stellar paper grade, memorizing a scene, roommate irritation... it all just melts into oblivion. On the morning drives home, the treasures that I uncover on my mini exploration are what I take home with me-- the memory of the face that makes everything go away until the next time I get to indulge myself.

I have a tendency of always sleeping in the fetal position; in my own bed, and in his. Over the past year, it's become a habitual routine-- I roll over onto my side and sweep my hair to one side (ever the considerate person that I am) so that I know it's not in his face when he holds me . I can't remember the first time he did it... but now, every time I bring my hair over to one side, I wait for him to press a kiss into that space between my neck and my shoulders. No matter how many kisses we've shared that night, that kiss is the most important one to me. Because it's inexplicably and incontestably mine. A kiss on the lips, the cheeks, the forehead can be for anyone; but when his lips touch that space, it's for me and no one else.


"CONFIDENCE L! CONFIDENCE!" With the alcohol nicely buzzing through my system I walked out of Dave & Busters with L. in tow. After fruitlessly spending an hour or two "scouting" at unofficial Asian night, we decided to head for home. Already having knocked back two or three gin and tonics, my already overinflated sense of self was berating L. for being afraid to say hi to a male co-worker (or saying hi to a cute random guy-- the details remain a little fuzzy). Well aware of the fact that L. suffers from low self-esteem and a sometimes ugly inferiority complex, in my very slightly inebriated state I tried explaining my mantra. Vaguely cognizant of the pain coursing through my feet (thanks to my deliciously hot, excruciatingly painful four inch stilettos), I linked my arm through L.'s and trooped across the cobbled floors of the Spectrum to her car.

"You're always fun. People always remember you. I don't know how to talk to people sometimes. You make it seem so easy." And there it was: the verbal reassurance that a performing attention whore like me is always craving. "Confidence L. Confidence. That's all it is" I reassured her.


I was probably seconds away from dropping off into a deep hibernation when my phone beeped three times. One of my best friends J. texted me and informed me that his house had been robbed that day and that he was feeling bummed. Simultaneously gasping in worry and groaning with self loathing I sat up in bed; regardless of the fact that I had just had an exhausting three days of partying in Vegas, and and even more draining five hour drive back, I knew I had to go see him that night.

Even though I've driven to his house on plenty of occasions where I was tired and sleepy, all of those nights seemed to pale in comparison to how thoroughly exhausted I felt that night. Somehow, I made it there and managed to stay awake for another hour and a half.

I opened and closed my mouth a number of times in the post coital haze trying to find the right words to convey the reason why I was here; that I was here, that I hoped that I had made his shitty day a little better. When I finally found the aplomb to say those very things, he started snoring gently next to me. My mouth snapped closed and I shook away the strange feeling of self-doubt that had possessed me in the past thirty minutes.

Somehow, all the confidence, all of the self-assuredness that define my life, my mantra, my personality felt a little bit shaken. How could this lanky, unassuming guy that I wouldn't even glance at twice in a bar cause me to lose my confidence (my secret weapon, my characteristic defense mechanism!)? Worse, how could I possibly have let him drift off to sleep without securing my much needed verbal reassurance and thanks for what I'd done? Of course, in keeping with the pattern of the past six months, I simply brushed off the weird nagging feeling of doubt and closed my eyes.


I feel ordinary with him. As you can imagine, this is getting kind of ridiculous for someone like me who strives to be extraordinary. At the same time though, when he does little things, things that seem insignificant and laughably ordinary, like texting to see if I got home okay, or asking how my day went-- I feel extraordinarily happy. Because in those moments I know that even though he doesn't love me, at least he cares. I've accepted that verbal reassurance isn't something that comes with whatever this is; but I'll take whatever I can get and however much he can give.


I've forgotten that even the smartest girls that fall in love lose their defining sense of self-respect.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Music is my favorite mistress.

Music notes

"The smell of your skin lingers on me now..."
In fact, the smell of his skin was lacing its way through my car too. Driving home in the XL Betty Paige shirt he'd slept in the night before, made the smell all the more pungent. I rolled down my windows to let the overpowering smell out, and just as quickly I rolled them back up, fearing that I'd lose the scent altogether. When I got home I promptly proceeded to strip and throw the offensive shirt on the floor of my room. How dare he follow me home! As I walked into my bathroom to take a shower and wash away the rest of him, I realized that the smell was embedded in my skin. Fifty physical miles away, a thousand emotional miles away, and yet there he was-- right next to me, on me, all over me. As the bathroom filled with steam and the windows turned misty I took one last guilty whiff of my own skin, knowing that he was lingering there. Then I stepped into the shower and commenced mercilessly scrubbing him off.

I came home that night, wanting nothing more than to collapse into bed. I remember feeling irritated by the accumulation of the day's small annoyances. As I dropped my backpack on the floor next to my bed, the smell of him filled my nose. Furtively, I glanced around as I hurriedly picked up that XL Betty Paige shirt and shed the shirt I was wearing. Pulling the shirt over my head I breathed in his natural eau de cologne without hesitation. Snuggling under the covers and into his shirt; his skin; his essence I realized that I had started and ended the day smelling of him, despite all of my efforts to get rid of that very aroma.


"I still don't have a reason, and you don't have the time--"
"And it really makes me wonder if I ever gave a fuck about you..."

I found myself seething with rage as I drove home on the 605. Not only had he spent the majority of the night playing an absolutely insipid and inane computer game, I was stuck in seemingly stationary traffic on the drive home. My acerbic mood made the air smell acrid; the air was as dry and cynical as my current temperament. With disgust I rolled up my car windows, feeling angry without really knowing the reason why. The warm summer sun blazing down into my car in the early morning caused me to doze off at least half a dozen times. Half a dozen near accidents. As I stalked to class, after driving an hour in traffic, my phone beeped three times.
Text message.
"Hey. Did you get back okay?"
And with those six words, six hours of anger dissolved in to the breezy summer wind.


"If you just realize, what I just realized,"
"That we'd be perfect for each other and we'll never find another..."
As I moved away from him to find a more comfortable spot to fall asleep, I felt him pulling me closer. I felt my entire body tense up, and either he had already fallen asleep or he chose to ignore my discomfort because he just kept holding me. I finally relaxed into his arms, letting my body mold against his and letting my hands fall in a haphazard way onto the bed. As my eyelids became cumbersome with sleep, I felt his left hand close perfectly around mine. In that moment I remember thinking, tonight I want to leave the lingering smell of my skin on him. I turned to face him and nestled into the hollow between his shoulder and his neck. Without shame I fell asleep breathing him in, with the familiar smell of his skin enveloping me.

Driving home that winter morning, the air smelled as winsome and sweet as Colbie Caillat's silky voice. As the biting winter air blew in through my window the smell of our skin; not just his, hit me. I felt an unfamiliar fluttering in the pit of my stomach. Was it possible that the impression of his hand holding mine and his face buried in my neck was giving me butterflies?
I laughed in spite of myself and vigorously shook my head; never, not me.

"When did my heart first feel this way?"
"Being alone used to be just fine."
"Now life without you is just passing time."
Feeling the weight of the day on my body, I tried to shake off the lethargy. The speedometer read 80mph and I knew I shouldn't push it anymore than that, regardless of how tired I was. I opened all four windows to let in the night air. I inhaled the smell of the late night fog and the familiar fragrance of LA pollution. I'd gained a sense of appreciation and an unhealthy love for these late night drives-- driving fast, the night air, the shuffle feature on my iPod.

I parked my car and rested my head on my steering wheel, Damn. I'm tired. Pushing away the clinging sluggishness I stepped out of my car and walked towards my olfactory addiction.


"Fairy tales don't always have a happy ending do they?"
After a year, I don't doubt that I could distinguish the scent of his skin from amongst a thousand other people. Over the past year the late night drives and early morning drives back have become innumerable. Hundreds of songs played on my iPod; and more than once the songs have become the unofficial soundtrack of our unofficial relationship. How many more late night drives? How many more songs? I feel like I've already come full circle.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Even if your hands are shaking, and your faith is broken.

"How long have we known each other Jenn? Come on, don't lie to yourself. But more importantly, don't lie to me!" His coin-slot eyes crinkled at the corners as he casually draped his arm across the top of my head. Reveling in the comforting weight of that sturdy and dependable arm that I'd known my whole life, I let myself lean into him until his arm dropped down to my shoulders.


I remember nestling in the nook of his arm on a friend's bed. I must have been venting about a petty boy situation, because I remember him teasing me about my lengthy and impressive list of embarrassing past crushes. I stopped mid-story to catch my breath and as I breathed in deeply, I remember smelling comfort. The smell of fluffy white towels and mismatched socks. The smell of clean laundry. The smell of home. I closed my eyes and snuggled closer, my story stopping all together. As he continued to tease me his arm pulled me closer and held me just a bit tighter; after spending our whole lives together he thought he could still protect me. Oh, I sighed, this is comfort.


"Are you seriously asking that question right now Jenn?" His angry eyes accusing me of a thousand things, his gravelly voice dripping with scorn. I looked down at the lined paper in front of me blinking furiously to prevent further humiliation. I picked up my pen and retraced the star I'd doodled in the left hand corner of my notes, probably pressing down harder than necessary. Refusing to open my mouth for the rest of the meeting, I sat there feeling disconsolate and reprimanded.

I closed my eyes and pinched the bridge of my nose-- the room was starting to stifle me. I opened my eyes and looked up to see his eyes burning into me again. Those beautiful eyes that crinkled at the corners and disappeared completely in moments of laughter, replaced by a pair of hard unforgiving eyes that were foreign to me. My eyes, constantly betraying my inner emotional turmoil apologized: I'm sorry. You mean the world to me. I love you. I'm in love with you.


That same night I newly discovered the unconditional comfort in my childhood friend's arms, he became annoyed with me. Panicking, even more so due to the fact that I'd realized how vital he was to my existence, I pleaded for his forgiveness. Oppa. Oppa-ya. Bee-juh-suh? Me-ahn-hae. Nae-ga jahl-mot-hae-suh. Are you mad at me? I'm sorry. It's my fault.

I laid my head next to his on the floor facing his back, and waited for him to shift because I knew he wasn't asleep yet. I knew that eventually, he'd turn around and his arm would find it's way under my neck, and that that would mean he had forgiven me. I felt my eyelids getting heavier after each time I snapped them open. I couldn't fall asleep yet though, I had to make sure we were okay. That he wasn't mad anymore. That he was still going to be my unconditional comfort. My eyes closed after waiting for what felt like an eternity.

He turned to face me and as his arm slid under my head, I remember opening my eyes and looking up into a face that I'd known as "friend" my entire life. Gazing on that familiar face, silhouetted in the slivers of moonlight coming in through the window, I felt myself shiver. Suddenly, I noticed the defined curvature of his bicep that was currently my pillow and I felt the hairs on the nape of my neck stand. Unexpectedly, the smell of clean laundry was giving me goosebumps.
Throwing away all reason and logic, I leaned over and kissed him.
He kissed back.


Eventually, I lost count of how many times I apologized in the course of six months. Verbally, I'd apologize for a stupid mistake, something I'd failed to do, something I refused to do; all the while my eyes would apologize for changing a lifelong friendship.
For months, my eyes said,
I'm sorry.
I love you.
I'm in love with you.

I'm sorry I'm in love with you.

He either chose not to see it, or he saw it, and still continued to punish and torment me.

There's nothing I miss more than those gorgeously crinkled eyes, that infectious laughter, that comforting arm draped across the top of my head.

He once wryly said to me, "It's hard isn't it?". Just like he never realized that that phrase applied to the essence of life; I never realized just how hard it would be to live without the smell of comfort.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

And you came to me on a summer breeze.

Interior view showing pulpit, ceiling and pews

It was my own self-proclaimed "last day" of SCKY, and as I sat in the pew feeling weighted down by a lugubrious heart, I remember thinking, "Damn. I've never realized how musty it smells in here." Fifteen years after attending mass in the same church, with the same people, the smell wafted into my nose. I closed my eyes and let myself breathe in the must; that same scent that I had smelled (almost) every Sunday for fifteen years.

For that fifty minute duration I let my greedy eyes drink in the details I'd never noticed before. The unbelievably, resiliently shiny pews, the cracks in plastic of the kneelers, the dust collecting in the holes of the envelope holder.

"Peace be with you. And also with you." I waited, just for a small millisecond before turning around. I had to mentally prepare myself for the last time I would shake hands and wish peace to these people that I had spent fifteen years of my life with. I felt my tiny eyes smiling almost as hard as my mouth, momentarily distorting and blurring the faces around me. I felt my thoroughly Asian, almond shaped eyes turn into the half moons that trick 99% of people into believing I'm incredibly happy; when ironically those half moons mean that I'm trying my hardest not to wail in despair.

"In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." And just like that, my last mass. At St. Christopher anyways. As the final strains of the organ and choir wafted down, amidst the impatient shuffling that indicated everyone's restlessness--I remember feeling incredibly lonely. After seeing and knowing these people for fifteen years of my life, I remember feeling lost and terribly alone. How could I possibly feel so alone amongst over a hundred other Korean Catholics? After all, aren't those two things that I always use to define who I am? How could I possibly not feel attached to any of these people?

In the short walk across the street to get from the main church to the hwe-gan I realized exactly how melancholy I was making myself. It was my own choice to leave, why the ridiculously heavy heart? Why the dramatic "this is the last time I'll ever..." thoughts?


The small handful of kids that come out every week-- the ones that I had come back for every weekend (and then some) for a year and a half; stood around on the newly renovated wood floors laughing, teasing, in some cases, dancing. Doing exactly what they had been doing, being exactly who they were for the past year and a half. I'd made the decision to leave without announcing it to the kids because selfishly, I wanted to remember the kids exactly as they were. No trumpets and fanfare, no confused questions, no guilt trips. I wanted to remember them smiling and dancing, teasing and wrestling; on those new wood floors, in the room still carrying the pronounced smell of new paint, being those same high school kids that changed my life.

The whole two hours that I had with them, I made sure to be exactly who I was to them for the past two years. I made sure to tell them one more joke, tease them one more time; I let them make fun of me like they always did. Even if they didn't realize it, I was giving them 110% of me that last day. When the kids started leaving, I made it a personal mission to hug them a little tighter, tell them to study a little harder; and to every single kid I said goodbye to I made sure to say, "I miss you already" (in singular inconspicuous ways of course).


Going 80mph on the freeway, with the windows rolled down, and my iPod blasting full volume; I cried all the way home. Fat droplets that turned into unforgiving rivers that turned into an angry ocean between the hollow of my breasts. Silently dripping tears that transformed into wracking sobs. I'm still not sure how I got home in one piece that day.


The ups and downs I went through during that year and a half are beyond comprehension. During that time though I indubitably learned things about myself that I would never even have fathomed. For one thing, I really tested the lengths of my patience. For another thing, I realized that I literally would do anything to protect some of these kids from the ugly consequences of life. It was almost like a sick obsession that kept me coming back week after week.

For the first three weeks after I quit, every Sunday at 7:30am, I would wake up and feel this inconceivable sense of hollowness. In those first three weeks, I went into post-partum depression (or, what I imagine is something like it); because as much as the kids were my babies, the entity of SCKY itself was my baby as well. For two years I'd willingly sacrificed every weekend for this position that was thankless and difficult as hell; for these people who treated me as less than a human being; for this thing that made me feel miserable 90% of the time I was doing it.

I remember jokingly fighting over "my boyfriend SCKY" with Regina two years ago. Considering the way that it affected me (and how!) and influenced so many aspects of my life, I really do feel like it turned into a boyfriend. I spent every weekend with it; I cried way more tears over it then it deserved; I gave it my heart, only to have it stomped on repeatedly; I gave it my soul, only to have it wrung and squeezed and exhausted.

After everything though, it saved my life.
For a long time before that I remember how detached I was.
The emotional detachment I feel now, is only a defense mechanism that I've consciously been using to deny my real feelings.

Two years ago though, I truly was detached from life.
I wanted nothing.
I had no ambition, no hope, no emotion.
I was dead inside and I didn't know how to bring myself back to life.

Deciding to do SCKY that summer before my first year didn't seem like a big deal.
Just another way to pass the time, I thought.

Who knew, that two years later I would be this person?

Perverse, twisted and sick as it is, if I could save it, I would go back.
SCKY saved my life.
I want to save SCKY.
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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Because I'm way more coherent when I write.

What I want, and what's good for me are two completely different things.
90% of the time, 90% of my life, I pick what's good for me.
As much as I want something, I'll usually deny myself of it because I already know; it's not good, it's not healthy, it'll mess things up, it'll screw me over.
So I guess that makes me into someone who plays it safe.
I'm the type of person who is open to trying new things (and discovering new things is love), but for the most part I like to stick to the things I know, the things I like, the things that have made me happy before. (Again, with the whole issue of me not being able to let things go.)
I usually have a pretty good handle on what makes me happy.
And 90% of the time I know that what's good for me will make me happy (even though choosing to write a paper over going out sucks in the immediate sense; the end product of seeing an A, or A- on my paper is a lot more gratifying than waking up with a hangover and clothes drenched with the smell of cigarette smoke) in the long run...
Sometimes though, I want to have what makes me happy, right now.

I'm old enough, and jaded enough to know that any relationship comes with the guaranteed promise of getting hurt and disappointed.
I don't fool myself into thinking that someone will be able to make me happy all day, every day.
In fact, I know that the only person that can do that is myself.
However, I also know that, because I'm human I do expect things; I do want things; I do want you to make me happy, at least every once in a while.

I knew (even if I talked myself into ignoring it), going into this that I was probably going to come out of this done.
Broken and messed up and dysfunctional.
But I'm doing it.
I'm still doing it, because somewhere down the line, I fell in love with you and if I leave now; if this ends now I'll never be able to fall out of love with you.
It'll always feel so unfinished and anticlimactic.
More than anything else, I hate that.
The writer in me won't let me abandon writing this story.
I have to finish it.
Even if the ending is doomed, even if it is a guaranteed tragedy, I have to finish it.

You can understand that can't you?
Just because I told you how I feel doesn't mean I expect more from you.
What I want from you is exactly what you've already been giving me.
I want what you give me, until I want more.
Once I start wanting more, I'll know that it's time to kill it.
I know that it's the end.
I see the end of this.
I just don't know when the end is.
But it's not now E.

We need each other.
Just until later.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Let's throw off our contentment and beg for something more.

I don't remember the last time I wrote so prolifically.
Three posts in two weeks?
There must definitely be some kind of emotional turmoil in my life to entice me to write in my online blog more than once a month.

I love driving fast.
I'm a relatively safe driver, but damn, do I love speed.
There's no therapy like driving late at night, with my windows rolled down and my ipod crooning (or thumping) melodies (and beats).

I love baking.
I'm not a fan of sweets at all, but to watch someone's face when they take the first bite of my cookies/brownies/bread/cake?
There's no therapy like getting wrapped up in the deliciously cozy smell of chocolate chip cookies that come straight out of my oven.

I love running.
I'm not a fast runner, but I love pavement, dirt, track moving underneath me.
There's no therapy like running myself blind-- running until I can't feel the rest of my limbs; running until my physical self is as numb as the inside of me.

I hate writing.
It makes me doubt myself; I check, and re-check.
I edit and second-guess.
I publish and erase.
Yet, out of all of my self discovered therapies, it's the most cathartic.

There's something terribly beautiful and stunningly terrifying in opening a new Word document on my computer.
The glaring white and blinking bar signifies the chance, the opportunity, the potential...
Of a story, of a journal entry, of a raging rant.
The glaring white and blinking bar signifies the possible chance of failure, the missed opportunity, the wasted potential.

Missed opportunity.
Wasted potential.

The story of my life.


Addictions are funny things.
The head knows how wrong it is, how unhealthy it is.
The body knows all that too, but it lusts, and craves and pines for that one substance; that one activity; that one person.
And the physical attraction is so strong that the head gets persuaded.
Matter over mind.
Addictions are destructive.
I know this.

The secret binge eating, compulsive heaving, bulimia filled days of yore...
I miss you.
The emaciated, skeletal, silhouette of me thanks to anorexia nervosa...
I miss you too.

Those were addictions.
Those were problems.
They almost physically killed me.

Yet, here I am four years later.

Reflecting back on the days where my head was constantly hanging out in the toilet (or conversely, was spinning from lack of food) I realize that every time I projectile regurgitated I was trying to get rid of parts of me.
Mission accomplished.
I'll never find those pieces of me ever again.
Destruction, indeed.


He's dually, my therapy and my addiction.
I need to get my fix, and then I need therapy.
Or I need therapy from not getting my fix.

Make sense?

It does to me.

I don't want it to end.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I've been tryin' to get down to the heart of the matter--

It's like a rock has been sitting in the middle of my chest for two years.
A frozen rock, that's been specially tailored to withstand difficult situations, denial and bitterness.
I'm thawing.
And I'm scared.
The ice kind of seeped into my heart (try as I might to protect it) and I can see the cracks from the pressure.
It's not broken, but it sure as hell isn't whole.

For two years I've been completely blasé with my own emotions.
For someone so completely enamored and obsessed with love, it's kind of paradox.
I guess when it comes to love, I'm a hopeless romantic.
Optimistic; in that stupid way.
Except--when it comes to me.
Then I'm just hopeless.

I thought my heart would feel lighter after I told him.
Instead, it's just heavier because I feel like I just added another burden to his already full, over-worked shoulders.

I like to think, that for the most part I'm a pretty selfless person.
Conversely, when I'm in love, I become the most terribly selfish person.

It would be a lie if I said I didn't want anything from him.
In my head, I know exactly what it is that I want from him, what I want from this, what I want to learn.
I just can't verbalize it.

I want to be his girl.
Not his girlfriend.
Just his girl.
I want to be the one that he wants to share good news, funny jokes, hard times with.
I want to be the one that he thinks about until he finds someone better.
As terribly fatalistic as that sounds, that's all I really want.
At least for now.
Subconsciously I already know that I can't ask him for more than that.
Selfishly though, I want that from him, even knowing that he can't give it to me.

I want to walk away from this--whether it's tomorrow, two weeks, another year from now, knowing that I was important to him.
I want to know that at least, I gave him something worth remembering; even if we never have a title.
Selfishly, I want to be remembered as someone who was important in his life for a period of time.
I just want to know, that at the end of the day, I have the option of falling asleep next to him.
Most of the time, I probably won't even do that, but I want to know that it's possible, that sometimes he wants me there too.
I just need to know that I'm it for him
At least right now.
Just until he finds the right girl.
When he does, then I would bow out.
As difficult as it'll be, it'll be easier then, than now when I have no reason to leave.

There's no solution, because there's no real problem.
I never had a problem with how we were in the first place.
With the exception of last night's talk and this past weekend's weird funk, I've been happy and content with who we are, and what we are, and what kind of relationship we have.
I can still be happy with that.

I feel like that might be my only option.
Riding this out until I'm unhappy with who we are, what we are and the kind of relationship we don't have.
Because that way, at least I'll know that I haven't wasted a year of my life and my emotions for it to end in this dumb, anti-climatic way.

I need to figure things out before the cracks turn into holes.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

And slowly, we all fade.

I've realized that profound and enlightening moments often come in the weirdest places, at the strangest times.

In response to something that I'd said, someone said,
"Damn Jenn, just because you're emotionally detached doesn't mean the rest of us don't have feelings!"

Well shit.

I know that they were joking and were just saying that in passing, but I kind of just sat there stunned for a minute.
And pretty much...
That puts the last year and a half or so of my life into perspective.

When DID I become so emotionally detached?
So emotionally detached, that having two non-relationships at one time doesn't bother my conscience at all?
When did it become okay for me to be with someone, without actually being in love with them?
When did I become so callous and unfeeling?

When did passion become a front for strength?

I think I try so hard to be strong, and be independent that I forget that it's okay to be weak sometimes.
I trick myself into thinking that I can take care of myself, and that my heart is grid-iron strong.
That nothing can melt the icy fortress and that I'm incapable of falling in love again.

Lately, falling asleep next to him has gotten really hard again.
I don't know why but I think it's because I've realized that it needs to end.
I know how unhealthy this is for me.
I'm NOT an ice-princess.
I write about love, and relationships and romance all the time.
So how can I possibly have tricked myself into thinking that my heart was an icy fortress?

In the beginning, I always went to him because I wanted the reassurance that I could leave at anytime if I chose to.
I thought that if I went to him, I would never have to deal with the experience of waking up and not finding him there.

I wanted that for me.

I wanted to make sure that if anyone was going to be doing any leaving, that it would be me.
That one day, when I finally decided that I was done, I'd wake up, and walk out of his life while he was still in bed sleeping.

Fatalism much?

A year has passed and I still haven't left.
And it's not like I don't have the chance to go.
I do.
Every single time I go over there, I can get up and leave.
I can decide to end it forever and just go.
So why haven't I?

It wasn't supposed to last this long, or even get to this point.
It should have been a quick affair; an infatuation; something forgettable.
But now, I feel like after a year it's turned into its own monster.

If I was going to leave... I would have already left.

So what now?
Do I keep pretending that I don't feel anything for him?
Because even though I keep telling myself, and everyone around me that I don't like him, and that I don't feel for him, but I know that at the end of the day, I wait around for his text, his IM...

I wait for him.

And that, more than anything, tells me everything that I don't want to say.

At the end of the day, I wish he was close enough to me so that I could go home to him and crawl into his arms.
No words, no explanations.
And contrary to popular belief, I don't need a title to be happy.
I just need to know that I'm that girl in his life.
The one girl that he wants, right now.
That's all I ever really want from a guy.
Not promises of eternal love or unrealistic grand gestures.
I just need for someone to always welcome me into their arms at the end of the day.
That's the only thing that matters.

I don't think that's a lot to ask for, but I can't even bring myself to ask him for that.
Because I think a part of me is so positive that he'll say that he's not ready, that he cannot possibly give me that.
So I keep on pretending.
Pretending that I'm strong.
And detached.

I keep on pretending that being with him isn't destroying every single thing I know about myself.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

P.S. I'm still not over you.

There's so much of me that he still gets.
No matter what I don't say he still understands.
Yeah, I'm a girl and yeah, that makes me dumb because I can't, and don't know how to let go.

I know that what we have is so ephemeral and so unreal.
But I know that it'll always be there.
No matter how hard I try to ignore it, or kill it, or make it go away, it won't.

Because that's just what we are.
After two hours on the phone, nothing got resolved.
It never does.
And truthfully, it probably never will.

But I was different this time.
He felt it too.
I'm not desperately pining and wanting to be with him anymore.
Yes, I still love him; yes, I always will.
But I'm fine.

I'm confused, and I know that there's so many unanswered questions still, but I can't be with him when he's not ready.
Right now, he's not.
And for the first time ever, I'm okay with that.

I also realized this time around, that if I ever needed him...
For anything, I can call him.
I can. And he'll be there.
I know he cares and I know that he always will.

Knowing that, I guess I feel relieved.
A lot more reassured I guess.
Because, even if he and I can't ever be friends, and we can't ever be each other's significant other again, we'll still have something.

So what, if I'm in love with him?
That's okay.
I just need to be okay with it.
I need to stop feeling guilty with other guys because I feel like he wouldn't be happy with me being happy.

Maybe he'll never be ready for me.

That's okay.
As long as I know that I always have him...
A small piece of him, I'll be okay.

I need to be done with dysfunctional relationships.
E. and D.?
So, so, bad for me.
There's a part of me that already knows that neither one of them is going to work out.
So why am I still here right?
I need to stop being afraid of failure.
I already know that that's my greatest fear.
I know that the reason that I have such a hard time letting go of things is because I can't get over the fact that I've failed.
But I really need to stop that, because if I fail at something, I need to learn from it, pick up the pieces and move on.
With a lot of things in my life, I can do that.
I need to start doing that with this too.
I need to start collecting the pieces of my heart and putting them together.
How can I possibly give someone all of me, when I don't even have all of me yet?
Everyone needs to fail to learn.
I need to fail, and realize that failing isn't the worst thing in the world.

I know now, that I'll always have him.
I know now, that I'll always love him.
I know now, that I'm okay without him.

He IS it for me.
But that won't stop me from being happy anymore.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Pique, Prod, Provoke.

I've realized lately that I'm really afraid of being empty-headed.

Sometimes I find myself listening to the things I say, and watching myself interact with the people around me, and I can't believe that I've become so vacuous.

Granted, I know there are people that are ridiculously dumb, and lack any ounce of common sense... but I keep getting the feeling that I'm wasting my own potential.

And what's sadder then that?
I'm really tired of listening to certain people talk about one thing over, and over, and over again.


Rant, rant, rant!
But come onnnnnnnn. How many times must we have the same conversation? I feel like every single time I have to go through the motions of listening to the same shit my IQ gets lower and lower.

Lately, I feel like the more I learn, the less I know. Which I know is supposed to be the right way to think, but when I realize stuff like that, it makes me wonder why other people don't think that way either?

How do you settle for being stupid?
I mean, if you don't know what you're talking about... don't speak, because you'll just look like a twat, but shouldn't that fact alone inspire you to look it up? To learn what you don't know? To educate yourself, so that next time you can be like "HA. TAKE THAT BITCHES!"???

I mean. That's what I would do.
I don't know if it's because all my life the only thing I've ever heard is "I heard you're really smart" or, "Oh! You're the smart one!" or, "At least you're smart" (and you can blame that on all of my parents' Korean friends... when you're young, you're one of two things; you're either "cute/pretty/handsome" or you're "smart". I was ALWAYS the latter.)-- but I hate looking like I'm dumb. It's probably one of my biggest flaws: the inability to admit that I'm wrong. And admitting that I don't know something and that someone knows more about something that I do.

Eww, pride is so ugly.

However, what I DO believe in, is sticking to your strengths.
I mean I'm interested in a number of things and I guess I'm good at a lot of those things.
But I'm not gonna lie and say that I'm good at everything.
If the world depended on me to do a complicated word problem to save humanity... well, humanity is pretty much screwed.

But I'm really, really good at English.
Words are my first love, and my true love.
I come back to my love when I'm depressed and when I'm lost, and when I'm indescribably happy. Words have always been my security blanket.
My favorite book, my dogeared journals, my online blog.

Eesh. I don't know how I got here, but I think what I wanted to say is that I really don't want to be superficial and vacuous anymore.

So sit down with me, buy me a non-fat honey latte (my new Starbucks discovery) and talk to me about ANYTHING. Watch a play, a musical, a movie, a classic DVD with me, and let's discuss the talent of the actors, the scriptwriters, the meaning, the symbolism. Let's find new and exciting places to eat, take me to a bakery you think is awesome, tell me you want me to make you a certain dish.

Stimulate me.