Journal

the light at no end

even after all this time
even after all the lies
even after all the pain
and all the times
my eyes did rain
you were the light
at the end of the tunnel.

you were the light
and the tunnel
and you see
that’s what got me.

a.absi

 

image taken by me in Santa Barbara, CA… See more at aalexphoto.tumblr.com

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Flourish

And maybe I’m not numb.
For the first time in my life
I am genuinely happy.

Not for an hour
Not for a day
Not even for a week…

But for months
And months
And months
Without any fall.

Those moments of darkness have died
Along with him
And I missed it.

That darkness was a close friend of mine.
The closest friend I had for years.

That part of me has died.

And now
I flourish.

a.absi

It’s Okay to Have Half-Assed Friends…

It wasn’t until this past weekend visiting home that I realized and understood what a good friend really is. I was dreading the thought of it – being home without a car, staying at my Grandmothers depressing house, having nowhere to even go! I knew the general routine – I spent time with my family and that was that. Rarely did I go home and spend any time with friends from home. It had gotten to the point that they have gone on with their lives without me. Yeah, we still kept in touch and were the same good pals we always were when we did hang out, but my effort was the only one that was present. Relentless texts and calls, to the point my brother snapped, “Are you kidding me? No, do not text her again. Why do you even try,” with a sassy ‘ugh’ and an eye roll. I realized then that I was just making a fool of myself. So, this weekend in particular, I made it clear in advanced that I would be home for the weekend. I wasn’t expecting them to drop their plans at my beck and call because I just so happened to be in town. Yet as predicted, they never called. But it was this visit home in particular that I truly felt I needed them, their comfort, the distraction. And still, nothing.

I had arranged a ride from the airport from a very close family friend who I have known for years, mainly for being best friends with my older brother, but had grown closer to me in the past year or so. She was there to get me, and how grateful I felt. I was intent on expressing my gratitude and desire to spend the day together after I got in, and we did just that. We had spoken briefly of spending some time the next day together as well, but I knew how that went. People have lives, they’re not always there to spend time with me when I need to. Life doesn’t stop for me, nor did I expect it to. It was destined to not happen. And yet it did. She was my mediator for an awkward brunch, my reliable driver and laughter for long car rides to visit my brother, my puppy cuddling, relationship gossiper for the rainy afternoon and she even chose dinner with me over it with her boyfriend. It was all so nonchalant, so natural, so easy. I went away, back to my second home, content and looking happily on the weekends visit – something I didn’t think I would feel. It was then that I realized good friends do exist, and after twenty-one years, I finally had one.

I’m a hopeless romantic, which means I’m an over-emotional, over-caring love giver in all types of relationships I get myself into, and it has always been hard to remember that not everyone is as caring and loving as I am. I would drop anything and everything for someone I care about, and never felt like anyone ever did the same in return, but that’s just who I am. Through much stress and frustration, it is not till this very day that for the first time I’m really starting to understand friendships, on a level I never thought possible, which is why I share this with you…

IT’S OKAY TO HAVE HALF-ASS FRIENDS. Lots of people half-ass their entire lives. Yeah, no, this is no excuse and doesn’t mean it’s okay to have bad friends, but it takes a lot of understanding to realize that even some of the half-ass ones are good friends.

A good friend is a different definition for everyone, but we all know the basic rules and that it takes caring and loving. It takes being there for that person when it really counts; maybe not for all of the weekend visits or random phone calls but when when they miss your birthday two times in a row, thats a deal breaker. When you need a shoulder and they’re never there, deal breaker. When you’re the one waiting all day to spend time with them and cancel all other plans and they go hang with other friends instead, deal breaker (yup, I’ve had to learn the hard way). These are pretty understandable things, but its tough realizing that not all people are going to be as caring as some, and they really just can’t. For many, it’s not in their genes. Not everyone is equal amounts of caring or giving or appreciative or reliable. And it’s not true, that ‘if they’re a real friend, if you really connect and bond and are soul mates, they will be the most caring and loving no matter what’ (this goes for relationships too). Its not like the movies for every person. It’s not all thoughtfulness and love and caring. they may not go to extremes for you like what you would do for them. It’s not taking it personally and understanding that that’s just who they are. It doesn’t mean that they’re not good friends, they may love you unconditionally, be there for you when it counts, and love you just as much as you love them, but don’t have the same level of understanding and ideals in terms of commitment and care that you do. But what makes people best friends are the ones who connects with you because you share the same level of understanding and desire in terms of being a good friend; they would do the same for you that you would do for them.

I’ve had a lot of half-assed friends. They most likely don’t see it as being half-assed, but i do just because I’m the type of person who gives it my everything, and it took my a long time to understand that IT’S OKAY, they’re still GOOD FRIENDS, they’re just not the same type of person I am. Any type of relationship requires balance and having needs fulfilled to make them flourish, but some people will never meet your needs and you either have to accept that they aren’t that type of person and love them anyway, or move on. Maybe you’re not the type to give it you’re all and wear your heart on your sleeve but you need a friend who is, and vice versa. It’s understanding the type of person you are, understanding the type of people you’re dealing with and what will come from the relationship, realizing what you need and accepting what you can’t have and loving them anyway. Man, life’s complicated, as are you and everyone else, and we’re all just trying to figure each other out, one step at a time. We’re all unique in our own way and it’s understanding peoples individualities that make it all so interesting. Therefore, always remember, everyone’s different, and it’s okay.

Creatively Being You Through Style…

It’s beautiful to see kids in their creative, imaginative state of mind, as they throw themselves around the floor pretending to be mermaids and superheroes. It’s just a carpet and a couch, but to them it’s another world and I instantly have flashbacks of how I played just the same as a child. I remember it being so real. I’d flap my mermaid tail in the pool and in those moments it would actually look like the ocean and the sharks would be coming for me; I could feel their pressure and the fear building up inside my chest. How amazingly is the imagination? It’s the magical getaway that I can now as an adult only experience when I go to sleep at night. Luckily for me, I dream nearly every single night and they’re always widely vivid and interesting, but to remember how as a kid you could transform your entire world into a faraway land and actually believe it and see it, is something I wish I could hold onto forever.

Of course it’s the imaginative types that are always claimed to be weird and strange as teens and adults. Like my old neighbor, who’s 16 and runs around his yard alone fighting Jedi’s with his light saber. Don’t get me wrong it can be a bit comical and strange, especially to other high-schoolers who leave their imaginations to gather dust in boxes in their attics; Yet he has so much more than many of us with his ability to use his imagination so vividly. Those are the creators. Unfortunately, at that age it’s all about being what’s “cool” and “popular”, not quirky and different.

I would sit in boring classes in high school and try to force myself to daydream. I wanted to feel the escape of a magical place with magical people and transport myself to my own fairy tale. But as I said, force. Sometimes out of the blue it would just happen, but when it disappeared I always wanted it back and could never reach it. I wanted that imaginative escape. Like those moments in the early mornings where you’re consciously asleep and can control the avenues of your dreams, those are beautiful, extraordinary moments.  I wanted the feeling of creativity.

I bring this up because creativity and the imagination has a lot to do with personal style, and overall being your own unique person. A creative mind has creative style. Style is how you express yourself. And if you’re just buying what everyone else has then are you expressing you?

In high school I wanted my creative genius to flow but it disappeared with tight pencil skirts and Victoria’s Secret sweatpants. I wanted me but I wanted to be “cool”, and I feel as though this is a mass consensus for high schoolers. Fortunately for me I am a creative person, even though many times in the past I have dampened it down. I found creativity in changing my hairstyle. It was an expressive freedom for me; there was no “cool” hairstyle. I love change and experimenting and I always did that with bold drastic cuts that got me called names like “alien space invader” and “helmet head”. Teenagers are always the prime suspects of criticism from their peers, and that’s the exact struggle with expressing yourself and growing into who you really are. Everyone always has something to say about everyone who’s just a little bit different.

I will always remember the best (back handed) compliment I ever received and of course it was in high school, “you wear the ugliest clothes but they look so good on you!” That’s exactly what I’ve always wanted and everything I believed, and still do, about my sense of style. And even now, because of my strange taste, I often don’t follow my first instinct. I care what my boyfriend will think of it, or what my family would say etc. Then I later regret not following my true desires and letting myself care what everyone else will think.

We grow up being pressured for approval and learn that acceptance should be the goal and therefore we try to be like everyone else, to act and dress like the media tells us to (just look at the mid length Kim K bodycon phase!). Even now with a fashion blog, the Instagram pictures I post that are the most basic and cliché, like a cup of Starbucks, get the most attention. I’m stuck somewhere in between wanting to have what’s popular style and wanting that that’s my own and I think that’s the same for many of us growing up in today’s culture. But that’s okay and it’s okay for you too, for everything you’re stuck between choosing and deciding to be in life. Always remember to choose what you want, not what everyone else wants or likes or is telling you to get. And don’t let the opinion of them sway you if they don’t like it. Maybe reevaluate what their opinion is before letting it affect your choice. Your choices, creativity, imagination, and desires are what make you you. Never neglect it.