They asked me this one time, “Don’t you miss California?” I inwardly sighed. “Why did you have to remind me?” my mind asked. I replied, “Yea, a little bit,” and left it at that for the conversation. But such a simple question struck a chord. This emotional tugging at my heart strings that I felt was going to ruin my reputation for being a heartless bitch someday. I knew someday I would have to come to terms with it. Missing people. Missing life like it was. Just plain old missing.
People deal with leaving their old lives and friends in different ways. I deal with it by ignoring it. Or as I like to put it – by letting my future overshadow the memories of my past. It’s been that way since I was a kid. As a kid, I just tended to forget memories. As an adult, it’s much harder, let me tell you. It’s hard not to miss what my life was at this time last year. It’s hard not to miss the San Francisco lights that I could see shimmering in the distance from my all-girls dorm room. It’s hard not to miss the scary yet exhilarating feeling of being thousands of kilometers away from your family. It used to give me such a kick - going out on those cold nights bundled up in a coat and boots with a cross-body bag for a cup of steaming white mocha and a chocolate and hazelnut biscotti. I loved when the cold wind hit me in the face and made my bones shiver and lips quiver. I loved the sound my feet made on the path to Café Strada from Stern as I walked the downhill next to the Memorial Stadium – the same place where earlier that day people were clad in blue and gold taking pictures with the bear. I loved the sprinklers on the grass at Memorial Glade and the patches nearby. I loved how empty the campus was. Right now, at this moment – and Tumblr, you remain my humble witness – I, Ess, confess. I miss California. I miss it with all my heart and mind and soul.
I remember this one time, I went to Sheng Kee and got my favorite sponge cake. I then walked over to the Campanile and just sat there on the steps. I could see the SF lights in the far distance. It filled my entire body with a feeling I can’t described. It was like I just wanted to sigh such a long sigh that it would become a breeze. I wanted to be a city, a bird and just fly and float at the same time. I can bet you a thousand dollars, you can never buy that feeling – not with a million blunts or joints, not with ecstasy. It’s a feeling right there in the pit of your stomach which tells you that you can do anything and you just want to jump and run and lie on the ground all at the same time. Your eyes sparkle and you feel like a firework right before it’s about to go up in flames – like a phoenix that’s going to take flight and let the whole world find out. This feeling just comes when a part of you feels whole and complete and the other part of you yearns for something beyond your reach but something that isn’t impossible to achieve. And all you want to do is let your hand out and grab it to make you complete. That “it” is all your ambitious dreams and hopes and aspirations.
I can spend another few paragraphs and perhaps pages and use all the 123789403826 words in the English language, but I could never string them appropriately to describe that feeling. Because it is intimate. It is your own. Your precious. And you need to find it. To survive. No, scratch that. To live. You need this feeling to live and feel complete without the aid of another human or artificial supplement. Find it.
Lastly, you will find someone in your life who will make you feel golden. Let them know.
He asked, “Let’s go out?” I didn’t know what to say. If I agreed, it would turn into a plethora of unknown scary events that I wasn’t ready for yet. And if I said no, it would haunt me for the rest of the day because of the ‘what could have been’ scenarios. With as much confidence as I could muster, I put up a façade of nonchalance and replied with a simple ‘no’ and a bright smile. Sometimes, I’m surprised at myself. So many thoughts go on in my mind and yet I can come up with a decent and more importantly coherent response to the other person. It helps me believe myself. Doesn’t that happen to you?
Later on that day, I found myself in another bit of a pickle. They all asked, “Let’s go get drunk.” It baffles me beyond belief. How can you get drunk in the middle of the day?
We are the youth, the young volcanoes. When people my mom’s age tell me that we are today’s generation and we’ll wake this world up with our new ideas and enthusiasm, I wish to laugh at their faces. What sort of enthusiasm are you talking about? The enthusiasm with which we wish to not go to classes and instead spend an entire day in a hookah lounge talking about other people or getting shitfaced at a club? Please don’t kid yourselves into believing that we, the so called stellar generation, are up to any good. Because let me, one of these wild spirits, tell you – it won’t happen. We are too consumed by our desires to copy those around us and to ‘fit in’.
I’m sorry. I derailed from my tale yet again. I can’t drink at just any time of the day. Just like an athlete gets prepared for even a 500 meter run, I need to be told days before that I’m required to attend an event where I need to consume alcohol. I know how it sounds but I can’t help it! So today when they asked me, I panicked. I didn’t know what to do. So I made up an excuse and left. The entire way back I kept thinking, ‘Am I missing something? Maybe I should go back.” But my conscience, the bloody thing that stops you from doing everything wrong, told me it was the right thing to do. So I went back. But I couldn’t keep my focus. They were stupid people. I didn’t even like them. Then why did I feel like I should be with them? Why wasn’t I able to do what I had come to do in this god forsaken city? Why were stupid things like this troubling this insane teenage mind of mine? I had no answers. Lack of answers turned to frustration. Frustration turned to sadness and I wallowed in this newfound sense of despair for a while. But humans are fickle minded. We are unable to keep a single emotion for a long while. I told my mind once and for all –
“I don’t want to fit in. Try as hard as you want to make me feel bad. But at the end of the day, I know that this is just one of those signature pathetic days where everything seems dull and boring. I shan’t be bogged down by this. “
With this, I picked up my 2 kg laptop on my laptop, turned on the music and started writing.
I seek fame. I want it. It is becoming necessary for my existence. I need the attention and I need people around me and I am not afraid of admitting it. I want to do things that people haven’t even thought of. I want to explore and study and do well and win. This life I have is short, very short. It’s not enough to take care of all my passions and my wants. I have to savor each day and make the most of it.
“Do more of what makes you happy.” Yes. Yes. Yes. I am not wise beyond my years. Neither have I some profound sense of the world. I’ve just failed too many times and I know. I, you, all of us are tiny sparks on this planet. We each have a chance to prove something to someone. It could be to yourself, your parents, your friends, anyone. Just know, this is the time. It’s your fucking time. Blaze it. In the right fucking sense.