Life as a Recovering Drug Addict
What is caffeine addiction? An addiction to coffee.
Most caffeine addicts won’t answer the question; they’ll deny their addiction the way alcoholics or smoking addicts do, while clutching a cup of coffee with both hands.
My mom thought I was addicted to coffee during the school year; I had a cup every morning, but just didn’t like to go without, otherwise I’d commonly be sleepy and unfocused in class.
That’s not really addiction, is it? Continue reading
at night, my mind wanders
into uncharted territory
it trespasses onto private property
it tiptoes past safety guards protecting
enforcing a barrier between what i want to feel and what i need to feel Continue reading
We forgot how to be happy
Happiness is the old song on the radio from 2005, your dirty little secret, your unknown jam. It plays in a store, it comes up on shuffle, it hits you like a nostalgic blast from the past. It is fighting the urge to break out in dance in public, or letting the music take you as you writhe around in privacy, if you are lucky enough. It is memories sequestered to songs, a melody from long ago, a better time.
Happiness is wiping dirty glasses, as if the air were magically filtered, as if you rid yourself of a visual obstruction that you didn’t even know existed. It is clarity, it is lucidity, and it is precision. The world is cast in a brighter light.
Happiness is waking up naturally. It’s that moment when you’re caught in between the dream and the awakening. It is gradual, as if the sunlight slowly prods you awake from behind your closed eyelids. It is completely embracing dry mouth and eye gunk and morning breath and ratchet hair and numb limbs. And then you slowly roll over on your back and look up at the ceiling sleepily, with nowhere to go and nowhere to be.
Happiness is tradition and routine, lazily enforced. It is Friday night phone calls and Sunday morning bubble tea runs that can be easily skipped if the circumstances so require it. Looking forward to something, the anticipation builds up. Sometimes we forget why we do it, we just keep on since we see no reason to stop. It is me-time and we-time, and it should never be forgone.
Happiness is getting in the shower after reluctantly convincing yourself to do so. It is the endless stream of purity trickling down your body, it is the luxurious scent of Dove and Herbal Essences and Pantene and Garnier Fructis and everything in between. It is loofahs and sponges, and time passes by in globs of soap. The hardest part about getting in is climbing out; once we’re here, we never want to leave. The pruniest fingers in the world wouldn’t convince me.
Happiness is a piece of paper in front of you, blank and beckoning. It is begging for intervention. Write, draw, scribble or swirl, fill the margins and shade in the corners. As cliche as it sounds, letting your mind wander and your pen make its way across the page in this way and that promotes a nomadic state of mind. Here, your mind is flowing; there is no such thing as a coherent train of thought…
Happiness is the little reading space in the corner of the room, with a few old pillows and blankets for sheer comfort. It is the little desk where you put your cup of coffee, where you rest your computer as you scroll endlessly through your tumblr feed, and where you write your heart out into a purple journal. It is the makeshift reading nook, devoid of fancy plushes. It is where your favorite novel is within reach, where the light is not blinding but instead, a soft glow, that starts in your special corner and gradually pervades the room.
Five people I don’t want to become
The overly obsessive with looks
When looks come to dominate everything else that I prioritize in life, I know that something is wrong. I never want to be so concerned with my outward appearance that my focus on this inevitably trades off with the quality of my inward appearance. I’ve said it before, and I shall say it again: these features are fleeting. You look great today, but shit happens: accidents, acne, puberty, and life. So if my bathroom were to ever be crowded with only bottles and sprays and combs and brushes and q-tips, someone slap me please.
The funniest is watching people grasp onto their fading beauty with desperate fingers, because the struggle represents his or her inability to accept an inevitable fate. I really do believe in the idea that the more makeup you cake on, the more you have to hide on the inside. The more you curl or straighten your hair, the more limp it is the next day. We are draining the life out of our bodies to try to fit unrealistic visions of beauty! I want to age gracefully.
The perpetually tired
I understand that part of being a high schooler is waking up grouchy and exhausted, but I desperately want some mornings when I’m genuinely happy to wake up. I want there to not always be days where laziness takes over and priorities are dropped without a thought. Whenever I go many days without proper sleep (like here at debate camp), the disastrous side effects snowball and overwhelm me; a crash is always imminent. I can’t stay awake and I’m forced to down cups of coffee and tea, and the acid from both corrodes my teeth. On the other hand, I’m normally not late or overly-jittery when I get a proper night of sleep.
I don’t want to become obsessed with technology, but I fear that I may be very far down this path already. I spend hours on my computer and my phone; of course, some of this time can be attributed to debate, but I definitely spend more time than is healthy. Additionally, I don’t feel comfortable if I don’t have access to it. I live off of wifi.
I would never allow myself to stay indoors all day and to develop eye, ear, and back problems because of both the overuse and misuse of technology, because none of those issues gives me a reason to live life…
The pure adult
I never want to lose some aspect of my childhood. I feel inspiration and nostalgia from flipping through old photos, and I experience pure happiness when I am confronted with something from my past – a TV show, a novel, or a journal. I don’t want to lose myself in the pressures of getting a job or starting a family or paying bills, and I want to preserve the beautiful period of my life that I appreciated so much.
The one who loses sight of the big picture
My friend once calmed me down about something stupid by playing the game of five. Will some issue matter in 5 days, months, and years? Personal crises virtually disappear when you remember that you have a life that spans more than the 4 years in high school, and that this too shall pass.
Friends are super important. Some you meet early in your life, and some you meet towards the close of a chapter, but what really matters is who stays in your life. People will inevitably leave. Those who stay are those who matter, and I never want to forget these people for others who just come and go. Those who come and go erupt into your life with a bang and leave just as suddenly, and at the end of the day, you will want someone to come and sit down with you in a cafe and talk about life, no pressure.
Specifically, this entails not letting others dictate your life. Your parents, your friends, your significant others and their opinions are not static, and neither are you. But when it comes to making big life decisions, it’s really important to realize that your big picture encompasses just you. If you take life just step by step and don’t create a least a general plan for what you want to make of yourself, then you’ve got nothing to look forward to and no framework to follow; the decisions and epiphanies that you make and experience today affect the person you will be tomorrow, as it pertains to education and occupation.
7 Reasons Why We Love Summer
Summer is the absolute best season. I know it, you know it, heck, even your teachers know it! But why? Can it be explained chemically? When the thermometer hits 80 degrees, do our bodies go into happy mode? Maybe.
Check out the belated version of this post, 5 Reasons to Love Summer!
1. El Sol
Yes, the sun is a great start. As a symbol of light, it makes us feel as though we no longer face the pressures that we feel during the school year. The days grow longer and the nights get shorter. We have a (slight) tendency to wake up earlier, but we also are tempted to sleep in the wee hours of the morning. And that’s where our self control kicks in.
I think that everyone likes when it’s sunny out. It’s just a fact of life. Especially for young people. Continue reading
A Free Write about Going to Sleep
One day, I’ll have to construct a blanket fort. When I grow up and move out of the house, I’ll have a permanent blanket fort installed in my room. Rods will hang down from the ceiling, in such a way that you can hang blankets on them whenever you desire. There will be no floor, only soft cushions that magically clean themselves of hair, dust, dirt, crumbs, etc. There will be those fun pillows with arms, lots of warm blankets, low tables for setting food and books, and a quality sound system where I can play calm music. I’ll have a little remote that will allow me to dim my lights. My dream bedroom.
Just before I fall asleep at night, I’ll lie in my bed and think about my day. Think about my life, my goals, my fears, my worries. My hair, being as long as it is, will most likely still be slightly damp from my shower, and since I don’t like to feel cold tentacle-like bundles of hair on my neck as I roll around, I’ll gather it up to the top of my pillow and sort of just throw it there. If it’s before midnight, I’ll literally hug the bed, thankful that I get a reasonable amount of sleep. If it’s past 1 AM I’ll be exhausted but the more I think about it, the harder it will be for me to fall asleep.
When I know that I don’t have school the next day, I’ll climb into my bed the happiest girl alive, because sleep is the most glorious activity in the world.
When I put my head down on the pillow, my mind will slip in a subconscious state where there’s never just one thought. A thought will appear, followed by two subthoughts, a doubt, a reassurance, a what-if, a hypothetical, and an affirmation. It’s never just one thought. Your brain is probably already half way to dream-land, where there is no reality and there are no limits.
It’s sort of strange that you’ve met every person in your dreams at some point or another in your life, even in an instance as small as passing them in the street. If they are a primary character, does that mean anything? Generally, I can’t decipher the meanings of my dreams; do they even have meanings, or are they just random, based on the happenings of that day?
I wouldn’t know. While it is true that humans probably do dream every night and more than once in a slumber, you typically only remember the most recent dream you’ve had, prior to waking up. For some reason, I don’t dream when I get minimal sleep. As a result, I haven’t had a dream (that I’ve remembered) in months and months and months. I have the occasional dream during school breaks but those are few and far between.
At this point, I’ll be half-asleep. Then I’ll think a little too hard, realize that I’m falling asleep, and shake myself awake, all subconsciously. If forced to get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I’ll sleepwalk myself to the bathroom and fall back asleep very well, since the route to my bathroom is so routine and engraved in my brain.
What about lucid dreaming? What’s that like? I’m pretty sure I’ve managed to manipulate my dreams before, but before long, the dream turns into a daydream, which is similar but loses its this-is-really-happening quality that I have come to love about night-dreaming.
What do you call daydreams that you have at night? Is hallucinations too strong of a word? I’ll focus my eyes on a blinking light somewhere in my room. I’ll turn myself into a little burrito of blankets. I don’t like to sleep on my back. I could go to sleep on top of my blankets, but by the time my eyes open the next morning, I’d be tucked snugly under them. I used to think my parents came in at midnight and did that, but then I later learned that it’s fairly easy to carry out whilst fast asleep.
Sleeping is so glorious, really. I look forward to it, but I seldom take naps. It’s sad to go to sleep knowing you only have a few hours to slumber.
My mattress is very soft and my blankets are cool and comfortable. My pillows are always wonderful to sleep on, and if I have time, I’ll watch a TED talk or two before I go to sleep because I like to lie there and think about ambitious goals, lifestyle, and career choices. I like feeling empowered and I like thinking about life’s deepest questions, only to wake up with a mindset as shallow as a water bowl. I hate thinking of creative writing prompts at night, because I know I won’t remember them in the morning. Finally, I hate getting out from under the covers after I’ve already found a comfortable position, because you lose that nice feeling when you have to drag yourself out of the bed. I feel like many people share these similar sentiments.
This has been…a free write about going to sleep. Posted, without rereading for ANYTHING.
Wordless Wednesday: The Ride Home
I feel like writing words today.
My verbal daydreaming.
The ride home is peaceful, but only in a certain sense. Sitting in the passenger seat, you become oblivious to the person in the driver seat and become lost in a deep pool of thoughts about the past, the present and the future.
The sun is setting and clouds in the sky appear as streaks of pink that gradually fade to purple into dark blue into black.
Looking one direction, you watch the sun gradually make its way towards the horizon. Look the other way, and the moon exists as merely an imprint, still low in the sky, not yet completely established.
You’ll think about your day. What you had for lunch. What your teacher said that made you think of something unrelated to class.
You’ll look at your shoes and take the time to notice details on them. The strings are frayed, the heel is worn. There are streaks on the windshield that you’ve never noticed before. There’s a leaf carefully tucked into the corner of the window, trembling as the wind strikes it, as the car zips down the road.
You’ll look out the window and watch the buildings pass by. You’ll press a finger to the glass and be grateful for once for the warmth inside of the car.
And while all of this takes place, the radio might be on. NPR might drone on about global politics. Rihanna might whine about diamonds. But the voices and sound effects fade into the background, because you are consumed in your musings.
These periods of reflection can be compared to sleeping. From what I’ve read, dreams start a couple of hours after you’ve already fallen asleep. As you have multiple dreams in one night (assuming a full, restful sleep), the dreams get longer and pull you deeper into a trance. Similarly, reflection starts shallow and becomes more substantial. And before you arrive at your destination, you’ve probably had some profound brainblast about the meaning of life, only to be forgotten as you step out of the car, out of your vehicle of reflection.