Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone

How do you deal with losing someone?

That’s a question I’ve thought about for a long time. I’ve lost a considerable amount of people in my life, ranging from actual death to simply drifting apart, just as many people have. For as often as it happens, I would think I’d be at least somewhat used to it by now. I’m not.

Two posts ago, I mentioned that I went to the concert with one of my best friends. Well, it turns out that the experience didn’t just spark my dreams, it set hers on fire too. It was only about a month or so after the concert that she called me and said she was taking the next plane out to Seattle. The concert was in October and she left in January.

Cue cheesiness: that girl is my best friend. We have a connection like no other connection I’ve had with a human being. I call her my soul friend (kind of like soulmate, except without the love part). It’s not easy trying to conceal how sad I get sometimes. We used to do the craziest, most ridiculous things. I miss it so much.  I miss when we would go buy kids’ shirts at Walmart and wear them because they had Transformers on them. I miss talking like Dr. Evil. I miss the time we spent in Disney together. I miss the spiritual bond we had (we still have that, but conversations are just so different over the phone…). I miss the endless conversations that only paused because we fell asleep. I miss conversations in my living room by the Christmas tree.

It’s funny how such simple things which hold little significance suddenly become the most important things in your life after you’ve experienced them with someone you love.  Some days it’s hard to walk past the living room and not imagine the two ghosts of us talking, laughing, crying, listening to music, and singing. Sometimes I don’t like to be reminded of her because, even though it starts out warm and nostalgic, it quickly turns into that weighted-stomach feeling.

How do you get over that? We are on opposite ends of the country. Who knows when we will see each other again. I’m so afraid of drifting apart. It’s been 7 months since she left, and I can only imagine the next 7 are going to go just as quickly.

People are hard to forget, I think. They come into our lives, change everything, then leave, and we are left holding the beautiful masterpiece of friendship they helped us paint. Do you hang that painting in the hallway and remember it with the first warm, then weighted-stomach feeling, or do you hide it in the storage room until you need to be reminded that whatever once was, really once was?

I really think only she understands a certain part of me. Do you have one person who you can talk to like no one else? A person who turns every day around for the better? A person who makes you smile no matter what? When that person is taken away, your whole life changes. I’m sure some of you know what I mean.

We’ll be okay. We’re on a crazy journey together, yet separate. We’ll never be anything but best friends. I just wish distance didn’t have to be so greedy.

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I Was Wrong About You

I don’t think I’m a particularly judgmental person. I want to give everyone a chance, no matter their background of any sort. But sometimes, as we are all human (well, I don’t know that I guess… you guys could all be wizards and I might be just a muggle), I am very wrong about someone.  There have been countless times in which I’ve realized I have unconsciously formed a solid opinion about someone only to find out that it was quite inaccurate. I was reminded today that people are people (which is, I think, one of the most obvious and misunderstood concepts in this world).

I’ve known this person for a very long time. I’ve never gotten to know them very well because I always felt intimidated by them– I felt inferior. (In a feeble attempt, I am trying to conceal the person’s gender by using the agonizingly incorrect pronoun of “they” or “them”). They seemed angry. They seemed short-fused. Just not the kind of person I thought I’d hang out with.

I was so wrong.

I’ve always considered Twitter to be a legitimate source to use when trying to understand a person. I know that sounds so dumb. But, you see how they interact with others. You see what they’re thinking, how they say it, and stuff like that (not that it’s always true… people can definitely pretend). So, naturally, I Twitter-stalked them like the technology-generation-kid I am. I was shocked to see them tweeting such deep things. Intelligent, well-read, passionate, observant, loving, and sensitive words were present in so many different tweets.

I felt pretty ashamed for having judged someone so harshly. I know now that they’ve been through some rough times, and that maybe they act the way they do because they want their superficial side to be the most prominent; few people actually want to expose their innermost feelings and emotions in everyday life. Maybe they’ve been busy building a wall so that no one else can hurt them. Maybe they come off as completely resistant and strong but are actually more vulnerable than they’ve ever been.

Everyone gets scared. Everyone has dreams. Everyone has love for someone or something. And everyone has been hurt. People are people. I think it’s time we started recognizing that–even with people we think we know. I honestly don’t think we really know anyone. People are wells of secrets and mysteries. Whatever a person is, they are still some purposely put-together version of themselves; they show what they want to be seen. It’s our job to remember that people are alwaysalwaysalways deeper than we think they are.

We are afraid of things we don’t understand. We are afraid of people who are unlike ourselves. And yet, if we gave people a chance, if we really put time into understanding who they are and why they are, I think we could be friends (or at least be civil with) almost anyone.

Who I am. Why I am. (Imperative to understanding me)

I have a lot of explaining  to do. The first thing you need to know about me is that I’m a dreamer. The word “realistic” makes me cringe; it’s a word that sets off something fiery inside of me that makes me want to sit the person who dared to use it down and give a lengthy speech about how nothing is “realistic” (split infinitives suck sometimes). I’ve always believed in dreaming the impossible dream and working to achieve it. Besides things that are physically not possible to do (I can’t actually sprout wings and fly), I don’t think anything is impossible. Imagine what the Wright brothers had to say about the “impossible” task of flying; sure, they didn’t actually fly with their own biological wings, but they blazed a new trail, thought outside the box, and made it happen in a different way regardless of what was “realistic” or not.  For the record, airplanes blow my mind. What even. How.

Anyway, dreaming big has always been an integral part of who I am. Or so I thought. My world was turned upside down one day when I discovered that my “big dreams” had been small in comparison to the ones I’d unveil later that night. The following is the big anecdotal explanation of who I am and why I’m doing what I’m doing. If you want to fully understand who I am, well, here you go:  One of my best friends and I had been drifting apart this past October.  We’d been planning on driving to a concert together for a few months, even though we didn’t have tickets. I guess we thought we’d just try our luck to get in without them. We drove a few hours to the venue and waited outside to see if we could talk to any crew members or something (we knew that the crew hands out extra tickets once in a while to some very lucky people).

Please withhold your judgments and BEAR WITH ME, but it was a Justin Bieber concert. For those of you who might not exactly be fans of his, please hear me out. I like Justin Bieber because I respect his philanthropic view on life and because he really is an incredible vocalist (not because I think he’s “soooo hot” or want to marry him or anything). I love what he does for other people. If half the good things he did were in the tabloids (that really goes for any celebrity), I think his image would be very different. Anyway, I have crazy respect for his manager, Scooter Braun, and his videographer/friend Alfredo Flores as well. The things those people do for this world are mind-blowing and beautiful. I hope to join forces with them someday in some way.

Anyway, we waited for a long time outside until the concert began at 7. We knew we weren’t getting in since the concert had already started.  Jacklyn and I felt a little defeated, but we decided to talk to some of the security guards before we left just to pass some time before we turned around to go home. Just before we were going to leave, we saw Alfredo Flores segwaying past us through a gate. We called him over and he graciously spared some time for us. I am not the kind of person to fangirl, but I did momentarily. Alfredo Flores is such an inspiration to me; he is one of the few people who keeps me accountable for my mission and keeps me moving forward each day with every inspirational tweet (that sounded a lot less lame in my head). I was able to tell  him all of this and have a short conversation with him. Jacklyn and I were both very lucky to be able to express our gratitude for his efforts. We were also very, very lucky that he handed us 3rd row tickets to the show : )

It was a crazy moment. All of my and Jacklyn’s friends and family doubted us from the second we got into our car to go get tickets earlier that day. It was a slim chance. It really doesn’t happen very often. We even left late and didn’t think we’d be there in time if, by some chance, the crew would be handing out tickets. But you know what? IT HAPPENED. Not to mention that one of the most influential people in my life was the person to give them to us. You have to take chances– you have to dream the impossible dream. How will you ever know if you don’t try?

 

JDSCN0342acklyn and I have always wanted to be world changers: people who lift others up and bring a new, positive attitude to the world.  Before the concert, we were so comfortable in our suburban homes with our “easy” lives. We always talked about aspirations and chasing our dreams, but it was strictly talk. Never doing. We took a chance that night and it ended up changing my life. The moment following our interaction with Alfredo, Jacklyn said “How we react to this defines us.” I don’t think any truer words could’ve been said. In that moment, we realized our duty. What Alfredo had done for us–that feeling of hope, the act of reaching out to simply make someone smile– that was a responsibility we felt we needed to pay forward for the rest of our lives; it was and is heavy on our shoulders. Suddenly I saw everything in my life very differently: I was going to figure out a way to be my own Alfredo Flores or Scooter Braun. I was going to be a world changer. And no one, no thing, no force of nature could stop me.


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To be continued…

First Step

Alright, I gave in (about 5 years late, I might add).  I’ve been contemplating the idea of a blog for a long time now. Mostly, I resisted creating one because of a few things: first and foremost, I didn’t want to follow a trend only to get lost in the crowd; second, I don’t know, really… I sort of felt the need to have a second point; third, I want to be an author. Most of my life is based around finding a way to achieve this goal, and I figured a blog would be too easy to fall back on. I thought that I would end up writing ideas and concepts on my blog which I would later want to put into a book, poem, or into the framework of a character. Recently, though, I thought something else: you know what? I don’t care. If I end up using the ideas/concepts in my blog for my future writing, it’s still my writing. Some people might see it as a cop-out or something, but really, I just need the bajillion words inside of me to escape somewhere. Maybe I’ll forget about this blog in a month. Maybe it’ll turn into my little diary every time I feel heartache about something. Maybe it will, in some backwards way, validate my feelings and ideas. I have no clue what this is going to bring me… what I do know is that I’ve thought about it long enough (and have written blog-like entries on Word for long enough) to just give it a try. I hope to be raw and honest even though sometimes I might come off the wrong way. I think honesty is the most important thing about writing. Even when you’re writing fiction (which is mostly lying), the most truth tends to come out. I feel like that wasn’t related.  That’s okay. Blogs are supposed to be kind of jumbly and stuff, right?

(Let’s hope).