I am sometimes caught off guard by things that I miss. They are so specific. The purple bouquet on the dining table. The morning commute to my 8am internship when I got to steal a pause and indulge in my cheesy playlist. The nights I came home to my two best friends. We drank wine and poked fun and complained about the most trivial things that had happened during the day. The particular stretch of pavement between my doorstep and the street that I’d walk with equal parts fear and hope before a first date.
Life wasn’t at all stress free, but it felt just the right side of easy. Like faith itself was loose and adept and everywhere.
I had no idea it would feel this way, this place, college, this past year. It never occurred to me that I’d need to miss what I still had – what I’d not yet lost.
Four years of throwing a hook against a stone wall hoping it might catch, quietly panicked it might not.
I’ve come to keep finding some people in parts of me never knew existed – the friends that represent a world in me, a world probably not born until they arrive.
She is one of the most genuine, hilarious, and caring people alive. Ask anyone, and they’ll tell you the same.
She’s witty and sassy and got the most complex jokes that require at least ten seconds of thinking. She loves to buy well curated bouquets of flowers for the house. Particularly with baby’s breath. And she would order her dish different from everyone else’s just so we all can try it.
She is my ENFP twin and I recognize SO MANY tendencies that we share – self-victimizing, liking the familiarity of dramatic occurrences, owning up the secretly dark side of depression in our genes that no one would understand except for us. Our intuitive nature has for more than one time led us down a rabbit hole. We are so similar that I swear if we go to a club, we would undoubtedly hit on the same guy (it has happened twice, actually).
Though we resemble so ambiguously, she has taught me the most about giving, and being kind.
I know by heart that I’m the worst friend ever to anyone, but I’m taking baby steps to try to remember friends’ birthday – people that play a part in my life. I’ve come to share my food more often simply by saying, “wanna try.” And always take the initiative to help others as long as I can.
I refuse to let my bitterness reject and judge others. I refuse to be around anyone for any other reason than to love them.
I own this more-giving-than-I’ve-ever-been part to Leo.
I can safely say no one understands my personality better than he does. He is a person with a big heart, and he probably doesn’t even realize it.
I have always like my people a bit damaged. A bit difficult to stereotype. Who’ve seen themselves be cruel. Who’ve felt scary amount of insanity and rage and sadness. Who in all has come to attain familiarity and fluency with both their good and bad parts despite all that.
He is the one who was there for me when I was in a daily battle with depression, by showing me how everyone is tragically flawed, like him, and pushed me through life, anyway. With him, I feel like I am someone who is lucky enough to find someone who shines bright enough to lead me out of the dark.
He sees the best in people. He has always been an active listener to all my first world problems, my mental breakdowns that happen more often than not. He would look past the bad and spot the little things I should first appreciate, helping me see my strengths for myself. He does so effortlessly.
Our conversation runs so fluently, so handily. We would throw out stupid random questions at 8AM in the morning and vow to never speak to each other again, but in reality, he misses hearing his messages blow up at 2AM and I guess I need him in my life, too.
I always complain about how he doesn’t have an Instagram, because if he does, I could do an appreciation post on all that he did for me, for being there all along. But really, I also don’t think anyone needs to know because I’m certain he does more for others.
Recently I met a person. One time he complained to me about “the obnoxious Asian Asians”. He described them as uneducated, conceited, and ill-behaved based entirely on their one-time behaviors. To me, he appeared as judgmental, contemptuous, and insensitive.
That is not to say he fits into these criteria as a person. But his tone certainly did.
“You gotta accept people for who they are,” I quietly responded.
If one day I find myself solely focusing on the good in people – like this time as I uttered those words, it must’ve been because of Pieces.
I’m thankful to find this capacity in myself.
We are so different.
She is everything that I am not. She possesses everything that I don’t have, – fierce drive, determined discipline, the urge to keep everything organized, and always ask for what she wants to know – all in all, a big personality.
She has a clear list of “non-negotiables,” as I like to call them – the things that she stands for in her decisions and cannot be swayed on.
She likes to make decisions and map out everything in her schedule – like a “control freak” as she would call herself.
Not surprisingly, from her I learnt the most about taking up space, and this is soOoOo important as a woman.
There were days where all I wanted to do was run myself in circles around lies I couldn’t piece together. I wanted answers but that’s the thing about my nature: it wants me to obsess over things I cannot change, things that I am too afraid of losing, and it wants me to be helpless to move forward.
I remember that one time she was there to push me to don’t play by the rules. Don’t care about the metrics. To send the text, to ask the question. Even though in the end I came to a conclusion that it was better do my relationship my own way. I appreciated it.
There were moments where I came up with all these wild thoughts and she was the one who didn’t see my dreams to be impossible. The one who grounded me in truth but also taught me to reach for more.
There will come a day, in the not so distant future, when I will muster up my courage to be an advocate for all that I want to be. And I will for damn sure know where it all came from.
“As you grow older, you start to realize you play a role in the becoming of other people. Words either hurt or heal. They build a person up or they cause a person to shrivel. Words hold power and you get to decide, every single day, how you want to use your words. Go for growth. Go that extra mile to encourage someone else. Point people out from the crowd and call out their greatness. You are a grower of people. You get chances every single day to lift others up. It’s an immense responsibility but it can change your whole life. When all else fails: life others up and into the light.”
As I’m typing this, I’ve just/already graduated. Three weeks into adulthood, and I’m finally able to catch a breath.
Despite all that, I’m mostly surprised by how much I don’t miss. And how so much of what I do miss feels irrevocably lost. As though it’s been packed up and put away.
In fact, it soon will be. In two weeks time I will leave, and I will not look back. I will give thanks for these four years, but my body yearns for what my heart wants.
It’s a decision that I feel deeply and quietly and unambiguously right. Which is to say, I’m excited.
This photo was taken when a company flew me back to San Francisco for an interview, and yesterday they just called to extend me a full time offer. I’ve never thought of my post-grad job search as this easy.
I’m still not sure of most things in life, but one distinct clarity I know of is that, if I stayed in one place, I wouldn’t have much to share or things to write about.
I may never again relive my last year of undergrad. But I am every story I have ever read. And every word I have ever written. I am a part of all that I have met. And I most certainly wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Tying you closer than most,