You see pain (19)

I’m very used to being called hurtful names. 

Those names are painful reminders of the most volatile and vulnerable parts of my existence. The haunting side of my actions brought fourth in tiny bits of childhood trauma. 

I am in essence a ticking time bomb of experiences. 

This picture used to mean everything to me, well it meant a lot. That was my dream school and those were my dirty red chucks. UC Irvine had so much of my heart, that I was forcing myself to do math so I could pass the classes I needed to get in. (I hate math) That was my dream, my ticket out of my house, an anteater full of success. I was young and hopeful about the prospect of being an anteater given the proper fight for it. Unfortunately, motivation also plays a big roll in success. 

In a sea of doubt I lost my morale. That’s my fault.

 In a negative environment the first thing that is usually dashed in a person is morale, but I should have squashed that feeling with disappointment. 

Confused? Let me explain. 

That thing in my hand is a notebook, a sketchbook to be more accurate. I was once an artist who spent hours sketching my inner thoughts. I loved art so much I took to expressing myself in digital arts as well. 

Not my best work, but it was what I could find. This was my outlet and defense against a chaotic home life. My art was everything until I was called a name. 

Encouraged to make art for a profit,  I began to hate everything about it. I resented being told I wasn’t getting anything out of it unless I used it to turn a profit. I lost my interest and eventually stopped all together.

 That too was very painful. 

When I got older I realized something, the loss I suffered both times was at the hands of my weird need to impress people or live up to these weird standards set by others. I lost my chance at Irvine when it became about proving something. 

I know what it means to be disappointed in little things as well as big. I should have realized that the people doing the name calling were both nasty trolls as well as hurt people themselves. I owed them nothing. Irvine should have been for me. My art should have been for me. 

My life is a gift that I want to live in peace not pieces selected by others.

I urge you to really examine the pain in your past failures and see if you let yourself fall victim to others expectations or if your past motives were poor. If so, let it go and create new ventures for success. 

So what’s the silver lining in all this? I never got poor grades in transfer level classes. That’s right ya’ll my transfer GPA is actually still good so with some hardwork UCI could be obtained, but those days are behind me. My life has a new direction where success is defined as so:

I hope I am fortunate enough to travel, write, and volunteer for the rest of my time on this big rock called home. I’m grateful for my failures like I am my vitctories. 

The cry of the Anteater will always be a bitter sweet reminder that failure is out there, but a great reminder that success isn’t far behind. 

I’ve been called a lot of things growing up, but my favorite has always been Lark. 

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After all these years (18) 

Holy pancakes you guys, well actually just regular pancakes. 
These blogs now have a tendency to start out with me profusely apologizing for elongated absences, but again I have a good reason.  I can promise you that this story is worth the slightly long read.

So I don’t recall if I’ve ever mentioned my love and admiration for Vietnam veterans or my tendency to stop and strike up random conversations in grocery stores, but I live for it. The vast amount of knowledge that I acquire from each soldier is enough to make me think about the things we take for granted, but also the things that we as civilians could never fathom. 
My fiance’s great uncle is a purple heart veteran who my fiance and I had the pleasure of meeting about three weeks ago. He told me that he had many stories, but that these stories were not unique to just him. His great uncle was only one of hundreds of thousands of boys who saw the war-torn jungles of Vietnam and were left changed by the unforgiving scenery.  His uncle told me of his battle with skin cancer, most likely an effect of the chemical weapon Agent Orange. His mother, who was sitting on the couch beside him, noted his missing fingers.

 I look back on that moment and I realize how grateful I was to be able to witness his response. 
I watched that man look his hand and smile. He said, “When you have seen what I’ve seen, and you’ve seen some of the vets missing arms and legs, a few fingers is nothing.” 

We will never see what a whole generation of veterans is still dealing with. Whatever happens to us can never be as bad as what happened to those men in that jungle.
Towards the end of our conversation, he looked at me again, but this time with a smirk. He learned towards us and said, “I’m dying.” 
He told us that this was a fate that he had accepted, but he also told us of his many adventures in life. He balanced the talk of death and appreciation for unique experiences so well. I felt as though his mistakes and successes all just blended into one unique life story that had no time for regret, only lessons. He told the story as if he wanted you to understand that he was only a man.
When I see a veteran at the grocery store I stop and crave the knowlege of a gentleman who knows what it’s truly like to be anxious. The image of hero pushing a shopping cart fighting a silent hell they we could never fathom. 
I read about the Vietnam war, but these men are the war and after all these years, the war is still killing them. 

Might (16)

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Oh boy, you guys I’m really excited to write this one. 

So recently I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on the Internet. I find myself scrolling through endless comments about President Trump or the Women’s March, but sadly it’s mostly fluff. It’s either people attacking points of view they can’t relate to or people just lacking empathy all together. 

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of visiting the Los Angeles Museum of The Holocaust (LAMOTH for short). The most haunting thing about that museum was the countless number of artifacts were all encased in glass. I sometimes feel that I don’t understand how or why something like the Holocaust could have occurred, but then I remember the word empathy. Umong the swastika flags tucked away in glass draws and cases full nazi propaganda there were pictures of ordinary faces. 

I’ve spent a lot of time reading about the what happend to the Jewish population in Europe under Adolf Hitler and the restrictions placed on a specific group of people as a means of scapegoating. I read these things over and over but something was still missing; outrage from the groups not being effected. I say this because the Jews, liberals, and communist were being blamed for something that could have easily been explained had enough people used empathy and had chosen to educate themselves.

Germany’s economic crisis had not been caused by a lack of nationalism that was under attack by the Jews and other groups of people in the country at the time. 

Germany’s economic status and political unrest in the country came by way of the Treaty of Versailles. 

The Treaty of Versailles was a peace treaty between Germany and the Allied powers that was signed at the end of World War One.The treaty forced Germany to reduce the size of its military substantially and did not allow the country to obtain certain weapons. The treaty also forced Germany to pay reparations and stripped the country of all of its colonies. Although Germany  had little to no part in the drafting of this document, it was now their countries problem. 

So what does all that mean? 

The issues in Germany were extremely complex, far more complex than probably most common people in Germany at the time could comprehend. 

When the people heard a politician speak about restoring Germany to it’s former greatness and removing the plight that was the Treaty of Versailles they brought it. They chose a simple answer to complex problem instead of the messy task of challenging a political figure who’s promises were quite frankly ridiculous. The picture he painted of Germany was a lie personally manufactured for the frightened masses. 

Silence, lack of education, and a lack of empathy lead to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the many fascist polices that lead to the death of many people and the launch of the second World War. Fear of what was uncomfortable to certain people lead to Adolf Hitler. 

Hitler destroyed Germany on his quest for a unified more German Germany 

I believe empathy could have saved Germany. 

I believe education on the part of the people could have saved Germany. 

No other plans (17)

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Hello there, long time no see. 

I promise you I can explain this very long absence, and I will the only way I know how, dope blog post. 

So the story begins like this, my fiance and I had been planning to move from California to Michigan after our wedding which had been planned for the 3rd of March. I can tell you that from the time I had even befriended my fiance things had really never worked out as planned, even our relationship was a happy accident born of broken plans. 

At the end of January we had received  word that his mother was critically ill and that he needed to go to Michigan.I remember thinking to myself what would be the quickest way to call out of work and how quickly could I join him in leaving back to Michigan. 

Our time in Michigan spanded over a month long, and was filled by far with the most amazing people I’ve met in a long time. The hospital waiting room was always filled with people coming to show love for his mother and family, and kind people always willing to bring meals or just the company of a friendly face. 

Up until this time, I had only spent about a week with my mother-in-law to be, but I could already tell by the out pour of love how many people’s hearts she had touched. I’m no doctor, but I think all the love and support is what helped her get out of the hospital sooner than expected. 

I still didn’t get to spend a lot of personal time with my mother-in-law to be, but I must brag on her for a second. I watched her fight from critical condition to discharge without rehab. Guys, she’s one strong woman and the amount of strength and courage shown by her during that time was not only inspiring, but life altering. 

Also, my new almost sister is a hockey playing, 1st chair percussionist champion. Just saying. 

I didn’t like the circumstances that brought us to Michigan, but the time spent with family I will always cherish. 

Towards the end of our time, after moms discharge, we were able to take a trip to a little town by the name of Frankenmuth. 

That was the first date we had been on in maybe 3 months. I don’t  know if anyone knows how to create normalcy during or after a crisis, it just has to happen. It’s about understanding that everything and everyone is precious. I know it sounds corny, but it’s true. We sat in that tiny town and remembered all things and people we were thankful for. 

The last night was spent eating ice cream and sugar free pudding around the TV. I thought about the band concerts, hockey games, and the crazy amount of love. I love Michigan and the people that make it feel like home. 

All my life I’ve been told that if you plan and make good choices your life should remain relatively undisturbed. I don’t agree. This Friday I would have married my bestfriend and we would have began the adventure called life with unrealistic expections. Crisis can happen to the best of people and be completely random, but the same goes for fortune and happy things as well. Life should be lived with the expectation of adventure and struggle, each one able to interchange at moments notice.

Moms doing better and getting stronger each and everyday, of course all while still looking beautiful. 

I’m excited to call these wonderful human beings my family and even more excited to be able to personally tell you about the strength and love shown by this amazing unit of people. 

So to Dad, Mom, Leah, Oma, Aunt Christina, Aunt Melissa, Grandma, and Grandpa; Thank you. 

Expectations (15)

I originally wrote this a few days ago, but after a little more thought and editing I’m finally ready to share. 

Now before you close the browser because you are a hardcore Obama hater, understand a few things; I’m a Historian and I do not cater to political bias. 

Now before you close your browser becuase you are a hardcore Obama supporter who does not feel I’m doing him justice, understand this, I do not believe in great man history. (I’m talking to you Reagan)  

I’m here to offer you facts and societal observations. If you want a source that only caters to YOUR view points please go indulge in MSNBC or Fox news. 

Now that the tough words are over with on with the blog. 

With the upcoming inauguration only mere days away I felt very pressed to produce this before President Obama left office. 

I can remember sitting in my high school classroom 8 years ago discussing what the election of Barack Obama stood for in a country that only four decades prior would not allow a person of color access to equal opportunities let alone decent a toliet. 

The election brought with it a horrific undertone, that looking back now, seemed virtually undetectable. 

Majority leader Mitch McConnell would be the kick off to that very horrific  undertone. He vowed to make our President a one term President. 

I remember as a teenager in early 2009 hearing people say many things. I heard that President Obama would be a beacon of hope for people of color who wanted to be respected when it came to being a vital member of society. On the other hand I heard that Barry would be the worst President we ever had. 

It was in that moment I began to understand that this was going to be a definitive moment in American history and the molding of our culture. 

2008: A housing bubble caused by lending people money for property that had no means of paying the money back causes a financial collapse as well a massive effect on the housing market. (President at the time: George Bush) 

2009: I’m going to get long winded here, so I present to you the first ever video produced by welcometothe39th:

Dear President Obama:

Farewell (14)

Hello there 39ers, how are you today? 

I’ve regretfully been more and more swamped with work and plans for my upcoming nuptials. I’m sorry I promised you a writing schedule at probably one of the most volatile points in my life to date. I promise you I have still been working, crafting, and of course still writing. Although a few of my blogs got delayed, they will be posted with haste over the next couple of days. 

So what’s the big news?

Well I’m writing a series called California Dreams, It will be 5 very special blogs that will be posted March 4th  thru March 8th followed by a very special video. This will be my farewell to my home. 

I feel a great sadness to part with my home of twenty three years, but I’m hopeful. 

Home (13)

​Hello there! I hope you can forgive me for being a day late here, yesterday was a long day. I’m here here to finally tell you the stories of my recent travels. 

December 19th, 2016 : I remember pacing my small bathroom getting ready to leave for the trip of a lifetime. I had never been past my neighboring state of Nevada, and the thrill of adventure had left me light headed.

We rode a train for many days.

We made several stops along the way.  

We ended up in some place called Michigan.

It was cold, but filled with so much warmth. 

Truth be told all these pictures are a bit of a cover for a severe case of writers block. I learned so much on my trip to Michigan, but I can’t seem to force it out of my brain. It disappoints me that I can’t muster up words to explain their kindness. I honestly had no idea what to expect when I showed up in that tiny town, but to my surprise it was everything I expected. A Midwestern bubble filled with charm and deer meat. (The deer meat was so tasty.)

As natives of our respective places of origin, we internalize what we were raised with and who we were raised with and that is the lense we use to view the world. It’s how we determine for ourselves what we view as normal and what we view as foreign.

For example : Growing up my family always celebrated things like Christmas or Thanksgiving with large informal parties. The parties were about everyone being together rather than tradition. Everyone served themselves and sat where they pleased and they laughed and joked over my grandma’s peach cobbler. 

I didn’t grow up setting the tables or taking family photos, passing salt or with many traditions, but it took a trip to the Midwest to help me understand it was alright. 

I encountered a lot of things that were very foreign to me, like place settings. I for the life of me could not understand why people placed knives and forks in a certain order only to move them after they began eating. The head of the table thing was weird to me also. The dirt roads, the grass fields, and the Amish were also so new to me. It left me with the fuzzest of feelings. I live for diversity and here I was in the heart of it. It was diversity of experience. I found myself mixed into a small majority white town in the middle of nowhere filled with people who were teachers, doctors, students, ect. They were just people living normal lives, just different kinds of lives.

I guess I’m just a hippie who wants everyone to take the time and emerse themselves in a situation that is very different from their own and challenge themselves not to think of it as better or worse than what they grew up with. I had the thrill of a lifetime learning to play card games, frosting cookies, singing hymns, and learning what kinds of traditions differnt families hold. I also learned something about myself, I’m a slight traditionalist. I loved those big family parties from my childhood. Barbecue and pools. Peach cobler and greens. This is my experience, my home. 

As long as a home is healthy, traditionalism does not have a to have one face. I also believe it is possible to maintain traditions while investigating and incorporating others.

I’ll be married soon and this is something that I look forward to. I wait with excitement to see how my husband and I will blend our experiences and create a sense of normal for our children.

Michigan was amazing and beyond beautiful and the people were just as beautiful. I encourage you to travel and to see homes filled with different things and people. I encourage you to eat different kinds of food. I encourage you to watch different types of entertainment. I encourage you to hear different kinds of view points. The world can never really look the same form several different vantage points.