Monday, November 7, 2011

Is anybody okay?

Ben: Am I going to be okay, man?
Pete: Who knows? Is anybody okay? I'm not okay. You're asking the wrong guy.
- Knocked Up

We were driving to the grocery store on Saturday night, and I mentioned how my dad was going to jail today. And my girl asked what for? And my other girl friend said, I like how you ask as if it's whatever. And she replied, well it's not like we haven't been here before.

From father's in jail to mothers fighting cancer to friends struggling in abusive relationships, none of it is really a surprise anymore. At 27-years-old, we've learned, not to be surprised when this stuff happens. And not to be surprised when our parents, even in their wise old age, seem to have more trouble dealing with real life than us.

On the way to court last week, for my dad's arrest in early September — he was charged with drunk in public, resisting arrest and threatening an officer — he said we'd have to go pick up money after. I said, for what? We were going to his bookie. Of course

He was waiting outside at Eden Center, for my mom to pick him up, when he got arrested — he doesn't drink and drive anymore — and he was wasted, so he doesn't even remember what happened.  He'll be serving 9 days in jail, for threatening an officer. The other charges were dropped. $1,500 for a shitty lawyer, that's what I'm thinking. And a waste of my tax dollars for an unnecessary incarceration.

On Thursday, I'm flying out west. A weekend in LA and Las Vegas — yes, I have half of two jobs, make breadcrumbs, will be living in a box house in the future, and still manage to go on vacation more than most. Some people seem truly perplexed at how it is I manage this lifestyle, some think I have a backer. I wish. It's really no secret. My priorities are different. I could be dead tomorrow, and money won't matter then.

Life doesn't care about your plans.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

on the years

"where've you been. We don't talk anymore."
Him: "we'll talk. I miss talking to you."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

there's no religion that could save me

At twenty-seven, I'm learning how hard it is to let someone love you, how hard it is sometimes to live this life right by yourself, by others, and how, even when we should know better, sometimes, sometimes it's not enough. And in moments when I want to settle, when I simply want to give up, how vital it is that I remember what all of this was for. I'm learning, it seems, the older I get, the more blurred the lines between right and wrong become, and the harder it is to believe anything is possible. But there are still those moments that take my breathe away, a kind word from a stranger, an unusual note of affection from a friend. And the weight of belief, the weight of faith, and for everything we can't control, how living is the essence, it's the only thing we have control over.

 the former years

"The future is only an indifferent void no one cares about, but the past is filled with life, and its countenance is irritating, repellent, wounding, to the point that we want to destroy or repaint it. we want to be masters of the future only for the power to change the past." - Milan Kundera

At twenty-one, I learned the reality of the ever-long cliche of broken hearts, emotions heightened to anger, hate, bitterness and regret without sacrifice, without discretion: it was what it was.

At twenty-two, I learned the price of self-worth and perhaps the most difficult things in life are the truths for which we cannot control: time, cancer, the choices of others.

At twenty-three, I learned the reality and repercussions of the choices we choose to make, the price of momentary desires.

At twenty-four, I learned some things are never meant to be reconciled: perhaps it's not whether someone else will forgive you for your actions, but rather if you can forgive yourself.

At twenty-five, I learned there's no shortage of dreamers, but those who choose to pursue those dreams are few. And those who choose to muddle on in pursuit, even after time and trials fail, are even further between.

At twenty-six, I learned people will often tell you, sometimes settling is the only option, and sometimes, there's nothing you can do to right a wrong, and sometimes, people won't forgive you, and sometimes, you will forget that you wanted more out of this life, out of the people you adore, and you'll settle for merely what everyone's told you is possible, and not what you know is possible.

Suffering from a delayed reaction on life, consistently romanticizing the past, disaffected with the future and an inability to care for the present.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Facebook was being annoying, and it made all of my tagged photos viewable to everyone. So, in an attempt to figure out how to fix that, I ended up going back down memory lane. And though I know now, it's been two years since we left, two years since I've had to readjust to 'real life', and though most days, I don't think about Italy anymore, sometimes, on nights like this one, when I'll come across a photograph, or a moment I'd forgotten, I find, I miss the city, and I miss you, as if it were yesterday.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"So what if I didn't have a girlfriend? Would it be different?"

We'd noticed him. Picked through the guys, noting the cute ones, calling dibs, as if we were younger than we were. Of course, the good one, the one we didn't notice till later 'cause he didn't say much, only smiling on occasion, was often wrapped up on the phone with his girlfriend.  

Some people think nothing good happens after 2 a.m., I think, sometimes the most interesting things happen in the depth of night, whether we're inebriated or not, there's something about the late hours that sometimes makes us do things we wouldn't otherwise do. "I don't even know you," he'd said, as if that fact had just occurred to him, midway through his speech on how we should be together. We were standing in the kitchen, and he was still talking, spilling details, thoughts, he'd probably groan about in the morning. I couldn't really believe what I was hearing, or that this was actually happening. "Say this to me again, when you're not drunk." "I know you keep saying I'm drunk, but I'm not," he said, explaining the last beer he had was at some odd hour, but he was because he never spoke that much, and I couldn't figure out how he'd gotten here. A fight with the girlfriend? One too many shots? "Okay, say that I am drunk, and I know people would say differently, but it's then, when people are the most honest, when they say how they really feel." And on other occasion, I'd given that exact same speech. But now, I knew better. Sure, we may say exactly what we feel, in that moment, or what we may have been thinking, a thought that once crossed our minds, exacerbated by the liquor, the booze, but if we can't act on those feelings, thoughts in the sober light of day, then they don't really hold any weight. Unless, we're living our lives drunk. "So what if I didn't have a girlfriend? Would it be different?" Rule #7 Don't get into an affair with a man who's already taken. Especially if you're insecure to begin with because even if you 'win' him in the end, you'll end up wondering through the course of your relationship if he really will be faithful to you. "I was surprised when they said you were Viet." He'd paid attention. He'd kissed me on the forehead. And I wondered, why guys did that. And in the sober light of day, none of it stuck, but for that moment, even though it was in inebriation, I'm not sure I've ever had someone so insistent, in that way, to be with me, when he didn't even know me. And maybe it meant nothing, maybe it was only a passing thought he once had, but I thank you, anyway.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

don't be fooled

Miguel: you're psychologically insane.

Mike: kim i feel like in real life you are a much more upbeat person
Mike: and for some reason online you are as blue as they come

Monday, September 12, 2011

on parents and adulthood

K: my dad was arrested last week.
C: my dad could have been arrested last week too! why was he?
K: cause he was out drinking ....but he was waiting outside fro my mom to pick him up. and he was drunk. so cops asked him questions i guess... and he didn't cooperate so they arrested him. for drunk in public, resisiting arrest AND threatening to kill an officer. i was like DAD serously
he was like 'i was drunk'
C: my dad could have been arrested because he went to abar on a THURSDAY night.. got so drunk that he called my sister to pick him up, and she found in lying on the ground in the middle of a parking lot
K: you would think. in their adult age. is that going to be us in 25 years
C: i hope not. you'd think we could get a grasp on how to drink responsibly by then. probably not though. i wonder if i will ever procreate.
K: hahahah
i have such small hips
i dont know how i'll get one out
and then raising it
i can't even raise myself
we're so poor
how would we find enough money
we'd have to put it in a box house

Why we're friends.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

in the depth of summer

We were talking today, in the car, after getting froyo outdoors at some late night place open by the university in town. Everyone there was home for the summer or at summer school. College kids. High school kids. Kids. We're not kids anymore. Too much has happened.

And we got to thinking, another summer, endless goodbyes. Summers always seemed to be about letting go, either the beginning of an end, goodbyes, or knowing an end would arrive soon enough, when autumn arrived.

And I got to thinking, '03 was a good one. It was the summer after high school, when we didn't know better. We used to stay up late, never go home, break into pools, light illegal fireworks, drive around town simply 'cause we could, cause we could afford it, before the price of gas mattered, that summer was hot, sticky, and we created friendships we never bothered to because it was going to be an end, to the life we'd known in our youth.

And then I remembered the summer of '08, when I met you. And we'd be on the phone most nights, in the depth of July. You were so frustrated with me.
If you miss me, then say that you miss me. But if you don't like me, don't say those things to me.
And I didn't have a reply then.

I was in the car with my cousin's husband the other week. And he asked me, why didn't it work out, how did I know? And I replied, it was just a feeling. And he said, that's such a girl answer. 'Cause guys always could list reasons. A guy friend of mine once had a slew of reasons why he'd broken up with the latest girl — she was messy, dirty, crazy, young, really he couldn't believe what a slob she was, she was still in undergrad after all, couldn't really blame her for the morning after, weekend from before beer cans littering the trash can, the kitchen counter.

Anyway, what that guy, that summer, had said to me, resonated. He'd noted that I was stubborn, and I refused often, to simply say how I felt.

And I'd sent him home that summer, left him at an airport terminal, got in my car, and sobbed all the way home. And I promised myself, I would never hurt anyone again. I mean, in retrospect, it was probably more so his pride that I'd hurt. He should've known better — fly halfway across the country to be with a girl he barely knew. That's nuts, isn't it?

At 26 years old, and I'm still astonished when a guy decides he's taken a liking to me. Not because I'm not wonderful, but because I often feel they make that judgment before actually getting to know me. But then again, I only feel a very small fraction of people actually get me.

It'd just be easier, easier on me, if it was my feelings that got hurt, if it was my heart that was breaking because I can handle that. I know how to do that. I know how to get over someone, and I know how to let them back in my life when the storm's passed. But one of the worst things in this life, is hurting someone else. So I don't know how that story goes. It's the part I have no control over.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I'm sorry I couldn't love you the way you wanted me to.

You were stupid enough to believe the way I felt would change. But you knew better.

I was stupid enough to believe you had the strength to really be my friend. But I knew better.

And so. Here we are.

And at the end of it, I miss you. But that's worth nothing. I know.

Friday, June 24, 2011

"I think you are fascinating and nice to be around (on the Internet and IRL), and I'd like to see you do well and be happy." - M.R.

Bon Iver

Mike: it's killer
Mike: it's draining
Mike: soul-crushing
Mike: and sometimes you look up from the computer screen
Mike: and you feel like this is it
Mike: nothing comes after this
Mike: like you will do [the job], and then you will be homeless, and then you will die
Kim Chi: not unless i die tomorrow
Mike: then you'll skip the homeless part
Mike: we understand each other, right?
Mike: this is not the end!
Mike: many interesting things will happen to you
Mike: before you die
Mike: assuming you don't die tomorrow

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

i regret nothing

"I was an English major, now I'm working doubles."

eight months since graduation. eight months. they say the average unemployment time is six. i've surpassed that. and how is that so?

what are you doing here? they ask. working doubles at a pizzeria. at twenty-six, with two master's degrees. and i can't really say why, except for the fact that i'm broke.

what did you study? they ask. and i have to pause, to collect my thoughts, undergrad feels like lifetimes ago, and in some ways, it was. english, political science, another poli sci degree, european union policy, communication, journalism and public affairs. the affairs of the public. and i've found i'm very comfortable these days in new situations, new people.

the past few months, i've been wondering if it was all worth it. if going on this seemingly haphazard (but trust me, there was always a direction) was worth the price that i'm paying now, and will pay for decades to come. and i think about it sometimes, what if i'd been an accountant. i'd probably have a job by now, i would've been working for at least two years by now, i probably wouldn't have the massive student loans that i have now. and i wonder this because, i go on these job interviews, and at twenty-six, i've never held a 'real life' full time job, so they quote me at a lower pay, because i have no 'experience.' but how does one define experience? having sat at some job, for the purpose of having a job, to have committed to a city, a town, a desk for 3 years? so in that respect, that was what my worth was judged upon.

and i think, if i died tomorrow, if that was it for me, i'd be okay because i have no regrets, because i've managed to live my life right by myself, because i don't have any 'what if's, because up until this point, i've taken every chance i've had, and because i still haven't given up. and in that respect, it's okay that i'm twenty-six years old and seating patrons at a pizzeria, and it's okay that i temp at random offices, answering phones, picking up lunch, emptying dishwashers, making coffee, punching holes, binding documents, looking up trash cans to purchase, managing calenders and refilling coffee beans.

because when the time is right, when the job is right, when that one interview will finally work out, it'll happen.

and i'd rather be here, in this moment, doing what i'm doing, than to have never done what i've done.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

...I guess this would apply all across the board. All those I once had friendships with, and those events that transpired over late night conversation, the manner of ease in banter levied with subtext, but momentary leaps, without heart, don't really stand a chance against daylight, do they?

What's worth more? Because there's that line, and once you cross it, nothing's ever the same. And I often wonder, why we sometimes believe we have feelings for someone, but as soon as they're acted upon, it's as if they were never quite real to begin with.

We're creatures of habit, in grade school, you have your desk, even when it's unlabeled, we bristle when someone has decided they'd rather sit where you usually sit. And so in life, we often make decisions out of habit, even when they're mistakes. So sometimes we repeat the same mistakes, simply hoping that this time around, things will be different. But they never really are, are they?

I've been trying my whole life to live it right, to do right by myself, to do right by others. And I've messed up countless times, forgetting that sometimes boundaries matter, and a seemingly necessary selfishness must be weighed against what it's worth.

We right our wrongs, and we move on. Sometimes there's nothing else we can do.

But note: I don't believe in mistakes. Things just happen sometimes. Can't say it was right. But everything happens for a reason.
i often can't believe how fast time passes. and how much happens. a reminder that you do eventually get over everything, sometimes old friends and old lovers simply become people you used to know, and somehow it's okay. except for the few moments when i just can't help but miss everyone and every place i used to love so deeply.

Monday, March 21, 2011

-i said, i actually wish it had never happened. wasn't worth it.
-you said, really?? everything happens for a reason.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

-"it's not going to be easy."
-"i don't need easy. i just need possible."

Monday, March 14, 2011

This city can be suffocating, wounding, in its memories, its countenance, the way it knows me, but I can't say I love any other more.

I wrote you a letter today. I didn't have paper, there was a long layover, so I wrote it out on napkins, stolen from Starbucks. And I was going to give it to you, or read a version of it to you, these things I should've said before. And then I thought, maybe tomorrow, not tonight. And then I landed, and I thought, maybe it's better I didn't say anything at all. But it's here, written out. For when I find the courage again.

Friday, March 11, 2011

i'm a romantic. i'm a deep romantic.

i feel too much.

i scoff at the color pink, flowers, frills and dates. but all i want is for a guy to take me on a real date, a real one, the whole nine yards, the kind of evening he really had to think about. i'm independent, strong-minded, strong-willed and opinionated, but i want someone who'll want to take care of me, who will never let me pay, who has his own opinions, but gets where i'm coming from.

this journal i keep. aside from cataloguing my sanity, is mostly a book about every man that's ever had an affect on my life. and i'm not sure if that's sad or what. but that's what it is.

for at the end of this life, it's the people who've made a difference, who've taught us lessons, that matter.

i have to stop settling for less.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

this years love had better last, heaven knows it's high time, i've been waiting, on my own, too long

there are the kind of secrets that bind us, that create trust, love, from which real friendships form, and then there are the kind of secrets that tear us apart, that in their dishonesty breed distrust, to the point that we forget what was good and what was of worth.

and i was willing to wash my hands of it. to deal with the consequences. i believe i was willing to give up what i was protecting. i thought, i actually thought, maybe, maybe it was worth it, you were worth it.

"you had to have known this was going to happen. or did you think it would end differently?"

you had to have known, she kept saying. i had to have known. it was just, i hoped it'd be different this time. i guess i should've gone into it differently. i never think. i just have this habit of leaping.

at this age, you have to ask questions, at this age, you can't just go with the flow because that's when people get hurt because at this age, everything matters. there's just not enough time, like before, when we were younger. because if we're not getting somewhere, then we're just wasting time now.

i'd hate to say it was a waste of time. i'd hate to say it that way. i wish there'd been a different ending. but it never would've worked. because it was dishonest.

and was i really willing to give up what i had?

but on another note. she said, the crazy stays. that's just what happens to us when we have something on the line, when we have something to lose. and the thing is, we're just supposed to find someone who'll love us, for the crazy and all.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option."- Mark Twain

I get crazy, you know? That's how I've always been able to tell that I like a guy, that I'm in trouble. I start to feel the insecurity, the jealousy, the crazy brewing just beneath the surface. The crazy that no one likes, the crazy that I hate myself for falling into. And I hate myself that way so much that if it doesn't freak them out, if it doesn't chase them away, well, I figure out how to leave myself. I figure a way out somehow because I hate the crazy. But I just don't know how to make myself not be that way. I know how to catch a guy. It's easy. I'm completely myself, and I'm confident and I say what I think and I don't give a crap if they care or not, but the second I start to realize I have something to lose, I just end up losing myself.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"I've become a real believer in not defining every single thing. Seems like every time you think you've figured out what something is, it just becomes something else."

For the record. Felicity and Grey's Anatomy have the best television script writers of all time.

blue skies, broken hearts

"Sometimes we expect more from others because we would be willing to do that much for them."

I don't know where this quote originated from, but there are about 30,000 people liking it on Facebook currently.

We were sitting in my room a few weeks ago, having one of those conversations that would either be the end of us or would mend what had been broken. Thankfully, we're on the road toward mending, but she'd spoken of expectations, and how she'd learned not to expect things out of people. That way everything was under your own control, and I guess, you wouldn't blame others or resent others for when things didn't go as you'd thought they would. That way you'd hold yourself accountable. It makes sense.

I've always been a fairly good friend. Despite my faults. I'm the kind of person who'll wake up at 3 a.m. to help a drunk friend in the house, or pick you up from D.C., the kind of friend who'd pick you up from the airport so you wouldn't have to take public transportation, the kind of friend who'll try to bake you cookies even though they suck or listen to you cry over an ex-boyfriend time and time again. And so, I've always expected the same out of the people who I choose to be in my life, the people whom I proudly call my friends. And trust me, I choose them carefully. And I'm aware, we choose our friends, knowing what we're getting into, knowing how they are, what they're capable of, and the kind of friend they're able to be.

But it's still sad sometimes, really sad, when you realize, as much as you love them, you're just no longer okay with that much less than you'd give.
story goes she got me cookies on sunday...
ann: but they are hard now
me: well i like hard ones. are they stale. this makes me so sad. try it. is it stale? i can eat hard cookies. this sounds relaly pathetic.
ann: yea its hard as a rock
me: sigh
ann: Haha. ill bake some cookies for you tomorrow!
me: oh. to what do i owe this wonderful event.
ann: bc we are friends

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"We have to make our own mistakes. We have to learn our own lessons. We have to sweep today's possibility under tomorrow's rug until we can't anymore, until we finally understand for ourselves what Benjamin Franklin meant. That knowing is better than wondering, that waking is better than sleeping. And that even the biggest failure, even the worst most intractable mistake beats the hell out of never trying."

Monday, February 7, 2011

There's that point where you realize your parents are just people, flawed in ways you never recognized, and then there's that point where you grow up and come to admire their strength through every pain and are thankful for every sacrifice.