Wednesday, December 16. 2015
For this final post, T.B.L.O.s, I recorded an audio version as well. It’s from January 2015, so a couple of the dates in the written post don’t match what you’ll hear. But if you’d rather listen to a post than read it – if you’re the kind of person who wants to do homework while they’re stuck in traffic – then here it is, in four consecutive 8-minute chunks, if you’d like to listen. They are slighty mis-edited: listen to them in sequence and the last two seconds of each are the same as the first two seconds of the next.
Part 1 of 4
Part 2 of 4
Part 3 of 4
Part 4 of 4
Please read this week’s entry, as posted here: …And Just ‘Cause He’s Gone…
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There's a line in the comic Pearls Before Swine which says something along the lines of, “One day we will all die. But then again, on all the other days, we won’t.” As humans we recognize the importance of death because to us life is the only thing we've ever known. The fleeting nature of our lives is what makes us appreciate it all the more. If we knew when we died there's no denying that we’d be exponentially more productive in the time before that date. It's reminiscent of a quote from the movie Fight Club, which reads “This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time.” That's not a scary thing, that's not an indictment on the way we should live our lives, but advice to cherish and to make the most of it. What is a productive life? Who quantifies that? Is it up to society to dictate your own legacy or is it your personal perception of what you have accomplished? Too many of us worry about how we are perceived when we leave this earth and yet we all forget that we will never know because we will long be gone by that point. All that remains important this is for you to believe that you have made a difference. A legacy is not for the dead. Rather a legacy is for the living to remember someone by. It is a human coping mechanism to feel the need to take down a person's accomplishments so that we can remember them and yet no dead person has this need. With the exception of perhaps Nearly Headless Nick in the Harry Potter series, no person celebrates that saddest day. No celebration of life past your death. You remember and you remember and then you remember less. That's how human life begins and ends. It is, in essence, the human circle of life - not in having a beating heart or blinking eyes but in society, within the context of how you are remembered and what you mean to other people.
Jesus Christ continues to remind us how to live our lives in the face of imminent danger and death. When He came down to earth to save us from our sins, He knew that one day He would be betrayed and crucified. And yet He continues to carry on the purpose He was meant to have. He never altered his game plan or His beliefs rather keep planned in advance for the end He knew was near. Had he not had this admirable attitude towards human life, the religion of Christianity as we know it today would be severely lacking. The obvious response to this is to say that as the Son of God, Jesus was unlike the rest of us. But in coming down to this planet He was as human and as fleshly as the rest of us. Sinless, yes, but not infallible, merely efficient in utilizing the limited lifespan He had.
But think about our parents, and the sacrifice they made. They realized that they might never become rock stars or professional athletes or Nobel Prize winners. What they realized was that their legacy was not defined by anyone other themselves, and perhaps maybe their offspring. Legacy is not just defined by yourself. But it is important to remember that legacy has to be defined by the people who matter. To us, their kids, who are enjoying a better life because of their sacrifice, their legacy is well intact. Just because so many immigrants make the same choice should not diminish the legacy or importance of that choice. The American Dream is no less alive today than it was when the Pilgrims first came over to escape religious persecution. Their legacy remains intact. After all, we still celebrate Thanksgiving and teach it to our elementary schoolers. Why should the same choice made by our parents be any less celebrated or commended? At its very core, it’s the exact same thing.
I like how you incorporated the Pearls Before Swine quote because I love reading that comic strip. Your definition of a legacy provides a good base for the rest of your blog. I like how you also used the legacy of Jesus Christ and our parents. One made a difference in the lives of billions while the other made a difference in the lives of hundreds, yet they all have great importance and meaning to us. I like to say that the American Dream is not as alive as before, but I think that that is an argument for another day. Great job and keep it up!
First of all, I really enjoyed your post it was very well-written. You brought up something I found interesting about how legacies are really for the people who are still alive rather than the deceased. I never really looked at it that way, but what you said is so true! Many people seem concerned about their legacy when, really, it won't affect them at all. They're dead after all.
I really loved your example of how Jesus knew that he would die- yet never changed how he lived. It is a great example of how a person can fully utilize life to its fullest extent.
Thanks for the awesome post!
I love Pearls before Swine and that was a great reference to the comic strip. It has always been funny but revealed great insight on the world. The Jesus Christ introduction was added so quickly without a transition, yet it had great significance to your work. I think you are normally the first to write to the blog, so I always get to see your work. Nice Job!
I”ve disappointed many people in my life. I don’t ever recall a time where I done better than I was expected. I simply do what is expected or less. Whether it be my parents, my peers, or even my friends, I’ve disappointed them countless of times. I understand the feeling perfectly well. At some point, you just kind of want to stop trying.
I think everyone has a facade whether they realize it or not. The facade I wear in class differs greatly to my various groups of friends and towards my family members. It’s something I wear to fit in with the people I’m with and to feel that I belong. At school, I’m quiet, reserved, shy, and try to stay invisible as much as possible. At home, I’m cranky, moody, and sometimes really loud. The different people I hang out with I would also act differently. For my closer friends, I become loud, obnoxious, and even crazy. For the people I admire but don’t know as well, I try to be as interesting, cute and as likeable as much as possible. I don’t particularly like these faces of mine because it messes with my identity. At some point, I put on the facade so often, I’ll lose my true self so I try really hard to just hang with people that makes me, me.
When someone dies, the first emotion everyone feels is sadness, or it’s supposed to be. But sometimes it different. There are times when people become happy because that person died because they might have been a terrible person alive. At times, people are happy for a whole other reason because they know that the person they love finally found the peace they couldn’t find when they were alive. If Beowulf were to fall, many people will mourn without a doubt. But it’s not particularly bad either because he’ll be forever remember as someone noble. Even if he dies, he lives in the memory of others and that’s all that really matters.
When I lose something, I never react well. I usually cry and have mental breakdowns since it’s also a way of grieving. When I grieve, it’s usually a sign of weakness because I don’t like showing my weak sides to people but it’s also a way to express myself in ways I usually cannot. When I think about the missing opportunities, I don’t feel guilty because it’s already in the past and I just need to make sure I take the opportunities more seriously in the future. As for the opportunities I did take, I’m grateful that I did because even if most of them don’t exactly end well, I”m glad that I at least took the chance to do something different in my life.
I’m scared to analyze the ways I would react when I’m emotionally wounded because my mind is really vulnerable and honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever be ready for it because it’s something that’s expected. If I think too much of the past, I end up dwelling on it and overthinking so many times, I rather move on and not to think too much about. I can only move on and hope that when a situation similar comes up, I’ll react differently from experience.
I think we remember the figures in the past only for what they’ve done and not what they didn’t do or failed at. In many situations, we tend to forget that they are human beings too and are bound to mistakes. But since we hold them in such a high regard, when they fail, we criticise them when they don’t need to be. I think the people that make history is a person who has left a huge mark in the world that helps the human race to grow as people. I think we rewrite our memories of someone not because it’s out of respect, but because it comes naturally to us. They simply can’t change the way we remember them because each person views another individual different. If the memories of such a person proves different and wrong, it’s not our fault but simply how they presented themselves when they were alive.
I would rather hold idyllic memories of a person because it’s all they are left. Simply remembering the bad aspects of a person way after they are dead is sad and not worth. Those emotions shouldn’t be present anymore because the person no longer exists. Instead, for the sake of myself and the individual that died, I want to remember them and smile of all the little happy moments we have. If I remember everything about them, including their bad side, I won’t be any happier. There’s no point in holding a grudge at that point.
I’m not perfect and I’m pretty sure there are some people in this world that will come to be happy of my death or won’t even care. I think the only thing that matters to me is that at least in some point of my life, whether it be my family, my friends, or the acquaintances around me, I want to be remembered fondly to at least one person in this world. I want them to remember me as someone who failed, laugh, cried, and lived life to the fullest. It’s the only thing that really matters.
I am afraid to lose the ones I love because I haven’t gave my fullest to them yet. But everything in this world is temporarily, including me. So instead of being scared of losing someone I love, I rather spend that short remaining time period I have with them to the fullest and without any regrets. It’s only then do I not fear death. To me, love helps me overcomes many things. It brings me pain burden at time,but it's also the one thing that keeps me going.
Hi, Larrisa! I really enjoy reading your blog. Just like you, I am also not ready to lose my loved ones because I haven’t given my fullest to them. On the news, they never talk bad things about people who are gone and I agree with you that people should just remember great things about them rather than bad things since it’s just sad and not worth it. We both share the same opinion but you wrote it with more efficiently i did! haha!
Hi Larissa! In your post, you mentioned about not being ready to lose your loved ones because you haven't given them your fullest. Honestly, I don't think we will ever be. No matter how well you've treated someone, you will never be ready to see them leave because they hold a very dear place in your heart. When someone close to us passes away, we tend to think towards all the things we couldn't do for them or for some, just spending time with them. Instead, we should continue to treasure those precious memories and move on, no matter how hard it may be.
Hi Mary, Thank you for reading my blog! I really agree with you when you said that we should treasure the memories we made with the people we love and move on. It brings a really good point when you said we can't really ever be ready for the death of a loved one since we do love them afterall. But I think the grief will lessen if we made sure we made the best possible memories with them too! Of course it'll still be sad and we'll cry, but I know that at least I was able to give them the best memories up until the moment they die.
I think it's normal to feel like you're subpar and never exceed the expectations of others. I definitely feel that in my family life, especially with the pressures of college apps and trying to get financial aid, etc. I used to let the pressure get to me, but at some point, I realized that if I don't take charge of my life for myself, I will be constantly succumbing to the desires of others and never feel truly content with myself.
I didn't really see the connection between the facades you talked about and grief and the rest of your blog post, but I thought you brought up many good points.
The end of your blog is a good reminder that life is futile and we never know what day might be our last! Keep up the good work.
Hi Micaela, Thank you for reading my blog!! While I was writing the entry for this, I think I paid too much attention on answering the questions asked at the end of the blog instead of writing about my opinion on the topic as a whole so I agree with you that I could have done better. If I could do this blog again, I would definitely make sure to address the topic more properly! Thank you for your feedback.
I can remember the exact day when it happened and where it happened.
On May 10, 2014, I went home happily knowing that I got an ‘A’ on my English test. Few minutes later, I got a call from someone across the globe.
That gut-wrenching, numb, and spacious feeling spreaded all over my body. All of the sudden, time froze as if the world has ended. My heart shattered to pieces. I received a phone call notifying me that my grandpa has died. At that moment, I could not process everything at once, and I thought it was all a joke. However, as time passed by and I was forced to face reality, life struck me like a thunderbolt. Afterwards, I started to reminisce about the past I had with him and I just could not help but cry. To me, especially since this was my first loss, I really did not know how to deal with the situation. I believe that although I did lament about his passing, my grief is a sign of strength because I only thought of happy memories with him. Also, it is very honorable because I will remember the great things he's done for me and my family.
In a way, there was no change I could accomplish in order to spend more time with my grandpa since he lived in Taiwan. For this reason, yes I do feel guilty about not appreciating his presence during a young age, but I do not sorrow about “missed opportunities” because it would make me sad if I thought this way with everyone I loved. I believe filling myself with only good thoughts will encourage me to look at life and the ending of life in a brighter and happier way. By doing this, I can appreciate more and not grieve about the little things that can ruin my mood or anyone around me. My grandpa’s last words were, “Don’t worry about me. I will be fine.” From his words, I know that he will be okay. I will always remember him as the man who would stand up for the weak and sacrifice anything and everything for his family. I am truly thankful for all the memories I was able to have with my grandpa. He was a great man and I remember the times he would teach my brother and I how to draw a piglet. Wow! He was great and I do very much miss him. I hope he is doing well wherever he is right now!
How would you like people to remember you – at your best, or as you are? Will history remember you more favorably or negatively than you deserve?
If I die one day, I would want the people that I don’t know very well to remember me at my best. Whereas for my family and friends that I know very well, I want them to remember my good and bad qualities. Mostly because I would want to be perceived in a honorable and inspirational way to kids and adults alike. As for my friends, I would want them to remember me as I am because the good and bad qualities that I have would bring back the memories we share. Not only that, my qualities makes me more unique and memorable. I would like my family to remember me like how I want my friends to. My friends are like my family and vice versa. They are the ones who know me best and the ones who I share most of my life with.
Hopefully, the people who I admire or who admire me will respect my wishes. How they feel towards me is not under my control, but I believe that I have not done anything to upset them to an extent where they would view me negatively after I’ve passed.
Hey Rachel, your blog is amazing! Your descriptive words convey so much emotion and meaning. It don’t think that it’s easy to tell such a personal story, so thank you for sharing and sorry for your loss. And just like you, I also hope that people remember me at my best after I pass. Happy memories are worth cherishing, bad memories should be thrown out. And it’s to nice to see that you’ve found a positive way to remember your grandpa.
Hey Rachel I find it remarkable of how descriptive your blog is very deep with your personal story into this response. Sadly I had this kind of situation happened to me to with my Aunt passed away from breast cancer and having that sorrow hurtful into my heart.
Hi, Rachel! I am sorry to hear the sadness. However, it is a good sharing to me. At least you still remember how your grandpa give you some happy moment. When my grandpa passed away, the only thing I can remember is he always give me HKD500 whenever I saw him. I did not really stay in touch with my grandpa so much. By the way, I like your point in the last two paragraphs. I would also want my family and my friends remember my good after I died. If they also remember something bad about me, I will be fine too, because sometimes our bad things make us stand out from others.
Wow- your descriptions in your first paragraph were AMAZING! I felt like I could understand the emotions you were feeling and your situation came to life. I love how honest you were being in your post. It’s really difficult to put something so personal out there so I really appreciate your honesty here.
Hey Rachel, I really love your response, but first of all, I am going to say sorry for your loss. I have a very similar experience that my grandma died in my younger ages. I felt really sad about those “missed opportunities”, but I will only appreciate more of life and the people who I love that are still around me. And like you, if I died one day, I would like my friends and family to remember me as who I am because they are the people who I share everything with.
First of all, that was great blog response. I just wanted to say two things. First, you may feel regret that you couldn't spend time with your grandpa but you had no option. He lived across the world. You didn't have the option to spend more time with him. You shouldn't feel guilty, you should remember the good times you spent with him. Second, I have to disagree with what you said about people remembering you at your best. Everyone's best is all good and all but your best isn't you you actually are. Who you are all the time tells the people the real you. The real you is how you should be remembered.
(Sadness). (Loss). (Grief).
In my opinion, grief and sadness is the most difficult feelings to deal with because when you experience these feelings, they seem to control you and in most cases, control your actions in negative ways.
Back in 2008 when my grandpa died, I didn't shed a single tear at the funeral, hospital, or at home after everything was done. It wasn't that I wasn't sad or anything, after all it was the first time I had been able to realize that someone close to me had died. It was that because of that fact that it was my first time being able to be aware that someone close to me had died and I was too sad to cry. I felt so empty and couldn't comprehend the fact that I was never going to see my grandpa again. I would never be able to hug him, see him smile and smile right back at him, and talk to him about my problems. Even now, it's hard for me to think of a worse feeling that being aware and realizing that someone close to you has passed away.
I believe that grief is a sign of strength, not weakness. Feeling grief over the loss of something is one of the most humane actions a person can perform. Being able to have the courage and feelings to feel sadness for the loss of something is pretty hard to muster up and just show others. Not everyone is able to feel comfortable showing people all of the different sides they possess. An example is the loss of a pet or someone close to you. In my opinion, I think it is a very honorable thing to be able to settle down and actually feel grief for another being. It shows that we still have a civil and humane part to us and not just savages trying to survive in the most comfortable way possible. Also, being able to feel grief and sadness has taught me to treasure the happiness that I have experienced in my life and not take those moments for granted.
Under this all, through thick and thin, from all the experiences I've had with the people around me so far, from bad to great experiences, I'm way more scared of losing them over the fear of them losing me. A question that was asked in the beginning of the year was "If you could live forever, would you?" And my answer is no because although many can argue the fact that you can always just make new friends, travel, have millions of chances to start over again, and a bunch of other great bonuses; I'd still rather be only able to live one lifetime. The way I see it is that the feeling that you would have to experience from losing so many close ones is not worth living forever and having countless opportunities to do what you want in life. I believe that having a certain amount of time in life is the great beauty of it, and overall, both sadness and happiness should be feelings that people should treasure and not take for granted.
Hey Michael! I really enjoy reading your blog. I'm so glad that you are staying strong after all that has happened. I very much agree with you that grief and sadness is the most difficult feeling to deal with. Not only that, I also agree with your justification that grief is a sign of strength. Recently, my grandpa has passed as well and it was pretty hard for me. I very much understand how you feel. Overall, I think you did a great job on your blog and I am lookimg forward to reading more from you in the future.
Thank you Michael for sharing about the loss of your grandpa. I haven’t experienced a loss of any of my loved ones yet, so I do not know how it truly feels. I agree with your point about showing grief is a strength not a weakness. Many people are too shy or scared to show their tears or sadness because they think people will think less of them for doing that, which is not true at all.
Hey Michael, thanks for sharing your personal story. I agree that grief is not a weakness, but a sign that you are a person with empathy. Having the courage to cry in front of others is not a bad thing, it make others more aware of who you are. And similar to you, I would also not choose to live forever because constantly facing the loss of your loved ones is not pleasant. Nice job overall.
Hi Michael! thx to share your personal story:) I felt a grief too when I was alone and there was no one to care about me. I thought a grief made me to weak, but it made me strong to overcome other bad things! I sympathy what you are talking about!
MICHAEL LUM WITH THE BATTERIESSSSSS
Thank you Michael for sharing such a personal and deep story with us. Although the story did make the blog seem more depressing, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. I’m glad to see you overcome that sad moment in life and use it to your advantage to help you become a better person in life. Great post! LUM MICHAEL CON LAS BATERíAS
Good job Michael! I totally agree with you that grief is a sign of strength, not weakness. Feeling grief towards our loss is just a way to show our emotions and a humane part of us. It also teach us how to treasure our life and be happy. What’s more, my response to that question you brought up will be the same as yours. I believe that having a limited amount of time can make us treasure more of the beauty of life.
When I was very little, I could not recognize this world. People are so different in my eyes to saw, they even looks like different creature cause scheming. I am not the person who will deliberately plan to stay close to you on bad purpose or what. But I know that there are many people surround me or my friends are doing it, we just know,but we don’t say. Since I know and talked with more people in my life’s experience, I understand something like you should use different ways to communicate with different people and solve different problems. For the sake of someone else’s situation, what you need to do is learn more and more. I don’t like to build different one of myself to facing others, but in another way to say is, I have to.
I said that I really hate the person who going that way, but I am doing it. I heard many people gave their comments to these guys are really fake and dishonestly. Though I know how did others look at this question probably gonna keep a unsupport attitude and it is hard to explain why, this is kind of way we choose to “protect” ourselves. And it also kind of way to avoid the loss in our life…… I am a kid who is afraid of to lose something that important to me, cause I am also afraid of that I don’t have enough abilities of myself can get what I lost back. So what can I do is just try my best to avoid it happen, but it should happen sometimes. Mentality is the big problem to solve if the loss came to you pretty quick, and mentality is relate to the attitude.
“Loss” including many like your family and other qualities. When someone dies, you will feel sad or not depends on who is this person and how did he or she died. There are a huge numbers of people dying all over the world every single day and how impossible we will feels sad cause by everyone of them. To avoid feeling sad, is another way to avoid grief. I know that life won’t all full of happiness and joyful stuff, but no one really wants to let sadness join in our world…… I will always consider my grief as my weakness cause it can really show others that your weak side. And just because it had gone of my hope and future.
I really love your honesty and straightforward. You said “ I know that there are many people surround me or my friends are doing it, we just know,but we don’t say.” in your post, which directly told what is exactly happening. It can also show your personality. Thank you!
Thank you for your sharing. Life’s experience is really important like you mentioned. Communicate with different people. we will learn more than we see. Sometime you have to give up something to get other thing back. I think that’s part of life.
I can understand your emotion that you hate to be different to different people but you have to. When I was a child, my parents even told me that this is way to communicate with different people. Although this way render me easy to make friends, I still want to be same to everyone.
Hi Jinxian. This is Young Un from period 4. Frankly, you have a lot of noticeable grammar mistakes, which is not good to be honest with you. You can work on them, and your writing is good. I really like what you are talking about. I emotionally agree with you. I, too, try to avoid problem as much as possible just because I am not sure if I can get back what I lost these days. I lost one of my best friends. Thank you for sharing your opinion.
I’ve never truly experienced grief until the last couple of months.
I’m fortunate that all of my parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts, are still living. While I’ve had hamsters and fish, that have inevitably deceased, I can’t say I was heartbroken when they passed on. I’ve lost a fair share of friendships, through petty arguments or simply drifting apart, but those losses cannot compare to the loss I feel right now.
I don’t really want to go into detail about the people I am grieving for, because I want to respect their privacy. When I first found out about this, at the onset of our friendship, I was appalled, but a little impartial, not to say that I wasn’t concerned nor empathetic. As our friendship progressed, I noticed that the impartiality and detachment was slowly dwindling away, and I became increasingly affected and influenced by the other person’s grief. I hadn’t realized how much of myself was being overcome by this burden and how much of my perspective on life had changed, for better and worse. I appreciate my parents and friends more, I appreciate teachers and my mentors and mundane things like hot tea on cold days and the pretty purple flowers that grow in the garden of D-hall. Though I definitely do not take advantage of all the privileges of my life, I try to live everyday to the fullest. Today might be your last.
Recently, I’ve become slightly more detached and impartial, because I’ve understood the importance of boundaries on how much empathy and concern I should give to this person. Since this realization, I felt much more liberated from the unnecessary burden I was taking on. I know it is not my responsibility to change the outcome of the situation or the person’s perspective, but to merely be a caring and supportive friend.
In order to grieve, one must be capable of feelings, and capable of showing empathy. Empathy is one of the most important characteristics someone can have, at least in my opinion. Thus, I think grief is a sign of strength and worthy of honor; it can only be felt if you love and care for others before yourself.
Sometimes I want to escape from grief and pain, sometimes it becomes too big a burden to bear. But all of our experiences, good and bad, weave themselves into a bigger picture and can make us better people and live better lives.
Sometimes I wonder about grief and pain. Is it really all that useful? Or is it just a coping mechanism? People always say it's a natural part of loss or whatever, but sometimes it seems like a waste of time. Maybe I'm a cynic. Glad you were able to open up about your personal experience, hope all ends up well. Great work.
“Don’t cry, don’t grieve.” That’s what I always tell myself. There is no time to cry and grieve. Look ahead, the road is still long.
This past monday, I received an email from my early decision school. I got rejected. I didn’t shed a single tear, nor did I feel any sadness. When my friends heard the story, they all asked if I was okay. Of course I was, sadness never gets in the way of my life.
That’s when one of my closest friend asked, “Why are you smiling and laughing? Shouldn’t you be crying or something?” I wished I had time to cry and I wished I had time to mourn over my failure. Oh! How I wish I could just take a month off from school to feel disappointed and ashamed of myself. But life continues on, even when you’re feeling lost and upset. What good do tears and grievings do anyway? It definitely isn’t going to get me into college, nor would it make me feel any better. So why cry? Why grieve?
I know many people will experience what I have just experienced over the next couple of months, and I say with a sincere heart that it will be okay. When a door closes in your life, other doors open. You just have to forget about the past and find these doors, find these opportunities in life. But make sure to get through the door this time.
Yeah, I know Feraco said going to a different college will lead a different path and life in the future. But who knows which path you’ll find the most happiness? Maybe the girls at Cal State Long Beach look a lot better in swimsuits than girls from Harvard (no offense Harvard), or maybe the guys are a lot friendlier. Maybe you’ll find something you’re passionate about when you’re at UC Riverside that you wouldn’t have found if you were at NYU. The thing is: you never know what’s going to happen. So don’t worry about all the colleges you didn’t get into, there is always a place for you in this world.
No more tears, no more grief. Go find the door that opened just for you.
I like what you said that, “Go find the just opened for you.” Life is like it, you might meet many problems and you might stay in many troubles.But there is also no reason for us to grieve and feels sad. God will create your own way to keep going and what all you need to do is just to find in and enter it.
Hi Kevin, I like your optimistic perspective on life I think that is the most important thing to have in this world is positivity, that is the key to success.. you can’t just sit there crying and grieving you have to be positive and focus on what lays ahead. Nice job I really enjoyed reading your work!
I can really feel for this person because I have failed many times in my life and at one point of my life it felt normal and with no pain or regret. I fortunately last week got accepted to my third choice School and I was surprised that I got in even though I knew that I didn’t have a great chance as other. The pressure was relieved ,but I mind still kept telling me that I will get rejected and that life keeps going after. Maybe things happen for a reason maybe that one school is the only school that accepted me or maybe I decide to go to community college I really won't know until may. But until then I must see my options and work harder. The truth to me happiness still awaits to be revealed in due time.
Hey Yi Kai, Sorry that you got rejected from your school, but hopefully the other schools that you applied to take you in. I'm glad that you don't let sadness easily get in the way of your life and I personally think that is a great trait that not everyone has. I think you are very strong in the fact that you can move on normally without letting the grief of rejection get in your way and allowing yourself to move on with your life and onto bigger and better things. Having that perseverance is a huge bonus to have in the future because it will matter a lot when you are usually going to have to do things yourself and not have people like your parents babysit over you. Overall this was a great read and I hope to be able to read more from you in the future!
I really connected to what you said here. I also have an optimistic point of view, if you fail this time, then try again and do your best. I like your use of doors, "when one closes, another one opens." Your message is really reassuring and comforting, life flows on even when you are sad, so why be sad and waste precious time? Good job.
I agree with you. Time passes by fast and we should not have time to grief. Instead, we should always be looking and moving forward. Also, I think your attitude in this post will make a lot of other Apaches feel better. Lastly, I hope you find your own door.
Hi Kevin. Your title actually brought me here. I like you being strong as not getting in your dream college, and how to connect your own examples with this blog. I love it when you are talking about pretty girls, and making funny posts. Keep it up!
Hey Kevin, I think that’s a really good perspective to have for that specific situation! Like Alyssa said, super positive and optimistic..not dwelling. There’s no time for that, right? You just wanna move forward. But I think it is okay to take your time to grieve, be sad, upset, whatever it is you are and take your time to heal when it comes to other things. Like relationships, disappointments, and any sort of loss, really. Not saying you don’t but I just think it’s really important that people realize this, you know? Sometimes you just need to take a step back and really let yourself feel whatever it is that you’re feeling instead of trying to distract yourself or focus on the next big thing. Because then that will always be weighing you down, whether you’re consciously aware of it or not. Just a thought.
I agree with you completly. I think you shouldn't look at not being accepted as a rejection at all. I think that you should look at it as a new opprotunity. It is a chance to go to a school. Its a chance to go and experience something different than what you expected. It is a new open door. I think that you have the proper mind set here.
No more tears! No more grief. Thank you for telling me that. No matter what terrible failure you will face in your future, as long as you can remember what you said today, and you will move on with victory tomorrow.
I don’t want to fail, I don't want to disappoint.
Expectations fill a large part of everyone's lives. Parents expect certain things from their kids, bosses expect certain things from their employees, friends expect certain things from other friends, the list goes on and on. It is how the society functions, and those expectations are expected to be met. That is what deems one worthy of living. It is not wrong to have expectations for others, however at one point It becomes hard to meet that certain expectations. Personally I want to meet those expectations that everyone wants from me, but I simply can’t. There are more times I can count where I have failed them outright. It is the worst feeling in the world, there was probably things I could have done to prevent it, but through my actions and decisions… I failed them.
Adaptation is the key to survival. I don’t like the person I have become, but it I became what I am today because the world demanded it from me. Of course I have a different face for different places, and situations. I would not act like how I act with my friends while I’m with my friends or at a job interview. The key is to meet people’s expectations of you. Even among friends my actions and behavior is very different between one group compared to another. Knowing when to be casual or formal, you will get different reactions from people. If it is not your place you do not want to be the one to stand out, and dragging attention towards you.
Choosing to remember my friends and family in a specific way, I would want it to be as accurate as possible. Sometimes it’s for the best to hold a idyllic memory of them in order to hide the flaws and negative events that had happened. But when it comes with the people that you socialize and are with everyday, I think it's for the best to be realistic about it. It’s important to remember them for who they really are and not something they are not. Learning from both their positives and negatives, not only are you being truthful to yourself, you can also take that chance and learn to who you want to become and what traits you don't want to inherit from them. The truth is not always pretty or the most desireable, but being something you will have to live with for the rest of your life it's the right path to follow.
The same thing would apply to how I would want others to remember me. Remember me for who I am.
Admire my Accomplishments
Continue my Legacy
Avoid my Flaws
Don’t make my Mistakes
A nice work and words!You used very briefly sentences and normal way to answering the questions.I like the opinions from you about and how you said that it related to the art and even video games.Good job,Curtis!
Hey Curtis, very nice blog. I agree with your point about remembering people a certain way. It’s so true many times in our lives we lie to ourselves to make a person seem better than they are. We look up to them, and forget their flaws. As a result we sometimes live in their shadows, never truly confronting or challenging them. And you’re right reality isn’t the prettiest thing, it's hard and it can be [tough], but that's the path we all face.
Hi, Curtis. Like you said, people always have expectations for each other. But the fact is people are nor perfect, and they can't make everyone be satisfied with what people did for their expectations. Also, I agree with tour opinion about remembering you a certain way because that what really you are. In the end, it's been a pleasure to read your blog, thank you.
The night had started out fun and light. Card Against Humanity may have made an appearance, bringing uncontrollable laughter. After the laughs and boredom began its inevitable grasp on our joyous evening, we were stumped on what to do next. One thing lead to another and Truth or Dare was now being used as a last attempt to save the night.
The questions and dares were okay, many might say sub-par, but both did their job. After the last daring dare, the truth was the favorable option. We dubbed it “honesty hour”. This was the time to bare it all.
Sitting there, I started to think that sometimes I get stuck in my head and I worry about my perception to people. What did I seem like to them? I got so into that it never occurred to me that my friends had the same exact fear. All of them straight up told me that they withheld things on purpose and that even though we were very close, it was an unanimous agreement that they had some problems that they would never tell me. They explained that they did not want the image I had of them change with the information that they had about themselves.
If this confession came two years ago, I would be pulling my hair out and questioning why did I not have the option to hear some of the problems that they deal with?
That was a different me. I have gained experiences and more of an understanding. I was fine with it. The acceptance of that face was tentative at the start but as they explained themselves more and more it solidified into a confident choice. By not telling me their problems didn’t make them fake. They all considered me as a really close friend and the image I had of them was true. How I saw them was who they are. There really was nothing to worry about. I was fine with their decision. I was terrible at listening to the kind of problems they had because I simply did not understand. They knew that too.
Among the explanations, I got their message. They did not want to burden me and they did not want me to feel like a bad friend because they knew I would not understand.
In realization I said, “You don’t tell me because I am someone close enough where you don’t want me to know.” There was just an agreement then and there.
From then on, I fully grasped at there intention. I replied with something along the lines of I get it. I wasn’t that friend and I will never know someone fully, like 100%. It would be impossible. I would never hold it against them. It isn’t like everything else they shared with me was fake.There was a certain image they wanted me to have of them and I was okay with preserving that for their sake. In addition, I had no qualms about remembering them in that way. I will never ever question the friendship I have with them. I know it is real. Sometimes when you get close to someone, there is a thought that might cross through.
(The thought, “I don’t tell you because I love you more.”)
They had that thought, well maybe not “love” but “like”,as a friend.
Death and tragedy are a natural part of life, but the way we react and respond to it truly defines who we are as people.
In my lifetime, I have been fortunate to have only experienced the deaths of two of my grandparents in terms of my immediate family. My grandfather died when I was really young so I have no remembrance of it, but my grandmother died about 6 months ago...and that one really stung.
I cried. We all cried. Everybody cries when a loved one is lost.
Even though we shed tears, I do not see mourning as a sign of weakness or strength. I see it as something more like a necessity. We have that sinking feeling in our hearts even when a favorite character on a TV show or movie dies, and that feeling is multiplied numerous times when it is a real loved one who is lost. We need to grieve because that is our way of coping. Eventually we get over it, we learn to live life without that person...but that person will always be missed. It is like a blank pixel on your computer screen. It really bothers you in the beginning, but you soon learn to ignore it and all the other pixels help to make the screen whole.
“Do not mourn for the times you did not have with her, but rather celebrate the times you DID have with her.”
This quote came from a movie which I don’t remember the title, but I distinctly remember those words. They came from a pastor who was trying to comfort a mother and father who had just lost their daughter to a drunk driver. I think it is very easy for us to mourn for the missed opportunities that we could have spent with a person, but it is more important for us to be grateful for the time we did have with that person. Why wish for something that will never happen when you can celebrate all that has happened?
This helps demonstrate the fragility of life, that it could be taken away at any moment and never come back. We just need to make sure we cherish all the memories that truly make life worth living.
Hey Michael, really enjoyed your post. Your story was very touching, I can’t imagine how hard it is to lose someone that is close to you. Probably because I have yet to experience that in my life. Time is precious, and one shouldn’t waste it doing something they do not enjoy. People tend to take what they have for granted, and not realize what they have until they lose it. Life is short and fragile, there are millions of ways that our life or the lives of those around us can be taken away, but we shouldn’t live our lives in fear. Instead experience life and live each day like it's your last, leaving behind something others can remember you by.
Hey Michael. This is Young Un Jun from period 4. Thank you for sharing one of your sad moments. I know it’s really hard to pull up something really sad from one’s memory. You said that mourning is not either strength or weakness, but necessity. I think it makes sense that mourning is how we people deal with tragedy. I will really take that advice. Whether it’s a happy stuff or tradedy, I agree with you that we need to cherish all we are experience.
Hey Michael. This is Young Un Jun from period 4. Thank you for sharing one of your sad moments. I know it’s really hard to pull up something really sad from one’s memory. You said that mourning is not either strength or weakness, but necessity. I think it makes sense that mourning is how we people deal with tragedy. I will really take that advice. Whether it’s a happy stuff or tradedy, I agree with you that we need to cherish all we are experience.
I remember the day like it was yesterday.
It was during the summer before my freshman year, and I was taking a Geometry summer class. I woke up and went to school like any other normal day, and I went home like normal. Everything was the same, until my parents came home and told me that they had bad news. They told me that my grandmother had a stroke and was sent to the hospital. I begged my parents to take me and my siblings to go see her in the hospital, but she wanted me to stay home and take care of the rest of my siblings and make sure that they are doing well. I spent the rest of the night with my siblings trying to get them to not worry about anything. The next day I stayed home and waited for my parents to come home with the news. They told me that she had died peacefully. Upon hearing the news, I was too sad to even cry. I had never felt so empty in my life so far (the first time seeing someone close to me die). I regret not going to see her more often. Almost every time I had the opportunity to go see her, I would make an excuse as to not go, because I would have to sit with her and talk to her for hours at a time. I regret not thanking her for taking care of me when my parents weren’t around and not thanking her for teaching me to be the person I am today.
In the first week of school, I remember Mr. Feraco asking us a question “If you could live forever, would you?” At first I said yes thinking of the endless number of opportunities that I would be able to have. I could experience so many different things in life, and I would never have to worry about death. I would never have to worry about not having enough time to do the things I want to do before I die. No need for a bucket list. (No need for the future blog post about the bucket list LOL) However, after thinking more closely about what actually living forever, I would not choose to live forever. Even though I would have to experience death, I would still have to experience the death of the loved ones around me. I would also not have a reason to live. I would never need to hurry or rush. Everything in life would basically be pointless to me. I could do everything. Experience everything. See everything. The world is full of possibilities, but the idea that we aren’t able to see or do everything is what makes life fun. The idea that we are going to eventually and inevitably die makes our choices more meaningful and worthwhile.
Well, you say that you would have to experience the deaths around you, but I think that was already mitigated by the idea that humans tend to have poor judgement on how events of the future, whether good or bad, will affect one’s happiness or feelings, presented through Gladwell. Also, while having all the time in the world would ironically destroy the motivation to experience it as something meaningful to some people, looking at something like Up, time and age can also creep up and hinder ambitions and goals that one would hold, whether they prefer it or not. Of course, I can understand why eternal life might be unattractive in other ways, especially with its ambiguous implications on age and health, or whether a permanently damaged leg will mean eternal suffering in that region. Funny enough, I recall watching a short film “Beyond” by Joe Penna when it first came out that followed the life of a man tormented by his immortality that also touched upon this subject, which reasoning surrounded a more “human” perspective, or to simply regain his mortality for the sake of being.
Thank you to share your personal story... you said you regreted to not spend more time with your grandma... Well... my grandma is actually sick too and she is really old. I always made an excuse to not spend my time with her. I will call her tonight and I won't get a regret in the future! Thx for helping me to not get a regret
Hey Sanny, I completely have to agree with you that although being able to live forever would seem to be a great perk in the beginning, it just isn't worth it and that eventually it would have to get boring. I also believe that having only one lifetime is a lot better because even though we have to suffer through death, it emphasizes on all the other beauties that we usually take for granted. I'm sorry to have heard about what happened to your grandma, but I'm glad to see that you're doing fine now. This was a great entry and I hope to see more later on!
Hi Sunny! I’m so sorry you lost your grandmother. Your blog hit me hard because I had a very similar experience as you did. My granduncle, someone I was very close with, had died the summer before ninth grade as well. It was also my first experience with death and I, too, did not cry upon first hearing the news out of shock. I also understand the regret you feel from not spending as much time with your grandmother as you could have. I feel the same regret as I opted out of talking on the phone with my granduncle at times. It seems we never know what we have until we lose it. I agree with you that the time limit we have is what makes life so valuable and that it would be extremely painful seeing all our loved ones die before us which makes immortality not the best choice. Great blog!
I definitely believe we build different faces for each side, place, and situation we are in. I think it is actually quite a poor quality if you are unable to do that. The ability to different situations is one of the most important life skills you will ever acquire. There is a difference between adapting to a different situation and being fake. They are very different actually. Someone who is being fake is usually trying to gain some sort of desired attention by a particular audience who sticks with a certain type of personnelle. I think it is important to be truthful to yourself. I see trying to be someone you are not as a waste of life.
Not all fake people are necessarily bad. People can be fake for good reasons. If someone is extremely held back and shy, but they enter a situation as someone who is very outgoing and approachable, this could be an example of being fake in a positive way. This could also be taken as adapting or building a face for a new situation. Before I entered high school, I was very shy and stuck to my own friend group. I went to a small middle school where everyone knew everybody in our grade since we were all together since elementary school. Entering a school of nearly four thousand students whom I knew none of was very scary and intimidating and I knew I would have to change. I would have to go from being shy and quiet, to outgoing and friendly in order to meet new people and make friends. Entering a new place, i had to put on a face of someone that was friendly and open to talking to new people, which resulted in many new friendships. Ultimately, this new face that I had put on, evolved to be the real me that I am today.
Building a face for a side is very important too. Being able to do that will prevent a lot of conflict. If you have your own opinions that are different than the opinions of the people around you, smiling and nodding along is the best way to prevent a fight; most likely where you would be outnumbered anyway. In my government class, a lot of our discussions about politics are aimed to a certain political party. I happen to lean toward a different party, but overtime, I have learned to keep my thoughts to myself if they are not constructive. I have started to just sit back and listen. On tests, I would have to answer not what my opinion is, but what the teacher wants to hear, in order to be marked ‘correct’ for that answer. It is a form of building a different face for different sides.
I've found your blog to be interesting and I agree on the differentiation of people's handling their losses and grieve. Also how bold your explanations are in comparing the contrast between each details regarding life and death.
Hi Emily, I agreed with you that not all the fake people are bad, because they are fake for a reason. Sometime people want to be truthful to themselves, but they might have other issues caused them to wear their mask on in order to protect themselves.
I agree with you full on. We build different faces for each side, place, and situation we are in. It’s bound for us to change ourselves in an instant to adapt to the right environment. Faking is good at sometimes too. It’s how we fake things that determine if this “faking” is good or bad. Good Response!
If I were to die tomorrow, I would want people to remember me the way I am. If people only remembered me at my best, they wouldn’t ever fully remember me. Me as a whole, defines who I am. I am my best, and I am my worst. You can’t just have one or the other.
One of the most important people in my life passed away a few years ago. She raised me, and made a huge impact on my life. When i think about her, i think about us going on trips, and i think about the food she would make me...she made the best food. we used to go on long road trips just to listen to all of our favorite CD’s and we never fully turned the car off until the song ended.
Then I think about her getting frustrated and snapping at me sometimes. I think about waking up an hour early before school because I didn’t finish my chores, it made me so mad. She embarrassed me sometimes, because she would send her food back and make the manager come over so she could tell him or her what a terrible meal it was and how she owned a restaurant and knows how it's supposed to be run.
I think about all of this, and I can’t help but smile. She was such a wonderful woman who never settled for less. She stood up for what she believed and she always strived for the best, not just for herself, but for all the people around her. She was the best, even at her worst. There was a reason behind everything that she did, and the respect I have for her, is never ending, she stood up for what she believed in until her last breath.
Hi, Mikalah! I also agree with you that if I also die, I want people to remember me as a whole and not just good things. I am so sorry to hear that a person that was important to you passed away I don’t think I will ever okay to lose someone I cherish a lot. I hope you are feeling better now.
Hey Mikalah! I really enjoy reading your blog! I wrote about the same topic as you and I very much agree with your perspective on the topic. I would also want people to remember me the way I am because that way, it would make me more unique with my flaws. If people just remember me at my best, then I wouldn’t be remembered as a whole but just the good qualities that I posses. I am glad that you are open-minded and is able to see why that special someone do what they do and the whole reason behind his/her actions. Also, you should capitalize your ‘I’s’ next time! You did a great job on your blog and I am looking forward to reading more from you in the future.
I wrote about the same topic as you did and I completely agree that people should remember me as a whole and not just off of whether I was a good or bad person. Along with the fact that you have a personal connection makes this topic much stronger and you have a better opinion then most on this topic.
I really like your blog. I also agree on how you want people to remember you as a whole and not just parts. I'm really sorry for your loss. I have an aunt who is like that and I agree with you because there is a meaning for why they do the things that they do. Thank you.
I love this short but impactful and memorable entry because it tells a lot. I applaud you for saying that you want people to remember you as-is. It doesn’t depend on whether this person thinks that you are good or bad, at least you got to know me in reality. Nothing fake. And a very nice story to add-on to this. Nice entry.
When I’m Gone, Just Carry On
Everyone is faced at one point in time with the question “How do you want people to remember you”? We as human beings are so obsessed with being remembered after we die. Some people want to be remembered as being good while others just wanted to be known for having certain qualities, like being honorable or affable. I mean that’s what we say in someone’s eulogy when the time of someone's passing arrives. But as I lay on my bed, thinking about how I want to be remembered, I kept thinking about how my friends and family would feel after my passing. My parents having to deal with the sorrow of losing a child, my friends living life without their closest friend. Having to say the words “she’s really gone”.
When it comes a time of my passing, I would want them to remember me as I was. To my friends, someone who loved to make people smile, laugh, and tried to make the people she knew and cared about feel loved and important. Someone that would always be there in a time of need as well as being trustworthy. For my family, I would want them to remember me slightly differently. I want my parents to see me as someone who made the dumbest mistakes as a child, teenager, and adult. That I was someone who wasn’t perfect but managed to enjoy every a moment in life. But most importantly I want them to see me as someone that would forever be mommy and daddy’s little girl. I would want my sisters to remember every ridiculous fight we had, every cuss words we threw at each other as well as them remembering the best memories of us opening presents on Christmas morning or us jamming out to the latest songs.
My family is hard to tell if they would respect my wishes on remembering me as I was. But I know they will remember everything that I’ve done. I know my sister will remember me as making both good and the terrible decisions. History will remember me as someone who was favorable, someone who kept her head held high when things got tough and never gave up. I may not cure cancer or stop a war, but I will be the best I can be or, at least, the only way I know how to.
I would like to be remembered as a person who was himself and someone who become someone that they have never ever meant. I want to be remembered as being joyful,loose cannon, compassionate, and as that funny dude in my class. But what do I have to do to so that could happen. Is is my friends that don’t see it or do my folks just always agree with me I don't know.
Being remembered in high school is hard to do look at what Mr. Feraco said what you have done here will not be remembered in 3 years after you leave. To be remembered it only matters to be remembered by the ones you love and the ones who love you .
Actually I do not want other people to remember me. I just a normal person who only exists in this society. But if there must to let other people remember, then I will choose the best one. We all want to show the best side to other people. We also want the world remembers us as the good way, not remember us because of some bad things.
However, if I have the option, I will choose the different way to let my family and friends remember us. For the family, I want them to remember as a perfect family member and also remember what I had done to them. And I also think they are the group people I always want to use my heart to love them. As the friend, I want them to remember me as a normal person who appears in their life. Because each people own lots of friends, even we cannot remember what had our friends done to us. I just want to remember how many people appear in my lifetime, I do not want to care about what they either benefit me or harm me. And I want the same way that my friends remember me.
Of course they cannot follow the way I want them to remember me, and they might choose another way to remember me. Nonetheless, anyway, I think that is a good thing that other people can remember after I die. I just a normal person, I cannot expect history remembers us, I only hoping that the people around me can remember me as the favorably way, even I had harmed them because I am such fool. Maybe this blog can let me to learn my mistakes and fix them on time. I do not want harm other people who loved me or I loved, but I cannot stop my “friend” harm me. But anyway I will only remember the benefit other people gave me, and ignore the negatively side.
Memories are so beautiful, either good or bad.
Both of my parents grew up very poorly as children who immigrated to the United States. They worked really hard in school and received “really good” GPAs at their respective high schools. When I mean “really good,” I really mean “so good that they wouldn’t let me write about it in my blog post.” You may think that I’m bragging, but am I? Scott Evans is an American actor born in Boston, Massachusetts on September 21, 1983. You may not know Scott, but you probably know his older brother, Chris Evans, who plays Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The point I’m trying to make is that Scott Evans wants to be remembered for being Scott Evans, not as Chris Evans’ younger brother.
The same situation applies to me as well. I don’t want to be remembered as my parents’ oldest child who couldn’t get that Asian stereotypical 4.0 GPA in high school. Did I fail them? Ask them and they’ll say, “No.” Is the expectation bar set too high? No. Of course, they want the best for me, but I couldn’t live up to what they have already set. It’s like seeing if LeBron James’ son will be better than LeBron James. We won’t know until it happens. Now that my high school “career” is almost over, I can compare GPAs with my parents. High school isn’t the end of the line. There’s still college, graduate school, and hopefully a vocation for many years (Lord willing I live that long).
“Is it bright where you are
Have the people changed
Does it make you happy you're so strange”
The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning - The Smashing Pumpkins
This alternative version is slower and darker than the song used in the Batman movie. It’s hard to grasp what this song really means and the song has an interesting beat and title. This song reminds me of how high school is coming to an end and college will soon begin. There’s an unending cycle of endings and beginnings. This song also says that it’s okay to be different and we don’t have to listen to everyone’s different perspectives to form our own.
I think it’s really awkward when you have your crush in the same group working on the same group project. It’s an equally exciting opportunity, yet it’s nerve-wracking. I really was hoping we weren’t in the same group because I don’t thrive under pressure. Anyways, our group did what we were supposed to do, and everything looked ready to go the night before. Our presentation was solid all-around. I was given one of the more difficult tasks of the project, but I was still confident in my own work. We got our grade back a few weeks later. Our group only missed two points and we got an A on the whole project, but I was actually disappointed. We got marked down on those two points on my section of the project. How embarrassing! All of my group members did all the work needed for a full score in my teacher’s eyes, but I did not. I really down on myself and we could have gotten a perfect score had I gotten a full score in my section of the project. I let down my classmates who were listening to my group’s presentation (they had to take notes). I let down my teacher who probably expected more from me. Most importantly, I let down my group members. Their work proved to be a 10/10, while my work was subpar.
I tend to blame myself for things I shouldn’t (you can pretty much ask anyone who played volleyball with me last year). I blame myself for every shank ball I pass and every game we lost. Did I try my best? Yes, but I expected perfection and I could never achieve that mark. Volleyball is a 30% physical and 70% mental game. Once an error gets into your head, you might as well sub out and sit on the bench because opponents can sense your frustration. They will serve, tip, hit, and spike the volleyball at you because they know you’re going to let that frustration get into your head, which will then cause you to mess up even more. Volleyball is the game of runs (streaks) and it all comes down to who has the better mental part of the game. You don’t need to be stronger or faster than your opponents, you just need to be smarter.
Your opponents’ actions are out of your control. A volleyball player won’t always be at the right spot at the right time every time. The same goes for everyone who does or does not play volleyball. You can’t tell someone that they’re wrong (unless it’s against the law) because you can’t control them. Telling someone that they’re wrong will just make a uniform world. The world does not have a ruler named King Joshua. Not everyone’s going to listen to a ruler’s actions anyway. That’s why humans have free will and they have the right to exercise it.
I thought about this a lot over the week. Apparently, our best thinking happens when we are in shower. There’s a lot of alone time and looking at white tiles. I thought about how if someone were to murder a little child (in my mind, a killer is someone who killed another on accidental like in a car crash, but a murderer actually plans his or her killings), the parents would like to see the murderer punished. That is a form of justice. If revenge did not take place or if punishment was not handed to the murderer, wouldn’t the murderer be bound to kill more people? Norway’s way of punishment is a minimum security prison. The worst criminals in Norway are confined only by minimum security. So, let’s say you’re the parent standing in the courtroom and judge only hands down a fifteen year sentence at a minimum security prison. You’re probably going to go nuts! Even some of the prisoners have part-time jobs during their sentences, which is crazy. Norway lets its criminals walk the streets of Norway even after sentenced to prison. Americans feast on this sense of revenge and hard justice for those who are shunned in society. It even shows in our movies and television shows. Will the American people change? Probably not. Should the American people change? Yes.
The varsity volleyball team was in the Arcadia High School weight room one Monday night. There were only four people who showed up to practice that night (because it was a weekday). I wouldn’t say weight room is the most exciting thing in the world, so I decided to tell my teammates (and my coach) a joke. I’m not the strongest nor tallest guy in the world, so usually I squat less than my teammates.
I said, “The most the average Asian has to lift is a pencil.”
I hear my coach snicker and my Asian teammates bawl out in laughter. I meant to say it as a joke, but to a certain extent, it could be somewhat true. As a whole, Asians are defined by their grades and study habits. I don’t think that a few words can define a person, let alone a whole entire race of people.
I went to Starbucks this past Thursday (I was actually getting a free drink for signing up for the Starbucks Rewards program). I took three tests that day (teachers knew they couldn’t set the test date on the same day as the assembly) and I was exhausted. After ordering, a stock clerk was filling the shelves with more mugs and coffee bags.
She asked, “How was your day?”
I said very softly, “Good.”
She said, “What? Your day wasn’t good?”
I said, “Oops. I meant to say ‘Good’.”
She said, “That’s good.”
At that instant, I knew. I shouldn’t even have used the word “good”, knowing I just wrote about a blog post about that. She walked away before I could change my response. You can’t define a whole day by one word. “Good” was a generalization of all the stress and test I had just took. To the store clerk, “good” means that I was happy to get a Caramel Frappuccino drink at Starbucks. Another day, “good” will mean the day I get a college acceptance letter or the food I will eat on Christmas. Conversations are soon becoming a lost art. It’s come to social media and texting.
I used to try to make friends on Facebook. I would friend them on Facebook and then hope they come talk to me in the real world in a real conversation. My greatest friendships and conversations don’t come from online. You meet them in-person and in real life. That’s what makes something great. It’s better than good.
I actually got to watch the movie The Good Dinosaur (SPOILERS BELOW), before it was released in theaters at a Disney movie screening. The “good” dinosaur the movie is referring to a fictional dinosaur named Arlo. The movie should be called The Needs Help from a Human, Incompetent, Sympathetic, Lonely, Timid, and Fearful Dinosaur. But Disney, being Disney, likes their titles short and kid-friendly, so it all matters who the audience is.
I’m not sure if the store clerk from Starbucks actually wanted to hear me say “good” because Starbucks drinks taste sweet and delicious, or she wanted to hear some profound stressed-out talk (not rants) about too many tests in one day. Why do we go to school everyday? Why do we try not to miss class or even late to one period? We want to learn something new at school every single day we walk into that class (well, at least I do). That is the test from this class and it happens through conversation. We shouldn’t have to “memorize” our responses to people’s questions. The automatic answer to, “How are you doing?” should not be, “Good.” The automatic answer to “2+2” should not be “4.” I want to say I’ve learned something from this class this semester. There is more to life than school and letter grades. Real friends have come out of real conversations for me. The next time someone asks me how I am doing, hopefully I will remember to say something other than “good”, “well”, or “fine.” Hopefully, I’ll strike up a “great” conversation. You’ll never know what can come out of it.
Great post Joshua. I was originally confused was the connection between the American prison system and the overall theme of your blog, but I eventually got the purpose of it. I really like how you want to be remembered more than what your parent’s expect you to be. I also like what you got out of your experience at starbucks and that having surface level conversations aren’t enough to fulfill your life.
I love your post King Joshua! I still remember your joke about the pencil that day. I think we have a similar way of thinking. I also remember on that same day, I was whining and complaining in the weight room (as usual), and I tried to convince the coach that volleyball is 100% mental game and it wasn’t necessary to do weight room. Overall this is a great post! Now I have to keep a mental note to ask you about your day the next time I see you at practice.
I am not everything that I want to be to everyone I want.
I want to be more intelligent, responsible, considerate, etc. The only thing that prevents me from doing so is myself.
I lack in self-motivation and also self-discipline. I always give into the temptation of slacking off, spending my days mostly relaxing, wasting precious time. I keep myself from becoming even more.
I am my biggest obstacle.
Of course I have been less, I believe that everyone has at some point of their life.
The feeling of failure allows people to strive to become better and never allow themselves to feel that pain again. When someone realizes failure, I believe that they become more motivated and focused.
But that cannot be said about everyone, people deal with everything differently. Whether it be with pain, failure, grief. Humans learn from the past and become smarter and smarter, our biggest weapon is knowledge.
I do believe that I have been more.
The people who I spend my time with at school for example. I have obtained the best friends that I could never have asked for.
At first they were simply classmates, however the time we spent together allowed us to get closer and support one another. I could not have gone through regular school days without them.
Instead of being simply classmates, we have become friends. I learned that certain people have an absolute importance in my life.
Hi Keith! I like how you have a sense of self-awareness. You know that there are things that you lack and you know the answer to fixing them. I think you are already very considerate especially to others since you reminded me to do my replies earlier. Thank you for reminding me to complete my nominations and replies!
I am so glad that you came to realize your flaws and found your true friends. I love your blog post so much. I love how you reveal the true side of you to all of us. I know it's hard and that's the reason why we all have our own masks to hide the other side of us. Also, after finding your flaws out, you should try to fix them so you can be a even better person
Hey Keiboy :3
I really like how you took the topic of the blog and changed it to make it one of your own. You include some deep and sensitive topics in there that can be relatable to everyone which makes your blog post stand out even more. Everyone is capable of much more in life, and because we all know that, we can all try our best to strive to get to that point in life where we can confidently say “I am satisfied with who I have become”. This, however, will not be the point in life where we stop trying to advance. We will continue to strive for more and overcome more and more obstacles until we can’t do it anymore. We become physically incapable of doing it, and we die. BUT that’s not for a long time, so let’s just keep working hard to become the best person we can possibly become. Great post! The hat jumped over the cat.
I really like how you responded to this blog. If I would of chosen this prompt, I would of written it similar to yours. I need to stop wasting my precious time too and start doing things that will help me become a better person. I want to be smart, responsible and a better person but I'm just lazy. Thank you for sharing Keith.
It happened at an early age. I would smile, and I’d feel my cheeks rise, my eyes squint, and my muscles tighten as a dimple formed in the bottom, right-hand corner under my lips. After a few seconds or so, I came back to a blank slate with no emotions displayed. I was aware of the way I smiled quite frequently. I don’t necessarily have an explanation as to why I’ve observed this since I was a mere child, but I’ve learned a heavy chunk about myself and others by doing so. There were times when a person’s smile brought such light to the room and times when they looked terribly empty as they returned to their initial expression. Just like how happiness is a fleeting emotion, a smile cannot last forever, but there is more to a smile than what meets the eye. We can miss it all, solely with a blink.
My sister and I walked through our curved-topped door one evening to see my father leaning on the kitchen counter. You can tell something was different, something was off. He looked drained, puzzled, sad.
“I wouldn’t be standing here if it weren’t for those five seconds”, he said.
With confused looks, my sister and I glanced at each other. My father told us what had happened. He was driving home on the freeway from his occasional trips downtown. Everything was fine until a big rig randomly swerved, blocking the lanes horizontally and causing a traffic jam. The accident appeared on the news. It was in a matter of seconds that the big rig could’ve completely smashed into my father, and he would be gone. I wouldn’t have seen him come home and walk through the garage door that night, holding his daily cup of pure, bitter green tea.
“In that moment, all I could think of was what would happen to you guys if I didn’t brake fast enough”, my father recalled.
You know what, dad? I don’t know what would happen either. No more father-daughter dinners at our usual go-to places and no more road trips. I’d be left with the memories we’ve created. Do you remember when I was a kid, I used to cry and beg for you not to leave on your business trips across the globe? How I would stay in the car with you while mom and them ran into the store? And I won’t forget how you shaved your mustache because you knew I wasn’t fond of the prickle when you kissed me on the cheek. I don’t know what would happen if it weren’t for those five seconds; only that a stream of tears would form and my eyes would fill up way too quickly to stop it.
It’s a blessing, a scary blessing to have not experienced a death of a loved one after seventeen years of living. Everything can be flipped upside down so suddenly and I can’t predict my exact response. I’ve seen how it affects other people. They’re energy levels change and their outtakes on life are different. I hear it in their tone of voice and see the sadness on their faces or in their eyes. My father has never met my friends and I can’t talk to him about personal topics. We have a surface-level understanding of one another, but his passing would affect me the most. I admit I’m afraid of the inevitable, especially when the time comes when someone I hold dear will leave. Love keeps me fearing of disappointments and losses, but because of love, because I know those significant people would want me to keep moving forward, I will. I’ll fly like an arrow with or without a strong wind.
Your post was a really good read. You managed to blend the details of your memory and your own thoughts so seamlessly together that I couldn’t tell if the feelings you were conveying were felt in the moment or if they were thought out of reflection.
You had me at the edge of my seat to figure out what had freaked you dad out so much. Good job.
Thanks Omar! Frankly, it was both. I was writing my blog, thinking about what would've happened if that big rig really did crash into my father. Then I thought about what I'd remember and miss about him. At one point, I wrote as though I was talking to my dad, and that's where words transferred from my mind to my google doc so smoothly because I felt it.
Thanks for sharing about this topic, I bet it really means a lot to you. I can't say that I have not changed after a loved one's death, I also can't say that I've been giving my all to live up to their expectations. I believe that their passing still affects me greatly, but I'll get through it! I really liked how you wrote about smiles having a deeper meaning. As you said, there are times where people have smiles that light up the room, yet other times where they seem empty and sad. I have felt both ends. But love keeps me from reaching rock bottom. The love I get from family and friends keep me going. I hope I can fly like an arrow just like you. Love ya dur! I'll always be here for you, and I know that you'll always be there for me.
It's okay to be affected. It's natural, but you will get through it. I know you will! It's really interesting when you think about the qualities which make us human; how our nonphysical emotions can have such a great impact. I'm glad to hear that your motivation is through the love of your friends and family. We will shoot like arrows together. I know you'll keep me flying when I'm falling down. Thank you gamboaa, love ya too! (:
I loved reading your post; it's so genuine and personal, and it really makes one think about what could have happened if those 5 seconds were different. Thank you for sharing your story about your dad!
And I think the thing about love is that it squashes all the fear that you have about losing someone important to you, because no matter what, you'll still be able to soar with and against the current. Love can hurt because we feel the pain of the people we care about, but it'll still give us strength in the end.
Hi Kyla! Nice blog, by the way. I was sucked in with your story about your father almost dying. It's scary to think about how different you life could just because of just one event. How a small butterfly could cause an immense hurricane. I can totally relate with that, as well as the story of your father almost getting killed. My father has gone through tons of dangerous situations, but has always emerged (mostly) fine. I've always thought of how hard it'd be for me to get through high school and onto college without his help.
How do you deal with loss?
Loss is a phenomenon that everyone experiences in life. People gains experience from their loss or failure. I always learn from my loss and don’t let it happen again in my life. I think loss is normal to happen on human. Because we can learn one more new thing on that. And one of my motivation to keep moving forward is my weakness. I will improve my weakness every time. Everyone has weakness and we don’t want to show it. So we have to know our weakness to make us stronger.
Do you think about “missed opportunities” and feel guilty? Of course, I will feel about guilty. Because is my opportunities to do something become success. I think if people don’t feel guilty when they have the chance to win or do something worth. That will be abnormal. Good memoir is from people who contribute or try hard to earn it. When you seized your opportunities. Of course you will feel grateful.
I remember one time that was my best opportunity to win my basketball game. But I was too nervous so I missed my shot in last couple seconds. I let my opportunity fly away. I was really disappointed a while. After the game, I think I did my best in the game and I won’t let it happen next game. I will never give up.
+ Do you build different faces for different places, different sides for different situations, and different people for different people?
I see my self to be different and sometimes I call myself One of a Kind I have never met someone like me not physically , but with the same exact characteristic. I always ask my friends have they ever meet anyone like me before and always they say no and the make me ponder about myself. I always see people that look like me ,but I don’t know if there are like my in character because I am a loose cannon who most time says whatever come to my mind and makes no sense. If I am different do I really see other different people or do I see as not different. Like I said before I am one of a kind and the only one for years to come. I fit to where I am a place knowing that location can affect the difference , but not change the kind.
If I ask anyone in this world most world say that we are all different some will disagree and say their tons of different and weird people. Look at what people say about special ed people and students some people say there are not normal ,but I say their are normal and different we all are in our own little and big ways. The world will always try to be different look at films that came from book they are always 100% of the time not like the book. Like what Mr. Feraco said people change things for a reason and my those reason are to help us understand the novel more.
Films are suppose to show us what we thought was in the book while we read it. Films help us visualize the authors visions even though they are not what they really are. We really don’t see the difference in a place like a film because the people who write the script through in details that they only know about until someday the public will know.
In the case for situations there is always pros and cons in a situation there is nothing we can do about that. That's the beauty of life we can have our own opinions and other can hate on them.
If we go into scientific work we know that a positive and a negative match and we also know that they match and connect. My point is that opposites are different and match even if they are not the same. So things are meant to be matched up with different thing. We can not build different faces , but only mold something into another great options. Location are sometime significant because their are different to other. You go to yogurt land because they sell frozen yogurt you go to best buy because they sell electronics. Everything has something that makes then stand out and society has gotten used to odd things and been able to accept slowly.
Grief is a sign of strength. I think allowing yourself to grieve after a loss is essential, and honestly, it takes some strength. For, strong people realize that they need not be strong all the time.
I realized this when I came to terms with the fact that I do not allow myself to grieve in front of people. I tend to build a wall, to put up a strong face when people are watching; I don’t like others to see me upset or crying.
My arguments with my parents are always overly-emotional. Sometimes, the things I want to say to them bring me to tears, but I hold back. I can argue and argue and argue but the minute I’m ready to cry I’ll shut up. Because no words are worth them seeing me upset. Instead, I’ll shut up, walk away, and go cry in my room, alone.
When I’m having a bad day at school I’ll avoid everyone. Slip into my classes quietly in the morning, retreat to the library at lunch, go straight home after track. Anything to avoid my friends seeing me in a bad mood, or them knowing that I’m upset.
I used to believe that I’ve done this to myself. My family sees me as the strong one, my friends think I’m always happy, and occasionally people have referred to me as “that girl who smiles a lot”. I’ve always loved these perceptions of myself. But on the downside, I truly believed that if I let people see me upset, sad, or “weak” then their positive image of me would be ruined forever.
I’ve recently gone through a huge self-evaluation, and I have a strong fear of being “weak”. Ironic, isn’t it? My biggest weakness is the fear of being weak. It’s affected me in more negative ways than I care to explain.
I so believed that hiding grief from everyone would make me strong. It makes me weak. Allowing yourself to grieve and be sad is strong, and I am weak.
I like how you used “a wall” to show how you grieve. It’s a perfect example and I really like your honesty in this blog post. I think you’re right. Sometimes it’s hard to know whether or not something we’re doing is right or wrong until we test it out. Mr. Feraco said, “It’s better to be true to your peers than to be someone other than you are not (fake).” Great blog post and have a nice break!
Hi Jessica, I completely understand how you feel. Around my friends, I am always the loud, crazy, positive girl, and none of my friends know when I am upset. I don’t show it because I keep thinking I am strong enough to overcome being upset. I don’t show it because I don’t want others to see me weak. Thank you for sharing. I really enjoyed reading something that I constantly feel.
It's okay to grieve in front of people. It's okay to hide your feelings from them too.
You're stronger than you think you are, because you want to keep up a bold face for the people you care about. That's not a bad thing! But just know that it's impossible to be happy 100% of the time. You won't seem weird to your friends if you have off-days. And it's okay to confide in people you trust. Anyone who expects you to always be happy is being unrealistic.
Thank you for sharing. You're not weak at all. You're here in a safe place, and we're here with you
"What if I had been born through another family?"
Maybe I wouldn't have been as fortunate, maybe I wouldn't have been able to go to school as a woman, maybe I wouldn't have lived a life worth living for.
I am writing this blog in the airport as I wait for my flight to Hong Kong for Christmas. My dad as usual will be there at the arrival gate with a bouquet of flower for my mother. Every time they meet each other at the arrival gate, they hug longer than the waiting line to rides at Disneyland. It was very apparent that their affection for one another was infinite. Although the distances separated them, their relationship still reflect colors of happiness. Their relationship taught me how to live gratefully.
I am very thankful that I was able to be their daughter, life would've been drastically different otherwise.
"How do you grieve?"
Fortunately I have never been through great adversity; but there are times when I feel regret for not trying my best. When I do not receive the outcome of which I have been aiming for, I try to do better next time. I avoid blaming myself or others, because that is not going to prepare you better for the future. The way I solve problems is to list and cross; I try to work out flaws by eliminating my bad habits.
I enjoyed reading your blog post. I think it’s super adorable that your mother and father have that much love for one another. I’m glad that you were able to grow up in such a loving environment. I agree with your outlook of always trying to improve yourself for the better. It’s easy to blame other people and other things for our failures, but it takes effort to look at what we’re doing wrong and then trying to improve our faults.
We all have expectations. I expect things from people just like how people expect things from me, expectations are a huge part of everyone’s lives. I think that we all have a duty to live up to certain expectations especially our parent’s. In my opinion I think that I have a duty to live up to what my parents expect from me because I owe them, and I have my own expectations for them as well. My friends expect from me and I expect from my friends, there are expectations everywhere we go and we have a duty to live up to certain expectations. Failing to meet someone's expectations is a horrible feeling in my opinion, if someone expects something from me I most of the time feel obligated to meet their expectation, and if I’m unable to meet that I feel like a failure myself.
I think that everyone needs to adapt, that’s how we survive in this world. I think that change happens everyday and if we fail to adapt we fail as humans ourselves, we need adaptation to survive. I need to adapt to certain people when I hang around them, and I need to adapt to my surroundings and environment when need be. I think that in every situation there is a certain way to act, you need to adapt with your situations. I’m not a person of planning, I like to go with the flow and adapt to whatever happens. I think I’m a fairly easy person to get along with after we get past the initial meeting. I adapt pretty fast to my situation and i’m pretty happy with that part of myself.
I think I’m more afraid the ones i love will lose me, I don’t want my family or my future family to see me go and miss me. I want to be the last one that passes on so minimal people will have to suffer the grief that follows death. I think I care about my family and friends more than anything, I really treasure the time we spend together and I really enjoy it at the same time. I always have those moments where I think to myself what would happen if my mom wasn’t here for me anymore, or what if my friends suddenly disappeared one day. A huge part of my life would be missing if one of my close friends or family members were to disappear, I would be super sad.I don’t want anyone to feel that sadness other than me, therefore I’m more afraid that they will lose me rather than me losing them.
"Masked, I advance."
How many people actually face the world with their bare faces? I would say almost none. People put on different faces to feel more confident, more appealing, more unlike themselves in order to avoid judgments. What does "different faces" mean, many people would ask. It's simply a phrase for presenting a particular side of oneself.
Why do people want to mask themselves, isn't that very tiring?
It's easy to say to others, "Just be yourself." Yet, masking ourselves is inevitable. We act differently in front of different people because society requires us to behave this way so we can all protect ourselves from judgments and dangers. This convention flows on, continuing to this day and forcing people to assimilate into this "thousand faces" society. These masks become part of our bodies, the skin that covers our flesh and bones. Technically, the "masks" are our traits and personalities. For example, if one is very generous, kind-hearted, and amiable, one would face people with one's "generous" mask, except the mask may be the one layer of skin closest to the flesh. We all have these layers on our faces, whether it's the generous side of us, the stingy side of us, the materialistic side of us, or the mature side of us.
"We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves."
-Francois de La Rochefoucauld
Most girls are definitely familiar with dealing with crushes. We are strange creatures, us girls, we really are when we see ourselves in the mirror, trying to disguise ourselves for others. Of course, I am no different for that I am a girl.
My ex-crush, let's call him Ash Ketchum. It was weird the way he brought it up- he said he didn't like it when girls wore makeup. I rarely wore makeup anyway, and he caught me the one time I wore it for a special occasion. When he said that, I almost completely stopped using makeup. Yet, after my hot head cooled down a bit, I realized how dumb I was for letting Ash Ketchum influence me on this personal matter. It was one of those teenage dreams, in which I hoped to be a perfect figure in his mind; thus I tried to meet his standards and change my identity just for a dream.
Then another time, he told me I was annoying. Usually I can distinguish jokes from facts, yet I couldn't when he said that to me. I thought, "Maybe I was seriously being annoying." I took my decorum mask out and practically turned into a proper lady of the royal court who was to be seen but not heard. Well, I didn't know what he thought of me at last, but I got very annoyed at myself because I was so fake. The mask disguised me completely to a point where I couldn't even see my old self anymore. I asked myself: where am I, what am I doing?
I was young, and it was one of those stages. Most importantly, it was the reflection that I made after that teenage dream that brought up many questions and taught me a lot of valuable life lessons. Why did I downgrade myself for a mere high school crush? The answer is the skin mask that I was forced to wear by society. Peer pressure, that's the main reason. It forced me into obeying invisible social rules so that I wouldn't be judged by my crush and that I could meet his standards. I noticed how fake I could get when I was forced to wear these masks. I lost myself within different faces.
Today, I value my true face, bare face, naked face so much that I am constantly searching for someone that I could stand by without burying myself deep within these ugly disguises.
I was influenced a lot in my elementary and middle school years. Whatever people said whether it involved me or not, I was always influenced by it. I felt like I had to be like others in order to fit in, in other words, to put on a mask. But I could never wear those masks for so long, because who I am would always pierce through. Eventually, I learned to accept that I like who I am, even if I am completely strange and not like them. I don’t know what people think about me now, but one thing is for sure, I am who I am now and their opinion of me does not matter. Thank you for sharing and I enjoyed reading it!
I somewhat agree with your statement about how we're "forced" to wear masks. Honestly, most of us are pressured into it (peer pressure), but we aren't forced. But you cleared up my disagreement later on by bringing up your anecdote, which was good and interesting! It helped your view that we should be proud of our “bare faces” and that we shouldn’t be hiding behind a mask. We’re beautiful (or unique) “just the way [we] are” (-Bruno Mars). Good blog!
THE CHANGING FACES
The world we are living in is complicated. We live in this world with our own emotions and feelings. Sometimes we are happy and satisfied. Sometimes we are anxious and nervous. Sometimes we are angry about the unfair things. We have to overcome the difficulties by different ways.
To be honest, our emotions can change according to the location where are located in. For example, I can feel happiness while I was traveling. I can also feel happiness while I was eating sushi, and I was happy while I was shopping. Actually, we will set an emotion for the place unconsciously. Assume that we are on our way home. Then it begins to rain. And we don’t have an umbrella. We may feel terrible. If we are suffering the drought, we will be excited. The situation of the place changes our faces.
Of course, we have different attitudes to different people. We have our own opinion on people. Usually, we showed a happy face to our friends. We showed respect to our family. We showed the cynical attitude to those who always go against us. Although the change on the face can’t be told sometimes, it does happen in our hearts.
Here is a situation. If your friend had bought some stocks while you sold some. Then the stock went down. Should you show exactly how you feel? Lucky? Happy? Or sad for your friend? What if it is a tragedy that happened to yourself? How should we deal with our loss? Are we going to cry and scream in order to express our sadness?
Yes, we feel happy when we’re around certain people and respectful towards others. Do you think there are different levels of happiness and different levels of respectfulness? To answer your question, I think stocks are very important, but there’s more to life than investments and stocks. I’m not saying to not invest in stocks, but we shouldn’t be worried every single time the stock goes down. I’m wondering how you would answer the question. Have a nice break!
Same as you, I change different attitudes when facing different people. It is not I want to show others best of me. But rather, I show them want I want them to see me. To the people I love, I share what we have in common, and I don’t hurt their feelings, because I want them to like me. To the people I don’t care and people I don’t like, I don’t care about what they think about me. Therefore, I am free to show the worst of me and tend to have bad attitudes to them. Because I want them to leave me.
Same as you, I change different attitudes when facing different people. It is not I want to show others best of me. But rather, I show them want I want them to see me. To the people I love, I share what we have in common, and I don’t hurt their feelings, because I want them to like me. To the people I don’t care and people I don’t like, I don’t care about what they think about me. Therefore, I am free to show the worst of me and tend to have bad attitudes to them. Because I want them to leave me.
I don’t have much experience with death, but I have been to a funeral. A funeral for my great-grandma.
Before she died, I remember visiting her at a hospital. My dad was talking to her, and I was just sitting there silently, listening to their conversation. I wasn’t really close to her; in fact I didn’t know anything about her. The only things I know about her are the things my grandma told me.
All my family members attended her funeral, even my cousins and the little girls and boys from my granduncles’ family. The adults were crying, while we were sitting there impatiently and bored. We were outcast. I was sad, because my uncles and aunts, and my dad lost their grandma. I was sad because my grandma lost her mom.
But I wasn’t sad because she died. I was, but I wasn’t mourning. We paid our respect and our lives carried on.
It’s sad how our lives can just carry on like she wasn’t part of our life. She wasn’t part of mine, but to others she was and they carried on. I can’t imagine my life without my most loved one, that person is my grandma.
I have a really close relationship with my grandma. She was my caretaker when I was younger. She is my best friend.
She’s not young anymore. Each year I worry about her health. Sometimes, she feels good, and other times something is bothering her.
I can’t imagine my life without her. I can’t imagine not visiting her every Saturday. I can’t imagine not talking to her on the phone every day. I can’t imagine not eating her food anymore. I can’t imagine not sitting with her on the couch and watching Chinese dubbed Korean dramas. I can’t imagine her not giving me advice about life.
There are just so many things I do with her in my life that my life can’t just carry on when she’s not here.
But everyone will result to the same fate. That’s why we learn to cherish the people around us and the people we care about the most. We live life to the fullest with them, and cherish those memories, so that when they are gone, we’ll have the best memories.
My grandmas impacted my life, without her I probably wouldn’t be the person I am today. She has told me stories about her life and what she has learned. Every advice she has given me shaped me to become a better person. I want to do the same. I want to impact other people’s lives for the better, so when I leave this world, other people will do the same.
However, I rather have someone remember me for who I am-if who I am is someone who impacted other people’s live then great, but if not, it’s okay- than my best.
Indeed, we all have that one person who deeply impacts our life and the kind of person we are today. I can understand your feeling regarding your great grandma’s death. I wasn’t close to my grandpa at all until I moved here. Although we spent a couple years together, out of those years, about half of them he was unconcious on the bed. I definitely respected him as an elder and did feel sorrow seeing him on the bed. However, when he passed away two years ago, I did not feel much pain inside my heart. In some ways I was glad that he no longer needed to fight with the long-term disease anymore. But at the end, I still wished him to live a wonderful like in another world and hoped him to take care of our whole family.
It is almost the end of our childhood journey fellow classmates.
Everything we’ve worked for for the past four years, is about to pay off.
As of today, we only have 180 days until we receive that diploma.
180 days to fulfill whatever dreams and goals we have left on our childhood list.
180 days to show how much we have left in the tank.
180 days left, until we start a new chapter in our lives.
Enjoy the memories while you can still create them, because next year, we’ll have to discover a new adventure of our own.
It’s kinda funny you know. Many people see high school as “the best four years” of their lives while many others remember high school as a nightmare with drama, embarrassments, and mistakes around every corner. It’s amazing to see how four years in high school can build, break down, and rebuild young adults into completely different human beings on the other side. I would be lying if I said I didn’t mature at all through my high school career, and I would be wrong if I believe that I went through four years of high school without making mistakes. But to be honest, I cherish these mistakes. I value my mistakes because they’ve taught me how to grow up. They’ve taught me how to learn and mature in order to be ready for adulthood. I wouldn’t undo a single mistake if I had the power to, and I’m more than grateful to see how they’ve shaped me to who I am today.
In our foundation questions, one of the questions asked, “are you defined by what you are, or by what you do? In other words: does the person you are define the choices you make or do the choices you make define the person you are?” Even though I knew my answer, I looked at this question for a very long time, reminiscing on how my life unfolded before me. I’ve stated this in much of my work throughout the course of the semester and I still uphold this belief to this very day. I am defined by everything I’ve experienced in my life. Every action I’ve made and every action that affected me molded who I am today, and I am here to present myself as everything I want to be to everyone I want. In my UC personal statement, I briefly described myself as a seeker of self-improvement, however, it’s not in the sense that I want to get better at one or two subjects and continue to apply those skills to my advantage. In my life journey, I want to be able to improve myself in any way possible whether it’d be physically, mentally, emotionally, etc., in order to use my abilities to help and support the people I care about. Now many of you may know that my ultimate goal in life is to find happiness in whatever I do, but a core attribute in maintaining that dream is to be able to strengthen myself and use my knowledge and resources to give back to my family and friends. Somewhat like Vasudeva in Siddhartha, I believe that life is best lived through helping others, but unlike him, I hope that everything I work for is for myself, and ultimately for my family and friends. I can say I am everything I want to be, but I still believe that there is so much more to discover and improve on in order to make my dreams a true reality.
When I reach my finish line, I truly hope I can say that I did everything I can in order to leave a positive impact on the people I care about. Although dishonestly is common in everyday life, I don’t want to leave the world knowing that my family and friends put a mask on me, covering up how I was truly perceived. I don’t want them to uphold me to someone I never was and tell their children about the person I didn’t build myself up to be. I want them to tell the story of who I am. I cannot definitively say this for myself, but I do trust my family for making the right decision when it comes to remembering who Sean Le was. We’re all going to be forgotten eventually, but I hope the last thoughts of me are honest and genuine, and uprooted to the man they truly viewed me as.
I just want to be remembered for who I am...
180 days left guys.
Though our time left together is brief, we still have a lifetime of stories to tell ahead of us.
We still have a lifetime to make an impact and be remembered.
We still have a lifetime to chase our dreams.
And I hope we all use our lifetime wisely to truly find out who we are in this world...
I thought your blog was beautifully written, and I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your blog a lot. Off the bat, I was intrigued and nodding my head in agreement and saying, “Yes!!”. I like the fact that the structure of your post is distinguishable from the rest, you incorporated very relatable topics, and used good connections. You were organized and left a lasting message in order to wrap up a solid blog. We are still incredibly young individuals with potentials that we aren’t even aware of. I truly hope you get accepted to whichever education system you desire, because they would be lucky to have a person like you who aims to improve the person they are for the better while leaving positive impacts on others. Wealth is not the only measurement of success, but also an individual’s ability to influence and help the world become a better place. I’m curious of where we will all be in a matter of a few months and how much we will grow after.
Kyla, just the thought that someone reads my blogs brings a smile to my face. Your comments may not mean a lot to you, but they really make me feel good about my writing. Your kind words give me assurance that I’m improving as a writer, and it really does boost my confidence in how I deliver my ideas. It means a lot that you took the time to read my post and understand what I was trying to evoke, and I really do appreciate your positive feedback. Like you, I’m also curious to know where we’ll end up in a couple months, and I also want to let you know that your ideas and beliefs in your writing is deserving of a bright future as well. Thanks again for reading my post Kyla
Since we are always busy with our lives, we sometimes forget that we would die one day and leave everything behind.
What if I die tomorrow? How would these people remember me?
As I was doing this blog, I asked my friend how she would remember me as if I were to die tomorrow? Then she replied, “I would remember you as a great person to talk to when I’m feeling down even though you tease me a lot by saying mean things to me”. I was really touched by her words since even though she praised me as a great person, she also said that I am also a mean person. This is how I want people to remember me. I want people to remember both of my good and bad characteristics. I want people to remember who I really am, not at my best.
However, people don’t really remember bad things about a person who is gone because they feel sad for them.
Except for my parents, I want them to remember me as a great daughter. Once, I asked my father how he would remember me as if I am gone. However, I have two siblings that have something that they are good at but I don’t. This definitely pressures me since I feel like a disappointment in my family. He comforted me by telling me that I don’t have to be good at something like them to make him proud because he is already grateful to have me as his kid. Since I am always happy and energetic in front of him, he says that he would remember me as a great bubbly daughter. I think every parent would remember their children just like my father because parents accept the children the way they are.
This is me. I am extremely gullible and temperamental. I can’t really keep secrets. I don’t know how to talk properly. I tease people by saying mean things to them. I am really blunt sometimes that people find me rude. I want people to remember this side of me. These characteristics may seem bad but it makes who I am. I think both of my family and friends would remember me as a great person. They would only remember good characteristics from me because it would be abnormal to talk bad about the person who is gone. I think history will remember me more favourably than I deserve because I still did some good things in this world.
Hi Sarah! I feel as though you’d be remembered as an amazingly positive person. I’ve rarely seen you get upset at anyone and you’re usually in a very excited mood (especially when the Bangtan Boys come out with new music or tweet). I agree with your statement that most people aren’t remembered in a negative light because people feel sad that they’ve died. It’s moving to hear that your dad will remember you as a bubbly daughter. Great post!
I want people to remember the way I am and what I do. Playing soccer is what I love most and I enjoy when people see me because then they know my style of play and what I do with the ball. I'm a creative person and I like doing my own thing, I'm a very independent person. I want people to regret not meeting me. I am a very outgoing person and love to make people laugh. Filling my friends and families lives with laughter is what I like doing.
Whenever I'm with friends, I always like to talk a lot but not to a point where I'm annoying. I love to make my friends laugh. Every adventure we go on, I like each minute to be memorable. All of my friends are outgoing and love to joke around but I believe I'm the one who likes to have the most fun. I usually go out with a small group of friends. It's Adil, Jason, David and I. We're all pretty close and all play soccer. We hangout mostly after every game and during lunch. I want them to remember me by the friendship I had with them, how I trust them, and all the adventures we had together.
As for my family, I am practically the same. I love to talk when I'm with them. But, to be honest I don't really tell them anything about my personal life. In fact, I only tell 3 people about my life because I trust them and know they won't say anything. They are Adil, Angela and Kaylin. I trust them with everything. Anyways, I'm just like my dad because he loves to talk and joke around. He's not really embarrassed to do anything and I am. Other than that I'm similar to him.
I just never want to be forgotten.
Hey Javi! I liked how confident your voice is in your writing I can tell you have a very big passion for soccer. I also liked how you mentioned that you want people to not regret meeting you which I found very inspiring.. I also would love to be remembered that way. Good work!
We have all experienced with loss. We may have lost our loved ones, or we may have lost our emotions. Nonetheless, we still need to face them from our daily life.
When my grandma died, I felt the world was going to be ripped out to pieces. I felt regretful and hateful. I hated myself that, I did not even go to see her months before she died when I knew that she was really sick. She got cancer and died painfully. She was 96 when she was gone. I cried and cried over her grave, hoping God can give me just one minute to talk to her. I miss her. My father was always asking me to see my grandma when she was really sick. My response to him was rather cold and put off to next day. However, we did not have another day. She was gone, and that was it. I could never see her again. When that news stroke me, my heart felt stringed all of a sudden. I felt hopeless and sad and as the world fell down on me. All those memories flushed back on me. She was the one who always cared for me when I was younger. She played with me even when she was very tired. She made me tasty food and always prayed for me. I bet she was still thinking of me when she was off to that long journey. I was young and naive. I did not know how to deal with that loss. I grieved everyday.
I felt I failed right at that moment. I failed to be the person I wanted to be or my grandma expected me to be. I failed. She was the one who gave me countless love and care. She was the one who taught me how----to love. Sadly, I did not learn that so well. I did not return just a little love back to her. No, I failed.
We always build different faces to different people, but our true faces cannot hide from ourselves, or our loved ones. We have to face our true selves, and that is how we will grow, and learn.
Sometimes, our loss will bring lessons to us. It will help us to become better.
“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have - life itself.”----Walter Anderson
I honestly don’t get why people are afraid of death.
My grandmother died of liver cancer a few years ago, and for my father, it was painful for him. After all, he did love his grandmother dearly, and he was devastated for some time.
I loved her, too. I cried, too. But I never felt sadness. I never was crushed. I just said, it’s sad, but that’s life. And let’s just move on.
Don’t call me heartless, cruel, or unsympathetic. I’m none of those. I’ve felt deeply sad and passionate for many things. I just simply think that we attach too much meaning to death. As if death somehow is this evil thing that .... I don’t know.... deserves to be hated and condemned. It’s not. It’s just a period at the end of a sentence. Now stop lingering and move on to the next sentence.
In other words, I hate the feelings that come with death. Or more accurately, the overflow of feelings. Sure, if I die, someone may feel genuinely sad for me, but that is distorted—he may be considering my negative aspects less than he should be. It all just comes off as fake.
Why do we have funerals? Is it to commemorate a person’s life? Or is it to commemorate a person’s death? Or is it to commemorate a person’s life because of his death? I find it kind of sad that only after a person dies do we start to bring up and talking about his good stuff. When a person is living (famous people excluded), we barely talk much good about him and how he’s great. We devote most of our lives selfishly focused on ourselves. And oh, there’s a funeral for a guy of mine, so let me now devote some of my caring and thoughts to him. Why now, when he can’t even speak to you anymore, and not before?
Actually, to be honest, I can’t really pinpoint why I get irritated when people lavish so much over a person’s death. It could be I see it as no big deal or I see the people mourning as misguided. Death should not be something we feel sad for; it should be just a normal event in a person’s life, the concluding one.
If I ever died, I’d prefer people just ignore and appreciate not my funeral or my dead rotting body but for the things I have left behind. The culmination of my life should not be a coffin buried under the ground but the things I have done to society. Sure, some recognition would be great, but even if I don’t get any, I’m happy. That in some way or some form, I shaped something.
Let my body rot away. Let my life rot away. A person’s physical life and body are temporary, materialistic things that society spends too much time on. They’re not important in the grand schemes of life and should be treated as such. What one should focus on more is the LEGACY left behind. Those will last forever (or at least way longer). Those are what we should celebrate. We commemorate the legacy not in a funeral. Not after our death. But continuously forever, in living and in death.
You have a lot of very strong opinions about the death of a person. I do agree with you that it is sad to talk about the good that person has done who is already dead. It is certainly ironic to talk about the good things that a dead person done, and not talk about it when that person is alive. I think human beings just don’t appreciate the thing that they have in life, and regret the things that they have lost. I do the same thing, and so do many other people. I don’t think death should be as normal as you say. Unless you always talk to your parents or people around you about the good things that they have done for you, then it would make sense for you to say “I find it kind of sad that only after a person dies do we start to bring up and talking about his good stuff.”
Death is exaggerated so much to the point that people naturally fear it. But in reality, death should not be such a big deal. However, I actually do appreciate funerals because of the thought of what would it be like if we did not have them. If we did not have funerals, people will not be fine with knowing that their death is kind of in a way, going unnoticed. Their lives would not be commemorated. A funeral is a type of closure and it is a necessary closure for the families and friends of the person that passed away.
I really like your perspective on death, it's very refreshing. I don't know why we are so scared of death and I wish I didn't feel the effects of death so profoundly. Sometimes I get so caught up in the grief and sadness that I forget to appreciate the person who died, and most importantly, to move on and accept death.
Keep up the good work!
Titus, I feel like every point of your post should be listed as life (death) quotes. It’s just so hard, but so important, to face with death in a neutral way - it’s part of life. But I think the biggest cause of grief at funerals is regret. People regret that they did not spend quality time with the deceased one or take the time to truly understand them. And yes, feeling regretful does nothing but block the way for the future. So I believe the most important thing to do now is to cherish every moment with the people in front of you in order to minimize regret when they leave you.
Hi Titus. Your strong opinions about death just blew me away! I have not given the irony of funerals a thought. Thinking about how people mention all the good things a person has done as opposed to mentioning the things while the person is alive is truly ironic. I agree, death should be viewed as something normal, and therefore we should stop feeling sorry for the person by perhaps presenting them for a better person than their truly were.
The man with the mask is someone that is frowned upon in the modern society. We all like down to earth people who act in individual interests, while not doing anything out of the ordinary or offensive. People who are malicious or attempt disconnect the coherence of society are faced with contempt when they are who they want to be. The mask is what everyone wants to see and the different faces are what makes us happier everyday. We want people to say that the new car was the right car to buy and that the composed song on soundcloud with abstract lyrics that is suppose to convey a deeper meaning is creative. We are obligated to say these things to people. No matter how many times we say to ourselves that the person’s opinion don’t matter, it still hurts us, and we don’t want to inflict that pain on anyone else. The different faces we make is sadly what we do to make ourselves feel better, knowing that we made someone’s day better.
I understand the need to build a different face. I do it all the time and that is the cost of being able to be myself. It has become a necessary trait in society to ‘fake it till you make it’. I want people to know that what I am saying or how my facial expression appears is how I truly am. But I am still stuck sitting on the fence. I still want to impress the people who don’t matter, love for the sake of loving, and be the person I am not. I don’t wanna come off as weak and vulnerable to certain people, but for others I act a feather. I still have to learn that everyone doesn’t need to be happy with me and should not be worried with the face I already have. The only face that is suppose to matter to me. Pretending shouldn’t be the prerequisite to do something. When we die, we want people to know that we were something more than we were. Something society molded as a good person, someone genuine that people like to look back too. Someone in the future generation would accept and not blame.
I had a pet praying mantis when I was about 10 years old. I found it resting on my garage floor with its green, sharply tilted back with a stance that somewhat signaled fear and anxiety when I saw him contrasted on the gray concrete floor. I picked it up with my bare hands and stored it in a butterfly cage off the side of my living room. I built it an ecosystem with water, grass, and a package of crickets delivered every two days by me. It had no harm and was free to do whatever it wanted to do. One morning I woke up and saw a whitish brown colored rock stuck on top of the cage. I tried to touch it but the mantis wasn’t too happy when I got close to the rock, and I quickly inquired that it was an egg. A beautiful egg that I felt partially responsible for since she wouldn’t have had it without me.
One day I stopped feeding her. One day turned quickly turned into two then a week. I stopped giving the effort to make her feel happy, and I kept bragging how my praying mantis can stand on its own feet without eating for a week. I can still remember the day when I came back home and say my brother’s face. He told me that my praying mantis died, and I walked into my room like I normally did thinking that it was one of my brother’s pranks again. I checked again inside the cage and saw her on the ground on her back. Starting to turn black and a leg already dismantled, she laid flat directly under the egg. She tried taking care for the eggs one last time. She laid the egg, because she trusted that I built a steady environment that would ensure her new generation. I failed her. She died with a conception that I was a liar and a person who made her suffer through the last parts of her life. She died having a misconception of who I really was.
In my family, we don’t usually cry over death. We believe in reincarnation and we are usually happy that people died the way they did. People don’t die affecting others for the sole reason that make us feel dead inside with them. This time it was different. I buried her in the hole I dug and placed a rock on top of where she was. I tried to engrave her name on the rock, but I didn’t have the strength to do it. The babies didn’t hatch either. I usually don’t think it's necessary to cry out of sadness or even out of guilt. I cried because I broke a golden rule that I promised I wouldn’t break. I lied to her by fulfilling a promise to be kind and maintain a stable relationship when I was otherwise. She wasn’t human and I am glad she wasn’t. She would rather die than pretend to like to live under someone.
I am not sure who will be at my funeral saying the few speeches that need to be said. I don’t even know if I would ever stop trying to be someone I am not. I don’t want to end up like Gatsby where the people I thought were my friends don’t actually care about me. I hope I leave behind something I would be proud of. As much as I want to leave behind only happiness for everyone, no one deserves that. I want people to do something and say, “ya, Colin would have done it this way, he was a s**thead sometimes”. As much as I only want to leave my highlights behind, we don’t affect others with only the centerpiece. I want people to remember all the things I did to them and not give a nice speech out of pity and respect. The honesty I want to give out is what I want to get back.
I really liked your anecdote about your pet grasshopper. Even though it's just a grasshopper, it's death meant more to you than just the death of a grasshopper. I had to grow a plant for APBio, and once the project was done, there was no more incentive to take care of it it. I stopped watering, but I did feel really guilty when I finally saw it's withered leaves. This plant depended on me for its survival, and I let it die.
I also agree with what you said about wanting people to remember me for who I really was. I would rather have people remember me for all the bad things I've done than just a, "oh, she was kinda cool."
Geez man, hitting us straight in the feels with that praying mantis story. I really liked how you also threw in Gatsby in your blog. It is a great reference to literature and a great reference for this blog. I also liked what you said about masks, that a lot of the time we wear one pretending to be someone we aren’t. We must be who we are and do it with pride, knowing that we are the best that we can be. Great blog and keep it up!
To be everything you want to be to everyone you want equates perfection. I would love to be the best person possible I could be. I want to maximize my human potential not just for myself and my own pleasure, but for those who are around me and specially my loved ones. There are two sides to the coin here. One, the pressure one puts on himself, or herself, to be near perfection may result in never reaching the goal. In other words, one will never be what they want to their loved ones because one is so hard on himself, or herself. Second side, the pressure of meeting the expectations our loved ones have for us. We love our loved ones and our loved ones love us, in most cases. Thus we want to please them and make them happy by meeting their expectations of us but sometimes that is nearly impossible because of the rigorous expectations they have for us. because they love us, they want us to be the best of the best, but there has to be that realistic line of expectations or realistic line of goals we have for ourselves. Balance is key for preventing discouragement or loss of relationships. We have to accommodate each other for us to have healthy relationships.
I am fortunate enough to have a girlfriend who sees me as a perfect package. And when I say perfect package, I don't just mean all of my positive attributes but also my negative attributes. She understands that if she were to look for a perfect guy with perfect positive attributes, she won't find him even if she travels the whole world. She sees the good in me over the negative, leaving me with more room for doing my job under less stress. I will stumble every now and then and not meet her expectations of me, but in most cases I meet her expectations. And, when I don't meet them, it is my fault for not meeting them not hers for having too high of expectations. She never has unrealistic expectations of me. I think I’m giving her everything I want and I’m always trying to give her the best of me and the best I have to offer.
On the other hand, since we are not perfect, we can mess up sometimes. There are, definitely, some moments in my life when I felt I came shorthanded and didn’t deliver to my loved ones as I was expected to. I will take my father for an example. One day, he approached me as a young man, not a kid, and asked me to complete a specific task. That task was within my reach and limits, and it was expected of me to complete it. Life can throw many things at you at once. That is what happened with me at that time. I lied to him that I had completed the task when, in fact, I did not complete. It was for his forgiveness and understanding that I become a better man everyday. It is moments like these in my life where I learn from my mistakes, take responsibility for my actions and be eager to take on challenges of becoming a better person. Even though, I did not complete the task, today I always strive to make him proud and happy. It is people like my dad that I would dedicate my life to after their death.
I agree with you that no one can be perfect, and if you tried too hard, you lost your original life goal. I also agree with you that everyone can mess up, make mistakes at some point of our lifetimes. And in the future, I hope you become a lot better person than you were before.
Let’s make a deal...
We adore actors. We love what they do in movies, tv shows, and on stage and often times we don’t even know their real names. So many of us wish that we could be them, but not exactly in the sense of being in the movie. A lot of us love how characters are able to express themselves so well, express their personality.
Halloween is rated one of the top 3 holidays for Americans. According to different sources (ie: if you google “Top holidays for Americans”) you’ll usually find it as #2 or #3, trailing behind Christmas. Why is it ranked so high? Apart from the free candy, the main reason why it’s first is because it allows us to “free ourselves.” We can dress up with costumes that display our inner feelings without being judged as harshly as we would on an average day. We finally get to let out the side of ourselves that we don’t normally want others to see: the personalities we hide behind the masks.
Let’s make a deal: our identities for our acceptance. We mask our personalities so we are liked by society. It’s an evolutionary necessity because if we are hated, then we are very unlikely to succeed. (Unless you are Trump, as we can see from the GOP polls.) While if we are liked, then we are more likely to land ourselves in a quality college, make valuable connections, and find a nice job. We can see this in our daily lives: with our family, we may be the innocent angel who can do no wrong; with our friends, we may be an animal at parties. But, with ourselves, who are we? At least for myself, I honestly have no clue who I am anymore. I can’t say that I hate that idea... it’s helped me out of many situations and gotten me very different groups of friends, even my closest friends. We need masks to survive. But, at what point should we take them off? When is the deal no longer beneficial for us? I honestly don’t know and it’s possible many of us will never find out, all we can do is hope that life will play out in our favor.
Hey Matt, I really liked the way you started your post. It caught my eyes to read it. Nice attention grabber. However, I respectfully disagree with your deal. I think majority, if not, all high schoolers and teenagers mask their identity for acceptance but I do not think it should be that way. I hope you find your own true identity because you mentioned, you have no clue. It will really help you in life, in general.
I agree that many mask their identities for acceptance. I will admit I probably unknowingly do it too. However, I do not believe it is healthy for us. I think if we continue to do so one day we will wake up confused who we really are. To find out who we really are is a battle that each individual has to take. Some are easily able to figure it out and some aren’t. Like you said that day we takes off our masks is a mystery and I guess varies for all of us.
Losing the life of someone you love, especially when that life was so pertinent in your own, is never easy. Some people never recover from their loss. However, until that person learns to accept the idea, he/she may never recover. “Dealing” with loss is having to go through a normal schedule, except without that individual.
I understand what death is, so it does not take me very long to grieve before I remind myself of it. However, I do not encounter death very often, so it still manages to surprise me- even when I am warned it will happen soon. I understand that when we die, we go to either Heaven or Hell according to God’s judgment. I know that their soul is where it should be and that everything- even if it seems to make no sense at the moment- is exactly how it should be. Every occurrence is going as planned, and so theoretically we should not worry. Although sometimes we forget that because we are human and become upset again.
There are beautiful things in every situation no matter how hard it may be. Even in death. Sometimes we need that reminder because however we decide to feel is completely correlated to our perspective.
As for grief, it's normal. It's human. It isn't a sign of weakness nor strength. All it means is you need time to take in what happened and remind yourself what death really is.
Personally, I don't torture myself thinking about missed opportunities nor do I feel guilty about the death. What happened happened. Seize the now. There are opportunities you will miss in the current moment if you spend all your time on the past. And what is the point of feeling guilty over a death you didn't cause? Guilt is a necessary emotion to help us do good instead of bad. It had no place in a situation where it cannot change nor prevent a future action. Why torture yourself when you can choose to look back at that lost life, and smile?
Thinking about the bad times won't add hours to our lives. If we are going to spend time looking back we can at least look back at the opportunities seized and encourage us to take more opportunities which we encounter now. If we decide to look at the opportunities we missed, then changing perspectives from, “I should have…” to “Next time I’ll…” is so important because we cannot change the past. No ones invented that time machine yet and so it is vital to remember that simple fact which is, time on Earth is limited.
I love you message in your post about death. I had always thought that living in the past was not healthy and to see that in your post made me want to comment on it. Your last two paragraphs I felt were very strong since it carried the heart of the post. Saying to think in a more optimistic way like “I should have to” to “I am going to next time” was a great example to sent out.
Living in the past would get you nowhere. You gave plenty of reasons why that is.
The way that I handled my Grandmother’s loss was by music. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized how powerful music can actually be.. before it was just ‘oh I know this song I’m gonna sing along to it’ but as I got older I realized that the lyrics and the background noise actually mean something. It touches you. It vibrates throughout your veins repeatedly and consistently until you feel the rush of ecstasy throughout your entire body.
When my grandma passed away I was about twelve years old too young to even cope the pain or to comprehend why God took my grandma away from us so early. I wanted answers and all I could find them in was the music. Music made it okay to cry to every sad touching lyric. I would tag along in car rides anywhere just to hear music and when I wasn't keeping myself busy I would lock myself in with headphones until I was safe. I wasn't alone anymore I was free. Every time it felt like she was right there holding me watching me sing to every song that reminded me of her.
My grandmother loved to sing it didn't matter to her what time of day it was she would always sing, while cooking, while she was smoking her daily cigarette or even while cleaning the house. That’s how I remember her. She had a beautiful voice, a voice that went along with every melody in the song.. her favorite song that she always sang was “You Raise Me Up” by Celtic Woman it’s pretty ironic because that song is talking about someone giving you enough strength to conquer any goal or task now that I realize it, it was a sign all along.
I grieve through music, I feel that is the best way to keep yourself sustainable and somewhat alive because often times I found myself lost in the music, in a good way of course but I would often shut people out. I wanted to listen and listen and keep listening until I felt myself revive back to life.. Not a day goes by that I regret choosing music over the people around me I knew they were always there to run to with open arms but I wanted to be alone with just the music and I.
I am proud of the way that I handled the loss of my grandma she was a true inspiration and had such a huge impact on my life. I could imagine anyone else going into a major breakdown if they had lost someone as close to them as she was to me. I am proud of myself for going down the right direction, what I did was brave of me to continue to fight my way through the loss of her death. I know I can handle pain or sadness or whatever comes my way. I won’t ever let it drag me down. It makes me stronger everyday to know all I do is for her. I know she looks down upon me everyday with a smile telling me she’s proud I just wish I could hold her once again.
Death is followed by many distressed feelings, many thoughts of missed opportunities, and many unanswered questions such as “what if’s”. When someone dies, especially someone close to our hearts, we tend to think of all the things that we couldn’t do or accomplish with that person. All we can see is the sorrow instead of all the pleasant memories we have had.
Although it is pointless to grieve and be filled with sorrow, it is completely natural. Seeing the ones we loved pass away has unanswered questions and thoughts spinning in our heads. “Why couldn’t I talk to her/him more? Why couldn’t I understand how she/he felt? What if I didn’t leave him/her alone? What if we resolved our disagreement? What if we never did this/that?”, etc. The list could go on. There are countless questions that we may never understand. We tend to look towards all the missed opportunities we could’ve had with that person. I remember that day clearly when my grandpa was taking me to the gym. I noticed he was limping and I couldn’t understand why and looked passed it. Later on, during the car ride, I noticed him driving slower than usual. Still, I did not think much of it. The next morning I had been informed that he had a stroke, in which one’s muscle becomes weak, and tend to feel numb and possibly paralyzed. Luckily my grandpa survived but even though I was not very close with him, I grieved more than any of my siblings. I felt that it was my fault and that I should’ve noticed his symptoms and called for help. Because of that incident, I started to help my grandpa more and more and learned to be nice to those around me because one day they could disappear from my life.
Grieving is normal, and death is inevitable. In fact, as of right now, we are all dying. Getting closer and closer to the day we die. Although I am completely terrified by the thought of death, I know that nothing will change and so I should just look over it and try to live a life with as little regrets as possible. Everyone will face hardships, some more than others, but hopefully everything will be ok in the end.
When those that we care about are snatched away from us by death, it is only natural that we feel heartbroken. Getting over the loss of someone we cared about takes a lot of time and in some cases, the pain never does go away. As I wrote in my blog, when my great grandmother died, I wasn’t surprised because the condition of her health was far from optimal. Even though I knew it was coming, I still felt sad when the news finally arrived. One of my greatest regrets in life is that I never got to learn more about her childhood and her life experiences.
I agree with your post very much. Where that though death may be around the corner for some, and farther away for others, that people shouldn't take the time to count the days until they pass. But to cherish each day, like it is their last. Because we never know what is going to happen. I also had a time about my grandparent, that was relatable to your situation in a way. My grandmother was very sick when I was in middle school. But I didn't know she was until when I came home she passed out on the floor, so every time I came home I would help her do chores and bring her food to her room. And helped nurse her back to health, along with going to her doctor appointments with her.
Hi Mary. I remember when my great grandma past away, I thought the same thing as you have mentioned. I always blame my self on what if I was with her more than what I have done. I have not really talk to her, talking about what I think about my self, and my future. But just ignore her as an old person. And I just have so many things that I wanted to talk to her with. But yeah, as you have said, she already past away, I better be nice to my parents before its too late.
There are two kinds of losses in my life: ones which I had no chance to deal with, and ones which I am afraid to deal with. The result from both of the losses is that I started being self-abandoned and pretend to be not caring about losing.
I lost my father when I was born. My parents were divorced; My father went to Singapore; I can’t even remember what he looks like. That is my first loss, which I had no ability to redeem.
I lost my grandfather when I was two years old. I didn’t know what is loss. He passed away in front of me but I was puzzled. Sometimes I still miss him. Although I only remember him by the memories my family told me, I still miss him. Maybe that is the indivisible connection of family.
As I grow older, I started losing people I trusted; cared, and loved. They were once the important roles in my life. My mom said I am a cold and indifferent person when I was young. It is like when a person keeps saying you are something, and then you will believe you are truly like that. Since then, I really became one. I like those people who are around me, and I treat them well. But I don’t care them. I mean, whenever they decide to leave me, I am ready. I do grieve, of course. Though I understand they are just passengers of my life, I am the only person who are with me during the rest of my life. I will not leave me.
The only people I am not ready to even think about losing is my family. Even imagining is hard. I do not know how will I deal with it and my life will be like. I am ready to lose anyone but my family. Family is the only sustenance where I rely all my trust. If I lost them, then I will be truly alone in this world.
It seems that you have a dark childhood and I feel bad for it. And reading your post makes me want to treat my family better in the future. And I would like to say that “Be Positive”, Overall, a great post with emotions and I liked it.
Hi Winnie. I am completely sorry for your childhood. Also, I admire how strong you are regarding your acceptance of death by referring people as passengers. However, I have a weak point as you. Losing family is something I can't imagine how to overcome. Based on your life story, do not underestimate yourself - you are stronger than you think.
There is many thing we do not have a choice, as the moment we born into this world. We are helpless when there is something happen to us, we pretend to be careless. We pretend to be emotionless while facing these problems and changes. That’s because in the heart, we want it to change as we wished.
I lost my grandmother when I was only fourteen.
It was the first time I ever lost something close to me, and the resulting grief haunted me for the following months until I recovered. To me, she was the kindest person in the world, not to mention a great cook. She always considered the needs of the people around her and was hospitable to every guest she had. Whenever I was sad, she would cheer me up with games and stories of her own life, and we would on occasion go out to the local convenience store and purchase my favorite snacks. Also, her home was always peaceful and relaxing, with her loving relationship with my grandfather for many decades.
Except… she never really did pass away.
In fact, representing her in this fabricated and hyperbolic feels almost wrong, in a sense. I never actually get along with her at all. I can’t stand her prideful attitude and controlling nature, I’ve seen her good side, but a majority of the time she’s either complaining or arguing. She probably views me as a failure compared to my older sister, who seems to never mess up anything she does.
Yet, we still mutually love and care for each other, and creating these idealistic memories, facades, in my mind if they were to pass away would only seem like an action of disrespect for who they really were. Their qualities and actions are a part of what made them someone worth remembering to me; to filter and strip away at those would only serve a disservice to me and the others close to her. I would think of her as the slightly narcissistic and abrasive person she was, a flawed human being, and I doubt any of us would mind.
+ Have your feelings of loss been difficult to analyze? Are you afraid to examine the ways you react when you're emotionally wounded, or do you enjoy studying those types of feelings? (Can we even use “grief” as a label to describe our reactions to loss, considering that people react in such varied ways? Is the blanket accurate, or inaccurate?)
I can hardly understand the meaning of death, let alone describe it. None of my progenitors are centenarians, but they do tend to live to their late eighties and early nineties on both sides of my family. So I’ve never experienced a loss of a family member, at least not yet. I’m afraid to know what it will be like. Will I cry at my first funeral? Should I be crying? My overall perception of loss and grief has always been shrouded in a mystery.
My maternal grandparents live halfway across the globe. When I was four years old, my grandfather came for a visit. I’m unsure of how long he stayed, a couple of weeks or possibly a month - but it was long enough for me to build a deep, lasting connection with him. A few days before he had to return home, my parents kept saying to me, “Grandpa is going to go home, will you miss him?” This was a question that I had no answer to. But hearing them mention those words made me feel depressed, it never occurred to me that he wouldn’t be staying with us forever. So during the last few days with my grandpa, I was very anxious about him leaving. I wasn’t afraid of not getting to see him again, I feared not being able to be by his side. Then the day came when he had to leave for the airport. He said goodbye, and I mustered a goodbye back to him. He was about to walk out the corridor when suddenly I started wailing in my bedroom. He walks back in and asks me what’s wrong. I kept on crying. Once I calmed down, I simply uttered the words, “I don’t want you to go.” And he responded, “So you want me to stay, is that right?” I said yes. And he laid by my side and comforted me. Later my dad popped in and told my grandpa that they’d better be at the airport on time. But as he was about to leave, I started crying again. And so my grandpa stayed behind, and comforted me until I fell asleep. As my eyelids were about to shut, I remembered him kissing me on the forehead and saying he loved me once last time. And then he left. He phoned in the next day saying that he was home. Talking with him on the phone just didn’t conjure up the same feelings of happiness. There was a void in the house, and it took me awhile to get used to the way things were. In a way, it’s kind of like grieving. Though my grandpa is still around, that was the first time that I had to let go of someone I love.
I kind of have an idea of what it’ll be like to face a loved one’s death, but I don’t know how long grieving takes. There was one specific occasion that made me realize how long it may take for someone to grieve a loss. I was in the fifth grade, when my dad took me to his friend’s home. That home just so happened to serve as a mini temple, and I thought that I was there for religious intents. Instead, I was told that the mother of my dad’s friend will be coming that day. “Who is she?” I asked. My dad told me that she’s a very nice person, and she used to be a prominent person at the temple that we were in. And then I witnessed something that I can’t put into words. A Buddhist séance was being performed. The spirit of my dad’s friend’s mom was communicating through a medium, who was unconsciously scribbling her words down. It wasn’t creepy, and it wasn’t scary, but a lot of full grown adults were crying in that room. I even saw my dad sobbing, and he wasn’t even blood-related to this woman. I stood there for an hour and a half, not sure of what the meaning of all of it was. Didn’t Buddhists believe that spirits were reincarnated? But after the séance was over and the medium fainted, I asked my dad where the woman was. And he said, “She’s safe in heaven. Since she was such a benevolent and spiritual person, she broke the cycle of reincarnation.” I later learned that the woman had passed two years prior, and friends and family members decided to have a séance to see if she had made it to heaven; and once they found out, they cried because it gave them happiness and closure. From that point on, I realized that grieving isn’t solely about self-indulgence, it can be an honorable concern for the souls of your deceased loved ones. And contrary to what people believe, the period of grieving isn’t always momentary, it may last until one’s mind is rest-assured.
I don’t enjoy examining the way I react when I’m emotionally wounded. I hope the day that I attend my first funeral is not imminent because I want to be ready when the moment comes. But I think that I have an insight on how I would feel during and after one’s passing. Earlier I brought up the questions of whether I should cry when I attend a funeral. I read someone else’s blog in which they mentioned that they didn’t cry during their first attendance to a funeral. So I guess it doesn’t matter when or how you grieve. And I think the reason some people don’t cry after a loss is because they lose touch with reality, their minds don’t know how to process such a sudden and unexpected situation, so they have a delayed response to what actually happened. Everyone reacts differently to a loss, but I still refer to all those reactions as grief. Grief is inexplicable, but we’ll all come to face with it at some point in our lives.
You and I have a common view on grieving. It’s only natural for us to grief during some periods of our lives. I attended my grandmother’s funeral and that’s probably one of the saddest moments in my life. Even though sometimes I had conflicts with the people around me, that didn’t break down our bonds. The pain of the loss can really hurt me, especially my mental health. If death ends the life of one of my close friends, I must keep going on with my life.
So far, anyone really significant to me haven’t passed away yet, which is good. However, I have went through funerals when I was young, first one when was born, and the funeral being my grandfather’s. And since I didn’t really know him, I would say my feeling are “normally sad”. But right now, the time of my grandmother is closing by and i can see that I would be facing my first loss of loved one.
I would say that crying would be natural response since you wouldn’t be seeing that dead person anymore, just in dreams and memories, you may see him/her back. Dealing with emotional pains are sometimes worse than physical pains because time may heal physical pains but emotional pains may not go away. It will always be there reminding you “gone forever, never to see again”. And crying, grieving and so on would be natural responses to such pains to go away.
If I die, I would want people to remember me as someone who saved tons of lives, mentionable by every doctors, nurses and researchers. I would not want my body to be cremated though, just preserved in ice or in machinery, to be reanimate if technology made it possible.
Like you, I haven't lost anyone significant yet but I have been to plenty of funerals. One of them was suicide, it was so sad. Losing someone sucks because the only thing we have of the person is memories of how they lived. I agree with you that our first natural response to losing someone would be to cry. I’m Glad that you want to be someone who is remembered as someone who saved a ton of lives. It show how passionate you are with people and making their lives better.
7:00 a.m. Straight face with family.
8:00 a.m. Cheers friends up with nice words and smiles.
9:00 a.m. Laughs uncontrollably with another group of friends and says fml a few times.
Obviously, there is a disconnection in my behavior within the three hours. The 7 a.m. me is overly quiet. The 8 a.m. me is a "total sweetheart" (not trying to be narcissistic here). The 9 a.m. me is wild and badass. While the timing might be a factor (after all, who would ever laugh out loud as soon as they wake up), it's the different people I face with that causes me to act differently.
The most important issue here is the yearn for social acceptance. Because I hang out with different people throughout the day and they each have different standards, I want to feel socially accepted by having to impress these people differently. It's peer pressure. When one group of friends speaks in foul language, I speak that way too. Once I switch to a another group of friends, I speak differently to match with their language. And finally, when I'm with my family, I don't feel the need to impress them at all so I just don't try anymore.
To be honest, this constant switch between personalities is draining. And what if one of my friends who sees the "sweetheart" me all the time learns that I actually curse? Would they think any lesser of me? What if my badass group sees the silent girl at home? Would they think I am any less "cool"? I have to constantly prevent each groups of people from seeing the other sides of me that I hide from them all the time to prevent them from disliking me, which is very, very tiring.
Enough of that pretending.
The answer to all of the questions asked above is no. My friends, if they are true friends, wouldn’t actually dislike me if they see all sides of me. My prediction, after contemplating for a long time, is that they would be able to see a more complete person, a more real person with flaws. This would be a hard-earned value in friendship. I can’t wait to see what happens when I behave the same way in front of everyone. My life would be much less tiring and more enjoyable - no pretending, no gimmicks.
I really agreed your opinion on true friends. They wouldn’t dislike you if they saw all sides of you. I believe that friends can always on my side, and they will support me no matter what decision I made. In addition, it is amazing to see your experience as an example. Nice blog. Thank you!
Hi Vienna! I totally understand how you feel about pretending, because I am doing the same thing: showing different faces in different places. People around me don’t get to know me completely because they cannot see the whole picture. I believe we as humans are self-contradictory. We want to hide some parts of ourselves from others because we don’t want them to dislike us, but at the same time we also want to be understood. It takes bravery to let others know us for who we are, and remember us for us.
I totally agree with you that we act differently with the types of people we become friends with. But I believe that the reason we change the way we act around them is because each of our friends has a certain quality within them. Which explains why we become friends with them to begin with. Nevertheless, we all have different personalities depending on who we are around. It sucks that we can never be ourselves completely around everyone, instead of just our family. I’m like you, I can’t wait for the day that I can be able to let my guard down and be me.
Hi Vienna! I really like how you started your blog. I can relate a lot to your statement that “[you] speak differently to match with [your friend’s] language.” Many times I would imitate how my friends act too. I guess it’s a way to feel accepted. I like your bold comment saying to stop with the pretending. I think it’s something we all need to listen to. It’s interesting that you have two completely different sides. I’d love to see your badass side one day.
Haha Kelsey, I guess you've realized that I'm nice around you because I imitate YOUR niceness. I'll show you my badass side right when we get back from winter break
Hi Vienna! Your blog has caught my eye from the way you began to explain how you acted during different times of the day. I also had a different side of me which friends, or family didn’t see. Your advice is very true, a real friend should not judge you when they see another side of you. Nice blog!
I totally agree that we do tend to act different around our groups of friends and family. I have always hated the fact that you have to pretend around certain “friends” just so you can fit in. I believe that if they are a true friend that they will like you for no matter what. Great blog i really loved it.
I remember when Mr.Feraco asked us if our friends would be able to recognize us by our personal statements. Not by the information in our essay but by the tone of it. I thought long about that question. Honestly, I am not even too sure if my friends will recognize me just by the content of the essay. I guess it all comes down to whether or not my friends really know me. Or if my family even knows me.
Everywhere I go my personality changes. Every situation I am in my personality changes. Every person I know I have a different personality. There are so many different sides to me that sometimes I do not even who I am. Well, for the most part I do, but I get confused. Sometimes, I wonder why I cannot act the exact same with everyone I know. However, I know the reality of that would not go well.
If I acted the same way I did with my friends with my parents. That would be very unusual. I guess it is sometimes required to have various personalities. Simple things like greetings even require different faces. For example when I see acquaintances in the hallways I will just simply smile at them. When I see close friends I am way more outgoing just because I more comfortable with them. That is just a tiny example of how I act differently with different people, Often I do this in a much larger scale which is why I will confuse even myself.
Different places also change my behavior. Even just different class periods. The person I am in Economics is different from the person I am in APN. The person I am in APN is different from the person I am in science. My teachers, classmates, and even the subject all play a role in this. The whole environment has such a huge impact on who I am in there.
I put on different faces for different places. different sides for different situations and different people for different people. It might sound quite strange for one person to have so many personalities. However in many situations it is best to not act the same. Different times require different people.
I have never really been faced with death of a loved one. I have had loved ones pass away, but I was so young when it happened that I could not remember it at all. Overseas in Bangladesh my family is always getting phone calls about someone passing away. Sometimes they will tell me, sometimes they won’t and sometimes I won’t even remember the person since my last visit was so long ago. Either way, it happens very often. I have probably attended way more funerals than most people my age. I remember one year I attended more funerals than birthday parties.
All the funerals are the same. The loss of someone I did not know or not know well. The most recent one I went to was the death of my mom’s friend’s friend’s son. My family did not know him at all, but we still attended his funeral service which was thirty miles away. I did not know the person, but that did not stop the tears from coming down my face. Or stop me from praying that he would be taken to heaven. I was depressed at the funeral service but afterwards it did not leave the mark that a death would have on someone. However, that may be because I have been to so many that the grief only stays for a short period.
I am not really sure if I know how to grief over dead ones. I have never been put into deep sorrow through all these funerals. Deep sorrow to me is sadness for long periods of times. I experience sadness, but for a limited time. Not that I am a terrible person, but because they were strangers to me. The most miserable I have been at funerals or after a death was not for the person who had died, but for their family members. I tend to think more about the effect the death had on the family. Again that is definitely because I only knew the family of the person who passed away.
Even if I knew them I would still be very sad for the family who lost the person. I cannot even begin to imagine the emotions they feel. I do not think I will ever be able to handle it. Hopefully all these funerals will make me feel numb to a loss. However, knowing myself the chances of that are highly unlikely. I would either bottle up my emotions which I would say is the weak way. Maybe, let it all out which I would consider the strong way. Most likely it would be somewhere in between until I manage to move on, if I move on. Having never going through a death of a person I know well I cannot really say anything. Maybe it will be just like how I grief with all the strangers, or maybe it will be completely different. I really am not sure how I will grief for my loved ones but reality is I do not want to know.
Hey Arnika! You chose two topics that I was interested in writing about also, but I only touched on the topic of death. However, what you wrote about different personalities strongly matched my opinion. I agree “Different times require different people”. I don’t believe that having different faces makes a person unreal in this case. The environment and comfort level plays a huge role. With the topic of death, I have no clue how I’m going to react when the time comes. I like how you don’t want to know how you’re going to grieve because you’ll know when the it happens. We should take a break from looking into the future sometimes and enjoy the present. The future will become the present someday, eventually. Thanks for a nice, lengthy read!
I definitely agree with you about taking a break from looking in the future is best. Time goes by so quickly and it is best we enjoy it. Although in my blog I stated that I will wait when the time comes. There are a lot of things that I can never stop thinking about it. So I tend to forget to enjoy the present and often have to remind myself about it a lot. Especially now that it is senior year worrying about the future happens way too often. Enjoying our current state is definitely what should be done. Thank you for your comments!
Remembering a Chiliagon*
Everyone is different. People react differently to various situations. My friends and family members are no exception, which is why I act differently around each of them. In a way, I’m kind of like a masked Chinese opera singer, only without the singing voice.
My friends created a group chat on Facebook a while back, and even though we’re all very close, I barely contribute to their conversations. It’s not that I don’t want to join in or that I find their conversations boring or anything of the sort. It’s just the way I type changes while talking to different people. Sometimes I add punctuations and capitalize proper nouns. Other times I don’t. This is one way I’ve developed a different face for each of my friends over the years. I tend to act differently around each of them too. I tease some friends more than others. My jokes are dirtier with some friends than with others. This makes it hard for me to communicate with all of them at once. And because I’ve changed a lot throughout high school, I’ve become distant with some of my older friends. It causes me to wonder if they’ll dislike who I’ve become. Around these friends I try to act like who I was before. Around people I barely know, I tend to be very shy and awkward. Yet, around my closest friends, I’m pretty loud. Still pretty awkward though. I guess at least one part of my mask never changes.
The reason I act differently around different people is because I want to be, or at least I try to be, the best type of type of companion for each friend or family member. Some of my friends want someone to joke around with and tease. Others want someone more serious to whom they can come to for advice. However, even though I try, I definitely have not been everything I want to be to everyone. I’ve tried my hardest to be nice to people over the years and have failed many times. In elementary school I remember myself to be an extremely shy, but kind person who used to share her snacks with everyone. Yet, in ninth grade, I ran into someone from my elementary school who called me the b-word. I guess there are two sides to every situation, but I certainly wasn’t everything I wanted to be to that person. I also often times feel as though I let down my parents a lot. They’ve invested so much time and money in me and I’m probably not going to get into the college that they want me to go to or become what they’ve imagined I would become.
Even so, if I were to pass before they do, I know that my parents will remember me in a loving manner.
However, because I act differently around each person, everyone is going to remember me differently. I want people to remember me as I am, but that’s nearly impossible. Who am I really? One person could think I’m a saint, while someone else could think I’m the devil. And because we all have different filters, what I believe to be an accurate representation of myself may not be accurate to someone else. I guess I don’t really have much to worry about though because I honestly don’t think I will be remembered for very long. I’ve done nothing outstandingly positive or negative thus far and I tend to hide in the shadows. I don’t fear oblivion though, as Augustus Waters did at the beginning on The Fault in the Stars. It’s inevitable. If I am remembered, I hope at least my beliefs are remembered accurately.
Just like I want to be remembered accurately, I believe my friends and family should be as well. If I were to only remember them in a positive light, I would be remembering a different person. Or rather, half of that person. I would lose so much of them that I don’t want to lose.
However, all of this is just how I want to be remembered or how I want to remember others. Zemeckis and Gaiman are correct in that we do tend to remember lies. There’s a saying that goes “don’t speak ill of the dead.” So in a sense, death is a ticket to escape criticism. But this rule seems to only apply to those we love. I mean, we typically don’t see people hold their tongue when criticizing dead tyrannical dictators, or other deceased people who have committed crimes in their lives. If we were to protect our loved ones by killing those who have imposed threat upon them, would we then remember them positively? Who gets to have the ticket and who doesn’t? What are the requirements?
To avoid remembering someone incorrectly, because heaven knows I always remember information incorrectly while taking a test, I deal with loss by writing down my memories with the person or pet I’ve lost. I have a folder on my computer containing documents about people or pets who have passed. Most of the documents are of my many pets who have died or ran away over the years. I only have one document on there of a person: my granduncle. His death proved to be a difficult one to overcome. Since all my grandparents had passed before I was born or when I was extremely young, he took their place and we became extremely close. I’ve always felt guilty thinking of all the times I’ve missed with him. Times I could’ve called, but didn’t. His absence leaves a void in my life which causes me grief.
I feel as though grief is a sign of strength. Many people seem to try to deny when they are experiencing grief by hiding it or pushing it down. They seem to think that it is a sign of weakness. But in my opinion, it’s not. To show that you’ve cared for someone so much is a sign of strength. In a way, by grieving, you are honoring the person who died. As Washington Irving once said, “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love.”
Grief, however, can become a weakness if it overtakes the person’s life. If nothing else seems to matter to them. Not work, not companionship, not even basic necessities. Grieving is a process that everyone will go through at least once in their lifetime, but it’s also something we all need to overcome in order to become a stronger person.
My way of overcoming grief is probably not the healthiest. My feelings of grief have always been suppressed. But they come back every now and then, which explains the times I’ve randomly began crying during the night. I guess I’ve always been too afraid to examine my feelings. Even though I’ve stated above that I don’t believe grief is a sign of weakness, I dislike exposing it because it leaves me feeling vulnerable. I’ve been taught as a kid to never reveal my true feelings since my family never really talks about our emotions. Even writing this blog is difficult. I’ve had to take many breaks because my hands were shaking. I found that I’m only able to express my feelings to a select group of people. Because of this, I’m a bit glad I act differently around each person. Knowing the dimensions of my different friendships allows me to judge what I’m able to share with a certain person before it’s too much.
*A chiliagon is a figure with a thousand sides and angles.
Hi, Kelsey! First of all, I hate you! You said that your blog is going to suck but it’s wonderfully written and I really enjoyed it. I don’t really read long blogs but wow, yours is really amazing. I think I am mentioned in here because I was the one who asked you if you can just joke around. I like how you compare yourself to Chinese opera because they have so many masks that they show off. Don’t be sad because I am like you,too. I like your awkwardness though. It’s very entertaining and cute. haha! As your friend, I hate it every time when you feel sad but since you find grief as a sign of strength, I hope you have become a stronger person than before. Because of these blogs, I feel like I know about you even more than before. CHEER UP, MY FRIEND
The feeling you get when you feel like something will harm you.
I fear a lot of things.
Heights. Snails. And snakes.
The one thing I fear the most is losing someone I love.
From an early age I was always taken care of by my mother. She has raised me, taken care of me and gave me the life that I am living right now. My mom has strived to ensure that I will have the best life I can live. She moved from the Philippines where most of her friends were at, just to give me the opportunities that America provides. We fight, we have arguments but what’s family without some disagreements here and there. Quite frankly, I can’t think of living without her.
Life just has a funny way to throw unexpected obstacles in your way. Everything just seemed like it was going okay for me. I was getting my grades back to acceptable, I was sleeping early and everything with my mom and I were being patched up.
But recently, my mom got diagnosed with breast cancer.
And it scares me to think of losing her.
The thing with my mom is that she does not show her stress and fear. Even when she is at the lowest point she will always find something that will make her smile. She is a very compassionate person that will make you feel better even if she is not feeling great. Everything she does is something that I cherish and it’s hard to think of one of my supportive pillars being taken away from me.
This blog really got me thinking about one of the foundation questions. The one that talked about how we dealt with the inevitability. I answered how I felt at the time, which was that I would accept the fact and would not pursue to change the inevitable. Now with everything that has happened, I realized I answered that question totally off. Now that this disease has impacted my family, I realized all I want to do is find a cure to help my mom get better. All I want to do is find the cure that will help her live more years, so I would not have to lose her.
One day, I was just in the car with my mom and she asked me, “Would you kill a plant if you knew it would give me a couple more years to live but it would completely make that plant go extinct?” This was before I knew about her condition, and I answered as any student who is or has taken AP Environmental Science before.
I said, “No, I wouldn’t.”
Now that I know of her condition I would search the world for that plant, just to give her a couple more years. I am terrified of losing my loved ones. Their support and love has gotten me through some of the lowest points in my life. Their love and support has helped me through some obstacles that I would not have been able to get over without it.
Love is such a strong force. It gives you the power to overcome so many obstacles and fears. But, if that love was taken away from you, I feel like it would leave your vulnerable. For my case, without one of the biggest support systems in my life, I would be completely vulnerable. I do not know how I would react or feel.
I have always thought that grief was a sign of weakness. I have always tried to put up a persona of being strong and always happy. I feel that if I cry, I would show that I am becoming weaker and completely broken down. If you know who I am, you would know that I don’t cry a lot. Even under the worse of scenarios. Grieving can be a sign of weakness if you allow it to take over your life and completely disable you from doing anything. You need to allow yourself to grief because it allows you to move on.
When I heard of my mom’s condition I was so afraid to tell anyone because I was scared they would think that I was weak. It wasn’t until I told the first person, I realized that grieving doesn’t make you weaker, it helps you become stronger. It helped me realize that grief is a sign of strength. It allows you to have a better support system and helps you open up. If you’re always happy it just makes you more prone to snapping. With my experience, always putting up a strong front does not help you feel stronger inside. Sometimes you just need to cry, sometimes you just need to open up.
This is a way of me grieving. It is a way for me to open up and allow me to not suppress my feelings. It allows me to express the way I am feeling.
My mom’s condition is still undetermined if she is incurable. We are so anxious to know whether she will be okay or not. Just as I would have thought, my mom is always putting up a smile and making everyone laugh and happy. I’m terrified of losing her as I would be about losing any of my loved ones.
But, I know she will be okay.
Ryan, your heartfelt story is just beyond words…
I truly understand the grief and fear that you might lose a loved one anytime - this has happened to me - pretty recently - too. At this time I find myself very, very reluctant to say these words...when my dad told me he got lung cancer, I casually said, “Yeah I heard the doctor saying it.” Then I quickly went into the restroom and completely broke down. I was really afraid of showing people, especially my family, that I could fail at being strong and I could fail at controlling (or hiding) my emotions. I starting acting really mean in front of people, perhaps to hide the fact that I was breaking down inside (not that it would work). My mom noticed that I was behaving like a total different person and realized that I was hiding my emotions from them. She told me, “It’s okay to cry. Really.” I starting bawling.
Just know that you are not alone. There are so many more people out there who suffer like you and your mom, and we can all come together to comfort each other, knowing that it’s okay to appear weak at times.
Hopefully, your mom will be okay. I pray for you and her. But although this experience may be negative, I felt it has really let you see things more emphatically. In that what you took for granted (your mom) before now you see as precious.
Also, I’m glad you realized it is ok to show your “weaker” self. It is only by shedding our brave facade that one can not only be stronger but be more human. To live as the always courageous man, to live as a Beowulf, is humanly impossible and should not be something we strive to achieve.
It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to be weak. It’s ok to be human.
Hi Ryan! I’m so sorry to hear that your mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. From your blog, she sounds like a wonderful person. I agree with you that grief is only a sign of weakness if you let it take over your life. I believe that grief is actually a sign of strength as it shows how deeply you care for and love a person. I’m glad that by opening up about your grief, you were able to develop a support system and become stronger. Wishing you and your family the best!
I always like blogs with a deep and heartfelt story that accompanies it. Your blog is one of those. Stories that come from the depths of the heart bring a lot of emotion and thoughts that I find it nice to read, even if the story was depressing. Honestly I am afraid of losing the ones who have cared and loved me throughout my whole life as well. This may seem odd, but I would want to pass away before someone I love (someone important to me). I don’t know if I want to deal with the grief, but yeah… we need to move on. Recently I almost lost my life (if you want to know how, I wrote it in my blog), but I had family and friends there to support me through all of it. It was tough time (and it still is) so I hope that you can continue having hope and trust for a better future, or outcome.
your story hits really close to the heart. And I amend you for sharing it with us. I'm not even sure who you are, but I just wanted to remind you that it's okay to feel these things. It's okay to be sad over this, to feel grief, even. But remember, don't give up just yet. Stay strong.
I'm sure that's something you've been hearing a lot, but you've got to. You will be okay. And remember that it's okay to cry. Even if it is in front of people. Feeling and accepting the way you feel is actual one of the most humane things you could do. Because it's real. You're not trying to mask anything, to suppress your true emotions. You're just letting it be.
I know it's hard.
Believe me, I know.
Just know that if you ever need anyone to talk to, I'm always here. Sometimes you just have to get your feelings out.
(626) 354 6940
Same goes to anyone reading this post or in need of advice, feel free to call or text.
I wasn’t totally surprised when he said he didn’t want to see me anymore, and to my surprise, I wasn’t totally devasted either. When I first started seeing the first signs of our demise, I was worried. How would I react if he broke up with me and how I would deal with what I thought was the inevitable heartbreak? Although I told myself I really liked him, there were no tears, no desperate calls pleading for him to take me back- just a mild string of disappointment.
It didn’t take me long to get over it. While I wasn’t totally heartbroken, I was still a little sad. It was too much for me to have to deal with my emotions and meditate so I did everything I could to distract myself. Maybe it wasn’t healthy to ignore the repressed emotions I was probably holding, but it worked. It took me only a week to stop thinking about him. I guess it’s good that my coping mechanisms worked, but maybe a week is a little too fast.
I was listening to a song absent-mindedly on the radio, and I probably would have totally forgotten it if it wasn’t for one of its lyrics: It’s better to be blue than to be over it. This stood out to me because I was a little confused why anyone would ever want to dwell on an issue. I wondered why anyone would choose to stay sad instead of actively trying to move on.
After thinking about it for a while and consulting some friends, I think I sort of understand now. Sitting down and reflecting allows you to truly appreciate your experiences, even if it means drowning in an ocean of grief. It also allows you to learn more about yourself as you analyze how you feel and react to a situation… Something like that. Allowing yourself to be sad also shows a certain degree of respect towards the party that hurt you by showing them you actually care. (I don’t think it was appreciated when I replied with an, “Oh, lol” to the break-up text.)
Now that I look back on it, I don’t think my reaction should gauge how I really felt about him. It’s just my personal issues that prevented me from reacting a certain way. When we first started dating, I thought he was this amazing guy who was way too good for me. He was everything I wanted and more: smart, funny, good-looking- and he still is all these things. However, I just see these traits in a different light now. I hope what he saw in me in the first place isn’t damaged either. Just because we’re not dating anymore doesn’t mean these traits suddenly disappeared, but the different perspective reveals ugly details.
Thank you for sharing your personal story. I like how you said “allowing yourself to be sad show a certain degree of respect towards the others,” I remember someone said the same to be in the past. Although I don't think it's appropriate to go on and on and on about the ex., I agree that as long as some emotions were shared, grief and sorrow is okay. And it's okay to not be okay. And love comes and go and there needs to be some availability to let it in.
“It’s better to be blue than to be over it.” That’s perhaps one of the most interesting things I’ve heard in a while.
But in your context, I guess it kind of makes sense. Your break-up was a death, too. It was a death of love. When someone dies, it would be respectful if one cried and grieved over the dead person-- to show you really loved him/her. But to simply brush it off as “I don’t care that much” would probably seem offensive to that dead guy, and to your former boyfriend. I guess for him it shows that you probably didn’t really love that relationship, and that could have hurt.
However, at the same time, I find myself at odds with this, because honestly, it seems to become all a show. It all seems to be fake. If one really loves a person, the lover would regardless of any effort break down for the loved one. If one doesn’t really love a person, then don’t show it. It’s more offensive to be fake than to show truthfully, I never really liked you.
But, hey, I’ve been single all my life, so don’t take my word for it.
Of the few deaths I have ever faced in my life, from my grandmother to unknown relatives, I have cried. I have been sad as their longest thing they owned has been taken away. Death is a cruel thing to see, especially old age. Losing my grandmother, as she lost her strength and many abilities we take for granted, still hurts after less than a year of pain. I don’t frequently think of this event, but when it hits I feel saddened as she was close to me.
I think we should feel sad of death. Especially Beowulf, as he was one who sacrificed himself for the good of people. As my grandmother did, she helped give her children and grandchildren (even great grand children) receive a fate which was better than what she predicted would be found in her country
Beowulf is a hero, and he is looking for the benefit of himself and the society he lives in. He has established a reputation of being heroic and a leader of armies. I compare my grandmother as she faced a terrible problem all immigrants face; adjusting to a new life and land. I remember although she never spoke english but thanks and hello; I learned she worked extremely hard to learn the language. She had to retry the citizen test many times; and only to learn from the radio and children's books. I view her as a great hero for my life.
She is truly one of the figures I look up to. Something I take for granted (my citizenship), she paid the price for me to enjoy a life here. I have always loved her, and I miss her every passing day.
Like you said, observing death and aging seems cruel. Aging may be worse because it’s so gradual. With aging, you can watch your loved one slowly deteriorate. Sometimes they have a sharp mind, but their physical abilities fall short. Or like my grandmother, physically they are strong, but mentally things aren’t the way they used to be. Or we can watch the weakening of the body and mind, like my grandfather. Your grandmother reminds me of my grandmother; they are both very strong people. I don’t know if I would have been able to accomplish the feats my (and your) grandmother accomplished, and for that I admire her (them). Nice job on your blog! I found it very relatable.
I like his expression on how his grandmother is a significant figure to him. We grieve because the relationship we hold dear is lost, never to be seen again. People can’t be together forever, so we’d better make the time we do have something to remember. Until the day we died, we should cherish every living moment and create unforgettable memories that will make our lives more interesting. Some live everyday as the last day of their lives, and I think this is probably the reason. Enjoy the moment with all your might, whether it’s gloomy, whether it’s bright. It’s natural to feel sad over the loss of someone, and that’s the proof of the relationship towards that person.
When we applied to college, we tried so hard to write a good essay, and let the admission officer to look at our good and special side. When we want to get the cool guy or the fabulous girl, we might want to show our good side to attract them. However, I only hope that people remember who I really am. Not just the good side, but also my bad side. I think if people do not know their friend’s both good and bad side, it is hard to get along to each other, because you always need to hide something.
I would like my friends remember me as the way my family remember me. Even if we just want our family to remember our good side, it is hard, because we are facing them every single day. If the family do not know your bad side even facing you everyday, it doesn’t mean that you are hiding something, but mostly your family do not understand you well. If this happen, it is kind of a big problem, because every time when you do something bad, they will blame at you and say that “you should not do this!” The best way to not let your family to misunderstand you is to let them know your bad side.
I think that friends should be honest to each other. It doesn’t mean that you have to tell them all your secret, but do not hide your real personality from them. My best friends and her friends were not friends anymore, because after my best friends find out her friends real personality, she is no longer able to get along with her. After I get along with my friends, I will show them myself. Most of them will accept it. For example, I will get your food without asking you. You might think that it is rude, but I did not do that at the beginning when I meet my friends, but it is after a few weeks. When they get along with me, and I make a face, they will know what I want. One of my friends always said, “I really think that I am your mom. You always take my food without asking and you do not have to pay for it.” Also, as my friends get closer to me, they will notice that I said everything so straight. They try to fix me from doing that, but I am already get used to it. When they give up, I will just say whatever things I want, and they will know why I am doing that. I do not mind that they remember me like this, because I will not make them feel uncomfortable. And if they know everything about me, we can avoid a lot of arguments and have a successful friendship.
I think my family and friends remember me as I want. When I know I will get a bad grade on something, I will tell my mom that I am going to get a bad grade before she is going to know it. She will feel angry but before the result is coming out. After the result come out, she will just shake her head and let me go. I actually think that my mom remember all the bad things of me. When she asked me why I am still watching anime even though I did not finish my homework yet, and I have the same answer every time, “Because I have to dry my hair, but I don’t like to dry my hair with looking myself in the mirror, so I am watching anime.” And now she will know that but when she ask, I will still answer the same thing. Also, when I get a bad grade, and she is yelling at me, every questions she ask me I will just answer ok. I would not say anything more than that. I remember we talk about it one time, and I told her that if I am answering more, she is just going to yell at me more. I will also do the same thing to my coach. After they saw my reply, they will wondering if I know what they are talking about. On the other hand, my friends will remember both good side and bad side of me. As gymnastics is not a famous sport that everyone will play, most of my friends remember me that I am practicing gymnastics, and I am so strong, which I think that this is not really a good thing… My friends will also remember me that I like food very much. They all know I am going to eat their food even I am feeling full with my food. The worst thing my gymnastics’ friends will remember me is “If I don’t do anything crazy or dangerous, my name is not Cristal Kwan.” The best thing they remember me is “Cristal never cry.” Well, I don’t really care how they remember me. Whatever way is fine. The important thing is I will not hide myself from others.
I think history will remember my favorably. Although bad things should be remembered, you can just remember in your heart, but not write it out. When you take a picture, you don’t want people to print out your bad photo. Pictures which appear in the magazine or social page will mostly be a good picture. We can always remember our good and bad things, but if someone want to print or write your things out, there are probably just going to write your favourable things.
I like the fact that you want to be true in front of the people you care. It is true that we don’t have to achieve it by telling secret to them. We don’t want to be remembered in a purely positive way, because it looks unreal to be perfect. History tends to exaggerate the good and cover up the bad because dramatic stories with unreal characters attract the audience. We are not living in the movie and we should be realistic.
In a theoretical world where I have to decide how I remember my friends and family, would I choose to remember only the good, or the good and the bad together?
At first glance, I instantly thought, “Well if I’m the only person who’s affected by my decision, I’d choose the former.” Why would I want to remember the not so great memories as equally as the fond ones? I don’t want to recall the fights and arguments I had with those close to me. I just want to remember why I love them. Where’s the harm in that?
But I began to think about the topic more deeply. Was I willing to hide the full truth from myself? Would I be able to feel that something was missing? I know the way we view our memories changes over time. Some emotions become heightened while others become diluted. By remembering only the idyllic times, would I even be remembering the truth? I worry that my memories would become warped. That I would remember actions differently from what actually occurred, or feel emotions I didn’t actually feel at the time.
My decision began to shift towards wanting to remember my memories accurately, but the problem with this is… I would remember them accurately. Nothing more, nothing less. The happy times will be nothing more than just happy. I’d also remember the bad times too.
There are pros and cons to both sides, but it ultimately came down to me not wanting my imagination to dominate my thoughts and actions of the past.
I want accurate memories.
I don’t want to remember things sugar-coated. I don’t want to miss out on half the things I’ve shared with my friends and family. These memories are irreplaceable and unique. Nobody else has what I do. It’s so easy for us to think about things that have never happened, and I feel that choosing to remember only idyllic memories would be similar to this. I don’t want to remember things that are untrue.
If I don’t cherish my memories, both good and bad, I should definitely learn. Just because a memory may be bad doesn’t make them any less important than the good. As previously discussed in another blog, we are shaped by our experiences. I am the person I am today because of my memories and I wouldn’t want that to change just because I want to remember a happier past.
I want to remember why I love my loved ones. Yes, it can be done with only idyllic memories, but I’ll never truly understand why I love them unless I remember it all.
Like you Erica, this class makes me think and rethink about my approaches to how I want to pursue my life. In this case you’re contemplating on what’s the best way to be remembered, and I can understand your dilemma in the way that sometimes I cannot find an answer to Mr. Feraco’s set of profound questions at times. They’re very difficult and require a lot of effort and attention, and I can tell it wasn’t very easy for you to solidify your answer on how to remember loved ones. I can understand where you’re going at this because I myself am in complete agreement with you. I truly believe that it is best to remember someone as who they were instead of who they were upheld to be. In other words, I want to remember someone collectively instead of forgetting or overlooking what makes them less than human. This concept creates a mask and it’s wrong to place one on someone as your last action in their honor. It’s best to leave the last tribute to someone whether it’d be an action or a thought to be as genuine as possible, because that’s how the action of remembering someone should be. On top of that, I really like your tone in your work Erica. I like your grammatical awareness and your unique choice of vocabulary that compliments your voice to ultimately provide an insightful reading experience for the audience. Great work Erica, I hope you continue to learn and expand not only as a writer, but as a person as well, and use those skills to truly discover who you are in this world.
Thank you for sharing your idea. For me to remember the people, I cannot remember all the details about one person. Most time, I just remember a appraisal for one. After reading your blog, I agree with your idea that the memories shape us and do not change it.
I think the reason why people don’t act like themselves are because they want to protect themselves from getting hurt or they are trying to fit into the group without being special. Normally people will act differently in different situation. Like the same group of people in the wedding and in the party will act differently, because as a human, we know the importance of being polite. If we act like ourselves in every situation, we might become offensive to others. The slightly modify expression can help us reduce the unnecessary quarrels.
If a person we rely on disappear suddenly, we will get lost. If a family member who pass away and there is no way we can see them again, we will get even more lost. Many people might question about where do we go after we die? The religion that I believed, taught me that we will be able to meet our family member again if we seal our family together in the temple during this life. By following this teaching, I feel more comfortable about death. Death is not the ending, it’s just the beginning of next life.
It’s painful to see our loved one disappear, because we need their support, we need their love, and we need to rely on them. Losing a friend or a family member can be very challenge for most of us, because even when we lost our favorite thing, that doesn't have life, we feel upset and disappointed about it.
Every challenge can make us stronger, if we find the solution. But when we fail to handle the challenge, it can become our weakness. It’s honorable when we carried it well, but at the same time we might fail. Either being success or fail, we all need the courage to start it. When we are on the way of success, we will be grateful that we did not missed the opportunities. Life is a excited game, some time we are able to handle the trouble we make, but some time we can be totally out of control.
When I was younger, I use to do everything by myself. As I grew up, I noticed that it’s impossible to do everything within my own ability, so I learned the importance of cooperation with others. Without those people’s help, I can not be the person who I am today.
I agree with your explanation in your first paragraph because it is very true in any situations. In your second paragraph, I don’t what religion do you believe in, but it is great way of looking death. Looking through your entire blog, it seems that you have really been thinking through what it means to live and die. It seems that you have almost figured it out. I have nothing to disagree upon, and you made every point clear. All I can say is WOW.
Loss can feel unbearable on the event that happens unexpectedly. Whether it’s a pet you cherished for years through your time or a family member you’ve been with for a long time. But the price of death so extremely regretful to handle. Dealing with loss is something I need to accept. Even if it’s painful to see them gone from my heart. Grieve is a powerful emotion that engulf me, ever since my father passed away in 2004 I grieved through the memories and flashbacks I witnessed in moments remembering him.
SIgns of grief is determined by the soul of the person. And the sign I have is strength, I’ve encountered so many losses that I forgot what happened to me. Having to feel pain is gone and I can’t express my grief to others. But don’t take this the wrong way, I do feel sorrow it's just I can’t show it. It’s honorable as the way I characterize it, but self-indulgent that best suite in my perspective. It’s something that shouldn’t be granted as a achieving skill. But to brand it as a personal experience than public opinions.
Back in my junior year, my American Literature teacher read a poem for us called Nothing Gold Can Stay by Jerome Mandel, describes the connection with seasonal seasons symbolize a person’s life. But the title express to the readers how life is so precious that it never last forever. Missing opportunities is never good and I should encounter it before it disappears into the abyss. But having the life I have now is where I’m happy with. Spending quality time with friends and family eliminates all negative emotions and bring happiness to others. That's how strong feelings can be and being grateful for the things I have now is encourage and cherish it into my heart.
I think your approach to grief and loss is unique and pretty commendable. We like to spend a lot of time easing ourselves through pain, but sometimes I think we ought to rip off the Band-Aid because it's just so much quicker and easier. Keep up the great work.
Family has always been a huge part of my life because I grew up around my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. I rarely did anything as a child without at least one additional family member there accompanying me. A particular memory that I am fond of is the way my great grandmother would always be sitting out on my uncle’s porch feeding the cat whenever I would come by.
She was a sweet lady. She always cared for both animals and people and she made some pretty exceptional curry. Every time I would visit her and she would see me running towards the porch, her face would light up as if she had just won the greatest prize possible. She would sit me down in her lap and with her raspy voice sing to me the old hindi songs she grew up listening to. Though there was a slight language barrier between us, the unconditional love that she showed me is something I can never forget.
I remember the first time she called me her “heera”, her diamond. She could tell that I didn’t know what that meant so she pointed at her big diamond ring on her scrawny finger and then at me. With her broken English she told me that I reminder her of the stone on her finger because when she looked at me, she saw a beautiful little girl who could withstand anything life threw at her.
Unfortunately as I grew older, I began to visit my great grandmother less and less. I would think about asking my mother to take me to see her but then I’d cast the thought aside. I justified not going over to catch up with her by telling myself that there was no point really because I could barely understand the Urdu she spoke.
The few times I did go to see her, I noticed that she would no longer be sitting in her chair on the porch. Instead, she would be inside, sometimes sitting on the couch and then sometimes lying in bed. From there, her health began to deteriorate immensely and she became bed ridden. The sound of her singing was replaced with the sound of the machinery needed to keep her going.
I’ll never forget the time I greeted her and she looked at me with an empty expression. She didn’t know who I was. She didn’t recognize her “heera”.
I remember getting into the car to go home on February 13, 2013. My father told me that my great grandmother had passed. I didn’t cry. I knew it was coming. But when it finally did come, it felt like a punch in the gut. I still regret that I never got to give her a proper goodbye and tell her how much I loved her. I regret that I never got the chance to learn about her childhood and the life she led has a young woman.
Each person is unique and they have certain qualities that make others love them. When an individual we care about dies, we can’t help but feel overwhelming sorrow. As their soul is taken away, so are the things that made them dear to us. When Beowulf died, it was heartbreaking because he was the valiant hero that saved his day. His bravery and courage were unlike anything that had ever been seen before. When my great grandmother passed, I missed seeing the warmth in her smile, the way she cared for others, her amazing cooking skills, and most importantly, the love she had for me.
Your post has reminded me of the fact that I should not take any family member for granted, whatsoever. Even if I am busy studying, and trying to make a career for myself. I should find time to visit my family, since they had worked so hard to give me the opportunities that they did not have themselves. Though my grandma does not live in the same house with my mother, father, and me anymore. I still take time to visit her often, like how sometimes I'd drive to her house to eat dinner with her. Or sometimes she would come over and we would watch cooking shows together. I really appreciate you posting your experience with your grandmother on the blog. It really reminds me that, everyone is equally important in the family.
Hey Kashish! I found your post particularly interesting because your experiences differ so greatly from mine! I never had any true grandparents but I find your relationship with your great grandmother very beautiful and relatable -- I think there has always been a part of me wishing to have a similar kind in my life. I am sincerely sorry for your loss. I grew up with one grandfather who was bedridden the entirety that I knew him. I wish I could tell you not to regret an improper goodbye. I hope that you can carry on this respect for leaving life.
Humans are just like any other living thing on Earth. We often adapt to our environment whether we like it or not. That is how we build different faces, sides, and people in different settings. At home, I am very loud and talkative. When I was in a summer program, I was very sociable. Meanwhile, I am actually quite the opposite at school. Perhaps, part of it is because I simply just feel more comfortable at home than I am at school and at times I just feel like being sociable. That is why I believe we just adapt to our environments for security, comfortability, and enjoyment.
I do not think we should feel sad when people die. However, I do understand it is natural for us to feel sad and that death is usually a unfortunate thing. Sometimes I question myself why I think people should not feel sad about death. Perhaps it is because I am afraid of experiencing that myself. I have lost family members before and maybe shed a tear or two. Part of it might just be because I felt emotional rather than being sad. In the end, I don’t know if that would be a sign of strength or weakness, but I would say it’s just being human.
I think we tend to remember historical figures more favorably than they deserve. Historical figures like Abraham Lincoln are good examples. Little to people know, Lincoln actually did not believe blacks should have equal rights as whites and that the Emancipation Proclamation ONLY freed slaves in the parts controlled by the Confederates. However, I am not saying that Abraham Lincoln was a bad President since he did reunite the country. Also, victors do write history. We often glorify the founding of our Nation. Once again, I am not saying it was a bad thing, but we a revolution is still a revolution and it was certainly not a peaceful one.
I always feel that I was better when I was younger. I had never failed a single thing: running for student council, winning all kinds of math competitions, or making a lot of friends. I did not believe I would ever fail. This confidence is now nowhere to be found, because I fail a lot. Every time I recall these memories, I wonder if I am already declining, when the peak of my life has not yet come.
It is not true. When I go back and check the old posts on social media years ago, I would find out that I was a horrible person. The way I talked was rude and arrogant. I even bullied the President of our student council once in sixth grade. I made bad decisions, too. Maybe it is true that I was happier and more confident at that time, but I was certainly not BETTER. It surprises me that I do not remember any of the bad things about my old self and leave all the good ones in mind.
Since we don’t remember ourselves in the most accurate way, how can others possibly do?
“You look like you have a really, really long, short hair.”
I had had short hair since 5th grade, and i finally decided to make it grow longer when I came to America. I posted a lot of photos of myself with long hair on social medias over the years, but my friends in China do not seem to be affected by that change. The short hair, in their memories, has always been part of my identity.
On the other hand, my friends in America remember me in long hair. When I cut it two weeks ago, they did not seem to be used to my change.
“You look very different.” they said.
The way they choose to remember you, is not something you can decide.
Emotion controls the way we recall our memories. I remember the younger self as an “almost perfect” person, because I am not satisfied with who I am right now. When we are upset, our mind will try to throw us with memories that make us even harder to get out of the terrible feelings. When we lose someone or something, the thoughts of “we once had them” trap us in grief.
Perspective is another thing that determines how we are remembered. We have been, either intentionally or unintentionally, built up different characteristics in front of different groups of people. To my old friends, I should always have short hair. There is no “accurate” ways to remember people, because they are defined differently by different people. In my mother’s memory, I can be her daugher who is not so good in doing housework. In my elementary school seat partner’s memory, I can be the girl who always forgot to bring ruler in math test. In my psychology teacher’s memory, I can be the girl who freaked out in class when I received a 0 in AP biology lab. People that are not close too me can remember me in a bad way, too. Tyrion Lannister in A Song of Ice and Fire has done a lot of good things for the country, but is only remembered as a short, ugly, lascivious person, because people around him do not like him in the first place.
That is why I never expect people to remember me accurately. When memories become the last thing they have about me, they can hold them as firmly as they can. I just hope my existence in their lives can be beneficial to them, because at the end, I don’t think remember people for them.
We remember them for ourselves.
Hi, Zoe! I like your post so much! I agree that we should not change the way our friends want to remember us, because the way they remember us make us become special in their life. If we force them to remember us like this or like that, they might get confused with the way they remember others too. We will never know every friends they have. It is good that have different identity in different place. I think my only different is that I am the most sporty one within my friends… Everyone remember me like this ==”
Different with you, I used to be really hated my old self (when I was in China). I remembered myself by all the evil deeds I’ve done to others. However, when I came to America and visited my friends few years after. They seem like they only remember the positive things about me. And the good memories they’ve talk about were those I’ve never thought about. I realized that I was the only one who regretted and lived in the negative memories. Sometimes we are too obsessed by what we did, whether good or bad. Though actually others might not even remember. In short, we don’t have the ability to flashback to the old times, and we can never control how others view us.
I am very angry right now because I was doing my entire blog on a phone and the entire thing was deleted. It was very hard for me not to throw my phone as far as I possibly could. Now I restart with 20 minutes left until 12:00
As a freshman, I was not considered a great athlete. At least not to the coaches or other players. I got four at bats that year and the coach told me himself that he was most likely going to cut me.
My sophomore year I was a little bit stronger, a little bit taller, but nothing to talk about. I batted .250 on frosh/soph.
My junior year rolled around and I did not seem to be impressing. I still hadn’t seen a varsity uniform, but I was not going to give up. I kept telling myself, I would prevail.
I’ve grown. To be modest I’m 6 feet tall. I weigh 205 pounds and I can hit the baseball very far. When senior year comes, I have an idea for myself. I’m going to play a lot. I am going to hit a lot. I am going to score a lot. I didn’t know nor did I care what anyone else’s ideas were for me either until I had my yearly meeting with the coach. He tells me that the starting job at first base is mine to lose. Never had he ever expected me to become what I am today as a baseball player and apparently a person as well. I failed to meet what I wanted to be for him as a young freshman, and now as a senior I am exceeding the limits of everything that I ever thought he could have thought of me.
Today I hit a baseball into El Pollo Loco in a live game. I trotted around the bases, high fived all of my teammates. He calls me over to talk to him and as I walk over I expect him to congratulate me. Is that what he does? No he tells me it was a horrible at bat. Considering how it went down I knew that, but I didn’t expect to hear that from him after I hit a ball that far and immediately after on top of that.
He told me without telling me. He told me, Christian I don’t care that you hit that ball over the fence, I expect that from you. I want you to know that. I grinned and said okay coach.
I exceeded what I wanted to be in his eyes and it is the greatest feeling that I have had in a long while.
I am so sorry to heard that you have to restart again. When you try or focus something. You will success in the end. Also dreaming will help you grown. Like you said you want to hit a lot and play a lot. I think you just got what you want right now.
At first, your coach did not consider you a great athlete and now you have succeeded far past his expectations. I think having that dream/goal during your freshman year was really the start of your success. I’m glad that you had such a rewarding feeling at the end. You should continue to have goals, work towards them, and in return, life will give you many pleasures that can’t be bought.
I think that was an amazing story. Your first line started off a bit sad. It’s unfortunate you had to write on your phone. And then you started talking about how you struggled in freshman year which was even more sad. I am glad you have improved a lot and exceeded your coach’s expectations this year. I hope you guys win more games for AHS!
Hi Christian! I’m sorry your blog was accidentally deleted. I’m impressed that you came up with your post in twenty minutes. Your blog is really cool; it’s almost like a mini-Rocky movie, except the baseball version. It was nice to read about how you began as a mediocre player who didn’t impress his coach to one who exceeded his coach’s expectations. Your determination from the beginning of high school is probably what your coach and your teammates will remember you for.
“I always considered myself as a character actor. I always try to be versatile to show different sides of human experience.” -Robert Duvall
Faces, sides, the creation of different people, all contribute to our experiences in life. Why not? They affect the outcome of everything we do, i’m sure all of us have thought some time what would have happened if that went differently. What if I wasn’t so mad? Things like that all affect our experiences and I think we all build faces, sides and people in order to make our lives better.
When I was little I use to tell my mom I didn’t want her at school. I told my sister to act like she didn’t know me. I told friends to stop talking about geeky things when girls were nearby. Of course I did these things. I was conscious of my flaws, and didn’t want to get judged. I need to be able to move my life the way I wanted to build a public persona I could be proud of.
I feel we all have faces, not because we choose to deceive people, but for defense. I feel since the beginning as a child we all cried to get what we wanted, one want was to get people other than your family away from you. We bring in emotional tears to scary and fend off the adult who in turn don’t want to be embarrassed. Something so primal and instinctive is build into our nature. Along with these faces we also have sides too, because we have opinions. We have two sides to our brain so bam we instantly already all have a side. im sure everyone has already found out by now whether you’re more of a math or english person, and along with math if you're more creative or organized. Sides are built into us just like our faces.
People are a bit more complex when it comes to this topic though. Because we don’t generally have the power to be controlling people’s lives. But how we build our people is actually who we choose to hang out with be around. Like I said in the beginning of the blog, I told my mom and sister to be distance from me, I choose to hide them to hang out with other. To build a group I wanted to be associated with. Thus, I built my people. Everything we do is for experience and I believe we all naturally retain a multitude of faces, sides, and even people.
I agree that we all create different scripts for different scenarios in our daily lives. I believe that we act differently at home than when we are with our friends. Also I love that you place in the fact that we all create these “faces” for our own personal experience and in a way they help us mold who we are.
Am I good enough?
Well, actually, I guess I’m decent. I already know that I’ll never fully satisfy myself. I have this burning desire to be better, to be as close to perfect as possible. Maybe I’ll think differently in the future, but I know I still have a lot more to learn right now.
The real question is, will I be good enough for other people? Will I be good enough for my friends that stick by me through the rage, the celebrations, and the tragedies? Will I be good enough for her -- the potential love of my life -- the person who I probably haven’t even met yet?
I know I will be, because I’m afraid.
Imagine this: a pizza straight out of the oven. This hot, cheesy, delicious pizza -- Chicago-style -- is waiting to be devoured by anyone. Not everyone would want to eat it, though, because some people don’t like the toppings. Regardless, it’s a fact that the pizza is tasty and hearty.
Now imagine a cheap $5 pizza from Little Caesar’s, straight out of the “oven”. This rubbery, standard, boring pizza is lost among the other food at a party; the next morning, there’s leftover pizza and it becomes cold and stale. Someone’s going to heat it up in the microwave or throw it in the trash because it could be replaced. It’s a fact that it’s only a $5 pizza.
“I really want pizza now, but what was the point?” you might ask.
I don’t know. Just call me Caesar.
"I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love." -Marilyn Monroe
I’ve always been convinced to just be myself, and those who like me for me will stay.
But that’s just a delusion.
I started thinking, “What if, all this time, I’m just conceited? What if I’m a crappy person but I think too highly of myself to ever blame myself for my flaws?” What if I’m cold, insignificant, and worthless? What if I’m not a person that everyone at least has respect for?
There I go again, thinking about the hypotheticals.
But maybe it’s true.
I have to learn that not everything will be everyone else’s fault. I don’t want to hate on people who don’t like me. I don’t want to think the whole universe is obligated to shower me with affection. That just gives them a reason to flip me off even more.
Damn. I suck.
"Is there anything better than to be longing for something, when you know it is within reach?" -Greta Garbo
Now that I’ve had time to think it over (I took a break between these two segments), I reminded myself that I don’t suck. I can’t please everybody, but I’m someone who lets the world know that I give a damn.
I haven’t been the best writer or the best listener, but I love this class. In 20 years, I’m not going to forget about the river or the coin toss. Just don’t ask me to recite my lines from Macbeth.
I’m not exactly a good moral compass either, but my friends and family help point me in the right direction. They help me stay on the right path.
As you can tell by reading this, I’m not the most organized kid, but at least I’m able to express myself. This matters to me.
I may not be perfect, but man, I sure as hell am worth more than a $5 pizza.
Well done Carmen, you had a well planned, well thought out post. I really enjoyed reading it. You have some really interesting ideas. I like how you tackled multiple questions through a set format. It was easy to read and easy to understand. Your analogy to a 5 dollar pizza was very interesting. Unique but some how I can relate to it. Keep up the good work
First of all Carmen, let me point out the fact that you structured your writing to reflect your personality. It brings out your individuality and creativity in your work. On top of that, no one may notice this but I can tell you admire Marilyn Monroe. No, it’s not because you implemented a quote from her into your writing but because your writing, your choice of vocabulary, and your voice greatly reflect some of Marilyn Monroe’s most popular quotes. I see her as a strong and tough yet aware and vulnerable character in history and it is obvious to say that your writing style is influenced by her (or maybe I’m just overthinking this). In addition to your writing, I like how you use the concept of a blog to your fullest advantage. What I mean by that is that a blog is meant for sharing ideas and thoughts to a group of people. You fearlessly presented what’s on your mind and I like that audacity in you. In a “regular” English class, you’d probably get in trouble with what you wrote but I’m glad you found a place to display your ideas in an open fashion. Again, I like your unique approach to one of our last blogs, and I hope you continue to improve yourself to ultimately find who you are in this world.
Yes Carmen, you definitely worth more than a $5 pizza. I do feel the same as you wondering whether we’re good enough or not. I think sometimes we just need to relax ourselves and not caring too much about other people’s views. It’s quite important to be who you are! Happy Holiday
Carmen, this was absolutely beautiful. Sophia always comments on your daily relations from concert band to search. I have not dedicated enough time to get to know you further than past the blog posts.
I enjoyed your honest and somewhat blunt style. It was very refreshing to read.
Also, though we may not be that close I am positive that you are worth more than you could possibly think you are.
Carmen, what you wrote is very masterful and lyrical, as well as deep and thought provoking. I am very much like you; I sometimes have doubts about myself. What if I’m not as kind or smart or as likable as I think I am? Like you said, “hypotheticals.” I admire your ability to accept that not everyone will like you, that you aren’t the Chicago-style pizza. It takes strength and resilience to accept this sort of thing. I also admire your coming to terms that you are happy by just being yourself and expressing what you think. I will try to think of your blog the next time I have doubts about myself. Great blog!
Grief, debts, and regret
They have two things in common. They are negative things we mostly feel through bad events. and my past can be described by the words. When I was young, my parents were busy to work, so I didn't get their affection. I didn't really find what family is and the difference between parents and adults around me. I didn't feel they were more special than others, and I didn't know why I should get nitpicked by them. I was really mad so I yelled at them and I started to be aggressive to them. After what I did to them, I didn't talk with them for 3 yrs. After 3yrs, my father said sorry and he silently cried. I was surprised because I never saw his tear and him to say sorry for 12 yrs. It was happened when I was a middle school student.
Debts and regret, my father's tear made me to get debts and regret to not talk with them for 3 yrs and to be aggressive to them. My father might also had a regret to not understand my situation to be alone, and he chose me instead of patriarchism. After I made debts and regret, I am always saying sorry first if I made a fault on my parents. I can answer on the question, "Let’s say you could choose to remember your friends and family in a specific way - but only one way. Would you prefer to hold idyllic memories of them, or accurate ones?" without reserve, and my answer is his tear.
Grief is the worst thing I ever felt, and I felt grief during the silence of family. Even there were my parents, I could not even talk to them what problem I had, and what I was doing. I could not even tell them about a talent show in my school, thus they didn't come to there. I got the first place of the show, but I didn't feel happy or satisfied. Grief is usually used to lament the death of someone, but I used the word on my situation because I felt my parents were not at my home, even they were alive and at my home. I just treated them as ghost or invisible men. Every sometimes has problem in relationship of family or friends, but I think we better not to choose pride instead of someone who you like or love.
I am sorry to read your phantasmagoria. But it was so good time to compare with my memories.
If someone distress us, we can sever the connection between here and there or accuse them. But, in parents’ cases, it is complicated. Yeah they also should become mature and better than past. And I have similar experience since I started to think logically.
On the other hand, can you forgive them? I can’t now.
Hi Sam, challenge can make life better! I like to see the amazing transformation when people go through their challenges. Even though it’s hard, but being successful doesn’t mean being entirely perfect. Focus more on positive things and set a goal for yourself can really help you to go through the difficulties.
Different faces, face different things.
Since my freshman year, I have in fact changed quite a bit. Hopefully, I’ve changed for the better, at least that's what my parents think so. I used to sort of be scared of everything my freshman year, making excuses not to go to things because I had anxiety about trying new things, or even getting nervous when strangers ask me questions. So to overcome activities that would cause me anxiety, I’d put on a different face. At school when I had to give a presentation, I’d put on a face. I would pretend to not be fazed by anyone or anything when giving a presentation, I would move around more, move my hands for gestures and what not. So that I would seem confident, which in reality I move around the room because I’m so nervous I’m afraid that my hands and legs will start shaking. That ended up being a positive face that I put on, where now I do move because I am comfortable in my own skin. No longer shaking intensely in my boots when giving a presentation, all my movements occur more naturally than before.
I also put on a face when my grandpa was in the hospital, I pretended everything was okay at home and at school. I acted like everything was okay, even though I was sadden by the fact that at the time I didn’t know if he was going to be okay or not. I never told my mother about it, because I personally thought my mother didn’t need to hear about my troubles since she was so busy with work and my grandpa’s situation devastated her as well. I’ve put on faces at parties before, where couple hours before the party I’d think to myself whether I should go or not. I’d go and immediately find something to hold in my hand, like a drink or my phone. Just so I feel so nervous being at the party, I’d always stick with my friends never willing to talk to anyone else unless they came up to me first. Soon as I became more comfortable I no longer need to put on a face, I began to talk to people on my own and force myself to go out more to get over my anxiety.
Faces, for me have been a positive thing. Where, I don’t really see myself putting on a certain face when in front of others as such a bad thing. It’s helped to face my fears, and put down my anxiety. Where now it helped me to honestly be myself, where I can be comfortable in my own skin. I can be honest and blunt the way I am, of course sometime holding my tongue.
Thank you for sharing your personal stories, and I like the idea that you view “faces” as a positive thing. I also agree that some degree of faces are appropriate, but when we start adapting to the fake disguises face, I think that's when we need to look back the reevaluate our life. I'm glad that you were able to go out of your way and to be more open, and turn the negatives into positives! You are great Bonnie!
I'm really glad to hear you were able to overcome your fears! I think most freshman has the same sort of fear of the world as they enter highschool. As we develop, we have to either adapt or continue to be too scared to go out of our comfort zone. I also found that faking it until you make it is a good strategy to finally become more comfortable in your own skin.
Thank you for sharing your true inner thoughts to us all. It must have been a hard decision of exposing them to the world. I know exactly how you feel for that's often how I acted in different situations too; always doing something to cover up my nervousness. It's just hard to face certain things with our true faces. Those different faces, masks or however people call it, is just a way of trying to hide, assimilate, and protect ourselves from public.
The ones I love are the ones who I put up a mask for.
SO, do I build different faces for different places? Of course, for the ones I love, and I care about. Because if I do not care about them, I will not try to change face to be the one that we want me to be. I am always acting, in front of friends, teachers, and parents. I think only my self knows who I truly is. And no one really understands me, just like I do not understand them, because maybe, all my friends are having masks on them too. Because in different situations, we always have to choose, who or which side we want to be. And protect ourselves, or do whatever is the best for ourselves. And yes, I always be a different person for different people. Because that way, it is easier to let someone like you, think that you are easy to talk, and make more friends, etc. And I think if someone says that they do not put different faces for different people, or situations, he or she is lying.
Now moving to the last question, Am i afraid of losing the ones I love, or am I more afraid that they will lose me? I am afraid of losing them, because I love them, but I do not know that in their heart, do they love me as much as I love them. So I do not know if they will afraid of losing me. From the song, I think fear is at the heart of loves. Because it first came love, and then we might come up with the fear of losing the love. Love for me, actually gives me strength to try to overcome fears, but it gives me more fear then I overcome. I might be afraid of losing the ones I love, and I might be afraid that they knew I am putting different faces in different situation, so that they will leave me forever.
If I want people to remember me, I would not want them to remember me at my best, but as who I am right now. In this way, if I ever did something that is good, or better than right now, then they will like me even more. But if they remember me at my best, and now I have done something bad, or worst, they will see me not as good as before, they might have negative ideas about me. For friends, I have always be the person who never be angry, always have jokes, and acting stupid, because through the "stupidy" that I bring, they always laugh, and I like to make them laugh so that I can forget all the things that I failed, or I can forget the bad scores I got from classes. So I think I am a really good guy to be friend with, but I am not a good student... For my own family members, I always acting like a funny person too, tell the elders some jokes or funny things happened in school, and through time, I think all of my family members remembers me, because I am always the active one no matter what happens to me. Yeah, I think most of my friends like the way I am right now, because I am just a stupid person. But the truth is that I often think a lot of things, like who is my true friends, who is a person that just want to laugh about me, but yeah, my best friends are my best friends no matter how crazy I acted, so obviously they choose to remember me. History, uhh... I am not sure will is remember me more favorably or negatively. But I think more negatively, because still, without my friends, from the people that I do not meet, they see me as a person that jokes too much.. But yeah, I do not really care as long as I have what I wanted.
I don’t think your idea of maintaining a mask would be all that beneficial for any sort of relationship, for them loving or caring for some mirage of you isn’t the same as actually loving or caring for you. Acting to someone else’s ideals is nothing but a short-sighted investment that will only result in issues later on, even if you think it is for the better. Sure it’s easier to make friends, albeit temporary, or talk when you project a different persona, which is probably a common sight in a more social setting, but after all, the advice to “be yourself” is not situated around the idea of immediate success, but sustainability.
Hidden yourself from who you loved, which I think it’s unfair to that person who loved you back. I think you are not that kind of person you think you are. Since when we fall in love we will change into someone we don’t know, we will show the weaknesses in front of that one person, and we love them to know all about us.
Happiness Equals Reality Minus The Expectation
I have a sickness.
I have a sickness that I developed 5 years ago, a sickness for wanting; I hoped and prayed that I will be seen, I will be heard, and I will be noticed.
For 3 years I carried around 50 cookies and 30 cupcakes to school on my birthday to celebrate with everyone. When in truth, I wanted people to wish me a very special happy birthday and recognize my presence.
The cookies and cupcakes would just be taken with empty minded hands without the knowing of my true intention but I couldn't blame them for not knowing because I didn't tell anyone it was my birthday yet I expected someone to come up to me and announce my birthday for me.
I couldn't yet tell them the truth, how much I wanted to belong. All I could be was just a nice girl who gives out free food. I act and hide my emotions just to give a happy face, that I am “totally” fine and well, but once I hit home, I would burst out into tears for all the things I do yet don't receive back. My expectations for people rose, yet the reality wearied me because it was unfortunately some ideal desires.
Outside, I was a happy girl, an awesome friend, and a diligent student. But at home, I couldn't hide the stress and slowly affected the family members. I was giving away all of my efforts and care to the people that did not worth the price and grew weary of my own family who stood firm and supportive. I also expected that my family would understand me. It became pandemic. Once one wish is granted, I asked for another and wished for something greater and expected it to be true again.
I still haven't found a cure to this sickness yet. But I know I'm getting better. I found truth in Mr. Fox’s little black board outside of his class with the quote “Happiness Equals Reality Minus The Expectation.” I was thirty for happiness, and all I thought I could get such happiness is to have more. Reacting to others differently and giving out fake similes questioned my morality and credibility. And me owning up to these thoughts made me more inferior that I realized it has to be stopped.
It's getting there. But not quite. It's the fear of failures that strangles my ankle for being free. I have so far untangled a few, and hopefully and steadily, I will be free and be happy.
Your blog makes me so sad! You’re one of the nicest people I know and I never would have imagined that you suffered so much at home. I agree that expectations are dangerous. I had a lot back in middle school, but I’ve learned that I’m happier without them. Keeping my expectations low may make me seem somewhat of a pessimist, but I’d rather be pleasantly surprised when what low expectations I have are met or surpassed as opposed to being let down.
I want you to know that you are seen, you are heard, and you are noticed. You inspire me to be more outgoing and positive spirited. Just right now I asked Hannah who she thought the nicest person on campus is. I asked her this without telling her why I was asking and she said, “Jenny?? Yeah Jenny.”
It may seem like you’re not getting a lot out of what you’re putting in, but I want you to know that you are strongly appreciated by many people (definitely a lot more than me). I hope you find a way to balance you positive and energetic charisma at school and at home because when you do, you’ll be gold! Thank you for sharing your blog!
Jenny, your story was a bit confusing and I couldn't really understand it. But I understand your search for happiness and presence. What you search for is similar to how I live and my philosophy of life. I live to make myself and others around me happy. That's how I live and whats keeping my life meaningful. I was telling this to my best friend the other day and he suggested that's probably why I don't care and think about what I do and that's why I always do stupid stuff. What ever you believe, the key to happiness is just being yourself. If you be yourself, you'll find out that everyone will accept you for who you are.
Did I Ever Changed?
When I was little, every time when I went onto a bus, I would say “hello, Mr.xxx” to all the bus drivers. It wasn’t hard for me to say out those words back then because my mom constantly reminded me to be polite to all the people I saw. My out-going and innocent personality always brought countless smiles onto strangers’ face whenever I greeted them. Unknowing the society around me, I thought it was the most common etiquette ever. However, as I grew older, once I had a deeper understanding about the people in the society, I gradually stopped the greetings. In addition to that, I noticed that my personality had a dramatic change. I am no longer the child I used to be. To make the situation worse, I have become a person of different faces.
The problem with me building different faces in front of people really bothers me. When I see people still acting the same whenever they are, I get jealous. Although I grew up with all my parents’ love and attention on me, I could not escape the fact having social and communication problem. Why? Because I got no siblings to fight over or enjoy my time with. My childhood was indeed colorful, but not as much as many others who have siblings. I think many of you have noticed that the age gap between you and your parents can sometimes cause conflicts to arise. When you try to convey something to your parents, your parents may understand your thoughts in a different away and your problem can never be resolved. However, if you have a sibling (closer to your age), it’s definitely much easier to express your thoughts to than do your parents. For my case, some only-born children are able to talk to their dolls or teddy bears, but I could not be one of them. As a result, after having to store all my thoughts in mind for years, I began to lose my childhood personality. I could no longer communicate well anymore.
When I first came to America, I was like a lost child in the middle of no where. Although I could speak the language here, my poor social skill brought me no friend and resulted myself being bullied by my classmates. Before I met all my great friends later on, I began to close the window of my heart and became one of those quiet loners at school. After going through the loner cycle for two months, I was somehow introduced to many friends and we ended up spending all our time all the way to senior year in high school. Well, I must say that there is a huge difference between “having friends” and “having no friends.” As I built a great friendship with the people around me, I became more confident and reopened that little window inside me.
I’m afraid of being lonely. By the time we entered high school and chose our own classes, I was separated from many of my friends. The fear of loneliness constantly came back whenever I did not see anyone I knew in the class. When that time came, I would change back to the “quiet loner” I used to be and hopefully to know the people in my class better as time went by. On the other hand, when I saw my friend in the same class with me, I would chill through the whole class time and decide to love that class forever. Right now, even if I’m not at school, I always expect to see people I know wherever I go. It’s definitely depressing to know that my social skill never improves and I have become a person of different faces. I think I’ve tried to get away with this habit but I guess this is not something that can be cured within a short period of time.
Vivian, I totally understand how you feel! No, really. Dead serious. I used to be like that too. Not only can I relate to your whole “loner phase,” and need for comfort and familiarity-- I mean, who doesn’t want that, let’s be real. But I also get how you feel with your parents and how at times it can be hard to get them to understand you and the things you want to do/wear for example because of their old fashioned mindsets. It seems like you’re crazy to them when in reality you’re just more evolved?? Honestly though, for me, I think reading a lot and really just trying to educate myself on the topics relating to what I wanted to do/wear helped. I always like to have backup info & maybe throw in some facts to help make my point stronger. That’s a sure fire way to get them to understand. Like, I remember my freshman year when I would get all dolled up to go to school and wear shorts and my favorite top that was pretty sheer and showed my bralette under (whoops??) Not really though. My mom would get so mad at me sometimes, scorning me and calling me unspeakable names, asking me why I looked like I was going to a party every day for school. This went on for years. I would try to get her to understand clothes don’t define me and explain to her the whole feminist movement and everything when she said “something could happen to me,” but she was still worried and angry at me. Often times punishing me for simply wanting to be me. My question was, why we weren’t punishing boys for the unspeakable acts they’d commit and teaching them to have mutual respect for everyone. But now she does understand much better. Society has evolved and we don’t really have encounters like that anymore. But don’t blame yourself or think you have poor communication skills. Maybe you just need to relax a little. Read a book. Find a way to explain. Figure out what you want to say, and make your case. And everyone has different “faces” that they show to the world. It’s social psychology hun. Not just you.
John Steinbeck once said, “It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.” Death is an inevitable occurrence that affects many. As humans, we tend to have the same response, though at a different level of intensity, as a response to death. On some level, the Kübler-Ross model applies to everyone. Some of us are in tune with our emotions and responses to major life events, while others are not. From losing a piece of a childhood memory to a loved one, this model applies to us. However we deny the validity of it because we feel our pain cannot be dumbed down to a simple formula.
Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. On a much smaller scale, I have experienced this pattern. I recently smashed my dad’s car’s passenger side mirror on our gate.
“It’s just a scratch.”
“How stupid can I be?”
“It can’t be that bad.”
looks at mirror
“I killed my dad’s car.”
Dad: “Elizabeth, I really liked your gift. How did you know I wanted a silver passenger side mirror heated and motorized?”
I experienced the Kübler-Ross pattern in about 10 minutes.
The question posed asks if grief is a sign of strength or weakness. Grief in any form is a sign of being human. If one were to analyze grief as an idea, not as an experience, it wouldn’t be honorable but self-indulgent. The person or thing damaged should be experiencing the Kübler-Ross pattern instead; in terminally ill patients, this phenomena is present. (Elizabeth Kübler-Ross was inspired by what they go through and wrote a book and came up with the model)
When the loss affects us, however, we grieve as if it happened to us. I believe this comes from our innate maternal and paternal urge to protect others to an extent as a survival mechanism with our offspring.
On an emotional level, we think of what could have been with a loved one. We think of all the memories we had together; this is a natural response to losing something. A loss of someone would obviously trigger all the memories and plans of the person. All in all, grief is a human and natural process; it differs from country to country, culture and in time periods. We should be grateful for the time we have now.
I prefer to build different faces to different situations and different people for different people. That is not mean I am Schizophrenia or my mental disorder. In fact, I believe everyone will be little different in different situations. During the work, a man may be serious without any smile. However, when he come back to home, he need play other roles such as father, husband or son. He can express the most patient in front of the family that he never show it in the public. People always build different faces to suit for different situations.
For me, I am kind of different for different people. If you ask people around me to familiarize me you may receive a variety of answers. My buddies believe that I am humor and outgoing. Nevertheless, people who only talk with me in several sentences may respond that I am quiet and shy. I cannot make friends to everyone. I do only trust the people after thoughtful. Therefore, I can chat about some secret topic with my close friends. Talking about your secret to anybody, you do have any privacy.
What’s more, different situations require different faces. Doing presentation in an important situation, you are supposed to put your shy and timid away. Unless you change the face to be confidence ,you will miss the advanced opportunity and regret for a long term. In additional, ordering your families like a chief, you will break families’ heart. Finally different people to different people.I hardly argue with people especially the stranger because we cannot read somebody’s mind or to be someone’s reader. When you stand in other people’s situation you may understand their behaviors and regret the argument. In order to avoid the worse happen, reveal your anger to the a kind people.
Last March, I was about to get into my new car, my black Fiat 500e. It definitely wasn’t the best looking car, or car in general. But it was mine. It was my first car. The annoying dealer was installing the navigation system into the dashboard of the compact car while my dad stood beside me. There I was, sitting in the driver's seat less than a minute away from getting ready to drive it home. My heart started racing; I was about to drive my car home. Everything went blank. Instead of finding myself cruising down the freeway, I find myself in a hospital bed. I just had a seizure.
During the few minutes of my seizure, I was unconsciousness. My body stiffened up. Then my body had subtle and violent jerking (convulsions). My dad called 9-1-1.
I was unaware of what happened to me until a few days after when my dad showed me a video of what had happened while I was laying in my hospital bed. To me, it was unbelievable that the seizure occurred without the feeling, or knowledge, of what was going on with my own body.
I ended up spending about a week, about five days, in the hospital, spending three in a local hospital in Van Nuys (close to the dealership), and then another two in the Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena.
There I was, laying on the hospital bed with a needle injected into a vein in my elbow (the tender inside portion). I felt ok. I didn’t feel anything from the seizure, except on the day of the seizure where I bounced in and out of consciousness.
Friends and family were there by my bedside, visiting me to see how I was doing. They brought food, love, and prayers for me and my family. I think I remember Coach Feraco walking into my Van Nuys hospital bedroom saying “Oh God… Oh God... Oh God…” while shaking his head subtly. That’s honestly the most I remember (I do remember more personal accounts, but for the sake of this blog, I’m just going to mention Coach Feraco’s visit).
It wasn’t until my second to last day, or last day in my weeklong hospital stay that I found out what the cause of my seizure was. So after waiting many days, a neurosurgeon, Dr. Ross, told my family and I the cause of my seizure... I had a “brain tumor”, which was about an inch in diameter.
With those words being said, I realized that I wasn’t my immortal teenage-self anymore. I was still a teenager, but I was mortal. I could die.
Dr. Ross set some guidelines for me, of which I only remember two. The first was that I was supposed to take medication two times a day. But the second hit me the hardest. I was not supposed to have any physical activity, which, to me, meant no running.
I ended up checking out of the hospital at midnight on a chilly Friday night.
I returned to school going about everyday like nothing had happened (sort of), of course there were the few teammates I had visited me in the hospital that knew about what happened (my teachers also knew).
It was a struggle to get back to what I knew. My life didn’t feel the same. It was weird just going to school and trying to get through the rest of junior year. But it felt even stranger not running. It felt strange just checking in with Coach Feraco at the beginning of sixth period, then to go study in the library, and then waiting for my brother to finish practice so we would bike home together.
In November prior to my seizure in March, I had fallen from exhaustion (probably… But maybe the tumor was the cause) at CIF-SS Finals 10 feet before the finish line where I ended up slowly crawling to finish the race. Because of that failure, the team didn’t make it to the CIF State Championships (we were so close too. We were only 1 point off [XC- top 5 runners places are added up and lowest score wins]). I contemplated ever running again after that race, but my seizure and brain tumor rekindled that passion for running.
On most days, I still went to the library to finish junior year strong. But on some days, I went to track meets and practices to help Coach Feraco and the rest of the coaching staff with timing and coaching. I also spent a lot of my limited time watching my teammates run while cheering them on from the sidelines.
On the last day of junior year, instead of going to school, I went to Huntington Memorial Hospital for neurosurgery. I woke up at 4am that morning. Fear coursed through me as I got prepared for surgery. It continued to do its will as I laid on the operating table hoping and praying for a brighter future. I woke up with bandages and with throbbing pain emanating from 40-stitches lining my swollen head.
I spent the next week in the hospital recovering, taking one step at a time- literally. I spent a couple of days just struggling to walk down the hallway (accompanied by a family member) with the fear of stumbling onto the ground. For almost an entire month, I woke up with a throbbing headache and a heavy head, but I got through it all.
During recovery, I realized how much I invested into running and why I ran. I run to improve and to push myself beyond conceived limits. Recovering was a painful process, emotionally and physically. I took one-step at a time, working my way back up from the bottom.
Mid-July I got cleared to run again, and it never felt so hard to do. What was once an easy 4-mile run now felt like a race. But it felt so good to be free from the confines of my home. Getting back into shape felt like hell, but I needed to keep moving forward. I slowly (or quickly in many’s eyes) progressed as I eventually got to do longer runs, tempo workouts, and repeat workouts. In a month I got fit enough to go to Mammoth for some high-altitude training.
It’s been a slow (again, quick in other’s eyes) process to get back, but I kept beating myself down to get back to the top. Mid-September I got back into the varsity mix, shuffling in and out here and there, but as the weeks went by I secured my spot in the varsity lineup.
I got to race CIF-Finals once again… but this time we made it to the State meet! It felt joyous to succeed in where I had stumbled, figuratively and literally. At the State meet, I was the team’s 4th best runner (in the varsity 7), helping us to a top 10 team finish (We placed 9th).
It’s been a little over 6 months now since my surgery. Now that I look back at it, it's crazy that I could go from a zero, to I guess a hero in just six months. I had to beat myself mentally and physically to get back to where I am today. To me, it has been a slow process being setback here and there and trying to find the mentality to be able to overcome that. But that’s the thing. I learned from my setbacks. I didn’t want a setback to define who I am. A lot of people tell me that they would have just quit if they were in my shoes. Whenever I think about it sometimes, it would be so much easier to quit. It would be so much easier to just hang up my shoes and call it a day. But there is no pride in that, well in my eyes there isn’t. I wanted to go down in remembrance. I wanted to make sure people had something amazing to say when I’m laying in my coffin. I want people to remember me for my actions, so I set out to do that. The possibility of being remembered as the kid who didn't let anything stop him was too tantalizing for me.
I stumbled upon a quote a couple months prior to my seizure from the legendary four-time Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens and he said “One chance is all you need.” It didn’t have any appeal until I was in the midst of recovering. Life is so short. We have only so much time here on Earth to live. If I had had the seizure minutes later, I could be dead right now. With that in mind, I used it to my advantage. I had senior year to redeem myself from my junior year tragedy, so I made the most of that one chance.
A lot of people are struggling, and those who come to me usually find hope (or at least I’m instilling some of it in them). They seem to lack the mindset, particularly my teammates to overcome their running challenges. But I tell them that if you’re not going to have the mindset, that if they lose themselves psychologically, then they have no hope of finding a better future. If that inner voice can’t tell you to do it, then there isn't anyone else that can tell you that you can do it. But if they can and continue to hope for a better future, to tell themselves that they can do it, then there is nothing that could stop them. I tell them that because that’s not how I want them to end their day, because that’s definitely not the way I’m going to end my day.
I usually don't reply to more than two posts, but yours is an exception. I like the comeback story you told, and I'm glad you got to run this year. I'm sorry that these unforeseen events had to happen to you, but then again it was out of your control. I'm glad that you're doing much better now. I liked the spacing of your blog post and I also liked how much detail you put into this week's blog. Another great piece of writing and have a nice winter break!
I’m glad that I’m the “exception.” (☺) Thanks for taking your time to read other blogs, and it looks like I am a blogger that you follow! I feel appreciated! Thanks for your compliments! Have a nice break yourself!
I did not know this about you. Then again i'm not really a close friend either, but i seriously see some balls in you (sorry for language). Firstly, thank god you’re here, and may you always stay healthy enjoy to walk freely. Secondly, amazing blog it was truly inspirational. There was so much deep emotion i received from reading this. To be honest i usually shy away from crazy long looking blogs. But i took the chance this time, ironic right ! Coincidentally, it was worth it. thanks for the great read, and good job on such a wonderful blog.
LOL Edgar! Thanks for taking that chance on me! Haha! Psst. Normally the longer blogs are better! Thanks for reading my blog this week and for the positive feedback! Much appreciated!
Hey buddy, it always gives me goosebumps to hear the things that you went through. I commend you so much for staying strong through these tough times, as your heart and will prevailed at the end of the XC season. Your story serves me as motivation, and will help me work through adversity in my life. Knowing that what you went through is possible gives me hope in my life. It shows that working hard and persevering through obstacles will result in success if you keep your mind on the prize.
THANKS RAVI! MR.SHARMA YOU ARE PRETTY IMPRESSIVE YOURSELF!
That is quite a personal portion of your life you are sharing with us. I really enjoyed it as it showed how vulnerable we truly are as mortals. Our existence is just dust compared to the size of the universe and yet we value ourselves as much as the universe. Finding hope is hard, but I know you are strong enough to!
1. Bite my Dust
“At first I was afraid I was petrified
Thinking I couldn't live without you by my side
And I've been spending nights
Thinking how you did me wrong
And I grew strong
And I learned how to get along
And now you're back
From outer space
And I find you here with that sad look upon your face”
At my funeral I want this song to play non-stop. I want my mourners to think “did I come to the right place?” Then for a second they’d grin and reminisce back to the the years they experienced with me and they would say “this is so typical of Amy.”
I’ve never wanted a common mourning ceremony. Crying people in public always made me uncomfortable, so why would I wish that on my lovely guests who’ve come to talk about me in their eulogy. In some point someone I barely know during the ceremony will be asked to read a meaningful piece of crap about how much I will be missed with someone in the audience recording it all with the hashtag “sadfuneralday!” ready to post on social media. Hopefully my funeral becomes instagram famous.
2. Man I’m on Fire
“Looks like a girl, but she's a flame
So bright, she can burn your eyes
Better look the other way
You can try but you'll never forget her name
She's on top of the world”
I’ve never liked funerals. My perspectives of funerals is that they’re as fake as a list of facebook posts of grievances. So impersonal and annoying. “But it’s the thoughts and prayers that count.” They said. Well what if they didn’t want your thoughts or prayers? What if they just wanted everyone to take one final look back. One final turn. One final moment of crying out until your tears just slightly fill the missing piece of the hole you left in their hearts. And then they’d move on.
I wouldn’t even want a funeral. Why drag out a reminder of my death? But I know my mother enough to know she would have one for me anyway, letting everyone know how great I was to the point that they might as well make a park statue dedicated to my greatness.
Instead of my disco party funeral in Vegas I’m probably stuck with a crappy extravagant funeral where everyone is dressed in gaudy black apparel. Where people would mourn for me and cry. People I haven’t talked to or seen in years; people whose names I’ve forgotten. All of them towering over my pale ghostly face in the casket. Just people with faces. All that have never known Amy Ace the way others have. And funeral will be just like that.
3. My Lovely Bones
“These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections-sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent-that happened after I was gone. And I began to see things in a way that let me hold the world without me in it. The events that my death wrought were merely the bones of a body that would become whole at some unpredictable time in the future. The price of what I came to see as this miraculous body had been my life.” ― Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones
In a previous blog I talked about how I had cancer and how it affected my viewpoints of the world. During my beginning stages of treatment, I never once cared whether I lived or not. Call me crazy but I was never afraid of death or the unknown. I was simply living freely as a kid who was suddenly struck with disease. Even then, I didn’t care if I died.
There was one night where I came home after my first treatment, I was sleeping in my bedroom. Suddenly I felt a drop on my cheek and I woke up. The lamp on my bedstand was lit and I turned around. I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face. To this day it’s engraved forever in the back of my mind. The tears were still dropping down his face and the bridge of his pale nose. He gave me the saddest smile I’ve ever seen, and without thinking much of it I turned around and went back to sleep. I never wanted to see that face again. I can’t do that to anyone I love.
So I pray that if and when I die I hope I go swiftly and silently. I don’t want to be around anyone when I die. How traumatic that would be if I just suddenly stopped breathing, and my eyes were popping out at my five year old son I’m sure that wouldn’t freak him out. So no, I wouldn’t wish my last dying moments spent with anyone. Just let me die in peace. Please.
4. Look Back... Before You Go.
But If you loved me
Why'd you leave me?
Take my body
Take my body
All I want is
And all I need is
To find somebody
I'll find somebody like you
I’m afraid of losing you. But I’m scared the hell out of my mind of you losing me. Don’t believe for a second that I left you alone in this world, because we all end up where we have to in the end. Even if some of our lives end up being cut short. If you have to run away then do it. I remember when my grandpa was close to his last days and I never once visited him in the hospital. Because it was so much easier to run away like a coward and cope with my feelings that way. I couldn’t face his dying face. I just couldn’t.
So if you can’t come to my funeral, I understand. No matter where you end up, I’ll always be cheering you on even if you don’t see me. Don’t be afraid of losing me anymore. Don’t regret all the times you wished you could’ve spent more time with me because that’s what we all wished for and you’re not alone on that. Don’t blame yourself in anyway because I’ll seriously come down to haunt you if you do.
So I advise you to just scream at the top of your lungs. Fill that empty void with tears and the screams that you hope I can hear wherever I end up. And I promise I’ll hear you. But then get up and dust yourself off. And know that you’re living your own life. You shouldn’t waste anymore of it by mourning for me. So before you go; I hope you make one final look back on your shoulder and remember me as that weird crazy girl you knew so well. And hopefully we can meet again someday and just talk. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of things to catch up on.
Referring back to your Lovely Bones reference, I am also the type to not care whether or not we live or die. I guess you can say that we do not fear death. It's not that I'm depressed or anything but when I really think about it, what is there to fear? If you die, you're dead, you can't think about it or feel anything after because you're dead. But I guess what we can fear is who we are leaving behind. Who would be there to take care of our parents if we were gone and nothing would be able to comfort their loss.
"All I Want" is one of my favorite songs and I love what you wrote about it.
Omg Amy, that was a great blog post that had me in tears. Mostly because it hit so close to the heart. It was just..relatable and, real. That last song was sad but I could really appreciate the last paragraph you wrote about when you go. You seem like a really developed and strong person. Your post gave me a lot of insight and made me not only laugh but also think about what I want done for my funeral. Las Vegas strip club maybe?? hahaha. And you're invited! (OFC) Thank you for the beautiful read.
Looking at Myself
I remember in the beginning of this semester, I read an article about how when people achieve something they really wanted to have, they should be happy, yet, they are not. I think that is very true. Things that I thought I could not have or get close to made me think I would be so happy to have that. And when I achieved what I really wanted, I forget about how much I wanted and I don’t respect what I have anymore. All the things and missed opportunities or people I lost, I wish I gained them back. I look back and sometimes think if I could have those again, I feel like I can do much better that before.
There was this one person that I really thought could be my best friend. He was actually. We both thought we were really close. I first saw him when I was in Sophomore year, the year when I was transffered to Arcadia High School. For some reason, he was always in my math class. I have him in my math class even this year. We started as just friends, talking about just class subject matter in the class. It was junior year when we became like best friends, and we started sharing a lot more things and supported each other. But as we became really close friends, I made a huge mistake; I forgot about respect.
He was such a close friend to me, and I thought he could understand everything of what I do and I just behaved the way I wanted to act to him. Especially during Junior year, I expressed my stress to some of my best friends sometimes. And I didn’t really care about it. And we started going further away from each other. He got mad at me for some reason. I couldn’t figure it out and couldn’t really talk about it with him. What a huge mistake I made. I look back at myself and really want to tell myself why did you do that. I should’ve been grateful for having him as my best friend.
I want him back. Time kind of resolved the problem, and he is not mad at me anymore. These days when we talk, I try to respect him as much as possible. But it’s not the same as before. Things that we talk about is not the same as before. We became uncomfortable to open our minds. I sometimes really wish as if we didn’t know each other, and I can start over. But I can’t. He was just one of those cool people out there that I want him back. I didn’t feel grief though, it is more like an anger toward myself. I really am mad at myself for what I did. I am not sure if getting angry at myself for my past mistakes is a strenth or weakness. I gain so much more stress than others in that matter, but it makes me really take it seriously and make me not make that mistake again. So it’s both weakness and strength to me. But all these things are happening to me because I was not grateful for what I have.
Recently I read a story on internet about a poor girl. She was attending preticious college in Korea, but her mom earns minimum wage and his dad never works and abuses the whole family. She gets support from the government, but she has hard time to pay for her tuition fee and even has to worry about getting a dinner. Other times when I read this I would just think it’s sad and it’s not related to my life so I would forget. But this time for reason I thought about myself for real. What’s the chance that I am born into the family I currently belong to. It’s possible that I can be born in a war refugee or a very poor family.
I always complain to myself about how I feel like nothing is going on for me. About how I don’t have good grades and SAT score, and many other things I couldn’t accomplish. And I express all the stress to people who are really close to me, best friends and my parents. I realize that I was so foolish. I am the lucky kid to just be born in happy family and get a chance to study in U.S, and have the coolest friends. After reading the questions for this blog, I told myself I really should appreciate what I have and what opportunities I have. I haven’t really so far.
There is certainly a lot of times in my life where I feel like I am unlucky and think all I do is losing. I realized this is all happening because I am not satisfied and thankful for what I have. I believe having grateful mindset will help me a lot of ways. Mr. Feraco thank you for this blog. This blog actually made me think about myself, and I found that the way I feel about my life and what I have is what was giving me problem.
Young Un Jun
Hi, Young Un. Thank you to share your experience.
If you can absorb water on ground and put in a glass, you can’t turn back the time, in my opinion. And, you may feel so, like me.
Also it is my opinion that the reason people can’t be happy, grateful and satisfied at good results which they wanted to achieve is they presume that those will be realized. Some of results such as athletic competition of Olympic isn’t the results that we can’t expect the result easily. So, if we got failed we can accept the result though we are sorry.
But, in your case, you did as first case that I explain. You couldn’t, so you didn’t expect.
I am sorry if you feel bad. But you got great experience, I think. The reason that I wrote this reply is to give a lesson to me, not to blame you. And I hope you can deal with other relationships between you and others.
Great blog, Young Un J. ! I found many similarities between your blog and one of the first blogs I wrote this school year. I too had a close friend that basically grew up with me, but once we hit high school, we drifted apart until we don’t even talk to each other anymore. I would try to view this situation of your friend as a positive thing; it made you realize just how fortunate you are, and taught you to value and cherish your friends. You have learned and matured from this experience, and I am hope that you are a better person at the end of all this. Keep up the good work!
I don’t think I am the same person in front of every single person in my life. I have different faces for everyone, or maybe, every group of people will see the different me. For my friends, I am who they will appreciate to spent time with.For my family, I am a traditional “ good kid”. I have another side of my personality is hidden from those people I care or I love. I am cruel, or maybe in another words, I am senseless when facing strangers. I have trusted strangers when I still did not know how dangerous it is to trust the person who you don’t know.
I did not remember the details how that stranger had betray my trust and make me have a bad impression on her. When I transfer to a new elementary school, kids around me are strangers, I was a little shy but I was hope to make friends. There was a girl who sit next to me, and I thought she is friendly. I told her I want to be friend with her, and the first few days we were fine. But she was still a stranger for me, since she seems never paid attention on me. Then she told me to wait for her near the school gate after lunch, I had waited for a long time, she did not come. I missed one class and she never came. I got found by other teacher and brought back to class. She sat right there and laughed at me. I got punished by staying after school, then I asked her why she did this to me. She said “ Because it’s so funny to watch you got embarrassed.”
I will never showing my kindness without certain reasons. I will not show my real emotions or my thoughts to strangers. I hate to expose my weakness to others, to those who I don’t know their weakness. People are selfish and reality is cruel. I have to protect myself by put on less confidence on stranger’s kindness. I have to test and know someone until I show the real me to them.
I don’t know how my friends think of me, but I am sure some parts of their knowledgment of me are the real me. I know how my families, love ones, and especially parents think of me, since that is the real me. I don’t have any expectations for my impressions on people, why should I care that much? If I know what faces I am showing to them?
I feel that people should remember me as the person who they know me as. I feel that more people often judge others for what they’ve done. I already have people doing that rather than what I’ve done, but is that going to stop them? Clearly not. And those people aren’t my friends for those reasons. My friends though, I hope they’re the people that will remember me for the big things I’ve done to help them or others. Nowadays people are judged for the little things that no one finds too big of a big deal. My family though… is something you’ll find out later. More or less though, I want people to just remember me for who I am, or the legacy I have created for myself.
I pushed away from my family until now, because I’m going to categorize it as the people who won’t really remember me when I’m older. Personally I’ve been having a lot of problems with them, and other people around me. It’s because they judge me for things that I’ve done at the moment, and those that do that seem to collect those moments in time, and they already have a judgmental view on them. Those people, including my family as much as they love me, I feel like they will remember me for the bad things that I’ve done rather than all the other good things I have accomplished so far. As far as they are concerned, it’s as if only my bad name will go down in history. For example, I know of these people who judge me for how I relieve my stress: I like to hit things. Particularly metal things. They don’t understand why I do it, because they don’t ask nor do they really care as to what my reason is. But this is exactly what I’m talking about, where people will remember other’s for the bad things.
This is something that often happens a lot, and it’s also like this in history too. Often now others can be remember people for the bad things. It’s not a fun way to be remembered ever, but we can’t change how people see us, no matter how hard we try. Everything that’s happened up till now are the things we hope people can remember us by. I think we try to have people “remember me for me” because hopefully when you remember someone, it’s for the happy memories that you’ve shared with them, or the thought-provoking ones, or even the ones that made you laugh and do something crazy.
Dear Amanda, your blog has caught my eye by the story it holds. I respect you for using the courage to share us your life. I agree with you, I feel that people remember more about someone’s bad past than a good one. Good luck.”
"It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything." -Tyler Durden
Seems like a big issue in this blog, but it's been the aspect of our lives since day one that we have chosen to shove in the back of the closet and forget, maybe to hide the feelings of pain and regret along with it.
So perhaps it's a dirty mistake all mortals make, but who can blame us; we've never been the species to feed where we scat, it's always been a different location. The fact is, we ignore the fact that one day everything we ever loved will fade and rot to nothing. Perhaps it is this exact ignorance that has kept us sane and pressing forward. But to drive the point, loss is in our lives whether we like it or not. In life if there is no gain then there is only loss. We lose things everyday big and small from water bottles and house keys to dead pets, friends, and family. And unlike the machines we so brilliantly designed, we have emotions that come along with loss. To the mentally healthy, one may experience sadness and grief when it comes to loss. It's hard to explain this illogical negative energy as a human but apparently it just plain sucks to lose.
So how does anybody climb over this barrier of grief? You probably hear people say "Give it time." or "The pain will dull." or "You'll get over it." and eventually (given time) those feelings will fade and people will tend to continue with their lives. We adapt to the acceptance that it is what it is and move on no matter how big the loss (or at least in most normal cases). Given time all scars will heal, all wounds will close, all remnants of the past will simply be a tiny memory.
From personal experience, apparently it's in our nature to fear loss. We already know the exact feelings of something with value taken from us. The thought that life would be stupid and less happy without those things baffles us and we do all to prevent it from happening. We all fear (or at least most of us) our parents, friends, and pets dying. We just don't know how to cope with the fact that our perfect little life would be falling apart into some life where it lacks certain components to absolute bliss. But time goes on and people (or things) age and cannot live forever. They must all give in to the unavoidable end that consumes all and concludes all.
So perhaps you eventually get old, see your parents and friends die, and do learn to accept and live with the facts. Now it is close to your turn. You will finally end your journey in life and welcome the unknown from which you came. How will you leave the people and things you love? What will they think of you once you're gone?
In my honest and cold opinion: It doesn't matter, it won't matter, and it probably never will. Satisfying humans are almost impossible, just be yourself to the extreme; some people will hate you and others will love and remember you forever. The same mentality you carry through life to surf the stormy waves of life must also be carried beyond death. So what if nobody attends your funeral. So what if people spat on your grave and mocked your existence. Are you spending a lifetime satisfying people to get a perfect funeral?
You'd be dead. You wouldn't exist anymore. It wouldn't matter. As long as you've made yourself proud when you were alive, death won't matter at all. Perhaps you might not end up like Mao Ze Dong and have thousands flock to your waxed body every month to deliver fresh roses. Perhaps a statue of yourself wouldn't be erected after you're six feet under. Perhaps you're not getting a plaque with you're name on it in the public park.
It doesn't matter; you're dead. When we're all still alive, why not focus on the things we can improve rather than the things we won't even see in our lifetimes. Legacies are not built from approval of people, it is tested time and time again through action and courage to take the action.
I never really “miss” anyone or anything. For example, two summers ago, I had an internship at a summer school program. I was in the first shift and out of the four shifts and Shift 1 was the closest. The interns and the volunteers enjoyed working together and we would sometimes go hangout after we were done for the day. Eventually, the program came to an end and the ending was very bittersweet. I thought that I would miss all of the friends I made there so much because they went to Gabrielino or San Gabriel High School, meaning that I would not have many opportunities to see them in the future. I thought that I would miss the students and staff that I worked with as well. If I had a choice to do it everyday for the rest of the year, I would have chosen to do so because I did not want those memories to end. But of course, it ended and I continued messaging them over Facebook but the conversations started to become shorter and eventually stopped by the end of first semester. On the last day of the program, I really thought that I would keep in touch with them because I thought that I would miss them so much. Yet, after two years, some of us still kept in touch and we had mini reunions from time to time.
Frankly, I am still happy even after knowing that the people I considered close friends are no longer involved in my life. Because I have positive memories of them, I am fine with the fact that I may not see any of them for the rest of my life. This also remains true with the other people that I have met such as classmates and teachers. Even though I do not miss people, I would still want to see their faces or catch up with them again. Usually these people are the ones I invested so much time by either talking to them, working with them, or learning from them. A fraction of my life was spent getting to know them and forgetting those memories is like nothing ever happened and that all that time was wasted.
So if I died and no one really looked back at the times I spent with them, it would be like I never existed. All those lectures, car rides, dinners, and watched movies and TV shows that I shared with my mom would not matter if she did not remember them. The hours spent studying for tests and quizzes and the time spent doing homework would all be wasted efforts once I’m gone. But I do not care about the experiences I did alone. No one is going to honor a Bachelor of Science Degree. They are going to care more about the things that I taught them about themselves or the things that they taught me. Well, at least I hope so.
I do not need or want other people to miss me because I will not miss them. Missing is different from remembering. I want people that I dedicated at least fifteen hours of my life with to remember me because I will remember those times that I spent with them. Honestly, fifteen hours is not a lot. Fifteen hours is like the four SAT classes that I spent with a girl I met that was from Temple City High School. In other words, I never saw her again and I do not miss her, but I do remember her. So with that in mind, I hope the interns and volunteers I met over that one summer will remember me. After all, I did spend two hundred volunteer hours with them.
I also do not care about the memories people remember me by. Even if people remember me by something stupid I said or did, it will never affect my memory of them.
I would like people to remember me as who I am, a person who was never afraid to speak their opinion and was practically fearless. For most of my friends I think it is fair to say that they would remember me as being that brutally honest friend that they can always trust in when they are in search for a truthful opinion. Along with the fact that I was never the type of person to sugar coat what I had to say. I believe that my family would remember me by always being the loudest and rowdiest child with the biggest personality. Also I would think that they remember me as being the outsider of the family, always having colored hair, and more on the “creative” side, being fascinated by tattoos and body modifications.
Although I would like my friends and family to remember me that way they won’t. They will remember me the way they wish to remember me. Whether it be through my successes or failures. I cannot control how I want my legacy to be or if I will even have a legacy. The most I can do is live out my life the way I see it best fit and admire myself for who I am going to be. What other people will remember me as will only be a biased opinion on how I acted towards them and how they saw me to be. The only way I will be remembered the way I want to be remembered is if that person walked a mile in my shoes, but as life will have it that will never be possible.
Alex knowing you personally i know that i will always remember you for having a big mouth and always being loud. But i also agree with you in saying that you can't control how people remember you whether it be the good memories or the bad ones
I was six years old when I experienced my first lost. My mother took me to Poland for her mother’s funeral. As a result, I had to take one week off from school. At that time I was living in Denmark, so my brother drove us to Poland in his car. While I was in the car no one talked to me. My brother was deep in thoughts and my mother was liveless. I didn’t have any toys to play with, since my mom packed everything in a rush for the funeral. Therefore, I would look out of the car mirror with a thought hunting me. I kept on thinking back to the day my mom found out that her mother had died while in the car. My brother came home and entered the living room. My mom asked what was wrong, but he couldn't answer. He just murmured silently “grandmother is dead”. At first, I did not know what “death” meant. My mother’s tears and my brother sobs gave me goosebumps.
I got a strange sensation while in the car when I was thinking back to when my mother found about her mother’s death, which I did not understand at first. The feeling was overwhelming for my six-year old brain. I felt sad and automatically connected my family’s sorrow with the connections death has with sorrow. “I am not going to see grandmother again” suddenly occupied my mind. I glanced forward to my mother and brother in the front seats of the car, but I didn't want to upset them. I held the grief to myself, but I clearly remember tears falling down my cheeks. My sweet grandmother was going to heaven. My mother’s mother who had taken care of me, feeded me, played with me, washed me and even loved me as much as I was her own child. She was gone.
Learning about death in such an early age made me stronger. At that age, I couldn't completely comprehend what grief causes, but I got a taste of it. It made me prepared for the feeling I could expect from future losses of the persons I hold dear. My grief is a sign of strength, since it symbolizes how much I am truly going to miss that person, but I am moving forward at the same time. To honor the person, I make the grief function as a remembrance and as a goodbye. After that, I make sure that the person I have lost does not disappear. I do it by living the way they taught me or showed me to. As a result, their principles, morals and spirit will live through me. In other words, I only grief for a certain amount time, because through their loss, I gain something in return.
I know how exactly you felt when you look through the mirror and having all that flashbacks, I can indistinctly picture all the great moment with my grandpa, with a vague feeling of guilt, when I was in the car on my way to my grandpa’s funeral.
You don’t act the same in everywhere
This is common sense! Is this even a question?
-Don’t act stupid or you are going to embarrass yourself.
-Talk to teachers formally. Don’t say “LOL” or laugh so loud. Chuckle a little.
-Talk to your friends a little formally. Don’t be embarrassing. Don’t start an argument. Say “yes” to everything.
-Eat normally like you are at a fancy restaurant. Don’t eat so much.
-Walk normally not walking in a “weird” style.
-Act stupid. No one cares. Freedom!
-Talk to those who don’t know you in a cool style. Say “Yah Bro! I got this” or “Yo, Bruh, you got them swagggggg.”
-Talk to others in semi-formal style. Laugh out loud and say “LOL”
-Eat as much as you want. Eat as messy as you want.
-Conform a little
-Do whatever you want. Run around naked or do unorthodox things
You see, you don’t act the same everywhere and to every person. You don’t socialize to people you hate but you do to people you know or like. You don’t act the same at the public as at home. We are different. We have different faces, or as I call it “different modes,” that suit the situation or place.
But why do we act differently in different situation. Specifically, why could we run around naked in our homes while we wouldn’t do that in the public?
Reputation is the key to that question.
We want the best for ourselves. We want to take every opportunity out there in the world of the unknown. But the origin of this desire for opportunity, or to be better than others, is reputation. You have to maintain a good and known reputation to have opportunities. And we have “self-interest.” We would do anything to take that opportunity away from other. We are sometimes selfish, but this is human nature. We care about ourselves, and then others.
Just imagine this situation:
You are an average student. You want to go to the best schools but you have an average grade-point-average. You have a C in a class, and you want an A. A teacher announces to you in front of the class a choice to raise you grade. He offers you 1,000 points extra credit, which guarantees you an A in the class. Or he offers 5 points extra credit to each student in his class, which does not guarantee you an A in the class. Which choice would you choice: to have “self-interest” and have that A, or to be generous and kind and give extra credit to your classmates and have a little chance to get an A.
You might or might not take the 1,000 point extra credit if he announced that opportunity in class, filled with your friends and acquaintance. You would be thinking of your opportunity cost. Would you take the socialist path? “These people got A’s and B’s and I got a C. I need to get an A! I want to be equal!” Would you take the generous path? “I am generous and not selfish. Here’s extra credit for all and a good night!” Would you take the self-interest or business path? “I need a damn A. You jerks don’t need it. I need it more than you guys. I care about myself!”
Whatever path you take, would you think the same if he told you the opportunity privately?
You would probably want to have the 1,000 points extra credit and let no one know about the opportunity.
My point is that we think about the possibilities or opportunity costs as an economist would say. We tend to make decision based on many factors, like the situation, the place, the time, and millions of other factors that come down to this one decision. It’s all based on the millions of factors to come to a conclusion of one single decision. Calculations, Factors, Predictions and all sorts come down to that one decision. Amazing how humanity and our brain work.
Nice blog Chris! I like how you compared and contrasted the aspects of school and home in a really simple way, just listing them all out. I found your blog overall to be very easy to read. Also, I can totally agree with the point you make where what we do is driven by reputation. And your examples are simply excellent and relatable, especially for students. All in all, good job Chris.
Dealing with someone's loss is horrible especially when you love them or had strong feelings for them. Tonight my bunny Lucky died around 10pm. Around 10:20pm, I found it in the middle of the street with its extended body trying to cross the road of First Avenue right in front of my house. At first when we passed by it with the car, it looked like a cat or a rat but then i remembered something and felt this horrible gut feeling. This morning, Lucky had sneaked out of it’s cage and that i forgot to look for it later in the day because it wasn't the first time he had sneaked out. When he did sneak out, he would always go in the backyard or in the bottom of the house but he never ran into the street unless someone chased it. Then he would come back around 8pm close to its cage or back yard where it was safe. So, when i found him eyeless and squished, i grabbed him feeling his warm body, that his death had taken recently, i felt very confused, emotional like i didn't know what i wanted to feel or how i wanted to express my feelings out, i felt heart broken. I thought to myself that i should had looked for him, or i should had put a better lock on its cage, or i should had cared more… but i knew that no matter what i did it wouldn't change anything. I took its body away from the streets and buried it in my backyard before it started raining, (sounds creepy but it helped), my mother started crying when i told her the news and she cried even more when she saw it. I don't blame the driver, nor my uncle who had broken the cages lock a week earlier, nor anyone else, but i did feel bad for not taking better care of it. The only thing i can do for it now is to take care of its three babies it left behind with their mother princess. Now i am left with four beautiful bunnies and will try and enjoy every moment with them to make new memories just like the ones we made with Lucky.
I know that Lucky was just an animal and that human death is more horrifying than an animal's death but when you get attached to someone or something with love and care, you can really feel the little pieces in your heart break ...
Liliana I am sorry lucky died. I feel sympathy for you. Even though I've owned a dog before and cared for it. I don't really remember what happen to it but I can only imagine the horror I would be if I found my pet ran over. I am sorry. I hope you feel better eventually.
Recently, I’ve watched one of my favorite movie once again, it’s my 3rd time watching it, it’s called “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” directed by Tim Burton. The entire movie it’s certainly about “love” and the parenthood ,without a doubt, the parents, guardians hold the responsibility for their children’s behavior. Because I remember all I do when I was a child is to imitate both my mom and dad. It’s just part of human nature.
What also affect their children were based on how well do the parents love them, well, sometime it’s just too much! We all know there’s a type of parents who always bended to their child for every need, and eventually turned them into a brat, that’s just too much. Instead I’d rather have my parents telling me what to do and what not to do, because usually, they’re just trying to protect me, and I’m positive that my parents love me more than anything.
From time to time, I am having some terrifying dreams such as losing both my mom and my dad, which is the most horrible nightmare. They are the only human being in the entire world who love me more than anything else. However, nothing’s going to change the fact that our parents are going to die, not right this second, but eventually they will pass away, most of the time they will die before we do, who can image how awful is it to lose people who give their whole life to you? When something really great happens, they aren’t here to be proud of you, when something really bad happens to me, my first instinct is to call my parents for support, I couldn’t image the world without them.
I really am afraid of losing them, but I’m more afraid of letting them down, my parents did whatever they could to prepare us for being on our own, so I guess my responsibility is to show them that I can take care of myself, even though you are no longer around me, not only myself, but also my wife and my children.
Loss. Loss of family. Loss of relative. Loss of love. Loss of success. Loss of opportunity. Loss of fame. Loss of confidence. Loss of money. Loss of pet. Loss of help. And Loss of Happiness.
It makes people painful. In my case, no one of my relative and family who is near of me have died. So, I cannot explain the pain of grief. On the other hand, I have bad memory of others. So I will tell you them.
I have made great mistakes for my life. They have been caused by my lack of challenging mind and knowledge. I will not explain precise information about them but please just know these have tortured me since long ago, also sometimes these appear in my nightmare.
First, I have few friends when I was a elementary school student. In this case, the fact that I was so reserved boy was another reason. At that time I didn’t know how to approach other people, and I often stammered because of fear. And the worse reason was my younger brother had bother them because he is outgoing (and annoying) boy and interested in other people. When they were reluctant at me because of my cloudiness and demanded to control my brother, I was afraid to meet other people more and more also this made me miserable. And this situation was kept until my middle school age, because many of my alumni of my elementary school went same middle school with me.
Nevertheless, I have tried to change myself since 5th grade. By force but with my will, I tried speak and speak. In this process, I have made a lot of stupid mistakes. I said useless or weird sound, told someone informations though I don’t know it well.
So I have cursed myself and everyone and everything around me, and I am afraid whether somebody think me good or bad. Moreover I cannot forgive myself and others well. And I can’t forget my past opportunity and be sorry everyday. I didn’t kill myself, but the reason was that I was better than other suicides.
But I have thought “NEVER AGAIN.” It is symbol of my weakness but also my strength. Because it means I will never give up myself. And I am thankful to my not giving up. Because of this I of today can exist. Also I can look forward to my hope, potential and possibility.
Speaking of loss, I am really afraid of losing the people who are close to me. I attended my grandmother’s funeral and that’s probably one of the saddest moments in my life. I’ve always worried an accident to me or the people around me someday. My parents raised me properly and educated me with high ethical standards, I’m really thankful for their hard work. My brothers and I enjoyed playing together all the time, we shared each other’s thoughts about school and I help them out with their difficulties. My friends are the main support of my school years, we help out each other’s grades and chat about our consensus. Even though sometimes I had conflicts with the people around me, that didn’t break down our bonds. The pain of the loss can really hurt me, especially my mental health. If death ends the life of one of my close friends, I must keep going on with my life.
I once played an RPG about humans trying to escape reality. During the journey, I saw the hidden emotions of characters. I realized that people never show their true feelings to the world. Humans wear a facade to help them fit into the bigger circles. People can't live without each other, and in order to form relationships, they conceal part of their own personalities, which are symbolized as shadows in this game. I’m part of this too, by never acting naturally in front of people throughout my school life. The game also has a feature called “Social Link,” where the more bonds I form with people, the more powerful I am in battles. This caused me to think about the importance of relationships. Being isolated won’t give me a happy life; friends will always be there to help me when I’m in need.
We grieve because the relationship we hold dear is lost, never to be seen again. People can’t be together forever, so we’d better make the time we do have something to remember. Until the day we died, we should cherish every living moment and create unforgettable memories that will make our lives more interesting. Some live everyday as the last day of their lives, and I think this is probably the reason. Enjoy the moment with all your might, whether it’s gloomy, whether it’s bright. It’s natural to feel sad over the loss of someone, and that’s the proof of the relationship towards that person.
My grandmother on my mom’s side passed away one fateful December evening a year ago. She was suffering from Pancreatic cancer, a cancer that was notorious for its low survival rate. When I received the news, I was shocked, yes, but I didn’t cry. Call me heartless or whatever, but I personally like to keep my emotions inside me; I never outwardly express deep emotions, such as that of grief, or anger, or of pain. I have very rarely cried in front of other people, or threw a tantrum in public. I wanted to keep my emotions to myself. So, when I received news my grandmother had passed away, I didn’t cry. My sister, with tears streaming down her face, searched my face for any sign of grief or pain, and although I did feel it, it did not show on my face.
My mom told my sister that everyone expressed their emotions differently, that I just had a penchant for keeping my feelings and emotions to myself. At the funeral, I gave a eulogy, and was surprised that I didn’t cry. I thought that recounting all the things my grandma did for me and talking about the unforgettable moments we spent together would bring tears to my face, but it didn’t come.
About a week after the funeral, the tears came. It hit me like a sledgehammer. I was in the shower when I started crying (weird place to cry, I know). I realized that she was permanently gone from my life, and I immediately starting thinking of things I wished I had done with her. I wish she knew that I love her very much. I do love her very much, but like I said, it is hard for me to outwardly express these feelings toward other people, and I am tortured by the fact that I did not make my love for her be more visible and tangible. I regretted not being by her side more when she was first diagnosed with the cancer, with not giving enough support to her. I knew that she loved me so much, but I felt like I abandoned her in her last moments of her life. Looking back on this, I still feel regret.
A couple months after my grandma had passed away, around June of this year, my grandmother on my dad’s side was diagnosed with lung cancer, and the cancer cells quickly spread until it reached her pancreas. After a few weeks of the diagnosis, the cancer became too overwhelming, and she too passed away from pancreatic cancer. This grandmother I was also close to; I visited her and my grandpa in their Pasadena apartment every two weeks, and am filled with memories of when I was a kid and would always go to their apartment. But the same cycle repeated itself.
I was hurt and filled with strife, but I didn’t cry when I was first given the news that she too had passed away. During the funeral, a slideshow was shown of my grandmother’s life, and seeing a picture of myself as a baby and my grandmother holding me up with a wide grin on her face, I had to bite back tears. I hated crying in public. But when we loaded her body into the casket and closed the lid, forever sealing her inside, the tears came. Boy, was it a relief.
So, both of my grandmothers, both of whom I was extremely close to, passed away from pancreatic cancer within six months of one another, and I broke a barrier and began outwardly expressing deep emotions. It was an eventful and tumultuous moment in my life, but I got through it. Are there still times when I grieve for them? Of course. Am I going to slowly forget my memories of them? I don’t know, and I really hope not, but to be honest, I am not angry at the fact that they passed away. Sure, I would obviously like for them to be alive today, but I know that, as Christians, they are in a better place, a place of peace and serenity, away from this Earth filled with chaos and evil. That is how I have come to endure and accept their passing, and all the regrets I have of “missed opportunities” with them, it is of no use to keep beating myself up for that. They love me, and they died loving me; I love them, and having the chance to spend my life with them from my birth until their passing is enough to overcome the pain.
Hey Chris I am really sorry for both of your losses. I understand that it is very difficult to outwardly express your emotions, and as your friend I have very many times seen that expressive Chris that you talk about here. It is okay and normal to keep on feeling grief for them, as it seems that you feel every now and then. I agree that you should focus more on the life that you had remembering them, rather than “beating yourself up” over regret, all of the times that you could have been spending with them. This was hard for me to read as I am so used to seeing you as such a happy DEEJAY, but I think it was great that I could learn more about the rather painful side of your life.
+ How do you deal with loss? How do you grieve? Is your grief a sign of your strength, or of your weakness? Is it honorable? Is it self-indulgent? Do you think about “missed opportunities” and feel guilty? Are you grateful for the opportunities you seized, for the good memories?
I deal with a loss in a multitude of ways. I think it just depends on the loss. But after thinking about it for a second, I guess it’s really more simple than that. My way of dealing with things, is by analyzing. Getting to the root of the problem, figuring out why I feel the way I do and what other factors are involved that are causing me to feel this way. I deal with things logically. For me, that’s the only way to deal with things. In the past, my grievances were a bit self-indulgent I suppose. If I actually did end up doing everything I wanted to, did everything I thought would rid me of my pain I’d be so messed up by now. But I think the reason I didn’t do these things-- didn’t really indulge is because of my strength of character. I just couldn’t allow myself to do these things. I knew where to draw the line. I couldn’t stoop to that level.
But I also realized it was my lack of drive. Insecurities, fear that I let build up inside of me, guilt. Holding onto the past too much. I was so depressed at some points I felt like everything was pointless. Like it just wouldn’t matter if I did something. And I was stubborn, so I wanted things to go my way. But the only problem is, that can’t happen all the time. Only rarely does it ever. I realized sometimes you just have to seize the moment. And that it’s always better to say how you feel, when you feel it. Stop holding back so much because you’ll just regret it in the end. Have all these “What If” scenarios replaying over & over again in your mind.
Define the moment, or the moment will define you.
All I wanted at that point was to just give up and not try so hard. Just lay down and never get up. All I wanted, was to be loved for me. There were these deep rooted insecurities that I didn’t fully see and even if I did, I couldn’t begin to piece together how I would solve them in today’s society and make them better. Make myself stronger. Less needy.
And I was so needy.
I let my ex boyfriend control me and rule my life. Which was sad. And it still bugs me to think about because that was my fault. I let him control me and because of it, I missed out on so much. I let myself be manipulated and kept feeding into this distorted version of the truth and allowed myself to believe I actually needed him to go on. I convinced myself of this.
I had built this future for us in my mind, you see. And I couldn’t just “let go” of that, you know? It seemed impossible. Like our bond was unbreakable. I told him I could see my future when I looked in his eyes, but, really...Was I just seeing what I wanted to see?
Because I was so needy, so insecure. So ready to just latch onto him because he seemed so perfect. Like exactly what I needed. He understood me. He listened. But he was so messed up himself. Neither of us should have been in relationships, let me just say that.
But of course I am grateful for the opportunities I seized. The good, and the bad. Because I was able to learn from both. Progress. Make myself into a better me. And that’s all that really matters in the end. That’s what lets you sleep at night.
You know, I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason...And I do like to look at things in a positive light, while of course, not in a naive way either. But I guess what gives me that feeling of contentedness with the situation, after deeply analyzing is that, even though I let him control me and gave him so much power over me (which I ended up paying for immensely), I did learn from it. And through all that pain, all that hurt, I grew a deeper understanding. Of people. Of my surroundings. But most importantly, of myself.
I realized why I did the things I did. Why I was so willing to submit myself to him. To hold on, even in the darkest times. Why I was so needy.
And it goes all the way back to my past. Having to do with my dad and my subconscious fear of being left behind. “Not being good enough” and needing that security and stability that comes with being in a healthy relationship with someone who loves and cherishes you and has values and ideals similar to your own.
I just needed that someone. Needed something to hold on to. Ironically, I feel like I used to him to help distract me from the past and make me feel as if everything was okay and I was just moving forward. Like I was really beginning my life, you know? Adolescence. Jumpstarting my future. When in actuality, I was subconsciously doing the opposite by dwelling on it through different situations that came up when I was with him. The more time that passed, the more I felt like I needed him, I guess.
And when I was in a healthy state of mind, felt secure within myself and wanted to break free I let him manipulate or guilt me back into that state of mind.
But now, of course I’m in a different state of mind. I realize that I don’t need anybody. I’m perfectly fine on my own, and pride myself on my independence. As a matter of fact sometimes I hate being helped. Because I want to do things on my own. I know my capabilities and know that getting help with some things just isn’t going to get me anywhere. (Like academic-wise, I mean).
But at the same time, I know that it’s okay to get down sometimes. It’s okay to be sad, disappointed, angry. That whatever you feel, is okay. Everyone needs help sometimes. Often times I find knowing that there is a solution to everything but death comforts me. It reminds me that most problems can be solved and that I can make myself or anyone else feel better through rationale and logically talking things out and getting to the real root of the problem. I think at the end of the day, that’s what keeps me sane.
P.S., the reason I say "it depends on the loss," is because, loss doesn't always have to be just physical. (i.e., someone dying.) Part of what I said did have to do with that, but I meant more analyzing less literal losses. Really figuring out why we feel the way we do. Why I felt that way, and finding ways to improve myself and cope better with literal losses and deal more efficiently with different, less harsh "losses" in life.
People always change by the affection of age and experience. When people become adults from childhood, and they realized they have put so many masks on their faces. Even when you get into a new high school, and you need to know what kind of students you should make friends with. You get a new job, sometimes the first thing you learn might not be doing your job well, is learning how to build your new relationship with your new colleagues. It's impossible that you would like everyone in your life, but as long as you know how to treat with different people, how to use other people to make your future better, but not frame them. and you still can thrive in such a complicated world. In my life, I have to admit that I do build difference faces to different people, some people I really hate them, but I have to prevent that we are friends just because I don't want screw my social cycle including these people. Once we use violence toward each other, and it only makes other people thinking something bad about me: how bad,selfish,cold this person is! On the other hand, it's really tired to live with this way. I realized sometimes it's like a play by scenes to scenes, and I told myself longtime ago: this is the cost for the living way I chose. Since I can not be a person who is straightforward, and I will live these masks that I made for myself till my last day.
Since I was born in my family, and been raised by my parents. I know I used to do something might hurt them, and I might do more hurtful things to them in the future, and I don't hope my family would forget what I have done. I don't just want other people remember me in an absolutely good way because nobody is naturally perfect! I am not sage, I am just a normal human, and I do make mistakes. No matter how people would remember me, and I believe these memories make me realize what kind of person I really am, what sins do I have, and how could I improve myself to be a better person. It's complicated to explain my heart. Even it's hurt when I know people hate me, and they might be someone I love, but on the other hand, it makes my life more real because I don't want to be blocked by sweet lies, it's not the life I want,even it's full of fake happiness.
If let me choose the memories I hold of others, I perfer perfect memories for the people I love because they are all important parts for my life, and I can't stand any filthy spot on these memories. But for those people I hate,even they might not be evil, but I still will match them with devils just because I hate them. No matter what they have done, as long as I could not release, and those evil memories will live with me forever.
I am myself but not the same
I am very different to all my friends. Some I am the mean person, some I am the lazy one, and some I am the funny one. I do not know why I am different to different people, I do not know why I am patient with some and hasty with others. I do not have one identity. If you know me well, you will know my true self and know that I am different to everyone. The first time I meet someone I decide who I want to be or how I want to be. I see myself differently because of how others are. I always follow my friends opinion on certain situations. I am very indecisive and like listening to the opinions of others. I then consider my choices and eventually go to whatever I think is best.
Often in grief I ask my friends what to do. They usually tell me something like “everything will be better”. I grief by looking foward and seeing the light and opportunities that lies in front. That's why I deal with loss very easily. I believe things will get better and the worst is already gone. Thing can only get better from this point. Grief is a sign of your strength. It shows that even in hardships you can still operate and function. It shows that you can survive the pain of loss. Often I think about missed opportunities, Like turning this blog on time. I feel guilty because I forgot about school as soon as the break started. I am grateful for the opportunities I seized like checking the blog today and doing it.
If I could only remember a family member a certain way I would choose to remember them the accurate way because if one of my family member is dead or gone, I rather remember what they really did and not what you hoped for them to accomplish because this way you know they tried hard to achieve the goal and maybe I can succeed them by accomplishing it for them.
Life will throw adversity, fear, and anger at you no matter what you do or how good you try to be to the world around you. When these things happen to us, it is only the strong that can prevail, by holding themselves back. They will not allow these emotions to take them over, as they can control what they do when placed under these situations, as they will not allow their situational actions dictate their true personality.
Over the past few years, I have not had this luxury. I have seen myself become more and more angry towards things over the last few years, and I have committed actions that I really regretted in the future. I know I’m supposed to learn and become a better person because of these mistakes, but they seem to keep on piling up, and I don’t know how to make them stop. Dealing with school, my family, and sports has made me feel fearful and angry, and because of these emotions I feel that, not permanently, I have become hot-tempered and impatient in the eyes of others. Trust me, I want to change, but after repeatedly displaying signs of anger and misjudgement, I feel like it has become a part of me.
One of the events that had the most impact on me as a person was the death of my grandfather in India. He was someone who loved me without bound, and seemed never to have a moment of sadness or anger. His optimism and generosity rubbed off on me, and every time I would visit or talk to him on the phone I could feel just like he did, and forget about all of the things in the world that made me feel down. His death not only brought on me depression, but also it showed me that not all things good could last forever.
It served as a wake-up call to me, that I could not stay fixated on the things that I have, because one day they could all disappear and leave me with the feeling of emptiness. I did not learn to give up making connections completely, but I thought it would be best to be prepared for the worst. The amount of grief and anger I felt towards the death of the most ample symbol of happiness in my life destroyed me, as I had never before experienced a death of someone that shaped me so greatly.
The next few years I have become rather angry and impatient with the world around me. I have resorted to disrespectful methods of getting what I want, not only with my family, but also with the others around me trying to help me succeed. With each mistake I make, I see myself digging a hole bigger and bigger into a world of darkness and hatred, and I can do nothing but grimace and try to make things better, using this fear to make myself a better person. I am afraid of what I have become, and I am even more worried about how I am seen.
I could be completely overreacting to this situation, but it seems as if people have been working hard to send more and more wake-up calls that never really hit me as hard as my grandfather’s death did. I wanted to go to India to visit my family around me, the ones that cared for me that I really never got to thank with my reciprocation of love. Maybe one day when school, sports, and my life all permit, I can go back to India, and pay my respects to all of the people that I love and cherish.
How do you deal with loss? How do you grieve? Is your grief a sign of your strength, or of your weakness? Is it honorable? Is it self-indulgent? Do you think about “missed opportunities” and feel guilty? Are you grateful for the opportunities you seized, for the good memories?
For me, loss of someone that I love is something that is very sad. It is something that is hope I don’t have to deal with for a long time. However, it is something that we all have to deal with. When I am grieving, I don’t like to leave my house and I get angry, or I get really depressed and I walk a lot. Everyone has a different way of grieving. We each have different reactions to every emotion. I am one of those people who either gets really upset or I get really depressed.
I think that grief is a sign of strength. People usually say that crying or being sad about a loss is a sign of weakness. That isn’t the case at all. People who are strong need to grief every significant loss. It is how you move on. People grief all different way. But no matter how you grief, it is a sign of strength. It shows how you feel about the people you lose. I think that grieving isn’t exactly something that I would call honorable, but at the same time, I wouldn’t call it self-indulgent. People need the time to get over the loss and move on. It shows that you are a human and that you are strong.
No matter who it is, you always remember what you did what the person and the memories that you had with them. You may think of all that you could of done, but you always remember the good time a cherish those memories. You never look back on what you missed out on. You look back on all the good times. You look on what you guys laughed about and you look back on all the memories you have. I think that people sometimes look back and think about what they missed out on, but I think that it is o
Losing someone is always a hard thing to do, coming from someone who has seen people come and go, it becomes harder to get close to people. You never know when they are going to leave forever and never remember anything you cherished, it's hard to accept it
How do you deal with loss? How do you grieve? Is your grief a sign of your strength, or of your weakness? Is it honorable? Is it self-indulgent? Do you think about “missed opportunities” and feel guilty? Are you grateful for the opportunities you seized, for the good memories?
I surprisingly deal with loss really well considering that i have lost so many people in my life: 3 grandparents, one friend and one little sister. People say that you will go through the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. It is said that you will go through the stages in a random order but I always seem to be okay with the loss because i know that they are in a better place. I think because i am religious that helps me have some acceptance to help cope with the fact that someone in my life is gone.
The only death i have never been able to cope with is the loss of my little sister. I don't know if it is the fact that she is my sister or the fact that i saw her everyday but when she died it wasn't like every other death that i have had in my life. When i found out that she had died something inside me broke i haven't been able to figure out what happened since then. there are someday that i forget that she died and on those days it's like the hardest thing to deal with in my life because to forget that someone you love is dead is the worst feeling when you finally remember that they are in fact actually dead.
To me grief is a sign of strength because you are dealing with the loss of a loved one and you are trying your best to get through it in your own way. grief is your way of saying good bye to someone that you had in your life and trying to cope with the fact that you won't see them anymore. People all have their own way of grieving whether it be crying 24/7 or doing something to keep your mind off them. No matter how you deal with loss it is something we all will have to do at some point in your life.
To me every opportunity i have had with my sister i’m glad i have taken because it is a memory i have to remember her by. Of course there are things that i wish that i had take the opportunity to do with my sister but if did that for everything i never did with her i would never forgive myself. I think that the good memories are always the best option when trying to remember someone because they make you happy to think about that person.
Nina! I'm sorry for your losses but I am happy that you are able to recover from it quickly by having a positive attitude! I'm happy that God was able to give you some comfort. They are in a better place now and are always going to be with you
+ Are you everything you want to be to everyone you want? Have you ever been less – failed
someone outright? Have you ever been more?
I am my own enemy, I am the person I aspire to me, I hate everything about myself, I am perfect; I am a contradiction.
In my life, because I do suffer from some anxiety and depression, dealing with problems have always been somewhat difficult. I always have various parts of myself that take hold at different times, sometimes I'm bold and believe in myself, sometimes I'm anxious and worry too much about things thus driving me into a panicked state, it's always a gamble.
With people, I have both failed and saved many. Sometimes I have to choose between who to save and who to let go and it's hard to make a decision like that. In general, I try my best to be selfless and come to anyone's need however, this makes my personal needs and wants to suffer. For example my grades usually falter because of things like this because I am too busy trying to help other people instead of worrying about myself. After the people who have come to me for help, left, I learned that this was the time to focus on me. Though this was not so. My heart faltered and the "monster" that was small, grew enourmous to make me be more worried and hard on myself.
Though I am trying hard to change this part of me it's hard to accept the fact that I defeated myself.
That I let it happen
I would choose to remember my loved ones as they truly were, because I loved them as they truly were while they were here, and I would like to continue to do so once they’re gone. If it hurts me, it will hurt me no less than holding onto idyllic memories. Any good memory I have of my loved ones will be tainted with sadness when they pass, and no matter how good the memory is, there is no escaping that. It’s almost worse to hold such good memories of a person who is no longer here, because it just makes you want them back that much more. If I am going to be sad either way, I’d rather my memories be true. And when I pass, I hope my loved ones will remember me as I truly was.
That’s why I hope to live my life to the best of its potential. I want people to remember me as great; I want them to remember me as kind, smart, funny, loyal, and strong. I want to one day become a good mother and a good wife, and I want to be remembered for that.
But I want it to be true. Otherwise my life was really rather pointless, if all I leave behind are lies.
But I’m not everything I want to be to anyone. I don’t think I’m ever good enough. I feel like I’m not a good enough girlfriend, not a good enough friend, not a good enough sister, not a good enough daughter, not a good enough student, not a good enough person.
In my group of friends right now, I feel very alone and lost. We get in fights constantly and even when I try not to be involved, someone throws me into it or blames me. Elizabeth’s sister and I aren’t on the best of terms. I want to be, but there isn’t a mutual feeling reciprocated.
This is frustrating, because everyday I wonder where I went wrong. I dearly want to know how I failed her, because I know I did. I can blame it on her all I want, but in my heart I always know it’s my fault. She didn’t just start hating me out of nowhere. I triggered it. I wasn’t good enough.
This isn’t just like losing a friend and never talking to them again and remorsefully moving on. This is Tori. She’s in my friend group, and I still see her almost everyday. But even worse than that, I’m stuck with her for life. I’m eventually going to marry her sister, and we’ll literally be family at that point.
I don’t want to be separated with family. I don’t want her hatred for me to hurt anything in the future. I don’t want Elizabeth to feel awkward. I don’t want my side of the family to notice and resent Tori or their side of the family. I don’t want anyone to think I’m not good enough for Elizabeth, especially her own blood.
This may all sound dramatic, and many of you may think Elizabeth and I won’t even last, so there’s no worry. But, I’d bet on us, because we’re way more connected than you could ever know. And maybe you somehow end up being right. (I doubt you ever will be, but let’s play along). At least for now, I will always be stuck hanging out with someone who doesn’t trust me. I don’t know why and she has told me there’s no chance to fix it. I have failed someone. In turn, I feel like I’ve failed everyone else that is close to both Tori and I.
I’ve failed many people in my life. Tori is one piece of failure that fits into all the others in my life. I’ll always be haunted by my failures. They are part of life, sure, but that doesn’t make them easy.
I feel like I am the person I want to be to the people that matter to me, I try to be a nice person to everyone I meet and not to judge people quickly. I do not think I have been any less of a good person to anyone who is important to me.
I have disappointed a bunch of people in my life. Everytime I disappoint someone, whether it's my parents or my friends, I feel horrible and would try anything to make it right again. I fear when people are disappointed at me because in order to be disappointed you would need to put your trust in someone and then they let you down.
I deal with loss really weirdly, I would probably only grieve for half a day and then get over it. I don’t really get why people grieve for a long time. I think grieving gives you strength when you are done. When you get over your grief and start living your life normally is when you become a stronger person, because it takes strength to get over someone, or something you loss. I think you shouldn’t think about missed opportunities but be grateful for the opportunities you seized and cherish the good memories you had with the person.
Grieve it’s good for you
We lose things all the time, our keys right before we have to go to school, our homework assignments right before their due but we also lose things that actually matter. Ok fine homework matters also but people matter more. The people in our life all share one thing in common, they will all die. Other than paying taxes there in no concrete evidence that two people are the same. It's just a matter of when in relation to your death either before or after. If life were perfect no parent should ever have to deal with the death of their child. Life is not perfect, tragic horrible things happen all the time. People die, people that we care about. Life goes on but the impact they had on you determines how much their death will affect you. If you are asking why we should grieve we need to first look at the work itself.
What does grieve mean? In short terms it means to suffer from, or to cause great distress. When we grieve it is because something has greatly affect our lives and is no longer around to recover from it. Grieving is the stage after loss that humans go through. There is also shock and a whole bunch more that are not relevant to the point I am trying to make. Shock is before grieve. Let's say a person close to you dies, the more unlikely it is for them to die, the less their odds of dying are the more it affects you. If their odds of not dying are very good then it is a real big impact when they die. This is where the shock kicks in. The impact of their death will be so great that is can scar you. If you deny that this will affect you then you are already affected. Thats where the shock after death comes from.
Ok finally why should we grieve. The fact is that when someone dies they can not affect you directly anymore, unless you believe in ghosts. The only way they can live on is through thoughts legacies and memories. This is part of the reason why family heritage and legacies and heirlooms are so important in beowulf, they are ways for the dead to affect the living. If someone close to you dies that was of a very old age, I'm talking upper 90’s, there is no surprise to their death but when they do go they have left a small impact. They can't live on as an example of what not to do but as one of what to do. When someone dies out of the blue it is horrible and shocking and frightening. What all these people have in common is they have affected somebody by dying. If you are still asking why we should grieve, well when you do you remember just how much you lost.
Masks create order. And if one observes the nature of our society, it becomes evident that everything is knit together by these masks. Take the standard office work for example; there are many things in it that people don't like. The need to wake up early, the morning traffic, the serious atmosphere that surrounds the workplace, and the boring and repetitive tasks that are demanded. Although these tasks are anything but pleasant, one has to endure it without any complaints. In order to present a good image, the worker must conceal his apathy, and continue the act of the passionate and hardworking employee.
Something similar also occurs regularly in ordinary social environments. And for a good reason; because it's a necessity. People want to be liked, they want to fit in, and they want to survive. I’ll admit, I wear some kind of mask 99% of the time. I’ll smile to unfunny jokes, and listen and nod to things to things that I simply have zero care for. And I’m fairly certain that most people do this; it’s just not possible to genuinely receive everything positively. But I have this irrational abhorrence for this mask stuff. I don’t like the idea of talking to a person who may be fake.Who may be just a shell. Of course there are situations where being fake is completely acceptable. A good example of this would be the Germans who were against Hitler showed support for him externally because they didn't want to risk their lives. This double standard of mine won’t likely help my ethos.
A double standard concerning masks also bothers me bit. Society generally shuns masks. They encourage individuals to be individuals; to be “yourself”. They encourage people to disregard the opinions and criticism of others, so that they can more easily be themselves. This is especially true in the U.S. where the constitution basically supports these things. However, recalling an episode from Arthur (the kid’s show), there are social standards that slightly contradict this. In the episode, Arthur’s friend is seen as a sly trouble maker, but around Arthur’s parents, he’s a perfect gentleman. And I guess the lesson there is that it’s okay, if not preferable, to become a different person around different people. I was a bit surprised at the episode as it taught the audience that being fake is good. And I also found it conflicting to the current ideas of “be yourself”. I am lost.
I’d like people to remember me as I was, not just idyllically. I know I wasn’t always a good person, but I also know I’ve never done anything really terrible either, so I’d prefer if people remembered me accurately. I don’t want people to remember only the good things about me, because that would leave a false image in their head.
I think people naturally tend to remember good things about a person because unpleasant memories aren’t fun to remember. “Remember the time she chucked a television remote at my head?” But some memories of bad things that happened can be laughed about. “Remember when she stepped in a container of ranch dressing?” I was walking through the school hallways talking to a friend and jumping excitedly and didn’t see it! (Also, what kind of jerk leaves a container of ranch dressing on the floor?) It was not one of my greatest moments, but moments like those show the imperfections of my character that make who I am complete. If I weren’t sometimes so overly enthusiastic and blind to the world around me the moment would have never happened.
I keep a journal that I try to write in about important events in my life. Flipping through it, it seems that I mostly wrote about sad things, like boy problems and bad grades, just because I needed a place to vent. There are a few entries that describe really happy events like receiving my driver’s license.
I also have a private blog, because online I can post the pictures I took that day. I try to write an entry for each day, even if nothing particularly interesting happened. I just don’t want to forget about my life. I want to be able to look back and reflect on how I’ve grown. But I don’t just write about myself. I write about the other people I talked to that day, or maybe a stranger that I noticed, or something I remembered about someone earlier.
This is why I prefer that others remember me accurately, and that I remember others accurately as well. I want to keep things real, and not filled with gaps. Sometimes really bad memories make life more substantial. Life isn’t just flowers and sunshine; life has hurricanes and earthquakes too.
I hope to be remembered in the little things that my friends and family do. They’ll go through life a little differently, taking small parts of me and living the way I would have.
My parents will remember to turn off the lights when they leave the room because I was always nagging them about it. They’ll take the time to compost scraps in the yard when I’m no longer there to do it. They’ll walk, instead of drive, down the block to 7/11 to buy newspapers or to the Taiwanese breakfast restaurant, because I always loved to walk and remind them to save gas.
My sister will remember me when she makes smashed potatoes with avocado and garlic aioli because that was the first vegan meal I made. She’ll be shopping for clothes, see a fabric, and think “Tina would buy this color” because I always had great taste in colors. Maybe she’ll remember me and add me into her paintings, lounging under a tree or petting the house cat.
My neighbors will remember me when they pass by my family’s house and see our front lawn replaced with native plants and succulents.
My friends who hates Crocs will see someone wearing bright yellow ones and think “Tina had those same disgusting shoes” but they secretly like them because they like the person who wore them.
My friends will remember me when they’re deciding where to eat for dinner and end up choosing a vegan restaurant (probably Veggie Grill, and they’ll order my favorite appetizer: the buffalo wings). They’ll remember me when they search for products not tested on animals, because I made them aware of the problem. One day they might jokingly say “DIP” instead of “RIP” and get a funny look, and then remember that it was me who told them to say “decompose in peace.” I hope they make sure my gravestone says DIP and not RIP.
And I hope on my birthday, or death day, or vegan-anniversary day, my family and friends will honor me by eating only plant-based foods that day. That’s probably the most important way I want to be remembered: that I tried to live compassionately as possible and strived to help the world, whether it be protecting the environment, helping other humans, or being a voice for animals. I hope that when people remember me they feel inspired to do something I would do, like pay a visit to Farm Sanctuary or skip taking a plastic straw when they order a drink.
The thought that my loved ones will remember me this way makes me unafraid that my loved ones will lose me, but I am afraid of losing my loved ones. However, this doesn’t make me afraid of loving them. I think love leaves me vulnerable, because there will be a lot of pain when I lose someone I love. But I don’t think it’s a bad thing, because I’d rather love and be hurt than fear love itself. The vulnerability pushes people to not take time for granted and appreciate each moment they spend with their loved ones. Loss is inevitable, but if I’ve loved someone with as much love as possible instead of being afraid to give love, then I will have lived life more fully.
I may never know if I am everything I ever wanted to be. I still don’t know what my true goals and intentions in life are. At this moment though, I can say that I am pleased with my relationships with family members and friends. Yes, I believe that at some point in my life I have disappointed or failed those around me. I can also say that I am 100% sure that I have been more to people around me. For example, I have done more for my parents than they have asked of me and I have been more of a friend to people than they have done.
Yes, I believe that people should feel sad when someone dies, but the level of sadness depends on the person and how close your relationship was to them. If a celebrity dies, then yes you should feel sad but not as sad as when a family member dies. When my cousin Franco died 3 years ago I was in shock for at least a week. I still can’t believe that someone would be so selfish as to drive under the influence that night and take an innocent life away. The way I dealt with grief was to be there for my aunt and uncle. Family members turn to each other for support when they are dealing with a great loss.
I want people to remember me as who I was because that is really who I am. I do not want people to make me into something that I was not in real life. I would like my friends to remember me as being loyal and funny. I have always been there for them and I was always the one to cheer them up when they were down. I would like my family to remember me as a respectful and kind person, which I tend to be on a daily basis. I think that all these people will not respect these wishes. I cannot control what they want to remember of me and I have to accept that. I just hope that they will never forget me because I feel like I have made an impact in each of their lives.
Personally, I can say that I am pleased that I seized great opportunities to make great memories. Last year I went to Mexico with my brother. I was scared to go alone because it was our first time on a plane. I created so many great memories there with my friends and cousins and I chose to seize the opportunity to have fun without parental supervision. That was by far the best trip of my life.
The five common stages of grief include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. When I am dealing with loss, I usually skip the first and jump straight to acceptance. If someone dies or I lose a person in my life, I don’t behave dramatically. Instead, I shed a tear and then have to move on. Although I am fearful of losing those around me, there isn’t really I can do after they are gone, besides accept it. You can only remember their presence after you’ve lost them. One could say it is a sign of my strength, because in situations I can be the calmest one and can offer comfort to others.
For example, when my great-grandmother died my sophomore year, my whole family went to visit where her hospice was. She was pretty old, and couldn’t walk without assistance from a walker and later without one of those scooters people drive around in. Her health was depleting, so we kind of knew it was coming. We were huddled around her room and bed, and she died quietly. My uncles and my mother were most upset because my great grandmother took care of them while they were growing up. Instead of going into hysterics, I sat with my mom and other members of the family, and essentially comforted them after her death.
When people die, I often think about the typical things like how short life is and how we need to “seize the day”. I find truth in the fact that you have to move on with your life, but I also spend time thinking about where I should go from there and what I’ve done with my life so far. Do I want to change something? Am I happy? Am I really doing everything I want to be doing? It gives me time to think about my actions and gives me the drive to make the best of everything and to take my opportunities. At times, I do think about when I’ve missed out on things. When I’m too wishy-washy and miss out on things due to hesitation, I regret it. Because, honestly, what is so bad about taking chances or doing something you normally wouldn’t (within reason)? I enjoy thinking about my good memories, and strive for new, better, and bigger experiences.
I don’t think my feelings of loss are particularly difficult to analyze. And I’m not afraid to understand these feelings or how I react to other forms of loss. It’s better to study and understand your feelings and gain a better sense of self than to just flat out ignore them. Grief may not be the greatest way to define loss based on the dictionary definition of “deep sorrow”. People experience it differently in varied emotions, so placing the word “sorrow” or “sadness” might not be an accurate way of depicting it for a certain person. Either way, we all experience it in some form, and react in our own ways.
In my blog post for Searching for a Former Clarity, I explained my relationship I had with my grandpa. If you don’t remember or didn’t read it, I just explained how I dealt with his death and the feelings I had after. I did feel a large weight lifted off my shoulders when I wrote it, so here’s part two.
My grandma has been in and out of the hospital for two years. The doctors thought it was just that she had a difficult time with breathing, but we later found out it was from heart failure. On January 3rd, the nurse said she only had a couple of hours left. I remember giving her a kiss on the forehead the last time I saw her. She passed away on January 7, 2016
On common core day, I picked up my younger cousins from school to go to the mall to grab lunch. We were chatting away and eating our salads in the Promenade when I got a call from my uncle. He told me to drive over to his house and he would take me and his kids to grandma’s house.
“Is everything okay?”
“...[pause]...I’ll tell you later.”
At this point, I didn’t know what was going on. I just assumed she was having a hard time breathing. We were in the parking lot when one of my cousins got a message from our other cousin who announced that grandma had passed away.
I was shocked. I started driving, trying to process what was happening.
During the half hour ride to my grandma’s house, I was fighting back my tears. We entered the house and I lost it. She looked like she was sleeping peacefully.
If only she were here, I would tell her all the things I haven’t told her.
If she were still here, I would tell her that I loved her.
If she were still here, I would tell her to keep fighting.
But she’s not here.
The next day at school, I broke down when I was explaining to my best friend what happened the day. I couldn’t concentrate in any of my classes, but I was so relieved when the weekend came. I feel that this is the longest stage and the most difficult to overcome.
anger & acceptance.
I haven’t reached these stages yet. I’m the type of person to suppress my feelings until I reach my breaking point. I don’t like crying or showing my emotions, especially in front of others, and I realize this is a bad habit. I feel that this is a weakness I need to work on; I want to be able to express my feelings of grief, despite of what others think of me. Although I do think about the missed opportunities, I don’t beat myself up over it. I try to remain positive and think about of how I was able to spend time with the person before their passing. I think of the happy memories that I’ll forever hold close to my heart. I’m extremely grateful for opportunities I’ve seized and I try to keep the good memories in my mind.
I was told today by a close friend of mine that the image I showcase to others is not the same image I show to those close to me. I believe that this is the common case for most people. However I can’t help but feel as if both of the images I have are drastically different. The image I portray to those I don’t know or am fully comfortable with is entirely different from who I truly am and I am still not one hundred percent sure why I change so much when I am around others. Hiding who I actually am does nothing to improve what others think of me, and no matter how much I try to make it not matter, it definitely matters to me.
When I change how I act around others, it is mostly so I don’t upset them in some type of way. I really don’t like changing who I am but it has almost become second nature for me to change to please someone else. Changing who you are to fit the situation is natural...but honestly it is super tiring trying to change to please everyone in every situation that I am in. Although sometimes it is necessary, it’s something that I want to reduce in my life. The image that people have of me is not who I actually am. Only those who are actually close to me truly know how I am.
Once I die, if I am unable to change how I act around those that are not close to me, I will die living a lie. Honestly this sounds so....morbid but it’s true. Since so many people have the wrong impression of who I actually am most never try to get close to me. Those that do always tell me once we become friends how different I actually am to their first impression. It scares me how different I act sometimes because I just want to stay true to who I am as a person. I’m literally the quote, “Don’t judge a book by it's cover.” I’m definitely not what your first impression of me actually was, trust me, I’m nicer than I look.
I know history won’t remember me at all. I am living a ghost life. From experience, it takes only three generations to forget. I know absolutely nothing about my relatives that lived only a couple decades before me. And the same will happen to me.
Time will trample out my existence.
I hope that with whatever time I have remaining I will be able to contribute at least something. Contradictory, over the summer I sat in the back of my sociology class wasting the PCC wifi for binge watching Skins on youtube. It had yet to be released in its entirety to Netflix so I settled with the subpar quality of Youtuber wannabeers generosity of filming every single episode for public enjoyment.
Skins is an intense show and I have no idea how British teenagers can publicly watch it.
My favorite episode is in season two. One of the main characters dies of an overdose and his father bans the rest of his crew from showing up to the funeral. His girlfriend gave an interesting speech as she overlooked the funeral from a hill staring down from a god-like angle.
I would be fine having her speak at my funeral. She made her junkie free spirited boyfriend seem sane. She made the funeral calm so he could pass easily.
I’ve thought a lot about my funeral. I think I’ve thought more about my funeral than any other major life event. I know that I have thought more about it than getting married -- death is more appealing to me than love.
I’ve left specific instructions with two of my close friends on how I want my funeral to happen.
With proper execution I know that it would have been one of the best memories in my life. I have been compiling a playlist for my funeral so that way I can force my musical taste upon others from the grave.
I can already imagine what I want to wear -- my favorite long sleeved dress with my velvet black overcoat. I have too many favorite shoes to decide myself so I am fine if my mom does. I think I will die by 43 and my mom will be 83 then which seems reasonable.
Some people have thought it sad that I put such a “short” timeline on myself. I don’t understand this. For mainly anyone, any time will be too short. No one will settle. I would rather have my expectations be met or surpassed. Maybe I need to change this mentality. A recent lecture you gave during class made me reevaluate this part of myself. I’m not sure what further steps to take.
I am fine if people do or don’t remember me. I just hope all the things I cherish -- the great outdoors and loud ringing music -- will live out for other people to enjoy.
For me, death does not know memory.
I think everyone has experienced the feeling of being hopeless and lost somewhere in his or her lifetime. There was a period of time in 10th and 11th grade when I just got so depressed because of things that I have lost and nothing good happened to me during those times. However, I learned to deal with that feeling of being a nobody in the world. I just keep telling myself that things will get better eventually (and it did, thankfully). I believed that grief is a sign of strength, but also weakness. Why is it strength and weakness at the same time? I think that grieving shows strength because you acknowledged about what happened, and I think it is also a weakness because it shows how weak you can actually be. I think it’s honorable, but only in certain circumstances. I have regretted and felt guilty many times because I never see opportunities until it's too late.
Sometimes when I get very emotional, I do stupid things or things that I would have never done if I was more aware of myself and the surrounding (like crying out loud in front of your friend). Often times I don’t even know what causes me to feel loss, so when I get emotional and do emotional things, I usually don’t want to look back at what I did afterwards because I would be surprised and feel embarrassed about what I just did (It always happens to me even though I don’t want to think about it). I think griefing generally defines our reactions to loss, but I also think it’s too vague, because people can feel sad, loss, and hopeless in many different ways.
I definitely fear about losing my loved ones, and I also don’t want them to fear about losing me. It sounds ironic and selfish in a way, but I always view my loved ones of having higher standards than me, so that way I feel that I am not as important as them. I think love does help overcome these fears, but at dark times, people would also realize how loving a person too much can hurt you at the end, and leaving them vulnerable because they lost their loved ones and it is impossible to “unlove” someone. If I were to have memories about someone in only one way, I prefer it to be general and best moments instead of who the person really is. I prefer hiding the truth and not having any possible bad memory that might hurt me mentally.
I’m not everything I want to be to everyone to everyone I want. I constantly feel like I’m not as good as my parents expected me to be and the way I hold myself, the way people perceive who I am is not totally true. I sometimes feel that people value my opinion a little too much because I become very passionate about it but in truth theirs is just as good or even better. I have failed people outright many a time I try to take on too much work in a group project in fear that the other won't do it leading me to produce less than satisfactory work in my opinion. I feel like I’ve done better when I hear that a girl likes me because then I succeed it put on the facade that I would be an awesome person to be with.
I do build different face for different people even though that is something I’ve been trying to stop but it's been difficult. For years when we are growing up we are told to be perfect little angels in school in order to do well, so many of us fake being nice to the teacher and don’t truthfully express ourselves and our opinions. However now I came to the realization that it's better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you are not, so I try to be as real as possible to not fake who I am with people. But it's so hard after years of conditioning to do so
I think you should feel sad when someone dies because that person will never be able to affect you life again. Even if the person affected your life negatively they helped you create who you became and you should feel sorrow that they will not be able to help you on your journey anymore. I know that is a selfish way to look at someone else's death but I believe that every person in your life is there to teach you something about yourself. I think we should be sad that beowulf dies because he is a person that though the echos of time still influence human and that is extremely impressive. I think we should be happy that he dies a warrior’s death because he goes out like he would of wanted fighting till the end for his people. Due to my belief that if the Swedes attacked the Geats Beowulf would of been too weak to actually fight for his people and died with his last thing being the lose of his people.
I have failed to meet my own expectations. Often, I only dream about the places I will go, but don’t really have a sense of direction of a plan to even get there. I like to think that I am very ambitious, but there is nothing to show that I am. I have disappointed many people in the past, including myself, and I am committed to redeeming myself. The only person I’m fooling is me. I am committed to being redeemed.
I believe that it is necessary to feel remorse when a loved one dies. But, as I’ve heard at many funerals, don’t be sad that they have gone away, be sad because they left us behind. This sounds very morbid and suicidal, but given a religious context, the statement doesn’t seem nearly as dark, as there is something better after life. We should feel sad when Beowulf fails because he had so much to live for. His rise and fall from grace was swift, yet he ruled well and for a long time. He just made one mistake. Not having an heir. This is why we feel bad for him, because he lived well, but had no legacy. Nothing to prove his worth. Nothing at all.
If I were to lose a loved one, I would cry for a very long time. When my great-grandfather died, I remember my father weeping for the terrible loss in the family. My great-grandfather was the one to bring my father’s side of the family to America in Exile, as he was a colonel under the old regime, before the new dictator. This fact, as you can see, is why I am here, and not in the Philippines. I ironically get the ‘weeping trait’ from my father, and I’m not ashamed of it.
Is it possible to be everything you want to be to everyone you want? No, it isn’t. People change constantly, and it is impossible to please everyone. Someone will always have an issue with you even if you do not have an issue with them. You are going to fail people every now and then lets face it, you are not perfect nobody is perfect but that does not stop people from criticizing everything that you do. Sometimes everything that you do for someone is just not enough for them and you just have to accept the reality that you will not always be good enough to please someone and their wants. I have failed many people many times, I have failed my own family a couple times. But there is one time that I failed them, they will never forget that day and neither will I, that day I failed them and I failed myself. I cannot take back what I did, but it is something that I had to move on from and learn to better myself and my family was able to help me. They did not care that I failed them, they were just happy that in the end I was alright. Sometimes in life you can be more than enough for someone, if they need a friend just to talk to you can be more and go to where they are and physically be there for them. I have been more than enough for someone in my life, I was there for them more than they even thought. I was there for every broken heart, food run, family issue, and more. I would run to her house when she felt like she shouldn’t be here anymore, when she felt like she wasn’t needed anymore. I was there for her, but I guess that was too much to her. She moved and we lost contact, she made new friends and so did I. If she ever asks for my help again I will be there for her because she is still my friend whether she realizes it or not. I am always going to be there for her in a time of need.
When you lose someone it sometimes feels like you are losing a piece of yourself. Losing someone can change you, make you see the world a different way. The way you choose to deal with loss is what determines how you continue on with your life after that person is gone and the time for grieving has passed. After losing someone you grieve, I grieve by remembering all the amazing things that they had done for me, of course they had faults but we all do so why choose to remember all their faults? There is no good reason to focus on their faults, and that is why I choose to remember that person as the person who did all those amazing things and chose to make my life amazing and help me grow as a person. You cry and you wish you could have done something to make them stay a little bit longer, but there is not anything that you could have done so you cry and you grieve. You wish you were able to go back and tell them that you love them and you will miss them forever and that they helped shape you into the person that you are today. You wish you had spent more time with them and heard more advice and more of their personal stories, you wish you had not been so involved with your phone and your friends. You cry to show your strength to show that in time you will be okay, yes you will miss them but in the end you will be stronger and know that you still have them by your side. At the end of the day, you are grateful for all the time that you did have with that person, maybe you wish you had a little bit more time but you need to be happy that you had any time at all. You have the memories of those moments forever stored in your head, you get to hold onto those memories and that is how you will remember that person forever.
I am an introvert, I hate sharing my feelings with anyone much less let them see what my emotions are. At least that is what I wish I was like, I tend to wear my emotions on my face, sometimes that comes in handy and sometimes it is my worse enemy. If I am falling apart you can see it in my face, it is all twisted and I am looking like I am about to break down. When in the process of grief I tend to shut down, I down. I do not let anyone in, infact I tend to push everyone away. Why? Because I do not want to be seen as weak, though I know I am strong and I know that just because I am crying and grieving it does not mean that I am weak. I am a strong person, I have been through a lot but when it comes down to losing someone that I care about I am not really able to process the information that they are no longer going to be able to be reached by a mere phone call or text. I don’t think that if I analyzed my emotions when I am emotionally wounded that I could actually handle it, I think it would destroy me rather than help me control or manage these emotions. I would have to see my true reasoning behind all these emotions and I do not think that is something that I would ever want to experience.
In the fifth grade the boy who sat next to me asked me why I didn’t smile.
“What? Of course I smile.”
“Mm no, no you don’t . You never smile.”
Honestly, it was probably meant as more of an observation than as anything hurtful, but these words stuck with me. I never really bothered with faces or looks before that. I’d of course smile and laugh when hanging around close friends or hearing a truly good joke, and all the times I was happy and it really was called for. But other than that, I never really bothered to fake it. After this kid’s comment though, I smiled my way through the rest of that year, and I smiled my way through middle school, although I did have more of a reason to do so. I developed crushes and wore nicer clothes, all the normal things displayed for the people on the outside. We all make judgements about others so quickly; only those we share a lot of time and deep thoughts with will know us very well. It’s necessary to give something, even a false face, or your true self will quickly be lost to anyone but these people.
I always feel immensely guilty when I realize I’ve made people not particularly close to me feel uncomfortable and I get easily hurt when they call me things like “intense” or “serious”. I try pretty hard to come off as warmer than I would look if I didn’t for these people. I made unnecessary jokes and spoke and wrote more colloquially. “Fake it till you make it”, and all that jazz... Although it somewhat feels like a lie because of the effort put in, I believe faces are necessary. There’s a mask paradox: the faces you pick out for yourself reveals the inside more than something that is not a choice. If it weren’t for the faces I put on, very few people would know how much I actually care and I would have come across to many as cold-hearted or passionless, which I am definitely not. Forcing a mask on myself allows more people to get a glimpse at who I am and it is because of this that I’m grateful to the kid who brought to my attention how I was being perceived.
In modern society, almost everyone wants to be someone of importance, someone who does not fail and can meet the expectations of others. While I have always wanted to be someone of that caliber, I find myself to be the type to disappoint others instead. I cannot recount how many times I’ve failed over the years in school and life in general. However, I believe that failing is but a learning process required for me to achieve success. Without failures, how would I understand the mistakes that I’ve made? Without failures, I would be a fool running around in circles until my eternal sleep in the grave.
Often enough, when one talks about a person’s death, one would usually be sad and depressed about the news. However, was it sad and depressing for that particular person when he/she realized his/her death? In my opinion, I believe that one should be base their emotion on whether or not the person who died wanted to live or die. While I have never read Beowulf, I believe that the reader should be happy that Beowulf died as a warrior, an identity that he has had for more than half of his life.
When I suffer loss, I tend to shut myself down and create a barrier to block out every single person in life until I feel that I can move on. I always grieve by myself in my room until I can move on from the sadness within me. Many would agree that my way of grieving and dealing with the situation can be seen as a weakness. My actions shows that I am someone who possess a weak mentality. Missed opportunities, something that has bothered me ever since middle school. Be it small things like having the answer to my teacher's question, but not having the confidence to raise my hand. Or big things like not having the confidence to interact with new people. While I do not any sense of guilt with the missed opportunities, I often think about what I could’ve done differently. It’s something that haunts me to this day. While I would like to say that I am grateful for the opportunities that I have seized and grabbed, I feel that there were way more opportunities that I missed compared to the ones that I have seized. However, I believe that as life continues, I will have many more chances to seize new opportunities to even out the imbalance.
I would like people to be remembered for who I am not just the best of me. The people that love me don’t just love me at my best but at my worst too. If I am loved for every aspect of who I am than why should it be different when people remember me? I could be remember as a socially awkward weird nerdy easily distracted person; that might not be the best way to be remembered but that is part of who I am. Even though I might have specific wishes on how to be remembered, I don’t think I have any control on how I should be remembered. I believe that asking to be remembered a specific way is like asking someone to change their opinion of me. People will remember me based upon there opinions of me and there is nothing I can do to change someone’s opinion of me.
I personally would want to be remembered by my family differently than by my friends. I would want my family to remember me as a person who has had plenty of doubts about himself but as time passed he learned to trust himself and was able to become truly happy. My family has seen me explode with self-doubt and frustration with myself. My family, more than anyone else in my life, have seen the struggle I been going through when it came to my self-confidence. I realize that with each passing year I am starting to become more confident in myself and what I am capable of. The hardest obstacle in my life is going to be to trust myself and nobody knows better than my own family. As for my friends I want them to remember as this weird nerdy caring guy that is always there for them. I always friends wanted my friend to know the kind person I was start off the bat so they I don’t have to act like someone else and so they know what they are getting into. In school I am usually very serious and quiet but when it comes to my friends I am always being my loud weird nerdy self. Another thing that I make sure they know that I am always there for them so matter what. The reason what my friends to remember me this way because that was the person felt I was whenever I hung out with them. Even though my friends and family might not remember the ways I have described I really hope that they remember me for who I am.
When comes to me remembering the people that I love I feel like I will remember them based on the truth and not over exaggerate the people they were. When it comes to my family, the way I would remember them would be true to who they are. The way I would remember my dad is someone that will never stop learning. He is satisfied when it comes to new things. I don’t even remember doing a new project in his garage. I think this is great and is something I will always remember about him but at the same his need to keep doing new thing sometimes take him away for spending with the rest of our family. As for my sister, I will always remember how passionate she is whenever she talks about her opinions or beliefs in a specific topic. The way she able to speak with so much conviction is something I will always admire in her. However, I do find hard to talk to her about specific topics because she has so much passion for her own beliefs it is hard for her look at things differently. My mom is someone that I will remember for being very calm and is one person that helps me look at things rationally instead of pure emotion. I feel that remembering people for who they are makes their lives more meaningful instead of exaggerating the truth.
The people we encounter everyday, mildly, strangely, randomly, or even seldomly, each have a purpose either long term or short term.People either have a positive effect onto one or a bad effect on them because each person is different. If only we could find the people we would actually want to be surrounded by, but to be honest we are lucky to be surrounded by many different personalities. We will always keep some certain memory of each person we encounter, either from the first day we met them or some exciting/ outstanding moment that had happened. The memories we carry for people for whichever reason stand out to us because their was some meaning you learned or got out from them. As for me, I would want people to feel the same way, for them to be like “Hey I know Vianna, she is a really nice and sweet friend.” Based off of that I would want their view of me to be recognized by the kind acts I have shown and learn to admire the gracious goodness of people.
I want people to have hope for others, that the world is filled of people who are caring, friendly,and loving. That there are actually people out there who are willing to be a friend to someone and provide an honest heart to them. I want my friends to remember me as someone who was always there for them, pushing them to do better for themselves, and for always being a good listener. In addition being someone who is fun to be around, someone who thinks positive and who loves smiling and laughing. I want them to know that they always have someone who is there for them if they happen to ever need someone to talk to and that life is not easy, but we should just take life as a journey and just enjoy life in the moment. My friends each have a different impression of me and will hold a different memory of me but I know that they are all good because they happen to still be my friends and continue to hangout with me. I am ever so grateful for the friends I have and for the ones I will meet in the future, but mainly I am so grateful for my family.
My family has always been there for me and shown me to always be there for others and through my family I have also learned to forgive others. I want my family to remember me as the crazy, funny, silly, happy and loving daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, and cousin. I know each one of my family members holds some memory of me that will always stand out to them and they will take to heart with. Over the years, I have grown close with my family and they have guided me to be the best of my qualities. I know I still have more to learn and I want them to know I am thankful for all the challenges and sacrifices they had to make to provide me a living. My family knows I love them and I spend each day reminding them of my love and care for them. I dearly appreciate all the lessons, challenges, mistakes, goals, and dreams I have ever encountered because I am living life and exploring the glory of its qualities. I still have more that I will be grateful for and I will expand to make good impressions on others, I just need to continue living life to see what else is out there.
Who am I to Me?
Can any of us really answer that question with complete certainty? I know that I can’t. For every friend, classmate, family member or teacher out there, I’ve built a different persona. I’ve reinvented myself to the point where I’m not sure I could point myself out in a crowd on any given day. Different teachers know me as a different person. There are those I’m sure would be happy to never hear from the girl who fell asleep in class every day ever again; and there are those who know me as the student who read a new book every week and was eager to share my opinion on it with all my fellow bookworms. There are friends with whom I feel secure talking about the deep enigmas in life with and those with whom I prefer to talk about the latest juicy gossip. I’m shallow with some people and more open with others- even among my friends.
I’m still me.
The parts of me that I share with some people and hide from others still originate from the same mind. I love to hear about the latest bestsellers from former teachers just as much as I love to trade relationship secrets with my best friends. There are simply topics that I like to discuss with certain people more than I like to discuss with others. As far as I can tell, the way I act has always been relatively the same no matter who I’m with. I start off shy, warm up to people with some accidental oversharing, start telling stupid jokes, and eventually I don’t know when to shut up. I’m pushy and overprotective of my family and I don’t hide my weird quirks from anyone- friend or stranger.
I don’t hide often. I’m not ashamed of much. But when I am, I know there are people I can count on to make me feel better even though I know I screwed up. At the same time, there are definitely the chosen few that I always dread to face with my failures. It’s hard for me to admit that I’m made a colossal error. Especially when my pride is at stake (which I’m sure is true to some extent for everyone). The one person that I’ve never been able to look in the eye and admit fault to is my dad. He’s never been outwardly affectionate or praised me for my victories but the little girl inside of me has always craved that kind of reaction for him. I used to dream about someday being good enough for him to say to me “good job,” but I’ve learned that the highest praise I will ever get from him is his silence. And the worse punishment I could ever receive…. is his silence. I hate that silence. Without even using words, he can make me feel so small and insignificant and I hate that the childhood terror of his speechless disappointment still has such a strong hold on me today. I’ve always prefered my mother’s loud rage or my gramama’s endless lectures over his quiet disapproval. When I’m being yelled at, I can feel anger and annoyance and an ever growing pain in my ass until I fight back. It may not be mature, but it sure beats the hell out of standing in front of my father as he looks at me and seems to say with his eyes, “I don’t know why I expected more”. It hurts every time. It makes me want to curl up under a rock and never come out.
It makes me want to disappear.
But it makes me stronger. It makes me work harder so that I don’t have to suffer that stare again. It makes me consider who I am and what I’m capable of and actually do something about it.
I don’t know why I crave his approval when I’m never going to get any sign of it. I don’t know why I’ve idolized my dad in my memories or why he matters so much even now when I’m on the precipice of adulthood. I just know that I hate it when I disappoint him and because of that, I’ve seized a lot of opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise chosen. I’ve developed passions in the hopes of excelling at them so that he would look at me with pride. When I’ve moved on, I want him to remember me with a small smile, not a heavy sigh. Somehow, that is extremely important to me. I can be remembered as I am to my friends, to my loved ones, the people who inspired me; but I want to be remembered as something more than I am to him. When I’m off to college, I want to be remembered as his first success, not his first failure. It’s my greatest fear that that is what I will become. For that reason, I’ve often tried to take on more than I am capable of. Logically, I know that I have pushed myself too far sometimes, but emotionally, I just want to prove something to him.
To prove something to myself.
I want to prove to myself that I can be more than the disappointment that he sometimes sees. I just want to prove that I can be more than the image that I’ve created of myself from his perspective; because at the end of the day, the only person that I need to impress… is me.
I want people to remember me at my best and not the petty person I tried so hard not to be. Hypothetically, if I were to die right now, I’d want my friends to remember me as someone who attempted to live life as if every experience could be a funny or moving story that I would share with everyone around me. I’d want them to think of me as someone who is always there to help. I'm not super great with the emotional stuff; consoling a crying friend is always difficult because not everybody likes my particular brand of tough love, but I want to be that person, who if you’re in danger, are you have to do is text me, and I'd be right there. Someone who will take you someplace to get help when you're in the situation that's just a little bit too adult. I think my friends would remember me the way I would want them to. Not everybody. A lot of the time I'm not the greatest friend, and I have a habit of saying things that end up hurting people in ways that I never imagined. Despite this, I'd like to think that I haven't destroyed too many relationships, so I do believe that they would choose to remember me the way I am here.
Alana and I are laughing as we drive to some forgotten destination. It’s about three thirty, and the sun is an all-encompassing golden color. We aren’t bickering like the old married couple we often resemble; instead, we’re laughing and finishing each other’s stupid puns, layering the jokes, recalling things that only we have shared with one another.
This isn't a purely accurate memory of our friendship. It isn't purely idyllic either- we've had many memories like this. But we have also had many tense 6 am car rides. Moments where we just don't understand each other, moments where we don't really like each other.
I don't want to block out the less fun times in our friendship, but if I had to choose I would want to remember Alana smiling in the sunset. I would want to remember her giving me much needed words of solace when I've been knocked down, rather than the sad “I don't know, Marie.” I've heard on several occasions. I always want to remember the idyllic memories, rather than the accurate ones. But I’m lucky that many of the memories I hold close are accurately idyllic.
Life After Death.
I hope people remember me for who I truly was, I really do.. My life is real, my problems are real, and my actions are real. There is nothing that I did that did not actually happen. People are remembered for what they did. In funerals, individuals remind everybody about the good things the dead person has done. “I remember his/her smile and how it always lit up the room.” “I remember that one time he helped me pay off my debt.” “I remember when he used to always cook the best spaghetti on Thursdays.” They say these good things because everybody else is in grief, so they are reminded of the good times to make them feel better. For me personally, i don’t want to be remembered for all my good times. I want be remembered for everything I did. I don’t want my life to seem “tweaked” to only the good things. That is not me. I don’t mind if people tell the good stories about me, but I just want them to REMEMBER me for I was… if that makes sense.
Why is it so hard?
“The biggest regret of elderly people, on their deathbed, is not what they did, it’s what they didn’t do.” This was said in a video on youtube entitled, The Meaning Of Life Explained By A Third Grader! The video was narrated by, of course, a third grader. The girl explained life in an easy way that almost everybody can understand. The video was about living your life to the fullest and forgetting about all the negatives by thinking about the positives. My girlfriend showed me this video and after watching it, I knew that that video was already on my top five favorite videos. The video sent tears running down my face and dripping on my arm. My hand ran across my face every three seconds because of the amount of tears that fell. My heart was touched with an open gate of hope. Thinking about my life right at that moment and thinking about what my life can be made me feel really weird. This feeling of sadness and joy at the same time. I started to think that I can actually fix myself of its damages and make a life that I can enjoy freely.
Why I am telling you this? I just wanted to share how I feel everyday. I always have the thought of being motivated to change something in my life, but I fail to do so. It’s difficult for me to take this into action because of the lack of support I get. In my household, it’s always heartbreaking to hear your parents complain about money, the house being dirty, and their kids not giving a crap about anything. I barely hear phrases like, “ Everything is going to be ok.” “We’ll help you” “Is there anything you need?” You can’t go through life alone, you always need someone to be right beside you at times. Especially when you need help. When I was a child, my dream was to transfer straight to UCLA after high school. But I wonder now, what went wrong? Support. This feeling started to barge into my life at the beginning of my sophomore year. I started to think if I am really living when I enrolled into percussion. The program took so much of my time and money. My mom would always complain about how she has absolutely no money, but still manages to buy food and clothes. The fact that she says that and does what she does has me think of giving up on them. I mostly look for my girlfriend and close friends to make me feel supported and loved.
I have tried to change for the better. It’s hard for me. I really want people to remember me for how hard I have tried if I don’t accomplish anything out of trying. I would rather have people think of me as a great person than a smart person. I believe that today’s society judges a book by it’s cover. If you have good grades, people approach you, if you’re rich people approach you, if you are good looking, people approach you. Media has this thing where they label people and they say who is the best and who is not.
Ultimately, I just want people to remember me for who I truly was. I want them to remember me for the passion and determination I had, for the times I have fallen and for the times I have gotten up, for the times I helped somebody, for the times I achieved a goal I aimed for. I want people to know who I was and what I have done in life. I don’t want to remembered as someone I was not.
“I would rather be remembered by a song than by a victory.” - Alexander Smith
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