Charmspeaking; the things you learn

I came across a poem today.

So Close, So Far by Adeline Whitmore

What a terrible thing it was

To have been

So close

To you

And now

Here we are

So far apart

I wonder

If it would’ve been better

To have never felt

Your love at all.


To me this struck a chord: it made me think of memories I didn’t want to think of, shards of my past I had dusted into a pile left sitting in the dust-pan waiting to be emptied into the trash. But for some reason I had been waiting- waiting for what? That I do not know.

I used to think I knew everything. I could predict everything, get everything to go just how I pleased. As a young girl, I thoroughly was convinced I could talk my way out of anything. Charmspeak, a term coined by author Rick Riordan, is what I resonated with. I wanted to be like Piper, a daughter of Aphrodite goddess of love, who could talk her way through anything and convince people of anything. Piper took the phrase I live by literally- if there is a will, there is most certainly a way.

When I grew older I realized I would never be like Piper because not only am I not a daughter of Aphrodite, I am a girl who doesn’t live in a fictional story no matter how much I wish I could. The story I live in is authored by me, it’s a wild crazy shitshow that is constantly being written as we go. I wish it had a classic fairytale ending. But I am going to assume that it doesn’t. In the very least I can hope that it ends with me happy as a cardiothoracic or neonatal surgeon living in California with two husky puppies. Maybe I am a bit ahead of myself. That’s okay.

Lately my brain has been focusing on the concept of wasted time. How you can waste so much of your life on another person. But is it truly wasting time if you learn something from them? If you learn to not make the same mistakes again that you made? Not to fall for the same sweet words over and over because they just say or do the right things you desperately want to hear?

I learned to stay guarded. I’ve learned that sometimes I care too much about the wrong people. Sometimes you just have to let people go and that can be the best thing you can do for them no matter how little you want that to be. Sometimes for better or worse people change and they just aren’t who you want around anymore. Sometimes people hide and forget to tell you things that are incredibly important and wait for you to ask when they should have said something months ago. Sometimes people just don’t know how to let you go when they really need to. I learned I can only rely on myself and people are manipulative users who will hang you out to dry no matter how good you are to them. I’ve learned what it feels like to both be cheated on and not be cheated on, but also be in a faithful relationship where it feels like cheating is happening, but you aren’t there to watch it, so you’ll never know and you cannot question it. I know what it is to put all of your trust into another person- and for them to shatter it and for you to realize they’ve given you reason not to trust them.

I’ve learned to love unconditionally the people in my life, even the ones who have screwed me over. And every single damn time, my heart aches and I wish I would just realize my fatal flaw of caring too much. I wish I was a cold-hearted bitch. It would make things easier. But my values are too strong and my moral compass too magnetic.

I used to live with my brain as the guide, but I’ve slowly transitioned into living following my heart and by my feelings. This is incredibly stupid sometimes, but it is also exhilarating. But it leaves you in heartbreak and an emotional rollercoaster. Because you care when things go wrong in other people’s lives. Because there was a time when you were alone and felt like there was no one- and you told yourself nobody would ever feel that way again because you would stick by them.

To the ones that have hurt me, I’ve forgiven you. Because that’s who I am and that’s what I do. I forgive and forget and am constantly taken advantage of. Yet, for the life of me I don’t know why I stick around. I know I deserve better. I know what it is like to feel loved and cared for. And even if just as a friend, I still deserve to feel that way after you have made me feel worthless. Because I’m the girl that’s “too good for you” people say. I’m the girl who pours her soul into whatever she does because I’m fucking passionate about what I think and what I have to say.

Nothing is forcing you to listen to me as I smash through every expectation people had for me and I surpass those to prove them wrong, all the ones who doubted me or bullied me. Nothing is forcing you to stick around till the end of my story. Right now, it’s usually about the time where I’m clutching onto strings that should’ve been severed. Because those who have hurt me, if you cared well you’d do something. But you and I we’re better just coexisting from a distance it seems. Sometimes I wonder if it were better if we never met, to have never loved you at all. But this cycle, it’s not the first and last time I’m going to feel this way.

Screw being hot and the girl all the guys want to sleep with these days. I’m content with being intelligent and successful and focused on bigger and better things than I can even imagine tangibly right now. I am the one who matters in this story and I’m done wasting words and paper writing about the peoples of the past’s haunting memories that have floated into my reality.

Those pages are floating down the river for now.

As a wise English teacher once told me:

You must let the wind underneath your wings and let the road rise to meet your feet.

Sometimes I miss people from my past. But the people who they were, not the people they are now. But time, it exists for a reason and well, there’s no going back now.





Trying too hard to be happy leads to. . . sadness?

Throughout my eighteen years of living, one thing I’ve concluded is that being happy isn’t easy. People in this world say happiness is a choice, but if it truly was that easy wouldn’t everyone simply just choose to be happy?

As humans, we have this innate quest to find these so-called feelings of joy and elation. Yet, we spend so much of our lives searching that we forget to enjoy things or better yet, we just reside in a perpetual state of misery because we don’t know how to help ourselves to the capacity that we need to. Maybe we don’t like talking and opening up, maybe were in denial, maybe we just don’t know what the heck to do.

As simple as it seems, the feeling of showing excitement or contentment is rather more elusive than what appears to merely an observer. For me, hand in hand with happiness is finding and determining meaning. While meaning is arbitrary, it has the power to lay the foundation of a person’s opinion and outlook; the way the cement base is the heart of a house supporting the skeleton of walls, windows, and hallways. I live my life searching for meaning in everything, sometimes getting me into trouble because every so often, some things just don’t have a meaning.

Despite this, without meaning, it is near impossible to find even a glimmer of happiness. How can one find themselves ‘happy’ skipping the crucial step of knowing the impacts of their actions or words on both themselves and others? The definition of ‘meaning’ is unclear in its own nature: what is the intended effect and significance of the text, concept, word, action, or idea in question? A person can become so preoccupied with defining the meaning that they lose the true essence of why they were involved with said action or concept in the first place. But is it this lack of meaning that leads to lack of purpose which leads to lack of happiness?

One may never truly know. As we continue to move through life and beyond, sometimes we lose sight of the things that are most important or the things that truly matter. In my experience, the hardest part of it all is determining what these ‘things’ are. To each and every individual, it’s different. Whether a person admits it or not, we are all dealing with things that aren’t always visible at first glance. It may be an invisible chronic illness, drama with friends or a significant other, a learning disability, depression, academic hardships or simply life shattered in pieces in general.

Whatever it may be, it impacts you and your outlook to the world despite if you admit it or not. And that’s okay. Everyone’s entitled to be biased, to feel sorry for themselves. But, it shouldn’t get in the way of life in any way, although it may be easy to just admit defeat to the problem and not fight against it. However down on the world you may be, trying and forcing to be happy may just be making you sadder and more miserable.

Instead, focus on the little things that are good. The things you may have that the rest of the world may not be as privileged to have access to, such as an education. Step outside and appreciate the grass that lines the lawns, or the clear sky on a sunny day. Revel in the immense opportunity there is in the world to experience. The future is out there, the future is bright no matter how dull it may seem. And if you don’t believe it right now, if you keep telling yourself that, maybe someday you’ll believe yourself.

If a person continually focuses on trying to be happy, they will be perpetually miserable. Happiness is something that has to happen organically. No matter how stressed or miserable a person may be, there is always a silver lining. So, you did terrible on the midterm? Work harder and get as close to perfect on the next test as you can. Use it as a learning experience. So, you didn’t do as well in sport you practice as you were hoping to? Train with finesse and show everyone how much they should’ve taken you more seriously.

In any situation, take a step back. Look at the situation holistically for what it is, rather than what it should or could or would be. Instead of looking back to the past, look forward. Through all of this, ask yourself one question: why am I doing this? If the answer is something you don’t agree with, then don’t do it. Find motivation to do something that’s never been done before.

When happiness isn’t searched for, it finds you. And the minute you stop wondering when you will be happy, slowly and steadily things will turn up and you will become happy no matter how long it takes. But for now, when life seems absolutely horrible, you just have to sit tight and get through it any way that you know how. You’re stronger than you appear, smarter than you believe yourself to be, and underestimate your own abilities. As with everything, this too shall pass. And when it does, the feeling of optimism and positivity will be irreplaceable.



Living in the Now

You know that feeling when you do something you haven’t done in a while and then it sort of hits you in a cinema style fashion, why haven’t I done this for so long?

Lately since my life has been going through a great deal of all that. I’ve started dancing spontaneously again, breaking out singing Hamilton on my way to class (quietly of course) and in the shower (when the belting comes out), not caring what others think, being sassy, spunky and flirting again.

I met a cute guy in one of my classes a little while ago. Well, let’s just say it’s been funny so far. It might progress or it might not, but regardless I just need to stop acting like I’m in 6th grade and dysfunctional around boys every single time he talks to me. I literally have forgotten what to say around him sometimes and well it is, uh quite bad.

Last time I saw him in passing, he smiled adorably and waved. I felt like an absolute idiot with this dumb grin on my face when I waved back. I haven’t done anything quite so embarrassing yet around him (key word- YET) but stay tuned because it’s bound to come. Love always starts with embarrassing stories right? Send me some help.

I’m not quite sure he is fully aware of my existence for sure. He has my number. We have texted quite a bit, surprisingly, but at the same time, how can you tell if a guy is interested if well, the way you text him is strictly business? I’m wonderful and great with boys. Not. I guess we will find out- you and I are both curious as to where this is going, which is well, hopefully somewhere!

I absolutely love the way things are going now. I became extremely sick a few months­ and also fell into a relationship then that supported me when I needed it most, but realized through all of that I sort of became dissatisfied with my life because I was unhappy and lost myself. Things broke off with that relationship for their own reasons and it just wasn’t working, and everything happened for a reason to get me to where I am today. And now, I’m gaining it all that I lost in myself back.

When you’re sick and cannot be yourself, you lose the flame inside you. The spunk that fired the sassiness; the throwing caution to the wind so that the road can rise to meet your feet. Even though I was supported and loved, I wasn’t me.

And now, slowly and steadily I am regaining who I was and transforming into who I want to be. I am rebuilding piece by piece the shattered glass I became, broken and scratched and unknowing of the uncharted territory I fractured into.

But this territory, it’s a new place I find delightful. I may have different people surrounding me and be a part of different things, but I have never felt brighter or clearer or sparkled more.

I feel at peace with certain things of my past and am leaving those things there.

Now I am bubbly and bright, sassy and spunky, unfiltered and willing to be riskier than I used to when I was that shy, timid, complaining, whiny sick good girl who never felt good. Now I smile like an idiot at cute boys in the hall and go out with friends until 4am and not worry about if I’m going to enjoy it or be healthy enough to go out.

Now I participate in writing and theatre and am a recognized photographer on Instagram by a few professionals that have reached out to me. Now I have started working with cerebral spinal fluid of rats as I work with my neurobiology lab’s model to discover more about Alzheimer’s. Now everything feels as if it’s falling into place.

Now I live without looking back, something I’ve wanted to do forever.

Now I have the chance to do it, and I’m not ever letting go.



Moving On & The Changing Meanings of Words

Everything is confusing in life. Each day we make choices, these choices are what dictate our lives. Every thought we have, every step we take, every word we say has an impact.

In my head, it’s easy to re-read things that were written in the past or think about things I did. It’s hard to realize that those words might have lost meaning to what they are now, and whoever wrote them might now regard the recipient almost like a stranger. In my head, it’s always a game of should’ve, could’ve and would’ve.

If someone showed up one day guaranteeing one chance to change the past, would you take it?

I know there are certain things I wish could have happened differently, but these are things a person can’t know until they’ve experienced it before. The only option is to take life as it comes, make yourself be the best version of you that you can be and move on with your life. Letting the things that have had their time go away with the wind with peace, poise and eloquence.

There’s no point in trying to involve yourself in someone’s life because that’s “what it used to be.” There’s no point clinging to strands of what could’ve been, because that’s not what is. People keep living and loving and learning and it is a constant never-ending cycle that you have no control over.

I am the one thing in life that I can control. I am the only one with my thoughts, feelings and emotions- the only one who can do what I am capable of.

Maybe you were only a part of someone’s life for a brief period in time. Maybe you were a four-year investment that ended in you disappearing. Maybe you faded slowly into the background with time because distance desensitizes the memories that once stung every time you thought of the passion within them.

A few years ago, I had to cut out a toxic person from my life. I had to relinquish all points of contact, but with no explanation. Now this is probably one of the most hurtful but necessary things I have ever had to do, but it got to a point where this person was living in a place where they thought memories from two years before this point were what was now.

They were leaving to go on a long trip, so I wrote a letter to them. But, two years later, after fights and anger and hatred was poured into the mix of the relationship, they referenced that letter. What they didn’t realize was what my reaction would be: that letter meant nothing now. It was how I felt then, in the moment, a stupid young girl in high school not knowing what to do with her life.

But the two years later, I was much swifter and smarter and wiser. I knew how I felt and I knew what I needed to do. And looking back, I wish I had never written that letter because they had kept it and probably still have it. Sometimes I wonder if I had handled things differently how things would have ended up. But, to this day it still confuses me how much power words can have and how someone can write something so passionate and suddenly it just doesn’t have meaning anymore.

No one is innocent. We all have done this but hurt some more so than others.

This is what makes me wonder. What if I had never written that letter? What if I had never read the letters I got from various people in my past? Would I be thinking this? Would I be wondering?

In my head, it’s a pendulum of understanding how someone can say something so passionate and truly mean it. Yet, with time, they can look back and wonder how in the world they wrote or said this. Or not even that, but just how since then, things have desensitized because of time and unfamiliarity.

It is a double-edged sword, edges I’ve felt both of. And, to this day the power of words still confuses me.

In order to move on, you need to let go of the words, let go of the memories, place them on a timeline that crafts your past, and look forward at your blank future. It’s a blank canvas ready to be splattered with paint, you just need to paint it.

So now in this present chapter of my life that is only beginning, for a change I am actually making active changes in my life. For once, I am the priority. I am no longer concerned about keeping everyone else in order, but just myself and being the best me that I can be.

Because, I’m learning, everything else, it will fall into place unexpectedly and when it is supposed to. And until then and as this happens, it’s time to be happy and live life in ways I’ve been afraid to in the past.