just close your eyes

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i talk too much.

i like talking, but sometimes…

sometimes there really isn’t anything good that can come out of my mouth.

aka i’m tired and hence the lack of quality. we’re all tired. but that’s okay. you can come in, the world is quiet here.

so please, if you will, enjoy the songs that say it better than i ever could.

roll film πŸ™‚

I used to sing with gusto in the crowd

Now I’m scared I’ll get the melody wrong

But they say it’s in the breath you take before you sing it out

that makes you hear the most beautiful song.

Hey!
I know we’ve both been afraid
But we can’t run from the wind and the thunder
When we’re dancing under the rain, the rain, the rain

She’s imperfect, but she tries
She is good, but she lies
She is hard on herself
She is broken and won’t ask for help
She is messy, but she’s kind
She is lonely most of the time
She is all of this mixed up and baked in a beautiful pie
She is gone, but she used to be mine

Please don’t go away
Please don’t go away
Please don’t go away
Is this how it’s supposed to be
Is this how it’s supposed to be

On my supersonic rocket ship
Nobody has to be hip
Nobody needs to be out of sight. Out of sight.
Nobody’s gonna travel second class
There’ll be equality
And no suppression of minorities. Well alright.
We’ll take this planet, shake it round
And turn it upside down.
My supersonic rocket ship.

What about us?
What about all the times you said you had the answers?
What about us?
What about all the broken happy ever afters?
Oh, what about us?
What about all the plans that ended in disaster?
Oh, what about love? What about trust?
What about us?

skip to 7:12 for the song

We don’t fit in well
We are just ourselves
I could use some help
Gettin’ out of this conversation, yeah
You look stunning, dear
So don’t ask that question here

But now the day bleeds
Into nightfall
And you’re not here
To get me through it all
I let my guard down
And then you pulled the rug
I was getting kinda used to being someone you loved

I know this probably isn’t really realistic
And honestly, I might not ever make a difference
But that don’t make a difference, I’ma have to risk it
I been crunchin’ numbers, you ain’t gotta be a mathematician
To see the odds ain’t rootin’ for me
I can’t lie though, it’s kinda how I like it to be
The underdog, yeah, you probably think you know what I mean
But what I’m saying is they ever push me, I’m gonna swing, yeah

After all these years
I would’ve thought all my fears were laid to rest
But I still get scared
And I thought that all my struggles
Would be victories by now, but I confess
That the mess is there

(just so we’re clear, i’m dealing positively with remaining emotional trauma and i am NOT invested in anything/one romantically.

y’know.

in case you got ideas.

thank you πŸ™‚ )

~the sun is going down, you’ll be alright, no one can hurt you now, jo~

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i want the world to see color

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i am five years old when i notice that the other kids are lighter than i am.

i am six years old when i feel alienated at church and school and every other public place.

i am seven years old when i learn what the word “immigrant” means.

i am eight years old when i try to change my accent to fit in.

i am nine years old when i start crying because i don’t want to cross the border back to canada.

i learn to cringe at thick accents, learn to hide at bad english, avoid watching filipino things, avoid being “too filipino”. i learn that at white people’s houses, they don’t eat rice, they don’t take their shoes off, and they don’t say “ate” and “kuya”. i learn that white people write all the books and make all the headlines and take all the awards. white people are best. but not us. not the flips. we’re the jokes of the world. we’re so many things we don’t even know what we are.

i wander into a small town american diner and instantly feel like i don’t belong. i desperately look at comics for someone who looks like me, but the only people who do are horrible and i decide that i am alone.

i learn that asians can be geniuses. asians can be talk show hosts (of stereotypical asian shows), asians can be engineers, asians can run the local chinese store or wok of fame. that’s asian. that’s okay. but only that is okay.

i learn that asians can only be chinese or japanese or korean. asians must be fair and beautiful and thin, but they can’t be too brown. too filipino. even though filipinos naturally have their own shades of light to dark brown, but we only ever see the fair ones.

i learn that i don’t belong here even though i was born here and i need to remember my culture, but then i learn that i shouldn’t learn from my culture because it’s too “backward”.

i learn that my skin isn’t accepted and i will always be that “asian kid”.

plant2-2

all of the above is terrible. it might not be true for everyone, but it was true for me and it is true for a good many other people. and, yeah, it’s still a problem but i wanted to ramble about because guess what?

we’re changing homie. we’re changing.

in the past year alone, i’ve gotten to talk and listen from people of all walks and cultures and everything and i think that’s amazing. i can understand a few signs in montreal and talk about matzo competitions with jews and accidentally be too curious about the hijab (sorry bay i truly mean well tho!!) and sing o canada and play hockey and sympathize with mexicans because we’re so similar, like what– and groan at the asian genius filipinos AND chinese people have to be typed into.

and here’s the even crazier thing.

i’ve learned to love my own culture. i’ve learned to enjoy the people and foods and customs, the dances and the music and the language and to be a proud filipino and to see everything that comes with this weird, messy, halo halo culture that comes when you’re a second gen.

why now though? why all of this color now?

because i’ve grown up colorblind.

all of this beauty was held back by people who were, honestly, scared of the world they now lived in, who grabbed their kids and said “anak, you remember our cultures” but that was it.

colorblindedness is the worst okay. it’s the worst.

yes, we have issues. every culture has issues. dangnabbit, everyBODY has issues, but that doesn’t make them less valid. hey, maybe it makes us more valid, because in this collective agreement that we are messed up we can let go of the things that held us back from really getting to know each other.

plant2-2

so all of this who knows how many words is my response to something i heard once.

“we haven’t learnt to be colorblind yet.”

good.

i don’t want the world to be colorbind. that would be absolutely terrible. I WANT THE WORLD TO SEE COLOR AND I AM WRITING THIS IN CAPS BECAUSE IT’S IMPORTANT and because honestly, life is so much more beautiful when you don’t just care for your own. i want the world to realize its own beauty in its individual uniqueness and own it. i want people to be accepted and not worry about not speaking good english or having a thick accent or being too dark or not dark enough. i want to make gOoD culture jokes and enjoy my friends being curious about where i came from and hearing the same from them. see? color? *chef’s kiss*

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there’s too many “i” in this post. there always is. i tried hard for there not to be.

but i kinda like thinking about the day a scrawny weirdo in the future will look at something like this and say “wow. we’ve come so far.”

like, hi kid.

yes, we did come far.

are you enjoying the color?

~turn around, look at what you see, jo~

i had plans at 12 am

i wasn’t planning on publishing this poem.

simply because… because it’s raw. it’s real. and it’s not something that’s easily published.

but today is world suicide prevention day, and that’s why i have something to say.

i wrote this based on reading/hearing/talking to people who have gone through the toughest things, the things that drag you down and make you want to lost all hope, the things that make you want to end it all.

so part of it’s hearing from other people.

another part is from personal experience.

roll film.

1
2
3

i wonder how far people can spread this and read it, but even if nobody sees it, that would still be enough.

~even when the dark comes crashing through, when you need a friend to carry you, when you’re broken on the ground, you will be found, jo~

in which we answer a few questions and cause mayhem before 12 am

in which we answer a few questions and cause mayhem before 12 am

firstly, i’ve been hacked. AGAIN.

jules, yes i have hush.

i make plenty of sense, hush.

HUSH.

anyway.

*nevermind the fact i misspelled this*

*glares at julia*

second, this feels like a very lucid dream. not that that’s a bad thing, but still. because if you told me i was going to be hacked by a best friend i would’ve…

actually that would’ve been normal for some reason but we’re not talking about that for the post.

anna from a storynerd’s life (queen *dies*) tagged the humble *cough* little (well that part’s true) blog, and since i’m stuck with julia (OH COME ON YOU LOVE ME *grins*) for the present time, we’re answering them together. *coughs*

not.. uh.. setting up a bomb. or anything. close though.

ahem.

plant2-2

What’s a memory from this summer that still makes you smile?

julia: how much time has to pass before it becomes a memory and not the present? though technically today is fall so… i suppose the YWW (young writer’s workshop) conference and all the smufflehugs. *nodnod* all memories from those three days make me smile. and plane rides. those were fun.

jo: terrorizing my sister and frubby. frubby knows who frubby is. also roasting marshmellows over a campfire and getting *cough* HACKED *cough* by julia. it’s still summer here, so there.

Has a stranger made your day before?

julia: i can’t really think of a stranger-stranger making my day but i’ve woken up to really encouraging messages from random writers who i didn’t know very well… but they weren’t technically strangers… though sometimes strangers make me laugh and they don’t know it. people watching is a good hobby. there was that time during the summer bored games where i paid for the guy behind me and his face was priceless and i’ll never forget it.

jo: there was this one time i was riding the bus downtown and this very bored looking mail truck driver pulled up to our bus, so i gave him the sup nod and to my surprise he sup nodded back and then we burst out laughing and then the light turned green and that’s the story of how i had some faith in humanity restored. πŸ˜€

What is the funniest thing you’ve done in public?

julia: hands down one of the summer bored game challenges. probably the backwards baseball cap and inside out t-shirt and sunglasses. it was actually at a july fourth concert that my piano instructor conducts and i really hope he didn’t see me. XD

jo: uhhhhhhhhh if you count putting on headphones and air drumming to “high hopes” on a campus, then that was a ton of fun. mostly because everyone who saw me was absolutely confuzzled. no wait that was hamilton uh eheh-

Favorite happy-go-lucky song?

julia: definitely “have it all” by jason mraz. it never fails to make me smile and it’s my magical math song with my twinyayzie (seriously, try listening to it during algebra 2 it’s amazing and i aced my test so yay).

jo: only one *sobs* uhhh…. either “have it all” or “rain” (by ben platt, that guy has a really nice voice it’s not fair but that’s not the point) or “along the way” by the hunts IT’S MY BLOG JULES CHILLAX da people wanna know

What is something/someone that added a little sunshine to your week?

julia: besides the fact that my tripyaylet is sitting next to me? if it had to be something other than that, a special thing with a special someone on friyay. tis a secret. be curious, you’ll never know.

jo: *is going to try to not be curious but fails* ahhh other than frubby being frubby, i got a package from chloe and that made my day, love ya ❀

Sunshine or rain?

julia: rain. unless it’s golden hour. because rain sounds cool and looks cool and FEELS COOL LIKE A REPRIEVE FROM THIS 90 DEGREE WEATHER actually it’s been pretty nice lately but still. rain also makes things greener. and it’s good writing and book weather soooo yepsy. but golden hour is pure magic so sunshine for two hours a day. XD

jo: rain my poor canadian self can’t take the heat *dies*

What person never fails to get a laugh out of you?

julia: oh snap i really hope some people don’t read this but uuuuuhhhh… oh! special person mentioned above. that’s all i’ll say. hehe. cue curious jo.

jo: jules did you really have to– if it isn’t julia, then frubby or bun bun. who are reading, this aren’t they? πŸ˜€ (because of they are: SAPS.)

Something you look forward to about this Autumn season?

julia: BOOTS brown boots and black boots and i want gray boots because i love boots and once upon a time i met someone for the first time and one of their first impressions was ‘i didn’t think you were the boot type of person’ but i am so there and this is a run on sentence because we only have a few minutes before lights out SO HURRY JO

jo: it’s going to be cold praise the Maker yayyyy- er, uh, wearing hoodies and having a good reason to πŸ˜€

Roller skates, skateboard, or bicycle?

julia: none of the above by far. rollerblades are waaaay superior.

jo: *terrifyingly clutches free spirit, my bike* how could you jules why

youshouldn’talwaysgetthelastwordsohahrollerbladesalwayswin

Favorite wildflower?

julia: queen anne’s lace, it’s so pretty. and it’s also one of the only wildflowers i can think of right off the top of my head and IT’S LIGHTS OUT

jo: yeesh goldenrods are pretty

Why is yellow such a happy color, to you? (or, do you agree that it is a happy color?)

julia: it is the color of lemons and lantana and emojis. it’s bright and cheery and splendific and a primary color which means it’s a happy basis for life. my logic is flawed when it’s late at night, hope that was satisfactory.

jo: yellow is yellow. duh. just kidding, yellow’s happy and cheerful and it reminds me of spring break, that’s why πŸ˜€

julia: I JUST REMEMBERED THAT I DON’T LIKE YELLOW BECAUSE IT IS THE COLOR OF SOUTHERN SPRING AKA POLLEN AND I’M ALLERGIC TO IT AND I HATE POLLEN AND POLLEN IS YELLOW what can I say it’s getting later and hurry up and wrap this up before we get in trouble

jo: IT’S YOUR FAULT JULIA

aaaaaaaaaand it is like 10:35 in the p of m and we will literally sign off and honestly this is amazing yet terrifying like i am friends with a hacker this is insane–

~we broke the distance, julia + jo~

until the lie becomes the truth

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sometimes lies are obvious. like broccoli is a fruit. or gravity makes you fly.

other times lies are subtle, undercover spies, sneaking around and secretly infiltrating the truth.

sometimes we have to check other people’s statements to make sure they’re not lying, right? we read through stuff and keep a look out for lies or half truths (the most dangerous kind of lies). but what about us?

our brains are amazing, if i didn’t already know what i wanted to be i would want to be a nueroscientist. fascinating area of study.

our brains are capable of learning, memorizing, thinking, imagining, categorizing, organizing, commanding, and a lot more. they’re so complex.

so our brains are awesome, end of story, right?

no.

here’s the thing. we know that there are a lot of lies around us, in the media and news and everyday life. we have to sift through them for the truth.

we are conscious of the lies around us.

what about the lies within us?

the lies within us that whisper ‘you’re not beautiful’ when we look in the mirror

the lies within us that whisper ‘you’re not good enough’ when we try something

the lies within us that whisper ‘no one likes you’ when we’re left out

the lies within us that whisper ‘you’re a failure’ when you aren’t perfect

what about those lies? are we conscious of them? do we identify them as lies and dismiss them as so or do we let them slowly build fortresses inside our minds and hearts until we believe them as truth?

how long does it take for a lie to become a truth?

one day i will do an experiment on that but i’m pretty sure it doesn’t take very long.

take me for example. i’ve been pretty secure on the way i look the past few years, accepting the way i’ve been created and the way i look and act.

but when a friend started sending selfies and everyone told her how gorgeous and beautiful and pretty she was, i started second guessing myself. i’m going deep here and i’m probably going to regret it but once i hit publish oh well. i would look in the mirror and tell myself that i wasn’t pretty enough, not as pretty as the other girl at least. i wasn’t beautiful in the way the world defined beauty. i took the mirror out of my room because i couldn’t stand it anymore.

but those were lies.

the truth is that we’re each made differently with a purpose. we aren’t supposed to look exactly alike. we are to be precious and beautiful in the sight of God (1 peter 3:3-4), not the world.

identify those lies in your life. don’t believe them and let yourself be coaxed into believing them as a lie.

when you believe those things as a lie

one day you will believe it as truth

don’t let those lies build up fortresses in your mind until they become your truth. take those thoughts captive (2 corinthians 10:5) and destroy the fortresses of lies with truth (2 corinthians 10:3-4).

also, julyayia hacked jo’s blog again.

sorry not sorry for messing up your schedule. at least i stayed without caps. πŸ™‚ you know you love me. add a featured image thingy whenever you find out i’ve hacked your blog again.

~mirror on the wall telling those lies pointing out your flaws – that isn’t who you are, julyayia~

distance doesn’t have to define

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hi, i stole legallyborrowedwithpermission jo’s laptop. you’re welcome. you may know me, you may not. i disappeared off the face of the blogosphere about two years ago but i was formerly known as light4thelord.

so heylo, it’s me, julyayia rose from old blogs long ago but now I have jo in my room and her laptop on my bed so you get to have me for a change.

Also, the lack of capitalization in those paragraphs is greatly annoying me. Sorry, Jo. Not sorry. Anyways.

I have this thing with distance and best friends, they tend to go together like chocolate and cashews (really good combo by the way). My older sister recently left for college and so I’m down to one close friend in real life. Everyone else is through a screen. I’ve been thinking about that lately. I yell at the phone (poor thing, I’ve dropped it so many times I PROMISE IT WAS AN ACCIDENT) and throw pillows at the wall and hug things that remind me of the people who are a part of me even though I’ve never met me. I study maps and routes to places that no one knows about. I furiously tap out long messages and smile whenever I see someone’s profile picture. Even their online presence makes me happy.

But sometimes I want their real presence. Sometimes I miss them so much that I read through pages of online conversations. Sometimes I so desperately need them with me that I hug giant stuffed animals or tie hoodies around my waist in lame attempts at smufflehugs.

I hate how people react when I say my best friends are online friends. THEY’RE NOT JUST ONLINE FRIENDS OKAY THEY’RE A PART OF MY HEART AND MY MIND AND I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT THEM and while I might seem like one of these weird generation whatevever-letter-of-the-alphabet-we’re-on by wanting wifi it’s because it’s my lifeline to the most important people in my life.

Back to the non-existent point that I just remembered I was supposed to have and at one point got a partial idea of.

I calculated how far my tripyaylets were from me about two months ago. Exactly 1,000 miles. What a satisfying and saddening number.

I took pride in saying that I had friends in high places (sheesh up north y’all) and in different states. It was a defense for me missing them so much.

I used to think it was silly to want wifi all the time. I used to think it was silly to miss someone you’d never met. I used to think it was really really dumb to hug something that reminded you of someone.

But I do. I want wifi all the time so I can have some sort of connection and somehow be with the people that I can’t physically reach because they’re hundreds or thousands of miles away. I miss people I’ve never met like I’ve never missed people before. I hugged a clay necklace yesterday (perhaps one of these readers will know what I’m talking about) and almost cried [FOR THE RECORD I NEVER CRY. I HAVE CRIED LIKE FOUR OR FIVE TIMES IN THE PAST SIX MONTHS EXCEPT FOR WHEN I’M MAD AT MYSELF FOR MESSING UP A PIANO PIECE].

But distance doesn’t have to define a friendship. It’s not a long distance friendship. It’s not far away friends.

Sometimes the closest friends are the friends that are the farthest away.

The ones that you can’t hold in your arms are the ones you hold in your heart.

Perhaps one of those profound statements are relatable to you. Maybe you’re tired of online friends. Maybe you ask yourself it’s truly worth it. If it’s worth the missing people you know you can’t hug within ten hours of a drive. If it’s worth the pain you go through when you can’t be there in person for them. If it’s worth the time you spend on a screen to stay in touch with them.

It can be worth it.

Distance doesn’t have to define. Distance doesn’t have to divide. Distance doesn’t have to destroy.

Distance can develop friendships. Distance can help you dream. Distance can draw you closer.

It’s a challenge, yes, but let distance change you for the better. Don’t give up. Distance is worth it. See, I got a lapytopy out of it for a half hour. KIDDING kinda πŸ˜€

I dunno if you got anything out of this. I dunno if this means anything to you. I dunno if distance is a thing for you. I dunno if I made sense at all, it’s late at night and I’m crashing from sugar, and Jo is throwing stuffed animals on the floor LIKE WHAT EVEN IS SHE DOING heh.

But I do know that distance has power to define, to destroy, to divide, to develop, to dream, to draw people closer to each other and closer to God.

And by the way, God is outside time and outside distance. Cool story about breaking distance (JO LET ME WRITE OKAY) but there’s not time for that right now ’cause Jo is peering over my shoulder.

Use that power of distance. There are positive equivalents to the negative elements of distance. Like, I’m pretty sure we don’t live next door but I’m talking to you. Take charge of the distance (but don’t go speeding down the road without a legal license please) and break the distance.

I’m not letting distance define me and my friendships. Will you?

~but maybe one day we can break the distance, julia~

waste. your. life.

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no, wait, don’t leave yet.

don’t kick the chair out and scoff at me for being unconventional.

because i know the difference between wasting your life and really wasting your life.

yes, there’s a difference.

wasting your life is to spend it on things that will try to satisfy you and kinda come close, but never really will– that’s not what i’m talking about. that kind of wasting your life is why we have broken families and broken communities and broken countries and a broken world. we’ve wasted our lives on ourselves, doing things that bring us down and tear us apart just to make us happy— not what i’m saying. i don’t mean the kind where you take care of number 1: yourself, and forget about the 7 billion other people in the world. where you do things for you and end up hurting you.

but i mean really wasting your life. to spend it doing things that should have absolutely nothing for you: no gain, no joy, no nothing. and even if they are they’re so little nobody would care.

but yet… but yet they’re the most meaningful things you can do.

waste your life. volunteer. reach out. speak up. talk to that “loser”, talk to that “loner”, don’t be scared to make a fool out of yourself doing things: singing a solo, reading a poem, dancing a jig, do something that will scare the salt out of you.

waste your life. spend hours memorizing “dead” bible verses, because in the end, they will literally save the life you’re trying to waste. you know what? memorize poems, songs, books, commit living words to memory. listen to a song so many times you know it by heart. learn how to sing harmony. go buy an ice cream cone and buy one for that friend you’ve just met. dance. cry at a cheesy movie. laugh at a comedy. laugh at nothing. laugh with anyone who’ll laugh with you. post a picture on instagram and don’t say it’s cute but might delete later because you were made in the image of God and guess what good homie He calls you beautiful so there. own that beauty, don’t let it own you.

waste your life. drink water because your body needs that to do life. go shut your phone off and stick your head out of a window and breathe. waste your life and go seek counselling if you need it. waste your life and spend an hour listening to someone who might need it. go to sleep early.

show up at that lone practice session. give 5 bucks to the busker down the street. feel free to slip on your headphones and block the world and hold hands and enjoy this sorta in, sorta out thing you got going. *GO* *TO* *A* *MUSEUM* and waste your life looking at old life.

waste your life and ask a buddy if they wanna do homework with you. spend lunch with a bean who doesn’t talk much. will it be awkward? yes. will it be worth it? you never know. spend time you can’t afford to spend doing things you love. take a mental heath day from everything: from school, from life, from media, from that book you’re working so hard on. go soak in the rain and fume about into the spiderverse’s low ratings. drop off old clothes and go get new ones.

listen to ted talks. listen to podcasts, listen to sermons, listen! try that cover of “speechless” and don’t feel shy about your voice! in your self care, include others. slow down to jog with someone! do something insane and like, buy an anonymous lunch and giggle at your “victim” being so confused, like who would be so kind to do that, what crazy person does that?

you. you that crazy person.

waste your life and do that thing you don’t wanna do but you know God wants you to do. cut back the stuff in your life that stops you from just enjoying the quiet reflection we never get to have. waste your life, absolutely waste it, because you l i t e r a l l y only live once. make the most of it that you can.

my secret, unasked for strategy is, well, if your life isn’t defined by who you are or what you do, but Whose you are, then life isn’t one big vanity. okay? life isn’t some pointless thing you need to get a good grade on. life isn’t a level up, it’s not a game you can never win, you’re in this right here, right now, and you enjoy this. so waste your life. absolutely waste it.

if life is money and you need to use every last bit before you can’t, then make the most out of it. spend it on the things that keep living even after you’re gone.

because y’know what? you’re only really living when you’re not just living for yourself.

waste. your. life.

~i am not throwing away my shot, jo~