Shooting Star: dream 29

Shooting stars make me think of several things: wishes, stargazing, summer nights, and two songs. One of which was definitely overplayed during the summer of 2010 and I will go into no further mention about, mostly due to the fact that I hate this song. A lot. The other is Crystal Kay’s Shooting Star, which is a song she performed with Namie Amuro in her album Revolution. It was an epic song that made me feel incredibly confident, starting with a very upbeat techno vibe and just getting faster and faster from there. The song’s general message is that you and the one you are attracted to can pull each other together, and drive each other forward in unison. It does mirror my personal philosophy on relationships, which is that they should be productive in helping you grow as a person. But the general concept of being a shooting star is what stood out to me.

A shooting star is scientifically an asteroid that is falling out of the sky but has not yet become a meteor. It never goes back the way it came, it generally falls down, and it can actually crash and burn. Yet somehow, it gets the connotation that you can make a wish on it. It amuses me how science and superstitions can have completely different views on the same concept. But for me, being more of a half-cup full type of person, I like to think of a shooting star as something bold, noticeable, does not turn away, and invokes hope for others. In a lot of ways, I wish that I can be like a shooting star too. Never looking back on the past, living without regrets, and being able to inspire others. Parting the darkness as I make my way through life.

The song itself just makes me feel unstoppable. As if I can just walk forward and not be afraid of anything. To be a shooting star would mean that I could break through and past any barrier in my path, and leave my impact on this world. A shooting star illuminates the way. Anything that was once dark or unknown to me, I can bring light to it, and make of the topic or subject as I may. Being able to leave my legacy across the sky and on the earth would be almost anybody’s dream. Who wants to leave forgotten? We all want to know that when we move on to the next chapter of our lives, that there is still some form of a legacy there, just so that everyone will know that we have left our mark.

The biggest message I have taken away from the concept of shooting stars is that they always move until it is not longer physically possible. It reminds me of what I perceive to be my own spirit animal, the dragonfly: dragonflies are nomadic and never stay in one place. They always move forward and represent progression. Shooting stars do the same, transforming from an asteroid into a shooting star and when it comes time to stop, a meteor. I see us all starting as asteroids, but as we continue to grow and achieve in our lives, we become shooting stars. If possible, I would love if we can all be and remain shooting stars forever; constantly moving, learning new things, and not being held back by anything.

 

 

 

 

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Sky Bird: Chapter 25

“Congratulations! You have finished another year of high school!” Ms. Park smiled at everyone. It was the last day of school. Unlike most schools, Kendall’s high school had all of the finals on the same day. Everyone had just completed their Physics finals. “Kendall, can I see you after?” The teacher looked at him. “Uh, okay.” He was nervous. Did he mess up his final? Everyone filed out as Kendall sat there nervously. Once the classroom was empty, Ms. Park got out a folder and walked over to him. “Kendall, as you know, I used to be a scientist at UCLA for their Physics program.” She began. The brunette started thinking why she would preface with that statement. It probably was not a scolding? Although he has watched Hell’s Kitchen before and seen Gordon Ramsay faking out contestants like that before. “Are you doing anything this summer?” “Probably working part-time at Mitsuwa, but that’s really it.” “I see. Would you like to be a quantic optics intern at UCLA? This would be a great opportunity for you to learn more about engineering and you will be mentored under an industry professional. And it’s paid.” Kendall’s jaw dropped. He could not believe it. That was a perfect opportunity for him. “How do I apply?” “Just fill out these forms. I will handle the rest. UCLA always looks to me to recruit people for this program, and I will highly recommend you for this because you excelled in this course.” She smiled. The brunette quickly handed back the forms, all signed and filled out. “Thank you so much, Ms. Park.”

“Time’s up! Hand in your exams!” Ms. Ling stood in the front of the class as people passed their papers over to her. It was third period. Kendall felt great about the exam overall. He had went over the topics repeatedly and he knew what to expect for this test. “Kendall, you have had a rocky road with this course. But I’m proud to have had you as a student and to see you grow. Keep doing your best and if you need any college recommendation letters, my door is always open.” Ms. Ling offered him. “Thank you, Ms. Ling. That means a lot to me.” The brunette almost felt like crying. He never felt so touched before, having so many wonderful people in his life. “Absolutely. You have a lot of potential in the engineering field. You’re a smart kid.” “I’ll make sure to take Chem AP with you my senior year!” The brunette promised. Today was a good day for him. Even if he failed all of his exams, Kendall never felt better about just being himself. After spending half a semester loathing himself, thinking little of his own abilities, he was surprised by how much his teachers actually valued him. It was much needed.

“How did you think Pre-Calc went?” Sophia was sitting with Kendall, Jared, and Matt, picking their brains on how the exam went. “It was not the worst. You’ll do fine.” Matt assured her. It was lunch time, and the boys just finished Pre-Calc honors. Sophia had that exam for her sixth period, and was nervous about it. “You’ll do fine. You were smart enough to date me.” Kendall grinned cockily. “And I was even smarter to dump your arrogant ass.” She frowned sarcastically. “Ha! And I thought Fanny was sassy.” Matt sniggered. “I am sassy.” The blue eyed brunette froze. “Uh….” Fanny was right behind him. “Well, I just technically finished sophomore year. No Japanese final since I got a 99% in the class, and sixth period is post season.” He turned to Jared. “Babe, are you doing anything after lunch?” “I have my Chem final and that’s it.” “Want to go do something during sixth period?” “Sure.” The blonde nodded, trying to diffuse the awkward tension between Fanny and Matt. “And Matt,” the Chinese boy started, wrapping his arm around the brunette’s shoulders, “don’t you ever forget how sassy I am.” He whispered into his ear, before getting back up. “I need to go back to helping Carly study for Algebra 2. I’ll see you guys.” He walked off as a confused and terrified Matt whimpered. “Aren’t you glad you’re not dating him?” Sophia smirked at Kendall. “Yup.”

Fifth period Japanese 2 was quiet for once. Kendall, Megan, Sophia, Carly, Fanny, and Sharquiqui were the only people who were exempt from the final, so they sat off to the side. Everyone else had scored less than a 94%, so per Kawaguchi-sensei’s policy, they were required to take the final exam. “I’m so bored.” Kendall wrote and passed a note to Sophia. But the girl was busy studying, so she just shook her head and returned to her Pre-Calc Honors book. Sharquiqui and Sophia were both studying intently for their next and final exams. Megan and Fanny were nonchalantly doodling together, barely staving off the boredom. Ugh, this is boring. Kendall sighed to himself. He could not even enjoy his freedom with his girlfriend. Sharquiqui and Carly were talking about the potential existence of a plankton that can make your food turn glow in the dark. The wait was torturously slow. He just wanted the day to be over. The brunette drifted off to sleep.

“Hi, Kendall.” The brunette found himself in the field of flowers again. He turned around, trying to see where the voice came from. It was not the same voice as before. This was not Sophia who was calling out to him. “Who’s there?” He called, expecting a response. Nothing. There were no other people in the field as far as he could tell. “Hello?” His voice echoed off into the distance. “Who called my name?” “It was me.” A bird glided down, and perched itself in a small bed of flowers before the brunette. “Who are you?” “Darby.” It chirped. “Darby?” It was his grandfather’s name. The bird flapped it’s wings, and took off into the air. “Wait!” He beckoned, hand outstretched. It was too late. The bird had disappeared into the horizon. Before the brunette could do anything else, a white light filled the sky. The brunette woke up to a bell ringing. “Alright, see you all if Japanese 3. Unless you failed this final, in which case, you suck at life.” Kawaguchi-sensei frowned. “Hey, Kendall! Let’s go!” Megan whispered, tugging his arm. Fanny was waiting at the door for the two. “Oh, shoot. Okay, hold on.” The sophomore grabbed his bag and joined his sister and the Chinese boy in walking to the gym.

“Hey, there, Kendall!” School was finally over. Kendall, Jared, Fanny, Matt, Chloe, and Megan were greeted by Carly and Sophia. The eight of them were in the front gates of the school. “We’re finally done with another year.” Jared groaned as Fanny latched onto his shoulders affectionately. “We’re finally done with our first year.” Chloe and Megan giggled at the couple. “Well, let’s go on an adventure!” Matt proposed to everyone’s delight. The eight took off for Fanny and Kendall’s cars; Jared, Chloe, and Carly were riding with the Chinese boy, while Matt, Megan, and Sophia were with Kendall. “Alright, Chloe, you’re waiting for Megan’s text, right?” They were relying on Megan to let them know where Kendall was going to drive to. “Where are we going?” Sophia looked at her boyfriend. “Anywhere with you, it’ll be a great adventure.” He smiled at her. Matt and Megan just groaned in irritation. “Geez, stop rubbing it in that we’re single!” The two passengers crossed their arms in frustration. The couple just ignored them. Kendall was genuinely happy. This past semester, he managed to let go of a longstanding grudge, gain an incredible internship opportunity, and most importantly to him, find a girl who he was madly in love with. While he did not know for certain what his future had in store for him, Kendall knew that even if he finds himself in rock bottom, he will always find a way to soar above the obstacles, and take for the sky. Figuratively, or hopefully, literally with his dream plane, “Darby.”

ENTJ: dream 28

This time a year ago, I tested ENTJ on my Myers-Brigg Type Indicator; it stood for extroverted, intuitive, thinking, and judging. I was really proud to be this because it meant to me that I was an outgoing, confident, and independent person. But then, one cultural club-related traumatic experience later, and I found myself becoming INTJ; my extroversion became introversion. And it was not like a borderline thing. Out of 21 questions on introversion versus extroversion, I tested 20 in favor on being an introvert. In short, I hated people. I was constantly stressed, frustrated, angry, and it caused me to feel very drained whenever I talked to everyone. My mind was preoccupied with the cult(ure club) that I was stuck in and it took a toll on me socially.

I stayed introverted for a while and it just had to do with me being stressed out and exhausted constantly. Living with my mentee who was on board with the cult(ure club) with me was the worst thing I could do; I could never escape the cult(ure) club because I essentially lived with it. Because of that, I remained an introvert, suck in this state of being perpetually fatigued. Mentally and emotionally, I had very little left in me. I had to keep convincing myself that it was the right thing for me that I did not like people and that I needed alone time to be energized; introverts by definition need time away from others to re-charge so to speak. I did not understand why I was an introvert, because I usually enjoy talking to others: it was because the people I was in direct contact with were those officers from the club, and they all challenged the hell out of me. So naturally, I hated being around people, even though social recluse is actually how I wound up getting depressed to begin with.

By feeling really alone and on top of that, constantly having to interact with people I did not like, it made me feel abandoned and left behind. I felt like I had nobody left. But when I finally cut myself out of that circle, I found myself growing and flourishing again. I became the person I wanted to be once more. Not only in that I became an ENTJ again, but in the sense that I know now what I am capable of and what I am capable of. I joined the hospitality industry because I love meeting people and making an impact on their lives. I love being able to make their experiences something that they can remember forever. I love being around people who can make me smile and laugh with their stories of travel.

The reason why I transitioned back to being an extrovert is that I changed the people I surrounded myself with. The circle of friends I have now are all encouraging, supportive, or relatable to me, therefore, I feel more empowered whenever I am around them. I feel more capable and valued. Because of this, my extroversion came back. I was once again the person I felt happy being. My name is… going to remain anonymous, but I am officially an extrovert, once more. In a world of my dreams, I could surround myself with only people who will nurture that upbeat side of me. That will make me happy and excited about living. That would be an ideal place to live in.

Environment: realization 30

I’m not referring to anything relate to global warming or going green. I’m a Buddhist, not a hippie. That being said, I’m talking about the environment in the same context of Lewin’s Equation, where behavior is the function of an individual and the environment. It basically means that you can control your own behavior, but you cannot control the behavior of the environment around you; in short, there’s no guarantee that you can change the environment. There’s two options in this case: run away or change your outlook. Running away, I think it’s the easier option. It’s also the one that hurts you more in the long run. When you leave something behind, unresolved, you leave extra burdens in your heart, unfinished chapters in your life, and it will come back to haunt you. But when you learn to adapt to the environment, you might be able to enjoy it more.

I’m not saying that running away or giving up on your current environment is something frowned upon. Sometimes, you only have that option; you’ve attempted to adapt, and you failed repeatedly. In those cases, you only can leave and cut your losses. The environment you surround yourself in, it will affect your psyche. For example, I used to be an introvert when I had a person who constantly frustrated me; because of how routinely my energy was being wasted on those one or two individuals, I found myself needing time alone to recharge. But once I cut those people out of my life, I found myself becoming an extrovert. It was because my environment, specifically the people and places I had in my daily routine, changed that I found myself changing as well to adapt.

Adaptability is a completely different topic, but I think it’s worth discussing here, even though I mentioned it in my previous post about panicking. Specifically the pace and methods we use in face of changes in our environment. If you can thrive in an environment where it is high-pressure, high-demand, and intense, then that’s a good environment to stay in. If you cannot, then get the hell out of there if you cannot even swim in there. Do not let yourself stay in an environment where you feel like you are drowning in doubt and fear. Your environment helps you grow as a person, so find the right environment for you.

For me, I am learning that I prefer company who are open-minded, ambitious in their careers, but prefer a routine or a schedule. That creates a sort of environment where I myself can be career-oriented, have norms that do not surprise me, but I can be as weird or awkward as I want and not feel like I am being judged. It helps me feel a need to advance my own career, while I can spend time with the people I love on a constant basis, but ultimately, I can love myself for who I am or become a person who I can love continuously and constantly. Obviously, each person has a different environment that is ideal for them. Some people would rather not have the pressure of finding a career. Others may not love themselves and would rather be surrounded by people who they want to be like. It is ultimately up to the individual what they want. The environment that is suitable changes constantly, to match our personalities, goals, and interests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sky Bird: Chapter 24

“So how was school today?” Mr. Skye looked at his children. It was Monday night, and they were all eating dinner together for once. “Well, I won this challenge thing in my Physics class, so I got extra credit.” Kendall started, unsure if he should mention Sophia at this point. “And we got an A in our Japanese movie project.” “Kendall, aren’t you avoiding something really important?” Megan stared at him expectantly. “Uh… well… so, everyone remembers Sophia Puckchareon, right?” Kendall’s parents and Gil nodded slowly. “What do you guys think of her?” “She’s very funny and smart.” Gil pointed out. “She’s really smart, right? You said she’s taking a lot of honors classes, and she’s on honor roll?” Mrs. Skye noted. “She’s pretty cute. I know you have a crush on Carly Ahn, but Sophia would suit you better.” Mr. Skye finished. “Well that’s good, because she’s my girlfriend now.” The room went silent. Mrs. Skye looked mortified. Mr. Skye’s face looked blank. Gil’s jaw dropped. “Wait. When? How? Why? What?” Gil babbled. “Son, I’m proud of you! Even though it took you longer than your siblings, I’m glad you finally got into the dating game!” Mr. Skye patted his eldest son on the back. “When will we get to meet her again?” Mrs. Skye looked at him, concerned. She wanted to make sure that her son was dating the right kind of person. “I’m sure you’ll see her soon enough.” Kendall smiled.

“Hey, Sophia, are you doing anything this Friday?” The brunette texted his girlfriend. He was laying in bed, getting ready for the rest of the week ahead of him. “Nothing. Did you want to go out or something?” “Yeah.” Kendall smiled to himself. He wanted to take Sophia to LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It was an iconic place in LA, especially the white lamp display; it was an entire square with rows of street lamps lined up. There was something breathtakingly romantic about the sight, which was why he wanted to take here there. “Alright. Where?” She sent back. Sophia was in her own room at this moment, and she was curious what kind of places Kendall thought were date-appropriate. For her, it was a real test of Kendall’s idea of romance and its compatibility to her own. “Have you ever been to LACMA?” He sent back, grinning to himself. He knew she would love it.

“So I’ll see you tonight at 5?” It was Friday, fifth period. Sophia and Kendall were sitting together, discussing the details of their date later that night. “Yup. I’ll pick you up.” He smiled at her. “Do they really need to sit separately?” Fanny rested his head on his hands as he pouted. He was sitting with Carly, Megan, and Sharquiqui at a different table than Sophia and Kendall. “Bitch, I don’t know why you’re complaining. You get three lovely ladies all to yo’self.” Sharquiqui pointed out. “And I’m not into ladies, lovely or Yubin-like, so that’s just a wasted opportunity.” The Chinese boy rolled his eyes. “Megan, do you know where they’re going?” Carly looked at the younger girl. “I don’t, but I know that they’re meeting at 5 at my place.” She smiled mischievously. “You’re thinking what I’m thinking, right?” Fanny looked at her. “Crash their date?” She laughed, enjoying the prospect of doing that. “Yup. Chloe and I will pick up Carly and Sharquiqui, and then go to your place and we can tail Kendall’s car.” “Hold the fuck up, I will not be a part of this!” Sharquiqui frowned. “Too fried chicken?” Fanny raised an eyebrow at her. “Shut the hell up, fool. No! I have to teach another seminary at John Hopkins tomorrow, so I’m flying out tonight! But seriously, have a lot of fun. Make sure to record all of this. I will live vicariously through yo videos.” “Got it.” Fanny grinned.

It was finally 5pm. And as expected, there was a knock on the door. Kendall got up, and opened it. It was none other than Sophia, wearing a white blouse and a dark blue dress. “Wow, you look… amazing.” He trailed off. It was hard to believe that he was dating somebody who was kindhearted, smart, and beautiful. She was his perfect girl. “So this is Sophia?” Mrs. and Mr. Skye walked out and greeted the girl. “I’m Kendall’s mom.” “And I’m his brother.. no, I liked. I’m his dad.” Sophia laughed as she hugged Mrs. Skye and gave Mr. Skye a firm handshake. “Have fun, you two.” Mrs. Skye smiled. Sophia was a very polite and warm person. Just from seeing her, Mrs. Skye knew that she would be a good girlfriend to her son. “Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Skye. I will try my best to make sure that your son will be back before 12.” She promised as they left. “Mom, dad, I’m heading over to Chloe’s!” Megan chimed as she left, shortly after Kendall and Sophia were already gone. “Oh, okay. Have fun!” “Everyone’s out? Well, I guess I can play on wi-fi battles or something.” Gil grumbled, getting out his DS.

“Hurry, hurry!” Megan gasped in a hushed voice. She ran into Fanny’s car, and they started to follow Kendall’s. Carly, Chloe, Fanny, and Megan were all wearing pitch black clothes as a way to blend in. “Wouldn’t Matt and Jared want in on this?” Chloe looked to her older brother. “Eh, I’m not close to Matt and Jared is terrible at keeping secrets or staying under cover, so I didn’t want to invite either of them and potentially blow our cover.” The Chinese boy was specifically referring to how his boyfriend overcompensated with pretending to be straight, which made it very obvious that he was secretly gay. “That’s true.” Carly nodded in agreement as she took out her video camera. “I am so ready for this. They’ll thank me if they ever get married.” The Korean girl laughed. “Carly, this is why we’re besties.” Fanny smirked. “Fanny, keep going straight.” Megan was in the passengers seat, keeping track of Kendall’s car.

“Okay, we’re here.” Kendall parked behind a 99 cents store, which was the only place nearby with somewhat free parking. There were signs saying that he needed to purchase something from the store, but they just ignored that. “I can’t wait to see LACMA!” Sophia clapped her hands together excitedly. The two walked over, crossing the bustling Los Angeles traffic and making their way to the heavily illuminated square. “It’s so beautiful.” The Thai girl trailed off, awestruck. Against the dark sky was a forest of white pillars, each carrying a beacon of light. There was something inspiring about this. As if everyone’s hopes and dreams can stand together and against the darkness. The two shared an embrace. “They’re so cute together!” Carly squeaked from afar, her camera recording everything. “Sophia, thank you for always supporting me. You were always there for me, whether I knew it or not.” Kendall looked at her graciously. “Kendall, you were the first friend I made when I transferred schools. You accepted me when others did not. I will always be grateful to you for that.” She returned. The brunette leaned in and gave her a kiss.

Reality vs Nightmares: realization 29

Whenever I’m about to embark on a new chapter in my life, I’m terrified. Mostly because I don’t know what to expect. I think it’s perfectly rational to be afraid of the things we don’t understand or anticipate. But the question is, why are we afraid? For me, I realized that it was just because of my imagination. My mind automatically defaults to the worst possible scenario and my fear exaggerates this: the end result is me being completely terrified and feeling insecure about my own abilities. The best solution I found was to embrace the transition, embrace the possibilities, and not be afraid. The worst case scenario can always be worse than wherever you end up. All you need is a chance, a slight window, to prove yourself. And once you can, then you can rise above the doubt and fear, and continue to grow into the person you want to be.

Even if your worst case scenario in that moment has been realized, it can be worse almost always; there will be exceptions, so no sassing me here. For me, my biggest fear was that my mentees would think of me as a failure. Two of them did, and it hurt a lot at first. But I got over it with time. And now I’m enjoying my life for the most part. I feared that my best friend would hate me in high school. And they did, but I managed to live through that and get past it as well. There will always be struggles and roadblocks in life. We can’t always go from point A to point B smoothly. A lot of the time, we have to take detours, and even more often, we never end up at the point B we expected to. And that is something I have had to accept more times than one.

Even if I do not end up where I expect to be, there’s no point in crying over it or being hung up and sad. Just move forward with the path you are on. And do not look back. I have feared being unemployed, I have feared failing classes, etc. In fourth grade, I got an F in history and I thought that it was the end of the world. But I managed to fight back, get a B in the next report card, and made right what was wrong. I hit rock bottom, and managed to bounce back. With my employment status, I wanted to get a management-in-training position. I thought that if I do not get that, I am a failure. But knowing my work ethic and capabilities, I do not need a fast track to get to where I need in my career. I just need to get hired, put my head down, and work my ass off.

I had lost so much sleep because of my fears and nightmares. I have been so scared to the point where I could not think correctly because of that sort of anxiety that comes with expectations and the need to fulfill them. But when it comes down to it, even if I do not meet expectations or if I fail somebody, it’s not the end of the world (for the most part, obviously exceptions exist). But for the most part, it really is not the end just because you hit the worst case scenario. Just learn how to move back up from there. If you hit rock bottom, can you really go lower? For me, after my second attempt at my life, people looked at me like I am some sort of freak. Like I needed to be locked away. But they do not know me. I know me. I know what I am capable of. And even if the rest of the world does not know that, that’s fine. The reality is, I have a future ahead of me and I will make the most of my present so that my future is better. And if my future sucks and goes to shit, then I will work my ass off and crawl out of the hole I fell into. I will accept my present and do what I can to make a brighter future. No matter how bad my nightmares are, my reality will always be better.

Cut loose from time

The gears turned. The hands ticked. The pendulum swung. The clock tower was the perfect place to hide from her troubles. It was gargantuan, ancient, and labyrinthine: getting lost was a high possibility when you entered it. Getting injured from the fragile structure, even more possible. The tower dwarfed the entire town. Everyone would know what time it was, whether they cared to or not. A girl, no older than ten, walked up the stairs, ignoring the warnings. She smiled, when she saw her friend. A snow white owl, hooting back at her. They were inside of the clock itself. “How do you do, Mr. Owl?” She curtseyed. The bird hooted back in acknowledgement of her greeting. “I wish to fly free like you. In a place where I am not always reminded of time.” The owl spread his wings, and took off through a crack in the ceiling. How badly the girl wished to be a bird, and join her friend. How she wanted to fly in the air, and feel unshackled by responsibility and urgency. But alas, she was not born an owl. She was born a human. Time worked against her. As she grew, she was held to a higher standard, because she was capable of more. Her life got more difficult to live as expectations of her continually rose. But this was the hurdle she was born with. And this is the challenge she was taught to constantly overcome. To continually rise to the occasion. To never back down or run away when she had to try harder or dig deeper. Every step forward in life was scary. It was uncertain. But all that mattered was getting it behind her. The girl knew that she could one day be free of these responsibilities and expectations. With due time.

Sky Bird: Chapter 23

It was finally Monday, first period. The moment of truth for Kendall. He sat there, nervously with Matt and Fanny, waiting for Sophia to talk in. “Hey!” Sophia ran in, panting. “Sophia! You’re late!” Mrs. Johnson frowned. “I’m so sorry!” She apologized frantically, making her way to her seat. “They locked the back gate, so I had to hope the fence.” She sighed. “At least you did the smart thing. Remember Kendall earlier this semester?” Fanny sniggered. “Shut up, Fanny.” Kendall growled. “Are you okay, though?” The green-eyed brunette turned to her. “Yeah, I am.” She nodded. “You’re not hurt or anything?” Nah. I’m used to hopping fences.” She admitted. “Learning new things about you every day.” Matt laughed. “Okay, guys. Since we can’t just have you guys doing nothing, I’m going to be putting on a movie based on a book you’ll be expected to read next year if you’re taking English 3 AP. It’s the film adaptation of Toni Morrison’s novel, Beloved. Fun fact, Oprah Winfrey played the lead!” Everyone looked at each other in amusement. “Alright, let’s do this!” Matt and Fanny shouted. “Wait, Beloved? Oh, that’s a scary novel! Carly told me about it.” Sophia turned to Kendall. “Wait, are you scared easily?” Sophia smirked. “Dude, I’m Thai and those ghosts are terrifying. I doubt anything from the American horror genre can be remotely as bad.” “Alright, let’s begin!”

“I thought you said you weren’t scared by American horror films.” Fanny shook his head at Sophia as they walked to Chemistry Honors together. “I don’t know why I lied to Kendall. I guess I didn’t want him to think I’m weak or vulnerable?” She turned to him. “I can get that, but if you’re going to be in a relationship with him, it’s perfectly fine to be honest. Yeah, it’ll be annoying that you guys will be getting all lovey-dovey-boo-hoo-I’m-so-scared-hold-me-boyfriend-annoying, but that’s just natural with young love.” “Love? I’m 16, Fanny! 16 year olds don’t fall in love!” She rolled her eyes at his comment. “You’re probably right. I mean, maybe in year, you guys will outgrow each other, break up, and block each other on FaceBook, but that’s just life.” Fanny chuckled. The Thai girl looked horrified. “Oh come on, it’s not as bad as it sounds! Even if Jared and I break up, I might be all hurt and shit first, but then I’ll get over it.” He mentioned, trying to make her feel better, but evidently failing. “Okay, I’m not going to you for love advice.” Sophia shook her head. “You’re going to go to Carly with her majestic relationship with Damian?” The Chinese boy raised his eyebrow skeptically. “Okay, touche.” Carly and Damian’s break-up was so devastating that whenever Carly’s friends see him, they outright ignore him.

“Alright, so here’s what we’re going to do today in Physics.” Ms. Park looked around. “Since we want to have some fun, we are actually going to play the marshmallow challenge. Do you guys know what that is?” A small blonde junior raised her hand. “Yes, Hannah?” “Isn’t it like Chubby Bunny? So fitting a ton of marshmallows in our mouths? And what does that have to do with Physics?” Ms. Park stifled a laugh. “No, it’s not that! It’s a game where you have four pasta noodles, tape, scissors, rope, and a marshmallow and your goal is to building the tallest, stable structure to hold the marshmallow on top.” Everyone looked at each other, concerned. “So let’s go at it individually.” She smiled, handing out the supplies. Today was going to be a very fun class. The brunette smiled to himself, thinking about how he would get the marshmallow to balance. “And if you get the highest structure, I’ll give you 5 points extra credit. More incentive!” She wanted to make sure that everyone would try on this. “I’ll give you all 15 minutes, since we need to take time to measure them and everything.”

“So it wasn’t awkward in first period?” Carly and Sophia were in the gymnasium for their fourth period together. “Nah, we watched a movie, but I lied to him. I told him I wasn’t scared easily, but who am I kidding myself?” “I’m surprised he doesn’t remember you being a scaredy-cat.” Carly giggled.” You’ve known each other for so long! Not one Halloween Party where you were scared?” “It’s more like Beloved is just scarier in general.” She admitted. “It’s not like the rest of the stereotypical scary movies in American culture. That movie actually made me want to scream and cry. It rivals Thai ghost stories.” “Uh, do I want to know?” Carly shuddered. She hated horror movies. The only person in their friend group who wasn’t scared was Megan; she loved scary movies. “But you really shouldn’t lie to Kendall. Especially if you’re about to get into a relationship with him. You guys need to trust each other.” She reasoned. “Yeah, you’re right. I’ll go talk to him after this.” Sophia wanted to make sure that whatever it was between her and Kendall, there was honesty.

“Kendall!” Sophia ran up to the brunette. It was lunch time, and he was with Matt and Jared eating lunch in front of the library. “Hey, what’s up?” He turned to see her standing next to him. “Can we talk?” “Oh. Uh, sure?” He got up and headed off with her. “I’ll see you guys later!” He waved. Matt and Jared exchanged looks of amusement. The two made their way towards the black top, where almost nobody was. “So, what is it that you wanted to talk about?” “So when we were watching Beloved, I might have lied. I told you that I was not scared by non-Thai things, and that was a half-lie. I didn’t think that American things could scare me. Except Beloved was terrifying.” The brunette began to snicker. “Wait, that’s what you wanted to tell me? That you were scared of Beloved?” He was laughing at this point. “What’s so funny? I’m trying to be honest with you, since we are…. are we in a relationship?” She looked to him as he stopped laughing. “Sorry, it was just really cute the way you thought it was that important to tell me. I appreciate your honesty, Sophia. And yeah, why the hell not? Do you want to be in a relationship?” Kendall grinned at her. “Of course! Why else would I try to be completely honest with you, right?” “Okay. I want to you to be girlfriend.” He nodded, holding her hand. “And I want you to be my boyfriend.”

“Are they holding hands?!” Megan and Fanny were shocked to see Sophia and Kendall walking into their Japanese classroom, hand in hand. “Aw, I’m so glad for them!” Carly laughed. “Oh, young love. These bitches are crazy. Make sure that they use a condom. Don’t want somebody to be somebody’s baby mama!” Sharquiqui shouted. “Uh… that’s a bit extreme.” Kendall glanced at her as they sat down. “Skye-baka is dating Puckchareon-san? Well, Puckchareon-san, be careful. You might catch his stupid.” Kawaguchi-sensei warned. Sophia just rolled her eyes at the comment and turned back to Kendall. “At least being in class with you will make Mondays go by a lot faster from now on.” She beamed at him. “Time flies when you’re having fun.” He agreed. Fanny, Megan, and Sharquiqui all groaned as Carly giggled. “I swear, if Jared and I were ever this sappy, I apologize now.” Fanny frowned. “I think I am getting physically ill from watching this.” Megan shook her head in irritation.

Panic: realization 28

Whenever I am late to things, I’d typically default to the habit of panicking. My eyes would tear up, I’d start hyperventilating, and the adrenaline kicks in for me to get moving. It’s a terrifying feeling. I get this sense of panic, where I cannot stop thinking about needing to do something. To get my closure. To finish the task. It’s all consuming, obsessive, and most importantly, something that needs to stop. People tell me all the time I need to calm down, take a breath, and relax. My personality, it’s naturally neurotic, highly stressed, and it just is not something people want to be around. The last thing somebody wants is to get panicked or scared every time they are in my company. And the last thing I want for my own health is to be constantly panicked, stressed, or terrified.

This sense of urgency that drives me being panicked, it comes from my need to complete things and my strive for perfection. But panic should not be the reaction I have to being pressed. I should be driven, I should be motivated, but I should never feel scared, helpless, or incompetent. The main reason why I feel this way is because I do not like to fail. And I do not like surprises. I don’t care if it’s a good one like surprise party. I do not like them. It also goes back to me wanting to feel like I am in control, and when I lose control of my situation, it scares me. That sort of uncertainty, my reaction to it is to relinquish control of not just my situation, but me. I shut down and freak out.

Being forced to adapt to sudden and unexpected changes frustrated me. Typically, these were changes that were out of my control; others were being incompetent, and now I am being forced to compensate. It was so frustrating. But with time pressing on, my frustration and urgency come together, and it shuts me down. I just get angry, scared, it’s a mixture of emotions that I struggle to channel properly. What I hated the most about panicking is that I did not understand how to control it. But what people were saying to me, rather than taking it personally as me being stressed equating to being annoying, I just took that as advice. I’d take a breath. I would cut off contact with the source of my stress. Between doing both, the panic goes away, along with the tunnel vision that comes with it so to speak.

My panic attacks, they stemmed from a similar feeling of me thinking very little of myself. Something I have come to realize is that I have already achieved a lot and I have a lot left to achieve. Rather than thinking about what other people think of me, I need to think of what I know about myself. If I am a capable person, what’s there to be panicked about? And if I am not, then now I have a goal to aspire to. I need to first make myself a capable person, so that I will not have to be afraid again. By becoming a capable or competent person, then sudden changes or feeling useless won’t happen. You can become the person you want to be, and ignore any fears or doubts.

 

Sky Bird: Chapter 22

“So you guys kissed?” Carly gasped. Sophia and Carly were getting brunch together on Sunday. “Yeah. It was so awkward.” Sophia put her hands on her face, embarrassed. “Oh, come on, it couldn’t have been that bad, right?” “Okay, fine. I really liked it and I thought it was sweet of him to drive all the way to my place to talk to me like that.” She confessed, putting her hands back on her lap. “So are you guys official? Or at least spoke since that night?” Carly asked before taking a sip of her tea. “Not yet. I’m really scared to.” “What’s there to be scared about?” The Korean girl raised an eyebrow. “You guys both confessed to each other. Isn’t the next step to start dating?” “I’ve never done this before, neither has he, so it’s just really awkward.” Sophia shook her head, trying not to blush. “Hmm… Well I still remember from when I used to date Damian, how he’d always take me on dates and stuff. Granted, we kissed after maybe the third date, so you guys are going in a very different direction than I did.” Carly chuckled. “Kissing before the actual dating? But I’d say just go on a couple dates with him. And if it doesn’t work out, just laugh it off and go back to being friends. Don’t let the romantic feelings make anything weird, okay?” “Alright, Carly. I’ll try. But if things go south, then what?” “Then we just cut Kendall out of our lives. Easy peasy!” She laughed.

“You didn’t talk to her since then?!” Jared and Matt looked at Kendall in disbelief. “Well…no? I’m not sure what to do.” Kendall sighed. He felt like he blew it royally. “Don’t say that. I’m sure she appreciated how straightforward you were, you know, driving to her place and talking to her in person? It shows that you’re a decent person.” Matt pointed out. “How did you and Fanny end up together again?” Kendall looked at Jared. “We started dating in the beginning of the semester. It was pretty awkward actually…” The blonde started. “Why was it awkward?” “Because it just happened for us. The first time, uh.. well… so I might have been checking him out in the locker room? He was taking off his shirt, and then I noticed his butt and how perky-” “Okay, can we please not get that much into detail?” Matt interrupted, clearly uncomfortable with Jared’s summarization of Fanny’s body. “Okay, but basically Fanny caught me checking him out. And he thought it was hilarious, because he had a feeling I was gay because I kept saying words like ‘fag’ and he had a feeling I was checking him out for quite a while.” “And?” Kendall was not quite sure where this story was going. “Well, he and I just started talking more and we started to go on dates. It was pretty thrilling at first, because it was all done in secret, but we started to realize how badly we needed to go public about it. Both of us felt like it was an itch that needed to be scratched, and that’s when we came out to you. Well, accidentally.” Jared chuckled. “But for the dates, did you guys just initiate it?” Kendall pressed, wanting to figure out how this whole concept of dating worked. “Yeah, we kept talking, and then I was like ‘let’s get dinner sometime!’ and then it happened. We kissed on the first date and everything.” The blonde laughed. “Alright, so I’ll just text her now.” Kendall sighed, pulling out his phone. “Hey, Sophia. Are you free for a meal anytime this week?” He sent. “Sure. What time?” She shot back.

“Kendall! Let’s go!” Gil tugged at his older brother’s arm. They were supposed to go to Little Tokyo to hang out together for the rest of the day. “Alright, give me a sec.” Kendall rushed to pull on his socks and shoes. “Okay, coming now!” The older brunette ran down the stairs and joined his little brother in the car. “Alright, let’s go!” The engine revved and the two left the apartment complex. “Why did you want to go to Little Tokyo again?” Kendall looked at his brother. “Mostly because I miss actual Japan.” Gil sighed. The middle schooler has been having Japan-withdrawals since spring break had ended. “Well, I’m with you on that. I miss Japan too.” He sighed. It truly was a wonderful country. And Little Tokyo would probably be the best approximation to it outside of Asia. “Hold on, I’m going to try to park.” Kendall saw a parking structure just off the Japanese Village Plaza. “Alright, and we’re parked!”

“I love this place!” Gil and Kendall were getting takoyaki from a small stand across the street from the Tokyo souvenir store. Sitting down on a bench underneath the large umbrella in the center of the plaza, the two brothers continued to snack on takoyaki while talking about life. “So for high school, Algebra 2 Honors, English 1 Honors, and Biology Honors?” Gil looked to his brother for class suggestions. “Yeah, that’s probably the best. And which sport were you thinking?” “Either football or cross country.” “Hm.. knowing you, try cross country. Megan, Chloe, and Fanny can look after you.” Kendall pointed out. “That’s true. Fanny’s on varsity so he can help.” “Yeah, I’ll try cross country, and if I don’t like that, I’ll try football or maybe even soccer?” He looked the brunette hopefully. “If you do soccer, let me know. Jared’s going to be captain next year.” “Will do!” Gil grinned.

“So what’s for dinner?” The younger Skye looked to his brother. They were still in Little Tokyo, but it was already night time. “How about Kula?” “Ooh! The revolving sushi place?” Gil’s face lit up immediately. The two made their way to the restaurant and put their names on the waiting list. While they were waiting, the brothers were admiring the array of paper lanterns that hovered over the plaza. It was breathtaking to see the white and red orbs illuminating the blue tiled roofs of the buildings nearby. This sort of view made Kendall wish he could move to Japan. Never has he felt so grateful to be part Japanese. “Oh, look, it’s our turn!” The two turned and saw the hostess calling their name. “Let’s get some sushi on our bellies!” Kendall patted his stomach jokingly. “Yup!” The two walked back over to the restaurant, and took their seats in front of the revolving sushi belt. It was so interesting, watching plates of sushi just move past them. But for some reason, Kendall just could not stop thinking about her. No matter what he tried to do to distract himself. He could only think about spending these memories with Sophia.