Damn real: chapter 16

“So she moved out?” Claire and Wei looked at Namie in shock. “Yup. She moved to Fremont, so basically Silicon Valley, and she’s an engineer right now.” Namie summarized. It had been two months since Emiri had left Kenta and Namie had rejected Layton. “But what about her kids?” “Apparently my parents are raising them. And they had to fight so hard with that fucking idiot’s parents just to keep custody of them. One of their neighbors, Ms. Keans kept on telling me on Facebook that they could not stop hearing all of the yelling and arguing from next door.” Namie laughed. “And speaking of the fucking idiot, how is he taking it all?” “Badly. But he did not even try to stop her, which is the funny thing. He chose to let her go, and now he’s all pissy because nobody there’s to financially support him?” “Wow, he’s… just a piece of shit.” Claire snorted. “Cheers to that.” They all raised their glasses in unison. The three were at Le Diplomat for brunch, while Namie was just telling them about her experiences with boys and the recent development in her younger sister’s life. “But get this. He told Emiri when she went to grab her things that she was going to fail, come back to him, and beg for his hand in marriage again.” She laughed. “And now she’s an electrical engineer, while he’s an unemployed bum. So I guess who’s probably begging for who now?” Wei giggled. “I… may have also told my parents somewhere in the confusion of everything that I left the church too, since Emiri upright told them that she denounced her ways first.” Namie smirked. “How did they take that?” Wei’s eyes widened in fear. “Eh, I hung up the phone and blocked their numbers. Last I checked, Ms. Keans told me that they apparently are going around claiming they have no daughters or children, just granD.C.hildren.” She rolled her eyes. “Whatever. You’re better off without them.” Claire assured her. “They were morons from the get go.” “Moronic Mormons. The alliteration in that saying speaks the truth.” Wei agreed.

“But speaking of better off without, how about your baes? How is that going?” “Well, I sort of just stopped doing dates entirely.” Namie shrugged. “Well, from what I’ve heard, maybe you should think about going out with Peter again? He seemed to the be the least offensive out of the four of them.” Claire did make a slight point there. Out of the four, Layton and Peter were the two Namie spent the most time with. “You could be dating somebody who is cute, capable, and smart. And in our industry, somebody who can pay the bills in the household is nice to have.” Claire pointed out. “Hey, not everyone can be famous Instagram beauty gurus like you, Claire.” Wei rolled her eyes. Despite her suggestion, Claire was actually more than capable of paying and supporting herself on her side career; she was only working in the front desk for fun, not because she has to. Granted, all three of them were in that similar situation. Wei’s two jobs put her well above upper middle class, while Namie can afford to live in one of the nicer buildings in the city on just her own stock money. “Well, I guess money aside, since that really doesn’t seem to matter to any of us, he did seem to make you the happiest out of the four? I remember how excited you were for each and every date with Peter.” “That was because he was the first boy I ever went out with. And there were other boys after him too, all of whom I rejected, so don’t forget that. Peter, he was such a prick.” Namie growled. There was a reason why she had no spoken to Peter in almost four months now. “He almost let me die during a date, and all he did was laugh at me. I’m sorry, but that screams ‘grade-A asshole’ to me. In bright, neon letters.” The accountant shook her head in frustration. That was the last time she was going to let her ex-father dictate her life. That man now meant nothing to her.

“Honestly, I don’t think that any of them are good for you.” Wei stated, much to Claire’s surprise. “I might be biased because we’re related, but you are too good for any of them. One is a jackass, one is an egomaniac, one is too horny for his own good, and one is a geezer. I’d say either keep looking, and this time, without your ex-father’s guidance, since he no longer has any pull or influence on your life anyways, or you could just focus on yourself. Forget about trying to win over these boys, and focus on winning over yourself.” Wei made a really good point there. In chasing after a boyfriend or a man, and seeking that validation from somebody who was both attractive and qualified, Namie had lost sight of who she was. She allowed herself to be defined by who she was dating and their accomplishments, and not her own. It echoed what she last told Layton, about trying to learn more about who she was and what she really wanted. She had not figured that out for herself, and it had been two months already. Granted, she could have been an accomplished individual, but she knows that with her potential, she can go on to achieve greater things. Perhaps, now is the time to focus on being better than a Harvard student or an accountant for Deloitte. If she could turn her back on those offers, as well as all four of those incredibly accomplished men, then she could become thing greater than the sum of them. Looking at Emiri, and seeing how far she can come in two months, turning her life around entirely, it was inspirational. But this was a message to her as well. She could do that, if she honed in on a single passion, and pursued it with all of her determination and focus. The big question that still needed to be answered was, what would that be?

“Here’s your check. And for you, here is something else.” Their waiter placed the receipt on the table before handing a piece of paper to Namie. “Huh?” She raised an eyebrow as he walked off. Unfolding it, she frowned. It was him name, ‘Niall’, written next to a phone number. “Oh my God, he gave you his phone number?” Wei gasped. “Girl, you need to lock that down. He is a cutie.” Claire giggled. “A cutie working as a waiter? Uh.. that sounds like a lack of life ambition.” The idol scoffed. “Oh, and I forgot. You’re Wei Ishigo, right?” Startled, Wei turned to see Niall standing besides her. Luckily, he had not heard what she said, judging from the large smile on his face, though it could just have been how good he was at putting on a friendly front. “Oh, yeah, I am.” She nodded, trying to shake off the fear. “Sorry about scaring you like that. I’m not a stalker or anything, I swear. But my little sister, Kimmy, she is a huge fan of you. Could I get your autograph for her?” He looked at her excitedly. “Oh, why of course.” She agreed as he handed her a pen and paper. “Thank you. It will mean the world for her.” “So her name is Kimmy with a ‘y’?” “Yes.” “Alright, here you go. Thanks for recognizing me. I’m honestly not used to having a huge fan base outside of Asia.” She smiled. “No, thank you. Your music is a huge inspiration to her. She’ll love this.” He beamed, walking off. “Oh, and before I forget. If you don’t want to call me or anything, that’s cool with me. Meeting Wei Ishigo, I think that makes up for getting a rejection, right?” He chuckled, turning away from Namie and embarrassingly walking away. “Okay, waiter or not, he is cute as hell. Four words for you, girl. Lock that shit down.” Wei laughed and she high-fived Claire in agreement.

Advertisements

romanced: dream

A majority of us are raised in a society where we go to school, get a job, get married, have a family, and then our children continue that cycle. Where I am at currently in my life is post-going to school, but pre-getting a job or I am even further away from getting married; I have very little experience with relationships and romance in general. I only recently had my first relationship, and we agreed that the title was too… intense, and that we would prefer to stay as friends who date exclusively first, as we get to know each other better.

I am embarrassed to admit that I would actually want to be in a relationship. Not for the sake of being in one so that I am not single or to check part of another box off the unspoken to-do list of life, but more for the life experience that comes from it. Even if this relationship does not lead to marriage but rather ends sourly in a break-up, I don’t mind so long as I can learn something more about myself from the experience. Just being a part of the ride is enough to make me happy. To understand what it means to be somebody else’s significant other, while at the same time, being able to see a person as my own, it is important for me. I want to know that somebody out there who can make me feel and act that way exists.

The concept of love and relationships, it’s not something that can be approached logically. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why we as humans are always so fascinated by the idea. No matter what we try to find in somebody else as a mate, sometimes, our hearts may not always agree. Let’s say we want somebody who is tall, Caucasian, and muscular, but we end up in a relationship with somebody who is medium-height, African American, and scrawny. Yet, we are not un-attracted to the African American, despite them being not what we would prefer. And that is because of what they have to offer beneath the surface. While they do not physically resemble what we would want in an ideal mate, the personality and ethics of this African American appeals to us.

The concept of love has a lot of gray areas. For example, one might view a woman getting hit by her husband as domestic violence without any context. But what if the woman wanted her husband to hit her, because that was her kink? I’m not going to explore that idea more, because it is a very…awkward topic, but you get the idea. There are other emotions, primal, hormonal, and hard to understand in general, that cloud our judgement and make us act beyond reason and logic. Yet, that’s what makes being romanced such an exciting and terrifying journey. The unknown does not necessarily settle well with me, but being able to single out that special somebody out of the several millions of people in the world, it’s a wonderful feeling. And it’s a feeling that every human being deserves to have, or at least in the world of my featherlight dreams.

insecurity: realization 37

For me, whenever I get competitive, it stemmed from insecurity or nervousness. I used that sort of “you’re going down!” attitude as a facade because I did not want others to realize how fearful or intimidated I was of them. But the big question here is, why am I so keen to compare myself to anybody else? Why could I never be happy with being just me? Looking at who I am now, I am perfectly happy with a lot of my qualities. I am upbeat, likable, silly, hardworking, and caring. I feel like I have hardly changed from when I was a kid, on the inside, anyways. I just tried my best to stay true to who I am and the values I stood by. But when I was faced with so many external factors, I found myself lost, strayed from the person I knew I was.

For me, being raised by Asian immigrant parents, that was probably the first part. Your “family friends” are just complete assholes who brag about their children’s accomplishments, and when you do not have anything accomplished because you are five years younger than them and can hardly speak English, then things get ugly. I still remember one of them saying that I was “unfixable and undisciplined” because I was acting like how almost any three year old would, in other words, rowdy and rambunctious. And because of that, my parents cracked the whip on me. Possibly literally. My earlier childhood is still a blur, but given my dad’s military background, getting hit was highly probable. Asian parents want to make each other feel like their children are inferior. And the trickle-down effect is that the children feel insecure.

When children feel insecure, they become competitive. I can say this form firsthand experience in high school. I had to deal with so many people who were in-your-face about their accomplishments. They wanted to intimidate you, because they felt insecure about themselves. Nobody can predict the future. No matter how much you have going for you, how self-assured you are, there will always be that seed of doubt lingering in the back of your conscience. The what-if’s and worst-case scenario’s. Unfortunately, these doubts are not ones you can really shake off. You can minimize them, but they always need to exist in some proportion, because they represent you being realistic and practical. If you never think about the worst-case scenario to a situation, you will find yourself in a very bad place mentally and emotionally should all hell break loose and it actually occurs. That being said, insecurity makes people come off as intense and competitive. A lot of it has to do with them being unable to lessen their doubts.

Whether your insecurity stems from the people you surround yourself with or the doubts you are unable to contain, the way you channel it should never be in such a way that others around you get harmed. Being competitive or intimidating to overcompensate for these doubts, it’s unhealthy and destructive. I speak from personal experience as both the harmfully competitive one and the one who was targeted by others. The question is, why did I need to get insecure? Why could I not love myself? A huge amount of it had to do with others doubting me, and it made me doubt myself. I let my environment get to me. But, in almost every case, you should never let other people tell you how to live your life. Nor should you ever let your life revolve around another person. I let that happen, and it caused my entire existence to become one of paranoia and anxiety. Always put yourself first. Love yourself for being who you are, and never get that validation from somebody else.