Big changes.

Matt and I have ended our relationship. All 12 years of it has come to an end. We have agreed that we are always family, that he will continue to be my emergency contact, and that we still love each other. But we will not be spending our lives with one another anymore.

This is one of the hardest truths hitting me. It is like losing a piece of myself.

And I will make it out alive, in one piece, and strong.

I will learn and discover new parts of myself, new pieces of me that carry meaning, new ways to look at my past.

I love you Matt.

I love myself too.

This is the time to fill out what that means.

we are going mental. scratching and clawing at one another as my mother’s breath weakens.

Her vocal cords shape, reshape, concoct sounds. oxygen trapped in water bubbles unable to make their way through airways. the heart pumps, fighting to resist the pressures of water logged lungs.

Speaking is exhausting.

Here i am home yearning to speak to my mother. ax oceans, ax pain, ax resentment, to reach to that place called love. To find a motherly love i have always found hard to access.

amid soap opera arguments between fucked up adults, cacophonies of shattering glass and screams the backdrop to our childhood. i can’t hear you mother. often i can’t hear you. and neither could you, me.

here i am home, sinking into myself. world diminished. anxiety rising. there’s fire in my belly. It’s fuel is rage. It is smothering compassion. compassion I know I should feel now, filial piety I know should kick in now. because this is what chinese kids do.

my father’s stubbornness. yearning for a life he hadn’t lived. compensating for time lost in youth. it’s the capitalist dream. he is far from it. at 70 he still wants to make it big. so big that it’s threatening to blow his blood vessels trying to cramp distant dreams into the last 20. or so years he thinks he has. I am not so sure.

success is so elusive

success is so imposed

success is such a figment of our imagination

success is such a mindfuck.

and here I am, a failure in their eyes.

i have failed to work for an investment bank. i have failed to be a doctor. i have failed to be a professor. i have failed to bring in the big bucks

so no matter what passion and creativity drives me. i am in their eyes, a failure and this is a heavy burden to bear. so heavy that i cannot ask questions now. so heavy that when they say they are broke and i could have made a difference if i only valued their dreams more than my life, i have only silence and anger and rage to retreat to.

home home home can be so brutal.

i am home without my family.

worried about their health. my mother’s physical health, my father’s mental.

we all going mental. scratching and clawing at one another as my mother’s breath weakens, oxygen fighting to make it through dampened airways. weak heart, fluid filled lungs. it is a battle to speak.

vocal cords shape, reshape, concoct shapes. oxygen trapped in water bubbles unable to make their way through. the heart pumps, unable to resist the pressures of water logged lungs.

i am yearning to speak to my mother. ax oceans, ax pain, ax resentment, to reach to that place called love. a motherly love i have always found hard to access.

amid soap opera style arguments, cacophonies of shattering glass and screams. i can’t hear you mother. often i can’t hear you. and neither could you.

here i am at home sucking into myself. world diminished. anxiety rising. there’s a fire pit in my belly. blame goes around.

because i haven’t been home, i don’t deserve to know?

because i am choosing a better life for myself, i don’t deserve to feel anger right now?

my father’s stubbornness. yearning for a life he hadn’t lived. compensating for time lost in youth. it’s the capitalist dream. a 70 he still wants to make it big. so big that it’s blown his brain blood vessels trying to cramp life into the last 20. or so years he thinks he has.

success is so elusive

success is so imposed

success is such a figment of our imagination

and here i sit i am wondering why i am such a failure in their eyes.

i have failed to work for an investment bank. i have failed to be a doctor. i have failed to be a professor. i have failed to bring in the big bucks

so no matter what passion and creativity drives me. i am in their eyes, a failure and this is a heavy burden to bear. so heavy that i cannot ask questions now. so heavy that when they say they are broke and i could have made a difference if i didn’t so treasure my life, i have only silence and anger and rage to retreat to

home home home you are so brutal.

so tired. so labored.

why am i talking about someone who doesn’t care or give a damn about me

and their behavior fucking up my life

universe, what are u trying to teach me.

sitting here in a hotel in Vancouver BC with the person who is most important to me.

i feel gratitude. toward M. toward the friends who hosted us today for their generosity and joyousness.

when you enjoy your life, it exudes to people around you. this is what i felt visiting the folks today. they love this city. they love their lives. their daily beings in motion. and they really wanted to share that joy with M and i. it was so precious.

i want to be like this too. i really wanna enjoy my life.

and have gratitude for it.

 

it’s thirty wonderful for me this year.

a few changes. i felt isolated, sad and lonely the last days of 2013. not being with my family — they had a reunion back home and would regularly call to check in with me — and M being away to go home for 2 weeks — all that was really hard. i felt pity for myself. i felt that people around felt pity for me. i hate that feeling. my response was to shut down and isolate into my own world — unproductive, addictive tv watching world. self pity is a gross feeling.

but there was also some fun. we went to a nice cabin for a few days.   took my mind away from myself.

and i’m back. in between figuring myself out, intellectual stimulation, and addictive tv watching — i am back.

so i will start by listing out some things i am proud of:

  • nursing: i passed nursing school, the NCLEX and i found a job
  • i learned how important it is to block out people’s cynicism and ridicule and more importantly, to respect my own efforts — being the one to work hard in front of everyone can be very vulnerable and shame inducing. but there is great strength in it
  • i came to terms with the idea that i am lonely and have emptiness in my life.
  • i came to terms with the idea that i have only a few people in my life who truly love me and vice versa. whom i can count on as family.
  • i came to terms with the idea that there is no longetivity in community — political or social or otherwise — it’s a group of people who come together to do something for a while. and sometimes they leave, sometimes they stay, but they always transform and transition.
  • i am coming to terms with not having to be the nice person, aka a pushover and also it’s polar opposite: the angry militant person.

maybe there should be more to this list.

right now, i feel more intensely that i need to be the most that i can be. rather than always be waiting for someone else to collaborate. for good and for bad, i know that i have it in me to be a workaholic. i can work very hard. but there are people around me who are not like this. i dont have to wait for them.

growing up, my father warned me against emptiness. emptiness, he says, is for the weak, the lonely, the spiritually diminished. strength is for those who are able to feel fully, unempty, undepressed, happy, joyous. so with emptiness, i feel guilt. guilt for knowing this could happen but not having done enough to avert it.

how can i avert this emptiness, when it is brought about by the false dreams and wishes of this society. dreams that i buy into too. for seemingly good reasons.

i feel guilty i am unable to support my parents. we say 离乡背井 to go find a life outside of home. to bring back to home what we have gathered. but i failed.

the realization that the number of people i feel inferior around, has grown, and perhaps will continue to grow.

i don’t want to feel inferior. to feel ashamed of me. but i do.

ugly, broke, trying too hard for something almost unachievable — my hard work so apparent to everyone, as is my failure to attain despite that hard work — do you know how vulnerable this makes me feel? to those who don’t deserve it? to those who will stomp on it and make fun of it? who will make gossip out of my earnesty? i am stupid. i am lazy. i am unfillial. i am lousy.

this emptiness has been building up increasingly  all through my nursing school. it didn’t happen right now. this emptiness was a “fight or flight” phenomenon during school — i was motivated only by the extreme fear of being kicked out. i lacked more motivation and desire.

now i seek motivation and desire in a new job — a new challenge. and i am refused that too

i am sad. but at least today i can write to articulate these feelings. so they aren’t jammed in my heart.

i hope i have this motivation tomorrow. writing brings me into life.

 

It is as if the clearness of the lake water, the vast expanse of the night sky glaring into the milky way, into galaxies beyond my comprehension, beg for honesty as reciprocity. My transparency with myself, unanchored by the nagging needs of emotional gratification, or selfish delusions, merely a decent exchange for making a spectacle out of the intimate inner workings of separate galactical bodies and biospheres. And I offer my humble thankfulness. Not my interview-style “I appreciate..” jargon. But a deeper level of gratitude, where the edges of my distinguished, distinct self, melt away a little, into a unity with the intentions of this vast universe.

Ironically, with that expansion, I feel again, anger; again, resentment; again, determination — some things have happened, to me, that have distanced me from my ability to feel a joy at gratitude; why? where and when did I lose it?

When I looked into the night sky scattered with stars last night, I realized that the names that have marked my pain, my turning in, my turning away, can dissolve into this. Because in this magnitude, I cannot let you seize my attentions, my emotions, my life forces. You suck them too hard, too long, and leave me dry, empty, crusty, unable to light a feeling beyond a mere spark. that washes out as blendly as it came.

here we are

here we are

i worked my ass off the past 2 years. i passed my boards with a lot of hard work and focus. i thought i could enjoy this all when i was done but here i am, a ball of stress and nerves. jumping from stressing about one thing to the next.

i am struggling to find myself again.  i didn’t think it would apply to me, but i think in the last few months of nursing school, i did lose myself. i lost what drove me as a person, as a feeling emotional thinking person. it wasn’t just nursing school. it was also the drama and tribulations from the world/scene i was a part of. and now, i just want to shrug it all off. leave that world behind.

but because my self has been so intertwined in that world, i dont know how much of ME too, i am shrugging off. leaving me a husk of my former self.

so transformation is change, abrupt new change, shedding. i shedded. but i put on a new outfit that reflects concerns i barely care or give or shit about deep down. that needs shedding too.

 

its another school year. and me, i am so uninspired to study. somehow i think my brains got fried last quarter with the haphazardness and stress of those few months. as stressful as it was, i really enjoyed my clinical group last quarter. i liked the people, the conversations, enjoyed the challenges, the hospital and the patients. I really felt that I challenged and pushed myself to grow. I was also inspired. Amid the scattering of the other communities, I found some refuge and solace among my classmates, when I didnt expect it. I miss that sense of inspired growth. I also felt more connected with other parts of my life, with family and friends outside of this country.

This quarter feels like a drab compared to that. I am more overwhelmed with stress and anxiety about job searches. In fact, it’s sorta clouding my mind. Filled with a sense of unaccomplishment for not having pursued a nurse tech job enough, or a hospital work experience sufficiently. Is this part of the turning-30 blues? I suddenly feel like I havent done enough to be 30 by now. Usually I get over this. But somehow these first days of January, it feels particularly depressing.

How to reinspire myself? Writing is part of it. I have been upset with myself for not writing enough. Upset with myself for slacking on what I know is what keeps me going. Well, I want to do more consistent with this. Take advice from friends, and get those brain cells working. I have many ideas everyday — I do think quite a bit!! – but putting them down on paper/typing them up, feels like a commitment to hold on to those ideas, and therefore to make them make more sense, to revise them. And I am not ready for that level of commitment!!!!

Can I also just add that I am not terribly excited about my instructor for school? She really irritates me. I know I have to get over it. Do the best I can.

Some Things I Want To Do These Next Few Months So I Wont Drive Myself Crazy With Unnecessary Stress And Anxiety

–> Fall into a job search routine.

I need to realize that I really can’t keep stressing about jobs. I will have a routine for job searches and stick to it. Once every 2 weeks, spend 1-2 hours looking up jobs and sending off my resume. Create a check list for places I am applying to and JUST DO IT! And pray that I get a job.

–> Surgery

Same thing. I can’t really stress about this anymore. I am recognizing that I have a lot of anxiety around this procedure. And the lack of space to discuss this procedure is causing my anxiety to be channelled toward job anxiety and schedule anxiety. I don’t want to belittle the procedure, but it is not something I really can control at this point in time. 

–> Spending lots of time back home to recover from this procedure

I have to make a decision. Right now, the tentative decision is that if I don’t find a job by Oct , I will head home for the surgery. I will spend a minimum amount of time back home (it might be 1 month to 1 1/2 months). This will include time for my own recovery as well as the other party’s. In the best case scenario I will have a job that I can ask for leave from. In the worst case scenario, I will resume job search when I get back. It will be before Dec 2013 so it’s not that distant from my graduation. This is the schedule that a lot of people are on, actually. 

Regardless, this is not something I can stress about right now. There is a certain level of acceptance I need to have, a certain level of courage to face the uncertainty, and a certain level of strength and flexibility to deal with transitions. This last part, I admittedly am NOT GOOD AT. So. 

–> Meditation. Breathing. Walks

I need to take walks. I need to meditate and I need to go back to doing yoga again. These have helped me with stress relief before and I think I need it now more than ever. These also shaped my sense of balance, made me feel healthy and motivated.

–> Clinical

I foresee a lot of biting my tongue moments with my instructor. I feel anxious and nervous. I just need to stay away from her where possible. I also want to DO MY BEST with the careplans and the patients. I guess part of me is really burnt out on careplans and putting in a lot of effort in them, but I need to also just steady myself and be prepared. Just try my best. Be a good nurse. Be motivated. Be inspired.

–> School

Super uninspired. A lot to study. Makes me wanna shut down. But, I know myself. What I need is consistency. I need to read the textbook, review and do NCLEX questions. I plan to do the Kaplan stuff. Do ATI review as much as I can. That’s it right? What more? In the meantime, also to review stuff from other quarters. It IS manageable. I AM a good student. I CAN do it. I just have to be consistent.

Study groups are really really good for me.

–> Relationships

It’s not about drama or not drama. Its about being able to cope with them. Being able to have boundaries. Knowing who the good peeps are in my life. Those I can count on. One thing that’s really important for me: DECATASTROPHIZE. Don’t be attached to what people say about me. Just do what I do with integrity, humility, dignity and effort. Always try. Don’t give up. 

Remember my roots. I was never meant to be political, never meant to be smart, never meant to be intelligent. Everything and everyone around me told me I was stupid but I was able to always try my best. Learn from mistakes. Able to apologize when I was wrong. This is tender, this is deep, and this is resilience that can keep me alive for a long time. 

So, keep connections and relationships alive. Put work in them but don’t let them burn me out. BOUNDARIES. Think as I feel as well. Not be overwhelmed with emotions.

Move forward, please. Gently, be aware of my surroundings, but keep on movin’

–> Better relationship to computer and technology

in other words: Dont be addicted

–> Call home

My parents do wonders for me. I care for them and they are part of who I am and what makes my life meaningful.

–> Write. Value my thoughts.

Yes, all that thinking about trauma, perpetuation of trauma, suffering, buddhism. Someday that will be a piece. Someday it will kick in as very valuable knowledge that I tossed around in my mind that will save me from despair, depression and all those nasties.

–> Appreciate people I love.

Obviously. But seriously, make time to do this

More, more, more. Always more.

AM I INSPIRED ALREADY?