Run the mile

schtudThere’s an impossible list of things to do before the paper of papers is due. If not for a fear of being intellectually inadequate as in not smart enough,Β it’s an even greater test of my discipline and ability to stay focused. I can submit a mediocre thing, but I’m not sure if I want to.

For the longest time I’ve been told and it’s occurred to me as well that I’m unfit and it’s often felt I wasn’t cut out for this. I may have taken a zillion detours to the many things I’ve wanted to do most in college and even in philosophy, but here I am and there’s an opportunity to make a little dent in our theories of thought. And maybe I’ll surprise myself.

You can go the distance,
you can run the mile,
you can walk straight through hell with a smile

Tbh,

*Written, well tweeted lol, as I risked looking like an honest fool and this might be the only good thing that came out of it haha steps towards being less inhibited and hey maybe I’m back on the blog

There’s an honesty you owe others, yourself, and more importantly, the moments.

It gets tiring, having to tiptoe around a fear of being seen as weak, emotional, sentimental, soft, or sweet. It’s nice to be able to give people some kind of honesty that reveals parts of your most unapologetic self, along with your real thoughts and feelings. How else do we make more meaningful connections?

If something means what it does to you, let it be known, call, send an embarrassingly long message before things change and moments are gone.

I guess that’s how you do all that live and love thing a lot,Β and you owe it to yourself to do it ever so honestly and free of all your crippling fears.

We have no control of others’ choices but we can’t let that inhibit us from being ourselves. What they choose to do and how they react is a reflection of them and in no way related to what we truly think and feel about them, unconditionally and unafraid. It’s something to be able to look back with a smile about how we were fully there and alive, and human in our moments with others.

 

Mary Lou “Lion Heart” Retton

*Since it’s Olympic season, although it’s barely televised over here, I just wanted to share a wonderful moment that happened to me in the sea ofΒ Simone Biles news.

This is Mary Lou Retton. She’s an Olympic gold medalist in artistic gymnastics. πŸ… She’s an icon. My uncle says she was America’s darling. She changed the face of gymnastics becoming the first American woman to win individual gold, beating the Romanians, who together with the Soviets, had dominated the sport for decades back then. Moreover, I just think she has this bubbly, energetic personality that made everything she did absolutely captivating. It translated on the floor.

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Two nights ago I tweeted that 1984 was a golden year. And part of the reason I love 1984 so much is Mary Lou. Just look at her fire. πŸ”₯ And to my amazement, she acknowledged the tweet! Her verified account. Just to make sure, I checked her likes and it’s not like she’s the type that goes around liking fan tweets, she mostly likes sports related announcements. Boy was I happy. I freaked out for a good 20 minutes. I really appreciate famous people that still acknowledge fans. It’s just a tiny effort on their part but it sure does brighten any fan’s day

I get so teary-eyed every time I watch this. Just listen to Bella Carolli energetically narrate history.

If it isn’t obvious, aside from tennis, artistic gymnastics is my favorite Olympic sport. Every four years, I look forward to seeing people achieve what looks like the impossible and I wish my folks enrolled me in gymnastics classes growing up. Hooray for small, strong people.

But there’s just something about gymnastics back in the day. It was a lot more about form, artistry, creativity, and grace. Today the athletes are inarguably pushed to physical limits, but it’s because the sport has centered on stunts and the difficulty of extreme flips and tricks. Props to Simone Biles for quite literally defying gravity and challenging physics. But I miss the performers. I think Mary Lou wasΒ one of the best performers out there and her perfect 10 athleticism that was no accident either. It was also just part of the technique that made up the rest of her show.

She’s such a hero not just because of her gold or perfect 10s but because of her fighting spirit. I just really look up to her flame. You can see it in her eyes and her candidness gives away her passion. Most of all you can see it in her smile.

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Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit.

β€”Mary Lou Retton

Toy Stories

Earlier we had our annual (sometimes biannual but sometimes we skip) garage sale. After what feels like three moves and more than two decades of growing up and out, I surveyed the mini bazaar in ourΒ lanai hoping not to sneeze from the dust. Nobody wants to buy my pink gingham dress from when I was fourteen. Everyone insistsΒ to pay too little for that literal hot dog floater I climbed on in the poolΒ when I was ten. I see my brothers’ old matching toddler clothes and think about how they still look nothing alike but brothers nonetheless. My mom’s now vintage bags and clothes from the 90s have been such a joy to salvage. Is this the throwaway society I read about the evils of capitalism? Another man’s trash is another man’s treasure? We’ll donate the rest. The old you’s belongings will be the older you’s pocket money after a hopefully successful garage sale.

After what feels like three moves, more than two decades of growing up and out, I know there will probably be more moves. We can’t hold on to every single thing other than the hope we start to buy less but more in terms of quality. I guess they’re just treasures we can’t drag along or keep in boxes to line our walls. Earlier we had our annual garage sale and it was a sight to see bits of our childhood and memories on display for usually less than a hundred. Thank you to everyone who helped and everyone who came. Money can’t buy the underlying value of my Hello Kitty cassette player or theΒ toy cars andΒ building blocks from my brothers’ long gone playtime two to three houses ago.

Cerulean blue

Ever seen The Devil Wears Prada? I saw it a few times when it first came out and as a partly tomboyish 12 year old girl with a fairly stylish mom seated next to me, I didn’t bother grasping the whole story. I thought I got what I needed to know. Someone like Anne Hathaway’s Andy, someone I knew from dorky to princess on Princess Diaries, could go from badly dressed to Paris Fashion Week, with a little patience and a good eye.

Now on its 10th anniversary, I want to watch the movie again. It seems relevant because I too assume I want to become a serious journalist, like the demanding devil’s right hand set out for bigger things outside the industry she first looked down on with her new sense of confidence and perhaps what you could call style. But there’s more to story than the underling growing up and out, changing through a very staged 2006 wardrobe that’s nevertheless fascinating to see. Rachel Lubitz writes just a few days ago How, In One Monologue, The Devil Wears Prada Nailed the Cultural Appropriation Issue.

Before you try to immerse yourself in an industry or culture, or mock it while appearing to embrace it (like Andy), learn the history. Because, after all, in fashion, a blue sweater is not just a blue sweater, but the result of many different people working very hard to give you something exciting. Every garment has a story.

Have a little respect.

To Madison, Streep’s monologue was the lightbulb. What Priestley is doing in that scene, essentially, is exposing how dismissive and unknowledgeable Andy is of the culture she’s taking part in β€” a culture that she previously viewed as frivolous.

So many of us, me included, have that tendency to view certain industries as frivolous, don’t we? Yet one way or another we all partake in them.

Despite how much of serious (still not straight news but I guess features and lifestyle) journalism I thought I had to be a part of, a part of me still looks to the left every now and then. The fashion industry repels the side of me that works under the motion that I have to do something sensible with my degree. Ironically I’ve written two final papers about philosophy and fashion, haha. Maybe it repels my face that never looks good in makeup for more than two hours and can’t stand on heels for three. There is however a quite as large side of me that’s drawn to fashion beyond its aesthetic appeal. Though I’ll never be a slave to it like my mom warned and how some of the characters in the film have shown, who knows? I might hate to love and love to hate working in it if I choose to strut into that direction for a change.

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*Here’s another 10th anniversary related opinion article about the film. It criticizes the film but I think moreover, it shoots down the many assumptions people have about how they think the film should be as oppose to letting it just be.Β 

A little surprised and a whole lot thankful

Today to my absolute surprise, I had myself quite a rare and fair happy day. And in my attempt to bask in the afterglow of sweat and rain, I’m going to write a little about it.

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I don’t know if it’s sheer luck, coincidence, or fate but some things out of my ordinary happened throughout the day.

And I’d just like to say, thank you, Universe, for giving me this one.

Although I’m running on just two hours of rest and there’s no denying I dozed off once or twice, I’m still feeling pretty energetic from all the that’s happened in just one little day and in school if you’d believe! Little miracles do happen in Taft. They happened to me in the form of pleasant surprises, nothing huge or tangible. This isn’t an everyday thing for me, which is also why I wanna stay awake longer just to hold on to a pretty good day like this. It’s the kind of feeling you just wanna share to your friends and parents. I hate to squeal on little big things for me, still a part of me couldn’t help but to hint it.

Wishful slash over thinking aside and the uncertainty of every other day from here on out; rather the certainty that there are more ordinary days than the opposite. I want to carry this good with me.

Stay strong yet stay light, and do all things with love, to the Aidee tomorrow that might hang on to the day and day-old hope, nostalgic for a good day and a bunch of good thingsΒ that have gone.

Right now I’m thankful this happened.Β Today’s been a pleasant surprise.

From behind the typewriter

So much of my dislike and disappointment towards my own previous blog posts are mostly because of the scattered-ness and negativity of it all. It started to seem like an Aidee Ever Downwards spiral, actually. I have my reasons behind each and every post but I’m not proud of it all the time. I wondered if I was just always sad or something in real life. I then realized I only do a majority of my writing on the blog when I’m really really sad. I’ve had a habit for years to only do a whole lot of writing when I’m down in the dumps like an angsty teenager awake past 2am. Although we all hear a lot about how the best artists are always depressed and cuckoo. I have to admit that negative emotions seem like a powerful fuel to make, write, and create, but my lack of creating when I’m happy is out of both fear and carelessness.

I can reason by saying, I don’t write when I’m living out my happiest moments simply because I’m busy living them out. But really, I don’t write about the happier bits of my life because I feel like jotting them down at the end of the day just might jinx em. I have long feared admitting simple joys because that might just spoil all the goodness in it. In fact I just let moments happen to me, let them pass like any normal individual, and look back fondly in silence without realizing they’re really ever gone.

It might have been my task to gruelingly capture the gone-ness in my life. I did this to both hold on and let go. And it might continue to be so, but I would like to add a new task to even more challengingly capture the nowness of my life. For years I’ve dreamed of writing bits of a Murakami-like novel in my head because I seemed to fulfill every formula of his lead characters: sad, regretful, never really getting over anything, and absolutely flawed, usually above 40. I’m not yet above 40 though. I thought I had a fair amount of experiences that would vouch for a gripping novel filled with prose about nature, city life, and a love you’ll never get over. That certainly made up for the crappy experiences themselves.

Sadness had therefore become power. I would collect the broken pieces of everything I’ve ever broken and gotten broken for a rainy day at home. I would type away to make magic out of magic that’s gone by. I can resurrect the gone-ness in front a blank screen. I can turn the goodbyes I lived throughΒ into a fictional hello and fiction gives you the power to add a little twist and maybe decide to give everything alternative endings or no endings at all.

But I’ve realized I’m only ever so sad about all that’s ever gone away because they for the time being made me so happy. Otherwise, I typically wouldn’t care. I have only been in so much pain because I have known so much joy too. The only difference on paper or rather on this blog, is that I didn’t try just as hard to capture happiness while it encompassed me.

I promise to tell some happier light-hearted stories too. I’ve given it some thought and figured since I’ve gone through worse, it might not be such a bad thing to write about little joys too. It’s just as tough to be truthful about the good and the bad equally. But what’s the truth if it’s not a lot of it or all of it at least? I will strive to create from a balance of my many truths.

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sprouting from behind the typewriter