God, I don’t know what I’m doing.

I am definitely the happiest when I am myself. No wonder I am so happy around my true friends, they let me be me and no one else (: Feeling blessed and so thankful tonight.

Isn’t it ironic that I pushed you away, but two of your songs are on my playlist?

I wish I was strong enough. Some day, I will be strong enough to lift not one, but both of us. 

The thing that I like and dislike the most about tumblr is that it allows you to review the posts that you’ve written in the past, and be reminded of the memories. The good thing is that the memories make you happy. The bad thing is that the memories make you unhappy. 

A lot of the posts that I have on tumblr are private, for good reason. Some of them have details that can’t be shared (like the identity of the celebrity I briefly dated, or the time I did something extremely regrettable). So, when I reflect on the posts I’ve written publically, by reading them on the tumblr page, then I only look at the memories that I am proud of. Like some of the reflections I’ve shared on love, and some of my letters to God. But when I’m on my dashboard, and go through my private posts, I can’t help but cringe at some of the confessions I’ve shared. A lot of them bring back the painful memories that had slowly begun to fade away, but are now made fresh with the reminders. A few of them have memories of me causing pain, of hurting someone unintentionally or written with the intent to hurt. All of them are regrets.

I look back upon them now, and realize two things: I have so much more love in my heart, and I wish the people in my past nothing but good. 

Majority of the posts are from my time in Korea. It isn’t surprising, considering that Korea was an especially tough time for me. I was at my personal worst, I should say. I was so overwhelmed with the pressures thrown unto me, that I made many decisions out of character. It was a time when all of the issues from otherwise separate parts of life, such as family, finances, love, and ambitions, converged into one. I was hurt on many occasions and chose to hurt back in return. I justified the times I hurt them as self-defense, but looking back now, I know better. I was acting out, because I was unsure of who I was. I am now. Now, I wish I could go back and change those decisions, to reach out to those who needed a friend to listen, to console, to support. To love those who refused to be loved. If only I had been more sure, more loving of who I am. 

Righting the wrongs is one of the most challenging things in life. After you have committed a wrong, even if you wish them all the good in the world with utmost sincerity, they have reason to distrust you, and to fish for the spikes hidden behind the words. How could they not? You have hurt them in the past. In the same way, you have the right to distrust those who have hurt you, who now want to reach out to you. How could you not? They have hurt you in the past.

But life is more than hurting and being hurt. Intentionally inflicting harm is definitely a mistake, whether the damage is emotional or physical- and life is about trying your best not to make mistakes, but still making them anyway, then learning from them. I have made mine. We have all made ours- but I have learned from my mistakes. I have learned that God’s love is enough, and that it outweighs every desire we have on earth, most often the motivations for attack.That I am who I am by His grace. No matter what I believe myself to be worth, he has made me more worthy. And so He has done with every single person in this world. Every one of us is going through the same trials, of learning to be closer to Him, to grow in His love every day.

I still do dream. I have many dreams, and I hope to fulfill them one day. I am definitely working my ass off to fulfill them. But I no longer feel the insecurity in not knowing, of being uncertain of the future. I’m here to try my best, and to reach out to those who have struggled as I did, to support them in this common journey of uncertain pursuits. Of course, I’ll probably hurt again and be hurt. We’re only human after all. But the most important part is that I have learned. And I’m still learning. 

I wish you the best. 

As each day passes, it becomes more difficult to find something that you can do for the first time. It also becomes less frequent that you get excited about that first time. 

When was the last time that you did something for the very first time?

I remember my first kiss. I felt like my heart would beat its way out of my chest. 

I remember my first stage performance. I couldn’t sleep for days afterward, because the sight of the audience, blurred by the lighting, refused to stop flickering past my eyes. The sound of my own voice through the microphones, echoing back to me, and the following applause, kept me awake. 

I remember the first time I went swimming. I thought I would drown for sure. The brilliant deep blue tiles of the pool’s floor scared me out of my wits. I felt as if I was staring into the deep mysteries of the sea, although the water surrounding me was too chlorinated to sustain any form of life. 

I remember the first time I had a phone. I was in seventh grade, and not allowed to text. I remember the first time I received a text. It was from an eighth grade boy named Jake. 

I remember my first flute lesson. I tried so hard to make a sound through the hollow metal, but I couldn’t do it. I kept blowing into it, trying to arouse the sound out of it, but it took hours of practice to make that first sound. I never stopped practicing after, until a few years back when I decided I didn’t want to be a music major in college.

But the sad thing is, I don’t remember the last time I did something for the first time. That might have been today, for all I know. But the novelty of discovering something new, and relishing in the fact that you’re vanquishing another life experience, has worn off too. 

Maybe I should think of a few things I haven’t done yet, and try them out this summer. Big things like sky diving and bungee jumping, and renting a house out for a whole week on the beach, but also smaller things like going to the museum on a date, exploring the city by myself, and maybe doing a tumblr challenge- and finishing it. And be excited in doing all of it, fully acknowledging the fact that they’re all a first. 

He talks lightheartedly, as if his words mean nothing. I listen with a heavy heart, as if his words mean everything. I listen, combing for the hidden meanings, searching for clues or signs of his feelings.

We both know where this is going, how this will end-and yet, we choose to sit for an hour, chatting animatedly about nothing and everything, avoiding the one common subject that are on both of our minds right now.

What will happen to us?

What is love, exactly? If it’s so infallible that it would be the subject of every box-office burnout and best seller, then how is it possible for people to fall out of love? Is it simpler, then, to call it a chemical reaction, a flame that ignites quickly or slowly, flickering through time, and finally extinguished when there’s nothing left to consume? From my experience, that would make more sense than the idyllic, perfect image of love that people always seem to be looking for. That’s extremely rare to find. Does it even exist? I know the other kind does. I see it all the time. You may deny it at the first ignition of the flame. How could you not? It feels to permanent, it feels so real. In the heat of the moment (quite literally), you may think that it may never happen to you- but the time comes when it does. Then you’re left wondering whether that was really love- or is it the next one, the one that hits you blindsided, a few months or years later? Or is it the one after?

You might wonder all your life whether you have really found love. How will you know? People have always told me that you know when you know. But do you really? How do you know when you know? What if you know- because it’s so true and real at that moment- but you also know when you know, when it’s no longer true and real? Then do you just walk away, and wish yourself better luck next time? Hope that the next one who comes along is the one?

I stare at his hands, wrapped around his glass of iced tea, the hands I grew to love so much, The hands that I can feel in my own, just by staring at them. I feel a dread in my stomach, a sudden need to touch them. I reach for them, breaking the invisible barrier between us. The moment our hands touch, they automatically adjust around each other, molding comfortably around each other, finding the positions that have become familiar to them. How many times have we held hands? Too many times to count, too many times to keep track of. After the first few times, holding hands had lost meaning too. It became an instinctive action, no longer used for excitement but for comfort and reassurance. Like now. Even when we know the end of coming, we’re comforting each other, reassuring each other, telling each other that everything will be okay. We might no longer exist together, but we will, separately- and that’s more important than our co-existence, slowly but surely losing its meaning. 

I look into his eyes, blue-gray like a sky before a storm. I know it’ll probably rain. There’s been an emotional drought, prior to this moment. So it has to rain. The drought must end, the storm must come, so life can go on. It will go on.

His eyes are understanding, and I can see my reflection in his. I look uncertain, but I feel certain. We understand each other, and for a while, we stay, comforted by the familiarity and yet kept alert by the approaching finality, dwelling in our tacit, mutual understanding.

When I finally let go, he lets my fingers slowly slide through his, as if he is attempting to savor our last touch. Such an innocent gesture, but innocence is sometimes painful. Especially now, when so much has happened to precede this one last, innocent touch. All the toxic vulgarity of our relationship, rolled into a peaceful, innocent conclusion. How ironic.

I stand, sling my bag over my shoulder, and place my hand on his shoulder, marked with sun dust. It’s strange, how the smallest things could trigger so many memories. Hundreds of memories, all triggered by the sight of his freckled shoulders, rush into my head and cloud my vision. Of all things, I never thought I would miss his shoulder the most. But I would, I would miss the way they felt against my cheeks as I cried two weeks after I met him, pouring my heart out to him. The way his shoulders peeked out from under the blanket, almost as pale as the white sheets, rising and falling in rhythm with his soft breathing as he slept. Making fun of him for the way he seemed to have flawless skin everywhere else, for the way he seemed to collect more and more freckles on the skin of his shoulders. Him picking me up, carrying me over his shoulder, threatening to throw me onto the unforgiving waves of Ocean City, NJ.

I’ll miss them all. The memories will always be mine, but they will serve to remind me of what is no longer mine. 

I offer him the brightest smile I can manage, knowing this will be the last time I will ever see him. He will be on his way, and I will be on mine. It doesn’t matter if we go to the same school- we may run into each other a few times, come across each other in a lecture hall, see each other across the street- but our emotional paths will never cross again, and soon enough, we will be strangers again, like we were before we met. 

I begin to walk away, leaving him behind. He walks the opposite way. Whether he looked back, I will never know. I didn’t look back. 

Emotions are powerful, aren’t they?

I’ve always loved writing, but not nearly as much as times like now, when my feelings serve as motivation. Words might be just words, letters scribbled on paper, so prone so being thrown away when they have served their purpose. But the feelings behind them make them meaningful. The meanings last, engraving themselves into people’s lives, influencing changes and inspiring further emotion, living on forever.

So much has happened since the last time I wrote here It’s been close to a year, but the memories have yet to fade. Yes, they have faded some. They’re not so difficult to think about anymore, don’t induce tears like they used to. But when someone you love- the first person you have ever allowed yourself to be completely and wholeheartedly vulnerable to- hurts you, and takes that piece of you belonging to him and no one else, it never really leaves you the same. You’re left broken, with a gaping hole where that piece used to be.

I can honestly say that I have changed. But for the better. For example, I never feel alone.

Throughout high school, I used to constantly surround myself with people. If I had spent some time alone, I would have easily found out that I just could’t bear to be alone. But I never gave myself the time to think about that. Instead, I acted instinctively, throwing myself into “building my resume.” I built my resume all right- at the end of my high school career, my resume was about four pages long, abundant with meaningless text describing meaningless activities and clubs for which I was this officer or another…I had spent years pouring my heart and soul into them, but at the end of the day, if someone had asked me to describe what each meant to me, I would have had no sincere answer. But now, if you were to point to any of the things listed on my two-page resume, you would see my eyes light up. I can almost picture myself, imagine how I would look to you. Face flushed with excitement, hand gestures everywhere, indicating just how passionate I am. Point to another line, and you would get the same reaction, simply for a completely different subject- but I would be just as passionate, nonetheless. And guess what? I never feel alone. Wherever I go, I feel that passion, and the presence of those who share that passion with me. 

Falling in love, and having my heart broken was painful, to say the least. For a while, I wondered why God had allowed me to be so hurt. But a year from that experience, I finally realize why. He was teaching me true love. Not the one often seen in romantic comedies, the one that leaves you empty after it’s gone. The one that leaves you stronger than before, leaves you more full. It’s like the time that Jesus talked to the Samaritan woman about the everlasting well, the water that would allow her to never thirst again. Through the experience that would leave me the most raw, He has taught me the purest form of love, taught me that this is the love that I need. He has opened my eyes to what I need the most- the eternal life, the ultimately quenching water, the never-ending love. The one I might have been too blind to see, had it not been for the wake-up call.

Now, I feel at peace. Looking back, I realize that I’ve never been without a guy. Ever. And I don’t mean that I’ve always jumped from one relationship to another, or kept a steady string of flings- I’ve always been too conservative for that, too much of a romantic to have meaningless flings. But what I do mean is that I’ve never gone a day without having a guy to talk to. Most of them never became more than friends, never more than brief, passing interactions of few texts, maybe a coffee or a lunch. I was always very hesitant. Very few, stayed close by for many years and became my closest friends, my steadfast support, always there to lend a hand or a shoulder to lean on. They still are my closest friends, but we never became more. But either way, they were always there, the majority and the minority. Now, it’s different. 

For the first time in a long time, I feel truly happy. I am completely alone. Of course, I have my friends. My girls, my best guy friends, my parents, my brother. I am so lucky to have such a solid support system, people who I know will always be here for me no matter what. The ones who would go through fire and ice to make sure that I was safe, knowing that I would do the same for them in a heartbeat. But I am, for the first time, truly independent, no longer on the diet of feelings, of wanting and being wanted. The diet no longer means anything to me. Instead, I live on my independence, the feeling is being truly free, of knowing that I am loved , even without having a physical evidence of love. It’s a great feeling. 

Can love and hate exist at the same time, for the same person?

God, you really work in ways that I can’t understand, don’t you?

Every time I have a chance for happiness, it seems like you want to take it away. Every time I have a chance to succeed, you seem to work to make it not happen. And every single time, I’ve blamed you and resented you for being so jealous.

Even now, when I’m in the midst of struggles and I’m trying so hard to find my way, I do wish that you were more generous -but deep down, I know that you love me more than anyone else in the world, that you are doing this because you have a greater plan for me. You have saved the best and the greatest for me, and this is your way of preparing me to receive them. 

So I’ll trust you. 

As much as it hurts, I’ll let it go, I’ll lay down everything in front of you. I put everything back in your hands, where they all originally came from. I know you love me. No matter what happens, please allow me the grace and the strength to extend that same love to the people around me. No matter what happens, heal me with your love and show me just how much you love me. Because no one else can love me like you do, unconditionally and without cease.

In the midst of struggles, thank you for teaching me to be humble. Thank you for teaching me to love you the most. Thank you for loving me, regardless of who I am and what I do. Thank you so much for giving me such a loving family and friends who show me what it means to love, through whom I can see a little bit of you.

Help me be strong. Help me become a person of prayer who can renew my hope and strength to you.