How are you?

Recently, I’m trying to be sure to set aside reflection times. The first two weeks of the semester it was work, class, study, bed. During the weekdays I took no time for myself and of course I burned out very quickly.

My American life is busy in a hectic way. I am working on my last two classes of my college life, trying to pay rent, and trying to get my resume together to take the next steps into that work life. But right now is my update, since I haven’t really done one, and especially posted photos, so if it’s long, bear with me?

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Settling back into my life in America has pulled forward all that I learned in Japan. Some things you don’t realise until you come back, and I guess that’s why it’s important that study abroad has an ending, even if you never want it to end.

I learned how precious some of my friendships are, but how to manage them in a more healthy way. I have a tendency to hold on tightly to things and make them the most important thing. However, sometimes you find yourself distant from the ones you wish you could be with always. I have learned that meeting new people and trying to form new connections is valuable. It doesn’t mean that the people you care so much for will be replaced, it simply means that you can possibly meet people who will one day hold so much importance.

Recently a friend I made in Japan was able to visit me. And I know with no doubt, those we wish to see, we will cross paths again one day. Sometimes it can be hard with social media to watch everyone continue on with their lives. I get such jealous feelings like, “I want to be there. I wish I was that person to be next to them.” But I realise instead to focus on the happiness of my friends. Because their happiness is what is truly important to me.

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Which leads me to something else. When sometimes love doesn’t work out, it’s so easy to stay bitter. I learned so much about acceptance when it comes to love/liking someone. Especially in the case it doesn’t work out.

To be honest, losing a relationship that lasted 7 years was the best thing that happened to me the past two years, or has it been three…?

It allowed me to leave the world behind me and travel to a new country with no ties to the past. I could explore myself and make the same “mistakes” as the rest of the world seems to make. I got to be surrounded by many couples making “bad” choices. I got to see cheating, and listen to talks of love, the future, etc, etc. I got to look at a relationship from an outsiders point of view. I was able to shed my own bitterness and form the final conclusion that, for me, the status of a relationship doesn’t matter at all. To love people, even if you cheat, I think it’s a wonderful feeling.

Maybe because I believe everyone is unfaithful to a point, I can’t trust in relationships yet, but our time with people is so short and unsure that I realise that there is no point in playing coy about your feelings. I think it’s so important to express yourself and be bold. For me, I think it’s so great to meet people and learn from them. Even if you part ways.

This also helped me realise that I can’t control what people think about me. I guess making videos on the internet played a role as well. No matter what I’m doing, people can find something bad in it. Or simply something they don’t like. Everyone has their own opinions. So I should just live as I want. As long as I feel confident in myself that I’m doing my best to be understanding and kind, I shouldn’t be worried about the thoughts of others.

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Some friends still worry so much about being judged. But I believe everyone should express themselves as they choose. Sometimes I wonder if my choices of expression will one day land me in trouble, but until that day, I want to live freely. For those that can’t understand me, there is no point in wasting my energy trying to change their view.

This attitude towards my life has also changed how I look at others. Maybe my first reaction is, “wow… what a bitch.” or “They’re a shit person.” But in the end of it, I always try to remind myself, “Everyone is a way for some reason. Whether or not I agree with that reason, it doesn’t matter. That is the person they are. If I dislike it, then I don’t need to my energy in that place.” Just as I can act as I please, I can’t judge others so harshly for their own ways.

Some people scold me for living in such a grey area. But I like this place best.

But still, my life is as my blog says: “not so interesting.” Simply, I’m still growing and trying to do the best that I can and see where that takes me at my own pace. Recently my sister told me, “You sound somehow like you’ve matured.” And I want to believe that I can keep growing positively and love everyone and myself so much.Screen Shot 0028-09-19 at 21.18.22.png

Suicide Prevention?

I’m basing this post off of videos like this one (The article seems fine):

http://www.scarymommy.com/wentworth-miller-video-world-suicide-prevention-day/

I absolutely hate them. Constantly on the internet I see people posting things like: “never do this to someone with depression/anxiety.” “If you are dating someone with anxiety, do this, this, and this.” And it really bothers me because, no. All you need to do is be supportive. Listen. And if you can’t understand, admit it, but support the ones you care about.

Depression and anxiety (mental health in general) have a huge stigma. And as someone that suffers from anxiety and depression I hate seeing things that place me into some category of being this fragile piece of glass that will shatter if people don’t tip-toe around me.

Sure, videos like this one paint a very vivid picture of what it is like and the thoughts that most people do struggle with the most; but that’s it. Like there is nothing more to us. As I continue, I can only base this off of my experience and my own opinion. I know that everyone works differently. The same as a lot of coping strategies don’t work for me, what works for me, won’t work for everyone else.

We have these days shown in this video. Which can be weeks, months, maybe a year or so. But the biggest thing we need in those times, is just a voice of reassurance. Someone that can just listen with out judgement. We don’t give a fuck when you say suicide is selfish. We know that. We want to kill ourselves because we want to be selfish for once. Suicide feels like the only choice we have complete control over in our lives. And when you say, “how could you do that to me”, it’s like saying your existence is the only thing in life worth living for. For me it’s like… uhm… how about you let me do what I want and stop thinking about yourself.

The best response I’ve ever been given was, “Try and schedule it tomorrow.”

That’s when it changes. That’s when control is back in my court. And these videos never show that. That we are more than those pestering thoughts.

My first week back at this college town I thought those things. “I’m a failure” “Life is so pointless.” etc, etc. And today, even though I’m so busy I don’t know how to function, I am being given opportunities left and right that make me feel that somehow I’m succeeding.

And it’s my choice. It’s 100% MY choice. Not my therapist. Not my family & friends. Not crap articles and videos on the internet made for people to be coerced into understanding something they simply can’t if they don’t go through it.

Anxiety and depression isn’t a sob story. On my good days I’m completely grateful I struggle from these mental battles because they show me a whole new side to the human world. I strongly believe that anxiety and depression guides me through my life and forces me to challenge myself and grow. I wouldn’t push myself as hard as I do if I didn’t struggle with this.

The first step is realising that it’s your choice. Once you can swallow that, that’s when things change. These videos and articles and crap facebook posts about others guiding you into some sort of “mental cure” is crap. If you want to help someone you love, just listen. And if you are feeling this way, just express.

Stop being afraid to talk about it! I love meeting my therapist on occasions. I think even people that don’t have a mental illness should attend therapy. I don’t hide my medication. It stays right out in the open. When I’m having an anxiety day, I let people know right from the start, “If I seem weird today, it’s just because my body is a little out of wack.” No one has ever been negative to me. (And the one who has is no longer a big part in my life.) If anything, it sparks conversation. And when you can be open and also not expect people to cater to you, that’s how things can be brought to light in a positive way.

People can’t prevent suicide. I don’t think anyone can ever take credit like that… “I saved someone from committing suicide.” I was given the credit once for getting a loved one to go to rehab. But I had nothing to do with it. That person made that choice. The same way a person that is considering suicide will make that choice. You aren’t saving anyone. You are simply encouraging them to keep living and giving them a chance to think about it more.

But be confident in whatever you choose. YOU are the leader of your own life.

A level is something that goes up by fighting.

During my time in Japan I have a favourite story I haven’t shared.

I have this bad habit… When I become bored, or if my thoughts become too much, I will wander away on my own. It doesn’t matter where I am or how late it is; I just run away. One time I left a place crying. My feelings had been hurt, I had drank, and I was in a new town and I wasn’t exactly sure where the station was. So I sat outside the venue for a moment near a bridge with the idea that I would cry there until I couldn’t cry anymore.

A man stopped by me smoking. In Japan, it isn’t something that often worries me so I ignored him. Figuring he’d ask something like “want to play?” and walk away when I told him no. But he just stood there smoking looking over the bridge. I felt uncomfortable and wiped my face and figured I should find the station. When I stood up that’s when he talked with me. “What’s wrong?” My Japanese is miserable, and his English wasn’t that great, but in the best way possible I explained to him that I always find myself running away from situations. Mostly in terms of love. How I hurt people’s feelings and how they hurt mine. I can’t be sure how much he understood. And I honestly didn’t understand much of his advice aside from doing my best and taking care of myself. He asked my name, but often Holly is hard to say in Japanese. He said that he would call me Hotaru. Pointed me in the direction of the station. And that was that.

So when I meet people in a bar or on the street or some random website to practice Japanese with locals I will usually tell them they can call me Hotaru. A person today was practicing English with me and said; “truthly, i love the name. we, japanese  love firefly deeply. because the Transiency made us remember romance, and tragedy. ah〜suteki”.

And this made me remember that night and feel really grateful for the Japanese name that man had given to me.

Tonight I found myself watching a movie I thought would bore me to sleep. But here I am at 1 a.m typing this because for some reason the things we don’t think will move us often do. The movie was about a girl in love. But the boy she was in love with had to be in a relationship with a girl that would make his dream of opening his father’s old shop come true. So the girl pretended to date another boy so the four could go on double dates and it would be like the girl and her actual love could meet.

I was thinking… how sad love is. That it’s so rare that we actually be with the person that we loved the most in the world. I actually don’t really believe it works that way for anyone. We can grow to love others and find out what works best with the way our life forms, but that’s just it. The person that we love most always ends up being someone not suited for us.

In the movie there was this book… In that story this girl loved a man so much that she went crazy. And it’s true that we believe, for something to cause us so much pain and to lead us that far into “crazy” it must have been something truly special that we felt.

Relationships are something I always find myself writing and thinking of. I think how lucky I have been to learn so much from people. Even the people that I myself have hurt. This feeling that everyone wants a companion, even if you don’t love them the most. Somehow everyone can always work around that.

“I don’t love you the most. I won’t be faithful to you. But somehow we will have a life that we are together.” Sometimes I really wish one day I can understand that feeling. To make it work without the feeling of “I really love this person the most.”

Because loving someone the most is going to mean that you and that person won’t be together. But at least loving someone, that is supposed to be enough. Somehow.

But as my final time here begins I feel glad that I loved so much. Even if the people that I loved the most could never make me feel that in return. And I hope still that I can always love people somehow. Even if it isn’t proper. And even the people whose feelings I have hurt, I’m really grateful that you cared about me enough to be hurt. And I hope that you find a love that works in your life.

The movie said; “A level is something that goes up by fighting.” And it made me remember that I want to keep raising my level.

I’m happy I was given a name like that. And I hope that in my life I can remind people of love and loss and that those moments are really precious and allow us to “level up”. And I hope I can remember that too.

Okay… I Admit It.

He was a boy I knew from the first words he said to me, “Youuu haven’t gone yet.”, was a no good boy. And that time I sat silently listening to Ed Sheeran on the way home in the back seat figured… he’s got his own set of issues.

So I was just taking a bath trying to figure out my next life lesson: “how to be alone but not feel lonely”; when Ed Sheeran decided to play on my Spotify shuffle. It dawned on me… I’ve spent the past two years hating this concept of “love” and the ideal of what people call a “relationship”. And I had to admit to myself right then… You know what kid, love isn’t that bad.

I think there is one point we all think we have love figured out. We create this comfortable life, but occasionally for some of us, suddenly we are looking around and we are miserable. We realise how weak we are and the wrong ways we let people treat us. Comfort is so easily confused with love. And when I lost comfort I felt, love is something that does not exist.

 Then something even crazier happens… suddenly this stranger tells you all of this (b.s at the time) like, don’t walk on the edge of the sidewalk or alone at night. Don’t doubt yourself. You’re capable of anything. And you’re left thinking… wait? People give a fuck? Is it possible to find some sort of self value? I don’t have to hate myself for a person to care about me? And suddenly you have this hope that the past 20 years were just bad luck. Your family that always told you you were wrong, the person that pushed you down so many times, maybe they were wrong… and maybe all of it wasn’t your fault. Maybe you weren’t a person that would be better off dead.

I was told, “Sometimes people enter your life just to teach you something, then they are gone.” And I think it’s probably true. So when someone that teaches you so much must disappear, it’s easy to think… it was all a lie. A build up for the let down that always comes.

But I thought today… had I not loved someone, I wouldn’t have learned to love myself.

And I think that loving someone so much, and watching them leave, was the best thing to happen to me. Because I want to keep proving how much I can do. And it’s not for anyone this time. It’s for me.

Love taught me that. And I think that love is a really amazing thing. So maybe for some of us it’s not possible to be with the person we think we love the most, but I hope that I can embrace and give so much love while I am alive.

Back in America: Still Saying Good-bye.

Reverse culture shock. At last. The dreaded experience.

Some things are similar to the culture shock or small problems you experience going abroad. Your skin has to adjust. Once you finally stop itching in flaking in one country, you’re back to itching and flaking when you return. People look weird. Home country is boring as hell. And when did everyone’s lives seem so basic?

I’ve only been back about 2 and half weeks… I think. And I’m trying to figure out… did I change? Or did everyone else change? Because it seems everyone else is onto something that I’m not.

The hardest thing for me about being back in America has been being in my home town. I have one friend that cares at all to see me in this dreary place, and I seem to be the only one that cares to see them. Everyone is married. Everyone has babies. Nothing else to do here.

Just in this past week if I had a dollar for every time I heard “you’ll change your mind one day” about marriage and children I could afford a decent sized sandwich. That’s about enough times to make me want to smash my face in. Because that’s not the point I’m making when I’m baffled by all of this life surrounding me.

I’m wondering… how do I communicate with these people? Because for every person that tells you how wonderful being a parent is, there’s the same amount saying, yeah they love the kid, but it’s not what they wanted. When I’m listening to complaints on body changes, baby moms and dads, how they didn’t want to settle down, how they’re only together for the kids, etc, etc, etc, is it okay for me talk about my year abroad? Is it okay for me to talk about all the places I want to travel? Is it okay to be excited about my life? Because when I do, I just feel like a bitch…

Like, “Hey… your kid smells like they need a change. By the way, this one night in Japan, wish you coulda been there. Hope you can travel with me some day!” Even if it’s the best place of intention… that sounds pretty awful when I think about it. So what is my place in the life of these people? The ones that still want to mutually make time for each other anyway. The more I have to limit how much I talk about my own goals, the more depressed I feel and the more I start to feel like my life is shallow. When it’s absolutely not.

There are still a ton of things I have yet to face in my short time back in America… Mostly all things of dread. But I’m certain through this next year being in the states, it will more shape who I am to myself and the direction I want to go.

Something huge I had to learn in Japan was walking away. Walking away from what I thought were friendships, and walking away from love, and even walking away from myself sometimes. So I guess I have to accept that in America too.

That everyone’s lives are changing and that sometimes people walk away from you first. And all I can and should do is smile, be thankful I knew them, and wish them the best.

27

This is not a cry for help. Nor is it of any reason to be concerned. These are just, thoughts. Simple musings. Before you judge me, reflect on your own darkest thoughts we keep tucked away to yourself. Thanks.

I’m back in the town I spent the majority of my life in. A boring, quiet, small Michigan town where the the farm boys in high school think they’re Detroit gangsters and the only thing that really brings the locals together is marijuana. Or church. Or nude scandals from our one and only high school.

I’ve been thinking about the time I spent here today. Before my yard had a fence and a roof over the deck. When I’d dig a hole in the snow and lay there for hours to avoid going inside. When I didn’t have much of a voice and spent my weekends sneaking around watching my friends make risky decisions as I told myself, this is what teens do.

A light drizzle is going now, which is a huge relief to how surprisingly hot it’s been since I’ve been back to Michigan. (And people are doubting global warming still.) I think I’ve been reading too much, because I’m growing more and more restless each day.

I just finished reading Kurt Cobain’s Journal, and I’ve made a tiny start on Bukowski’s Tale of Ordinary Madness. My dad said to me I’m fascinated with weird people. But I told him it’s just because I’m not exactly all their in my head either.

Since coming back from Japan my family has commented on the fact that I’m a lot more forward. I already knew this. But for them I’m wondering how well they can all handle just how forward I am. I’ve spent the majority of my life almost mute to most. Talk enough to satisfy people’s questions. “How you been?” “How’s school.” But hardly would I share opinions. I don’t think a lot of people really knew me that well.

I was thinking about life today… and how it’s kind of just shit. I’m in this huge divide of life styles. One side of me there are families. Friends telling you that marriage and babies are the best thing to happen in their lives. (The ones that don’t feel trapped anyway.) Family telling me “You just haven’t found the one yet. You’ll change your mind.”

And then the other side that wants to live freely without commitments. No children. No spouse. Just enjoy whatever we can do for ourselves. I guess I’m on that side. There’s no reason to re-create. There’s plenty of humans as is. And the world just spirals down further into the garbage can that we ourselves turned Earth into.

After reading Kurt’s journal, aside from all the stuff on politics that I don’t really care about, I wondered, at what age would I feel fine with death? And I thought, you know, 27 isn’t that bad.

 I say all the time, “today is a good day to die.” People who don’t know me find this horrifying. But think about it, when a day is so grand that you can smile and think, yeah if I died right this second, I’d feel happy, it has to be one swell of day.

I think it doesn’t matter when I die. If it’s at 27 or if it’s at 45. As long as I lived.

Joker & Harley Kind of Thing~

Okayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

Conversations with dad are always fun and thought provoking for me. He is as level headed as one can be. Things are the way they are, no more questions asked. Etc. Yet, he’s grown up with this weird ball of flesh that has never done anything simply.

Today I spent with babies. Terrifying things that I have written about previously. I asked my pops, “Hey… will you be upset if you don’t get a grandbaby from me?” (He’s heard me say several times I don’t want a kid of my own.) He swears to me that one day I will meet the right man and maybe change my mind. That since I haven’t met the right man, of course I wouldn’t want to have children.

What the fuck is the right man?

Maybe I’m just a sore loser, but I tried that one. And I worked for that. And I thought, well if I ever accidentally got pregnant, I could deal with it with this person. But I still didn’t want a kid. Just if it were to happen, then it would be manageable some how.

So I started thinking about the recent increase of Joker and Harley, “omggggg” memes spamming the internet lately since Suicide Squad gained popularity. You know… #relationshipgoals.

So everyone has to point out how fucked up Joker and Harley’s relationship is, because obviously none of us can see on our own that we probably don’t want a man to choke us (outside the bedroom if you’re into that).

Okay, look… these hopeless romantics are seeing a bigger picture here. Abusive crap aside, Joker and Harley are what the kids these days call “ride or die”. They, and I quote, “fuck with each other.” Which is supposed to mean something along the lines of, no matter what happens, they support one another.

He’s crazy, she’s not all there, and they accept the faults in one another. And they have some crazy passion stuff going on. They are probably pretty freaky behind closed doors. Or in public… I could see that from them.

And isn’t that what people are looking for? A person that can deal with their crazy? Because I don’t think it’s wrong for me to say that I’m a little bit out of reach for all of that stereotypical “get a man and have a family” jazz that everyone seems so hell bent on.

I don’t think it’s wrong for me to say that relationships die out 99% of the time and the rest of the time is just dealing with each other because you’ve put in so much time or a divorce is too costly, etc, etc.

Plus, as I’m typically “one of the boys”, I’ve learned a decent amount on how most seemingly successful relationships work… lies and secrets. “What she doesn’t know can’t hurt her.” “My emotions are with her, but physical and something else.”

It’s 100% realistic to say that you can absolutely love someone but still cheat. Do we want to accept that? Of course not. But it’s true none the less.

My family has always scolded me for living in a different world than the rest of people. But just as everything, my anxiety, my lack of desires for standard things, my feelings on this are simply my feelings.

And honestly, I would rather live a crazy honest life than one I’m supposed to force smiles and act like it’s the best thing I’ve experienced.