Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Saying goodbye to "How I Met Your Mother"

There’s a little pain in my heart when I watch How I Met Your Mother wrap up the last season. Partly because I’ve been watching this show for a really long time and that it’s so much a part of my formative adult years. (I started watching when I was 18 and I am now officially in late twenties.) But also because I feel a little jealous that Ted has a happy ending for certain.

You watch him trudge through the ninth season, going through the motions of his pain with Robin and Barney getting married and being the fifth wheel and remaining the only unmarried friend in the gang. But you roll with it because in one episode there is a flashback from a future many years from today showing you a beaming Cristin Milliotti, being everything Teddy Boy dreamed the “mother” to be.

She’s a bassist like Ted imagined, she’s spunky, she’s pretty but she’s more than her beauty, she’s funny, her life is storied, and she fits perfectly in the gang. I know I’m supposed to know that it’s just a show that Bays and Thomas put together – but still. When you think about all the shit that Ted had to go through, you are relieved that there is that light at the end of the tunnel, the silver lining in the dark rain cloud – that despite all those shitty years of trying to find love and never getting lucky, Ted’s story has a happy ending for certain.
And my wish at this point was that my life was secretly written by Bays and Thomas. That at the end of all the shitty years of trying to look for love and failing to find it, there’s a fucking prize at the end. That like Ted, all the heartache is worth it because that person with the yellow umbrella makes up for everything.

Here’s to hope. And here’s to Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. Thank you for Ted and for the hope of that person with the yellow umbrella. I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to say goodbye to Ted Mosby

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Birthday Blogging

Hallo! Wow can't believe the last time I wrote was 5 months ago! Let's do some birthday blog lovin!


I'm turning 27 in a few shakes. (Yay!) And this is the first time in a long time, I think in the past 5 years, that I uh, am feeling feelings about my birthday. The last time I felt "felt feelings" about a birthday was when I turned 23. It felt like a cute official welcome to adulthood. I felt old enough to be making my own decisions but young enough for my mistakes to be adorable.

Old, but I'm not that old
Young, but I'm not that bold
- Counting Stars, OneRepublic

Turning 27 just feels so uh, real life adult. (Haha, sorry I don't know if that makes sense to people other than me.) It feels like being told, 'welcome to your late twenties. Whatever you do today will have lasting repercussions on your life. Try not fxck up too much.' I feel like horses are running all over my chest from the mounting pressure - pressure to clean up, pressure to be married and have children, pressure to at least be dating, pressure to be a functioning, contributing member of society, pressure to be 'made.'

(Uh-oh, this post is getting a wee bit too honest, it's kinda scurryy. Hahaha.)

But I feel excited, too. 27 feels far enough from the crippling self-doubt from all my teenage years. I think I won't be alone in saying that your late twenties also brings a happy sense of certainty about yourself. You are more comfortable in your own skin and have a better idea of what will make you happy. I see many good things cominggg.

Hello 27. Let's make it great.


P.S. Just to send it out to the universe, yes I want Enrique for my birthday.
xx Kat Cruz

Monday, October 28, 2013

Super Vivid Dreaming 2 - The One with the Fighting

Note: I wrote this piece many weeks ago. Sometime around September. Putting it up here cos the blog seems sad and abandoned hehe. And the last post I wrote I sounded too sure and too happy, and you know as with anything, it too goes away. So here's a naked post about many too personal things.

A bit of back story. There's this boy who shall henceforth be known as G. He's dreamy and I only know him by face. I'd like to think he knows me by face cos we've locked eyes a few occasions, but that's it. And he keeps getting starring roles in my dreams. Also, it's Super Vivid Dreaming 2 because yes, this wasn't the first time.This is long and may toe the line of overshare. You have been warned.


So. I dreamed about G. AGAINNN.

Let's back up a bit. Remember last time when G started Super Vivid Dreaming Wednesday? That was the time we started calling him 'Fergie.'

Based on my extensive tabloid knowledge, the Josh Duhamel-Fergie love story is an interesting one. Apparently, Josh dreamt about Fergie back when they didn't know each other yet. Some time later, they met at a red carpet event. Josh being the special human that he is went up to Fergie and told her, Hey I dreamt about you! Fergie, who also is a very special human being (and happens to be hot enough to pull things off) then said, how about we make that dream a reality? KABOOM.

They started going out shortly after that and eventually ended up getting married. I think that's more than enough return for a suave, 'hey I dreamt about you' line.

Anyhoo, in my reality, I uh, am the Josh Duhamel haha. That's how G became Fergie. No happy ending yet for this reverse Josh-Fergie. We have yet to see that red carpet event, I have yet to be hot enough to pull things off, and more importantly, we have yet to 'formally' meet. So in a nutshell, things have yet to happen.

Enough with the back story, back to two nights ago. Exit Hollywood reality, enter my Super Vivid Dreaming Part 2. I found myself with Fergie in my old church. I don't remember what we were doing there.

Oddly though, it felt so normal, as if we were supposed to be together and we were supposed to be there. I'd even go out on a limb and say we were a couple. I had these warm fuzzy feelings in my stomach and I think at some point we were holding hands.

I was carrying this Chanel-like bag in a cream color - which I had no idea at the time, would play a pivotal role in this super vivid dreaming.

We get out of the church and hailed, wait for it... a tricycle. (No, it's not a euphemism for a 'three-way.' And no, this is not some sexed-up dream so you can lay off the raunchy expectations on this one. Haha.) We hailed a tricycle, a three-wheeled mode of public transport where we both fit in nicely.

I don't know how dream logic workds but IRL I have no idea how we - me, a size 12 girl and him, a boy who's over 6 feet and not lanky (sorry G! At least I didn't say chunky heee) -- can comfortably fit in a standard issue public transport tricycle that's built for small/petite/cute-sized Asians (which we both are not). But it is a dream so we do, and not in a snug way, but in a very comfortable, this-feels-like-the-backseat-of-a-sedan kinda way.

I prop the cream Chanel bag on the floor of the tricycle (yes, that much legroom) and continue on with the ride. I'd like to remember this dream as the one where we were snuggling in the backseat. Not in a raunchy grabbing-each-other way, but in a steady I'm-happy-you're-here-with-me kinda way. What up details and feelings!

Fergie says silly things throughout the ride (we don't get anywhere, btw), we make cute small talk, and in the dream I'm just convinced he's the funniest. I don't remember anything he said in particular I just remember thinking, damn this guy's funny! We were so adorable in the dream sequence, if this were a romantic comedy, this would've been the montage to showcase our couple cuteness.

And then, dun dun dun dun...  Fergie's shoe touches the Chanel bag and leaves skid marks.

Again, dream logic prevails and I get so worked up. Normally IRL, I'm not that OC about my bags. It would've gotten to me but I wouldn't get that pissed. So dream me gives Fergie a piece of here mind. I tell him how not cool it was for him to kick the bag and leave black marks on the Chanel.

Of course since this is the romantic comedy playing in my dream, I get mad in that cutesy, I'm-mad-but-I'm-hoping-you'd-kiss-me-after-so-it-can-all-go-away kinda way. I was fully expecting Fergie to be so apologetic that I will not be able to help but forgive him because he's being so fucking cute.

But wait, twist and turns! Instead of saying sorry and being cute, Fergie gets all worked up too and up in arms explaining why it was merited for his to kick that bag. (I know wtf, right? Haha!)

But here's the bigger surprise. Instead of getting mad that Fergie's not sorry, I get so turned on that he's worked up and angry and totally holding his own on this tiny argument of ours!

So instead of giving in and saying, 'no baby, it's no big deal,' I get into full on combat mode and get on with the argument. I keep throwing things at him (not literally, don't worry) to try to get a reaction from him. And the angrier he gets, the happier I get. Don't worry, I hear how sick that sounds haha.

The moral of this dream is that there are 2 things that get me going:
1. Boys with the 5 o'clock stubble (and pretty faces)
2. Boys (with pretty faces) getting mad and being able to hold their own in an (unforgiving) argument with me (with wit and brevity and charm and a pretty face.)

The END.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Cheers to happiness

I just realized today I am so much happier now - I guess, than I was ever was before :)

It's a breakthrough. I was the girl who nursed her sadness - swaddled it like a baby, and "took care" of it. I was the girl who thought my sadness made me cool and my life appear "storied." I carried my sadness like a badge, with pride. But at the end of the day, when I'm alone in my room, I would kick myself for not knowing how to be truly happy.

I don't know what happened. I was just going about today like my regular Sunday, and while I was mopping the floor of my room in the heat of the midday, it struck me. It was so random, I wished it was more special haha. I just realized that this time last year, I was so confused, and lost, and wandering aimlessly.

Things still aren't perfect. I still have a lot of weight to lose. My bank account still has yet to hit my target. The love of my love still has yet to find his way to me. But somehow, things just are making sense - all the waiting, all the working, all the struggling, all the heartache. I haven't arrived at my destination but oddly, things feel like they're right where they are supposed to be. There is this burning certainty in my heart that when I look back, the dots will connect.

I am still a work in progress, but thank you! The progress is "painful," sometimes nakakainip - but today, I found that joy in me. I found the joy in the journey. Cheers to happiness!

Monday, May 13, 2013

What has happened since my last February post

It's May 13 and it's election day on the sunny island Republic of the Philippines. It's a holiday and all local TV stations are on 24-hour patrol on the voting precincts.

Me? I'm pushing on my 48th-ish hour here on a lying down marathon on my bed. I've used up a roll and a half of toilet paper blowing my brains out of my nose. And my tiny yellow trash can is filled to the brim with crumpled up tissue. It feels like there are spiders in my throat and my tiny fever has been going on and off since yesterday afternoon. (I just finished a big glass of homemade halo-halo so, I'm no stellar at nursing myself back to health. I think?)

First it started out as a lazy after lunch Sunday yesterday. I asked to be left at home. Skipped church and lounged in bed to nurse the bleh feeling. 5 hours of aircon and the unforgiving 3PM heat maybe made me give in. When the folks got home, I had full on colds and a tiny fever to boot.

(Btdubs, my Kristen Wiig SNL ep finished downloading! Yay!)

I've seen an obscene amount of FRIENDS reruns and some trawling online when I noticed that I haven't blogged since February! And since I write to remember, I'd just like to put down some things that played out since I last wrote.

1. I turned 26! Woop! I was trying to remember what I did for my birthday and I was hard pressed for memories haha. I asked my Mum and she reminded me that Uncle Edwin and Tita Connie flew to the Phils from Aus for holiday. So there's that, we had balikbayans for close to a month.

2. I changed phones twice. Considering it's me, girl who had her trusty Nokia for over a year, 2 phones in 3 months is a LOT. The first one, Globe gave my Mum a free BB as a loyalty gift. The second one, my Uncle brought home a Samsung he barely used. I still am using the Samsung now - which also introduced me to the world of Android and smartphones. Yay technology!

3. We went to Baguio. Uncle Edwin wanted a family trip. We were originally supposed to go to Boracay but Mum figured there was too many of us, and it would turn out a bit too pricey. So we ended up in Baguio. Little Deedee went too, so it was extra fun.

4. Mahal and I started working together! Mahal got on board the team and things just got more exciting! I'm so happy he's hitting it off with the team and that we have one more shared activity that we're doing together. So excited for 30 :D

5. Business milestone in April! I got recognized and promoted for turning over good volume for the month that culminated in April. Also, sold my first TRA Program by myself. So, yay!

6. Went to Manila East with family and got a really bad sunburn. I wanted to tan cos I felt my color's a bit too pale. I was probably too generous with the tanning lotion AND oil (yes, both!) that I ended up with a really painful burn on my shoulders. On the upside, I got me some color! :)

7. I started exercising again (!) I think it's been close to 2 years since I last step foot in my gym. I was a gym rat before until I got burned out. My exercise started tapering off until I wasn't exercising anymore. Just recently I had a (mini) panic attack when I figured almost none of my clothes in the closet fit me anymore. Someting just had to be done. It's been over a month since I started doing Body Combat at home and things have been great!I just remembered how the sweating from intense exercise feels sooo goodddd.

8. I finally got to doing my personal dream board. It's a personal milestone for me cos it's been a year since I said I will do one for myself. It's sitting on the wall right beside my bed - first sight in the morning, last sight at night. Exciting things happening in my future!

9. My crush on this person  turned one year old. Sobering thought haha. It's been a year (since I realized I liked him) and we haven't shared a decent conversation to date. Why I still like him, I don't even know. We've been exchanging weird looks for about a month now, but I don't think that counts. High school kids' love lives are sweeping the floor with mine! Hahaha! Hopefully, the next update is about my love life uh, coming to life. That's exciting :)

10. Went to the beach! (But before that drove 5frickin hours up north first.) We lovingly call this Zambales beach trip, #superssteadyweekend. It was super funnnn! Went with Mahal and Surot and shared a room with Gb. I got more color, the beach was pretty, and we laughed a LOT. We really laughed a LOT. Good times!

There, the past 3 months all wrapped up! Life is good :) Cheers to the rest of the year!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Anton Chekhov on the 8 Qualities of Cultured People

"Culture" has always intrigued me. What is it really? Why do I feel like it should be an important part my life? Why is to be "culture" something to strive for?

Enter Maria Popova of Brain Pickings. My love for this writer is growing every week! The writing is is simple, concise, and to the point. The content is always something to look forward to. In true Brain Pickings of relevance, here's Maria on "culture."

What does it mean to be "cultured"? Is it about being a good reader, or knowing how to talk about books you haven't read, or having a general disposition of intellectual elegance? That's precisely the question beloved Russian author Anton Chekhov, born on this day in 1860, considers in a letter to his older brother Nikolai, an artist. The missive, written when Anton was 26 and Nikolai 28 and found in Letters of Anton Chekhov to his Family and Friends (public domain; public library), dispenses a hearty dose of tough love and outlines the eight qualities of cultured people – including honesty, altruism, and good habits:
MOSCOW, 1886.
You have often complained to me that people "don't understand you"! Goethe and Newton did not complain of that…. Only Christ complained of it, but He was speaking of His doctrine and not of Himself…. People understand you perfectly well. And if you do not understand yourself, it is not their fault.

I assure you as a brother and as a friend I understand you and feel for you with all my heart. I know your good qualities as I know my five fingers; I value and deeply respect them. If you like, to prove that I understand you, I can enumerate those qualities. I think you are kind to the point of softness, magnanimous, unselfish, ready to share your last farthing; you have no envy nor hatred; you are simple-hearted, you pity men and beasts; you are trustful, without spite or guile, and do not remember evil…. You have a gift from above such as other people have not: you have talent. This talent places you above millions of men, for on earth only one out of two millions is an artist. Your talent sets you apart: if you were a toad or a tarantula, even then, people would respect you, for to talent all things are forgiven.

You have only one failing, and the falseness of your position, and your unhappiness and your catarrh of the bowels are all due to it. That is your utter lack of culture. Forgive me, please, but veritas magis amicitiae…. You see, life has its conditions. In order to feel comfortable among educated people, to be at home and happy with them, one must be cultured to a certain extent. Talent has brought you into such a circle, you belong to it, but … you are drawn away from it, and you vacillate between cultured people and the lodgers vis-a-vis.

Cultured people must, in my opinion, satisfy the following conditions:
  1. They respect human personality, and therefore they are always kind, gentle, polite, and ready to give in to others. They do not make a row because of a hammer or a lost piece of india-rubber; if they live with anyone they do not regard it as a favour and, going away, they do not say "nobody can live with you." They forgive noise and cold and dried-up meat and witticisms and the presence of strangers in their homes.
  2. They have sympathy not for beggars and cats alone. Their heart aches for what the eye does not see…. They sit up at night in order to help P…., to pay for brothers at the University, and to buy clothes for their mother.
  3. They respect the property of others, and therefor pay their debts.
  4. They are sincere, and dread lying like fire. They don't lie even in small things. A lie is insulting to the listener and puts him in a lower position in the eyes of the speaker. They do not pose, they behave in the street as they do at home, they do not show off before their humbler comrades. They are not given to babbling and forcing their uninvited confidences on others. Out of respect for other people's ears they more often keep silent than talk.
  5. They do not disparage themselves to rouse compassion. They do not play on the strings of other people's hearts so that they may sigh and make much of them. They do not say "I am misunderstood," or "I have become second-rate," because all this is striving after cheap effect, is vulgar, stale, false….
  6. They have no shallow vanity. They do not care for such false diamonds as knowing celebrities, shaking hands with the drunken P., [Translator's Note: Probably Palmin, a minor poet.] listening to the raptures of a stray spectator in a picture show, being renowned in the taverns…. If they do a pennyworth they do not strut about as though they had done a hundred roubles' worth, and do not brag of having the entry where others are not admitted…. The truly talented always keep in obscurity among the crowd, as far as possible from advertisement…. Even Krylov has said that an empty barrel echoes more loudly than a full one.
  7. If they have a talent they respect it. They sacrifice to it rest, women, wine, vanity…. They are proud of their talent…. Besides, they are fastidious.
  8. They develop the aesthetic feeling in themselves. They cannot go to sleep in their clothes, see cracks full of bugs on the walls, breathe bad air, walk on a floor that has been spat upon, cook their meals over an oil stove. They seek as far as possible to restrain and ennoble the sexual instinct…. What they want in a woman is not a bed-fellow … They do not ask for the cleverness which shows itself in continual lying. They want especially, if they are artists, freshness, elegance, humanity, the capacity for motherhood…. They do not swill vodka at all hours of the day and night, do not sniff at cupboards, for they are not pigs and know they are not. They drink only when they are free, on occasion…. For they want mens sana in corpore sano [a healthy mind in a healthy body].
And so on. This is what cultured people are like. In order to be cultured and not to stand below the level of your surroundings it is not enough to have read "The Pickwick Papers" and learnt a monologue from "Faust." …

What is needed is constant work, day and night, constant reading, study, will…. Every hour is precious for it…. Come to us, smash the vodka bottle, lie down and read…. Turgenev, if you like, whom you have not read.
You must drop your vanity, you are not a child … you will soon be thirty. It is time! I expect you…. We all expect you.

Thank you Maria Popova. Thank you Anton Chekhov.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

In a parallel universe, I am a waitress AND a standup comedian

Two days ago, I was sitting in a very cold office selling myself as value-adding uh, addition (no synonyms coming to me at this point, so let's go with that) to an organization let's all agree to call The Gateway to a Bright Future.

TGTABF is a creative group and it may not have been to my best interest to have said that, "I am not an imaginative person." Thankfully, the interviewers at TGTABF didn't take my word at face value and asked me a question that gave me a chance to redeem myself. True to form that TGTABF is indeed, the gateway to a bright future, i was asked a la Miss Universe,

Interviewer Ladies of TGTABF
Let's say you have to be imaginative. How will you tell us about yourself in an imaginative way?

(thinks for about a minute)
Uh, how close do we have to be to reality? Can I create my own reality, separate from my current reality?
(A small surge of panic washes over me. I hope I don't give away too much weird vibes. Damn you aircon! It's so cold and I can't think!)

Interviewer Ladies of TGTABF
Your call. It's up to you.

(about a minute of semi-awkward silence passes.)

Uh, I'm ready
(Oh my god, I hope I am the right amount of cool and smart. Thizisittt.)
I live in Brooklyn. I work as a waitress in the day. I am quirky and deep in my reading and very much into comedy. I waitress to pay the bills. Everyday, I have burst of funny ideas that come to me as I bring people their food. I try to tell the other waitresses in the hopes of getting an audience for my super funny bits. As i expect bursts of laughter, all I get are "huh?" and some tiny pity laughs. This happens a lot so I've learned to find a fit-ter, better qualified audience outside of the diner.

Evening comes, I punch out, take my apron off and head a sort-off dungeon. At night, I am a standup comedian. I work a very pleased crowd and send them in roaring laughter. All the "huhs?" are worth it. All the times My jokes didn't get the validation they deserved are worth it. Damn it I'm funny!

Study questions:
1. Why am I  a waitress AND a standup comic?
2. What does that mean?

P.S. The Interviewer Ladies of TGTABF actually asked me that.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Be My Boyfriend

I know I should be writing more and not just copy-pasting things from Thought Catalog. But my words have been failing me lately and Thought Catalog has been spot on a little too much. Does that count for a win-win?

I write so I remember. So here is me remembering. Dig in.


Be My Boyfriend

Jul. 6, 2012

I feel like I’m dead most of the time. Actually, that’s too harsh of a word. “Going through the motions” would be a more accurate thing to say. Less dramatic. Less of a cause for alarm, right? The “hilarious” part is that I don’t even really know that I’m going through the motions until something wakes me up. Only when I feel alive do I realize I had ever been dead. Isn’t that typically the way though? Sometimes you don’t even realize something is dirty until it’s been cleaned. Then you’re like, “Oh, I guess that’s the way it’s always supposed to look. Who knew?”

I won’t lie to you. This is about a boy. It always is. It will always be about a boy. Wanting, needing, getting, and eventually losing. The second I met this boy, I knew he was going to be an important part of my life. I rarely feel this way so when I do, I pay attention. I listen to myself. I investigate. “Who is this person and why do I think they’ll matter so much to me?” It’s so uncommon that I ever feel compelled to really get to know someone. I’ll meet them first and if we develop a good rapport, that’s great. If not, okay. It wasn’t meant to be. But with some people, I feel like I’m meant to know them and will pursue them relentlessly. Is this weird? Do others experience this? It makes me sound creepy. I swear I’m not. I just know what I like. (And it’s easy to know what you like when you seldom like anything.)

So this boy — I want to date him. I want to know his childhood secrets, his best friends, his family. I want to sit in his room and just absorb everything I see. I want to be a detective and look through his stuff. They’ll help give me clues as to who this person really is and provide me with shortcuts. I want to take care of him. Seriously, I want to take him in my arms and just… help him. I want to put his head on my chest and lay in bed with him and turn everything else in the world off so we are the only ones who are vibrating. I want to fall asleep with you in the backseat of the cab and I want to make you cum and I want you to know that if you ever happened to choke on a sandwich alone in your apartment and die, your body wouldn’t just sit there for days like a lonely, sad, single person. I would find you immediately. (SIGH, ROMANCE.)

I know I sound ridiculous. Maybe I’ve watched too many romantic comedies or something but I don’t think that’s exactly why I’m turning into such a pile of mush. Having a crush, potentially loving someone, is, like, the great equalizer for humans. We all act the same way, we all think the same sentimental crap. I’m just the one who writes about it.

Simply put, I want to make this dude into my boyfriend. I want to “wife” him up, as they say in 2012. I want to be his motherf-cking plus one. And you know what? I think I actually have a good chance of making it happen. I have a good feeling about this. There’s a tingling in my bones. I feel misunderstood 99% of the time, like a misanthropic nightmare, but I think I may have found someone who’s tuned into the same frequency as me.

Life feels easier to go through alone. I know many disagree and while I’m the first to admit that I’m not the happiest person ever, I still honestly prefer being single to settling with someone. I’ve done it before and it feels awful. Like someone gently dragging you across hot concrete. I’d rather be honest with myself than dishonest to another person. I don’t have it in me. Maybe I did when I was 19, 21, 23, but not anymore. Now I can only love the right ones. The only problem being, of course, that so few are actually right.
But not you. You sir are just right. And I just can’t wait love the hell out of you. TC Mark

Joe's abs

I think I was one Facebook when I saw Six-Pack Abs in 12 Weeks| Yahoo Health. It has 2 of my favorite words, abs and Yahoo. So naturally, I have to click.

When I did, this was what I saw. Everybody, meet Joe's abs:
Photo credit: Yahoo Health

Great job to Joe for doing this in 12 weeks!

But on another (more important!) note, how come I find the rightmost photo the least attractive? I mean, I get that 5.5% body fat is noteworthy. But Joe's face (yes, first name basis kami haha) appears a little too gaunt for me. Does it follow, that when you lose the fat you lose the chest hair, too? Yes, that's me trying to be funny.

My best bet is Joe Week 1 or Joe Week 8. A little more cheek never hurt nobody :) Or I may be a teeny bit biased cos of the scruff?

Which version of Joe do you like best?

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Just a Reminder

One day, I found Maria Popova and Brain Pickings on the internet. It was a happy day. Brain Pickings was kind enough to give out free subscriptions to a weekly newsletter sent to my email.

A few days ago, it sent a list of the 10 Best Books of 2012. One of the books on the list was Tiny Beautiful Things. This is a quote from the book author Cheryl Strayed aka Dear Sugar of The Rumpus.

Maria Popova writes:
The book, one of the year's finest reads in psychology and philosophy, is titled after Dear Sugar #64, which remains my own favorite by a long stretch. It's exquisite in its entirety, but this particular bit makes the heart tremble with raw heartness:

Your assumptions about the lives of others are in direct relation to your naïve pomposity. Many people you believe to be rich are not rich. Many people you think have it easy worked hard for what they got. Many people who seem to be gliding right along have suffered and are suffering. Many people who appear to you to be old and stupidly saddled down with kids and cars and houses were once every bit as hip and pompous as you.

When you meet a man in the doorway of a Mexican restaurant who later kisses you while explaining that this kiss doesn't 'mean anything' because, much as he likes you, he is not interested in having a relationship with you or anyone right now, just laugh and kiss him back. Your daughter will have his sense of humor. Your son will have his eyes.

The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people's diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.

One Christmas at the very beginning of your twenties when your mother gives you a warm coat that she saved for months to buy, don't look at her skeptically after she tells you she thought the coat was perfect for you. Don't hold it up and say it's longer than you like your coats to be and too puffy and possibly even too warm. Your mother will be dead by spring. That coat will be the last gift she gave you. You will regret the small thing you didn't say for the rest of your life. Say thank you.
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