Desde el año pasado he estado trabajando en un gran defecto mío: soy una acumuladora. Ropa, zapatos, libros, materiales de pintura, lápices, cuadernos vacíos y cajas de cosas que no tienen palabra para ser clasificadas más que: basura. Poco a poco he estado reduciendo mis pertenencias y he dicho unos cuantos adiós con mucha duda pero todos, incluyendo estos, llegan al alivio de sentirme un poco más ligera sin tener que sacrificar el postre. Con o sin estas cosas, el día de mañana aún seré feliz, aún tendré mis manos para dibujar, aún tendré a los seres que amo y me aman y aún seré Ericka. Nada de que preocuparse… sí algo realmente necesario se va entre todo eso que estoy botando podré encontrarlo en alguna tienda, en Amazon o la dark web.
Personal note: I wrote this entry listening to Blood Bank – Bon Iver on repeat, if you feel like listening you’re welcomed to.
Have you ever stared at your ceiling blankly while thinking about all the possible turns and outcomes of life? The “what if’s” climbing inside your brain and a big question mark written on your forehead. If there’s something I’ve learned from reading poetry is that there’s nothing I’ve felt or lived that someone else hasn’t felt or survived before. So at least right now, while I’m blankly staring at my ceiling with Bon Iver playing on the background I don’t feel so hopeless or alone.
Okay, it sounds pretty deppressing now that I read that first paragraph once more, so let me calm you down and tell you it’s not that bad. There’s just a hole in my brain where the decision-taking expert neurons are supposed to be… they probably flew off to Hawaii when they knew such a big pre-graduation crisis was coming. Those b…ad neurons.
After always being used to knowing what I wanted, right now I shrug away the big questions such as: What are you doing after you graduate? Will you do a masters? Where will you go next? Are you going to stay in Computer Science? Have you thought of doing something totally new? Are you moving back home? etc etc… Sometimes I even smile and jokingly say “I have no idea”, the jokes on me though… cause I really have no idea.
The only thing I’m pretty much clear about is that I’m done with expectations, my own and others’. My university graduation is not only getting my bachelors degree but also the end to the need of thinking that I’m breathing to prove myself smart enough, cool enough, strong enough, mature enough. Because now I know that I’m not smart enough, cool enough, strong enough, mature enough… I’m well beyond that: I’m just right for whatever purpose I’m standing in this planet for… and so are you. So let’s collect all those expectations, tiny “unoffensive” comments that stuck in the back of our brains feeding our insecurities, and that voice whispering all the ‘buts’ to our greatness and let’s throw them away.
I feel like many times we have this constant fear of disappointing others and disappointing our most severe judge: ourselves. So we go on walking each step carefully, taking each decision so seriously, looking over our shoulders for approval because… What if we are wrong? What if we fail? What if at the end we’re not taking the best path? Well I’ll tell you what: you have a tomorrow and a day after that to change that, and if we actually don’t have tomorrow: problems won’t follow us to what comes after “the end”.
All this mess is more than I speaking to you encouraging to live bravely and to not choose right or wrong, the easy way or the tough way, whatever everyone is doing or go against the current… This is me, telling myself to stop being so afraid.
How bad can it be? To just pick that that makes your heart beat faster, that adventure you dream of, that which you can’t take off your head of, yeah… that exact idea/thing/person/place/whatever that makes everyone else think you might be a bit too crazy but you still think about at night when there’s nothing left but you and your thoughts. Because at the end, if we’re wrong at least there won’t be anyone else to blame but “that foolish us from the past”… and that foolish us from the past will thank us back for giving him/her the chance of choosing at least for once… and then maybe say sorry for being so foolish and messing our lives up a bit.
Now, the second issue here is to know what we really really want (I wanna, I wanna, I wanna), which takes us back to the beginning of this mess. Because now that we have decided that we will say goodbye to outside factors, it may happen that we don’t really know… but I’ll tell you a little secret: We always know. Yes, we always know what we want, because we can be a whole mess but if there’s someone that knows how to walk through that mess and get to the center of it all, it is ourselves. So let’s stop looking for the big answer in our ceiling, in that David Bowie thunder shaped cloud, in the lyric of the song we have on repeat for already three days, in the random video that popped up on our Facebook timeline or in others. It might take days or weeks (hopefully not years) before we get that answer out but let’s hope that by then we’re still brave enough to take it.
To close up this tiny mess of an entry, let me quote one of my favorite TV shows, just because when I saw this episode I felt it was talking directly to me and still now from time to time I look back to this quote and keep it as a mini mantra:
“Maybe it’s dumb to look for signs from the universe. Maybe the universe has better things to do. Maybe we don’t need the universe to tell us what we really want. Maybe we already know that, deep down.” -Ted Mosby talking to Robin, How I Met Your Mother Episode: “Something Old”
Step 1: Freak out. Overthink everything. Miss the time when your biggest choice was if you wanted or not queso in your baleada (or cheese in your sandwich for those who don’t understand the baleada culture).
Step 2: Say “go to hell” to all those thoughts. Decide that you will do whatever you really really want.
Step 3: Freak out again because you don’t know what you really really want. Cry in fetal position, if needed.
Step 4: Drink a tea/coffee/beer/six tequila shots/apple juice and realize that all answers will come to you, from inside you… not from any other crazy destiny coded message.
What is the next step though? Sorry… but I haven’t reached it yet. I’m somewhere stucked between step 3 and 4, but I promise that as soon as I get to it I’ll let you know. Meanwhile, I’ll keep on sitting in the coffee shop close to my place writing my mind out and drinking as many Hazelnut Lattes and Passionfruit Green Teas it takes until the big answer comes.
Thanks for reading this, and I hope that if you’re in your pre-graduation crisis, pre-anything crisis or post-anything crisis you feel a bit more understood.
Also, thanks to the coolest Physics teacher ever for keeping up with my mess already for more than a month and reading through this entry as I wrote it… and thanks to all those who have also suffered my suffering when I become insufferable. Thanks to you all I keep thinking this is a pretty time and world to live in.
Taiwan has been the best experience in my life until now. No doubt. Still I need to accept the journey has not been easy, it has actually been pretty hard. It has lots of ups and downs, and more than a 100 times I have wondered what the hell I am actually doing here… This post is about that: the answer to that question. Why being 14,000+ kms away from home is worth it every centimeter and how every misfortune and mishappening is nothing but a chance, a blessing, a new open door in disguise.
乾杯 to Taiwan, to 蛋餅s and the minutes used in this post instead of studying!~
I left home 2 years, 8 months and 23 days ago. That day I was weeping my heart out, hugging my best friend while he was trying to calm me down by telling me I was going to be back home soon. SOON?! I would think, I am leaving for five years and cannot visit until 2 years later from today. TWO YEARS. At that moment in the airport I was questioning all the set of decisions taken in the past two months. The call in the cellphone telling me the great news about Taiwan and asking me right there in the spot “Do you accept this opportunity?” my shaking voice replying “Yes, yes… of course!” and from that point on it was all a serious rush of events. Documents, shopping, places I wanted to go, a series of farewells, overeating all the food I know I was going to miss (what I did not know was that I was going to miss plantain as soon as I sat down on my first flight… yeah, that was fast.)
First of all, today I had this song in replay all day long. No real reason, it just happenned so it will be cool if you read the entry while listening to it!
“Why did you stop painting pretty things?”
When this question hit me a couple of days ago I actually wasn’t sure how to react. Of course my first instict was to feel offended. My drawings are like my babies, or a depiction of how I see the world and myself, therefore it felt as a critic towards myself rather than just to the ink and paper. I paused my drawing process (yes, I was drawing at that moment) and directed all my attention to this humanbeing, but before snapping out an ugly answer I took a second to think and asked back “What do you mean with pretty?”
I have so much I want to talk about. So much going on this big head of mine that I don’t even know what this post is going to be about. Or well, first I’ll tell you a story and then I’ll move to the post, since I just figured out what I want to talk about, but I also want to share with you something.
It all started when I was running late for Salsa (I was planning on skipping for second time in a row but then that tiny voice in my head made me feel guilty and lazy so… I left my bed). I was running in the streets, some raindrops hitting on my face (and annoying me since I was wearing my normal glasses nad not contacts) and with music booming in my ears when Bloom – The Paper Kites started playing. All of a sudden my mind just traveled back to the past. It was February 2011, I was (almost) 15 and I was in the rooftop of my old apartment building.
In the morning when I wake
And the sun is coming through,
Hello! On Friday I went around Taipei101 and guess what? CHRISTMAS IS EVERYWHERE (
but no holliday to be seen, come on Taiwan give Santa Claus some love). So I wanted to bring to you a small challenge for this December. Actually I just thought about it and will come up with this ideas as I am writing the blog (improvisation, yeay). Every challenge will take up to two days, since sometimes we need a bit more of time to get things done. So, NO EXCUSES.
Dajia Haaaao. And with that I mean hello.
It’s been some crazy weeks, which I will try to summarize in the following: Duathlon. Salsa classes. Advancing a small personal project which I will tell you about in… February
or as soon as it’s finished. Midterm tests. Lots of desserts. New winterbreak plan (in Taiwan). Coldplay has a new album coming out next week and I am totally freaking out about it. I went to Nathalie’s house for Thanksgiving Dinner in family (without Nathalie, since she is in Germany). I am listening to Adele’s new album so I am feeling nostalgic about (almost) every past relationship (with relationships mostly meaning: almost relationships, platonic crushes, the clone of Robert Pattison who I saw at The Purple Turtle Pub in London and I won’t ever see again, and all that’s in between). My half marathon is in less than three weeks and I am soooo not ready. My niece is getting cuter every second and I can’t wait till I am with her again. The man who sells pineapple popsicles outside my university campus is gone for the winter, so I am mourning… etc, etc, etc.
In conclusion, I am pretty okay. Yep.
Other thing I wanted to mention in today’s blog was how happy I am because of one of my readers/friends (who I met last Friday) instead of saying hi to me, he said “I love reading you!!”. If you are reading this: THANK YOU (again). Seriously, I am so glad there are people who actually like reading all my rambling.
So, now… what are we talking about today.
Here I am today, wondering what was wrong. Me? You? Time? Conditions? Our past? Our plans for the future? Our religion? Our point of views about political issues? All of the above? None of the above? I actually don’t know and probably I will go to the grave with that question pretty much unanswered. Some days, when the fact that it didn’t work out and it won’t ever work out kills me a little bit deep inside, I rest my head (and my soul) in the theory that maybe in other universe, in a parallel universe, there’s me and you, being me and you, we. Happy. Unbreakable. Together.