Slow Down

As a kid, all I wanted to be is an adult. I wanted to be 18 and be able to order from infomercials. I thought that was the coolest thing you could do.

But as I write on this blog every few weeks, I think the coolest thing you can do now is slow down. It’s really important to appreciate time and what’s around you. You’ll never be this young again, after all.

So take some time to slow down with me. Don’t know how to do it? Try doing something you love. You’ll see how slow time moves when you’re savoring every moment.


Three Wishes

You know, genies are a little stingy.

In return for letting them out of a cage, basically, they give you three wishes–with a ton of stipulations. You can’t wish for more wishes. You can’t wish that the dead become undead. And usually, if the fairy tales are to be believed, you accidentally wish away your wishes before you’ve even got started.

I’ve sworn off genies. I’ll stick with dandelion seeds.

With one small puff of air, a cluster of seeds are afloat and away. And with it are attached all of your hopes and dreams. It’s simple and much less stressful than rubbing a lamp with some elbow grease.

That is, unless the seeds get stuck in your throat. I was sitting in my car today in rush hour traffic when an entire cloud of dandelion seeds floated through the air. And a few lucky specimens slipped right into my mouth. Upon choking and sputtering, I got to thinking: what is the point in wishing? And a better question: who released such an army of wishes on so many unsuspecting commuters like myself?

In this vein, I sometimes feel like wishing is like winning the lottery. No matter how much you desire something, you’re not likely to get what you wish for without working for it. Or maybe it’s more synonymous with luck: you need to make your own.

Or maybe it isn’t any of that. Maybe it’s similar to exercising in the sense that you feel good just because you’re doing it. And maybe it doesn’t carry a heavier meaning than that. (It can’t. Most wishes have to float through the air.)

But despite all of my metaphors, there is nothing in this world that is more of an expression of hope than a wish. It’s a tiny admission to the world that you want to give your desires their own voice. You might do it on candles, at 11:11 on the clock, or on a shooting star. But the sentiment is always the same: please, someone, listen.

I sometimes lose faith in wishing. But then again, I also lose faith in hope. I feel like it is so fragile, and that if I’m not looking where I sit, I’ll squash and shatter it.

But unlike hope, wishes are not fragile. Even when sliding down an unsuspecting person’s throat. Wishes keep hope intact because they act as the vessel. They give us something tangible to hold onto when everything seems so abstract. They were built to last and withstand all the negative forces in the world. Specifically doubt.

So, the next time you are hoping for something to happen, capture it in a wish. Oh, but don’t tell anyone what you wished for. Much like hope, you have to keep a wish close to your heart and your chest.

Apparently, I Never Laugh

No, that’s it. That’s the entire blog post.

I don’t laugh.

This was brought to my attention, intervention-style, by my family. We were all sitting around and discussing something humorous, I think. It was hard to tell. And my mother mentioned that my father, in particular, tries especially hard to make me laugh. I, ironically, laughed at this. I said, “What do you mean? I laugh. I laugh all the time.” To which, my sister chimed in. She told me that I really didn’t and that she works hard to make me laugh, too. I was a bit dumbfounded. Here everyone, had kept this weird secret from me. This weird, laughable secret. Was I the joker, so serious? It was impossible. Wasn’t it?

So, I had a bit of an out of body experience. That is, I observed myself in daily life. I tried to track how I reacted to most things. I tried to note what happened after anyone said just about anything to me. And besides chuckling to myself when I unironically listened to “Milkshake” in a quiet office, the family was absolutely correct. I don’t laugh. And when I do laugh, it’s mostly at the expense of other people. Which is downright terrible.

What I have also found is that I try really hard to make other people laugh. I try to get people going by making fun of myself or poking fun at something else. Which I guess is okay. But it doesn’t make up for all of the time I have spent not laughing.

In the end, there’s two lessons here. First, try listening to yourself for a week. If you find you’re on a laugh diet, try to lighten up. I’m not saying to force it. There is absolutely nothing more awkward or annoying than a forced laugh. Just try to be a little more relaxed. Try to see the lighter side of it all. Then, if you find yourself trying to be the clown or the comic in every situation, try to let someone else have the spotlight. As any comedian can tell you, it is difficult to keep being the life of the party when you are “on” all of the time.

So, have I started laughing more? I don’t think so. Not yet. But I’m trying. And I’m thankful for my family. For however hard they try to make me laugh, I’ve never met anyone with a higher success rate than them. After all, laughter can be the best medicine, if you let it be.

Everyone Should Drown Once in Their Life

It isn’t a vivid memory, but I do remember the time I was caught in a rip tide.

Your guess is as good as mine as how old I was. But I can remember following my sister out into the waves. I was loath to go in, I’ve always hated the ocean even before this incident, but I would pretty much follow my sister anywhere (a trait that many younger sisters share). I can recall trying to jump the waves (and I can remember being short enough that this was a difficult task). I know that my sister was not swimming straight out, but parallel to the shore. She was getting more and more distant, and I was trying to catch up. But I couldn’t. It wasn’t more noteworthy than that. I simply wanted to move, but I couldn’t. And the next thing I knew a lifeguard was swimming out to me, catching me around the waist and striding toward the shore. How was I supposed to know that if I had kept going I would have had to stop? I think, when I got to shore, I started to cry because the reality of the situation hit my young brain. But it was very, very possible that I was just being dramatic and looking for sympathy over my unfortunate experience.

Although I was very far from drowning, I was closer to it than I had ever been before or after. For the rest of my life, I have stayed away from the ocean, not from any real fear, just from a general dislike (and it has always been mutual. No, the ocean does not like me. It knows.). But for everything I find horrifying about the ocean, (that terrible moment when something brushes your leg) I’m truly not afraid of rip tides anymore. I’ve been there, brushed that experience like a jellyfish washing past in those same waves with the same amount of pain and distress, and moved on.

Which is why everyone needs to have a drowning, or near-drowning, experience in their lives. And drowning is important; no near-death experience will do. When you are struggling against water, there is something so very debilitating. Perhaps it is the keen knowledge that you are absolutely out of your element, and there is nothing you can do. Someone has to come and help you. Of course, I was too young to cling to my mortality for every moment after, but the memory remains with me still.

Now, don’t go throwing yourself into bodies of water just to have a stronger constitution and better outlook on life. This concept also applies metaphorically. If you have never really “drowned,” if you’ve never been up the creek without a paddle, how do you know what you are made of? How do you know whether you will sink or swim? How do you know you can’t when you’ve never tried? We should all embrace the chaos as much as possible for this exact reason.

In the end, I’ll be alright if I am never at the mercy of the ocean again. But if I am, the ocean should know I’m a bit bigger and a little harder to pick on. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? Almost. More like, what doesn’t kill you makes you a stronger swimmer.

Happy Birthday, Mom

When you have your own blog, it is only customary to highlight your mother on the day of her birth (because, you know, she sort of birthed you).

I could not think of a better way to honor you, mom, and thank you for the gift of life than to use my own gift. Most of the time, we act like two different people, and we don’t see eye to eye. But it is hard to see eye to eye with yourself sometimes, and I know we are very alike. (You may not understand the reference, but I am kind of your horcrux. Just trust me on this one.) We both remind each other to be the best that we can be time after time. And so without further ado…


The words do not come so quickly

this time

(and how could they?)

I’m condensing a lifetime in a few keystrokes

(you made a lifetime in a few brushstrokes)

and we were 

hoping that I would arrive into this world, swirling with so many stars

from captured constellations, made from galaxies you could pinch between your thumb and forefinger…

and then I arrived, all thumbs



You suddenly realized you would have to 

impart   imbue   improvise

your knowledge 

upon    in    through  

me. So, you started to knead out your ideals

you started to flatten your flaws beneath your knuckles

hoping to disguise them under the rug


other mothers have done the same

with varying degrees of success

and by success, I mean

prayers and pleas to the gods and goddesses that you would not

could not

pass down the bad with the good.

But like I said,

it does not work that way,

and I soaked it all up

like your bread in the milk 

before you squish it in the bowl.


As your daughter, I am familiar to you,

and so strangely cold,

that you

take off your rings 

as to not lose them when you

mold me.


And now, that my shoulders have grown to their full wingspan

(I had to stretch my skin to fit my own dimensions)

I find the star stuff that you wanted for me, in the beginning.

Because it was in you

the entire



I love you, Mom. Happy Birthday.