Messages

“Love is just kindness with its working boots on.” –

    The House Bunny

I’ve always been a big reader with a decent memory.
When a situation comes up I’ve been able to recall a quote and instantly a smile spreads through their face like a wildfire and they blush. I wish I was able to spread my words as well and wisely as some authors. Namely Markus Zusak, who is my favorite author.

I’ve read all of his books, once, twice, three times. Hoping that every word stays with me forever and ever and ever and ever. I am jealous of him, but I am thankful for him. As “I am the Messenger” turned out to be a catalyst book for me, it’s aided me in so many projects, including fixing myself.

I am a message.

I am eighteen years old and lived a nomadic life, blessed with two strict, but loving parents, an older sister who is the exact opposite of me, two rambunctious dogs who somehow still love me and a network of friends willing to help me when I fall.

When they fall, I’ve been noticing it myself for: “it is harder to judge yourself than to judge others” (Saint Antoine d’exupery) I can recall words, create my own, and or so many other things that they can smile and laugh and suddenly feel so much better. I feel empowered with words. I feel empowered with the gift of spreading happiness and joy by just being the person God made me to be.

For once, after seeing one of my friends cry. I am thankful for being me. I am thankful for being a message in his life as he was in mine because I believe that:

“Some people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.”

– Markus Zusak

Good teacher vs. bad teacher

All my life I’ve been surrounded by teachers. Teachers of all different languages and races because I’ve lived in so many places and so many countries. Never before have I ever truly experienced a good teacher until now, until I decided not to go to college and volunteer with a teacher I know.

This has been the best decision of my life.

I take a role as one of her students, sit at their desk while running copies and doing menial tasks while commenting on some children, some dreams and some themes in their stories. I learn more in her class than in twelve years of schooling. My eyes brim with tears and my mind searches for a way to learn more – yes learn more after attending a fifth grade class seven, eight years later.

I’ve never once had a teacher make me want to learn, make me want to think, make me want to be better. And even at the coffee table discussing one child and a problem that he has, she tells me what I can do to help.

“Mem, you know what the problem is, we’ll fix him like we fixed you.”

“Yes, and I’ll continue to be a good example for him, and let him know we love him while reaching back and letting him grow on his own.”

Teaching is hard. I’m just a volunteer that’s there everyday and I know; I’ve seen it on a teachers face. We discuss the stories, the pictures, the arithmetic, and the lesson plans. How do we approach it in a user friendly way? How do we let them explore with their overbearing parents?

So many questions, so many possible answers. So much love. I hope that my being there will help them change, grow and blossom.

Pass

Walking home today in the chilled October weather, I walked past a house that had a lot of meaning to me. A house whose doors were always open and smiling hearts and warm food awaited.

I was a year younger, dressed in confusion. Newly out of the house with an argument behind me, I stumbled in once and fell in love. I felt like I was finally home after eighteen years of searching.

Well, the family left and the house still stands. I stood before it for a long while, thanking it but also regretting that I spent so much time there when really in my stubbornness, I should have been home with my parents. Talking things out, perhaps the situation I came under would have been easier to deal with.

The wind whipped my hair and chilled my cheeks, the door opened and I was almost happy and a little boy came out and I knew it was time for me to leave.

Skipping stones

My father and I, mother watching warily from a height above us, sat by the riverfront. I watch as the river swells, laughter rises, and beauty both diminishes and is soon replaced by the nighttime sky.

I wait until the sun sets the world on fire. I let this moment drag.

“Dad, I’ve never learned how to skip stones.”

“What kind of childhood have you had?”

A nomadic one, a cultural one, a confusing one thoughts flow into my head.

“The one you gave me.”

He bends down with his aching knees and has a fist full of rocks in his hands. He puts one into my hand and shows me how to throw it as if I’m still a child.

Moments like this make my mothers heart swell and my father regrets momentarily how much of a normal life I’ve never had. Then he laughs about it and realizes he could never change it. I’m eighteen now, I look and act nothing like a normal eighteen year old and that’s what makes me their child.

I continue to skip rocks until the fires dim out and the world is cold and cool again. I listen to the sounds of splashing in the canoes we rode earlier, the chanting of the temple we visited and although so much joy and beauty existed, I found my most favorite part of the journey was skipping stones along the river bank with my father watching the first ripple, create a second ripple, then a third, to sink into the bottom of the bank.

What was, what is, and what will be.

Instruments

I’ve never been a music guru. Being Asian, naturally my parents tried to keep me on one of the three instruments of the Asian world: piano, violin, and flute. I had the piano and I loved it but I was never musically talented, or actually patient. I wanted to immediately play Bach and Beethoven. Instead I got Mozarts small children’s tunes.

After five years of suffering, my parents gave me the reprieve and instantly I began to sing, the very thing they dreaded. I actually was born not to sing, but I convinced myself that I could. I’ll never be great though but I can hold a note and sing in a choir.

I then ventured over to Ocarina (yes, because of The Legend of Zelda) and Ukulele, because that’s where my home home home plays. I just traipsed about for ages trying to find an instrument that I’d love, even trying Trombone.

Watching a concert tonight I realize that I am not musical, and I’ll never have the patience or the drive to be so. I can appreciate it, but I’ll never subject somebody to suffer as I did.

In the meantime: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yydcG9woWA

Blogging

When I first started blogging I just figured that I would silently document my life in memories as I always have. Like most bloggers I actually have a camera but a faux photography background; but when I opened up this page I decided to keep the details vague and leave the reader guessing. A mirror to my plight in discovering myself through the use of words. I figured, if it’s in my hands, in my room it’ll become a doodling pad and I would not write every day, if it was public, then perhaps maybe.

It’s much harder with a camera and photos to keep the reader guessing – it’s still hard with text as I want to over document my life as documenting delight does almost every day, lauding her love for her children. I opted to under document it and highlight with (changed) phrases what was eye-opening for the day, week.

I have to refuse to share where I am, my circumstances are different; I’m younger, less wise, more naive and I have nothing to show thus far. I’m not famous; lots of people do know me though through various means. I’m not talented; my work has not been prolific and established world wide. My writing style is nothing like the road is home.

But I’m finding that maybe it’s because of my youth, my confusion, my personal stories that I’m finding myself at peace with this project. It may not be everything that you want it to be for a blog, but just a way, a place where I can hide myself and show my true personality on a piece of paper (in this case on electronic script) and kind of truly be at peace with myself.

The two blogs listed above are the two that got me into blogging. I am inspired by them everyday and hope that one day I can learn to love as they do, to show my talents as they do. I read them religiously and hope and pray and hope and pray that my writings can touch the hearts of people as theirs do.

That said, I should go back to self-discovery starting with the first and most essential question: “who am I?”