I looked up at the blue sky yesterday afternoon and took this picture. I wasn’t laying down on grass or anything, but I was surrounded by the trees that were living their last days being green, sheltering me from the sun beaming too harshly on me, protecting me from anything blurring my vision.
I used to come to this park when I was 19-years-old. I wasn’t in the best place in 2013; being a freshman in college and wanting to drop out, living my life in constant fear due to death threats, and constantly thinking about every car driving by hitting me in the streets because I just didn’t want to be inside my own mind anymore. 19 was just a duplicate of 18, just not in high-school anymore.
When I felt the worst on days, I would walk 2 miles towards no destination, and then walk 2 miles back. I sometimes would walk to the dog park to watch the dogs be carefree and happy with their owners, I sometimes would walk to the bridge and sit near the water and take the view of the borough across from where I was. In the winter time, I used to walk down the blocks with the most Christmas decorations. No matter where I went, I discovered something about the neighborhood that held some beauty to my eye.
On most of my adventures, I would stop in this little park about halfway through. It’s a little park with some benches, no playground, no kids, no noise. I would come here to sit on a bench and rest for a couple of minutes; grab some water, check my phone for any messages or calls I missed, and just breathe. I don’t know why whenever I would walk that way I felt the need to stop here, but I did, almost every single walk I went on.
I remember one of the last times I came to this park. It was August 2013 and I was saying my last goodbyes to a person that I loved dearly, but needed to let go in order to prosper and take care of my own well being. While that was the last time I ever saw that person, I guess the memory of sitting with them on that bench was too hurtful to ever return there again. Life got busy, and I ultimately stopped walking.
Coming back here as a 26-year-old in a new decade with practically a new life compared to my 2013 one, I sat on the bench I always sat on and watched around me. There was a couple cuddling and talking to one another, there was man reading a book, another man with his bike chugging down a water bottle, and a man playing catch with his dog. Despite everything that may be happening, the world moves forward with people doing their own thing, spending time the way they want, and I guess those other people and myself decided we wanted to spend our time being in this moment, in this park, just taking in whatever it is we need to take in for our own peace of mind.
For me, it was the fact that for a really long time, I haven’t had the time to think about myself. I’ve felt like I haven’t been able to actually think and take care of my needs, and I guess my mind and body kept telling me that I needed to slow down. Because I haven’t had the time to do the things I wanted to do, I’ve found myself losing a lot of my interest in the things that made me happy; kpop collecting, writing the blog, etc. I’ve been so mentally and physically exhausted from the constant working and appointments/tests for bariatrics surgery that I haven’t had a moment to myself and just… not be busy or think about anything else that is normally on my mind.
I’ve been living in another universe a lot these days. My best friend, Ro, has been writing a “novel disguised as a fanfic”; that’s as good as I can describe it. In this universe, I am the spunky and spicy fireball of a best friend that doesn’t take shit from no one and makes sure her voice is always heard. Sure, she’s a character that is somewhat based on me, but as a writer myself, I love living in the universe of characters, and I’ve been really invested in Ro’s writing universe. During my time at the park, it give me time to have some really cool conversation with them about this universe and where they are thinking about taking the narrative and story as a whole and it was just a feeling I enjoyed a lot; it was a feeling that I didn’t want to stop feeling because it was me at my most peaceful state for a really long time.
I also found out that some of my peace stems from picture taking. These days, I am finding myself stopping in the middle of the street, randomly taking pictures of different things I found interesting or picture-worthy. Whether I’m on my way to work surrounded by campus trees and open space or I’m walking on a crowded street in Brooklyn’s Chinatown, I feel the need to capture the things I see with a camera. I’m no photographer, but I’ve been really enjoying capturing the moments I see around me.
Perhaps I just want to be a little artsy and creative since being in this really long writer’s block. I’ve been putting my creative energy in taking pictures and posting them on my personal account on Instagram as a “journal entry”, sorta just going through the thoughts I may be having that particular week or something. It’s not much and it’s not a whole thought out piece like my blog, but it’s something. It’s still allowing me to create and put together word that I have to say, and if anything, that makes my voice still being heard, and me having things left to say.
Welcome to how life has been for me lately.