The poem that I’m reacting to this time around was a shitty one nevertheless entitled, “Charm Bracelet”. It wasn’t that great back then if we’re going to be honest here – but I wanted to share this one because I feel like a lot of the things said in here I thought were true, and reading it back, you could clearly see that I wasn’t my own mascot during these times. The references to killing myself in all of my poetry back then were just read as being an “angsty teen”, but man, I truly did forget just how much of a bad place I was in while writing this poetry. Maybe that’s why I don’t write it anymore?
Anyway, “Charm Bracelet” is a metaphor for the labels and qualities you carry around with you in life. I guess my teenage self thought that I was always wearing my labels on me like different charms of a bracelet, while everyone was seeing it. Anyway, here’s this very interesting poem:
It’s crazy to already be on the third day of 2019. What’s even crazier is that this is the last year of the 2010’s decade, and this time next year we’ll be in the modern roaring twenties! It’s also crazy to think that this time next year, we were wrapping up the millennium, and we were going to live to see 2010. Remember when people thought the world was going to end in 2012? Look how far we’ve gotten since then.
2009, for me, was a year of new beginnings, new experiences, new environments; just new everything.
In 2009, I was 15 years old. My birthday fell on a Friday this year, and my friends that knew about my birthday in high-school wished me a happy birthday, but I did have plans to go with a group of my middle school friends to the movies to see this scary movie called The Unborn. My best friend at the time shared the same birthday as me, so it was exciting to celebrate with my best friend. Plans didn’t go as planned, and I ended up staying home, celebrating my 15th birthday with my family. It was a chill and calm birthday.
I was a freshman in high-school. My freshman year was definitely a weird one; I didn’t know anybody in the school, and I was surrounded by other classmates who were just as talented, if not more, like me. In the classroom of B25, there were 54 freshman girls and a handful of boys who got moved to another choir so that my vocal teacher can turn my class into Women’s Choir. In Women’s Choir, I was a first-soprano, which ’til this day I don’t even remember how that even happened, but it did. Through difficult coursework and some drama along the way, vocal became that last period of the day that I was looking forward to. I loved singing the songs we were learning, prepping for our first-ever debut at the Spring Concert, and really doing what I loved with people who loved doing the same thing as well. Through hard work and determination, by the end of the school year, I was granted the amazing news that I was now being transferred to the highest and most advanced choir of the vocal program: Performing Choir. I still remember being on AIM telling my best friends the greatest news I could receive as a first-year high-school student.
Speaking about middle school friends: the transition for all of us in our different schools was harder than I thought it was going to be. Many of us were scattered in different high-schools across the borough, and with that became different personalities that my friends and I were introduced to. For me, I was very quiet and shy, and my group of friends in high-school was a mixture of all majors, but they were super smart. My friends from middle school, on the other hand, had a much more colorful variety of friends, which I didn’t mind at all. For starters, a lot of my friends were now getting into things that my prune ass is now rolling around in her grave because ya girl does these things now as an almost 25-year-old woman. Many of them experienced with weed and drinking and whatnot, and my naive, innocent ass thought I was losing my only closest friends. That summer, one of my best friends came out as bisexual and naive, stupid little ole me thought it was the end of the world. In 2009, I didn’t really know a lot about the world at 15; I wasn’t ever in a relationship, I never was peer pressured into doing anything, and I had a really black and white mindset on the world.
I experimented on my hair a lot this year. In the 8th grade, I didn’t do anything crazy with my hair, but by the time I was in high school, I wanted to try every hairstyle and every color I could possibly do. At the time, my sister was in beauty school studying hair, so a lot of the time I was her “test dummy”, and I honestly did not mind whatsoever! To this day, I really do blame my sister for getting me so addicted to hair.
Towards the end of 2009 when I started my sophomore year of high-school, I met this boy who I had such a crush on. He was a senior in my high-school, and he was in both my Physics class and in Performing Choir with me. Through Performing Choir, we were able to become a lot closer, and he instantly became one of my best friends towards the end of 2009. Yes, this is the same guy that is in my life 10 years later. It was exciting to have a guy in my life that was different than the other oys I’ve met throughout my middle school years. Yes, I was boy crazy in middle school and had a lot of crushes, but this one felt different. He had a style that spoke to me: plaid shirts and converse shoes. He wasn’t crazy tall and he felt gentle. To this day, he still reminds me of those qualities that I saw in him all these years ago. It’s crazy to believe that this coming October, it will be 10 years since I’ve first met him.
Towards the very end of 2009, I got my first kiss. Yes, it was with this same boy, and I remember my best friend at the time being all giddy when she found that I had finally gotten my first kiss from a guy that I really liked! I remember getting on the train to go home that Friday afternoon, literally unable to get the smile off of my face. To this day, I don’t regret getting that first kiss. I mean, it was in a stairwell after our choir rehearsal, but it wasn’t something that I regret doing all these years later.
On Christmas Eve, my extended family from my father’s side had a party, and all I remember about that night was that I peed myself. Yeah, a whole grown 15-year-old teenager had a goddamn accident. My folks laughed at me, and I was mortified. But it was all good; my mother allowed me and my sister to open our gifts later that night, so I was alright! I vaguely remember that one of the gifts my grandmother got me was this “Desperate Housewives” game thing… to this day I believe that shit was meant for either my sister or my mom.
And that’s about it! 2009 wasn’t that much of an eventful year, but it did leave me with a lot of lessons learned and experiences that honestly began this journey of self-growth and maturing. It’s seriously so weird to know that ten years ago, a lot has happened, yet time seriously just flew by. Let’s see what my 35-year-old self has to say about me now!
If you knew me waaaaay back in 2016, you would remember that I used to carry around this hardcover pink journal everywhere I went. I carried it to school, my partner’s place, my grandparent’s house in Pennsylvania, my aunt’s house in Jersey; pretty much everywhere that I went. I didn’t get to keep one in 2017, but I started it back up this year. Of course, nothing beats the original, and this daily journal is honestly one of the reasons why 2016 was such a great year for me. If you’ll like to read about some of my reasoning on why journaling is a great thing to do, you can read my post about the Pros of Journaling here!
With that being said, I figured we do something fun for this week’s #TBT! How about we go through three of my journal entries right here, right now?
If you’ve only got to know me in the past year and a half through TNTH, then you probably didn’t know that I used to write poetry back in high-school/early college. Poetry was my form of escape through my depression six years ago, and honestly, because of that sadness I had inside of me, it made me write some pretty sick (in both ways) poems that to this day are untouchable. Nowadays, I don’t write poetry because I’m simply just horrible at it, plus I had some really discouraging people in my life at the time who told me my writing sucked…
Anyway, I thought it would be fun to “react” to a poem I wrote back when I was 18. Warning: it’s dramatic, it’s dark, but it’s possibly the poem that suggested me being more than just an “angsty teen”.
So, it’s 2018. It’s crazy to believe that 10 years ago was 2008. 2008 was one of those years you look back on and remember your youth and the memories that are forever a part of that specific year. I thought it would be fun to reminisce about the person I was and the memories that made this year one to always remember. I wrote a #TBT post about 2008a while ago if you’d like to read a more detail description of this year. If not, here’s a summary of 2008 through my eyes.
In 2008, I was 14 years old. I vaguely remember my birthday being during the school week and I went to school with my pretty outfit I bought at Fashion Bug and I straightened my hair for the big day. I never straightened my hair in middle school so whenever I did get it straightened, it was a big deal to my friends. Another person in our class also shared the same birthday as me which never happened because I don’t really know that many people who are born in January, let alone on the same day as me. My birthday was a fun day; I got birthday wishes from all of my teachers, I got my various birthday punches (a middle school tradition), and I got mad love by my friends. I spent my after-school hours auditioning for the school play, which was an experience of its own. Eventually, I got the role of “Queen of Hearts” in the production of Alice in Wonderland.
I was really big on music at this time. I listened to such a variety of music that I look back now and remember a lot of different music from 2008. That summer, though, I started to get into the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato, and I was literally that girl. My friends who were still into the mainstream music actually began to judge me for my music tastes, but guess who didn’t give a fuck!
My 8th-grade class literally made my year. We were considered one of the smartest classes in the middle school yet we were one of those classes that raised hell in our classes. Something would happen every single day, whether it was rumors being spread around about our teachers hooking up, causing havoc in our math class because we never did a damn thing in Math, and even when someone stole a few things from one of my teachers one time, we all stood together like a family.
The greatest day of 2008 was opening day of my school’s production of Alice in Wonderland. For months, I spent my after-school hours rehearsing for the show, making friends along the way, and it was bittersweet to see the show come to life after months of getting it together. All my friends and family came out to support, I owned the stage whenever I was in character, and it was just one of the things I am so happy I did, even years after the fact. This production really made my passion for singing and acting a lot stronger, and I was excited to continue my studies in performing arts high school that Fall.
When the weather began to get warmer, my friends and I would always hang out on Fridays after school. We either went to the park in our area and played basketball (I would be the one watching), or we would go to the movie theater in Bay Rudge and watch something. The first ever movie hangout we all went on was to see Iron Man, and surprisingly it was amazing! It was more fun that there were, like, 15 of us in that movie theater just hanging out and having a good time. One of the best movies we all went to see in theaters was Batman: The Dark Knight. Seriously, that movie to me was put together amazingly. It was one movie that all of us wouldn’t have dared to talk through because it was so good.
In our grade, everyone knew who were the best singers in our grade. I was known to be one of the best. I participated in every talent show since the sixth grade and I was in both of the school productions while being in that school. I was even chosen to sing a duet with another one of those singers for graduation, and we sang our asses off. Because I went to a regular junior high-school that wasn’t specialized, it was a big deal to my friends when I told them I got accepted to Brooklyn High School of the Arts.
My class was chosen to be a part of this middle school Ballroom Dancing program and I was one of the people chosen to be a part of something called the Rainbow Match Competition. In each round, we were assigned a color and our hand-picked dance couples had to compete with other schools in that category. I did something similar to this in the 5th grade where we made it all the way to the semi-finals; I was assigned as the merengue couple with a boy from my class. In middle school, I was assigned to do the Tango with a boy I really didn’t like because he didn’t take me or the competition seriously. But we did what we had to do, and we ended up getting third place.
Although I was a singer, I started to take myself more seriously as a writer as well. I was even chosen to share an original poem about ballroom dancing during out school performance. Eventually, I even started to keep a journal that I eventually wanted to make an actual published book in the future. I don’t know if future me would do that now, but I wrote everything down and made sure I recorded the memories I was making in 2008. I even made a scrapbook of all the 2008 memories; I’m glad that I did. It was definitely the start of me writing down everything for the sake of sealing the memories for a lifetime.
2008 was that year I had after having a year of uncertainty and self-doubt. 2007 was a year of tears and fakeness and losing friends for stupid things and 2008 was the opposite of that. I felt more like myself in 2008 than I had prior to that year. I guess I hold 2018, ten years later, to that same expectation. I hope that 2018 is great for its own reasons, but I hope it has the same amount of happiness and positivity that 2008 had. 2008 Liz was a girl who was a force to be reckoned with; 2018 Liz is going to be the woman version of that.
In a sad confession, I have to say that I’ve only had one job in my life, and that job was just a month-long internship at a theater company. Other than that, I’ve tried getting a job in the last couple of years, but they haven’t really done me well.
I started to look for internships and job after completing my second year of college three years ago. I was specifically looking for internships that could help me become more involved in the film world since I was really interested in screenwriting at the time. So I looked online and realize there were a few film companies in the city that were offering positions during the summer. I applied for at least 4 of them, and sadly only one of them wrote me back and were interested in me.
Now, I’m excited as I could ever be for getting a callback because it’s going to be my first ever interview, and I was ready. They told me to come into the city the following day at their headquarters for the interview. I was definitely nervous to go through my first interview because I get really nervous talking to people publicly. But I tried to prepare myself by asking myself some questions that they might’ve asked me during the interview, and for awhile, it helped with my nerves.
Then, the day came.
It was on a hot, blazing Thursday and I was due for my interview roughly around 10:30 in the morning. I had to go into the city for my interview and every single time I go into the city, I end up getting lost. That day was one of those days, and I started to panic. I began to sweat out my hair, my face was glazed with sweat, and my all black ensemble wasn’t looking so… great anymore. It was getting close to my call time and now I’m getting angry and irritated; I really wasn’t trying to be late for my very first job interview.
So, I finally get to the building where I needed to be in, and at this time I’m drenched in sweat. I go into the elevator to the third floor, and now I feel the nerves in the pit of my stomach. I finally get onto the third floor and there are no offices. So now I’m even more nervous because it’s literally my call time, and I have no idea where to turn or to ask because there was literally no one around. After a minute or too, I decided to call the woman who called me for the interview, letting her know I was in the building. It felt completely unprofessional to do that; like do you ever make plans with your friends and when you’re the first to arrive at the place so you have to call them to let you know you’re at the place? That’s how I felt at that moment.
When I finally met up with her, she was a nice young Asian woman who had on the nicest summer dress, and there I was in my all black attire, sweating profusely. She had asked me questions that I wasn’t prepared for, so I kept on stumbling on my words and trying to make some sense of it. A lot of the questions she had to ask me over because I wasn’t understanding them properly. For an interview that took like 5 minutes, it felt like 50 minutes. I left the interview feeling awkward, nervous, and just disappointed in myself. Long story short, I didn’t get the job and I was sad for a couple of days, but it did teach me a few things about going into interviews. After this experience, I was afraid to apply to internships and jobs because of this experience, but eventually, I was able to find one that was right up my alley and I finally had a job at a theater company, Poetic Theater Productions.
Although it’s been awhile since I actually put myself out there for jobs, I know that in the next year or so, I’m going to have to do so. It’s still scary, I can’t lie, but with enough trial and error, it should become second nature to me.
2014 was an amazing year for personal growth. The year before was a rough one; I was very much still dealing with lingering depression from high school, my freshman year of college wasn’t the greatest experience ever, and I was holding on to toxic friendships that were ruining the friendships that meant something real to me. Starting my sophomore year of college, I had a better head on my shoulders, and 2014 is still a year I very much look back at and hope to have another year like it.
The throwback Thursday posts are going on a hiatus until I have the appropriate time needed to find pictures and write about these different events, and school isn’t allowing me to take that time needed to do so.
The other content on here is a lot more easier to write because they’re simply blog posts about different things on my mind and require little of my time to write and schedule because it honestly takes me about a hour to write 2 and a half weeks worth of posts to queue for you guys.
Instead of being a weekly thing, #TBT’s will most likely come biweekly, because #TBT’s every week is simply just not realistic. I wouldn’t have things to write about or discuss, and even now I’m coming to that situation going foreward with these posts.
As for now, last week’s #TBT post will most likely be the last one until possibly Spring Break, but if not, then definitely by the time my semester of school ends and I’ll have the time to queue these more thought out posts for TNTH.
Again, thank you to those who come back to read what I write every week. I know TNTH has been a little chaotic these last couple of weeks due to school and personal life stuff, but I am trying my hardest not to leave TNTH as a project that I never finished. More good content and creative posts are coming your way, especially once I get the time to put all my focus and energy on the blog.
I’ll see you all on Saturday for another “Self-Appreciation Saturday”. Bye!
It’s really crazy to think that 2010 was 7 years ago. People who were born in 2010 are turning 7 this year. People born this year are in the 1st grade. In 2010, I was a sophomore in high-school experiencing tons of new things and was introduced to what it was really like to be a teenager. No seriously. Before 2010, I was this innocent child that didn’t do teenage things yet. This was a different type of year.
This is 16-year old Liz. A little, naive, curious teenage girl who wanted to explore every aspect of life. Regarding school, this was my first year being a part of the vocal program’s highest-ranking choir, Performing Choir. I was one of 6 sophomores to be put into the choir during this year, and the adventures I had this year with my choir members were amazing. We traveled to many places, such as various churches all throughout the borough, we went to NYSSMA and received the first ever “Gold with Distinction” award BHSA got within all of the performing arts program, and we performed at Albany for Music in Our Schools Month.
Just notice how awkward I looked standing in the front row. This day and performance was memorable because this was the first time that I noticed just how powerful we were as a choir. 25 of us sounded like 60 people singing, and a lot of these people had soul and passion in their voice. I am still honored that I was a part of such an amazing bunch. Performing Choir ’10 wasn’t just the beginning of a tedious vocal adventure and exploration I went on, but it was solely the reason how I met my best friend, Obie.
I met Obie unofficially during my freshman year when I was in the same math class as him. Of course, I wasn’t really paying attention to my surroundings, so I vaguely remember him talking to me and making me laugh a lot. I was intimidated by him; he was a junior when I was a freshman and at first I wasn’t interested in making friends with the upperclassmen. Once I started my sophomore year, Obie was in my Physics class. I was in Physics as a sophomore because I was actually really good in science, so I was put in classes that most seniors took, and Obie was a senior when I was a sophomore. I still remember the first day of Physics, we were talking about what “e=mc²” stood for, and I remember answering most of the questions, and Obie said in the back of the class “Okay, Liz!” It made me smile, I can’t front. Later that day, I found out that he was also in Performing Choir, and that’s how we began to know each other. On October 9th, 2009, I gave him my AIM screen-name, and the rest is history.
Obie, now 24 with a head full of dreads and a nice scruff on his face, and he’s still my best friend. He’s actually more than just that, but he’s… how do I say this without sounding like a complete cheese-ball… honestly he’s my everything. Obie and I’s friendship isn’t your typical friendship and it didn’t stay platonic for long. As mentioned in my post The “I love you” Story, our friendship developed into something more serious and connective. He’s been there through the ups and downs, the very good and very bad, and nothing has changed since. I think back at all the times we traveled together to Performing Choir performances and back, I remember sitting next to Obie, who was yelling out of the B44 bus window after NYSSMA saying, “I got gold with distinction, I don’t need this!” I remember all the trouble we got into during that summer, and all the adventures we had during it too. We’ve had a really great first year of friendship in 2010, and I wouldn’t change anything about it.
Towards the end of 2010, I had to start my school year without my best friend being there. I managed to actually spend some time with old friends, such as my Pershing (JHS) friends during a reunion we had.
As well as hang out with some new friends from my high-school (I was even invited to my very first Sweet Sixteen party!)
All in all, 2010 was a great year because I honestly thought that I grew up as a person. I had many firsts this year, and I experienced a lot of new things that I never experienced before, and I believe this was just the start of the person that I am now, aka the girl who isn’t all uptight and close-minded about things that are “bad” and “life-altering” like sex and smoking weed.
Man, I’m glad I’m not that girl anymore. Thank you, 2010!
Due to grad school being immensely demanding, today’s post isn’t about a specific year. Sorry for those who really like to see year-specific TBT’s.
Instead, I wanted to share a favorite memory of mine.
This memory takes place in the summer of 2016, aka one of the hottest friggin’ summers ever. I had just graduated college and got myself together to start grad school in the fall. Over the course of my senior year of college, I took two Acting classes to fulfill my drama minor requirements, and I met some amazing people throughout my time in that class. If you read my post about friendships, you would know that throughout my college career, I didn’t make friends. At all. I was excited to finally call these people my friends.
During the summer, we all decided that we needed to plan a hangout day immediately; we really missed seeing each other twice a week for school. After a month of getting everyone on the same schedule, we decided to have dinner in Chinatown.
This right here, is the Acting Squad. There were more of us in it, but we were the ones who were able to make it to our night out in the city. From top to bottom, left to right, it’s James, Tori, Yashira, Me, Liz, and Jalika. I met Tori, Liz, and Jalika in the first level of acting class, I met Yashira during a drama class we took my junior year of college, and I met James in the second class for Acting. Because we had an amazing professor (shoutout to Jed!), we were able to connect and become really close with each other inside and outside the classroom.
This night in particular, Tori had recommended we eat at this Ramen place in Chinatown. Definitely the best ramen I’ve had in my life. That’s not even an exaggeration.
Look at Jalika in the cut, tho.
After literally dying of laughter in the ramen place, we decided to extend our night and explore the city. We walked, a lot, and on the way we took some pictures together. (Funny story: we had a Chinese couple take one of the pictures for us. That’s how bad we all wanted to be in a picture together.)
This was totally the picture.
We walked all the way to Union Square, where I saw a #BlackLivesMatter protest happening there. It’s one thing to see it through social media, but to see it in person makes the effect of it feel more real. Instead of stopping, we just continued to walk some more, joke around some more, and stop in any place that appealed to us. Can you tell who picked to stop here?
Even though we only did this once that entire summer, I will forever cherish us all being together. These people are the reason why my 2016 was amazing. These people allowed me to be myself and allowed me to be friends with them. They liked me for who I was, and I liked them for who they were.
Unfortunately, the group disbanded, and a lot of us are doing our own thing, dealing with our own classes. Tori and Jalika are wrapping up their last semester of college, Yashira transferred to a college closer to where she lives, while Liz and James are both dealing with their junior year of college. And then there’s me, dealing with grad school. Oddly enough, we all still attend the same college, but because of grad students being mainly night students, I only get to see Tori, who drives me to the bus stop on her way home. Out of everyone, I’m the closest to Tori; she was like my best friend of the group and we ended up just clicking. As for the rest, I see them doing their thing through social media, wishing that sometimes we could go back to sitting outside of 1P-218, talking and laughing and crying and rehearsing for our acting class.
This memory will forever be one of the biggest highlights of my 2016 because it’s something I will cherish for a long time. Whether we all grow apart or not, I will always be cheering them on in whatever they decide to do.
Love you guys.
Side note: I still wonder who wrote the tomato fantasy secret about Jed!