Topic Tuesdays: Random

Stories Currently in the Writing Universe!

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

It’s been a while since we had a regular post up like this, huh? In all honesty, I’ve been having so much fun writing for The “Something” Series and it’s been great to sit in this universe with Grace and Jamie and write about the lives they are living. It sometimes baffles me that even though I write these for my own creative space, people still read it and enjoy reading about these characters as much as I love writing about them. I even had a reader comment on the recent post of the series telling me they look forward to reading a new part of the series every week! It honestly warmed my heart so much and it motivated me to keep going and write some more scenes for the weeks to come.

Although this series has been taking up most of my time, I have been branching out to other stories that have been put on hold or aren’t in the main writing list (if that makes sense). Perhaps I will write a new series for Tuesdays as well? We’ll see, but for now, I am playing around with some ideas for stories and would love to at least share one with you guys!

The Teenage Tell-Tale:

So, since I’ve been busy with The “Something” Series, I totally forgot that within the universe, my babies aren’t babies anymore! They’re literally teenagers, which means they are going to start doing teenager shit and get into teenager troubles!

So, Milo is a 13-year-old boy who’s the oldest in his family and doesn’t know really much about life outside of his four walls. He’s an introvert; he typically stays to himself and does his own thing. His passions follow his dad’s; music. He composes music and occasionally sings it; if anything, he writes and plays for his best friend, who is the performer of the group. All and all, Milo keeps to himself most of the time.

The same can’t be said for his best friend, Mollie Sue; Mollie for short. She’s a 13-year-old girl with spunk, sass, and always gets herself in trouble. She doesn’t mean to purposely get herself and those around her in trouble, she just doesn’t know how to not get herself in sticky situations. She comes from a pretty talented family, and she honestly does it all, but her passion is dancing. She hopes to make it a career when she gets older, but for now – she just does it every other day after-school.

Going back to Milo, he’s starting to get feelings for this girl in his grade… her name is Sophie and she has caught Milo’s attention significantly. He likes her, but he’s too shy to say anything to her and her group of friends aren’t the nicest people in the bunch. He’s afraid that if he tells her that he likes her, she will bully him and go back to his friends and embarrass him because he’s not one of the popular guys in their grade. Mollie, on the other hand, is starting to notice Milo’s behavior and wonders what is going on with him. Milo hasn’t told anything to Mollie because he knows hoe she feels about the mean girls in their grade; she does not like them and he knows she will have something to say to him if he tells her that she likes one of them. But, he notices that Sophie is different. She talks different and looks different and she seems like she’s the smartest one out of the entire group. Milo just admires her from afar, until he’s out into a situation where he’s talking to her… and working with her on a project… and spending time with her outside of school.

Milo and Mollie are two characters that I’ve been writing about for almost 13 years now. Milo is the son of Jennifer’s best friend, Milo (he had his son with his ex-girlfriend at the age of 16) and Mollie is Jennifer’s youngest sister. Milo and Mollie were only born a month a part from each other, so they’ve been literal best friends since birth, and grew up with each other. While their friendships is completely platonic, they both have a love for each other that not only lasts through their teenage years, but even adulthood and they have their own kids.

The “Something” Series:

As we all know, The “Something” Series has been the main focus on the blog because, in all honesty, it’s the story that gives me the most inspiration and I honestly just love living in the lives of these two main characters. So funny story: I have scenes written out about these two to last me until like… the beginning of July. It’s funny to see what scenes get published in real time because I look back and go “wow, I remember when this particular scene was being written back in like February!” Haha but yeah, in the timeline right now, Jamie has come back from Korea to see Grace and in hopes to start a new life here in New York City. There’s definitely a lot that needs to be discussed between them, and from what’s the come oof, it’s going to be spicyyyyyy.

Anyway, I hope you guys are enjoying the creative pieces as much as I enjoy writing them!

Topic Tuesdays: Random

It’s Been A While, Huh?

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz.

It’s been way too long since I sat down and wrote something that wasn’t creative writing related. I’ve been really enjoying being on the blog and writing out The “Something” Series because it allows me to be in a head space where I don’t have to worry about personal things or thoughts that would trigger my anxiety. Also, I’ve been really enjoying living in these world of characters, so that’s why the blog has been mainly creative writing as of lately.

I wanted to come on here and just free write some shit because I sometimes miss it. There are days when I want to sit down and write these type of blog posts but worry that I might be saying something too personal or simply no one cares about what’s up with me. I guess in the long run I do these type of posts for myself; to allow myself and time and space to air out some things that have been on my mind or just some things I want to share to the public.

First things first: surgery has not happen yet. My last test needed to take was delayed due to scheduling conflicts and availability, so I had to wait a couple of months to get the test completely done with. Two weeks ago, I went to the sleep center to take my sleep study test; it primarily tracks your sleep to detect any sleep disorders and issues regarding sleep so that when they put me under for surgery, there’s no problems or issues. It was extremely different than what I thought; they hooked me up to about 20 different wires and then had to hear a net around my head but nevertheless, I went to sleep and woke up and now it’s finished. I have some blood work that I had done last week and now we are waiting for the results and then I’ll officially be in the pre-op process. This process has been an extremely long one; sometimes I fear that I’ve done all the testing and preparing for nothing because God forbid one of these very last things on the list doesn’t clear me or something. Sometimes it feels unreal that this is a process towards weight loss surgery, but here I am, almost at the very end.

Secondly: the journal article process is also coming to an end! (Hopefully!) My mentor and I got reviews back from the editors a couple of weeks ago and we have just one minor revision to do and hopefully we are good to go! This article has also taken way too long to conclude: we discussed possibly doing a collaboration piece back in Fall 2018 when I was a Teacher’s Assistant for Ro, my mentor. We then started to do some brainstorming and reading over the Summer of 2019, but then I got hired at my job at the bookstore and things were put at a halt while I was working and she was teaching at the college. Then the pandemic happened which then I used it as an opportunity to reach out to Ro and ask her if she was still wanting to work on he piece since we both now had time, and long and behold: our very first draft was 30 pages and it was written in a week. Personally, I enjoy writing (and reading) academic pieces like this and it’s a field I would love to be a part of one day without the whole slaving myself at a graduate school trying to get my PhD in Rhetoric Composition and Writing Studies. Within this process I’ve been diving into some Zoom conferences about the topics I would love to be more well-rounded on and taking notes on the presentations and whatnot. But yeah: mid-April is our next submission month and hopefully it’s our last before publication!

I’ve been diagnosed with something new. It’s something that I figured I was dealing with for years, but always stayed silent or believed it wasn’t that much big of a deal until I realized I literally had a breakdown and had to talk about what was happening to me. In hindsight, I spoke to both my therapist and psychiatrist about what was happening and both came to the conclusion of PMDD. It’s pretty much a severe case of PMS and it usually is onset before your 30’s. Severe depression and impairment of functioning is usually apparent during the first two week leading up to your period and boy it’s not fucking pretty. Since then, I’ve been taking medication to regulate my mood swings throughout the month. So far, I’ve been feeling a bit better and my last cycle wasn’t as brutal as the one in late January/early February. I still have my highs and lows, but for the most part I am trying my best to get through each month as calm and okay as possible these days.

Lastly, I am just taking it one day at a time. I go to work on the days I am scheduled, I go to my appointments whether they are for my bariatric surgery or mental health, and I’m still doing my collecting thing! I’ve been finishing up my Seungsik album collection for Victon’s latest comeback and gathering the other photocards that I want for my collection. I’m thinking about redoing my binder collection and my collection area: I have some more space and are getting into a lot more groups that have really good discographies! I’m also trying to be a bit more active on my collection account because it does give me great joy to make layouts and post parts of my collection! Also, two of my favorite boys in Victon have birthdays in April, so I got to plan ahead on those collection pictures for that!

That’s all I really have to talk about! Life’s just been slowly going as the days pass and I’m taking it one day at a time, especially while I wait for this bariatric surgery clearance process goes on.

Welcome back to the blog, readers. ūüôā

Topic Tuesdays: Random

How I’m Coping with my Summer Depression.

Hey, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

As I’m writing this, it’s been a while since I got to sit down and actually write something for the blog; not because I’m disinterested or anything, but because I have this weird thing where I can only focus and write when I sit in my kitchen, and lately it’s been waaay too hot to sit in there and sweat while I write some content for the blog.

Although I try to be consistent and even do Blogust every year, I do tend to write less in the summer because summer is the season that my seasonal depression kicks in. I physically get sick from the heat, I sweat a lot and it’s sometimes hard to make it stop, and I feel very restricted to what I can or cannot do during the summer because I just don’t do the “normal summer things” that people do with their friends. If anything, the summer makes we want to stay in even more, in my bed, and just rest.

It is times like this when I wish my job was still open because I feel like if the pandemic didn’t hit us, a lot of the depression I usually feel in the summer wouldn’t be as intense because I’d be busy being productive and being around people that I really like. But, I do work at a college bookstore and we just don’t know what is going to happen with the colleges in the Fall.

Prior to my last therapy session, I had started to get myself into a community that I was secretly an outsider looking in: the world of Kpop trading and selling. For months, I quietly collected photo cards here and there and as my collection started to build up, I so desperately wanted to be a part of the community and hope to trade for cards that I couldn’t find anywhere and that I was missing. I made my own trading account on Instagram, and honestly the rest was history. I got to meet a couple of other fans who liked Victon and connected through that, and I got to trade and buy some cards that I thought I never knew I needed! Seungsik is my ultimate bias in Victon and I pretty much completed his entire album photo card collection because of this community. It’s really insane, to be honest.

Even though I’ve been happy, I still struggled to feel as if I belonged in the Kpop community; being a 26-year-old collector felt childish to me, but it’s a collection and people collect things all the time. I don’t know why I can’t accept myself in the community when everyone else has, but it’s a constant struggle for me to openly embrace that I collect Kpop photo cards.

In a conversation with my therapist at our last session, I opened up to her about the fact that this has become a hobby of mine within the last couple of weeks and that I really enjoyed it. It was the first time physically speaking about this to anyone before; sure, my family knew what my time was being spent on, but not to my therapist for anyone outside of my household. It felt weird, and it felt embarrassing, but she said something that made me change my perspective on it.

She told me that she was happy that I found ways to keep myself busy during these crucial months of my depression and that I shouldn’t feel ashamed for having this hobby because hobbies are a healthier anti-depressant behavior. It keeps me busy, it keeps me engaged in social activity during a time where it’s so easy to isolate yourself for a long period of time, and it’s something that makes me happy. I didn’t see my collecting as an anti-depressant behavior, to be honest but I have to be real, talking to people like Ella, Amy, Laelonie, and the rest of the beautiful people I met through trading have been keeping my mind off of my depression and in a positive space! It has helped me really go through the days and weeks as smooth as possible, and although my summer depression comes every now and then, for most of my days it hasn’t been as intense as it has been in the last couple of summers.

So, yeah – that’s how I’m coping with my depression! I found a really great hobby that I’m interested in and I’m learning how to embrace it as much as I would embrace the fact that I write blog posts as a hobby! I know many of my readers are not Kpop fans, but I hope that my love and passion for the genre influences you to give it a listen or if you are Kpop fans I hope that I introduce some new music for you to listen to!

Take care if yourself by engaging yourself in something you enjoy in life.

Topic Tuesdays: Random

Get To Know Me: Social Distancing Style!

Dear, guys Рwelcome back to Letters From Liz!

I hope everyone is doing okay and are staying safe! In these times, it’s so easy to isolate yourself from people since we can’t actually be in the same spaces as them physically. For someone with SAD, I know the internal struggle you have about reaching out to people on your own time and actually starting conversations with them, so I was hoping to change that with a self-introduction! Let’s be a couple of social distancing friends!

So, hi!

BB7F9BBB-69A0-4C0C-AA90-B8C835A2CE66

  • My name is Elizabeth, but no one ever calls me by my first name and I like to keep it that way. Don’t get me wrong, I like my first name, but I hate how distant it sounds. I find myself introducing myself as Liz more than Elizabeth; I vividly remember my first day at work and introducing myself to everyone like “I’m Elizabeth, but please call me Liz.”¬†Even the name on my lanyard for work says “Liz” and now everyone calls me Liz.

NVVA5705

  • I am 26-years-old and it sometimes scares me to know that I’m now closer to my 30’s than my 20’s. I don’t feel like I’m in my mid-20’s because, well,¬†I’m a late-bloomer, and a lot of the things I’m doing now are the things that most people in their early-20’s do, but hey! Everyone goes within their pace, and¬†mine just happens to be a bit slower than everyone else. No, it does not mean I’m immature either, it just means I’m 26 and I’m not engaged, married, or have kids,¬†which is something I don’t want.¬†
  • I am the youngest in my family. I have an older (almost 30) sibling, and they are my only sibling so again,¬†that makes me the youngest. Because I am the youngest, I’m not used to being around people who are¬†even younger¬†than me, but my coworkers have definitely taught me that it’s okay to be the oldest in a group and still be myself!

IMG_9485

  • I am demiromantic. I sort of “came out” in November last year after figuring out that I just wasn’t romantically attracted to heterosexual guys, but girls, gay men, gay women, queers,¬†any human being with good energy.¬†I process romantic attraction and friendship attraction pretty much the same way; if we’re friends and I’m really into your energy and we can connect on a deeper level, there’s a chance I really like you. At first, I was skeptical about sharing this information because I didn’t want anyone to judge me or think I was following a trend out of the blue, but now “I don’t really care what people say, I am just who I am”, or something that ITZY said.¬†

xfirst_ITZY1300x650,282,29.png.keep.fff.png.pagespeed.ic.97WGr9j_zK

unnamed (1)

  • Speaking of music, I am the ultimate KPop stan. I talk about Kpop way too much, I listen to almost all Kpop music and being a multifandom stan, it’s a lot to follow along to. My ultimate bias groups are ITZY and VICTON, I have all of their albums and will continue to collect them as they come back with more music! I’m always looking for new people to talk all Kpop with; I don’t know many people who listen to it to the same degree that I do, so please – let’s talk Kpop if you’re absolute trash like me!

fullsizerender-18

  • Besides writing, I also sing. I used to take it seriously back in my teenage years when I went to a performing arts high-school; it was my major and I had performed all over the New York State within the three years I was in the advanced choir. Nowadays, I still sing every now and then, but it’s strictly just a hobby of mine rather than¬†my whole life like it was back in the day.
  • I’m a big mental health advocate and will always be. Back in 2018, I was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder and major depression and with the right medication and weekly therapy sessions, I’ve gotten a lot better since first being diagnosed with them. Being self-aware of the behavior and patterns I have when I’m feeling myself getting into an episode has helped me cope better, go on personal missions to forgive my past, and become more confident in my ability to see myself in a better light and become more of a social being again.

dribble_icons

  • I was once ashamed of being into the things I like until I met an awesome person who shared most of the same interests as me!¬†Funny story: I knew me and this person would be friends once he walked into my workplace and said that he had seen the Game Grumps live after looking at my Game Grumps-themed t-shirt one day.¬†Once I realized that I shouldn’t be so ashamed of showcasing my interests, I became¬†very vocal about them. So, in a nutshell:
      • I am a huge Game Grumps fan. If I need a mood booster, an episode can instantly make my shit day better. I also tend to watch hours long of their complication to help me fall asleep every single night.
      • Speaking of gaming, I very much belong to the gaming side of YouTube…¬†if I’m not hanging out in the Kpop side of YouTube. I very much like watching YouTube gamers on my time off and it’s crazy that every time I would wear something related to that side of my interests, there are people that share with me that they enjoy it as well!
      • Kelly Clarkson will forever be my idol. I loved her since her American Idol days, I’ve seen her live in concert (and cried) and I pretty much know all of her songs lyric-by-lyric by heart.
      • Speaking of music, although Kpop is my superior genre of interest, I very much listen to anything and everything. I grew up around music and different styles of it, which very much reflected on the music I shared and was interested in hearing from others. From classical and acapella bops to some straight out of the projects hood shit,¬†I’ve listened to it.
      • I have a passion for rhetoric and writing composition all thanks to my former thesis advisor/ now friend and mentor, Ro! She taught a rhetoric class I took in grad school and it changed my perspective on writing completely. I totally look up to her career-wise, and although teaching isn’t in my plan, I hope to be completely in the rhetoric world as she is when I get more advanced in the field.
      • I’m not the biggest movie person in the world, but I most likely have seen the show you reference in your conversations. If you say anything that came out of¬†The Real Housewives¬†Franchise, I most likely know it. If you say anything that came out of¬†The Golden Girls, The King of Queens,¬†and my favorite TV show of all-time,¬†The Killing, I will most likely know it.

FXWS3518

  • I’ve crossed some things off of my bucket list this year alone! For starters, I went to my first ever Kpop concert and I traveled to Florida! So, I have a heavy list of things I want to do in my life. For starters, I want to go to South Korea for a vacation¬†possibly for my 30th birthday. My coworker gave me that idea while we were talking about dream destinations, and I thought it would be a great idea to put it on my bucket list!¬†I also want to go to see Victon live in concert if they ever come to the States for a tour and if not, guess I’m flying to South Korea sooner than later, but in general, I want to travel so fucking much, and I’m glad that my trip to Florida¬†popped my airplane cherry. Yeah, she was a first.
  • Where do I see myself in 5 years?¬†In 5 years, I’ll be 31-years-old, and I hope by that time I’d done everything that I wanted to do in my 20’s. It would be great if I’m in some serious long-term relationship by then, but I just see myself possibly being the version of myself I was meant to be as an adult.

And that’s pretty much it! Let’s talk! Let’s share some interests together in this world of social distancing!

hand endnote

Topic Tuesdays: Random

How Liz Got Her Groove Back (in Poetry).

Dear, guys Рwelcome back to Letters From Liz!

So, about a little over a year ago, I remember publishing a post on the reason why I don’t write poetry anymore. TLDR, it basically was because poetry reminded me about some dark parts of my past and the person that I was when I was writing poetry. In a way, the craft was tainted for me; I have some of my closest friends at the time tell me that I should stop writing because it wasn’t good and for a while, I listened to them. I haven’t written a single piece of poetry since 2013.

That was, until recently.

You see, poetry was a quick and artistic way of me to express how I was feeling and what was going through my mind. It was more like mental check-ins than poetry, which was just my style of poetry, but the people around me made me try even harder to seem “dope” or “cool”, hence the try-hard poetry started. Don’t get me wrong, some of those pieces are still my favorite pieces I’ve ever written, but I never wanted my writing, especially my word-vomit of poetry, to be taken so…seriously?¬†Well, I guess so try-hard like.

IMG_0180

I stopped writing because I was just scared of starting again. I felt like I lost my passion for poetry after a while, and it was hard for me to just finish a piece every now and then. I don’t know why or how I got back into writing “poetry”; maybe it was just another outlet to express the things that were happening to me, but I started to just do a “iPhone note poem” every night and sharing them on my social media and¬†the rest is history.

9E60B1A1-1847-41ED-BF32-997DCFAD91CD

In a way, writing these little poems became therapeutic on the days that I just had a lot to say but no one to say it to. Many of these poems are inspired by therapy sessions,¬†the ones that require me to dig up old shit and think about it in order to heal from it.¬†I’m glad that they do because every time I write something regarding a heavy topic on my mind it helps me put those feelings into words and let it out of my system. Of course, when I first started writing them, it was very hard for me to accept the fact that they weren’t so poetic as my poetry once was. These little note poems are simply just thoughts on a paper (well, phone screen); in other words, it was a very low-stakes type of writing. It meant that I wouldn’t judge myself too hard on how “good” the poem was and that the fact that I was writing again was the only thing that mattered.

So, rekindle an old passion you once had. Stop believing that your art is not good enough, it’s the fact that you’re even doing it in the first place is all that matters! We gotta stop being so hard on ourselves, especially when it comes to our craft! It’s taking me a lot of work to embrace just doing it; no judgment, no comparison, nothing that influences your want to just do it.

So, yeah. I stopped writing poetry because I thought I wasn’t a good enough writer.¬†Now I write it because it allows my thoughts to have a voice for once.

And that’s how Liz got her groove back (in poetry).

hand endnote

 

Topic Tuesdays: Random

Fourth Tattoo: Story + Meaning.

EGQJ2148.JPG

25 had taught me that you truly only live once and if you really want to do something, go and fucking do it.

On a Thursday afternoon on the bus on my way home from work, I decided that I wanted to get my fourth tattoo.

Whenever I decide that I want to get a new tattoo, it typically means that something in my life has saved me in a sense, and I decide to document (or honor) that thing through a tattoo idea. My first tattoo honored my favorite TV show of all time,¬†The Killing, the second one honors my passion for writing, the third one represents Kelly Clarkson’s¬†My December¬†album, and this fourth one needed to represent the new thing that has saved me a couple of times: KPop.

KPop was introduced into my life about a year and a half ago during one of my laundry days with my mother. I live in a predominantly Asian neighborhood in NYC, so the laundromat we go to is owned by an Asian family. One day during our laundry days, they played TWICE’s “Knock Knock” on the TV, and the rest is history. It was catchy, it was cute, and I had to go home afterward and find the song on Spotify and listen to it. It then led me down a rabbit hole of everything KPop related. Since then, it’s become pretty much the only genre of music I listen to, and I know a lot more than I should about Kpop, in all honesty. At the end of the day, KPop music makes me extremely happy, and it has saved me through a lot of dark moments of my life within the last year and a half. It was only right that sooner or later, I’d get something that symbolized KPop tattooed on my body.

It’s not common for KPop idols to have tattoos; in fact, most idols with tattoos have to wear a skin-colored patch over their tattoos on music shows just so that they look more “clean” and “natural”. Tattoos in South Korea aren’t as widely accepted as they are in westernized countries, but people do have them and some of them happen to be KPop idols. Particularly TWICE’s Chaeyoung has gotten a couple of tattoos in the last few months which I’m all for, but also two members of X1 have multiple tattoos of their own: Seungwoo and Seungyoun.

Whenever they are allowed to show their tattoos at events and whatnot, one tattoo of Seungyoun’s always caught my eye. I mean sure, Seungwoo’s “Don’t rock me up” tattoo was the true star of the “U GOT IT” performance back in PDX101…

Related image

Ugh, take me back. 

Anyway, I didn’t realize Seungyoun has this tattoo on his wrist until I began to see it in promotional pictures for their album as well as fancam pictures at their fan-signs. On Seungyoun’s wrist, he has a read sad, crying face next to a plus sign and then a yellow smiley face. In an article, it states it represents both of his sides (duh), but also that he got them when his former group, UNIQ, was in an indefinite hiatus.

Image result for seungyoun tattoo

I really liked the overall tattoo,¬†although personally for me, I’m not a fan of colored tattoos.¬†I can only imagine how many Seungyoun fans now have this tattooed on their bodies as well,¬†and I guess I’m one of them now, but I truly wanted to get it a little different than his. Atlas, my tattoo came to life.

Not only does this tattoo represent my love for KPop, but it also has another true meaning behind it. Where there is sadness, there is happiness. Where there’s bad, there’s good. Where there are downs, there’re ups. You can’t have one without the other, and together, they make up life.

I didn’t know if I was really ready to get this tattooed on my body, but something told me that this was the perfect multi-meaning tattoo I could possibly get for myself. So, I said “fuck it”, and stopped at the tattoo parlor I usually go to and got this walk-in by one of the guys there named Alex. It took 15 minutes tops; 10 minutes to set up his station, 5 minutes to tattoo it for me.¬†I absolutely love it.¬†

I don’t know if this will be the last tattoo (probably not, my sibling and I need to get our matching ones still), but I know that whatever I decide to get in the future, it would mean something to me and represent that part of my life.

I’m glad that this impulse decision was a good one! ūüėČ

hand endnote

 

 

Topic Tuesdays: Random

Third Tattoo: Story + Meaning.

70172235_2689772267720607_5485025437195173888_n

They say once you get a tattoo, it becomes addicting. In 2014, I told myself this was going to be the first and last tattoo I’ll ever be getting, yet here we are 5 years later talking about the third one I recently just got.

So yeah, on September 14th around 5ish on a nice ass breezy evening, I got my third tattoo.

I wanted this tattoo to be a little different than the ones I previously got. You see, my first tattoos are simply just lettering, which I thought was going to be the only tattoos I would ever put on my body. I told myself I wanted to be covered in words since I am a writer, and honestly, I would’ve stood by that goal if it wasn’t for the inspiration I had behind this tattoo.

My first tattoo was an homage to a TV show that ultimately saved my life back in 2013 and 2014, my second one was inspired on what I do, and this third one I wanted to dedicate it to the album that has saved my life a couple of times throughout the years: Kelly Clarkson’s¬†My December.¬†I’ve definitely spoken about this album in detail plenty of times on the blog, but one thing I left out was that even when I was a teenager, I wanted a tattoo that symbolized the album in a unique way. Of course, I never had an idea for what I would get to do so, so after a while, I just completely forgot about the idea.¬†Until recently.

What makes¬†My December¬†such a beautiful album is that no matter how old I get and how young I was when it was first released, I related (and still relate) to those songs on the album. Kelly Clarkson has made it apparent that this album was written during one of the darkest points in her life, yet it’s honestly the most honest and real albums I’ve ever heard of music coming from an artist. Kelly fought for this album to be released; her recording label didn’t agree on the genre that she was now gravitating towards, which lead to poor promotions and record-low sales for an album of hers. Many people may not know this album when I tell them about it, but I certainly do, and it continuously impacts me the same way it did when I was 13-years-old back in 2007. It was a masterpiece in my opinion.

So, on Track 4 of the album, Sober, is possibly one of Kelly’s best songs for many reasons. The message behind it takes about the loss of toxicity in your life and having to rebuild yourself in a more positive matter, and whenever Kelly gets the chance to perform the song, it’s beautiful. She once told the story of how the song was inspired by a quote a friend once told her: “you just have to pick all your weeds and keep the flowers.”

And it’s so true.

For a person that hoards a lot of things in life, sometimes holding onto them hurts you more than it would if you let go. Sometimes, the weeds that are in your garden of life is killing the other things in it, and you just got to pick them all out in order to let the beautiful things in life, the flowers, remain beautiful. Also, sometimes removing the distracting weeds allows you to see the good things that are going for you in life.

So, I got this tattoo (template was found online) and thought that this was a perfect representation of the lyric.

Of course, I went to my usual guy in Brooklyn to get it tattooed, and the rest is history. Honestly, I’m in love with it.

I love how delicate and sweet the drawing is; it’s feminine, it’s a fine line tattoo, and I love how clean the whole thing came out. I can’t lie; I was in a lot of pain at some points where the needle hit the most sensitive spots, and all I could think about is how do people sit in these chairs¬†for hours getting a tattoo. This one was probably 10 minutes tops, and it felt like I was there for 30. I did bleed a lot, which worried me because I never bled as much as I did with my other two tattoos, but apparently, I have “great tattoo skin”, and doing such fine lining like this is usually difficult to achieve. So,¬†I’m glad for my “good tattoo skin”.¬†

It was a bittersweet moment going to the spot where I got my first two tattoos because it brings back a ton of memories. The first time I ever been there to get tattooed, I was 20, blonde, and someone special to me accompanied me for the journey. The second tattoo, I got into a great conversation with the tattoo artists about my favorite TV show ever while getting tattooed. This time around, it felt like I came full circle in an odd way.

I say that because I never thought I would get something drawn on my body. I was always too afraid for image pieces tattooed on my body. I knew I couldn’t handle the pain, I thought I would look ugly with a bigger, image piece on me, and I thought I would regret it once the high of getting a tattoo wore off. But I did it. I got through it, I love it, and although¬†I shouldn’t get too deep about a damn tattoo,¬†this truly represents a life that is continuously introducing me to new things.

So, yeah, I guess I’m picking the weeds and keeping the flowers. Hopefully, my garden of flowers will turn out beautiful.

hand endnote

Blogust 2019: The Series, Topic Tuesdays: Random

Day 27: I’m A Horrible Multitasker.

screenshot-2018-08-23-at-2-23-48-pm-edited.png

Dear, guys Рwelcome back to Letters From Liz!

For a person who juggled school life, romantic life, personal life, and social life all at once during my student days, you would think I have a pretty good grip on how much I am able to accomplish within a certain amount of time, right?

Boy, I wish.

I think after I stopped being a student, I lost those multitasking skills because nowadays, I’m horrible at multitasking. It’s also weird; I feel as if people my age are always multitasking, yet if I attempt to do it, I break down.¬†Truly, I do.¬†

If you’re anything like me, you would know how hard it is to fit things in your schedule, not because you’re extremely busy or anything, but once you have one or two things planned for the week, you then feel like you have a lot of shit on your plate and simply can’t juggle it all.¬†Like that last sentence; make sure to take a breath during that lengthy explanation.¬†

I’m not bad at being organized and I don’t have a problem doing things on a deadline and whatnot, it’s more so I’m bad that “killing two birds with one stone.”¬†I mean, if I have a therapy session to get to, but I have to walk the extra blocks to my pharmacy to pick up my medicine or something,¬†it’s a trip. In fact, I almost died of exhaustion the last time I did that.¬†

But it’s simply not because I don’t want to do it. It’s more so of the fact that in my routine, the one my homegirl Anxiety and I have compromised together, doesn’t leave me feeling out of place or comfortable.

Lemme explain.

You see, we anxiety-ridden peeps (I apologize for the usage of “peeps” and I apologize for targeting my anxiety-ridden life yet again), function on having a routine. We all (if not most) hate the thought of change or a shift in our routine. When there is a shift of routine, we are pretty much only thinking about that one thing all day, until that event comes. When you find out what routine works best for you, it’s extremely hard to try to get out of it because¬†it’s then our anxiety telling us to not break the routine.¬†For example, if on Wednesdays I have therapy, but this particular Wednesday I have to do laundry either before or after my session, I’m all out-of-whack. I feel like I don’t have control over my own day. Is it nonsense?¬†Uh, yeah, but does my homegirl named “Anxiety” care?¬†Nope.

So, if there’s only one major thing you can handle out of your days, then so be it (for now)! Remember that routines are always bound to change, whether we’re aware of them or not! Some routine changes are going to be more difficult and uncomfortable than others, but I encourage to always find opportunities to switch things up a bit just so I get more comfortable in switches in my routine.

A good example is getting a job: most of my routine is now me at my job, doing what I have to do, and getting through the day. At first, it was scary to have such a big change in schedule in such short notice, and it just took me some techniques and exercises to adjust my body into the new routine. Does it mean that I’m any better at multitasking?¬†No, it just means that I’m becoming more accepting to routine changes, which means if anything comes up, I’m able to learn how to multitask without freaking out that I had too much in my hands.

So, don’t beat yourself up if you can’t juggle more than one thing at a time. Maybe you’re just built to focus on one thing at a time, while others are able to tackle more than one task at a time. It doesn’t mean you’re lazy, it just means you’re a little more slow-paced and articulated about the activities you do during your routine.

So, hey if you’re a horrible multitasker, that’s fine! Welcome to my exclusive club.

hand endnote

Topic Tuesdays: Random

Whatcha Been Up To, Liz?!

Dear, guys Рwelcome back to Letters From Liz!

So, it’s the end of July, and to be¬†quite honest with all of you, I’m going through a really bad writer’s block. All of the content I’ve been writing for this past month has been for preparation for Blogust, which starts in TWO DAYS!

Because of this, I feel like I’ve been sort of¬†away from the blog in a way. Meaning, I feel like I haven’t had any sort of update on my personal life and what’s currently going on that’s not this blog.

So, whatcha been up to, Liz?!

Well, in regards to being productive, I am currently in the research part of my project with my co-writer. For the last two months, we’ve read tons of articles for our collab article piece, having meetings to discuss some of the key points, and we are soon going to start the writing process, which I’m the most nervous about. It feels like I’m writing my thesis all over again, just with a¬†higher and more qualified person helping me write it as well.¬†Nevertheless, the writing process is going to be a¬†long one, so I’m happy to at least entering the second, and longest stage of the project!

This past month, I read Vershawn Young’s newest book,¬†Other People’s English: Code-Meshing, Code-Switching, and African American Literacy, which discusses a lot about languages being used inside the classroom setting and how minoritized groups of students should be able to express themselves in the language they are most comfortable in and without forcing them to strip away their identity to “act white” in their writing in academic and professional settings. In other words: SAE shouldn’t be the only language that is considered a “successful” one. Like the Obamas who’ve used the technique of code-meshing to maintain their identity in a position of power, we can still be ourselves and be successful. Just saying.

So yeah! A lot of writing studies and rhetoric composition being read this summer!

While I do that, I’ve also been job hunting, which has been a process within itself. It’s taken me a lot of self-talks to become a little more realistic in what I would like to do, and some encouragement from my partner to keep me level-headed every now and then whenever I find myself being more of a dreamer than a person with a plan. I’m not saying dreams aren’ unreachable, but work needs to be put into them to be able to achieve them, and sometimes that requires doing things you wanted to avoid.¬†Yeah, maybe working a couple of hours of retail may help me achieve my goddamn dreams in life.¬†I am still quite okay with the process I’m making, but I am getting a little antsy hoping that something will strike.

Regarding mental health: I’ve been doing pretty good! My anxiety and depression aren’t as troublesome as it usually is during the summer (I easily get more depressed in the summer) so I consider that an enormous step towards my healing journey! Of course, there are times when I go through a depressive episode and there are times when I’m feeling extremely anxious to the point of having an anxiety attack, but I am opening and more comfortable having them because I have a better understanding of what I have to do in order to overcome them. So, I’m good, she’s good, and the house we live in is good as well.

I’ve still been trying to enjoy my summer every now and then, whether it’s going out with my partner on the weekends, or going to the community pool with my sibling. Instead of letting the hot weather control me (which it still does to an extent), I am trying my best to enjoy it for what it is and to stay happy and productive! It’s so easy to just stay in the house cooped up in my room with my AC on, and although it’s nice to do something like that after a long day of productivity, I wouldn’t want to spend all of my days just sitting there.

Nothing is that exciting in my life, but I’m glad that it’s going a lot better than it did this time last year. Last year, I had just lost my grandfather to cancer, and dealing with that plus my mental health was a lot for me to handle, and I honestly wasn’t in the greatest place last summer. I’m just happy that this summer, I am a lot calmer and mentally healthier.

That’s about it! I hope you guys are excited for Blogust 2019! We’ll be returning some series throughout the month: voiceless rant, creative pieces, Overexposed, and maybe even some Self-Appreciation Saturdays Sundays! I hope you guys enjoy all the content coming your way!

Thank you guys for your neverending support.

hand endnote

 

Topic Tuesdays: Random

Is Learning a New Language Considered “Cultural Appropriation”?

Dear, guys Рwelcome back to Letters From Liz!

So, my self-judgment has been speaking to me as of late. As a matter of fact, she’s been screaming at me for the last couple of weeks as I started to partake in a new hobby: learning a new skill. Although I try to not listen to her, I can’t help but see some truth in the things she says.¬†I mean, a self-judgment side usually tries to twist some truth in your beliefs or make you change something that you’re doing, right?

She has accused me of engaging in “cultural appropriation.”

Lemme explain.

Image result for korean language

For the last couple of weeks, I started to teach myself how to read and write in Korean. I decided that after being frustrated in waiting for English subtitles to be written and released for my favorite girl group variety shows and competition shows, I wanted to see if I could at least understand the characters, Hangul, that is used in Korean. So, I downloaded Duolingo (#notsponsored) and started to learn the Korean Alphabet. As of this moment of me writing this, I’ve learned the consonants, vowels, and native Korean numbers pretty well and currently learning some essential words and sentence structure, which is¬†quite hard to learn on your own, in my opinion.¬†

As happy as I am learning a new skill and keeping my mind productive and busy, I do sometimes feel as if I’m engaging in cultural appropriation.¬†Am I learning this new language for the right reasons? Am I now this “koreaboo”? Why am I so embarrassed to share the fact to my family and friends that I’m learning Korean?”¬†It’s this weird, complex situation where I’m interested in learning the language due to my interests, but ultimately sticking by it to build a new skill and gain a new hobby to keep my mind productive and out of the places where my anxiety could heighten. But, I do understand what the self-judgment is coming from.

You see, in this Quora forum, the question exists, and many of the people in the forum talk about how ridiculous it is for people to possibly think that learning a new language (which in NYC is mandatory to take a language class in both high school and college), is now considered to be a form of cultural appropriation. The top answer to on this forum comes from a linguist actually, and he does an amazing job explaining how in certain cases, it could be seen as cultural appropriation.

He explains that in certain scenarios, learning a language can be seen as cultural appropriation. For example, a classroom full of anime lovers learning Japanese could be seen as cultural appropriation because the only thing they really know about the Japanese culture is its anime. Another example is learning an endangered language (one that is becoming extinct, like Hawaiian) just to “save” the language from dying out. Another interesting example (which I didn’t even consider) is learning a language for job-related purposes, like a translator or interpreter, ultimately taking the place meant for a native Korean speaker. He explains in cases where you are learning more universal languages (i.e. English) and other big languages (typically the ones you learn in high school/college courses) it isn’t considered cultural appropriation.

So, where do I personally stand?

To be quite honest with you, I think I’ll always believe I’m in the unfamiliar gray area of the scenario. While my interest in Kpop and Korean shows influenced me into specifically learning Korean, I’m also in no ways trying to appear more Korean or pass as being Korean, nor am I practicing their ideas, beliefs, or think their culture is superior to every other culture. As for the definition of cultural appropriation, it’s “the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society.”

I just simply want to learn the language and find the process to be really good for my mental health. That is all.

So, is learning a new language considered cultural appropriation? It’s crazy to think that in certain scenarios, it could be. To believe that wanting to learn a new language for the sake of learning a new language is now a part of the spectrum of cultural appropriation really does baffle me. Are we all really engaging in it in our language classes all these years?

What do you guys think?

hand endnote