Let’s Be Prideful: Finally!

Finally is the not-so secret word of the day, as The Supreme Court of the United States FINALLY ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry across the country. Honestly, it’s about damn time because I am sick and tired of living in a world where people are denied such a fundamental right, granted to those who are:

1) alive.

2) american.

3) someone who probably wants to get married one day.

To be alive, and somewhat a part, of such a historic day makes me look back and pay homage to those before us who paved the road to this day. We can’t forget that while we made it to this goal, not all of us made it. There are people who marked the path, laid down the ground work, and poured the pavement. There are people who set up streetlights and crosswalks to keep us safe. There are people who put reflectors on the road to guide the way. Not all of these people made it to see this day, but damn if we let those who made it forget that these people even existed to begin with.

In school, I attempted to avoid history courses whatever the cause. Loopholes, roundabouts, replacement courses, anything. It didn’t interest me because I was so consumed with moving forward towards the future that nothing behind me mattered.

“It’s in the past, it doesn’t affect me!”

I’ll also add now that past me was not only young and naive, but also an ignorant idiot. Don’t worry, the recent, updated version is much more understanding and willing to take into consideration that there are different ways of thinking, being, and living.

Jason v.34.3.1 is aware that history/herstory/the past is what makes us, us, while still allowing us to acknowledge that there is room and a necessity for change.

So today, on June 26, 2015, I stand with pride. I stand for those before that could not be here, I stand for those who cannot, and I stand because I freely can. For the next month, you can guarantee that there will be bride oozing out of every orifice of every American who is happy to be a part of such an amazing feat. Well, it is Pride Month, so I do suppose that was already a given, but on the proverbial boombox, they will crank it to 10, then break the fucking knob in an attempt to achieving volume 15.

Break out the rainbow flags, your comfy shoes, and march.

March with pride because, finally, there is pride all around us.

**An updated version has (now) been featured on Elite Daily**

Let’s Write: An Open Letter to A Love.

Hi.

I know it’s been a while and I haven’t said much…or anything really, because, well, it would have hurt too much. Whether you’ll find this or not is beyond me, but I feel comfortable enough sharing this with the faceless masses of those that have the ability to access the internet.

Hello, faceless masses. How are you? Good? Good.

You know, at first it came in flashes; quick bursts of memories, one right after the next. All the happy times, as well as the sad. All of which hurt. For about a week, I wasn’t sure if I could make it a day without bawling my eyes out. I did make it, but that doesn’t make it feel like any more of a success. There are moments when I reminisce on the late night talks on the phone and how often we talked at the very start of it all a year ago. Then I find the moments where I began to think that this was something real and indelible. Those are the moments that make you lose yourself and that make you realize how good it all was.

Then it begins to shift.

The bad moments begin to bubble up. The ill-communication that shook our foundation and the way the tremors shook up my mind and my heart. Those are the moments that make your fists clench and make you realize why it had to stop. This isn’t what it was supposed to be, this wasn’t our life. Life Love shouldn’t transpire like this. We’re told it’s supposed to be easy and like a puzzle. Then you realize that it’s bullshit and life has different obstacles in store for everybody and how they’re dealt with personally affects everyone around you.

Then they say hindsight is twenty/twenty. You’re supposed to see everything clearer, but right now it’s all blurry. I sit here, typing and squinting, because I need a new prescription to be able to see how everything was suppose to work out this way. Everyone says that things happen for a reason and, well, I don’t know what that reason is because I still think about us. About you.

I can’t stop thinking about what could have been, nor do I feel I should ever think of stopping.

There’s a place in my heart especially reserved and there’s no one else that can or will sweep in and take it. I won’t allow it. Where does this leave me? Am I hung up on the slim chance of something happening again? Am I holding on to an empty chance? Will this matter in the future? Where will we be in five years? Is this moving on or am I dwelling?

Sometimes I think if I feel these things for someone else that what I had once felt will start to disappear. A thought came across my mind one night, and it was telling me that our capacity for this kind of love is limited. You can shift and change the dosage, but it would affect how I would always feel. Would I ever love someone as intensely? Was that all of it? Will it be different? Will it be worse? Then I woke up the next day and realized that it doesn’t work like that. At least, it shouldn’t work like that.

Honestly, I don’t care what it is, because I don’t think the love will go away. I don’t think it should. It’s out there, roaming the world, with bright eyes and a hope as relentless and stubborn as I am. And I’m going to let it roam because, who knows, it may lead me back to you. It may lead me astray. All I know is that wherever it leads me, I’m sure it’ll be somewhere great.

Let’s Figure Out Who I Am: A Giver of Chances

A second chance can make all the difference. At times it can leave doors wide open; other times it can obliterate them from their hinges. The thing with chances is that we’re told that they only come once. How does the saying go again?

“Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you?”

After this second offense, what’s supposed to happen? Upon whom is the shame thrusted? Is anyone truly to blame or is it the universe telling you to let it go for good? Personally, the third, and even the fourth chance can still open doors. Doors that can lead you to the darkest places. Places that make you question your sanity, as well as your morality. It can also lead you to the places that make you feel warm and safe. But with all those doors left wide open, it’s hard not to let all of the other situations converge on you in a large, crushing wave. You feel the waters hit your ankles and your fight or flight response kicks in. Is there a way out? Which way is up? What’s happening? Stay calm…STAY CALM!

Before you know it, you’ve been submerged. The chances have overcome you and you’re left to swim in your decisions. I’m not sure if any others are out there, but I am a swimmer in the sea of chances. I search for the best and hope to be rewarded with such. So far, I haven’t been rewarded so much as punished. Call me stupid. Call me naive. Call me an idiot. But do not call weak. Weakness is leaving things behind without trying. Weakness is not seeking out the good. Weakness is not me. I am romantic. I am hopeful. I am a pretty good swimmer.

I will say that I’ve learned what giving chances can do and feel like. It’s a feeling that brings about the best and the worst outcomes, yet you never really know which is more important once you’ve realized that you’re out of chances to give. I sit here looking back at what I’ve done, looking back at the person I let into my life, looking back at the words I said and the chances I had given. The water begins to drain and I can finally reach my head above it all and see with fresh eyes. I don’t regret a damn thing. In fact, I’m glad I did what I did because I learned from them. I learned that it hurts. I learned that it feels amazing. I learned that I could love someone immensely and be hurt by them just as strongly. I’m growing, I am learning, I am moving. It’s difficult. But giving chances is something that makes me who I am and there isn’t a reason to be ashamed of that. There isn’t a reason to peg myself as naive or stupid or an idiot. I am not those things, nor can I be limited to the thoughts that people thrust upon me. I am what I make myself. I am me.

Let’s Rant: Communication Matters.

*begins rant*

Seems obvious, doesn’t it? So obvious its almost patronizing to even bestow upon this post the title I have given it. Yet some people just don’t really get it, so let’s talk.

If you know someone who is bad at communicating, I do hope you refer them to this post or to someone that can provide legitimate help (i.e. someone that isn’t me, because I’m just a “self-aware” twenty-two year old who has a penchant for WordPress and a word bank of big words like epistemology and phenomenological). While I haven’t been around for that long, I do acknowledge the importance of good communication. The presence of which can create long lasting relationships and the lack thereof which can destroy marriages. It’s a terrifying thought to ponder: how not talking can destroy something that you hoped would have such a stable foundation. I guess it isn’t until you start tapping at it that you realize that it’s faltering beneath you.

I have been through icy freeze of the cold shoulder and have listened to the surprisingly loud static of radio silence and can confirm that it doesn’t feel good. Tactics or not to convey a message of upset or distaste, it’s something that yields very bitter results. I do acknowledge that it’s hard sometimes for most people to communicate their feelings, but you can’t expect your partner to respond favorably to how you’re acting if they don’t know what’s going on. You can’t expect them to act in any way because they feel that everything is relatively “normal.” That may not be the case. I just want to say on behalf of everybody: I know it’s hard to communicate sometimes. I know it’s hard to say what you’re feeling. I know it’s hard to find the right words to even form what your mind is attempting to fathom. But please, please, please don’t let something that has the potential to be amazing go because it’s hard.

It can get easier. It can become wonderful. It can be so many different things if only you’re open to the possibilities that communication can hold. Just don’t fall off the face of the earth, when there’s somebody right there who’s willing and wanting to help you stay grounded; if anything, hold on tighter.

*ends rant* Happy Friday.

Let’s Go From Cubbies to College: Best Friends Since Grade One

“Friends come and go.”

This cliche is so strong that it not only permeates individuals, but generations as well. This past Monday being National Best Friends Day, it got me thinking about friendship. The friends from junior high probably never made stuck around to high school, and those from high school never bothered with you once you went to different colleges. The Facebook birthday notifications fill up your screen and it becomes a game of heads or tails deciding whether you should leave a halfhearted message on their wall wishing them a happy birthday and that you should “catch up when you’re in town.” At what point in that decision were you serious and do you actually hope they’ll say yes? Chances are you say that knowing that they wouldn’t take you up on the offer. You were just being polite. While these kinds of friends are plentiful, they are hopefully not the only ones that fill up your Facebook wall. Having just graduated from college, I can definitely tell you that the hardest thing to do is keep good and old friends around. In time, you just become so obsessed with your own lives that you don’t realize you’re drifting. Your finals schedules don’t sync up and because you go to different colleges on different sides of the country, there’s always a need to add three hours to your current time to make sure that they’re not asleep or too drunk to take your call. But, your best friend defies all of these rules. Your best friend doesn’t have any rules.

The beautiful nature about a best friend is that they choose to stick around despite the roadblocks and finals and drunken tirades. They help you through it and will be there at the end of the day to tell you that you’re brilliant and deserve better. And after about a week, they’ll tell you how what you did was stupid in the name of “tough love.” Keeping your best friend from cubbies to college is not an easy feat, nor is it an impossible one.

My best friend’s name is Nicole.

c. 2010

c. 2010

Ever since grade one there had been a polarizing force between us. Call it fate or a happenstance seating assignment, but since that day is Mrs. Enrique’s classroom, we haven’t really separated. We went to a peculiar grade school, in that it encompassed every grade from kindergarten to twelfth grade without the need to leave and find an adjoining campus. That being said, keeping us together was easier than most for the first eight years. From Harry Potter duels to my failed attempts at playing basketball our bond grew as tight as Justin Bieber’s pants are low. Nothing could stop us.

High school proved a challenge in that we were physically separated for four years. Unable to drive, hormones at a high, and “drama” a bourgeoning force in our respective lives. We had to result to phone calls and AIM (AOL Instant Messenger for those unaware) to keep above the fray of insanity. Between the first boyfriends and awkward Prom dates, we made it to graduation. Timing being the monster it is, she didn’t show up at mine, but I managed to see hers. Surrounded by people I didn’t know, I stood up and cheered the loudest as she walked across the field to get her diploma (holder).

c. 2011

c. 2011

These four years, however, prepped us for the college years. The calls became less, FaceTime and Skype were minimal, and the texts became every so often. I was highly aware that this could be it. Is my best friend going to become the person my Facebook wall that I flip a coin to decide on a birthday greeting? Is my best friend going to evaporate from my life because we’re too busy or consumed in our own sh*t? If your friendship has spanned fifteen years, three months, and seventeen days then it won’t give up. At that point, your friendship is an angsty teenager, unwilling to fulfill society’s wishes of fitting in and getting a life. It’s a rebel. And our rebellious friendship is perhaps the strongest it’s ever been. Karma being an acting factor in recent history, she was able to be at my college graduation. This time she stood up and cheered the loudest as I walked across the stage to accept my diploma (holder).

c. 2015

c. 2015

It’s not that best friends don’t have rules. They do. In a sense they’re supposed to abide by the same rules that any other friends should, but they choose not to. It’s this choice, to do whatever it takes, at all costs that sets them above the rest. It’s the choice to keep a friendship going for nearly sixteen years that actually makes it work. In making the choice you eliminate the stress and effort, because it’s natural.

So, yes, friends do come and go. But the ones that choose to stay? They stay for life.

(originally passed by Elite Daily, but it’s all good…you all get to read it anyhow!)

Why You Should Date Someone You Can Be Boring With

i’ve never read anything more poignant and relevant.

Thought Catalog

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In the beginning stages of a budding relationship, people will tell you some version of the same advice: “Be yourself.”

They have good intentions. What they’re trying to say is: be comfortable, have fun, enjoy yourself, be genuine. They want you to be able to have a good time and to show this person who you truly are.

But what frequently happens is that people take “be yourself” to mean that you have to be the most ideal version of yourself.

If you’re smart, do everything in your power to show this person how incredibly intelligent you are. If you’re funny, make them laugh as hard and as often as possible. If you’re compassionate, overwhelm them with how much compassion you have at all times.

Be yourself – in the most perfect, flawless, and unattainable way possible.

But the point of being in love is not so that you…

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Let’s Redefine: Happily Ever After.

Society says life isn’t like how it’s portrayed in the movies. There are no fireworks when you get the guy, there are no boomboxes held over heads, there is no aggrandized profession of love right before the credits roll and play an upbeat song by Train.

Hold on. Why can’t life be like that?

Why is it that those of us who want to lead our lives this way become discredited as unrealistic and naive? Aren’t movies simply the imprinted ideals of our wildest hopes and dreams enacted? Aren’t movies just the unrealistic and naive goals that we can’t seem to attain in real life because they’re only seen in fiction? The fact that movies and society has desensitized the idea of over-the-top acts of affection makes me sad.

If I wanted to, I could play every situation in which my love life would work out like a movie. I can tell you what time the plane would land, the sounds of the crying, confused elderly passengers, and the sights of the trees along the tarmac. I could tell you the songs I’d use to serenade my person and the stupid dance routine that I would inevitably create in my head. It would be Beyoncé, of course. Everything could be perfect, but we’re told that because it doesn’t happen in real life, then it could never happen. Happily ever after doesn’t exist in the nonfiction realm.

And that kills me.

As a writer, all I do is live in the world of fiction, but to me it isn’t fiction. These are real people and lives and situations that have the possibility of permeating the realms, but the world around me dictates the validity. Every fiber of my being can tell you how happily ever after could exist, how it does exist. It just doesn’t exist in the same ways for everybody. The movies have it right, but they also have it cliché and generalized. Maybe the problem isn’t wholly found in society, maybe it’s the movies for only showing the same types of happily ever after? Maybe we should start creating different ones, but not necessarily “realistic” ones. Realistic is a relative term anyhow.

If you’re like me, willing and wanting to go about creating your own happily ever after, then you’ve probably thought: there’s no telling the reactions you’d get from your person, how they saw it playing out, if they wanted this to happen, or if you are their person as much as they are yours. Is it worth the risk if it means making a fool of yourself? What if it ends in flames? What if it ends in fireworks? 

What if the ‘what if’s’ disappeared? What if it didn’t really matter? Just let it happen.

Go with your heart, create your happily ever after, and let the credits roll.

If You Feel Like You’ll Never “Get Over” That One Person

Thought Catalog

Luis HernandezLuis Hernandez

I stood in line purchasing a frozen pizza and jar of pickles, a true vision in sweatpants and a fading T-shirt with bold white lettering that spelled, “Old Guys Rule!”

I can only imagine how enticing I must have looked to everyone around me! Men just waiting for a chance to shout, “WILL YOU MARRY ME?” as I sauntered by in my knock off Ugg-slipper-boot things that look more like I was covering my feet with some roadkill I’d just picked up.

I assure you, Martha Stewart would have peed her pants in excitement from the shining domestic goddess I was! Or maybe she just would have peed her pants. I don’t know anything about Martha Stewart’s bladder control.

I paid for my two items (my breakfast, by the way) and kept thinking about how TOGETHER my life is when I noticed an elderly man at the cashier…

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Let’s Figure Out: When to Let Go.

I always leave the door open, for one obvious reason: hope. It’s a silly reason, yes, but one that isn’t wholly illogical. I’ve prided myself on the fact that I can look past so much of the negative in order to find the positive. Many have called me blind, some strong. Looking back, I guess i’m not sure what I’d call myself in relation to this. Why do I make the decisions I’ve made? Why have I let history repeat itself? In what world is this a good idea? In what reality does it ever work out?

I used to think that it was this world, this reality. I used to be so certain. As of late, certainty has gone out the window and onto a better place, leaving me behind in the dust; the selfish bastard. So far, those decisions have led me astray. I now sit here, writing this post with my heart on my sleeve and its bleeding. The sticky drops hit the keyboard, yet I won’t relent. I won’t stop writing. There’s no reason or rhyme to this post other than to explore the thoughts in my mind and hopefully make some meaning out of the shit in my life. Did I do something to deserve this? Have I pissed off some omniscient being who conveniently decided to pick on me this week? I’m done falling over and over and over again. With my knuckles bruised and my knees scraped, I trudge on hopefully, stupidly, and blindly. I guess the time to let go is when you realize the other person wasn’t holding on as tightly or in the same way. That being said, I think I’ll take back my hand, unlock the grip, and fix it anew.

It’s time that I close that door, lock it, and throw away the key. Rumor has it, one more should open.