“The Perfect Gift”

As you get older, you begin to realize that finding the “perfect gift” is near to impossible. It’s not because you don’t know what someone likes or what would make someone happy, but with age, you start to settle your mental list of likes and dislikes. In contrast to how each birthday you never really know what you want when someone asks you, when you’re young, every year there’s something new that you’re into. One year it’s boy bands, the next it’s guitar, the year after that is a phone – etc. etc.

Mom, I regret not knowing even now what to get you for Mother’s Day. In the past, it was always, “Sweetie, this gift will be from the both of us” because as a child, you look at your parents as people who have everything they need because you never stop to consider what they want.

So this post is not just an open letter to my dad for Father’s Day – but a thorough look into why I love my parents and why they helped shape me into the person I am today with what seemed like little to no effort. This is for both of you, Mom and Dad. This is for all the parents in my family. This is for all of you.

As children, you never really think about how hard your parents try. They come home from work, they kiss you goodnight, they make dinner seem like it’s just always meant to be there – that’s what life was. Mom and Dad have everything you need and they hand it to you because that’s the life they’re giving you – that’s the life they believe you deserve. When you get older and you live on your own, those meals start disappearing, replaced by last minute studying and hurried meals “because I just need to eat something.”

I will admit this post will not be entirely relate-able for some of my readers. At a young age, I realized that I had an abnormal relationship with my parents, but I didn’t realize exactly how different until people started pointing it out to me.

I text my parents “goodnight” everyday (almost, sorry, Mom). I eat with them at the dinner table. I tell them about my friends, and I tell them when I have a crush on someone at school. I go to them for advice and even go as far as to delegate my friends to them for advice as well.

Is that not normal?

Dad, you proposed to Mom after two weeks, and you’re still together.

Here I am, still meeting people who’ve been together for years and got divorced months later. You set the standard that marriage is a life-long thing.

“I can look, but I go home to Mom everyday.”

That’s marriage. You’re not limiting each other to the walls of the house you share because you aren’t sharing it. It’s not yours and hers – it’s yours. This home belongs to both of you; it isn’t shared. You don’t share your life with Mom; it’s your life.

And maybe you two are the reason why I have such high standards for friends – you two do as well.

For children with wonderful parents, have you ever stopped to figure out that your parents are the first best friends you made in your life? They are the only first best friends. And they are the best.

Yes, I know, again, this won’t apply to everyone but it certainly applies to me and a handful of people I can think of.

Yeah, sometimes I don’t understand you, and other times you don’t understand me. But as a family, even though you don’t understand, you still go to the dinner table – me in my spot and you both in yours – and eat, talk about the day, and enjoy each others’ company. Growing up, I never considered it as enjoying each others’ company, I just thought of it as dinner because that’s how you raised me. It was never an anomaly that “families who eat dinner together have a stronger bond” because that’s how it always was. We ate together, we did our separate activities in the living room together, and overall, at the end of the day, things were discussed together.

When I tell my friends I’m going on vacation with my parents, they say “aww” and for a few seconds I really wonder why. Is that not the norm?

The norm for me is telling my dad about my day. It’s feeling comfortable enough to talk about what frustrates me to a friend in front of my parents because I’m not afraid to let them hear what I have to say.

I remember some bits of advice every now and then.

“At this age, you’re trying to figure out what you want. And even if you can’t, you’re figuring out things that you don’t want.”

I never stopped to thank you for the childhood you gave me because it took me so long to see that this was not normal. Not all families have that transparency. Not all families go to Harry Potter World every year because it makes us laugh and feel happy. Not all families hug each other… just because. That’s not normal.

But that’s us.

So – thank you, Mom. Thank you, Dad. Thank you for setting this standard of life for me because without you I wouldn’t be aiming as high as I do. When it comes to guys, I think of you two first. Would you be proud of me for liking him? Would you speak of my relationship to the rest of our family with pride? And if the answer is no, then goodbye to that idea.

And maybe that’s why finding gifts is so difficult for me! I appreciate both of you everyday. I tell you I love you everyday. I spend everyday thinking of you two at least once, so what is one day out of the year to celebrate your existence supposed to mean to me? Really it means nothing. I appreciate that you are my parents everyday, and I’ll probably continue to do so for the rest of my life.

I get my quirks from you, I get my standards for life and love, I get my expectations – I get basically every aspect of my life as an adult from you. Will I ever forget that? No. I don’t think I ever will.

I know I’ve frustrated you in the past, and I know I’ve made you cry. I know I can achieve more and you believe I can as well, so I’ll continue to try and aim as high as you expect of me. I know I could have done more; I know I could have done this and that better. But I take pride in the fact that out of the millions of children who have said it in their adolescence, I have never once said I hate you. I don’t ever complain about you because – really – what is there to complain about? I learn from you because you were my first teachers. You were my first supporters, and my first friends. I never once regretted the life I had (or have) as an only child, and I know you’ve felt bad because I had no company growing up but did I really need it? No. I didn’t need it because you two did your best to give me that company that was essential to my development. I’m proud to be your child. I’m proud that you can go to your friends and say “my daughter did this” with pride because no one else raised me – it was all you two. The fact that I can be enough for you to speak of me with pride is all I could ever need to accomplish.

And perhaps, you both knew all of these things already, but in case you didn’t – here it is for you in writing.

Thank you for making my life what it is.

I love you both – I really do.

Happy Father’s Day.

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To the Next Guy Who Says He’s Always Been Attracted to Me

“I’ve always been attracted to you.”

While I don’t advocate the use of subliminal messages through Facebook statuses and Tweets, this needed to be said. Since last year, this phrase has been used on me a handful of times, and I think at this point it was more than pertinent to my life.

I don’t care.

I don’t care if you’ve always been attracted to me. I do not know you on an emotional level, and if I can’t even remember the last time (or the only time) I ever held a full conversation with you, do not say this to me. The only thought that goes through my head is, “if you were always attracted to me, why didn’t you tell me when I was attracted to you?” Needless to say, I’ve learned that even the nicest faces that can tempt the naive are the ones that disgust the ones who see right through you.

Sure, it sounds harsh, but this is me being honest.

This is the side of me that you do not know and probably have no desire to discover. You saying that you’ve always been attracted to me might be a compliment to my physical ego, but it is the biggest insult to my intellectual pride. This is the girl who you only look at from the surface; these are the words you will most likely never hear upfront because you have no desire whatsoever to know what is beneath my skin or – even worse – beneath my clothes.

I dress to showcase my personality. I was born with this face. I chose this style of makeup. Nothing is here to tempt you, tantalize you, or titillate your desires.

This craving of yours is temporary, and that is not what I want.

These words are your bait, but it isn’t the brand that will make me bite.

This message is by no means intended for the guys who mean this in the intellectual way, but now that I think about it, if you were attracted to my mind, there is no way you would have said this to me.

Being attracted to someone and liking someone are two completely different aspects. I can be attracted to you and have no intention of pursuing you. The one who invests in pure attraction is the fickle one, and the latter has the dedication that I need. I am not the expensive item on the shelf that you can con into a lower price because of a few words.

I do not care.

At the root of all things, the more you use that phrase on a girl who would be willing under the condition that you actually care, the more likely you are to be alone and without the company you will later crave. And when that one escapes – the one you really want for more than just the physical company – you will see what the others really wanted.

I do not want temporary.

I do not want emotionless company.

I do not want to be one of the bodies in the morgue of memories with no names because they’ve all been forgotten.

I put my value on a pedestal, and the only ones who I will let in will be the ones who see more than what I display for the world to see. They are the ones who see beyond the persona of a strong girl who can take care of herself. They are the ones who want the company I am willing to give.

Save your words and your superfluous efforts.

I’d rather be considered the one who got away than the girl who was weak to words.

 

Why Everyone is Losing Patience with Love

“A fine mix of unicorn blood, witches brew, and broken hearts.”

There are two priorities Millennials have nowadays. One might lead to the other, but ultimately, we choose one for the time being as we ignore the other.

In my opinion, a majority of young adults within my age bracket can willingly admit to focusing on work as a priority. Due to the competitive nature of the current economy and overall job market, putting all focus on our career is deemed as a completely sensible outlook on life. This general subsection of young adults who put work/education above all other matters have goals to keep, and there is little room to distract.

The second and most cliched priority that anyone would be embarrassed to own up to is love. I think most people secretly wish for it, but, upfront, love is a fairytale – it’s for the foolish, for the weak – and love is the only force in this world that breaks you faster than you can break yourself.

There’s nothing wrong with love. It’s beautiful and perfectly flawed. It generates dreams beyond reality with little fuel required. Scraps of hope bloom into fantasies, music, and the subjectively inevitable romance. No, there is nothing wrong with love.

The flaw and the dilemma lies within the effects of love.

Think of romance like a bottle of liquor, unopened and chilled, a crystal blue glass visage, tightly and securely sealed by a flimsy piece of metal worth no more than two pennies. That safety seal breaks at the first glance, and it might remain as such until you get curious enough to expose that liquor to the air. But who knows how long that will take? Minutes, hours, months – however long until the curiosity  burns through your fingertips.

That first charming sentence – however impactful it may be – is what opens bottles. And as the conversations take place, a shot goes down every time your heart beats a little too fast.

(Everyone holds their alcohol differently – so relate these numbers as you would to your own pace.)

The first shot burns, and the initial panic hits your stomach yet something tells you to continue. Shot number four is when you begin to laugh too easily, and number five is when the room starts to spin. By the eighth, everything slows except for your thoughts.

Even if you choose to stop sipping, the alcohol sits, blending in with your bloodstream until you don’t actually know if it’s still there or not.

Under good circumstances, the high remains until the affection is so secure you don’t need to drink anymore. You stay awake until the blur fades, and you can sleep peacefully knowing all will be well in the morning. This is the route we all wish for from the moment that seal is broken – an infinite inebriation and a sweet surrender to affection.

I don’t think it’s the most common route, and this is probably why the bottles cease to pop or cheaper, more destructive bottles are chosen.

In the more common and most plausible route, you lay down in the midst of the rumbling in your head – that only makes it worse. However it may happen, the bottle might be taken away or you choose to close it on your own with whatever strength you have – you know as you shut your eyes that the hangover is inevitable. The emptiness and the tears, the broken words and the wrong steps – the hangover can last as long as you let it until your body finally goes back to normal.

And suddenly that bottle and its taste is just another memory either to be looked at with fondness or discomfort.

It’s unfortunate that too many people experience the hangover until they can’t bear to even look at another bottle. Not enough dreamers get to live the life-long happily drunken state before being abruptly shaken awake.

The patience for those who made love a priority has worn thin. Eventually, all the dreamers of the world will return to reality.

Rethinking the Term ‘Lonely’

I think that word gets thrown around too often.

If you think about it, two of the most overused and commonly misused words in the English language might be ‘love’ and ‘lonely.’ And often enough, one follows the other in most situations.

The distinct differences between ‘love’ and ‘in love’ or the ones between ‘alone’ and ‘lonely’ can be forgotten, letting the words slip passed our mouths whether we notice it or not. I find myself very reluctant to use the word ‘lonely’ unless I absolutely mean it. Truthfully, over time, I just grew used to keeping certain company, and during the transition to a new atmosphere, I thought I was losing my breath, when in reality, I just didn’t notice that I was adapting in my own way.

I’ve witnessed a couple of heartbreaks within the past year, one of them being my own, and, while it was a conscience ripping experience, I now know that I wasn’t really lonely. I grew used to his company, the routine, the lifestyle I picked up that was ‘me and him.’ In the process, I neglected to see that the original company I kept had not really changed. I was not alone. The same people who kept me from being lonely in the past were still there, but my mind had been so in deep with someone else that I just… forgot about them.

That was my mistake.

Thinking back to my previous post about the subjectivity of romance, I looked past the friends whose memories had been tattooed onto my skin and only saw his name – a temporary tattoo extended with extra care and my own neglect.

“The sea never falters.”

These are the experiences of people who are not actually lonely – they just crave the company they became used to.

It does not do to leave the world you’ve made as your own for a dream in the hopes of making it a reality. Youth in love, youth alone, youth intertwined with the circumstances of the freedom to give yourself away – it should never be confused with that step towards being away from that world for so long that it becomes foreign. Know your world, know why it exists. See why your world is where you are safe.

Don’t throw away the key and you won’t be lonely.

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