Thursday, September 4, 2014

Nothing was the same

so, this summer changed my life, yo. 

like in both a good and a bad way. it's a funny thing.

this has been both the best and the worst summer of my life in some kind of weird, twisted way. 

it seems like just yesterday we were dreaming of unlimited possibilities late night at parks with strangers and racing cars down eleventh street to see who could create the perfect mixture of milkshake flavors. i still remember sitting in a circle in my backyard, nodding our heads to music we thought we could relate to. sometimes if i close my eyes at the right time i can still imagine sitting in cars with people that i thought would never change, winding through roads that i thought for sure would never end. memories always look closer in the rearview mirror. but that's just how i feel.

back then everything seemed so infinite. everything seemed so achievable. now the future is murky. deadlines are too close and they come in droves. everything feels so impossible.

i don't know what i'm doing. i'll be the first to admit it. i used to put up a front like i had everything figured out. i just thought that i would be something by now. i used to be a leader, you know. now it feels like i'm not even the main character in my own story.

but at the same time, it's all good. i'm not even tripping. that's just how it is sometimes. you gotta lose control just to show yourself that life isn't there solely for the purpose of going your way. let the world slap you in the face a couple times. let reality beat the shit out of you just to remind you what rock bottom feels like against soft baby skin. 

listen to the words: "the world is not a wish-granting factory." forget about the fact that they're from some cheesy young adult novel. and then get back up.

this has been the best and worst summer of my life. 

mostly the best, i think, because i went on some amazing, once-in-a-lifetime adventures and met people that i will remember forever. i mean, like, i guess i fell in love this summer too, in case you actually read my blog. i connected with old friends and really learned to appreciate the people in my life that will welcome me back with open arms despite having seen me at my worst. people make mistakes. i make a lot of 'em. this summer taught me how to apologize, taught me humility. arrogance was always a shield for me, until i realized that others didn't really see so easily through that facade. if you ever make the mistake of perceiving me as someone who's got their shit together, please do not ever think so highly of me. in a way, i lost a lot this summer. but i needed that push from the top. i deserved it.

i thought i knew what i wanted, but i didn't. i thought i knew what i was good at, but i don't. i thought i knew who i was, but i have no idea. i'm a completely different person. i really feel like that sometimes. i look at old pictures and i don't recognize myself. i don't like who i was.

i just wanna write, to be honest. that's all i wanna do for the rest of my life. if i could do that, i would be happy. i wanna be rich and famous and that shit, too, but that's just a bonus. i just wanna write and take pictures; i wanna show and tell people beautiful things. i'd love that. but everything feels impossible.

tyler, the creator created odd future at seventeen. shit, earl sweatshirt is only two years older than me. didn't some eleven year old kid have a higher iq than einstein? people release billion dollar apps before they're old enough to drink. people drop some of the best mixtapes of the decade the year they graduate high school. i'm still writing blog posts in lowercase letters tweeting donald glover hoping he'll let me write about his tours like some kind of modernized version of almost famous.

but hey, you know. "life is not a wish-granting factory." college is cool, too, i guess, and like stable jobs with degrees and certificates and white picket fences. i'm cool with that, too. dreams only do so much. at some point you gotta wake up.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

9 to 5

I wrote this when I was about fourteen or fifteen, summer after freshman year of high school. I put some finishing touches and made it look a little prettier. I was going through a really heavy Donnie Darko/Fight Club phase and had also just discovered Pretty in Pink and John Hughes movies. I was very easily influenced by cult classic movies. Still kinda am. It makes me laugh because lately I've been feeling like such a different person and this reminds me that I've still got a little bit of that depressing, irrationally angry, fifteen year old existentialist preaching anarchy in the back of my head. We never really change, our skin just swallows the skeletons and keeps growing.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Hawaii 2014 (aka July Adventures Part II)

Hawai'i is like a different world. Everything is so much more colorful and bright there, even when the sky is cloudy and the rain is falling. I still missed the Philippines, even during my week in paradise, but the weather was so warm and humid and there were so many local Filipinos there that it was basically the next best thing. The week was filled with adventures from jumping off any surface above the water to swimming in basically any body of liquid that looked swim-able, from eating poke bowls for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until I literally almost threw up to stopping by farmer's markets and roadside stands on the hunt for the tropical fruits we can't find back home.

Kaua'i is definitely my favorite island out of the four I've been to. It's been left untouched enough that it's still got that natural vibe, but there's enough tourism to give it a modern touch. It's gorgeous and the atmosphere is so chill.

Waikiki Beach has become incredibly ugly over the years- it's a troll trap with a couple of bright points. (The Honolulu Night Market on Cooke Street once a month is SICK. Like a Hawaiian version of Off the Grid. Try the Ahi Katsu at Fresh Catch. Seriously.) The juxtaposition of the homeless and starving next to some of the wealthiest in the world vacationing is ironic in such an ugly way. The next time I see O'ahu, I don't want to set foot on Honolulu unless I'm coming or leaving. North Shore is the place to be on that island.

It honestly drives me crazy to stay in Hawai'i because all I can think about is the what-if's of if I had picked University of Hawai'i over UC Santa Barbara. I see so much of myself in Hawaiian culture (and I would fit in with all my fellow brown people.) But it's not hard to imagine going insane being stuck on the island too. I try not to think about it because it bothers the hell out of me.

Anyway, this was a really nice trip, despite the typical family arguments and the fact that the local radio stations play the same five island jams over and over all day. I love being mistaken for a local there, even though it's mostly because of my tan. In another world, I could see myself living in Hawai'i. Maybe someday.



Check out my flickr album to see the tons of pictures that didn't quite make my blog cut and keep an eye on my youtube channel for more GoPro videos.




Thursday, July 10, 2014

Philippines 2014 (aka July Adventures Part I)

I just got home this morning and I'm jet-lagged and exhausted. I'm already wondering when I'll get the opportunity to go back home again. This trip was everything I wanted and more. But I think this is one of those times when you let the pictures tell the story.




For more Philippines adventure goodness, go ahead and head over to my flickr to see some things that didn't make the cut.