May 16, 2018

In Praise of Feelings and Moments

There's something to be said about taking the time to notice the intricacies of feelings. Often, the chaos and the busyness of life stands in the way, and we end up just going through the motions. Lately, I've been taking the time to let things sink in more. In an attempt to fight off the notion of just letting life pass me by, I have been insistent on taking small pauses out of my every day life to savor things as they happen.

The older I get, the more I become painfully aware that life is fleeting. Things come and go sometimes as fast as the blink of an eye. And so, to combat that weight in my chest that I feel about all of this being gone someday, I have been pausing reality and mentally freeze-framing moments so I can will them into my memory and remember the way they have made me feel.

In my pursuit of this, I have found that the Notes app on my phone has been a great sidekick. Like any millennial in this generation, my phone is consistently in my hands or by my side and so it is a great place for me to keep track of my thoughts and feelings, and my thoughts about feelings. At any given time, I have a barrage of notes -- of unfinished poems, lists of moments that have made me laugh, and of feelings I don't want to forget.

Here's some feelings that have surfaced as of late:


2018 so far has brought in a new season's cast in my life. There's been a lot of new faces, or at least, old faces that I have become more acquainted with. Living through being a twenty-something has been teaching me so much about how everyone is on their own path. Sustaining friendships at this age means being proactive about setting concrete plans to hangout, while simultaneously being okay with long stretches of time where you don't see each other.

Good friendships are about quality, not quantity, and I am learning a lot about how these good friendships fall right back into place when you finally get together. I miss the old main characters, no doubt, but I'm also exceedingly grateful for the new faces and new storylines, and the chance to align my path with more people. There are infinite universes and galaxies worthy of exploring in the existence of others, and I have every intention of discovering those.


Having had a strict upbringing, I have always had to scramble to get home in time to avoid getting in trouble with my parents. I used to have to plan hanging out with friends weeks in advance, and kept several tricks in my arsenal for favorable results when I asked for permission. Gaining the freedom to go out more often was a multi-year long journey that I don't intend on taking for granted now that it has finally arrived at my doorstep.

As frustrating as it was at the time to have had to condition my parents to let me stay out later and later, now that it is a non-issue, I have come to relish and appreciate the notion of staying out late even more. If it was handed to me early on, I would have taken it for granted. Now, each time I get hours past midnight, I carry with me a sense of giddy excitement over how far I've come.

The other night, I climbed into bed just as the sky was changing color. Despite how late it was, it took me a long while to fall asleep because I was thrilled at the thought that the sun was rising and I was only about to end my evening.


Being an adult isn't something that comes hand in hand with age. Sure, legally, adulthood and age are intertwined. However, the mentality of being an adult is something that you grow into. It is the kind of thing that takes time to learn, instead of a ton of bricks hitting you when you turn 18.

I'll be the first to admit that at 23, I'm still sorting myself out. I don't think I'll ever feel like an adult, at least not in my twenties anyway. I've got imposter-syndrome seeping through every pore of my being. Lately though, I have been trying to not worry about it so much. Sure, most days, I wake up and still feel like a kid. But, what's the hurry in growing up anyway? I'm learning to savor the innocence of childhood and the wildness of adolescence because soon enough, they'll be a distant memory and I'll be on a rocking chair reminiscing of 'better days.'

One of the ways I've been doing this is indulging myself when moments of silliness arise. For instance, I've been fully embracing the childishness of wanting to make faces using my tongue on my ice cream. I relish in the giddiness that I feel when I laugh at the absurdity of it and enjoy every face and expression that says hi to me when I'm done.


I've pretty much always been fascinated by strangers. My tendency for vicarious living, for valuing empathy, and for loving people-watching has led me to pick up a habit of leaving things for strangers. These days, whenever I see a coin on the ground, I never pick it up anymore. Instead, I make sure that it's heads up and I walk away thinking about who will end up picking it up.

I've also gotten into the habit of leaving notes. The pen at the bottom of my tote is put to good use whenever I feel the desire to scribble on a napkin and leave it for someone else to find. A couple weeks ago, some friends and I drew all over a napkin, rolled it up and stuffed it between the bricks of a restaurant in Gastown.

Before that, while wandering IKEA, a friend and I stumbled into a box of love letters. We opened it to find that people have left notes of their own, and so we sat down in one of the showrooms and wrote love letters to our future significant others and left them in the box as well. I'm still not sure if these scribbles ended up being seen by the eyes of another person or if they just ended up in the garbage. What I'm sure of though, is that I enjoy the act of leaving things and the subsequent daydreams of what happens next when these things are found.


I went through a long, long stretch of time where my prayer life was dull to non-existent. There was radio silence, and I felt like I was unhinged, untethered, and lost in the darkness of space. I remember admitting the nothingness during Confession, and being told that sometimes, silence is enough. That sometimes, it's enough to just breathe during prayer. That changed a lot of things for me.

Instead of trying to fill the silence, I began to take comfort in it. God already knows what is in my heart, and what is on my mind, and so instead of scouring my brain for the right words to say, I let my prayers be moments of just being with Him and being in His presence. This eventually paved the way for me to re-learn how to talk with Him in prayer, but the act of praying just to be with Him is something that I still carry with me in my day to day life.

One of my favorite ways of praying lately is by just looking up at the sky. Amidst everything that is going on around me, I always find the time to look up and say the quickest of thank you's to Him -- for this day, this Earth, and this life. Besides keeping in touch with Him, this has also led me to catch glimpses of the nicest sunsets, and the prettiest of stars against the backdrop of the night sky.

I've even caught sight of a shooting star while laying on the back of a truck. I've looked up at the sky while standing in a field, basking in the sunset during golden hour, while laying on the pavement in the middle of the road at 3:30am, and even while laying on top of a playground structure past midnight. I've savored all of these great moments, and in the seemingly dull but worthy of note moments in between.

All of these feelings and moments have contributed to who I am right now, and to who I am becoming. I'd like to be able to look back and feel the rush of nostalgia creep in vividly whenever my mind drifts back to this corner of my timeline so I reckon I'll continue doing all of this, and taking notice of when my breath catches, when my heart races, and when I'm feeling especially lucky to be alive.

Stay gold,


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