Intru tu Elmu

    2014 was an adhesive year for me. I sharpened my mindset, but had to ditch it completely and start from scratch. It was a defining year, not of my purpose (I had come to that two years ago), but of my way of being and seeing. I realized I had to abandon my old way and harness a new one. A transformation occurred, and I’ll narrate this chronologically, and with a slice of background (very few people know me, and so I’m taking this more as a chance to introduce myself to you as well as recap my year). None of this is planned. I type as I go, so pardon me as I falter in direction.

    The new year held really high expectations, maybe due to the fact that on New Years Eve I went to an abandoned mall with my cousin and some of his friends. We played card games and I rode my scooter as quickly as I could all across the vast emptiness, listening to the most heart-pumping music I had, dodging the strong rays of light coming from the ceiling cracks, as well as avoiding falling from story two to story one. If only I had my camera with me that day. I spent the best winter break I could recall, living with my cousins and their family. During that time I decided I’d record all the things that stood out to me each day on Google Calendar. It was a change from my previously maintained “diary/journal/notebook”  (until I lost it for a while).

    And so I began recording the exceptional moments of my life in an effort to retain my memory. This was finally a way I could atone for all that I had forgotten, which was too much.

    School remained the same the second half of my senior year: I maintained my friendships and procrastinated to the final hours on assignments. I had fun tutoring the Kindergarten class of an amazing teacher’s retiring year, and made the most of tutoring a first grade boy after school. I knew I couldn’t take a moment for granted, especially near the end of it.

    My approach to keeping myself up through my socially fuzzy phase was simple: Don’t expect a thing from anyone, that way you’re surprised and grateful for positive moments, and you’re not disappointed or ashamed for the negative ones. Sounds like a great idea to hammer into your unconsciousness, but of course everything has its drawbacks.

    And I mentioned my socially fuzzy phase just above. It’s the third social phase of mine, the first being: Up to fifth grade year, around age ten, most of my life and environment composed of having a few best friends, and a few bullies. Two extremes. Always enough people to count on both hands. Those were the only people in my social life, not including my family (who are never factored into these phases). Those few people are the only ones I can remember from those years. The constant bullying was canceled out with the best of times with my best friends. Inversely, my best of times with my best friends was canceled out by the constant bullying I received in childhood.

    Come sixth grade, where the main characters of my life story {I constantly thought of my life as a television show} from before had vanished. Now came in all the people in between. All the secondary characters. All the gray between the black and white. Slowly the best friends and bullies vanished; it took three years: high school. That’s when I drowned in this new socially fuzzy phase drowned me most, of course as it does to most everybody in modern society. I felt a strong disconnect just standing around with people I had met in middle school. I tried other groups in those four years, ending up as something of a lone ranger until the end of it. Of course to the rest I didn’t seem down, but inside I was depressed. So depressed that I hit “rock bottom” sophomore year. I blamed my friends instead of blaming myself for still wanting what I had as a kid. I didn’t grow up yet. I simply hid.

And no I didn’t attempt a change the following junior year, but I did improve. One new friend really stood out to me. She held out a helping hand at times, and actually waited for me to walk down the hall together after class. Believe it or not, on that casual day, that random act I don’t even expect she would remember, put a stitching on my heart. She became the closest friend I had since my last best friend faded away three years before. I had little experience with romance; I naturally didn’t go that direction with her.

But high school ended on a short notice. All what I had worked so hard to keep was taken away by my arch rival: Time. In that internal peril, I had ceased to record my exceptional events. Right on one of the coolest summers yet, where I’d visit my cousin’s home to watch World Cup matches, then I went off on a ten day trip to Paris, France, various parts of Belgium, and Luxembourg City. None of it recorded. I panicked once I felt this needed to be remembered and busted out a notebook. Very little of it ended recorded.

This method of recording slightly contradicted another method I adopted: Living in the moment. It was a response to others always lifting their phones and aiming them at events that should have been perceived through their eyes first, then maybe on paper later. But no, everything has to be recorded on video and stored away, virtually never to be seen again. I detected that presentless movement as bullshit, and did my best to, as I mentioned, only record exceptional things as a single bullet on Google Calendar (this feels like product placement).

So now what? How did I end up this year? A new phase? Seems like it. Now I don’t have any best friends or any bullies still, or any secondary characters. No one at all. Just colleagues. First semester I ended up having maybe 15 friends, more than half of them I’ll likely not see again. So now I’m forced with having to redefine friend. Maybe not. This is new.

Now I truly feel like the sole character, just trying to get by. Solace doesn’t sadden me; that’s what the previous phase was there for. And I saw these different social phases as challenges. It’s how I’ve come to see it now. I need to work hard at myself. I need to harness my abilities in this period of time now. I’ve gained a fistful of abilities.

It’s a tough order being in a society where you must have at least a rough draft of your career by the time high school ends. I came to discover that in order to know what you wanna do in the future, you should definitely know who you are first. So I asked myself basic questions, like what life is, and hard core ones like my stance on the death penalty and immigration and war and God. If you don’t have a concrete stance, you’ll only constantly waver. These things and more I have learned of myself this year. The world won’t afford an incoming student be undecided on a major. Now that I knew who I was, and already knew why I stayed alive for the next day, I was content to feel that I still wanted to do what I wanted to do for a living.

So that was my ideology side when it comes to this year and the past. Before I get to specifically what I did this year, I’ll get into a whif of what it is I do. 😀

I always feel conflicted with giving myself official labels like “artist,” but yeah, I feel I’m an artist. I’ve never denied my hand at anything I could do once the opportunity is presented to me. I can improvise on the piano just as well as I’m improvising now. I can tune a guitar much better than I can play it. My voice is fairly decent, but unimpressing. So I make up for that by adding my piano, and so far I’ve recorded at least 240 songs these past four years (and counting). I draw only with black sharpies, my drawing style fairly described as ‘twisted black and white,’ almost like notan.I visited +14 museums and +45 individual art galleries these past four months.  I haven’t yet found anything like my drawings yet, but I’m still searching. I take a few pictures every now and then, only to present evidence if needed. I collect dice and maps and miniature versions of anything. I write fiction, with the goal to one day having published one book, with all my favorite material. I run for the sake of running marathons. I go to parks and the riverbed to explore what people leave behind, and what nature can do to those things. I eat Double Stuf Oreos all the time. These are all the larger, general details of me I’d like others to know (though I don’t necessarily want to be known for them).

I love to give a hand and volunteer at events of all kinds. I have a knack for getting along with children, partly because I don’t wanna let go of being a child.

Which brings me to some points. (And by the way, this is much less than what I didn’t have planned to say as a summary of my 2014) 😛

I’m currently basing my present and near future off a few quotes my art teacher said:

“Youth is wasted on the young.”

“It sucks getting old.”

So one of my most recent mindsets is that I must continue doing all those things I do, and keep challenging myself and reaching into unexplored territory every step I take. Ya know that feeling in your gut when you’re in math class and you have no idea how this problem is to be done and you feel the pressure of needing to know or else and so your mind is melting and your stomach is twisting? That scary feeling, that is you about to learn something! When you’re about to take a step further into the sea of knowledge and wisdom.

Since I’ve opened so many doors for myself, I can’t afford turning around or repeating the same process, not unless that process is to proceed avoiding a process. I must always feel this stressed gut feeling. I need to be scared. I’ve learned that fear exists only in your head, and you can shut it down for good. I manipulate it by stepping further and further into fearful landscapes. Eventually it’s no longer fear. It’s wanderlust.

And now to the initial purpose of doing this: most of my favorite moments of 2014 worth bullet pointing…

-Finished my longest piece of literature yet. An 18 half-page short story named “The Four Doors.” I printed out so many copies and passed them out to friends and teachers.

-My closest friend Dapnee surprised me on my birthday with cake in a cup. The Kinderkids sang me a happy birthday. It’s my first ever celebrated birthday.

-Checkers with Ken and Mario and Kelly and Jesse and Shelly and Edgar and Jose

-Kinderkid Celeste gave me one of her beloved stickers on one of the last days of tutoring. I keep it in my pocket watch.

-Listening to Henry and Brandon talk about basketball all through Physics.

-Intense euphoria in Physics learning about voltage/electrical circuits. Brought me back to childhood. 🙂

-The hugs with Kevin and the hugs with Ashley

-Sublime time at Farmer’s Market with Marco and Cynthia

-MVHS Creative Writing Club’s Poet’s Corner event, where I read my trippiest pieces yet.

-I also read those pieces on a hillside to the members of Rio Hondo’s Creative Writing Club, where I got much better reception.

-Receiving three scholarships at Senior Awards Night

-Receiving at least three certificates of recognition at TPA Banquet. Wish I was there to have received them. I feel so honored. Those certificates represent all the dedication I put to the academy.

-All the “Read Alouds” and advice giving at the elementary schools

-Joining a group of students on their field trip at the California Science Center

-Worked for Boeing revamping office space.

-Being with Anna and Sirenia at the gardens of the Palace of Versailles. It rained but we didn’t care and took so many epic photos.

-Being with Anna and Sirenia everytime else in our Europe trip, pretty much

-Playing the piano at Ms. Anne’s grandma’s house in lower Belgium

-Becoming a member of LACMA, four visits so far

-My “Friday Art Trips” to Culver City Art District, Old Town Pasadena, San Pedro, Hollywood/Los Angeles, Santa Monica/Bergamot Station

-Vice President of the Art Guild at Rio Hondo; stepping in as de facto president

-All the time Ron and Ada spent conversing with me concerning art and life

-Learning to paint my black and white designs using acrylic

-Recording my 15th piano album, For the Whim, in the span of a year, at a piano warehouse near El Monte. It relies heavily on improvisation.

-Restringing my classical guitar finally

-English101 with friends Lorna and Cristian. I’ll miss them!

-Soccer class with Mari. Reinforcing my abilities as a defence in soccer class matches. It had been eight years since doing that.

-Two videos recorded for my future self of ten years

-Pepper has many more pups. Hopefully this healthy set of four is the last

-This year my Dice Tournament spans Seasons 37 to 54..

-Talking to Alondra all the time again

-A “hands on” survey where I checked the palms of at least 60 people, recording a specific detail in their hands (as long as both hands matched in detail).

    Well, okay. That’s about it. There were likely a few more important stuff worth bullet pointing. I also know I missed a few discussion points, but so what. This is an Introduction.

I made a similar list for 2013 but never published it cause I didn’t think I would. This in essence wasn’t supposed to be published either. But ya know, I gotta put myself out there every decade or so. This is scary. 😉


    I don’t know what to speak of now, I’ve spent so many hours here, now it’s 2:00 am. 🙂

Well, I’ll end this with a quote from Finnegan’s Wake:

“Shize? I should shee! Macrool, Macrool, orra whyi deed ye diie? of a trying thirstay mournin? Sobs they sighdid at Fillagain’s chrissormiss wake, all the hoolivans of the nation, prostrated in their consternation and their duodisimally profusive plethora of ululation…. He’s stiff but he’s steady is Priam Olim! ‘Twas he was the dacent gaylabouring youth. Sharpen his pillowscone, tag up his bier!… Hurrah, there is but young gleve for the owl globe wheels in view which is tautaulogically the same thing. Well, Him a being so on the flounder of his bulk like an overgrown babeling, let wee peep, see, at Hom, well, see peegee ought he ought, patterplate… And all the way (a horn!) from fjord to fjell his baywinds’ oboboes shall wail him rockbound (hoahoahoah!) in swimswamswum and all the livvylong night……..”


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