It’s been one year since therapy

It’s been one year since my first round of therapy ended.

Prior to the therapy I was consistently surrounded by suicidal resolves. I had lost myself. My art production was nill, except the poetry I would write once a month or so. Those poems became the lyrics to my keyboard album “Tempted to Live.” They were a stream of unedited thoughts, and the lyrics would get more personal and less rythmic, less polished, by the end.

It ended with the resolve to kill myself.

In reality though, I saw only two options going forward. Seek professional help, or end my life.

In therapy, I managed to speak of my traumas.. Topics I was convinced beforehand would never come out. I was able to understand how certain events and leading mindsets controlled the greater scheme of things for me (Notice I’m being general, because you’re not my therapist. I may get more in depth as I release music).

Leaving the therapy I no longer saw it an option to end my life. That’s all I needed, though I learned a great wealth of myself, and I’ll forever be eternally grateful to my therapist for being there to keep me company. The depression didn’t go away completely, it’s still a natural feeling. It simply does not lead me to that fatal resolve.

My childhood is one I wouldn’t wish on an enemy. The sadness that drained me each night, I hate to think how long any given person could sustain it. I deeply love every person I have ever met, those whom I remember, and those whom I forgive. Each individual is a whole universe I wish to travel through; but alas, if I were to focus on each person at a time I would not have a story to hold for myself. Don’t you dare let yourself believe you are alone, not as long as I’m at reach. I do not want to end my life, not without knowing how many stories there are out there I want to know about. Not as long as that beautiful cloudy sky exists. I want to feel the weight of everybody’s hurt. I can feel the weight of it when you’re happy.

To transition, I tend to express specific and related emotions through specific or related mediums of expression. For example, in general when I express love, happiness, tranquility, it will be through photography. My anger, stress, sexual innuendo, will be expressed through my black and white checkered drawings and paintings.

My fears, depressions, weaknesses, will be expressed through music. This natural method of expression answers why my music tends to be of deep, intense themes such as loneliness, romantic loss, anti-religion, death, and suicide (To reword, I never focus on these themes when working on things other than music).

Through therapy I realised this.

My next musical project, titled There Goes Everybody, focuses on losing friends and family to circumstance, but more prominently, to death, as well as losing focus on the ‘greater scheme of things,’ taking advantage of relationships, and feeling taken advantage of, useless, alone. I have reset the project twice now, opting to make several releases over time rather than all at once as an album. This will slowly roll out, but hopefully it all is released by August. Projected setlist is constantly changing, so I can’t share it. Track one though is deadset: 

01. Till Death Do Its Part

-E

My Ex Epilogue, an imaginary band

From the years 2009 and 2014, ages 13-18, I wrote lyrics for songs that only existed in my head (and of course the pages I wrote the lyrics on). I would read the lyrics and the entire set of an alternative rock band would play in my head. I bunched the lyrics into albums to keep them in order, for a total of 54 albums varying from 10 to 18 tracks each. It was an imaginary band called My Ex Epilogue. Most of the lyrics were written in middle and high school during class. bored or attentive, a great deal of where my mind was on were the sheets of lyrics I hid under my book or in the second half of each notebook.

Here’s part of an excel sheet with all the details I was able to keep before the writing was too much ahead of this:

mxp-1

The bold colors to the far left represent the general shift in tone and theme, going from general gory themes to concept albums about world catastrophes to a zombie theme to anti- government from punk sounds to arena rock to pop rock. I took inspiration from My Chemical Romance, The Used, Marilyn Manson, The Strokes, Matchbook Romance, Of Montreal, to name a few..

Then the blue albums and EP titles as well, with the total number of tracks I wrote for the project, then the times the album would be written and then finalized (printed!). the orange titles are individual tracks that stand out the most.

Here’s another glimpse of the data I have,mxp-3

The blue is official album length, green the “B-Sides,” songs that didn’t fit well in the album but stayed as part of the project as a whole. Light blue are EPs, transitional songs or a mix of things that couldn’t fit as an album. orange is lost lyrics. There’s about twice as many lost lyrics I didn’t include. So my total comes to 734 album tracks and 1045 total lyrics written in the six years.

After 2014, I have written ZERO lyrics for this imaginary band My Ex Epilogue, though I still use the title My Ex Epilogue as my artist name when publishing my keyboard/piano albums on SoundCloud.

The 55th album-to-be, My Escape, ended up being a long poetry project of poems ranging from half a page to 6 pages long. This project became the foundation for my 16th keyboard/vocal album, “Tempted To Live,” since virtually all the lyrics come from there.

It became increasingly difficult to write my lyrics in college. I couldn’t afford to divide my attention, and there wasn’t a different setting I felt comfortable writing in.

And thus, was My Ex Epilogue, the project of 1000+ lyrics. I don’t plan on publishing the lyrics, or at least 98% of them, I won’t. x) They’re not that great.

Here’s a list of all the albums in order:

2009

1 Witness Trial 4-Jan
2 Through Betrayal and Blames 15-Mar
3 War Of Assholes 4-May
4 Burn Your Eyes 5-Jul
5 Bastards In Hell 18-Jul
6 Robot Acadamy 1-Aug
7 Orders From The Captain 30-Sep
8 Bullets For My Birthday 25-Oct
9 The Ceremony Isn’t Over Until I Cry 25-Nov

2010

10 World War 4-Jan
11 Where We Will Evenly Burn 14-Feb
12 Innocent Hands With Stains Of Blood 12-Mar
13 The Lights Are Out Again 2-Apr
14 Provoked! 16-Apr
15 SINCAMP 7-May
16 Egos Forever 3-Sep
17 Sanative Master 10-Sep
18 Never Let Go 19-Nov


2011

19 The Dead Parade! 7-Jan
20 The End of the World 11-Mar
21 Maybe It’s Just Love 13-May
22 Disenchant Me 17-Jun
23 Rotten World 15-Jul
24 SIINCAMP 5-Aug
25 Bunnies and Shovels 18-Aug
26 Kill All The Sinners 23-Aug
27 The Stars Under the Sea 10-Sep
28 Easy For Suicide 16-Sep
29 Burning Down the Ghost Town 7-Oct
30 Killer In Me 11-Nov
31 Consequences of the Loveblind 18-Nov
32 Blow Up the Sun! 12-Dec
33 Rapture For My Heart 16-Dec

2012

34 Never Surrender 13-Jan
35 EXPLODE 20-Feb
36 Revenga!! 29-Feb
37 You Never Live Twice 16-Mar
38 Something To Live For 9-Apr
39 Something To Die For 14-May
40 Cxxxx Mxxxx Pxxxx 11-Jun
41 Survive 5-Jul
42 Moderne. Dangereux. 29-Aug
43 Underground Love 14-Sep
44 Raise Your Voice 5-Oct

2013

45 Apocalypse of Love 7-Jan
46 Scattered Light 5-Jul
47 Fall of Heterika 13-Sep
48 Minus the People, Versus the World 31-Oct
49 Vices or Virtues 18-Nov
50 Hiraeth 25-Dec

2014

51 They Will Try Erasing Us 12-Feb
52 Better Days 10-Mar
53 One Last Good Look 20-Apr
54 Modern Cassette 7-Jun

55- “My Escape” (roughly Nov 2014) becomes “Tempted to Live” one year later, November 4th 2015:

Write Me Off (The Difference)

[11/26/16]

I feel the numbness carry in
An uninvited guest within
Beating slower and slower
I become the mannequin

Floating to the river bed
The sheets become my closest friends
I pick the warmest one
To join me to the end

I feel dumb
Going numb
Am I really improving
Or am I getting used to it

Did you make it to the scene
Where the dragons in between
All the mountains how they lean
Towards the sun and the unseen

My eyes drain inside
My tendency to hide
In the shaded areas
Where we met

My feet taken down
By the weight of the world
I wanna give up
Knowing it’ll still swirl

And I lay
This is where I wanna stay
As the day
Reminds me of a warmer way

Without the sheets

He’s gasping
He’s gasping

That can’t be my reflection
It’s just another victim
Of a battered abused system
Leading him to my direction

I can feel the beating
He still carries his soul
Pulls out the notes and the pen
Will he write me off

Or will he make the mistake

The beating slows within
Has he improved
Has he gotten used to it

Be the difference
The better statistic

He sits on the edge
I lay on the river bed
He stares down the bridge
Wonders how the end

He’s crying
He’s crying
He’s crying
I’m crying

We feed the river
The difference

The sky brightens up
I can’t hide anymore
I can’t die knowing
There is more

With you in the sky

An uninvited guest within
I become the mannequin

a year since “Nohemi”

It’s been a year since the terrorist attack in Paris. The one American life lost in that event was Nohemi Gonzalez, CSULB student from El Monte, my hometown. It shocked me, opened my eyes a little more to the numbness from the terror around us. That event also inspired me to immediately record this track. It was the first track I recorded for the album “Tempted to Live,” which was about loneliness and losing loved ones. I put it as the final track to remember, after each time I listened to the album, why the album even exists. It reminds me how insignificant my pain was in comparison to what Nohemi and her family had experienced.

The weight of the world gets heavier each day, and you survive the weight by becoming stronger than you were the day before.

satisfactions

The question asks: If 100 people your age were chosen at random, how many do you think you’d find leading a more satisfying life than yours?

I might believe fewer than half. Let’s say I’d find at most 44 people more satisfied than myself. I feel that coping with loneliness will be a pretty large factor in others’ answers, and I don’t believe the majority of these 100 random people would have mastered the skill of being alone. I think I have, though. I always see a hint of loneliness through the things my friends say on social media. Sometimes it’s the core of their problems.. I spend most of my time alone, at least three days a week traveling completely alone on busses, trains, through LA County. I go to parks and museums with my camera and search for other signs of loneliness in the world, but do not find it. We are all vastly connected, instantly reachable. I understand that the older we get, the less time we have to spend with people we met in the past who we’d like to be with for a bit longer. Communication is key; every few months or years I send short messages to people I don’t see on a regular basis because I still want that friendship to exist. A friend to me is anyone who, as of the last time we had met or contacted, I had a positive connection with; Everyone else is a potential friend. So if anyone ever has the (unlikely) existential crisis of “omg does Elmo even care about me anymore?!” just think of how the last time we met went. The answer might be so clear, it is unclear.

Money seems to be another issue. I don’t find money as a problem for myself, but I recognize I wouldn’t be able to survive/ sustain living alone or being in a relationship with the job I currently have. In fact, I can’t make friends in job because people leave very quickly, which further reinforces the loneliness in my life. It’s not that good a job; but why should I get myself one any better than this at my age? Also, The largest portions of money that I spend is on marathons or half-marathons. Clothing is my next largest investment, though I only buy plain t-shirts and running/ comfy stuffs. And even then I only spend on these things like at least every 5 months or more. So having even the slightest positive flow of moneys each month keeps me highly satisfied. I don’t think half of the random people would be okay with the basics of life as I have, in the context of moneys and loneliness. Because they want greater things in life, because maybe they’re falling behind in their dreams, because their time in the world is never certain, I dunnooo really, I’m not a fan of having to speak for 99 random people my age..  I don’t think students being given large sums of moneys from the govt will be dealing with the money issue though. I live with what I got, and it’s barely enough. Doing things in the name of money, other than for basic necessities, to me is unhealthy. I have a feeling most people would disagree.

So using these two examples, I know it’s not a perfect way to live, but hey, at least my life leads me to believe I’m having it better than 56 of 100 random people my age. xP

post election thoughts

{originally posted on Facebook}

Sorry for this long post; I had to sleep on these thoughts before venting again. I might get too emotional by the end but I always do that. If you find a mistake on the spelling/grammar/word use, fourgive me four eye am hueman…

I planned to be away from Facebook (and Instagram) for a couple months, given how intoxicated it made me feel to scroll down the bottomless feed, and although Twitter is too limiting for me with 140 characters, I tend to go on only during elections as I did last night. I noticed a lot of friends feeling appalled, anxious, mournful by the election results… some thinking about the communities that had worked so much for so long for their chances at liberty, only to have it all fall short given what we’ve heard from the president-elect during the campaign. I watched the whole campaign in detail, from the first candidates tossing themselves in the ring, to the final match that not even the previous night’s statistics had predicted correctly. I fell in love with the primaries, each debate, the late night shots on the candidates. It inspired me more to search a way to help as many people as I could in the few decades I have left.

I learned from what I saw and read about this crappy political atmosphere we’re in, that it’s cyclical. Given our top choices we are set to hit rock bottom in society all over again. Terrible presidents preceded the Great Depression, and it took a New Deal to fix as much of it up as we could, where the focus was now on the people. They were thigh-deep in the crap back then, and they shoveled most of it away up until the 80s. The 90s is where the progressive movements seemed for sure at a halt to me; it was the top, the new decline set to begin, the period of time where the government would forget about its people and focus on the money. The crap slowly piling up. If Clinton were to be elected, we’d have at least four more years before a worse president with the same message as Trump and not as terrible of a character would be bound to take the White House. And then four years of that.

I took a guess that it would be about three presidents from now when we’d again be thigh-deep in the crap, and it would all have to reset again. We’ll hit rock bottom. But now with Trump, I notice that his presidency could accelerate the piling of crap onto us. We’re gonna hit rock bottom faster, either with him or the next. I tend to find it difficult to not see the good in things, so I concluded that, sure we might hit rock bottom faster now, but the good thing about being at the bottom is that from there you can only go up. We can only progress. And it’ll require intense struggle. We can shovel it and focus on the people, then eventually find justice for the unjust. Otherwise the system would be “rigged.”

I noticed a lot of people completely dumbfounded that so many would vote for Trump. I thought about our broken education system, ruled by corporatists that look for the money, not the improvements for us. Too many years have gone and we still have to bubble in our way into sheeplings. It is designed in such a way that we could more easily blame the teachers or its students instead of the corporations and governments responsible. Very few might find a way to beat ‘this system,’ but without money there is little hope in this world. Realizing our education system needs reform is the first step; I have no answer as to how this can be fixed.

I noticed many people declaring this American life wasn’t worth living now, that it’s okay to give up on trying to be more than what you are, that we can’t fix this. Again, once we’re in rock bottom we’ll only be able to look up. Trump might pull out a Trump and fix something. Trump might also knock down our hopes and raise the hurdles (He’ll have Congress and the Supreme Court on his side). The struggle will be heavier to carry than before, but it might raise a good amount of progressive leaders out of us. We just have to get back up the mountain, climb. Fight. Challenge THEM. Give up? If it was okay to let this kind of crap take us down, this nation wouldn’t be here. Because those progressive leaders did rise up after the Depression.

Don’t feel useless. These struggles do not take individuals. It usually takes millions. A TEAM. Have you not learned this yet from watching sports, from The Walking Dead? xP Those one shot heroes only exist in film, in comics. And even there it might not always be one person. You’re not alone. I’m good at being lonely and as I am I still never feel alone. Because I look up and can’t help but notice that I have something in common with the clouds. We’re temporary. So is money.

We aren’t given much time on this planet, not enough to spend it hating, holding grudges and prejudices. Those moments are never the best of us. We can’t sit around hoping for the best in them to save us from the darkness inside. We each all our pain to bask in, our struggles. To give up is to not struggle. On the individual level, we can still love. We can still make sure our future choices are not as poisonous. That’s all I’d recommend.

I always come around to my senior quote. :F Given by the former slave Frederick Douglass: “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”
Trump might have Washington but he won’t have the progressive movements.

I won’t wait for a better world, I want to keep making sure I’ve earned it. We deserve the love that will come to us in the future if we deserved the hate that has come upon us.