Hard at once and forever

“Here you were to be loved. To be loved...hard at once and forever to strengthen you against the loveless world.”

– Excerpt from James Baldwin, “A Letter to My Nephew”

December 7, 2018

When I was 9 years old, I came to America by myself on a student visa to learn English. My parents and brother were still in Korea, so my grandparents, who moved to Southern California in late 70s to help raise my cousins, took me in and raised me for a year. I loved my grandparents. My grandpa drove me to school everyday in his old Corolla (he loved Japan and Japanese culture), took me to the mall every weekend and bought me clothes and toys, let me spend evenings watching TV on his lap after grandma’s home cooked dinner. It was nothing special or fancy, but I loved my grandparents and loved spending time with them.
 —
My grandfather passed away in his sleep last night. He was in his 90s, growing weak and miserable at his old age and health complications. I used to love visiting him at any chance I had at his home, but at some point, dreaded going because seeing him so depressed made me feel downhearted. I wished I could have done something, but I knew there was nothing I can really do. But now he can rest.

Rest In Peace Grandpa. I’m so heartbroken I didn’t get to see you one last time. Thank you for raising me, taking care of me, being unafraid of living in a foreign country to support your children and grandchildren. There were moments when I was so resentful for some of your actions that I’d rather not dredge up, but I just want to say that I forgive you.

i don’t know what living a balanced life feels like 
when i am sad i don’t cry, i pour 
when i am happy i don’t smile, i beam 
when i am angry i don’t yell, i burn 
the good thing about feeling in extremes is 
when i love i give them wings 
but perhaps that isn’t such a good thing 
cause they always tend to leave 
and you should see me when my heart is broken 
i don’t grieve 
i shatter 
– rupi kaur

Again

my flight is in 4.5 hours.

I was feeling kinda up and down all week, I think being away from home so long made me go through some strange new experiences and emotions that was buried somewhere in me.

I’ve been gone a month.

Kafkaesque

There are times when I get this inexplicable sinking feeling in my stomach for reasons unknown to myself. The closest description of the feeling I can think of is this: it's as if I've committed a crime while I was asleep or unconscious. This feeling usually comes at night, or before I embark on a big trip. I try to avoid it, but sometimes it just comes, and will not leave. It lingers and nags at me like unfinished work and clutters my inner thinking systems. Suddenly, I am a protagonist in a Kafka novel, carrying the sentence of a great  unbeknownst crime. In a way, I think it's good; it helps me live responsibly in order to have a clean conscience as much as possible to avoid any further self-inflicted emotional complications. Yes, my reasons for benevolence is selfish.> But anyway, I hate this feeling. I don't want it. I'm not saying I want to be a sociopath. It's just exhausting.