I am nothing more than the consequence of catastrophe.

The world might be sunny-side up today.

The big ball of yellow might be spilling into the clouds, runny and yolky and blurring into the bluest sky, bright with cold hope and false promises about fond memories, real families, hearty meals sitting on a plate in a world that doesn’t exist anymore.Or maybe not.
Maybe it’s dark and wet today, whistling wind so sharp it stings the skin off the knuckles of grown men. Maybe  it’s raining, I don’t know maybe it’s freezing it’s hailing it’s a hurricane slip slipping into a tornado and the earth is quaking apart to make room for our mistakes. I wouldn’t have any idea.
I don’t have a window anymore. I don’t have a view. It’s a million degrees below zero in my blood and I’m buried 50 feet underground in a training room that’s become my second home lately. Everyday I stare at these 4 walls and remind myself I’m not a prisoner I’m not a prisoner I’m not a prisoner but sometimes the old fears streak across my skin and I can’t seem to break free of the claustrophobia clutching at my throat.

I made so many promises when I arrived here.

Now I’m not so sure. Now I’m worried. Now my mind is a traitor because my thoughts crawl out of bed every morning with darting eyes and sweating palms and nervous giggles that sit in my chest,build in my chest, threaten to burst through my chest, and the pressure is tightening and tightening and tightening.

Life around here isn’t what I expected it to be.My new world is etched in gunmetal, sealed in silver, drowning in the scents of stone and steel. The air is icy, the mats are orange; the lights and switches beep and flicker. It’s busy here, busy with bodies, busy with halls stuffed full of whispers and shouts, pounding feet and thoughtful footsteps. If I listen closely I can hear the sounds of brains working and foreheads pinching and fingers tap tapping at chins and lips and furrowed brows. Ideas are carried in pockets,thoughts propped up on the tips of every tongue; eyes are narrowed in concentration, in careful planning I should want to know about.

But nothing is working and all my parts are broken.

I’m supposed to harness my Energy,It’s  said. Our gifts are different forms of Energy. Matter is never created or destroyed, the said to me, and as our world changed, so did the Energy within it. Our abilities are taken from the universe, from other matter, from other Energies. We are not anomalies.We are inevitabilities of the perverse manipulations of our Earth. Our Energy came from somewhere,they said. And somewhere is in the chaos all around us.

It makes sense. I remember what the world looked like when I left it.

I remember the pissed-off skies and the sequence of sunsets collapsing beneath the moon. I remember the cracked earth and the scratchy bushes and the used-to-be-greens that are now too close to brown. I think about the water we can’t drink and the birds that don’t fly and how human civilization has been reduced to nothing but a series of compounds stretched out over what’s left of our ravaged land.

This planet is a broken bone that didn’t set right, a hundred pieces of crystal glued together. We’ve been shattered and reconstructed, told to make an effort every single day to pretend we still function the way we’re supposed to. But it’s a lie, it’s all a lie. I do not function properly.

I am nothing more than the consequence of catastrophe.

Events have collapsed at the side of the road, abandoned, already forgotten.  I’ve taken up residence on a bed of eggshells, wondering when something is going to

break, when I’ll be the first to break it, wondering when everything is going to fall apart.I should’ve been happier, healthier, sleeping better, more soundly in this safe space. Instead I worry about what will happen when if I can’t get this right, if I don’t figure out how to train properly, if I

hurt someone on purpose by accident.

We’re preparing for a bloody war.

That’s why I’m training. We’re all trying to prepare ourselves to take down The enemy  and his men. To win one battle at a time. To show the citizens of our world that there is hope yet—that they do not

have to acquiesce to the demands of The Reestablishment and become slaves to a regime that wants nothing more than to exploit them for power. And I agreed to fight. To be a warrior. To use my power

against my better judgment. But the thought of laying a hand on someone brings back a world of memories, feelings, a flush of power I experience only when I make contact with skin not immune to my own. It’s a rush of invincibility; a tormented kind of euphoria; a wave of intensity flooding every pore in my body. I don’t know what it will do to me. I don’t know if I can trust myself to take pleasure in someone else’s pain.

All I know is that The Enemy ’s last words are caught in my chest and I can’t cough out the cold or the truth hacking at the back of my throat.

You have   no idea that The enemy  can touch me.No one does.

He was supposed to be dead because I was supposed to have shot him but no one supposed I’d need to know how to fire a gun so now I suppose he’s come to find me. He’s come to fight. Happy Mashujaa day. 

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Time Changes Everyone

I’m happy with the way things turned out. I’m happy with the path that my life took, with all of the twists and turns that lead me to the place where I am today.

But, even though I’m thankful for the location where I’m living and the people that are surrounding me, I still miss the way things used to be.

I miss the friends that I’ve grown apart from over the years. I miss the family that has moved away and lost touch with me. I miss the days when I could carry around a carefree attitude instead of worrying about when I have to pay my next bill and what time I have to wake up for work.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with where I am. I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I wouldn’t change any aspect of my life, even if I had the ability to do so.

One of the scariest, but most comforting things about life is that it’s forever changing. One moment we’re up, the next were down, and then suddenly we’re on the upswing again.

We don’t sit still. We’re never stuck. We won’t always feel this low. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you will be okay, because you will. I promise.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t miss the past. That I can’t relive the memories that mean the most to me.

In a perfect world, I could call up the friends that I miss and have a reunion with the family that I haven’t seen in years.

But the problem is that things change. I’m older now. I’m different now. Everyone around me is different, too. The people I remember from my memories aren’t the same people right now. They’re new, they’re fresh, they’re practical strangers.

Reconnecting with old friends might sound like the easy choice, but it isn’t always the right choice.

I can’t call up the exes I miss, because in my heart I know that we’re better off keeping our distance from each other. And I can’t go back to the job I miss, because I’ve outgrown it and am ready for bigger things.

I can’t just run back to the past when I’m feeling a little nostalgic, because I don’t belong there. I belong exactly where I am right now.

I’m already where I’m meant to be. I know I am. But I’m allowed to miss the past. I’m allowed to look back at old photographs and tell stories about how much fun my childhood friends were. I’m allowed to flip through yearbooks and social media stalk old crushes to see how they turned out.

I’m allowed to miss the past, but not want to go back to it. I’m allowed to think about how many amazing people I’ve met and places I’ve been, but be ready to move onto better things.

Sure, I miss the way things used to be and a part of me always will, a part of me will always love those old friends and cherish those old memories.

But, the truth is, I’m even happier now than I was back then. I’m an even better, stronger person than I ever was before. 

I do believe that everything happens for a reason, and I also  do believe that every choice we have made in the past has put us where we currently are in life. I do not believe that we would have ever worked — no matter how many do-overs we could’ve gotten — but I do believe that we both learned something from our time together that will serve us well in the future. #TBT

​The Beauty That Comes From Suffering

The teeter totter of life seesaws us between joy and angst. The manic shift between the two occurs without our deliberate permission or willful desire. Still, life happens and we get hurt. Pain is a necessary reality of living. Wounds scar the psyche and remind us we are fallible yet growing. Growth comes from pain, from learning, from moving towards our potential.

Growth is designed to hurt so we never forget the lesson of the pain.

Monsters are not created in the shadows, but in front of innocent eyes forced to label the unthinkable. The blade pierces the heart when we realize the monster also lives within. I am a monster too. You cannot see the monster inside me because I would rather suffer with my story than let the truth be known.

Pain is an inevitability we cannot escape nor should we try. The painful experiences of living contain the precious lessons and blessings we seek when we question our existence, our path, our reason for being. These lessons are the pearls we seek to better know ourselves and our fellow inhabitants on this hurling rock called Earth. Pain is the connection to our collective humanity.

Yet, we do not seek out pain—or do we? We grasp for notions like happiness or cling to a belief in necessary suffering. We ignore our wounds while praying to forget our sadness. We hope to see the world as good and right, but our mind cons us into believing we are unlovable, worthless, and flawed as we try to fit into society’s current version of “perfection.”

So, we choose suffering because it is often easier than facing the truth. Our wounds are necessary for our survival. We must experience sorrow and agony so we may find joy and kindness. We can never know good without bad, right without wrong, success without failure. The yin and yang of living is not a battle between good and evil, it is an acceptance of pain. We have been looking at the continuum all wrong. Pain is a friend and foe.

Asking for help does not imprison us as helpless. These stories are wounds, which are reminders of the pain we are capable of inflicting upon ourselves. These are lessons which honor the challenges of living in the torrential waters of life. I am not a fraud shielding my inner monster from view; I am just a flawed human who is learning to accept my lessons as blessings.

Our wounds do not automatically intern us in suffering. We choose suffering just like we choose happiness. Suffering is the acceptance of victimhood. Suffering traps us into believing we are weak and frail. Suffering is the acquiescence to pessimistic judgment while choosing to ignore the brilliance of imperfection. We are not born perfect. We will certainly die the same way we arrived.

If suffering is indeed a choice, then we also have the power and authority to seek a different path. The only barriers keeping us from joy are our thoughts and attitudes. Let’s reframe our pain from fiend to ally and recognize our wounds as unique plots in the story of life. These are lessons and blessings we can sincerely share with our fellow spiritual travelers. We can revert to our ancient storytelling ways like our ancestors huddled around the sacred campfires espousing the virtues of a meaningful life.

Our experiences empower us with a story, a lesson to share. Our pain is a gift which has the power to transform lives. Stop being selfish. Stop wallowing in a choice. Find meaning in your stories and your wounds will not only heal your soul, but also others as well.

Dear God — You Are Good Always

You are good, always. Even when the days aren’t as sunny as I thought they would be. Even when my expectations are totally different from reality. Even when I wake up and my back is hurting, you are good. Even when my life isn’t as luxurious as I want it to be, even when Your provisions are just enough for the day. Even when I hold my chest and I swear I can feel my heart breaking, you are good.

You are good, always.Even when the promises made for me can’t seem to find me as of the moment. Even when I am losing hope and can’t seem to find the right track for me. Even when I spend my whole life searching for ways to overcome with You, you are good. Even when obstacles flashflood and the sun never rises and the land suffers from a constant drought. God, I believe You are good.

You are good, always.Even when I’m not. Even when I’m stubborn and disobedient, even when I sin against you, even when I always fail to follow Your word and fall short. You are perfect in loving me, in caring for me, in being there for me, in helping me out. You are perfect in all of your ways, even when I’m not, even when I’m never.

You are good, always. Even when I don’t understand anything, even when I’m sitting in the lowest point of my life, even when my daily task is to fight, even when my eyes never run dry.

You are good, always. Simply because you love me. You love for who I am. And your love, it’s the kind that doesn’t care how dark and ugly and horrible my past is, it’s the kind of love that’s interested in getting to know me deeper, why I am that way that I am. It’s the kind of love that knows all the bones in my body, memorizes all the composition inside my own universe. The kind that knows all too well how my heart pumps blood throughout my blood vessels, the kind that knows why it pumps, who it beats for. It’s the kind of love that never gets tired. It’s always new and fresh, every morning, every evening.

You are good, always. Even in my brokenness, you love me with an unbroken love. The kind of love that protects and sends me to the rock bottom only for me to discover that You are the rock at the bottom. The kind of love that allow circumstances in my life, circumstances that sometimes I don’t understand the background, but is sure that all of it are in the purpose of making me a better person. The kind of love that lets me fail a job interview and lose a battle just so I can delight in a better, brighter and louder future. The kind of love that inspires and motivates me when I am dwelling in a sea of hopelessness. The kind that knows how imperfect I am but loves me despite.

You are good, always.

You show me the way, You guide me.

You know what I need, You permit me to lose people and hurt over relationships because You know exactly who I need. You release all kind of fear and assure me that I can ride the waves with faith. You ruin all other bad things in my life and hold my heart in freedom. You push me to strive harder and above all You acknowledge that I am trying. You are good, always. And at times, I cannot even expound Your goodness using the best words, nothing is ever enough to cover how much Your goodness and love shield me.

You are good, always. Simply because You were there and You will always be there. Simply because You, who began a good work in me will always be faithful enough to bring it into a magnificent completion in Your appointed time. You are good, always. Simply because despite of all the bad things in life, You are still here. And all these dreadful things doesn’t cancel Your existence. Not in any way

A Reader Lives a Thousand Lives Before He Die

​Life is a garden of experience. There are so many places to see, so many people to meet, so many things to try. Like children, we’re inebriated with life and want to have it all. But our days on Earth are so short, and if you’re like most of us, your available time is further constrained by the obligations of the day, along with all the other obligations that ensure you’ll only experience an infinitesimal fraction of all the things you so boldly aspired to accomplish when you are young.

In moments of despair, when you’re laying on your back in the middle of the night looking up at the ceiling, wondering if you’ll ever have an opportunity to break free from the shackles of an ordinary life, you might wonder, “What could I achieve if only I could live more than once?”

It’s one of the reasons we’re obsessed with immortality and youth. It’s one of the reasons we cling so desperately to life even in its twilight hour, because the child within, still so naive and optimistic, hopes in spite of its imminent demise to have it all.

What are we to do? Is there any way for us to fulfill such a foolhardy desire, or like death row inmates, are we to cower in our cells, waiting for the executioner to call our number?

Books are the answer.

Of course, nothing beats a first-hand experience. But stories nevertheless come in at a close second, for what are stories but intimate tales of other people’s life experiences? Whether real or imagined, stories allow us to slip in and out of other places and other lives, regardless of our financial, professional or social obligations.

Want to go some place new?

Open a book and transport yourself to anywhere in the world. Visit Europe. Explore the Middle East. Tour the tropical paradises of Southeast Asia. Whatever you desire is always available; the world is at your fingertips, waiting only for you to turn the page.

Is the Earth too ordinary for you? Purchase something of the sci-fi or fantasy variety and do what generations of explorers and astronauts have only dreamed of: explore new worlds. Books are gateways, portals to the vast multiverse of the collective human imagination. Contained within are worlds of every kind. Some are governed by the laws of magic. Others are governed by the laws of real-world science. Some are even a unique combination of the two.
For the cost of a cup of coffee, you can purchase a tourist visa to any number of other worlds, all of them accessible, ready and waiting for you to discover their secrets at your convenience.
Want to live a different life?
Have you ever wanted to pick up a new hobby, but you didn’t have enough time? How about a new profession? Hell, haven’t you ever wanted to know what it’s like to live someone else’s life entirely?
Once more, books provide the solution.
What truly makes stories worth reading is that they afford us intimate encounters with other people. Not only do we meet them, we’re offered access to their minds, their hearts, their souls. We’re granted an almost omniscient point of view, something that we mere mortals couldn’t dare to dream of achieving any other way.
We become the characters. Just as we travel effortlessly from one location to the next, so too do we pass from mind to mind, becoming each and every person we meet along the way. The result is that we live as many lives as we desire.
Even in fiction, the people we encounter are real, for every character was ultimately written by a real person, so that each is always a reflection of something true.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…” ― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons
Every book is a world encompassing a tapestry of lives and experiences that are not our own, yet can be if only we choose to read about them. As humans, we might not be capable of immortality. But through reading, we can ensure that our brief time on Earth will be rich and pregnant with possibilities.

How To Understand Different Online Communication Culture

Facebook is Thanksgiving dinner. Your whole family is there your parents, your siblings, your cousins, including the cousins so distant that you don’t feel weird about flirting with them. Your random friends from high school who still live in your hometown and for some reason or another don’t interact with their own families and are now awkwardly here.
There are many different tables people sit at, an grownups’ table where people have Serious Conversations About What’s Going On In Our Lives, a kids’ table that seems to be a continuous high-pitched shrill whine of incomprehensible noise, the den table around which the middle-aged guys shoot the shit about sports, the coffee table around which the middle-aged women gossip about celebrities.
There is the corner where you stand with the other young adults making small talk about how much you hate the chintzy decor, how you’d like to be anywhere else in the world right now, and how you are paranoid that your parents will overhear you talk about sex or use a swear word. Vacation photographs are plentiful, interspersed with predictable political debates between the one angry Cordesian and the one strident Japanese(JAP).
At any given point, someone will be slumped on the couch crying while other people are desperately trying to console them, while being ignored by everyone else in the house.
Twitter is a big cocktail party. Everyone is in their 20s or trying with varying degrees of success to pretend they are in their 20s. People are either extremely well-dressed or dressed in the sloppy casual way of someone communicating they are too important to have to be well-dressed. The ambient noise is loud enough that it’s pointless trying to communicate other than in short, staccato sentences. There will be one exception, extremely drunk, who is conducting a full-on rant in his own little part of the room — no one will ever be sure exactly what he’s saying because everyone drifts in and out of paying attention to him at a different point. Everyone’s eyes are constantly roving the rest of the room for someone more famous, more interesting or more attractive than you to talk to. It is extremely dangerous to mention shitty gossip about somebody because they may in fact be right behind you, and yet everybody does it, because what else is there to talk about?
Random one liner jokes cribbed from stand-up comedians or directly quoting an episode of The Trend Show that aired last night abound. Whenever you come home from one of these parties your roommate asks, “Did you have fun?” and rather than actually answering the question you say, “I totally chatted with [random celebrity] standing in line for the punch bowl!”
Tumblr is the basement lounge of a college dormitory, after midnight on a week night. Everyone here should theoretically be studying or sleeping, and is instead here because of loneliness, procrastination and/or some kind of substance abuse problem. Whether or not substances are actually involved, everyone is either draped over pieces of furniture in an opiate haze or amphetaminically pacing rapidly back and forth as though they have an itch all over their body. The conversation goes through odd peaks and lulls many silences that would be awkward if everyone wasn’t too messed up right now to experience the sensation of awkwardness. Only to be suddenly broken by someone engaging in a long, meandering monologue about something horrifically personal, which either inspires a series of people “chiming in” with their own similar monologues or instead leads to a shouting, vicious argument over some tangential point made in the monologue. At least one of the guys in this room self-identifies as a Nazi, and everyone has kind of come to accept it.
The TV is on, and frequently people will mention whatever happens to be on the screen at the moment, but no one is really watching even though it’s a large TV on at a very loud volume. It’s tuned to one of those three digit cable channels that is showing a weird late night mix of Saturday morning cartoons, “for mature audiences” anime and call in shows produced in someone’s basement about UFO abductions.
LinkedIn is a corporate networking event and charity banquet.It is very similar to Facebook, except no one actually knows each other at all and everyone is wearing a tie or a string of pearls. All the small talk has an air of desperation to it. Everyone is craning to see the job title on your name tag says. Business cards are exchanged in huge numbers. Terms like “ROI” are used regularly and without irony. Any two people who see each other in this room and are actually friends will avoid each other all night out of a certain unnameable shame. This is by far the most depressing and unpleasant of all the rooms so far listed.
Google Plus is a “social” organized by the official social committee of a college campus. There are many brightly colored posters telling you where and when it is and encouraging you to take advantage of the free refreshments. After an initial flurry in which the refreshments are all eaten, there is no one left here but a handful of “facilitators” who are paid by the college to be here and be friendly, and some freshmen who are too awkward to just get up and leave but also too awkward to make conversation or eye contact. Many of the people who stopped by to get free refreshments were just on their way to get drunk at Twitter. The rest will be found getting stoned with each other in the basement of this building, on Tumblr. Pinterest
I have never been on Pinterest.