Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cry Me A River

At some point soon after, I stopped being able to cry.  No more falling apart at the grocery store; I was cool, I was okay.  I was numb and didn't know it, nor did I know it was normal.

After a short time had passed, this not crying upset me.  "Something is wrong with me!", I would lament to my mother.  "I want to cry, but I can't."  When I finally broke down and bawled, I remembered why I had stopped crying in the first place (or so I liked to laugh it off to myself) -- crying has the concrete ability to make your eyelids the most red and hot and puffy you have ever seen them.  I'm talkin' put-you're-fingers-in-front-of-your-closed-eyes-like-it's-a-game-and-feel-the-heat-radiate-from-an-inch-away kinda cryin'. No mater the heartbreak, no matter the pain, no matter what depths of raw feelings and realities I thought I had faced -- I had never cried like that before.

The Truth, Too

3 months to the day.  I didn't plan this.  I guess things have a  way of turning out poetic sometimes.

Three months have never felt more like forever.  I'm reminded of a song that goes -

"It's comin' round again,
The slowly creeping hand,
Of time and its command.
Soon enough it comes.
And settles in its place,
Its shadow in my face,
Puts pressure in my day:

This life, well it's slippin' right through my hands...
These days turned out nothing like I had planned...

Control, well it's slippin' right through my hands...
These days turned out nothing like I had planned..."


That Time

I use the word April as if it can buffer me from reality.

"Yeah, I never unpacked my moving boxes because of what happened in April."

"Oh, it's all fallen to shit since April."


It's long been a tactic of mine.  Because avoiding saying the real words makes them not real, and because being vague somehow lessens the pain.  All the while knowing it to be a bittersweet lie and a wild,  careening sprint away from reality, arms wide open, running as fast as I can, screaming as I go.

I wonder how people have lost before and survived.  Sometimes I look at myself from above my own body, as if in third person, and wonder how I can go about such daily, mundane tasks as if life was normal.  Life will never be normal again, the other part of me scoffs at myself.  As a Gemini I've always been moody.  Since April, I've been surprising even myself.

See that?  Since April.

I see the world differently now.  I feel so much wiser, though I never wanted to be wise in this way.  I feel so much more grown up, in a final, irreversible way.  I let my mind wander to the way I wish it was instead of the way it seems to be.

The Truth

I never knew it was possible to miss someone in this way.  This much.  I don't even know where all this hurt and pain come from.  I didn't think my insides were that deep.

This Moment

I swear I just saw your picture smiling at me. No, for real.  It made me smile real big.  Then it creeped me out for a second and I had to look behind me to make sure your ghost wasn't there.  Then I admonished myself for being scared.  Silly me.  I walked into my room and closed the door.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


(On April 18, 2012, we lost my younger brother Delmon Gabriel Aho to a sudden heart attack. Grieving is something I have never done before, not like this, and you are never prepared for death. I always felt blessed to have reached 30 and never have lost someone close to me. Little did I know that within a couple of years, that would all change. Sure, I had been to funerals, and some family members had passed, but all of them were much older and not that close to me. Losing my 29 year old brother was a shock, to say the least. I didn't know how to react, how to feel, what to do with myself, how to help my family. The two months since have felt like forever and a second, all at the same time. The fact of the matter is, grieving is very much a process, and you really do feel every single emotion on God's green Earth; sadness, anger, disappointment and a hundred other things, sometimes over a few days and sometimes in the space of a few hours. And though you are grieving, you also know that eventually, life goes on. Time does not stand still so you have to start doing the normal things you used to do. That said, the raw emotions sometimes pop up without a warning, usually while you're off thinking you're doing just fine.)

We still cry at the most inopportune times. At first it made sense; heaps of tears and pain tumbled out instead of my order at Starbucks. That was the first week. It took everything in me to say two sentences to the kind woman behind the counter, this stranger who told me with genuine care - I could see it in her eyes, "I'm sorry you're having such a  bad day." If she only knew.   

A few days ago it was while sharing a steak sandwich with my mom at the food court.  It was because I felt so helpless in easing her pain. We had a good cry over the remnants of our meal while I felt people's eyes on us, wondering what was wrong. We didn't have too much of an appetite after that. 

This past Tuesday it was while sitting on a plane, traveling to NY on a trip that's supposed to make me feel better. It more or less came out of nowhere. I half-heartedly hid my face from my seat mates as I tried to cry quietly and imagined my answer to their unasked question: "My brother died two months ago. We still cry at the most random of times."

And earlier today it was on the subway, triggered by the sight of a young boy seated next to his dad. It made me think of how awful it must be for a parent to lose a child, after all the hard work you put into raising them, and though I knew this before, in that moment it hit home. I barely kept it together on the train. By the time I got to street level I was practically hyperventilating trying to keep the tears inside. I scrapped my plans and made a beeline for the place I always used to go to sit in solitude when I was having a rough day. I was disappointed to find that there would be no solitude there today, but I bawled for almost two hours anyway while I prayed, thought, wished, talked and felt things I hadn't been allowing myself to feel for a while now.  

It was hard, so hard, but I came away feeling better. I came away realizing that though people mourn differently, there are many things that everyone across the board feels regardless of how old they are, where they're from, under what traditions they were raised and no matter the circumstances of their loved one's death. The only way to heal is to productively and proactively help yourself, whatever that means for you. Feel your way around until you find what works. Though others can help, no one can do it for you, and ignoring your emotions is probably the worst thing you can do. We are all in this together and we will all be okay, just like Delmon is ok, looking down on us with so much more knowledge about why things happen than we have down here. We have to believe there is a bigger picture and a better plan, and until the day comes that we can accept what has transpired, I wish us all peace and comfort and consoled hearts.  

Monday, June 18, 2012

Untitled II

No amount of flying will result in new dreams or new realities,
No depth of sighs or number a breath taken will bring him back.
He stays lonely and watching us,
Floating above.

No words written or words spoken,
No chests heaved and hearts broken,
No teared eyes or hot face,
No love lost or love gained,
Will bring him back.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


I spent, 30 days completely lost
In, 100 ways completely fogged
Thirty days
Dirty, crazed
Love me, try
My flirty ways
Lead to being completely mazed,
So insane,
Completely drained.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Easy-Peasy, Life Was Breezy

Once upon a time, life was easy. Or at least this is what I think now because at the moment, life is hard.

I moved to New York City at 23 with a dollar and a dream. OK, I had more than $1 but not by much. What I did have was drive and ambition. I had hunger. And I had optimism. The early years of relentlessly harassing people (in a nice way) so I could get my foot in the fashion industry door, the late nights at the office proving myself and climbing up the ladder, the years of having 2 and 3 jobs. They all seem so distant now, so easy because I don't think about them and I forgot how hard it was at the beginning.

What I remember is how much simpler it was from the middle on. At some point you make enough money at your real job to not have to work another one. Projects come easier than they used to, you get jobs via referrals and word of mouth. Most of the time you don't even need to interview anymore. At least I didn't. I guess I should have enjoyed it more while I had it so good.

A while back on a regular day, while doing a regular mundane thing, I realized I had been in San Diego for 5 months and hadn't accomplished most of the things I had thought I would. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Did it put a fire under my ass to get things moving? Yes. Did it also cause 1 mini-meltdown per week since then? That would be yes. I have been trying to conquer the voice in my head that all too often says: "I didn't do enough, I didn't research grad schools enough, I haven't gotten anywhere. I don't have a job, I need a job. What if this whole thing doesn't work out??"

Multiply that intensity x10 to get a feel for how frantic I really get.

Moving across the country this time around is so different. I had lofty thoughts and noble ideas about a new career and how to get there. I see myself there. I imagine my life 5 years from now and professionally I am where I want to be. But actually getting there is proving to be more difficult than I expected. At the moment, my efforts are not yielding any tangible results and getting there seems so far away.