A lot has changed since the last time I wrote. It is hard for me to believe that the last time I wrote anything was over a year ago, and prior to that, an additional year. I had once loved the idea of writing as an outlet for the depression that always lingered beneath the surface. The pain followed me, and at times engulfed me, like a shadow that was just there every second, of every minute, of every day, of every week, of every month, of every year. Even when it felt like I was at my highest highs, my conscience always found a way to drift towards the lowest lows. Quite frankly, it was draining. At times, my depression almost got the better of me, but I eventually learned to live with it, which I believe is a skill within itself. However, contrary to my previous posts, today’s touches upon the way that this past year and 3 months has transitioned my perspective on life to that of a place filled with love and happiness.
I used to wake up thinking everything would be easier if I was dead. After all, contrary to my facade, it always felt as if I already was.. or drowning, rather. Each passing day symbolized the pressure of growing up, and I dreaded it. I could be having the time of my life and without warning, my mind will wander to thoughts along the lines of, “I just want to go home,” “I just want to be alone,” and “None of this even matters.” It was as if my mind was punishing itself for having a shred of hope, and it was mentally draining to say the least. Rather than confiding in others about it, I chose to harbor it all, which ultimately caused more harm than improvement. At times, I found myself contemplating why I felt like this. To me, it seemed so simple, but to third parties, it seemed as if the idea was unfathomable. I was labeled as a “mental case” who needed help, even though to them, I looked “normal.” I gave up. I was tired of being labeled as someone who needed help when in actuality, I was able to comprehend how I felt just fine. I continued surrounding myself with just about anything and/or anyone in order to fill this inexplainable void. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that maybe I found solace in being alone, but never actually alone—if that makes sense. Years have gone by, and believe it or not, although I am the happiest I think I have ever been in my life, my mind still tends to drift to that all-too-familiar territory. I know now that I have too much to live for, too many people to live for, and most importantly, myself to live for.
I recently stumbled upon a video that touched upon yami kawaii—a growing Japanese subculture that focuses on imagery that correlates with darkness, pain, suicide, and depression overall. When one of the individuals in the video was asked why she was depressed and attempted to commit suicide, she answered, “the only cause I can think of is being born in the first place.” This one line resonated with me more than I could have imagined—it all made sense. The feeling of mutual understanding was uncannily refreshing. Truthfully speaking, I did not have a hard childhood whatsoever; however, somewhere along the path of adulthood, my mind drifted toward the idea(s) that yami kawaii embodies. To me, darkness represents unfamiliarity and uncertainty, and this eventually became a norm. However, I digress. The aforementioned path(s) that I followed led me to where and who I am today.
We all have a goal that we one day hope to achieve. During an interview, I was asked what my goals were. I answered, “To be happy. We all have different goals and aspirations, and we are all driven by different things that motivate us to become a better person. Some people focus on finding their dream job, while others may focus on finding the love of their life. Ultimately, it all leads to being happy.” Personally, I have always found myself to be the latter. I always believed that finding someone that I could spend the rest of my life with took priority. It is one thing to be broke, but it is another to be broke and utterly.. alone. As Gabrielle Solis once said in Desperate Housewives, “I have been broke a lot of times in my life, but I have never been poor, because poor is just a state of mind.” As someone who has found themselves in debt more often than not, this line shattered me.. It made me realize that who you surround yourself with genuinely makes an impact. I had previously surrounded myself with individuals who were spoiled, materialistic, and downright snooty. At that point in time, I felt lost. It shifted my own mindset toward that of someone of their caliber, and it ultimately made things worse because it always made me feel like I was not good enough, nor would I ever be.
Looking back, there were countless times when I left myself exposed and vulnerable. I was put in scenarios that allowed me to be used and abused; however, at the end of the day, I justified this by telling myself it was all for love.. or the potential of, rather. Eventually, I learned to accept who I am because as someone who lived most of his life searching for love, I realized that the potential has been there all along. As cheesy as this may sound, love is a two-way street, and in order for me to find love, I had to learn to not only live for the idea of love, but love myself as well. How could I expect to find love when the thought of suicide was stronger than the thought of love? Being loved and nurtured is a fundamental part of growing up, and an important life lesson that I have lived by, from Moulin Rouge, is that “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return.” There has never been a point in my life where this related to the very core of my existence as it does at this very moment. Looking back, to a mere year and 3 months ago, I never would have expected, or even fathomed, myself to be so.. happy? Occasionally, my mind still tends to wander to that “all-too-familiar territory.” Yet, the ideas that I correlated with yami kawaii (darkness, pain, suicide, and depression) now offer a completely different meaning than before—in the sense that the pain of hurting the people I love outweighs the pain that I had previously endured. Many view yami kawaii as a twisted and grotesque subculture in Japanese fashion due to its illustrations (i.e. blood and needles), but this “sick” form of expression spreads awareness toward an issue that is often at times stigmatized and frowned upon.
Looking back, things have changed. As previously stated, I had surrounded myself with individuals that were more or less toxic. It was upon that realization that I changed not them, but myself. My first post on this blog was 5 years ago, and since then, I have experienced my highest highs, and my lowest lows. I had tried to find my own identity through chasing after potential lovers, to the point where I let relationships ultimately define my happiness. Looking back—and yes, I know I have repeated “looking back,” and “love” multiple times—I realize that finding a guy like Kenny would have been close to impossible, considering I surrounded myself with individuals that made me feel less than what I am. I needed to find someone who made me feel invincible, flaws and all, rather than feeling broke, ugly, fat, etc. I am 26-years-old, in debt, and I may not have a job that utilizes my degree (yet), but I have the love of a lifetime that makes me feel like the only job I will ever need.. “is to love and be loved in return.” It took 5 years, but it got better, and it will continue to. 3 years ago, I posted that “it won’t get better—it never has been and it never will be. When it does manage to ‘get better’, I won’t be there.” When I was 19-years-old, I got a nautical star tattoo on the right side of my Adonis/Apollo’s belt (V line). Aside from its “skanky” aesthetics, the underlying meaning behind a nautical star is to ensure safe passage into the unfamiliar. California was the biggest step towards unfamiliarity and uncertainty, and I can honestly say that regardless of some of the hardships, I made it.. safely. I used to dread change because change meant progress, and progress meant continuing, but maybe change is not so bad after all.