Taylor Swift is back on Spotify and…

T-Swift is back on Spotify and honestly, it’s such a wonderful service to everyone. Binging on all her music brings back all these feelings I felt when I was a young teen, and I have resolved a lot of the emotions. In fact, I think some things have only intensified.

For example, on her first album, the self-titled one from 2006, she has songs about heartbreak, jealousy, and quite a bit of loneliness. Or at least, that’s what I read from it. Songs like “A Place in this World” and “Tied Together with a Smile”. With lyrics like,”Maybe I’m just a girl on a mission, but I’m ready to fly. I’m alone, on my own, and that’s all I know. I’ll be strong. I’ll be wrong, but life goes on. I’m just a girl trying to find a place in this world” how can a listener not relate? I just turned 21 last Wednesday and am on track to graduate next spring with my bachelors. But what then? What is my place in this huge, crazy world? For “Tied Together with a Smile”, there’s still the relevant topic of mental health and the weight of other’s expectations. “You’re tied together with a smile but you’re coming undone” resonates with so many people in their moments of exhaustion, doubt, and disappointment. The fact that she was what, 15?, when she wrote these blow my mind. I’m in my twenties (eek. how?) and these emotions are part of my weekly thoughts. I don’t think it’s a matter of maturity or anything like that, but more of a testament to her musical artistry of being able to tap into human experience and emotion.

And then there’s, of course, those sounds about clumsy romance and feelings broken for the first time like (you already know it) “Teardrops on My Guitar” and “A Picture to Burn” that transports you back to the first time you felt darker feelings and it’s reassuring in a way only hindsight can provide. They’re songs I think I’ll always come back to, because this is probably the third(?) time I’ve come back to this song and it still hits all the feels. Recently, I felt similar feelings when the guy I had feelings for asked me to meet his new girlfriend, after telling me a few month ago, “dating makes me feel like I’m so tied down” and telling me we could go on a date and then preceding to never bring up the topic again. Okay, dude. Yeah, I bet she’s beautiful and a great person, a girl loaded with all these qualities that I don’t have.

Sprinkled into this same emotion mix of an album is the idealism so precious in youth, heard in “Our Song”. I don’t think I’ll ever skip that song when it comes up in my queue, because it’s bigger than just the story of a teen romance. It’s about chasing after something you care about for maybe the first time, and doing that with recklessness, innocent curiosity, and joy. There’s this realization in the power of passion. Like the excitement you feel talking on the phone when you shouldn’t, or the in-the-moment presence of writing something down on a napkin, or the simple happiness in driving in a car with someone you care about. There’s so much life in that song; it really shouldn’t be underestimated. The vulnerability and lost wonder in this album really makes it timeless. I really didn’t expect to feel such connection to her music, let alone write a blog post about it 10 years after its release. Ha, I guess I’ll always kinda be that 13 year old girl afraid of other people’s perceptions and loneliness at heart. And that’s kinda okay with me..? We’ll see.

tldr: Tay Swizzle makes me feel all the feels and I’m binging all of her songs 5ever.


To the Boy Whose Smile Could Resolve Wars:

Dear Boy Whose Smile (I thought at one point) Could Resolve Wars,

You aren’t as special as I thought. Your smile is still just as big, just as perfect of a natural crescent, and your wave is taht same styled wave of licorice black locks, but it’s all changed. It’s been different for a while now, but did you notice at all? No, probably not… and even if you did, you would go on pretending you didn’t just so you wouldn’t have to deal with my emotions. It’s not worth the awkwardness, right?

You’re such a soft boy (see definition). I’m not sure if you intended to follow that archetype or if you’re just naturally an asshole, but I cringe at myself for ever dreaming of a future with you. As soon as I learned your favorite sports team, I imagined us watching a game together with all of your friends that you talk so much about and your family who you love so much. I’d buy a jersey. Or maybe you’d let me wear one of yours even though they’re nearly *sacred* to you because I look cute enough in it to let it slide. I daydreamed about you stopping to look into my eyes and say you’ve finally woken up. You’ve realized that you’ve been dumb and been missing out on the beautiful person sitting in front of you. That you’ve been blind but now all you want to see is us. I told my sister that I could see us growing together, going on adventures, and laughing hysterically at each other’s oddities. And when I learned about your passions, even thought they didn’t align with my own interests, I drank in every damn word because learning about what you loved was one small step toward learning about how to make you interested in me. And you noticed that. You saw how I’d give feedback and listen to your monologues about cars when I know nearly nothing about them and text you back every time you sent me alien-looking sports cars because I was “a decent enough human being to do so”. All that attention I gifted you, all those times I racked my brain for something funny or thoughtful to reply with amounted to being a “decent human being”. I spent hours in your room talking about class, literature, cars, our families, our friends from back home, food places, pet peeves, sexual preferences, so many more things. And I think doors were opened–like you stripping to take a shower, coming back into the room with a wet chest, hair, and back and wrapped in towel, and offering your bed to me to sleep if I was tired when I live above you–but I didn’t cross the threshold because maybe you were just being nice? You probably meant it like a friend, right? No, you don’t like me, you’re just being a good guy.

But does a nice guy give you a $100 Nike jacket that smells like him because it’s a little chilly outside and “it’s too small” for him and “looks better on you anyways” when you live in the room upstairs? Does a nice guy say getting a late night snack with you is the best part of his day? Does a nice guy say things like “Dang, you’d get along wth my parents so well” or “I’m so glad we met. I think we really click” or “You’re one of the few people in this huge place that I actually trust” or “I’m only weird when I’m with you because I feel comfortable with you” or “Hey, if you’re tired, you can sleep here next to me” ? Does a nice guy give you a vague response back when you profess your feelings to him after you insisted that you didn’t want/need an answer, and then follow it with “I can’t say I’ve never thought of you that way, too… So do you wanna go on a date sometime?” ? You are the epitome of mixed signals. Your words made me feel like I was teetering right on the thin edge of being something special to you and being just a girl you talk to when it’s convenient for you. You never made an actual move. You shied away from my flirting. You went home a lot on the weekends, granted for family stuff but still evading me. You ghosted on me. And I wouldn’t care so much if I hadn’t believed you were actually my friend.

I told you to your face that you’re a soft boy, that you’re someone who fucks with girls’ emotions and make them believe you’re interested and maybe think they’re special all because of mixed signals and obscure statements that could be read as being really nice or as meaning something more. But at the end of the day, you don’t fuck all of them. You say all these foggy things and confuse them because that way, you can say you’re just being nice and can come back to really pursue them later if you feel like it, or if you’re bored after a different girl, or if you feel insecure about your own attractiveness and need a little confidence boost. Okay, I didn’t say the last sentence to your face. But you agreed with me that you were a soft boy. Did you think it was a joke? Do you not take my words seriously? Or maybe you’re just that dumb, or you’re one hell of an actor. Yeah, I’m bitter.

It’s because I’m hurt. I had never had a crush on someone the way I did for you. I couldn’t say your name without smiling. I looked at doors sometimes hoping that they’d open and in you’d walk, seeing me immediately. I studied in shared spaces near you hoping to bump into you, or that you’d find me. Or maybe you’d look for me, text me to see where I was, ask if you could come over and study with me. I wrote a little poetry about you. I blushed harder than ever when I gushed to my roommates about you, about my feelings, about the walks you asked me on at 2 AM. You don’t just do that with anyone, right? He’s totally into you. He likes you! Awe, I want you guys to happen. You’d be so cute together. It all made my heart jump in circles and stars and all the shapes in between. I drew hearts with your initials in it. I would force myself to wait a few minutes before opening your texts because I couldn’t let my excitement be that obvious. Some days I couldn’t study if we didn’t talk. I’d look at your profiles, search for any hint that you were an inkling as enchanted by me as I was with you.

But I think I really knew that you didn’t feel anything for me. That’s why I waited two months to say anything to you about my feelings, and why I told you in the first place and why I didn’t want any response. I didn’t want hope. I wanted catharsis. I wanted to be past you, because I knew you’d never be with me.

Now you have a girlfriend. You beckoned me away from my friends to meet her, and the stupid girl/good friend that I am, I went. I walked over and saw her sitting there with her pale skin, hazel eyes, blond hair, wearing your favorite jacket. I guess jackets are a thing with you, huh? I’m glad I got the one you bought last summer and outgrew this past quarter because you’ve been working out and growing and just don’t wear anymore even though you still think it looks really cool. She’s great, I’m sure. I’m not upset at her. I’m mad at you for not being honest and saying that you weren’t interested from the start. You should have been honest especially if you said you trusted me. Trust means knowing the person will try to understand and will keep your words with the utmost respect. Just say I’m not your type instead of calling me over to show me what she looks like and making it obvious which side of the table I’m on. I’ll tell you my feelings if I ever decide to waste my breath on the explanation or if you ever try to listen to someone other than yourself for more than 15 seconds. Goodness knows you won’t actually care about my feelings.

And yet here I am writing this lengthy blog post about you that I would never want you to read because it bares all my let down dreams and embarrassment from thinking “maybe…”. It’s fine, though. This will be the last time I ever waste my time with you.

So, to the Boy Whose Words Mean Nothing, have a nice life.


spare thoughts #4

i wonder if everyone’s kisses feel different. the way your first love kissed was not the same as how you next love kissed. and i’m not talking about mood or if it was more or less sexual or if they favored the top lip over the bottom one. i mean the tingly feeling, something intangible that distinctly branded their kiss and theirs.

everything is different. the temperature of their breath floating over your lips and chin. the softness of their lips. how they tasted a little bit like their cinnamon toothpaste and also like the smile you placed on their lips right before. or maybe their lips were salty from tears that you were trying to kiss away. or were a little broken from being nervously chewed on and your kisses were the gentle remedies. 

yes, each kiss must feel different. there are too many pieces of life intermixed with them to ever make two kisses exactly the same. 

spare thoughts #3

i hate when songs have the lyric “no one will ever love you like i did” or “he’ll never love you like i can”
like, that’s why we broke up. that’s the point of me not wanting to be with you. i don’t want your love.
also, bullshit on any truth in that lyric. you do not have the authority to measure love, the love i receive or to place your love higher than another’s. that itself defeats the pure intentions of love.

s/he won’t love me like you did? Good.

inspiration in shelter

Living at my university, it’s so easy to find inspiration. I find it in the numerous plaques around campus dedicated to famous figures or broken records. I find it in the professors who bring so much knowledge, expertise and personality to their subject.

Most of all, I find it in the students around me. We are such a hub of incredible potential and intelligence that it blows my mind. Every person I’ve talked to has dreams and skill sets and ideas that expand my mind endlessly. I love my peers. You are amazing, and you are like me, and I am like you, and this is all so unbelievable to be surrounded by this many qualified people.

There is so much hope in this little bubble of university.

spare thoughts #2

breakfast as dinner is bomb though.

and breakfast as a late night meal.

something about eggs is so comforting at night. maybe it’s just the right amount of saltiness or warmth, or it could just be my Japanese American upbringing consisting of 80% of comfort foods having eggs in it haha

spare thoughts #1

breakfast is a meal I can’t really bring myself to pay a lot of money for. I’d much rather be a little hungry for a couple hours and have a very satisfying lunch rather than having a mid-sized breakfast and mid-sized lunch. Unless getting breakfast is a social thing, like going out with family or friends or stocking up for a road trip, I can’t really commit to breakfast as a necessary meal. it’s an extraneous part of the day if it’s a full meal.

think of it this way

i attend one of the top public universities in the nation. i’m a third-year transfer, which in my case means i attended a community college for two years to fulfill the majority of lower division requirements before i even started my classes at the university i’m at now. i’ll be honest: the path wasn’t that difficult for me.

i’ve always been smart. i don’t really know how to study (other than making and reviewing flashcards and taking outlined notes during class) and only had one F and one C on my entire transcript. even then, i retook the precalculus class i failed and replaced the grade with an A and the other class was trigonometry so it didn’t apply to my major or acceptance anyway. i can write academic papers ranging from three to seven pages in one night, including the brainstorming and writing process itself. i rarely revise my papers (even though i probably should since it wouldn’t hurt) because the writing that flows out of my hands is naturally above average. and i know it.

then i got to big kid school. the workload doubled and the complexity level tripled. the expectations are reachable but for the first time in my life, i really have to focus, work hard, and reach to meet those expectations. that’s the point of going to such a reputable school: challenge the smart kids to separate the brilliant from the thinkers from the weak from the self-motivated. it’s not a silly system, and it works.

my problem is that i’ve never had to really work hard to get As and now i do. i’ve expected excellence of myself and produced excellence just by completing my assignments and outputting my insights about literature or concepts onto paper. all i had to do was be myself and i got As. simple.

but now i’m here and i’m not as golden as i was at high school or community college. i’m a gem in a mine full of other gemstones. yes, i am valuable but there are elements much more extraordinary and brilliant than i am. how am i supposed to stand out or feel special again? i have to try to make myself look good. but how am i supposed to do that while also seeking the quintessential “college experience,” while also keeping my eye out for romance, while also making “friendships that will last a lifetime,” while also “getting involved” on campus, while also working out to keep my body in shape, while also completing my school work to get the grades i want.

i want it all. i don’t want to compromise because my time in this amazing place called college is limited–two years to be exact–and there’s no way i’m sacrificing anymore than i already have to get here. i worked 20+ hours a week while i was enrolled full-time at community college. i went to a middle college high school that didn’t have athletics or performing arts or any other extracurriculars outside of the 12 clubs run by the students. i attend one of the top universities in the nation with a ranked PAC-12 football and basketball team, a gymnastics team roster including six Olympians, an incredible alumni body, and more school spirit than any other school in the state. i am never going to have the same amount of great opportunity surrounding me everyday as i do now, so you better bet your ass i’m going to take advantage of as much of it as i can.

but i alone can only do so much. i can only read so many pages before my eyelids droop, intake so many drinks until i become intoxicated, and stay dedicated for so many hours until i lose motivation. i’m only human. but what about supplements?

take or leave my advice, but i think it’s stupid to not at least consider supplements to enhance your time in college. the human body has limits but with a little outside help, those limits expand are you’re capable of more. so much more. you can sleep less, finish more work, see more places, talk to more people, learn more things, experience more sensations. when again will you ever be as young, carefree, intelligent, and flexible as you are now? youth is such a valuable source of life and to waste it is such a shame.

so, now… what’s really holding you back?

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