How Bukowski helped me go through my teenage angst

The first time I heard a poem from Charles Bukowski it was on this Levi’s TV ad back in 2009. It was called The laughing heart. I was so moved by the words to this poem that I immediatly googled it and wrote it in my diary as an important mantra for going through the rest of my adolescence.

I was always the geek in the classroom. I was always studying and did all my homework and projects on time. I graduated with a 3.9 GPA with the excellence honor. By the time I was 17 I spoke 3 languages, played and teached the violin, knew embroidery, knitting and scrapbooking (yes, I litterally do anything except clothes and tasty food). Beacause of all the curricular and extra-curricular activities, and having very strict parents, I never got to enjoy the typical teen things like sleepovers, dating or cinema nights. I was so obsessed in being perfect and building a base for my future. I’m not gonna lie, it was totally worth it; but on the other hand I can say that I didn’t enjoy my teenage years like a normal teen.

Writing helped me escape from all the teenage angst and lack of participation in normal teenage activities, that’s why I always had journals and notepads to just capture every thought, feeling or moment through words.

I didn’t suffer harsh bullying during high school, but I was outcasted by most of my classmates for being so “different” (for them of course). It’s not easy for an early teen to not have friends because they’re considered different or weird. I suffered pretty much on my transition from middle school to high school. We all had our akward phase, but somehow I felt mine was the most akward. Writing and reading really helped me exceed those tough teenage years and poems like these make a highlight in my life.
Today while I was cleaning my room, I found one of my diaries from high school and saw The Laughing heart poem written on one of the pages. Bukowski’s poem really motivated me to give the best of me and helped me find my path during my last teenage years.It inspired me to endure the rough times, because it’s not going to always be that hard. It reminded me that there is some light in the middle of all the darkness.

It’s an honor to share Bukowski’s inspiring words on this blog:

Your life is your life

Don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.

Be on the watch.

There are ways out.

There is a light somewhere.

It may not be much light but it beats the darkness.

Be on the watch.

The Gods will offer you chances.

Know them.

Take them.

You can’t beat death but you can beat death in life, sometimes.

And the more often you learn to do it, the more light there will be.

Your life is your life.

Know it while you have it.

You are marvelous the Gods wait to delight in you.

The raffle of Love

Love is something random. Each time you meet someone it’s like you were both in a raffle with only two possibilities.

The first raffle is to see if you’ll get to have a relationship or not.

The second raffle (if there is) is to see if that relationship will last or not; last until a break-up, last until divorce or last until death.raffle-ticket

The Information age love

Love is a feeling that is present universally, although it may be presented in many different ways from verbally expressing it to making physical contact, up to buying a present or offering that special loved one a one-of-a-kind moment. It can even be expressed through other many feelings such as kindness, generosity, respect, appreciation and regard. Although the Merriam Webster dictionary defines love as a: strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties, each person has their own definition of love.

I personally define love as a psychological state that can be evidenced physiologically in our organisms due to a series of chemical reactions in different parts of our bodies. Complicated huh? Not really nowadays. With all the technology at the touch of our fingers love is pretty easy to express and maintain…or not? I mean, now it’s way more easier than before; in the 90’s we had to write letters and wait for them to arrive to our loved ones and then wait again for the response to arrive in the mail. For those few friends who had beepers and computers they would be in contact much faster with their loved ones, as long as the other beeper was working or there wasn’t anyone on the phone when you wanted to press send to your electronic message. In 2017 we have various instant messaging apps which can make us communicate in real time, same as live video apps; we also have social media in which we can view, share, read, comment whatever friend, picture, video or event with our loved ones, all in just a second. Hell! we even have virtual reality in which I can even have sex with an Oculus Rift…OK, OK! It’s too much, I know.

The fact that we have access to so much information about practically everything, it gives us certain “advantage” in terms of getting to know a person although, let’s face it, we never ever get to know someone fully  since we are beings that constantly evolve and change; obviating that part, technology helps us elaborate a profile of someone by simply viewing their Facebook page or Instagram pictures; weather it’s true or not, well those are the risks we face using these tool. Just as easy it is to display all your life and personal information, it’s just as easy to create a facade of lies to hurt others, to not feel embarrassed of  yourself or just for the pleasure of it. It’s pretty easy to cheat society these days with the use of technology; it’s also easy to cheat love.information-age

Different from the fact that the introduction of technology in our love for others has been a great leap since now we can stay in touch at an instant timing rate and with more frequency, we can be easily deceived by the facility we have to fake our feelings and even our own identity using technology.

Love in the information age has brought us both positive and negative impacts that varies from person to person, but I guess that even though we are most likely to reconnect and get in contact more than before, we have been immersed in an impersonal kind of love, the love that connects us through wires and wires of fiber-optic cables and WI-FI spots instead of that warmth and firmness we can feel by holding hands with our boyfriends, girlfriends, children, friends or parents. This impersonal love feeds itself on remoteness, strangeness, instability and unpredictability. It doesn’t always turn like this though, it really depends on the transmitter and the receiver; the matureness, the seriousness, the distance, the love between them and many other countless factors.

Everyday there are more and more devices that estranges us into interacting and having a merely human experience between one another. We have virtual reality and human-like dolls that can “replace” the need of another human’s love, since it fills our void within in a satisfactory way…so satisfactory that we don’t even feel the need of loving or receiving love from someone else.

In my day-to-day life I’m in constant use of technology, even so that I sometimes get emerged in it and forget my surroundings, the nature or even the person next to me; it has become in some way, indispensable. I recognize that it’s something I have to change and I’m aware of it, but even though it’s an important part of me, it can never replace the love I have towards my family, friends and loved one. I still believe in the good old fashioned love in which we write letters to each other, take long walks in the park and sit down on an afternoon and just talk about how our days went. Yes, I use different apps and social media pages to stay in touch and communicate but I prefer the real-life, human feel kind of love; the one that I can not only feel, but also, touch, smell, look directly at and merely just experience that adrenaline rushing when I get to see him/her.

I live in the Information Age but don’t love exactly how this period has laid out for us.

 

Your 16 New Year Resolutions

  1. Work hard at the hospitals so you can learn the most of medicine during your last year and a half you have left.
  2. Understand that graduating Magna Cum Laude is a good thing, but not the most important thing in life. Try to study hard and give the best you got, but also take the time to have fun and enjoy the moment.
  3. Stay close to your family since there’s not much time left until you eventually move out.
  4. Take the next step with him. Engaged much?
  5. Stay true to the saying “A year older, a year wiser”. Try to understand all your mistakes and defects so you can grow into a better person with a lot more experience and knowledge on life.
  6. Time to be an adult…for good! Yeah, you’re in Med school and your parents still maintain your ass but it’s time to start covering some bills on your own.
  7. Work out. I know you’re genetically made thin and difficult to gain weight, but you’re starting to get some cellulite on your behind and that isn’t gonna look good on a wedding dress. Ok, Ok! At least wait for that new gym they’re gonna finish 2 blocks from your house.
  8. Regain your old friends. The lookout for new friends have been difficult on you for the past couple years; it’s time to get in contact with those who’ve always had your back since the beginning.
  9. Be a pro-makeup artist…at least for yourself. Makeup is a hidden passion you’ve had for so many years, it’s time to make it concrete.
  10. Start saving. You have so many plans for the future that they eventually need money. Save at least 2 dollars a day, you’ll thank me next year.
  11. Time to reunite the family. It’s time for the Rosario and Ramirez family to get to know each other; and you have to make it possible.
  12. Go out and discover. You’re only young once and it’s time for unexpected adventures and backpacking journeys to break the daily routine from killing you slowly into a monotonous death.
  13. It’s time to change that wardrobe. Those teenage t-shirts are a little bit old for you. I’m not saying you’re old, I’m saying that you’re more “mature” so you need to dress like it.
  14. Start giving. You always like to help others out but you think you don’t have the time to do it at a larger scale. It’s time to contribute, especially in what you’re good at: Teaching.
  15. Do Freelance. I know you don’t have time for a 9 to 5 job because you’re still in Med School, but you’ve always been wanting to do something on the side for that extra money. Don’t be afraid of time, you’ll have plenty.
  16. Continue being yourself. All of your friends describe you as a genuine, original and rather out-of-this-earth person. Remember that good things should be kept within you.new-year

Why the year 2000 never should of happened the way it did

SILVERNow that we are closer to receive a new year 2017, everyone is starting to prepare themselves by celebrating some traditions like eating the 12 grapes with the strike of midnight, wearing different colored underwear for luck, breaking champagne bottles and even strolling some empty luggage to the streets. Others are preparing themselves a home party or writing down some new years resolutions hoping to fulfill them all (although we know that most of them don’t).

I usually prepare my new year’s resolutions (which I will post soon) and do some other tradition, which I never end up seeing if it even works anyway; but mostly important, I get to spend it with my nuclear family and sometimes with my friends. These last days of the year got me thinking on how times flies fast and all the thing that have changed 20 something years back, and it really hit me that a lot of things have changed and I especially relate it with the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001.From my point of view, change started from that event in American history that ended up affecting lots of countries not only the western hemisphere, but also the eastern hemispheres as well. People changed, economy changed, lifestyles changed, feelings changed, perceptions changed, ideologies changed; it was the most noticeable transition as seen in my point of view, and I guess in others as well.Maybe the attacks on the World Trade Center were just part of all the changes that endeavored the new millennium; let’s not forget the amazing change of the European economy on using the Euro as an accounting currency, the military intervention in the Middle East by north american troops which led to the Iraq war which lasted 8 years and led to a new international fear called “Terrorism”, the arise of new technologies in a fair short amount of time, the publication of the human genome, various oil spills, Halle Berry was the first black woman ever to receive an Oscar award, various virus outbreaks, increase in the popularity of social networks, devastating natural disasters around the globe and the arise of Global Warming as a top subject of the new millennium just to name a few events.

In the following I will number some of the reasons of why the year 2000 never should have happened the way it did, but also consider it as one of the most influential years in mankind:

  1. Induced fear: after the September 11 aftermath, people were scared of encountering a similar episode again. This was reinforced with all the security measures that were used in airports, train stations, government facilities and big events such as the Time Square’s New Years. People would panic if a “suspicious” bag was found on the streets and there would be SWAT units all over the place with the least suspicion of an abandoned bag or backpack. Not only in the United States, but with the various attacks in European countries as well (starting with the bomb detonated in a Train in Spain back in 2003 by Al-Qaeda). People walk with fear in the streets, just looking around expecting the worst from the person sitting net to them in the bus.
  2. Racism: it was an expected consequence after all the terrorism attacks going on. Any person with Middle-Eastern features and subjective Muslim name or last name, was subjected to interrogation, detention or observation in any public space or airport. This measure implemented by certain countries made its civilians fear or suspect of any person who dressed, talked or looked like a Middle-Eastern.Civilians even pleaded counterattacks and justified wars and interventions made in Middle Eastern countries. Not only have there been racism towards Middle Eastern individuals, but there has been an evident public police profiling of black males in the United States and rigorous immigration laws that apparently only applies for Latin american immigrants; all this has been evidently displayed in the Republican conventions where president elect Donald Trump has made his thoughts clear about the future of Latino immigrants in North America.
  3. Eternal mourning: all countries worldwide had mourned their loved ones due to internal wars or terrorism since 2000; from disputes between Mexican cartels, to the Taliban War all the way up to the Ituri conflict in the Congo. We have been non-stop bombarded with death tolls everyday on the news due to wars. It’s like we never have a peaceful break of all the tragic news we see and read.
  4. Rapid Growth of Technology: In 1999 the top selling cellphone was the Nokia 3210, which had a green light screen and the popular game of Snake that made everyone play during a long ride on the bus. Just 3 years later we had the first camera-built cellphone (again thanks to Nokia’s 7650) and in less than a decade afterwards, by 2007, we had our first Iphone 2G which was a real 360 degree change in technology thanks to Steve Jobs. Since then, we’ve had changes in our computers, televisions, music equipment, cars, medical devices and other devices in a rapid and intelligent way, up to creating a virtual reality with the Oculus rift, automatic driving cars and smart refrigerators.
  5. More communication and more isolation: it’s ironic to think that although we can communicate much easier than 16 years back, technologies has isolated us to enjoy more of what a screen can offer than what our nature can. Now it’s much more easier to talk and see your loved one with a simple internet connection; but it’s also more complicated to go out and socialize when you can have everything you want within your palms. We can stay thousands of miles apart and still be able to keep track on a person’s life without having them by your side, or maybe not even have a partner at all and rather buy a humanoid-robot like the Actroid DER that can even interact with people or a cylinder tube called Alexa that can even read to you, play music for you and event report you the latest news. It’s common for some to go out with friends and spend more time on the phone than actually talking to the person or preferring to play basketball on xbox than actually going out to a basketball court.
  6. Superficialness: your conscious would feel better if you would just focus on how Drake and Jenifer Lopez ended up together than the fact that 5,000 syrians are killed each month due to their Civil War. Maybe it’s because we are so tired of hearing devastating things in the news that we block it out to just focus on insignificant things; or maybe it’s just that we don’t care as long as it’s not happening to us. Tragic things have been happening since the beginning of time, the only difference is that now we are informed of them. I know we can’t be preoccupied and sad the whole time, but maybe we could stand up to our government policies or petition change for our world organisms…but hell, netflix and chill seems much more better and easier than that.

Back after a long break!

Hello fellow bloggers!

I’ve been away for a couple of months due to all the finals and school work I had to deliver. I’ve missed reading your blogs and posts so much. Thankfully after all the hard word, I’ve been doing all right in school. I start my internship in Med School next January and I hope I’ll have more time to write on Atrium of Words.

Thank you all!

The One

I know you’ve been hurt before and therefore have resorted to hide behind an unbreakable wall and make yourself believe that you are strong and don’t need to feel again those emotions you once felt but were teared down over and over; but let me tell you that all this hurt, pain and blocked feelings stop once you meet The One.

No, The One isn’t necessarily going to be your future wife and maybe not even your friend after it’s all over. The One is that person that came into your life and changed everything you’ve ever known about love. No, The One doesn’t build you a world of rainbows and sweets; she warns you about the risks and takes your hand while you both walk into a sea of unknown and unpredictable emotions. The One doesn’t let go of your hand because of the high tides; she holds your hands firmer so you can both survive nature’s natural course of action and get out of it alive, safely and most importantly: together.

That afternoon while I was grading some papers at the lab, you came to pick me up for our first date. Before I opened the door I was so nervous, that I decided to let my hair down to look “prettier”. As you walked in I felt a jump inside me; like squirmy little creatures flying around my stomach making me all ticklish inside. You sat down to wait a few seconds while I organized my student’s exams. I was sweating. I don’t know for sure if it was because I had my lab coat on or the acetylcholine was being released. When I finished, I walked towards you and said “I’m ready now”. We were on our way to your house and the only thing I thought was “what if he’s some rapist?” (honestly though!). I was a bit scared of going to some guy’s house when we just had started talking a couple of weeks ago, but somehow I felt calm and relieved by your side, even though I barely knew you. I had this feeling inside that made me trust you somehow in that moment.

My surprise when we got to your house, was that you had made lunch (made as in yes, you cooked). The first thing that came to my mind was that I didn’t deserve it. I just thought within myself that you were “too much of a man for me”; I mean common…even I can’t cook for myself.

hands

As we sat down to our delicious lunch, I was so nervous that I started talking during our whole meal and I even served more food for myself (no girl wants to be known as a foodie on the first date). I got up to clear my plate and you didn’t even let me stand up with it, because you wanted to take care of it for me. I was at awe on how I was on a date with the most educated, gentlemanly and kind person I have ever met. I started to feel more undeserved.

While I was looking to a possible exit to leave, you turned to me and asked me if I wanted to talk with you for a while in your room. A red light lit up in my brain and I though “Aha! You wanted to fuck me all along”. Since I really wasn’t into having a fuck buddy at the time, I said “No” right away and was heading towards my purse when you said “Don’t worry, we are not going to sex, just talk”. My adrenaline started running and I couldn’t even believe the words I was just hearing. This guy asks me to go to his room and tells me that we won’t fuck; or he doesn’t like me, or he’s just too much of a man for me.

We spent hours talking about pretty much everything. We even played around with an UV light you had and I started looking for “blood stains”(jokingly, of course) on your sheets, when you took my head into your hands and started to kiss me. I could feel my heart ripping through my ribs and those squirmy little creatures flying again in my stomach. Since it wasn’t unusual with guys that these make-out sessions turned to end in a hot steamy one night stand, I started unbuttoning my shirt when you stopped kissing me abruptly and looked at me face to face and said “Gina, I don’t want to have sex with you. I don’t want you for just sex. I want to get to know you”. When I stopped unbuttoning, I just thought two things: This guy might be gay, or I’m probably not his type. Although I didn’t feel as good with myself that night because “some guy rejected having sex with me”, later on I understood that I was being respected because of who I am from day one.

You are The One.

The One is that person who motivates you to pursue your dreams. The One would always point out your flaws even though it hurts, because it will help you become a better person. The One will always cheer you up when your sad and need support. The One will always do things ensuring the welfare for both. The One will be that person who makes your stomach ticklish every time you kiss, just like the first time you did. The One would want you to always be yourself no matter how much you two butt heads.

The One will always protect you, even from your own self. The One is going to be by your side through good times and bad times. The One is going to sacrifice their own happiness or pleasures for the sake of yours. The One will always find a way to make time for you. The One is that person who will always respect you and give you a special place in their lives. The One is always going to make plans for the future with you in the picture.

The One will love you with all your curves and flat lines. The One will always trust you and believe in your word. The One is that multi-faceted person that can be your girlfriend, best friend and wife at the same time. The One will always be by your side until the estimated time comes.

Maybe you haven’t met The One yet, or maybe you are next to her right now and don’t even know it. It’s not about waiting for it, or looking for it; it just happens in a sporadic, unexpected and ordinary way. I have The One in my life, and I’m hoping to be The One in your life too.