The torture of time

Loneliness is an unpredictable feeling.

Sometimes it strikes when you are essentially alone. Alone on a walk, alone in your car, alone in your bed. Those times are understandable- you are for all intensive purposes very alone. You see no one, hear no one, feel no one. It’s easy to feel alone. But it’s easy to remedy- just pick up the phone, get online, see a friend. Loneliness is cured.

But what happens when that loneliness strikes when you are surrounded by people? Friends? Loved ones? When you can move two inches and have human contact- when you can hold a conversation. You’re not physically alone at all. But despite being surrounded by people you love and that love you- you have that unshakable and unmistakable feeling of loneliness.

It hits you in the chest, in the pit of your stomach, in your thoughts. How do you get rid of a feeling when it makes no sense to be feeling that way? What’s the cure?

I’m sitting here, amongst friends, feeling incredibly alone. Instead of reaching out, I retreat to my phone to write this. How is it logical? I don’t know that it is.

My emotions this week have been all over. Happiness, sadness, excitment, loneliness. But most of all I just feel empty. I have 6 days left with the people I love and it’s barely been acknowledged. I think about my lack of time every second of every day, it’s always haunting me, always reminding me how precious every moment is. And it’s terrible, because no one seems to understand it, and I’m left feeling more alone than ever.

How do you come to terms with something- when no one else is helping? How do I say goodbye when no one wants to remember I’m leaving?

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Lessons Learned

Because I’ve been busy, I continue my daily letter writing to the important people in my life before I leave – so part 2 for today before I crank up my heater and lay down with my cats. 

Dear Latessa, 

  My Tessa! I have so much love and adoration for you that I nearly burst every time I see you. You quickly became my favorite manager to work with, and I always look forward to seeing you when I work. You have been so good to me, and so sweet to me, and you always make work something fun to look forward to- because I know we’ll be rocking it out as a team and still have fun and have great conversations.

  But not only are you fun to work with and be around, you also inspired me so much. You remind me all the time to be thankful for what I have, and be grateful for having another day on earth and another breath in my chest. You are one of the hardest workers I know, and I never hear you seriously complaining- you always find something positive in what you do, some reason to keep doing it. Somewhere between smacking the serve button and capping drinks- you became a role model, and someone that I would love to be more like. You’re loving, you’re a sweetheart, you’re a good listener, you’re fucking hilarious, and you are so good at what you do. 

   You’ve taught me so much in the time I’ve gotten to work with you, and I am so grateful for that. I know that even though I’m leaving soon, we will keep in touch constantly and you and Bonnie will come visit me so I can show you New York. I am forever grateful that I’ve had the chance to work with you and get to know you- because you have inspired me endlessly, and I adore you so much for that. You make the day go by faster, and make me laugh and take a breath when I get too stressed out. We make one hell of a team when we’re on top of things, and I wish I could kidnap you and take you with me. 

  Thank you so much for all the times you helped me at work (which is a LOT), and everything you’ve taught me. I wish the best for you at school and can’t wait to see you and Bonnie again when I’m out of training. I’m forever grateful that you’re in my life, and whenever I get stressed, I’ll be thinking of you.

   I love you Tessa! And don’t even think about saying you love me more! lol 

                 Iiae 

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Letters of Love

Somehow a few days have passed since my last blog, when I’d intended to be blogging daily until I left. But between work and life, the time slipped by- as it has for the past several months. Most of the time I don’t even know what day it is. But to make up for it, I’ll write two letters today- and considering it’s currently blizzarding outside and i’ve been trapped in my house alone with my Great Grandmother with no internet, phone, cell phone, and shakey power- I figured I could sit down to write. 

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

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Dear Kitten,

   I have no words to accurately describe how I feel. For the past 6 years, you’ve been the one constant thing in my life. Either I was constantly with you, or I was constantly missing you. Even when we fought, when we didn’t talk for months- or years- I missed you. Every day. The days we spent together were the best, and are some of my best memories. Your family has been so good to me, and I’ve always felt like they were my family, as well. 

    I love you so much, and the thought of leaving you once again sends currents of pain through me. Being apart from you, not being there for you – it’s one of the worst things I’ve done through my life, and unfortunately it seems that I’m constantly doing it. But at least this time, it’s because I had to go- for both of us. So that I can get out of here, and when I’m stabilized somewhere, I can bring you with me. We can both be free.

  There is so much about you that I adore. Your heart. The way you smile. The way you look when you pick me up in your pajamas with your bed hair. The way you huh-shoo huh-shoo when I rub your back. The way you share everything with me and always seem to know what will make me smile, or what I’m thinking. I still remember when we first met and I was practically captivated by you. I thought you were the prettiest girl I’d ever seen. I still remember the first words we ever said to each other. I remember exactly where we were standing. I remember exactly what I thought. I remember so many things, that I think most of my memories are of you. 

  You’ve given me so much, since we’ve known each other. Sometimes it was a reason to live, sometimes it was silly string bracelets. But everything, no matter how big or small- I’m grateful for. I’m thankful that I have another chance to spend time with you. I’m thankful you met me at our bridge once again so we could talk. I’m thankful that I have someone like you in my life- that is so completely my other half that when we’re at odds I am literally incomplete. 

   I want nothing but the best for you, and know that you will find it. Whether it’s with me, with yourself, or with someone else. You are capable of so much, and deserve so much. I know that some days you feel like you’re trapped and stuck in this place with no chance of escape. But you’re not. I promise you that much. 

So thank you for being my Kitten, my other half, and my best friend. I know that it will be hard to be apart again, but I also know that it will be okay. No matter how much time passes, or how split our paths get- we always, always, will find a way back to each other. Because in the end our paths cross more than they separate, and we were meant to be in each others lives. 

   I love you always, even when I pretend I don’t,

             Kiki

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Two Weeks of Goodbyes

Two Weeks.

That is exactly how long I have left until I leave this chapter of my life behind and start my new journey as an American Airman.

The thought of this is still unreal to me, and I’m waiting for it to sink in completely. I walk into my very empty room and look around at the few decorations and photographs I’ve left up
and think to myself “this isn’t my room anymore.” Of course, in ways it will always be -my- room, but for all intensive purposes, it no longer is. I wont be coming home to this room, I wont be covering the wall in more photographs or posters. I wont curl up in my bed after a long day and sleep. I wont have these comforting walls to run to when I need to escape the overwhelming reality that might be facing me. My safe haven, my room, my belongings- I have to part with.

As I go through my things and wonder what I should keep for my future self and what I should part with, little voices inside tell me that there is a good chance I’ll never use these things again. Not for several years. Sometimes, this is a depressing thought. I’m sentimental, I want all of my pictures, letters,  knick-knacks, and presents with me all the time. If I miss someone I want to be able to touch some sort of physical reminder of our relationship, friendship, or a memory we shared. It keeps me connected with people, it keeps them near to me even if they are thousands of miles away.

But in other ways, it’s freeing. I have a new start, a way to start from scratch. Build my own life, and then when I’m settled, bring these pieces from my past back in. I waiver back and forth between sadness and excitement at my future constantly.

Then I stop to think- I’m not the only one affected by this. I’m saying goodbye to all of these people that I hold so dearly- but at the same time, I’m forcing them to say goodbye to me. I worked into their lives, and then suddenly I’m leaving for an unknown amount of time. Yes, it’s life. But it’s also painful.

Which is why for the next two weeks, I’m going to dedicate my blogging to letters to individual people. Thanking them, reminiscing of our memories, and letting them know why they are so special to me. I want everyone to know what they mean to me, and what they’ve taught me.

With that said- I’ll begin today with my first letter letter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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My mom, dad, sister, and me at my dads graduation.

Dear Mom and Dad,

  I know I need to start this letter with a thank you. No matter how many fights we’ve gotten in, how many times we’ve butt heads, disagreed, and so on- I’m still grateful for both of you. For a lot of reasons. Even if I don’t act like it, I am. the older I’ve gotten the more I recognized the things you did for me, the things you tried to do for me, and the intentions behind your actions. Even if you didn’t know how to respond to things I did or said, and even if I didn’t turn out to be the daughter you envisioned I would- I know you both still tried, and a lot of what you did- you did for me.

My teenage bitterness and anger turned into appreciation and gratitude when I saw the things you did for me, and the way you’ve raised me. I’m forever grateful that I was raised with the manners, respect, and compassion that I have. It has gotten me far in life, and I know it will continue to do so. You taught me to work hard and always do my best at everything, you taught me to be kind to people even if they weren’t kind to me. You taught me how to be respectful and grateful. You taught me so much that I didn’t realize- until I realized that not everyone behaves the way I do. My attitude in the outside world is a reflection of how I was raised. And while their may have been faults in my childhood, they only served to shape me. And I thank you for that, because I know I could have been so much worse off.

I know there are things that I do and paths that I’ve chosen that you don’t necessarily agree with, and some that possibly even disappoint you. But I hope that throughout my life I still manage to do things that please you and make you proud of me, as well- and I hope that down the line when I’m living my dreams and doing what I love, you’ll be able to smile and proudly say that I’m your daughter.

Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, and everything you’ve given to me. And thank you for taking care of my beloved babies Quinn, Halo, and Azera- while I’m away on my trips, and off to the Air Force.

Love,

   Your Nena, Iiae.

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My dad and I, when I was around 1yr.

My mom and I this year, when I took her to see Pat Benatar, Journey, and Loverboy

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My dad and I at the Emilie Autumn concert this year

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My mom and I at my Great Grandmothers house

 

Oh, New York

Oh, New York. You have been so good to me, so beautiful, so welcoming, and so intoxicating.

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But my trip has come to an end- which is difficult to accept.  How am I supposed to get onto a plane with all my things and go back to a place that I know isn’t right for me? How do I leave my new found community, home, and friends? How do I take the leap back to my small town- knowing that within 2 weeks of returning I will be shipping off for the Air Force?

I don’t know. But I do know that I have to. So as I sit here on a few hours of sleep, mainly functioning on the high of last nights amazing night, I’m somehow smiling.

The stories I have to bring back with me are unreal. In this past week, I feel like I’ve lived a year. I’ve learn so much, seen so much, done so much, and felt so much. Every emotion on that spectrum- I’ve felt this week. And it’s been worth it.

Seeing my friends and making new ones? Check.

Volunteering with little kids, and to help save Coney Island? Check.

Giant makeout orgies? Check.

Burlesque shows? Check.

Spinning fire? Check.

Navigating the subways on my own? Check.

Drawing in a little cafe with a friend? Check.

Walking miles and miles of Manhattan alone? Check.

The list could go on, but I would definitely make it a mile long. This trip has taught me to laugh and cry for all the same reasons, to really live. Live in the moment, don’t worry about your future or tomorrow, or even an hour from now. Or you’re going to miss what’s happening right in front of your eyes. 

So thank you, New York, for being everything I wanted and more. I will return to you, and you will always captivate my heart in ways no person ever could. 

Until we meet again,

    Iiae

A Passion of Fire

I am on fire.

Well, I was about an hour ago.

For the first time since October, at Luminous Wild I got to light up and fire dance again. I have been itching, craving, and needing to do so again, but obviously did not have the ability to in my small town. But Debra took me to the Floasis, which is now one of the most amazing places in the world to me, and I was finally able to dance with my flames again.

 

Tonight I was taught how to eat fire. I transfered fire between torches using my hand, and I lit my tongue on fire and then another torch off my tongue. I also shotgunned fire down my arm to light a torch. And then, or course, I ate it.

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After this, I was finally able to hold fans again. Feeling them in my hands, holding them, made my heart race. It was just that feeling of pure perfection. That moment where I thought this is what I want in life. The fire doesn’t scare me, doesn’t unnerve me. It beckons me. Calls to me. It brings me to life. 

I played with the fans for a few moments and within seconds was able to spin them – something I’d never even attempted to do before. Then I lit up

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It was as if the fire was coursing through my body. You’d assume it would be strange, having these extensions flickering with flames a few inches from you. But it felt natural. I felt like I was on fire in the best way possible.

After dancing with the 3 wicks, I moved on to the 5 wicks. Then once I went back to the 3 wicks I decided it was time to try spinning them while they were on fire. Despite my heart racing and the small voice in my head telling me I’d probably drop them and look like an idiot. Or catch myself on fire – I did it.

I spun them repeatedly, one side after the other, then both at once. It was exhilarating and fucking amazing.

But the temperature was dropping quickly, and it was getting late.

But this was what I needed, this feeling of being high on life. The reminder that my passion for fire burns as bright and strong as the fire I danced with. I’ve been blessed to be able to have a sample of my future this week. Living in the city, experiencing everything, dancing with fire, meeting amazing people.

This will be my life. 

And I’m all to excited for it. 

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In the City of Possibilities

Currently I’m sitting on the futon I’m affectionately going to call mine, in my friends apartment in Manhattan. This weekend in New York City has absolutely blown my mind, and as if it wasn’t enough- the rest of this week promises to be just as amazing, adventurous , and memorable. So as I’m sitting here, petting my friends cat and waiting for her to return from her bellydancing class- I’m wondering how the hell I stumbled into such an amazing place.

My life has been everywhere, up and down, even sideways. Sometimes I feel like it even does barrel rolls. But I never would have imagined that at 18, I would have experienced the things I have, met the people I’ve met, and get the honor of calling some amazing people my friends. How did this even happen? How did I go from being a somewhat sheltered, shy, and lost child to an adult in the city of my dreams- having the time of my life while waiting for the rest of my life to start?

Maybe it’s fate, or destiny, or magic, or just some really good karma. Whichever it is, I know it’s also mixed in somehow with the choices I’ve made in my life, choices that I am ever grateful for. Like staying alive, like pursuing what i love, being open to anything, being that girl that will make you laugh, cry, and drop your jaw in ten minutes. I hoped that some day I would love my life and love who I am, but I thought it would be far off, and I could only venture about how it would feel to just feel so completely relaxed, and thrilled, in my own life and self. I never would have guessed that at this point in my life, where it’s really just beginning, that I would be where I am now.

My life? Well it’s pretty amazing.

Every time I’ve ventured out to try something new, meet someone new, or just do something that absolutely terrifies me- I’ve been rewarded in unimaginable ways. Everywhere I go it seems doors are flying open, things are falling into place, happening at just the right time for just the right reasons. This leaves my heart absolutely glowing with positivity, and leaves me somehow smiling at myself in the mirror knowing that things aren’t just “ok” things are fucking fantastic.

With the sound of cars honking outside, and the soft patter of sprinkling rain, I’ve never felt more alive or more at home. I know I belong in this city. I knew it when I landed here for the first time over the summer, I felt it when I visited the mountains over the fall, and I continued to feel it as I strolled the streets of East Village, navigated the subways, and wandered Manhattan. Considering how many people stopped and asked me for directions to get to places, I’m fairly certain I was radiating my sense of belonging. I just couldn’t answer their questions. I belong in these crowded streets and sometimes questionable neighborhoods. I belong in the fast paced place, in the nightlife, in the culture, in the unique and liberal space.

This sense of belonging only makes it easier for me to leave for the Air Force in less than a month, because I know that the time I spend there is going to be working for one goal and one goal only: Getting to New York. I’ll do all I can to get stationed on the east coast, and every chance I get I’ll be in the city, learning it, living it, getting ready to call it my permanent home.

So with those words, I’ll leave this post with the one thing I’m absolutely certain of. I love many things, I love many people, and I love many places. But the one thing I love more than anything or one is this city – and the way it makes me feel.

Anything is possible here. And I’m ready for it all.