An Escape, Please

An Escape, Please

I sat at my desk, scribbling away at some integrations from calculus class. A headache pounded my head after days depending on my caffeine intake, because I could never find myself able to go to sleep until it was too late. If waking up each morning before the sun rises wasn’t hell enough, getting through the day with my eyes constantly wanting to take a nap during lecture was ten times worse.

How was I supposed to get through my days when I couldn’t even manage to give myself enough energy to retain any of the information my professors blabbed on about? My body constantly pleaded me to go to bed, to go rest, to do anything but the hundreds of math problems I had on my desk. I couldn’t blame myself either because for days, for weeks, it’s been a constant flow of studying and nothing else.

Food? Snacks? Drinks? Friends? Breaks? No. No. No. No. And no.

I got up bright and early and go to class right away. I headed to the library or home and study until dinner or my night class. I got through that and then back to my desk to study. I stayed and studied until I knew it would be impossible to be up the next morning unless I either went to bed or suffered through another all-nighter.

It was a little too much. Too bad I had underestimated the intensity of my schedule when I still had a chance of changing it.

Then the one thing that puts me over the edge comes faster than I could’ve imagined. Surgery. My dad needed surgery. Him. Not me. But him. He needed surgery.

After that, I began sitting at my desk holding a pen in my hand and a piece of empty lined paper under my arm, but I wouldn’t be moving. I’d stare at the page and stare blankly at the integral sign, but I wouldn’t write. I’d go to lectures and I would take beautiful notes, but all of that stopped making sense and I wouldn’t know what to do.

I mean, what do you do write when nothing but panic runs through your mind. What are you supposed to say when you are overwhelmed like no other. What are you supposed to do when you are in over your head and internally screaming when no one seems to be listening and no one seems to even notice. What are you supposed to do…tell me, because I don’t know.

It went from not eating and not taking many breaks because I was busy studying, to not eating and not sleeping much because I was nauseous was worry and fatigue from the panic.

I just needed an escape from everything…but it never came.

A Question to Answer

A Question to Answer

I have a question for my readers. And I’d love to hear back from you all in the comments or even just email me:

(Seriously, I’d love to hear back from everyone!)

So the questions are as follows:

1. Was there a point in your life that you wanted to escape from the place you were? Did you ever think of leaving a letter, a note, a video explaining/saying something to those you would be “leaving behind” (even if, just for the time being)? How did that go? What stopped you from leaving?

2. Where do you want to go, if you don’t want to stay where you are?

To be fair, here are my answers:

1. There were many, many, many times where I felt so trapped and so limited in the ways I was expected to live my life that I wanted to be free in any way I could be. I didn’t want to constantly get lectured about how I should represent the family in public, how I need to behave to save face even in front of the relatives, or how much of a disgrace a certain act was. I didn’t want to get shoved into this limited box of characteristics I could only be if I wanted a peaceful life. I hated that idea.

The last time, I remember this night very clearly, I wanted to simply run away. I asked my boyfriend at the time very late into the night, “Would you be okay if I just picked up and left without saying anything?”, knowing he would get where I came from and what was running through my mind. He knew what position I was at in my life and he knew of all the things I was having to deal with on a daily basis during that time.
I remember planning it in my head. I parked my car outside during that time. I remember thinking, “I could sneak out through the backyard and the back fence would lead me straight to my car. I could turn off my headlights until I got a little bit further down the neighborhood. I could easily just drive off. I have money for gas. I have money for food. I could just grab a bag of clothes and head out.”
I remember thinking of what the empty street would look like at that hour. I remember feeling suddenly very relaxed and “at peace” with the thought of being out there on my own without people constantly nagging at me to do this or obey to that.
But, I never went. My boyfriend at the time had texted back, “No, I wouldn’t be. Please don’t go”, knowing I had the guts to actually go through with it. Somehow the simplicity of being reminded that I was still wanted around home made it enough for me to start slipping off to sleep. I remember telling him, “I’m here” and seeing his response, “I hope you always continue to be. I’m holding that on you.” I remember smiling and thinking, “I’m never going to live this down…” before falling asleep.

Like I said, I’ve had that thought countless of times. What stops me from going?
It’s simple: It can wait. It keeps me going. It keeps me waiting for the future.

Ever since I was little, it has been my dream to travel the world to capture the irresistible moments the heart will fall for. It has been this calling of mine that I have yet to answer to. I dream of going out there and experiencing the world through my lens, through the eyes of one who has a heavy, yet fearless, heart.

Sometimes, I wonder…since my dream of traveling as made me look forward to the future during many times where I couldn’t see myself being alive the next month, what happens once I go? What happens once I go to every location I’ve written down on my list of plans and have collected millions of photographs but still end up feeling that sense of meaningless and worthlessness at some point? Will I continue to think there is so much more out there for me, or will I think this is it?

2. I want to go to Greece. I want to go to LA. I want to go to New York. I want to go to Paris. I want to go to England. I want to go to Crystal Cove. I want to go to Catalina. I want to go to Big Bear. I want to go to San Francisco. I want to go to Vegas. I want to go to a black sand beach. I want to go to Yosemite National Park. I want to go to Artist Point. I want to go to Washington DC. I want to go to a glass beach. I want to go to Korea. I want to go to Japan. I want to go to Taiwan. I want to go to Little Corona del Mar Beach. I want to Sacramento. I want to go to the Golden Gate Bridge. I want to go to to the Great Wall of China. I want to go to the 7 wonders of the world: Great Pyramid of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Status of Zeus at Olympia, Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, Colossus of Rhodes, and the Lighthouse of Alexandria. Etc. Etc. (The list goes on)

What about you?

Hiding, but Still Found

Hiding, but Still Found

When I think of a “hideout” I think of a place where I can be 100% myself, where I don’t have to worry about other people’s judgements, critical, and hate, but most importantly where no one can reach me.

There are my physical hideouts, and then my mental hideouts.

My physical hideouts include my L-shaped desk – where no one dares to bother me due to my intense work schedule-, next to my best friend – where his company feels like home and I don’t have to worry about anything other than present time -, and behind my camera – where once I get into the zone, I am gone to the world-.

To be honest, my desk is a hideout just as it is my most stressful place in my life. It’s where all my tasks come out of my daily agenda and scream at me to get them done. But my desk is also the place where I can simply focus on myself, my needs, my work, and MY schedule.

I say being with my best friend is a hideout because being with him is basically the happiest place on earth for me. I don’t have to worry about judgement, because he is so understanding (and, let’s face it, he already knows everything about me that’s humiliating and sad). It’s a place where I find it in myself to relax and not stress about all the things that I might need to get done. It’s a wonderful feeling, being with him.

When I’m behind my camera, when I get into the ‘zone’ with editing or a shoot, I am GONEE! There’s something about my passion for photography that takes me to a place where nothing else matters. It’s when I try to see life in such different angels sometimes I surprise myself by what I come across. It’s where I am the most focused and also where I am the most observant. I come more aware of everything surrounding me in the tiniest details, yet I seem to pull myself out of the picture to really grasp what is behind the scenes.

Then, there is my mental hideout.
You may be thinking, a hideout is a physical place. What’s a mental hideout?
But to me, a hideout is simply somewhere no one can reach me and somewhere I can be 100% myself without any fear.

My mental hideout is…not a place I can describe (since it’s not physical) but you know I am there when 1. I zone out 2. I am deep in thought 3. I seem to be contemplating something 4. (sometimes) I’m curled up in some sort of ball (ex: sitting in the corner of my room with my legs pulled close).

When I’m in this state, really no one can reach me. I go into a state of ‘awe’ almost. I start reflecting on my past and my past relationships, asking myself why a certain event happened or what caused a drift in a current relationship and so forth. When I’m like that, I completely zone out. I don’t hear the physical world. I don’t see the physical world (almost). I don’t seem to be in the physical world (in my mind). There’s nothing there except my thoughts and myself.

You might be thinking, that doesn’t sound healthy. I am not going to determine whether it is healthy or not, but I am going to say that it works for ME. It’s where I pick myself up the most during my dark days, it’s when I see situations more clearly than I ever have, it’s how I…get along with myself/learn about myself. Yes, if you let your thoughts spiral into darkness during this time (where no one can reach you), yes, it would be dangerous. But that is why, it is also the time to learn the most about yourself, reflect on your habits, and change what you might not like about your current lifestyle.

When I hide, I tend to hide purposefully by trying to see my own life, and the lives of those around me, in a different perspective in order to gain new knowledge.


BookStore Boy

BookStore Boy

Shit. I should’ve brought water for medicine.

I rushed out of the room and down the stairs, heading out of the library. I fumbled with my bag, trying to get my wallet out while walking, after I noticed I only had a little bit of time before my next class. Damnit….why did I do this today?

Walking into the bookstore, I took into my surroundings and shyly walked around a young man in order to see where the bottled water was. After grabbing a bottle, I waited to the side and noticed a lady was waiting next to me already. I let her proceed first, fidgeting with the bottle as I got nervous about being late for the discussion. The cashier looked at me and probably saw how nervous I was. A young girl soon replaced the lady who was standing next to me and went before me – even thought it was clear that I had been there first.

When I went up to the cashier, he smiled and we went through the motions.

“Is this all?”

“Yes, thank you.”

“That will be….”

I pulled out the cash and handed it to him, still uncomfortably restless.

“How do you think you did on the test?” He suddenly asked.

“What? What test?” I looked up at him surprised.

Maybe he thought it was slightly amusing how I reacted and asked, “Aren’t you in my —- class?”

“This morning?”


“Oh yeah!” I said, probably too loudly, “Yeah, I think I did okay. What about you?”

The conversation continued briefly, distracting me from how close my next class was. It gave me the short amount of time I needed to let my body relax a bit. I felt weight come off my shoulders and smiled.

I walked out of the bookstore feeling a lot better. This young man, who I had never spoke to before, took initiative and talked to me. He also calmed me and…made my day, whether he knew it or not.

-Cheers, to the little things, to the young man who brought a smile on my face on a very stressful day.

Welcome Back…

Welcome Back…

I know it’s been a while since we’ve talked.
I know a lot has changed – on my side of the story anyway.
I know it’s time to focus on the future more than what’s happening right now.
I know we’ll both just get busier and busier.

I know it’s wary to say I still “feel at home” when talking to you.
I know it’s wary to say you’re still the easiest person to talk to…and most enjoyable at times.
I know it’s wary to say I am realizing the empty place you left in my life has been filled since you’ve come back.
I know it’s wary to say there are some things that cannot be duplicated in a relationship with someone else that I have with you.


I know I will never trust you the same, if I can come trust you at all after everything you put me through.
I know I will never forget everything that happened for it had scarred me for life.
I know I will never be able to go back to how things were and feel like that again.
I know I will never be that little girl who trusted, who believed, who thought her fairytale would never end.

I know I am still trying to heal as I push the pain to the side.
I know I am still trying to accept and move forward from the scar you had left behind.
I know I am still trying to go through my life and find strength to be alright.
Because I know…I am still trying to push past the scar that continues to haunt me day in and day out.


I know you bring a smile to my face as I am able to talk freely with you since…I always have my guard up uncomfortably high with nearly everyone else.
I know you make me feel better when you listen to my struggles and rants since…no one else will listen or puts up with my problems.
I know you give me a sense of well-being because I know you accept me for who I am since…everyone else seems to always be pointing out flaws and pushing me to change, not liking anything about who I truly am.

……what do I say?

I know I’m stressed out with everything that is going on in my life right now.
I know I don’t have much of an escape route, any outlet of any sort.
I know I’m dealing with a lot right now, physically and mentally, and feel overwhelmed some of the times.
I know I have a lot of pressure, a lot of expectations, a lot of…everything, that sometimes I just want to scream.

So, I know I might be too glad that you’re back in my life.
I know I might be too happy that I have someone to talk to who will accept me, listen to me, and be there for me…even if that person is you.
I know I might be too grateful for the little that you go because of everything I’m dealing with, everything that life’s putting me through.

I know I’m welcoming you back with open arms even though I might want to consider being more wary.
I know I’m becoming too excited about talking to you even though I might want to keep my distance.
I know I’m jumping in too far too fast even though I might want to not think of it as anything yet.
I know I’m starting to believe in you again too quick even though I might want to not trust anything right now.


Welcome back. 🙂

Mistake (n.)

Mistake (n.)

I used to love you with all my heart. I used to love you to a point where it was too much for my own good. I used to put you over everything else. And that was my mistake.

Mistake (n.) – an action or judgment that is misguided or wrong

I remember pushing things aside to make room for you in my day just so I could possibly, just maybe, make your day a little better. I remember taking on your duties and offering to help a lot more than I normally would just so I could lighten your load. I remember lying about my own circumstances and situations in order to brush off my own problems and issues just so you didn’t have to worry about more. I remember going crazy worrying for you, about you. I remember doing so much for you. I remember overthinking many nights and problems because of you. I remember doing things I wouldn’t have done if not for you. I remember pushing myself, my own limits, for your sake. And that was my mistake.

I pretended to be okay and pushed myself to go through the day even with everything I had been dealing with, mentally and physically, in hopes that it would make it easier for you to focus on your work and your day. I pretended that I could do it all in hopes that I could take the weight off your shoulders. I pretended to be fine with some things in hopes that it would make you happy. And that was my mistake.

I asked for you to be there when I needed you. I asked for you to help me through my pains. I asked for you to listen and support me when I needed it. I asked for you to give me your time and heart…because that was what I thought you would want to give me. After all, you had said you loved me most. And that was my mistake.

I loved you too much. I gave you too much.

I still love you, but not as much. I would still give you my time and attention, but I wouldn’t prioritize you too the top as much. I would still be willing to help, but not as much. I would still want to be there for you, but not as much. I would still give, but not as much. I wouldn’t want to lose myself again and, instead of looking for me, look towards you. That was my mistake.

Things have changed since the last time we spoke. I won’t make that mistake again, with you or anyone else. Not again.


Watching in Silence

Watching in Silence

I watch him hit you “playfully” from across the table after you said something to offend him. I watch him threaten to do it again later, making you flinch and quickly stutter to take back your words laughing to hide the fact that you were afraid. I watch him give you a death glare while you try to look away but can’t.

I watch and try to look down at the table, onto my laptop screen, somewhere else but it doesn’t hide the fact that it was happening right in front of me.

“Stop it.” I stated coldly directly at him. He stopped. But the next time he hit you was harder. Damnit.

I couldn’t pin him on the wall and snarl at him to stop like I’ve imagined doing; I knew he was stronger than me. I couldn’t stand up and pull you to your feet and drag you away from him; I knew you wouldn’t go and if you had it would just make you get into even more trouble with him. I couldn’t stand up to him for you like I wanted to; I knew what he has done and still am not sure what he is fully capable of.

This was the same three years ago. We parted for three years. Something in me hoped that your life would’ve changed. When you told me you don’t talk to him anymore, I was so glad. When you told me you rarely see him anymore, I had thought you had gotten out of his grasp. But here we are, with you coming whenever he calls, listening when he talks, scared to upset him, begging when you don’t want to do something, etc. He still has such a hold on you. Nothing had changed.

No, wait…I have.




Narrow-minded to more open-minded.
Distant to more open.
Quiet to more talkative.
Cold to more welcoming.

Being able to only see the pain to being able to see happiness.
Being able to only feel hurt to being able to feel at peace.
Being able to only look back to being able to plan for the future.

Defensive to more flexible.
Stubborn to more fluid.
Possessive to more giving.
Protective to more understanding.

Being able to only see the bad in new people to being able to see what could be good in them.
Being able to only question their genuine to being able to understand not everyone is alike.
Being able to only remember the past to understanding that it might not reoccur again.

It’s incredible how pain can alter a person.
It’s incredible how moving on can change a person.

Being able to only hate what happened to knowing how to move on.
Being able to only know what’s broken to realizing the pieces can be picked up again and put back together – or rebuilt anew.
Being able to only trust pain to enjoying happiness.



Looking back to when I heard the saying “the friends you meet in college are the friends for life”, I had always thought I was fortunate enough to meet my “friends for life” in high school. I thought we were an unstoppable, unbreakable team; we had gone through so much together, grew up together, and bonded over so much. But I might’ve been wrong.

I’ve met these friends. They’re these incredible three people. One knows me and understands me like no other, another has gone through thick and thin with me, and the last had been there through everything.

My first friend:
He was the first person I met who understood some things no one else would get. He was the first person who listened to me like he did, cared for me, took care of me. The way we watched over each other, the way we connected and bonded, the way we joked around and enjoyed life with each other. I will never forget the late night phone calls that consisted of both hours of joking around and hours of deep conversation. I will never forget the days we escaped from life, from the drama around us, from everything. I will never forget those deep brown eyes, that smile. I will never forget him. I will be waiting for him to come back to me.

My second friend:
She was the first friend who was close to me that was a girl. It wasn’t because I was sexist, but I just got along with the boys better. She was one of the only close girl friends I had. She always wished to help me and tried her best to whenever she could. She respected me unconditionally. She believed in me. The way we talked, the way we went to each other for things, the way we got along. I will never forget the conversations we had. I will never forget those worried eyes that looked up to me. I will never forget how we “mother”ed each other. I will never forget her. I will be looking forward to going back to her when I’m more okay, when I’ve found myself.

My third friend:
He was the first friend who put more effort into me when I was in a dark time. He was the first friend who had gone through so much with me and yet still is by my side. The way we weren’t afraid to say the truth to each other, the way we talked and got along, the way we fought. I will never forget all the drama we went through. I will never forget how much pain we went through. I will never forget all the things that were said and promises that were kept. I will never forget all the weird conversations and the random topics. I will be looking forward to hearing from him later on.

We might drift apart now. We might stop being friends for a while. We might not talk for some time. But I know we’ll come back together no matter what. But I know we’ll be okay later on. But I know we’ll always have each other.