Tag: 50 Questions About Me

“You’re so vain!”

So…I’m doing a tag…even though I hate tags…

That’s right! I’m manning up and finally doing my only first tag ever because, in all honesty, they really aren’t that bad. Also, they’re pretty fun ways for everyone to get to know each other better, and since I’ve been ignoring the whole “get to know each other better” part of blogging since I started this page nine months ago (wow, I could have a baby by now), I figure it’s time I finally get around to it.

Better late than never, right?

Right?

Right…

So here’s my little tag baby, freshly out of the womb just for you to enjoy (as all friends of new mothers see newborns). I’ve pulled the questions below from the first two blogs that popped up on my Google search, Ysis Lorenna and Everywhere You Look, as well as by pulling a few out of my own head. All in all, there’s fifty questions I’ve answered, and I hope by the end of them, you know me a little better. (Friendship! Yay!!) As to whether or not knowing me better makes you like me more, however, well, only time will tell!

Feel free to take this tag in order to answer the questions for yourself. After all, that’s exactly what tags are for!

So here we go!

ME

^Look! It’s me!

  1. What is your full name? I’m not revealing my last name on here for privacy purposes, but I will tell you that at least part of my full name is Leah Danielle Dev—-, with the “Dev” portion of my surname being important for later. There are quite a few other places on the internet, though, where my full name can be found, if you’re really that desperate to know it. *hint, hint, wink, wink*
  2. Are you named after anyone? Yes, actually. My first name was thanks to my parents not being able to decide in the delivery room and thus my Nana suggesting “Leah” because of Leah in the Bible (since my older sister was named after Rebekah in the Bible). My middle name is after my grandfather (father’s father) Daniel, who passed away before I was born.
  3. When is your birthday? August 2, 1996 #summerbirthdays4lyfe
  4. What is your eye color? Brown! But fun fact: I was born with blue eyes.
  5. How tall are you? 5’8″ (172.72 cm)
  6. What are you wearing right now? My current pajamas: baby blue and cotton-candy-pink vertically striped sleep shorts from Gap and an old t-shirt I got in the Dominican Republic many, many years ago.
  7. Do you have any siblings? Yes, my aforementioned older sister, Bekah, whom I wuv
    Bekah!
    Bekah, my older sister
  8. Are you married? At only 18, no
  9. Do you have kids? Also a big no! One day, however.
  10. Why is your blog named so? Honestly, I couldn’t think of a name for it, so I just combined the first two letters of my first name, Le(ah), with the first three letters of my middle name, Dan(ielle), and the first three letters of my last name, Dev. (See why my last name is important now??) And thus ledandev was born!
  11. When was the last time you cried? Here’s the thing: I cry a lot. It’s always behind closed doors (so as to not make others sad with me), but it’s still a lot. I’m not a wimp or anything; I’m just a very sensitive person who cares a lot (maybe too much) about a lot of things, and so it causes me to get teary-eyed all the time. Anyway, with that cleared up, I think the last time I cried was the other night when I was thinking of something sad one of my closest friends told me happened to her this past semester at school. (Although, it also could be more recent if we’re counting happy tears here, for I also cry every time I laugh, for some reason.)
  12. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Nooo. Never! (Except with strangers, of course; doing so is kind of rude.)
  13. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself? I honestly don’t know! I’d like to think so, but who knows! So I’ll give this one a “hopefully.”
  14. Will you ever bungee-jump? Being that it’s a dream of my dad’s to go–and also that I’m kind of an adrenaline junkie–heck yeah! I’d go right now if I could!
  15. What’s your favorite cereal? Cereal is for wimps. I’m more of a biscuit kind of gal.
  16. What’s the first thing you notice about people? It’s how they act, as in whether or not they are polite, kind, respectful, mindful, etc.
  17. Scary movie or happy endings? Both. I like a good mix, so I tend to switch on and off, depending on my mood–although, I watch more action films than scary ones.
  18. Favorite smells? Bath and Body Works’ Dancing Waters scent, salt water, cookies baking in the oven, hot and humid air just before it rains, new car smells, strawberry lip balm, Versace Eros cologne, and overheated sweeper bags.
  19. Summer or winter? I honestly can’t choose; I love them both equally. My favorite season, however, is fall.
  20. Computer or television? Computer! There’s no way to write with a TV!
  21. What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home? I’m pretty sure it’s Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
  22. Do you have any special talents? Special or hidden? Cause I have a lot of hidden talents, but if we’re only talking about special, then it’s solely writing.
  23. Where were you born? The United States of America! Yeehaw!
  24. What are your hobbies? Writing (about anything in any medium), reading (books, magazines, newspapers, blogs, etc.), listening to music, shopping, being with my family, playing softball and badminton, spectating ice hockey, blogging :D, doodling/drawing, traveling, eating, cooking, baking, collecting hockey trading cards (don’t judge), not sleeping ever, learning about South Korea, and just generally learning about anything I can (in any way I can).
  25. Do you have any pets? Yes, a four-year-old chocolate lab named Daisy, and she is my world!
    Daisy
    Daisy-boo ❤
  26. Favorite movie? Sorry, but I absolutely cannot pick just one! The official list of favorites: The Princess Bride, Pirates of the Caribbean (all in the series), Never Been Kissed, Just My Luckthe most recent adaptation of Les Miserables, Around the World in 80 DaysTangled, and Mulan.
  27. What do you want to be when you grow up? A happy writer 🙂
  28. What was(were) your favorite subject(s) at school? By far, English and history #nerdstatus
  29. What is your favorite drink? Any tea, just as long as it is hot and has nothing added into it.
  30. What is your favorite song at the moment? Again, I can’t pick just one, so I have to say BTS’ whole new album. Warning: It isn’t in English (and it does curse here and there, naughty, naughty!), but it’s still one of the most amazing albums I’ve ever listened to. And you should listen, too! It’s The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Pt. 1. Go ahead and listen. (You’ll just need to download Spotify first for what I linked to.) Trust me: You won’t be disappointed.
  31. What is your favorite food?
  32. What is the last thing you bought? These shorts, even if they were an incredible splurge…
  33. Favorite book of all time? Singular book? Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. Book Series? L.A. Meyer’s Bloody Jack.
  34. Favorite color? Blue, blue, blue! Light, dark, in the park, all shades of blue!
  35. Favorite Perfume? For spring, Bath and Body Works Dancing Waters. For summer, Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue. For fall, Versace Eros (WHICH THEY ARE FINALLY MAKING FOR WOMEN!!!). For winter, Pink Sugar.
  36. Favorite Holiday? The person before me, because she is British, took this to mean “favorite vacation you’ve ever been on,” but I’m going to take it as legit holiday and say Christmas.
  37. Have you ever been out of the country, and if so, how many times? Yes, to Canada, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Grand Cayman, and Mexico. So to five countries, but technically it’s from leaving my own only four times.
  38. Do you speak any other language(s)? Yes! I am nearly fluent in Spanish (it’s my minor at school), and I am currently slowly (but surely) teaching myself Korean. I actually have a whole list of languages I plan on teaching myself by the time I die; words and communication just really intrigue me. #nerdstatus
  39. What is your favorite shop? H&M, without a doubt. I love it so much that I even started working there!
  40. Favorite restaurant? The California Grill in Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Hands down, there’s no other food on this earth that compares.
  41. Favorite Blog? You remember my hobbies list, right? Well, because of one of those hobbies, it’s Eat Your Kimchi. (And also my sister’s fashion blog, Moments of a Mermaid, but I won’t link that here since it will notify her…and I’m kind of still in the blogging closet…even after nine months. I know, I know, I’ll come out one day. Anyway, here is the link to it for you to copy and paste into the address bar in case you want to check it out: https://momentsofamermaid.wordpress.com/)
  42. Favorite TV show? Of all time, Psych
  43. PC or Mac? PC? I don’t know; I’ve never had the joy of experiencing a Mac, so I can’t really pick.
  44. What phone do you have? A white iPhone 6, 16 GB (It’s not nearly enough storage for the amount of pictures I take, though, but it’s a heck of a lot better than the Windows Phone I had before it… *shudders* Never get a Windows Phone. EVER.)
  45. Can you cook? Yes!! And I love it! Although, I love baking even more.
  46. What’s your biggest fear? I’m terrified of letting someone down. When I feel like I have, I cannot live with myself.
  47. Celebrity crush? There’s way too many! A short list of my favorites, however, is: RDJ, Tom Hiddleston, Orlando Bloom, Jungkook of BTS, and Ed Sheeran. Any of the aforementioned can marry me ANY DAY.
  48. What’s your most embarrassing moment? ……Ahem…Well, let’s just say that some very explicit content accidentally made its way into a presentation I did in my computer class during my sophomore year of high school. You can fill in the specifics with whatever you like, but I’m too scarred still to talk about them.
  49. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Let go of a 13-year-long friendship without ever being told why it had to end.
  50. What’s your favorite quote? “Don’t mistake kindness for weakness, and don’t let others do so, as well. You are kind, but you are not weak. Believing that the kind aren’t strong is one of the many follies of the world.” — My high school newspaper adviser/AP Lit teacher, Robyn.

TIME!

Well, it was lovely getting to know you (er, getting you to know me), but now I never want to talk about myself ever again!

Have a fantastic day, guys!

The Want to Not Be Fat

Over the past month, a few very specific things have occurred:

  1. The weather has become incredibly warm, thus making me stop wearing sweaters, long pants, and tights.
  2. Everyone else around me has also stopped wearing sweaters, long pants, and tights.
  3. School has ended, so I now have a lot more free time on my hands to use to catch up on the magazines and social media I’ve been ignoring for almost this entire year.

Let me tell you: All three of these events occurring simultaneously has not been the best for my self-esteem, and that is because I have massive legs.

Okay, so not massive as in seam-splitting, fat-fat-fat thunder thighs, but massive as in abnormally muscular. Like, I could definitely feed the entirety of at least one third world country with my left gastrocnemius alone. Like, I remember doing leg-lifts every single night with my queen-sized bed when I was seven years old just because I thought it was cool that I could actually do that. At seven years old!!

Yes, my legs are massive as in bulging with muscles–which I owe to both the tang soo do and softball I did growing up as well as my pigeon-toed feetsies/other genetics–and in the summer, that is bad for my self-esteem.

I’m sure you’re wondering why, since the vast majority of human beings would love–even kill for–big, bulging muscles in their legs, especially dudes. But the grass is always greener on the other side, which is where the other two events I mentioned earlier become important.

I swear, everyone else around me just has the skinniest, little twig-legs that fit into the smallest, little pants sizes and that look so amazing (in that tiny, cute sort of way) in short shorts and short skirts and cropped capris, but then there’s me, with my two hunking tree trunks, standing there looking like an overcooked sausage stuffed in a casing two sizes too small.

Yes, without fail, at the beginning of every summer, I look down and see my grossly muscular legs and then look around and see everyone else’s amazingly thin ones, look in the magazines and on the interwebs and see everyone else’s beautiful, fantastic, incredibly slim ones, and I just cannot help but instantly lose the confidence that I gain (again without fail) every wintertime when my knack for layering draws away from the 100 pounds of meat I carry on my lower half and thus makes me feel good about myself. Yes, being able to compare my legs to those of the others around me due to their visibility makes me feel fat, makes me hate myself and my body and my weight, and makes me want to change it instantly, immediately–now, especially, because I’ll be heading to the beach in a little less than two weeks.

There’s a few problems with that logic of mine, though, the first of all being that I am not fat; I am muscular.

I do not have rolls and rolls of extra flub hanging off of my thighs; my legs are smooth and frankly not even that large at all compared with what they could be. I am unable to fit a US pant size two not because I have excess energy stored in my lipids but instead because I am lacking in said lipids and thus am unable to mush myself into that tiny of a size. I do not weigh 150 lbs. because I am unhealthy and overweight; I weigh 150 lbs. because I am 5’8″ tall and, due to the amount of healthy activity I’ve always had in my life, have nothing but muscle and bone and organs composing my body.

So no, I am not fat. I am muscular, and that’s the problem, especially because, for my whole life, no one has ever discerned that for me. My mother, really, was the only one who ever tried, but when your mom says you’re perfect and therefore shouldn’t change while your doctor says you’re fat and thus need to diet (at age 12…), you’re not going to believe your mother, even if she is another medical professional.

So for my whole life, because I’ve always been taller and more muscular than average, I’ve always believed I was fat. To this day, even, even though I now can distinguish between being fat and being muscular, I still somehow believe that I am not thin enough and thus need to somehow lose weight–a.k.a still believe that I am fat. At 5’8″ tall, at a US shirt size small and pant size 6, I still somehow believe that I am fat. When I look in the mirror, all I see is hugely muscular legs that belong to someone with a very high weight, and when no one other than my own mother has ever told me that that’s okay because it is all muscle, it still makes me feel fat, makes me feel the need to be skinnier.

Case in point, every summer when the layers come off and the free time that allows for magazine reading starts, I once again am reminded of my natural want to not be fat that stems from my abnormally muscular legs, as ridiculous as it may be.

So every summer, I eat both a little healthier and a little less than the last, do a little more exercise (and a little more stressing) than ever before, hoping that it will finally slim me down to the size of Coco Rocha. Even though it never does and even though I know it never will, I still always try, just because I don’t want to be fat.

It’s messed up, right? I’m not fat, yet I find myself always thinking of how I don’t want to get fat. I’ve accepted my genetics, yet I will never stop working to change them, to find a way to magically cut my muscle mass without starving myself to death. I think, actually, now that I say it, my want to not be fat is a little more than messed up; I’m pretty sure it parallels Einstein’s definition of insanity.

So, what I’m taking out of this is that society’s want to not be fat, our desperate longing to not be as big as our genes have coded for, is insane.

Wanting to be thinner than living a healthy lifestyle allows is insane.

We know it is impossible, yet we try and try again to be thinner despite it. Even though we know we will not get thinner than what nature allows us to be, we still keep on dieting and exercising, somehow still thinking that we will eventually get our dream result.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

So yes, being healthy yet still trying to lose weight so as to not be fat is insane, which means that I am insane, and society is insane. We are all insane! All of us who want to keep on getting thin, we’re insane!

I guess that really puts weight loss into perspective, eh?

So in this, I’ve come to the conclusion that I, as well as everyone else, should be striving for health–not a specific size or weight, but health. As cliche as it is, eating right and exercising a healthy amount will both take us to and keep us at the size we were naturally made to be, which is all we should be striving to achieve. And who cares if that’s thinner than the chick next to you or fatter than the sexy guy on tv with abs? At the end of the day, as long as we’re all eating right and exercising, as long as we’re all healthy, that is all that matters. Health, not thinness, is what is important. As Ed Sheeran put it, someone has to win worst dressed; likewise, someone has to be skinniest, curviest, largest, widest, narrowest, tallest, most muscular. We’re all different people, and so we’re all not going to be Coco Rocha, which we must accept: that as long as we are healthy, whatever shape that makes us, it is perfect.

And so I guess this means that I will not be trying to thin my thighs or lessen my calves this summer. Instead, I will be maintaining my healthy, clean diet and keeping up with my daily exercise routines. Who cares if my bottom half is a bit sturdier from it? If that’s how God wants me, that’s how God wants me, and so I won’t be insane and try to change it. I’m fine the way I am, and if I never fit into a size two because of it, I never fit into a size two because of it. If I’m the first killed one day on a desert island because everyone is starving to death and I have the most meat on me, then I’m the first killed one day on a desert island because everyone is starving to death and I have the most meat on me. Oh well! Such is life, and if that is my fate, that is my fate. Why try to fight it?

And if that’s not convincing enough, then just remember that we all die and decay in the end, anyway, and so when it all comes down to it, we will one day all be the same size. And when they pass before our graves, future generations will not be thinking any less of you or me because we were or were not a size two while we were alive. Instead, they’ll be thinking about how old we are and how gross our bones must be.

Morbid, yes, but true. And sometimes, a bit of morbid reality is all one needs to stay on track.

Stories from College: WORKING HARD DOESN’T EVEN FREAKING MATTER

It’s officially been proven. News flash: WORKING HARD IN SCHOOL DOESN’T EVEN FREAKING MATTER!

Can you tell that I’m a bit ticked off? Well, if you can’t, news flash: I AM.

(This is going to be a very strongly worded story. Just thought I’d warn you ahead of time.)

So, due to a due time for an assignment that I somehow wasn’t informed of (which is a very long story for another day), I ended up turning in an incredibly important paper for my English class late. And even though it was an honest mistake that led to the paper being only 45 minutes late, my professor still didn’t have mercy on me and still gave me a zero for the assignment. Whatever, though. It’s my bad, and so I get it. It’s her policy, and she doesn’t have to make any exceptions if she doesn’t want to.

She was nice enough, though, to offer bonus that could raise anyone’s grade by up to 5 percentage points if they made it good, and she was also nice enough to give me half of the original points back on that late paper if I chose to redo it. My first thought there was that it’s still an F, but the longer I had to think on it, I realized that, hey, it’s better than no points at all! And so I thanked her for the opportunity and accepted the offer. At that point, I’d take anything I could get so as to not flat-out flunk the class.

So I did those two extra assignments as well as just generally worked my butt off for everything else in her class the rest of the semester, putting approximately 175% of my time, energy, and effort into everything she would eventually see, from papers to even class discussions. That may seem silly, for my grade was doomed anyway, which I knew, but I still wanted to try my hardest; I was hoping that, from it, my grade (and 4.0 GPA) might not get wrecked as badly as I was thinking…because maybe she would see how much I truly work and thus pity me 😀

Well, it turns out that I was right. I don’t know if there was ever any pity, but by some miracle of God, my endless hard work ended up getting me an A in that class.

WHAT??? HOW?????

I know, that’s what I’m saying!

Well, in the end, I was happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life (not really) and very literally found myself jumping for joy because, even in all of my doubts, everything still turned out to be okay. I ended up getting an A, and my 4.0 GPA was saved!

UNTIL MY JERK PHILOSOPHY PROFESSOR SUBMITTED FINAL GRADES, THAT IS.

A 93.4%.

HE GAVE ME A 93.4%.

THAT’S AN A-

WHICH MEANS THAT I NOW HAVE A 3.97 GPA

ALL BECAUSE OF HIS JENK FINAL EXAM THAT EXISTED SOLELY OF SYNTHESIZING PHILOSOPHICAL WORKS IN WAYS WE HAD NEVER EVEN DISCUSSED IN CLASS

Sayonara, 4.0!

AND IF YOU WERE HERE RIGHT NOW, PROF. H., IT WOULD BE SAYONARA TO YOU, TOO.

Needless to say, philosophy was another class this semester in which I had worked my butt off the entire time in order to keep an A (because said Prof. H. was literally THE WORST). THIS TIME, HOWEVER, IT CLEARLY HAD THE OPPOSITE AFFECT.

GOSH, I AM JUST SO ANGERED BY THIS! I DO NOT DESERVE AN A-! FOR ALL OF MY WORK, AN A- IS JUST NOT FAIR!!!

Whoooo… Deep breaths, Leah… Deep breaths…

So in the end, kids, it apparently doesn’t matter how much effort you put into something, especially with school! Whatever grade you’re going to get, you’re going to get! Whatever your professor is feeling that day is what will end up happening! So don’t get yourself all worked up over your grades or your GPA because in the end, it doesn’t even really matter; C’s get degrees, and employers never look at GPAs, anyway! It’s all about who you know, not what you know, sadly, and so trying your hardest will get you just as far as not ever even trying at all! So why care! I know I don’t! Whatever happens, happens! Destiny! I can’t really ever affect anything, so why try to at all? Why be mad about this?! It doesn’t even freaking matter! None of it will ever even freaking matter!

(Sarcasm alert: I DO actually care. This is all just because I’m still really very freaking miffed.)

A Question that Lead to a Revelation

Would anyone in this world stick with a job where their boss doesn’t trust them (and thus makes work really awkwardly demeaning), where they have only one monotonous task to do, where no one there will speak with them (other than their trainers), where their hours are wretchedly late and on holidays and involve never being able to call off, where the pay is only okay compared to everything else out there, and where they (as in the hypothetical workers we are considering here) have no chance of ever moving up?

After reasoning through the various prongs of that question, I had to say that the vast, vast majority of people would say, no, no I would not stick with that job. Even if it offered valuable, real-world experience in a dream career field to one who shouldn’t yet be getting it, most people would say, as my mom said to me, that life is so full of other even better opportunities that the experience doesn’t matter. Why be miserable when you have your whole life ahead of you for that?

She, as well as everyone else out there who agrees, is right. Why be miserable now when I will probably be miserable for a long time after now? I already have a few jobs (yes, three) as well as go to school full time. I also play a sport, and I’m only 18, only just finished my freshman year of college. And while adding one more job to that list is impressive to some, as in future bosses and current classmates who have no idea how I handle it, it really is only stressful to me. Really and truly, I’m not able to handle it, at least not something this important (which I’ll get to). And I don’t want to have a heart attack at age 25!

I guess I’m just realizing that, when everyone else isn’t trying as hard as I am yet is still coming out in life successful, maybe It means that I should tone it back a bit, too. Not  only will it save my cardiovascular system, but it will also leave me just as okay as if I kept up with all that I do now.

So that’s why last weekend I quit for the very first time in my whole entire life. Out of all the sports I’ve played, the tasks I’ve taken on, the jobs I’ve had throughout the years, this is the first time I have ever quit. And it was the most important of all of the things I’ve done, too; I’m a first year journalism major, and because I met the right person at the right time, I landed a job at a major national newspaper. Yeah, what??? That’s very literally unheard of, and so it was going to be a huge boost to my journalistic career.

But the thing is, though, that I wasn’t writing. I was doing the sports agate, which is basically copying and pasting box scores onto a page and formatting them to look nice. And while not a hard job, it was also not how I wanted to be spending my weekend nights and all holidays (because I was filling in for the normal guys who don’t work at those times, because of seniority and all).

So while it was terrific experience that I don’t think I’ll ever get again, especially at my age, I had to quit. I was bored and unhappy, and my happiness is worth much, much more than being boosted into a career, especially when I’ll be working my whole life thanks to said career not paying well. When I’ve worked my butt off for as long as I’ve lived, I’d just rather take the wee bit of time I have left as a youth to actually be a youth! Because I really haven’t done that ever. Oops!

It’s not like I quit the job for nothing, though; I ended up getting a writing internship that could very possibly turn into a real job for me. And even though it isn’t for a newspaper, it pertains more to being a writer than copying, pasting, and formatting does. And while I know that quitting a newspaper at such a young age sounds really dumb career-wise, I kind of just don’t care. In all honesty, while I love journalism, my true love is general writing, so if this internship ends up making me unsuitable for a newspaper job the second I graduate, I don’t really care. As long as I end up writing professionally somewhere, I will be content. Journalism is merely the practical route for school; in all reality, I’m open to anything, even in other countries. So at the end of the day, giving up my job working the sports agate at a major newspaper doesn’t matter. It’s still my happiness that trumps, as it always has been and always will be.

I mean, if I’m not living happily, then am I even living at all? No, so quitting was best for me. Even if I’m stressing out because I can now be called a quitter (a term which I hate), I was stressing out even more for not quitting. And since this other internship came around, since I know I’ll actually be incredibly happy with it because I’ll finally be writing again, I’m taking it as a divine sign that the paper just wasn’t meant to be, just wasn’t meant for me.

So I guess that’s my revelation, that it’s okay to quit and follow your heart, follow your dreams and be happy. I forget which celebrity who I follow on Instagram posted it, but this poem came on my feed the day before I quit, and it really was another divine sign telling me to move on:

“There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
‘I feel this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.’
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you–just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.”

It’s Shel Silverstein, and it may be written for children, but I’ve never encountered a poem more accurate. So from here on out, it will be me listening to that voice inside, never fighting it by trying to do what is logical or what the outside world says is best but instead listening to it and following that gut instinct we all get. Because at the end of the day, it is our life, and since we are the only ones who get to live it, we shouldn’t be worrying about making everyone else out there happy. It’s not their life, so why bother?

So with whatever decisions you have to make for the rest of forever, I really hope you make them by listening to the voice inside, for at the end of the day, your happiness is worth more.

Forget or Cope

I could either choose to ignore today, or I could not. I could either let today slip completely from my memory, or I could face it full on for what it really is. And since I’ve been hiding from it for, well, as long as I’ve been taking Spanish classes, I think it’s safe to say that it’s about time I finally sucked it up and took it on. Stop forgetting and start coping, Leah; it’s the only way anyone heals.

I’m just going to come out and say it: I hate May 5, el Cinco de Mayo, and I hate it for many reasons. I could keep it short and sweet by saying that it’s just my own personal Friday the Thirteenth (which I still will), but in all honesty, it’s much more than that. Much more than that, and the person who makes it so does not deserve to be sold short. So I will explain.

Public Service Announcement: I apologize now for none of this making sense, for when it comes to talking about these kinds of things, I’m just lousy at it. Sorry.

Okay, so the basic reason why I let May 5 slip from my mind every single year is because, as an almost life-long Spanish student, it’s always meant parties, fiestas, general days of goofing off and not learning. But that also always meant lots and lots of food…

Let me clarify: It’s not that I’m anorexic. I simply am insecure with myself and thus am always uncomfortable eating in front of other people. It bothers me so much that I even find it hard to eat in front of relatives and friends, so you can only imagine how awful school parties made me feel. Eating while not alone or with people I 100% love and trust is just something that weirds me out, and I have no idea why. I mean, it does involve slightly the fact that I’ve grown up hating the way I look due to probably suffering a little from body dysmorphia (based on what others have told me), but it’s also just one of those weird isms we all tend to have. So in the end, I don’t really know. But anyway, the moral of the story is that May 5 is el Cinco de Mayo, which means lots of food with lots of strangers, and since I hate eating in front of others, I don’t like that. So I’ve naturally always hated the day.

But that’s natural, and if it was left at that, I’d feel no need to stop forgetting and start coping. But then two years ago, the day was made superbly unnatural, and that’s why I can’t go on pretending like it never happened.

I’m for once actually going to keep it short and sweet here, for I just can’t talk about it. I don’t know why, because it really shouldn’t affect me like this, but it does. And because of that, I can’t talk about it. But I need to talk about if I’m ever going to be able to talk about it. Does that make sense? I hope so. Anyway, back to short and sweet. Here we go:

May 5, 2013, was the day the youngest of my now ex next door neighbors’ sons killed himself in their house. I don’t want to give details, for I don’t want to end up encouraging anyone to follow in his path, but it was horrifying. It was, by far, the worst day of my life, seeing this man I grew up with, this guy who taught me how to play basketball when I was only four years old, who gave me his old trampoline and taught me how to swing without getting pushed, laying lifeless on a stretcher without half of his head. There’s just no words to describe it, how truly awful it all was. And when the only thing he left behind was the stench of his blood, not even a $^&#^$& note, again, there’s just no words to describe it. It’s no wonder his parents moved away very soon after. I’d do so, too.

And what did he think that was going to accomplish? You know, I used to respect that man, my neighbor, but now I just can’t. I just can’t do anything but pity his wretched soul (not in a good way) and hate this day with all of my heart. Oh, and, every now and then, forget this day ever happened. Yes, I can most certainly do that, too.

But like I said, and as I’m sure you can see, forgetting, even though easy, isn’t how one heals. Forgetting only makes you, well, forget. What it does not do, however, is the whole “getting over” thing that we all so desperately need in order to stay sane. And even if remembering hurts, it’s the only way said “getting over” can be accomplished, the only way you can ever heal. Remembering, thinking, hurting–it’s all the same, it’s all not forgetting, and from it all you learn, learn to keep living.

So here I am, finally wanting to learn, finally done with pessimism. I want nothing more but to stop being so bitter and so remorseful and so resentful and to start healing, to actually learn something from this day and start moving on. Not forgetting, but moving on. Yeah, that would be nice, to, after all these years, let the baggage go. So I’m talking about it. For the first time ever, I’m really talking about it. And it doesn’t feel good. No, not by a long shot. But no pain, no gain. It’ll help me in the end.

Well, as much as I want to move on, I don’t want to talk about this any more. Haha, irony! Sorry for the abrupt stop, but this little exchange has been more than enough for me to take; I’m currently doing my nervous, cold sweat thing that happens when I get stage fright. That’s when you know it’s time to be done!

So I guess the only thing I have enough energy left to say is that if you’re even so much as thinking about suicide, even if it is just a glimmering star far away in the night sky that is your brain, stop. Stop it right now, and go get some help. You think no one cares? You think your life is that bad? Well I can tell you right now, from pure personal experience, that there are people who care and that nothing–I repeat nothing–in life is that bad. Again I say that people do love you and that there is more to life, so much more than whatever is going on now. You taking your own life away, well it’s just wrong, just plain unfair. Even if you say why, there is still absolutely nothing that gives you the right to be that selfish. Nothing! I don’t care who you are, what you’ve done, what’s going on, there is nothing. Life is precious. In and of itself, life is precious, and even if your life is bad, you should be thankful just for the fact that you’re even alive. Because you know what happens when you die, what happens when you take your own life? Things far, far worse than life on earth can ever be! I’m sorry, but you have no right to end it all, mostly because taking your life really ends nothing at all. It only opens up a whole other can of worms that no one is prepared to deal with, yourself included. So instead of getting down on yourself, thinking the absolute worst about everything and assuming no one will ever want to help you, go get some help. Life is beautiful, and you should choose to see it that way, even at its worst. Yes, life is beautiful even at its worst. That may be the artist in me talking, but I think it’s rather just personal experience.

Trust me on this one; taking your life only makes things worse. So don’t. Just don’t. Please.

If you need help or think you need help or don’t think you need help but have been told to get some, there’s lots of sites you can search that will provide forums and hotlines to get you through. The vast majority are anonymous, so if you really don’t want anyone to know your struggle–if you really do insist on trying to take care of it all on your own–they won’t hinder you in that endeavor. But please keep in mind that sharing what you’re going through with others, even if just anonymously with complete strangers on the internet, really does help. Like I said, there’s always someone out there who loves you. Always. So don’t be afraid to speak up. Someone somewhere cares and is listening, even if you don’t know it.

Especially me. Fun fact: I’ve never met a person I didn’t like. I don’t know what it is, but I just love everyone. Naturally, I don’t judge, and my favorite hobby is listening to others, so if you want some help, whether anonymous or not, please come to me. I’m always more than willing to lend an ear, to simply listen and advise. Even with my views on suicide being so strongly opposed (as they should be, ahem), I will never judge one who struggles with it. I simply want it to end, and so I will keep my heart open and listen fully no matter what. Even with other issues, I’m all ears like that; I just want the world to be a better place, and so I listen.

So talk to me. After all, talking is how we cope.