The Shrimp to a Five-Year Old

I was allowed to take a picture while he was nice enough not to grab my phone or run away. He has a lot of fluctuating moments. PS. He is showing the kind of “smile” when taking ID pictures – he recently learned it in school.

He once came running to me, excitedly telling me about a pack of “shrimp” he saw outside the house, and then literally pulled me with him to take a look at his discovery.

Few minutes later under the heat of the scorching sun was a sweating person that was me, trying to convince an equally sweating overly curious little boy, that the tiny black creatures merrily swimming in the canal weren’t actually shrimp but, in fact, tadpoles.

He finally believed me and agreed that they were tadpoles – and then plotted that we catch and take them home because they were “cute” (he said the word ‘cute’ for the first time in his five years on earth lol).

You’re a cute king and I’m your slave but BISTCH THERES NO WAY IM GONNA GO DOWN AND HOLD THOSE SLIMY DISGUS—- 

I had to shakily desperately carefully explain to him that they probably don’t want to be disturbed so we should go back inside, all the while mentally drinking the sweat everywhere on me. 

Five year olds always hold the longest discussions and ask the weirdest questions ever. But honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

To this day the memory of him reporting his newfound obsession to me remains untouched in the deepest pit of my heart, bringing me smiles every time I recall. 

Nowadays, he is obsessed with the sharing app called “SHAREit” that every time I visit him, he asks me if I know about it and then goes to demonstrate how to share applications by using his tablet and his mom’s phone. He transfers everything. It is safe to say that my sister’s phone is half plagued with Spiderman games. 

He is my nephew and the first grandson in the family, so he is pretty spoiled by virtually everyone – myself helplessly included.

He is now in pre-school. I think he grows up too fast! grrrr! 

#preschoolstories #growingup #shrimp #tadpoles #familystories #curiosity #curiouscat #SHAREit 

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Almost Gold

You twinkle and shine that’s blinding me
Like an ocean pearl that’s enchanting me

I squinted harder and picked you up
Laid you on a pedestal no one can climb
And declared myself as your protector

I was too convinced you deserved more
So flowers and musks I gathered more
The best potion I created
So that you will be magnificent even more

Bathe yourself with this goodness!
I gleefully inform you
And you will become the precious gold that you should be!

But Oh then the ground shook
Nothing new I said in calm
Quests like this must come
Just keep holding on
The little quiver shall pass

To my horror you began changing
The twinkle and shine slowly fading
All those that took me in quickly shedding

I watched sadly in realization
As your mask crumbled beyond restoration

You were just another stone in the seashore
Just one step away from being gold

Had it not been for the quake
I would have not known
That you were never the one I believed in

I would have wanted to keep you forever
I could have kept you forever

But you were just another passerby in the road
Lost in direction

One step and I could have let you in
But you were just another stranger
That was meant to go somewhere faraway

Please be careful on your way
It was nice meeting you

Dance of the Wicked

Behind those smiles are mocking laughters.
Behind those greetings are feigned ignorance.
Behind those convincing speeches are selfish intentions.
Behind those seemingly appropriate attires are inappropriate stands.

Behind those “fair and square” ordeal for the commons are personal favors from the few oligarchs.
Behind those “limited” funds are pockets bursting from fraud.
Behind those new reached “deserved” heights are whispers of influence.

Behind those toasts of power are muffled cries of injustice.
Behind those little freewills are hands tight on neck.

Behind those proclamations of “strong faith” in public are fading conscience and views too narrow.

Behind those offers of friendships are threats behind closed doors.
Behind those huge family ties are blood shed by the innocent and weak.

Behind those teachings of good manners to the young are adults demonstrating the opposite.

Behind those endless banquets and abundant supply of foods in variety are children sleeping in hunger.

Behind the lack of progress and poverty are rulers and followers letting the land drown in misery.

Behind those tinted windows are eyes belittling humanity.

My dream is to be a good person such that when I reach my goals in life and I become someone worth to be tempted for evil wrongdoings in exchange for lofty status and pregnant pockets, I would be able to refuse and stand firm on my beliefs, my dignity safe and my conscience beating in power, still shining in my hands.

The Stranger’s Smile

 

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This is a post I would like to dedicate to all the people I have come across with, in many different situations, in various settings, with people from all walks of life, all of whom have contributed, from a simple act of kindness – a smile, a pleased nod of head, a single word of encouragement – just a streak of what is to become part of a more solid foundation of goodness, helping me shape my concept of humanity as a learning child, supporting my unwavering belief that humans are born with goodness in them at will.

People deal with enormous loads of stress everyday that seeing them disregarding others or being rude towards their co-workers, comrades, friends, family members, loved ones and even strangers is a sight not uncommon to many.

While it is deemed excusable for some that people can act bluntly rude to others just because they are consumed by their work and have no time to be courteous, to give way to an approaching disabled person, to lend a helping hand to a friend – or even a stranger – in need at a time when it is ultimately appreciated, to tap the next person who seemed too spent from the graveyard shift to notice that the traffic light color has changed, I would say it is still far more humbling to witness moments where people actually take the time to look around their surrounding, checking to see whether everything is in place or not.

I am a very fortunate being for having been subjected to such warmth by so many people I could remember throughout my life, that I carry such wonderful memories in my heart for as long as I can, thanking each of them for showing such kindness to some random person as I am.

Such appreciated behavior has been demonstrated while I was out queuing in a restaurant to buy dinner one night as I suddenly felt the urge to sit, to which I succumbed in mild rebellion against the long line of customers, who were probably as hungry and annoyed as I was due to the unfathomably long waiting time per crew service. I picked up my phone and plugged my headset in, numbing my environment through the blast that my music produced. I must have been out of it for quite a time because when I opened my eyes, the line was moving fast and I couldn’t pinpoint where my place was. I wasn’t even sure whether they would take me back in my previous queue without me causing ruckus. I was feeling helpless then when a middle aged woman called for my attention and guided me back with a smile so sincere that not only saved my day, but also warmed my heart because she was so considerate and kind to me.

There are a number of instances in the back of my head where strangers brought warmth in my heart through their kind actions, looking out for me even though I am not their child, saving me in the traffic zone even though they could have just shrugged me off by the side, informing me of things I should not eat even though they would have to lose a potential sale, and even things like declining to re-bond my hair, advising me to give it a rest from strong hair products when I was full set to pay them to do it.

These simple acts of kindness that might be negligible to some is what truly makes a difference in evaluating ourselves and humanity in general from time to time. These make us believe in the kindness inherent to humans even though it might contradict the extreme image that is being portrayed in today’s media.

The truth is that all humans are kind. Although it appears that this attribute has varying degrees on many different people, the fact that it is present gives us hope that people, no matter how cruel they may be, are actually capable to change for the better. They have it in themselves. We all have it in ourselves to be good people.

I want you to know that it doesn’t matter how your past situations have made you to be the “cruel” person you are right now if that is what you believe in at the moment. You can change for the better. And it is not even a real change, it is just a natural shift to the better version of yourself since you are inherently a good person. It is in our nature to look out for others, to worry for them, even though we might or might not act upon it.

Be the better you. Let us be the best version of ourselves. Start by smiling to strangers if you’re afraid that it would come out crooked. Worry not, for chances are, you won’t meet them again in the future, and it is your eyes that will do the telling anyway. Let the kindness in your heart reach out to others through your smile and it will come out as beautiful, just like the person that is in you.

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The World and Fate

2chickens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s when I want to say a whole lot of things that I forget how to speak real words.

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I hide myself behind forced smiles and loud laughs – to fill the emptiness, to heal wounds that have slowly snaked its way up to my head from all those years of absorbing everyday pain. That unendurable sensation that has accumulated through time. Pain, the feeling of numbness from passivity, from absence of real freedom, from being kept in the dark – from light. I’m a creature of weakness. Someone others can step on without feeling afraid or guilty. I’m that sickle car being driven anywhere, that lone ant easily flicked away when seen passing by, that bottle of water dumped and discarded somewhere at the corner after being used, that dirty little kid you’ll roll your eyes at along the busy buzzing streets.

I’m happy, I used to believe, and still would. It’s the matter of which emotion lurks its way to my head. I can be angry, lonely, or delightful, depending on what and how my brain wants it. I learned that emotions are not a matter of the heart. It’s always of the brain’s, the big boss, so I can choose what to feel just as how the sun goes up and down. The heart has no place to decide and rule. The heart only beats and beats and beats, to pump blood, to release it – nothing more. A hollow organ, incapable of thinking – dead and insignificant.

The heart can feel. Can you believe that? The feeling of softness, the  colorful rainbows, the children’s laughter echoing in the park, of vanilla ice cream, of the fresh sunflowers dancing in the garden. Oh the good days when everything is light and bright.

Life is meaningful when you like the way it goes on. Well, I frequently don’t. Those moments of uneasiness when confidence is nowhere to be seen, the retreating faith, the unknown future, it scares me. That when I finally take that lift to take me to the battlefield, I might just fall from my horse and never be able to get back up. The dimming light that I foresee comes sweeping the little hope and trust I have delicately grown with my bare fragile hands.

It amazes me how strong people can be. The look of determination that radiates off their gentle eyes, the genuineness, the courage to fight without feeling any signs of regret and fear, the undying love. Are you made of steel?

Teach me how to not cry. Do you numb your heart when you need to? I swear I believe in the power of the brain, but how is it that I feel queerness near my left chest? Could it possibly be that the heart is not dead somehow? I wail and weep and sob because I can no more take the pain. I want to scream and shout and let the tears come out fast so I can get whatever this out quickly. Where is the rain when you need it?

Teach me how to cry. That when I feel my heart heavy, I know you are there somewhere – ready to listen and offer a shoulder. Can I take my armor down in your presence? I want to breathe fresh air, and lighten the load on my back. I know you have own battles to finish too, but I’d like it more if we’ll take those together, so that I may be able to show them the real me. I won’t be afraid of the strange road, because I know you are there beside me, ready to lead the way if I ever get lost.

Teach me how to smile and laugh with truth as we walk together because you’ll be stuck with me for a long time, anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author’s Note:

Hi! Thanks for sparing time to read this. The root of this brainchild is none other than a whole big truck of chickens that I saw while roaming the street at night. Yes, Onew, believe it. I’m way far from kidding. It was not the first time I saw chickens if you must know, but that particular moment was when I stared at each of their eyes with interest – those I can reach with my own pair. It’s not that I haven’t looked at a chicken’s eyes before either but a whole big truck, I haven’t. Something in their eyes read sad fate. Or maybe it was just the flicker of light coming from the tall lamp post beside the street. I couldn’t be sure. But at that moment I felt sympathy towards them – even a little upset of how inconsiderate humans can be. We were raised and given so much chances and freedom to choose whatever we want, using whatever we can get a hold of, eating and living, not caring about others, while a few souls out there were not. They were born and raised to be purposely killed in the end – for us. Survival – that’s what it is always all about.

I’m not that mad at our kind. I’m just feeling sorry and depressed for those little souls because things had to go on like this. The world is created like this and I can’t understand why. I don’t want to question either. We should accept things as they are, right?

So I wrote this for every lone soul searching for company – a friend, a real one. It doesn’t matter whether life’s too short or too long. What matters more is that every soul wishes to live life contentedly, along with other souls that could possibly understand them.

This composition is not about me, neither is it about chickens too. It does contain some of my traits like LOL and faking smiles (in rare times! When it’s absolutely necessary) because, of course, I can only draw feelings I have in myself, not from my neighbors. I tried expressing things out mostly in contrast to one another, showing that what I have written here are not necessarily facts or truth. That was just how I felt and these are mere opinions. However, this piece is a part of me. These things all came from me and they represent things that I have experienced, seen, witnessed, and thought about life in general.

And I hope you don’t think of me as some depressed and weird loner caring more about chickens than humans because I definitely don’t. There are just some things that get me thinking once in a while and I end up going all deep into it. And because I get depressed only once in a blue moon, I decide to write things out to express myself. When I’m happy, I couldn’t even think of holding a pen to write it in my diary even though I promised before to write those things as well, because, like seriously, who would have time to write when they’re busy laughing? I do hope though that you learned something from here. Thanks again.

 

Meeting a beggar beside the intersection

I’m a bad person. I thought i was generous and kind but i discovered that i was actually deluding myself all this time.

I woke up when it was almost afternoon. My body was weak from hunger, so i went out to buy some bread to fill my stomach. While i was walking home, a middle aged man with a cane suddenly reached out his hand to me, asking me to give him lunch to eat. Where he came from, that i didn’t know of, as it was in a narrow alleyway beside the intersecting road in the city.  He must have been hungry too and meant no harm, but to me, it came out a little aggressive because his hand was touching my left arm while begging me for food, and i was alarmed and hella scared. I couldn’t pass through because he was unknowingly blocking the way. I didn’t know what I’ve done. Maybe it was a survival instinct- to flee away as soon as possible. My red lights have awakened and my ideal purpose in life was buried deep down within, their voice unheard.

At that moment, i could only see him as a threat to my safety. This is how i see beggars from the streets. I don’t hate them because they smell or are dirty, or because they wear ragged clothes. I avoid them because I have no knowledge of the extent of what they could do just to get what they want. Physiological needs are the basic necessities in life. We’ll fight with our life to get them, until we could care no more about the safety of others – or their lives even. This is human nature, and it scares me.

With my voice shaking, I managed to mumble words like, “Wait first, excuse me”, and he moved to the side in anticipation. I breathed in relief. I wanted to stop, turn to him, and help him but it seemed that my feet were already set to run away. My head was clouded in fear. I walked fast almost breaking to a run, never bothering to face him, afraid that he might have followed me. After successfully crossing the street, i looked back clutching my chest which was beating faster than how it normally does. I saw him from the spot where we crossed paths, and it seemed like he was buffled as to why i wasn’t there any longer when I told him to wait first. He must have thought i was a liar.

He then walked as well, with his cane leading him, opposite my direction, probably used to people passing by not caring to even glance at him. His face showed sadness and faded hope – and hunger.

If it weren’t for fear, God knows how much i wanted to talk to him – and give him some food or money. I wanted to ask how he was doing, if he still has family left, or trivial things like, where he sleeps at night. This was what’s running on my head as i resumed walking home, half in relief and half in regret, still clutching my chest and steadying my balance as my body was still shaking from that little threat to my safety – where I had to renounce being a helping person. We may or may not cross paths again, but I do hope he would forgive me for being rude and uncaring. I wish I have turned at him and have smiled in generosity.

Those Moments of Emptiness

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What do you do when almost all of your goals and hopes do not come true, even if you do almost anything to make them a reality?
Do you begin to hate yourself instead?
Do you sit beside your bed and mope?
I don’t.
I don’t hate myself either. Because I know I didn’t do the necessary works to make my goals come true. I’m just here, hopeless and lost. Lost in a way that I just decide life to flow according to how I see others do theirs.
Am I ever going to find a way back on track?
Is there even a way back for me, though?
I have so many questions and I’m so lazy to find answers for them. Yes, I’m lazy and I keep on falling down, that I think even if I decide to start being the ideal person I know, I won’t ever reach that goal on time. It’s almost the ending anyway. I can’t do anything about it. I guess I just have to be grateful that I’m still living. But how am I going to face them – people who expect from me – when I’m done and they don’t see me end it the way they want it to? The word “expectation” is now on my Hates List. I don’t like it one bit.
People often voice out their concerns but it almost always comes out in a way that burdens the receiving person instead. When your parents expect you to become somebody you are not, you know they are doing it because they care for you. Besides, it’s better to have an expecting parent than not have any at all, right? But it becomes a heavy load on my back that i carry around wherever i go. And it becomes so burdensome thinking about it that i become too lazy to think or do anything else, including making those loads of expectations come true. When you are too preoccupied, you cannot think straight. You become a lazy-ass wanting nothing but sleep on your calling comfortable safe bed. That’s what I do, too. Bed is definitely my comfort zone. When problems stack high up the table, the only better way to do is sleep it off. To forget is a good thing.

I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t even know what I really want. I guess I’m just lost, right? I’ll keep back on track in no time when I’m not feeling down anymore. But the problem is that this happens most of the time. This is not depression, too. This is milder, but chronic. I know this should not bother me because most people must have felt this once in a while as well. But I guess I just don’t know how to manage this effectively.
This is too funny. I should know how to be mentally and physically healthy since I study in the healthcare field, but what is happening? I think I’m just sleepy.
Telling this to anybody would be ridiculous. I’m not even sure if they would understand, but do they ever want to listen in the first place? Nobody likes to have problems being shoved into their faces. And I’m not friendly either. I don’t like telling others too much about my personal stuff. I’m just hopeless. Just thinking about this whole thing makes me want to laugh to no end.
I don’t even know what this is called. This is may be just uncertainty but I’m not sure since I have nothing to compare this to. This is the disadvantage of being too young and having no experience about life situations.
The only thing I could do is laugh at it lightly and tell my mind that this is nothing serious, to console myself and hopefully, my apparently empty heart.

KIM JONGHYUN TWITTER DP TRANSLATION

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Translation of Jonghyun’s Twitter profile picture 

< No matter what name you call us, we are not ‘Annyeong’ (well) >

Last April, the third attempt to enact anti-discrimination legislation was turned down because of those who loathe equality. In September, Kim Jo-kwang-soo and Kim Seung-hwan publically held a same sex wedding for the first time in Korea. There were disturbances such as human excrements being thrown onto the stage, but Kim Jo-kwang-soo and Kim Seung-hwan marched down the aisle with pride as to prove that “love is stronger than hate.” But a few days ago, their marriage registration was denied. Also, some people voiced ridiculous claims that textbooks should discuss the issue of the humans rights of sexual minorities as a topic you agree or disagree with.

Many of you who read this will think like this: how on earth does this concern me or the state of current affairs? But because I know him [Kim Jo-kwang-su], I can tell you this. Whether you are pleased with this or not, this is the story of the world that sexual minorities, including myself, live through, who dine, take classes, study, and have debates with with all of you. This is another side of the current affairs of the society we live in. 

Yes, I am a sexual minority. I am a male to female transgender person and I am bisexual. I am a woman. I am of the “880,000 Won” generation. I am a college student. I am one of the inheritors of the working class. What more names can you call me by? There will be no end if you tried to enumerate them one by one. It’s not just me, but probably all of you are living in the present, being called by numerous names. 

But I am not okay, not at peace at any moment, whichever name I am being called. Today’s Korean society not only can’t enact an anti-discrimination law, but discriminates against sexual minorities on a daily basis, throws rampant unfair criticism and hatred towards females, exploits the young generation, forces college students to be absorbed with employment instead of academics. Which name should I be called in order to be at ease?

Someone asked us this. Are you guys Annyeong, whether we are doing well. That’s what I’m saying. Are we all well when we’re relieved that anothers’ pain is “not mine,” growing accustomed to closing our eyes and blocking our ears in order to protect our own lives? How well can we be in a cold-hearted world when it continuously presses us to give up empathy?

I’m not saying that we all should pour out on the streets and start throwing stones. It’s just that, if this story of asking whether all of us living today are Annyeong (doing well) provides an opportunity to look into the face of the person next to you and call their name, I think this has been worthwhile. As the world becomes lonelier, I think, contrary to our belief, the way for us to become ‘well’ is nearby. Right now, please ask the person next to you, “Are you well?”

From snowy Sungkonghoe University,

Kim Eun-ha, Department of Social Sciences

T/N: Annyeong: the literal definition of the greeting is ‘a state of tranquility’
T/N: 880,000 Won Generation refers to the demographic of Korea in their 20’s that suffered employment instability around 2007. Multiplying the average paycheck of part time workers, 1,190,000 won (1130 USD), by the average salary rate for people in their 20s, 73%, results in 880,000 Won. This is the first amongst many generations in Korea to play the “Game of the Winner Takes All.” This term was first used in the book 880,000 Won Generation, published in August, 2007. The author, Woo Suk-hoon says “Only the top 5% of people in their 20s will have a stable job above middle management and the others will live on part time employment with an average wage of 880,000 Won.”

Trans: dustypixie718