if you fidget long enough the hours literally fly by

i woke up around lunch time. the fact that i fell asleep around 5 am should evoke sympathy.

ogrhulkjarehngiu what do i put next


oh, i got to wear my favorite shirt today. it’s grey and it’s supposed to be xl and i stole it from my uncle’s clean laundry stash and it’s my favorite and has cool words and i like how it feels and looks and don’t tell my uncle because he won’t stop teasing me for being a midget and i am *not* a midget, i’m just really good at picking out everyone’s best items and then taking them


“there’s only the Vibe” a friend once typed in our group chat after i sent in some workings for an oc that will never see the light of day. my character is both a stereotype and breaks all of them, and i was thinking her ambiguousness would be fun to portray, the way that pinning “background character of your favorite show” to your shirt (the grey one, with green accents) automatically makes you very cool. maybe i’ll talk about my oc sometime. maybe i won’t. ambiguousness, you know?

and that’s that on doing everything and nothing all at once.


i don’t know. that’s what i do know.

i don’t know why my mind is firing off in the distance. i don’t know why i enjoy walking around singing ben platt songs at three am to an empty house, i don’t know why marvel makes disappointing filipino superheroes, and i don’t know why rice noodles and spaghetti don’t work well together. maybe because spaghetti is more wheatier. who knows.


and then i think about the concept of borrowing. how everything that makes me me was taken from someone or someplace i don’t remember, long ago.

i live on borrowed land, i’ve grown up on borrowed culture, i dress in thrift store clothes and things saved from ending up in the trash, i wear bracelets passed from person to person, the shoes i wear were carefully stored as its previous owner moved on to better things (better feet? no) and i write these words knowing that its abstract wildness didn’t stem from me, and i wonder, what can i truly call my own that i came into?

nothing. perhaps that’s the beauty of it.


it’s not like people seem to keen on saving their little mannerisms, their stories, their things. it all goes to the trash. and that seems very sad. little objects and tools and knicknacks are little and tiny and should be saved at all costs. why just chuck them away?

there’s a reason i grew up interested in dumpsters. there’s others. i’ve told a few people why. idk, i like the idea of being the catchall for everything unwanted. it’s cool.


like, you know, here? in the islands? trash is like… treasure. depending on where you are and what time is it and can the aguirres’ tattletale lola watch you lug one of the hotel’s discarded speakers away, or is she busy chasing the newest dogs off her chickens? important stuff. and plastic and spare things like that are all kinda important. i was out on the beach yesterday and there were so many plastic bottles. like the little ones. they seemed so lonely.

and there were no dumpsters for them to go to.

sigh.

but here i am, spewing nonsense like the water from the sink on tuesdays. nobody here cares about trash. but then, what do you care about? sunsets, mugs with coffee, fries and onion rings, friendship bracelets, polaroids, stories, people?

they all go one place in the end. trash just happened to get there first.


and maybe that’s okay.

like weeds are only weeds if you see them that way. it could be an happy little flower, like bob ross and his happy little trees that technically don’t need to be there but they certainly don’t hurt anything by existing. and that’s all they need to do. exist. it must be terribly difficult to assign roles and purposes for every single organism on earth to feel like everything is there for the greater good.


maybe this is the greater good. to stare at the wall above the stove after yeeting a gecko out of my bedroom (little son of a tax collector made a mess out of my shirts. not nice, mr. gecko, beGONE) and see stars appear out of nowhere. to slide into the kitchen with a piece of cloth that we’ll pretend is a cape, holding a mug in one hand and singing ben rector songs. to dress up as heroes and actively save the world in my mind. imagine. a hero. can you imagine that, wall? heroes.

i wonder what the wall’s favorite shirt is. bet you lunch it probably has green accents and is softer than my roommate’s blankets.

~i wanna eat pancakes for dinner, jo~

basic starter pack to take care of one kangaroo child

so.

you have, in your possession, a living, breathing, reality altering jo. who this jo may be does not matter, as long as they bear the characteristics and mannerisms of a jo. (see list of jos for more information.)

how you got said jo is ambiguous at best— maybe they were shipped over to your place without asking, or they somehow ended up traveling through space and time to your front door, or you picked one up at your local thrift store and thought it would make interesting decor. who knows at this point. bun wanted a jo and got them 11 years late, so if you happen to place an order for a jo, expect a rather lengthy shipping time, and a rather slow working jo in general. if you’re lucky, you can speed up the operation system of a jo with sugar, but only if you’re prepared to deal with a high, hyper, and very, very hysterical jo.

there are no easy ways here. you’re stuck.

naturally, you have to ask yourself the hard questions, like “why did curt just leave owen” and “why are there so many zoom memes when zoom has a two star app rating” and “what makes up a jo’s existence“ and “why am i even reading this”, in which case i strongly recommend contemplating your existence.

having had to deal with myself for the past who knows how long, i have complied the Starter Pack of Jo Things, in case you find yourself in need of it or with a jo.

in all cases, i feel for you.

aHeM

fruit gummies

your jo of choice is either suffering from a high metabolism or mild hypoglycemia. this means they either eat too much when they shouldn’t or eat too little when they really should or both, in the rarest case. for this we recommend preparing a snack budget and an intricate knowledge of where the discount gummies are in the grocery store. we do NOT recommend eating said snacks yourself, otherwise you’ll have to buy them all over again to keep your jo from fainting. (frubs learned that the hard way.) if successfully won, you can convince your jo to do various things in exchange for the sucrose, except probably wear pink.

noise cancelling headphones

most jos tend to either have very wonky senses or just do not like people and interaction, period. that’s where the headphones come in. merely place the device on your jo’s head and connect it to a steady playlist of calm music. (emphasis on calm. the day this jo made the mistake of playing hamilton on campus they were met with strange looks.) because of the inner isolation from society, your jo will mostly likely bob their head or tap their feet. it may look adorable, but it will never last long enough for a picture, so don’t even try.

big tshirts

this truly depends on the variation of jo. the jojo kind are comfortable with wearing properly fitted shirts and similar items of clothing, but the joey kind insist on wearing something they can curl up and cuddle in, hence the name. giant graphic (preferably fandom related, as most jos are major nerds) shirts, hoodies, and sweats are basically all they will wear, so the only formal thing you can expect to force them to wear would be hogwarts style robes.

camera

ahhhh. an almost tangible memory making device. one of these will be on your jo’s person at any given moment, whether it’s a cutesy polaroid camera or a basic dslr, and they will take pictures of everything. everything. this should not be a problem until you find a picture of you snoring in high quality. kiss your dignity goodbye. probably invest in film cameras so you can have a break while the jo figures out how to use it and ends up getting distracted by instagram filters.

phone

possibly one of the most important things on this list. in addition to being a lifesaver as you frantically call your jo so they can wake up and unlock the door to your house (which they accidentally conveniently locked you out of), it also serves as a homing device, mini ranting tool, and source of information that your jo will later spam you with. a necessity indeed. and preferably pick the ringtone before your jo finds the setting first.

ukulele

except for a few stray jos, most need a source of constant music surrounding them in faux sanity. hence the four string wonder known as a ukulele. only don’t expect typical songs like riptide and can’t help falling in love— they WILL play the entire flight of the bumblebee in all parts if they have to dIe to do it.

warm hugs

this is literally a human need, but more so if you’re a jo and you’re insecure, sensory, and enjoy turning everyone into your personal real life teddy bear. jos will wince if they’re touched unfamiliarly though, so be nice to them, hugs are sacred and only given by those they trust.

long wooden staffs

if you would like to not pay a ton of galaxy units and also not worry about getting your hand sliced off, wooden staffs are a great alternative to lightsabers, and they can also pass as walking sticks, so your jo can tote their staff literally everywhere and swing it at will. this is especially useful in a hostage situation, when you need a distraction and your jo has no clue what’s happening. per usual.

fluffy blankets

a fairly simple thing to explain. simply purchase one of those ubersoft warmth squares, leave it around, wait for a jo to flock to it, wrap them up with the blanket, and go road tripping across america. this ONLY works with the blanket, no exceptions.

sensory toys

look, it’s either a fidget spinner or a prop knife, and let me tell you, if you knew the appalling tales involving prop knives, you’d WANT the fidget spinner.

speaking from experience of course.

kitchen tables

so you know how cats have scratching posts, but usually end up in cardboard boxes?

well.

it’s a similar concept.

charger

DON’T EVEN QUESTION THIS. and don’t blink when your jo ends up accidentally snapping their iphone charger clean into two. again.

mini backpack

jos carry quite a lot with them. emotional baggage, mental stress, excessively confusing memes, and all of the aforementioned things in the starter pack. they are also very protective and proud of these carrying bags, so pick something that doesn’t break and has lots of pockets, because they can and will need it.

~

the last thing is not included in the starter pack, but it bears mentioning that if you have a jo, they, in turn, have you.

and in most cases, that’s really all they’ll need.

have fun taking care of your jo, and don’t get too flustered when they start taking care of you. they tend to carry that trait somehow. don’t ask why.

(but seriously, do Not leave them alone with any snacks because you will never see your skittles again.

never.)

~all i have to offer is myself, jo~

but what about everyone else now

also known as jo discusses other jos. you’re welcome.

i have the distinct honor of being a jo.

jo’s are a lot like hufflepuffs, they’re very underappreciated and hide under their bigger, more-lettered contemporaries such as josephine and karen and albus dumbledore, but we have something everyone else doesn’t.

we’re good finders.

*sunglasses emoji*

in the wake of the recent scaryness of outside, i took it upon myself to use this specific skill, gather the jo’s and discuss them in detailed opinion and observation. because this is qUaLiTy coNTeNt

you’re welcome.

~

jo march

'Star Wars' to 'Frozen 2': The holiday season's 15 biggest ...
queen

the original, the classic, the timeless, beautiful, amazing, show-stopping. in conclusion, we stan harder than ever. also can someone say fashion icon because her outfits are killer? also she wrote a whoknowshowmanyk fic with her own hand and published it and refused to marry a man just because everyone else wanted her to? and she made mistakes and she had a temper and she was a perfectly strong, snarky jo and is the first of her name, and because of that, i take my nonexistent hat off in her memory. may she live happily ever after being a kooky author/teacher and eating sugar.

jojo siwa

much pink, very sparkle

this child is chaotic, and i say that being myself, a chaotic person. i just. i just. i have so many questions. like how is that hairstyle maintainable on a daily basis? does she not suffer from existential dread? how is she doing homework? are the parents of her fanbase okay? is she taking care of herself? how can there be so many accessories on one person?

one time going grocery shopping there was a big fat balloon with her face on it, and i apologize, but i was disgruntled enough to whack it, and then later a cashier told me she’d been doing the same thing every hour and that was our moment of solidarity

not a jo. definitely a siwa. it’s hard to define an aggressive marketed walking volcano of rainbow sparkles. moving on.

jojo betzler

lots to unpack here. one, he’s a nazi. he’s a very misguided, lonely, childish nazi (i mean he’s ten, understandable), but he’s a nazi, and nazis do not need the dignity of an explanation. they’re bad, they’re not good, and this jo proves to be a real jerk for the majority of his film. being a nazi is not cool jojo, there’s n o t h i n g good about it whatsoever.

on the other hand, he quickly finds out he’s wrong, kicks the symbol of his twisted thinking in the guts and out the window, is a tiny smol bean who must be protected, and learns to dance, which is an important part of his arc, and he thinks animal cruelty is wrong (it is).

he’s a jo. we shall protect him. and make sure we join him in kicking nazis in the face.

jojo’s bizzare adventure (????)

WAHT

IS

WHAT IS THIS

I WANT MY EMOTIONAL SUPPORT PARENTAL FIGURE

this is NOT a jo

this is just bizzare

my senses

my humanity

what is THIS

i don’t understand okay byeeeeeeeeeeee weird looking comic bye i’m not ready for that

MOVING ON

joe russo

aside from his work on the winter soldier, nu-uh. nope. no. whatever stroke of creative genius he had during that film, civil war and the infinity saga were NOT things a jo would produce. you don’t just KILL people and you don’t use suspense to get the kind of story you want, that’s NOT how it works. also, please, mentioning your boyfriend in a split second of footage, a mere throwaway line, is not queer representation. queer people aren’t things you shove in to make something look woke, they are real people with real storylines and should be respected as such. also why’d you kill nat bro that’s not nice :((( not a jo. you don’t get that after how you and your brother don’t let anyone know what was happening when you direct things! why!

okay but he was a part of letting bucky come back to the mcu, so, he’s not,, entirely hopeless, but HONESTLY MAN

joe jonas

who’s she?? the guy from the disney channel? i don’t know her. next.

yeah look i grew up on big-kid fandoms, not stuff like the disney channel so when i say i don’t know, i literally do not know who this man is. except for the fact that he played one of those baby angels in night at the museum 2– awesome movie by the way. he did play an angel right? also he’s married to the queen of the north wall or something and james corden kidnapped him??

joe keery

hmmmm. seems like he goes a little hard with the hairspray. i recognize there’s a rather giant fanbase for him and everyone in the stranger things fandom, but i do n o t understand. not much to talk about this person. let’s relegate him to a regular joe.

jo blake

phil’s boyfriend from anne of avonlea! he’s a supportive, awkward, dedicated, not very pretty, shy, caring, person that basically would walk through fire for phi, which, who wouldn’t? (how dare you not understand this reference this is from a CLASSIC) very typical jo. we accept. he’s a cool dude.

joe walker

Starship-commander-up

the ONLY valid interpretation of voldemort, i will not be taking questions. also his acting in spies are forever was top notch! (VOCAL QUALITY people. he really rocked that white makeup too, that’s really hard to pull off, respect)

joey richter

 Starkid's  The Trail to Oregon!
deserves a tony

*claps* we *claps* stan??? we stan? we STAN. the amount of talent in this man (starkid, tin can bros, work ranges from kids’ shows to indie films to off-broadway, start catching up), his dedication to roles, his kindhearted goofy personality, his collabs with other artists, doing justice to ron weasley, writing films for buffer festival, his vocal quality, style choices, how dang GOOD he killed in black friday, saf, avpm, everything he’s ever been in, to put it simply, he has the RANGE. THE RANGE I TELL YOU also his friendship with lauren lopez is literally the sweetest thing and i appreciate just so much of his work ethic and who he is as a person and in short, i wanna be like him when i grow up. to be able to use who i am as a person and just own it, and be super funny and meaningful? bless this man he’s awesome. (for further proof, look up his performances of jekyll and hyde. chills for real) (i’ll never shut up about this sorry some’s gotta start appreciating people’s talents and it may as well be me) (also you guys if you can get digital tickets to tin can bros’ show? they’re out here struggling after corona shut down so many artists’ work and it’s hurting people. also these guys are quality okay okay i’m done)

joan of arc

you deserved better sis and we will always remember you. you’re out here showing us up with like leadership and war and i’m crying because i tortured one of my characters. mad respect. defeat the patriarchy.

~

and there it is. the almost collective list of jos in the world.

*bows*

someone start naming more girls jo. i think it’s a deserving name.

~rather be nine people’s favorite thing than a hundred people’s ninth favorite thing, jo~

the ceiling is made out of glass (and sweetheart, you can fly)

water dew

i’m not even sure at this point

it’s like, there’s this bubble right? and that bubble is reality, and it’s smooth and it’s a circle and it’s like this clear glass sphere

and then inside the sphere there’s bombs exploding and crashing and screaming and news and plaid shirts and sunscreen and coffee and phones and all these random things happening at the same time

and then in that bubble is another bubble, and that bubble is small and bumpy and very, very thick

and inside that bubble is a whole crazy world full of stories and sunlight and valleys and canyons and falling and couches and late nights and headphones and sleeping at last and fandom and livestreams and videochats and music and singing and stories and sketches and plays and novels and content creating and youtube and whether or not it’s better or worse than the bigger bubble, it’s almost entirely sealed off,

and that

is where i am.

most of the time i like my bubble

i like being able to be exactly who i am and i won’t be judged for it

i like not having to be called girly or tomboyish or any constricting terms

i like my stories and my worlds and the people i meet and befriend

i like being safe and warm and being domestic

even if it’s only in my mind

i like the adventures i have and i like the things i fall in love with and i am proud of what i create and i am loved and accepted and welcomed and understood and i have friends and we hang out and we work together on stories and content and goof off and rant and talk about everything and it is beautiful

even if it’s only in my mind

i like that i have this own personal little headspace that i can retreat to and i like my own company and i like being me in this tiny world

i like not being blown over or laughed at or seen as everything that i’m not, i like not having to deal with intrusive questions and unhealthy expectations and all the mindtrippery that goes on and i like not feeling like a piece of odd, unwanted, uneeded, unecessary modern abstract art

even if it’s only in my mind

i like it so much that i forget that i don’t like the fact that everything i’ve created is only in my mind

i really don’t like that

sometimes i do a good job of forgetting

sometimes i can absorb so much information and content and let it consume me

and it manages to be enough for just enough

and then my bubble is jostled, and the trance is ruined

and the actual, bigger, nastier bubble tries to enter mine

and then my bubble doesn’t know what to do, so it grows smaller, and it edges toward the wall of the big reality bubble, closer and closer

and when it’s small enough, thick enough, strong enough, the next time the bigger bubble tries to enter in, it’ll break out

just

like

that

b o o m

and i will forever be safe and happy and alone

just this bubble

and nothing to remind me that it isn’t real

nothing to remind me that it’s such a small bubble

nothing to remind me that i’m alone in this bubble

it’s nothing, and it’s fine, and i’m fine

and i don’t wanna leave the bubble

but that’s a lie because i’m scared of being hurt and i’m tired of being used and if i used my heart enough i’d admit that i want to step out

but i don’t wanna be hurt

i want a bigger bubble, i guess

i want to be able to say that i have stories, not just in my mind

and i have friends, not just on a screen

and i have gone places, not just because i had no choice

and i have done things, and they were good

i want to run, i want to dance, i want to be free to create, i want to feel free to know what i believe

i want to find a group of people that care so much about not caring so much and crash on couches and sing weird, homespun songs at two am, and i want to have people to care about and poke and not need a wifi connection to talk to them, because then they’ll be right there

right there

and my mind will be at ease because it doesn’t need to sustain the world i’ve fought so hard to create and live in

because the world i already have is real and it is safe

and it’s one that i don’t wanna leave

and it’s one that nobody will ever feel like they have to leave

and it stops becoming a bubble and it starts being one giant thing

like reality

it’s not enough to think you can

because the fact is some things are not capable of happening even with just thinking

but maybe

that wanting

maybe

that feeling

maybe that whisper of a life that is better then all the scary-worldness 

will just grow

and become its own thing

and maybe

after wishing so desperately for a place of my own

i can open my eyes

step out of the bubble

and finally take it

and the glass will break and it’ll be okay

is that the dream

to wish reality was okay

are we here in our spheres and it’s not okay

is that what everyone wants?

is it possible that all our little bubbles are merely little sneakpeeks of what the world could be like

if we only popped the bubbles

broke the glass

and started to make bigger bubbles

wouldn’t that be lovely

i think

i’m not even sure at this point

but

i intend to find out. 

~tap, tap tapping on the glass, jo~

human

human.png

so it could be 9pm and you’re an idiot but you’re an idiot who actually is aware that you need to graduate and you promised so many things to so many people and you had all the time to deliver but none of the persistence and so you’re downing commercial drugs into your lazy system in the effort to be useful for once, and you’ve cleared through an algebra review for the test tomorrow.

and you can’t wait for spring break. not that there’s spring to begin with. not here.

but first the 13568765332 other things you promised you would do. but you’re not doing them now, because you’re just messed up like that, aren’t you?

so then you pull up youtube music because spotify is being weird, and you play some billie eilish, and you dance to it.

like you

actually

dance.

how weird.

how normal.

how endearing.

you feel almost like a regular high school student, with your natasha mug and cold coffee, gifted headphones and pop playlist, textbook and pencil, google docs and quizlet, tests and texts and discord chats, that you forget you’ve never had a day of formal education in your life, coffee was something you’ve only picked up last year, without your headphones the world would go wild, and also, you’re one lonely soul on an island away from everyone else.

but heyyyy you’re almost normal. right?

i mean, look at you, having feelings and being happy and dancing and all that lovely stuff. enjoying plays and reading fanfiction and recording stuff on bandlab and almost being normal.

do you want to be normal?

do you even know what that’s like?

like, on saturday you liked alicia key’s underdog so much you came up with choreo to it on the spot and danced to it, and you haven’t even stretched in thor knows how long. if thor existed, that is. but you looked at yourself in the reflection in the glass and you were having fun and you liked it.

you liked it. so you kept dancing.

and nobody saw except you and nobody would ever see it except you and that was okay. and you felt like a dancer.

you didn’t have anything for breakfast so you stuffed a granola bar into your mouth, but you shouldn’t have granola bars because this is the philippines for crying out loud, where are you gonna get something like that here, even with low blood sugar? we have bananas for a reason. but you don’t wanna go downstairs because you know people are gonna look at you, but honey they’re always gonna look at you.

and you watched too many videos and panicked about watching too many videos so you tried to make up for it, but you can’t because you’re not enough and all you can do is just the best you can and nothing has to be enough all at once and then you just get it done and you don’t know why you worried so much.

it feels normal, when you have assignments and your friends have assignments, and you can sympathize in having assignments together, and you don’t think about everyone who wonders why you have assignments when you don’t even go to school, but you do and you can’t explain that. but they don’t bring it up now. because now you’re normal and you’re like them and you have lost your individuality. you’re not different anymore.

maybe you like that.

maybe you don’t.

you remain undecided. to keep your options open. because you’re smart.

is there any stock in being different? in being a genius who went to college at age 10 and can recite pi for fun and spell stuff backwards? or someone who can recite the whole book of leviticus, for peter, paul and mary’s sake without blinking an eye? someone who’s better, someone who’s smarter, faster, stronger, harder?

you don’t know. you’re not a genius. you don’t do things unless you enjoy it. you can deal with all sorts of horrible things for what you love but you can’t be bothered to move for duty. you’d kill for a friend but you’d refuse to pull the trigger if the law told you to. typical slytherin. what if the law told you not to pull the trigger? what would you do then? prove your oddity by defying that order, too?

you don’t think about this enough, do you?

but you’re not going to kill anyone except yourself, with school and work and your self imposed requirements. nobody asked you to do this, no, you had to take it on yourself because you’re a grownup and that’s what grownups do, even though you’re really just a kid who doesn’t have anyone to tell them what to do except yourself.

a lot like pippi longstocking, really. are you proud of that?

but see, that little girl was different. and right now, you’re not. you’re like everyone else in high school, everyone struggling, everyone dancing to their own playlists in their rooms, singing along.

you’re human.

you’re normal.

at least for today.

and that’s okay.

at the end of the day, it is our individuality that unites us as a whole, and that is normal. to be accepted among everyone’s unique characteristics. to admire and emulate even.

it’s human, it really is, but honey, aren’t we all?

~will you share your soul with me, unzip your skin and let me have a see, jo~

time capsule

time capsule.png

if you open the dingy closet door in the attic of my mind, there’s a box hidden among the flags and dusty skeletons.

it’s rough and hastily stuffed into itself, and its flaps scrape against itself as the side marked “jo’s, DO NOT TUCH” is pushed against the musty wall.

the box contains memories, tinged gray from years of dormancy. it is slapped into working, a flickering light that eventually beams.

on the wrong side of toronto. a quiet neighborhood. half the lights are on. the other half have gone the way of the kids who’ve dropped out of the graffiti-covered high school two blocks away.

across from the church, a project rises in the background. on the 17th floor, in the flat facing toward the gold course (good lord alone knows what in his name it’s doing here, nestled in the cigarette smoke and half-decent apartments), there’s an overcrowded bedroom. half storage. half shelter.

all quiet.

there’s a laptop. it’s just been upgraded to windows 10. it barely works, but it works, so it can’t be that bad.

a girl picks it up, nibbling her bottom lip as she pushes the top open. she’s been curled up into the bottom bunk, hiding away from the tension and stares and harshness that is her life.

her hands, nervous and fidgeting, type in a google search for “best blogging platforms.” as an afterthought the hands hastily type in “free”. gotta keep it real, y’know.

would she know though?

the results pop up.

“blogger,” one reads. “tumblr, wix, weebly.”

they all sound foreign and unusual to her.

a blue icon with a fancy w stands out to her. she doesn’t know what possesses her to click on it, but she does.

it asks for a name. she thinks about this. what name?

after staring out the window, the one that’s looking up at the projects, only barely showing the sky, she turns to the laptop.

the girl in the tower?

nah. too revealing.

okay then.

she ponders this some more, even though it’s late and everyone’s already gone to bed.

the. the.

her eyes fall on the old canon shot on her desk, the one she stole from its place on the living room shelf, doing nothing but collecting dust.

the lens.

a smile appears on her face. okay. the lens and then what?

goodness, this was hard.

hard!

the lens and the hard….

the bedroom is silent, but a sigh disturbs the atmosphere. the lone lamp streams incandescent light into the cove that the wall of boxes and the shaky structure of a bunk bed makes.

a finger slides past the memory card slot.

drive.

hard drive.

because everything is hard.

a play on words.

the girl utters her birth name, the one that’s never quite felt hers, the one from a language she doesn’t speak anymore. “you genius.”

she certainly felt like it.

the url is formed, the name is chosen, the theme is picked, the design is played with.

a simple website, one littered with unwelcome ads and the most basic of looks, begins to exist.

she doesn’t know though.

she doesn’t know that when she begins to share pictures, stupid, bland, plain pictures and words that she thought were profound, when she begins to share herself to a place that will probably never see her, it is there that she will begin to find herself.

she doesn’t know that anyone would read it, that she would find anyone, that she wound find anything.

she doesn’t realize that she is about to become addicted to letting the words flow, as beautiful or ugly they may be. she doesn’t know.

the laptop’s keyboard clicks incessantly as the clock reads 12 am.

she doesn’t know who she’ll meet. she doesn’t know that they will change her life. she doesn’t realize she’ll begin to expand into things she had no clue about, meet people she never thought could exist, and learn so much about the world through one web browser.

she doesn’t know that she will hurt so much. she doesn’t know that her cries will be heard. she doesn’t know that she moves, that she changes names, changes thinking, changes. she doesn’t know.

her first post is silly. she thinks it’s the best thing ever.

the camera is filled with pictures. she starts to share them.

she thinks she’s reached the best there could possibly be.

in that room, in that flat, in that neighborhood, in that part of the world, a moon shines on this girl, who, of everything she doesn’t know, doesn’t know this one thing.

the best is yet to come.

the memory ceases to play, and it fades into silence as it is put back in the box.

there are more memories in the box, many more. but jo said to not touch them.

and so they are not.

~who would i be if i had never seen manhattan, jo~

p.s. you guysssssssssssssssssss once february 19 comes i’ve existed here for like two years say what? legit my life has been changed because of one reckless choice and so far, i regret nothing yet. ask me anything abut life, me, stuff, and literally whatever, and if i don’t watch too much mandalorian edits i’ll get back to you on it the day of my blogger anniversary 😀 love you guys, and if i can be honest, you’re the best part of this whole thing

smile, boy, it’s sunrise

smile, boy, it's sunrise

people didn’t get robin williams.

not in life. not in death.

“but he was so happy! but he was so jokey! but he always made people laugh!”

they didn’t get how the amazing, wonderful person known as robin williams, who played absentminded professors and wax presidents and best friend robots and music pimps, who called steven spielburg to crack him up with jokes and was all smiles and was all happy and who kept his madness a little better than most people, could commit suicide. need antidepressants. be sad.

because, if you can be all of that, how on this earth can you be d e p r e s s e d ?

so it’s been six years and robin williams has been relegated to history. people remember, people post a quote on tumblr, they pay their dues and then they move on. like they do. like everyone does.

a good life. goodbye. so long. we’ll miss you.

i don’t remember it sinking to me as a kid. i didn’t know why the genie disappeared. i didn’t understand what happened to one of my childhood icons. i knew he killed himself. i didn’t get why.

and then i grew up and then the yelling got louder and then the doors were locked and the silence was overwhelming and the words were twisted and driven and stabbed and everything was falling and then i stood on the balcony, i put my hands on the railing, and i looked down.

and suddenly i got it.

i can remember it because it was cold and i was wearing my thor shirt, the one i bought even though it was old and raggedy and i was so proud of it and i got a glare and i didn’t care and i looked down and thought it was a beautiful night to die.

it really was stunning. the setting, the air, the lack of people, the stillness of the world, devoid of any mayhem and hell except for what was in my mind.

my cousin says hell is a strong word to use. if the definition of hell is a place absolutely separated from God with no way back, then not only was it hell, but i was smack dab in the middle of it.

robin williams might’ve cared. he might’ve called my phone and made me laugh and asked if i wanted to stop by mcdonald’s for a burger and some fries, and he might’ve said that it was okay to not be okay and maybe i should get some help and if they don’t like that it’s not their life to lose and hadn’t i better get some sleep in the big show tomorrow, the one called life?

robin williams might’ve said that, if someone could’ve said it to him.

i was eight years old when i first sat on the railing.

i didn’t say anything for six years, because every year, almost methodically, the fighting would happen and the pain would start and death would sling its arm around me and whisper, “let’s hang out.”

every time i said i’d better just go home.

until last year, when i asked death to get me outta here.

i’m robin williams and nobody around me understood.

“but you’re such a happy girl! but you were always so kind and sweet! but you always said such funny jokes! you were never like this! who are you? maybe you’re imagining it- can’t you see how real people feel when they have real problems?”

someone said it to robin williams. something said it to robin williams. maybe it was a mean thing online. maybe it was a cruel word. maybe it was his own mind.

but it was said and he acted on it and now we speak of him in the past tense and i didn’t care what tense people spoke of me because it was better than telling me to my face that i had no reason to be sad or depressed or suicidal. that i should be so happy because i just exuded joy and laughter and bubbly vivacious mirth.

they blamed it on all the wrong things. they blamed it on how i responded to family situations. they blamed it on the one family member closest to me who told every one that jo is suicidal, please DO something. they said if she didn’t leave none of this would’ve happened. they said i was imaginative. they said they didn’t think it was real. they said that i didn’t know what i was saying. they said i was being rebellious, i wasn’t going to listen to them, i was just trying to get my own way. they said and they said and they still say and they still say and if they’re reading this right now, i hope they remember everything they said to me, because they conveniently forgot when the people who helped save me started asking them questions.

they forgot robin williams.

they were going to forget me.

but i have something that, as far as i know, robin williams didn’t.

i had God.

i couldn’t feel him, so he sent me friends to call me in the middle of the day and talk to me for hours straight, a sister who didn’t think twice about crossing her own scary divide to get to me, to the hospital ward for two weeks away from the yelling and pain and hurt and with people who cared about me and talked to me and convinced me that the sun still shone, an airplane ticket to be able to breathe away and find home, two relatives that reached out to me when it seemed like my entire family teamed up to snatch me from a safe place, stood against me, and shoved me into a corner in the name of what was right in their own eyes.

God sent me the sun in the midst of all the darkness, and that’s why i can smile.

robin williams must’ve felt the darkness for so long he had to step into it, and i still feel it around me. because the people are still there and the people are still people. because i am broken with the ability to appear life-giving when i feel life drained. because i can’t control what goes on inside me or outside me. because my specialty is to relieve people of their worries by delving into mine.

nobody could see robin williams out of his happy, funny self. nobody could see into his mind. nobody sees past the perfect balcony railing and curtains, past the ministry and the childhood, past the bible verses and pretty words, to look straight at scared, little me who smiled because being sad would only mean getting in trouble at home.

but now i think, just maybe, just a little bit, i can step out into the sun and say that i think i get robin williams, and for him and for you and for me and for everyone who still finds safety in the dark, i can smile.

really smile.

and maybe, in finding my way out of the darkness, the light will shine on everything that tried to keep me hidden.

because it’s sunrise and that’s what the light does.

~you have secrets too, but you don’t have to hide, jo~

p.s. i did not mean to be this raw?? like legit i was watching night at the museum 3 and it just unlocked a lot of feelings i didn’t know how to express? but i can honestly say that this piece stems out of a mind that is slowly getting better and i am, indeed, feeling much more light so please don’t worry your fave aloemjolbirdie is thriving and wants the same for you ❤

wait you guys jump over obstacles i’ve been doing it WRONG this whole time

wait you guys jump over obstacles i've been doing it WRONG this whole time

life happens.

life hurts.

like. a lot.

like. ow.

because nobody told you that you’d have to make decisions about jobs and churches and schools and immigration and bank accounts and all those adult things that they expect you to know but never tell you about. nobody. but you’re only half-dumb, so you figure it out yourself. genius genius.

then people tell you that you’re just a child and you don’t have the right to decide your future for yourself. then people scoff at you when you look them in the eyes and tell them that you believe God wants you to pursue a future that isn’t what they thought for you. then people tell you that it’s not your choice and not your future and how can you know what God wants for you you’re so young you can’t know better and therefore you should just give up and be a normal kid.

and then they conveniently forget that you were never a normal kid to begin with.

goodNESS it’s complicated.

and you feel scared. right? you feel like a child. (maybe because you are, but we won’t talk about that) you feel like if you take this leap into the unknown so many people will be hurt because of it. and you feel like you’re not ready. you feel like you’ll never get to the point where you can come into your own and be able to life on your own. (it’s hard life-ing in general, isn’t it?)

you know that you know but you don’t really know that you know and it’s a very complicated cycle of the knowing.

someonesaveme

but look.

the other people… they don’t matter. the other people do not get to dictate your life and control your decisions. maybe the other people mean well, maybe the other people want what’s best for you, and maybe they love you. maybe.

but they don’t matter.

their thoughts and their words and their actions are only theirs. it doesn’t extend to you.

it is unfair on yourself to base a whole existence on what other people think about you and think you’re going to do. it’s unfair when people assume you’ll get married and live close to your parents and have children and be a good girl, as if that’s the main goal in life. it’s unfair when people try to discourage you from getting mental help and be open about your issues and won’t let you take matters into your own hands to keep yourself safe. that is unfair.

everyone only gets one life, and they should not try to siphon yours.

it’s scary. i know it is. it’s scary to confront people. it’s scary to let people down. it’s scary to be willing to actively choose things that you know are good for you but are things other people don’t like. (even if they’ve spent your life choosing things for them and not you. because you can’t grasp the idea that you are deserving of things.)

but life is scary.

and if it wasn’t, it kinda wouldn’t be life.

and just so we’re on the same page, God isn’t some cosmic superior in the sky that passively watches in the distance, like the watcher (who was killed, so some watcher he turned out to be), alright? do you get that? he’s not the voice that other people borrow to get you to listen to them. he’s not something people use to get what they want, okay? he is actively interested in you and wants you to discover what living is for yourself, not what living is through what anyone wants for you. gets?

so even if the other people are mad at you, that’s okay.

in a not-okay okay way.

i know, it’s confusing. it’s a confusing stage of life. there’s a lot you don’t know. there’s a lot you need the guidance of stable, caring older people for. there’s a lot that you should not try to do on your own. i get that.

but you can’t learn about life if you let yourself be held back from it.

okay?

you cannot just sit there and give up at the tenth rejection, the last discouraging call. the last no. you cannot.

you are going to live this life the way you were meant to and find the joy and pain and all these feelings that come with living, because that’s what you’re meant to do. you don’t have to be a christian to have a calling or just to be important and have a reason to live, okay?

it’s gonna be amazing.

*you guys i’m out here hyperfixiating on this like the mess i am and i’m pretty sure in a few weeks nobody would even remember this including me XD*

there’s a ton of obstacles on this path to coming into your own and becoming your own person. it isn’t gonna be easy. and i guess you just have to jump over them.

unless you’re me and you’re short and you can’t jump so you just plow straight through them because then, jo no

so. i think i’m gonna go now because i tend to talk too much.

but i’m cheering for everyone reading this, and if they feel even just a little bit more scaredybrave to live, then i guess i wasn’t wasting my breath.

so go run. it’s your race to win.

~if we don’t leave this town, we might never make it out, jo~

back in mY day

back in mY day.png

“you think life’s tough for you girl?”

this is the kind of question most people will scorn your answer for, so i was smart and neither confirmed nor denied.

the speaker, God bless her die hard tough love soul, went on to describe her work as a mushroom picker when she was my age.

of course, to add on to how hard this must’ve been for said speaker, the speaker’s father added “and you think the dishpit’s hard, now that’s really tough. she had to wake up at 3 am eveRy sIngLE dAY to pick mushrooms.”

“i’d ride my bike to the farm and stay there for like, what, almost a half day?”

“imagine that, jo. imagine that. you have it easy. “

oh i can imagine plenty.

i can imagine a young girl like myself, being allowed to just take her bike in the middle of the night without fear of being assaulted or attacked or kidnapped, ride to a farm without incident or injury and without being questioned for working underage, and being able to earn a consistent income. i can totally imagine it.

i can also imagine that this ideal, utopian, caucasian town didn’t have drugs. or you know, people who needed drugs. i can imagine they didn’t have kids on the streets and they definitely didn’t have people of color, who would’ve killed to have a job as stable as the- you know. the white people.

you know what i can’t imagine?

learning to never take the stairwell from the 16-15 floors because that’s where the bad people hang around. how to find your way home from jane and finch and the dear Lord help the poor person that stumbles on that street at 1am because we all know they’re not walking out. what marijuana smells like ten feet away. the cheapest mom and pop stores that treat you fair. how to score free classes from the local ymca. how to translate from tagalog to english in your head and be able to respond in the right language. living in a floor where half of its occupants yell and holler. what gunshots sound like when they’re meant for killing people. learning how to create programs for churches and printing them, also every single week. having to let professional adults yell at you because you were the one doing the work they didn’t care to do. having to take care of more than one child at any given day because you’re there, aren’t you?

i totally really can’t imagine having to go to places early because weird men would follow me. or avoiding wearing dresses and skirts in places because that caught attention. i can’t imagine having to take, edit, and send out hundreds of photos for events for free, because they only pay people with a degree. i can’t imagine not being allowed to do certain things because i was a girl. the fear of being kidnapped and molested at age 7 drilled into my head by concerned parental figures who didn’t know any better and didn’t want to learn. the shame those figures gave me when i argued that safety by fear was no better than the things they were afraid of. learning how to dress in ways people wouldn’t accuse me of being goth. or *oh no* a tomboy.

and work? ha, i can’t imagine people not even looking at my applications because i was too young, too inexperienced… or was it because i’m too brown? we’ll never know. i can’t imagine being mistaken for being a newbie immigrant when i was actually born here and have been here for longer than you, buddy. i can’t imagine being told they need someone better. i can’t imagine doing random jobs for free at will at all times. i can’t imagine learning how to use programs and circumvent price tags so people can enjoy their powerpoints that only last… what, 4 minutes? i can’t imagine coming up with things on the fly to keep 12 kids calm. i can’t imagine being asked to do things and then later being told those things were horrible and they could do it better. i can’t imagine trying to come up with ways to prevent bullying and later being bullied myself for being so “weak”.

no, i can’t imagine. i don’t have to.

i lived all of that.

and i know i’m at risk for presenting myself as a sob story- not my intention. life was easy sometimes and everyone lived like this. pretty much everyone. this is normal for a second-gen city kid. i didn’t live victimized, i didn’t live oppressed.

or.

maybe i did, but nobody can tell because their idea of oppression and victimization are the starving, war-torn, homeless kids of “over there”, not the unseen, unnoticed, struggling kids of right here. this isn’t just my story. it’s thousands of kids living in “good” countries all over the world.

guess we’ll never know.

is my life tough? a matter of opinion.

but go off about having to pick mushrooms in the middle of the night, i guess. because back in your day everything was harder.

isn’t it wonderful that it’s not your day anymore?

~petty petty petty petty, jo~