Just another liberal arts degree holder looking for career fulfillment in all the wrong places.
It was my final year of undergraduate school. I knew that I wanted to keep going and work on getting into grad school, but I didn't have the proper time to dedicate to studying for the GRE. I couldn't just take the test blindly, either, since taking any grad school exam would cost me plenty of money. Money was the reason I couldn't dedicate my time to taking my next step after my impending graduation. I was constantly working when I wasn't at school, and rent in the city wasn't cheap, even with a roommate.
Flying High on Hydroxyzine
It was my first time traveling to Japan as an adult. I'd flown the 12-hour flight many times since I was a child, and I never, ever had the ability to sleep on a plane. Every flight I've ever been on, I got to watch jealously as everyone else napped while I tried to crochet, read, or watch movies on the screen on the back of the plane seat.
On the wall
The mirror showed a reflection that was not my own. At least, it wasn't the face that matched who I feel like on the inside. I used to be someone else. I used to be conventionally pretty - skinny, no bags under my eyes, no extra chin. When I looked at the mirror, the older, overweight, tired woman was not the vibrant woman I thought I was.
Forged by Fire and Rubble
I've heard artists talk about how certain pieces they've made are meant to evoke walking through the rubble of your own life. That's poetic, isn't it? But, have you every actually walked through the rubble of your own life? I have. The moments, in retrospect, can indeed be poetic imagery. However, in the moment, I could not think about beauty. All I could think about was the savage nature of chaos, loss, and trying to find my grandmother's ashes. When that failed, I wanted to see if I could find something, anything, that I could salvage.
Another "Gunpowder Milkshake" Review
Needless to say, there are spoilers ahead. Please do not continue reading if you have not watched "Gunpowder Milkshake." I'll proceed with some general observations - then I'll give the warning. It also helps to have some context if you've seen any of the John Wick films and "Nobody," because some small details (which would not ruin the movies) follow. After that, it's up to you to continue.
Yua spent every summer in Japan with her grandmother and her aunts. While her small handful of friends back home thought it sounded glamorous, they didn't realize that it was the humid, monsoon season. They also didn't realize that she was required to go to school while she was there.
Mariposa and the Marigold
She was eleven years old. Her name was Mariposa. She liked to think that her parents named her after a butterfly (mariposa means "butterfly"), but as it turned out, her parents saw the name on a road sign on the way to the hospital and thought it was pretty. They didn't even know what it meant after Mariposa herself looked it up.
I am not an athlete. I do not have pressure from entire countries and endorsements on my shoulders. I do not have the eyes of history boring into my back. I have no idea what it is like for people in such positions. However, what we've been seeing unfold this year, and frankly, for decades, is that at least in the United States (and I imagine this is the case in many other places), we have a mentality that forces people into uncomfortable and dangerous situations where the individual feels either too powerless, or too full of shame, to say, "No. I can't/won't do it."