I lost my apartment

It’s funny how quickly the world around one’s self can change. I went into last week dreamy eyed and relaxed, coming out of it heart broken and displaced.

As much as we want to lavish in success, the true character building moments are the moments when we are our lowest. I am trying to stand tall with the world collapsing around me. I’m scared that this downfall will take more with it. It’d be easy for me to lose focus now.

I recently fell in love. There’s really no other words to describe it. It was a full body and mind experience. He is a writer, deep thinker, philosopher, product builder, and all around brilliant conversationist. It wasn’t just about spending time with him, but I felt a highway of connection with him.

Last week he returned from some time with family for the holidays, and that day I lost my apartment. In a chaotic turn of events, I was suddenly out of what I thought was my home. But interestingly enough, the only thing I could think about was him. He stood beside me strong, and helped me carry my things to my car. He was a shoulder to lean on, a hand to hold, a voice to speak with.

The next few days I spent from my parents home in Pasadena. Which was awful really. But not because of where I was, just because I wasn’t with him. It killed me that he was finally back but I couldn’t see him every day. I didn’t care about the apartment or my sudden displacement, all I could think about was, now I don’t get to be with you.

Yet sometimes the things you think you need most, you actually have to let go of. I held myself tall.

The funny thing was, yesterday we admitted that we loved each other and that we shouldn’t see each other in nearly the same breath. How mind blowing? As awful as it felt, I also was so happy to know that he has been feeling all of the same things I’ve been deep in.

He has a fiance in China.

I am grateful for having things clear, even if I wish it were different. He has another life he built in China. He’s an expat. He’s back here in the US, but hardly. He can’t distinguish what’s real and what’s not. He doesn’t even know if I am. It would be incredibly harmful for me to step any closer to him.

It’s amazing how much breaking this connection feels like a physical injury. It’s just a sign of how deep in it I already am. We aren’t together. We’ve hardly ever expressed affection for each other. We’ve yet to even really cross romantic lines.

Yet it’s still there. There’s this unspoken place I’ve been holding for him. I love him. There’s no question about that. I want him. I want to spend all my time with him. Yet now I know I need to allow him to go, and allow myself to let go.

I didn’t really understand that he had such ties in China. He has a house, a family, pets… a fiance. He’s not safe for me to love. Yet even now, I wish I had him with me. But that’s just because part of me wishes that I could turn to someone in my own darkness, but really all the answers and comfort I need lie here within myself. I am strong. I can walk forward. I am proud to feel. I am proud to cry. I am proud to love.

I can hope for myself to be able to draw strong lines. I hope that I can see him for all that he is. I hope I can find a space where it feels safe to give him love.

I’m grateful for him. Grateful to feel such connection that my heart aches. I vow to protect and honor that side of myself.

Running in the Office

There are many directions to go. I stand with my hand shielding the sun from my eyes, squinting into the distance. I thought so seldomly of myself now before. Can I think of my future self now? I will myself to be focused, to be wise, to be kind. I hope I can make choices that will lead to a quality of thinking, a quality of work, a quality of life that I like.

I noticed that my work is often shallow. I blink here and there, tabs open, mind brazen, tasks unfinished. I find refuge in sleep. I avoid the few things I need to do, yet somehow can still articulate myself on a rush of adrenaline and appear much more together than I feel.

I will ruin things before they begin because of this mind set. I will bury my head in the sand instead of stepping up and leaning in. Now is the time to think of the future, Raleigh. Now is the time to be brave. Now is the time to be considerate, and choose to work the way you dream to.

Phones

I wonder what they’ll do to us, these pebbles that we cave our shoulders towards. They make us speak. They make us feel. They are possibly our greatest companion. A girl sits upright in a cart, following her mom’s hands as she examined leaves. “Can I have the phone back?” She asks in a voice still rich with play. But her eyes turned down and her shoulders caved when the device was returned to her. Technology must be pretty powerful to make a child’s arms go still. It’s the medicine every parent has been dreaming of.

Journal of New York

I think the traveling I’m doing from now on will be like this- with an imminent purpose. I’ve been remembering that I love words. People are powerful with their voices here. Needs are urgent, and there is no time to be distracted. Through stories we heal, we remember, we reflect.

Hey there. My names Raleigh. My dreams and ambitions lie with words, with technology, with humans, and with love. I want to think about interesting problems. I want to use my attention for good.

We arrived in a brisk New York framed with shadows bouncing off buildings.

Am I willing to care about issues that are significant? I’m listening to a lot of people from around the world speak on pressing issues, but am I really learning? Is my mind narrow and selfish or worldly and service-oriented? Will I always be driven by my limbic mind?

To Love a Daughter


I wonder what it feels like to love a daughter. One who never saw herself grow. She’ll never know how many shoes you bought her. She’ll never know how year-by-year you watched her. She’ll never know your nights of worry. What if she wanders too far? too carelessly? what if there’s a time I’m not there to catch her when she falls? You protected her, until she no longer was small enough to be held. You protected her, even as she strode away. She must remember that it is from you she was created. She must know you have loved her for more years than she remembers. Hopefully, she won’t be careless with that sacred life of hers. Golden is the light you’ve given her. Stay alive, dear one.

Lost Time

An empty journal
22 years of forgotten memories
Again, I won’t remember today.
A missed exercise,
a forgotten goal,
Grit slipping through numb fingers.
I won’t pretend I’ll be able to return.
I feel asleep most days
Like I’m in a body made of clay.
I’m a stranger to the mirror.
Was it you who chose this path?
Is there such a thing, as a choice?
And how could you have known…
You were so wrong about me.
We have too much to lose,
it’s too far to turn back,
so we carry our selves deeper.

Lost in a misty mess of never ending vines,
carrying firewood,
I colapse,
giving up.
I cry to the world begging for a path,
I’ve been lost for four hours!
I finally begin back the way I came,
Only to find the trail 20 meters away.

Skin and Dirt

Trekked barefoot through sticks and snow
My skin broke but my spirit held
Rocks of gold and silver
Now a part of me.
Light even in the mud
Steen green hillsides sprout wildflowers
At the base of white glaciers
Framed by tree tops
I once left only to go
My bag rubs red pelts into my shoulders.
Rocks merge with blood.
Butterflies land on plastic bags
Yet
Holy miracle of water
Dipping into effervescent warmth
My skin is cleansed
My head spinning
My toes soft.