A Quiet Elephant

23 year old immigrant writing about his thoughts and experiences as he becomes a man.

S1.E3: Catchup and Cries (Ketchup and Fries)

First off, 100 views in total! Literally nothing, yet also super cool. I wonder if it's a robot, a fluke, or legitimately more than 3 people viewed it over 33.333 times. Maybe a combination of the three options.

It's July 27th, so that's about 17 days since the last post. At the time I was dealing with some intense sinus issues, and that did indeed last a full week. Things got more stressful, more intense, testier, ending with a volcanic eruption from my dad at me, that left me crying quietly when no one could see for a few hours. I do suppose I should expound upon that (healthy, point of this blog, venting blah blah blah).

I want something to be understood about my dad, and brown dads in general: They are amazing men. Truly! In so many ways. My dad came to this country when he was 23 years old, as a newlywed but alone, to set up shop on the other side of the world to provide a better life for my family. Me at 23, I still find it hard to comprehend doing that. For a long time, I looked up to my father through a lens of fear, admiration, and pride honestly. He was the only person I ever thought of as a role model when I was young. I wanted to be just like him for a long time. I learned a lot from my dad, and I still do every day.

As I got older, I started realizing there are better ways to interact with people. More transparency, more explanation, more thoughtfulness, just being better. I do a lot to improve myself every day. I try and be thoughtful about creating better habits, thinking about how I eat, thinking about how to use my time, thinking about how I act and how it affects others. Sometimes I get caught up in things and slip, sometimes I get frustrated. But I try and be a better person for myself and the people around me not because I want to seem good, but because I want to be good. I also try and take accountability for who I am and where I've failed.

My visa is inherently tied to my dad, so we have to work together and since I'm currently also living at home, it's a lot of time together and tension. That week of me being sick put a real hamper on the usual “more focus on work” lifestyle, and I was a bit too reactive maybe? I didn't get to say much during the argument. I just sat there for about 20 minutes and watched him berate the man I had been turning into. It hurt a lot, but these blowups usually happen once a year. I always go through the same cycle. Back off, stay a little tenser with him, slowly ease up, slowly relax, eventually make a mistake. I've had situations like these happen since I was 15. The difference is that now, I know that I am making good choices and becoming a good man. Yet I can't leave, I'm still tied to all of everything with no choice unless I choose to break the law. The ability to choose your future is still one of the greatest abilities I could ever think of, and I know I will be able to eventually. What's difficult is holding on emotionally while going through that.

I want it to be known, I'm learning every single time this happens. I'm tightening up a little longer, I'm missing less, I get physically stronger and mentally stronger. More organized, more focused, more intelligent, more thoughtful. With each word I take I cry less each time. Saving a little more money each day. One day I'll never have to worry about it again. As I said to one of my friends: “it's a waiting game and all I have to do is keep pace and wait out the clock. Each day I see more and more openings for a permanent solution to this lifestyle”. I'm learning how I don't want to raise my kids too.

I just also need to remember not to let the world turn me cruel as I struggle forward. Some days are hard! They really really really are. I can keep going though. The ticking noise the clock makes is just reminding me I'm getting closer every day. Time's on my side.

Signed,

The Author

S1.E2: Emotional Control and Sinuses

I'm back! Wow, a little surprised. Wasn't expecting to use this more than once, bad habits of unfinished concepts tend to litter my brain like an overfilled wastepaper basket or a bunch of empty water bottles. Today the topic of thought and discussion is emotional control. And Sinuses.

I got sick this weekend, for the first time probably all year. Fun fact, I tend to only get sick about twice a year, however, when I do, it's usually horrific. I've been traveling quite a bit for both works and just for pleasure, and I've probably stayed in 4 different states and I think maybe 7 cities all in the last month. On top of that, I really don't sleep much (working on that I promise) averaging about a horrible 4 hours and 37 minutes this month! Believe it or not, that's a pretty good average for me. As much as I could continue to talk about how much I do on such little energy, I should get to the point that I need to hit: how much control I have to consistently have over my emotions, and how it's messing with my mental health.

An average day for me consists of interaction with coworkers I manage, my boss, my family, my friends, and my girlfriend. In reality, the main stress points for me would be my family, my boss, and my coworkers. These last few weeks have been specifically difficult because I moved back home to save money until September and visas. It's been a lot of interaction... a little too much. I share my room with my brother, so there's no real “my space” per se. Which again, is okay but its hard to manage how I feel when I have nowhere to truly relax.

I won't get too into family dynamics or expectations, but I do a lot of what most 1st siblings do: family management. That means parent on parent resolution, parent to sibling resolution, sibling to sibling resolution, there's not much left for me to work on me. In a sense, I act as a glue to resolve and solve issues. I could use some TLC as much as another kid, I spent most of my teenage years doing this and it does leave a mental weight associated with being around my family. I feel like it poisons my feelings to them sometimes. You ever love and hate at the same time, and then hate the way it all makes you feel? I'm just trying to hold on until I finish my degree and swap my visa so I can move; it hasn't been easy though. When I'm forced to slow down and stop moving (because of this well-timed sinus disruption) I had time to let the feelings catch up to my head as well.

The moral of the story can be boiled down to this: I'm tired (mentally, physically, and emotionally) and running out of patience. I was considering going back to nicotine but I want to keep struggling through without substances. I just have to hold out a little longer! Better to have tried and failed than not tried right? We'll see I suppose. At least I can write about it too. I wish I could've structured this post a little better but I'm glad I still got to use it as an emotional outlet.

Times on my side, I can get through this in the end for sure. I wonder if I'll make it through the middle though. Kind of like that Mac line.

“I'd put some money on forever, but I don't like to gamble on the weather” – Mac Miller

Best,

The Author

S1.E1: Pilot

I am unsure of how to start this blog, as I have never written one before. I have tried to keep diaries before both in high school and college, and I feel as though I am a good writer in some sense; I just always lacked the discipline to continue writing for more than a few days. This blog, “A Quiet Elephant”, seems as though it will be another try, hopefully, a more successful long-term one at that.

I should start with some introductions or at least background on who I am and why I'm writing. The who part would have to be somewhat anonymous, as I hesitate to be fully vulnerable with legal information on the internet specifically tied to how I feel.

There are some things you should know (if anyone does read this): such as being a 23-year-old male (going by he/him pronouns), being a person of color, being a non-immigrant to the United States here on a visa, and being about 6' foot and a mix of average and good looking. I wear glasses or contacts, I like to dress casually some days and well other days, and I work a full-time internship (technically as I wait for my SSN), and I am an avid reader of self-help articles and ways to improve myself. I love music, I love movies (although I rarely watch them anymore), and I play golf. I have an amazing girlfriend, and I have a great family and some great friends. All in all, I am pretty happy with both the quality of my life and the position I reside in at 23.

Now, forward on to the “why am I doing this” part. This comes down to two reasons: The first is that I would like to share some of my experiences and thoughts out loud even if no one sees them (I do have some wild experiences at just 23), and the second is a bit more therapeutic.

After an honest conversation with myself, others, and some deeper introspection, it seems that I can't fully process my emotions (surprise surprise, another non-immigrant that can't process their emotions). I have made serious headway in being able to talk about the events that happen, but unfortunately, the best I can do is “this made me upset and it's okay to be upset”. Which isn't bad! It just doesn't really verbalize or communicate what I actually feel in the moment. A big part of it lies within the vulnerability of expressing my emotions or talking about things that I feel sad or upset about without either burdening others or feeling weak. An online blog allows me to be vulnerable and speak freely without fear of judgment from those that know me, while also providing an outlet within the typing itself.

I would like to improve on this aspect of myself so I can be gentler on both myself and others.

I do hope I keep with this blog. Maybe this would be my first and last post forever, or maybe it'll be the start of something constant for years. Maybe I'll have hundreds see my writing, or maybe no one will. I hope in some ways it will help.

Oh also, the name of the blog is “A Quiet Elephant” for 2 reasons.

The first is because my legal first name means characteristics of an elephant in my native tongue.

The second is just because, elephants. Have you ever been in the presence of an elephant?

Amazing.

Best,

The Author

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