Rồi những cái nhỏ nhặt sẽ không thể còn nhớ hết được nữa

Những cái nhỏ như tụi mình đã đi dạo qua những đâu và nói những chuyện gì trên đoạn đường đó.

Những cái nhỏ như tụi mình đã ăn ở những đâu và bảo sẽ cùng nhau ăn ở những đâu.

Những cái nhỏ xíu nhưng lại kết thêm một chút đẹp, một chút đặc biệt đến khó phai từng câu chữ trong câu chuyện của tụi mình.

Mình viết ra những lần đầu, và cả những câu chuyện tưởng chừng như không đủ quan trọng để để trong lòng. Mình viết ra nhưng câu chữ đặt xuống không trôi theo kịp hình ảnh ùa về và cảm xúc trào ra.

Mình luôn tự hào mình có trí nhớ tốt. Mình vẫn tự hào, nhưng mình lại đau.

Quá nhiều để nhớ.

Trân trọng quá nhiều để rồi như sống trong quá khứ vậy. Những hình ảnh lần lượt hiện ra trong đầu mình, rõ từng chút một.

Mình chẳng biết nữa. Không biết tại sao mọi thứ lại gắn liền với hình ảnh một quả cầu tuyết nhỏ. Nhưng nghĩ nếu mọi giây phút được bỏ vào quả cầu, mình sẽ được giữ chúng mãi mãi. Mình sẽ không còn sợ hãi sẽ quên đi mất những câu chuyện của tụi mình ở bên nhau.

Mình sẽ tiếp tục viết lại những lần đầu và những điều nhỏ nhặt hơn. Vì mình trân trọng những gì đã qua và trân trọng người từng cùng mình đi qua. Mọi thứ như một vòng tròn ấm áp đầy tình thương, mà cứ nghĩ đến mình đang dần bước ra khỏi nó thôi cùng đủ khiến mình đau lòng lắm.

Nhưng mà mọi thứ rồi sẽ ổn thôi. Cứ chìm trong bao nhiêu nỗi nhớ nhưng tất cả rồi sẽ ổn thôi.

Mình đã lấy hết dũng khí để có được một lần cuối kết lại câu chuyện này. Câu chuyện đã được hoàn thành. Chỉ mong hai người viết cùng trân trọng nó.

Vì nó đẹp. Và ừ như Cừu từng nói. Vì nó đã kết thúc ở đúng lúc người ta còn có thể trân trọng những gì đã qua.

Long flight tomorrow

I’m anxious again, by those tiny little things.

I’m leaving Bellingham tomorrow with a final project still hanging on my head. And I am anxious because I’m afraid of what’s lying ahead. Two weeks. Would it be fun? Would it be good? Or would it leave me fear of coming back?

I have no reason for these thoughts, but yes I am still anxious. What would be waiting for me?

My family, of course. But I think that would just be it. My family is great, but I am anxious. They might say something that makes me feel super offended. They might say something that is unsupportive. They might hurt my feelings just because I have been so far away from them. I have been half the world away.

I am sad and excited at the same time. I don’t know what it would feel like being back home again this time — when I am no longer just like me before. I am officially 18, which doesn’t matter that much, but being 18 in a different country means I have changed so much and I am still changing. Would my voice be heard on the dinner table? Would what I think and say matter? Would I be treated as a kid anymore?

I am sad, because I know part of going back, even for just a short time, is to lose a bit of my privacy and freedom. I would wake up and might see a bunch if people in my room, and that’s annoying. But that’s okay.

I would still be excited. I am anxious and I would take it because I know this is a good way to test myself. How would I behave as a child being back to her home country?

Friday night

It’s 8:50. Friday night. I’m rolling on my twin bed (which means I’m not rolling at all because a twin bed is tiny). It’s been a long time since I actually feel good in my room and can relax. It’s been a long time since I go to bed early and have enough sleep. I didn’t read or write lately, part of it is because I write so many essays for classes and for work. Another part is because I’m just tired and lazy. Today I’m definitely tired. I had 5 hours of sleep last night, and I just had a lot going on this whole day. I’m glad I finished them all. I’m glad that even though tomorrow I will again have other commitments, other things that will stop me from studying for finals and I would be anxious because of that, I still have a bit of time today to look back what I have done so far.

Everything is still a mess. Or you can say everything is still a mystery, from a different perspective.

But that is okay. I never hope my life to be filled with only good stuffs. I hope challenges will teach my to learn from the moment.

I wore a dress that has dinosaurs on it today. It was nice enough that a girl like me who feel cold almost all the time can wear a nice dress and play frisbee outside. It was nice enough for me to feel happy and energized.

I don’t actually know what’s happening to my life. I’m just really busy, and the days pass by really fast. I learn a whole lot about American history and about the Vietnam War. I learn a lot about God and history in the Bible. I learn more about myself. I learn that who I have always thought myself to be was not me at all. I am different from what I assumed myself to be.

It’s a Friday night. I do feel disappointed about things. I do at times feel empty and do not know what are the next steps. I am afraid of my choices. I am afraid that the more I unwrap myself, the more I see someone inside me who is strange and mysterious. I am not used to it at all.

I feel hopeless, too. What I need to do and what I am capable of doing have a big gap in between. I want to be those people who always have things to say, but I also don’t want to turn into a person not knowing how to listen. Many times I have to stop in the midst of craziness to remind myself to listen to others, to stop putting my thoughts above everything. Many times I forget my values. Many times I am hopeless of seeing myself not measuring up to who I have always wanted to be.

But I do love my life. I have met so many awesome people in my life who help me and love me. I have learned a lot at school, from people, and also at home. I will play piano again and maybe play frisbee more. It’s spring time. It’s fun time. I realized I couldn’t catch frisbee because the weather was cold. It’s nice today, and I did pretty well.

The sacrifice

Leaving everything behind. Or just simply put them off.

Most of my friends in America are older than me at least 1 or 2 years, not including those who are even 10 years or more older. And so for a really long time I always think that my words are not worth being listened to. For a long time I think that I have to learn from others, I have to be teachable, and I have to express in a more neutral way — not showing my stance or my perspectives — because I’m childish. Because I know nothing.

But now I guess that is not true anymore. I might be younger than many people, but that doesn’t make me in a lower position, considering my experience and my capability to learn.

The other day, I was talking to my boss about how to help people be more interested in learning and writing just like I am, especially when language is a huge barrier. I said in order to be better at English, I try to think and do many other things in English. I would talk to myself, would pray, or would dream in English. Most of my activities are not in my mother tongue, so sometimes it is really exhausting. Anyway, I was talking to my boss about that, and she said she would not agree with me, because she thought thinking in a different language from my mother tongue would limit my ideas, and that I set a boundary for myself even before I start brainstorming a paper. Yes I definitely agreed with her at that moment because she is my boss and because I am younger and inexperienced. But now that I think deeper about it, I would say in that conversation I was the only person that use and is fluent in more than one language. I was the only person that knows what it felt like to live in a country where if you don’t know the language they use, you’re screwed.

I was experienced.

Oh yeah that’s not my topic today. I would write about maturity later in my life. Not now.

It’s more about sacrificing.

How much I have sacrificed? I don’t know. A lot. Maybe. Too much. Maybe. So much that my mind and heart keep expanding their limitation for me to be able to sacrifice more. Many nights I feel scared because it becomes harder for me to speak Vietnamese in full sentences. It’s harder to find the exact words that can fully describe my thoughts. It’s harder to not repeat one words too many times just because I am stuck searching for vocabulary. I don’t like that, so I write more to keep my Vietnamese flow. My expectation for my own Vietnamese skill is just too high that these little things bother me so much. Days after days I think of how to make my brain functions well in both languages, and I get jealous because yes I would never be that good in both.

I would always have to sacrifice one to be better at the other.

Languages represents cultures.

I think my boss misunderstood about languages. She thought language ability doesn’t matter. Only the original thoughts in your native language matter. That’s a good way to phrase it, but it isn’t enough. We international students are asked to do just so much more than that…

It is just not about ideas or language skill. It is about cultures. What we think are moral in our society are reflected in our language. And because they are so different from each other, it is about how we can blend them. And being able to blend thoughts and express them well on papers require a bit sacrifice.

I say it is okay to sometimes simplify my ideas to simple words that I know in English instead of translating everything word for word. I say it is okay to sometimes have weeks of speaking a foreign language nonstop. I think it is okay to sometimes forget that I have this flow of words in Vietnamese that I cannot fully express in English.

I can never express it in English. Because the words themselves carry the cultures, and cultures are so rich that it is impossible to translate.

I have left many things behind me. I have left those days of reading continuously in Vietnamese, of keeping learning and using new vocabulary and having conversations that are more than just cursing words. (That’s one part that I am proud of myself — more than just cursing and trending words) I have even left my old personality behind, left that person who just likes being at home and surrounded by her books.

I sacrifice a part of my culture, which I think is really important and is what made me who I am. I put me out of the box because I am no longer trapped by a language. I sacrifice in order to take in something bigger — seeing a bigger world that is more than just an “American dream”. I have in me knowledge of an international person. I sacrifice my-writing-and-reading-in-Vietnamese hours, only to think more deeply about how I can write in a way that is more relatable to people from all nations.

I don’t know about you. I don’t know about my boss. I don’t care if everyone is older than me. This is what I know: that just because I am young does not mean I am inexperienced, and that language is more than just black and white — more than just you think in this one language and that is it. It is a story of adopting a whole new culture in you. It is a story of “yes, I apologize for not being that same person following the same norms anymore.”

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It’s me. Again. I haven’t been able to wrap my thoughts around words lately because I just have so many of it. But today I decided to process them a bit.

The idea of languages carrying cultures, I would tell you more about em some time. I promise.