long reads

You’re angry. I get it. But I want you to know that I never wanted this. What we had was like glass; fragile and precious. But when it broke, I decided to throw it away because like glass, trying to pick up the pieces would only leave wounds and scars.

So I am sorry if I choose to save myself so much pain and time rather than trying to fix something that cannot be fixed.

But remember that I loved you. So stop looking at me like I wanted this to end because I didn’t. I loved you, but it just didn’t work.

—  everythingvoid / reasons

Before you meet him, you’ll lay in bed and sing along to your favorite songs, thinking about nothing significant. It will be pure.

When you start talking to him, you lay in bed, reading your conversation over & over again, memorizing & imagining how his voice would sound in person. It will be longing.

During the good days, you’ll lay there with him, listening to your hearts fall in sync. He will play with your hair, and you’ll bite his neck. It will be beautiful.

In the end, you’ll find yourself rereading the messages you so long ago already memorized, and it will feel like your heart can never fall into another rhythm. Your hair is in a pony tail. You aren’t playing music anymore. Your lips will be cracked and you’ll miss him. You will be broken. And hurt. It will be hell.

But one day, you’ll pick up the pieces. Your heart will beat again. You will be alive. You’ll turn your music up and wonder why you turned it off. It will be pure once again.

—  Everything’s a cycle
Oh, Memory

“Don’t forget me,”
I choke out
As you crush my lungs
With your weight.
I bite into your shoulder and hope
That I will last longer in your memory
Than the imprint of my teeth will last in your skin.
I will keep you private
As I share you with the world
In the form of simple words
That fail to capture your complexities.
I will keep you mine
As I give parts of you away.
Writing you out
In bits of juvenile poetry
Will keep you in my mind
And I can only hope
That you will endeavor
To keep me in yours.

3 years of All Things Linguistic

It’s my third blogiversary! Let’s celebrate by looking back at some of my favourite posts:  


Linguist Humour


Language activism

Linguistics and pop culture

Internet Language

Gender pronouns

Things about languages

Linguistics videos



Haven’t been with me this whole time? It’s okay – you can see the highlights of year one and year two right here

Every time I think of you I feel as though there is a knife through my stomach. I think of you when I’m food shopping, of that time we took twenty minutes deciding what ice cream to buy. I think of you when I see flowers, of that time you told me you’d buy me a bunch of my favourites when I went to see the doctor. I think of you when I watch Netflix, those countless hours we spent together when we would compromise over what movie we would ‘watch’ while we just talked. I think of you when I’m in school, those days we would secretly text each other during class. I think of you when I look at a bottle of whiskey, because that night you left I drank so much of it until I forgot my own name. I think of you when I’m in work, surrounded by pills because when I was clutching pills in my hand I rang you but you didn’t pick up, since you were out with her. You are everywhere I go, you are in everything I do. Your face burns in my head and no matter what I do I can’t get rid of it. Sometimes I blame you, because it was your fault for caring about other people more than you cared about me. Other times I blame myself, because I asked you to go. But you shattered my fucking heart, you know that? You just really fucking hurt me, and as much as I miss you I don’t think I can ruin myself so much as to let you back into my life.
—  what the fuck am i doing

To lose someone you love
Is to alter your life forever..

The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes..

This hole in your heart is the shape of the one you lost -
No one else can fix it.

—  JW
as i sat beside you
and traced the veins along your arms like road maps with detours to places i have yet to be.
i realized that you are no longer home,
you’ve burned yourself to the ground
and i watched as the roof shingles fell to the ground like your face in your hands when things got hard to deal with.
how many times did i have to rebuild you before constructions signs were as permanent as the tattoos on my fathers arms
i looked into your eyes and saw the foundation i’ve built myself upon has grown shaky and thin.
i wondered why you let me slip but it seems as if the foundation you’ve built had termites and water damage and yet you still built on things that you couldn’t hold.
when you wrapped your hands around my waist to give my soul the love you couldn’t feed yourself
i felt your nails dig in my hips
but my love what are you digging for?
i forgave harsh words wrapped around a tongue meant for love
tongues have no bones but can still break a heart
after all i understand where all this anger came from.
i’d be angry too with floorboards in my back and doornails between my teeth.
i forgave you for your crooked smile that gave away your intentions before your mouth could even open.
i tried so hard to rebuild a home with a shaky foundations, whose owner never opened the windows to take a breath of fresh air, only his recycled thoughts and disbeliefs.
but why on earth would you tear me down
when all i tried to do was fix this home.
i broke walls for you to build news ones, opened windows to let in new light but your hands were shutters wrapped around my neck and you couldn’t stand sunshine.
and when you realized this home was too much maintenance,
you slept with the neighbor and called me from a payphone to tell me that this was too much work and that loving me was a mistake
but i forgave you,
and now this homes abandoned and the previous owners left the lights on.
—  i think you changed the locks on your doors.

You want to be beautiful. Not famous, not well known, but just simply beautiful. You want people to say to themselves how perfect you look when you are unaware of your surroundings, staring off into space or making a beat with the aimless tap of your foot. You want to explain love at first sight with your eyes and the way you let your hair worry about itself. You want to explain it in a way that would make someone secretly write poems about your mysterious beauty. You don’t want attention, but you would like it if no one hesitated to compliment your appearance. You don’t want to second guess the opportunity yourself, either. You want the qualities that love novelists write down in their books about the typical girl with the rosy lips and the butterfly nose and soft, red cheeks and as almost every novel puts it, the girl who has plenty of people dying to solve her mystery. You want to be beautiful from the tips of your toes to the top of your hair, from the stretch marks on your thighs to the circumference of your hips, from the pools in your eyes to the size of your nose. You want to be beautiful and sometimes, you wish others could see beauty in you, too.

You want to be a performer, whether it’s singing, rapping, dancing, acting, whatever. You want to perform. You dream of stadiums full of people hungry to witness the purity of your talent, reminding you through their applause that you contain a beautiful rarity. You want to inspire the whole room with that perfect note emitting from your heart, that strenuous move you perfected all with the practice of your feet, or that line you say so dramatically that was sure to make the whole stadium erupt in laughter. You want others to come see you, not to grade or to critique, but to take one good look at your passion to perform and not only feel at home, but to be inspired to chase after their passion, too.

You want to be an artist. You want the art of clay, or paint, or even crayons to speak to the most curious of souls. You want to put your tangled emotions into the most powerful form of art that unintentionally makes the piece so perfect. You want people to understand you, so when you create art with anger, or with sadness, or with happiness, or with love, all in a single piece, they will start to understand. When there are no words to describe how you feel, you know there is art and even if no one can grasp the emotions you are trying to portray, your heart reacts whenever you see your creation. Your heart knows that it was painted out onto paper or molded into a beautiful vase and your mind knows that its thoughts were exposed to your silent, yet noisy creativity. You want to make art to feel again, to remember why you started to make it in the first place, and maybe, just maybe, someone out there can feel what you felt, too, just by the glance of your creation.

You want to be a photographer, one who lives through pictures. You want the world to pose in front of you naturally because it knows that your skill will make the view all the more breathtaking. You want the liveliness of the crystal blue waves to crash into the sturdiness of the rocks at the first beach you come across to represent freedom through the lens of your camera. You want the perfect angle of the inside of a coffee shop that is hushed with silent conversations amongst every stranger of the city to represent the nature of silent serenities. You want the skyscrapers and the bridges and the taxis and the strangers to absentmindedly pose for you to represent the life that the city so easily brings. You want to photograph it all so the memory will always be stained on your mind because through the years life will give us, you want to at least capture the sweetest ones all with the help of a camera.

You want to be a musician. You want to be the person with an instrument never leaving their hands. In everything, you will find a beat to drum to or a chord to strum or a tune to clap to. You want to witness life being played out in a melody so you can perfect it with your instrumental harmony. Whether it’s in a garage or in front of millions, you want to be partners with your favorite sound and let the beauty of the grand staff overrule the bad notes stringing throughout the course of life. You want to be surrounded by musical influences who understand the same taste of perfection as you do, combining ideas after the realization that ears need to hear the richness that comes from your instrument. You want to play music for the rest of your life for anyone who is willing to listen.

You want to be a doctor. From people to animals, from assisting the physically sick to the mentally sick, no matter what it is, you just want to be at their service. You want to be the person people call when there’s an emergency because they are aware of your skill of perfectly meeting their necessary needs. You not only want to be a doctor, but a friend to all of your patients. You want to create an amiable atmosphere with whoever is lucky enough to be under the trustworthy guidance you provide with your treatments. You want to do more than just provide medication, but to drown them in your love - from animals to humans and from check-ups to surgeries. You want to be a doctor to heal the sick, but to also show them the definition of a big heart.

You want to be a cook, spending the rest of your life in a kitchen. You want to share the ingredients that would cause the world’s taste buds to dance in satisfaction. You know that the delicious dish stemmed from your own creation could demolish the previous definition of a good meal and open the eyes of many to what food should really taste like. You want pinches of this and a heaping of that to be the best dish in the whole history of cooking, being recreated in every small town kitchen to every five star restaurant because your kind heart is always up for recommending your own creative and palatable recipes.

You want to be a writer. You want the world to know what it’s like to feel so many things at once by picking up pen and paper and describing what your heart is feeling. Whether it’s fiction or inspired by real events, you want readers to feel that same feeling of joy or that same feeling of pain all by the help of a poetic creation. You don’t necessarily want to write beautifully, but you want to write powerfully and authentically to trigger old emotions and memories and to even unintentionally tell someone else’s story perfectly. You want to make connections with writing, finding out more about yourself as each paragraph ends and connecting with readers who you learn have the same feelings as you do. You want to explain your heart through writing that may not be the prettiest, but powerful enough to perfectly describe the complexity in what joy or pain can do to you.

The list of aspirations are limitless. I could go on forever pointing my finger and naming the life you wake up everyday to live for. From beautiful, to performers, to artists, to photographers, to musicians, to doctors, to cooks, to writers, to anything, there is a hunger to be what you have been wishing for so long to be. Well, in the way I see it, you don’t have to wish any longer.

You say you want to be beautiful. That was achieved the moment you were birthed into this world and even now with your existence so hellacious, you still hold that title. If only you could see yourself, darling, randomly thinking about a humorous moment and trying to stifle your wide smile due to the memory. If only you could see the way your eyes reflect the emotions you are feeling on the inside when you allow the world around you to fade. Even on Monday mornings and you dress in whatever you find first, whatever that may mean, believe it or not, that’s beautiful, too. You have to tell yourself that, darling. The best compliments are the ones that come from yourself. Stop wanting or “aspiring” to be beautiful. You already are.

You say you want to be a performer. That was achieved the moment you first got on stage, even if that stage was in your very own living room. Becoming excited about performing in front of others, even if it’s just a few people, just shows that you already have the heart of a performer, which makes you exactly that - a performer. When you devote yourself to never missing a rehearsal, practicing not to be perfect, but to simply enjoy the feeling of doing what you daydream about doing, makes you a performer. Having devotion and knowing that your passion will never die out, proving this by singing softly to yourself and constantly writing new songs, always in a dance studio learning more about what your feet can do, and having your script on you wherever you go, says that you are a performer. Stop wanting or “aspiring” to be a performer. You already are.

You say you want to be an artist. That was achieved when you colored your first picture. That was achieved when you felt a feeling no words could ever say and you said it all through a picture or through pottery. Looking at the backs of important papers and seeing the little doodles you drew from whatever you must’ve been feeling just shows that you are an artist. Stop wanting or “aspiring” to be an artist. You already are.

You say you want to be a photographer. That was achieved when you took your first picture. When you beg your friends to model for you because you see that they’re in a perfect setting or when you stop the table from eating so you can snap a pic of the food or when you hold up the whole group just to capture a moment you know you’ll miss seconds later, just know that you’re a photographer. With your skill of turning an ordinary photo into something meaningful, into something powerful, and your excitement to capture even the smallest of moments, it’s no longer an aspiration. Stop wanting or “aspiring” to be a photographer. You already are.

You say you want to be a musician. That was achieved when you devoted yourself to learning your first song on an instrument. It is not an easy thing to learn how to play an instrument, but it’s passion that makes the learning enjoyable. Your passion to play guitar or to make noise with drums or to be the backbone of music by playing the piano makes you a musician. When you absentmindedly tap the corner of your desk, making a small beat, or mentally add your own chords in while listening to music, shows that you are a musician. Stop wanting or “aspiring” to be one. You already are.

You say you want to be a doctor. That was achieved when you got your first play stethoscope as a kid. The way you were always enthralled with the doctors who eased the way through the check-up procedure and gave you candy when it was all over slowly made you develop a passion for this career. The way you are always studying different medicines for each emergency and the way you have a passion for healing the animals highlights your title. Stop wanting or “aspiring” to be a doctor. You already are.

You say you want to be a cook. That was achieved when you made your first dish. Whether you made something as small as chocolate chip cookies or brownies or even Rice Krispy treats, you became a cook. It’s the way you can no longer taste food without immediately recognizing the spices and seasonings used and knowing if there is too much of something or too little of something. It’s the way you easily know your way around every kitchen, even kitchens that are foreign to you, and the way you know which tool is used for the appropriate measurements. When your eyes light up when someone requests for you to bake them anything from your own imagination is the perfect evidence to show that you are a cook. Stop wanting or “aspiring” to be one. You already are.

You say you want to be a writer. That was achieved when you wrote your first roses are red and violets are blue poem in kindergarten. When you always take time out of your day to just write letters to yourself, documenting your growth and your feelings into a notebook, highlights the writer inside of you. It’s the way you cry in the middle of sentences because your feelings are so affective in the words you’ve just written. Taking every opportunity to put the world on pause and write down the feelings that are swarming in the moment and then pressing play to the next day and writing something completely different is evidence that you are a writer. After every sentence written and after every journal you buy to continue to pour out your feelings, you grow. You can’t possibly want or “aspire” to be a writer after this. You already are.

How can you aspire to be yourself? You can’t. Don’t let the lack of recognition fool you into thinking that you aren’t already who you want to be. It’s time to change, “I want to be,” into, “I am.” It’s time to change, “I dream of being,” into, “I’m living my dream.”

You are inspiring as you do what you’ve always dreamed of doing, so instead of saying, “I aspire,” say, “I inspire.”

—  you are already who you want to be