ups and downs


My thesis film at the School of Visual Arts!

I want to thank my amazing parents and family, Mario Menjivar, my anifam, Mark Minnig and Gabriel Ilijeska!

Done on TVPaint with a billion bunch of hours.



My unofficial opinion as an attendee at Dashcon:

  • Some of the panels were great, and some were kind of shitty, which is normal.
  • The attendees are a varied group, but everyone I’ve interacted with has been a normal human, with normal human positives and negatives.
  • Most of the staff seem very nice, enthusiastic, and helpful based on personal interactions.
  • It seems like the problems are coming from the upper levels of con organization, but it doesn’t appear malicious. It seems like they are inexperienced and bit off way more than they could chew for their first con, resulting in a lot of trouble that was mishandled and badly explained to attendees.
  • The hotel thing is still unclear, detail-wise.
  • Night Vale and Dashcon gave two completely conflicting stories. Having had more experience (through social media and live events) with Night Vale, though, I feel that they are being genuine and have legitimate reason behind their actions. I also feel that they wouldn’t have left fans hanging without a good reason. They seem to genuinely regret having to make that call, and they have been professional, apologetic to the fans, and communicative through the entire day. I respect the way they handled it. WTNV is rad as hell, regardless.
  • The compensation to people who paid for reserved seating at the Night Vale events is pretty much a joke, yes, and the ball pit is well on its way to meme status.
  • There have been good panels, good interactions, great artists, and rockin’ cosplays, though.
  • Cara McGee is here, and she’s super-sweet.
  • Most of the con staff is not at fault, and they are clearly trying their best. The staffers have kept order and reacted to the situations to the best of their abilities.
  • The attendees, to their credit, are all trying to make the best of a bad situation, and we’ve been managing to have fun despite it all.
  • Most of us are here with the shittiest wifi imaginable, so our information from outside sources has been difficult to reach.
  • It’s been a weekend of high emotion.
  • I dunno. It was an experience.

I no doubt believe that a spiral is a good way to explain cycles in life. I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs but what I am not a fan of is riding these spirals up and down at the same time. The times that you feel so distraught and at the same time can laugh then be angry because of it all. Then you feel that you have finally lost it, that you’ve finally cracked your reality and gone mad.

On what I’d lost and what I gained

If it weren’t already obvious (by my copious other posts on the subject), it’s been a tough and gratifying month being home. I’ve learned to cook so many desi foods (thank you nani ji and mama!) and reconnected with family members I hadn’t seen since January. I’ve seen my nieces and nephews all grown up, so different from when I saw them last. I’ve gotten a minimum of nine hours of sleep every night, something I never even dreamed I’d ever get post-undergrad. I have a beautiful roof over my head, food in my belly and the protective cocoon of family around me. 

But.. still, it’s been difficult. I’ve been struggling with feelings of incompetency, lack of motivation and have felt like all the freedom I ever gained kinda sorta went down the toilet. And no matter how much my family has their hearts in the right place, they wouldn’t understand me specifically in this regard. My mom is the only one who mostly understands, but even she has her moments where she forgets. Don’t get me wrong, I knew moving back home meant I wouldn’t be able to be out at 2 in the morning hanging out with friends and have zero questions asked (what my parents don’t know wouldn’t hurt them). But I miss the independence of living on my own. The woman I was flowering into had slightly withered.. and it’s no one’s fault but my own. This atmosphere, the valley… it suffocated me. The people here are so different from the bay area. I’d forgotten how different. I miss the openness and acceptance in the bay. But, that being said, I do love my valley.. it just makes me sad. I left my heart there. And because of that, my life for the past month has literally been: eat, sleep, gym, repeat. Nothing else, at least nothing important. 

I let negativity consume me. I started victimizing myself: “if only I’d had an older sibling who could guide me, I wouldn’t be in this mess right now” That negativity has hung thick on me like a cloak for the last few weeks. 

There were so many things I could’ve accomplished by now that I haven’t, but it’s okay. Rather than wallow in misery at defeat, I can choose instead to use it as a lesson and move forward. I’m so so ready to email those professors for recommendation letters for grad school. I’m so ready to fill out applications. And I’m itching to get a job and keep myself occupied. Life is full of ups and downs - we can’t spend it beating ourselves up over the little things. This brown mentality of getting things done young is so toxic - if you don’t have a career in your 20s, you’re done for. NO. You take all the time you need to figure out your life as long as it isn’t hurting anyone. Hopefully I’m still on track to apply/get into schools for the 2015-16 application cycle to start in Fall 2016. 

I don’t usually open up about my personal life on social media, but I will say this. My ex is an A1 fuckboy who comes around every six months to see if I’ll start talking to him again, but you know what? Being with him way back when at the very least got me thinking about what I seriously want to do in life, what my priorities are and how I plan on balancing my family-oriented self with my career/goal-oriented self. So thank you, asshole (LOL). That situation motivated my career goals, now I have to motivate myself to execute it all. From this time last year to now, so many negative situations surrounded me and I learned to let that toxicity go. 

Even writing this out is cathartic (I should journal more often). I’m in a good place now. I’m so happy, I could cry. :’)