This is right.

13 01 2009

I wake up some days and I get that feeling that this is right.  This is how today should feel.  I am in the right place and going the right direction.  I am okay.  That life is unfolding as it should.  That all the decisions and mistakes before today bear no regrets.  Everything is fine.  Its not perfect, but that’s not the point.

Its easy to be that exuberant in the morning. Before I hit traffic, before I get to work, before I see my to do list, before I have a chance to think about where I’d rather be and who I’d rather be with. 

Today I’m going to try hard not to lose that morning exuberance.  Just because life is going to throw challenges at me hard and fast, it will not change my opinion  that overall, life is going very well.

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Waiting for patience

19 08 2008

Gasp! New Epiphany!

Sunday I made plans to hang out with my friend Adrian. It seems strange to say goodbye to Brandon one day and the next day hang out with an old boyfriend, but Adrian and I now have an incredible friendship where we love each other for who we are… nothing more, nothing less. We don’t just tolerate each other. We allow and encourage each other to be ourselves. It was a really positive way to spend the day. It reminded me that I eventually “got over” Adrian and all the other boys that came before Brandon.

Yesterday Adrian and I ate at one of our favorite restauants, R. Thomas, ran some errands, watched some YouTube, and looked up words on dictionary.com. He has gotten into the habit of looking up definitions to words he doesn’t completely know, which is a great habit for anyone to get into. Most words will teach you something new or deeper about their definition.

Lying on the couch, I asked him to look up PATIENCE. I suck at being patient, and when I’m not beating myself up about it, I’m probably beating other people up with my frustration while waiting for this, that, or the other. Turns out, patience is not about WAITING. Its about tolerating; preferably “enduring with calmness.” But I’ll stick to the basics: TOLERANCE. Trying to add calmness is an advanced level trick.

pa·tient from the American Heritage Dictionary

(pā’shənt) Pronunciation Key adj.

  1. Bearing or enduring pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance with calmness.
  2. Marked by or exhibiting calm endurance of pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance.
  3. Tolerant; understanding: an unfailingly patient leader and guide.
  4. Persevering; constant: With patient industry, she revived the failing business and made it thrive.
  5. Capable of calmly awaiting an outcome or result; not hasty or impulsive.
  6. Capable of bearing or enduring pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance: “My uncle Toby was a man patient of injuries” (Laurence Sterne).

It was a bit of an epiphany for me, realizing that I had spent my whole life trying to be better at WAITING. Now I know that TOLERANCE is a major part of realizing that inner peace I’ve been longing for. Tolerance means not being so hard on myself, on other people, or things that I feel are unsatisfactory. My tolerance can improve by loosening up and letting go. Becoming more of a “go with the flow person.” Disabling the control freak that rules my life. Remembering that I can’t control everything, and to stop being upset by that fact. Remembering that there are alot of things I can control, and to focus on those and to have fun with it.

I encourage all to look up the definition of the words that challenge your life. I think it will help you focus on how to ovecome its challenge. Let me know how it goes….





Rock bottom does not exist!

18 07 2008

Rock bottom does not exist!

February 17, 2008

Patience is a virtue….that I never got right. I am all about the instant-gratification.

My mom once said that she wanted her girls to have boyfriends because it would help us learn how to be patient, understanding, and unselfish. It made alot of sense. Aside from taking an interest in strange new hobbies, tv shows, or sports teams, the development of patience, empathy, and selflessness were the kind of lessons best taught through a boyfriend.

I know that my boyfriend tries hard to make me happy, but the unfortunate circumstances regularly get in the way.

I know that relationships have ups and downs, but sometimes I worry that I’m trying too hard to make something out of nothing.

The past few weeks of our relationship, my thresholds of patience, understanding, and self-sacrifice have expanded to levels I never thought possible. I feared my depleted stores of patience and understanding would become resentment towards him, something I felt would be unnecessary and avoidable if I jumped ship soon. Everyday from December to February 16th, I feared this “Breaking Point” would erupt with resentment.

Yesterday morning, I woke up and realized that there is no such thing as a Breaking Point. Rock bottom does not exist. The universe was not designed to break us. Everything in life is designed to push us farther than we limit ourselves to. What I perceived as a Breaking Point is only a Changing Point. I will not break. I will merely change my course. Without regard for what the world throws at me, I will decide for myself to change directions in my life. For weeks, I have been embarrassed by my confusion, “should I stay or should I leave him?” I decided I cared about him too much, and would just wait and see. I figured that my struggling patience and understanding would just give way and no longer be able to cushion my heart from the pain. I acknowledge pain to be a defense mechanism, warning our bodies away from situations that will harm or simply hold us back from our true potential. For weeks I resigned myself to wait for the moment that it would hurt too much to be with him. Waiting for a physical reaction to overcome a mental and emotional desire, like pulling my bleeding hand away from a sharp but gorgeous shard of glass.





Home for the Holidays

24 12 2007

Free at last, Free at last! Home for the holidays, finally. This is the first year since moving to Atlanta that I am taking enough vacation days to span pre-Christmas to New Years. Here is the rundown of the past 3 days.

Day 1: Awesome Productive: Liza and I sat at the dining room table with laptops almost all day. I did my budget, paid my bills, convinced ATT to give me a new wireless card for free, and opened my mail from the last 3 weeks. We gave equal attention, eating from both the candy dish and fruit bowl. We raced to see who could wrap presents the fastest. I cooked some yummy porkchops that looked so good on the plate with the peas, carrots, and corn that it could’ve been on the cover of a magazine. For dinner, I concocted a new delicious recipe of spinach and waterchestnuts. Yes, you will like it too.

Day 2: Shop till you drop: Liza and I managed to navigate Countryside Mall without having to bodycheck anyone or fight amongst ourselves, which is easier said than done 3 days before Christmas. I bought an awesome jacket for my dad, and got it embroidered with the Gators logo. I got Liza to pick out her Xmas gift, and checked off almost all the others on my list.

Day 3: Crapshoot: The morning went okay. We went to church at St. Judes. This is the church we attended every Sunday from the time I was a baby to 4th grade. They always gave me the award for being the smartest kid in my Sunday School class. Big woohoo, I know. I brought my camera, remembering how beautifully decked out the church was the last time I was there. Sorely disappointed. There were alot of trees, but they were all bare. On top of that, the candles you can light as a prayer offering are like $2.50. I was going to give Leah 2 quarters so she could light two candles. Sorely mistaken. So maybe I’m more out of touch with the Catholic Church than I previously thought.

I dislike formal prayers that everyone recites. I think God is pretty sick of hearing the same stuff over and over again. So I just talk to God in whatever way is natural for my mood. When I’m angry, I curse. When I’m desparate, I cry and ask alot of “Why???.” When I’m chill, my street talk is impeccable, unlike in reality where I can’t “holla” at all. I don’t know why, but it is. Take this morning as a prime example. After service, my mom likes to visit the statues of the Virgin Mary and St. Jude and whatever statue is available to pray in front of. While I respect the way she chooses to communicate with God, I like to go straight to the top and skip this bureaucracy of saints. But since I was already in front of St. Jude’s statue, whom both my Mom and sisters pray to alot, I told him in the quiet of my mind, “Yo, thanks for taking care of my peeps. No disrespect, but I prefer to go straight to the Big Dog.” Yeah. I know you think I”m going to hell for that, but I don’t believe in hell anymore.

I’m a little more gentle in front of the Virgin Mary altar. Mostly because I’m wowed by the beauty of the statue. While I’m still undecided about her virginity, I continue to think of her as a terrific role model. She’s alot of things that I’m not. She’s patient, unselfish, and trusts in God’s unknown surprises. I admire that kind of fearlessness. If I had 1% of her patience, I’d be 200% improved.

This afternoon was a clear illustration of how lacking I am in the patience and unknown surprises category. The only thing I hate more than situations being beyond my control, is an ineffiicient situation. Today, the car I was using was disabled and unavailable. Not only did I feel like a 10 year old trapped in the house, I was overwhelmingly irritated by not being able to accomplish the many errands on my list. You know how freakishly goal oriented I am. After taking an afternoon nap, watching a dvd, wrapping presents, I was completely bored out of my mind.

I know I sound like a super brat for complaining about how much my vacation day sucks, but I always have really high expectations. Particularly for this holiday. Having to take 3 unpaid days of work is hanging over my head like buyer’s remorse. My vacation anxiety stems from spending last weekend with the family for Leah’s graduation.  While things went smoothly, it was one of those vacations that you needed to recover from.  I have high hopes to recover and be totally refreshed before January.  Last weekend was probably the most draining weekend I’ve had to endure since design school finals. Last weekend, the spirits were high amongst the family, but energy levels were low. Consistently late nights and early mornings made everything seem exhausting. It was a miracle that nobody got on each other’s nerves. Although it seems that everyone put soooo much effort into preventing conflicts last weekend, that there’s barely any left for the holidays. Or maybe its just me.

I just didn’t have any patience left to deal with today. Today just felt like a waste of 8 hours. I don’t have 8 hours to waste. We could have finished all our holiday shopping early and just chilled and visited friends on Xmas eve. I could’ve cleaned my entire apartment in Atlanta, so I didn’t have to come home to a wasteland to start the New Year. To me, it doesnt’ matter how lame the activity, as long as its either productive, or I really want to do it…otherwise, it feels like a waste of time. Lazy, half-ass time. I tried to explain this to my Mom, who didn’t get it at all, and started blaming my “abnomal” condition on herself. I hate when she does that. So I practically had to yell at her that I know its not normal, and that its not her fault. Its my fault. I’m used to being busy every minute of the day. Going, going, going. My irritibility is also my fault. After living solo, it takes time for me to get used to living in a house full of family. People asking you things repeatedly, at every moment. Arrggh! Its hard for me to get used to not completing my goals, no matter how basic they are, it irritates me. If that makes me a bad person, oh well. If complaining about wasting 8 hours of my vacation day is the worst problem in my life right now, I’m okay with that. Because, yeah, it could be worse. If being accustomed to success in every goal I set before myself is a problem, then I don’t care if I’m a bad person. Yeah, so I don’t know how to make myself relax on vacation, other than to get all my shit together beforehand, so I don’t have anything else to think or do. So what if that’s not normal. There’s not much more I can do about it other than be a pill-popper. No thanks.





Day One

30 07 2007

Yay! I am finally starting a blog today, after years of dismissing it as a fad, and even more years of sitting on my list of things to do.

I hope that my joining does not catapult this blogging phenomenon into the has-been pile. But hey, facebook is still around, and i actually have friends there, eventhough it took me almost 3 years to sign up. Better late than never, eh?

If you don’t already know, I’m a hopeless neurotic. I’m always creating blog entries in my head. Just today, I had so many experiences to share with people. Being a fan of lists, here is the first of many…

1. Laughing out loud reading Annie Choi’s memoir/comedy Happy Birthday or Whatever: track suits, kim chee, and other family disasters. This will be the first book I’ve read since last year, so its a big deal for me to finish it. I actually stayed in on a Saturday night to read, and even kicked a man out of my apartment, (who i once was excited about) just to get back to the book.

2. Eating All I could eat at Golden Corral: Where else can you get shrimp, steak, yams, corn bread stuffing, rice krispy treat, and those amazing honey yeast biscuits? That was my first heaping plateful. For dessert, I had a brownie, bread pudding, chocolate soft serve cone, and another piece of steak. It was yummy, although not my best performance.

3. Viet’s lawn is out of control. I fear he will be getting another sharp letter from the homeowner’s association. Thank goodness they can’t see his backyard. Some of the grass is past my waist height. I suggested he incorporate it into his Big Brother/Little Brother bi-monthly quality time. Maintaining the lawn is a very masculine activity. A rite of passage, even. I figure if he lets the kid use one of Viet’s many samurai swords, that lawn will be cut in no time. Viet suggested a different approach: putting 22’s on his lawn mower, maybe even with spinners.

4. The new church i go to is always a new experience, having grown up in the Roman Catholic tradition and now enjoying the non-judgemental, expressive, emotionally charged, crying, singing, dancing, and most of all, loving community at Hillside Chapel of Truth. No, its not a cult. Come with me and see for yourself.
During the service, a man my age started crying tears of joy and healing. As he hugged the closest body he could find, he kept repeating, “Thank you….Thank you God for loving me.” His tears brought me to tears and made me realize that while I had said thank you to God fifty times today in meditation, I was thanking him for my blessings: my good fortune at work, having no worries this past week. But I overlooked the most basic blessing that makes all things possible. God loves me. Unconditionally. Even when I screw up. Even when I forget to think about God, God is thinking of me. Even when I’m changing my outfit 3 times, making me late for church, God still loves me. He loves everyone. Somehow that basic principle had been lost in me for almost the last 20 years. Having been printed on everything from t-shirts to stickers to slap bracelets, it had lost its meaning in my youth, only to be smothered by rules and duties and rituals that would somehow make God happy, and not mad, and not send me to hell. I don’t even think hell exists anymore, but that’s a whole nother story.