Wednesday, March 21, 2012

another abstract analogy. ahoy, alliteration!

the feeling is kind of like the difference between going to costco as a kid versus going to costco as an adult.

ever since i was young, great family outings would revolve around trips to costco.  i'm still not sure why we had to visit the gigantour store so frequently.  but we did.  and every trip was phenomenal.    once we flashed our membership card at the mega fan-blower entrance, i had one of two options.  i could lunge deep into the giant warehouse with my mom in search of groceries, our envelop of kodak printed pictures, and hit up all the sample stations along the way - or i could hang out front with my dad to scope out new electronics and take pictures of random people with cameras that contained no memory card.  eventually we'd make our sample cart rounds but only after chilling for a bit in their leather furniture assortment.  before the days of cellphones and excess minute plans, we'd search each other out among the throngs of bobbing heads and make our way towards the registers.  some trips didn't even entail waiting in their notoriously long lines if we had just gone there for the fun of it!  ;)  everyone always left in high spirits, being completely entranced in the magic of costco. 

these days, my costco trips are much much different.  while the store still carries all the wonder and excitement of bygone days, the feeling is just not the same.  in my 8 years of living away from home, i cannot recount any time when i'd gone to costco just for the heck of it.  in fact, every trip has been missional.  for days in advance, i'd carefully craft my list of necessities, strategizing how i'm going to wedge each bulk item into my 275 square feet of living space.  upon arrival, i make a beeline towards my listed items and gather as quickly as possible in order to beat the growing lines near rush hour.  my frantic pace leads little room for samples, much less a test run in their latest recliner exhibit.  there's always a purpose for every minute i spend inside that store.. and when i leave, i leave feeling like i'd accomplished something rather than that pure joy of my childhood.

it's just not the same anymore..  even though costco will always be a place of fun and enjoyment, deep down there's this pressure of the mission and nothing i do can take the feeling away.

so many things change as you get older.

Monday, March 19, 2012

story of my life

i finally sharpened my box of colored pencils i bought over 3 years ago and took them out for a test run!  i'm a little disappointed that my coloring skills have improved very little since my first grade days.  but fortunately i have the rest of my journal to color and will hopefully progress into something more artful  :D

a couple days ago i read this blog post about journaling and one point really inspired me to consider my own journaling in a different perspective.  what would it be like for my future family to read my journals?  ever since i started my first journal freshman year in college, i've been maintaining one every year.  the contents range far and wide.  like my blog, i do much better writing things down to help sort out brain gunk.  my introvertivity relishes in these times at the end of the day when i'm unwinding a days worth of thought and introspection.  it's that weird moment when i realize i have no one to talk to at night and suddenly these words come alive and hang out with me until the scribbles fall off the pages and i fall asleep.  (yikes, i'm so strange..)

in my journal i try to untangle my thought processes - why i do things the way i do, why i feel a certain way.  i analyze my life situation and pose questions to myself and try to answer them by the end of the page.  i like to doodle and glue random things inside that would carry special significance to only me.  and i like to be meticulous about my handwriting cuz i think it makes my journals look cool.  i also like to be stomping mad or overzealously happy or pitifully sad inside each lined page.  because at the core of my pages of miniature handwriting lie my one-way conversations with god.  hopeless honesty that rarely meet the ears of any human being.

forever until now, i'd concluded that if anyone ever read through my journals, i'd have to kill him.  right away.  or i'd run away into the jungle.  but what if someone actually read my journals and i couldn't bear to break social norms and go through with murder..  what kind of person would a reader make me out to be?  while i don't write everything that goes on in this little life of mine, i generally gravitate towards the journal when i have especially high surges of emotions.  (when things are straight-line, i'm less likely to write.)  so the result is sUPEr emo-charged journaling.  despite this reflection of extreme high and lows, i guess i'd hope that someday, if my great grandchildren were reading about their greatgrandma bo, they'd somehow see how important it is to rely on god for courage and strength, for faith and patience in every facet of life.  to know that it's okay not to have everything figured out, but to seek to grow in him.  to know that god is good and real and necessary in a world that is so broken.  and finally, to see when i'm being stupid and crazies and learn from my mistakes.

with that, i no longer feel a need to kill anyone suspicious of having read my journals..  sort of.  it'd probably be better to let these books sit through a couple generations before pulling them out.  probably best after i've gone..  ;) hehe

the blog post also gives several interesting ideas for more extensive journaling that i'm curious to try out.  i'm also curious what you guys think about journaling.. or the kind of things you put inside your journals.  =]

Thursday, March 15, 2012

right now, i am...

...thankful that while people are secretly using my mildly overpriced shampoo and bodywash, god has blessed me with a job that allows me to buy more as needed.

...thirsty because 4 years of living without a kitchen has completely undomesticated me, causing me to over-salt my rainy day pot of soup =/

...wishing i could transform my studio into one of those hot compact ikea floorplans that include a real kitchen and refrigerator.

...reading the secret power of middle children: how middleborns can harness their unexpected and remarkable abilities  hehee

...grateful that while i fit into many middleborn stereotypes, my parents had done their best to treat all the kiddies equally and i do not suffer nearly as drastically as those described in the book ;)

...wondering what would be the best way to keep my schedule straight.  i've tried calendars, planners, post-it notes, writing on my hands, using my phone.. nothing works.

...figuring out how to rearrange my furniture (again) to fit my new tv.

...disappointed at bunny after unearthing a solid patch of missing rug while moving around furniture, where he'd completely eaten through it.

i love my seester!  <3

Friday, March 9, 2012

Bunny wisdom

As I sat on my couch staring at my bunny for far too long, I realized something very interesting. When Charpie is eating from his doggie bowl, he cannot see the pellets that are right below his nose! Being physiologically challenged with his eyes set on the sides of his head, he can only reach for his yum-O pellets based on touch, taste and smell. So he noses towards his bowl, sticks his snout in and noms - all without the help of his eyes. In fact, as I was studying his perculiar eating habit he was staring directly at my bizarrosity in return.

The longer I watched him, the more it made sense. With his eyes set high atop his head, he, like mad-eye Moody, is always on constant vigilance. So that if it happened to be the case where I was a panther in search of a late night snacker, little bunny would detect my agile leap from the couch in his direction and flee quickly, while swallowing the last morsel of his own dinner.

I'm sure this is probably obvious news since you've all spent much of your childhood reading up on bunnies in your 1992 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, but this was news to me. And head-scratchingly relevant too.

I've mentioned before how living with my bunny has brought to life many truths of God's love. This discovery was no different. Before I'd drawn the parallel, I remember thinking how smart God was for placing Charpie's eyeballs where he did. In most situations fluffy bunnies are no match when it comes to predatory mountain cats - yet God has the oversight to give them the trump card that can be the difference between life and death. In his creation, there is no mistake.

Recently I've been reading up several insightful sources on personality traits and why people are the way they are. I think I'm developing a greater understanding and appreciation for different characters but more so, coming to peace about my own self.

From the earliest I can remember, there's always been an internal contradiction between who I am and what I feel like I should be. I distinctly remember my IB English class senior year in high school where Ms. Castellani kept a tally of those who spoke up during open class discussions and based a significant portion of our final grade on the sum total per student. That teaching style was a guillotine to all the self esteem I had left in my small adolescent frame. Not being able to verbalize thoughts in time before some other perky kid spoke up again, I'd leave class feeling ashamed and like a failure. Surely there must be something wrong with me.  Of course then both my teacher and I were confused why I'd scored so high on my IB test at the end of the year..

But that feeling of whas wrong with me seems to follow me everywhere I go. In how I look or present myself, any social situation, any new unbroken territory I always look for an escape route and if one failed to show itself, I'd then transition into an inner state of inconsolable misery.

Through all my reading, I also read this:

God is light, in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, we have fellowship with one another; and the blood of Jesus, his son, purified us from all sin.  1 John

My darkness is in my insecurities but 1 John says that if I'm walking in the light, this darkness would not exist! Except that it very much does and maybe I'm just not understanding what all this talk of light really means or the weight of his mercies or the covering of my sins or my value in his eyes. Otherwise it'd be pretty nice if it were all true or if he'd help me make some sense out of it all.

Cue in cute bunny innocently eating pellets. At the moment when I'd taken a break from my book (The Introvert Advantage) and looked up, I think God came through once again, using fluffy bunny to make clear his word.

In his creation, there is no mistake.

Through the combination of all these things I'm taking in, I'm learning that while I have traits and ideals I consider strange, they serve a role that is singular to my life's purpose - each attribute intended for good, if I find a way to acknowledge it so.  Maybe not exactly in helping me escape from panthers but purposeful nonetheless. As much as I want to be free of this burden, I foresee this continuing to be my battlefield but its assuring to know that God never fails to present answers to my questions.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

family history

among other silly things that spout out of my mouth throughout my day at work, i mentioned to my coworker that this year marks the year that i turn one year older than the national average age of women getting married for the first time. immediately i felt a little sheepish as she reminded me that will be 4 years over this year =/ oops hehee asian people look so young..

when i got home tonight, i found i'd gotten a larger than usual envelope.. and from my cousin deborah. you see, my cousin deborah is whom i was named after. she's the youngest daughter of my dad's oldest sister. since my dad's the youngest in his family, he'd gotten to see his little niece grow up and found her to be very sweet and gentle. so much that my parents agreed to name their accidental second daughter after her (don't worry, i'm unaffected by this small fact) hoping she'd turn out something similar :D when my family lived in new york, we'd frequently travel down to the city to visit my grandparents and spend weekends with my aunt and cousin deborah. she'd been quite a bit older than me and my siblings.. mas o menos 10 years. my memory of her has always been nothing but sweet, gentle and quiet, super nice all around. she played the piano, rode an old school cruiser bike, used a typewriter, and memorized bible verses in chinese. besides school and work, she lived at home taking care of her aging father and mom.

that was about 15 years ago. since then, my uncle's passed away but life had been pretty much the same for my cousin. last year changed all that.  she'd gone from single and living at home taking care of auntie to married.  if you do the math correctly, you'll find that she's in her late 30s.  it was story woven with years of faithfulness and trust and all that is lovely and pure.  a beautiful story to say the least.  she wrote me a letter (check out the penmanship!!) and included a small keepsake from her wedding.

so why do i share?  certainly not as prophecy of my own life... or maybe.. i dunno.. i guess what i'm finding is that everyone's story is different. it's all nice and stuff to say things like be faithful and god will finally pick up his pen and start writing your long-awaited story.  but then i think that's just another way of saying that you only receive blessings if you do everything right.  which, theologically isn't all that sound.  i cannot use my rationale that reading my bible and listening to cool christian bands like gungor will ensure my good christian-ness, and thus get me what i want.  (which is the same as questioning what i'm doing wrong, to some extent)  my takeaway is just to continue living up to my namesake in trying to be more sweet and gentle rather than mae ploy chili sauce.

in other news, i'm reading a book on birth order that is completely fascinating.  beware, i may be secretly judging you based on what i know of you and comparing it against what i've read.  muhahaa  although, not surprisingly the book skimps a bit on middle children analyses so i ordered another book dedicated to my kind only :D  i feel like i'm always trying to figure out why i am the way i am.. -___-

today i am thankful for:
my box of hefty trash bags from costco.  it's been 2 years now and i'm still on the first of 2 rolls.  it's like the lucky charms pot of gold except in the form of a domestic chest o' polymers.

Friday, March 2, 2012

RIP camera screen

There's a great deal of sadness in my heart right now. I think I just wasn't cut out for photography. I just took my camera in for an estimate and the guy informed me that i'd be looking at a couple hundred dollars worth of repairs. Flaming pineapples!!

Perhaps a better hobby for me might be fingerpainting.. or digging for earthworms.  Until I learn to handle expensive objects with more care, I should try something less financially aggravating.