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Watercolor flowers

A post shared by Yukie Sano (@yukiedoodles) on

I have come to the decision to get better at things I really used to enjoy. Or things I know I can get better at and not get overly frustrated about because I know they’re just hobbies.

Hobbies are fun. I sort of have a lot of them because I just like having a million things to do.

Art was a hobby that I sort of neglected for a while. I didn’t really want to do it because it’s an easy thing to get critical over. Nail painting? There’s a cetain limit to how critical you can be over it – did you paint your nails in the lines? Did you flood the cuticle? Does it look cool? That’s really sort of it, for somebody like me who doesn’t see it as a career. I’m not trying to make beauty products my life forever, in a professional way. It’s a hobby for me and I’ll keep doing it as long as I like it, and I think it’ll be for a good long while because I haven’t committed it to an eternal or livelihood place.

Anyways, art was something I loved doing but at the same time really dreaded for a while. I know it’s because my dad was like a big wig art person and for him and my mom, saying “good job” did more harm than good, in their eyes. They know art and skill so if anything, saying “good job” when something wasn’t a good job was just a harmful lie. Since it was everything my dad ever did, I simply couldn’t just enjoy art, I had to hone a skill that, yes, came fairly easily to me, but at the same time didn’t know how to actually improve upon because I was so against being criticized for something I simply wanted to be a hobby.

One summer my parents I guess decided that my dad would just… teach me art at home. I think I was like 11? I was also swimming everyday, and taking piano and going to Japanese school and a whole bunch of other stuff. I was 11 and I just wanted to do nothing all summer. Swim and do nothing. Like normal 11 year olds. But I had to take pseudo art classes at home. I think my dad assumed, or believed, that I had enough skill for him to teach me like he did his college students, because that’s what ended up happening. And it sort of sucked. I just didn’t understand how to do what he was doing because I hadn’t ever taken formal art classes before. Art class in elemetary school doesn’t count. So concepts like shading instead of drawing lines, and drawing what you see instead of what you know. Drawing an eye means shading in where there’s a shadow, not lining out the shape of the eyelid. Unless there’s an actual line there. If that makes sense. Anyways, I was 11 and wanted no part of it because I was basically told “no you’re wrong” for 3 months and it sucked, and I didn’t know how to say “help me” or “I don’t understand” because Japanese kids don’t do that. I cried a lot. I still cry a lot. I somehow ended up hyper sensitive compared to the rest of my family. Everything makes me cry (in their opinion). Which is almost funny because compared to other people I like never cry. But I do cry a lot. I cried the first time I heard Katy Perry’s Roar. It was an emotional day.

The next summer, my parents put me in actual art classes. At the Academy of Art. I was 12. In an intermdiate college figure painting course. I was able to take it as a favor to my dad. The school gave me a special pass and everything. I met with the front desk lady (her name was Laura, it was special because my middle name is Laura) and the security guard. My teacher was a former student of my dad’s. It was an oil painting class but I came with a whole big bucket of acrylics because that’s all I knew and my dad just gave me a bunch of his stuff. And I think he said it’d just be easier for me to use acrlyics? Something about oils being harder and that I was 12. Which is funny because I couldn’t use oils but I was somehow expected to fit in at College, because I was 12.

I think I was sort of just told I was going to take these classes. Again, I wanted to just do normal 12 year old stuff. I was done with Japanese school at that point (high five, 12 year old Yukie!) and didn’t have piano anymore either. So I guess my parents were like “you have too much free time” and put me in college art classes. No swim team campout for me, even though I was promised I could that year. No extra fun time because I had art homework.

And I really did love drawing and painting at that age. And it was definitely a cool skill to learn, but it just felt like too much at the time.

The first day my dad stayed with me in the morning and then went and ran errands during the second half of the day. For lunch he bought me a bag of salt and vinegar chips and a Cherry Coke and we just talked for 30 mins. I sat in the back of the class because I was a guest and uncomfortable but my dad said to sit in the front because it was the better spot to sit in. He picked me up and I packed everything up in my bucket and then said “on Thursday you’ll be doing this by yourself.” And on Thursday, I really was just on my own.

The teacher, Pam Powell, was the nicest and most patient teacher ever. She figured out how to teach a 12 year old in a medium that wasn’t her usual medium and became my friend by the end of the class. I think it was like an 8 week course? We had homework and there were daily critique sessions. It was an intermediate figure painting class so we painted stuff at home, objects or images from magazines, and then in class it was painting nudes. I had help from my dad at home but painting at school was a whole other thing. It was 8 hours of small lessons in the morning and then just painting. But I learned how to be the unsatisfied artist – paintings are never really done.

Honestly the painting was the best part of the class because otherwise, I didn’t know how to make friends with college students and had no money to leave and buy food other than my vending machine snacks. I lied to my parents when they asked if I made friends. I said “yes. Lily is my friend.” In reality, Lily was friends with her college friends and not the random 12 year old that joined in. That’s for sure not the first time I lied about having friends to my parents – I lied about having friends at Japanese School.

But the painting was really nice. Pam helped. She made it nice. Her collection of Enya and Pure Mood CDs she played was eclectic and weird but soothing nonetheless. Everybody else listened to their own music so really, it was sort of just me and Pam and Enya. She’d check in on everybody periodically and always helped me along and see things I wasn’t trained to see. She was very nice. And as a 12 year old who knew very little at the beginning of 8 weeks, my learning curve was off the charts. I take quite a bit of pride in that now, as a college student, because I know if I was seeing a random 12 year old suddently write literature reviews, I’d be impressed. I like to think the random people in that class, well the 6 I remember (Lily and her friends, a guy who looked like a more Greek Joey Fatone, and a guy who looked a little like some random older contestant on Survivor) it was rather impressive that my skills improved that fast. I even noticed a difference, a clear difference, between week 1 and week 5. The person I painted and the clothes he was wearing actually looked like a person wearing clothes. I think around the end of the course I even got a “wow that’s actually quite good” from my mom and that was the closest I had ever really gotten to a compliment from her, with regards to art.

My summer was spent swimming in the morning, driving to the city, painting, eating salt and vinegar chips and drinking Cherry Coke, reading Patricia Cornwell forensic novels at lunch, and painting again in the afternoon. That’s a strange sentence to read. I had a strange adolesence.

Our very last assignment was to paint a self portrait. Honestly it’s not even my favorite thing I did in that course. But people were nice in the critique. Survivor guy and Greek Joey Fatone were actually super nice. They have no idea what they contributed to a random 12 year old’s self-esteem. My parents had it framed (well they framed it themselves, #artistlife). I think they actually, genuinely liked it. I still, honestly don’t, and don’t think it’s the best thing I did during that course. It also looks really silly because it sits next to portraits my dad did of me – the contrast between the two is strange to see.

That was actually one of the very last actual pieces of art that I’ve done. I haven’t done a full on painting in a long time. I’ve started a few, and never finished them. I sketch a lot though, so those I finish. Sketching and marker pieces are easier to finish. But not a lot of painting happened. Mostly because I felt like the line between art as a hobby and art as a serious thing I could do in the future sat between the choice to sketch and doodle over the choice to finish actual pieces of art.

Recently, as in this last week, I was browsing Instagram and realized I’ve been seeing a lot of little watercolor things that I totally have the skill set for. Then I ended up on Etsy and was like “wait a second – THIS COULD BE ME.” Now, I’m not saying I’m going to start this whole art Enterprise business. But really, I have enough knowledge on color and shapes and nave the skills to paint things, and the learning curve for watercolors is fairly quick, so I can totally make small things from time to time and make it into a profitable hobby. Not something I’m going to live off of, but something that has some sort of reward system. There’s absolutely no guarantee I’ll sell anything but it doesn’t hurt to try.

So that’s the goal. I bought all the stuff. I have a bunch of things I know I want to actually paint and sketch. And now I have a goal. After all that art business as a kid, I’ve finally started to appreciate it, and see what it was worth. I always did appreciate it to a point – I knew the worth of having all those resources and lessons, essentially for free. But I didn’t actually use them practically until now.

I may take another art class at the local community college. We’ll see. It actually wouldn’t hurt to take a watercolor class. It might actually be fun. I really like having hobbies though; I’ll probably put up another gardening post because it’s so different from last year, and I have a million books to show you all. Fun-busy is fun and soul soothing 🙂 It’s all good though because at least I’m preparing for a post-college life. Post-college until I take more classes in Fall towards Early Childhood Education lol. Anyways, it’s hobby season 😀

books books books

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I used to log all the books I’ve read, just to keep a count. I think I counted so I could justify buying more books. If I read a certain amount in a year, then I’d be able to really say “well, these 10 books coming home with me will totally be read.”

In 2013, I just stopped counting because I forgot. I kept reading but idk. Who needs to count? But then I slowly stopped reading as much as I wanted to so I decided I’d start logging all my books again.

The books in the picture above are like, not even a dent in all the books I’d finished in 2013/2014. Just the ones I could easily find, and that would stand up well for a picture lol. The books below are part of a massive stack of books I’ve purchased over the last two years that I’ve needed to finish, or have read but want to re-read.

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The majority of the books I read now are teen novels since they’re the fastest and easiest to read at work. When I’m not doing homework, or updating my blogs, or… I guess texting my friends, I’ll read my teen novels since they’re “no-committment” books. It doesn’t take a lot to get back into them and you can typically take a break from reading them and go back and not be confused.

Otherwise I like non-fiction books. Biographies are always fun. I like history books. Last year I read through a handful on the Tudors, specifically Anne Boleyn.

There’s a handful of adult fiction authors I like – Nicholas Hornby (he wrote High Fidelity) is one that I always enjoy works from. I read through the majority of the Game of Thrones novels but then just got tired of all the tiny print and all the detail. I needed a break, and then school started, and so I’ve had those waiting to be read in my pile in my room.

Most recently I finished The Duff (back in January), and started both Monsters and re-started The Scorch TrialsThe Duff was a quick read. Very cute. Unexpectedly more free with the idea of young adult sexuality than I had expected but was refreshing. They made it into a movie that was completely different from the book. It was still cute though. It’s a good book for girls who are struggling to figure out what’s ok and not ok with themselves.

Monsters is part of the Ashes trilogy which is about a post-apocalyptic zombie like world. Much more adventure-y than most teen novels. And not at all post-apocalyptic like The Hunger Games and Divergent were. It’s set litertally the second after the world goes down so there’s a lot more of a Walking Dead feel to it. There still a little romance in it, but it’s not at all in John Green territory.

The Scorch Trials is in the Maze Runner trilogy. I actually finished this trilogy already but after the movie came out, I wantd to re-read the second and the third to re-evaluate where I think the movies are going to go. It’s again a much more adventure-y themed series, but actually set in the future like The Hunger Games and Divergent.

I’ve previously done one other book review, but I’ll try to update my book progress, or do reviews, more often here. I like that this is my emotional outlet, but I figured I’d also have this be some sort of useful place for other things as well. That goes with movies too. I just need to remember to do them in a timely fashion. It’s totally too late for that Selma one. But I did just see Cinderella and Insurgent, and I’m on Spring Break this week so hopefully I’ll get to those this week 🙂

My emotional state has evened itself out in the last two weeks, so I’m feeling better again. I’m feeling much more focused and organized. But that always happens and then I’m back to feeling anxious about something. We’ll see. I’m feeling really ok though, and at peace with things at the moment. It may just be another stagnant moment where I subconciously don’t want anything to change, but I don’t have that same anxiety as last time. I’m ok. Things change, and there’s more to the world than just my problems. I’m allowed a snippy or tired day once in a while, but I have to wake up the next day and go on. And I wouldn’t have been able to do that, a year ago, or two years ago, or really, ever. Progress has been made and it’s working. I’m happier and better for it. I’m happier with people, and things and I’m better with people and things.

Anyways, I guess I just combined two posts in one since I didn’t have enough to say to warrant a whole post on how I’m moving along ok.

Happy Sunday!

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Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces.
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here. Here comes the sun, and I say, it’s all right.

– The Beatles

My favorite part about working with children is the purity of their spirits. They see things with the fullest hearts and the brightest expectations. Everything is exciting and new. Their innocence is precious. I know not all children have this, and it’s heartbreaking because every child deserves it. But for children, magic is real, and it’s everywhere.

Three posts from me during the week has to be some sort of record. Not really. It feels like a lot. I guess I had a lot to say this week, or I’ve realized a lot this week.

Today is my favorite tiny-person’s birthday. She’s turning 3. I don’t want her to turn 3. I honestly want her to be 2 forever because she was an awesome 2 year old. But yesterday she gave me her last 2-year-old hug. And then this morning she said “here’s your first 3-year-old hug” and I almost started crying. She’s the sweetest.

We spend a lot of time together. I babysit her a lot. And I love it – her whole family, they’re the best family. I see the littlest the most though since she comes into daycare and doesn’t go to school full time yet. She’s my little buddy and I spoil her rotten. But we have an understanding and she doesn’t take full advantage of it. Mostly.

I’ve had other kids I’ve watched before that I’ve bonded with, and that I really truly do still love, but this one and I click. At least I think so lol. Who knows what actually goes on in the brain of a pre-schooler. And generally speaking I babysit kids that I’ve bonded with because it’s just easier overall for the parents, the kids, and for me. So I have a special relationship with all the kids I see. But maybe it’s just that I see this one so much? Idk. She’s a cool little human and she’s awesome.

The point of this post though, is that even though we spend a ton of time together and that we’ve bonded, she also teaches me something every time I see her. She’s a goofball but she has the biggest imagination and sees and loves and explores and yells and cries and hugs and laughs with all her tiny little being. Kids don’t see things with filters. Ideally, there’s nothing wrong with them yet.

I spent a good chunk of time with her yesterday in the morning in daycare. We cuddled. And did play-doh. And colored on balloons. It was cute. I fed her snacks because that’s all she ever wants and then she sat on my lap and gave me a big hug. And then we talked about animals and flowers and you could see her eyes get all big. Everything is new to her still and she loves learning.

She’s my best reminder to keep an open mind to things. She has no filter. She sees and processes things as they are because she’s 3 and doesn’t know better. She’s also one of my best reminders to appreciate things fully and love things fully. To cherish every moment you have with people and things and places. Everything is a special moment, when you’re that little.

As much as past things and present things can hurt, they’re all still special moments. They happen for a reason. Everything is deliberate. Whether it’s for you to learn from or for the other person, it’s all happening for a reason.

After this week, seeing her sort of turned everything around. She made all of my issues seem a little petty I guess. Or maybe her happiness is infectious. It’s not like other people haven’t had that effect on me; I know very well that my personal issues aren’t even that bad, and I’ve had people tell me their experiences and that sharp of a reality check was refreshing and needed. But there’s something about hanging with kids that aligns my viewpoint and helps me let go of things. Life is precious and innocent and magical. Why do I need to hold on to grudges and waste my time being angry; it’s more worthwhile to be happy. I’m learning to let it all go. Let the sun set. It’ll rise again, no matter what.

I’m fairly positive that she’s never going to see this, but Happy Birthday, little one. Keep smiling 🙂

major abandonment, i salute you

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There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.

― Ernest Hemingway

In fourth grade, my best friend at the time, Frida, moved to Sweden. I had previous “best friends” and I had a lot of great memories with them, but this one was special. I had a lot more “she gets me” moments than I ever had with anybody else. I think I’ve mentioned this before. Maybe not here. Either way, a lot of damage was done.

I remember the last afternoon I spent with her. It was a swim meet. And at the end of the day, her dad carried her over one shoulder and she was crying and I just remember thinking “This is it. She’s gone.”

The day she actually left, all of her friends gathered outside of her house and packed them all up into the car that would take them to the airport. We ran after her as the car left the neighborhood. Everybody was crying and upset and I guess I just didn’t know how to cry. She was my best friend; but I guess everybody felt that about her too. She was well loved. I like to think I was also her best friend, in return. But I don’t know. We were 9.

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I’ve had a lot of problems with people and possession and sharing in the past. I don’t like to do it. I mean really, who does? But I don’t like it. I don’t want them to change their minds.

Yesterday was a little bit of an emotional collapse. But I think it needed to happen in order for me to see things clearly again. I’ve re-read my 2014, at least my 2014 on this blog. I had a lot to learn. I’m still learning. I’m unstable. And I’m flip-floppy.

I first wrote about change and couldn’t handle it. Then I was ok with it. I’m back to not being able to handle it. I’m assuming this is a fairly normal thing. For most people anyways.

My issues with people though pretty much stem from seeing Frida leave. It wasn’t her fault. She didn’t choose to go. She was 9. But I was 9. And she left me. And when you’re 9 you can promise somebody everything in the world and all of the emails and phone calls but eventually, you’ll just lose touch.

I had a string of “best friends” for almost ten years before I accepted what really needed to be done in order to be a good friend. That was a whole other lesson. Related though. As much as I pushed people away for being bad friends to me, I was in-turn not good friends to them either. At a certain point though I don’t think I wanted to commit to being a good friend because I did that once, and she left me.

If there’s one thing that a child should be able to count on, it’s that their parents will always be there when you need them. Too bad it doesn’t always work this way.

I obviously knew that at some point my parents weren’t going to be there. But my dad dying wasn’t something that I prepared myself for. And I know he didn’t choose this way out. I got that same feeling though, that I was left. That I was abandoned.

I have major abandonment issues. And if people change, there’s a chance they’ll leave me. And that’s what freaks me out the most.

If I stay in one place, they’ll always be able to find me. And so help me God I’ll do whatever I can to keep the people in my life that I want to keep. So why wouldn’t they do the same for me? Or, what could I have done to keep them in my life? How did I fail?

I said once that I wouldn’t leave an adopted puppy out in the rain, but it’s because I don’t want people to do it to me.

I adopt people because if I adopt them they’re my people. They can’t leave me if they’re mine.

But that’s not how the world works.

I’ve had a lot of “Universe” lessons; patience, relativity, humility, and acceptance. I need to accept things as they come. I’ll never be a “go with the flow” person but I can learn to adapt. I should learn to adapt.

Again, I know there are going to be more days where I just fall apart in the future. But I almost let yesterday get the better of me. This happened back in December too. I told myself I have to get up with grace though. So here I am, getting up.

And this I’m just adding as a reminder to myself: there are always going to be people that care, even if they’re not who you’re looking for.

This is actually what this blog has been for me – constant reminders of the good. Of what I need to keep in mind. Of what I need to let go of. It was therapeutic to look through everything last night. Reading what I had learned. And reading what I need to re-focus on.

Yesterday I felt stupid and for the most part alone. I was upset and angry and frustrated and sad. By all accounts it was a bad day. But my very first message to myself, here, was that there’s something good in every day – yesterday although I fell apart, I fell apart. I fell apart and then I re-focused on being patient, and seeing that it’s not as bad as it could be, and that I’m going to be ok. I shouldn’t live up to other people’s expectations but my own, for myself. Being catered to and being treated like a princess is fine but only if you carry yourself with the qualities that come with being called that. Be fair. Be honest. Be caring. Be smart. Be kind. Be loyal.

Falling apart yesterday was exactly what I needed. It was the good in the “something good.” That secret nugget of a lesson, again handed over by the Universe, well, I see it now. Even if it is, just slightly annoying, that they all seem to circle around a handful of experiences, all linking back to one central place. But I get it.

Today I woke up and was thankful for everything that I had. For the people in my life, who are really, actually there. That I can say with a lot of comfort, that don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Anyways, today’s a better day than yesterday. And there will be more bad days. But I’m thankful for my people. I’m thankful for the reminders of goodness. I don’t promise to be all straight, and understanding from here but I do promise to remind myself of the good.

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irrational madness

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I think that you find your own way. You have your own rules. You have your own understanding of yourself, and that’s what you’re going to count on. In the end, it’s what feels right to you … Not what anybody else tells you.
– Meryl Streep

I’ve found myself irrationally mad. I don’t have any reason, really, or right, to be mad. But I am. I wasn’t promised anything, and I absolutely expected everything to settle this way. But I’m mad. And annoyed. And I feel stupid. And that’s my least favorite part of all of this. I let myself feel stupid.

Real talk, top 5 least favorite things, not in any particular order because they all equally make me want to die (“die” might be a little dramatic):

  1. Clowns
  2. The Dark
  3. Dirty Hands
  4. Feeling Stupid
  5. Being Used

But anyways. I did it to myself. And truth be told, I know exactly why this happened. I hate change. And I absolutely don’t handle it well. I’m having my mid-youth crisis and I’m projecting it onto something that really shouldn’t have bothered me, and wouldn’t have bothered me like a week ago.

Everything is changing, and the reality is at any moment, I’ll probably have to move out of the house I grew up in, not by choice either. I’ll have to move on from everything and probably everybody that I know. I’m turning 25 in August. This whole graduation thing means I have to pick a path for now and commit to the whole adult thing. I’m 10000% a person that needs routine. I have a routine. Every day and every week. I have, or had, a routine. And now the very scary reality is that everything is going to change and it’s freaking me out. And now I’m mad. Because I’m being weirdly sensitive over something that I knew was coming. And I’m annoyed. And I feel stupid.

Again, it’s nobody’s fault but mine. I ignored some red flags recently. I pushed away the fact that my brain said “I miss my dad.” I pushed away how anxious large groups of people have made me recently. I pushed away the fact that I need to sleep more. Depression and anxiety crept in because I wasn’t paying attention. I’m just so tired.

And I was waiting for somebody to tell me what to do. How to move on. How to deal with my problems. I actually had an emotional crisis yesterday and went a little crazy. I got a lot of good advice. It helped. But I was still mad and then this afternoon it clicked and I had to actually address the fact that there’s more to me being mad than just being right about being disappointed.

So after randomly crying about…. everything, and then feeling super sorry for myself, and then, again, feeling stupid about that again, I guess I got over it. More like I needed to get over it. It wasn’t worth anything being irrationally mad. I know what’s wrong. And I know why. And it wasn’t fair to anybody for me to be irrationally mad like that.

I know this isn’t the last day this is going to happen. Which sucks. But at least I see it? I guess? Anyways. I guess works in progress are bound to change, so I need to be more open to it.

emotional terrorism

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“Interpretation is what makes us all so miserable.” – Younes Mourchid

Description. Interpretation. Evaluation.

We talked about this in class this morning, during a discussion on intercultural communication. How important it is to take into context every detail of yourself and of the other people around you.

Generally this class is boring. We don’t do much but stick to the info provided in the textbook. It’s your typical powerpoint/lecture sort of class. But today we talked about the Description/Interpretation/Evaluation model and it surprisingly sparked a good discussion.

As a person, my teacher, Younes Mourchid, has a very rich background in order to teach this class. He makes it very clear as well, and reminds us every class about his background of being a Moroccan born, tri-lingual, well read professor that has taught in multiple institutions around the United States. Cool. Whatever. Although being a teacher is the second hardest job, second to being a parent, I personally thing being a teacher can also be a very selfish practice. I was the daughter of a teacher. The boundary between teacher and parent can be blurred. Teachers, to an extent, will push their interpretations and evaluations on you and you learn them without even giving a second thought. You accept them. Teachers give you a grade for how well you regurgitate what information they deem important to know and understand. I’m not at all taking away from how difficult it is to be a teacher, but I will put it out there that it’s not entirely a selfless job.

Anyways, in one of the more enlightening moments I’ve had at school, emotionally anyways, the idea of how important interpretation and evaluation are was brought forth. You spend all these years in school, being told to interpret and being told to evaluate, openly, in order to receive a good grade. It becomes second nature. You spend all this time around people who interpret and evaluate and tell you what the correct way to think is, and then your mind is so trained to constantly see those things that eventually it seems odd to just see the facts. To simply just describe what happened. A flower is a flower. Red is just a color. But are they? They always mean something to you because you spend your entire life creating connections and meanings behind otherwise mundane things.

That’s where the power of words and signs can make or break who you are and how you feel.

A flower is not just a flower.

Red is not just a color.

Awareness of your evaluations – that’s where the problems lie. Awareness of your interpretations. Why you take things a certain way. Why you only see certain messages.

Awareness of the words you choose, or the words you choose to focus on.

People choose words on purpose. Apologies may just be words to some but may also be the most difficult thing for themto do. Decoding depends on the context. Context all have to do with how you were brought up.

I’ve spent a lot of time re-living conversations in my head over and over. I’ve spent a lot of time regretting some of the words I purposely chose to hurt others. I’ve spent a lot of time still being hurt by some of the words that people purposely chose to hurt me. I’ve spent a lot of time exercising this sort of emotional terrorism – allowing people to pull me down, accepting their actions, pushing it back in their faces, twisting and manipulating situations to be in my favor. There was a lot of blame irresponsibly branded onto people.

I’ve spent a lot of time interpreting and evaluating things in the worst emotional state. It’s no wonder that I felt the way I felt. That I was so angry and hurt all the time.

I’m not going to take full responsibility for the things that happened to me, but I’m not going to assert blame on to everybody else either.

I saw what I needed to see. I now see what I should have seen. It was another hard lesson to learn but I get it. And it’s brought a lot of peace. Today’s lecture in class just made everything click together. It put words to what I was trying to figure out how to say for a while now. To something that I was trying to grasp at for a little over a year now. Seeing the world in a different light changes everything. You don’t know everything so you can’t possibly be right about everything. Things are not that bad. It’s all relative. It’s ok to feel sorry for yourself. It’s ok to be a princess. It’s ok to be hurt. But you have to grow and learn. You have to pick yourself up with grace. You have to be fair, and loyal, and smart, even if you’re prissy and like to be taken care of.

I wrote about evolving and moving forward. About the future, about a month ago. If you had asked me to do this more than a year ago, none of these things, these lessons, these obvious things that everybody should be doing, but that I hadn’t taken care to notice, wouldn’t have been a reality.

I’m turning 25 in August. It’s a scary number. And it’s again something that I wrote about being a difficult topic for me to wholly pursue and be ok with. But I’m trying.

There’s always a sunset and a sunrise. I’m proud of where I’ve come, of what my “sun” is setting on. Now to see what the sun brings as it rises.

“There’s always a story. It’s all stories, really. The sun coming up every day is a story. Everything’s got a story in it. Change the story, change the world.” ― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld, #32)

garden party | the bees are back

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The honey bees are back 🙂

Every February, the plum tree that sits over my deck blooms. One day it’s completely bare, and then the next it’s covered in the most delicate, pure white petals.

I woke up today totally sick. Knocked out, super congested, exhausted, tight chested. So I took a sick day and stayed home to watch movies and do nothing. Until I looked outside my window and saw a sprinkle of white petals and realized that my tree had bloomed, in what seemed like overnight.

There are moments that I never get tired of. Standing under the tree and watching the petals fall rank very high on that list.

Today, the bees came back as well. The bees that bring life back after winter. My bees.

I don’t know where their hive is, but every year they always come back to my tree and pollinate it.

I sat outside for an hour this morning. The bees were busy but it was fun to watch them.

The blooms and bees are always a reminder that great things are coming. No matter how rough winter can be, that spring is just around the corner.

Happy almost spring 🙂

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wonderland

Holy February. January is gone. 2015, y’all.

But like seriously, that first month sort of disappeared. It disappeared into a lot of hours spent at work, or trying to sleep, or running errands, or starting school. Idk. It all feels sort of like a haze? I know it happened. I just can’t remember feeling it happen. Which sounds like an alarming sentence, but that’s what happens I guess.

2015 is sort of a scary year. I’m graduating college. I’m turning 25. I have to decide on where I want to go – life wise. It’s a lot. Who actually wants to do any of those things? Because I certainly don’t. Actually I don’t care about the college thing. I’m over college. Until I go back in September to get Early Childhood Education credits. But I actually want to do that. It’s not part of some socially obligated goal of reaching the “college graduate” status. That? I’m doing that for my mother. She wants a degree, so she’ll get a degree. Even though it took 7 years. She’ll get it, nonetheless. But anyways, I’m over college where I don’t actually enjoy college.

The 25 part? I can deal with that. 25 is just a number. But it’s a big number. But it’s just a number. I’m also the last of my four friends to turn 25. So I’ll gather more data on that after seeing their various responses to it and finally decide if it’s something I’m OK with or if I should freak out. I’ll check back in with you in August, when I decide.

It’s the deciding on the rest of my future thing that’s like… uncool. I’m ok with it, really. But also totally not ok with it. Like, I love working with kids. And I’ll absolutely choose to do that forever because it’s so gratifying and fun and amazing and it feels good. And I want to go to school for it. And I absolutely know there’s no guaranteed permanence to it because things constantly change.

I guess I’m just having a weird “let me be 24 and blog and not have to go to class in an hour” moment where I just, I want to take a nap. lol. This post is going nowhere.

I really would, if I could though, just sort of jump into an Alice nap and spend a day in Wonderland. A) I need the sleep. B) I need a proper “forget responsibilities” sort of week off. I said a day in Wonderland, but I need longer than that lol. But this is the life of an adult – responsibilities. For now, I’ll just daydream about all the places I would rather be.

Anyways, this is sort of my mid week check-in and “i didn’t forget this blog” post. I have things drafted for this blog. Some foodstuffs. Some reflective things. The Selma review lol. I just felt like I needed to stream out some consciousness before getting on with the rest of my day 🙂

I hope you all had a good January – here’s to a good February.

american sniper

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The thing we all had in common wasn’t muscle; it was the will to do whatever it takes. – Chris Kyle

I’ll start today’s post the same way that I started yesterday’s post – that America is a glorious place to grow up. A scary reality is that our glorious home is constantly being protected by people we don’t see, or ever really know of. Some of the most incredible people are people that we don’t give enough credit to – be it because we don’t get the chance to, or because we aren’t given the truth about what happened, or because we simply as humans forget to.

Chris Kyle is credited as the deadliest sniper in US military history. It’s an obvious draw to go watch a movie like American Sniper, based off of Chris Kyle’s autobiography of the same name, with a tagline like that and with a director like Clint Eastwood.

The movie chronicles his life as a Navy Seal sniper, and the life he built with his family, both at home and in the military. The emotional and physical struggle was palpable throughout the movie. The execution and pacing of the movie was well balanced (aside from the fake baby, but whatever, not important to the plot) and the subtleties and nuances in the film style were classic Clint Eastwood. They added to the overall feel of the movie; I completely connected to the movie and was able to appreciate this man’s service and sacrifice without being overwhelmed by extensive amounts of “extras” – no extra visual effects, no extra fluff.

With a story like Kyle’s, it’s easy to immediately appreciate the work that goes into people like him. He’s an American Hero. He fought for all of our freedoms. He went on multiple tours. He saved so many, both abroad and at home.

What I admire most though is that he fearlessly continued to do so. There was no question as to what he thought the right thing to do was; he protected his own. His loyalty knew no bounds. Even through the struggle of coming home and leaving the war behind, he turned himself around. He was a loyal soldier, a loyal team mate, a loyal father, a loyal husband. He was a hero.

If you couldn’t tell, I loved the movie. It didn’t glorify the war; I think it did a good job representing the brutal truth behind what these men go through. There was a lot of heartbreak in this story, yet to persevere and keep going is true strength, and you could see it in everybody’s performances.

I think a movie like this does us a lot of good. It grounds us. It reminds us of the simple responsibilities we have to one another. It’s a theme that I’ve felt in Selma and Unbroken as well. I appreciate that we have this wave of films this year, to ground us all.

I know this post probably won’t be spread throughout all that many people, but I just want to say thank you. Thank you to the people who have sacrificed for us in the past, and thank you to the people who continue to do so. There is so little I feel like I’ve done to contribute, as these people already have. But they inspire me to do more. To be more. So, again, thank you. Thank you, a million times.

be incredible

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I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. – Martin Luther King Jr.

America is a glorious place to grow up. You’re encouraged to think and act freely. You’re given the opportunity to create your own success, and your own failures if you choose that path.

On a holiday like today, it’s easy to forget exactly how much freedom some of us only recently were given.

It’s easy to forget how much freedom some of us still don’t have.

In the Bay Area, and particularly in Marin, the message of equality is a very strong message throughout all of our schooling (at least in my experience). The idea of embracing everybody and being good and world peace – it’s everywhere when you grow up in Marin. It’s everywhere but nowhere at the same time.

We preach a lot of diversity and acceptance but really, in Marin, you won’t really quite understand it unless you leave. As beautiful and loving as a community it is, there’s a really false sense of acceptance that goes on here because there really isn’t that much diversity here. And I’m not trying to clump everybody here into one giant non-accepting ball. I’m just saying, as much as we educate our kids on what is right and what is wrong, they’re not going to truly understand until they witness or experience it for themselves.

Growing up, Martin Luther King Day was a) a day off from school and b) the yearly reminder that racism is still alive and to check in with myself to not be a racist. I think I’ve done a good job at that. I still tell the occasional racist joke, but it’s not because I hate the people who “inspired” the joke. I as a person am not fueled by an intense hatred of a person or their skin color or religion or whatever. I dislike people generally because of their ignorant or blind stupidity. And I can’t even say I really dislike those people because I always end up empathizing with them at some point. I’m not a 100% good person, because who is. But I’m no crazy evil-doer either.

Last week I watched the film Selma, which shows the events leading to Martin Luther King Jr.’s march in Selma, Alabama. I’ll have a review for that later on this blog. The message, the obvious one, was to be good, and kind, and accepting of each other.

But the other message I got was to be incredible. Not just “incredibly” nice. But to push towards what I want. To achieve the fullest potential. I’m not trying to enact massive social change. But to live purposefully.

Last year, my project was to be happy. And to see happiness. And to live happiness. I’m never letting it go. Last year, my word was happy.

This year, my project is to be fearless. To be purposeful. To experience everything that I can. To have an incredible life.

I let a lot of hate go in the last year. There’s still a lot I need to work on. And it’s being worked on. But Dr. King was right. It was all such a burden. It feels good to not feel so much of it anymore. Happiness abounds, and I’m never letting it go.