Friday, November 7, 2014

That Thing Called Hope

The job hunt is still very real. I don't wish to say that its a struggle because it really isn't. It's people's job to make sure to pick the most qualified, and I get that. So, as I keep on pushing my resume out there, I remember a very old sermon--probably about 10 years ago--by my best friend's father.

"Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days." Ecclesiastes 11:1 (KJV)
The other versions say to cast my "grain", and I understand that it can be also paraphrased as "seeds". It's also like saying "giving a gift can open doors; it gives access to important people!" (Proverbs 18:16 NLT). My skills, abilities, and positive characteristics are seeds (or gifts) that I have gathered/gained from planting effort and experiences, and by paying it forward/sowing over the summer, I know that it will indeed come back to me, or make room for me.

This is what I've been thinking about regarding this position I really desperately want. It's a clerical job in the back end operations of a very prestigious company. I would either work in shipping, customer service in drafting important documentation, or handling very precious materials for repairs. 

Here's hoping. Right?

Then, I was thinking about where I should "hope". Realistically, I need a job because I've got bills (student loans) to pay. Further, I need another degree or certification for a career. But then a job isn't permanent, and a career isn't secure. Money isn't permanent either. So, where to place hope?

I had said a small prayer as I was walking around the other day: "Jesus, you're my hope. I know this. You're doing something in the background for me." The hope that is sure is the cross of Jesus and what was done there. That remains constant because the price of life--my life--was paid by His blood. At the cross is my future as well.

I wait with anticipation; growing deeper in my knowledge and hope in Christ for the great things he has in store. I know Jesus is in the midst of it all and I know He's doing more in the background for my favor. The Holy Spirit is with me, guiding me to make the right decisions, and placing me decisively for the blessings that will over flow. 

I can't wait for the favorable outcome!


For Who You Are by Hillsong



Monday, November 3, 2014

How to Deal with Disappointment

It's nearly a month since my last post. I had originally planned to do a post every other day, but the job hunt is real and it's getting ever more real. I can't help but feel frustrated, and the feeling of despondency is slowly tugging. So, I am writing because I need to remember...

During camp last, one of the very first life issues God highlighted was that I had a lot of hurt and emotional scars. I can only side eye that, because, well, God knows me better than I know myself, right? I've been hurt by people closest to me--I mean, who hasn't? Thats one of the saddest facts of humanity, the closer you are to a person, the more hurt you'd feel--the amount of love you give is (often) proportionate to the amount of hurt you feel...

Digressing, emotional scars and hurts were remembered. A good portion was prayed over, released forgiveness for, and then prayed life into. For some, I actually had to contact the person(s) and release forgiveness--again, proportionate amount of hurt, it was a boatload

I just needed to remember this example of personal growth over the summer because I am feeling all these yucky feelings--excuse the lack of a better term. I'm hurt by the circumstances, and disappointed in myself. I feel like I've failed at life (already? I mean, I just graduated...), and that I've been hoodwinked. 

They are lies of the enemy.

Taking a cue from my favorite book in the Bible--James--I will combat these feelings with the Truth. I am content in this trial because its building perseverance (James 1:2, 9, 12 ). I am taking pride in my humble position, because in my lack, God overflows with all things I do not have. I am called to persevere because God has work for me to do.

Pastor Glenn Garland said something that I've been ruminating lately. My present situation may be fact--my current joblessness is likened to water turning into ice, but the TRUTH is that I am a conqueror and a success likened to aberrations of nature (miracles), like Jesus walking on water. 

My life is a miracle. This is my testimony. I will triumph because of the Blood Christ shed on the cross, and my testimony (Revelations 12:11). (Thank you Lord for such a beautiful thing!) The life in me is not mine, it is Christ's, therefore I have hope, and a bright future (recall Jeremiah 29:11).

Biblical truths.
Promises.
Endurance.


This is not the end.

This is how to deal with disappointments, despondency, and hurt life metes out. As my father likes to quote: Hebrews 12:2, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."


This is Not the End by Gungor

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United

Oceans Will Part by Hillsong

Friday, October 10, 2014

Prose: The Adventure and an Addendum

Background: I was listening to Eyes, Nose, Lips (Feat. Tablo) by Taeyang as I was doing errands yesterday and I just had to write this down. But then I remembered The Adventure by Angels and Airwaves. I've been outlining my plot for NaNoWrimo and I think I'll expand on this lovely thing. LOVE IT.


The Adventure

The passengers quickly fill the plane, and she waits. Looking out the window, her mind wonders when she first decided to go on this grand adventure. Back then, she was still unsure of herself or of her future. If that certain boy had asked her to stay, she would have.

She is grateful he didn't.

As the plane taxies, and then lifts off, the skyline of her home town comes to view. Soon, she'll be in her home--across the land and sea--where whispers of childish dreams dissipate because life turned out to be so much better.

Her new home where she settled after a long adventure is rooted in the arms of a man who didn't ask her to stay, but instead came along for the adventure. 

- Fin - 

Eyes Nose Lips (Feat. Tablo) by Taeyang

The Adventure by Angels and Airwaves 




Addendum: (Harvard event and job hunting)

So, the Harvard event was intimidating because I got there late and everyone else was in their groups. I felt that there were more grad students than college students, as well. Huh. Anyway, I got to walk around and chat with some people, which was good. I didn't need a date so much as to be a buffer, but to help ease the vibe of the room. I didn't like the room itself. It was dark and gothic looking, I'm sure if there were less people, and another theme, it would have been lovely. 

I stayed 30 minutes and left. Walked around 5th ave and went to Sunrise Mart just for kicks. The employees were looking at me weird. Shrug. There was a cute Hapa... ^_^

Digressing. I thank the event for the wine, it was good--better than the one served at the gala I went to on campus last May. I'm disappointed that there was only light fare... maybe it was because I was late that I missed the canap├ęs? But the room really gave me the creeps. 

I liked the clubhouse. Very swanky. I'll sign up for membership soon!

Thank God for the opportunities--any and all! I am so blessed. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. (Psalm 23:6) I miss my classmates and friends who are still on campus. I am thankful for the help I get, and the support.

Oh! In total yesterday I sent out 8 applications for 14 jobs in all. Goodness. I'm looking for more opportunities today as well. But errands first. 

Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:33) My paraphrase: "seek God, live blamelessly in the sight of others for His glory, and all else will follow." 

Today, I had a late start--did laundry late last night with my sister, and came back home at 4 and slept about 5 am!-- but I am filled with so much joy. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Now unto Him that is Able to Keep You from Falling

I am behind schedule today as I got carried away with job applications. I think I was able to do at least five this morning, and two yesterday. Today I am trying to do as much as I can since I wasted a great deal of the day wallowing. (Side note: Don't you just hate unfinished dreams? URGH!)

My present meditation is Jude 1:24-25 KJV, "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless in the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, now and ever. Amen." The lovely realization that I need Jesus because I am ever more dependent on Him; happy at the fact that I am not sufficient, and I cannot do a thing on my own. I am not crippled by despondency--at my ineptitude, but so humbled by my frailty. 

Probably more to post later today--going to a Harvard event tonight. I was frustratedly curious as to whether I should bring a date or not. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Study to Shew Thyself Approved - Sobering Thoughts

"Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately." 2 Timothy 2:15 NET

Just pondering upon the matters of diligence, faith, and Christianity. Additionally, upon the rigors of the lifestyle that I proclaim. I just start to think about how God stretches me to be better--in giving, gratitude, grace, mercy, kindness, mindfulness, patience, and loving-kindness.

In this inner reflection I also have to move outwardly and upward. I must not only think about those matters, but act upon them, and then continually exercise them to a greater degree. Who said being a Christian is easy? True faith hurts because it requires endurance (James 1:3)

If I must be found lacking, let me continually hunger for the Word of God (Psalms 107:9). Let me continually be found seeking His face (Psalms 27:4). Let me not settle for anything other than Jesus.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

You Are My Hope; Jesus I Come. When Death Dies

The first song on today's playlist:



The previous post was a mix of current songs I've been listening to, as well as song from ages ago. It was fun going down memory lane that day with old songs and old playlists. I even dug up some old pictures from high school. I'm far too embarrassed to post them, sorry (not sorry). 

Anyway, I've decided to change my eating habits. I'm back to eating less meat, eventually phasing it out, though I haven't decided to commit to that. I will definitely miss chicken, but my solace are eggs! It's day two of the change and I feel lighter already. I'm popping almonds and walnuts whenever I get peckish, but what I really want is some fruit--bananas, figs, and some (flat)peaches. Also, I'll have to get more tea--it's warm drinks season, after all! (Can you tell that I'm excited for Autumn?)

From now until the end of the month I'm planning and outlining for NaNoWriMo. I've attempted it before but never got much traction because I couldn't juggle school and writing. It was too much for my brain to switch between the two. Now, I finally get to focus on writing. Super excited. 

Mindset. Focusing on changing my mindset regarding certain things. Romans 12:2 "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." I can't afford to 'not feel like [doing] it' because I'm working on a time table. I've got to be diligent. Rest is good, but I've been bummy. Whenever I get--not feel!--bummy, I remember Pastor Jerry Dirman's message "The Sluggard", and Proverbs 26:14. OUCH. 

Enough of my own thoughts... Emptying it out, and putting good stuff in. The WORD of GOD. It's transformative and informative.




When death dies, all things live. Because Christ is alive, I have a hope and future.






Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Prose: So Stay with Me; There's Nothing Like You and I

Background: I haven't been sleeping well, and it's my first night in a little while having dreams. However, I dreamt about saying my goodbyes. Melancholic prose commence!

So Stay with Me

It's difficult leaving home. Especially, leaving all the things you've known. But you're determined to make this change. You've wanted to carve out a life of your own. Not because you're stifled, but because you've responded to the call of adventure.

As you pack the remnants of life here, in the space you've called your own, in a carry-on--you'd shipped the essentials before hand, and given all the other things away--you look at sparseness within the case. You've chosen to live as a nomad, at least for now...and the foreseeable future. There's a mixture of delight and dread. You're okay with this.

Everyone you know will be settled down by the time you return--that is, if you do. They'd have made roots, and you, you'll be going with the flow; you'd get your direction from the wind. And though you know people will judge you for the so-called lack of your direction, that's the farthest from the truth. You know that you have direction, and it just so happens that it's to travel. You know the details will fill in themselves. You're okay with this.

So, as you hug your loved ones goodbye, you reminisce and already grow nostalgic for home. Because home is not a place, its the people. You can take comfort that you'd meet new people to call home. You're okay with this.

Your loved ones know you enough to let you go, and you love them all the more. You leave a piece of your heart with them, and in turn you take a piece of their heart with you. It doesn't hurt at all, because you don't think about the exchange as something sad. Instead, you're happy because they're a part of you forever. It is a privilege. You're okay with this.

You want your future so bad. You've grabbed it greedily, and if that means saying goodbye, that's okay. You're not just okay, you've finally bloomed.


There's Nothing Like You and I

She laughs, and you chuckle at the memories she's recounted. To be quite honest, you don't remember half of it, and some part of you is sad because of this. The coffee date continues, but something bubbles inside you can't place a finger on.

It isn't until days later, as you're out on your run, does it slam your gut. It was a goodbye, and you realized too late. Now, all you'll have are the half-remembered memories...


-Fin-

There's Nothing Like You and I by The Perishers

and bonus:





Thoughts in TL;DR:

Titles of the prose is juxtapose. Plethora of emotions on my part, but my mind is clear. I've got a future, and I realize that sometimes it means that not everyone I've known will be part of it. It's sad, but I'm okay with this. The worst place is to be overstaying your welcome, especially when it's in someone's life. I can't afford to develop emotional crutches.

Tangential: Lies by Evanescence, I didn't appreciate it as much before as I do now. Indeed there are a lot of lies we believe about ourselves which make us insecure. #liesItellmyself can be so true.









Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Unfolding Destiny

At present, if I take stock of what I see and feel, it would be unsurety and disquiet. Nothing is going as I had hoped, and I almost feel as though I am stuck in limbo, which for me, is the worst place. The next step I am supposed to take is far off yet, but close enough, which is frustrating because it's part of a barebones plan/outline/guideline, but details aren't filled in. I can't just twiddle my thumbs...

Thankfully, I know my God and his voice, and that is enough confidence and easement I need. I don't need to be anxious or afraid of my future, because [He] know the plans [he] has for me...plans to prosper and not to harm [me], plans for hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). I know that He is my sustainer (Psalm 40:11), my guide (John 16:13), compass (Psalm 16:11), and counselor (Psalm 55:22); my maker (Psalm 103:11), father (Psalm 56:8-9), perfecter (Psalm 139:23-24), and my shelter (Psalm 23:6), bastion (Psalm 46:2-3), and protector (Psalm 3:3). He is my salvation (Acts 4:12) and deliverer (1 Thessalonians 1:10). He is my constant companion (Psalm 73:23-24). He is my wealth (Psalm 4:7-8), hope (Psalm 42:5) I know I can laugh about the future and the days to come (Proverbs 31:25), I have victory (1 Corinthians 15:57)! 

Feelings and thoughts can be set aside. It is the byproduct of using the senses. Faith needs to be concrete--realer than real. This is why I need not worry about tomorrow. All I must do is walk out today with Him. 

My destiny is certain, as it is big. I have caught the vision for it, and I know that I don't have enough strength, skill, or talent on my own to bring it to completion or perfection, but I know who does... my God. 

So this is just a brain dump to remind myself that my imperfection, failings and weaknesses are good--they're great!--because in these He is strong, able, and perfect (2 Corinthians 12:9). I've got plans and options, but His will and way takes preeminence.

Thank you Lord for you sit on your throne, immoveable by my circumstances; that you rejoice over me, and uphold me. There is no lack in You. There is no missing You--You make Your presence known to those who seek You. You've given me choices and the mind to accept or reject, but in my choices may it be Your will that is done. In the end, all I want to hear is "well done, faithful one". Lord, whatever  I don't know, please teach me; whatever I do not have, please give it, and whatever I am not, please make me in your Son's mighty name. Amen. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Poetics: Some Point Between Here and There

Some Point Between Here and There 
JG 2.914

I imagined a perfect life with you.
We would live in a loft;
I would prepare breakfast,
and you would gladly make tea.
A prayer for the day ahead,
and a kiss goodbye.
I'd be someone important at work,
and so would you.
We would live comfortably.

Then I realize,
This is my dream.
I realize--I don't even know you.
You say you want to live out of the city.
What?
You say you don't drink caffeine--
Since when?
You prefer hard labor instead of the officework.
Okay.

I am jarred.
I am repentant.
Confused.
Did I take the time to know you?
Were we on the same page?
Did we have the same conversations?
I'm blindsided, and so are you.
What happened?
Really, what happened?

You had another vision--
Another dream all together.
Your personal values,
Your mores,
Your ethics,
beautiful in their own right,
are so different from mine.
I didn't get to know you well enough.
Yet, this isn't disappointing.

We are at a stall.
Actually, there is no 'we'.
There's you.
There's me.
Paths that were once parallel--
never really having converged,
and all the more diverging. 
Thank you for being you.
However, I still like what I see.



Poetics in the mind. There'll be more posted. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Music on the mind

It's been a few weeks since I've written something, but today is one of those rare days I've found mental downtime.

Firstly, WOOT!!! I graduated! I've finally got a degree to my name, although it is totally not just for me, but for everyone who has helped me down the path of academics. I can't say how grateful I am to everyone--especially my parents, grandparents, family, and friends. Then there are my mentors and teachers who literally have helped me through tough times and invested in me. I know I keep saying it, but its true.

Secondly, I am deeply moved by the love that was showered upon our family when Papa died. There were people who we hadn't seen in years, or have lost contact with, and those who unexpectedly came to his memorial service. I had him in mind today as we [in camp] prayed for America, the troops, and veterans. If anything, Papa was really proud of being a WWII Veteran, and that his grandchildren had degrees, and accomplishments of their own.

Thirdly, 26! I'm just an edge past quarter of a century, I'm glad I got to spend it with family and friends, though I know that I left some people hangin'. Sorry!

Fourthly, I am so stoked by camp. I know I came immediately after my birthday, and it seems like I won't be back home until the beginning of September, but I am so grateful for the training and the things I am (and will) learning.

Finally, music on the brain! :)

http://youtu.be/ew_c5ewoVQk La Roux -- I'm Not Your Toy

http://youtu.be/KG3EDn69poA Laurence Fox -- The One Sent To Guide You

Monday, May 19, 2014

From the darkest night comes the brightest dawn

Rise. The sun always rises. It may rise behind the clouds, and it may obscure the light for a while, but clouds are vapors and will disappear. Compared to the enormous ball of gas, clouds...

My sunrise has come.

The last two years here in Boston held so many challenges. I often wondered if I'd come out of here with my mind in tact, but here I am. I thank God for everything.

My heart is just so full right now. Things are falling int place. God, it's beautiful.


Sunrise

A golden glow peeks at the edge of the horizon.
Hope stirs within.
A ray breaks forth, piercing the heart of night;
it chases the dark.
Blue married with gold hugs the earth.
More tendrils of light burst forth.
The star rises victoriously.
Gold.
Glorious gold.
It kisses the land softly, warmly, and anew.
A new day.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Every Entrance was an Exit Elsewhere

Yesterday (Monday) night was the final class for Drama. I'm sad to realize that next Monday evening I wouldn't be surrounded by really cool, warm, and kind people. It was a lovely journey to be a part of. I told my acting teacher last night, "I learned to access my feelings, commit to them, and follow through." To which he replied, "well that's true of everything we do, right?", indeed it is.

I had a late start this morning, which I'm quite annoyed about--I'll make due. Drinking tea, I thought about my stay here in Boston, the community I've been a part of--Grace Street/Revolution Church, and my previous/present? classmates. These thoughts actually began a few days ago when, in frustration, I started to pack. I took down most of the cards and letters people have sent/given me and tucked them away. Several are still up on the wall, I'll need them to get through the week. A specific card, given by a dear friend, talked about how she'd miss me as I moved up to Boston. That's nearly 2 years ago.

Two years. A chapter of my life will be closing soon. Nothing's going to stop me.

Boston held previous memories. Boston holds graveyards. Boston holds closure.

Once I pass the threshold and shut the door come the end of the month, I'll be back in NY, but it will be an entrance to something else.






Sunday, April 6, 2014

We all have 20/20 vision in hindsight; emotional ties

TL;DR: I'm a mess right now. Can't even make sense of stuff.




I spent a good 2 hours getting rid of screen caps, saved pics, and tags on my computer. I have yet to touch my iTunes to clear out (really) old sentimental songs. I figure it will be an endeavor that will last at least half a day. 

I'm cutting emotional ties with people and certain things. I feel like in the last two years I've cut out more and more people. It hurts--no lie, but I think I need to save myself before I can help someone else. This is difficult.

The imperative is to cleanse. I didn't think I had this much junk in my life, and the more I dig, the more I realize "wow, I suck". My hope is that I remember and realize that all I have and am is by God's grace. 

I feel like asking "what now, God?" because I'm literally being stripped of everything. There is so much time I would have used for x, y, z, etc; and now it's open schedule. The hardest thing, actually, is filling that time with something wholesome. 

I feel sorely lacking compared to last year. But I think its cause I let myself get lax in being vigilant that things God cleared out of my life started to creep back, or that I didn't fully give stuff away. 

It may be a whole host of other things.

I'm just rambling now.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Fiercest Fables: lies I tell myself

The title of this post, "Fiercest Fables" actually comes from a story a friend of mine wrote (who got it from a Bon Iver song, I don't know which one). It has to do with the lies we tell ourselves. There are just some things we believe we have control over, or mastered, but in truth, we've sorely underestimated its grip or ramification.
My mother, in a much more verbose manner, once told me a story about this village woman. The lesson of the story was "covering your head, but leaving your butt exposed". We make certain provisions for somethings, yet completely miss the glaring warnings for other things, and lo-and-behold, we are in danger.
Sometimes its more telling of our nature by what we do for the sake or in the face of curiosity, than what we seemingly constantly (regimentally/characteristically) do.
Where am I going with this?
Addiction.
I am sure if I am truly honest with myself, I can acknowledge that somewhere or at some time, I've picked up something, an interest, a hobby or habit that grew into something that got married into my personality and character. All are destructive in the face of fidelity to a righteous and jealous God.
Again, all addictions [idols, gods, propensities] are destructive [to self] in the face of fidelity to a righteous and jealous God.
What am I addicted to?
Answer: many things.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Your breath inside my lungs

The past few weeks have been a challenge emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. There were things I needed to work through and am still working through, and that's half the fun, I guess. I've decided to create a hedge of protection for my own sanity and purity.

My pastor gave a great example last Sunday, he said that soldiers encamped, literally, imprison themselves for safety and freedom. The mental picture of Camp Bastion, a British military base--I know of this one, specifically, because Prince Harry was stationed there, and there was a feature of his time there--with its heavy fortification and protocols flashed to mind. Imagine, it can be loosely thought of as a small town of British soldiers, and at one time, held the third (now forth) in line to the throne of the UK. Think about the safety and, albeit relative, normality of living within this "town". But emphasis on the word "within".

That segues into my own life and this question: how badly do I want to be free of...? While the sermon was about sexual immorality, it also encompasses all types of sin that ensnares. I know my triggers. A few of our discipleship sermons are on the "Place of Temptation"--keep far away!--and "Protecting Your Heart", which I know I should be constantly mindful of.

I'm not going to lie, I'm not straight laced at all. I do like to skirt the lines of what I should and shouldn't be doing, much to the dismay of my parents. Bless their hearts and patience. But mostly, I think it's to the chagrin and vexation of my Comforter and Life Guide (very sorry Holy Spirit!). And because it's true, that we can't serve two masters, I'm frustrated with wanting to do great things in the Kingdom, and doing my own thing. Time to decidedly pick one and stick to it.

So, the question remains: How badly do I want to be free of...? Right now, pretty [insert expletive here] badly. It was yesterday, I think, that was really my turning point. I had talked to my mother in the morning about the frustration of this semester and not finding a foothold. She encouraged me to meditate on a few verses and I also remembered a few verses from the sermon on Sunday. "God is not a man, that He should lie...", it says in Numbers 23:19. Isaiah 41:9-10 and the whole chapter of John 14 brought peace to my heart. And in that, the decision to be viciously concerned about my mental purity.

Mental purity doesn't mean taking on a naive innocence, but to sterilize the mind of earthly musings. Basically, 2 Corinthians 10:5 "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." Yeah, this. Or succinctly: Colossians 3: 2, 5-15. These things, whether I have actively or passively given place to them, thanks to our culture, take up a lot of space in my mind. Frankly, I've got to do away with them, because I need more space for other things--greater things.

Succinctly; things I've learned: Be viciously concerned about sanctification. Righteousness, Peace, and Joy in the Holy Ghost flows freely when sanctification is the priority. Grace abounds. All these things will follow.

TL;DR: I've got a foothold, the mountain that has been causing my frustrations, diversions, insecurity and general mental icky-ness will crumble and go into the sea. I know who I am, I know what I am capable of in Christ. I am sure because He doesn't lie, and all He wants is what's best for me, which is Himself.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

To the weakest link...

Posting for the sake of posting this week.

I started discipleship at church.

I'm trying to study for a quiz.


UPDATE/EDIT/REWRITE:

Another anxiety attack today as I was heading out the door to go to class. I was trying to handle it, squash it down, until it became a deluge and swallowed me.

I will am trying to learn to accept it. I try to fight the biological reaction and sometimes I succeed, but most of the time I don't. I don't really get emotional after an attack, but this one I did. Frustrating.

I'm frustrated that it recurs. I dislike being a burden to those I love. In some level I feel like I should be "stronger than this", but maybe I'm not, at least on my own.

I look back on the times I've gotten out of these pits. I've made it, miraculously.

I'm in the last semester in school. Pressure.



I can (and have!) do(ne) all things through Christ who strengthens me. This I affirm. This I have and continually see.

Prayer: Shalom. Shalom.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

The scent of poetry

I had purchased my first Moleskine (lined, large size, reporter's style) in a university store a block down from Columbia University. My best friend and I had just finished taking our first SAT exam when we wandered into the store dazed, confused, and hungry. We were from Queens, why we took the SAT in Columbia was because someone in our group of friends decided to be funny. They wanted to take it in Columbia, therefore everyone was roped into going--there were other places where we could have gone, seriously, but we jumped into the nonsensical bandwagon because we were all scared to take it 'alone'.

Digressing. The notebook, thereafter, became my book for poetry. From its use, I wrote my most 'serious' poems therein a few times a week. From 3 May 2005 to 5 December 2006, I wrote constantly. The last entry before today, that is, was 13 December 2008. The May 3rd poem doesn't have a title, but it was a prayer of sorts. While the December 5th poem is titled "Let Me Go". The poem written 2008 is untitled, but was also a challenge by a teacher. It was an introspection about the "shock that the world goes on after someone passes." 

In all this time, the little book still smells like Marc Jacob's "Blush". I had peppered its pages with the sample of the perfume I had gotten from Macy's. Sadly, the perfume is discontinued, but I'm glad the scent still lingers in my little book. 

Anyway, today's poem is titled "Spaces" because I have been musing upon the things or people who take up my heart. The most natural line of thought is a guy, but I don't really feel for anyone right now. Then there's the religious experience, where the person who occupies my heart is Jesus. 

I'm going to stew on the poem. It's written in my little "psalm" book, along with my the rest of its lot. 

I'm not scared of burning passionately for something anymore. That thought just popped up as I looked at my water bottle. The particles of my very diluted phytonutrient shake are suspended in the water I  refilled. I think its sad for some reason. I don't want to just be suspended... moving particles. Agitation. Excitation? Intensity? Yes. 

I would be really bad--or good?--at word association games. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Playlist in my Brain

It's a weird combination this week. I think it's being sick (again) and being cooped up inside the apartment for a freaking week. But really, I've been in a noir mood. I've been painting so its alright.

First:



I can't find the lyrics online since the new album "Real" by Years & Years has yet to drop (Feb. 17). The MV itself is not my type of cinematography but the song really speaks to me. It's catchy and the lyrics do justice to what I'm feeling emotionally.


Second:


I have no idea why this is in my brain.

Third:


Again, the lyrics: "You only need the light when it's burning low, only miss the sun when it starts to snow, only know you love her when you let her go. Only know you've been high when you're feeling low only hate the road when you're missing home. Only know you love her when you let her go, and you let her go." This one actually is connected to the memories of Boston before I moved up here. They were childhood memories of teasing; peals of laughter, and exploring. Nostalgia, and sentiments, but I can't mix the past and future. So, I'm not going to make new memories with someone else, here in Boston, because I want a clean break when I leave after graduation.

Fourth:


A touch of oldie, if The Cranberries, a 90's band can be considered an oldie. I mean, if Nirvana can be considered as such, then, that goes for the Cranberries too, right? Anyway, this one isn't so much the lyrics that speak to me but the sound of chanting. Haha.

Fifth:


Nothing like psychedelic rock. I like the breathy "ha, ha, ha's". It's all about sound, this one.


I did mention the songs were weird...and a touch melancholic. Woops.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Disney songs

Whenever I am unsure I always remember a song Pocahontas sang in Pocahontas II. "But where do I go from here, so many voices ringing in my ear", she sings as she's at the crux of major life decisions. I am very fortunate that God, in His infinite grace, has always given me options. Most of these options lead to successful ends, and all I've really had to do was follow the path and see things through. For that I am so grateful.

That has been in mind because of a dream I had a few days ago. In a way, some part of me knows this inherently, and just wanted to remind me. I needed the encouragement.

My classes this week started off with a major hiccup. I wasn't in the headspace for my first class, French, and I was just mucking up the whole time. I was like a deer caught in the headlights, and simultaneously, it was like I was witnessing a car crash. My professor was picking on me because I couldn't pronounce things right, and he called me to the desk after class for a little chat. Sigh. 

Granted, he's probably just judging whether I am fit for his class. In which, I know that I am. I have no choice because I need this class to finally graduate. It's either a sink or swim type of situation. I need to graduate this May because plans for the rest of the year are contingent on it. It's not that I don't know how to speak French, I can understand it quite well, but I have trouble speaking it and in class. My classmate(s) didn't help what so ever, which left me flustered to no end. 

Anyway, I just remembered the song "Voice of Truth" by Casting Crowns. It gave me great encouragement and hope to face today's class. I will focus on my strengths instead of my weaknesses. I know that I'm systematically making my way through the previous chapters, and am actually exerting effort for this class--shock! I shouldn't be psyched out by my professor. I can do this. I've been in stickier situations. I know God's got my back. 

I've just got to trust and believe that everything will work out. Jesus did say, "it is finished".



Friday, January 31, 2014

Ruminations of the week

On Monday I took my first Introduction to Drama class, and it was wonderful! Ever since I jumped on the Tom Hiddleston bandwagon--I'm not ashamed!--I grew even more curious of acting. I think it's the way he explains his process that makes sense to me. He approaches his roles by building a psychological map--creating a background--for his character, and it is intriguing and not nearly as scary as method acting. As a psych major, all I can say is "YES!" (Note: precisely why I love Cillian Murphy, but that's for another time.)

Digressing, Hiddleston is not the main reason why I'm taking the class. It was thanks to my speech professor in St. John's University. I had opted to perform my speech out of classroom, face to face instead of in front of the class. I had a serious case of stage fright. I now realize it was deep insecurity, and the inability to trust my own voice. I think I'm still horrible at public speaking, even though I had to take another speech class here at Harvard. But I am more confident in myself and have a different approach to life, more on this in a little bit. So, its really thanks to that professor who suggested I take acting to "get out of my shell". He was also the one who told me of my "melodious voice". I think I sound like a child, though I'm not nearly as "young" sounding as Yoo In Na, God bless her.

I must admit that I am a spectator and like to observe. It was (again) thanks to one of the leaflets that my Pastor puts in our Sunday programs that I have slowly began to change my mind. Okay, no. It's a few factors. The first would be Hiddleston quoting something French and translating it to "We all have two lives. The second one begins when we realize that we only have one." (He's not the originator of the quote, but he translated so I'm citing that--ugh, citations!) The second would be my Psychology of Resilience class, where one of the characteristics of a highly resilient individual, also a coping mechanism, is to engage the environment (wait, I may have this wrong. Its a bit fuzzy in my brain.) Thirdly, it was the leaflet in my church's program that says "Life is not a spectator sport (Join in)". I'm sure the first half of that quote was from someone else, but the "join in" part resonates. 

The bottom line is that I don't want to spend my life observing. I'm cerebral, yes. I'm introverted, in that, I like my alone time and sometimes find social gatherings taxing. I remember my parent's 25th Anniversary party, I snuck away from the hall for an hour, literally sitting by myself, and then joined by my aunt, to get away from the noise. I don't do well in crowds of more than five people. But I was trained by my father to schmooze at a young age and I can do it very well. I have held myself back from doing "fun" things because I was too engrossed by observing. I mean, why can't I do both? Well, now I am. 

One thing I am trying to rectify within myself is something my Drama Prof mentioned. He said something along the lines of "there is no such thing as multi-tasking...its actually trying to shift focus quickly." I can agree with what he said because I have believed for some time that one can't have a "balanced life/schedule". Perfect time management and a "perfect schedule" is a myth. Life is weighted, just like grades, oddly enough. Spending time with family should mean more than spending time fixing the car. The meaning of the time spent cannot equal each other--rephrase, it all can't be equally important, which is why the whole "balancing time" is a lie, at least to me. 

Focus, right. So lately I feel like I've undertaken some immense things, like painting, writing, and (pleasure) reading. I am have all these things I want to do, too. I want to get rollerblades and a bike. Hopefully, I can hike as well. I just want to live. 

Yeah, I want to live.

This morning I told my sister that our central passion is what defines us. For me, its my spirituality--my faith in Jesus. I know that my education, my capacity to work or have a career, and everything else is superfluous. All the knowledge and acquired skill sets are actually not for me but for the higher calling to serve like Jesus did. I'm not greedy then, when I say that the next step is to go to Oxford (though I've got a nagging feeling it'll be Cambridge, sigh) because whatever I learn there I will hand down to those I mentor. Its my act of reasonable service to myself, my family, my community, and humanity. This is how I translate my faith. 


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Recalibrating myself

I am sitting in my room taking stock of the first 22 days of the New Year. To my left I posted up a Sunday program insert from my church. It reads "How I will live my life differently in 2014". The message that Sunday, the first Sunday I got back up here in Cambridge and of the New Year, was about change, or something like it. My pastor stressed that insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. Which leads to the challenge aforementioned.

Taking stock of all the positive things first. I have been writing and painting. I also have been going to school. I was able to travel to NY for my grandfather. I was able to fix up my room, and do laundry--no easy feat. I've been good, and eating in. I've been eating more fruits and drinking water. I'm not sick.

Taking stock of all the "misses". I have not been punctual with assignments. I have not been reading class readings as closely. I haven't been spending quality time with God. I've been Tumblr stalking. I haven't done chores. I honestly thought I was going to have more negatives on this list. Interesting. Perhaps, those are just feelings or expectations I place on myself that bog me down. I don't know, I'll have to think about those feelings I haven't listed.

I know that this year I am just trying to be me, to accept myself as I am, no matter how disappointed I feel with myself. If I really look at the bright side--optimism isn't one of my strong suits, I'm...accomplished? Suddenly, I remember my professor mentioning that social comparison is not beneficial. It's hard not to do here in this culture of academia.

I remember my sister's message last Sunday. I have to get rid of the diversions. I am awash with them, apparently. As I write this, I listen to the hymn "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus", and the line "and the things on Earth will grow strangely dim" hits the spot. Last year the only thing that upheld me from the crazy vibes I was feeling was Jesus. It was the only thing that made sense. Now, I know and understand. It's not bothering me as much, but I have to come to terms and rectify how I feel about certain people, which is easier said than done. 

Since scaling back my life, I think I have to scale back the things that occupy my time. I have to stop multi-tasking so I can focus and not lose precious milliseconds, which do add up. I know I can do it. The "things of Earth" have to grow dim, because these things aren't of eternal value. 


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Half awake; need a shock blanket

My bias is showing, but one of my classmates look like Prince William. It's the nose, I think.

I had a great time just recuperating last weekend. I got to vegg out, marathon Sherlock (and Elementary), and do art. I was also writing. Fun times.

My brain is sputtering, still. That means I don't really have the longest attention span. Look at this post. Haha.

I felt really crappy this morning and didn't really want to go to class. I was feeling a bit anxious since yesterday evening--can one wake up from a nap anxious? Apparently I can. Sigh. But really, I think it's just the intake of caffeine. I've been drinking too much Earl Grey.

I'll list the things I'm grateful for so as to combat my anxiety.

1) My art supplies came!
2) My High School mentor(s) may have my art stuff.
3) My family is okay and getting better because everyone's not feeling 100% healthy. (That's the nicest way to put it. Haha.)
4) My brain isn't feeling as clogged, even though it's still taking more effort to think clearly. At least it's not foggy. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Welcome, New Year

I just wanted to have a quick post before I started school--intensive J-term.

Coming back to my apt in Cambridge, I was quite happy to be back in my own space, and since I feel like I've de-cluttered my brain, I don't feel as stifled. I have high hopes. A lot of things were healed inside (and out) in the two months I was gone. Thank God.

I signed up for Saatchi Online, which is an online gallery. At the moment, I don't have anything to upload. I bought a new easel which, thankfully, comes with an "introductory" set of 5 canvases, basic acrylic paint set, and brushes. Yay! I dusted off my art stuff and made space so it's more accessible. Soon, I will be able to make something. In the mean time, I'm doodling/practicing stuff on my sketchbook and phone.

I am still debating whether to get my floor done, that is, refinished. I should get one that. Haha!

So, yeah, J-term. It would be the first time, in a very long time, that I will be attending school four times a week. I think the last time I was in 4x a week was around 2007.

Also, as for writing, I was able to go 4,700+/5,000 words during my first writing exercise. I decided to cut the story short, totally abrupt, because somewhere around 3,000 words I realized that I had laid the plot thickly and it was more of a 10,000 word short story or ficlet. Hmn, I will have to revisit that story and expand when I am finished with the 10,000 word short story exercise.

All this practice is a bit taxing, but enjoyable. It's been 4 years since I painted/sketched/etc, and a good 2 or 3 years since I wrote anything of substance. (Not that poetry isn't substantial!) Even longer, actually, since I wrote an original piece--not fanfiction. Flexing mental dexterity. Oh, yeah!

Here's to a new day~