Saturday, June 24, 2017

My Body

When I woke up yesterday, I immediately thought of places to go and eat. Nice fancy places. But as I lay in bed and recounted the stuff I wanted to accomplish this year and --gasp!-- into my 30's I was like, "Nah, I'm going to climb some shiii!"

Climb I did.

There's a Brooklyn Boulders (Queensbridge location) on my commute to Evangel. At least on my subway (and walking) commute. I've really wanted to go since discovering it.

I've climbed rock walls before, a 35-foot wall with harness, and a few 5-foot walls bouldering, so it wasn't too new. But that was in my teens and early 20's. My physical and mental strength have changed.

As a kid, I didn't take care of my body, eating junk food--American and Filipino, and drinking soda to excess. I remember eating nothing but Watermelon Airheads one summer. That was stupid and dangerous, I realize now. I wasn't any better as a teen, I was sleep deprived 80%, cranky, and emotionally unstable. I had an eating disorder as well. I'd eat and eat and get it out...

I resolved to be kinder to my body in my 20's. That I did. I established a better relationship with sleep, food, and body.

People often say that the body "heads south" starting 30. That may be true, but I think that it's a good challenge to take up and maintain. I feel like I'm finally in this headspace where I am kind to my body. I don't want to keep abusing it because eventually, it won't be mine, well, not really.

Eventually, it will hold another life (or lives?) and will be a guardian and nourishment for these lives.

How does bouldering factor into it? Well, it's a novel experience. It's proof that my mind and body are stronger now. It's not where I want it to be, but small victories count.

I've got a vision for where I want to be as a person. I'm loving this little adventure already.



2 Corinthians 5:17

Monday, June 19, 2017

Time is an Ingredient

Probably why I happen to like Dominique Ansel Kitchen so much is because of the pathos of that specific branch. Dominique Ansel's Bakery is the birthplace of the Cronut, croissant-doughnut, and the chocolate chip cookie shot. The bakery is all about cutting edge desserts whilst the Kitchen, while also cooking up novel desserts, is all about time.

There are desserts that are completed upon ordering, for that "made to order" feel, whilst other desserts take days to complete. Like a good tres leches takes at least 2 days, Ansel's Tea-ramisu takes 48 hours to mature. My favorites, of course, are the tarts.

Past my preamble, time is an ingredient is so many aspects of our lives. It takes 9 months for human gestation--if the baby comes out too early its, often, very concerning, and if the baby doesn't come out and stays a bit (few days, weeks, even an extra month!) it, too, is a bit concerning. It often takes 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10, years to finish higher education. Someone doesn't get handed a Ph.D. or a Residency for just two years of study--I don't know if it's doable or possible, but it would be bloody exhausting.

I was just pondering about art and the time it takes to produce pieces. In history, there were artists who took months or years to finish a piece, having lulls in production. There were others who kept producing regularly, and within that body of work, Masterpieces would be recognized.

When I was in middle school, I remember a certain project that was assigned. Our class had to draw stuff and I remember I spent about an hour or so on the project. When we had to hand in our work, I saw a classmate's piece, and it was well made and very detailed. She looked at me and commented something to the effect, "it takes hours to make something, right?" I remember shrugging and replying, "Yeah, I guess so."

Something inside sparked, and soon after I spent sketching anything and everything. When I brought my sketchbook to school, I remember one of my classmates incredulous that my sketches got from line art to realism in such a quick time. "You traced this!", he was indignant. I put my hand over my sketch and I go, "the palm is too small for me to have 'traced' it!" I can laugh at the scene now, but I was so mad.

Anyway, I had lost quite a bit of time. But a good artist relies on skills, and I am excited to learn new skills. As a child, fine motor skills often elude, but being an adult, all I need is a bit of time. Thankfully, God has given me more than enough time. It's just about harnessing that time and not squandering it. Eep!

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Nah, I'm Good.

This morning, as I was on the bus to work, I was looking for tickets for my summer travel. I thought about visiting an old "friend". This friend and I had been in sporadic correspondence in the last ten years. Often, conversations are loaded or empty; there's no in between. Which is unfortunate because this person is brilliant in their own right-- we just can't end a conversation without some kind of emotional twist. Whatever.

Anyway, a quick thought flit through my mind: "I should visit". So engrossed was I in this endeavor that I was really ready to book my bus tickets. However--HOWEVER!--all of a sudden something clicked in mind.

"I'' good right here. Here and now... I am really good."

Perhaps this relationship just ends into nothingness. I'm totally okay with that.


On to other things, I haven't felt as light as I do today, in weeks. And quite possibly, months. Something just lifted yesterday evening. I feel so light.

Thank God for His mercy and grace. I feel so at peace when everything is so unsure.

Proverbs 3:5

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Here and Now

The countdown to my birthday is ever alarming?--for the lack of a better term. It is the last birthday of my 20's, and thus, once I hit that magical year, the countdown to my 3rd decade commences. As always, introspection comes part-and-parcel.

The last year has been a daring one. I have learned to stretch in faith, and boy has it been crazy for me. There have been periods of waiting, then spurts of intense activity, and the tapering off of intensity, but greater activity.

People worry about my future for me. They worry about my career. My place--whether I will grow roots in a certain area. I can only shrug.

The last decade has changed me. I used to plan everything in my life. Dread the work it entailed, but planned it neatly, nonetheless. But dropping out of Pharmacy School; taking a year and a half to actually seek God for the next step, and doing what He said, has been an adventure.

I was so scared to trust God with my future. I was so scared to let go. Now, I've learned that letting it go is best. There are things I don't need in my life and I gladly relinquish that to Him. There are things I can't handle, and I gladly hand that over. I've learned to simply do what I need, and that's that.

As I count down the days to my 29th birthday, I count down the crazy things that have happened in the last 10 years. My personal growth; my wonder and wanderings, and the grace that has been poured out.

Below is a quote from the sermon of Pastor Dharius Daniels (from Stay Woke, the one I talked about previous post)

"You started sensing the rising to an allergic reaction to mediocrity and apathy."

Excellence and clarity are mine.

Proverbs 31:31

Friday, June 9, 2017

Stay Woke

Referring back to the video I watched/listened two days ago by that artist, he expounded that we often take on bad habits. Likewise, it is often the bane of our existence to undo those bad habits, then re-learn new and better habits.

In one of my psychology classes, we read this book (written by the professor teaching the course) called, "Immunity to Change". Neurologically, the human brain is really good at keeping certain behaviors. Some we have actively incorporated into our lives, and others we have passively incorporated by proximity to those we spend most time with. All this contributes to our immunity against changes.

Safe to say, I am not a proponent of behavior modification.

Anyway, as I am going through this shift, I am taking stock--as I usually do--of my life and things that were added, and things that need to be taken out. I've already "weeded" out a small portion of my belongings. I think its time to get ruthless about it.

(That Marie Kondo book is looking mighty appealing, but I don't need any more books on the shelf for now!)

I'm currently listening to a sermon by Dharius Daniels, called "Stay Woke". It's nothing new, but being reminded is always great.

"It's one thing to want mind renewal, but it's another to be ready for the renewal."

Am I ready for revelation?

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Details and Demarcation

As most of my followers on Instagram and friends on Facebook know, I am focusing on my art at the moment. I wanted to focus on music but I had to decide which one would be beneficial for me at present. Writing, too, has been put on the back burner--at least, posting my writing. I'm chugging along, daily, trying to write something.

I was listening to a successful artist speaking about talent and skill late last evening and he consolidated the nebulae of thoughts I had been ruminating the past few months. Too long and verbose to write here. Haha!

Anyway, I take comfort in knowing that I don't know much about art. I truly want to increase my skill because talent only takes me so far--like engenius and prodigious children, the other children catch up eventually. I will not depend on inspiration or muse(s) but simply do...and learn.

Today marks a shift in the way I do things. I hope you'll tune in for the adventure. My blog on WordPress will contain more artist musings and, dare I hope, artwork. 

Jude 1:24-25

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Hello, 2017 and Life Adjustments

It's been more than a month since my last post. Quite a few things have happened since then--you know, life.

Let me begin by saying that I did not get to finish my NaNoWriMo story which was disappointing. Mid-November I started teaching. December was challenging, as I had to learn to navigate the new position and other things. God was still in all of that because He allowed added responsibility--to liaise between school and program. Not too bad! I'm getting the hang of being a teacher.

As for the story, I spent a good while last week, looking at my notes and I fell in love with my characters all over again. I do want to write my story but I think I'll need a little more time to get their "lives" right. All I know is that I am besotted with Piero. Haha!


Healthwise, I was doing well after the Holidays. I didn't partake gluttonously of the Holiday meals. I lost weight, one and a half pant sizes to be precise. On the last week of December, I finally committed to a gym membership. It was a mind game, really. Thankfully my gym offered a complimentary Personal Trainer consultation. My trainer is kick-butt and we jive quite well. I lost two pant sizes by New Year!

For a person who had not stepped into a gym in 10 years--discounting the times I bought memberships but didn't go--I was so self-conscious. To note: I did go do Yoga intermittently in that decade, but I've given that up. Anyway, I got psyched-out the second week, but thankfully the youth at my church inspired me to go.

I got sick. Then went to Disney World with my cousins the first two weeks of January. I felt horrible last week. I felt heavy and weak, no energy at all yet terrible sleeping patterns. I hit the gym last Saturday and promised to go every day this week. I booked a 7 am session with my trainer just so I can be held accountable.

That accountability led me to push. Push past self-consciousness and feelings of inadequacies. To mind my self, my goals, and no one else. Thus far, I can see an improvement in my cardiovascular health. My running times are getting better, 24-minute mile in December, to 18:20 yesterday, and 13:53 today! WOOT WOOT! Here's to Shaklee Sports Nutrition for helping me!


Fortuitously, my pastor in Cambridge emailed about discipleship level 2. There was no thinking about it! An opportunity to grow deeper in Christ is a great life-investment. I am excited in this time of dedication. With a boatload of stuff going on around the world, I want to hunker down in Christ, my anchor, my rock. Otherwise, there would be no peace.


All this to say that there are more things in store for 2017. I'm so ready. There will be challenges, there will be lulls--life happens--but this year I'm taking and making it for myself and my God.

Colossians 4:2