Thursday, June 30, 2016

I've lived in the bay area my whole life (except for a couple years in LA for grad school. By the way, LA is very different from the bay area). 

Things I like about living in the bay area:
  • The sophistication here. I don't say that to be snobby. Sophistication, when done right, is classy and inspiring. People are always challenging themselves to be better and help/elevate society. We're sophisticated intellectually and in cultural tastes.
  • The superior dining and other cultural attractions. We have so many cuisines available, with excellent food. We have some of the best entertainment options available. 
  • The landscape...we're near the beaches and the mountains. We can tan and ski/snowboard, all in the same day, hypothetically. Also, the nature and scenery around here is just beautiful.
  • The weather. It's always mild and pleasant. Almost always sunny. It makes you feel good and it's easy. 
  • People here are down-to-earth and open-minded. We're not really into brand-name things. There's a lot of wealth, but actually not a lot of showing-off, relatively speaking. That attitude isn't really prevalent here. I think it's partly because a lot of wealthy people here are self-made, through honest hard work and skill. People here are pretty liberal and open-minded. I think it's partly because there's racial diversity here and intellectually, we understand the concept of seeing different perspectives. 
  • The energy here. New, significant inventions are always coming up right around the corner. There's exciting things happening, and quickly, all the time. You really feel like you're in the middle of something important, living in a place that is making history every day, so to speak.  

Things I don't like about living in the bay area:
  • How expensive it is to live here. Everyone (well, in terms of the people I meet) feels the pressure, even the people who work at top companies with high-paying jobs. When people talk about housing and the cost of living, they don't just talk about it negatively, but you can see the fear in their faces. They're not absolutely certain or don't know how they can keep affording this in the future. There's an undercurrent of fear that is only growing.
  • The weather. We don't get seasons. Sniff. I think seasons bring depth and character to a place.
  • People don't really know how to enjoy the moment and relish in the simple things in life. They don't know that there's value in that. There are too many flashy things grabbing our instant attention; sometimes I feel like we're kids with mild attention disorder. Look at all the technology we have here - it's easy to get lost in all that and forget that technology is simply a tool, but not the basis, for enjoying life.
  • I think we have a tendency to intellectualize things and be too rational, at the expense of our humanity. This is great for developing or improving things, but bad for human connection and warmth. Sometimes, I feel like people talk to each other like robots (I'm exaggerating, but I'm trying to my point across). Relating to others isn't about purely an exchange of the minds.
  • We're judgmental about achievement and success. This is something we judge others by. Ourselves by. AND we don't see anything wrong with this mindset (because achievement contributes to society and a better quality of life...right?). But there is something wrong with it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I want to talk about my relationship with my coworkers. I realize my subjects may be depressing lately, with me complaining about everyone and anyone. I don't know. But it's real. So hopefully, if you are reading this, you will find some value or interest in all of this.

My relationship with my coworkers isn't something I'm heavily invested in. They're just my coworkers. I'm not trying to win any popularity contests or find great friends in them. I mean if that happened, that would be great, but it's not that important to me. The reason I talk about them so much is because I see them so often...it's part of work.

I've often complained about my coworkers to people, but I've never actually described just exactly what my relationships with many of them are like. I thought I would do that now. Warning, it may not be pleasant. This is not one of those posts that will leave you with an "aww" smile on your face.

I feel incredibly vulnerable about this, but moving on.

In order for me to talk about this, I have to talk about my office atmosphere and my job function first. It puts it in the right context. Context is important.

My office is small. The number of people who are physically in the office is less than thirty. We also have sales people who work remotely, but I don't interact with them.

Unless you're really out of it, you easily know everyone's names and a little bit of identifying information about them. I even know what car everyone drives and where they park. You're bound to bump into everyone at some point regularly, just walking through the common areas.

There are some cliques here, well, one big one mostly, involving the "younger" people. (But they really aren't that young, in their thirties). They all sit together in the front office space, near where I sit. This isn't a particularly nice clique. The core members of this clique are the kind of people that make you feel bad for not being included. Everyone knows this, but not everyone is as affected (depending on whether you sit with them or near them, whether you're in the same age group, etc.) We've had people who had to leave or switch to a different job because they couldn't handle this clique. Management doesn't like this social atmosphere, but they don't know what to do about it.

I'm the receptionist. I'm presumed to be everyone's friend by default. It's part of my job description. ESPECIALLY because we're in a small office, so I'm expected to be more than just polite, but actually pretty sociable with everyone, on a somewhat personal level. So, now you see, one of the reasons I complain/talk about my coworker relationships so much, is because it is a big part of my job (and one of the hardest parts of it). 

If everyone were nice, this part actually comes pretty easily to me. I like being nice, I AM nice, and I know how to create friendships with people, all people, on an acquaintance level. I don't think everyone can do this, by the way. It's not just a matter of being nice (which is part of it), but also being able to radiate warmth. Anyway. 

So, being that I have to be so open, it makes me more vulnerable, and seem more vulnerable.

I'm also "just" the receptionist. No one has to kiss up to me, and people look down on me (which if they do, is their problem, not mine). AND I don't seem like I could stand up for myself. I'm a prime target for people to be mean to me, and that's what happened, since there weren't nice people here to begin with. Enter...the people in the mean clique. Enter...other random, mean people in the office that exist.

People here were really mean to me. They ganged up on me as a group (the mean clique), and didn't invite me to things in front of my face, regularly, when they knew I wanted to be invited. They did this to me while I was sitting by myself in the lobby, I was all alone. Or one time, when I was kitchen, one person against four. All alone. It was always one person, me, and a "weak" person at that, against a whole group. They thought I wouldn't fight back. They were wrong and right. I did stand up for myself, but not as much as I could have.

Then there were also the other, random mean people in the office...who were usually unpleasant to other people as well, but really had no reason to hold back with me at ALL, because I'm "just" the receptionist. I really felt the full effects of all their psychological problems. I had to deal with these people as well.

People here don't really try this stuff with me anymore or get away with it much, because after years, I finally learned how to be both vulnerable/open AND stand up for myself. (More or less).

However, with the people from the mean clique, there is still that stuff they did to me before, that I let them get away with in the past. I forgive, but I don't forget it. And unless they make amends with me, show me how sorry they are for how they treated me in the past, for my own sake, for my own dignity, I can't be friends with them. I can't even be friendly with them. Basically, they have to know that I heavily dislike them (unless they ever apologize), though I'm not angry because...well...that's not healthy for me and I forgive.

There are three people from that mean clique I don't acknowledge in any way whatsoever. If I see them in the hallways, kitchen, wherever, I walk right on by, always. I don't bother looking at them. Working in a small office, this is downright hostile behavior. Of those three people, one of them acts the same way towards me back, with the same hostility. The other two, I think, would reciprocate if I ever said hi to them.

There are three other people from that mean clique that have tried to be coworker-level friendly with me (though still never apologizing for how they treated me in the past), so I'm a little friendlier back. Only in that I at least look their way, and kind of say hi to them, if they say hi to me out of professionalism and courtesy. But it's uncomfortable enough between us where they know we can't make small talk. Again, we're a small office. I wouldn't call my behavior towards them hostile, but it's not nice.

As far as the rest of the office, there's currently two other people I don't acknowledge, ever. For one of them, he's just as hostile back to me. He started it; he's just not nice. But if he were ever to say hi, I would say hi back. He didn't gang up on me, a "weak" person, in a group, so I don't need sorry-ness on his part. I just need any willingness to have a normal coworker relationship. As far as the other person, he's in a whole, separate category, and I'm going to leave it mostly at that. I fear for my safety with him. It's best not to have any personal contact with him at all. 

With everyone else, I'm fine with them. We say hi. I make occasional small talk with them, if the situation calls for it. It's fine and normal.

So, if you have been reading and read this far, thank you. Now you know how hard it is for me, what I go through on a daily basis, and hopefully, how I'm just trying my best and my only goal throughout all this is just to be a good person - either by being kind, or by standing up for myself because I equally value justice and self-worth. Thanks again. You are helping me to unload a huge burden. I don't have to live in secrecy about what I actually go through.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I always complain to myself about how we don't have seasons here in Silicon Valley. Seasons just make me feel sentimental and feel like they should be a way of life, right? But one season that we do get, is summer.

Summertime

It's bright. Everything is chirpy, happy, and relaxed.

Time to wear light skirts and dresses. Flowy things. I like looking good.

The fruit in the summer! Berries, lots of berries! Stone fruit. My favorite. Cherries and peaches and plums and pluots and everything else. The fruit is fragrant, juicy, cool and refreshing.

Lots of daylight. It's light when I get up. It's light when I drive home from work. It's light until almost right before I go to sleep. I can be OUTSIDE!

Everyone else is outside too! At the beach, at bbqs, dining al fresco, at picnics, lounging by the pool, lounging on chairs, on vacations. It's nice sharing and feeling the excitement.

It's the easiest time of the year. Enjoy it! 

Monday, June 27, 2016

I'm naive. I've lived a very sheltered life. Well, that's embarrassing to admit. But it's even worse to feel the effects of it and come face to face with it. I.e., getting a reality dose.

Before I started working here, I never experienced how awful people can be. I was living in a tent, I guess. I wasn't in that many communal situations. Or when I saw people, I removed myself from that situation as much as I could. Or, I simply closed myself off from people and what was going on around me. I didn't hate people. I just didn't know any other way to interact with people, and I never had to worry about fending for myself, so I had no need to go out and find a way to deal with people.

In my world, a bad person, the worst someone could be, was someone who made an offhand remark to me, didn't like me, and hurt my feelings. That was a bad person.

Anyway, I started working here. No one did me any favors here. And I stayed with this situation, because I knew I needed to grow up and for the current moment, this job was my reality.

I certainly got reality here. I wasn't spared a thing. I had to deal with people who didn't play by the rules and got away with it. That's reality. For most people, it would already be difficult to take. For me, even harder, seeing as it was my first foray into reality and a severe jolt. 

The easy way to deal with this, and what many people do, is also break the rules and get away with things too. But I didn't, and never, want to be that kind of person. By the way, I'm not talking about breaking the rules in a relatively harmless or mischievous way. I'm talking about breaking them so that you hurt other people, significantly.

It's hard to live morally in an ugly world.

I have a hard time coming into the office every day, knowing that I have to be in the vicinity of certain people. It makes my blood boil. It makes me sad. I have to numb myself, to deal with it.

I guess I have to get used to the fact that I don't live in a perfect world. The bad people aren't the ones who make a small remark and hurt my feelings. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday night

It gets a little slower. No one books exciting, adrenaline-filled things on Sunday nights. 

The upcoming week is on your mind. Monday morning. You picture yourself being a little busier. Hopefully not hectic though - that's bad. 

You prepare for the upcoming week a little. Just a little. It's still a weekend. 

You enjoy the slow night. Sunday night feels like a routine, but a slow one. It's a relaxing routine. 

When you go to sleep, you feel very relaxed from the weekend and prepared for the upcoming week. 
I don't really enjoy hanging out with my extended family. This isn't a commentary on anyone in my extended family specifically, but as a whole. This feeling has been growing in me for awhile now. I've never really been able to articulate why though. 

We don't have get-togethers very often. Maybe once a quarter. And almost every time, when I leave the get-togethers, I feel worse than before I went. Even when I know not to expect much. So, I think it's pretty clear, that I don't enjoy these gatherings. 

I think it's because, on some level, people are very guarded with each other, when we meet up as a group. We keep it light. When we talk about our problems, it's not the truly significant ones in our lives. That's how it feels. 

I'm not saying that our get-togethers have to be group therapy sessions, with everyone going around sharing what's really going on. First of all, that would be way too heavy, and second of all, there isn't enough time to hear about everyone's lives in that much depth. 

But at the same time, there can still be more depth sometimes, at least once in awhile. I mean, we're family. 

So when that authenticity is missing, it feels like the hangouts are almost a "place to see and be seen." In other words, about appearances. 

It's not as bad as it could be, but there are still some traces of this. 

I think it's because it's predominantly about being with each other in order to have fun. Versus caring about each other, which is there, but becomes a lower priority. The priorities are shifted. 

I think it can also be a way for people to feel good about themselves. Sad, but true. 

I think it's also because there's a fear of judgment, which exists because there IS judgment. There is pressure to have your life fit into a certain mold, one which doesn't signify happiness or meaning necessarily. A lot of times the judgment/pressure is unspoken, but you know it's there. 

Anyway, I leave these get-togethers feeling exhausted. It's exhausting because I feel like I can't be myself. I also leave these get-togethers feeling kind of empty. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

When a man loves a woman 

All of her ugly parts look beautiful to him. Because it's her. 

Her pleasure becomes his mission in life. He is constantly thinking about how to do this.

When he makes a mistake with her, he is sorry and feels bad, on his own. Then he tries to do better. 

When he sees her happy, he smiles and can't stop smiling. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Friendship

This is a different sort of friendship topic than the kind I would normally talk about. Than friendship with girl friends, with family or family-type people, with acquaintances.

When I used to tell people that Jesse and I had a friendship before he ever started liking me (or maybe it happened in parallel), but anyway, that friendship was the foundation, I got a lot of indifferent reactions. I'm not sure why people seemed to be so indifferent to this fact. I'm not thinking of anyone specifically or anything. But anyway, the general impression I seemed to get was that friendship, in a romantic situation, wasn't that exciting, interesting, or significant.

I don't know. Maybe people did think it was somewhat significant, but I just didn't pick up on that. Maybe it was my fault for not explaining well enough the nature of our friendship - after all, "friends" is a very broad term, I could use it to describe anyone that I just know by name. Maybe I didn't talk to enough people to get a better sample size. And here's another reason - maybe not everyone really understands how valuable and significant the friendship element is in a romantic relationship. Probably all of these reasons are true.

I don't know if I can explain exactly, why friendship is SO important in a romantic situation. It's like trying to explain what emotions are or colors are. 

Well, okay, I'll try. Here's my best shot.

Friendship with your boyfriend/fiance/husband/partner/whatever (and vice versa) is so important because that's how you relate to him/her, purely as a person. Not just as a sexual being (the exciting romantic and physical part). At the end of the day, a relationship with someone isn't really worthy, meaningful, valuable, or real, unless you are also relating to each other purely as people. Person to person, independent of any sexual overtones.

Here's something I wrote about my friendship with Jesse:

***

Friendship

He gets me, and I get him. It's a two-way thing.

And, 

We can talk so easily with each other. Conversation doesn't feel forced. 

And, 

He does a lot of annoying things and has a lot of annoying habits, but I don't mind them. It doesn't mean I like them. It just means I don't mind them.

And,

We just want to spend time with each other. Simply because we enjoy each other's company. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Pain

I debated about whether to talk about my pain on here. My first inclination was, No! I don't know why. I don't like thinking about my pain. And I don't like appearing weak.

But if I didn't talk about my pain, then that wouldn't be complete. My life is not all sunshine and roses and positive things. Do other people really have that life? I don't know. But it's not me.

I'm in a lot of pain because Jesse doesn't commit to me, and I deserve that from him. I think he'll get there; he should. I don't make that statement out of desperation or emotion, but by reason. Jesse loves me a lot - I know it. I don't mean just emotionally, but in caring too. His flaw is that he's a bit immature and doesn't like committing to women. 

Now, some men never get over this, or if they do, they're seriously ancient by then. I don't put Jesse in this category of men - if I did, I would have bolted long ago. And believe me, a part of me wishes that I could put him in this category and totally write him off, because then I wouldn't have to suffer. This is NOT suffering I put upon myself because I'm too weak to demand for something better. I think that's the easy way for people to see my situation, and I know people mean well, but it's not true.

I don't put Jesse in this category of men because I saw him trying with me. For so long. He stood by me, he waited for me, he pursued me, even when it was tremendously difficult for him to, because it had been so long. I saw him stretching himself to remain with me in this way, choosing patience and commitment over instant pleasure. I saw where he had started out from, and how far he had come. 

But he's not fully there yet. I know the right thing for me to do is to be gracious and give him time to fully overcome his flaw. That's what I'm doing. 

But I'm tremendously hurt. This is one of the worst things I can feel as a woman - to not have that commitment from a man, when I know I deserve it. 

I feel angry at him too. Anger and hurt, they go hand-in-hand.

As for the hurt, there's nothing I can do about it. That will be there, as long as he hasn't fully overcome his flaw. I just have to take it as it comes. This is a new concept to me - taking hurt and pain from a man. And taking more hurt and pain from him, than I cause him. 

My natural instinct tells me that this should never be the case - I should protect myself from hurt, and I certainly shouldn't tolerate being hurt by someone more than I hurt him/her. But that's my pride and fear speaking. If we want to get close to people, really close to them, then this happens to us sometimes. It shouldn't happen all the time, but it will happen sometimes.  

This is a fact of life, and if I don't accept it, then I'm not humble to life. And that's really bad to be, because I'm declaring myself to be THE master of the universe...which clearly, I'm not. 

As for my anger, well, there's only one good way for me to deal with that, and that's to forgive Jesse. Yes, forgive him. It's for my good as much as his. I feel pain, but that doesn't mean I should be angry at him. Being angry at Jesse is no good. 

There's only one "tiny" problem with this...which is that, I don't seem to be able to forgive him and let it go. Well, I guess part of me has, and part of me hasn't. It's a work in progress.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Men Who Cheat

I like men. I really do. It may possibly seem like I don't, given the title of my post and how I talk about being taken advantaged of and stuff. But not all men are like that. And when men are good, they're great. So, before I launch into this topic, I just want to start off by saying that I really like men.

I recently found out that a family friend, someone I don't know well, but still a friend of the family, got divorced. She was with her ex-husband for ten years. They have a seven year old daughter now. She started getting an idea that he was cheating on her when her daughter was two, about five years into the marriage. She decided to give him a chance, and stayed with him. For five more years. Finally, after ten years together, the cheating was still going on, and they divorced.

I never saw it coming. I don't know this couple (ex-couple) well, but from the outside, they looked fine. She's not an evil person, and neither is he. That's why this is so surprising and upsetting. They're both really normal people.

My mom has this belief that 99% of men cheat (my dad is special, she says, which is true). I really don't think it's as bad as what my mom thinks it is, if you can even assign a percentage to this. But I think women have to be smart and realistic. It's not a low "percentage."

From my family friend's story, I think the takeaway is that basically, all men are very capable of cheating. ***ALL*** men. Even the most gentle, likes-to-do-what's-right, likes-to-follow-the-rules man, is perfectly capable, very capable, of cheating. It sucks. Also, I think it's hard for women to comprehend this. Because it's kind of the opposite of how we're wired. But men are the opposite of women.

I hate to say this, but men are biologically programmed to cheat. It's instinctual to them. Doesn't make it the least bit acceptable if it happens though. 

But not all men cheat. If they don't, I think it basically comes down to two factors for the woman:

1) Luck

and/or

2) Being smart about this situation and knowing how to prevent him from cheating. That does NOT mean to lock him up or tie him to you. Maybe that works, but I don't think that's the right way. Besides, when you do that, you don't really have a man anymore.

I don't know what the surefire techniques and tips are. I just think that it's something you have to learn and figure out as you go, on your journey with your man. 

And I think that when it's done right, men appreciate this too. They want to be good, and they need help. 
Stream of consciousness, random thoughts

I don't have any thoughts! I'm a simpleton. La la la. I like this.  

The fan feels good this morning. There's air moving, but it's not too strong.

I really like dogs. I really, really, really like dogs. They're just the best.

Dogs! Puppies!! Puppy dog eyes. The way they cock their heads. The way they sniff at you. How happy they are. Mischievous. 

See, I told you I like them.

I'm going to eat cake for breakfast. Yum!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Yesterday after work, I spontaneously went to a ballet class with my sister (not having planned it before I went to work in the morning). And it was great!

The ballet class was good and all, but I'm talking about the spontaneity of it all. Being spontaneous is new for me.

I felt excited, free, and alive.

I'm not going to make it my goal or mission to "do one spontaneous thing every day or week", or anything like that. Spontaneity comes on its own. It has to be something I really want to do in the moment, not because I want to want to do something.

As of right now, there isn't anything spontaneous I really feel like doing.

But I'll try to keep an open mind out for it. You never know when the mood will strike you. And I guess that's part of the fun!

Monday, June 20, 2016

I am the very opposite of a spontaneous person. I don't know how I got to be this way - it's not good. While it's good to have some order and foundation in our lives, it's also good to let loose and have fun! And the more spontaneous we are, the more fun we have. It's just a law of...I don't know, life.

And, we can be a super orderly AND a super spontaneous person. They're not mutually exclusive. This never occurred to me. It's a newsflash for me. I suspect I'm a bit late to this news and many people know this truth.

I actually think I have it in me to be spontaneous; I'm just not used to exercising this in my daily, regular life. But ultimately, there is a part of me that is already pretty good at letting go.

Anyway, I'll start out small, but to me, it's a pretty big deal. The spontaneous thing I feel like doing currently is going to a ballet class after work, something I didn't even think about doing until this mid-morning at work. I'll have to leave work a little bit earlier, take an extra trip home to get my clothes, and maybe have to rearrange my dinner time. Okay, this adds more variables to my day, but it's part of the fun! I'm learning how to be fun.

I recruited my sister too, who IS a spontaneous person. She's never even taken a ballet class before, as an adult. She's going to buy ballet shoes this afternoon (she's not working today). She said okay almost right away. Whether she actually ends up going or not, I should learn some things from her. I feel like an alien.

If I can incorporate being spontaneous into my regular life...I don't know what will happen exactly, but it'll be really, really good!
One thing I like doing at my job is that I get to update the company's snacks and supplies in the kitchen. My boss isn't frugal about this. When she used to do this shopping for the office, in addition to getting snack staples such as chips, crackers, drinks, candy, coffee, etc., she has bought ice cream, fruit, yogurt, milk, bread, cute asian snacks, etc. 

That set the tone for what I can buy now. Basically, I can buy whatever I want, as long as it's somewhat reasonable. My boss hands me a Costco cash card. Then I go to Costco whenever supplies are running low and pick out snacks for the office.

I don't go too crazy and buy really expensive or different stuff, but it's fun :). I'm getting paid to hang out at Costco and spend the company's money on fun stuff :). And people like me afterwards. They thank me for buying snacks and/or are really nice to me, because they want me to get certain stuff for them.

Another thing I like about my job is that I take care of the plants in the lobby. There are a lot of them. My boss likes plants. Let's see. There are twelve of them right now. They're like my friends and they emit good oxygen into the air, right? This is a hobby for some people, and it's my job.

Finally, another thing I like about my job is that there are some genuinely good people here. I've complained about my coworkers in the past, and those people are still here. But there are people with good character too. People who never hesitate to help me out with something. People who brighten up the day by going out of their way to make genuinely friendly and appropriate small talk. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Ballet moves

Sometimes I practice ballet at home. I find a smooth surface to stand on (either the kitchen or the entryway), grab a piece of furniture as a practice barre, put on my ballet shoes, and practice. 

I practice very basic moves, slowly. It's almost kind of painful sometimes. I have to use muscles I don't use. 

I love to look pretty and graceful (well, I try. In theory!) I love how if I get better at it, I can use it to be expressive. 

For me, ballet is the foundation for other kinds of dance. I know if I can be okay at ballet, I can be okay at other kinds of dance.

I <3 ballet! 

Also, today is Father's Day! I love my dad <3

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Relaxing Saturday afternoon 

I'm well rested. I got a lot of sleep yesterday! 

The sky is blue and I hear birds chirping outside. Everytime I hear birds chirping on a day like this, I feel like I'm in a Disney movie. 

I hear construction workers doing something on a house down the street. The world is still moving along. I find this noise strangely comforting. It's not loud or grating. Just a humming buzz in the background. 

And now I'm going to go find myself something to enjoy for lunch. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Okay, time to go back in history and get a little personal here.

In my life, I've only been in one relationship, and it scarred me. I was 22, and it lasted for about a year and a half. I didn't respect the guy (nor did I have any reason to), and I wasn't a good person myself. 

Sorry, this is hard for me to talk about...

There was no love in that relationship. Not even infatuation, on my part. 

Suffice to say, it was a very bad relationship. From it, I learned many things. Some of those things I'm only learning a decade later, like very recently. Some of those things I learned right away.

One of the things I learned right away, almost right after it was over, was that I never wanted to be in a relationship again until I was happy with myself. Happy with myself as a single person, with my single life. Only then would I be able to truly give in a relationship, and be in a fulfilling one. 

I didn't know what that would look like for me, but I knew I certainly wasn't there. I knew I had a pretty long way to go.

For some reason, I always thought I would "know" when I had finally reached that point. I thought it would be like an a-ha moment, maybe. I would feel great clarity and peace in my life, and with everything around me. I would unquestionably, just know, that I was happy with my single life finally and was now emotionally ready to be in a relationship.

I don't know why I thought that. I do have to be happy with myself in some sense, but I can still have a lot of messy problems with myself too. 

I guess I just have to be humble and admit that when I set standards for myself, I have/had a messed up and weird way of doing it.
Weekend plans

I don't have any plans, like usual. I think it's mostly because I'm in an unconventional life stage/phase. I don't feel like I'm in the single or married stage. Well, I am in the single stage, but that doesn't mean I want to hang out with just single people all the time. And neither do I want to hang out with just married couples, or couples in general. By default, that kind of leaves me nowhere. Singles and couples, at my age, don't mix that often.

I used to feel bad about being unconventional, but I'm mostly over that. I live for me. I used to feel bad, and still do, for never having plans, but I'm trying to get over that. It's not ideal, but I've learned that life doesn't have to be ideal for it to be okay or good.

I guess I could busy myself with a lot of activities and events in general, but that doesn't feel right to me either. If I did, I know I would be doing it basically to fill up a void in my life. The void of not having my own family. But I choose to accept this void instead. I don't like it, but I don't need to pretend or act like this void isn't here. Other single people in their thirties can be very busy with activities and truly enjoy that life. I'm just speaking for myself here.

Father's Day is tomorrow! My sister got him a card and I'll sign it. Other than that, I don't know if we'll do anything else. We may or may not. My family doesn't usually plan out events in advance, since my dad is so busy with work all the time.

If I'm feeling like it, I may take a dance class this weekend. Either modern dance or ballet. Maybe even both? We'll see. I can decide later.

But, for sure, one thing I'm looking forward to, is sleeping in, in my comfy bed.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

I'm not going to pretend like I'm a good cook. It's not that I have really bad skill or anything; it's more that I just don't do it often. So I'm not very good. But I do like cooking, and one of the reasons is because when I do cook, often my food tastes better (to me) than what I can get anywhere else. 

I cook easy, healthy (try to avoid processed ingredients), non-fancy food. This is what's on my mind and what I'm craving currently:

-pasta with meatballs and homemade tomato sauce
-panko-crusted chicken breasts with mashed potatoes
-chocolate chip cookies (will try halving the white sugar and see how that turns out)
-chinese braised chicken drumsticks

Yum!  

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I've been in a clothing rut. I haven't felt the desire to dress up and look nice. I go for functional, passable, somewhat pretty...but I know that I could be dressing a lot nicer, having much more fun with it, and actually using my clothes as a way to feel good about myself. But I'm not. I've been this way for more than a year.

I can't remember the last time I bought anything, and if I did, it was probably in a random, unusual moment of excitement. Actually, now I remember. They weren't exciting pieces, they were boring wardrobe basic and staples.

Anyway, my wardrobe basically hasn't been updated in years. This makes me sad, because it's different from how I used to be. I used to be excited about what I wore. I felt like my clothes showcased my personality and made me feel better about myself, more alive. For the last one plus years, I've been trying to figure out why that desire has left me and been trying to get it back, waiting for it to come back. 

It's not that I feel ugly or bad about my body. I feel the same about it as I did before. My body hasn't changed. It's not that I dislike any of the clothes out there in stores or really dislike the current trends. It's not that I'm trying to save money. It's not that I'm too busy or stressed to care about clothes. 

I think it's because my style has changed, and I haven't wanted to admit it. I used to like feminine things (dresses and skirts), and in a girly, youthful, innocent style. I wore a lot of florals, pastels (especially light pink), soft fabrics, and showed some skin but not excessively.

Now, I think my style is feminine (still dresses and skirts) and mostly the same, just a little more grown-up. The main difference is that I would prefer to show even less skin than before. Skirts that go just above the knee or slightly past it (I like the midi-skirt look). Unfortunately, I have short legs so that midi-length doesn't look good on me, so I'll have to settle for skirts that go just above my knees. Skirt tops and dresses that don't show off my bare shoulders or dip down low in the front. Also, still basically the same color tones as before, but with slightly more elegant, sophisticated colors thrown in (black, navy blue, cream). 
Blessings

  • that I live in northern California where we have perfect weather. Even though I complain about the weather here sometimes, not having interesting seasons (and winter is my favorite season, not having winters here)...I still do enjoy our weather here regardless. Every day is a perfect day.
  • that I'm on relatively good terms with all my immediate family members. My mom, dad, and sister.
  • that I get to be creative whenever I want. I can dance, cook/bake, write, and now, I want to start framing my pictures. 

Lately, there have been sad things in the news. When does it ever feel like there isn't, though? The mass shooting in Orlando, the Stanford rape case...sad news doesn't end. It makes us lose faith. It makes me lose faith. But then, all I have to do is concentrate on the good people in this world, and there are good people in this world, to know that everything is okay. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

I know I've talked about this before. I'm looking forward to taking a walk around our house today.

It's a good combination of the right amount of exercise, and enjoying nature/scenery for me. The walk takes a little less than an hour, which is a good length of time, and it's hilly, so I feel like it's a significant workout. When I walk on all flat places, that doesn't really do anything for me.

It's also just so nice in our neighborhood. I really enjoy the natural scenery. I'm actually not a fan of really landscaped areas, it looks beautiful at first, but I think that nature as it exists, wild and free, is the most beautiful sight on earth. And in our neighborhood, there is still a lot of nature, and it's really nice. The foliage is very green, and varied in shades of green. The mountains in the distance are nice; a rich shade of brown and not too large nor too small. The grass in certain places is yellow, but it doesn't look dried out to me, it's a nice, natural, golden yellow. The sky is blue, and the way the light hits everything, no matter the time of the day, is always just right. Soft, yet bright.

I think I'm one of those people who's more sensitive to air around me. If I'm in a dirty, smoky area, I feel it right away and feel the urge to cough. Conversely, if I'm in a very clean area with lots of good oxygen, I feel better right away. My lungs feel cleaner, I take a deep breath, it feels like salve to my body. That's how it feels when I take a walk around our neighborhood. The air isn't as pristine, as say, the air in a national park, but it's much better than what you can expect to find in most civilized places.

I often see other neighbors walking too. I don't know their names, but some of them I recognize. Regardless, we say a quick hello to each other and go on our ways. It's nice to see other people walking around, just as nature and our bodies intended for us to do.

So, that is something that I enjoy. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Things I'm looking forward to, in no particular order:
  • my body has been feeling more in shape after I started taking more one-hour walks. It feels so good to be in-shape. Not for the looks. It just FEELS good.
  • going to see a movie at the Stanford Theater sometime. I plan to. How is it that I've lived in the bay area my whole life and not heard of this place?
  • eating more fresh fruit this summer
  • going through all my old photos from the roughly last 7-8 years of my life and printing the important ones. Framing other childhood photos.
My friend never followed up with me about supporting her on her long-term mission trip, after we got dinner to discuss that. A few weeks later, I texted my friend twice, 2 days in a row, to ask her for details about her mission trip. I wanted to support her, financially.

She never replied back to my texts. I haven't seen her in person and don't know when I will next.

So I was and am really confused. Why would someone not want my financial support when they were asking for it before? Even if she didn't need it anymore (which seems unlikely), why wouldn't she at least reply to my texts?

She seems like a really nice person too. And I consider her a friend, on some level.

So then my insecurity took over. Does she not like me? Did I say something? Am I unqualified to support someone?

Or maybe, I thought to myself, she's just really absent-minded and not good on follow-through? I don't know if she's disorganized, but she doesn't seem like one of those super, duper organized people.

I don't know for sure, but I think it's that reason. The other scenarios just don't make sense to me. It also doesn't make sense to me how someone can be so absent-minded like this either, but that's because I'm the type of person who would be super on top of this stuff. I can't assume that other people operate like me. I think I just haven't had the experience of interacting with a lot of people who are different from me in certain ways. It kind of scares me, what I don't know about the world. I feel very naive. I know that there's a lot I don't know. I don't feel ready to walk out in the world; I have this slightly uneasy feeling that I'm not fully equipped. I'm naive. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Good morning! It's Thursday, getting close to the end of the week. 

Nothing exciting or different going on today. Same old. My day's plans are just being at work, helping my mom a bit with her recent identify theft (I don't understand why people steal...), and hopefully taking a one hour walk after work. I'll also probably take some time to continue writing some things I've been working on...personal projects of mine... an essay describing how I felt recently taken advantage of, and all of these guides. Writing helps me, is necessary for me, to process these things. 

That's a good summary of what I've got going on today.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Even though I feel very heavy recently with something I'm dealing with in my life (how I was vulnerable as a woman, and someone started taking advantage of that), dealing with the aftermath of all that and trying to come to a place of peace within myself with that....

In spite of that, there is another part of me that feels okay today. Humans are complex. I'm not okay, but I'm also kind of okay.

I just feel this peace in my soul. For no reason. It's good to be alive. Life is good, love does exist, and we are lucky. Amen. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A few weeks ago, I got dinner with a friend from church that I hadn't seen in years. When we met up, even after all these years, we had a nice time. While we were never super close, we always got along well.

In that time, she had started dating a guy from church and gotten married. I found out recently that she and her husband were going to go to China soon, for an indefinitely long missions trip, but at least for four years.

The purpose of our dinner was mostly so she could tell me about their upcoming ministry activity, and to see if I would be willing to help them (financially, through prayer, or just moral support). But we ended up catching up a lot over dinner too.

I didn't grow up in church, so this is new for me. It's not normal for me to be involved with missions trips in any way. I've never gone on one, and I've never actively supported one. 

After dinner, she left it open-ended. There was no pressure for me to do anything.

I'm twiddling my thumbs. I don't even know what's causing me to be up in the air about this. Just that this is something I've never considered before. If I support them financially, even if it's just a little bit, my heart better be in it.

I like my friend and her husband. But do I believe in what they're doing? I honestly don't know. I don't think it's wrong. But I don't know if I feel so compelled about it that I want to actively support them financially.

Their trip touches on ideas of salvation and evangelism that I don't know what to think of. I don't know what's the best way to go about these things. I don't think about these topics very much, not enough for me to have strong opinions.

And maybe I'm just over-thinking things. Maybe, since I don't have strong opinions either way, but I do feel okay about their trip, I should just give financially...and see what happens.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Monday morning

Nobody truly likes to be at work on Monday mornings (ok, most people). And I'm not going to be one of those overly chirpy people on Monday mornings, who annoy everyone because they seem like they're over-compensating for this fact.

But, I am going to think about what's positive about today! It helps.

  • It's a gorgeous day outside today. 
  • I'm looking forward to my one-hour lunch break today. I might eat something nice, because I didn't eat too much this weekend.
  • I'm happy that my sister's love life seems to be picking up. Happy for her.
  • Sometime during this week, I may bake these coconut jam thumbprint cookies I saw online. They seem promising. It's not often I come across a cookie recipe I get excited about :).

And that's it! Monday seems bearable. 
When Jesse used to work here, I often wondered about what my coworkers thought of us. As I've mentioned before, I work in a small office, in close quarters. While Jesse and I never dated, I'm sure that some coworkers could tell that there was something between us. But I never was sure of how all that really came across to them. To what extent, and in what way they saw us. I should be though, because it was part of my reality.

I think that when a relationship happens in the context of community, or communities, then that's when it become real. Or rather, that this is an element to making a relationship real. Because a relationship is all about relating to someone, and thus it is only natural to be relating to the larger community as well, during the relationship.


Not all workplaces have a sense of community, socially. And that's fine. Some people at work don't reveal or show much of their personalities, keeping it very professional. Some workplaces, for whatever reason, don't have environments where groups of people tend to naturally congregate socially.


But this wasn't the environment for me and Jesse. There was a group of people at work that was pretty social, and Jesse was part of this group. I wouldn't say I was really part of it, but being the receptionist at work, everyone knew me and on the outside at least, I was assumed to be everyone's friend by default. So this group still felt like it was my community, socially, in a way. And I often wondered how me and Jesse, together, came across to this group.


Most of what happened between me and Jesse was private and stayed that way, as it should. At the same time, we didn't try to hide things from others. We were both pretty open and real people, or tried to be. So what do I think other people, my coworkers, really thought about what was going on between us?


I know they didn't see the whole picture, but they saw some of it. As they should.


What they saw was that....


Jesse really loved me, a lot. He came into the office all the time, when he didn't need to. His job didn't demand that. It was for me.


I got hurt. Jesse couldn't commit to me though. He didn't lie to me or deceive me in any way about this. But, and this part was his fault, he was in a really immature life stage for his age.


I liked Jesse. I more than liked him. I cared about him and loved him.


I hurt Jesse too. I never gave him the green light to go ahead with me.


It doesn't take a genius to figure out that this was what this group of coworkers probably saw between me and Jesse. And all of it was true.


I'm not used to having my big mistakes, such as how I hurt Jesse, played out in public. I always hid my real self from the public before.


And now, they don't know what's going on with my personal life anymore. It's a black box to them. It's weird shifting between these two extremes.
I've often wondered to myself how I would forgive someone if I was raped. I've never been raped. But I have been through similar, lesser things, which I talked about a few posts ago. Men making vulnerable women feel the most worthless they can be. 

Not all offenses and crimes are equal. I consider rape the worst one of them all, even above murder. I know, I can't go around generalizing these things, but if I had to categorize them, rape would be at the very top of my list.

Rape is all about intentionally psychologically damaging someone, or what that would feel like. It's the most hate crime out there. In terms of intent. And really, isn't that what the heart of crime is all about - intent? That's why rape is at the very top of my list.

I commend every victim that fights against it and speaks out against it and tries to get justice for it. It can't be easy. I applaud them for their strength. Society may not always agree with me - claiming that many women lie about this, or that the crime isn't "really that bad", or that the women even deserved it - and these mindsets all need to change.

But in addition to fighting against rape, how would/does someone go around forgiving the rapist? Forgiveness is just as necessary as justice. I don't think I could do it. But forgiveness is necessary for healing. It always is.

Justice makes us hard; forgiveness makes us soft. We need to be both.

I think, that forgiveness for a rapist, would look something like this:

After putting the rapist in hard prison (hopefully for life with no chance of parole), the victim would sincerely say to the rapist: I wish you the best in life.

Friday, June 3, 2016

I've often wondered how people at work perceive me. I work in a small office, less than thirty people here. No one can really hide their true character here for long. Also, I'm in a visible position in the office to everyone, as I'm the receptionist, so everyone must have some kind of opinion of me. 

I've been here for almost four years. In that time, I never really could tell. Maybe I just didn't want to be honest with myself. Well, if I am honest with myself, I can probably take a pretty good guess at how I come across. The good and the bad.

Since I've been here for awhile, the way I have come across has changed. So I'll just start from the beginning.

When I first started working here, for less than half a year, I can guess that I came across as pretty, very smart, and genuinely nice/kind. All the girls wanted to be me, and all the single guys liked me (well, most of them probably). At the same time, I probably also came across as extremely naive and inexperienced for my age. About life generally. 

Then, for the next several years, things changed. For a variety of reasons, I became quieter in the office. A lot quieter. During this time, I guess that I came across as shy, quiet, and genuinely nice/kind. It was easy for people to take advantage of me, if they wanted to. And they did, many of them did. I stood up for myself, but only a little. Not as much as I could have.

Then, things began changing more for me, slowly. I became even more quiet at the office, if it was possible. Yes, I was the receptionist, and I came across as generally friendly, but I didn't go out of my way to talk to anyone anymore. I barely made any small talk, unless it was necessary. I did the bare, minimum amount of communication, though I still gave off the impression that I was overall friendly. This was a slow progression, and it's where I am today. 

Because this is in the present tense, it's harder for me to talk about, but I should still do it anyway. I probably come across as being genuinely nice/kind, confident in myself (I do my own thing here and am comfortable not being part of the in-crowd at all), mature (since I don't get caught up in things), yet still shy and quiet at the same time. There's good and bad stuff in there. I'm human.

I don't know if I'll ever overcome my shyness and quietness. There is a part of me that might always be really intimidated by people, all people, individually and in groups. There is a part of me that might always prefer to be a bit more invisible than necessary, out of intimidation. 

I'm not really going to go out of my way to change or improve these things about myself too much. I feel like I might not get much further. And plus, everyone has flaws. 

I don't like how people can see my flaws. But that's part of life. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Today the sun is shining, even though it's still early in the morning and it's going to be a high of 88 degrees today here in northern California. Tomorrow it's going to be a high of 91 degrees! It's summer!

I think I look beautiful today! Okay, no I don't really. My skin is blotchy, I have a couple pimples on my face, my hair is not great, and ***I*** can tell that my eyes look a bit tired. But, that's not really the point. The point is that I happen to be self-absorbed/vain, and when I'm in a good mood, I think I look beautiful! That's it!

Even though I'm sitting in a chair at work, in my mind, I'm dancing! I'm doing a perfect single pirouette (that's a turn, in ballet language) and perfect little tendus (extending and pointing your foot), with perfect turnout (feet pointed out at 180 degrees from each other). I'm a very beginner ballet dancer, but in my mind, my moves are perfect and pretty and graceful. 

Have a great day, everyone!