Sunday, July 31, 2016

Community

There are many reasons I go to church. One of them, is for community. 

I love community. I'm a big fan of it. 

I think our culture is kind of weird nowadays, because, depending on where people live and what circles they run in, community can either be a big, celebrated, important part of people's lives (like it should be), or totally not at all. It seems to be something that people understand very well, or don't understand at all. 

I'm generalizing. Of course, there are lots of people in between too. That's probably where I am. 

Community is not about having lots of friends, or even having a big group of friends. These things can overlap with community, but that's not what it is. 

Community is about feeling like we belong in a place where a lot of people, the same people, regularly congregate. 

I'm going to be honest. We're not going to be best friends with everyone in our community. Some people might be no more than acquaintances, no matter how hard we try, and that's fine. 

Community is so important because we weren't meant to just have friends, in life. We're meant to live with other people too, to be in a society. To interact with a regular set of people socially, even if we're not all best friends. 

It's hard being in community because we have to expose ourselves to SO many people, all at the same time. We have A LOT to expose; we are all still individuals too. (I think this is what separates a community from a cult. In a cult, you lose your individuality). 

When we do this, good things happen. We are really living, among people. Not just working alongside people. Not just partying with people. Not just physically inhabiting the same space as people. But living among people, in spirit, in heart. And, that's a home of some sort. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

And once again, it's Saturday. Life is automatically greater on Saturday. 

Today I'm excited about:

Making banana bread
Buying frames for some pictures
Walking around and just moving my body
Buying a mini pie pan to bake pies in (I can never finish off a whole pie, plus I figure that if I mess up, it's better to mess up making small pies)
Going shopping for some skirts
Teaching myself a hip hop routine from YouTube - I figure this is the best way for me to just get into it

Life is interesting! 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Changes

As I write this, I hear Tupac's "Changes" playing in my head. That happens to me sometimes. Does it ever happen to you? I hear songs that are related to the things I'm experiencing/feeling/thinking in that moment.

(But this post is not about racism or what Tupac was rapping about. It's just about change).

I am horrible at dealing with change. I don't adjust well or quickly to new environments, situations.

Part of it is, I think I just attach a lot of sentimental value to what I had before. I'm attached. I don't want to let go! My heart.

I got a lot of feelings, man!

Let me illustrate. I'm using small examples, and you can see how bad I am.
-My phones: I am perpetually unable to let go of the phone I have and upgrade to the newer model. Even if it greatly inconveniences me, I still hold onto it for as long as I can. I had a flip phone all the way until the beginning of 2013. I did not want to venture into the land of smartphones. I liked flip phones! I didn't want to let go of that era. 
I finally got an iPhone 5 in 2013. I've been using it ever since. I KNOW I have to upgrade! My phone is in bad shape. But my phone is like a person to me! It's been with me through so much! I'm attached to it; I have feelings here. 
Darn technology forcing me to continually keep up :(. There's NO room for sentiments here :(. 
-The season: soon, it's going to be fall. Summer will be over! Sniff. I feel like it's almost a death of some sort. 
-Cleaning out my closet: As I mentioned before, I changed my style ever-so-slightly. It was also time for me to clean out my closet and get rid of a lot of things. How sad! I did this yesterday. If I want to, I can remember how I got each piece of clothing, how it made me feel when I wore it, all the fun times or not fun times I had with it. But, this would just make me sad, so I tried not to think too much and just got on with my task.
Even though sadness is a huge, recurring element here, I'm glad I get to feel this sentimentality. I feel alive; life is so vivid and colorful. Because where there's sadness, that just means that's how much I care and love things. It's painful, but it strangely also feels good.

So instead of fearing it and also feeling ashamed of it like I used to, I think that from now on, I'll just embrace my sentimentality head-on.

Which means that, in a weird way, I'll be embracing change too.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

What should I eat for lunch today? I can't decide. I have a one-hour lunch break. It's plenty of time to get a good meal in.

I work in an area where there's lot of eating options for lunch! Sandwiches, Asian food, Mexican food, pizza, burgers, you name it.

And I'm fine eating out at a restaurant by myself. Most of these places aren't super fancy anyway.

Okay, I've decided.

I'm going to get a philly cheesesteak and fries. It's not healthy, but I don't eat like this all the time.

Yum!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hot guys

Has muscles. The way women like them! He doesn't look like a bodybuilder.

Is tall, with a nice body overall.

With a good-looking face. He's hot and handsome.

Knows how to dress. He doesn't spend more time on appearances than women. But, he isn't clueless about how to look attractive. He knows his stuff.

He doesn't take "no" for an answer, from anyone, for anything...up to a point. He knows when to stop.

And women just know that sex with him would be great.

Are you smiling yet? You should be. Hot guys make people smile.

He knows how to love a certain woman, more than anyone else in the world does.

He cares for her. There is no end to what he would do for her.

He loves her first. He says sorry first. He doesn't like to see her hurt. That hurts him deeply.

He knows how to give her lots of space so she can still totally be herself and totally enjoy herself. That's invaluable for her.

Hot guys are not just nice guys. Hot guys are the nicest guys.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I'm old-school. I don't think it's a requirement that married women should know how or have to cook...I really can't judge what works for other people...but for me, this is how I roll.

There's something intangible about eating food cooked by someone you know. There's something about fulfilling traditional gender roles; you can't explain why, but it just feels really good and right.

[AN ASIDE ABOUT GENDER ROLES:

I kind of get a little defensive talking about how I believe in gender roles, because I just automatically assume that modern women (and men) everywhere will scoff at me for saying or thinking this. 

I believe in equality between men and women. I'm extremely grateful for women's rights and opportunities that we didn't have not too long ago (and think we still have a ways to go in some areas). And yet, I also believe in completely celebrating gender roles. I don't think that equality and gender roles are mutually exclusive. 

Life is big enough for both to exist at the same time, and so much richer for it :). 

I wish that modern society, at times, wouldn't be so quick to look down on gender roles. So that's my quick take on feminism and gender roles.

END ASIDE]

I don't think I would really feel ready for the job (of cooking, marriage) until there are certain things I feel comfortable and enjoy cooking.

Certain classics, that are slightly above basic cooking.

Roast chicken
A fruit pie of some sort
Chinese dumplings
Some type of Chinese noodle soup

Can you guess how many things I've mastered on this list? I'll give you a hint, the number starts with the letter "z"...

Which is fine, because I enjoy cooking and the challenge! And eating. I cook for myself, as much as for any man.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Things that make me laugh

  • This short story from David Sedaris, "Big Boy". Warning, it's crude. I don't normally like poop jokes, but...this is so funny.
  • The things my dad says sometimes. He has a way of describing things that is unique and really cuts right to the chase. His English isn't great. When he was trying to say the "Civil War", he called it the "internal war". I laughed.
  • My friends' toddler son (Hi Lisa!) likes to point out all the dangerous things around him in everyday situations. He's right, they are dangerous! Am I being mean and laughing at his fear? Maybe a little...but I know he'll be fine. I like his quirk.
  • Being silly and dumb. Can we all talk like this? I'm noivous. Poifect!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Today I'm going to cook Alice Water's Fusili with Greens and Sausage. I found the recipe online here so you can be in on the fun. I have her cookbook, and I highly recommend it. 

I'm cooking it because I want to eat it, because cooking is fun, and because I need to work on my cooking skills. 

The thought has never occurred to me that I could actually be a good cook one day. I grew up in a very modern environment, where cooking was never emphasized as a skill to learn or be proud of. I didn't just get this vibe from my family, but from everywhere...society, peers, extended family, community, etc. 

In my world, the concept of cooking just fell to the wayside. It's fairly easy to eat tasty, nutritious, and relatively inexpensive food without cooking nowadays. There are tons of options for buying already-cooked food...everything from ordering takeout at full-fledged restaurants, to counter-ordering restaurants, to buying already prepared meals from grocery stores and stands. 

Also, people are too busy nowadays. There just isn't time for cooking. 

And also, I think cooking has lost some of its glamour and shine. We don't talk often about the intangible difference a home-cooked meal makes. Some people even might think of cooking as a backwards institution for women, making women nothing more than domestic servants and doormats. 

So anyway, this was the worldview that I grew up with, and I think it's kind of sad. The good news is that I can change it now!

So I was wondering to myself, what makes a good cook? 

There's no one definition for that, but here's my take on it. 

For me, it's not about being able to come up with lots of new and exciting recipes. Not about being able to make complicated or fancy food. 

It's not even about making consistently tasty food. 

It's not even about being able to look around your kitchen, and being able to throw together something good for dinner on the spot, based on what you have. 

I think it's...simply about cooking often...because you enjoy cooking, you enjoy eating, and you enjoy cooking for others.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Thinking yourself to an orgasm

For women only. I don't think men can do this. 

Is it possible? 

I think it is. Though it might not necessarily be very common. 

This has never happened to me. I've experienced sensations without any stimulation, though not a full-blown orgasm. So I can see how it's possible. 

From a more logical point of view (not based on my own subjective experience), I think orgasms and being stimulated is like...very mental for women. Like, a lot. We have to be in a certain frame of mind. If you combine that with having physical control and mastery over your body, like kegel exercises...then I do think it is possible to have an orgasm just by thinking about it. 

What's the frame of mind we need to be in? I don't know. This isn't a science. But if you want to bring the emotional component into it (and if you read this blog, you'll know that I always emphasize the emotional component in sex/masturbating...because morally, all of this should be tied to love in some way)....I think it's about...getting yourself to feel what a man's love feels like. So, I don't know. Think up scenarios/stories in your head, think back to real experiences you've had, combine the two, whatever....it takes to get you feeling and imagining those things in that moment. 

And use your kegel muscles!

And don't put too much pressure on yourself. 

All of this goes for me, too.

Friday, July 22, 2016

I've barely interacted with Jesse this week. But he's been here. 

And do you know what...I feel great! Well, I think I do. I'm still processing everything. 

It was good to see him and get the feeling that everything is okay between us, after how it was the last time we saw each other, months ago. I knew that I wasn't mad at him for anything anymore. I didn't think he would be mad at me for anything anymore either. These things just took time to cool off. But I guess we still had to see each other in person, to cement the fact that all of that had passed.

I didn't think it was necessary to see each other in person to feel like all the bad things between us were completely resolved. But I guess face-to-face contact, in person contact, is necessary for some things. That's what I learned. 

So I feel freer, lighter. A great burden has been lifted off my shoulders, in life.

I'm not mad at him anymore. He knows this.
He's not mad at me anymore. I know this.

I'm forgiven. He's forgiven.

Do you know how great that feels?

It feels like sex. It kind of feels like we had sex. In that it was intimate.

And now that that baggage is out of the way, I feel like a pursuit can really happen.

He's pretty hot.

In the meantime, I just have to keep myself busy with other things.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

I am obsessed with Jesse. Ever since he came in to work on Monday. Internally, I am a girl gone nuts. I have lost all sense of myself. 

On the outside, I might look kind of the same (I don't know). Well, I don't show the full extent of my obsession on the outside. I still go on with work, same as usual. I smile. I talk to people. Even on this blog, this week, I talk about things other than Jesse. 

But I know what's really going on inside. Inside, I am like...Jesse, notice me!!! Jesse, see how I have a life outside of you and can function just fine on my own??! See how I'm doing my own thing? See?????

I know he sees me...right through me. This isn't okay with him.

So he forces me to be better. 

And I respect him for that. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sales conference frontline

I'm not in any of the meetings, but they all take place right next to the lobby. There's traffic around me all day. And when there are breaks, it's just a mass exodus of people.  I also have to help out with miscellaneous tasks for the conference. So I kind of feel like I'm in the frontline. 

Also we're a sales office, so hopefully that helps to explain a little more why the sales conference is a big deal. 

This time the conference feels even bigger and more frenzied simply because there are more people. Our office hired more salespeople recently. I just feel like there are a lot of...bodies, crammed into a small space. Bodies belonging to big men, mostly. It feels stuffy for them, so we have to have the AC running constantly, even though that makes me cold when I'm sitting in the corner by myself.

All the salespeople are nice to me though. I guess I'm a familiar face, plus they're friendly by nature (salesperson, hello). Plus, I'm a female. I think it's hard for any big group of guys to be mean towards a lone female. 

Still, I'm an introvert, so I'm beginning to get exhausted by all the people around. More exhausted than past conferences, because we have more people than we did before. Thankfully it's only for a few more days. 

I also noticed how a couple women in the office, the ones who really like attention from almost any man, are really eating up the fact that there are so many men here right now. I guess you could say these women are just being "friendly." I find it really annoying though. I can't help how I feel; I have to call it out like it is. (Though I can't say this to their faces). 

Sorry, I don't have any actual updates of substance about sales growth and products. Not that I should be talking about this stuff publicly anyway. But in general, the mood is pretty jovial. Our numbers have been on an upward swing. You can really tell how the office/company is doing by the mood at these conferences. This time, there seems to be optimism and excitement and energy in the air. 

It's a bit tiring (just the constant stream of people and activity around me), but it's going alright. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Jesse unexpectedly showed up at the office yesterday as part of our sales conference this week (he works at headquarters now). I guess I could have known he would be coming at some point this week, if I had known the schedule ahead of time or talked to certain people about it. But I didn't, and I didn't know he was coming until I literally saw him walking up to the door.

I think I should explain a little how it was the last time I saw him, when he left the US office. To put it lightly, it was really bad between us. Though it didn't feel like the end. 

So, I actually wasn't too weirded out, or even surprised, when I saw him come in yesterday. That wasn't weird.

The weird part is not really knowing how to interact with him. I'm not mad at him anymore. I don't get the sense that he's mad at me. But it's still weird to see each other in person, for the first time, after so many months, considering how it was the last time we saw each other. There isn't any protocol for how to act around each other right now.

We didn't say much to each other, but it seemed okay.

The ball is in his court. I know what I want from him. A commitment, and in a timely fashion. 

But it's so awkward between us right now. He's the guy. I assume he knows how to drive this thing and diffuse the awkwardness. I don't know how long it would take for this awkwardness to go away either. But that's not my job to figure out. 

So I'll just sit back and see what happens. 

In the meantime, he didn't come into the office today. The conference is still going on, but I guess he doesn't have to be here today for it, and I guess he doesn't want an excuse to see me either. 

At first, I was so crushed (as in, this morning). I felt rejected. You see, from the minute he walked in yesterday, I have been nothing but obsessed with him. I basically forgot about everything else in my life. All he had to do was walk in, and look what happened to me instantly. Even if I don't act on it, I am a clingy girl, in spirit. 

But because he's not here today, it's forced me to get my bearings and remember that there are other important things in life. 

I am super, duper clingy.
Living an unpredictable life

I have come to realize that this is the only way to live life. 

But let me explain myself. About what I mean by "unpredictable." 

I don't mean seeking thrills and adventure. I don't mean being irresponsible. I don't mean being crazy. 

I mean...living a life, where you care about things, BUT you never know what's coming next, because you realize that you just have to go with the flow. 

Often times, when we have goals and dreams, we also try to control things too much, because achieving our goals and dreams matter so much us. It's bad to control things too much though, because then we limit ourselves to what life really has to offer. Yes, we can know what's good for us and work towards that, but a lot of times, things that life unexpectedly gives us are some of the best gifts ever. Things we could not have planned for. 

Embrace the unknown. 

I think that's a good motto in life to have. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Earlier this year, I wrote "Donna's Guide to Relationships." I worry that people will laugh at me for writing it because I'm not in an official relationship. But then...I don't know. I don't have to be in an official relationship to know some things and have experienced some things. I'll let the guide speak for itself, I guess. You can access the full guide here.

Today I also want to highlight one, particular section of my guide. This section is also something I myself need reminding of. I'm highlighting the section of my guide called "Trusting Your Instincts." Here's the text for this section only.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Next week

I have been dreading the next work week for awhile. It's our semi-annual sales conference at work.

We have them twice a year. One in the beginning of January, and one at the end of July. It's a time for all our sales managers from across North America to convene at the office and present their work to the other sales managers, and most of all, the big executives from headquarters in Taiwan. They're all here for almost a week, and we always have a company dinner in there somewhere.

Before I can leave my job (willingly), I have to leave knowing that I conquered it. Not that it conquered me. And I don't feel like I have fully conquered it yet.

I'm not saying that I have to enjoy these sales conference weeks or even be okay with them. Honestly, I don't know anyone who really does (or would). But right now, I feel like a little mouse cowering in dread. I know me. That's not normal. I could and should be better than this.

In the past, for various reasons, I used to feel intimidated during these weeks.

I'm going to turn a new leaf now.

The sales managers are almost all the same. Big, burly men. A whole gang of them, and they walk around in groups. They talk about work and industry things I don't understand (to each other, not me, but I'm always in their vicinity).

And I'm not going to be intimidated.

The big guys from headquarters are even more intimidating. They don't talk to anyone, even the sales managers. They only talk to each other, and management. They wear suits and don't have many facial expressions. They look kind of stern. (I don't know if that's an Asian businessman thing?). Oh, and did I mention...they're the big guys from headquarters. Everyone is on their best behavior around them.

I see them a lot. Other people may not see them much for most of the week, but not me.

And I'm not going to be intimidated. They're people. They're decent people (I assume).

I feel very uptight during the company dinners. They're really not my thing (though I think I can fake it okay). This time, I want to do more than just passably faking it. I want to actually feel comfortable, to a degree.

They're just loud, very social. Lots of people, chatting, mingling, being social. Very large group events/parties have never been my thing.

Especially when it's among people I don't like (certain coworkers). Especially when it's among people I'm already intimidated by (see above paragraphs).

And furthermore, I don't have one of those jobs where I can get away with being antisocial at a company party.

But maybe it's time for me to start feeling comfortable in my own skin. A company dinner is like what, 2 hours? Not more than 3. I should be able to enjoy it (somewhat) for that long. It's not long.

And now I'm going to stop thinking about this.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Saturday is my favorite day of the week

I can do whatever I want

I relax more

I smile more

I am happier

The world is a better place, on Saturday

Everything about the world, seems to turn into gold, on Saturday

Friday, July 15, 2016

And yet another level of transparency

Being honest about being honest

Wow! Always, just when I think I can't possibly be more honest, it can't possibly be harder for me, life/God/me/something goes, nope, there's something you can be more honest about. 

My reaction is usually some combination of:

"No way! That's too personal! I resist."

"<an expletive>. <another expletive>. That's hard."

"<expletive>."

I think you get the point. I'm not one of those people that easily glides through life through all its challenges. I have to get down and dirty, wrestle, messy...I'm not saying this to sound cool. It's not cool. It's ugly.

The thing I want to reveal today, is that, writing this blog is really, really hard for me. I'd like to think (and have you all think) that I just glide through this thing.

No. I don't.

Maybe that will change some day. (Or maybe it won't). 

I don't sit here, calmly, typing up an entry in less than an hour, with a peaceful smile on my face the whole time, pleasantly sipping a glass of water in between breaks.

Actually...and here's the truth...it takes me a LONG time to write these entries. Even the short ones. 

I stare off into space a lot. But I don't think I'm really thinking, not most of the time.

I'm processing the topic, before I write it, or as I write it. I'm summoning up courage to write about it. And many more things, that I don't know how to explain. It's just an internal struggle as I write.

It takes a long time, and it takes a lot of energy out of me as well. 

Even just thinking up the topic is a big struggle in itself.

But I'm not complaining! It's hard, but I know it's good for me. I ultimately feel better :). A LOT better.

And even though I do struggle, I do enjoy this as well. I really do. So, I don't want you to get the wrong idea here.

I guess you could call this a "good struggle".

Want to know how long this entry took me to write? Look at the timestamp on the bottom here. I started writing this entry close to the time I got into work, after getting settled in and stuff. Let's say a little after 8:30 am. 

I have been doing other things this whole time, but not much.

And this goes for most of my entries that I've written from work thus far (all the ones on the weekdays). Look at the timestamp of when those entries were published, and you have a pretty good idea of how long it took me to write them and how much energy I put into them, because as I said, I am doing other things in the meantime, but it's usually not much.

And that's the truth about this blog! And what it takes (for me) to be honest.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

My secret wish

Okay, this makes me smile. Just thinking about this makes me smile. I guess that's how I know...this really is my wish :).

I don't think I'm the type of dancer who would be big on being in group performances. I don't think I would be against it, but it wouldn't really be the best thing ever for me. Strangely enough, even though I'm really shy and don't like drawing attention to myself, I think it's the solo performances that I'd be into. Weird, huh.

The audience size doesn't really matter to me. Big or small would be fine. Big would be cool, because, if you're performing, you might as well perform for a big crowd, and there's more energy/excitement in the air. Small would be nice too, because it feels more intimate and real, and that's always nice.

I think WHO is in the audience would be important to me though. I would want at least some people in the audience to be people I know well, people I care about. I would want to share and enjoy this with them.

In case you can't tell, I have a lot of emotions in me. I'm just brimming with them. I'm emotional by nature, and I don't shy away from emotional situations or experiences. So...there's a lot. I think most people who meet me can probably sense that I'm an emotional sort of person, to varying degrees. It depends on how people meet me or know me. 

But it's really hard for people to know the depth of the emotions I experience. 

But that's what dancing allows me to do. I can just concentrate on showing my emotions. If I had the steps down, that's all I would have to focus on. The only thing.

And I have a lot of things to express :). Sadness, pain, beauty. It's all mixed in together. Deep emotions are not only intense, but layered; multi-faceted.

That's why I would want to do solo performances. It would just be me and my emotions, revealed. It would be really intimate. And that's beautiful. And that's what everyone is looking for too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Awhile ago, I wrote about how Jesse doesn't feel like a real person to me. With Jesse, everything is just intense. I can't take it all in at once. I'm not that mature.

There are a lot of good things with him. And a lot of bad things. And I think that's just the nature of human relationships. 

At first, I only focused on the good things with him. Good moments that we had. Good ways he treated me. Good things I did for him that made me happy. 

I knew that bad stuff was there too, and it wasn't like I wanted to ignore it, but more like, I couldn't process everything at once. It was hard enough for me to accept the fact that someone could do such nice things for me, that I was worthy of this. It was hard enough for me to do nice things for someone, from the bottom of my heart. I was already having a hard enough time processing the good stuff.

Yes, I was a very broken person.

Then, after he left, I started processing the bad things. It sucked. I cried a lot to myself.

Throughout this whole time, my brain (or internal state, or whatever) has only been able to see one side of things at a time - good or bad. But it should be both. And that's why he never feels real to me.

In the last several months, I've been in the internal state of only seeing and focusing on the bad things. I had to process it. And now, I think I can think about the bad things without feeling completely overloaded. 

And so now, I also want to think about the good things too, simultaneously.

Here's a good memory I have. It makes my heart melt.

For the longest time, I always had this vision, this dream scenario, that would play out in my head.

Jesse was the hot guy at work. Even if you weren't single or if you were male, you knew it. Everyone knew it.

I was the...I don't know. I think I was attractive too, but also mousy and plain. I don't know. Both somehow?

I think a lot of people in the office, this clique of people specifically, could tell that there was something going on, but they didn't know exactly what it was. 

I had this vision that during one of our company parties, at dinner, Jesse would come up to me and declare his love for me in front of EVERYBODY.

Well, not literally say "I love you." But I don't know, like, just announce to the whole table (and he's good at drawing attention), how awesome I was, and put his arm around me, and start flirting with me in front of everyone, purposely. And then draw me out to the dance floor. In front of everyone. Stuff like that.

And, I knew how I was going to react. I would do that whole "I'm really shy, I don't like this public attention" thing, but secretly, totally love it.

Well, that never happened. In fact, the opposite of it happened. 

At his last company dinner, things were not good. Jesse was really mad at me. Beyond mad at me. It was close to, and in a way, at the point of...no return. I had really screwed up. I had given him lots of signs that I was interested and wanted to move forward, but nothing big enough for what he wanted and needed from me. Once I realized that I was about to lose him, that I was in really, really deep water...that jolted me out of my complacency and fear of taking significant action. 

I was forced to be courageous. He forced me into it. (He makes me a better person). 

Our company dinner was at Outback Steakhouse. I saw him come into the room. He was furious at me, still. He sat at a different table than me, right in the middle of this clique of people that suspected/knew something about us.

At some point during the dinner, I knew the opposite of my vision was going to have to happen. I was SO scared to approach Jesse in front of EVERYONE, in front of people who were very interested in this type of gossip.

I made myself do it. I just got out of my seat, robotically. Almost abruptly (there's no other way to do it). I was SCARED. 

I just went right up to him, interrupted their group conversation (they weren't talking about anything serious), and started talking specifically to Jesse. Everyone there knew what I was up to. 

I asked him fun questions. I kept it light. I smiled at him. I stood next to him, as he sat in his chair. Of course, everyone around us was watching and listening.

Jesse was cool with it. He answered my questions and talked to me like it was totally normal. At times, he addressed our coworkers sitting around him, and involved them in the conversation. I directed the conversation to them as well, sometimes. After all...my approaching Jesse was intended to be a PUBLIC thing. Our whole interaction was very public. And private, at the same time.

The whole time I was standing next to his chair, smiling down at him, as he sat in his chair.

And I smile at this memory because...we were being our natural selves with each other, being right in the middle of our normal community...and yet, there was tension in the air. Exciting tension. The juxtaposition of these two things is pretty great. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

My favorite Bible verses (for the moment)

Wait! If you're not Christian or not into the Bible, don't stop or lose interest yet. 

I think the stuff I'm going to talk about today is relevant for anyone. I think it'll be encouraging/inspiring, and pretty substantive as well. 

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

For me, this verse gives me the encouragement and knowledge that we - ANYONE - can find peace and happiness in ANY situation that we find ourselves in, in life.

But it doesn't happen all of a sudden. 

It's a matter of continually approaching life with the right heart. Intent is key. And not just any intent. Intent to do what we know in our hearts is the right thing - to do good, not bad. Because good and bad, real good and real bad, does exist in the world. 

And if we do this, we will find things better than we could have ever imagined.

Deep, real love
Deep, real joy
Deep, real, peace...

and so on...

And it's *indescribable*.

Next verse (passage) - a really famous one! I'm sure most people have heard it before.
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

Okay, quick Frozen reference first. (There are so many things I love about the movie!). 

Here's how Olaf explains love to Anna:

Olaf: Love is putting someone else's needs before yours.

Olaf is awesome because he explains what love is, in the simplest terms. 

I know what Olaf is talking about. I suspect many people do too. Love is about sacrificing ourselves, for someone else. And by the way, it's really, really, really hard. Anyway.

The reason I love the verses above is because they take the simple but deep concept that Olaf talks about, and really expand on it. What does it really mean to put someone before ourselves? We will never stop learning what this truly means. No matter how perfect anyone is, we will never stop struggling to get better at it, to exercise it more fully. 

And in those moments when I find myself at the end of my limits, needing inspiration to do better and be a better person, or needing guidance to teach me what love really is - I look to this passage.

And for me, these verses contain infinite wisdom. They really go into detail about what it means to sacrifice for someone - something I can never fully achieve, so each time I read these verses, really read them, really think about them, with the right attitude...I learn something new. Sometimes, many new things.  

Monday, July 11, 2016

Monday morning musings

Green grass grows in gardens and it's gay

Squirrels scurry and seek shenanigans

Familiar faces feel fine

Wacky walking and waddling whooping whichever way

Pink peaches, perfumey, placed in public for the populous to polish off

Sights and sounds serenading my senses 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

I started watching Frozen randomly. Because I don't have that many movies on the iPad (2 actually), and I wanted to watch something. I clicked on it, and before I knew it, I was watching the whole thing again. 

Frozen came out a couple years ago, but boy did it make an impact on me when it came out. As I was just watching it, I felt like I was transported back to that time when it first came out. It sure brings out a lot of strong emotions and things in me. 

One thing about Frozen is that I really relate to Elsa. She's even my Facebook profile picture. 

One of the things I most relate to with Elsa is the fact that she's heavily misunderstood. She's heavily misunderstood because she's so different from other people. She goes through things no one else can understand (living with her ice power). 

I had a difficult childhood. The effects of that carried over all the way into my mid-twenties. Getting worse and more entrenched in me each year. 

And then, to get out of that, to get out of ALL that, to try and turn myself around psychologically, internally, at my very core...when I was well into my adult years, already in my mid-twenties, well....I had to go through some very deep, intense, psychological, soul-searching-like stuff. 

I faced demons and darkness in my soul, in life, that are so, so dark. Because I wanted to get better, finally. So I had to take a very good and thorough look at the darkness that was in me, to get past it. 

As I was going though this process (it's definitely a process. This isn't an overnight thing), I didn't know how to articulate to people what I was going through. I was in the middle of this internal turmoil, trying to fight my way through it. I was still in blackness and darkness. I didn't understand it myself. I didn't know how to explain what was going on with me, even though I felt it all. 

Consequently, people didn't understand my choices, behaviors, actions. I felt misunderstood. It made me sad. I knew I was alone in my struggle. I was sad. 

Ironically enough, one of the biggest things I was fighting through this whole time, was learning how to show people the real me. To not hide anymore. I didn't know how to adequately explain to people my current struggle at the time, but I could and did work on, slowly, revealing more real parts of me to people - something I had never, ever done in my life before. 

I've lived a life where I spent most of my time trying to hide my real self from other people, and myself. I didn't think I was a valuable person, so I didn't want to know myself, nor others to know me. 

It was a life of no love. No love to myself, and no love to others. Sharing is caring. 

And it was killing me. 

I'm not out of the woods yet. It's process. A very long, tiring, difficult one. 

And this blog is part of my healing, my solution. Not only that, but this lets me be the person I've wanted to be, for so long, ever since I started my struggle. 

This lets me be someone completely opposite of who I was before. I can tell everyone, the whole world in theory, who I really am. Everything that people, you, deserve to know about me. 

The good AND the bad. 

And that's true freedom.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Today I'm going to make a complete meal from start to finish. I don't cook often, and when I do, I don't cook complete meals. I'll just cook one part of the meal. For the rest of the meal, I'll use already cooked food to round it out. 

Today I'm going to actually make a complete meal, because....well, it tastes good. And also, it's a lot more effort. I'm weird. Cooking is something I feel lazy about doing, but at the same time, it's a lot of fun! I'm a walking contradiction. 

I'm going to make (everything from scratch):

Meatballs with tomato sauce
Garlic bread
Brownies

Yum! I can't decide whether it's more fun to cook or to eat. Both, I think. 

Oh, and here are the recipes I'm using (more or less, sometimes I cheat with a few things). I'm including them so you can join in the fun (sorta? virtually?) and because I also recommend them :)


Tomato sauce: Alice Waters' simple tomato sauce, found the recipe here


Garlic bread: no recipe, just winging in. But I like to use toast (versus thick bread, because that way you get more garlic and butter flavor), and I think the key is to put it under the broiler for just the right amount of time. You want it crispy and soft at the same time. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Some wisdom-y things I have learned: 

Men like variety. Be a woman of variety! If you're pretty genuine and really living life, this should come naturally. 

Even more good than someone who humbles himself/herself to people and helps people, is someone who humbles himself/herself to life. Who cares about things but can accept whatever happens.

The truth usually prevails. Comes out over time. Somehow, it's enough.

I have a lot to learn. I don't even know about what! I just know...I do.

And lastly,

I don't know everything. But I know some things. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Thoughts and things 

I braided my hair this morning. A very simple braid down my back. I feel girly and like a princess.

My high school/college/elementary school friend Nat is visiting, in town, next week. I think she'll be reading this? She's a faithful reader. Hi Nat!

She has two cute boys. One I've never met. I want to pinch their cheeks. Can't help it!

I want to sleep in this weekend. And go to church on Sunday. I haven't seen those folks in awhile! It almost feels like a party. Lots of people, mingling. (Except it's on Sunday morning, and we also talk about God.) Fun stuff.

Smile, and the world smiles with you :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I'm feeling less weary than yesterday. It wasn't fun. But it's one of those feelings that passes (I think) if you just keep moving, even if very slowly.

This is a post on dancing. I'll try to explain why I like it. Before I talk about dancing, I always feel this need to preface it by saying how I'm bad at it, I'm just a beginner, etc. I really need to stop that. It doesn't define me. And, maybe I'm not as bad as I think I am. I know by now that I often underestimate myself in things. This is a big step for me!

Anyway, my inner self-therapy talk aside, this is why I like dancing.

Dancing is ALL about expressing your emotions!!! 

Well, you don't have to do it, but you can. Good dancing does. And with a little bit of knowledge of basic technique, anyone can do this. Beginning dancers to advanced dancers. In fact, and this is subjective, I often see a lot of advanced dancers who have great technique, but who aren't so great at being expressive. When they dance, it looks more like an impressive athletic show or impressive, but still kind of boring. So being expressive doesn't depend on skill level.

(But good technique is still important. Having good technique clearly elevates someone's dancing.)

Dancing is just pure emotion. I don't think there are many other outlets in life that allow us to express emotions as fully as dancing does.

Last week, I took a contemporary ballet class randomly and I ended up liking the class. That's a style of dance that I can't figure out how much I like or not (I inherently like all styles of dance by the way; how much I like a style is just relative to other styles). Anyway, the way I think of contemporary ballet is that it's basically like ballet, but set to modern music and some of the moves are more free.

I'm going to go back today and try to EXPRESS myself! Happy, sad, whatever!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Sometimes

Sometimes I get tired of trying. This is one of those days.

Tired of trying to be a good person. Tired of trying to handle adversity in the way I know I should. Not feeling much hope. Tired of having goals and dreams, wishing I didn't so that I wouldn't have to struggle.

I'm not feeling this way because anything bad happened to me recently. I'm just tired (not physically, but in spirit). It happens. 

I don't think life is easy. Everyone is facing challenges and obstacles in his/her life. If someone's not...then...I don't think that person is being very honest with himself or herself. Anyway, my point is that, life is hard.

So I'm tired. We all get tired. And I guess this is normal.