Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Nostalgia
Going back in time
Memories, my precious ones
I love them
But thinking about them makes me cry
It's strange
I don't know if I like nostalgia
Or if I don't

Ultimately I decide I do
After all the tears are over
I feel love
It's as if I was right back in that moment

I think I cry
Because I realize how little life would be
If I did not have those precious moments

I will not be afraid of nostalgia
I know that the best is yet to come
I think back on those moments
And realize how lucky I was 
And am

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Happy
Feels light
Uncluttered
Clean
Weightless
I could go on for miles and miles
Days and days
Like this
It is subtle
Not trying to prove anything to anyone
And not necessarily easy for others to tell
Whether I am really happy
Though it is subtle, it is a feeling that doesn't leave quickly
I feel like a bunch of balloons being released into the air
And I am smiling on the inside

Monday, November 28, 2016

Last week I was writing about fall. Now I want to write about winter. Fall always feels like it happens in a blink. Kind of a shame, because fall is nice. But fall feels like it wasn't meant to drag on anyway. Fall reminds me of how time is fleeting.

I have a weird relationship with winter. When I was growing up, I hated winter. Gloomy skies made me feel gloomy.

But for some time now, it's been my favorite season.

Also, I live in California. It doesn't snow here. It doesn't get extremely cold. I'm not sure how all that would affect my feelings on winter. 

Anyway, winter is my favorite season!

I love winter because everything instantly feels more meaningful in winter. When the air is cold, when it's dark more often, when the weather is difficult, when things just feel slower...almost radio silent...

Life is a little more challenging. But I love these challenges!

Why?

Because these challenges give us an opportunity to overcome them and fill life with even more warmth!

Winter represents warmth, coziness, love to me.

Winter takes life and feelings to new levels!

The more darkness I see, the more light I also see.

Something like that.

Winter is deep. I like that.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Pie crust round #4@!43

I am having a lot of difficulty with making pie crust. I couldn't begin to tell you what I'm doing wrong. Sometimes it turns out alright, sometimes not. I don't know why that is! 


But I think homemade pie crust can be really delicious (when done right), so I will keep on trying!
As I talked about a few days ago, enjoying the holidays is a new thing for me. 

I'm trying to get used to this. It feels awkward. I am awkward. 


One of the things I'm looking forward to this holiday season is staying indoors while it's cold outside, drinking a warm holiday treat. 


Like hot chocolate with marshmallows. I should learn how to make a good cup of this.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Today I slept a lot 

And I have rosy cheeks 


And messy hair 


And now I am going to clean the kitchen 


Which I'm vaguely kind of excited about, because it's so dirty. I can't wait for it to be clean again.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving! Today I'm unselfishly cooking some food for dinner and also selfishly looking forward to eating lots of good food.

I'm making apple cheddar scones and roasted butternut squash. 


I'm not too confident about making the scones, so I will get started soon. :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Holiday Spirit and Magic

I can pretty confidently say that this is the first time in my life when I have enjoyed the holidays.

Throughout my childhood, my parents didn't celebrate the holidays. They're from Taiwan, so the holidays were not part of their culture. They didn't know anything about the holidays. I learned about the holidays mostly from school. My parents also weren't into family traditions, in general. So I just didn't get the whole holiday thing. 

Also, not to mention the fact that my heart had pretty much been broken my whole life, and I didn't know how to care about things or feel things.

As I got older, both of these things changed for me. Slowly. I started to understand holiday excitement more, the older I got, just being around it and seeing it in pop culture and other people's lives and such. 

Also, I went through things and my heart started to heal.

So this is the first time that I feel holiday excitement.

This is a new experience for me, so I feel awkward and I'm having a hard time putting it into words. Let me see if I can.

It kind of feels like a big party to me? 

Not the stressful or draining kind. 

Nor does it necessarily mean that there are tons of lights or that it's very loud.

It feels like a big, long party celebrating love. Something like that. I'm still trying to get used to this whole thing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

More giving

It's my weakness. I just feel like I don't give enough.

I'm beginning to realize how stingy I am with money. That's kind of embarrassing to admit...

I never thought I was. In a way, I'm kind of not. If I know someone personally, I'm okay with giving him/her my money or buying things.

But when it comes to the masses, faceless people, then I don't want to give. Doesn't matter if it's a nameless child in a third world country or someone in need in the United States.

Shrug. I hold tight.

The holidays are here! I've been passing by volunteers asking for food donations (I think?) at the grocery store, and I pass them right on by. I don't even know what it's for, because I didn't give them a second thought.

Now that I think about it, I realize that it wouldn't kill me to buy a couple canned items and donate that.

Anyway, this is the kind of person I am currently. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Fall colors
Red, orange, yellow, brown, and a slight hint of olive green
Crunchy leaves
What is it about fall?
Fall makes people, including me, just feel things
It's hard to put into words
Fall is the reminder of bright, sunny things gone in our lives
And entering into a time of seriousness, stillness
The transition makes me pause and think about life
Of sad things
Of life gone
But mostly, strangely enough,
Of life more than ever
I get a glimpse of the whole spectrum of life
Fall is a thoughtful time
With the anticipation of life more than ever
Just around the corner
I can't believe it's Thanksgiving week already!

I hope that among all the holiday stuff...


The merriment, the stress, the sentimental feelings, the distractions, whatever....


I can remember to put kindness first! That's what the holidays are about. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Today I was out taking a walk and near the end of it, I saw a great rainbow. I saw the whole arc, it was very big, and so close to me. I was among trees and hills. No concrete, no big buildings, no busy roads. Just me and a rainbow in nature.

I thought back to my childhood. When I was a little girl, about 7 or 8 years old, I believed in leprechauns and finding a pot of gold. I believed the leprechauns would lead me to it. My schoolmate told me about leprechauns and their pot of gold, and we both wholeheartedly believed this was possible. 


I never believed in things like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, or anything like that, but that was because my parents didn't tell me about them. They're Asian, and these things aren't part of their tradition. 


But for awhile, I did believe in leprechauns and their pot of gold. 


I'm so glad that there was a period of time in my life when I was so innocent and believed in such wonderful magic. 


I'm so lucky that I got to be a kid, and that I remember what it was like to be a kid.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Not done with kindness

I have to be me.

I'm not trying to be Awesome Person of the Year or anything. Everyone has different positive qualities. Some people are creative, some people are bold, some people are efficient...

I know.

Sometimes, there are people I don't particularly like (nor dislike), just am pretty much neutral about...

But maybe I should go out of my way to help them. Not because it's my job or responsibility.

I'm not looking to get anything back, not even a deeper level of friendship.

I have someone in mind.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Lunch break

I was originally planning on taking a walk around the office at lunch today. I feel like I need the exercise, and the weather seems reasonable. I brought/wore suitable clothes to walk in. Then, when I was walking into work, I realized I forgot my exercise shoes! 

I had so wanted to take a walk during lunch, that I briefly contemplated taking a walk in my Toms mules. No...that's not a good idea. Then I even thought of driving back home during lunch to grab my exercise shoes. Which is a ridiculous idea, because the drive home and back would take me one hour, which is the length of my lunch break.

So, I scrapped the idea of taking a walk at lunch.

Instead, I think I'll go eat at this Burmese/Thai restaurant near my work. It is SO GOOD. 

Now I can't wait for lunch to get here!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Maroon tights

For some reason, I got it in my head that I want to wear maroon tights with a dress or skirt. I think it would be a cute winter outfit. I don't know if they're in style right now. I don't know where I got this idea. Anyway, I think it would look good.

I would wear them with my black booties or maybe black Mary Janes.

Then I have to find a dress or skirt to wear with the tights. I don't want it to be black. That's all I know.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Wow, for some reason, on this very mundane Tuesday, I have plummeted to the depths of my soul. Here it is.



I have to go back

Way back
Go back in time
Peel back the layers

At my core

I find something very black
I was very little

I don't know how little I was

Little enough where I couldn't tell you how old I was
But also old enough where I could
Because, you see, it was this time period

I was an innocent child

An obedient child
A good child
Full of love, hope, wonder, and optimism
I never caused trouble, not a stir
I was a perfect child, really

I was so frightened

I thought I had done something wrong
I thought, it must be me

My mom is yelling at me with so much hate and rage

I see it in her face
In the shades of the color on her face
In the harsh and ugly contours her face makes
In her wild and frizzy hair
In the noise emitting out of her mouth
It is so loud, such a high decibel
And so piercing and wild

All of that 

Became me
I let it become me

Because I was a small child

And no one explained to me
This wasn't my fault
Bad things happened in this world to undeserving people
And that it was okay to feel bad when my mom did this to me
These bad feelings didn't mean that I was the bad person

But I didn't know

And the hate my mom felt in all those moments
Became how I saw myself
Became how I felt about myself

It caused me pain then

Shock, numbness, terror, anguish, the sorrow of seeing a twisted world from the eyes of a good person

And it causes me pain now

A different kind of pain
It is more subdued, it doesn't shock my senses
But it is deeper
It feels like I go through a bottomless, downward tunnel
That is very black
When all I want to see is light
I don't claw my way out
I don't even try, I know it's futile

But luckily for me now

This pain mostly doesn't choose when it visits me
I mostly get to choose now
When I visit it



For so many years
The years mostly starting from when I met you and knew you
I lived in this dark gray, sad, and twisted world

I saw love

Real love, real caring, real sacrifice
The real deal
What makes life worth living for and meaningful
A love that is the basis of all life

Yet I believed that I couldn't have it, constantly


You made me believe it

And I, too, made myself believe it
We weren't bad people
But both very immature

How does it feel

To know love
And yet to be told over and over again
That this isn't really love

I questioned whether good was evil

And evil was good

I questioned whether evil prevails

And wipes out good
Even though the very definition of good, is that good ultimately prevails

I thought I couldn't trust any of my instincts

I thought that if so, maybe I wasn't supposed to be human

I cried

Sometimes on the outside
But definitely every day
In my soul

I felt like I was living my worst nightmare every day

Or on the verge of it
Or maybe I felt both, because feeling like I was on the verge of my worst nightmare, was, in a way, living my worst nightmare

I cried, and cried, and cried, and cried

In my soul

A crying that was as sharp every minute as it was in the last

It never eased up

The pain is still very raw

The wound very fresh
But I visit this pain
And maybe one day
It will not sting so raw anymore

Monday, November 14, 2016

Last fall...

You spent one season, approximately one season, showing me how much you wanted me

Your big, black eyes
Your parted hair
Your tall silhouette

I never knew when you would be coming
But you came

You left me breathless

Last fall...

You left me breathless

Last fall was a gift you gave me
One of many
Thank you

Sunday, November 13, 2016

I'm gearing myself up to reflect back on my year. 2016. It's almost mid-November now. 2016 is almost over.

I'm a little scared to reflect back on my year. What if I don't like what I see? What if I'm disappointed with it?


Well...disappointed or not (we'll see, I have yet to do my reflection)...I know I always tried my best. 


There's peace in that.
I'd forgotten how much I liked salad until I tried the salad bar at the newly opened Sprouts grocery store near my work. 

It got to a point where I was enjoying salad mostly for the dressing or the meat in it. 


But when I tried the salad from Sprouts this week, I remembered how awesome salad can be!


The vegetables I was eating in it were super fresh, many of them organic. Nothing canned or semi-old. 


This really made all the difference. It was very tasty, and there was a variety of flavors and textures from all the different vegetables.


Salad can be awesome!

Friday, November 11, 2016

A homeless/begging man

A few days ago, I was driving my car. I stopped at a U-turn/left-turn light. On my left, on the median strip, was a man begging for money.

I thought of my earlier pledge to give the next homeless/begging person I saw a McDonald's gift certificate.

I've been looking for the opportunity ever since I wrote that post. So I was stopped at the stoplight, here was a man holding one of those "have a nice day/God bless you" signs...

I didn't know how much time I had - when the light would turn green. Without thinking too much, I hastily turned to my purse and fished out my gift certificate. I rolled down my window and gave it to him.

He looked really happy that I was giving him something, then puzzled as he took an actual look at what he was now holding in his hands. He was expecting a green bill. He unrolled the gift certificate, now he understood what I had given him, and I could tell he was pleased.

It was only one dollar. I wish I had given him more. 

After that, I actually felt really awkward. I had rolled up my window again. I didn't think there was anything else to do.

Then I got the feeling that he was looking at me and wanted to acknowledge me. So I turned my head to him quickly. It was very quick, because I was still feeling so awkward. We locked eyes for a very brief moment, as he smiled at me. His eyes were very blue.

He's really nice, I thought. 

I had only given him one dollar.

Then I turned my head back straight again and waited for the light to turn green.

When it turned green and I started my car to go away, out of the corner of my eye, I could see him...trying to acknowledge me one last time. Nodding his head at me or something. Something like that...I only saw out of the corner of my eye, because I was already driving my car and looking straight ahead.

I left that whole interaction feeling like...

Somehow...he was the one who had ended up giving me more.

Humbled.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Places I like in the Bay Area

There's nothing extremely special about them necessarily. They just make me happy!
-Nordstrom's at Stanford Shopping Center: This department store is down the road from the main part of Stanford Shopping Center. So it's less hectic. It feels peaceful and calm here.  
-Yiassoo in Cupertino (Greek restaurant): It's cheap, it's yummy Greek food, it's fast, it's convenient, it's been here forever, easygoing vibe.  
-Lozano Brushless Car Wash in Mountain View: It gets an important job done for me that I have no desire to do myself, and it's quick and efficient. I love a clean car. 
-Tai Kee Won Ton in San Jose (Taiwanese food): They have good food and it's clean. I like their popcorn chicken plate especially. 
-Books Inc in Mountain View: It's right in the middle of busy Castro Street. It feels iconic to me, in a way. I just browse in here.  
-Rick's Cafe in Los Altos: A popular breakfast/brunch place. I just love breakfast/brunch. I like getting their omelettes and vegetable crepe. I like their hash browns. Everything tastes fresh to me!  
-Valley Fair shopping mall in San Jose: I often complain about this place to myself internally...the crowds, the size. But actually, I don't know what I would do without it. I can find almost anything I need here. And it's been here forever.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Insecure

I live in a twisted world
Twisted is me
It is a hurricane, an avalanche
I don't know how to stop it

I feel so little, so small
I'm the tiniest black dot that ever existed in this great, big world
I feel like at any moment, I could just evaporate

I'm ashamed of this feeling
So ashamed
I cover my eyes and hide myself
From the world, from myself

I put on a fake mask of confidence
Nothing gets to me
I am strong, I am invincible, I am tough, I can handle you, I can handle this, I can handle the world, I, I, I...

I do a bad thing

It is better to be insecure than it is to be fake about it

I peek through my fingers
The ones covering my eyes
Just a little peek
To see what's actually here

I feel the avalanche coming down on me again
I feel worthless and little
All the time
Every day

This is who I am

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Another kind thing I can do...

I have been saying over and over lately, that I don't think I'm kind enough.

I feel it in my soul that there is more I can do.

What is it?

I know, I'll bake the office a blueberry pie sometime (once I've figured out how to make a decent one).

When I do, I'll just leave it in the kitchen. 

This isn't for bragging rights. If it was, I doubt I could pull this off anyway. I'd probably give myself a paralyzing headache trying to make the perfect pie to impress everyone.

Monday, November 7, 2016

After enjoying such a time of rest yesterday (see previous post. I posted it this morning, but it was meant for yesterday)...

It's hard for me to get back to activity today! It's Monday morning.

I got a taste of the good stuff. I just want to keep relaxing and enjoying and being lazy and...

Unfortunately, part of the deal with rest is that we're supposed to go back to lots of work and activity.

Sigh.

I will give myself about...two seconds to whine and pout about this.

Okay, done.
Biblical thoughts on rest

The Bible orders us to rest.

Why? 

For a lot of reasons. One of them is that God wants us to enjoy life! 

In many places in the Bible, rest is mentioned as being taken on the seventh day. Every seventh day, a day of COMPLETE rest.

(Of course, we don't have to follow the Bible literally in this sense. We're just supposed to follow the concept of rest. Depending on the circumstances of our lives, rest can be a daily thing, annual thing, every decade thing, whatever, and probably some combination of all that.)

Anyway, one of my reactions to this (total rest every seventh day) is...wow, that sounds like a lot of rest!

But then when I think about it some more...this amount of rest does seem to make a lot of sense. 

The more I reflect on this topic...

My takeaway is that rest is to be taken seriously, and in some abundance! 

I love it when the Bible reorients me and gives me the bigger perspective. The Bible does that for me.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

I wanted to go to a stretching class. I didn't even know if they existed. I just felt like I needed it, for my body's sake. 

I walked into a stretching class this morning. I had no idea what to expect. 


It was a group class, but there were only three people in it (including me), and then the teacher. I was obviously a total newcomer. The other two students were familiar with the class. 


This was certainly a new experience for me...on many levels. It's a good thing I didn't have any expectations of what I was getting into. 


We ended up doing something called "resistance stretching." I don't know how to describe it. It feels like the opposite of weight lifting, kind of. Like you're exerting your muscles...but in a way that contracts them, and ends up giving them some elasticity? Something like that? I think it has value, though I have no idea how useful this will be for my particular case. But it certainly was a new experience! 


Also, I was a expecting a group class, where I could kind of blend into the background and follow the teacher or other students the whole time. Not so. It turned out to be more individual private sessions, with the whole class focusing on one person for about 15 minutes. I am not used to having so much attention on me in a group class. It makes me nervous! But I tried to relish it, and I did end up enjoying the individual attention. 


Finally, the individual sessions consisted of everyone putting their hands on the student that we were focusing on, to move his/her body in various ways to get the right kind of stretch for him/her. The whole time. I am not used to touching strangers, for such a long time, and moving their arms and legs so forcefully and in these odd positions. And vice versa. Yeah, I felt like this was too close for comfort initially, but then I got over it.


So I went out of my comfort zone and familiar territory, and that fact alone made the experience pretty fun and interesting!

Friday, November 4, 2016

I need to be more kind. I'm not mean...but I'm just a neutral being right now, I guess. I don't believe I was put on earth, and I don't want my time on earth, for me to be a "sum zero" person (I just made that phrase up). As in, someone who didn't harm or hurt people/things, but someone who didn't give back either. 

I need to have made the world a little bit of a better place, than it would have been without me in it.

I don't need to be a martyr (nor do I want to be). I don't need to do great feats for humanity that will be written about for years to come.

I'm a pretty normal person. And for normal people, I think it's mostly in the numerous little things that we do. The kind things that I want myself to do...are probably no different than the kind things that billions of people do all the time. 

There are things I could do right now in the kindness department. Let me see...
1. I could say "hi" to the coworker who tried sabotaging me (see last Friday's post). Because now she's been doing this thing where she looks down at the ground when we pass each other. She doesn't deserve friendliness from me...but I'll extend it. 
2. I painted an Olaf pumpkin. It's sitting on my desk at work. I think it's pretty cute. I could give it (or offer to give it) to the next person who compliments me on it. 
3. I could donate money to this certain cause I care about. I've been putting it off for months. I keep telling myself this is because I'm just lazy. But I think I'm also stingy. 
4. I can't think of anything right now, but the next time, if a friend or general acquaintance needs help with something, I could offer to help them with it.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

I'm thinking about what to eat for dinner today. I didn't make dumplings this weekend. If I did, that would have been the perfect meal to eat tonight with a side dish.

They're healthy, they taste good, they're easy to heat up, they're filling, they're inexpensive, they don't use too many processed ingredients.

Oh well!

Okay, baked fish, mashed potatoes, and vegetables it is.

Here are some tips for each of the dishes I'm going to cook:

-Baked fish: I'm picky about baked fish. The fish has to be fresh and high-quality. Then you can't really go wrong, and it is almost guaranteed to be delicious no matter what.

-Mashed potatoes: I haven't perfected my mashed potatoes. But I think I'm getting there. My tip is to steam them (instead of boiling them)...you get greater potato flavor this way.

-Sauteed or boiled vegetables: If you're looking to get more excited about vegetables, there are different kinds you can find at a Chinese grocery store than what American stores typically sell. There's Chinese broccoli, "hollow vegetable" (it reminds me of spinach, but it's not), white radish. I like all of these vegetables, but I'm biased, I grew up eating them.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

30 minute writing challenge

The challenge was to write something in 30 minutes that used these words: lighthouse, rabbits, rosebush, ice skates.

Here's what I wrote!
____

Fred and Martha rabbit were enjoying the sunny afternoon, playing in the grass and rosebush. They saw their friend Katy cat, approaching them with a large basket in her hand.

"Katy! What brings you over? And what do you have there?" They exclaimed to her.

"I'm off to Europe for two weeks! It's my European vacation! Before I leave, I wanted to give this food basket to Samuel koala bear. He's been such a dear friend to me. But I'm late for my trip! Would you two mind finding Samuel and making sure he gets it?" she said.

"Of course!" The rabbits replied. "What's in there?"

They peeked inside the basket, and saw a delicious assortment of sandwiches, baked goods, and fruit inside.

"Thank you so much!" Katy said.

"Bye! And enjoy your trip!" They said.

"Now, where can he be?" Martha wondered aloud, when they were alone with the basket.

"Let's stop by his home first. Maybe he's at home." Fred said.

Fred and Martha walked over to Samuel's treehouse, which was not far away. When they got to his door, they saw a sign on it indicating that he was "Not in."

"Oh! He must have gone out for the day then." Fred said. "I know! He likes to ice skate! Maybe he's at the lake!"

When they got to the lake, disappointingly, Samuel was not there either. But Fred and Martha both loved to ice skate, so they took a little time out to ice skate on the lake.

They put on ice skates. Fred did some jumps. Martha did some spins. It was so much fun, and they wanted to keep going on, but after an hour, they knew they had to stop. They still had to find Samuel and deliver the basket to him.

Now, they were out of ideas for where Samuel could be. They sat at the lake, stumped.

Then Martha got an idea.

"Let's go back to his home! Maybe there are some clues there as to where he might be." she said.

They walked back to his treehouse. Then they peered through his window. They saw many beautiful oil and watercolor landscape paintings of the beach in his room. They remembered that Samuel also loved to paint.

"He must be painting at the beach!" They concluded.

The beach was a little far away, so they had to wait for the train and take the train all the way to the sea.

Once there, they eagerly walked out onto the beach. It was so beautiful. It was very serene and quiet, and a little misty. It was a very peaceful environment.

Then, they spotted a lone figure, sitting on the beach, with an easel propped up in front of him.

"There he is! He's painting something!"

Fred and Martha ran over to Samuel. Samuel was surprised to see them, but he greeted his friends happily. They saw that he was painting a picture of the lighthouse, out in the distance.

"That's beautiful!" Martha said admiringly.

"And look! We brought you a basket of food from Katy!" They told Samuel.

Samuel was thrilled to receive the basket. He welcomed the visit from his friends, and then the three of them decided to sit down at the beach and spend the rest of the day having a delicious picnic there.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The holidays are here, kind of. For me, anyway. After Halloween is over, I start looking to Thanksgiving, and this basically represents the somewhat start of the holidays.

The last few years, I have not looked forward to the holidays, in a way. They made me sad and part of me approached them with dread. It wasn't just because I was lonely.

I'm going to be very honest...in the last few years, there were specific things that Jesse did to me in the holiday season that were very painful for me. I always blame him for these things.

But now, I'm beginning to realize, that a large part of my pain - maybe most of it (it's hard to say) - actually came from myself. 

***I*** caused him to react a certain way. I'm still coming to grips with myself, and the way I am. The truth is, I really suck, sometimes.

Okay, that last paragraph was so hard for me to write. 

But do you know what?

I feel so much better now. It's like a black veil has been lifted off.

The black veil that is my holiday dread these last few years.

You know what...I do think it's gone now.

I can actually look forward to the holidays?

Now that's a new thought for me.