Thursday, November 25, 2010

the giving of thanks

an observation i've made of the general public is that most of us spend most of our precious waking moments bitching and moaning about what we DON'T have instead of giving thanks and appreciating the things that we are blessed with in our lives.

today is Thanksgiving, the day of turkey and pumpkin pie. today most of America will take off from work and spend their day with family, friends and loved ones. today, most of us will share in shameless binge eating and gluttony. i hope that today, everyone will also take some time and reflect on all the things in your lives for which you are thankful for.

i'm starting a new tradition. instead of making today (Thanksgiving) the only day of the year in which I reflect upon things that i am thankful for, i shall make a daily habit of it. not only that, but i shall also make it a regular habit to tell the people in my life the reasons why i am thankful for their presence, their comfort, their constructive criticisms, and their overall involvement in my life.

for starters, i am thankful for my family. my parents made some extreme sacrifices to ensure that my sisters and i can grow up in a country where women have more opportunities than in any other part of the world. i am thankful for my sisters because even though we have little in common, they are always there for me to support me when i need them the most. i am thankful for my boyfriend because he has shown me the strength of compassion and continuously teaches me the meaning of unconditional love. i am thankful for my friends who know when to call me out on my shortcomings, and when to hold me up because i need their comfort.

these are just a small fraction of all that i am thankful for. i know that if i occupy my attention on focusing only on that which makes me thankful, eventually, that is all i will find.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

a blank canvas

imagine your life as a blank canvas. imagine that you are going to paint your life. it could be in any medium you wish: actual cloth canvas with oil paint, paper with charcoal, cymk in photoshop, or even finger painting on the ipad. how would you paint your life? what would the end result look like?

would your life be in HQ ultra-hi-def-realism, or would it be small, pocket sized... something that fits on a key chain? how clearly would the images be depicted: color versus sepia versus black+white ? would your life be a beautiful work of art, or would it be something a little more violent and abstract?

most people would describe their lives as drab, faded photographs. always looking in the past does not pave the way for a good future. have you ever tried running with your head turned behind you? what about walking?

every so often, something happens to each of us. events leave impressions upon our souls, like ink that doesn't get fully cleaned off of a dry-erase board. if you are the painter of your life, and you get to start with a blank canvas, what would you paint?

what will you create?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

that which defines me

I used to think that I'd die if I lost my stuff. I have a lot of stuff. Clothes, electronic gizmos, music, collectibles, yarn, crafts, stuffed animals, yearbooks, etc. etc. I thought that the worse thing would happen, that the world would open up and swallow me.

Then, I got it in my head that I wanted to change. There are certain things about myself that I don't like. So I got different stuff. I changed my clothes, changed my music, changed the things I associated myself with. Out with the old an in with the stylish. But I didn't feel any different, and I wasn't any happier.

A wise man once said: if you want things to change in your life, then you have to change things in your life. I took that literally.

I feel that many of us define ourselves by the things which possess. I know I do. But now, I am changing that definition. I am getting rid of my physical possessions and replacing my beliefs about their importance.

I am going to start defining myself by the amount of joy I allow myself to experience, and the positivity I can bring to others' lives. I am going to start defining myself by what I feel versus what I own. That doesn't mean to live in the forest with loin cloths and twig homes, but to balance my emotions and sense of self. I am a whole vibrant person. If I lose the things I own, I will not lose myself.

Monday, September 20, 2010

omg this is brilliant!

I didn't write this, I'm just reposting it:
five.sentenc.es

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The Solution

Treat all email responses like SMS text messages, using a set number of letters per response. Since it's too hard to count letters, we count sentences instead.

 five.sentenc.es is a personal policy that all email responses regardless of recipient or subject will be five sentences or less. It's that simple.

** To begin using this system, optionally copy this text and paste it into your e-mail signature:

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Q: Why is this email five sentences or less?

A: http://five.sentenc.es



Thursday, August 19, 2010

saying goodbye

A few days ago, I found out that my grandfather has passed away. It is odd that I feel sad as I am not close to him. Nor am I particularly saddened by death in general. I am happy that he has gone, I believe he's in a better place. And after the story that my father told me, I believe he chose to go at this time.
My grandfather was a hard working coal miner, living a very modest life in Taiwan. His wife passed away when my father was just a boy, and he worked hard to raise 3 boys on his own. I don't know much about his life, but I know that during my grandfather's childhood, into his late teenage years, Taiwan was occupied by the Japanese. As a result of that, grandpa could read and understand Japanese. 
For the better part of the last decade, my grandfather lived with liver cancer. He used to come and stay with us for months at a time, and underwent treatment for his cancer. Although he never beat it, he still lived a very active life. His philosophy was kind of like "if I'm gonna die anyway, I might as well enjoy myself in the mean time." I saw him as a strong man, and though he was reticent to show any kind of emotional affection, he always did stuff for us, that showed he cared.
Once, when I was very young, he took me on a bike ride to go visit with someone. During the trip home, he had stopped to buy me juice because he knew that I had never tried it, and thought I would enjoy it. Then, when I was a teenager, visiting Taiwan again, he surprised me and my sisters by riding into town to pick up a case of a special Chinese soda we all enjoyed. Then, during one of his later visits to America, he also brought us some special treats that we never asked for but he noticed we had enjoyed during our stay in Taiwan.
It is odd to me that people grieve the dead. I believe that we grieve for ourselves, and not for the loss of life the other person experiences. Life on Earth sucks, and maybe we should celebrate the dead and grieve for the living.
I am not religious. I'm not Christian, nor do I believe in the Heaven/Hell concept. I believe that the soul lingers after it leaves the body, similar to a Buddhist concept of reincarnation. 
The passing of my grandfather makes me sad because I believe that he did not experience all the joys that there are to be experienced. I am sad that I got to grow up in America with all the luxuries that our country enjoys, while he lived poor and suffered much hardships in Taiwan. It makes me wonder what makes it that someone gets everything and someone gets nothing.
I'm not trying to get all philosophical or anything, it just makes me think.
His memorial is to be on September 12th. My family will all travel back to our home country and meet to do the customary things that Chinese people do when someone dies. I am not going. I don't feel the need to go.
I was never close to my grandfather. I never shared intimate laughs with him or talked of past and future. My grandfather did not play a huge role in my life growing up, but stands for the strength that my father brought to America, and the sacrifices that parents make for their kids to have a better life. I love my grandfather. I feel closer to him now than when he was alive. I am at peace, and I feel like he is happier now on the other side.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

ripples in the pond

The past is the past. Is it better to leave it behind us? Some say that when you turn your back on who you were, you will never become who you are suppose to be.
I recently had a discussion with a dear friend of mine about the darkness in our past. There are so many people out there who are hurting. Sometimes the things that hurt us become so ingrained in our souls that nothing is the same ever again. Sometimes we perpetuate the hurt, and our future doesn't stand a chance.
The danger of forgetting our past lies in that our subconscious never forgets. Our subconscious is like the hard drive of a super computer. We have been programming the operating system for many lifetimes. When something happens to us, good or bad, we create a new rule for our subconscious and our subconscious follows it perfectly. The only way to change that rule is to go back and find the original code and reprogram it.
If we burn our hands on the stove, we remember not to touch a hot stove again. However, if we came to the wrong conclusion and made the rule "never touch a stove again" or if we remember to "never touch food" again, then what happens? Sometimes we come to the wrong conclusions and sometimes we forget about the incidents that created the "rule" in the first place.
Imagine all the things we have learned along the way. What lasting effects do they have upon us? What if, at a very young age, someone you love and trust tried to hurt you? How any ripples of effect do you think that has had upon your future ability to trust people?
I have issues. I am sure that you do too. In some way, I am sure that all of us do. So the next time that something bad happens, the next time that you react in an unexplainable fashion, try to think back and see where and when you created the rule.
The next time someone is cruel to you, instead of creating a new rule of "don't trust anyone", realize that that person has been hurt before and don't perpetuate the ripples in the pond.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

today and the next day

I have a hard time answering the question "what do I want?" This is a struggle I've been having for as long as I can remember. I'm pretty good at achieving my goals once they are set, it's just that once I get down past the superficial stuff, I get stuck.

There is a wonderful independent film called "Mr. Nobody". There is one scene where the main character Nemo, as a little boy, is in the bakery. He has only enough money to purchase one treat, and is having difficulty deciding if he wants the cake or the cookie. He explains that the future is not written. We have infinite options as long as a choice is not made, but once we choose we are stuck with the choice so we must choose wisely. Then, he leaves the bakery without buying anything.

This is kind of what I feel like at times-like there are infinite possibilities but since the clock is ticking, I must choose wisely because I would not be able to go back and correct things. Of course, this is all a load of horse shit.

I have a few passions at this moment in time, that I could realistically choose as my next career. 1) I have a passion for marketing, with quite a bit of experience and expertise in the field. I lack, however, formal certification aka a college degree. 2) I also have a passion for graphic design, integrating web development. Although I do not have all the technical knowledge I would need to flourish in this field, I'm smart and I learn quickly. 3) I have substantial knowledge, experience, expertise, talent, etc. in the martial arts and working out but my heart isn't in it at the moment. I'm good at it, yes, but I feel like I would be limiting myself and the successes that I can attain if I choose to pursue this field. 4) Then there is writing and music. Writing, I'm decent at. Music, I have the passion but not the knowledge nor the technical skills at.  There are other things on my horizon, but these are the main things occupying my interest at this moment.

The illusion that I've tricked myself into believing is that I can only choose one. I realize that for every day that I'm stuck in procrastination is another day that I've allowed to pass by without taking a step towards ANY of these goals that I claim I have. Who said that I can't pursue all of my passions at the same time?

So today, I am taking advantage of my time. I have eyes, ears, hands, a brain, and I have all the interest in the world to learn and accomplish new things. I'm researching online. I'm downloading ebooks. I'm perusing magazines. There's a plethora of information out there on how to do stuff. There are no limits to what I can do except for the ones that I place upon myself.

Today is my day. Tomorrow is always a day away, and as long as I keep things for tomorrow, I will never do them. If I say TODAY I will do them, then when I wake up in the morning the next day, it will once again become today.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

speaking their language

This is the fifth time I've sat down to compose something "blog worthy" in the last 3 days. I keep starting something, getting distracted, then the ideas don't flow readily. I feel like I'm making an outline for an essay in English or something...

I've noticed that since I started my twitter account, back in the winter of 2008, my patience has decreased in direct proportion to my attention span. If you have a twitter, then you understand what I'm saying. There are people in my life who barely access their email, let alone understand this fast paced world of 140 character long blips. Facebook, I think, allows for 999 characters. Emails are usually screened on my blackberry or ipad. Voice messages allow for what, 90 seconds? The world is spinning faster and faster. Either that or I'm getting really old. It's rare for me to sit down and compose a really long, well thought out, grammatically correct piece of writing.

What I have noticed in all of this is that the way we communicate with each other is changing at a very dramatic pace. If there was a generational gap before, between the youth and their parents, there REALLY is one now. I find that my ability to communicate clearly has suffered as a result of my habitual use of twitter, facebook, and instant messaging. I forget that there exists a world outside of me, and outside of twitter, that still turns on the television for the news (AS IF. that is SO 1999) and picks up the phone when they want to get a hold of someone.

I advise my friends and clients to be mindful of how people prefer to be contacted. I need do the same. It's like speaking a different language, in a sense. Or traveling across time zones. If I need to get a hold of someone in England, I better make sure that it is day time over there. If I want to get a hold of someone who doesn't have a blackberry or an iphone, and doesn't check their phone every 5 minutes like I do, I better figure out if emailing them is the best way to contact them. Likewise, if I know that someone is rarely in the office to check their voice messages, sometimes a text message is the only way to get through a busy person.

As for me, I'm always online. Maybe I should spend more time in the real world.

Friday, July 2, 2010

ugly is the new beautiful

everything i see is ugly to me. the things that i used to thing were beautiful... the diamonds, the sparkles, the sleek leather, the skinny starved overly made up faces staring back at me on the pages of the magazine. what is beauty? if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, than everything that is ugly is beautiful to me. the more society likes it, the more i shun away from it. the more mass media promotes it, the more i despise it.

i see imperfection in the world. i see hunger, and hatred, and vindictiveness. those things are beautiful to me. i see the face of a dying cat, struggling to move after it's been hit by a passing car. and i see beauty. i see the dullness of the stare of the overweight girl, secluded in the playground, and that is beautiful to me.

the pain, the suffering, the emotional despair. this floods my eyes and i see beauty.

why is everything backwards? i don't know. maybe my brain was hacked into and the wiring was done incorrectly. or maybe because there is so much exaggeration and forced physical perfection in my life, in my town that i hate it. i hate how people are judged by face value. i hate that girls kill themselves because they are 2 sizes too large to be accepted by the "in crowd". i hate that beautiful people forcefully disfigure themselves surgically because that is what hollywood wants them to be.

michael jackson. the man who made a caricature of his face because he had so much self loathing for himself and could not see the good.

everything i am, everything i see... beauty on the outside and ugly on the inside. ugly on the outside and beautiful on the inside. the sharp contrast between the wanted and the rejects. the constant struggle to gain acceptance. society sucks. i hate the social pressures. and yet i have fallen victim to it.

i am plain. i want to be anything but "beautiful". because it is an ugly world. and i want to have no part of it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

ribbons, lace, and safety pins

I went to the circus disco tonight. I've gone there before and its usually trance with asians and white people and a few of the sprinkled minority groups enjoying the rhythmic thumping of electronica while bathed in darkness and laser lights.

Tonight was "batland" or something light that. The music was still trance electronica but there were lots and lots of "alternative" "fetish" "goth" people there. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I embrace the darkside and love vampires more than the average girl. (I'm not talking about the sparkling skin kind here)

I used to parade around in dark lipstick, while powder, black shiny vinyl, fishnets, and doc martins as a kid. These were "my people". But I've never been to a goth club. Nor have I ever been in a dungeon. Tonight's party featured lots of ominous looking pale skinned brethren, with piercings, colorful fur, fake blood, and corsets. The guys had blonde and metallic dreadlocks and 6" platform knee high boots, long plastic trenchcoats, the whole shebang. There were people getting spanked, flogged, whipped, tied, smacked, etc.

It was a bit much to take in. Took a while for me to find some friendly faces to approach. One girl, who was clearly intoxicated, came up behind me and looked like she was whimpering. I asked her if she was okay, her boyfriend explained that her feet were suffering from the confines of borrowed boots. I've been there. I told her "at least you look cute" to which she responded "thanks, you're cute too". I gave her a hug.

Haha, very random, but these people were nicer to me than the average club crowd I've encountered in the past. I didn't have to feel like I was competing to be the thinnest, whoriest girl in the room (although I might have won on the thinnest part... And I'm not that thin) obviously I'm not "one of them". I don't have tattoos or unconventional piercings. I am not wearing fishnets with batwings and corsets with my boobies popping out (what boobs!) But these people were my people.

Maybe they're a little off, but so am I. Maybe they're a little fucked up, but so am I. Maybe they're just out to have a good time and feel good about themselves because they have the guts to strut down the streets wearing pounds and pounds of zippers and safety pins, holding together scraps of fabric that can be called a shirt. Maybe that makes them happy.

Whatever the case is, I had a great time, and although I got freaked out a bit at the beginning, I settled right in and made a few new friends. They wear their crazy on the outside, and I like them just fine! :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

that which is broken

i used to believe in love. i used to seek it in all things, and yearn for it to be returned to me. a mild obsession would be declared the moment someone caught my fancy. that obsession, like lukewarm water set to simmer on a stovetop quickly would roar into a raging boil. logic went out the window, and all i could think about is "what can i do to make you love me?"

this past year, i went through quite a few momentous changes in my life. i had my heart broken repeatedly, then torn out, and shredded and nullified. then i met someone who put a spark of hope back in my eye. it was very rare and unexpected for me to see that there was a possibility of happiness outside the realms of my dark secluded dungeon. for once, in a very long time, i found a will to live and to thrive. and as i struggled against the restraints of social pressures and accepted dysfunctional ideals... i managed to kill everything that i had every cared about in the past. (that's a good thing, by the way).

the thing about change is, in order for change to happen, a chain reaction is set off that affects all surrounding the subject. in the case of molecular change, when one atom leaves its existing bonds, a void is created that then must be filled and both sides restructure with completely different physical properties. sometimes the change in a molecular structure releases off quite a bit of energy (think in terms of the atomic bomb. THAT is a LOT of energy)...

so. i changed. and in the process, i disrupted many lives surrounding mine. i got to witness first hand, heartbreak as seen through the eyes of a neutral third party (me). and for once in my life i experience empathy.

the newfound ability for me to detach myself from the emotions that are unfolding in front of my eyes has shed a bit of light on certain situations that i never before understood. growing up, there were always boys that i'd like that would not return my affection. and i would do whatever i could to make them like me. i would try gifting things. i would try doing things for them. i would try to demonstrate knowledge and interest in the things that they were interested in.

i really missed the point.

you cannot make someone love you. love is not a commodity that can be bought or traded. love is not something you can own as a possession. love is not something you hold hostage, or blackmail someone by withholding. love is a sensitive butterfly that must be allowed to flutter around and land on as many flowers as the garden possesses. love needs room to grow, and freedom to dance. the moment you cage it and claim it as yours, it will die.

there are many jaded people in this world. i can see why now. i see all those broken bits that are struggling to "make do". i see the darkened lifeless stares that come from empty souls. i see the walls that each of us build up to protect ourselves from being hurt. i see the mirrors that reflect all of our own insecurities back to us and forever torment our fragile minds. and i see the spark of hope that comes with accepting that there is nothing out there for me.

in opening myself up and expecting to be hurt, mistreated, and betrayed... i have freed myself from all the things that prevented action in the past. and while i have lost all faith in humanity, i have hope that love will find me one day and surprise me with a kiss.