Thursday, August 30, 2012

Stress on mind, body & soul

Raspberry Tea by Andreka

New lesson of the week: our body detects stress whether or not our mind realizes it.

I'm a firm believer in keeping our surroundings positive and dynamic with like-minded people and staying away from negative, jealous and hateful people. However our lives aren't perfect and neither are those around us. There will always be a family member or close friend who goes through difficulties in life and at times there is no way to distance ourselves from negativity no matter how much we try.

Negativity is an inevitable part of life. When this happens, instead of trying to detach myself from the situation by avoidance, denial or indifference, it's best to accept my hurt, sadness & disappointment and communicate these feelings to loved ones around me.

Accept, acknowledge, embrace, resolve rather than avoid, escape, deny and ignore. No matter how hard we try to ignore, our body is already aware of these emotional & psychological changes and will begin to react.

It is the distraction, not meditation that becomes habitual.  Tonight I'm going to a small group meeting with women from my church. For the past few months I've been too self-absorbed to really reflect on myself and my surrounding-- and even though I'm running around busily, I find myself getting nowhere. I'm running around in circles...what a lonely and isolating journey it has been.

I'm looking forward to this time of reflection, rejuvenation & reconnection with self and God.  Today I'm thankful for my body and another chance at renewal.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Muse: Jean Rhys

Paris by Louise

Tonight I pick up my old copy of Jean Rhys: The complete novels. As always I flip through its large volume and turn to Good Morning, Midnight. There is something so gloomy, lonely yet beautiful about this story that I just can't get enough of. It's like getting a glimpse of a rare rainbow in midst of steady rain. I love her and her mind.  She may be the most under appreciated women writer of the century.

She was born on August 24th and died the year before I was born. She's another virgo who I happen to share similar sentiments, fears & visions with. A coincidence, maybe. A part of universe's intricate & mysterious design, perhaps. This always happens in my life. I somehow find them and they somehow find me.

They find me through words and continue to live in me through dreams & imaginations. Jean Rhys is my muse---my goddess of inspiration. I come across my favorite scene. My heart begins to ache for her for a thousandth time. It takes place in the last few pages and goes something like this...

-----------------------------------------------------------------

I am walking up and down the room. He has gone. I am alone.
It isn't such a long time since he left.
Put your coat on and go after him. It isn't too late, it isn't too late. For the last time, for the last time...
Well I can't, my dear. Not because I'm too proud of anything like that, but because my legs feel funny.

'Come back, come back,' I say. Like that. Over and over again. 
'You must come back, you must come back. I'll force you to come back. No that's wrong...I mean, please come back, I beg you to come back.'

I press my hands over my eyes and I see him. He is walking along the Boulevard St. Michel toward Montparnasse, thinking: 'Sale femme. Ridiculous woman.'

'Come back, come back, come back,' I say.
He doesn't hear. 
He is walking along as quickly as he can. He is cold and vexed.

(A monster...The monster that can only crawl, or fly...ah! But fly...)

This is the effort, the enormous effort, under which the human brain cracks. But not before the thing is done, not before the mountain moves.

He hesitates. He stops. I have him. 

'Listen. You hear me now, don't you? It's quite early- not twelve yet. The door will still be open. All you've got to do is walk upstairs. If anybody speaks to you, say: 'The woman in number forty-one, she expects me; she's waiting for me. Say that.'

I see him, very clearly, in my head. I daren't let him go for a moment.

[......]

He presses the button and the door opens. 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

It's 11:45 pm. I love this time of the day, right before midnight when all is silent, peaceful, dark & beautiful. Good morning, midnight. We meet again.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

About Virgo Women

Virgo by Cansu Girgin

It's that time of the year again- the month of virgos.  How appropriate it is to recall a part of who I am by the stars. This list is not exhaustive but eerily accurate in many ways and I know I carry some of its main characteristics. While there are many other factors that shape us as individuals, I always find horoscopes fascinating and fun to explore. Below are a few excerpts from various sources.

One thing you need to know about a Virgo woman - she has guts and lots of them! It doesn't mean that she is not as shy and as reserved as she seems to be. It's just that she can do anything and everything for the people she loves. By love, she means real love, no other type of love exists for her. A Virgo female is a complete woman! She has all the charms and tricks that any other female has, but she is not weak. Infact, she has quite a determination and can do anything if she sets her mind to it.

She will be completely devoted and loyal to you in a relationship. Still, if it doesn't seems to be working, she will sever all ties and become as cold as the North Pole. Virgo women's characteristics profile is an odd mix of emotions and practicality, romance and common sense. When they fall in love, they show such extreme passion and intensity that only few other women can. Making them fall in love is, however, an entirely different task.

It's better to get used to their critical nature. A Virgo girl believes that she is extremely efficient and organized and what is more annoying is, that she is right. She is a stickler for time and it's better not to be late when you are meeting her. She will not break the new, expensive vase when she is upset, but she can be very demanding and fussy. If the fault is yours, admit that you are wrong and say it while handing her flowers. Don't even try to argue, or she will lose her temper again.

It is better to leave her alone for sometime and she will cool again. On the other hand, a Virgo woman will find it very hard to accept that she is wrong. The fact is, most of the time she's not. When you are courting her as well as after you get married, it is advisable to mind your manners. She cannot tolerate someone using abusive language, coming late, dressing sloppily, not minding table manners, etc. It's better to brush up your vocabulary too. She will not cling to you, nor will she become totally aloof.

She is also very good with finances and extravagance is not one of her personality traits. A Virgo female isn't too into public displays of affection and it is better to be subtle in this area. Her taste is very good and her intellect quite developed. If you are trying to woo her, take her to places like theatre, art gallery, etc. Just like a typical Virgo, she is prone to worrying about things too much and she will do your part of the job too. She is very much attached to the ground and prefers to live in the real world.

(via Iloveindia.com)


Virgo woman as a wife/lover- Virgo female personality trait

She is a true woman. Her house will be full of sweet fragrance and beauty. She will take care of every need of her man. She will attend to her man when he falls sick. Feed him delicious food when he is hungry. Help her man in his professional and financial matters. Lucky him, right? All he has to do is to polish his manners and be a good man. This woman has such clarity of vision that it’s difficult for anyone to sway her from her decisions. She will be a loyal companion if she feels she has found true love. And she won’t hesitate to call it quits, even if she meets her real soulmate out of wedlock.

Virgo women have their very own brand of "professional sexy." Their outwardly reserved, intellectual and precise nature creates the perfect contrast for their wilder side within... they may not be the most overtly sexual of the signs, but their subtlety works just as efficiently.

Brains and beauty

If you're turned on by intelligent people then beware! Virgo's are nearly always intellectual, and this woman's fast mind can find humor in most things, and often empathize with others more than her emotions alone would allow. This ability to empathize while still remaining detached makes them some of the best counselors, therapists and psychologists.

Virgo women typically have a fantastic eye for detail and enjoy order, precision and efficiency in all things. This has several implications, for example she is likely to prefer routines to random or chaotic approaches, and is very likely to have a fondness for keeping lists and other tools which improve efficiency.

A common fault of Virgo women is to be highly critical when perfection is not found. This usually applies double to herself and her own performance, which can sometimes lead to reduced self-confidence. Virgos often have trouble relaxing, and often hate wasting time, or sitting idle.

Later in life she's likely to look much younger than she really is. Call it unfair but this is a sign which usually ages very well. One factor in this is that Virgo women are more likely than most to monitor what they eat and drink, how frequently they exercise, and generally to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

She is likely to be fairly reserved and shy with people she doesn't know, and may be uncomfortable receiving too much attention, perhaps getting embarassed easily. She is very unlikely to ever display any irrational or emotional outbursts in public, generally preferring to be discreet in all things.

Analytical, discriminating, precise, considerate and reliable, she is likely to enjoy work of technical or analytical nature, quite possibly working behind the scenes to ensure the efficiency of an organization, rather than taking center stage or seeking direct recognition for her achievements.

On the negative side, she can sometimes be seen as picky, aloof, sarcastic, pessimistic or whiny. She assumes everyone views her with the same critical eye that she possesses, which can sap her self confidence. Ironically, she is likely to be more perfect than most of us, yet she's the only one who can't see it. This level of self imposed modesty can be particularly endearing.



Friday, August 24, 2012

Childhood Diary

Stories in the books by Andreka

I recently visited my mom's house and returned with a bag full of surprises: old pictures, letters and a diary I kept as an eleven year old. It made me smile and just as I was getting into my childhood musings, I realized most of its pages were missing. I must've ripped them out for fear of my mom reading through them (as she often did) or simply because I was embarrassed of my 11-year old self when I became a self-conscious teenager.

I wonder what kind of secrets and events took place in those pages. It's as if a huge chunk of my childhood is missing and all I have are these hazy, fleeting memories in my head. 

According to the few pages that remain, I stayed up late studying for a map test because I wanted to be the top of my class. I was preparing for a speech for our graduation ceremony.  I was disappointed that I didn't win the best student award. I was nervous about junior high and sad to be leaving my teacher and friends. I had a secret crush on some boy and was sad that he was exchanging letters with another girl in class. 

Some things haven't changed since age 11 to now, twenty years later.  I still enjoy staying up late alone and wonder if my crush thinks about me. 

"Do you still think I'm beautiful?" I asked my husband last night while getting ready for bed. 

"Of course I do baby, why do you even ask?" He replied matter-of-factly as if I was asking an unnecessary and trifling question.

There remained a silent distance between us; between my silly question and his indifferent answer. 

What was I trying to prove? Of course he did. We've been married for nearly 8 years and we have two beautiful children together. Of course he thinks I'm beautiful.

All night I tossed and turned, tired yet unable to slow down the memories flooding my mind.

This morning I stirred awake as my husband was putting Neosporin on my scarred shoulder. I had accidentally burned myself with a curling iron last weekend and the burn is a lot worse than I thought. It felt good, in a comforting kind of way, and reminded me of my childhood when my mom used to tend my scars. I murmured "thank you honey" and drifted back to sleep as he got ready for work.

Just like my scar and everything else in life, beauty will fade. And just as I look at my college graduation pictures and realize I was a lot prettier than I thought I was at the time, I'll one day look at today's pictures and think wow, I look so much younger here.

I know what really matters is not outward beauty but beauty that radiates from within, the kind that transcends time. It took nearly 30 years to truly love and appreciate myself--yet this doesn't change my womanly desire to be beautiful in my lover's eyes- ten, twenty and thirty years from now.

I wonder if he thinks about me even as he's immersed in work, exchanging words and glances with other beautiful people in the world. I wonder if he sees my beauty within. And when he does, I hope he can feel my heart that remains pure regardless of the passing time; immovable, unchangeable and reserved for him and him only.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I miss you

Writing by Sarinya Withaya

Real love is best communicated in simple words like above.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Why I'm Not a Mommy Blogger



Spellbound by Elle Moss

I've been blogging more frequently this month than in the past 6 months. Taking a break from my studies and immersing in motherhood full time is actually quite nice and I'm afraid I'm getting too comfortable with having less on my plate.

I'm not saying being a SAHM is easy. It is far from easy. I came really close to flipping over the laundry basket earlier after doing 3 loads that included two bathroom floor mats that were obviously resistant to the dryer. That fucker just won't dry and it kept coming out damp even after 2 cycles! When I realized I was cursing at an inanimate object and taking my domestic frustrations out on a laundry basket, I had to take a deep breath and regather myself.

This is my job. This is my job. This is a part of my job...

As much as I hate acknowledging this sometimes, I know deep inside that it's true, at least for now.  Laundry, dishes and cleaning are a part of my job as a SAHM and as depressing as this sounds, I have to come to terms with it, at least for the time being.

WOMEN BLOGGERS & WRITERS

What's good about staying home without other job related responsibilities is that I finally have time to write and read other blogs. I spent most of the day reading blogs and fell in love with this 37 year old editor/writer who is an amazing storyteller & writer. And astoundingly her blog archive go back nearly ten years! 10 freaking years! She's totally funny, totally cool, totally talented and I can really relate to her especially her addictive personality- her past affairs with alcohol, cigarettes and bad ex-boyfriends- as well as her love for classic literature and writing.

It seems that good writers or at least the ones I like, have close encounters with alcohol, drugs and depression. This includes writers like Woolf, Plath and Jean Rhys whose writings I fall in love with over and over again. Coincidentally the first two committed suicide in horrific ways (it involves a gas stove, cookies, pocket full of rocks and the ocean) and the last struggled with depression and alcoholism her whole life. In essence, madness and artistic creativity seem to be closely related and I even dedicated three months of my life reading about it.

Either way I'm not ashamed to admit that I used to self-indulge without guilt at one point of my life. I used to have a life before becoming a mom, you know.

It was short lived, but I don't regret a single day of it especially after coming across this fascinating heroine-chic ex-beauty editor from NYC who binges on all kinds of drugs and comes up with some brilliant pieces during her highs. I don't admire drug addicts but I do have this weird fascination for madness and writing. Sure she needs rehab and perhaps a sober boyfriend who can help with her daddy issues but her writing is raw, mad and painfully disturbing. It reminds me of a modern day noir writing: dark, bleak, lonely yet beautiful in its darkness.

Then I came across this blog by a female escort. I had never read stories like hers and while it lucidly revealed another side of the escort world, I couldn't help but to grimace at her stories about having threesomes with married men and letting them smear chocolate syrup all over her body and face for money. Maybe I felt uncomfortable to acknowledge female prostitutes as real women with genuine feelings even as she seemed to carry them with a certain air of grace and clarity. I don't know, maybe I'm old-fashioned in this way. As fascinated as I am about deviance and dark realities of beauty and love, I just couldn't get myself to keep reading her stories of immorality and paid sex.

Lastly I came across blogs (or a group of blogs) by these mormon ladies who portray motherhood and family life in a way that's just too perfect that it seems, for lack of better word, disastrous. One blogger writes,
I would honestly change 20 diapers a day and get up in the night every 1-3 hours for the rest of my life if that meant I could always have a newborn in arms reach.
Is she serious? She would change 20 diapers a day and get up in the night every 1-3 hours for the REST OF HER LIFE? Is that humanly possible? We, humans, need sleep!

It's women like this that make me feel less adequate as a mother, woman and human being. Don't get me wrong, I do miss the newborn stage. I miss the smell, the soft skin, the sweet cooing and cuddly warmth of infants but I also know how difficult the first few months are physically, mentally and hormonally.

Mommy bloggers like her make other struggling moms look like whiny brats and make naive husbands make comments like "_________ seems to handle it just fine, what's wrong with you?"

Disastrous, I tell you.

Despite the fact that her children are absolutely adorable and her pictures are drop dead gorgeous, I just couldn't relate to her world of perfect birthday parties, perfect fathers, perfect mother-in-laws and perfect husbands.

Such demand for perfection is what made my life spiral out of control during teen/adolescent years and I'm never going back to that lonely, overworked and underappreciated world where perfection is the only way to accept myself.

Perfection is an illusion.

My life isn't perfect. I'm not perfect and neither are my children. But I'm okay with that and I still love myself and my life.  And I doubt her life is perfect, she just finds solace in portraying her life that way to her in-laws and online blogging friends for some weird form of sick, twisted self-gratification.

Or maybe I'm just insecure and jealous that my mommy life isn't as perfect as hers. And I guess this means her and her mommy friends won't be my blogging buddies either...

WRITING WITHOUT AN IDENTITY 

So after spending hours in front of my laptop exploring this world of bloggers and niche writers for the first time, I felt lost and confused like a puppy in a strange city. I belong nowhere.

What exactly do I write about? What exactly is my blog about? What is my blogger identity?

I'm not a successful editor, a drug addict, a female escort nor an incredibly talented mother who adores every part of her family life. Well, I do love my family- but my life is far from perfect.

I'm lost...why can't a person just write? Isn't a writer defined by the writing, not the other way around? Today's blogging culture seems counterintuitive to me.

I belong nowhere.

Since I can't answer these questions at this moment, I guess I'll just follow the footsteps of Robert Frost and take the road less traveled- that is, this unknown blogsphere territory without a sense of destination or direction.

As I have learned over the years, writing takes on its own life once it's materialized onto the page from the writer's mind.

So I guess it really doesn't matter as long as I keep writing. I guess I just have to let my words steer my ways and let them decide which way to go.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Me, You & Sylvia Plath


By Leah Flores Air

Love is determined by fate.
So are star-crossed lovers. 
Fate is what brings us together in serendipitous encounters and 
what tears us apart by opposing circumstances. 

It's about you, it's about me
it's about where we were at in life and what we did or not do for a reason. 

It's about our fears, our worries, our reservations and distractions. 
It's about life- what it wants us to learn and how it wants us to grow.
This world does not stop for me and you and so we've learned, in this way.

Maybe it's not even you, maybe it's your heart that vibrates with mine. 
Maybe we were lovers in a past life, maybe my heart recognizes that sound.

We should meet in another life, we should meet in the air.
Or we can meet in our dreams, just me and you.

Inspired by my muse, Sylvia Plath

Monday, August 20, 2012

Las Vegas: Indulgence & Detox


 

PART I. INDULGENCE

I just returned from a wonderful (and overstimulated & sleep-deprived) vacation in Las Vegas. As much as I try to stay away from this place, I secretly enjoy its overindulgent lifestyle and over-the-top glamour once in awhile when life gets dull, in need of healthy dose of self-indulgence. (and yes I believe there is such a thing)

In Vegas I find myself staying up later than usual, wearing heavier eye-make up, drinking one too many glasses of cocktail and spending $100 bills like it's worth ten. This time was no different and I somehow ended up spending the entire 2K that I won. It's like my wallet on a chain has a hole on the bottom and I walk around leaking money or something. 

Occasionally I have these almost too-good-to-be-true moments in Vegas where I sit in front of a machine and win $$ after a few mindless trials. Well actually, this happened 3 times in my life. I don't know if its my intuition or pure luck but this time it happened two times in one day. 

It really doesn't matter though, as always I ended up spending all my winnings & play money on shopping, eating, playing and returning home with just enough money to grab some Alien beef jerky & chile and lime pistachios at my usual stop in Baker. 

As expected, I have a love & hate relationship with Las Vegas.

I love being able to order drinks as late as I want and being able to walk out of a club, return to the room for a break, and walk back ready to party until 5 am. I love its fine dining varieties, great shopping, getting dolled up and feeling different than my usual boring self and sleeping in until noon in a completely blacked out room.

I also love lying out by the pool with a drink in my hand, surrounded by beautiful, chiseled bodies and dozing off to killer house music. I love its glitz & glamour, unprecendented service and finest amenities. 

Simultaneously I hate its pretentiousness, whorish girls in cheap mini dresses, drunk guys and their stupid entourage, greedy dealers who smile in your face only to wipe you out in the next hand and materialistic valet guys who act extra courteous and accommodating to those in expensive rides. 

I hate overspending money and overindulging on food & drinks. Not to mention the in-your-face nudity, cheesy call girl signs, oversized boobs and hyper-masculinity...or shall I say, overflowing hormones all around town.

 
Overall it was a good trip filled with rare indulgences like numerous cocktails, bubbly champagne, delicious desserts at Serendipity 3, French dining, two trips to the worlds best pho restaurant (I never eat pho except here) and cool visuals such as the above Brahma shrine juxtaposed by the Roman pillars of Caesar's palace. Like many others living in So. California, I've been to Las Vegas too many times to find this trip new & exciting but I'm always thankful for opportunities to step away from my mundane life to indulge once in awhile.

PART III. DETOX 

On a different note, I'm turning 32 in less than a month. It still feels surreal to think about my age because the past 10 years seriously flew by. I still feel 22 sometimes but I know I'm not when hangovers get worse, energy level decreases and types of daily vitamins in my medicine cabinet increase.  

After three days & four nights in Las Vegas, I'm in major recovery mode. Recovering from what, I'm not exactly sure since I didn't party or drink excessively this time but I'm tired and body & mind needs rest. 

In need of detox, both physically and mentally before my 32nd year.

Today I'm grateful for my seemingly normal life filled with normal problems of a stay-at-home wife and mom but I know this dark writerly self is lurking somewhere deep down inside, awaiting her chance to relive her passions through words of dark sentiment and deviance. 

But today as in the past 8 years, I shove her back down, give her the cold Don't-you-dare-bitch stare and smile warmly at my children.

I think I'm ready to turn 32-years old. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Nostalgia: college years

Film camera & Pink Telephone by Andreka

I used to blog before the word blogging existed in a place called Xanga.  Last night I was feeling a bit nostalgic with nothing better to do so I decided to log into my old account to delete old pictures and posts. Of course I no longer remembered my password so I had to recover it in a time-consuming process and the entire time all I wanted to do was get it over with, to delete all traces of my embarrassing past.

A few clicks later, I came across an old blog written by my old college roommate, my crazy friend/ex-partner-in crime-now-turned-mother-of-my-daughter's-bbbb-ffffff (as the five-year old girls call each other).

There it was, a story of my past-- a story of my college years full of reckless choices and ceaseless longings. It was a time of transition from adolescence to adulthood and as expected our lives were full of uncertainty, anxiety, broken hearts and broken promises.

We were resentful and heartbroken over ex-boyfriends, unhappy with our part-time jobs and the only thing we didn't complain about was hanging out drinking, talking, partying, attempting road trips and shopping for that perfect over-the-top Halloween costume.

We were untamed, raw and daring. We used words like *fuck and *shit proudly and loudly, at boys and into the air. We didn't care what others thought about us as long as we had each other.  We didn't care to limit our alcohol consumption, censor our words and didn't think about taking daily vitamins or exercising. We didn't care about acting proper like a lady or protecting ourselves from men in the dating scene.

We were adventurous and bold. We were willing to take risks in love, in life...willing to try something new at least once and not afraid of making mistakes while doing so. We can fall in love quickly and explore more freely. We were young, carefree and despite our angry rants toward life, love and men- we loved life because everyday was a new adventure.

What started as an attempt to close out one chapter of my life turned into a newfound appreciation for my past- even my imperfect past- and it made me miss what we once shared. It triggered many memories that have been buried for too long and helped me to rediscover a part of myself that was long forgotten.

NOSTALGIA

I miss my early 20's. I miss its passion, its angst, its carefree joys, even its pains. If you asked the 21 year old me where I would like to be at age 31, I would've probably said in a happy marriage with children, in a loving home with successful career. I accomplished most of them and for this I'm grateful, but I can't help but to feel a sense of longing, this intense longing for a part of my past that is irreversible, irretrievable...

I wish I can go back to 10 years ago even for a day but knowing this is not possible all I can do is let out a sigh, put on a smile and keep moving forward. I also remind myself that this moment is the youngest I'll ever be, that I need to always be grateful for what I have today.

Thank God for memories, for words that capture our memories; for friends and for lovers both old and now.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

First Comes Marriage, Then Comes Love

By Eliza J Photography
Many years ago I thought I knew love well enough to be married and have a child. First comes love then comes marriage...this is what we hear and come to believe.

Today, two children and many struggles later, I realize real love comes after marriage and after children. Looking back now I didn't know a thing about love...real love...the kind that is selfless, patient, forgiving and self-giving.

No other words embody this love better than the bible, a simple verse from the first Book of Corinthian that I'm all too familiar with. I heard this verse many times throughout my life but it carried little meaning and weight until now.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.   

Today as I look through photos from our recent family photo session, these words awaken me from deep slumber and stir my heart from the depth of my soul.

I'm falling in love with my family all over again.

This love is not instantaneously gratifying and often comes without a fair return. Sometimes, no matter how hard I try, I'm left hopeless, tired and isolated in my struggles and worry.

This love forces you to give up everything you've loved and known for the sake of another human being. This love brings you down, wears you out and asks you to repeat it all over again the next morning without giving up.  This love is difficult and at times painful.  This love is far from perfect and neither is my family.

Yet I love them deeply and whole-heartedly without regret. I don't love them simply because they bring me joy & happiness. I love them even though I know their deepest weaknesses and darkest fears. I can't help but to love them...This must be love- real love- the kind that God tries to teach us through family & children.

photos by eliza j photography
I know my love is not perfect and my struggles are far from over. But today in this moment, my life is better and more complete than any perfection I envisioned until now.

God's love is truly like the rainbow, it can only be created after heavy rain.

Today my heart is filled with a thousand butterflies fluttering and whispering words of real love and gratitude-- and this realization would not have been possible without my crazy, imperfect family.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Young love, old love. Then there's marriage


I've yet to come across a female character who is more beautiful, complex, strong and convincing as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City.  She's not your typical Hollywood beauty but there's something so charming and exuberant about her character that I still find myself missing her..missing her voice, wit, charm and grace.

Just like Carrie who moved onto the next stage of her life, I too have moved on. I'm now a mother of two children and a wife of a businessman.  I surprised myself and others by putting aside my career to take care of the kids and surprise myself everyday by doing things I never thought I would do like biting my tongue in front of certain people for the sake of my children.

The stubborn, prideful, I'm-too-good-for-this-and-that girl is slowly being replaced by a maternal and nurturing woman and I'm the first to be shocked at this change----or growth shall I say?

LOVE IN 20s

In my 20s I didn't grasp the true meaning of selfless love and felt it was some form of cardinal sin to confess my feelings to a man and let my guard down first.  Relationship with men seemed like a complex game of give and take, of measuring the weight of the return from what I was willing to give.  I don't think this was because I was superficial or calculating; I was simply insecure and scared to have my heart broken. It was more of a survival mechanism, of protecting my heart before the next possible attack by a careless man.

In this way love was passionate yet reserved, real yet fearful and inconvenient yet at anyone's expense.  All it took was one person to say "sorry this isn't working" and just like that, the relationship was over.  Love was a source of great anxiety and uncertainty--and just like that I went through one failed relationship to the next.

I guess even these mistakes were a part of my fate, as somehow, somewhere along the way, I reconnected with an old friend who passionately proclaimed his love and dedication for me, whose love was real enough for me to entrust my life to.

LOVE IN 30s  (in progress) 

Today I find myself in my 30's, still married to the same man I met as a friend in high school. We were passionately in love, had two beautiful children and while none of these were planned to a tee, they were definitely blessings, great blessings in disguise.

A once ridiculous, inconvenient and consuming love brought us here today and we now find ourselves in a different kind of relationship called marriage.  It's one of practicality, functionality, security and comfort.  We take turns, do things for each other, compromise, communicate our needs, co-parent and try to avoid fights around our children.  It takes on a different meaning, but a much deeper meaning since this is no longer just about us and our feelings.

I do miss young love, that of raw and fiery passion but I'm grateful for old love, the kind that brings a sense of security and comfort that can only be created through many years of adjustment, sacrifice and fights.  I would be lying if I say I still feel butterflies around a man I've known half of my life, but when I do feel them, they are louder and more real than ever.

Now I know how it feels to be loved without having to look and feel my best, and feeling beautiful even on a bad hair day or bad hormonal breakouts. Now I finally understand the feeling of security and comfort around a man whose love for me is much deeper than what meets the eyes.

Many years later I know his love for me remains real.  He cares about my feelings, my desires, my dreams and my fears-- and even though he's seen me through my worst, he remains firm in his promise to push me around in a wheelchair when I'm old.


YOUNG LOVE vs. OLD LOVE



Young love...old love...

Every young love will turn old one day and walking away from old love means you now have a chance of creating another young love. Which is better? Is there even such a thing as the better love? Is young love simply a passing stage to get to the ultimate old love or is old love there to teach us the importance of the young passion we once shared?

I wonder if Carrie Bradshaw can answer this question and if she did..what she would say. Perhaps she's out there somewhere asking the same question since even Mr. Big would be old love by now.

I'm looking for love. REAL love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can't-live-without-each-other love....

In midst of motherhood and real life problems of a 30-something year old, I still dream about this kind of love.

Perhaps this is why I, like millions of women across the world, love Carrie Bradshaw so much. She captured the most essential part of romance and froze it in time, making it immortal, untouchable and ALWAYS fashionable.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Midsummer diary

Summer is in the air by Beverly LeFevre

I've been fully immersed in motherhood for the past month or so--and by fully I mean without other duties such as school and writing.  At times this break feels like luxury I don't deserve as I have tendencies to overwork and overbook myself but these days I make sure to remind myself that it's okay to slow down and take a long breather...that it's okay to occasionally sit in front of the TV mindlessly and that there's nothing wrong with reading books for pure entertainment (Christian Grey anyone? ;) ) 

I still wonder why I have this constant need to keep myself busy and to reach another goal after one has already been met. I'm the archetype of an overachiever who spends so much time looking ahead that she rarely has time to enjoy the present and for this, I guess this "break" is exactly what I need at this moment in life.

At the end of the day I'm much happier, less stressed and much more relaxed around the kids.  I can bake cookies, make dinner and fold laundry with more ease & grace without feeling burdened by another chore or obligation that awaits me.  The world still seems to be zooming past me and I'm again caught in the trap of feeling as if I'm being left behind....but today, I tell myself that this must be my mind playing its old tricks again and that I'm okay as long as I'm happy, satisfied and fulfilled inside.

The girls are on summer break and things have been hectic.  It's only been one month since I took a break from school and already I've spent 4 days at a church retreat, a full day at the ER and managed to squeeze in dance & violin lessons as well as mini-getaways with the little ones.  It's already mid-summer and 2012 is already coming to fall.  How fast time flies by..especially as I get older. Must remember to start writing more regularly and spend more time with myself.  

Today I'm grateful for my family- for my husband who provides me with the choice to stay home as I wish and for my kids who keep me on my toes all day with their endless energy and charm.  Most importantly I'm thankful for me--for all my strengths and weaknesses because without them my life won't be so damn interesting. 

Loving myself is not vanity so I've learned..it is a prerequisite to loving others selflessly.