Every Heard

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Just For Today

When I walked into Fruition today, I was greeted by a familiar smiling face.  In the distance, I could hear a conference happening.  I took soft, deliberate steps as I put my coat on the rack and started setting up my workspace.  My coworker inquired about my morning thus far- Trying to be polite but keep my ramblings to a minimum, I grinned earnestly, "Good, and you?"

"Good," she leaned her head in, "I slept over at my best friend's house last night.  So, of course-" She paused, inhaling, "Mornings are wonderful when you wake up next to someone you love." 

Catching her feels, I echoed her sentiment, "So true." 

From this place on a cloud, I felt the urge to take in  

 

I know the world doesn't revolve around me. I know I'm not God. But somehow along the way I get better at praying. I stopped asking for things I didn't really need. I didn't take more than I gave. I told the truth... But somehow the truth still gets by other people. 

 

Effortlessly  

4/11/2015 Lingering. Inescapable, inexorable, intolerable love

There was the awkward moment where I realized I was entering a new dating pool as a thirty-one year old woman.  One in which the other half of the pool was full of children and another three-quarters had already been married and had children by now.  The odds did not feel in my favor... But I have to admit, I just stopped caring.

Actually, I cared immensely... always a little too willingly and naively.  Like the first time; over and over.  Of course it isn't, but I am comparing this to childhood crushes that lasted for years with few words spoken between.  That's where the real romance lives.

Lingering.  Inescapable, inexorable, intolerable love.

However, after reading thoroughly about my mental condition; it seemed like a puzzle, and I could finally see the picture.  All I had to do was let go

People ask me the same questions... Are you Asian?  You write these songs?  What does a female artist collective do?  (collects females, btw)... and do you really believe you have a personality disorder?

I feel like I should take a stage and answer... I often do- The funny part is... I have always been Asian.  I have always been writing, even when it was only in my head... The performing part put me on a stage to tell people about it- Because it just wasn't feeling like reason enough to keep living if it was only for me.  I wanted to share it.

I feel pain and anxiety for all the suffering in the world... and I know that sounds dramatic, but I can get really cynical and depressed when I try to act like I'm not sensitive.  Why is it that when I am alone for an extended amount of time, I can concentrate long enough to feel centered again?

The trick is learning to do it all the time, at the flip of a switch.  That's the trick.

There are a variety of ways to describe it.  Different people use different words and methods and breathing techniques... and they package and sell their systems to others who have not yet found their own.

Somehow, I seem to gather from one what I think it meant to offer me, and then I keep going... Sometimes various teachings visit me again, and I am forever a student.

Lately though, I have begun to feel a little more teacher-like.

This is of some semantic importance to me because my hospitalization prevented me from finishing my teaching certification who moved across the country now.

If I am on some sort of spiritual path, does that mean I will meet another teacher... or perhaps travel?  I am travelling.  Somewhere around this time last year, I was in Korea, and before that I was meditating, manifesting it...

I can say this now- Because I have watched enough of it unfold...

Of course these things come in cycles, and I feel a peak having been touched.

I am resigned to let my rather strange circumstances continue so that I can keep a healthy balance while I wait to see what happens next.  I'm afraid I know, but I have to be careful.

10/12/13

Red Tent Talk

My body wants a baby.

There I said it.  I am thirty years old.  My body is fully developed.  I have no illusions about where I am in my life process... The brain begins to decline in one's late twenties.  The metabolism slows.  The bloom begins to leave the rose, and suddenly living is work.  My body is finished growing.  As far as it is concerned, the mission is now to insure that its genes are propagated to the next generation...


This is absurd, but it is also true.

The other day, Victor admitted that he is watching his hairline recede.  He was having a self-conscious moment.  It does not bother me.  I reminded him that his father's hair is thin on top, and he is still a good looking gent.

I do not know how to respond to these observations... Maybe I should not have said anything.

Instead, I raised my bangs, "Look at how huge my forehead is!  My mother used to tie my ponytails back so tight!  I always feel like I have to hide it with bangs..."

...Whenever I start dating any man, my mind reviews the list of compromises it may have to live with.  As I fell initially fell in love with Victor, I quickly romanticized the notion of watching him grow old with me.  His changing hairline and waistline did not phase me, as they have may phased a younger more naive version of myself.

MY skin is beginning to show signs of wrinkles, begging for an increase in my facial lotion budget.  Every time Victor makes me smile so big that I feel the crows feet form in the corners of my eyes, my body whispers, "Are you sure?  Don't give away all of your magic before you're sure.  You only have so many smooth skinned smiles left to spend..."
I am more practical than I am superficial.  I lean away from men who are overweight, not because they are fat, but because I come from a family of heavy people with obesity related health concerns.  I try to avoid cigarette smokers because I have worked with cancer survivors who have lost their voice boxes or had parts of their tongue replaced with pieces of their thigh-tissue.  I prefer frugal men rather than materialistic men who need to spend most of their income on keeping up appearances... I am a practical woman.

A practical woman who understands what a financial and emotional commitment being a mother is... My new roommate has a two year old daughter.  Each day I hear them bargaining to put on clothes, eat meals, use the potty... and I think, Wow, I'm so glad that I am not responsible for anyone's bowel movements but my own! 

My body does not care that I have plans.  It does not care that I am not married.  It also does not care that I am treating it well; exercising, choosing healthy foods, drinking in moderation to preserve its optimal state.  This body knows it is already dying, no matter what I do, eventually- and it is determined to create another vessel for propagation.

.....So when my menstrual cycle started with unbearable body aches, all I could think was, I hear you, body.  You are angry- I know what you want... and I can't help you.  No babies, not yet.
But it did not stop at the physical symptoms.  It also began making wild demands for attention and affection.  This is psychological warfare.  You and I both know that Victor is busy.  He has rehearsals and gigs, and there is no reason to bother him... Whenever I feel an urge to call/text him at an inappropriate moment, my common sense reminds me, Why are you trying to push him out of your life today?  Are you really in such a rush to loose him? ...and after some thought, I realize- THE BODY.  It is trying to replace him... as it replaced all the boyfriends before him, who failed to impregnate me.  It gets impatient.  It releases overdoses of hormones that throw me into jealous, insecure, demanding rages.

I have been learning to channel this nervous energy into my music, my artwork... It is upsetting to put into words, to admit in such literal terms- Because what man wants to hear his girlfriend admit that she can hear her biological clock ticking so loudly that it wakes her up in the middle of the night sometimes?

Self-awareness is an amazing tool.  It allows me to acknowledge- this is what my body, my vessel is experiencing.  I am not its slave.  I certainly do not treat it as well as I could, but I try to balance its care with my satisfaction.  It is unsatisfied with waiting to procreate... But I do not want to spend the rest of my life, resenting my body and my child for forcing me into motherhood before my mind and partner were ready.  I want to be a good and present mother- I am still learning to be mindful and present in my own life!  So for now... the body can wait.  Babies can wait.

09/20/2010 Rant

Things I wish people would stop making and wearing and buying…

In no particular order:

I.)  Offensive T-shirt,  buttons/pins, and bumper stickers.  You don’t need to wear your heart on your sleeve people.  Get a blog!  Hahaha… Oh, the irony.  But seriously, I have seen too many men wearing the “5-dollar foot-long” t-shirt with the downward facing arrow, especially the one I saw who was carrying a baby.

I know this is a dangerously censoring thing to say, and I definitely believe everyone has the right to express themselves.  But reading… is both an active and passive act.  To read my blog, you have to devote some amount of time, attention, and energy.  (So, I thank you in advance for your contribution.)  But these walking (and driving) billboards are brief for a reason (besides demonstrating how witty the writers were);  They are read so quickly and passively that the reader is not really given the option (That’s why advertisers utilize catch phrases so frequently)… and sure, they’re often cute and entertaining.  But guys, save your “Five-dollar foot-long” t-shirts for your fantasy football league sausage-fests.  In terms of getting laid, a higher proportion of women will be fooled into thinking you are worthy of jumping into the sack with if you don’t force that spurious claim in their faces.

II.)  Speaking of false advertising:  Butt enhancers (i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4EvVErNhVE&feature=player_embedded#!).  Unless you have a medical condition which requires more than your god-given cushion, what the hell are you thinking?  Isn’t it bad enough that we have allowed the fashion community to transform us from a nation that was burning our bras to one that is literally taping our bosoms together for better cleavage as if we were Marie Antoinette?  (That was the 18th century, ladies!)  Now women want to apply the same sort of false advertisement that push-up bras enable to our backsides?  Ladies, if you want to look better in jeans, hit the gym.  You reap what you sow, and I’ll be honest- I need to do butt crunches just as much as most gals in this livin’ large country… I’m still not padding my panties!

III.)  New, new, new… EVERYTHING: computers, cell phones, mp3 players… yes, technology seems to be snowballing forward at an amazing rate, and we all want to experience the latest and greatest.  But have we ever created so much new waste so quickly before?  In a time when every major company is purporting to be green and eco-friendly in their new productions, they aren’t spending nearly as many resources facilitating the disposal of their old products.

I know I can only postpone our old TV from being replaced by a flat-screen for so long… (It’s a space issue more than a aesthetic or technological one).  But why aren’t we making computers that can be upgraded rather than replaced?  Why are cell phone carriers refusing to update software for certain smart/android phones?  Because then we wouldn’t have to front the cost of their R & D (research and design) for the new replacement product they’re going to sell us… We all see the viscous cycle.  We just don’t want to be the last kid on the block who doesn’t have the new toy.

If you are updating your appliances for energy efficiency, kudos to you.  But please think twice before dumping that ivory refrigerator on the curb simply to replace it with a stainless steel one that has the same guts inside.  If you feel the need to throw your money away just to make sure it matches you new stainless steel stove, microwave, and dishwasher, at least try to take as much time finding a new home for your old appliances as you do shopping for your new ones.  Yeah, it’s a bitch to do this.  Weirdos from Craigslist can be more hassle than it is seems it’s worth… But think about this- If you were born today, by the time you were grown to age you are now, how would you expect the world to look?  How would you want the world to look?  How can you help make that happen?

I know, I know, you can’t do it all yourself… and there are so many selfish people not doing their part… Well, I really, really want to try.  Won’t you help me?

Here are some resources I found Googling.  I didn’t dig hard.  These are just the surface sites.  So, I’m sure there are more out there for specific geographical regions and certain household items (Oh, and -most people have heard by now- you can even donate your old unwanted car).  Don’t forget, many places offer tax-deductible donation forms.

Habitat for Humanity: http://www.habitat.org/env/restores.aspx

Salvation Army: http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn_2.nsf/vw-dynamic-arrays/E3610FB5DDD550A1802573250030E32A?openDocument&charset=utf-8

Goodwill: http://www.goodwill.org/get-involved/donate/

Earth911: http://earth911.com/

Freecycle: http://groups.freecycle.org

And before you go to these lengths, why not think about the people you know?  Do you have a son, daughter, brother, sister, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, friend, neighbor, coworker… (ok, I’ll stop, you get it) who is just moving into their first apartment;  Who is downgrading to a smaller home after loosing theirs;  Who has a washing machine that’s leaking or a toaster that catches the bread on fire, when you have one you’re throwing away?

Alright… I’m sure this list is going to grow… and I welcome you to add to it.  I’m going to go eat some cheese.

06/29/2012

Don’t wanna be stag-nant

Everyday… as a kid I’d wake up- especially on my birthdays -hoping to meet myself.  Sure that someday I would finally be a finished product, a complete person.  But everyday I would surprise myself.  Everyday I am a new person.  When I make new friends, I see a reflection of who I am in their eyes.  Sometimes I aim to highlight the features that seem the most beneficial, allow these to replace the features that are least beneficial.  Sometimes I try to simply stop thinking about it all and follow my whims and principles.  The target is always moving.

Then I started dating, and I woke up hoping to have my other half.  I would finally be a complete pair… But it’s silly to expect anyone to remain the person he was when I fell for him.  Everyone remarks about how wonderful it is during the first few precious days, weeks, months of courtship and introductions- How both men and women tend to TRY… before eventually growing impatient with one another.  We relinquish the ability to see that our partners will continue to grow and change as well- not only who they were when we first met, but also the selves they purported to become.  Sometimes, we are upset because someone is slow to make progress in his stated intentions.  Sometimes, we are angry when someone is slow in ceasing an undesired pattern of behavior.  Sometimes we are confused as to why they changed so much from before.. and we stop expecting them to be new to us.  Rather than adapting our plans to accommodate for reality, we hold fast to our hopes for the dream world we’ve designed.

Backwards.

All of life is backwards.  I do something before I figure out it was a mistake.  Then, in attempting to avoid admitting it was a mistake, I allow the mistake to set the precedence.  I proceed to repeat the error, each time hoping to correct the previous outcome.  Irony.

No one can live asleep forever.  It is a choice to wake up each day, acknowledging truth as we are faced with it.  Recognizing errors as well as wise decisions.  Making very small movements towards achieving goals… that may or may not ever be reached… But are hopefully taking us somewhere near our true paths.  Who can say if the target is ever reached until he has run out of breath to live and grow~

11/27/2010

Drink me.

I have always written… Even before I had learned to read, write, and spell; I remember scribbling spiral notebooks from front to back.  And in my parents’ attic, tucked away in my closest, and in my old computer hard drive; there are so many loose letters and notes.  Little emotional land-mines laying in wait, some more pleasant than others.  The terms diary and journal have always made me cringe.  And if I were ever to be published, I hate the idea of my only book being a memoir…  But if I allowed myself to ruminate about it forever, I would never write enough to chronicle any complete thoughts.

I would like to think that I will write a novel or two someday, published or not.  As a child, I hoped to do so before I was 25, but now that I am 27, I am confident that simply wasn’t possible.  As a tween and teen, I wrote copiously; journals, unsent letters, and dramatic little chapters of stories I never completed.  Ironically, they felt the most organized and well-written when I was younger and seemed to degrade in quality as I aged.  …It’s something about being able to devote one’s self so fully to an endeavor as a child, when one’s attention and energy were not yet divided.  Before I could date, or work, or had to worry about providing my own food, water, and shelter.  Then the possibilities were endless.

I was obsessed with writing for two reasons.  First, I realized somehow that words did not always convey the message one intended.  I deeply desired to extract my emotions, not just my thoughts, and implant them into my reader, achieving true empathy with another soul.  Second, if I could achieve my first goal, then I would also be able to preserve that sensation for myself as well… A little bottled bittersweet moment, pickled perseverance… perhaps with a side of frozen frustration, dethawed delight, vacuum-sealed victory… a vial of vile.  I understood that a moment in time is rarely remembered accurately.  An individual is altered by their experiences so that in retrospect, unpleasant moments can sometimes be recalled with a smile, while the most simple pleasures can easily be forgotten altogether.

How to capture those fleeting moments and sentiments for later consumption… How to share them… Vulcan mind-meld?  -If only.

I have been feeling this desire to transcribe feelings for longer than I have had the ability to write.  But maybe I have simply been focusing too much on a single medium of self-expression… Maybe I need more than words…

11/29/2011

Things you don’t realize unless you really spend some time alone

There is no need to speak.

We have an inner dialogue speaking within, for some more frequent than others, for some verbally than others.  Mine has been quite frequent and verbal.  So much so that I am indeed one of those people who, not only talks to oneself, but also answers oneself.  It is embarrassing to admit.  But the more at ease I am with it, the less I feel the need to do it aloud.  i can hear my thoughts… if I need the rest of my mind preoccupied a little more.

In my childhood I did this with stories… first imaginary friends, make believe scenarios for every occasion… pretending to be in movies, books, etc.  As my skills progressed, I took a liking to writing fiction.  I would constantly imagine plot twists and character details.  Perhaps this is why I grew up writing my life story in every journal and loose letter I’ve saved and lost over the years.  It isn’t that I think I’m particularly special or interesting… But really, if you document and correlate the details of anyone’s life, you can find interesting connections.  Particularly for me, who gets so bored so easily.  Amazingly, this boredom has been a hindrance more often than not.  Many days when it did not feel worth it to leave the couch… or when I was in grad school had no couch, bed.  I was depressed.  I was suicidal.

I can say these things now.  Because I really know, although I may have my blue days or even weeks, I will never want to end this story of my life in only one or two volumes.

I have been waiting too much of my life for a definitive moment.  Something to put a “happily never after” on… What’s it all about? 42?

I went to my great-aunt’s funeral a few weeks ago.

There are these moments in time, when you find touchstones.  Sometimes they are people.  Sometimes they’re sequences of coincidences leading to a realization.  My great-aunt Viola, aunt Vi, I learned the rest of her family called her- or Grannie (like Little Red Riding Hood), her funeral certainly was one such touchstone.

Aunt Vi, as I love to call her now, though I never did in her life, was an incredible woman.  I have liked to think that my brothers and I were genetic mutations, improvements upon our gene pool.  But here I found proof, beyond my self-deprecating parents, that we truly are of exceptional stock.  Everyone whose face turned down upon hearing I’d recently went to a funeral has gotten this summary:

“She was 100 years old in July.  She was in relatively good health, living in her own home, with her daughter and son-in-law, who were in worse health than she was herself.  She had a stroke in August and had another couple months with her family to say goodbye, when she died in November.  She outlived two husbands.  The first one died of MS.  She had all her faculties, a great memory, and never forgot who she was.  She was volunteering in senior centers into her nineties.  Amazing woman.”

A family member speaking at the funeral ceremony said it best,  “Long live the queen.”

I was just astounded by how proud I for knowing and sharing blood with the woman.  (I feel this way about my mother as well, and people are always intrigued when I speak of her as well… But it’s nearly impossible to make my mother fathom this.)  I felt like the matriarch mantle had been thrown like a bride’s bouquet- and I was the only one there with my arms open wide to catch it.

Call me crazy, but I went through a lot of stuff during this woman’s last year on earth.  I saw her twice during the year before she passed… not towards the end.  I found out she died on Facebook.  -And to some extent, I’m glad I missed the unpleasantness.  For better or worse, things happen however they are going to happen.  My grandfather died without my saying goodbye.  My grandmother died shortly after I visited her in the hospital.  Neither was preferable.  People die.  If we knew when it was going to happen, we would be more prepared for it.

…The year I’ve had… working on finding that definitive moment- every day there are these… from the moment we decide to get out of bed in the morning… and there are days I don’t.  Choices.  Life is nothing but choices.  That’s why everything is a test.  Inaction is a decision as much as action.  “Do or do not, there is no try.” (-Yoda)  I can do whatever I want.  Sometimes it works out, sometimes not.  If it doesn’t; Did I give up?  Was there an necessary element outside of my control?  Was I dependent upon other individuals to achieve my goal?  …and then, there will always be chaos in the world- which can never be planned for, influenced, or completely avoided.

But the good news is that, for the most part, there are rules.  Some of these are rules are natural, others we mandate as individuals.  We choose our own standards for which rules we expect others to live as well.  This is how we determine who ought to be strangers, acquaintances, friends, and lovers… The chaos part lies within ourselves.  We do not know why we love people we shouldn’t, even family.

A friend of mine and her mother are always at odds.  Her mother does her more psychological harm than good, and my friend simply blames herself for not being able to help her mother… This describes at least 3 friends of mine.

How do we reconcile the details?  How do gain control and not forget who we are in the hustle and bustle of life?

I’m a speech pathologist.  Even before I was trained in teaching through multiple modalities, I understood that in order to learn anything, I had to experience doing it repetitiously, read it, write it, say it, hear it… and that is how I think memoirs are written.  The art is i the editing.  Cleaning something up, making it sound better.  But the ideas… the ideas have to flow like cheap whiskey.

Write what you know… and although I never try to be interesting, I am always looking for things to keep me interested.  This process, recorded is rather fun to look back upon… and what else will I have to do in my eighties?  (Supposing I live anywhere near as long as my aunt Vi.)  I’m pretty sure that is the answer.

 

November 29, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

Grace 03/22/2012

Grace

There’s still hope I might die young. It was much more likely when I was suicidal. But people have accidents all the time. Random acts of violence. Collateral damage. Communicable diseases. Whenever I feel like life is too hard, my heart is too heavy, and I just want to be released from this flesh vessel; I tell myself- There’s still hope.

This is one of those things I’m proud to have written but know better than to turn into a Facebook post.

I lost the man I love. I’m trying to put my pieces back together- after the most transforming year of my life thus far. I had an affair. I fell in love. I left the man I’d planned to marry. I became a musician. I got a cat. I met myself- again, and again, and again- down a rabbit hole, over the rainbow, and back through the looking glass. I lost the man I love… and I became a writer.

One never allows herself to believe she is something until people recognize her as it- Is that a sentence? I think I talk funny. Write funny. I do act a little funny. I try to see myself from the outside… I have always analyzed my behavior. But I never really saw myself from the outside until I met him. It really was- like seeing myself in a mirror. He opened my eyes in so many ways. More than he could have tried, if he was trying. I supposed I’ll never know… I suspect that he will have selective memory about how our time together -and not together- transpired. I am sure I will. Someday.

For today, I’m going to remember that I spent most of the year, thinking he didn’t want me enough. He would keep me at a distance. He would only call me after last call. He would raid my kitchen for snacks. He would hold back- I would hold back- come to a stand still… and then fall for someone else… ?

March 22, 2012. 

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