Friday, October 30, 2009

All dressed up with no one to see you

I got dressed up for Halloween today. No not as the usual black kitty cat, but I put on a long sleeve purple shirt with a glittery, silver spider web printed on the chest. Along with this shirt, I put on some dark gray pants and cute ruby red shoes that complimented the purple and gray, and finally, a black chunky black sweater. To top off this fashion Sundae, I slid on a patent leather black headband, like a cherry to finish the look. I got into my car and drove to the office, and since this morning I have not left this room, nor have I seen another soul besides one other who barely takes notice of what he himself wears. He can care less is what I'm trying to say. I described my outfit to several friends over gchat, including my brother. My brother says I need to take a picture of my outfit and post it on Facebook, but I thought that was a little too childish. "Look at me everyone~ I look cute today."

Then I realized that this is my everyday dilemma. I see a total of 3 people on a daily bases and those of the "cloth" rarely notice such earthy and fleeting things as an outfit that their secretary has on that day. Most mornings I wake up and get dressed in the clothes I have without much thought, whether or not I see anyone, and some mornings I have a debate with myself, questioning whether I should just be comfortable and throw on any old thing that I come across that is clean. Then I come to my senses and remember that I like dressing and putting together "outfits" because it's the expression of myself. It's vaguely like arts and crafts, where you put various colors, patterns, shapes and textures together to make something beautiful and quirky. I mean, if clothing is merely just to cover the nakedness of human beings, why not just put on a potato sack or a garbage bag. There are several reasons why I do this and not just to look cute all the time.

Getting dressed in the morning prepares you for a day of success. There was a girl that lived on my floor who was a freshman when I was an Residential Counselor at Purdue, and I noticed she dressed in skirts, dresses and slacks everyday she went to class. She had her hair done always and put on make up just the way she would if she were going on an interview. I told her one day how I noticed she was so put together and she told me that she went to a private school that mandated girls to wear skirts, dresses or slacks and the boys to wear slacks and a button down. The philosophy of the school was that if the students took extra care of how they began their morning, it was reflected in their work. It was true. Those mornings I woke up early enough to wash my face, brush my teeth, curled my hair, applied make up and put on a presentable outfit, I felt ready for my classes. Even if I had only 2 classes that particular day, the morning process had me invested in a day of productive diligence. On the other hand, the groggy mess of being in my blue-green plaid pajama pants and an old sweatshirt in class only made my head cloud with haze. And because I was in my sleep clothes in public, I would rush home without checking email at the computer lab, or getting extra work done before retiring for the day at 2 pm.

Shows like "What Not to Wear" on TLC, can testify to this. After purging a closet full of clothes in the "what not to wear" category and filled with a trimmer wardrobe of presentable parings suitable for whatever lifestyle the women lead, there is a tremendous transformation and a turn of events in their lives. It's like Stacy London is the fairy godmother who's given a gown and a chariot to ready their lives for success. TLC revisits the made-over women, and find themselves with new hobbies, new jobs and with new identities like, "good mother" and "role model." What a little hair, make up and well fitting clothes can do for a woman.

Getting dressed in the morning maintains my sanity. Putting together a thought out outfit is organizing yourself, and whether or not you plan out a casual one or a elaborate one, the act of putting yourself together helps me mentally organize. This concept is similar to the "dress for success" theory above, but the haphazard throwing on of clothing is a reflection of what went on in the morning and what will continue to unfold throughout the day. Although on some days, even in my own opinion I look especially dashing and there is no one to see me, it helps that I have done this for myself.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New York, The bad for you boyfriend

One of my girlfriends recently told me that people who move out of New York City become depressed and go through a withdraw. It's a let down you feel when you've known something so spectacular for so long, everything else seems too dull and uninteresting. For some reason, the things they despised while in New York, like walking everywhere, suddenly is a virtue in say, Palatine IL and feel sedentary because you're not walking 13 blocks to meet your girlfriend at Balthazar for dinner. She says that the people in New York complain about the city all the time and rightly so, but they love it all the same. Even though they complain about the city, once visitor's do, they can't believe the gall! Like to say, "nobody talks bad about my boyfriend but me!" While listening to her tell me about this strange relationship New Yorkers have with their city, I was completely dumbfounded to see that the Island is just a city made up of sights, places and buildings, but a living, organic, personified entity that giveth and taketh away. This city is that charming, interesting, smart and beautiful boyfriend, that offers you everything you need but verbally abuses and treats you like you're just like a number in his little black book. He's not committed, he lures and seduces you with his come hither stare and everyone is seduced. You deal with this antics while you're with him and you detox once you're away.

While walking through Central Park, I couldn't believe all of it could be so perfectly preserved in the enormous metropolis and couldn't get over it's beauty. The same people who have trashed each and every restroom in the city, like they were just potty training can keep this place so serene and sparkly, that we can just call it "The Park." Every nook and cranny of this place is filled with wonders I never knew it contained, a zoo, a cafe, restaurants, and gazebos New York residents can retreat out of the bustling city. The trick of the city is that they haven't really left the city, it only allows you to think that you have. Haven't we all been there girls? To think that we have left our "bad for you boyfriends" but you're only fooling yourself, you're right back with him a few hours later.

I can't deny that New York is New York because it offers everything you will every need and some may say that you don't ever have to leave the Island because it's self sustaining. Entertainment comes to you, I saw Jude Law. In person. On a Tuesday Night. walking distance from the metro. Restaurant and eatery competition is so fierce, each establishment sharpens itself against each other to make the best of the best. We had cappuccinos so good that with one sip, I had to hold in a grin that made me look ridiculous and couldn't talk enough about how good it was and how I haven't had a cup so good since Florence Italy. I visited my girlfriend who works at the New York Times and understood exactly why they were the nation's Newspaper and not just a local one reporting it's latest scoop of the town. I felt smart, just eating in the cafeteria among it's workers. In the five days I was there, I was surprised by New York's beauty, entertained, fed, and educated, but in the end, I missed my city.

I did fall under the spell of Manhattan into a glittering trance, but I soon realized, I was tired of being abused by the noise, the rudeness, the stress on my body from eating all the decadent foods, the miles and miles logged of walking and the unending days of New York. I wanted to go home. Now that I'm home, I am appreciating the quiet, low key, character of Chicago and recounting all the good things about this city. Just like my theory of getting over a boyfriend is taking the amount of time you dated and doubling it will allow full recovery, five days of fling with NYC will cost me about...oh.... 10 days.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chasing Her

There are friends who are mutually giving and respecting, where both are equally yoked. Then, there are some friends, who inch away from you, or even run away from you to see if you would chase them, if you would pursue them. In the beginning of a friendship, this is a common test we wage on the the people we are getting to know. To see if they are loyal, if they are genuine, if they indeed are sticky to the end instead of flaking off at the first sign of calamity. It's acceptable to an extent to prove yourself true, to show one person that she is willing to love her and accept her despite her misfortunes and burns, but when this continues even after the initial year of testing it becomes cumbersome.

I had a friend who I loved, she was honest enough to show all of her flaws and that made us even more close. Because she trusted me with those things and I showed her that I was worthy of that trust. Through out the years of our friendship, we've seen boyfriends come and go, tears, fears and past demons arise and fall, but I loved her, I wanted to be with her no matter what the circumstances. She didn't trust it though. She didn't trust my loyalty of love, not because I had been clandestine and cryptic, but I think part of her felt ashamed to be with me in the end. Maybe I knew too much? She began to deconstruct our relationship without even her own cognisance and didn't know why she was doing this. She has been ashamed of herself and began to project her ill feelings of herself onto me, even though I only saw her in love. People would notice that we, once appeared as sisters, were no longer whispering in secret and giggling in the corner of a room. They would ask her about me and she had nothing to say, no reason or excuse could float to her mind. I wouldn't say I am the perfect friend, but I hadn't deserved to be banished.

This girl is not one girl, but a few girls between the years. I chased them every time they felt they needed the confirmation and reassurance that I would still come chasing. I grew tired in the end, because when I needed her to chase me, she didn't. I would turn back to see because I had not heard foot steps pursuing mine, and most often than not, found no one. I'd often stop in my tracks just to walk back until she was visible again, chasing her again, because if I hadn't she would let the chasm between us grow wider and longer and deeper. Soon, I find her fading in the horizon as she continues her antics of inching away from me. Because there is a day when I grow tired, when I have nothing to gain but the poison of her insecurities, I start to believe that the brokenness of our friendship is my fault, on that day, I stop chasing.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Your Love Stands Alone-Reprised

I've been content lately, and not the complaisant kind where I don't want to do anything and I'm just settling in the person I've become, but the kind of contentment that shows on a child's face when she's at the lap of her parent. Just confident and secure in their love and protection, without the angst of where her next meal will come from, how the house is getting heated, what judgment she will face when she eventually makes a mistake, or wondering if her parents will ever disown her one day. When I am feeling all alone in the world, which I often do because I am such a strong INFP, I become completely needy for my chosen ones. Trying to squeeze out any sort of love and attention to fill my appetite and like cake, having my immediate and fleeting fill, soon after, I come to a crashing low. Not to say that people I love are the "bad for me foods" that needs to be cut out from my diet of life, but compared to the nutrition of the Perfect Love of God, one cannot live on cake alone.

I've recently shared with my small group about how God's been teaching me a lesson, but only images and feelings welled up in me and couldn't quite form a solid word or words that would describe what that lesson was. That was a few weeks ago. Last night as I was sharing about this again, how I feel that God's been teaching me something, something that has not congealed into a solid form, and I began to express that to my dismay, my parents are moving away to Korea. They have been the embodiment of who I am for so long, I began to panic that I would disappear with them and leave an empty shell of a person in my stead. I then continued with my tirade with a long sigh, that I need to know that His love stands alone. I have this child coming to me and I don't think I can love this child with the backing of my parents only, but this vessel needed to be filled by the Love that cannot disown or a love that is relentless. I could not parent or love this child without myself being fully content in who I am in Christ.

I began to picture myself with this child, and in one scenario, I am insecure, fading and longing for my family so that I can gain some confidence to face the world. I am constantly trying to be loved, and incapable of giving any of it, no amount of it could be spared. I cringe to think that my child would depend on a mother who cannot stand in her own flesh to care for her properly. I begin to imagine myself with this child in the scenario of being content in my heavenly father, secure, confident and full of peace. I want this for her, I want this child to have a mother unlike the person who is only desperate for her own contentment.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear (April)

She had a dream that the ring he gave her is broken and the shiny parts of it lost, the light it use to give her has gone out and darkness is over her eyes. She becomes confused and it's not like her to be this way, she always knows where she is going, except for when this light goes out. She has swallowed the shiny parts and the dark parts down into the pits of her stomach. The sharpness of the diamond ring is digging in the inside of her and gives her a stomachache. It's the jagged pill she swallows, but what lesson will she learn? That love is not all encompassing? That love itself is sinister and cajoling, like Aphrodite herself with cunning tricks to break you?

In her sleep she sees what she fears the most, what she dreads the most, the losing of the shiny part is losing the love he gives her. She doesn't trust him to love everything about her, she thinks that her flaws might be too much for anyone to overcome. She's afraid that no one could ever love anyone that much to think it's worth it. "I need to be perfect!!" She screams with her actions, her hair, her choice of clothing, her perfect make up and words. "That's the only way anyone can bare to love me," she whispers with her insecurities, her hidden thoughts and her anxiety. Someone fed her these lies and she believes them.

Love you see, it casts out fear. Love in it's every nature forgiving and accepting will make you unafraid of what you say are flaws. Love, in it's every perfect nature will erase all your error and shame, even things that are really shameful and not what you just imagine them to be. When love stops to be these things it's no longer love. I understand we as human beings with all our wayward tendencies cannot offer perfect love the way God can. This is why we need to believe God, who loves us with perfect love, God who IS love in very nature, will give us to the one that will do their best to mimic that love.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Do you trust me?

This is post about a real experience that inspired a picture in my mind..but about no one in particular.

"Do you trust me?" I grab his hands playfully and suggest he leans backwards over a pool of water. We both know that he's heavier, bigger, taller, but we hold hands anyway to try at this experiment. I think,"Maybe I'm strong enough..." He smirks and thinks, "Maybe she'll hold me up." He leans back to tell me he's willing to trust me and have a go at it, but I can't. I don't last a second and my feet immediately starts to lift off from the ground. He lets go quickly enough, but if he hadn't realized what was happening, we both would have been slapped in the face with coldness of the water. This experiment wasn't an experiment, but a gesture for him to say "try."

I don't know what he hides, but it might plunge me into a well so deep, not only will I fail to pull him out, but I will drown in the sorrow and consume me with grief over how I could not hold him up. He may be hiding what swirls in his head or what he's really feeling because if he held my hand and leaned back to trust me with those things, my feet will immediately start to rise and he lets go. Has it been this? Has it been multitudes of disappointing failures? Has he let go of too many hands? Have too many feet lifted off the ground and he wants to protect himself and others from plunging into the cold?

Maybe I don't stand a chance, leaning back into a pool of water is silly. It's the way to show him that he can trust me? It doesn't have to be that one defining test that will etch in the stonewall of his inner being, "YOU, could not hold me up. I cannot trust you." Rather than that one all encompassing test, it's small ones, I am able to pull him up from the floor, help him balance, help to stand. Over time and over small leanings, he can grab my hands and lean back, when I ask "Do you trust me?"