Monday, May 30, 2011

He loves us.





















And He is jealous from me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions
Eclipsed by glory
and I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me

And oh, how He loves us, oh
Oh, how He loves us, how He loves us all

And we are His portion and He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking

And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don't have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way...


He loves us.
Song by David Crowder

Friday, May 27, 2011

Store Houses of Snow


On Sunday night, we had a few people over to watch game 4 of the Bulls games (and I will only name them briefly because I'm so mad and frustrated). While the game was escalating, the storm outside our window was escalating also with thunder and lighting. Rain was coming down harder and harder, when little Ethan who is only nearly 3 says, "protect me I'm scared," and put his little arms about my neck. With every thunder strike, his arms tighter, but I took him outside on to our balcony facing his fears close and personal, and I tried to explain in most simple terms all of his stormy questions. "Why (is the thunder) so loud?" "Why lightening?" and "I think the trees are scared too." The last one was more of a statement than a question and perhaps an effort to rally around him some sympathizers. He continued to interrogate me with his limited vocabulary, talking out his fear.

"Let's make the storm go away."

"Well...we can't really make the storm go away, it just has to go away on it's own."

After a long silence, he says, "Where does the storm go when it goes away."

I had no idea what to tell him..I mean...the boy had a good point, where do they go after it actually goes away? Before I thought a 2 year old had me stumped, I told him, "everything just stops, it doesn't actually go anywhere," which seemed to confuse him even more, his big brown eyes filled with incredulous doubt.  After our guest finally filed home after yet another humiliating game, I sat down to read a little bit before bed and I remembered this passage in Job 38. It says this:


22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
   or seen the storehouses of the hail, 

24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
   or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?

35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
   Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’? 

37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
   Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens ." 



Storehouses, barns, and pails where God stores all of the snow, hail and rain until he decides when to pour, and when it's a enough. It's amazing how this child had made me read this verse and realize the vastness of God's control and how BIG he is. I have a sneaking suspicion that I will be learning a lot from the innocent I am entrusted with in the very near future.

I think Ethan knew after a while that he didn't need to fear, I sat down on a chair out on my balcony with him on my lap and we watched the rain for a while when he said, "oh...I love this." This two year old knows the exact thing to say at the exact moment to slay me with sweetness. At least for our moment together he wasn't afraid because a few days later, he was awake crying again because it was storming outside, and his mom said that he cried for me, "Where's auntie Susie? I need to go outside with auntie Susie." He might have thought that I was controlling the weather like I'm Storm from Xmen because I knew so much about it's comings and goings. Gotta tell him about the store houses and the rain jars.

Girl Crush Friday ~ Rachel Bilson

Rachel (29) is the girl I model after in terms of how I dress because although I've never seen her face to face, I think she and I have similar proportions, small, junior high girl body, and I think she's juuust about my height. Although she's suppose to be an actress, she's not really all that great because she essentially plays herself in every movie or show, but I doubt she's famous for her theatrical prowess. She's a clothes horse and even appears in Instyle as a regular and permanent stylist that answers Q & A letters from subscribers. I love her for this, she knows what she's good at and she doesn't pretend she doesn't love shopping and dressing up. Rachel is also really really cute. :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Girl Crush Friday ~ Song Hye Gyo on a Thursday

Song Hye kyo or gyo (29) is an actress. I wanted to do this special girl crush day on a Thursday today because she did a photo shoot a while back that showed how beautiful Korean women are and how beautiful our culture can be.






Although the head dress is a little bit exaggerated and a traditional Korean woman would never be photographed just her skirt and without her joguri (her top), it's still very Korean and very beautiful. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Here nor There
















Can't let you go, but I want to.
I want you always, I want you close
to know and be in the inner most circle of my life
I am torn because I know you exist out there,
I'm aware of you, but are far
You are here nor there.

You hang in the wall of my mind like a dusty framed picture,
but that's all that is there.
You hang in the air like a fragrance of yore, of nostalgia and comfort
the pungency has faded, but you have seeped into my skin, my clothes, my hair

I want to cut you out of my brain
carve you out of my soul
wash you out of my skin and hair 
you are so far, you are so near 
You are here nor there.

I don't know how to be apart from you 
but still hold you near.
I want to forget you just like I would
how my antics, my propellant would give me release.
Just like the others who I had forgotten and can't recall 
I'll forget your face I swear I will
just so it's easier to embrace my life here without you. 
You are here nor there.

Although your heart songs and demands of me grow dim and silent
I can't ignore it's decrescendo and mine is growing faint too in response to yours.
But I will make mine grow louder making up for thine
I will fill your heart with my sonnet songs that you don't have to return
and although you are here nor there, I will love you so that our song will never end.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Moments

http://vimeo.com/8189067

I don't know how to upload videos on here, so you'll have to follow the url above, then proceed to read...I'll wait.
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Cool right? What is a moment? The best I would describe a moment is "right now." This is a relatively complicated and difficult subject for me because I am always living outside of the moment. Not necessarily the future or the past, but just outside of it, outside of my own body, my own mind, my own life. It's like I'm an avatar and I'm in a bed chamber somewhere dreaming all of this. It's not even that my life is a sequence of unfortunate moments strung together to make a film montage too difficult to watch that I have to mentally remove myself, most of my moments are pretty mundane. Perhaps this is why I have to live in some dream land in my head. No, even among the mundane moments, I do settle in and see that those moments are precise "right nows"  that are so pleasant.  Meeting with people, a beautiful bed to sink into every night, the brink of summer and everything smells like lilies and cut grass, the robin nest built right outside my door.

A film or a montage photos every day occurrences seem so interesting in isolation or in short clips, when those images are voyeuristic and you see that other people are doing the same old thing you are every where in the world. This is life as we know it, the living, the burying, the laughing, crying, raising babies, growing old. The same old same old of every day moments you describe to your friend a far is really what captures your life as it goes. "What are you doing right now?" seems a common question, but it's really to glimpse into what your life is like when I'm not looking, when all the highlight reels are cut. What makes you and me the same, or relate-able, what makes me know you are the small moments. Questions like what'd you eat for lunch? what are you doing right now? What'd you do this weekend? are questions we want to know of our friends, because the best parts of life can go by under your nose if you're just waiting for the airplane jumping, safari touring, death defying, life defying moments to talk about it. So...what'd you do today?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Eva, Milan

While browsing through the list of blogs I peruse, I saw this picture on the Satorialist. Her name is Eva from Milan and she's caught in some fashion photographer's lens and captured in this beholders eye as uniquely fashionable, pleasing to the eye. I'm not sure if she's a stay at home mom or the maid caught putting the laundry on a line to dry in the middle of Milan, but she's the kind of mom I think I'd want to be. She's not in a silk dress, jewels, heels and full face make up, because that doesn't suit her life style, yet, she is completely en vogue, maintenant. Mixing prints, twist on the tried and true stripes that we are seeing every which way we turn. The ever flattering, short hair with curls that only French women and women from Milan can really make come to life (Most all Korean moms have this hair style, but just don't quite invoke the same vibe).

My girlfriend predicts that I will be the kind of mom that will let myself go physically when I receive my precious child  from the heavens, and by that she means, I will gain 15 pounds and I'll be in the same grey sweat pants and over sized purple sweatshirt that I wear in a panic stricken morning dash out the door. I'm not sure why she thinks I will gain 15 pounds considering I will be adopting a child and not conceiving and gestating for 9 months eating things like 4 taco bell supremes in one sitting at 11 in the morning, but she's convinced. I mean...maybe I will from eating the kid's left overs and sneaking my baby's snacks throughout the day, but ugh, I hate baby left overs. gross. She says that I will be in complete disarray because I wont have the time to get ready and primp like I use to. I don't how long she thinks I take in the morning to get ready, but she's obviously disillusioned and sorely mistaken! and I'm sorry, I don't primp!

The other day, H read an article about a woman who had her husband pick out all of her outfits for a whole week! While we were laughing about how it would be like a clueless dad trying to dress his little girl, but I had an idea to have H pick out my outfit for church on Sunday. On Saturday night, he had been in our bedroom for about 20 minutes when I thought, "this is taking too long, what's he doing in there?" I walk into the bedroom to find several  of my skirts, jeans, pants, and shirts strewed on top of the bed, the trunk and the floor, his face was focused and his brow furrowed in all seriousness. "This is harder than I thought!" and continue to pull out my shoes, earrings, glasses, headbands...He took a hour but picked out a casual tank, vest, boyfriend jeans combo and he did alright. He had to give me props for throwing on clothing in the morning and being able to get ready in 20 to 30 minutes every day. I just make it look easy. ;)

So, I won't be in my very dressed up clothes with high heels on a day to day bases when my child arrives, but I'd like to think that I would at least get out of my sweats once in a while....I'm thinking simple, cotton and comfortable. Maybe I'd be the focus of someone's lens and it'd be called "Susie, Palatine." But if I do end up a victim of my childs' demands and I am imprisoned in my own pair of sweats for more than a week, please look upon me with compassion and help a girl out. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dear John

Whilst reading some random blogs on a quiet Friday afternoon (with all my work done-or just the stuff I needed to get done before the weekend), I stumbled upon a blog prompt of sort and I thought to myself. Ooo....I'm gonna totally write a letter to my ex boyfriends and I'm really going to let em' have it! But in the next second, I pin-balled to another thought, I can't write these letters, I would literally only have 2 and then all the rest would be letters I write to my second grade boyfriend, George Heimiech. Plus, what would I say about him besides the fact that his mom's Christmas cookies were very yummy and then add a p.s. at the end of it saying,"tell your mom hi and thanks for the lovely cookies".

I also don't have enough fuel for such a letter, no enough anger, resentment or even memory of any of the guys I encountered. I think the letter would go something like this:

Dear ___________,

What was your last name again? oops sorry, I know we dated for like a few years, but it's just been a long time, just kidding! of course I remember your last name, we dated for like a few years...you know....umm....so....I remember why we broke up, but I forgot why I was so mad. I remember I was angry at the time but...I mean... enough for us to break up? Well, anyways, it all worked out for the better I guess....

Dating anyone?

Sincerely,

Susie Shin (By the way, this is Susie Kong. yeah, I'm married now)

Juicy right? yeah, no. Not like this girl's letters. And yes, it would be written just like that, one long awkward run on sentence. Maybe in the future, I'll have some juice to write a letter....like if I actually ran into these people at some wedding and they acted like they had not a clue who I was or something. That'll be some fuel for a vexing letter or two. Stay tuned....

Friday, May 20, 2011

May cause death and trouble swallowing.

It's been a few weeks since my visit to the sleep doctor and the bags under my eyes have shrunk, I am less irritable, and dizziness is no more. I am glad to report that I have saved the city from myself, because I was about to Suplex the next person that schooled me on parenting saying, "maybe God is trying to prepare you for your baby, you're not gonna be getting sleep after that!" I'm sorry, but I don't think anyone needs practice being tired like it's a bloody piano recital. No one ever gets so good at sleep deprivation that you win the noble peace prize for being the most tired mom...but I digress....

Before I went into the office for a consult, I filled out a 9 page survey of anything related to sleep and health. Typical questions like "are you taking any medication now?" "when was your last physical?" and life style questions like, "do you drink alcohol and if you yes, how many times do you booze it up (no it didn't really say booze it up) in a week" "do you smoke?" "do you exercise?" Then there were the specific sleep questions that were probing at certain types of sleep disorders like insomnia, narcolepsy, or sleep apnea. I'm glad he was thorough and he had identified what was really invoking such gems like Fibromyalgia, IBS (Irritable Bowl Syndrome-that's one I'm most proud of), depression, anxiety and now insomnia.

Although I am sleeping well and even snoring on some nights because I'm sleeping that hard, making up for all the lost Z's since this fall, I feel a little bit apprehensive about taking the drugs for a prolong time and depending on them. I also recently ran out of the Cymbalta samples my doctor had given me and actually paid $50 for a month's supply. I thought that the technician at Wal-greens had made a mistakenly forgot to take my insurance into account, but no, this was the discounted price, without insurance I would have paid $197.00 folks!!! YES. That's almost 200 dollars a month to get some sleep, poop well, not feel constant pain but also have trouble swallowing, nausea, dry mouth, sleepiness, fatigue, constipation, dizziness (which I already had thank you, but no thank you), decreased appetite,and  increased sweating. Other reactions include, palpitations,blurring of vision, abdominal pain, vomiting, and erectile dysfunction (whew! dodged that one by the skin of my teeth) and that is not all of the ones listed, just my favorites.

Until the insomnia kicked in, I was willing to fight against the other conditions by eating healthy, exercising, praying and just trying to keep my head above water. That's what my mother and my mother's mother would have done and sure, I understand that we have scientific innovation and developments that were only a twinkle in some mad scientist's eye in the 1980's but I can't help but to feel as though we as a nation is quietly being subdued by drugging by the government because we are over medicated and our kids are over medicated. If your kids a little bit hyper and he isn't the brightest in school, in the good ol' days we just let him grow up to be a construction worker, not feed him Adderall like its M&Ms and force him to a life of accounting and detailed oriented tasks, did you ever think that's not your kid's forte?

If you look up the side effects of these drugs, most of them are exactly the same! Can't help but to think about how Kim Jong Il is keeping the North Koreans docile with hunger and opium and we don't seem that different from that. Do you know how much pill pushers pharmaceutical representatives get paid and you saw how much I had to pay for my medication! Some doctors just prescribe anti-depressants if you think you've just had a bad day! This drug conglomerate is two folds benefiting from our drug popping ways, subdue us and take our money and because we're subdued, we don't know we're getting robbed. It's a vicious and convoluted cycle I tell you. Am I over reacting? Maybe it's a side effect...

Girl Crush Friday ~ Kirsten Dunst



Kirsten (29) has been acting since she's was 7 years old and nominated for a Golden Globe for best supporting actress for Vampire Diaries. Just yesterday when I was asked who would play me in a movie or my life, I responded (uncharacteristically) Kirsten Dunst. We don't look a like in the very least, but for some odd reason everyone agreed that when we watch her in dark movies like Virgin Suicides or no brainer movies like Bring it on, she acts just like I would have acted in those situations. She reminds me of me in some odd way. Her awkward free-spiritedness, her way of fawning over people and some how sensing that there's an expectation of her to be good and she straightens up, or stiffens up. It's just like me...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Defiant or Hard to understand?

I barely remember the time I wanted to be pregnant and have a baby of "my own," when right now, I would be completely happy adopting all of my kids. Sure, if I happened to get pregnant in between my adoptions, I would be glad and happy just as if I were a "normal" person. The reason for all the gratuitous quotation marks is that it seems, it's hard to understand where I'm coming from in terms of babies, and I get it! Believe me, it's hard for me to explain it to y'all, even to some that are adopting babies of their own. When they say things like, "we Christians need to do what we can right?" or "I guess we've exhausted all sources and adoption is it..." I imagine myself grabbing their lower lip and ripping it over their whole head as to shut them up forever.

The line between the babies that are biologically and genetically related to me and the babies that are given to me through adoption is very very blurred. Some day, if any of my children look up at me with those big brown eyes and ask me, " momma, where do babies come from?" I would look straight back into those big pool of sparkles and say, "they come from God child, but sometimes babies come of the womb and stay with that mom or go to another mom to be cared by them." I'm not speaking in circumlocutions or euphemisms for my adopted one to feel better about him or herself, but I really believe in this, and in turn maybe you think this is something I had made up in my head to appease my own broken psyche, but it is not. I stand firm on this truth.

I know there are some women out there, and some men, that cannot get their brains around this concept, I mean doesn't every woman want their own child? To experience the pregnancy in your own flesh, to reproduce, to feel one with the child you are miraculously generating in your womb for nine months, connecting with its sinewy muscles, breath, heart and soul? I'm not mocking that, not at all! Pregnancy is beautiful and when a man and woman fall into love and their love over floweth, their bodies can't contain themselves and you must mix blood, flesh, DNA, spirit and generations of genetic dispositions to make a tangible being that represents your love. I believe in that too! Hasn't God almighty commanded us? Be fruitful and multiply? Although we mustn't take for granted what comes so naturally to those who are so fertile, you can shoot a look in the direction of your spouse and you've got a bun in the oven, we also mustn't assume that all women are made to have babies or even want to have babies for that matter. Do you know how many miles I had to run to rid of the winter chub? Just kidding...but not really...

So, next time another one of my friends declare that they are baking another one in the oven, please don't tilt your head to the side and look at me with "are you okay" eyes. I really appreciate your concern and your tenderness for my "situation" but I'm really not in a "situation," at least not the kind you think. I might have other angst and life questions, but this really has been cleared up for me for years and I have complete peace about it. There is nothing I am more at peace about than this. Sure, my tears were genuine when I couldn't conceive, but I was in a "situation" then, a mentality of entitlement as a woman and plus, all the other girls were doing it. But I'm over that now, and realized that I travel on a different path where the road crosses with a child that will also start off "different" than all the other babies.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rise of the Cyborg

So...This is the thing, I've been feeling eerily content, no let's not say content, even. Not happy and not sad, yes perpetually sleepy, whether I get a good night's sleep or my insomnia sneaks through the back door and surprises me some nights. Whatever the case, it's making me a little bit worried in that I don't really feel much about anything. My baby about to be matched with her...err..or his parents and we with our baby! Isn't that exciting?! "I'm so excited for you!" oozes out of every pore I encounter and I merely mimic the faces and the hand gestures they make to convince myself I'm excited too. I am excited and I don't have an ounce of doubt in my mind about adoption and the life stage I'm about to enter, but I just feel nothing or even, or....nothing? I can't really tell. Maybe this is how everyone else feels, every one else that doesn't have the bi weekly existential crisis and philosophical breakdowns on life, sin and it's consequences.

Part of the reason why I feel this unsettling is that, although I haven't fallen into the dark waters of my over thinking, over analyzing, over acting, over feeling mood, but I also haven't been able to think much about anything. When I am driving in car with the radio on, my mind if no longer focused on a thought that spirals into the monster I create by the end of the drive, but I'm enjoying the music and singing, "Cause baby you're a fiiiire woorrrk! come on show 'e what you're worth~ make em go oh oh oh! As you shoot across the Skyyyyy~" Not that this isn't a normal and common occurrence in my car, I love singing along with the radio, but that's all. That's the end of it. I'm no longer racing to my computer and a whole blog entry lies across the emptiness within minutes, I have to really pull teeth and think real hard about things. And it hurts. (Insert, Jessica Simpson's picture here). Maybe all that wishing to be "dumb and happy" actually reached the ears of God and he granted me that serenity?

No...No, I don't want it...I want to be able to think about things and realize things. On the same coin, I haven't been overly joyful or really awake to my surroundings. I haven't been particularly thoughtful to my friends or engaging them either.  I also want to be able to laugh like a sailor and slap my knee, joke with boys about perverted things and giggle over kittens, but it's just not in me lately. I'm turning into an cyborg. Help. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dream Job

New assignment: "Tell me in your words what you would be doing if there were no restrictions. Combine the good parts of any job and any task and make it your job." To this I quickly responded, "I told you I wanted to be a princess Pastor Dave, what else do you want to know?" He says" I need to tell me exactly what about being a princess that makes you say that, I mean besides floating around in gowns and waving the princess wave." I was thoroughly offended at this comment, not for myself, but for all the princesses around the world who do more than the monarch gives them credit for. I revile those all those little girls who want to be princesses because they want to ride around in a carriage and marry their prince charming and act like a brat because they're out of the Belle costume at the Disney store! Okay, I blame the parents for part of that and commercialism for the other part, but there is much to be said about the responsibility of a Princess. I don't think Aunt May only had Spider Man in mind when she said, "with great power comes great responsibility." I think she meant that for anyone who holds influence over anyone else! With clutched fists I calmly told Pastor Dave, "I will write this assignment so well and tell you exactly why I want to be a Princess, you're gonna wanna be princess too!" Okay, I got a little carried away in my indignation for all Princesses around the world, but I was determined. Although...I don't really know what it is that they do....

All before I received this challenge assignment, I had written about why I wanted to be a princess. Along with diplomatic duties, which was something I always dreamed about pursuing and have pursued for a short time, there is very little guess work in who you will be when you grow up. Although this might sound a bit stifling to those who have wild hearts and genius minds that will chase any dream that occurs to them in day dreaming, I for one need a specific purpose. Luckily for me, the purpose of a princess is perfectly tailored for my heart strings and what they would expect out of me is exactly what I want to do without the clawing and striving to do so. Your name alone will get you to places you need to, to do the important work and the needy are not waiting on the red tape to be cut and the paper work to be shuffled. Maybe I'm overly simplifying the diplomatic rights the royals have, but they do have the upper hand in power to sway a cause one way or another. It's just like using your A-list celebrity status to champion a cause without making movies on the side to do it. I have to admit, secretly, I do envy her for being loved but not be expected to engage deeply with so many, just the few she chooses.

So, part Princess, part artist. I want to be able to create and write. Not solely write, but I would like to write most of the time and create paintings and pictures with multimedia. I'm not quite sure where I would show case these pieces, but someone will commission me and they will love the work I do. They will invest a store front in my name, and most of the room would be a cupcake store and I would commission my friend Renee to stock the pastry case. Local writers and artists would be employed to work the cafe, serving Stumptown coffee, creating handmade individual lattes, as they create pieces for the store front (on their own time of course-I  can't be paying them to just do drawings and dreaming all day! Love don't make the world go around you know?) What would I be doing? I would work with them and write and create.This is the part of the job that is different from being a princess, I'm not in my crown, hair undone, suited in a gauzy white sundress and I'm eating a cupcake in front of the customers. As long as we're dreaming...I'd like to teach children in that same store. The section with a million books for young and old. I would like to teach them art and have story time. The end. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Crew cut Sampson

For a while now, I've been feeling a bit insecure about my writing and I feel like Sampson when his super human strength was sapped from him after his hair was clipped by the manipulative temptress, Delilah. I'm not sure what my version of would be, maybe it's that I've been feeling pretty content and learning to get along in my place is making me generally less whiny? And when I'm less whiny, I have less to write about? That can't be it, well, it can't all be it. This reminds me of a childhood friend we have and he was the funniest guy we knew, part self-deprecating, part sarcastic and all jokes all the time and most of the jokes came from the fact that he was single and he was well, kind of a loser. When he began dating a girl that even the most popular boy once had a crush on and was turned down by, he stopped being funny. That was his power!...or curse? The sheer fact that he as the down-and-out-guy that forever longed for a girlfriend made him funny, but now that he was dating this cute girl that was clearly out of his league, he was just outright boring and only sarcasm remained. And what's sarcasm without the funny? Mean.

This feeling of inadequacy has nothing to do with writer's block. Even in my driest, I managed to conjure up some morsel of words and strung them up as a blog entry that I wasn't ashamed to claim if it were read a loud in a 6th grade English class. But alas, I keep trudging on writing with my clumsy fingers and disconnected words because not even U2 or the Beatles stopped writing or making music because they had a season of "Crew cut Sampson." Okay, the Beatles technically do not have a bad album, they just went through a season of getting really high and writing songs that way, at least they kept writing even in their stupor right? But have you heard U2's Zooropa or Pop? Dabbling in other genres are allowed as an artist, but it doesn't mean it's going to be good all the time, but they just kept writing and preforming. Why? because more likely than not, if you don't you won't be happy and you'll explode in storm of thoughts that are constantly brewing in your head. It also doesn't mean that you never wrote a good entry or a song, or a poem, and just because that piece is not your past, doesn't mean it's still not something you can claim as your own. You were made to be creative, so be creative, write, draw, sing, create, make something and although not all works will be Mona Lisa's or the Odyssey, but you won't ever get their if you just stop. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tell me something real

Last night I had a couple of drinks with a girlfriend of mine who from the beginning of knowing each other, we "just knew". There is this mutual comfort of asking and say anything we want because we know that we are truly curious to know about one another. We know where each question is coming from and where the answer is going. It comes from a deep place in us that want to consume the other person's soul, to want to know fully because you care so much, you love so much. That consumption trickles down into our stomachs, the pits where we will treasure and protect our secrets, darkness, sadness, the craziness and even the sweets. She says she has this with another, they talk for 3 hours at a time and no less. They realize they can't possibly keep up that kind of talk every time they see each other, so they know they have an understanding to just say hello and leave it at that. She says, "she's just real and genuine and when you talk to her you are not judged." I feel the same way when I'm with her and the world around us fades away. Even after the whole bar has cleared out and we are sitting along side the bus-boys who are finishing off their end-of-the-day beers, we are still lost in each other's words and time has slipped us by.

Recently I began reading a blog that belonged to a girl I knew once and she had been through a lot. So much so that she had to leave the country and get out her feelings and experiences on "paper." As I was surveying her words, partially curious to see what she was up to and how she's recovered after her heart break, I found that in her broken-ness, she was honest. I relished and consumed every word of her entries, but not as some kind of voyeuristic consumerism, but it was vicariously cathartic for me as she was releasing everything without the pageantry and the politeness we put up in our community because it might be too scary or too dirty for humans to actually hear in words, what we are all truly thinking and feeling at times.

While writing entries here, which I think is pretty tame in all honesty, I have received a lot of comments about how revealing I am, like a proverbial slut, wearing too little and leaving none to the imagination. It was making people uncomfortable and blush in embarrassment for me, wanting to cover me up so that they are no longer squirming with the reality of not what I alone are feeling, but maybe what they might be feeling deep inside. However, from what I hear in rumors, revealing what I really think would be no less than what people are saying about me in dark corners any way, so I might as well say what's true. On the other hand, I know fully well that there is a time and a place for people to share these kinds of deep dirty human baseness. Although everyone knows that there is not ONE righteous in the world, we have to keep it contained so we might create protection of the young, a semblance of civilization and decency in our society. However, there has to be a place, a safe place to let it out and confess, to share with some other human soul other than yourself that although we are completely worthless and despicable, Christ justifies and sanctifies us. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Personal Retreat

Yesterday, I took a 24-hour personal retreat, not going far and staying a hotel near by, I was determined to get some work done on my soul. I had grandiose delusions of this short time and my perfectionist tendency pushed me toward a goal of reading a whole book I borrowed from Pastor Dave called Why You do What You Do: Answers to your most puzzling emotional mysteries. Next,  figure out my whole innate circuitry of how and why I function, then do the overachieving thing and cure all my flaws. This is my plan all before dinner and my after dinner plans were to  spend the rest of the night going over my strongholds and survey what's really holding me back from living a flourishing life of joy and freedom in Christ name. The night would end with prayers of gratitude and praises of his goodness because I have achieved all this through the grace of God and what's left for the morning was to journal a little so that I can remember all that I have learned while munching on my bacon, egg and Gouda cheese sandwich and sipping on my tall Starbucks Doubleshot on ice.

Well, I did read that whole book, err...I...skimmed it, found out a few things about myself and discovered hidden gems and not so well polished rocks, but mostly dirt and dust I knew were settling on the inside of me. I wasn't on the floor weeping in disgust with contrite spirit over my sins, but I am on the road to healing. Part of the healing is that I don't have to be so perfect and to be completely honest, after lunch and checking into the hotel, I got super sleepy and fell asleep for about 2 and a half hours and it was time for dinner. After taking a slow dinner at Whole foods and indulged in some Peanut butter gelato, I began reading my book and found out some new things but the universe did not tear in half nor my soul quake with enlightenment. Mostly, I confirmed my suspicions on why I act the way I do and where it comes from and the common antics of "insecure Susie" that arises now and again.

The 24-hour I just described sounds like a waste of time and I just took a personal vacation on the church's dime, but in the quietness and looseness of the two days, I seriously and genuinely found God. In honest words, we hung out and make some reconciliations and I had repented unspoken things that are between Him and me, and he revealed a love that I can confidently bank on no matter what my mood is. Knowing how I function and why I act this way was helpful because I can reroute that circuitry to be more productive and with some wires I just had to short circuit. I know I'm being more vague than normal with what's swirling in my head and what recent revelations I've had, but I   realized that not everything is beneficial for others or for me, if I share them publicly. But soon as I figure out what's appropriate to share, you'll be the first to know. 

Fail.

I just wrote a really insightful and deeply inspiring post and it is now forever lost in the deep darkness of cyber space. Even if it were not really that insightful or deeply inspiring, you would never know, because it's forever gone. 

Girl Crush Friday ~ Keira Knightley

Keira Knightely (26) is an actress and model, and although she was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of six she excelled in school. Knowing that fact about makes me more impressed with her acting the way she memorizes all of her lines in movies like the Atonement and Pride and Prejudice. Her pretty face doesn't go to waste, she is the face of the Amnesty International Campaign for Human Rights and part of that campaign she made a short film raising awareness of human abuses. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Summer night


Sitting in the backseat of his car, I'm slouched in my long sun dress with my hair wet from the shower. I didn't have time to dry it and nor did I have time to put anything on my face but a little moisturizer. The boys are blasting music we haven't heard in a decade, songs by Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins and a little bit of Cold play and U2. Pandora was playing the soundtrack of summers I've known, with the windows down and carefree singing into the night air. I had forgotten I had any worries, ailments or obligations, but here in the backseat of his Volkswagen, I am 17 again, fresh faced, glittering eyes and a whole summer swollen with potential.

Rested, happy and nostalgic, I shout over the wind rushing through the windows and the moon roof, "I'm so happy right now! with you two!" They just laugh and jump right back into the words they were singing, not to miss the song, not to miss the moment. The one belongs to me forever and we have built a life together, the other one is a strange twin of mine, knowing exact words to say, songs to play and laughs at my jokes. I lie down in the back seat in whole contentment, putting my bare feet into the air and pushing it against the roof of the car, not caring my dress has rumpled down to my thighs. I close my eyes and shout along with the boys, as we speed down the street on a summer night. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Momma



This might be a late post...but mostly because I was too busy this weekend to dedicate anything to anyone. On Sunday, we went to Mon Ami Gabi for Mother's day Dinner. The night was a cool 64 degrees and everyone was dressed in a relaxed dress up. The restaurant garden was lit up with big chunky Christmas lights and flowers littered the entrance of the cozy little French digs. We've been to this restaurant exactly once, for my mom's birthday and they find this place like it's their home, but when we ask them to meet us at the Italian place we frequent for every single birthday we ever had since high school, they call us to ask for directions every time! It's a bit frustrating, but I digress. I was for sure they were in the wrong restaurant and to my surprise, my parents were already at the bar with my brother and his girl friend sipping on a St. Germain, Campaign infused cocktail called Le Soiree.

My mother is the quiet lady who has always been supportive when we dream, laughs at the rest of us when we are being silly and gives us a little frown if we get too out of hand. She was never the one to nag or lecture beyond what was necessary, but her scowl of dissatisfaction was enough for us to straighten our selves out. We always wanted to love her and appease her because she was this pure light, like a halfling, someone from another world, a fairy because she was so beautiful and kind. I bought her a little spring out fit from Banana Republic, a skirt and a cardigan, nothing too extravagant, but my brother gives her cold cash like he's her uncle or something. But that's exactly his way, lavish with money and gifts, he wants us to be wealthy and it would be a failure on his part if we weren't. My mother being the Korean lady that she is of course appreciated the cash. Then further fulfilling the stereotype, she buys me a little jacket the very next day she thought would be adorable on me, even though I insisted she save the money to buy herself a nice two piece that she's been wanting.

When I was a little girl, my mom and I would lounge around on her big bed with messy sheets and drowning in blankets, and she would draw me pictures. I would say, "draw me an apple mom" and then she would, then waiting for my next commission, "what about...a tree!" and she would gladly oblige. Then the whole afternoon would go by with a note book full of random drawings my mother had sketched for me. She would jump up all of the sudden and say, "I better make dinner!" and I would follow her into the kitchen and loiter around while she cooked for us. She was always such a good cook. She was happy being a stay at home mom, a true lady of leisure, knitting us sweaters, sewing me dresses and decorating the house as the seasons past. She made the home a secure place, a place where we can leisurely be happy and creative.

Before we make it to our table, my dad has bought us a bottle of wine for the kids to pop and insisting on sips of his Le Soiree to my lips. "Isn't it good?" Then he would compliment my outfit and how I look like an angel, and already committing party fowl by dribbling a little bit of his drink on himself and onto my arm that was around his neck. He laughs about how my hand was acting like a little bowl to catch his dribble.  My mom laughs of course, and quietly follows us to the table while holding my waist. Although it's mother's day, she doesn't make a fuss and instead, my dad gets jealous about all the gifts she's receiving. She smirks with a sideways smile and she is nibbling on her salad. She always seems so content in the situation and circumstances she's in, even thought those circumstances hasn't always been happy or easy for her. She has a deep inner strength we could not understand until now. She is generous beyond her own good because she herself doesn't have the wealth to give all that. She gives from what she has, which is everything. Happy belated mother's day mom, a mom I can proudly say is my role model in every aspect. I pray that I will grow up to be half as good as you. Half as beautiful on the inside and half as wise. I hope I didn't fall too far from this gorgeous tree.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Girl Crush Friday ~ Julia Restoin-Roitfeld

This is Julia (31), her French mother is Carine Rotifeld, the recently retired ParisVogue Editor. Her mother is beautiful and she is the icon of all things beautifully fashionable in France and otherwise. How lucky is the girl that has a mother that will get you to all the bumpin' parties and encourages you to dress in haute couture. However, when you're dressed, heading down the stairs and out the door, there's a whole different meaning to "you're not going out like that are you?" when your mother is Carine Rotifeld (plus she would have said it in French- and there's no ignoring that). Although she actually attended Parsons in New York City by her own merit, she became a Tom Ford model to promote his Orchid perfume. I wonder if that had anything to do with her mother's influence...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Public Service Announcement

Since I was a child, I had difficulty falling asleep, and I was that child that would make every excuse in the book to stall my impending bedtime, asking for water, asking my dad to tell me a story, to do our secret handshakes and ask him what he thinks I should be when I grow up and can I finally get my ears pieced. The answer to that lat question was always a no until my senior year as prom was coming around the corner. How would I wear earrings for prom if my ears aren't properly pierced? Some days in high school, I would lay in my bed for a hour at a time, mentally racing through all the cataloged faces, moments, outfits I saw on my girlfriends, the smile and hugs I got from my favorite boys, and what I'll wear tomorrow. I think I thought myself a happy little girl, but just couldn't sleep that well. In College, I developed depression and was prescribed prozac and paxil as remedy to my blues for no reason at all. Sure, there were some college girl drama, but nothing out of the ordinary box of jealousy an gossip, nothing to get clinically depressed over...Then years past when I began having chronic pain in my shoulders and arms and nothing explained or remedied that ailment. In the end, doctors always resorted to prescribing me anti-depressants (SSRI). Because if I were doped up then I wouldn't notice the pain?? Nice play Doctor...

I consider myself pretty healthy and I don't know the last time I got really sick, like bird-flu-H1N1 sick. Nope, most of my sniffles are zapped right after I have a good run and a nights sleep because I eat well and I exercise on a daily basis, trying to balance out whatever it is that's causing my body to develop mysterious and difficult to treat ailments like depression, IBS, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety and now Insomnia. I finally caved and saw a sleep doctor this morning and I think I held out for so long because I half thought he would give me the once over and fill out a prescription for some sort of sleeping pill for me to pop. Although I did walk out of that office with two prescriptions, one for a sleeping pill and one for Cymbalta, a SNRI, the pill that I am banking on for the restoration of my deficient Serotonin levels. 


Turns out, all of the symptoms like depression, IBS, anxiety, Fibromyalgia and insomnia is because I am low on Serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in your brain that allows the brain to know things like feeling good, or settled down (so you can fall asleep) and apparently without this hormone, you  can develop a whole legion of complications. So if you're wondering about town seeing doctor after doctor that will cut you a prescription for some pill for you to suck on for no good reason, consider this. You might be low on Serotonin. That's it! And all this time you thought you were just crazy? Well, you may not be as crazy as you think, maybe you're only just half the crazy you are now (and I can be satisfied with that). 

Here are your symptoms: (I have half of these!)
Low serotonin levels are often attributed to anxiety, depression, panic attacks, insomnia, obesity, fibromyalgia, eating disorders, chronic pain, migraines, and alcohol abuse. Negative thoughts, low self-esteem, obsessive thoughts and behaviors, PMS (maybe this is why we're always looking for chocolate-boot of serotonin), and Irritable Bowel Syndrome are also symptoms of low serotonin. 

If you want to find out more go here.

This has been a public service announcement because I don't want you to wonder the deserts of insomnia, unexplainable obesity, fibromyalgia and low self-esteem for 40 years long, I have found you a short cut! If you are suffering from an hard to cure ailment, please check with your doctor to see if you too are Serotonin Deficient. This message was brought to you by, Reese's Peanut butter cup my favorite (which use to make me happy, but now I have Serotonin). And to think all those years of going to the doctor for feeling "not right" or "crazy," I was my Serotonin gas tank was low.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Study of Love : How Far?

How far must we go to love someone? And how do we know where that line is? I wish we can know just precisely where that line is like the waves to a shore, knowing where to stop then to recede back to the sea and gain our momentum again, gain our strength again, making that love fresh, making it new. Some days we come further into shore, some days, we retreat back to the deepness of the recess of our souls to recoup and to give room to the sands for drying out in the sun. If we are made to love, then why aren't we created to know like the seas where to go, how to go, how to love and to know how much? Why do we have so many different ways so that we are like that people of tower of babel, scattered amongst the "four love languages" and confused by our own dysfunctions and insecurities?

Should we continue to love people when they do not respond to what we have mustered up, what we tried so hard to do? It's genuine, it's pure, but none of that matters when the language of love is lost in translation between two people. Why can't the simple fundamentals of I love yous, I miss yous, hugging and kissing be enough? Is it because we've used it as weaponry of power and as arsenal for manipulation and gain, that we don't always believe in the simple ways of love? We question each other's motives, our ways, demanding more and more to confirm, reconfirm and reinforce what you are plainly saying is true. If you love someone say it to them, if you want to hug someone hug them, and when you sense that you are being loved, believe them, trust them. Trust should be a love repayment, a receipt of sort.

Some days I am compelled by the Word of God, to love without gaining and without expectation, laying your life down just as Christ had done. I want to shun the wisdom of the world saying things like, "they're poison, you have to protect yourself, what else can you give or do for this person?" But then again, I lose steam and need a little encouragement because I am made to be loved too but not receiving any in return. Like a pendulum, I swing back to the Word and find that I am doing too much, thinking too much about Love and not compelled at all to act upon a love so pure. I have to believe in the gospel everyday and be propelled forth by the grace shown to me and by sheer gratitude alone, I will naturally love the ones around me, no longer questioning or demanding. Just knowing, because He will tell me "only come to there" and recede back into Me.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Round Hole, Square Peg

Are you wired to be a church admin or are you built to be a designer, a teacher, a construction worker? I assure you this isn't the type of job that requires any old warm body to fill, it takes a special person and I'm not her. A Church admin position has a high turn over and you would know why if you just gave it a go for a few months. I know I can perform the tasks that are asked of me and many have said, "Sus, its not about you, it's about serving God." But isn't every job? Are you not a teacher to serve God? Are you not a designer, an artist a musician to show God's glory in the work you do? What if I had asked my brother who is a complete computer-droid to teach first grade? He might be able to perform tasks that are in the district curriculum, but knowing the ABCs and knowing how add doesn't make you a flourishing teacher. But I'm not sure why everyone is waiting in anticipation for me to wake to the place I'm in. Like all along I just had a bad attitude about this job instead of considering the fact that I wasn't made for a job like this, an environment like this. "If only Susie would change her attitude, she would love that job..." I wouldn't say that to you if you were working in a job that didn't suit you. I certainly wouldn't say this to my android brother who was struggling to teach first graders how to add two single digit numbers, when he would much rather manipulate high level algorithms and talk to computers in binary.

I thoroughly appreciate my dad for knowing his daughter so deeply that he saw my countenance change and a dimming of light in my eyes as soon as I began this job. I wasn't mistreated (all the time) and I'm not blaming everything on this job because it's sheer evil, but it was just not meant for me. If you were to force a square peg into a round hole, it would fit (sort of) but it will splinter and damage. It's the same with an unfit person in a job, or an unfit job for a person, she splinters and becomes damaged.

I never felt like I was doing a good job in this position. Never. No matter how many right thing you do, no one will notice until that one day you make too little copies of the bulletin or decided it wasn't my job to cater food for a small group that met at the ministry center on off hours. I mostly felt a lone and unappreciated, not that I needed every day encouragement and applause from the congregation, but its the certain passive- aggressive way you're told you just aren't measuring up to the expectations and the standards of people's preferences and opinions of how things should be done is enough to put you in a dark hole for a long time. I don't know if I did anything for this place the last 6 years..and you hope that where ever you are, you leave a positive mark on the place, or accomplishing at least the status quo. For some odd reason, I don't think I'll leave this seat and this monitor with that impression. Whether people think this or not, all I know is that I stuck through and did the best I can with my limited powers to be an administrative assistant and even in my opinion, I make a pretty crumby one. Not because I'm lazy and I didn't do my best, but the same reasons I would've also made a crumby police officer. Can you imagine me walking about with a gun I detest and riding around town looking for trouble? No. Neither can I.

Yes, there are arguments that I had flexibility in this job to go on missions and participate in KCC freely because part of being a worker in the church lends itself to that kind of work, but I don't know if I couldn't do those things if I had a different job. Is it not true that you have gone on mission trips and volunteered whilst being employed within a secular arena? I'm not  sure why people are trying to convince me that this was the perfect job for me when I wasn't creative, I wasn't productive in the ways I wanted to be, used my natural talents and giftings. It seems we, me and the church both just made do with one another. I needed a job, HCC needed an admin? I don't know.