Sunday, September 25, 2011

New Things.

I'm been proud of myself for pushing it to the next level.

I remember just 2 months ago, I felt like I hit a low point in my life.

I've bounced back and I feel great.

Things have been tough no doubt, but there have been more steps forward, by far.

Let me count the ways.

*I finally tried a Hip Hop class. It turned out to be Advanced (LOL), but I stuck it out, and found new respect for dancers of all kinds. I appreciate the talent and think if I focus on ways to improve my relationship with the choreography and memorizing it, I'll be ace.

*I signed up for 5 weeks of gymnastics classes. Week 1 was brutal, and I felt sooo out of my element. I received claps for a half-cartwheel. Hell, it's certainly better than before I stepped in so I'm thankful for that. I'll keep at it. The other people in my class are fearless animals. I say animals, because they tear up and jump around like there's no tomorrow. It's beautiful. I told my mom about my gymnastics endeavors and she asked if I was too old for that. I replied, no, it's never too late to learn. :) I really mean it, for everyone.

*Waking up at 11am no longer seems impossible on the weekend. After the conditioning from waking up early for work, I've finally been able to feel my body responding and waking up on its own accord. This is a pretty big deal.

*I've started a new time management initiative, and although I can't vouch for its success yet, I can say it's new and I feel excited about it. I'm using a Tickler File and created some rules for Outlook thus far. There's more to come but for now, it's working out. I've done a lot of things I've put off for so long.

*At Viv's bday I tried interesting meat for dinner. Apparently I had some thymus gland and I had blood sausage. LOL.

*I've been running with some amount of regularity as I charge up to train for the Ironman. I'm getting my training wheels on, and it's been intense as I realize how far my body has to go to be prepared for this ~17 hour journey. A body performs for 10-17 hours on race day, but how many hours does it take to get to that point? We don't see that, but we can 'see' it on race day. I am finding enjoyment in the movement and I can see changes in my stamina and my body. It's wonderful. I think about the catalyst, my blood pressure reading in early 2011 and how much that pushed me to change my life.

*I finally got to see my hero Deadmau5 in concert. It was my bday present to Sareee, and I know she loved it. :) We got to go to the general admission area and all was good. I was so in the moment and those are the times I'll remember most besides the tapper gentleman that we met. I swear those times were so spiritual and Madonna's album title comes to mind... there were definitely confessions on that dancefloor.

*Houston Wine Festival was great to attend now that I feel confident and comfortable with wine. :) Enjoyed the Eiswein and some others that I wrote down in my handy-dandy wine notebook. Just last semester, I was confused about nearly all things wine. Now I've come so far.

*I saw that there would be a contemporary dance concert at Miller Outdoor theater and I had such a great time with Freddy watching those talented dancers. The suit dance was so angular, sneaky, feisty, and sharp. Love. And the b-boy ending really affirmed my love and appreciation for hip hop. So supremely talented. I wish I had taken dance throughout my childhood. It's not too late, but it just makes me think, where have you been all my life? :) It felt so adult and carefree to enjoy my night with a friend, basking in the breeze and wonderful performances of these visionaries. All for free. Wow. Houston is awesome.

*I finally posted my first China album to Facebook and I'm proud of myself. It takes a lot of work to channel creative energy into something for an extended period of time. I took more than 6,000 photos, so the final 700 (who knows the amount) or so photos I showcase is a result of this distillation.

*I've seen a lot of documentaries online and it's been a bit therapeutic for me at times. Sometimes, it's awfully depressing, boring, and one-sided. BUT for the most part, I feel enlightened, and feel like I'm being offered an opinion that I could think about in my own mind. I find it valuable because I'm looking for the truth, and I know that if I can't experience it firsthand, it could be good to start here. It's not perfect, it is biased by the director, and all hands that touch it, but it's a start.

*Clothes just fit better. They do. When they fit better, and when I wear better clothes, I feel better about what I'm wearing and I have become even more beautiful. I hope that it reflects the person I am inside. Confident, feminine, and different.

*I've been able to listen to music more. :) My music initiative has been progressing and I've listened to Alexisonfire - Old Crows, Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!, and Incubus - If Not Now, When?. In the queue are albums from Thrice, Imogen Heap, Rx Bandits and more. I'm so excited and stoked that YouTube makes all music accessible. Wow, I'm so blessed to live in such an amazing world.

Overall, I conduct my life according to the principle of trying to do the right thing. "If I see it, I own it" has been replaying in my head as a mantra. I am positive and happy for where I'm going, and have maintained my spirit and freedom by trying new things, learning loads, giving back to those around me, and saving up for travel, appreciation for others, and investments in myself. It's been THRILLING. I love the post-grad life.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

4th Kind.

I love scary movies. Only starting the day after I watch them. :) That's because I love the experience the director can create, where my reality becomes this total environment of fear, and that being all I can see for the foreseeable future. Time does its magic though, and I come back to Earth and the fear catalyzes into courage. But it's those moments where my floor is shaken beneath me and I feel like this scary force has uprooted me is what I love but HATE at the same time.

When I'm in that fear microcosm, I don't know what to do, but there's a little voice in the back of my head that says... it's not real. It's that burning thought in the back of my mind that keeps my hope alive and a millimeter away from going mental.

Knowing this, I love this controlled way of toughening me up by getting out of my comfort zone of what I can tolerate. During a scary portion of a film, yeah, I absolutely loathe them because I become my 7 year old self that has all of the layers of education, propriety, and norms stripped of me, and I'm just a scared girl trembling. Wonderful.

4th Kind really did me in. It was really that good. I hadn't been scared like that in years. I never heard of the film, but my room mate suggested we watch it and I had an open mind to oblige. I nearly fell asleep since it moved so slowly at first.

But there were a few scenes, all including 'real footage' that really really got my heart palpitating and scared. Me thinking the film footage was real, SCREAMED out loud. I never scream out loud. It just took me aback so much because I thought this was a ... documentary/reenactment type film of sorts. My roommate kept saying, W.T.F. and at the time I thought it was a subdued reaction compared to what I felt, but in actuality, that's how he actually expresses visceral fear. :) HAHA. People are so different, eh?

Another scene that totally got me was the explanation near the end of the film where they questioned Dr. Abigail Tyler about where her daughter was. She said slowly and methodically, "How do I remember ... something they want me to forget?
I thought about this question, and I had no answer. And it gave me the eerie feeling of conspiracies which left me unsettled. I also thought about that aliens weren't dangerous and were fun creatures, but this film definitely painted them as a force that isn't quite God but certainly tries to be.

This film made Nome, Alaska into a troubled place where it is unforgiving and unexplainable. Today's age of modern crime and terrorism is something I can wrap my head around. There's a motive, it's a well known movement, but alien abductions making disappearances out of people and scapegoats out of others left my mouth gaping. This system played no favorites and that really scared me.

After the film, me and my roommate did research and it basically came down to the fact that it was NOT a real story and the real portions of the film were strung together possibly and the character of Abigail Tyler does not exist. There was no missing daughter. That family was created and the stories were probably skewed to make a compelling story and drama.

I was duped :(. But before I knew the truth, I remembered what it felt like to be scared. And I'm glad I got what I came for! I got out of my comfort zone again. :)

Monday, September 12, 2011


My roommate told me a story this weekend that really woke me up on a quality I really admire. Honor. It's enmeshed with honesty and integrity really.

It's a long story but it boils down to, a friend had a birthday, and this friend had way too many drinks. His friends, while there surrounding him, did nothing to intervene when he nearly got arrested.

It almost brought tears to my eyes when I heard him vehemently declare that these so called 'friends' stood by idly and watched him spiral downwards. I've been an innocent bystander. That was my past life. So I felt like he was talking directly at me, my former self. But then I felt so much of my new self talking, when he became so passionate.

I didn't expect that from him and it makes you think.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


I've been reading a whole lot as of late, and it's been very therapeutic for me. I read for leisure while in elementary and middle school. It waned drastically in high school and barely existed in college. The books I read were assigned, and I put as much of myself into the experience of college as I could. I don't regret that at all.

But now is a period of change. I've started working. I've begun reading again. I've set a new huge goal for me to set my sights on. I haven't announced it to everyone, but I will complete an Ironman. Yes. I feel like it's the ultimate physical test.

While researching this event, I learned about ultramarathons. Ultramarathons are distances far greater than 26.2 miles. Some are 50 miles, and some are far more. My jaw dropped when I read this. I suppose I only scratched the surface at the possibility of what we humans can do. :)

An excerpt of an ultramarathon book fascinated me. The thesis of it was that civilized man has forgotten the roots and enjoyment of running. It is treated as an exercise which is loathed and not a liberating experience that is the equivalent of moving meditation. The book asserts that it is freedom.

I let that thought ruminate in my head for a long time.

I began to run again. I started running around a trail near home and since I departed after 7pm, I gave myself the stopping point of 'when it gets dark', naturally.

It was windy and I was nearly blown sideways as I ran on this trail of gravel. There are inclines and declines, and I just felt happy to have this sort of control back. I just let the experience soak in and didn't beat myself up for stopping, but pushed those notions of getting to my personal best aside and thought to myself -- just enjoy the movement and everything else will come later. I looked towards the sky and it was gorgeous. It was all sorts of pinks, purples, and blues. I thought I was so blessed to run on a trail all by myself, to be in my own quiet, and to reach a sense of peace I can only imagine ultramarathoners feel. I was going back to basics, which is my overarching goal.

It's been a really reflective few weeks for me, as I've questioned a lot of assumptions about life and the way I live it. I do this to become more self-aware, to continually improve, to learn about other ways people live their lives, and to become more mature in my thoughts as I re-examine them.

Today the bottom of my shoe started peeling off after my run. It was very fitting as a metaphor I thought. As I start to exercise my mental muscles again, it will peel away the layers. What shall I find underneath?