I am forever indebted

I trust in Him with my heart to provide for me even though I am a worthless creature. And at times, it’s so confusing and difficult to realize my life in His terms, but I know it’s for the best. That some things are not meant to be clear or understood until the end.

I embark the first part of this potential year long adventure of finding myself and learning more and more to depend on God’s mercy and grace. I don’t think there’s anything that can set me apart from the depths of His love, as much as my warring thoughts will try.

I just wanted to make that statement tonight. That I pray for the Prince of Peace to be eternally present with me in every waking moment.

 

On Being Human

There’s a fine line between knowing who you are and what others know of what you are. There was a point in my life when I related to everything that Holden Caulfield said, and that’s why I was so drawn to the book. He talked about having a persona, a face, for every person he met, since everyone else was a phoney and not worth revealing the true inner self to.

I fell in love with the idea of it because as an eighth grader that seemed so true. No one was being a real person, hence there was no reason for myself to be either. This fell into a scheme of imitating the other person’s character as if to impress them or to be like them. I felt like I held some sort of secret, some sort of power and duty, as if I were really protecting who I was from outsiders who would never understand.

My practice broke apart when my history teacher asked me if I understood that Holden was the biggest phoney in the book. I wasn’t sure what to think of it, except to inquire more. And it was true – a simple truth that I hadn’t been able to realized because of my infatuation with his character.

But I think that as humans, it’s easy to fall in love with the appearance of the act and become broken in spirit when we do realize it was all an act. Whether that’s a magic trick that surpasses all of your mundane expectations, or a person you thought you were in love with. Essentially being a human is nothing more than an act in itself because we’re constantly morphing and realizing who we are. And as horribly fake the act might be at times, you have to realize that it’s part of our nature to self-preserve and self-protect.

And I think that’s okay. It’s about learning how to reconcile with the act and the genuine spirit behind the trick.

 

the only thing I’m proud of

this year is undoubtedly more difficult than any of the other years i’ve experienced in my life. and what’s sad, is that in a lot of ways, i know the stress derives from the pettiness and the scale of my mind. it underlies from me focusing too much on the present and being and being unable to see what’s ahead.

i’ve been thinking a lot about my self worth as an individual, of what i had to offer to other people, let alone myself or my family. and honestly, sometimes i could come up with nothing because i felt defeated in a lot of ways, already. spiritually, i was lacking any embrace of god that i kept thinking i didn’t need for a while.

but reading scripture starts to reveal to me how wonderfully wrong i was. that every time i think i’ve had my back turned on the face of jesus, He’s been always there by my side. from a simple page flip to seeing a verse i had been looking for to images of jesus revealing his abundant love to someone who never deserved it.

these days, i’ve been pretty angry but i realize how stupid that is to be so caught up in my own mind. i think i’m only starting to realize (again) how far the savior goes with me. and when i have nothing to be proud of or am in pure mindlessness, i can hold onto god’s steadfast love.

thank you god, for after two days of reading scripture, you already have revealed yourself to me. please keep me mindful of your love as i continue throughout this day.

Walking

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I remember you. I was alone that time, and frantic. That was my Paris in a day moment, where I rushed to the crooks and corners of the city. It was the day I found out a little bit more about my destiny.

Here, I stopped to rest. Do you recognize this room? It’s the one next to the room with the Mona Lisa. I personally found this room one of the most beautiful rooms I’ve ever stepped into. It’s calming. It invites a sort of magnificent sigh, asks you to pause for a bit to marvel at the long stretch of paintings. Also, I’ve never been down that hallway. I’ve only stood right here, resting.

 

And,

I’d never thought I’d enter that realm with you. To take this picture, in part. To get lost in the wonders of ancient geniuses, in another. To understand the ever silencing rest this room breaks into your mind.

We stood here for rest too. After a circular day of exploring. It was too real in the highlight of the moment. I remember.

 

I realize my memories are too a hallway full of ancient dreams and moments. Only sitting here, writing, I wished I got up to the other end of the hallway to realize more wonders.

 

I was only too tired, too faded by the wonders of the city, to marvel at whatever could be more present and wonderful at the end of a short walk.

 

I’ll find you again. We’ll find you.

 

memories

moments i’ll never forget:

  • every room I’ve lived in
  • my maltese
  • mom’s first outrage at me
  • the first broken friendship, and the most last few
  • the first heartache
  • pins pushed up on myself
  • seconds before every dance recital
  • slick bun hair for ballet exams
  • the chocolate cake from Lyon
  • that meaningful encounter in the movie-like scenes
  • first ice skate with a guy
  • hospital nights
  • sharing sandwiches with the first kiss
  • the first unintentional all-nighter

i realize as i write this, my mind is filled with endless memories of single encounters, friendships, brokenness, utter grace, and happiness. there’s not a list i could write that could encompass every single experience i’ve had that i will never forget. the human mind is such a strange, complex thing. i’ve once heard that you never truly forget a memory, but it just more cloudy each time you think about it.

Ghosts

I don’t believe soulmates exist, but I’ve seem to have found one. And even further, it’s as if I’ve always been infatuated with this one man since the beginning of time. And I know that no matter how ugly this relationship gets to be, I will still be in love with this one person until the end of time.

Our background is complex spiral of disparate universes coming together. Our beginning is an ever-true Korean soap opera, and everything in between now and then is a fragile spider web, with many holes but an everlasting hold. Despite these holes, with that thread, I can place almost every minute into an immediate replay unlike other life moments. Each moment of time lives within its own universe, staying absolutely contained with its contemporary emotions and perspectives.

Have I also mentioned that for most of the year, we live thousands of miles apart in two different time zones? Long distance is not an uncommon occurrence nowadays, but for the two people, it means constant sacrifice. Hence, when I say I can remember almost every minute we’ve shared together – whether good or bad – it’s more a matter of me reliving an haunting past over and over again.

It’s suffocating at times, of course. Walking past the stores you’ve always visited together, or eating alone at your favourite restaurants gets to be taunting at times. And the memories become more painful each time one comes and goes.

The last time we saw each other, we fought for more than half the waking hours we had together. It’s as if the holes in our already complicated spider web get bigger each time we see each other – something always has to go wrong. And I’ll admit, more than majority of the time, it’s my own doing. I’m a sensitive person, overly so at times. When we see each other, my emotions become more amplified, especially by the anxiety of another goodbye.

And I resent him. For things like being unable to remember my birthday, or for simply texting another girl. Or realizing how little I know of him because of my own self-absorbed perspectives.

The thing is though, no matter how much I resent him at times, hate him in others, (and he must feel the same way), we undoubtedly come back to each other. The truth is, even if this is my first relationship and this is his third, we’ve never experienced a love like this before. It’s a different kind of ‘love’ I describe – one that’s passionately stuck together. When coming undone doesn’t actually mean loosening strings, but rather a fierce tightening.

We’ve experienced all sorts of resentments towards each other in the time we’ve been together. Indifference, emotional suicide, physical heartaches. Yet, as time goes on, I’ve stopped questioning the validity of our togetherness to each other. Maybe lost at times, but in the majority, I want him in my life as much as he does in his.

The longest we’ve been broken up (and there have been many many times) was four months. At the end of the four months, I discovered that there was no thing as a soulmate, but that humans have adaptable personalities. Despite that, I told myself constantly during that time, that I would never forget such a relationship.

We’ve gone through so many thick and thins, and whether our experience is the result of our “soulmate”ness or the constant non-emotional feeling towards each other is, I know he is my soulmate. I don’t think that has to mean what it might conventionally convey, but he’s someone that in this moment, I can see as lasting forever – at least in memories and previous experiences, regardless of the future. And so, here’s to my ghosts – in the form of memories, tears, and real physical flesh of a person.

Sinking sand

Walking right on the coast of the ocean is interesting because the sand slips out from under you. As if to put you off balance, the sand sneaks away with each crashing wave. For someone who’s barely gone to the beach and dipped their toes in the water, it was an offsetting moment for me to regain balance on different hollows of the same sand.

The thing is, you never lose balance, you just think you do for a split moment. The unbalancing act feels somewhat nice, though my heart almost skips a beat each time it happens, then to realize I’m standing still on the edge of the Atlantic.

Life is very much the same, with its own appearance of sand that constantly slips away. There are moments in your life when you’re thrown off balance to find you’ve been standing still the entire time. But it’s not sand, of course. For me, they’re mainly emotions, for others, it might be unforeseen events, and for some, it’s depression.

And I think we’ve all seen what’s going on in the world right now, no matter how ignorant of or far away we try to stay away from world news. It truly is difficult when a multitude of tragedies occur – not just one, but an avalanche of horrific events. Some things we’ll never be able to forget, things we didn’t think would ever quite happen.

Whenever my heart grows weary, my mind immediately jumps to a praise song – no matter what the situation – a child dying, a breakup, a terrible tragedy. Today, “Great Are You Lord” played when I walked into church. For me, certain praise songs hold a significant burden I’ve experienced in my life. That song reminded me of the day a child died, no one I knew personally, but too sad altogether. I’m the last person to take up someone else’s depression or tragedy, but my usually obnoxious loud became just quiet. I remember that time as a memory of unsettling quietness, of a strange comfort and stability in a time of chaos for some people. I just felt a great peace come upon me because emotions became too much to handle at that point. It might seem strange to be like this at a time of an unjust death, but I was convinced of God’s healing presence in the hospital room at the time.

It’s been a while since I’ve felt God’s lasting peace fall upon me, and yet, as the world grows more chaotic and as my life becomes more intricate, I seem to want it more than ever soulfully.

I’m only a victim of my own thoughts and actions, and of no one else’s. But even when my foolishness gets the best of me, and I’m on the ground, beaten down by my own demons, I can only remember the everlasting love of God. That, in the end, no matter what I’ve become, the greatest love of all will never forsake me. I’ll never be worthy of such a grace, and yet, it will never leave me.

THATS CHIC | Inspiration

Most people think blogging is a superficial career – based on creating an individual brand and generating social currency.  In many ways, bloggers like Jenn Im, Michelle Phan, Aimee Song, have all sold out to the general public of advertising, scheduling, and “content creation.” I think part of why so many people think blogging is superficial is due to the general lack of creativity in these posts nowadays. There’s a certain template to all of this madness, which if one took the time to, could figure out. It’s about a certain filter, lighting, or hashtag – doing monthly “favorites,” OOTDs, DIYs – it’s an endless stream of templates.

Of course, many people will follow if you start basing your design on a generic, already-popular, template, but what’s missing behind all of this is a real, genuine soul to the content. I think I fell in love with Rachel Nguyen’s videos and blog because she truly has taken the time to create that “soul” behind every video. She said in an interview that she wanted each video and her channel to have a purpose – not be some sort of typical beauty or fashion or lifestyle video. There are aspects of that, but that’s not what defines her.

Truly in love with this character & very happy I now have a new found inspiration.

A Progress Reality

“I’m making progress” – a phrase generally someone doesn’t want to hear. You say the phrase when you’re trying to excuse yourself for why something is not complete. Or you might hear it when you ask your partner how your deteriorating relationship is going or when you ask your project partner how their work’s coming along. Especially in a rapidly moving society where progress is hidden and results are instantaneous, our society has morphed reality into a similar ideal where as a human being, you’re expected to produce results somewhat quickly. Hence, the phrase,”I’m making progress,” doesn’t really output anything to a viewer. Because who really cares if you’re making progress, if you’ve not yet produced anything meaningful. Progress is good, but after a while, we all recognize when this phrase is more of an excuse than a sign of improvement.

But in a setting where no one is perfect and flawed by some human characteristic, it seems all we can do is “make progress” – and not at all quickly, but quite slowly. Each day progress towards something until our ultimate death, when we run out of time to reach that “something.”

Let’s also consider the fact that progress means to move forward; so what does it mean to move forward when our living reality is built on flaws and failures? Is it about bypassing these struggles to move forward or more about mending our past to restore the present and later, future?

I think the first is not possible in the definition of progress because that’s just a pseudo-progress; you just think you’re moving forward when you’re held back. As much as you think you’ve overcome your greatest struggle, more will present itself and the past will present deep scars. I think the latter is also not possible humanly. There are things that have happened to us that we cannot forgive or forget – tragedies upon tragedies that we will forever hold.

So are we stuck in a sort of catch-22 of “I’m making progress” but really going nowhere? Possibly.

A few weeks ago, when I was in New York, Carl Lentz spoke about this concept of progress reality: because we “broke it,” the Holy Spirit came and serves as an Advocate to help reset our realities as a process of time and healing.

When Jesus left the world, He knew that we wouldn’t have the strength to find our way back to Him. (see John 14:26) And those in the faith how every catch-22 breaks and how restored our lives become. How the phrase “I’m making progress” becomes meaningful, even with setbacks and other tragedies because all we can ever do is make the smallest progress towards the Cross. And every setback is not overcome by our doing, but by His, His overwhelming and all consuming love.

So yes, we’re all making progress in this living reality but we’re not completely alone in our endeavour to reach the highest.