Drawings · Poems

Listen to Your Heart

What does your heart sound like
Does she sound like moonlight?
Soft and cool, silent and peaceful?
Or does she sound like spring?
Warm and sweet, delicate and soft?
What does your heart sound like?
Is she telling you what to do?
Or is she shyly waiting in the corner?
Hands in her lap.
Does she speak in words or in thoughts?
Or does she speak in drifting waves that make you smile?
What does your heart sound like?

Keep listening.

Drawings · Poems

Perfectly Indifferent

My superpowers are useless
I can be blind folded and find you
In a deep forest of 10,000 people but
It wouldn’t mean a thing
It doesn’t mean a thing
My heart is a magnet
Psychic and stupid
It attracts what it wants to see
Dragging in situations hopelessly
You’re everything I don’t want
But I see you everywhere
You don’t seem to care but I swear
I thought I saw you look for me
But you are perfectly indifferent
That’s the way you are
The way you want it to be

Too auspicious
This happenstance
Unaware of the sonar I was following
Pulled by an invisible rope
A long sticky band aide
Too stuck to come off clean
Wondering if you’ll take over places that used to be mine
Suddenly I see you, there you are
Turning me into an outsider
A stowaway in your life
Run away! I save myself the chance
To see your glance
Wishing I could ponder, admire what I see
You look different, I wish I didn’t like it
Praying there isn’t someone else to stare back at me and wonder who I am
Or who I was

Maybe I should have cried more
Talked more
Figure out the feelings that wormed their way inside of me more
Would these superpowers go away?
I want them to stay
Wish they weren’t useless
Wish I could let them take me
On serendipitous journeys and unknown lands
A place that’s safe and mysterious
Where we show our hearts in our hands
Wish I could believe in magic and luck
I wish it was more than indifference getting me stuck


Childhood Week: Day 1 – Toys and Games

The week is basically done but decided to start posting these up anyway! Beatrice Blue started this online event this week called Childhood Week to inspire artists to create art based on prompts related to childhood. It may be late in the game but don't let that stop you either!

For the first day I just decided to capture myself crazily multitasking playing with as many toys as possible because I was too indecisive and too spoiled as a child to pick a single toy! I was really into Nickelodeon so a lot of toys and posters reflected that! And of course I had to through in Beanie Babies, Skip It, Sky Dancers, Gameboy, Ribbon Dancer, American Girl Dolls, the board games Mouse Trap and Operation, and of course my hula hoop, wagon and yo-yo for good measure! I really like toting my tape player, toys and friends in my wagon around the neighborhood! I think some Nickelodeon shows or movies like Dennis the Menace or the Pagemaster even really emphasized the importance of a wagon in one's childhood so I took to heart that subliminal advice. I hope to casually and maybe not so casually draw and share more of these childhood inspirations for the next couple of days this week so sit tight!

Drawings · Journal Entries · Photos

Monthly Memories: July – A Month of Identity, Empowerment and Shared Joy

We have reached past the halfway mark of the year, which means I have been keeping up (even if barely) with my monthly memories for 6 months! I’m deciding to make some changes. This Monthly Memories for July is going to be very brief since it’s already September and because I want to spend more time on the projects and hobbies I write about instead of spending so much time and energy on my Monthly Memories. I also was thinking about possibly trying out weekly memories instead to see how that would be like but I may need to catch up to the present first or maybe I could try that for August. Weekly tracking could help me with tracking goals better and see progress and change from week to week within the month. Sharing reflections and accounts in the Monthly Memories has it’s own value too. Hmm…maybe I’ll do a weekly and monthly mash up.


The highlights of July were:

  • Getting a transformative haircut and donating my hair for the second time
  • Getting a MacBook Air
  • Joining a new dance class (it’s like a New Age Zumba class)
  • Learning to speed read
  • Having interesting social encounters through Pokemon Go
  • Finishing the book Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  • Trying Joylent
  • Going to my high school reunion
  • Finding out that my friend is getting engaged
  • Going to Isotope comics
  • Training a new staff
  • Seeing the clients participate in a gardening class that supplies the food for the cooking class
  • My client illustrating and writing the story of Mulan on a scroll in ancient Chinese
  • Reuniting with my Samba Troupe and eating a lot of dim sum
  • Having a long conversation with a client in ASL

There are a few points I want to elaborate on. One is the Pokemon Go experience. First off, I missed the boat when it came to enjoying the Gameboy games, the card game, and the TV show in the 90’s. But I wanted to see what the hubbub was about and be part of the fun. I wanted to send friends funny, creative pictures with the Pokemon and know what all the fuss is about. During that week I was shamefully addicted, but I had some very interesting encounters including a little boy coming up to me and leading me around the park and teaching me how to catch the one of rarest Pokemon, Dragonite. It was so sweet! Another was when my client and I hopped into a taxi and our Brazilian driver handed me her iPad to help her kids level up and catch Pokemon as we drove around Downtown. That experience was so funny and surprising! Other encounters were getting submersed in other people’s social circles and joining a group on a common quest for Pokemon. People were so friendly and eager to connect and help each other. It was such an interesting social experiment for me. The last straw though was the app consistently crashing and not paying attention to the real world. But I defiantly had some good takeaway experiences.

A lot of changes happened at work, including one of my supervisors moving back home and leaving the company. This makes me the most experienced person with my client in our program. My supervisor was the one who trained me and now I’ll need to train everyone else before waiting until they get enough experience to be able to train others. My supervisor used to be the one I would call for advice and help about how to handle certain situations. For most things now, it’s on me because none of my supervisors have worked with her extensively like my previous supervisor. What’s also interesting is that I was the first person my previous supervisor hired and I was hired specifically to help my supervisor move to her position and have her previous position covered. Hearing the news that she was leaving made my time and experience at my job come full circle.

My haircut had a whole blog of its own. You can read about its lasting impact here.

The high school reunion was at first challenging because I was initially feeling shy and awkward to approach others but once someone started talking to me it was really interesting to learn about everyone’s lives. Learning about other people’s lives gave me perspective about my own life. There are so many possibilities and everyone is slowly learning about themselves through their careers and experiences. We’re all figuring out what we want most out of our lives, what issues and populations we care most about and what we want to make an impact on. Seeing people I haven’t seen in a decade acted as an unexpected mirror because they made comments about me based on the person they knew back then. It surprised me to know that someone who I hardly talked to in high school remembered that I was creative and my art and thought I should always keep up with that. For a moment I thought “I was?” as if I forgot that I made a lot of art in high school and then second thought, “How do you know?”, baffled by her ancient observations. People also were pleasantly unsurprised that I work with people with disabilities. They said how it suits me, I was always a caring person. It felt great to hear these affirmations from people who I didn’t realize knew me from afar or in passing.

Cooking Class
Cooking Class

I know I say this every month but it’s so hard to grow and maintain seven different dreams and parts of yourself. Friends will ask how’s my drawing or sign language doing and be so surprised that I haven’t kept up with it.

I know what I want but what do I need?

I know I want to write children’s books and comic books, I know I think it would be cool to lead a Zumba class for my clients at work, but what do I need to do? I need sleep and exercise, food and a clean space, and an engaging and meaningful job that satisfies my financial, intellectual, and emotional needs. I also need to be outside and social as well as have leisurely relaxing time when I’m tired.

So next month I’m hoping to focus and track weekly my needs and personal goals.

Drawings · Journal Entries · Photos

Monthly Memories: April – Attempting to Priortitize

In the month of April I realized how I want to organize and possibly simplify my life. I have been staying up too late, getting 6 hours of sleep on average, feeling exhausted and not exercising enough. Sometimes, even though they are my own self created goals, I feel too overwhelmed or tired to do them or feel guilty when I don’t keep up with them. To give you an idea, here are all the things I try to self-impose:

  1. Work journal
  2. Doodle journal
  3. Color journal
  4. 7-minute workout
  5. Weights
  6. Run
  7. Monkey stretch
  8. Structured rest
  9. Moment diary
  10. MyFitnessPal
  11. Eve/Clue
  12. Portuguese
  13. ASL
  14. Read book
  15. Read CEU
  16. Read OT magazine
  17. Coursera comic course
  18. Record expenses
  19. Practice samba
  20. Shower
  21. Wash lunch containers
  22. Bed at 10:30pm

On average I probably do 5-10 of those things a day, which is pretty good considering the days when my phone turns into a lamp and sucks me in like a genie or a bug.

By the time April was coming to a close, a new era of priorities had rose to the surface. In the coming months I hope to focus on:

  • Going to bed at 10:30pm
  • Exercising for 30 minutes a day (specifically dance because that’s my favorite form of exercise)
  • Learning about pediatric OT
  • Reading comics
  • Practicing drawing from life
  • Turning off my phone when I get home
  • Getting in touch with my spirituality through non-screened activities

This means I will need to step away and let go of some other things for a little bit perhaps like ASL and improv. I’m going to keep writing poems and doing many of the things I usually do but I’ll have a basic foundation to provide a way to simplify my options and guide me toward being more specialized.


I was pretty consistent with my doodle journal this month. I started getting more flexible in terms of what I drew. Sometimes I drew things I didn’t necessarily observe but were more like exercises where I practice interpreting an emotion through various expressions. It was inspired by my indecision of what expression would best portray the emotion of the person I was trying to draw. It also has been challenging trying to find the extra time to color these doodles in so many of these doodles are still left in black and white. That’s why I made it a separate task in my daily to-do list.
I also joined the making comics Coursera course. We’ll see how that goes. Often I sign up for Coursera courses but then come back to it to realize I’ve missed half of it. Either way it doesn’t hurt to join!


Toward the end of this month I started using a to-do list app called Any.do and a fitness app called MyFitnessPal. They both have been motivating me to accomplish my goals to get down to the basics and to prioritize my health. Marking things off and seeing my numbers rise when I exercise or walk makes the things I need to do for myself a rewarding game. I already feel the difference in my energy, muscle tone and sleep quality. I learned that I probably feel best when I eat two 500 calorie meals, one 600-800 calorie meal, and then burn off 400-600 calories doing at least one of the following; Zumba for 60 minutes, running for 30 minutes, hooping for 60 minutes, and doing the 7-minute work out (which is actually 9 minutes for me).


In the beginning of April, I made three attempts to go to deaf events to practice my ASL but two of them didn’t work out either because I thought it was held on the wrong day or because it was a no show. The one I was able to make was a open mic night at Haus Coffee. I was definitely lost and had trouble following everyone. It didn’t help that I was exhausted from the bad sleep habits that I was mentioning earlier. I have learned recently that when I go to bed late all week Friday nights are my prime time for napping. Even though I was tired and having difficulty following it’s always good to be exposed to the language.

In the last day of April I performed a hula hoop dance at my Samba troupe’s fundraiser for the first time ever! I at first was stressed out about it because I didn’t have a choreography prepared and would be relying on improvising. I also was having difficulty deciding on a song. Finally once I chose a song I had technical difficulties with my iPod. After all this concern and worry about trying to prepare a song and some moves, at the party I decided to hoop to the live drummers who were there. The music was right and any song ideas I had would clash and not be as festive or in key with the theme. However, at the last minute I had my doubts about everyone watching me. I don’t like the feeling of a crowd waiting and expecting to be impressed. I was thinking maybe I could just sneak in and hoop dance along with the other people dancing. But nope! My friend who was hosting the party announced my name and I was hooping on a small platform doing my best to avoid the hot tub, beer bottles and planters. I thought I would have more space since the house owner said it was fine to stand on the closed tub, but the audience warned me not to so instead I sent beer bottles flying with the indefinable rhythmic drumming, not knowing when I should end my cyclone. But I did my best to observe the audience and feel when they were ready for something else and smoothly transition into a final bow. Overall, it was exciting and fun. The audience seemed to enjoy it.
Other adventures are I bought something from Craigslist for the first time (an iPod shuffle from a really friendly lady who hugged me with gratitude for taking it off her hands), had a hilariously bad restaurant experience with my mom at an Italian restaurant in Davis, swam two miles at my mom’s gym, helped a girl who knocked on my door find a dog owner for a dog she found, saw a dad in the park dance around and play the harmonica for his daughter as she swung on a swing, walked two hours from the Sunset to the Mission, and revisited my favorite childhood park (Mountain Lake Park) to briefly celebrate my friend’s daughter’s 2nd birthday.


Many of my friend’s had birthdays in April, including my dad. I reconnected with friends from high school and college and visited my mom. I met my blogging friend for the first time offline and walked around Alamo Square and introduced her to bubble tea as she introduced me to the MyFitnessPal app. At my friend’s birthday party I met someone who lives near me and went to Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers with him. I spent some one-on-one time with a friend from work for the first time exploring a crystal store, a comic store, a local clothing store, a taxidermy store, and a toy store in the Mission.


One of these friends had a birthday party where she did a white elephant book exchange game that was a lot of fun. I was able to clear out a lot of space by giving away a lot of books. At the party we watched a video montage of all her friends and family talking about how much they love her and why. It was really touching. I met some cool people there who I later met up with. We met the national beard champion and talked about volunteering to help adults with disabilities go white water rafting, doing improv in the forest, being a sign language interpreter in a drama class, and Camp Grounded. Earlier that day I was trying to figure out a vacation and after hearing people’s experiences it convinced me that Camp Grounded would be easiest, cheapest and most fun trip! So I’m going in May!


This month I read and took notes on Music Groups For Adults With Developmental Disabilities and So Good They Can’t Ignore You. They were useful and practical books that act as good resources. The latter one taught me a lot and resolved a lot of my confusion about my pursuits. I’ll explain more about this in the education section of this blog.

In terms of shows I started watching Season 2 of The Legend of Korra. I enjoyed the different art style that was introduced in the flashbacks and mythological stories that explained why the world around Korra was the way it was. Season 2 was highly spiritual and other worldly. It seemed to really complement the first season where connecting with her spiritual side and learning to airbend was one of Korra’s biggest struggles. Once Korra was able to learn the lesson of what really makes the avatar magical and powerful she was able to use her latent and hidden abilities in the second season to self-actualize into the avatar she was meant to be.


Restaurants I went to were Boba Guys, Curry Up Now, Mateo’s, Street Juice, Devil’s Teeth, and this Brazilian store on Valencia. Many of these places have fun and hip atmospheres and very creative ways of interpreting classic foods. For example Curry Up Now has Indian burritos which are really good. After going to the Brazilian store I was drinking a couple of ounces of Active every morning which was a good experience. It’s a strong fruit drink that has medicinal qualities because of the dense amount of vitamins it contains. It woke me up.
In cooking class, we made ratatouille, chicken fried rice, and fudge brownies!


At work my client and I learned about registering a pet as a service animal, celebrated her cat’s half birthday, and managed a new and rewarding schedule that balances her desire for screen time but motivates her to do chores along with things that benefit her body and spirit. With the groups we explored Chinatown, Embarcadero, the Hyatt, and Dolores Park. We worked on how to read the face of a non-digital clock and knowing what time it is. We also played ASL bingo to increase our knowledge of ASL numbers and letters.

Another new thing worth mentioning is that when I walk to my client’s house and when I walk back to the bus stop a cat often follows me! I find it so endearing how he gives me company. He’s my new friend!

The writer of So Good They Can’t Ignore You said that the main thing about having a great career that you love and being good at it is to let go of the speculation of what your true calling is and to jump and plug away at whatever you are already doing. However, you need to feel that what you are currently doing can connect you to people you like, make you feel you are doing something positive and useful for the world, and provide you with opportunities to develop valuable and unique skills.

It was really good to reinforce the idea of sticking to what you are doing and not getting derailed because I know that shiny new pursuits often attract and distract me. This made me wonder which interests I have given most of my time to and have had the most formal training in. Unsurprisingly and surprisingly it was occupational therapy, writing and guitar. Second to that was adults with developmental disabilities, kids, and psychology along with the informal experience of dance, photography, drawing, and hula hooping. The book inspired me to get so good at OT that I can find connections in the adjacent possible to my other hobbies.

I learned that diving into that dedication is its own reward, as well as the difference between being productivity-centric and craft-centric. One is the busy work to get things done and the other is the mental strain of learning, researching, exploring, experimenting and testing. I have spent way too much time being busy trying to grow but feeling like a hamster in a hamster wheel and never getting anywhere. Furthering my growth through learning means not focusing on getting things done but getting new things known and understood. This was seemingly obvious but very clarifying.

April was a month of encounters, doodles and cats! My samba and ASL adventures are coming to a close and I’m letting go of new endeavors I was daydreaming about last month, like the online journal store, until a time where I will give them more deserving attention. I hope to be like Korra and get in touch with what’s already fundamental to me. I look forward to being disciplined and focused in developing my strengths in such a way that I find myself in my element and actualizing my full potential and watching my exploration unfold.