Circa 2012

I went on a walk with Destiny to get outside of myself, my mind, my restlessness, do something good. I found a son grown into a young and thoughtful man helping his father put up Christmas lights. I felt his calm presence, so mature that I found myself feeling younger than him and wanting to model him by slowing down my pace, being mindful of Destiny and my breath and the world around me. I found a teenage girl playing basketball with a heavy set middle aged man with Down Syndrome. Reminded me when I felt my best, compassionate and responsible. I thought if I was in San Francisco I would somehow have the courage to talk to them. I felt so nosey. Were they related? Was she volunteering? I realized that even I wasn’t that close to my uncle or other adults in my extended family. I felt guilty.

A 6 year old brother and an 8 year old sister on bikes and scooters wanted to pet Destiny. They said how it was going to rain and were thinking how they’ll avoid walking in wet shoes all day since they don’t have rain-boots. I said how lucky they were to do art and write stories and how when they’re my age, they’ll look back at their old work and say, “Wow! I was such a cool kid because I made this!” Then the little boy said, “You can do it as an adult too. Just get some paper and a pencil” and that tomorrow it will be a perfect day because it will be raining. I said that will be great because I could draw and write a story about the squirrel who threw a leaf at me. The girl mentioned that a bird threw a rock at her which started a conversation about penguins using rocks to make their nests. The girl thought I was in high school but I told her I’m in college but I haven’t talked to kids for a while so I start to talk like a kid when I’m around them, which makes me seem younger. The girl smiled at this; the boy looked confused. It was so nice to get out of the box, out of my comfort zone, and into the world, being the person I want to be.

 

Week 3: 1/16/17

This week was a big week for everyone. The inauguration and protests were huge historical events. I loved how the rain revealed and strengthened the determination and passion of everyone involved with the march. I saw a lot of creative messages like “Tweet others how you’d like to be tweeted,” “A woman’s place is with the resistance” and “We’re only going to get browner, queerer, louder, stronger and watch the dinosaurs die away.” It was inspiring to see the vast ocean of people in all directions and how smoothly and peacefully it was all organized. Kids, families, pets were all there. It was invigorating and emotional, a wake up call to be ready to protect what’s important to us.

I was a little bit better with sleeping this week. Instead of going to bed at midnight every night I went to bed at midnight for two nights, at 11pm for two nights, 11:45pm for two nights and late night that was more like 1am for one night. I still need to turn the bed time ritual into a habit but I realized having a large pillow on my chest and stomach under the layers of comforters really relaxed me and made it easier to sleep.

I’m still doing the drawing once a day challenge! Lately they have been more quick and sloppy because of time so my goal has been to at least hit the bare minimum of just getting something out there. So I haven’t used the enveloping technique as much. I drew some of my drawings this week from photos of people from this website called bodiesinmotion.com that my friend showed me. They have photos and movies of dancers, martial artists, and acrobats that you can draw. It’s really good for practicing epic figure drawing! It inspired me to look into classes at Circus Circus like cyr wheel, lyra, hooping, aerial silks, and bungee dance.

Also my friend and I went to a figure drawing class but unfortunately the model didn’t show up. It would be great to get that practice every so often because how you see things in person is different than how you see things photographed. It’s harder and provides more potential for growth through the challenge.

This week was the first week of my art class! I learned how to access the online portion of the class and started reading posts and introducing myself on the forums. Looks like I’m going to have a busy semester. Every couple weeks a big project is due that will give me a hands-on understanding on a specific design concept. On the first day in class we got to paint with found objects (feathers, leaves, cuetips, pipe cleaners, etc.) on large butcher paper while listening to music with a process oriented intent. This coming week we are going to frame a  small portion of what we painted and then critique and talk about why we framed what we framed. 

Only went to the gym once but I walked a lot this week during work and during the marches so at least I was moving somewhat. I had three days in a row where I walked  two hours straight. And I’m starting this week right by going to the gym for two and half hours on Monday (80 minutes cardio, 50 minutes of strengthing, 20 minutes stretching).

Sushiritto, pupusas, Duper Duper veggie burger, and Arizmendi pizza were the four meals I went out for this week, but I cooked this week too to make up for it.

Delicata squash, ramen with egg, roasted hazelnuts and almonds, hummus, crackers and Swiss cheese were snacks I made and had. I love delicata squash! It’s my new found favorite! And snacks are the best. I think I need them little meals throughout the day so I don’t over do it. 

I met with friends for three days this week. I haven’t seen one friend for over six months and another in over a year and was able to catch up and play Bananagrama with them. Also the march brought my work, samba and college friends all in one place, which was tricky to coordinate but cool to see! 

I haven’t mentioned anything about work this year but so far in the past month with my clients I’ve played indoor basketball, had two long walks (including a scavenger hunt) across various neighborhoods of the city, read in the park, helped make orzo pasta and polenta lasagne, and acted as a giraffe lost in space in the first day of drama class. The year is off to a good start.

I’m on my third comic book from that pile of nine. This past week I read the first volume of Wicked and Divine and am now in the middle of the second one. The way the artists use the panels and express the emotions of the characters is very clever and creative and surprising. Like showing a map of a weekend concert with the main character’s comments all over it about what things have happened there or a photo sequence showing the perception of the character as she is slowly experiencing being drugged. The colors in the art is very neon like it’s an adult Lisa Frank book. I’m learning a lot about world mythology and celebrities by taking the time to look up all the connections in the comic online. I enjoy the strength and attitude in all the characters and how diverse they are in their races and sexual orientations. It’s a little hard to follow all the characters so sometimes I’m lost but somehow I’m still pulled in and enjoying it. I’m excited to see who I’ll meet next and what will happen.

As always, goals for next week:

• Draw figures using the envelope technique.

• At least start getting ready for bed at 9pm or as soon as I get home.

• Look at my online class 3-4 times a week.

• Read another comic or two.

• Have 2-3 days where I go to the gym.

• Go out to eat only for 2-3 days.

• Start writing again: a journal entry, a poem, and a snippet of a fiction story

Week 2: 1/9/17

This week I spent time with friends a lot! Four days to be exact. I saw two movies, The Arrival (had some deep and mind expanding conversations after seeing this one!) and Rogue One. I also watched the original Peter Pan with Mary Martin which was funny and endearing and mostly just so 1950’s.

I also started this thing with a friend where each day we text each other a picture that we drew to keep us on top of our drawing practice. I’m learning that I feel the most confident and excited about capturing the expression and gesture but my proportions and perspective need a lot of work! My goal is to focus on drawing from things I see and someday being loose and carefree in pen and other days in pencil focusing on the big shapes in this “envelope” technique to analyze and correct myself as I go along.

I went out to eat at El Cerrito Theater, Mr. Dewie’s, Nazarios, and Sushiritto. Didn’t really decrease going out to eat from last week but some really great food experiences were had! El Cerrito is small, old and fancy with loose tables and rolling cushioned chairs as the furniture for the front. The customers can order food and they will find you in the theater to serve it to you. It’s not normal movie theater food either. It’s good. And Mr. Dewie’s cashew ice cream is so smooth and silky. It’s something I look forward to whenever I’m in the East Bay. I’ve had coffee, turmeric, vanilla, and chocolate. It’s the best! And so is Sushiritto! It’s a giant sushi with all sorts of amazing things in it! I love food.

And gym was only a one timer again this week and I didn’t really write in my journal. I did go to bed a tiny bit earlier. There were three days I went to bed at midnight and the rest were around 11:30-11:45pm. I’m realizing I need to brush my teeth right after I eat dinner and then not have any screens after 9:00pm but instead read or dim the lights or wear the amber glasses. At nine I need to set up the environment and I need to be ready for bed by that time to help with the transition.

I also made a dent in that pile of comics and read the first volume of Saga. It’s definitely more action oriented which usually isn’t my thing (I usually like relationship based, regular people kind of stories) but I loved the world and the artwork. The bright rich contrasting colors were like vibrant psychological candy to to dive into. Now I’m starting the first volume of Wicked and Divine which seems just as vibrant or more!

Oh! And I finally subscribed to OccupationalTherapy.com so I can have unlimited CEU credits for a reasonable price. I started it off by watching a video about how to adapt a toy so that it is more accessible to children with cerebral palsy. It was mostly learning how to connect stereo wires that are connected to a large button to the wires of a toy that most likely has a button that’s more difficult to press due to size, low feedback, location, number of buttons, or pressure required to make it work. So excited to learn more!

I joined a DIR/Floortime forum on Facebook and got excited about a DIR/Floortime class that I’ve always wanted to take to learn about it but I have an art class that’s at the same time. It was a good reminder to keep it on the radar, especially in the summer and late spring. It’s not exactly a near future goal but a possibly this year goal.

Randomly I found an email I sent my mom during the first week of college. It made me so happy to read it! I wrote so much detail, details I wouldn’t remember otherwise about teachers, classes, buildings, food, including my first impressions of the closest friends I still have now over 10 years later! Another thing I read was about how my English teacher was the basis of the character Daria from the cartoon. I guess her friend was either the writer or artist and was inspired by her sarcastic personality.

So next week:

  • Start of my art class
  • Atmospheric bed transitioning time at 9:00pm for at least 3 nights
  • Bed at 10:30pm for at least 3 nights
  • Exercise at least 2 times this week
  • Read another comic
  • Write in my journal at least 1 time
  • Go out to eat only 2 times this week
  • Maybe buy one thing that’s on my list
  • Draw everyday

Accomplishing this would be a taste of success and a step in life enhancement. I’m ready!

Week 1: 1/1/17

I’m happy that in the first week of the year I read two comics. It’s been so rainy and cozy, it was perfect! I read Blankets and This One Summer, which were both coming of age books but with characters that had different ages and genders. I hardly ever allow myself the time to just delve into fiction. It was so refreshing to be away from a screen but witness art and emotion and nostalgia flowing through pages. What’s also great is that I feel like I’m starting to bond with people through a medium I’ve hardly been exposed to and it’s really fun to feel their excitement! For example after sharing what I have been reading, my housemates surprised me by kindly and generously letting me borrow a large pile of 9 comic books! So cool!

It was also invigoratingly relaxing to listen to Invisibilia while coloring in  a coloring book. I felt like I was getting back in touch with my love of learning about how people are impacted so much by such seemingly subtle or banal things like clothes, categories and the orientation toward solution finding.

Going to a poetry reading was also a great experience! It was interesting to see what other poets wrote about and where they get inspiration and how simple things can trigger some strong emotions. There were many different styles of poems each read in a unique way, some conversational, some angry, some desperate, some sarcastic, some flowy. This poetry reading happens every second Sunday of the month. Maybe next time I’ll prepare my courage and some poems to share too!

I emailed 3-4 people this week to get the ball rolling in gaining some work experience working with children with disabilities this year. One of which is an OT and another is a Recreation Therapist. Crossing. Crossing my fingers!

I spent time with family and friends 4 times this week and talked on the phone 3 times as well with different friends and family. I also talked to my housemates a bit as you can tell from the comic book windfall I described earlier. It’s important for me to connect and keep the friendships I have going strong but also to find a balance with that and the time I need for myself and the things I want to do. Last week worked out really well!

I got to explore Davis a bit and see the arboretum with its hidden cactus, donkeys and River She-Oaks. I also wandered with my mom into a pretty Waldorf school that had all these hand painted tiles made by the students. We spent a long time looking at each one. Next to it there was a really rich neighborhood of Southwestern and Middle Eastern looking mansions. They were fortresses and castles and each had nicknames posted in front that gave them even more personality. They even had their own private park to have barbecues and play volleyball in! It was pretty surprising to see how there is always something more to discover.

I went out to eat three times, which was really yummy but kind of pricey. I want to try to make that go down to one time a week.

On the other hand, I only went to the gym once this week. I’d like to at least triple that. 😛

I only posted one photo and didn’t write any poems or other pieces this week. I didn’t make a habit of writing in my journal each day this week either. But I did draw a quick 5-minute comic of a situation I witnessed, which I felt really good about. It felt like a step in a positive and rewarding direction and it gave me hope. I also played around briefly with making stop motion videos with wooden blocks with my mom. Another little reminder of possibilities and things that are rewarding to me.

I did some boring maintenance stuff like cleaning out my email and unsubscribing to things. I renewed my NBCOT certification. I did laundry a couple times. This coming week I hope to get some more boring things done like making dentist appointments and possibly making an appointment to get my professional rescuers CPR certification renewed. But mostly I hope to go to bed earlier! I noticed that I was going to bed at past midnight most nights last week. There is a lot of room for change here. I know this would help me feel more motivated, energized and focused on my goals and feel better about life in general.

On that note, I think I’ll put my money where my mouth is and actually make an effort to go to bed earlier by making these weekly blogs cover just the basics and stopping here. I hope to write more about what I learn, experience, and improve upon each week throughout the year and continue to experiment with writing little blogs like this.

42 New Years Resolutions – The Problem of Being an Overly Ambitious Creative Person

  1. Spend the whole year without buying gifts and making all gifts and cards by hand.
  2. Cook all my meals instead of buying them and only buy meals when I’m with a friend.
  3. Writing in my journal after work each day.
  4. Be at the gym by 5:15pm.
  5. Each day write or talk about the 3 most amazing things that happened in my day.
  6. Thank bus drivers, bankers, grocery clerks, and service people in general and ask them questions about how they are and get to know them as people. Be more receptive and friendly and let myself have a moment with people I may not know that well or could get to know more.
  7. Read more graphic novels.
  8. Play more party games.
  9. Do more spontaneous things after work.
  10. Spend more time out by myself.
  11. Draw one drawing, write one creative piece, and take one photo a day on days that I’m not too busy.
  12. Draw comics and make stop motions a couple times a month.
  13. Transition from writing poems to writing songs. Maybe perform them one day.
  14. Practice feeling comfortable singing in my room songs that like and songs that I write, maybe take singing classes again.
  15. Find someone who likes making electronic music who may want to collaborate with me once I’m brave enough.
  16. Volunteer to work with children with disabilities.
  17. Listen to podcasts and books on tape while coloring my coloring books.
  18. Take dance and martial art classes.
  19. Listen to music more often and get Spotify.
  20. Ask my housemates how they are doing more and share food and fun times with them.
  21. Organize fun events and get togethers without spending money.
  22. Have a routine that creates a natural rhythm to go to sleep between 10:00pm and 10:30pm.
  23. Focus on the present and don’t let the past or my fears  or any other distractions get the best of me.
  24. Talk less. Listen, read, learn and produce more.
  25. Speak more directly, concisely, honestly from the heart and have diamond shaped thoughts and conversations.
  26. Go to Toast Masters and practice speaking in public.
  27. Read my poems at an open mic night.
  28. Talk to my dad consistently, maybe write down his stories.
  29. Eat food that is more protein and fat and nutritional focused and have less carbs, sugar and starch.
  30. Take better care of my back by carrying less weight, laying on my back each day, stretching, core strengthening, using electronic devices less, using ergonomic stands or equipment if I do use devices, and having better posture.
  31. Have an intention and theme of the day and see how the day may act as a Tarot card in motion for me with lessons to learn and things to know.
  32. Use more natural and soothing products that has good smells and gives me vitamins or probiotics and leaves me feeling more happy and relaxed about how my body feels.
  33. Create soothing environments with pretty music, lights and candles.
  34. Create my own affirmation Tarot cards, felt animals, journals, bookmarks, and stickers. Maybe sell them on Etsy.
  35. Read books about mindfulness and positive psychology.
  36. Go to meetups, book clubs, dance clubs, and meet people and share things.
  37. Go on long walks in the hills while listening to music. Go to parks and nature, be with trees and see grand views.
  38. Make a list of 30 acts of kindness to do in the month approaching my birthday.
  39. Travel with my mom.
  40. Rent a place with friends for a weekend or a week getaway. Tahoe, Maui, Sante Fe, Grand Canyon, San Diego, Toronto…these are possibilities.
  41. Actually buy tickets or have a date in mind to see my dad.
  42. Hula hoop at Dolores Park again.

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.

Anyways!

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.

Joy, Liberation and Transformation at the Tips of a Hairdresser’s Scissors

My haircut day was memorable. It seemed like my hairdresser was having a stressful day when I arrived. When I told her I wanted to cut off and donate over 10 inches she beamed, though she was cautious. I told her I trusted her judgment with the style but she warned me that it will be a big change and wanted me to be doubly sure that that’s what I wanted.

At that point I had been so bored with my hair and it was taking to much of my time with how tangled it got. Shorter hair seemed liberating and seemed like it would encourage me to exercise and dance more because I would’t have to spend so much time trying to put it up or manage before or after.

I affirmed with my hairdresser that it was what I wanted and she got so excited! She asked if she could take a before and after photo of me on her phone which I adamantly said yes to and that it was such a great idea. She told me how much my haircut made her day and that it was so great to end her day with such an amazing and dramatic transformation. It felt good to give her so much trust and freedom with my hair, though I was a little worried when she told me she wanted to give me bangs.

I hadn’t had bangs since elementary school and it was a long, painful and awkward process to grow them out. I didn’t want them to lay heavily on my for head and curl in random positions. I told her all my apprehensions about them and she said not to worry because she will cut them in a way that will make the cut look great as it grows out. She seemed so confident that the bangs won’t have those issues because she had specialized skill in cutting curly hair and she knew what she needed to do to create the specific vision she had for my hair.

I’m so glad I let her do it! It’s probably one of the best haircuts I ever had. Every week I get compliments for my hair and people even ask to touch it, which I find flattering and funny. My hair can now show the curl and volume it always had. Somehow it also looks darker and less frizzy too. I love that!

And the bangs are so fun! I like how they move and frame my face.

Afterward she sent me a collage of my before and after pictures and told me how happy this whole experience made her feel. I loved how a simple thing like a haircut could make so much happiness for both of us. I felt like a different person or perhaps a truer person. I felt that taking that curtain of weight off my head allowed more of my personality to come through and beam out to the world. Two months later I am still appreciating the impact of my new look. What a great decision! 😀

Previous Older Entries