Journal Entries

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.

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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.

CREATIVE PROJECTS

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!

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

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).

SAN FRANCISCO ADVENTURES

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.


PEOPLE IN MY LIFE

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!

TV SHOWS, BOOKS, MOVIES

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.

FOOD ADVENTURES

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!


WORK

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!
EDUCATION

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.

Journal Entries

Blogger Tag: Sharing Thoughts and Beautiful Blogs


I don’t often do other blogs besides photos and poems these days but a week ago I was nominated to participate in a blog chain by a blogger named Camila who writes fun and personal posts about her life on the blog Keeping Myself Busy.  I enjoy reading her posts about her photography ambitions and her experiences of places she’s been. As I read her posts I keep discovering more things I have in common with her as another young woman and as someone who’s lived in or experienced the same places as I have. I feel honored to have the opportunity to answer her questions and write a more personal post about my likes, dislikes and routines.

As a side note, when I first read her questions I was thinking that it sounded like she was excited about a trip that she was going to go on soon and soon enough I see in her next post that she went to Muir Woods! I knew it!

First things first:

The Rules for this Tag:

  • Tag the blogger that nominated you
  • Answer the questions you were given
  • Nominate 10 bloggers whose blog is about beauty/lifestyle/fashion
  • Mention 10 questions for your nominees to answer
  • Inform the bloggers you chose that you nominated them

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started with the questions:

1. Do you have a beauty routine? If yes, what is it?

I don’t typically have a beauty routine. I sometimes think putting on my glasses as my form of makeup. Going to bed at a decent hour and having at least 8 hours of sleep makes a difference. Topping it off with at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise and a nice hot shower makes me feel relaxed and awake and look vibrant and rejuvenated. I do spritz cocoa butter oil in my hair and comb it through to make it soft and not frizzy. Moroccan oil works too. I definitely use plenty of conditioner in the shower. Lately it’s been Pantene Provene. My hair is the most beauty routine thing I do besides my overall health.

2. What’s your go-to outfit for a day trip to your favorite getaway?

Something comfortable, layered, versatile. I actually need to go on some more getaways to know which getaway is my favorite and test out this answer. In general I like to wear harem pants or tights with either a skirt or a long shirt or a short dress and a hoodie. Something I could hike or dance in, fly in a hot air balloon in. If I’m going to the beach or walking in and out of water, closed toed spider grip waterproof shoes that are also easy to slip on and off are very convenient. I also like bright waterproof running shorts that could be good in the water or on land.

Bright colors are a must as well as light mini daypack backpacks. They make me feel prepared, capable, energize and free!

3. What inspires you?

This is a good question. I’d say emotions are the number one thing that inspires me. From there the rest comes from spontaneous thoughts and observations. I think having the intention to find inspiration can be one of the best ways to find inspiration. It keeps you present and mindful to possibilities.

4. What’s the best soundtrack for a road trip?

Hard question! My favorite album changes year to year and I have never really been on a road trip for more than 7 hours but I do know what it’s like when I do find that great road trip soundtrack. Those moments when the windows are open and the world is beautiful and bright and it’s moving to the beat of your free spirit. There is no place better to be!

But anyways I can’t remember what albums have inspired this feeling! I’m going to list day driving and night driving music with consideration of artists that may have potentially have inspired me during a mini road trip in the past:

Day Driving (rock, folk, 90’s, 70’s, acoustic)

  • Simon and Garfunkel
  • Rogue Wave
  • Radical Face
  • Elliott Smith
  • Family of the Year
  • City and Colour
  • Ra Ra Ra Riot
  • Beck
  • Phoenix
  • Jack Johnson
  • Nick Drake
  • The Shins
  • Iron and Wine
  • Jose Gonzalez
  • The Garden State soundtrack

Night Driving (electronic, dance, 80’s, chill wave)

  • U2
  • Tycho
  • St. Lucia
  • M83
  • New Division
  • Imogene Heap
  • Neon Indian
  • Foster the People
  • El Ten Eleven
  • Carousel
  • Macintosh Braun
  • Crystal Castles
  • Passion Pit
  • Explosions in the Sky
  • The Lost in Translation soundtrack

5. What’s the best outfit for a road trip?

Sweatpants! And really soft t-shirts! And of course bring a sweatshirt and blanket in case you want to get really cozy.

6. Do you have a “red pile” when doing laundry?

I don’t have a “red pile.” If I’m lucky and extra motivated maybe there’s an inside-out “black pile” so that the lint doesn’t get stuck on my black clothes. If I do that I may have a “white pile” and a “darks and grays pile.” Most of the time however I just mix them all together and take half of them to dry on the drying rack instead of the dryer.

7. When was the time you felt the most beautiful?

When I hula hoop or dance or run freely.

When I use my intuition to see possibilities unfolding.

When I wander by myself through misty forests, unknown neighborhoods, feeling the night air, the open road, hearing the ocean. I feel the most beautiful when I explore the world around me from the inside out.

I also feel pretty good about myself when I feel like a confident independent woman in San Francisco trying new and bold adventures like improv, going dancing or seeing a show late at night. Feeling young and diving into the night life.

8. Which do you like most: cats or dogs?

I like both but I would say I am more of a cat person because my first pet was a cat. I had a cat from when I was three to when I was twenty-one, so pretty much my whole childhood and conscious memory. I had a dog throughout my teenage and college years too but somehow having a childhood friend as a cat really influenced my favoritism. I got really close to him, even thought of him as a little brother sometimes. He was such a mellow, playful, affectionate cat. I still think of him every so often.

9. Who is your favorite person in the world?

I am really close to my mom. She has influenced me so much in terms of the development of my personality, interests, and philosophy on life. I look up to her as a role model in her pursuit of happiness and peace of mind. She’s very wise, lighthearted, fun-loving, practical, and youthful, qualities that not only make her great mom but a great friend.

10. How do you keep yourself busy?

I have a lot of goals, activities and dreams that are on my mind and I constantly make never ending to do lists of them. Honestly I don’t know how I stay busy exactly. I just know I do stuff. I often wonder where did the time go at the end of the day. This is why I have started a moment diary where I list down in an app everything I’ve done that day. I’ve been consistent with it since the beginning of the year. Because of that I feel I may have a little better understanding of what I do. Various activities go through phases but I want to list them all to see what’s on my mind. Most of these things have been pretty pervasive activities that I’ve done on and off throughout my life.

  • Learning Portuguese on Duolingo
  • Writing poems
  • Taking pictures
  • Making stop-motion videos
  • Learning to cook things
  • Doodling while listening to music
  • Attempting to draw from life
  • Talking to my boyfriend, friends, coworkers, housemates, mom
  • Skyping my dad
  • Reading books (fiction and nonfiction)
  • Glancing at the news
  • Doing the 7 minute workout, lifting weights and other muscle toning exercises
  • Going to Zumba
  • Going to improv class
  • Going to my American Sign Language class
  • Practicing ASL
  • Reading continuing education articles to keep my OTA license solid
  • Reading my OT magazines
  • Hula hooping
  • Running
  • Coloring in my fancy adult coloring book while listening to podcasts about psychology and improv
  • Chores
  • Shopping
  • Going to parks, restaurants, events, meetups
  • Going on social media, especially Instagram and Facebook
  • Check my email
  • Doing structured rest for 20 minutes
  • Blogging
  • Keeping a moment diary
  • Writing in my journal
  • Doing breathing exercises
  • Doing singing exercises
  • Playing games (card games, video games, improv games)
  • Once in a while play or learn songs for the guitar, ukulele, or the melodica
  • Sleeping in

Thank you for the questions, Camila! That was fun!

Here are my questions for the bloggers I nominate. Originally I think this was supposed to be a Beauty Blogger Tag and the questions were supposed to be beauty focused but these questions are what came to mind and they are open to interpretation:

  1. What color or set of colors are you feeling now and why?
  2. What did you think your life would look like now five years ago?
  3. When was the last time you felt courageous?
  4. What’s the greatest memory you have ever shared with a friend?
  5. What are three things you wish you had control of and why?
  6. Where do you get your energy from?
  7. When was the last time you felt purpose and meaning in your life?
  8. How do you get in “the zone?”
  9. How do you prioritize what’s important?
  10. What’s the favorite part of your day?

And finally, after looking at many blogs that I have encountered through the years, here are the lucky bloggers I have nominated as well as highly recommend following:

  1. Thoughts Awakening -A writing and poetry blog about emotions, relationships, simple pleasures of life and feelings and opinions about aspects of life that we can all relate to.
  2. Young & Twenty – An honest, open and down to earth blog about life as a young woman and the culture and society that surrounds her. She reflects on many relatable struggles and experiences and sheds light on the realities of a girl’s passage into adulthood in this day and age.
  3. Memorphilia – A dreamy and intimate poetry and photography blog about nature, nostalgia, and emotions. Enjoy the gorgeous serene photos that decorate the site.
  4. The Dream Shed: by Thomas French – A whimsical and sweet blog about children’s stories for children and children at heart. Feast here on quirky and imaginative characters and worlds to your delight!
  5. The Seeds 4 Life -An inspiring blog that provides readers with some food for thought by elaborating on messages that are contained in uplifting and mind-opening quotes and integrating them into modern life.
  6. The Enthusiastic Life – This is a personal, empowering, practical and fun-loving blog about the journey of an occupational therapist with rheumatoid arthritis. She shares her personal insights and observation about what what helps her, what challenges her, as well as some useful ideas about her career, being a mom, and managing her disability.
  7. Kalen Marquis – A personal and professional blog about a child psychologist sharing his counseling knowledge and imaginative stories as well as his kindhearted and humble thoughts about his own life.

These blogs all share a little piece of me and aspects of life I appreciate. They are really great blogs and I feel that doing this blog chain has helped me reconnect with them and the blogging community. I tend to hit and run when it comes to blogging because my attention is pulled and spread across many hobbies and activities and I take so long to finish and start things. However it is so fun and invigorating to connect with other bloggers and learn about people’s lives and how they interpret their personal experiences. I look forward to participating in the blogging community more regardless of my sporadic tendencies.

Thanks for reading! What are your routines like? When do you feel beautiful or energized or courageous? If the questions above sparked any reflections and thoughts about your life or quirks I’d love to see them! Please share it all below in the comment section. Until next time!