fresh.

take a breath. take two.

awaken, oh sleeper. don’t you think you’ve been in slumber long enough? clear away the cobwebs and dust settled.

when did your tomorrows stop holding mystery and excitement? if I speak of hope and passion, will you still comprehend what those are?

refresh, heart beat fast.

tomorrows come because I want them.

eyes- don’t fade out, don’t grow dim.

brighten up and analyze.

can I make a suggestion? that you wise-

up! stay alert, don’t fall inert.

take every chance and think bigger,

it’s limitless, think vigor.

stretch dormant muscles, reach high.

it’s not uncool to make an effort, so try-

harder than this, all I see is potential.

that you’re wasting, you’ve forgotten the essential.

so remember-

remember who you are and who you’re made to be.

give me a head ups when you stop turning blind eyes and set yourself free.

 

 

 

falling into default mode.

let’s take the easy road. say the first things we think of. act on our immediate instincts. instant gratification is the way to go. generic statements are all we spew.

“oh cool.”

“that’s something.”

“i’m good.”

let me ask you this: “what is original thought?”

*silence*

“sorry, what? i wasn’t listening.”

let’s not really actually take the time to focus on the words others try to say. only your own thoughts matter. other people are projections of a reality where only you reside. but to say that would be rude, so just put on a pretense. nod your head, say your “hms”, repeat back what they said to you in a question form. do those things, but feel free to let your eyes drift to your phone or to the environment around while they drone on in the background -oh wait, they said something that involves you! tune in for a second… aaand alright it’s fine to get distracted now, they’re back to themselves. feel free to go back to yourself.

perpetual routine. and put that on repeat. you know the steps so well since you do them everyday. you hate, simply tracing the same lines. it’s so familiar you could do it in your sleep, and still you trace away. it’s all you know. it’s you, it’s your very identity. to stop would be to stop being.

let’s stay stagnant, let’s stop growing or learning. we can only do what we’re told, what we’re assigned, and the less we must do, the better.

the whole thing is awful, I feel sick to my very core, as if my bones were dipped in fatigue and all motivation and passion were seeped out of my body is a slow, but steady process. I hate it, I hate it all so much… but give it to me again tomorrow. I take it daily, I’ve done it countless times and I will continue to do so infinitely. I can abhor it with my entire being, detest it all so much I want to puke blood- anything to make the mundane humdrum come to an end. but then so would I. the very thing has become myself. so I must continue, because I must be.

 

tired.

if I stop holding on so tightly, will you simply slip away? so I gave it a try. I was hoping to find that you were also holding on as tightly as I.

but you took a breath and said “thank God, I was feeling suffocated.”

I’m so tired of this game we play, where I hold onto everyone tightly, moving them to where I want them to be. so I’ve decided to let go and let the pieces fall where they will.

I know you care as well, but not as deeply and intensely as I do. and I suddenly feel so tired.

why do people you love the most have to be the ones that hurt you the most?

cycles of emotions.

feeling stung. hurt. betrayed. sad. indignant. angry. resigned. and lastly exhaustion. heavy exhaustion. what do I do now? the ones who care less seem to be the winners. so how do I become that? how do I stop feeling so severely, so acutely?

i’m sad ’cause loneliness.

I am so very much an extrovert. where I draw energy from being around people.

I wish I was surrounded by peoples 24/7. loneliness is a thing and I hate it. there’s no such thing as “alone time” being needed for me. (lol, I shocked the heck out of my introvert friends with this statement). I am trying so hard to be content with me. with being by myself, all by my lonesome. because that kind of intense dependency that I have on my friends scares me.

I try to hide how much I love being in company. I say comments like: “I am ready to go home” after being insulted by my friends. and it slightly surprised me when edith was like “you’re not really gonna go home!” because of how completely true it was and how completely sure she seemed of it. or when we needed to relocate this one time because it was closing time for a restaurant and I was like, “we need to go… outside.” and edith caught me again. and she responded like, “but JUST outside, NOT go home.” and it struck me again. is it so obvious how much I hate going home and being alone? oh gosh, how I wish to be an introvert. to love quiet time by myself. now that’s sounds like a solid thing to find enjoyment in. no need to think twice about boundaries, being overly reliant, or just plain miserable when I seem to enjoy and need other people more than they enjoy or need me.

I love huge families. I’ve been “kinda adopted” into two.

firstly my canadian family, and my godfamily (gosh how I love them).

they are the most loving people I know and I wish I could spend all of my time with them because they love me so very well and so very much it is all so humbling because what did I do to deserve such wonderful people in my life. my heart feels warm and tingly just thinking about them. but distances is hard. and there’s this real thing where I want to keep my image that I’m doing very very well. I once wrote a really heartbreaking letter where I missed them so much I wished they were my real family and my godmother cried and I just can’t. so I don’t want to do that thing where I make them cry. I want them to be proud of me and rest secure that I am good and doing quite well though it may not be necessarily true. I watched this korean drama where there is this scene where a student is calling back home to his mom and insisting that he is eating all his meals and doing very well academically when really he is really struggling financially and eating a really cheap meal. and I just relate to that so much wow. everyday I think at least once about how much I wish to go back. everyone is sick of hearing me talk about it but it is right there on my mind what can I do, lol. I must vocalize.

second makeshift family, hi clan.

I spend a huge amount of time with these peoples, lol. and I honestly love the bustle and noise of people so much. they drove me home just now and not having to guide them and just knowing full well that they will get me home safe ’cause we go to each other houses on like, a weekly basis. that is something that is very nice. music playing in the background as they begin to dance along at the chorus. they are goofs. the silence is comfortable, but I also enjoy hearing their voices. side conversations happening in front while I lightly engage in conversations in the back. I wish my entire life consisted of these moments. of feeling safe, surrounded, and loved. and that’s when I begin to feel sad, because the moment will soon be over.

and so  here I am. internet-ing until I am so exhausted I have no energy to think about how extremely lonely I feel and the sadness that comes along with that. I have tried so hard at being ok with being alone. but it is all so difficult. when my clan is ready to have their own family family time. uhm merp, fomo is real lol. but hey, what can I say. they’re not doing anything wrong by wanting to spend time with blood, yeah?

and all this just makes me miss my mom so much. it is so very hard to find contentment in my own family. isaac is a baby. lol what can he understand. don’t get me wrong, I love him to death but like- I am still very lonely. and dad. oh dad. patience is required. I feel like there are moments where I fully appreciate who you are and thankful for you as a dad. but dispersed interactions with time limits are what works for us currently. and anita ahyi. I feel that slight ocd-ness in you and it has been difficult to find a balance between our very different ways of living. we’ve both tried, but I think that slight awkwardness will always be present. that’s just how things are.

my loneliness is so especially tangible in this moment, it’s hard to bear.

psalm 25:16-17

Turn to me and be gracious to me,
    for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 Relieve the troubles of my heart
    and free me from my anguish.

(^accurate depiction).

I would also like to talk about when Jesus was in the garden of gethsemane. I cannot at all fathom what it felt like to be in His position at that very moment. but as He pleads with his disciples to keep watch with Him. I feel a glimmer of that desperation. so thank you for this trial of loneliness to understand our Savior a bit more and draw closer to Him. thank you for the family that I do have currently. they are good and I am definitely blessed to have them. but it is still very difficult, and I just miss mom so incredibly much ok, if you did not get that. (I really want to go to her grave and just sit there for a bit and cry right now the feeling is overwhelming) so please. draw me to nearer to You, oh Lord. and nearer still and bring comfort.

 

the allure of being busy.

I don’t miss the stress and anxiety that comes along with being busy, and having deadlines loom over my head. but I do miss that self-importance that comes along, lol. confidence in yourself, in your own plans. getting to pick and choose your timeframe for everything. being able to put all of yourself and all your effort into one specific thing. it especially hits when I hear of people around me doing wonderful, productive things and I just feel like a lump on a log.

so here is the horrible truth, I have so much free time. so much time I don’t even know what to do with all of it.

I recently read a verse in the Bible where that I fully identified with.

james 5:5 “you have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. you have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.”

so hi me. I pretty much indulge in whatever feels right to me at the moment. eating whatever, watching whatever. no urgency, just quiet desperation. I let myself do this for a while. being busy didn’t make me happy. I pushed myself to do so because all my peers were busy with their studies, their sports, their commitments. and that pleasant self-importance that streams in when you deny hangouts in the name of homework, projects, or early bedtime for work the next day.

but I feel quiet nudges nudging me back towards the highway of life. a quote popped up for me on tumblr (that blasted site that I dearly love).

“Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there’s a tomorrow. Maybe for you there’s one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it.
But for some of us there’s only today. And the truth is, you never really know.” Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall.

it struck me because that was exactly what I was doing. let time slip through my fingers like coins. and I attended sunday school this past sunday. we’re going through a study of colossians. and chapter 4:5 says “be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”

and one of my friends spoke up and said that “time is a commodity that should not be wasted.”

that pulled at my heart. I can’t say I felt instant conviction. not like, whambam and I’m a new person. how can I immerse myself in things that I care nothing about? that was the fight through high school. I don’t even know how I made it through high school to be honest.

but lastly, what tugs at me are the long talks I have with dad. I think I have much more respect for his advice. he’s the only one that has been with me my entire life and I don’t know anyone who knows me better than him. (gosh, as I type these words I miss my mom so much).

he repeats himself nonstop like a broken recorder, he uses the same examples and compares me to my “successful” friends and he can be biased as heck. and the patience it takes to listen to his lecturing usually runs out by the time we hit the first hour mark. sometimes it feels like torture.

however, I can feel how much he cares. he cares so much. as he brings up examples of certain friends I can tell he’s hurt, because in his mind I know he is certain I am smarter than them, better, funnier, more charming, etc. and yet why am I here on the struggle bus going nowhere and they’re where they are at.

I can hear it in the way he talks about their parents. I felt a little guilty here. he’s a pastor, my dad. he’s always on display and so with that I am automatically also on display. I wonder what he is telling people who ask after me. and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that asian parents would ask after me being who they are.

I can hear it in the way he brings up what I am good at, telling me how he knows I’m smart, smarter than he is. also the father in him that tells me exactly what I lack, where I fall behind. as he brings up books, activities, to once again captivate my interest. inspire motivation. lastly he tries the scare tactic. threatening that I would fall far far behind, so far I would not be able to catch up, stuck working minimum pay jobs the rest of my life.

so I gotta do it. for me, for the people I love, and for the people that will be lifted up by what I am holding back. I don’t doubt my ability. another close friend of mine struggles with that. I am fully convinced that I am brilliant. (dad did good in acknowledging that in me, the pride in me would drown out whatever he said next if he refuted that). so the heart. Lord, give me the heart. I’ll fight the temptation to indulge, so give me back my motivation and hope.

also, help me fight temptations… lol. I need help in all aspects. I don’t even know how to start helping myself. so Lord?

lemme take a breather.

I saved a draft of this last year sometime. I never posted because it’s sounds really depressing. why are we so afraid to admit that we struggle? so posting. I mean, I’m still struggling. so God, a breakthrough real soon would be cool. but I recently read the story of Job and re-read Disappointment with God by Philip Yancey (solid book, y’all) so I’m still gonna hold firm. I’m just real tired, but if this allows me to grow and develop. just- help me bear through the storm.
here it is:
sighs, wow I really get affected when people judge me. I recently had a surprise encounter with a lady felt like she beat me up, verbally.

“I don’t think you understand how competitive it is out there these days. My son had a 4.1 and relatively high SAT scores and he barely got into his school, not to mention his involvement in volunteering… etc. wait, I think he’s your age. he’s a junior.”

“people have been setting themselves up for success starting from middle school, you don’t even know.”

“I didn’t even have to force my children to take those strides in their studies. did I tell them that they had to take all the extracurriculars, meet up with counselors to figure out their direction? no, they decided to take those steps themselves and all I had to do was give them the resources they needed.”

“I think… you should really try to figure out what you’re doing with your life right now before adding more activities to your list.”

wow… instead of asking teachers whether they allowed us to eat or not in their classes from day one why didn’t I start off with asking how many AP classes I could take without killing myself. I was clearly not cut out to be a go-getter from the start. I think I missed a transition period in my life where making mistakes is just a part of learning and it’s okay and just made the leap to where making a single mistake could affect my entire future. now what? this conversation left me reeling while a friend of mine, who had been privy to the same conversation, brushed it off like nothing.  we had planned a day of fun with studying and hitting up the movies, but all I wanted to do was go home and lay in my bed with ice cream at hand.

the lady didn’t say anything particularly malicious to me, but I feel like opening up to people and being vulnerable just gives them that chance to judge me and tell me what they would do if they were in my shoes. well why don’t I just take a breather and you can feel free to come be me ‘cause I’m tired.

everytime I’m hit by a wave of negativity, I’m downed. it’s just so hard to trust God with my future when everyone has their own opinion on what future I should be building myself up for. my faith is at such a baby level, wow.  and I thought I was such a superstar christian. without security, positive attention from people, validation and success in everything I do, I’m already crumbling down and dying. I’m no rock against adversity, no being confident in the power of Christ. I’m weak. I want to be super rich and blessed with three children and no worries and when people ask me how? I will be that person to say with my serene smile, “all due to the goodness of God.” who wants to be this? a penniless college student with opinionated people, who is defeated by the first sign of failure?

mang I really wanted to end this one on a positive note of some sort.

send conference 2017 experience

so like. honestly, without julia to plan and detail the whole thing out, I don’t think I’d be going to send conference at all. a lot of little things factored into my decision.

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(^that’s julia. LOL she makes us work, but we’re so grateful to have her in EM)

first off, julia was like “rend collective! phil wickham! francis chan and david platt!” and I was already like, “ohh, ok interest captured.”

secondly, it’s on a weekend. super close, in long beach. and edith was like, “long beach! that’s my area, I’m totally in.” so bam, fellow friend to come with.

thirdly: we’ll probably all be carpooling over, you all can ride with me. I’m pretty much almost in at this point. no driving on my part? beautiful, baby.

lastly: it’s thirty bucks. free lunch provided on the second day. church will help cover some costs. and alright, I’m sold. it’s pretty convenient, my schedule lines up. why not?

I just wanna add that I’m so appreciative of people who jump in to do the planning, driving and advertising to get people interested. having experienced these things myself, I know it ain’t no easy thing. so julia, you’re a superstar in my book.

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(^dat us. day one! I’m glad I forced us. this is pretty. the photographer who took this was really good. LOL, he had a pro canon camera around his neck so julia knew to ask him. just the way it’s taken, you can tell someone pro did it. I will forever refer to him as “the lighthouse guy” cause he pointed out my sweatshirt and how he knows a fellowship called that as well. nobody ever knows efci though lol. jerry’s low-key but hilarious humor showed here when he was like “you should’ve told him we’re the originals”. OG, BABY haha. saw lighthouse guy on day two and wanted to do a shoutout of gratitude but I chickened out, lol).

now the whole conference was pretty condensed. day five, we listened to five different speakers, all lasting about an hour. that really drains you, like mentally. I have to admit, I gave up one of them and needed get some shut-eye. my eyelids felt like lead. send conference held a lot of good reminders for me, time to spend with my church family and share what we learned about together, and just worship.

what a beautiful name it is was my favorite song I have to say. it was just so good. and they repeated it a couple of times, so I think they sensed that too, haha. austin stone worship was a band I’ve never heard of before. but they led worship well. it was easy to engage in. center my life has a beautiful chorus. rend collective was good. their worship is so uplifting and celebratory. and during instrumental parts, the lead singer does little jig with his guitar and I just love it, lol. also bonus! they’re irish. the irish accent is my fav accent ever. oh and phil wickham. I’m always wowed by how young he looks, lol. he has a beautiful voice, I gotta say. wouldn’t say all the songs chosen suited congregational worship. but still good.

so two things stuck out to me during the conference.

  1. david platt brought up the story of esther. it was my favorite book of the Bible as a child. but I haven’t thought of it in a while. and he said that it’s the only book of the Bible that doesn’t mention the name of God in it. but you can see God’s imprints all over it. how God worked out everything so perfectly. “it just so happened that queen vashti got kicked out, so they needed a new queen. it just so happened that esther was of eligible age. it just so happened that out of all the women gathered, she was the one that the king selected. it just so happened that mordecai, her cousin discovered the plot to kill the king and wasn’t honored for it at that moment…” and david goes on to tell the entire story of esther. and though I am quite familiar with it, it was still astounding to me to hear it again in this way. “it couldn’t have worked out better if it was scripted and this is real life and God made it happen.” life really is like a stage, and we each have our own role to play out. esther 4:14″if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. and who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”so good. it reminded me that God placed me in a certain position to accomplish a certain purpose that He has planned in great detail. half the time I have no idea what’s going on, but He does. I pray that I live up to it.
  2. “addicts don’t make sense. they can be at the happiest place on earth, but in the back of their minds, they can’t stop thinking about whatever they’re addicted to. and they can be good people! people who love their families. people who are smart and intelligent. but they can give that all up because they’re addicted to a drug. all they can think about is their next fix and how they can get it.” – francis chan. that really struck me. I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately. and there’s a sense of unease and sadness that is always in the back of my head. I used to be able to tune it out for durations of time  with distractions but lately, it’s always been there. invading on and tarnishing every moment. and this startled me when he said addicts can’t take their minds off something, because that something was at the back of my mind right then. “how wonderful if we could show that kind of love and commitment  to Jesus?” francis reminded us. and it would be. instead of stealing away from my moments, it would accentuate and add to each moment. because God is love. it would be so amazing. so praying for that. praying that I fall completely in love with God.

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(^exerpt of my notes. there was so much good stuff going on. sorry I drew francis chan like megamind… I didn’t have a pencil, which I usually use to sketch a rough outline first. but hey, go big or go home).

it was a blessing to go with church community. I hated going to breakout sessions by myself, lol (edith, weren’t you supposed to come to one with me, but you ended up going to one with caleb what the heck =__=).

jerry was gonna come to one with me! then julia informed me that he wasn’t going to that one anymore since I made up my mind to go there. and I was super offended, lol. but then they clarified that they wanted us to go to as many different ones as possible so that we can share later and hear from as many different ones as possible >___> so I mean, ok. I can’t argue with that.

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(^at the last session, I finally had some company!)

it was a really good experience, and it just makes me so excited for heaven. oh gosh, to not have to worry about your next commitment or responsibility and just completely focus on worshipping God. when I was young, that concept sounded like pure boredom to me. but now, I can’t wait. but so long as I’m here, give me the strength to fight the good fight, oh Lord, and live to Your glory. after all, “to live to is Christ and to die is to gain.” -philippians 1:21

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(^ wrapping up with one of all of us. day two! thanks for a good experience where I done learned and got reminded of important truths, send conference 2017. God, forever be molding me and growing me to fulfill Your purpose and glory).