Hardest goodbyes aren’t always for what you think

I’m not good at saying goodbye. Some people say that and walk with elegance away while my goodbyes equate to tennis ball sized swollen eyes from crying and snot bubbles dripping down the sides of my mouth.

My goodbyes aren’t pretty. When I’m placed in that position to have to leave something behind and know in my heart that I’ll never see it again, I start to call back every memory I’ve had. The ones where I am transported and I can still remember the smell of my surroundings. The ones where I can see the exact shirt I was wearing and how that person made me feel.

Today, by a text message from a friend, I received a Redfin link to a posting for a house. The url already told me everything I needed to know before I even clicked on it, but like any masochist would do, I tapped on my phone to open up the listing to my childhood home to further affirm my dad was putting it up for sale.

The one where I finally had my own room and had to stop sharing with my mom on nights she couldn’t stand my dad. The one where I had my sweet sixteen party – however sad and pathetic it was to other people, that party was the best thing my parents could have scrounged to afford.

This is the house I snuck out at midnight when both my parents were asleep so I could be cool and thought I was badass to go up the mountains car racing with other high school kids. This is the house where my mom left.

The house that had an empty room I’d go in and remember how broken our family was. But this house was where my dad raised me and I so fondly remember everything he sacrificed to ensure my life was one of luxury, and even if we were just faking it, I could at least feel equal to my peers at school.

The bones of that house kept me safe. Made me feel things were going to be okay when I was all alone restlessly sleeping on the couch closest to the front door when my dad had surgery so I could run out at mach speed to the hospital once he was out of the OR.

This house persevered a kitchen fire. This house outlived each one of us leaving.

First, my mother after she filed for divorce.

Then I packed up for college and barely came back.

Now my father’s remarried and moved on with the wife.

But I always felt that I could go back if I wanted to one day. My dad had rented it out all these years, probably for the same sentimental emotions I seem to have attached so much to.

2020 has taken so many things away. It took away kindness from strangers and replaced their eyes with judgement and uncertainty. It took away our way of life and replaced us with a box to live in 24/7. It took away the ability to see family and hug loved ones. It took away the plans I made to travel and see Europe for the very first time. It took away a hopeful future while we all wait unsettled without a target date to reach for a sense of normalcy. And now, it took away my past. The one place other than my dinky little apartment where I remember life when it was good. So damn good that when I think of it, I can see my dad in the kitchen donning his never-emasculating checkered apron nursing a sweet aromatic chicken stew while I’m upstairs in my heavy eyeliner from the early 2000’s banging out to some Avril Lavigne until he calls me down for dinner.

Good times.

Gone.

If I could speak my truth to that house, I’d like to thank it for protecting me and putting up with me. The days when I yelled and cried for having to deal with curfew to the days I just needed a nice warm shower after a long day of ballet practice.  Maybe one day, I’ll pick up my kid from ballet and cruise by the street and show them, “Look, that’s where mommy grew up. That’s the house that saw all the good with the bad and kept standing tall to protect its family.”

 

This is how I learned acceptance

Last year, I learned acceptance instead of resistance.
It leaves me both liberated and sad to see this change in my thought process. Though, it is extremely freeing to not care and less exhaustive to.
But where’s my voice?

I thought to myself during this realization, “is acceptance just giving up?”

Where did the old me go? The one that used to kick and scream for the things I believe to be fair, the things I wanted to change, the ideas I needed to execute.
Did my passion evaporate?

Or do just lose our edge when we age? Accept that things are just the way it is took a lot of years out of me. If there was a physical manifestation in how I gained this understanding, it would be equivalent to getting white hair. But it’s this transformative phase has helped me get through the bullshit. In the global scale, I needed to practice this the most during the current crisis that will define my generation: the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Instead of living in fear, acting in panic, and hiding myself, I’ve learned this is what it is and I need to do my part in it. However large of a problem this eventually will become for me, I need to accept that it is here and follow the guidelines provided by healthcare officials. So I sigh and move directly into acceptance, research the best way to flattening the curve, find the right ways to go outdoors for groceries or a walk to see sunlight without exposing myself to it.

Sure, we can go through the phases of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression before we finally get to acceptance. Or we can just choose the expressway there and stop getting angry. Our frustrations taken out at other people at the grocery store, glares darted at strangers on the street, or even yelling and blaming at people on the frontlines for running out of stock on things. The frustration is natural, we’re all afraid of the unknown especially since the ‘cure’ doesn’t come in a form of medication but our own antibodies to fight this off. However, we don’t need to be angry at our neighbors and other strangers.

Let’s please just stop that. We need to show more kindness to everyone now when we need it the most. The ones who are directly and personally affected and the ones living in fear of this unknown. Accept it, treat it and don’t live in the anger. Spreading kindness and hope is what we need.

I’ve accepted this problem we have, there is not denial and resistance anymore. The toll keeps rising and anger is elevating everywhere but what I’m not seeing enough is acceptance and learning to be good neighbors and friends to help each other through it.

Cabin Fever? Here’s my daily routine and list of things to do!

I’m doing my part by flattening the curve and only going out for a walk to taste fresh air or pick up necessary groceries for the week.

But cabin fever is a legit problem.

Here’s how my day has been spent (literally everyday to the point where the weekends mesh and feel like weekdays).

7:13AM Wake up, scroll through my phone and check the latest on COVID-19 through twitter and various news outlets.

7:30AM Get around to peeling myself off the bed, grab a sweater to pull over and head for the kitchen to mainline that caffeine.

7:32AM This is the North Star of every morning. Beautiful brew stirred to almond milky goodness sitting on my breakfast bar while I continue to peruse through what I’ve missed while I slept.

8:30AM YOGA

9:30AM Prep my faux OOTD (cute top, yoga pants on the bottom) and do something different to my hair that makes it look combed before I’m hit with any video conferences.

10AM Switch from personal to work laptop and drill through emails like mad. Efficiency is key for me before I have my first meal at lunch. After I have food, my crank rate depreciates by half.

11AM Prep the kitchen for lunch, continue to focus on emails.

12PM Lunch time, usually coupled with a quick snack size TV content. Lately, we’ve been watching Jamie Oliver’s Quick & Easy.

1(ish) but really like 1:45PM, prep to hop back online.

5(ish) wind down and prep the kitchen for dinner

6PM Dinner with a show my partner and I take seriously because night time means drama, thriller, and all that good jazz to keep me hooked.

7PM Play a round of video games with my partner until we’re too stressed out from our competitive nature. He’ll switch the game to something more mind numbing, single player, and relaxing and I’ll head to the bedroom to grab the latest read.

8:30PM Call me a grandma at not even 30, but this is the second wave of that good good. This is when I reach for my laptop to write or shuffle through my shelf ( or possibly digital Kindle backlog) for a great new adventure through words. Currently, I’m reading Laws of Human Nature and Marie Lu’s Legend Series. Sometimes I’ll read 2 sentences and I’ll be out quicker than you can blink, other times, the escapism gets real and I’m clocking in until 1230AM through an entirely new universe.

I know the next few weeks are going to be daunting. I know it’s tough for those who are more directly affected by this than me, but if you’re hit with cabin fever, here’s a list of hobbies that would be a wonderful start to living your day and not feeling like you’ve wasted it because you’re stuck at home:

  1. Adult Coloring Book – once you’re finished, you can hang them up a wall or roll them up, tie it with a string and give it to a loved one. It’s the easiest and most painless way to share a hand crafted gift. (I know knot how to knit so this is my crafty avenue- haha)
    Pro tip: If you’re of age, a nice glass of wine is the perfect pairing
  2. Level Up Your Cooking & Baking Skills– I’ve linked you to my pinterest page. I grew up thinking I would never be the scrapbooking type, yet the digital version is so fun and easy! With so much time on our hands, this is the perfect homebody hobby to try different recipes and create a list of aces to wow your friends once this quarantine is over! Pro Tip: grocery stores may intimidate you lately with the lines, out of stock and barren produce section. But I’ve found if you go to an ethnic store they’ll likely have a lot more inventory than your local Ralphs or Whole Foods and it’ll cost you a lot less.
  3. Make (metaphorical) Lemonade- Remember that old adage, “If only I had more time?”, Well now you really do! Take this opportunity to chase your dream, start your own business, learn a new language. Paralyzing yourself tuning in (or out) with Netflix, Hulu, and all the other on demand streaming services isn’t helping your situation. You’ll just feel even less alive and excited about each day, especially once you’ve finished binging Gilmore Girls again for the 5th time.
  4. Indoor Escapism: Video games are the quickest way to jump into a different reality. Luckily, timing was on our side for once and Nintendo released Animal Crossing. A Sims type of game where you runaway and live on an island. If you’ve got a PS4, I recommend this silly third person shooter: Agents of Mayhem. It’s got the vibe of GTA, but with cartoony art style and form. Every character is a wonder and the missions are super chill but fun.
  5. Reading & Writing: I went on a hiatus and the traffic to my blog is as DOA as using the term ‘on fleek’ from 2 years back today. But I’ve really found the bonus time to write more, read more and imagine more. Reading is such a great tool to help motivate me to get creative and write beyond my usual styles. Definitely reach out if you want a list of recommendations, give me your vibe and I’ll post you your next great literary adventure.

 

 

 

Did your idea of love change as you got older?

Butterflies and goosebumps are fairytales. None of it lasts and so doesn’t love. At the end of the day we’re just living our lives with a roommate whom we trust and maybe decide to commit to a marriage license with as a tax deductible.

Except that latter part isn’t even something to consider in this day and age. Tax benefits for married couple doesn’t actually ‘benefit’ unless you one of you is making significantly less than the other. If you’re both at an equivalent base salary, the tough truth is you’ll end up in the same bracket as if you filed individually. How do I know this? Simple trip to my friendly trusted neighborhood CPA. She filed both my taxes and my partner’s. By the end of the 2 hour session we booked her for, I wanted to float the idea of possibly getting hitched with my partner in the next 5 years. With over 30 min left of the time we paid her for, she pranced her fingers around the calculator, played with numbers on a blank white sheet, and discovered we’d be paying more if we filed jointly. HILARIOUS.

So, back to the original subject, did your idea of love change as you grew older?

I’ve been really lucky to have felt the phase ‘in love’ longer than most during their puppy love stage. Somewhere between the transition of year 1 to year 2, my partner and I slowly but comfortably became more individuals but as a unit. I remember being glued as a siamese twin the first year. That part doesn’t last and I think we all know that. For us, it went on for almost a year and half before we fell back into our separate entities.

It is still love though. Not the same roller coaster highs and lows, but a safer sanctuary where you learn the perfect curvature of how they sleep and where you fit right in. I do miss the rampant need to cling onto my partner as a koala does on a eucalyptus tree during the early phase but its nice to fall back into a groove where I can work on my own craft and know sitting barely 12 feet away is someone who loves me doodling on his iPad and sipping his tea.

What Forgetting You is Like

Forgetting you is like rolling down the window driving on the coast and not smelling the musky salt water.
Forgetting you is like tapping on the table with my fingers and not hearing a sound,
it’s biting into an apple and not having a memorable sweetness explode on my tastebuds.

Forgetting you is like waking up and not seeing sunlight bleed through my curtains,
it’s touching cotton without feeling the soft warmth of a coat in an autumn night.

Forgetting you is forcing myself to forget the 5 senses. If I can smell, hear, taste, see and feel – you are there.

The way your scent is everywhere on my pillows and old jackets.
The way your old records are sitting on my shelf giving me a glimpse back into our old life when you’d take my hand and swing my body around to the tunes.
The way your silent breathing through the night calms me and helps me sleep.
The way your body felt in the morning when I climbed closer to steal your warmth.
The way your tongue tasted minty and aged after you’ve brushed your teeth from drinking whiskey all night.

Even when you aren’t here, all my memory stayed.

Forgetting you is like holding onto what’s familiar,
It’s expecting what was there to always be there.

My five senses will always hold you in memory, even when you aren’t here.

adult affection bed closeness
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I tried this thing called Cryotherapy

For my very post on a new category I started called, New Kid on the Block, I aim to explore all new experiences starting with this new fad, Cryotherapy.

I’m not here to state the facts behind it all or the conspiracy others have about it. I’m simply sharing my first time with you all in all my honestly.

Price tag: Less than $30 per visit as I bought a groupon for 5 visits.

So I went in the heart of summer heatwave out in SoCal. I was intrigued after hearing Tony Robbins preach about it on a podcast with Tim Ferriss. From my other posts, some of you may know I basically idolize his work ethic and free individuality to not fall into social conforms. So if he likes it, hell, I’m gonna try it!

Upon arrival, they ask you to go out to the ladies to change into a bikini or short gym gear (basically as nude as you can possibly strip down to get the maximum breeze in that manmade igloo).

Then when you arrive at the front monitor where they set you up with a timer, the attendant asks you to choose a genre of music you like. I was really thrown off at this point. I hadn’t come prepared with any music in mind, kind of how your friends throw you on stage at a karaoke bar spur of the moment and you have no idea what to sing except I’m A Little TeaPot. The attendant must have noticed how stumped I was and recommended some fast paced music: ie Rage Against the Machine or Club music. At this point, I was terrified. It’s the excitement of doing something for the first time but not actually being able to do it for fear of the unknown. Again, the attendant kindly offered that she’ll join me inside and we can do jumping jacks or whatever to make the time go by fast.

Based on my weight and size, they recommended 5 minutes max inside the cryo chamber. The adage about watched pot never boils can similarly be applied here but times 10 because you have to endure it instead of simply waiting around.

I was able to bear the first minute. It was the last four that seemed infinite. We were talking, doing jumping jacks, (attendant had a sweater, ear muffs and mittens on), and running around the chamber to exhaust time. By the last two minutes, I saw the other attendant through the window throwing up a peace sign to resemble the minutes I had leftover. By then, I wholeheartedly had forgotten the point of going and just wanted out.

Finally, when they opened the door and I was out, my skin had a stiff and brisk sensation then immediate warm as I stepped into room temperature.

Results:

I had expected to feel like my bones weren’t near 3 decades but sadly, my body felt about 1:1 normal than before I had gone in. The major difference for me using the cryotherapy was more of how awake I had felt. My mind was rejuvenated. I had all these tasks start piling in a mental list and the determination to do them all.

Final Thoughts:

While the experience is fun and can become a somewhat interesting story to tell at dinners, I will say it wasn’t all what I expected and I wouldn’t come back only to torture myself for 5 minutes in a chilling ice box. I think I’m more made for the jimjilbangs (Korean Spas) where you have the option to be in an ice box for your own decided duration and then can hop into a clay room to heat up your entire body.

 

 

TIT-Today I Tried…(Yes, it’s a funny acronym)

I’ve been a chronic, serial, addicted, whatever-you-wanna-describe-it, face picker. It started probably in college. Should I blame stress? Or maybe it was just my own obsession with these moon size craters on my face but picking at these gross yet hypnotizing gems that oozed out was rather satisfying and intriguing.

Fast forward a decade, my face is now a battlefield plagued with scars. Hence the entry of my newfound obsession: trying out any new technology of the modern age to make my face as smooth as those Korean pop stars.

Groupon has been a huge supporter of this obsession. On the daily, I’d get newsletters curated to my needs, begging me to enter in my credit card and get a new voucher that promised a beautiful face after each session.

This week’s tryout? The Microcurrent LED Light therapy facial. The Blue light kills bacteria that spreads my gross acne germs while the microcurrent tightens your face muscles with electrical currents and gives my face a natural face lift.

The verdict? At Groupon price, I’d come back once a month for 6 months to see what great changes my face has but retail is $175 and I can hardly afford that to try it for half a year for a noticeable difference.

I will say though, the experience is totally painless opposed to previous facials I’ve gotten that include extractions where the esthetician will poke, prod, squeeze, and drain until you’ve felt that even your soul has left your body.

What we’re like to be in pain

It is so easy to feel bad for yourself
To wallow in self pity about everything that is wrong in your life and blame external factors for it

To feel as though an injustice was placed on you,
and you yourself is singled out to be worse off than everyone else.

It is so easy isn’t it ?
To listen to sad music and relate to the heartbreaking vocals
To sit outside watching rainfall while you light one up
To ponder at the same sky we all do and ask, “why me?”

When we’re at our worst, nothing feels better but hurting ourselves further
Testing our pain threshold more
Gauge how much more we can take.
Marinate in pain and sorrow.
Feeling sorry for ourselves.

It’s so wrong but feels so right to hurt

If I’m already in pain, what’s a little more ?