Tuesday, December 18, 2012

In Better Spirits

As some of you may know, I haven’t been in the healthiest state and it’s affected my mood and how I process information. I’m usually exceptional tolerant, patient, and I’m naturally good at not getting sucked into negative confrontations with friends. Unfortunately we all have our moments, and I’ve recently had mine. But I’m happy to report that I’m in better spirits! J

I’m returning to my normal self. I’m encouraging, supportive, perceptive, and intuitive towards my friends. I’m considerate and thoughtful. I began cooking again. I made simple pasta with thinly sliced Brussels sprouts and bacon in half and half cream sauce. It was yummy! Today I made sautéed kale and carrots with baked fish and quinoa. I’m not sure about quinoa, but every other ingredient I used has anti-inflammatory effects which will do my health good.

I went back to my place and felt inspired to clean. I swept everything and one side of my apartment actually looks neat. I still have other corners to tackle, but all in all I’m satisfied. Yesterday I had the opportunity to work on my art journal but never got around to it. I’d like to take the time to do it today. I’m not sure what my evening looks like, but I have a pretty good idea what it might be and I’m looking forward to it. J

Give It Meaning and Purpose

It’s finally resonated with me that I must customize my decisions and be scrupulous in the work I take on. Registering to become an extra has been something I’ve been procrastinating on completing, but I’m glad I finally got started. It’s fun. But a part me allowed myself to taint the fun I was having due to my insecurities. Being an extra is a lot of fun, but it’s very menial work. It doesn’t require a lot of intelligence and anyone can do it. It made me feel inadequate that the only job I’ve been successful at thus far is something children can perform…

I didn’t give this thought much power, but it has entered my mind, that as time progressed and I became comfortable with the amount of workflow provided, if I’m not careful it’ll disappear because I’m not meant to do this. And every time I participate in something that isn’t conducive to my path for too long, it falls apart. That’s the last thing I want. I shared my concern with a friend who quickly dismissed this idea. She’s worked with me and knows me well as a friend and has observed that I’ve never been this happy where I’ve worked before.

It reminded me that I’m allowed to have fun and embrace this. But unlike my friend I’m still worried that if I’m not careful this job I love so much could fall apart. However, my friend’s astute observation has transformed my energy. My ultimate goal is to become a holistic nutrition coach, and I don’t want to deviate from that. It’s so easy to become distracted.

My friend said she can see me combining my two passions – holistic nutrition within the extra world. It actually makes a lot of sense and one of the things I enjoy so much about being an extra is I share my passion with others and several people have asked for my insights. One girl was genuinely encouraging and said she’d pay me to get insights on holistic nutrition! ^.^ Something about her sincerity has really touched me.

It occurred to me that jobs only fall apart when they become a distraction and therefore unproductive. If I stay focused on my goals by incorporating extra work as a stepping stone to achieve my desire to become a holistic nutrition coach, I believe the universe will assist me in my path. I’d like to get work a few times a week with long shifts. It’s not guaranteed but I’m going to manifest it! J It’s important my rent is covered and the remaining will be saved towards the cost of tuition! J Yay! I have the discipline and focus to not get distracted, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. But I do intend on enjoying sushi at one point. However it’ll be a rare indulgence! 

The Liberation in Truth

After my last entry, I had quite a bit to contemplate about. I finally admitted and accepted shortcomings I’ve spent most of my time denying or ignoring. I had a cathartic and insightful conversation with a good friend of mine when I expressed my concerns to her. Recap: I find that I have a retention problem and jobs I should be able to keep not working out as a result of my performance, performance issues I shouldn’t have.

She postulated that perhaps I deliberately sabotage these jobs because they aren’t meant for me and I’m desperate to escape them. That makes perfect sense! After all the problems that result in my termination only surface in the workplace such as debilitating memory issues, which under normal circumstances are fine. It’s amazing how when things become clear, the fog lifts and we feel lighter. It doesn’t change my challenges because I still need to make an income and if I continue down this path, the situation will perpetuate and I certainly don’t want that. But I’m beginning to realize the value of customization.

I have to be more selective in the jobs I apply for. The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. I keep applying for the same types of jobs that don’t work out. I can be frustrated that I can’t hang on to them because it is, but I need to be productive with my time.

I don’t choose to sabotage these jobs, but they continue to occur. I see the sabotage as a child acting out. It’s frustrating when I’m my own source of destruction and I’m unable to reason with myself, but it also serves a valuable lesson because it’s forcing me to look at other areas of opportunities that would be more conducive for me. I’m not meant to be trapped in an office-support position long-term.

I have that “look.” I appear professional and am well-placed in a corporate environment, but I have a rush of energy which over time crashes. I’ve always been like that and as much as I wish I had a steadier source of discipline and stamina, it’s best for me to accept how I operate and act accordingly because I’m me; no one else. It’s incredibly liberating to come to terms with this.

I wasted so much energy feeling inadequate for not being able to execute what others seem to do well that I never focused on the strengths that come with my circumstance. By being open and honest with myself, I also came to terms with some other areas of weaknesses that are important to address.

They all came to me through different sources like puzzle pieces I had to put together. My mother told me that “you can’t be successful at an entry-level job with a senior management mentality.” Who knew that being told I’d be a failure would be such welcome news. Something about that statement had an intrinsic effect on me that it made me receptive to some of the other things she’s said so many times before that I’ve dismissed such as I’m meant to be in business for myself.

Some people have a natural knack for business; I’m not one of them. Business schools are available, but I find that people who have a natural talent are the best at it, which isn’t to say people who engage in professional training are any less capable. I just don’t even find business to be appealing that I can’t imagine being suited for it. But I’m beginning to realize how crippling my mentality is; I think too much in terms of absolutes.

When I shared my concerns and ideas with my friend, she told me that I don’t learn quickly enough according to my intellectual level and personality. That is so true! I find myself resentful because I get scrutinized for my learning curve, while others are tolerated for their delays. But the difference is that I’m more intelligent than the others, so the expectation that others have of me are much higher. And when I don’t meet them, consequences follow. It’s an example of when my intelligence is a disadvantage.

She and I have worked together and are good friends, so she understands how I am. She recognizes my intelligences but is also aware of my learning speed. It’s not particular a proud moment, but by becoming aware of this, I’m giving myself an advantage because I can refine my job searches to positions that don’t require me to learn something in a shorter amount of time. By selecting jobs I can perform well, it’s the best situation for everyone involved.

I used to believe that people who accepted and “settled” for their weaknesses did it because it was too difficult for them to deal with their shortcomings. But now I realize that we all have shortcomings and the people who succeed are the ones who channel their strengths. I’m doing no one any good by dwelling on my faults because when I embrace my strengths, I’m able to help others and that’s a powerful thing.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Truth is in the Pattern

I have a retention problem and although I'm not alone, because this isn't an isolated incident but a pattern I've developed, it's forcing me to make a difficult and honest evaluation of myself. Many people struggle with maintaining employment in this economy but unlike others I obtain the interview and get hired often. I'm very impressionable. However the duration of my employment is tragically. I suppose I should be grateful to find work and I am. I'm aware of how far worse off I can be, but this circumstance affects my self-esteem nonetheless.

I'm not being immodest when I say I'm intelligent. I'm quick-minded but in a paradoxical sort of way. I process information slowly and retain details about as efficiently as trying to hold onto water in your hands. That doesn't sound very quick-minded, right? It'd be fair to question my judgment and there's no way for me to prove what I'm saying, but I know what I know. It's a futile effort to convince anyone. Every argument has its flaws. For example, my intelligence has been measured and confirmed. But so has Einstein's and his test score revealed him to be an idiot when, in fact, he's a genius.

My most recent job has lasted exactly two days. I was hired as a Bartender in virtually the easiest environment. As a "bartender", I didn't have to mix any cocktails. It was pouring bottle into glasses with obvious labels and there were only six different beers offered. I understood the procedures and executed them without a problem.

The most important part of this job was to be a natural conversationalist. I was told we serve the customers, keep them company, and the sexier we dress, the better. Of course that sounds more like a sexual hostess than a bartender, right? Especially since mixing drinks apparently wasn't part of the job duty.

I'd be neglectful to not consider this possibility especially since it's a Korean bar. (I'm not being racist. I believe there are cultural truths to certain stereotypes. To notice them is a sign of basic observational skills. It's when you judge the individual based on a generalization that I consider you to be racist, and that's not what I'm doing. I'm merely acknowledging an aspect of the Korean culture). Now that I feel I adequately explained myself, I can continue to proceed with my point...

Korean bars are notorious for a flirtatious environment because it's a part of their culture. Women are expected to entertain them. Bartenders play a certain eye candy appeal, as well. If any other bar told me I had to talk to the customers and dress sexy, I wouldn't have been alarmed because that's the nature of bartending. But I must admit the cultural factor did concern me,

When I first interviewed I had my reservations, but they quickly dissipated. I discovered that this bar actually attracts considerably exceptional people. It's surrounded by businesses and people who aren't known to sleep and drinking socially after hours is a lifestyle. Most places where you can drink nearby are party scenes. So this bar is a sanctuary for people who want to gather, drink, socialize, and not be bothered by the hype.

The first group that came were lawyers who have a law firm across the street. Most of the guys talked amongst themselves. There was only one guy who conversed with me and that's because we grew up in the same hometown. We talked about the mock trial in my high school and a few other things that bonded us. If it weren't for that, I would've stood there in silence.

Throughout the course of the night, I realized that these men weren't looking to be pervs at all. One guy wanted a drink and talk briefly about sports. There was also a dentist who's suite was right next to the bartending school I attended. I hear he's pretty reputable, as well. I may have even spoken with him before. I remember him saying that he doesn't enjoy going out. His roommate, however, does, and he was there that night, but he's a firefighter and EMT. I could tell because he knew some of my buddies and was familiar with the scene. They live close by and wanted to do something without getting sucked into the clubbing scene. Because we offer bottle service and hold bottles for customers once for up to a month, the bar encourages a demographic of regular customers.

The job was ridiculously easy. I'd open a bottle and pour. I didn't have to make cocktails. I understood how to work the cash register. And I'd chit chat. I'm known to be a conversationalist. It's depressing when someone gets fired from a job like this because it's really difficult to fail at it. There are some factors that suggest maybe it has less to do with my performance and more to do with the expectation and accurate prediction that I wouldn't be willing to cross a certain line, but I'm not sure that's what this was.

The night I was let go, I was having difficulty carrying conversations with customers. Most of them were speaking Korean, so I was unable to communicate with them. These are understandable factors. However the other new girl who had the same challenge somehow managed to get some sort of dialogue going. There was a depressed drunk guy I was asked to cheer up by talking about anything, and I wasn't able to remove that heavy presence of drunken sadness and belligerence. Another girl managed to get him to open up by just standing there, which was the same thing I was doing.

I was friendly but not inappropriately. In fact, there were other girls who have been there for a while and they were far less friendly. They didn't always have dialogue going, either. I felt like for some reason I was outcasted. But I'm not certain it was invalid. I sensed a gray area with me that isolated me from the other girls.

You know how sometimes someone dresses provocatively but is still following all of the rules? They're covering themselves up and aren't showing any skin. Sometimes their natural figure results in a provocative outcome without any real effort. Then there are some girls who can wear more revealing clothes and yet they don't portray that same provocative essence. The covered up girl isn't any less provocative, though. I feel like I was stuck in a similar trap. While some of the girls weren't friendly and didn't carry conversations, they still seemed like they belonged there and it was appropriate for them to stay, while I be let go. There's also the fact that the other girl was able to overcome the same obstacles I couldn't.

It may seem silly to put so much attention on something like this, but I've been frustrated for so long. I feel like I gain employment only to be immediately terminated regardless of the complexities. So when I lose such a simple job, it really strains my self-esteem. Not to sound disrespectful but when an unintelligent person is unable to perform certain tasks, it's unfortunate but also congruent with their shortcomings. I have the qualities required and yet somehow I manage to fail at execution. I feel like I have no excuse for being inadequate. So why does it keep happening?

With this most recent job, it revealed weaknesses even within my strengths. I'm a natural conversationalist and yet it's difficult for me to navigate in certain realms. I've expressed frustrations when my friends speak their native language in front of me when they can all speak English well. Yes, it's rude, but no other foreigners they surround themselves with seem to struggle with it as much as I do. I don't get upset; I just find myself unable to insert myself into their conversations. Others don't seem to have that same problem.

I feel like I never get a break. The nearby, convenient, and decently paying job with responsibilities I should be able to fulfill doesn't work out. It was ridiculously easy, too! But here's another dimension I must address. There were five of us working that night and at one point they all left me alone at the bar, while the rest of them went into a karaoke room. Was it really necessary for all of them to go in, while leaving me behind? Although I'm not incapable of serving drinks and working the cash register, it's a little odd to leave the new girl by herself when there's so many girls present, right? It's also worth noting that I don't speak Korean, so it's in their best interest to keep me accompanied by someone who can speak that language. If they felt my employment should be terminated, why would they leave me to tend the bar alone?

Something doesn't add up. At the end of the day, I was terminated. It's easy to brush this off as a realization on their part that I won't entertain the customers any further than what's professional. That's what my friend believes, and it's a logical conclusion. But it doesn't take away from my shortcomings, which seem to be a highlight in every employment opportunity. It may not ultimately be the reason why I was let go, but that's more circumstantial than anything.

I've been hiding from the truth out of embarrassment, but denial only lasts so long before the truth becomes clearer. I'm unable to perform basic job duties because my memory fails me in a severe way. I'll be asked to post a flier in a specific location and after ten steps, I'll immediately forget where I'm supposed to go. I wish I could say it's complicated, but it's usually something as simple as Kitchen B, instead of Kitchen A. I'll forget that a full day's parking is the equivalent of two tickets, so I'll put way more stickers by calculating in 15 minute intervals. I'd forget a vital step such as scanning documents before faxing it and filing it away. These are common procedures I shouldn't struggle with and yet I do A LOT.

Even with this blog entry, I began writing it on a Word document before I was able to get online and continue writing it on here. I forgot and was baffled on the Word document because I couldn't find the newer information I wrote. Yet I knew the Word document didn't lose any information. So I began re-writing when my memory reconnected. This may seem small but these "small" issues are constant and frequent. And much like small weapons, they have a destructive consequence.

It surprises people and I'm sure it makes them question if I do any drugs. I don't drink or smoke. I don't even drink caffeine or soda. It'd be frightening the way my memory fails me if it didn't become so mundane. I feel like I'm trapped in a cycle of insanity. The definition of insanity being that you do the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome because I obtain work with this intuitive knowledge that I'll be shortly terminated. It's more than a negative, self-fulfilling prophecy. Everything has energy and when you're exposed to something long enough, the signs become easy to identify. But I can't afford to deny work? So I'm basically sacrificing my self-esteem for short-term income. It's costing me more than the job description indicates.

I hate this cycle of gaining employment only to be fired, feel inadequate, and repeat the process over and over again. There are tons of work where I want to find employment and my experience matches what they're looking for. But it never seems to work out. I feel like the only job I'll be able to perform is being a cashier at minimum wage. Not only would that devastate me, but it's not realistic financially. Beggars can't be choosers. I know that. And frankly my pride is being torn to shreds that I no longer feel so resistant or able-minded for such a menial job. I'm saddened because I feel that it's all I can do without a problem. But I can't make enough money that way even full-time. I can't afford to work so many hours to get paid so little that I'm unable to find time or energy to get paid elsewhere.

If I were to be honest, I feel I have no business in an office-support setting. This is also where I gain the most employment. It's for such a short amount of time that unemployment insurance is unable to compensate me. I'm not efficient enough as a bartender to work in a bar setting. Many of them are too fast-paced for me. I don't have the best balance for catering. I have to diversify my skills, but even then, I'm still limited to what I can do with my memory challenges. I feel helpless, but for now I'm going to end this entry because Office Team offers free training programs. So I want to empower myself. Til next time!

Monday, July 16, 2012

I Can'ts and I Need to's

Are you familiar with the Laws of Attraction? They say that the first and last word used in a sentence is where the energy will travel, regardless of desire cuz the universe will respond to the energy being channeled at that moment. So if you say "I don't want it to rain." The universe will interpret that as "I" (me, the person in desire) and "rain" (as the source of desire). So I'm communicating that I want it to rain when in fact what I truly want is for it to be sunny. What I should really state is "I want it to be sunny." Plus using positive statements, instead of negatives like "don't."

It makes sense, and I certainly want my desire to be effectively communicated so that I may attain it. But in all honestly I resisted cuz I didn't want the responsibility of having to be conscientious of my speech. It wasn't just that, though. I didn't want to feel like a failure for not succeeding. I haven't even tried it and already I was anticipating it! Talk about self-sabotage... The truth is I'm not going to get this right my first time, but that shouldn't be a reason to not try. Furthermore, not taking responsibility is such an adolescent mentality. It'll take effort and at times can be frustrating, but it's necessary for improvement and self-growth.

So I've decided to give it a try. It's interesting how seeing the damage we cause really encourages us to better ourselves. Sometimes we need that incentive. One day I aspire to be someone who wants to better herself without those motivations, but at the moment I'm going to value the lessons my friends have enforced in me.

I have a friend who's surrounded by vegetarians and vegans, so she expressed how relieved she was that I eat meat cuz her other friends make her feel bad. I don't support that. I fully acknowledge that as a meat eater, I'm indirectly supporting the death of animals and that's not what I want. However I make that decision anyway and it's a personal choice. I don't think others have a right to judge me and insinuate that I'm a terrible person. That's not fair. You may not agree with my decision, but I take full responsibility for it.

I noticed my friend's pattern of absolving responsbility and personal strength. She said that she acknowledged her desire to eat meat cuz she ate it as a child and has a taste for it. I don't like the idea that we're imprisoned to our past. And I don't believe it. There are some things that are more difficult to escape and realistically some things are inescapable because a past is a part of us. But something like this is different. We have the ability to re-wire ourselves, and I know it cuz I'm one of them.

I have imbalanced hormones and have a huge appetite for meat. It was revealed that my body metabolizes meat too quickly, so my body is in a state of malnourishment. I used to have protein shakes that released protein into the body slowly. I've also recently discovered that I'm a O Blood Type. O bloods have a dietary staple of meats and vegetables cuz it's been predicted that O's were the first people, so at that time our diets were rich in meat and vegetables. Grains and dairy were introduced later. That means that I have a predisposition for a meat based diet, and I won't ignore it. But that doesn't mean I'm eternally attached and unable to ever escape a meat diet ever. That's how my friend sounds when she talks, and I was surprised by how much it frustrated me.

She also says stuff like she needs to smoke and drink, which isn't true. No, she's not an addict. I'm not concerned about that. She's weak is what she is. She uses necessity as a crutch, so she doesn't have to develop discipline. I believe we all succumb to this kind of thinking at some point in our lives, and I'm certainly guilty of it.

I may sound callous to talk negatively about my friend, but I believe she's earned it. I'm not saying positive things about her,which is sad cuz she's my friend, but I'm only recording the truth. If anything, I want her behavior to serve as a reminder for me to work on myself. By seeing me grow as a person, maybe one day she'll decide to do the same. I'd much rather praise her than talk bad about her, but I want to acknowledge these unfavorable qualities on my blog rather than let it boil inside of me cuz I find that when I write about my annoyances and frustrations, I give them enough attention to give them a chance to transform. I'm not saying these things to be cruel or satisfy some inner gossip girl. I just can't keep them inside of me. I have to release it somehow, and I'd much rather do it on here than somewhere else. Really I should thank her cuz she's inspried me to better myself. I hope I don't come off pretentious cuz that's certainly not my goal. But I believe I got what I needed from this experience. A safe place to express my frustrations, perspective, insight, and desire. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What People Conceal

Quite a bit has happened since my last entry since it's been a while... My long term health concern has been resolved. It's been a bittersweet experience. I'm grateful that the problem has been identified and corrected. However after uncovering the problem, it's frustrating to think of how unavoidable the delay in treatment and identification could have been. But what's past is past, right? :)

As I intuitively suspected, this was rooted in a gynecological issue. My complex cyst has been removed during a laparoscopy. There were some unexpected complications. Thankfully my ovary is intact. It was touch and go for a moment there. It was discovered that I have endometriosis and chronic inflammation. My left fallopian tube and left ovary was so swollen that it was pushing my uterus down! No wonder why I was in so much pain! That accounted for the unidentified pain. Unfortuately my fallopian tube was removed cuz it was damaged beyond repair, and the only purpose it was serving was to shift my uterus out of alignment. Given the circumstance, the removal of my tube was the best thing to do. I fully understand that, but my concern is endometriosis attacked my left fallopian tube. What's to say it won't do that to my remaining one?

That's a frightening notion especially since there's no cure for endometriosis and at best, birth contraceptives are used to manage the pain. I, however, have always reacted negatively to the pill. I've tried them all. The low dose caused heavy period and severe cramps that debilitated me during the day. The high dose caused severe leg pain so intense that it woke me from my sleep. I can't return to that. Even my gynecologist who was advocating for the pill said I have to weigh the risk. The truth is that I was in a lot of pain and I ended up being hospitalized, so it's serious. But I was still far less debilitated when my organs were being pushed down than how my body was reacting to the pill.

I'm not a medical expert, and I can't guarantee that the decision I'm going to make is the right one. But I refuse to do something that's going to make me feel worse. So I've decided to explore alternative options such as acupuncture. I was recommended someone who specializes in endometriosis. We'll see where that lands me.

I'm finally able to look for work. I'm manifesting a job at the library at a specific location. The pay works wonderfully for me and will allow me to pursue other interests. I spend so much time at the library anyways. Please send positive energy my way to manifest this desire! I'm also waiting to heal, so I can return to modeling. I'm looking for Asian modeling agencies and other companies that are looking for my demographic :)

I created this title, but this experience has made me realize what people are able to conceal. My body hid this huge health problem and although it was trying to cry out to me, the truth is that it expertly hid quite a bit. Upon uncovering aspects of some of my friends attitudes, it's given me another dimension in my perspective. But I'm not inclined to express it right now, so that'll be for another entry. :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

When I Lose Touch with my Inner Goddess

I'm not a religious person; I'm more spiritual, if anything. I'm inclined to say that I believe in a Higher Being, although I feel less certainty now as I express this than years ago. I can confidently say that I believe there's a power greater than all of us and we're all connected to it. What that is, I couldn't even speculate.

Actually as my fingers keep typing away, I realize that isn't true. This greater power I believe we're all connected to could be a Higher Being. Or maybe it's the collective power innate in all of us that I sense. I believe each of us has the ability to manifest our desires. Some are better at it than others and variations exist just like we are as people. Some are tall, some are short, some are smart, some are sadly stupid, some are weak, some are strong....and so forth. Not everyone can manifest their abilities as easily as others.

I'd like to believe that I'm sensing the collective energy innate in all of us cuz it's an empowering idea. It's within our control to manifest our desires, materialize our dreams, and bring them to life. Even if a Higher Being does exist, I believe that it's still within our powers to achieve what we want out of life and too many of us (myself included) seek out external sources of assistances, rather than relying on our inner strength. This presence of power that exists in each of us is a marvelous thing, so I'm going to refer to it as our inner God or Goddess.

I, by no means, mean no disrespect to anyone who may find offense to my philosophy. I'm not trying to undermine any Higher Being. But since I'm not religious and I don't go to church, this is my equivalent. I hear people talk about how am imbalance is created when they lose touch with God and/or stop going to church, and when they reconnect, they're reminded of this ominous presence that empowers them. Well I don't go to church, but my body is my temple. And when I lose touch with myself, my soul that resides within my physical body that I'm going to refer to as my inner Goddess, a similar sense of imbalance occurs.

My life became stagnant and listless as I became discouraged. And I resisted in continuing to write about the same struggles cuz it was only perpetuating the energy I wanted to transform. But that led to my absence and negligence of this blog. Since I had nothing to write about, why even visit? I contaminated other aspects of my life with this same discouraging mentality.

I'm not quite sure when things shifted for me, and I can't even articulate the change. It's so slight that I'm even vulnerable to a relapse. You know when you're struggling and the pain dominates your life? It's so overwhelming and you can't escape it. As abstract and obscure as it is, people find a way to express it in a detail that's universal and tangible to many others who are going through the same thing or have once felt the same way. Yet when we overcome it, it's a liberating feeling but it's a process that can't quite transfer on paper or in this case the virtual world. I'm not quite sure why that is, but it's a personal, private accomplishment. It's one of the most life changing experiences. People have written books on how to get there, but the actual transition is this invisible force, unwritten and unrecorded. However evident it is when we're transformed by it.

I just want to take this moment and remember what happens when I lose touch with my Inner Goddess, so I'm more conscientious and continue to deepen my connection.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Manifestations on the Rise

I know I've been doormat for a while. But while I was neglecting my blog, life was happening all around me. The uncertainties and ambiguous health concerns as well as some intense emotional experiences left me feeling weak and helpless, but my body has an internal reset button. I hate to feel devastated, so much so that I have an unhealthy habit of suppressing my feelings. I do that because I can't bear the pain. Over the years I've discovered the danger of not dealing with my feelings and since I haven't had much practice coping with them, I feel like I struggle with it more than others. When it gets intolerable, my body just normalizes. I hit rock bottom and it's as if all my tears, pain, and sadness flush out of me and the water rises me to the top. I felt refreshed in some ways.

I'm pursuing modeling. It's something I've always been interested in but never gave attention to cuz either I wasn't very motivated or didn't have the time. Since it seems like every 9-5 job slips away from me and as much as I hate to admit it, so is my memory to the point that I'm having a difficult time even keeping basic jobs that it's a good opportunity to explore this realm. I feel like the universe is rewarding me in this path cuz already I've met five photographers in a matter of two months. I've had two photo shoots and have another one scheduled for tomorrow, one on Saturday, and I have to make appointments with three other photographers. These are all free, too!

Eventually I'll need compensation, of course but I like that I'm not losing money in an attempt to make money. It's an altruistic benefit. I just have to move forward from here once I gather everything I need to do just that. It's a bit frustrating cuz I want to create profiles online and I'm unable to complete the task cuz I'm not understanding how to save photos or upload them properly due to its size, etc. Fortunately pretty much all of the photographers have been exceptionally helpful, so I feel I can ask them for assistance.

So much has happened and I'm not really sure I'm inclined to record it all. It seems like a chore. But basically here goes! I stalked (yes stalked) my former English professor who now lectures at a different college from where I attended. With my health scare, it's made me examine my priorities. I've bounced around from one interest to another - writing, holistic nutrition coach, modeling, etc. While all of these capture my attention, writing has been a life long passion of mine and the only reason I haven't put together an adequate amount of publishable material is well....that's what I'm trying to discover. No actually that's what I'm trying to change.

As I thought more about this, I intuitively realized who I should seek out. Of course I could always email him and I imagine he would've been receptive, but taking the initiative and asking someone for assistance in my writing project is more likely to result in success if I do it in person. I'm so fortunate that he's receptive, enthusiastic, and has agreed to help me. I didn't go into detail but explained to him that I have a health concern I'm dealing with, it's opened up my schedule, money's tight, and I'm unable to attend school. More importantly, I don't think the key to putting so many of my writing visions together is inside of a classroom with assignments that are unrelated to my personal tasks. Since this is someone who pursued teaching English as a profession, he's more than willing to help me.

It's almost funny that I didn't think about this before. It's cuz I've never asked myself what can I do to help produce results, which is odd right? You'd think I'd ask such an obvious question! But sometimes things have to unfold at certain times and in different increments, so I'm going to choose to be grateful for what's happening now instead of concerning myself with the irrelevant past.

A friend has completed a book and is onto a second one. He's always been encouraging and supportive of my writing. He texted me once how do you not have a book yet and sadly cuz I wasn't in the healthiest mindset, I took offense to his comment which as it turned out was meant to be a kind-hearted one. It wasn't at all a judgmental inquiry and more along the lines of you're so talented. I found myself so excited and giddy for him but at the same time, that genuine happiness for him was an external feeling I was releasing and it was leaving my body. It left me feeling empty. I wanted to keep that excitement for myself, but I don't have anything to be excited for. I want to change that. I don't want my friend's success to be a bittersweet experience laced with a tinge of envy. It affects the quality of friendship I can offer for one thing. But I believe all of that has led me in the right direction.

Timing can be so magical. I became even closer with a friend who I've in the past only spent time with briefly, but you can tell there's this bond between us and she didn't hesitate to express it. She shared with me that she has two sisters, but she feels a sisterly connection with me. To this day, that's one of the best compliments I've ever received. So I couldn't be happier to have gotten closer with her. We both bring out the best qualities in each other, too.

A natural flow of events landed me as her Personal Organizer, which has rewarded her energetically and for me, as well. She gave me some money for my efforts, although I wasn't looking for it. Since she doesn't have much money, she's now offering me products. She's a designer. It's amazing how such a seemingly small gesture became an epiphany. A year ago I thought to ask her to help me accessorize but hesitated since I rarely talked to her and didn't want to run the risk of disturbing her, even though she's always been open and inviting. I rationalized during that time that although I love her designs, the jewelry she makes isn't really my style. To think I wasted an entire year not asking for her advice when it was available all this time hidden in her closet!

It made me realize that I still have self-sabotage traps, and I'm so grateful that I have her in my life cuz she's providing me with a safe, encouraging, and supportive environment for me to say and do the things I instinctively hesitate to do such as ask for help. Her genuine nature is an eye-opener. This is more than accessories for me. It's teaching me to trust my intuition and myself. I want to accessorize more cuz I have a difficult time seeing the big picture. I'm excellent at attention to detail, which is analytical and intellectual. But my creative side is underdeveloped and I want to practice it more. I want to find my creative identity.

Much in the same way I hesitated and rationalized, I remember years ago watching Martha Stewart with a guest who reconstructs t-shirts. I was intrigued and yet I rationalized my attention away by telling myself I'm not crafty, it's too much work, and I'm not creative. I don't even give myself a chance! As I was cleaning out my friend's closet, she was showing me shirts she wants to reconstruct and I remember that vague feeling of appeal resurface, but I yet again ignored it! Now I want to explore it.

I may decide to not pursue it, but I want to allow myself a chance to make informed decisions, rather than rejecting ideas before they have a chance to take shape. The truth is I need the money and this could be a way to do it. It doesn't have to be permanent or maybe it can be. I feel like this free time is about exploring. No matter how much effort I put into filling my time with productive agendas according to societal standards, I find myself in the same place I'm at now. Maybe I'm supposed to discover something.

I want to build my portfolio for modeling. I want paid photo shoots. I want my rent to be lowered. I want more income. I want to explore the creative realm and develop my creative identity. I want to build more meaningful relationships. I want my relationship to deepen. I want to learn to be more honest and open about my feelings. I want to feel comfortable taking the initiative to show someone how I truly feel or at the very least not withdrawal by giving mixed signals. I want to find unconventional ways to make money. I feel that I have to take advantage of uncommon ways to profit at this point in my life, so I'm trying to keep my eyes, ears, and intuition peeled for those opportunities. Manifestations on the rise!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Vertigo in the Midst of a Hurricane

I have a friend who means so much to me that it kills me to see him suffer. After a series of irrational and pointless arguments I'm sad to admit I've been a part of cuz it certainly wasn't a one-sided argument, I began opening my eyes to what the problem is. I don't mean to come off pretentious, despite the pretentious aura, but it's not me. When others are angry, while external forces play a role, it's deeply rooted in the angered individual.

Anger only survives in us when an imbalance and susceptibility for it is present within us. When I stopped reacting and stopped taking offense to the attacks, my perception expanded. I saw what was beyond the surface. I stopped being a part of the problem long enough to see it's not necessary to defend myself because when I do, I give power to the toxic energy and that only makes me susceptible to reciprocate.

I've been struggling in my own way with this. I've yo-yoed through a series of feelings and positions. I empathize for his suffering cuz despite my vehement position that it's self-inflicted, pain is still pain and knows no discrimination. I remember suffering the way he is. I haven't forgotten how difficult it is to let go, to feel helpless, drowning in what felt like the cause and source of my happiness, frustration, resentment, and anger, unable to separate myself from every negative energy I could possibly be linked to and even more harder in some ways continue to proceed with all that weight and burden. I didn't know how to stop. Slowing down and taking a break was perceived as a form of weakness. Even though I desperately needed a break, I refused to allow myself of such a thing. And in some ways it was even harder that I could keep going this way cuz it was discouraging. If I can keep going like this and nothing seemed to change around me, my environment, my life, my actions, my surroundings, my annoyances, people, then how can it ever get any better?

And if I never thought it could get better, I didn't want to put in the work towards improvement I didn't believe I'd ever meet. So I self-destructively sustained and perpetuated the problem, which not only changed nothing but exacerbated existing issues, as well as invite new burdens into my life. I paradoxically both knew and didn't know that I did everything I could to suspend myself in the state I was in, but I manifested even more damage into my life cuz the intensity of my rage was so powerful and subliminal that I was attracting more of it. With my own limited awareness, as well as the input of others, I was aware of my unhelpfulness and uncooperation in the matter. But I also didn't see what was going on, and that's why I was like that.

I still don't know how I got past it. I've read of the struggle and of how things got better when it was overcome, but there never seems to be much detail in the how-to. The transition between Hell to better is invisible. I went through it. I wrote about it. I still write about it. And yet I can't string together the transition, the thread that led me out of that darkness.

If anything, surviving it makes me susceptible to being intolerant to my friend's difficulty especially since it is self-inflicted! My friend's much like me a nervous person prone to stress if he's not careful. But I don't react the way he does under fire. He's asked me more than once how I've learned to not struggle the way he does. I'm sure I frustrated him with my answer which was that I couldn't really tell him. Each situation is unique and we're different people. Even if I could explain how I overcame it, it wouldn't help him. That's what I told him. The details beyond this sentence were thoughts in my mind that I kept to myself. This is something he needs to deal with internally. My source of knowledge would merely be external references for him, an insubstantial measure. The answer I gave him was a calculated one, however honest it was. But my thought to his question was that I grew up and stopped reacting like an adolescent.

You're pissed cuz you have fines. You earned them when you turned on a no u-turn sign, drove past a red light, exceeded the speed limit, parked where you weren't supposed to, or neglected to move your car when you should have. By saving at most 3 minutes (and that's a generous time line), you got a ticket cuz you turned when you shouldn't, an easily avoidable act. You take the same route weekly and are familiar with the neighborhoods you drive through. These are conscientious choices on your part. And it's not like he was running late and had any reason or motivation to rush.

You get caught, while others get away with it. It's true, that's unfair. I'm not disagreeing with that. So then what? You wanna keep focusing on how it's fucking unfair or do you want to make YOUR situation better by making the necessary and easy adjustments? If you know what you're doing wrong and how that's the cause of your problem but continue to do it, then you're responsible for it. Other people are on the road just like you. Other people take the same route to work just like you. But not everyone is getting fined just like you cuz their actions are different from yours.

Instead of recognizing and accepting where the fault lies, which means he has to face his own self-criticism cuz he's unable to examine things objectively and without judgment, he blames the government and meter maids. Sure, our system's flawed. Meter maids want you to screw up, and our system is created in a way that our government profits from our mistakes rather than investing in responsible drivers. The citizens are the ones at a disadvantage at the end. But that still doesn't change how you're creating the problem for yourself as a conscientious driver knowledgeable of the law and rules.

There's no flaw in my logic, and he knows it whether I express it or not. It's obvious! That also adds to his frustration cuz HE keeps fucking up. He's upset with himself. And it's understandable. But nothing will get better if nothing changes. Knowing this he still continues to sabotage himself and then he finds himself over burdened and desperate to unload.

Sometimes you just wanna lash out cuz when you're filled with negativity, it has to be released. No matter how irrational a person's being, it's important to give them room to boil over so they can normalize. But there's a fine line between releasing the hostility and allowing it room to grow by feeding into it every time you express it. This has been building inside of him for a solid year now. A fucking year of bitching by an adult who sets his behavior up for this exact consequence. Seeing how his complaints and repercussions are the same, he's aware of the mistakes that it causes. So WHAT...THE....FUCK....

Things have gotten so bad for him that everything's an escalation from what it actually is. He let things get out of hand, and he's struggling to resume control. As a result, minor details enrage him as if it's 500% percent worse than it actually is. He's ashamed of his reaction and blames others for it cuz he believes it's triggered by the actions of others. So not only does he get livid when something he considers unacceptable occurs, but he's raging with anger whenever there's a disagreement and by disagreement I mean even minor, minor details. It's frightening how emotionally hostile he gets over matters that are so dismissive.

Wall art
Washing the dishes
Opening the blinds

He has this green wall shelf decoration. It's a huge box with boxes within it. It's decorative. You can place stuff on it, whatever you'd like really. It was temporarily sitting below the kitchen island when he first received it. They're both a shade of green and the color complimented each other well. I said I liked where it was placed. I know that wasn't meant to be there or will be there permanently, but I was just commenting on the unique placement. I'm weird. I like weird stuff. I mean, who puts a large boxy wall shelf below a kitchen island in the hallway area sitting on top of a carpet? Yes, it's odd and would be very misplaced. But is it so severe that it should be the cause of yelling and being condescending and rude and disrespectful? Fuck no!

I swear all I said is I like where you put it. He said it's not going to stay there, that it's supposed to be on the wall. I said I know, but I like where it is. It's different. He repeated himself and now in retrospect he expressed it with frustration and a mild tinge of hostility that it's supposed to be on the wall. I still said I liked it cuz it's unique.

It's as if he got upset cuz my belief was a disruption against what's supposed to be, and he has so little tolerance for things that aren't the way they're supposed to be cuz he's unhappy with his life and how he feels it's not the way it's supposed to be. I wish I had that epiphany while the argument was taking place. I would've invested far less energy into it. Since the conversation was so harmless in my eyes, I didn't realize the hostility that rose from what I poured into, my thoughts... I mean who would've thought it would lead to its ultimate destination?

So after I said it's unique, he yelled at me that it was stupid. What about a coffee table on the wall and an upside down couch? That's unique. It's different. And no one's doing it. Then he reminds me that no one does it cuz it's not supposed to be like that and it's stupid! Over reaction much? That should've been my response. That's it. I shouldn't have bothered to take offense over something so trivial and stupid. But I did. I got upset. I was hurt. I mean really devastated not by the words but the emotional hostility, disrespectful, and rudeness that carried those other powerless words.

A culmination of reactions like those made me face the undeniable reality that it's a lot less about me and more about him. I really doubt I was responsible for his actions cuz perhaps I was being rude, condescending, and disrespectful in some way outside of that brief conversation that stirred a hostility in him that could no longer be contained. And even if I did, he invented the walled coffee table and upside couch cuz a pointless, irrelevant hypothetical situation was able to so easily anger him. How is that on me?

He admitted to me that his friend pisses him off cuz he wakes up in the afternoon. He said it judgmentally about how he's unproductive and gets nothing done cuz the morning is when people should wake up. He and his friend aren't in business together. He's not losing profit. It's not interfering with them hanging out. When they're together, they enjoy each other's company. His friend's sleep pattern isn't disrupting his sleep pattern. He's in such a heightened state of anger, hostility, and criticism that he's conditioned to effortlessly identify things he disapproves of and lashes out at it relentlessly, even when those things have no direct impact on his life.

When his DVD player didn't operate correctly, he literally had a meltdown. I mean, screaming, the heavy panting breathing, and just flipping out. It was freaky. Not being able to find parking was so stressful for him that he began sweating profusely, he got clammy, and it got so bad that he got vertigo and incredibly pale and weak. His hands looked lifeless and he had little energy to move his arms. He could barely keep his eyes open. When he forced them open, they opened very slowly and his eyelids looked like they were weighing down heavily.

His actions leave me unsympathetic and pitiless towards him. But when it manifests into physical concerns, I worry. I mean, I really worry. Since I can emotionally detach myself and have learned to not get contaminated by his negativity, I have no desire to abandon him. He stressed himself out so badly that he got a fever and he recovered surprisingly quickly. A full day of resting made a world of difference. But he got angry when I asked him if he wanted to sleep on his bed.

I know some people take offense to stuff like that however well-intentioned it is cuz they perceive it as condescending or treating someone as weak. If I show that I care about you and you take it negatively, that's not my fault. With that said, I ask cuz I want my friends to feel better. If such a question will only exacerbate the situation, I'll keep my mouth shut. I can care about someone in silence. But in this case he wasn't mad at me; he was mad at what it represented, that he's sick. His anger didn't last, though, as he could barely stand. I accompanied him on a two hour ride which should've totaled to four hours but actually lasted six hours cuz I was afraid that his fever would relapse. He was barely able to keep his head straight just hours before.

I can't tell someone like him to not go for a drive. It'll only anger the rebellion, which is likely to weaken him. I had to ask him to take me to Robeks as a favor to me when I wanted him to get some nourishment. He admitted to me that it helped and gave him a boost of energy. He said it was easier to move. If you could barely keep your fucking head up and your body feels weak, why the fuck would you be behind the wheel?

I'm glad he's safe, and I don't regret ensuring that. Every so often, I told him I wanted to stop and pee. He would get annoyed, but each time I felt like his focus was shifting was when I made these requests and it always ended with him saying I made a good judgment. It's frightening to think of what could've happened if I wasn't there cuz I've seen him struggle going up three flights of stairs. He'd walk like a drunk person and be completely sober. But I'd rather he not be like this.

I'd rather he return to the positive and happy person he used to be. I wish he'd face the difficulty he's trying so hard to ignore as a way to overcome it. I wish he'd stop focusing on small details and see the big picture cuz it takes time even after realizing the big picture to shift our moods that have solidified in negativity. I wish he'd stop being a victim to fixed beliefs that productivity should dominate and step away from engaging in inefficient tasks and meditate where he used to. I wish every time he has an opportunity to get upset and complain about the cause, he chooses to do somethign else, anything else. Listen to good music. Think up three positive things to say. It sounds cheesy, but he has to change his habits.

Being negative has become a conscious, subconscious, and unconscious habit. It's become a toxic lifestyle. To change it, he has to actively engage in positive thinking. His brain probably hasn't released happy chemicals in so long that he has to alert them and entertain them before they become operational again.

I wish he would realize how important he is and make himself a priority. Yes, the clutter in his apartment is stressing him out but if twenty minutes of trying to clean it up leaves him angry for six hours, then he needs to take a break rather than try and push through it. It may not seem productive to go to the beach for a day and do nothing cuz he'll have nothing measurable to show for it, but sometimes the most valuable things are immeasurable. I wish he would realize that.

I won't abandon him right now as long as I can stay positive through all of this, but I don't want to have to be disciplined and focused to stay anchored. I'd much rather be doing something else rather than babysitting an adult from himself. I know he didn't ask for me to turn him into my responsibility and I know it sounds incredibly condescending. But I'm not exaggerating when I say he could drive off and get into a car accident. Something has to change cuz if it doesn't, I won't be here. Right now he's continuing down a road deeper and much darker. I won't be able to stay above the negativity for much longer and when I run out of breath, I'm going to go on survival mode and he'll be alienated. I care about him, but I refuse to go down with the ship.

Platonic Friendships

Since I've been unemployed, I've been thinking a lot about this one guy who works at an EDD Work Source Center. I bet if he read that first sentence and knew it was coming from me, he'd be gleaming with pride. Unbeknownst to him, it'd be misguided and grossly misunderstood pride on his part. I'm not thinking of him in an attractive or in my opinion a positive way at all. He's an example of an unfortunate circumstance in my eyes and not want I want to expose myself to.

Everyone is different, and we can't or shouldn't be who we aren't. I don't agree with his perspective, but the truth is that my opinion is about as valid and therefore as invalid as anyone else's since this is a subjective matter. What works for one person doesn't work for another. I believe what I believe because of who I am and how I operate and respond to things. If my response and perspective was closer to his, then I'd look at someone like me and be confused or skeptical too. It's understandable, but it's his lack of openness that both frustrates and saddens me.

Some people don't accept a perspective outside of their own and therefore believe that any that exist outside of their own is a result of distortion, fabrication, or illusion. How can someone make such a judgment about a perspective they not only share but openly admit they don't understand? It makes no sense to me. There's a difference between rejecting someone else's position cuz it doesn't fit into your life, beliefs, or identity, but it's another thing to say it isn't real. You can believe it isn't real and share that perspective, but opinion and fact are two different things.

I'm a girl with a lot of guy friends. In my world, platonic friendships do exist. You can doubt it by all means. You're entitled to your opinion, but to say I'm just wrong in a finalized and factual retort is immeasurable by the person making such a statement. You just look stupid.

I'm not going to bend over backwards to prove myself cuz the type of person who refuses to accept any alternative won't be receptive to something that shouldn't even be an argument. Seeing how I've had friends who have outright refused to sleep with me under the pretense that I'm like a guy, sister, not someone they find attractive, not interested, not their type, or no offense but you're so petite that you look too young and I'd feel uncomfortable support what I say. These are friends I've had from childhood, so it makes sense. Sexual attraction starts later in life, and it just didn't carry over with me.

Could it be that I'm ugly? Probably not. I get a lot of attention from guys, and I don't mean to sound pretentious but it's true. Not that I'm the hottest girl ever, but I certainly get enough attention from guys who describe me as a sexy, beautiful, attractive, hot, tasteful... So guys don't tend to find me attractive cuz I'm the trashy "hot" girl. I'm thin and petite, but I have a curve, although as I already mentioned I'm petite.

I'm not saying every guy friend has never had any desire, thought, or fantasy to sleep with me, but our friendship isn't disingenuous and in existence with the intention to bed me. I think after ten years, it's safe to say that isn't the case. And these are guys who successfully get pretty much any girl they aspire to sleep with. Not everyone is made equal.

If you're the kind of guy who gets a hard on by just looking at a girl, it's understandable why you don't have platonic friendships. But not everyone is like that! What I don't understand are guys who try to educate or enlighten me. I'm not saying every guy is like this but some are. I don't want to go through the trouble of reliving my past of many, many different parents asking me why their son isn't interested in sleeping with me. Is it cuz I have an STD? I couldn't get anyone to sleep with me until I found a guy outside of my high school. Yeah, this late bloomer lost it after high school.

I wish I could say that I don't have any resentment towards this, and I partially believe it. But I only partially believe it. I don't like how meeting guys like him reminds me of my past and resurfaces my inadequacies cuz of his limited perception. Then I feel guilty for placing my reaction that I'm solely responsible for on someone else.

It's just tragic cuz I have a healthy mix of friends now, both women and men. They're so different. I can't imagine cutting one gender out of my life. That's slicing my experience in half. I wouldn't have been able to evolve as I did. If it weren't for my guy friends, I'm not certain I could be confident and secure when I'm involved with a guy cuz I'd constantly feel inferior every time he notices other attractive women. I'm too observant to not notice, either.

There's nothing wrong with guys noticing other girls. Not like once he becomes involved with me that all of a sudden, all pretty girls disappeared. I relate more to guys. If I didn't have them in my life, I would've felt so alone and alienated. Nothing's more lonely than being surrounded by people and feeling either invisible or foreign within everything that's tangible around you.

Of course I'm comparing extracting something I've already experienced and is a part of me out of my life vs. someone who has no idea what I'm talking about. Apples and oranges. Sometimes you can't know what you're missing unless you've had it. But still... I've been thinking about this a lot cuz I have so much free time that I'm able to spend it with my friends. And I've resisted going to the work source center cuz I don't want to have to convince someone that platonic friendships do exist. Who has to deal with shit like that? It's ridiculous!

Yes, I can tell him to leave me alone. But I don't even want to deal with it. What's the point behind his action anyways? He says friendships with the opposite sex doesn't exist. I know he'd gladly sleep with me if he can. He began showing me pictures of all his ex-wives and expressed how he's always been able to get really attractive girls, even though he's not the best looking. He's trying to impress me by validating himself through his past failed relationship. Score! Not only is that a poor attempt but a demonstration of weak intelligence. It's lazy. You wanna impress a girl? You don't reference the past.

Seriously what's the point behind his action? He doesn't believe opposite sex friendships exist. I don't want to spend time with anyone who isn't my friend. I made that much clear. He's asked me if I'd help him sell his furniture and help him haggle. Really? Do you even know if I have skills in that department? Not that it matters since that's so not the point! But how does convincing me that opposite sex friendships don't exist help you? It won't make me spread my legs open. It won't actually change your life.....

It took me a long time to realize this, but there is no definite yes or no answer to this cuz everyone is different. So what's with this ongoing debate? You can argue that someone is faking a platonic gesture. Sure. You can argue that someone is genuine in their platonic intentions. But you can't create an ultimate generalization. At least not one that's accurate and successful in its assessment. When will people realize that?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My GI Visit

After being shuffled from one physician referral to another which had a stench of scheme polluting around it, I decided to call up a friend who's in nursing school and will be graduating next month! :) He's going to be a great nurse! I read my medical record to him and based on my symptoms, he recommended I see a GI specialist and a gynecologist. I had my GI appointment yesterday and am scheduled to see a primary care physician and gynecologist next week. This experience has made me medically responsible, so I guess that's one good thing that came out of it.

I'm proud of the research I did to find this GI specialist. I spoke with a French friend of mine who said her doctor in France recommended a doctor from Cedars-Sinai. Since then I've observed a correlation that the best rated and most prominent physicians have completed their residency at Cedars-Sinai. I'm a little ashamed to admit that I found him on yelp, but a patient of his was referred to him by someone from a medical board. Combined with the consistently positive review, it made me optimistic and secure enough to schedule an appointment with him.

Another GI specialist who's office is further away had much higher reviews detailing that he didn't require patients to come in, which reduced cost of co-payment and recommended probiotics as an effective treatment. A physician can profit by prescribing medications and various procedures instead. So I must admit I was drawn to that physician, but intuitively I felt like it wasn't the best decision. I rationalized it as a result of distance, which is a valid point. After all I want to create a life closer to live where I live, and I want it be easy to travel there in the event that a complication is revealed.

My hesitation was confirmed after a brief conversation with the office staff. The woman was professional as far as efficiently and competently scheduling my appointment, and while I can't say she was irrefutably rude, I've worked at call centers and am aware of how to execute politically correct rudeness. I recognized it and it's never a good sign when someone exercises that kind of behavior. I've perceptive to tone and her response was a red flag. She said they didn't have an appointment until next month but said it in a way that made it seem like is it worth the trouble of scheduling you? I asked what times they had available and she was rather snippy as if reminding me of something I already knew which I didn't cuz it was my first call that she won't know until she registers me since I'm a new patient. It's as though she's already been stressed or has difficulty executing procedures unless it occurs in a specific order to her satisfaction. That didn't sit well with me. I chose to schedule the appointment just in case cuz I can always cancel later, but I'd hate to be unable to schedule one at a later time. Oh and it's also noteworthy that this GI specialist was only in the office twice a week.

Food for thought: No matter how highly rated any physician is, if they aren't in the office regularly enough, selecting that person to be your physician isn't the wisest choice. You want your physician to be accessible. If they aren't even in the office full time, how can you expect to reach him or her in an emergency? These are things to consider. Don't forget about the office staff, too. You have to communicate with them

Sunday, April 29, 2012

There's Happiness and Then There's Happiness

This is something my mind has been circling around a lot lately. But I've resisted from blogging about it cuz it's still such an obscure concept. I guess I've been thinking that there are two kinds of happiness. (Okay, I don't really believe that but these are the two that my mind keeps returning to).

When I think of one of the type, a specific group of friends come to mind. They're in their thirties and are content with their lives. They enjoy waking up, spending time with friends, and they're financially secure. They don't have particularly satisfying jobs. It's not mentally challenging. Retail, customer service, or call center jobs tests our patience, but it's a skill you develop over time. Even maid work. These are jobs that high school students can be trained to do.

So their source of happiness certainly doesn't come from their employment. Maybe their standards are lower. Maybe they just have a healthy perspective on the matter that I lack. I'm not sure what it is. All I know is I haven't been able to be happy with those types of jobs. I don't think less of them for not aspiring for a different career. I just wonder how they do it. Although it doesn't really matter cuz I'm not like them, and I'm not even sure I want to be. But that doesn't mean I don't envy their ability to be happy.

I feel like my feelings exist in a paralleled or suspended state between a mild sense of unhappiness as a result of no career and a feeling of indifference over it all cuz I haven't found anything to be passionate over. I seem to develop ambitions and aspirations, but I have no motivation to pursue them. I sound lazy and I can't confidently say I'm not. But I bust my ass making ends meet. It's not the habit of a lazy person. It'd be less strenuous to work towards a career. I can't help but feel like I'm not driven cuz I haven't found something worth my time and attention. That excuse gets old and frustrating, though, cuz if I can't find something that really captivates me, then do I continue down this path of uncertainty? How annoying do I sound? The other happiness is probably more accurately described as self-fulfillment or at least that's the source of happiness obtained through a successful career. I don't define successful as lucrative but emotionally gratifying.

I guess I'm searching for both forms of happiness since I don't feel connected to either of them. I'm not unhappy or depressed, but I want to feel more than I already do. This isn't meant to be a downer entry. It's just a thought that's been dominating my mind and I wanted to release it, so I can focus my thoughts on other matters.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Lil About Me Feature of the Month

1. In my fifth grade yearbook, I wrote that when I grow up I want to become a writer and travel to France. I still hold those desires. I forgot how into France I was until the past couple of years when I developed friendships with a few French people. I have French cousins, and France has always carried that intrigue for me. Although I could care less about the Eiffel Tower. The last thing I want to do is spend a substantial amount of time going up many, many stairs only to say I did something achievable and is only considered significant cuz it's practically iconic. I have no personal connection to it. I also want to have the French experience since I'm told I have a European mentality. As an adult I've become interested in traveling to India cuz although I'm not a religious person, I believe the most intense experience will occur in a contrasting environment. The country looks beautiful, the devotion admirable, it's amazing the variety of food offered through a limited ingredient scale, and the design and colors used are absolutely gorgeous!

2. I want to paint an Arabian door on my wall, a mural, above my bed to serve as a "headboard." I want that ethereal, whimsical, almost Aladdin like look, rounded edges and soft corners. Many murals I found online feel either too busy or too boring for me. I want to personalize it by having a message written in braille. I used to read braille. A message will definitely be present, but it won't be overwhelming or distracting with the over usage of words. It creates an essence of mystery, too.

3. I really enjoy container gardening. Unfortunately I'm not home regularly enough to make such a commitment worthwhile. I also have neighbors that not only steal the produce but litter in it that I've lost interest in it sadly. When I was enjoying the process I grew strawberries, tomatoes, Italian basil, lemon basil, Thai basil, cilantro, parsley, oregano, thyme, radishes, carrots, shiso leaves, peppermint, mizuna, and wild arugula. I believe everyone should try their hand at gardening and begin with radishes cuz they grow quickly and abundantly. It's fun and encouraging.

4. I have a natural talent for communication, which must be why languages come more easily to me than others. Don't get me wrong. It doesn't mean I don't study hard, but I seem to be more receptive to it. Although I also have a tendency to forget unused material, as well. My Japanese used to be phenomenal. Now I seem unable to complete a sentence without tripping on a word here or there... :/ I grew up in a Russian neighborhood, so I picked up on that rather quickly. At best now I can make intuitive assessments. I was in Spanish 2B in high school. Now I can barely order food in Spanish. I dabbled in learning French, but I've hit a road block. I also knew American sign language, Japanese sign language, and braille.

5. I have this obsession of taking pictures of food I make, food I order, basically food within my proximity.

6. Summer is my party season cuz oddly enough when I drink, I get cold. I mean shivering and shaking in an uncontrollable capacity. But when I drink during the hot season, I go from feeling like it's 100 degrees to normal weather. I don't feel hot or cold, just fine. :) I like gurly fruity drinks. I'm a girl, small, and Asian. Not like I'm going to be knocking back shots. I'm okay with that. It makes the bill more affordable.

7. Most of my friends are guys and I have a platonic energy. I'm okay with that. I don't really welcome deceptive guys masquerading as my friend to get into my pants anyway. I find it insulting to my intelligence and a poor use of effort on the guy's part especially when guys get frustrated that they're unsuccessful in seducing me and as a result begin to resent me and lash out at me when I've been honest from the start. It's an adolescent way to respond to things not going according to your plan. You don't get what you want, so you bitch. Why can't adults be mature and gracious at the face of reality?

8. I want to learn to play the violin.

9. I was adopted when I was fourteen. My mom and my brother mean more to me than they will ever know. I was fourteen when the woman I met who would eventually become my mother showed me what being compassionate and caring truly is. It's a rather delayed age to learn emotional qualities we should all be familiar with, but I'm just grateful I experienced it and learned it through her.

10. My absolute favorite color is purple. My aura's purple. My birthstone is amethyst, a purple crystal. And my personality describes purple traits - spiritual, mystical, unconventional, untraditional, eccentric, unique, original, etc. :)

The Unproud American

I think I'm growing both tired and ashamed of my own cultural heritage. I never felt connected to my Japanese and Korean roots. But at least when I was growing up, it felt natural and appropriate that I adopted the American culture. I was born here after all. It was a different time, though.

Maybe I was naive and unaware of what was happening when I was younger which I'm certain is partially true, but the world really has changed. I used to describe myself as an American because I'm open-minded, culturally receptive, independent, an advocate of self-empowerment, believe in the chance for opportunities, and a supporter of freedom of expression. I still hold these values, but they no longer represent America. It's a facade if this illusion is conveyed, and frankly no one really bothers to even articulate the deceit anymore. 

I'm not even sure where to begin. So many of my friends are leaving the country because this is no longer the place people travel to for new opportunities like once upon a time. It's the country people leave or get kicked out of and with good reason. This reality is becoming more real to me as I become more aware and unable to ignore them especially with how it's been affecting me personally. The truth is these things effect all of us, but sometimes its impact is indirect or subtle enough to really matter. Not for me. 

Every country has flaws and I doubt the States is the only one guilty of faults. But what should be rare occurrences are becoming a normality that we, as citizens, silently accept because the structure is set up to leave us disadvantaged. We're debilitated from repair and uneducated or restricted to make improvements or changes. I'm referring not only to malicion but the set up, as well. 

Despite the economic downfall, I've been able to find work. But keeping a job is a different story. And yet I'm no longer seen as someone with a retention problem since this outcome is common. I took a career assessment test that measures how much my income would have to be in order to maintain my desired expenses. I kept everything at an all time minimum. I selected a studio apartment, a car since I'm an adult, groceries only to cook at home, and very little indulgences such as internet which is practically a necessity nowadays. I didn't select cable, shopping for clothes and accessories, and other frivolous expenses. And yet my income would have to be crazy high to sustain living in my area that my career choices excluded any best suited for my skills and abilities. Labor intensive positions dominated career choices to fit my financial lifestyle. -_____- I'm a girl that weighs 96 pounds. I can't do labor. 

I live in a bachelor (a studio without a kitchen) and I take public transportation which I don't mind. But it's the same form of travel I used as an adolescent cuz it's the only choice I can afford as an adult. I really don't like that restriction. I can't realistically see myself upgrading based on financial circumstances. 

You know it's a bad sign when unemployment offers more financial stability than actual employment. Many companies only hire part-time employees, which means either I penny pinch like crazy and can't afford anything to go wrong which is unlikely or accumulate debt which I'm grateful I've been able to avoid. But being hired as an employee doesn't mean I have strictly part-time hours, which would make me eligible for unemployment. Not that I want to rely on government funding, but sometimes when I don't have money, I need it... Part-time employees can temporarily be assigned full-time hours. In the state of California after three consecutive weeks of full-time hours, employees must receive benefits. So many companies hire employees as part-time workers and over work us anywhere from 40-90 hours and then drop us to barely 20 hours on the third week. This vicious cycle continues. Many people are also hired as seasonal employees and then re-hired months later. Or to be hired as full-time employees, we have to sign a contract that forfeits our right to benefits. 

It's such exploitation. I'm only able to make ends meet with catering and bartending gigs which don't come around often enough. You'd think not having a higher education plays a role but before you think it's appropriate to criticize me for my limited educational background, it doesn't apply. Many college graduates are in greater debt including doctors who are unable to find work. Many college graduates are denied jobs cuz their crendentials make them over qualified and companies can't afford to pay a higher salary. 

Downgrading or having roommates become inevitable considerations. When you're strapped for cash, what else can you do? In this situation, not much unless I move to a place that doesn't have these barriers... It's only a natural evolution to weigh other possibilities. 

In addition to employment and financial problems attached to it, health insurance is a nightmare. Have you seen the documentary Sicko? A woman who had breast cancer was denied treatment with a technicality of a previous health record which was a yeast infection... -____- Hospitals hire people ways to legally reject medical services as a way to save money at the cost of peoples' lives. Elder hospital residents were shuffled into taxi cabs and out of hospital rooms to make space to admit more patients. Cost of health care is outrageous. It's not only greedy, but our health care system invests methods that kill the very people they're meant to protect. Interesting thing about documentaries is that it's sensationalized to a degree, but these aren't exaggerated and common practice. 

It costs me money to request my medical records. There are certain unnecessary but costly surgeries that are procedurally conducted for profit such as appendix removal. I was fortunate that the surgeon on staff refused to put me in surgery when my inflamed appendix would've legally granted him the right to do so. But with antibiotics and close medical supervision, the inflammation went down without the need of surgery. However in most cases there are many procedures, both surgeries and unnecessary testings that are conducted for profit. There are books revealing which tests are unnecessary for specific symptoms but are conducted none the less to exploit uneducated patients. It's horrible. 

I've been in a lot of pain and unable to schedule appointments with physicians and specialists. It's unfortunately common. A while back I read that funding to produce chemotherapy has been cut back, so doctors are instructed to put patients on chemotherapy at a later stage of cancer despite the fact that it'll decrease the chances of survival. Funding in the medical industry is being reduced cuz it's being allocated to other things. I won't pretend to be aware of what it is. All I know is this circumstance is despicable. 

I watch the news and see murderers like Zimmerman commit crime in cold blood and then deny it and avoid legal consequence as a result of the legal system. Even facing jail time, he's looking at far less years than someone who hacked into private video footage of porn. Of course an invasion of privacy is unacceptable. I'm not discounting that at all, but how come viewership results in a lifetime of prison while murder goes for far less? One woman was fired for saving her employer's life by donating an organ. While I'm at it, the good samaritan law says you give implied consent to someone saving your life when you need CPR and are unconscious. Yet doctors who save peoples' lives but leave them with a broken rib end up in jail! It's unimaginable! It's too many horrible things happening all at the same time. My tolerance is growing thin. 

It's difficult for me to build a life here with my financial limitations. My health isn't valued. And I'm ashamed of my legal system. Finding work is such a challenge. My choices have led me to this life. I don't want to sit here and make excuses cuz it changes nothing. But the fact remains that I'm twenty eight with no career. I'm too busy making ends meet to build on an existing foundation. At best all I can do is maintain what I have. My situation is certainly not the worst and I'm impressively resourceful. But I don't want to maintain this current lifestyle indefinitely. 

As more time passes, I'm beginning to realize that if I want a better future for myself, I really should consider moving out of this country. It's scary to just get up and move. Stability has never been a part of my life, and it's finally began to settle down. To get up and move to a foreign country is like traveling towards a path of uncertainty that I'd create. And yet I'm learning that it can be done. 

I've always been interested in France. As an adult, I forget how much it appealed to me as a child but I've been reminded of it a lot lately cuz a really close friend of mine is French. He says my mentality is very European and encourages me to move there at one point cuz he genuinely believes I'll enjoy it there. But I kept thinking where would I stay? I don't have any friends there and have no money. How will I support myself? It's a foreign language I don't really speak, certainly not enough to get a job out of it. But the truth is in France, you don't get kicked out when you have no means to pay to support yourself. That doesn't mean I want to freeload but that already offers me more of an advantage than my own country. So it's not as risky to move as I once believed it to be. 

I'm far from ready to leave despite my protests. But eventually I want to move. Ideally I want to be ready to move, although that doesn't seem realistic. I'm not the type of person who's able to be "ready" to move to a foreign country where uncertainty dominates. Yet I handle unexpectations surprisingly well. If I'm not going to be ready to move, when do I make the move? The only answer I know for sure  is not now. But time has a way of being perceptually deceptive. It passes us by quietly but also quickly. I've been living in LA for ten years and although I've changed so much since I've moved here, evidence that a lot of time has passed, it hasn't felt like ten years. I don't want another ten years to pass me by while I stay fixed at my current location. I don't want to be stagnant and the world is too huge for me to not allow myself more experiences than my current surrounding. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

In Better Spirits

I've been feeling better than I have been for a while. :) It's a nice change of pace. Normality is re-entering my life. I'm able to get groceries, run errands, and generally walk around without being in a lot of pain. Actually pain in general is greatly reduced. I've also been cooking more, too. It's interesting how taking a cooking hiatus has really affected my performance. Anyways I made baked tilapia with lemon pepper seasoning (super simple) with sauteed kale and carrots with fresh lemon juice, curry powder, turmeric, and cumin. Everything I used has anti-inflammatory effects, too, which is good cuz my appendix has been acting up a bit.

I have a doctor's appointment on Monday, then two more throughout the week. I'll probably have to return for an mRI. I consulted a friend who's in nursing school and I've been advised to get an mRI. My medical records have also reflected that, as well. It's so frustrating to think that had I have not requested my record, I would've never known the severity of my situation. But that's an opinion I'd rather refrain from expressing. I've resisted writing cuz as therapeutic as it is for me to express myself on my blog, I want to guard against developing a habit of negative expression.

I'm really enjoying the sunny weather. Right now the sun is shining, and I really want to sunbathe in front of my friend's swimming pool. I'll go to Trader Joe's on the way home and pick up some sunscreen spray. The weather's been seriously bipolar, but when it did become hot, I started carrying my bikini in my bag. I was planning on going to a potluck and free concert, but it's so close to the actual event that I really don't feel like rushing. My friend's place has internet, so I could stay here which is tempting despite the beautiful weather outside.

However if I head home, I can work on my art journal. I borrowed this book at the library called Refuse to Choose which is a book on scanners. Scanners are people who have a variation of interests and find it difficult to specialize in a specific field. Sometimes I feel like a scanner, but I have far more focus than my irrefutable scanner friends. So sometimes I wonder. I'm not lazy or ADD. But as I get older, I'm willing to invest so much time on things that don't have significance for me. As I embrace this, I enjoy learning so much but find that I don't have the traditional evidence of being a productive member in society. It's a fine line between caring about societal expectations and my own insecurity of not having something to show for my twenty eight years. Anyways this book celebrates and encourages scanners to embrace all their interests beginning with creating a Scanner Journal where ideas can be expressed without guilt. I have so many ideas I want to jot down. (Learning French, recipes, first aid, color therapy, plant biology, supernatural characters, etc) Okay so maybe not A LOT of ideas but some ideas...

And oddly enough I'm excited to go home to make sweet potato chips on my friend's dehydrator. I need a good 12 hours to complete this task, and I'm usually everywhere but home that I've been unable to get this done. I saw it on a youtube video and now I'm really looking forward to it. I want to invite my friend over to have sweet potato chips with, but I'm afraid he's going to ask for his dehydrator back. :/ And of course I do plan to return it, but considering how much I've been procrastinating on using it, I'm not ready to return it. Then again if he's reading this, I may have to return it anyways. :)