More inspiration

There are so many lovely Christians who write online.  Every so often I run into one.

Recently, I’ve been having a hard time.  The move here has exposed that I want so much for my self.  I want my time, my ambitions, my desires.  Instead, I’ve been drafted into a job that I am woefully not good at.  Not drafted, I willingly decided to join.  In my naivete, I did not anticipate what others saw coming.  My mother is an accountant.  She passed her CPA exam with two kids in tow.  She worked and fed us fresh meals every, single, day.  I never wanted to be an accountant.  I majored in Economics in college.  To most people, that might seem like it’s close to Accounting.  Let me tell you, it’s not.  Economists and Accountants are like the Chemists and Biologists of the world.  We deal with similar things, but from a different worldview.  Economists are always asking the question “Why?”, which I am very, very, inclined towards.  And, which seems to drive certain practical minds crazy.  “What do you mean why?”  If I have no answer to “Why?” I feel that what I am doing is meaningless.  And within myself I feel that it must not be arbitrary; there must be some secret that I don’t know, a reason for this seeming madness.  There must be an answer to that question.  And I feel it is hidden, and I cannot bear secrets.  I myself am terrible at keeping secrets, but only my own.  I can keep others.  With myself, I feel this odd need to divulge, that if I didn’t, I would be counted dishonest.  I feel the need to tell my hubby that I had another bothersome dream.  Even though I don’t need to.  Hubby is the opposite in this regard, but that’s for another blog post.  Anyway, sometimes, there are no answers.  At least, none that anyone can verbalize to an inquisitive, exasperated learner without becoming exhausted doing so.  How did I end up here?

We felt it was of the Lord that we come.  I had this place in my heart before we got married, but because of school and a job, it was not the time.  Now we are here, and I feel I just want to be by myself, holed up in a house, maybe pursuing my music, my cooking, my designing, my becoming an ultimate perfect housewife slash musician slash chef slash walking encyclopedia slash polyglot slash greenthumber slash DIYer.  In life, this desire for the ideal has often paralyzed me, pulled me in many directions, fueled my disappointment and self-disparagement.  At this point, I would generally break out with one of my favorite songs from Wicked 🙂

“I’m limited……..”

Ok but seriously, this mom’s post about contentment?  Wow.  It’s like my dream of a perfect life just got slapped in the face, in a good way.


Interior Design

How many years of study does it take to become an interior designer?  And how much of it is natural talent?  I’ve been reading up on design, since looking at our living room gives me little inspiration for what to do with it.  It’s difficult when you’re on a budget in your head which is not a budget at all (the budget is, I just bought a house, and I don’t want to spend anything until I feel like it again), and also wanting to not have a space that really looks designed (um contradiction, much?).  Not going to find that on Pinterest anywhere, I think.  Do people actually use these living rooms?  Or do those pillows just sit there, in that exact formation, pretending to be inviting, but inviting no one?  Is it just art?  Beautiful art, but I can’t picture myself or guests inside of it?  I wonder.

They say thick fabrics and woven work and textures contribute to a cozy living room.  They say area rugs help tie everything together, even if you have carpet, which seems a huge tragedy to me.  Someone else was trying to convince me on the benefits of an area rug.  The jury is out.  I’m stuck guys.

It’s funny, but life was easier when we just had to make do with what we had.  When I was a broke (whether in bank account, or just in my mind) girl with a couple roommates, and we collected things off the streets like it was gold and hauled it away to our temporary dwelling.  Chairs here, a dishrack there.  When the old bones of the building had its own charm and we just had to move in.  The little details were woven in by a Berkeley person of the past, giving the place its own character to stand on.  It was more than we could have asked for already as wanderers.

Now the choices and possibilities are seemingly endless and yet not.  There is a house across from us that looks exactly the same as ours.  Except we did choose a few things out of the options.  Mushroom color grout.  A certain color for our tile.  Granite in the bathroom (which apparently is way more finicky than I knew!)  Other than that, little to no upgrades, so that our seller questioned whether we were truly going to live here or were we planning to rent out the place?  I considered ourselves simple, happy with the basics.  We would DIY the rest of it, we said.  We wanted to learn.  We didn’t know that moving would involve learning to a point of certain exhaustion (or is it the heat?), if learning can do such a thing.  I’m just being dramatic.  We’re not exhausted.  Just tired.

Interior designers say you have to start with a vision.  What’s our vision?

Kapok Press: I Can Do It! and Autism

It’s been awhile since I blogged!  I guess I forgot about my little niche on the internet.  I’ve been spending a lot of time on Facebook groups actually, getting advice for my other challenges that I haven’t written about here yet.

My little autistic student is doing very well since I last posted.  I started her in the I Can Do It!  Books, which have huge, color-coded letter names for the notes, and a cut out keyboard that you can put behind the keys, which tells you the names of the notes.  It worked perfectly for my student, and she actually paid attention the book (for once!) and played the notes purposefully!  I was SO proud of her, as was her mother.  It was an emotional moment for us, and made me so glad that we were trying to work with her as much as possible.

In the meantime, I’ll be running off to teach one of my friend’s kids.  She’s a little bit impulsive with playing in my opinion and often gets the intervals wrong as she reads, so I’m going to try Diane Hidy’s notey-noteheads with her and see if that helps her with her reading.  Also both of my students who are from Yamaha tend to bang on the keys a little.  I wonder if it’s just them, because I don’t remember doing that when I was a kid!  I also don’t like loud sounds though.  We’ll see if we can work on that today too.

I’ve also been trying out different expense tracking softwares.  My Music Staff was very cool, but costs money, so I’m still searching.  Currently I’m trying out Wave.  I don’t like that it doesn’t have the calendar option like My Music Staff does, but the invoices it produces are quite pretty and professional-looking.

Dear husband and I will be moving soon, so if I end up with only a couple students at my new location, I’ll be able to manage invoicing with something simple.

I’m in!

That’s right, I used an exclamation point.  I finally received a letter of acceptance from CSULB.  So that’s where I will be next Fall.  I’m happy that it finally happened after all this time, and now I can move on to the next stage of life, that is, figuring out where I’m going to be living.  No but really, it has been a long time coming.  So long, that I’m not really excited about it.  I’m just glad it’s settled, nervous about change, and hopeful for the sunshine.

There’s a lot I have come to finally be comfortable with here.  My place in the church life, my small groups, my young people, my housemates, my coworkers.  It’s not all cheery, but I feel like the dust is settling, in a good way.  So maybe that wasn’t the best analogy.  I feel like the tide is low.  The waves aren’t so violent and unpredictable.  The ocean is lapping against the sand in a gentle, methodical way.  Still moving, but quietly.  

I feel like I have learned so much, but maybe I feel like that with every passing year.  There is always more to see, more to do, more to learn, more to experience.  All of a sudden, my teenage presumption is so apparent to me.  All of a sudden, I feel old.  Not wrinkly old.  Just old enough to not know everything anymore, as a delightful Bubba Gump quote once said, and decide that it’s okay that way.

I used to wish the Lord would tell me everything at once.  What He liked, what He didn’t like, what He wanted.  And that I would comply.  It would be like the tablets given to the children of Israel.  That’s what I wanted.  The law.  But I found out that He knew what I could bear and what I could not.  I found out that He’s not in the business of giving answers, but in the business of mingling.  I found out that there is more to life than living it perfectly.  And I found out that His mercy is flowing, oh the grace.

Exhaustion, the busy kind.

I am pooped.  And that, is why I haven’t been blogging on here lately.  Well, that, and I haven’t had proper internet on my laptop for awhile.  Admittedly, I do blog on the Tumblr quite often, but that’s only because of 3G.

I hate writing in complete sentences because it reminds me of work, and I am not used to it anymore.  Plus, I seem to think in ellipses, and if I can’t use them, then, well.

How am I supposed to express myself?!


I found out that I actually really like keeping house.  I KNOW.  That sounds absolutely ridiculous and incredibly boring (just like all the adjectives I’m using), but, seriously.  There is something quite rewarding about finishing the curtains on my windows and finding out that I did them WRONG and doing them again only to find out that there’s yet another way to do them that looks EVEN BETTER.  Thanks IKEA, for not having instructions.  That’s right, some of us do use them.

Once in awhile, I’ll also splurge on a really cute mint green three dollar tray.  Adorbs!  And absolutely pointless at this time.  It’s okay, I know I will find a use for it in the future.  #storyofapackrat

Speaking of uses, I have established a “Mary Poppins Box”, where I put all my random items that have no specific function at the moment but have potential for craft projects.  I’m pretty excited.  Except that I’m often too indecisive for any creative inkling to go anywhere, because, shoot, should I pick red, or green?  Red, or…

And then I toss up my hands in despair– Ahh!  I will do it later.

So Mom comments today about TAKING ACTION over the dinner table as I ate my yummy Peking Duck which is so good that it reminds me that GOD IS REAL.  Evolution obviously did not create this super delicious piece of meat for me to eat.  I mean, duh, right?  Anyway, that aside, Mom was saying that I should just ask a lot of professors if they can write letters of recommendation for me because I won’t be losing anything and the only way I can find out is if I ask.  Brilliant.  I know, it’s obvious, but generally the sheer possibility of failure moves me into a state of inertia (Did you see that?  Moves, inertia, yes, in the same sentence).  Father says I think too much, think too much, and then I get my mind all jumbled up into thought and nothing happens.  This is true as well.  The daunting task of applying to graduate school without complete knowledge of the subject means that I always feel like I cannot make any moves until I have completely and thoroughly researched the topic.  This is how it always is.  I go to the store, and if I’m by myself and therefore will not feel humiliated by my OCD tendencies, I will want to buy something and then hesitate because– how many ounces is it?  Is it worth it?  Is this one cheaper?  Can I buy it cheaper online?  What’s the safest– on and on and on.  It means that I bought my nice, favoritest, camera my freshman year of college– after months of research until I knew digital cameras backwards and forwards.  I know what you’re thinking.  Kill me now.  It also means that when I was in the UK and was looking for a hat (because it’s cold enough that I will give in to wearing a hat), I went into every single store in the city center mall and tried on all the roundish hats.  I found the perfect one eventually.  After like, a day.  And even after I found the perfect one, I had to leave it so I could go into all the other stores to make sure it was really the one I wanted.  This is all fine and dandy when you have all the time in the world, and it’s also great to avoid buyer’s remorse, but with something as vast as the topic of graduate school, the volume of potential information I would have to consume in order to feel like I was making a good decision leaves me, well, reaching for my iPhone in search of respite in the form of Tiny Sheep.

And what I meant to blog about can be summed up in an analogy.

Nice notebook : Good notes :: Cute apartment : Cleanliness


I’m not sure I get how people find me on WordPress, but I guess there’s something to marketing that I don’t know about and didn’t learn in my summers of following people on Twitter.. Am I not supposed to admit those kinds of things?  Gulp.  It must be the tags!

Received a warm welcome back in the city today.  Lots of new things to learn, which is both overwhelming and stimulating at the same time.  I’m pretty happy when certain people decide to ask me for my opinion on a process and we hash it out together, bouncing ideas back and forth and thinking up different scenarios.  It makes me feel like I actually have a brain and I can use it for something in a team.  Who knows, maybe there’s a title for that, what, professional side-kick?  Can I?

C’s expressions have grown since the last time I saw him.  It’s funny how much children change in such a short timeframe.  And they say the cutest things!  “I want to live with Esther!”  Yeah, C is such a self-esteem booster 😛

The problem with public blogs is I’m like, wait, am I allowed to post about this?  It feels like I’m taking street photography without anyone knowing.

And then I end up having nothing to say, yet again!

Pdoc told me to focus on school and running.  Seems like people keep telling me, one thing at a time.  Yes, okay, one thing at a time, because there are a million things I want to do.  I even picked up a few novels from J&S who are moving, and another novel from L&S, who are also moving.  My book list is inevitably long and every time I have an ADD or spontaneous (depending how you want to look at it) moment and walk into a bookstore on my way home, it gets even longer.  I think the next book I want to read is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time since it would actually be relevant to my speech therapy studies.  Pdoc seems to think I should spend some time working in an office before plunging.  I actually just want to plunge.  I’m not sure why.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m tired of dipping my toes into different bodies of water and getting prune-y skin, or if it’s because I’m confident that I will like it and feel like I don’t need to try it out.

Gosh, this new blog thing is currently anxiety inducing.

Ok, so goals in the upcoming days.

Immediate goals:

1) Pack/Move/Live– find a dining table and dining chairs for our new place, decorate :D, learn to parallel park, find out if I need a parking permit.

Wow, that’s a lot already…

Maybe my anxiety has to do with taking the plunge, more than this public blog thing.  Nah, it’s hard to say.  Maybe I have stage-fright.