Friday, October 17, 2014

Dear God

“Dear God," she prayed, "let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry...have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere -- be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.” 
- Francie, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Run the race.

It is amazing how much my health screening has actually affected me, at least mentally. I thought I would be the same cookie-eating, no-worrying, que-sera-sera type of individual when it came to things like blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and in general, health. But for some reason, I feel more somber about my health status this time around. Maybe the visual comparison of numbers on my sheet with that of my coworker 20 years older made the situation seem humorously but blatantly real. Maybe it is because I always knew that I had to eat healthier and exercise more often, and this checkup was simply a clenching confirmation of other doctors' recommendations.  But really.

I think it is probably due to my growing awareness of life. Or at least the temporality of it. 2012 was one of the most difficult years that I've experienced as of yet -- one of the main contributing factors being health-related. My body was deteriorating, and I felt helpless in having almost no practical way to deal with it. I am getting older, my body is breaking down. We are all slowly dying.

This realization has affected my perspective on many things. Life is short. At least on this side of life. I want to take more risks. I don't want to live with regrets. I want to take more chances. I don't want to fear failure, even if I fail along the way. Nothing comes easy. There are no shortcuts. Discipline, hard work, and training are to be expected. I want to give it my best, in wisdom, in hope, in faith, and in thanksgiving.

So let's do it. Let's endure, have self-control, and push forward. Let's run this race.

I will have to commit to laying aside my cookies, cakes, and pastries. I will have to start regularly exercising. For real.

I am looking forward to a grown me, 2014. I am looking forward to a changed me, mortality. I am looking forward to a perfect me, eternity.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Party pooped.

Food run in LA??  Maybe not.

My workplace was offering a free health screening today. I hadn't gotten a general checkup in years and thought it was a great idea to get screened again. I fasted for the entire morning and early afternoon and happily went with another coworker who is about 20 years older than I am.

"Why are you going? You don't need to get screened. You're young!"

Little did he know.

I passed through the different booths nonchalantly. At the final stop, a healthcare worker of questionable skills pricked my finger and drew blood. I waited for 10 minutes for results that were, I thought, to be expected. But no. High cholesterol?!  Higher cholesterol than my coworker who is about 20 years older than I am.

"Do you eat a lot of fried foods?"

"I mean, I eat a lot of sweets and pastries."

"Do you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables?"

"A lot of fruit but I could eat more vegetables..."

"Do you eat food high in fiber?"

"Err..."  ('What counts as high fiber again?')

Life is real.

Coming back home.

LA!! Here I come.  It's been long. Much too long. When was the last time I flew into LAX?? My arrival on Thursday, 12/19, 8:30PM at LAX will be monumental. Be prepared, sister. Be prepared, brother. Be prepared, brother-in-law. I'll be there soon.

Among the many wonderful things I look forward to in LA, I am especially excited for food. There are many new and swanky restaurants I want to visit, but some stops are of crucial and primary importance: In-N-Out (give me a single cheeseburger with grilled onions and extra lettuce. And oh. For $4.), Mexican (give me a ghetto-legit burrito and some carne asada fries with extra guac!), and of course, Korean AYCE BBQ (give me meat, and lots of it!!)!

I am looking forward to December California sun. I am looking forward to driving down the shore by the beach. I am looking forward to leisure and rest. I am looking forward to seeing old and new faces I call family.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Always a good reminder.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:4-7

Sunday, July 28, 2013


I am in that phase of my life again where I feel the need to create. I need to write, paint, draw, sing, play the piano. It's probably momentary, but as momentary as it is, it is what it is fully and completely, so it is genuinely what it is, so I'll take full advantage of this spurt of inspired energy and dream.

In a failed attempt to continue writing my story that I've written about writing a year ago, I re-imagine, re-hash, re-invent my characters and thus change the story altogether. Perhaps I'll go through a thousand versions of my characters before the story even progresses. Perhaps I'll have a list of names without any complimenting personalities. Perhaps I'll never fully comprehend my characters. Let's just say that my protagonist is going through an identity crisis.

There is something about New York summer nights that is pleasant. People usually complain about summer in New York -- the heat, the humidity, the humidity that doesn't cease at night, the sticky mess that we become in sweltering subway stations. But I like the smell of sweet evening air and moist grass in Central Park. I like the sight of pink-blue sunsets barely visible through old and new edifices. I like the sound of submerged foreign chatter over the soft clatter of wine glasses outdoors. I like the touch of a simple shirt against my bare skin. I like the drunken leisure of New York nights without any cold or curfew.

As much as I think my mother is stubborn, she is wise. Or rather, as much as I think my mother doesn't know me, she knows me. One of her remarks during this past visit to Korea got me thinking. She said, I think too much. I weigh, I list, I consult, I toss and turn. With the simple and and not so simple. With everything. I push off buying a package of $5 envelopes, not because I adamantly believe that there is a better package of $5 envelopes elsewhere, but because I feel the pressing need to browse all, compare, and choose the best among them. I would be a fool to think that I am much older and wiser than I was a few years ago. But life tells me that it is much simpler than I had perceived it.

Life is also not that forgiving. It allows us to make mistakes. It allows us to fall. It pushes us, corners us, and demands from us answers that we don't have. So we either succumb to bitter indignation and resign to useless employment or retaliate by taking bigger risks. The trick is not to look for answers that we don't have. The trick is to hold onto the few that we do. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Fight. Fight for the New.

I had hoped that the start of the new year would really feel like the start of a new year. Fresh. Clean. White. But I still feel the same anxiety plus more. There are so many things to do, so many things to think about, so many things to decide, so many things to pray about. And so I am still not at peace.

I gave up on making strict new year's resolutions because I know that I will simply and inevitably fail. Instead, I hope. Not with the flimsy and uncertain hope of previous years. But I hope with determination. With resolution. With faith. Or so I pray.

I pray for greater faith. I pray for clarity. Crystal-clear clarity in my life. I pray for courage to take action and to do what is right. I pray for humility to obey the words of my Savior. I pray for genuine love and selflessness to take place in my heart. I pray for wisdom. I pray for understanding. But I pray for greater faith. I pray for greater faith and courage.

2012 was truly something other. There are many things that I am thankful for, but there are many things that I still struggle to understand. Lord, I feel as if you've pulled me apart, stripped me down to my bare bones, left me naked and wretched. Everything that I had hoped for, prized, and loved, you have taken away. My dreams, health, prospect of a stable career, relationship with others. The physical pain, the joblessness, the brokenness in relationship were perpetual tangible reminders of God's cruel sovereignty in my life. My stubborn but fighting spirit had turned into a stubborn hardened spirit. I didn't want to fight anymore. Let it be. This is God's will for me.

But God is gracious. Christ is truly alive and alive within me. I still struggle to understand, and in my cynicism, I sometimes scoff at even the thought of accepting. But He is slowly granting me the grace to walk in faith. He is slowly showing me the depths of my sin. Selfishness, pride, greed, lack of love. He is digging and scrubbing out the idols that I have secretly buried in my heart. Let's be honest -- I want money, prestige, power, comfort, glory. But I have decided, or rather, I am forced to come out of the closet with this.

Satan, you do your job, and you do your job well. You entice me with the pleasures of my own heart and cause me to stumble and curse.

But thank you, Lord, for your Spirit. Thank you for the first point of recognition.

So I will fight. 2013, I will fight.

For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you... Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs...

But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is , there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit...

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you... So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal...

But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience... For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised... Therefore, if anyone is is Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

-from 2 Corinthians 2-4.