Days 7-13

It has now been two weeks since I started this daily journal/writing project! Here are last week's entries.

Day 7: In and Out
I am a self-improvement junkie. This is probably why I have such an affinity for personality tests and LifeHacker type content——self-awareness paves the way for self-improvement. But over the course of wanting to refine my daily processes, I’ve learned that a measure of acceptance and release is needed.
A kind of acceptance that embraces the present while rejecting mediocrity. Refuse to settle but accept first what makes you /you/.
A kind of letting go that relinquishes complete control over life. Holding on to life with a death grip is a dangerous way to live. Absolute control over our circumstances is an illusion.

It’s like breathing. Take in what you can and need, exhale the rest. Both are needed to thrive.

Day 8: Taco Bell
For dinner, I had Taco Bell Chalupas for the first time. It’s basically an almost-taco—same fillings but wrapped in a shell that is neither hard nor soft. The perfect marriage between crunchy and smushy. I have nothing spectacular to write about today except that I ate a freaking Chalupa.

Day 9: Ramen Stories

Driving trip while on the way back to San Diego from LA: Be assertive within reason.

After a day in LA for work, the hubs and I went to RakiRaki at India St. with my coworker Michelle. While staring at the fake succulents mindfully arranged in the plant box, I can't help but wonder how many people have sat on that same spot I was. There was a mural of John Lennon on the wall (see photo above) and an interesting light fixture that's surely been photographed many times.

While browsing through Instagram using the RakiRaki hashtag, sure enough, I saw the same wall but from different angles. Different lighting, different filters. Some of the people who took them probably sat in the same spot but they came for different reasons (other than the common denominator that is consuming good ramen). We regularly touch the spaces others have inhabited, and it's almost like coming in contact with the inhabitants themselves. Thinking about these people---what they're like, what they don't like, where they come from, what they share with me--makes great fodder for the imagination.

Day 10: Leftovers

Today’s leftover ramen tastes just as good, if not better, than yesterday. The underbelly and noodles have absorbed more flavor and the broth tastes just a bit richer.

Maybe it’s not so bad to let something sit for a while, much like how ideas are left to gestate. I’ve seen how walking away from something allows me to refocus and be forced to make new connections while doing something else. The brain is such a wonderful thing.

Day 11: Interlude
Gearing up for ministry in the South congregation of our church. For three months Carlo and I will serve there and get to know the better half of San Diego Christian Fellowship. Grateful for this opportunity to bless His body.

Day 12: two verses
Some days I have to settle for bad
coffee on a lipstick stained cup, thankfully
Electro 80s pop brings life to this
gloomy day and this red blouse
against a backdrop of grey

Neon lights, drum beats
Keyboard clicks and the frigid air is
poetry in the night
And it tastes like Korea
Here is another day previewing

In other news: I drove on the freeway BY MYSELF today. That's a huge milestone, you guys. Since getting my license, I've only driven by myself twice and both instances were city driving. All the other days I drove, Carlo was on the passenger seat. I refused to drive on the freeway alone because I felt I wasn't ready yet. However, today was different. I had to meet a friend for some one-on-one girly time and Carlo was thoroughly convinced that he didn't need to accompany me. Up until yesterday I told him that maybe it wouldn't be a good idea for me to drive alone. He responded with "This will be a good confidence booster for you." I conceded and had to prepare mentally as well as study the route in advance (which wasn't even complicated). Long story short, I greatly enjoyed that trip thanks to my husband's method, Google Maps, and Tycho blasting in the speakers to help me relax.

Day 13: Loss
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” —Mary Oliver

Nothing like death to remind you of your own finitude and make you question your present priorities.

Today in our high school chat thread, we received news that one of our classmates just passed away. I don’t need to include details here but suffice it to say, her passing weighs heavy on my heart even though we were never close. It feels unreal—she was smart, cheerful, and beautiful. She was younger than I am, I believe, if not the same age.

Here I am, sitting on the cloud bed on this breezy Sunday evening, yearning for eternity. I can’t help but think: I don’t want to die yet. We don’t want our loved ones to die. But there are days when I live as if I or others won’t one day breathe their last, until events like today remind me otherwise. There is a fierce ache in our hearts for the eternal and I am firmly convinced that God placed it there (see the book of Ecclesiastes). Without the hope that the cross of Christ brings, I wouldn’t know how else to cope with grief or come to terms with my own mortality.

I pray for comfort for our classmate’s family and that for those she left behind, that they would find hope and true life in Christ as they grieve.

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