pleasure reading: Diner Escargot

Too much positive and self-help reading gets very draining, because collectively the authors sound like they’re urging you to get better, as if you are not enough already. There are also different names, theories and strategies for the same things so I’m getting off that hamster wheel to enjoy some fiction.

Just the opportunity to turn a beetle back on its back, to me, is a blessed encounter. Holding a fresh laid egg and feeling its warmth on my face; to find tiny jewels of morning dew on the leaves sparkling more brilliantly than diamonds, and tasting a miso soup made with the kind of bamboo fungus, found at the entrance of the bamboo forest, that is adorned with a beautiful white lacy skirt that gives it the nickname of ‘veiled lady’ – these are moments of joy that makes me want to give God a kiss on the cheeks to thank him.

– an excerpt I translated from a very lovely Japanese novel “Diner Escargot”

If it feels right I might be sharing more like this!

what movie are you?

I was brainwashed by too many blockbuster superhero or romance movies before I remembered the obvious truth: there are as many stories as people in the world. Only few stories get made into movies. I used to think most people’s lives, my own included, are “not special” enough, until I saw a movie called Hope Springs on the plane. It’s played by Meryl Streep and it’s about an older married couple going into counselling, trying to find their affection and intimacy back. They are us, the ordinary people with a common mid-life phenomenon. The movie was nonetheless very cute and moving. The movie was possibly very cute and moving because of how we can relate.

So, what movie are you? And how many movies can we make of your life?

Remember, play the hero in your movie, not the villain, victim, sidekick or spare-parts in other people’s.

— Rebecca x

positive change is still Change

Positive Change is still Change. Change is disruption of the status quo. For us to have more loving relationships, a more fulfilling job, to achieve our highest potential, etc, the status quo cannot remain. Your routine does not stay the same. What you say and do starts to be different. Change is disruption and it can be uncomfortable. The action and process to something better can be disruptive and uncomfortable, perhaps especially for your friends and family.

What if wanting a more loving relationship leads to ending your current one? Perhaps it calls for a lot of deep and awkward conversations? Or it leads you to a lot of trying and getting disappointed?

What if getting a more fulfilling job means you must commit to taking the new job even though your parents tell you it’s a bad idea?

You’re probably rolling your eyes because these are not what-ifs. These are all inevitable and necessary.

It is a bit scary. Results are not guaranteed. Things may work out differently than you expected. Things probably will get worse before they get better.

Are you ready?

a song for my baby about life and love

16-06-29-21-30-40-746_decoI often say to my baby girl, “I love you! Mommy loves you so much, did you know that?”One day I thought that if she could speak, this is what she’d say, “What is remarkable about that? I am loved by you and dad and everyone else. The whole world loves me.”

Which is very true. She has only known love. She does not yet know what it is to not be loved. Although she will never be unloved by her mom and dad, she will feel it one day. She might even feel it from us one day. So I’ll make it my job to make sure she knows and feels loved all her life.

So, making up songs for my baby is a new talent I got after I had my baby.  This is one I wrote for her.

I love love love love you, I love love love love you
You’re my *Liliu BB 豬*, no one loves you like I do.
No matter what you say, no matter what you do,
I may not agree with you, but I’ll love you as always
In the same way
I did the day you were born.

The world is beautiful, and life is really hard.
You’ll be happy you’ll be sad, love is gonna break your heart.
There’s pain and there is growth, and I’ll be by your side
Holding you cheering you on, since the day that you were born
Baby you are loved
And that will never change.

And when mommy grows old, and you live far away
I’ll remember you just like
You were with me yesterday.
Though when that finally comes, I might ask you to go
Go and live your dream and life, just remember every night
Baby you are loved
And that will never change.

 

—-
*Liliu BB 豬* – is a nickname I have for her.

Day 9: why write and share

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For Day 9 I posted a blogpost to my personal timeline on Facebook. For a long time I struggled to justify why my writing needs to be shared. Is anybody really interested? Shall I just talk instead of write about these things with actual people? (But like, is anybody going to be interested?) I suspect this need for justification is an excuse for not sharing, because sharing is frightening. Unless you’re sharing pictures of your dinner, or flowers, or anything that guarantees likes like kittens and babies, posting online is vulnerable. Sometimes so much editing occurs that I give up on the whole thing.

But.
There comes a day when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than it was to blossom.

The truth is, I want to show up to the world as the real me as much as I’m afraid of it. I don’t know how to talk about some things, I’ll write. I kind of just don’t want this part of me to be hidden away and die. I think she’s pretty awesome.

When I spend more than half an hour deciding whether to hit publish, I should remember these advice:

  1. You are entitled to create, to share and express, just like everybody else. (learned this from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic)
  2. There will be likers and haters, and silence.
  3. When the risk to remain tight in a bud is more painful than it is to blossom (Anais Nin), blossom. It’s inevitable. Otherwise:
  4. Unused creativity is not benign (Brene Brown in this podcast by Elizabeth Gilbert). 

One more thing: Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly cautions us to share only when your healing is not dependent on others’ response.