Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Secret Garden of fooling ourselves

I guess at some point in our lives it's going to get tough and we are going to want to give in to the easy way out - leaving, walking out, quitting, whatever you want to call it. That one point in our lives where everything we worked for and everything that we were holding on to is no longer a priority. Then we tend to drift off and behave in certain ways that we would have never dreamed of doing, whether we are looking for a way out from the bottom of that wine glass or brainwashing ourselves into thinking that the mountain we are climbing now has no downhill, so there is no point in pushing on. 

When things get so hard we misbehave and become our alter ego, just someone that's totally 180 degrees from who we really are. Because we don't want to face what's in front of us, what we have to wake up to every morning and the unsatisfactory thoughts we have towards the circumstances that we are living in, it blinds us from how we truly feel. To me it's like losing weight, we try and try but there are no results being shown. Then we get disappointed and discouraged because we are not patient enough for the weight to come off. We have an image of how we imagine ourselves to look in the mirror when we are skinny but every time we look in the mirror the person staring back at us don't fit the image. 

In my opinion, leaving behind our lives to start fresh is the definition of lust. Thinking about that reset button rushes adrenaline through our veins and got us fantasizing about how our lives can be molded into perfection. However, perfection does not exist. There is a difference between cutting out what we don't want from our lives and chasing after something that we want right now but won't be needing later; like trends. 

If we followed trends we will never be able to have our own sense of style and individualism. We won't be comfortable in our own skin, we'll just have to continuously change our look to make ourselves feel like we are fitting in with society.

Instead of correcting the way we think we try to replace the parts of our lives that define who we are. Like the people who love us when times are hard with people who we think that will love us more when times are hard and thoughts of "if I stick it out through this rough time it's going to make me stronger" with thoughts of "if I leave now I won't have to deal with this anymore."

Now the big decision is how do we know if staying with our current situations is the right path to take and what if, just what if, things would have been better for us if we did leave everything behind?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Secret Garden of getting into the holiday spirit


What's more great than our birthdays, carnival rides and the first day of summer?


It's the most jolliest time of the year! The turkey and stuffing, red stockings and reruns of Christmas specials all day long, it's the time of giving and being with our loved ones. The decorations and awesome sales at the mall, everything about it just makes our hearts melt. So how can we prepare for the festivities? Here are some suggestions on how to get into the holiday spirit and also my personal tips on how I get myself ready for the big 25!

1. Decorations.... and lots of it!

My inspiration was the movie Elf with Will Ferrel as the human Christmas elf. In the movie, he decorates the mall into a white winter land, everything made of cotton, paper and possibly maple syrup. I love to decorate by myself because I like to decorate it the way I like it but decorating is more fun with other people. Stick a popcorn in the microwave, a couple of sodas and let the magic begin! What I found really useful was printable Christmas decorations, I googled "Christmas coloring pages" and with a click a whole list popped up on my screen. Santa Claus, Rudolph, Elves you name it! After coloring it I cut it out and stuck them all over the house, yes, it's a bit cheesy and kind of kiddish but I had a great time! Also there are loads of ideas on Christmas decorating online such as Christmas lanterns and printable gingerbread houses. Decorations don't have to be expensive, of course there are the traditional decorations; the Christmas tree, the lights, the yard decorations but I found it more fun and meaningful to make the decorations myself.

2. Christmas movies and specials + Couch + Snacks = Love

When December nears the television stations play hours of Christmas movies and shows every day, it's nice to sit back on the couch, feet up, cuddled up in our favorite blanket that just feels so smooth (or a snuggie, I don't judge) and unwind while our minds are fed with cartoons, jolly songs and Will Ferrel running in tights while eating cotton balls. Yup, that's the life.

3. Sing your heart out.

Who cares if it's still November? Go and bring out last year's Christmas CD and play it in your car, play it loud, play it proud! It doesn't even have to be in the car, play it in the office, download it to the ipod, listen to "Rudolph the Red nosed reindeer" while you jog, heck, turn up that boom box playing "Frosty the Snowman" while walking the block with that swagger. To make this look really work, tie a bandanna around your forearm, forehead and stick it in your back pocket while fashioning a wifebeater and baggy blue jeans with raggy white shoes. Oh, don't forget your "I Believe in Santa" pin!

4. Last but not least, presents!

They don't even have to be big or expensive, what really counts is the sentimental value it holds. For my sister she poared her heart into the wrapping, she would wrap it with sparkly wrapping paper and made the bow herself. You know the ones from stores where it's nice and curly with a big flower looking bow? She spent hours wrapping them and she really enjoyed it. Not once have I ever seen her do a half ass job on a present.


It's what counts :]

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Secret Garden of past friendships

1. the state of being a friend; association as friends: to value a person's friendship.
2. a friendly relation or intimacy.
3. friendly feeling or disposition.

The foot prints left behind by the people we've encountered are numerous and most of them fade after a short time, but what happens when those foot prints come back? What happens when forgotten friendships come bursting in our lives once more just like the ghost of Christmas past?

The feelings we felt, the smiles we shared, the stupid things that we did flashes through our minds like the silver surfer from Fantastic 4. The smooth sail of long lost memories take us back to the school yard, the cafe on the corner and to the days when we promised to be there for each other. But while this ship is in motion, we drift away from what's keeping us grounded-- reality.

Everything is destined to change, we can't stop it or slow it down but to realize that it's happening. Old memories do that to us, it implants a small piece of hope to make us think that even though 5, 10, 15 years has passed that person will remain the same. It hypnotizes us to forget what years of separation can do to a person. All we can think about is how great it'll be to be reunited and pick up where we left off, to revive the friendship that was once believed to be dead.

Just as much as a person's feature change, so does their personalities, their values and hobbies. Things we once had in common with them may have changed. The sad part of it all is the fact that the comfort we found in that person and the memories that remind us of how carefree our lives once were are dismantled. Like an old picture that's discolored and cracked on the edges.
Unless the picture is constantly looked at and taken care of we won't be able to notice the changes it goes through. If we have it close to our hearts and hold it once in a while, we'll be able to witness the small nicks and tears that happens to it over the years instead of seeing them all at once to realize that it's a damaged picture. If observed frequently the changes the picture goes through are not as noticeable to us.

Does that mean we should grasp tight around our friends when it's our time to say our good-byes? No, definitely no. If it's their time to stray away from our lives then it's their time to go. I look at it as a part of a cycle, friends come and go but if they were meant to be in our lives they'll always return to us like a boomerang but if they don't, then maybe they weren't meant to be with us from the start. That's no reason for us to stop going on with our lives and focus on that particular person, it means we need to move on and better ourselves with the lessons they taught us, the smiles they brought us but most importantly those precious memories that we can look back on when we encounter rough climbs throughout our lifetime.

"What is a friend? A single soul in two bodies."
- Aristotle

Our acquaintances, friends and best friends.. If they were meant to be our companions, they are still here or will return to us when the time is right, but if they didn't return, maybe they weren't meant to be with us after all.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Secret Garden of uneasy vacations pt2 - pictures

Jon-- we were dropping off Sue at the airport when we realized it's only her and Jon (with the lei) going off to boot camp but none of his family members came to say bye. So we hugged him and told him to kick ass. And brought him Hawaii snacks and lei.

After graduation.

waiting at the outdoor stadium for the graduation ceremony to begin, it was 45 degrees with wind and light drizzles of rain. We waited almost 2 hours for it to begin. The soldiers were standing on the field longer than us.

-- A dinner at Olive Garden after the graduation, my sister and her friends, their families, and us. It took us about 2 and a half hours to find Olive Garden.

Mac, Orange, Kline, and I'm sorry I don't remember all the names. At Olive Garden

--After family day ceremony.

I ran into a friend of mine that I knew since 8th grade, didn't know he was in boot camp with my sister. We brought lei and snacks for him too but didn't get a chance to give it to him.

Being reunited... Very first time seeing her and it was emotional-- she lost a lot of weight and her voice was hoarse.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Secret Garden of uneasy vacations

It's November 13th 2009, my heart feels heavy and my mind a blur. Today was my sister's graduation from basic training, the whole reason why my mother and I flew 16 and a half hours. When I first saw her yesterday at family day, I couldn't even recognize her; she looked amazing, dignified unlike the old image of her. So here is the story..

November 12th 2009.
We woke up at 6:30am, we felt rushed because we wanted to leave the hotel at 7am, get breakfast downstairs and head on towards Fort Jackson by 7:30am. We left the hotel at 7:25am and realized my ID was missing, so we rushed back to the hotel with my mother running red lights and zooming through stop signs. I got my ID and reached Fort Jackson by 8am, we realized that we can't see her until 1030am so we sat at BurgerKing and killed 30 minutes, then we parked in front of Solomon Center; which is where the family day ceremony was held and where she would be meeting us, and sat there until 9:30am. it was 45 degrees out side with rain and wind so it felt much colder.
When it was time, we headed in and saw the Charlie company (my sister's company) and the Delta company do a little ceremony-- their song that they sang when they marched. It was so crowded and of course people laughed at me when I screamed "CHHHHEEEHOOOO". For those of you who don't know, that's Hawaii's version of "OOOWWWWW".
I saw her and I couldn't believe my eyes, she was a totally different person. My eyes filled with uncontrollable tears and my nose started to run, my heart beating fast and all I can think was "Oh my gosh, I'm so proud of her."
We met her friend; Faith Klein (I don't remember the spelling) and I saw an old friend, took pictures and met all of her new family. It was a day filled with joy, laughter, tears and hugs. Until I remembered that we have to tell her about grandma. Then my day became up and down with emotional roller coaster rides. We spent that day shopping for necessities, Fort Jackson is so huge that many people including us got lost, they even have a water park in there! We were going to tell her about grandma's passing but she was with all of her friends; we just didn't have the heart to tell her. That night we said our good-byes and sent her back to her barracks.
She texted me directions and knowing my sister, she was worried we'll get lost or not make it on time. I took her advice to heart and made sure we were prepared.

November 13th 2009. Graduation
This day is the day that I'll never forget in my life. It was a privilage for me to attend this event and I'm so greatful that I got to witness this honorable day. The graduation was moved out doors due to the surprisingly amount of families that showed up, at 48degrees we sat on metal bleachers, waiting anxiously until our soldiers made their way. They stood on the field for 1 hour and 30 minutes until the ceremony began, they looked so cold that I wanted to run over there and give her my jacket. The marching band's music started off the soldiers march towards us, the ceremony was short but really sweet. The graduates made their way towards us and I was so proud of every single one of them, even though I have never met them ever in my life, I was proud of them. I saw her marching in front of me and I screamed my butt off.
We ended up going to a book store to get some books for her and her friends, and we got lost on our way to Olive Garden, we wasted 3 hours trying to find it and almost 2 hours at the restraunt.
I was so upset that we had to go there because we wanted to spend it with her alone. My sister still didn't know about grandma so we wanted to rush back to the hotel and spend the last hours we had with her talking about our experiences. We had to take her back at 8:30pm and we left the hotel at 5:30pm. We starting driving on the freeway and realized that we don't recognize any land marks or road signs. We were trying to go to Two Notch Rd but ended up in a dark, scary split road in the middle of no where. 8 o'clock was nearing and we had no idea where to go or where to ask for help. My sister needed to get back in order to go to her AIT in Texas. Usually my sister would blame everyone for getting the directions wrong, curse at the driver, yell that we don't know what we are doing and just freak out before anything happened. But she stayed calm, when she panicked she picked herself up and made sure we got some help, she called 911 and asked for directions, if we can make it back on time, called her sargeant and explained our situation.
Totally different person; a soldier.
We eventually ended up finding our way back to the hotel and we packed her luggage with food and clothes that we brought from home. Then she picked up an envelope of pictures and said "What's this?"
Her next words were "Oh my god"
And the tears came racing down her cheeks. She said she had a feeling that something was wrong but she didn't want to believe it. We explained to her briefly about what happened, what we saw, smelt and experienced.
She apologized, "Maybe I shouldn't have gone to the military then maybe things would have been easier for you mom."
We spent a short amount of time mourning, it stopped when my sister dried her tears and held us tight. Her warmth still lingers in my arms, my neck and my forehead. I never realized how tiny she was, her hands smaller than mine, her height shorter than mine and her face much slimmer than mine. That tiny little thing went to the army, something that we never thought would happen, and she made it.

That's when I realized how much the Army has changed her, she's someone that I can't even recognize. This trip was worth the ride, even with the annoying kid who kept kicking my seat and my mom's bad driving, everything was worth it. The bad meals, the 7 hour rest I had since tuesday, the stress about leaving behind work and school, everything was worth it. Before she left to the Army, I was so mad at her, she was always picking fights, saying mean things, blowing up on people and just being crazy. After she left and I was filling in for her job, I experienced first hand what it felt like and I too, became that person.
I realzed how much I missed her and how much my life would be incomplete without her, especially after my grandmother's death. And how proud of I am to be her sister and to have a sister like her, who would go to the Army to support her family, she's had such a hard life and I understand how difficult life has been for her. I miss her terribly and I await that day til I get to see her again.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Secret Garden of a superwoman

One day I sat down to watch this show called The Secret Life of Women and it was absolutely bizarre! They are ordinary looking women who live out of the ordinary lives. Then it got me thinking about my own mother, how was her life?

She came to Hawaii with nothing to her name and two daughters to take care of. I remember I used to stay up til 10 at night until she came home so I can see her, I went to school at 8 in the morning while she went to work at 9am. I was only 8 years old so I went to bed early, but if I didn't stay up to see her i would be able to see her at all. She went to work and studied to become an acupuncturist, a career that was forced upon her by her husband at the time who only planned to use her brains to do the work while he counted the money. About 6 months after we landed in Hawaii she dominated the house and was obligated to start paying bills. Her work didn't pay her; it was more like an internship. With a troubled head over her shoulders she decided that she needs to finish her studies in order to put food on the table. About 3 years later she graduated with her masters degree in Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture, she actually graduated a year early because she was the only student in her school to have scored a perfect 100 on her license exam. Her professors begged her to stay longer thinking that she will fail- how was this middle aged Korean women who can barely speak English pass this difficult exam in English?

But she did it.

I can't ever forget the time she told me about her exam day.
She went to the gas station on her way to the exam, about 6:30pm, it was raining hard and she was in such a rush to get there that she forgot her wallet at the gas station. Half way to the school she turned the car around to look for her wallet; no where to be found. All of her credit cards, ID and information was there. But she still decided to take her test, if she didn't she would have to wait another year to take it. She walked through the doors and the exam has already begun, all the other students were half way done with their exams.

She sat down in an empty seat and was soon approached by her professor, "You don't have to do this, you can do it later. Or you can take this in Korean." She shook her head and said that she will take the exam in English and she will take it now.

My mother sat her things down next to her and looked at her test; tears went racing down her cheeks when she couldn't remember the things that she's been studying so hard for so long.

The next part was a blur, she remembers being the last to turn in her test and the professors waited for her to finish.

She was the only one out of everyone else that got a perfect score and she took in English language.

I am so proud of her and the only regret I have is that I wish I took more pictures of her graduation.

I have always considered her my superwoman, no matter what came her way to break her down she stood her ground. In my eyes she was unstoppable, unbeatable and immortal. There was nothing that she couldn't do. Now she has her own clinic that she's always dreamed of and today she had her first interview for the KHON2 news station about alternative ways of swine flu prevention. To know that I am her daughter, that I have her blood running through my veins brings me great courage; that I too, will overcome any obstacles that come along my way.

We are all superwomen inside, whether we are recognized by our good deeds and miraculous achievements or be thanked by our family members, we are superwomen.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Secret Garden of ex-boyfriends we despise

At first they just blow us away with the numerous amount of red roses, romantic dinners, late night car rides to look at stars, the complements on our outfits, the shopping sprees, the hugs and kisses, then BAM! They show their true self.

The unshaved faces, burping, farting, yelling, the never ending demands for food, showing us off in front of their friends, the mood swings, constantly telling us to stop our whining (which we don't), yelling at us to change our outfits because he doesn't want other guys to stare, their clingyness, the check-up-on-you phone calls every half hour when we out with our girlfriends, the "why aren't you texting me back" text messages, and the damn TV permanently playing ESPN.

The loving, caring guy we fell in love with just fades away along with the feelings we had for them so the fighting begins and so do the childish games. Eventually after a long, brutal war it ends, it all ends.

I definitely had my share of bad boyfriends and in the end I don't ever regret the experiences I had with them because if they didn't treat me badly, I would have never known what a good, healthy relationship will feel like.

One time when breaking up with a boyfriend I told him that I felt like he behaved differently when we are alone and when we are with his friends, that I felt like he was only nice to me when we were wit his friends and he was really loving in front of them. These were his words "I don't know like, all the guys they act like I can't get one chick and like they all tell me that you're hot and I want to show them like hey I can get one hot chick and like she stay with me."
SO.... what the hell does that mean?

It hit me hard because I liked him a lot but he only considered me as a trophy girlfriend. And honestly, I should have known that he was a jerk when all his guy friends made it a game to see if they can steal me away from him.

I realized that the people that he liked to surround himself around speaks for themselves. Not one of them were descent, they all were into drinking and partying. At one point I had to sit in a car while his friend drove me home while intoxicated. Of course at 16 I had no car so he was my only way of getting home, then he decides to drop me off home last even though my house was closer than everyone else's house. It's really frightening to sit in a car with a drunk guy who kept trying to make passes at me, because he was intoxicated I wasn't sure if he was going to hit me.

Now that I look back on it, all of my ex-boyfriends were jerks and so immature.

I mean, what's wrong with the way we dress? If I wear a V-neck all hell breaks loose. There's yelling and cussing, but that's nothing compared to the fights that we girls have to have with them when we wear skirts. We are not stupid, we are not going to sit with our legs open! Why is it that guys get so angry when we wear shorts but we don't yell at them for walking around with their shirts off. IT'S THE SAME THING!!

Another time, I had this ex-boyfriend who kept walking around with his shirt off, wherever we went, there it went- his shirt went flying off up over his head and to his back seat. Even to the mall, or to Safeway. Then he would yell at me for wearing a shirt that made my boobs look big. Okay damn it I have boobs, deal with it. I couldn't understand at the time but when we broke up he said that most of the time he felt like he wasn't getting enough attention so he felt like he had to tone me down.

Why is it that I kept going out with losers with low self esteem?

I don't consider myself to be overly good looking or talented, I'm average, ordinary and I like that.

I left Korea when I was about 8 years old so I attended 1st grade for about a month there, on my first day of school I had a traumatic incident where I had to go use the girl's room and two boys from my school followed me to the bathroom and tackled me to the floor. One of them jumped on top of me and tried to kiss me or whatever he was trying to do and his friend was holding me down. So once in a while I still get scared that someone will tackle me in a bathroom.

Ever since then I didn't want to be noticed or seen, I went though a tomboy phase for god sakes. I wore boy jeans and t-shirts.

The past relationships that we all had that were horrible was actually a blessing in disguise, we learned, matured and it made us realize that there are bigger and better fishes out there. That even though we get hurt and we can't get back up quickly, we will be okay.

Better than okay, we'll be Grrrrreeeaaaaat!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


i really want to thank everyone who read my blogs and said some really nice thing about it. To me it's an outlet to channel my feelings and thoughts based on the events that occur in my life and has occurred in my life but you all took it to the heart. I really appreciate all the support.
It encourages me to write more and more.

Once again, thank you so very much. The simple sentences like "You are an amazing writer" and "You have a talented way of expressing your thoughts and feelings" really keeps me full with gratitude that I'm about to explode!

Last week has been really tough and this week is even harder.

So my mother and I would like to thank everyone who comforted us and assured us that things will be okay, we are touched by your kindness. Every day we get home we think about everything you all have done for us and it keeps us going.

We love and care for you all so very much and thank you. From the bottom of our hearts.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


--this is just a column I wrote a while ago but didn't get published, it was something that I really wanted to share and discuss.

Rotten Apple of the Heart; pick it now or let it devour the soul

By: Sunnie Kim

Growing up I barely had any problems with bullies or being picked on, I always watched by when a friend was getting pushed upon and sometimes stepped in when it got too rough. I never witnessed someone get severely injured so punishing the bully never crossed my mind until recently I heard about my co- worker’s son being bullied.

Jack* is in the 7th grade and couple days ago he was late coming home from school so when my co-worker asked why he was late he merely recognized his mother and ran upstairs. Later she found out that he got beaten by a school bully that afternoon at a bus stop when Jack* refused to give him his allowance money. At dinner that night Jack* refused to eat because he couldn’t chew; his two bottom back teeth was broken on his right side. His explanation for the incident was that he missed the bus so while he was waiting the bully came and threatened him for his money. When he replied that he doesn’t have any on him the bulldozer clobbered him and ran off. In a panic, Jack* walked back to his school and washed out his bloody mouth at the nearest water fountain then caught the next bus home. Jack also told his parents that this isn’t the first time this has happened; for many months the bully would throw him around during recess, verbally abuse him and it came no surprise to me that he’s bullied other students also.

The next day Jack and his dad went to the school and the police came. After filing a police report, the police asked other students if they have been harassed also and came to a conclusion that they will do further research on the boy when they couldn’t get in touch with his father upon Jack’s request. The question is, should the school and police leave all the decisions to the 12 year old? I believe that the school should take the initiative and do the background search with or without his request because what if he is being abused at home and learned to take out his anger on other kids?

Of course Jack* is going to say that he doesn’t want to take any action because he’s just a 12 year old and he’s scared. That’s why the police needs to step in and assign the bully to attend mandatory psychotherapy sessions. If the kid can beat up another classmate that badly and have the nerve to lie about it, he should be put into therapy. Lastly, the fact that he’s a minor shouldn’t excuse him from getting punishment, give him community service at least! Detention and suspension is not enough, an authoritative action needs to be taken or else he’s going to think that he can get away with beating kids up. Something needs to be done and it needs to be done now.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Secret Garden of losing a grandparent

The phrase "Never forget where you come from" really has a deeper meaning. When we forget where we come from we forget who we are, where our features came from and where we are most ourselves at.

Recently I flew back to my home land where I was born and raised by my grandparents until I was 7 years old, my mother and I received news that my grandmother was in the emergency room in critical condition. Until I got there it never really hit me that she was in a bad condition, the moment we got off the plane we zoomed off to the hospital. There I greeted my poor grandfather who was drowned in tears and I walked in to the room where my grandma was. Her body was covered under a thin blanket which only showed an outline of her; her stomach was extremely over sized and her body was so fragile that just by grazing her arm I felt like I was causing her enormous amount of pain. Her left hand was black and swollen, I could see the marks left over from the stabbing of needles, little drops of blood was trickling down slowly under the saran wrap like material that was holding the needle in place.

It felt different to see her that way, my grandmother was a strong person, a person who never gave in to pain and always held on for the very last fight, she was a trooper, a fighter, she was my hero.

The doctor said that she was unconscious and she showed no signs of movement but when we stood by her bedside and told her that we were here she moved her left hand and tapped mine. Just like when she tapped my mom's hand with her left foot when she told her that she was here to see her.

As I sit in my room reminiscing the memories of my time with her I have a lot of regrets, how I could have been more nice to her, spend more time with her, call her every Sundays, and involve her more in my life are all the things that I could have done. One thing I know I did correctly was telling her that I love her, every time I called her, I told her that I love her because I had a friend who always told her mom that she loved her when they hung up the phone. She wasn't a very good friend but she taught me something; tomorrow is unpredictable so express our love for the ones we secretly care for the most so that way when they leave our side they know how we felt about them.

I gained so much knowledge about myself from this experience, that being an adult is not as glamorous as it's advertised to be. Being an adult meant holding my grandfather while he shed his tears, being a shoulder to cry on for my mother, accompanying the adults as we held my grandmother's icy cold body for the last time, seeing the limp lifeless body that's supposed to be censored for the young eyes, watch helplessly as they slid my grandmother's corpse into the cremation oven, and being in front row to see her bronze skeleton row out of the chamber after the process. Being an adult meant there was no mercy for the eyes, I had to endure the raw images along with the cruel reality of death. Being an adult meant giving empty hugs and kisses to those who never cared from the start and biting my tongue when I wanted to curse them for faking their tears. For my young age at 18 I saw what most people can only see in movies, it was painful but it helped me mature.

So remembering where we came from is an important thing to remember. My hair, eyes and body structure came from my grandmother. Her silky smooth hair stood out like a sore thumb in the old pictures, the complements I get on my features are all thanks to her.

Before I left Korea I promised her that I'm not going to cry anymore, crying will just drain my energy and only bring sadness. I promised to stand tall with my chin up and keep marching forward, to live the life that was given to me by mother, and accomplish everything that I want to accomplish. I promised to make her proud and show everyone that this is who I am and that I can be even more, I am my grandmother's granddaughter and she raised me to be the best I can be. To not let my tongue spit poison but let my actions rise above those who try to bring me down.

Yes, I've learned a lot from my grandmother's passing and like I mentioned before.. time is a precious, precious thing. Time will not wait and it will not show compassion. time will ride on without accommodation. Which is why within this short period of time that we have here on Earth we must grasp the moment, live every second to our fullest and give our all at everything we do.

My grandmother's death was unavoidable, it was going to happen now or later. But I truly feel that it gave me a new perspective on life. I still have a lot more years to go and I'm going to live it well.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Secret Garden of losing loved ones

It's 10:48pm and I will be boarding tomorrow at 12 noon to Korea to see my grandma. I never lost a loved one before, well actually someone so close to me before. So such thoughts like "Is she going to be okay?" and "I wonder how she looks like?" keeps running through my head like a NIKE commercial. Usually I like to keep these kind of things private but I decided to share this experience with those who have not yet lost someone.

The tremendous amount of fear is the very first thing that runs through my veins, mainly because I honestly don't know how it will feel. My boyfriend's grandfather passed away and I was there to comfort him and tell him that he's in a better place. Of course I couldn't fully understand what he was feeling or how to comfort him because I have never had a family member or anyone pass away.

I have lost many people, not in that kind of sense but in other ways. I've lost numerous friends to drugs, alcohol addiction and even prostitution. Growing up I saw first hand how a person sways and fall down the wrong path.

My best friend in 6th grade was a real goody two shoes, she never cursed and she NEVER littered. One time we gotten into a really big fight due to my careless littering of a gum wrapper, for god's sake it's a gum wrapper. She came from a descent Hawaiian family, they were tight and always cared for one another. They were well mannered, respectful and very understanding. Her parents always set the best examples possible for her and she followed very well. Then slowly she began to feel low and restless thinking that people hate her. She had a very small flaw, she had a tear drop size of a mole on her ear that was easily covered up by her long black hair. This never bothered me, I didn't find it gross or anything. But the other girls who I hung out with thought differently.

I socialized with girls who mainly cared about their looks rather than the grades they got on their exams, that cared more about who's dating who and what designer brand was most popular that season. So when we started to reach that point in our lives where there was rivalry between girls, they attacked the most vulnerable from the herd.

Boy, did they tear her apart, they played dirty and always got away with it. No matter how hard I tried to defend her and make the other girls see that she's no different that any of us, they ganged up on her even more. So eventually she did "bad" things to fit in. The last I heard was that she was selling herself on the corner to get cash for heroine. Her mother called me and said i was forbidden from seeing her ever again, and just like that my best friend was taken away from me.

This is just one of the stories I wanted to share about how I lost my closest friend throughout the short years of my life. And none of them compares to the thought of losing my only grandmother. i know there are many others out there who wishes that they had more time with the ones that they've lost and I my heart goes out to them. I wish I had more time to love and appreciate her, I wish I spent more time with her when I had the chance.

Lesson learned: Never underestimate the importance of time. Time is like reefs in the ocean and the innocence planted in children. It's something that goes unnoticed, it's beauty is subtle and silent. It's even more precious than the 7 wonders of the world and the generations of mankind. If used wisely, time can be used to experience every experience, achieve the unachievable, believe in the unbelievable, and live the very life that was given to us to its magnificent best.
Without it, the joy we feel, the sadness we learn to endure, the hope we forever hold in our hearts, and the love we express for others are all meaningless. I ask myself "How can we do all of this without time?"

We can't.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Secret Garden of working over time and emergency patients

The date was October 15th 2009, the time was 4:00pm, location: acupuncture clinic.
When I took this job I never thought that I would be stuck after hours with an emergency patient, squeezing puss and tissues out of a patient's stomach for 3 hours.

Patient comes in at 4:00pm, sits down in the waiting area and leaves to the bathroom then I hear a desperate yelling coming from the bathroom. I bring in the doctor to the bathroom and when she got there, there was puss everywhere, on the floor, the door handle, the trashcan, just everywhere. He suffered from a long term disease which imitated colitis, which is a inflammation of the colon that causes diarrhea, abdominal pain, painful bowl movements, etc..
His lower stomach was hard, he looked about 6 feet and weighed less than 110 lbs, so he had a very thin frame but with a rock solid lower stomach that stuck out like a pregnant woman's belly.

No one knew what it was, his doctors has given up and concluded that he might not be able to make it. So eventually he came to our clinic looking for help, he took our herbal medicine and the inflammation started to worsen. We found out that the thing that was in his stomach was years and years of puss that has built up by the bacterias that was living in his body. The puss eventually became solid and expanded, so the herbal medicine liquefied it and the skin was no longer able to hold it; so it exploded.

We spent 4 hours tending to the patient and placing tissues under him so the puss can flow out, we didn't even squeeze it most of the time and it came out. The most painful part was when a tissue or the root of the problem; the bacteria chunks were exposed and the acupuncture doctor had to pull it out of his 6 mm diameter hole in his stomach. It was definitely disturbing, the smell lingered around the clinic until the next day, half a gallon of Clorox did the trick I must say. So we spent from 4 in the afternoon til 7 in the evening and I stayed until 8pm sanitizing and cleaning.

<--Yes, that is a picture of me taking a 2 minute break, the picture was taken by my boyfriend who waited 4 hours to take me home. Thanks babe. I took pictures of the whole mess but I wont post it because it might traumatize the readers. At the end of the day I was exhausted, I had a paper to write and when I got home after a short dinner it was already 10pm. That's when the tears came, having two jobs going to school full time and this was just the cherry on top. Anyone who is going to school and working will feel my pain. There is that point in our lives where our everyday routine becomes too much and we need a break, but what happens when the break doesn't come?

The lives we live are not picture perfect but bitching about it wont do us any good either. I learned to accept the situations as they come and if there is something that we can do about it to make it better, I should do it. But if there is no way out and we need to wait until things become smoother then we should. For a year now I've been complaining about how I am sacrificing so much for my family and nothing made me feel better until I realized it'll get better later. That doesn't mean I'm going to wait here like a fool for my "moment". No. It means if there is a way out but it's not due to be here until next year; I'll plan and set it to action when the time is due instead of forcing them to happen now.

Patience.. I'm learning it. Day by day.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Secret Garden and That 70's Show

It's an obsession and it's official. I love the 70's show. This is one of the best comedy shows ever. It has the whole package; the spoiled brat, the tomboy, the ridiculously stupid good looking bonehead, the reliable one, the foreign kid, and the pot head orphan. It's a feel good show!

I'm sure everyone has their own favorite show that they just love to indulge after a long day at work or school. It's like having a cigarette, only that it wont give us cancer and it wont cost as much money as actually buying cigarettes. Also I must say I love the show's constant exercising of the word dumbass.

So how is this a big part of our life?

Shows like this drives people nuts, they schedule their work around it, they record it, they replay it, they buy posters, they buy DVDs, they google the casts, they just cant get enough of it. The shows are what keeps us sane in my point of view, when we are just having that one really crappy day and all we wanna do is just ugh! not do anything, just relax at home, just pop in that DVD of our favorite show and just watch the show. It clears our mind and relaxes us.

As I am writing this right now I am watching the season 4 of That 70's Show from my very new special edition DVD set of all seasons1 thru 8 that I just bought 4 days ago.

My favorite has to be Hyde, he's fricken hilarious. He was in beethoven's 2nd as the kid who takes out Rice on his motorcycle. Ooh la la.
And what's the deal with Leo man? He's like Jesus man. Like he's so cool man like he's done everything man.

That 70's Show is like a stress reliever, and some how eventually I'm not going to watch it as much as I do now. Yeah, like a phase but it kind of come back like an old knee injury. But it's going to be a part of our lives, we are going to always turn to the little part in the back of our minds where we remembered how great it felt to watch the show. Then we are gonna put that DVD in our player and watch it over and over again!

Another thing, isn't it gross how Jackie was 14 and Ashton was like 20 when they filmed the first season? And they were going at it like dogs. And what's up with Jackie and her rainbow stuff? It's like a leprechaun tackled her and vomited rainbows on her, only with out the pot of gold.

Okay so this is the episode where Dana is with Casey in a hotel room and Eric comes to stop her. It's so sad, he's so hung over her and what's more sad is that the most nicest guys in the world ends up all hung up on one girl. I have this friend who has the most annoying, ten timing, cheating, lying girlfriend in the world and my friend is such a sweet guy. And he's hung up on her. So there you go. my point proven.

In conclusion, That 70's Show is great, greatness and all things good. Teaches life long lessons and things what not to do. It gets us through tough times and comforts us.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Secret Garden of being afraid of the swine flu

H1N1 Swine Flu Cases - U.S.A.

U.S.A. Cases Deaths
Alabama 330

Alaska 60
Arizona 761
Arkansas 42

California 1985
Colorado 136

Connecticut 1247
Delaware 316

Florida 1302
Georgia 118

Hawaii 616

Idaho 92

Illinois 3166
Indiana 267

Iowa 92

Kansas 117

Kentucky 130

Louisiana 183

Maine 82

Maryland 591
Massachusetts 1308
Michigan 484
Minnesota 576
Mississippi 161

Missouri 65
Montana 67

Nebraska 111

Nevada 301

New Hampshire 224

New Jersey 1159
New Mexico 232

New York
North Carolina 255
North Dakota 57

Ohio 120
Oklahoma 128
Oregon 366
Pennsylvania 1748
Rhode Island 158
South Carolina 160

South Dakota 29

Tennessee 174

Texas 3991
Utah 920
Vermont 49

Virginia 191
Washington 588
Washington DC 33

West Virginia 154
Wisconsin 5861
Wyoming 81

TOTAL 33,902

-- Honestly I was one of those people who never worried about swine flu, thinking no way is that thing gonna harm me or people around me, but then I got a call from my sister who is currently in boot camp for Army National Guard in South Carolina. She said that on of the soldiers that were there died from a lung disease. She said that everyone was required to call their families to let them know that everyone else is okay. Later on in the news there was an announcement that the soldier died from swine flu.

It made me wonder, how did he get swine in the first place? Did this guy get it before camp and died there? Or did he catch it there?

Actually, when she called us it was about a week and a half ago and she said from that day, almost a week before, the soldier died. For a moment I started to question the government, they inspect the soldiers to make sure that they are not infected with anything, that they get vaccinated. How could they overlook this?

Of course I came to my senses and realized that the soldier must have caught it during camp. Then for a minute I pictured the ill soldier in my head, all the pain he must have gone through. Not only did he have the flu, he had to go through training. He must have suffered so much.

There are even more cases of swine flu that didn't get reported, it's frightening to know that so many people died from this flu in Mexico and now it's spreading everywhere. I never paid attention to this flu, I never thought that it would affect me in anyway but I realized that there is chance that my family members could catch swine, so it's best to be on the look out for this flu.

At some point I was paranoid about it because someone can have it and pass it to a friend and that friend will pass it to a friend and that person will pass it to someone I know and then I'll have it. People say that it's mind over matter but doesn't that only apply to pain? I guess not but still if it become a obsession what's going to happen next?

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Secret Garden of forgotten birthdays

It's a bummer, forgotten birthdays are the worst, the forgotten-er feels the tremendous amount of guilt and the forgotten-nee feels the cold shoulder. Then there is that awkwardness that dwells around the whole day and even forces the meanest people to be nice for that one special day. Unfortunately I am one of those people who forgot a birthday today, it's my co-worker's birthday and i forgot it. The shame! I felt really bad since she gave me a 100 dollars for my birthday and have been so nice to me though out the year.

Can forgotten birthdays separate friendships, relationships and even family ties? Just because of that one day can it drive people apart?

From my personal experience I believe it does. I had a friend who considered me her best friend but to me she was one of those friend who I felt that only called or messaged me when she needed something from me. So when I didn't text or call on her birthday she got upset and that ended our friendship.

So in conclusion, we threw my co-worker a party in the end and she appreciated it, she didn't want one from us but it was something that we felt like we needed to do. Birthday cupcakes, tiaras and sashes were involved, she looked pretty.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Secret Garden of customers we hate

It's unavoidable, they are everywhere and they keep coming back...

Yes, you guess it, customers - annoying, rude, arrogant customers. Age and gender doesn't matter, nor does race, height or size; they come in different forms and share the same mind crushing characteristics. They enter the "DO NOT ENTER" zones, they pull, push, fondle with things that clearly says "DO NOT TOUCH", they demand that they get their money back after opening and re-taping back their products, and they always want things to be accommodated to them.

I really feel sorry for cashiers, I swear they have it the worst because it's dealing with money. I work as a front desk clerk so I feel their pain, it's exhausting trying to deal with them. And how we deal with them is a even bigger headache, of course we can't yell at them or just bang their heads against the table, no that's unprofessional. All we can do is talk to them in a reasonable manner which is torture!

Things would be so much easier if there was a guidebook about how to handle these things, a little black book that has step by step instructions on how to talk to the patients calmly and not offending them so that they will leave immediately, how wonderful would our lives be if that existed? Unfortunately that is too good to be true and life would be drama-less if we had one of those books so that's why we have to learn to deal with these kinds of things the hard way.

One time I was working at the clinic and this woman demanded to see Rosie, for those of you who don't know Rosie is my boss/mother's dog and she is just precious. Rosie usually sleeps in her bed right next to my desk where patients are not allowed to come in. So this patient decides that she wants to pet her while she is sleeping and comes barging in to the employees only area, so I stopped her and said "I'm sorry but this is an employees only area," then she gives me the most coldest look and says " I only want to see the dog, I'm not doing anything." Usually my older sister who is more masculine handles these kinds of situations but she is in South Carolina for her training at the Army Base. So for a good 5 minutes I repeated the sentence over until she gave up and sat down. Then the next week she came back for her treatment and she does it again! Why? Why does this woman keep doing this? Honestly I don't know, but what I do know is that there are unreasonable people out there who have absolutely no common sense. We can't control the peoples' stupidity, all we can do is control ourselves and perform the appropriate actions to the customers. It's frustrating, I know, sometimes I want to slap them upside the head and most of the time I imagine that in my head and it helps me to put a smile on my face while I deal with them.

Bad customers are a pain in the neck and from personal experiences, do whatever it is that make you feel better but never NEVER use ice cream as an outlet for your feelings - they go straight to the thighs.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Secret Garden for the love of Dogs

We all have reached a point in our lives where we love another person, cared for another person and done everything in our power to keep that person happy. It's exactly like that only it's about a dog, the big question is "Is that normal?" Honestly where do we draw the line between loving a dog and being completely obssessed about it? My dog Rosie is a tiny little shitzu and she is spoiled to the max, she has never been on a leash nor has she ever walked on a street. For her birthdays she get an overly expensive Juicy Couture doggy carrier with embedded crystals and an imitation sheep skin blanket so her precious little body won't be tossed around in the carrier.

What could possibly be the reason why people do these things? Actually better yet, why is it that my mother do these ridiculous things to the poor little dog? She needs to be freed, run wild with her tongue flapping out of her mouth and bark at helpless birds. Is it love or is it being too attached? Or even worse, believing that dumping on mountains of designer products for a dog will bring them love?

So that leads to a new question: How far will people go to keep their dogs "happy"?

I work at an acupuncture clinic so there are loads of people who adore Rosie and spoils her every time they come to the clinic for their treatment. One of our patients have brought her doggy dresses while the other brought her chopped sweet potatoes in a little container. Talk about high maintenance, Rosie DOES NOT drink warm water nor does she drink water that has been sitting out for more than 2 hours. How would she know if it's been sitting out that long, no one knows.

I swear she is not a canine, she is a reincarnation of a princess who died from having all of her excessive unnecessary objects falling on her when she opened her closet; her excessively, unnecessarily, ginormous closet.

Rosie refuses to eat eggs, shrimp, certain types of fish, soy sauce, and all cream cheeses except the vegetable garden cream cheese along with her toasted bagel. Surprisingly my mother accommodates to her ridiculous needs and spoon feeds her the food during dinner time.

I wonder how many people feel like their parents/spouses dogs have been picked over themselves because I certainly feel like that. Which makes me question the whole purpose of having a dog, isn't having a kid enough? I always thought the whole purpose of having a dog is to be a watch dog, at least I think so? Don't get me wrong I love dogs, it was my idea to get Rosie and it was my money that got her to our house. But it's gotten to he point where she has taken our fur jackets and seat cushions for her personal needs. What about my fur jacket needs?!

Maybe one day there will be a law against unfair jacket stealing for dogs.

That would be just delightful.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Live as you wish

Take a breath, stop... Hold it, count to 10, breathe out. Every time I do this I feel energized, as if that big breath of air filled up my soul and recharged it to it's normal state. Then I get to thinking, am I doing everything that I wanted to do? I'm 18 years old now, did I accomplish everything that I wanted to accomplish by the time I reached this age? And the answer is always no. This very ritual keeps me going, my own energizer bunny, the beating to my drum that motivates me to push on and on until my very last day.

Remembering my first day of American school, which was my first day of 2nd grade and I was clueless as the sheep that got separated from Mary. My first assignment was to write my name and what I want to be when I grew up, I was going to write that I wanted to be a veterinarian but instead I wrote "I want to grow up and be like my mommy." Now 10 years has passed and I'm still on that same path but is it the path that I want to take? My mother is an acupuncturist, I have been working at her clinic for about a year now and the more I think about it I don't like the environment. Dealing with the patients and doing what I do, I'm not so sure if acupuncture is the way to go for me, I mean I appreciate it and acupuncture actually does work but I don't know if that's my "dream job".

When we live do we really live to the fullest? Sometimes I say that it's because I don't have the time for it and that I don't have that kind of opportunity to go for it. We are always going to have a reason or excuse for not following our dreams and goals but it's not our environment that keeps us from breaking free, it's ourselves that's holding us back.

I love to write, I might be any good but I love it, I want to write and I want to continue writing. My life was set up for me where I didn't have a say in what college I wanted to go to or if I wanted to live in another state so I blamed my unsatisfied life on those reasons. But I realized that I have more than enough chances to do what I want to do because no one can live my life for me and the more I accepted that I gained more confidence. After telling my mother that I wanted to go to the mainland for school, of course she was against this but in the end she agreed that it would be a good experience for me to have.

How we live our life is up to us, as simple as that.

Who in the world said that we can't?