Lessons from a baby

I’ve always been a person who tries to learn lessons from life around me. It’s probably years of Sunday school classes and trying to find the lesson in the Bible stories.

I just started feeding my daughter, Portland solid foods. It’s been fun seeing her facial reactions to different vegetables and fruit. Her first reaction is usually unsure if she likes the new taste, by the second bite she is smiling big and wants more fast. She often tries to grab the spoon and put more in her mouth by herself. She once was so excited, she grabbed the small cup I was feeding her from and tried to eat it. I laughed and said, “You can’t eat the whole thing at once!” When I said it, I stopped and laughed to myself, so that’s what I’m trying to do! When it comes to all the new dreams and ideas I’m having, I’m trying to do everything at once. For the past month, I’ve been enjoying being a mom full time and being creative on the side whenever I get the chance. I started writing more here and making YouTube videos weekly. As I’m pouring my extra time into these areas I’m waiting like… ok when is this going to pay off? In other words, I’m trying to eat the cup just like my little girl. It doesn’t work that way, it’s one small bite at a time.

From the moment I learned how to do graphic design all the way to graduating as an editor, I’ve intern and got hired to help other people build their vision. I didn’t mind, since at 22 I didn’t really have one myself. It’s easier to help others build theirs. When it comes to my dreams, I’m often changing my mind on how to go about it, or ask the question; is it worth the risk? Rediscovering my creativity and refining new dreams has become a process in which I am learning new things about myself.

I guess if anything, my daughter is teaching me to enjoy the experience of life.

Thank you to those who enjoy my post and liking them, I hope you are also learning with me new things about life and are encouraged.

Preparation is Part of the Process

Sometimes it feels like the efforts we put into our personal work is useless and isn’t worth the time. If we were to calculate the hours we put into each project and see how much it’s costing us, it might cause us to give up. The only thing we know is that we love it and no one has to pay us to do it.

The pace of life can move so fast that we don’t have the time to prepare ourself. We hit record, or show up and rely on our past experience that we will know what to do next. But when is there time to study, read, and build? Be prepared for the opportunity to come is advice I’ve always taken to heart, but never really put it to action because I just didn’t have the time to. When do we have time to ask questions like, “What do you really want to do?” “What do you really want to make?””What impact on others do you want to have?”- let alone get them answered.

Now that I am at home with my daughter I am gifted with these open hours to do whatever I wish with my time while she sleeps. Because these moments can be 30 minutes to an hour, I have to use it wisely. For the first time in my creative life, I am able to work on work for myself. As I am taking the time to relearn a few things, research, read books that interest me, I am discovering new ideas and desires I never knew I had. When my daughter and I hang out at my local book store, I am noticing a pattern of what type of books I am picking up. Or when I work on youtube videos its allowing me for the first time to create for me. When I step back and see what all these things have in common. I can see clearly what it is I am passionate about. There is no job description for what it is I want to do, because it doesn’t exist.

I want to shout to the world all the things I am dreaming, but I know I have to invest time into my work before I can share anything. Every week I am showing up, putting in whatever hours I am able to. We hear these stories of how others are being successful, and I can’t help but wonder what the secret is. As I am pouring hours into my work, I am realizing it’s work. Preparing is part of the process, its what will make the difference between failure and success.

Yes I haven’t made any deposit into my back account, but I am pouring into my daughter, raising her, and when I get the chance pouring my creativity into myself. Building my dreams, hour by hour.

So I encourage you, whatever phase you are in, take sometime to prepare for what it is you really want to do. I’ve learned it doesn’t take hours like we use to do in school, but small breaks. Take the time to build something for yourself, your future self will thank you, and might even pay you.

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Disappearing Social Media

When I was in high school I discovered AOL chat rooms. I found it fascinating I was able to talk to strangers and be unknown. My friends and I would spend hours in chatrooms causing trouble like any normal teenager would. In the early 2000′ the internet was the wild west. No one used their real photos or name. The moment we signed off, we were back to normal life.

My friend had this cool cousin, who told us about Myspace. We created profiles and sent friend request to each other. We were now part of a secret internet club adults didn’t know about. We would say, “What happen’s on Myspace, stays on myspace.”

When I moved to Sydney, I was extremely home sick. My new friends were annoyed at me, “You’re not in California anymore, you’re here.” Having a hard time transitioning, I decided to deleted my account. Then, deactivation wasn’t a thing; contacts, messages, photos – everything would be deleted with one click. When I did it, I remember feeling brave. I was leaving the comforts of friends behind, I was deleting my status of how many friends I have. My friend’s back home was mad at me, but I was now able to invest in the people around me. Deleting myspace took me to a new season in my life. I was able to see the world around me and embrace where God was taking me. I was able to focus on where I was.

When I moved back to California, Facebook opened their network to anyone who wanted to sign up. It was now my Australian life I couldn’t seem to let go. It wasn’t until a visit back to Sydney did I decide I had to more on. I stood there at the Darling Harbour, looking at the Opera House and said good bye out loud. When I returned I left Facebook for a while.

Today, social media is everywhere! Everyone has an account, even the distant aunt or the business down the street. We can no longer escape each other. I can now click through my profile photos and see my life happen in front of me. I see myself aging, changing, and becoming someone different – and I am also witnessing my friend transform. The dynamic of relationships dramatically change over a course of a time. I can’t leave snippy comments anymore to a friend to be funny, their wife is probably watching or their grandma.

2016-07-30-17-31-23Recently, Gus asked me, where was I when a certain part of history happened.. I answered, “Probably on Facebook,” The truth was, I probably was on Facebook, and if I’m not careful, I could spend the next ten years on social media, missing life happening in front of me. I didn’t like the truthful answer that came out of me. I began to think what if I left social media for a year. The answer to that question got me excited for the unknown. I don’t know what would happen. Maybe it would cause me to develop some deep meaningful friendships, and stop lying to myself about some of my friendships that, “we’re still close.” This time, leaving social media is about time-  a time in my life that I am holding on to.

The next day I deactivated Facebook, Snapchat, and Instragram .. I’m still on Twitter since that’s easy more about information. The first day without social media, I found myself alone with my thoughts. I recorded an audio recording and what came out surprised me. My soul was speaking, and my heart was starting to pour out. I hadn’t expressed this much personal feelings in a long time, I knew I would never share it publicly, this recording was for me.

As the week went on I notice I am paying more attention to people – I was hungry for social interaction. As I walked around at the mall or church, I noticed I was receiving fresh insight on life that I haven’t had in years. I’m also enjoying listening to my husband talk, and give him my full attention. I can feel myself changing already. I want to use my time here on earth to do something other than scroll looking at photos of people who I don’t know.

I am 33, the age Jesus went to the cross, this was his last year on earth. He spent that time with people, and miracles were preformed. If I want a life of adventure, it requires sacrifice. I want to reconnect with myself, and the people around me.

Can you believe we are a few days away from 2017.

Time — the most valuable thing on Earth.

Youth or Reality?


I admit, I held on to my childhood as long as I could. It’s been a struggle allowing myself to growing up and now I have entered in the phase called aging. I still see myself as a young lady, although you have to be over 50 to refer to me as such. I often get the question if I have children, I think to myself, “Do I look old enough to have children?!” *Crying emoji.

I am now understanding why make-up was invited, I am noticing my face change and often wonder if there is anything I can do to prevent my fate. How do I stop time? It took me years to find myself beautiful, and now its fading away right before my eyes. I should have been more thankful when I was a teenager, instead of being worried about pimples. 

I am a deep creative, I shouldn’t care or spend time on such shallow things. As a person whose twenties was documented on social media, I can scroll through my profile photos and witness the camera get further and further away.

I am a sucker for looking at the past with the soft filter on.

2001, The world was changing, America had faced a turning point and I, myself was facing my own end of the world moment. I had been dumped by a boy who I thought I would spend my life with. He was the one who told me my dreams were impossible, and now he was no longer in my life to talk me out of being who I wanted to become. I was left alone with my faith in God, a few friends, and my art. I went to college because there was nothing else to do. The plan was to get married and have children right after high school, since I had no potential future husbands in line, I went to college to become a junk mail graphic designer. It wasn’t until I started to believe what God said, “All things are possible for those who believe” did my life turn into something better than I could have planned.

I often took the song lyric from Creep by Radiohead pretty seriously in my twenties to help me make any major decisions.

The line, “What the hell am I doing here? I don’t belong here” was my compass. I often felt out-of-place, so feeling in place was very noticeable.

When I got my first professional job as an intern with Warner Brother, I was asked what I wanted to do after the program. I knew I didn’t belong with the department as a graphic designer, so I told them I was going back to school to become an editor.  When I moved to Australia to edit with Hillsong, I often grew home sick. I would answer the Radiohead song, “Yes. God sent me, I belong here.” It was only when the job fell through did I take that as a sign to go back home. When I moved back to California it took me months to figure out the next step. I would cry out to God kicking and screaming that I don’t belong in San Bernardino. When I was going to move to Vancouver, I sat in the coffee shop realizing, it wasn’t the place for me. I had a life back home that was full of grace, I returned to my old job in a new position as the video department director. When I met this deep mysterious boy with long hair I had no idea if I belonged with him but knew I enjoyed his company. It was when he comforted me during a hard season, I knew he was who I belonged with.

Every obstacle, struggle, and victory is indeed worth the annoying lines on my face. I may be aging, for I always was, but it doesn’t mean I can’t keep my youthful heart that still believes, all things are possible.

Big Sur Honeymoon

Many warned me about the wedding day going by fast. The months prior I worked on every hour the day would hold. I prepared for the worst case scenario and over stocked on items like toilet paper. I’ve been thinking of this day since the first time I watched Cinderella on VHS. What I didn’t expect was to not “feel” like a bride, and after the ceremony I didn’t “feel” married. I felt the same as the day before. The thought never occurred to me when I was shooting other couples getting married, if they felt married. What does married feel like any way? 

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetI must have expected to have this transforming moment at the altar where the heavens opened up and a dove would land on our hands, declaring “husband and wife.” The day was better than perfect, and it was amazing seeing our friends and family in one place.

After the wedding, when we drove off into the sunset. Friends and family invited us to their own wedding after party, but for Gus and I we had just crossed over into married land and we both felt like we just scammed everyone by giving them a party and now they all think we are married.Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

For the honeymoon, Gus took me to Big Sur in Central California. We drove up the cost and enjoyed the beauty of California’s coast.

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Instead of a fancy hotel we stayed a nice couple’s back house from Airbnb. This was starting to feel like a classic Monica & Gus vacation.

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We did some hiking, driving and cooking when it came to our meals. Gus as a child visited a waterfall at Big Sur, so we made our way to find it again. Processed with VSCO with m3 preset

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetGus has an aunt in Capitola that we stopped by to visit. It was my first time seeing Capitola, I was captured by its unique Spanish style. Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

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A few years ago we came to Monterey and couldn’t afford to visit the aquarium. As a wedding gift to Gus, I paid for the tickets.

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Of course after.. We went and ate some fish for dinner overlooking the bay. That night we went to a fancy restaurant that we enjoyed way too much. Its going to be hard to go back to our Airbnb life. Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with f2 preset

Each day we noticed the difference of our dating life and now our married life. Our parents were now happy to leave us alone, and people seemed to respect us more when we would say, my husband this or my wife that.

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I still don’t know about the married feeling, but one thing is for sure, we’re excited to be on this new road. Its going to take faith, and we’re willing to step out and cross over. If you asked Gus, he’d say “whatever, its no big deal.”

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The Anthropology Life 

an·thro·pol·o·gy\ˌan(t)-thrə-ˈpä-lə-jē\ : noun

: the study of human races, origins, societies, and cultures

The past few weeks I’ve been obsessed with the store, Anthropology. I’m finding my self visiting the store once a week and during the week thinking about when I can go again for a visit. The store is always stocks with new items. I don’t always buy something, but it’s the atmosphere I enjoy most. It’s like walking into a real life Instagram house who’s main goal is to inspire with every glance. I haven’t traveled overseas for some time now, and items collected have an international feel I miss seeing.

I use to visit antique shops but found the life I want to create is one that discovers new and interesting things. When I bought things, they never felt like they were mine. They had a life before me, memories that I did not own.

As I’ve been collecting items from sales, I am working to carry the culture of the store with me. I desire to have my future house have the same welcoming creative vibe. I want to live a life that welcomes in strangers and inspire sleeping artist to wake up. Rifle Paper Co. inspires me to paint and create handmade cards and notes. Their cards and journals are full of beautiful water color art. Anthropology is where I discovered Darling Magazine, which if you haven’t heard of, you’re missing out. Its a beautiful magazine full of articles that pour beauty and purpose in to life’s boring or challenging moments in life. The Darling team is also developing a magazine for men called, WildernessToday while doing my weekly visit, I saw my reflection. I thought to myself, “I look like I belong here.” I’ve bought into the Anthropology life style, travel and drinking coffee.  

Which might sounds stupid or with very little purpose, but these things are part of the external life experience. Living a life of meaning is part of my pursuit of the Father. The ultimate fashion expression is of hopeless, so even they know style, clothes and stuff doesn’t make one happy. God has heard countless prayers of mine about what being a women looks like today. I don’t wanna be stressed out, busy doing nothing or kindness taken advantage of. Anthropology is unforgiving about treating oneself, no guilt allowed for taking a break and enjoying the cultures of life. It excites me when I come across a real life example of the type of women I want to be. My favorite account to follow is Annstreetstudio She is a photographer who works with her husband in New York. I know very little about her but she seems graceful, lady like and calm. Her style is elegant and she makes her age whatever it is, look like an exciting season to live. She even once responded to me! I have been in the season of needing an example when it comes to the art of being a woman. This doesn’t come easy to me, as I was the girl who refused to be girly. If I were a character in a movie they’d make me butch. All my life my close friends were boys. My interest weren’t normal, I’m technical and creative, I’m friendly and shy, I’m awkward and comfortable. I like fashion but hate high heels and fake eyelashes. I love music but get annoyed with shallow lyrics with any reference to the human anatomy. I’m weird but completely normal. I want to be unquie but don’t want to be noticed in the crowd.

I will end with a poem from Darling, written by Micheal Albanses and Wynn Everett. Sometimes men can see the beauty we hold that us women can’t see.

In her bedroom closet

hangs a mirror

reflecting quiet perseverance.

She chooses her own path

as she does a dress.

Slipping it over her head

she recalls the voice advising

her on the topic of significance.

Considering their words, she breathes.

At peace with the knowledge of who she already is.

Growing up can be fun.

The Purpose of it All – the bodies exhibit

This year I consumed a lot of new knowledge. I asked questions, read books, listened to books, created action steps, did social test, and solved a lot of little problems. Yet, I still feel like I didn’t get much done. I didn’t blog much or start any new projects. I guess this year was a lot of-sewing.

As I wrap up the year and organize my life as well as my files, I wonder how I can be a larger influence to those I come in contact with. You know those people that say one sentence to you and it transforms your life? Well, I want everything I do to have that impact. My videos, my blog, and my interaction with family and friends. I want my good intentions to become real actions.

Yesterday Gus and I went to the exhibit BODIES. I’ve always seen the posters when I would travel, finally I had a day off to check it out. It seemed interesting but I had no idea what I was in for. As I looked into the eyes of the person who once existed, I couldn’t help but wonder who they where when life was in them. From an artist point of view, it was hard to view bodies detached from the person it belonged to. I saw the brain and the nervous system still connected which still made the human body form. I realized just how much our brains effects our whole being. The heart was displayed all alone in a corner. Who’s heart did this belong to? What did they love?

I pictured a movie of these people lives and a mad scientist taking them a part. I could see the final shot of a close up on their eyes pulling out and reveling their body with no skin and tourist walking around them in a museum. And there I was in the shot. I started to wondering what will my end be?

Oh the deep thought of humanity. What is the purpose of it all? If I had the answer I’d be rich.

As a person who loves finding answers to questions, what if the answer was as simple as love. Every scientist I’m sure would disagree. But the more I learn about astronomy and human psychology, I can’t help but feel loved by the Creator. The more I seek Him, and the more I help others, I feel like a bee who’s existence is necessary. I have a purpose, my existence matters. I know those who study the human body sees us as parts working or not working, but we will always be more than that. It’s up to us to live intentional and with purpose. How the story ends doesn’t stop at our death but it is the start of a new beginning. Maybe the answer of our purpose won’t be found here on earth but in heaven.

photo via Google search

A Turning Point

The book The Story by Robert McKee describes a turning point as a moment a character is forced to make a decision. I read the book years ago but never forgot the revolutions I received from adjusting my prospective to a writer of my story when it came to my own life. Author Donald Miller had the same experience and even wrote a book about it named Million Miles a Thousand Years. I was reminded about what I experienced after listening to his audio book.

When life takes a turn of its own, with no control of my own, I am reminded of the power of making a decision and what story I want to create for my life. I can’t control the twist and turns but I can control what has power in tossing me around.

I was one of those girls who wouldn’t or couldn’t make up her mind. I soon saw that making no decision was indeed a decision of choosing not to act. This left me stagnant in life, unable to move forward, leaving me not happy with where I was, and who I was becoming. I gave up control to the cares of this world.

What drove me to finally start making a decision was the fear of not living the life God has written out for me. What I failed to see that it was He who placed the typewriter in my view to start typing out my story. I had a say in what happened, the decisions I make, if my will is to please Him, wouldn’t lead me to harm like I was fearing. Trust is what I was confused about. I was placing my trust in myself instead of He who knows every mystery of the earth. His love for me is more powerful than the mistakes I have made and will make, and because of love, I am free to create the story I want to live.
The turning point was indeed surrendering.

The more we get what we now call ‘ourselves’ out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become.” C.S Lewis

The Wanderer Generation

I’m not sure what it is, maybe its the age group I’m a part of or the times we live in. For some reason it seems my peers are wondering around life with no real direction. I myself am tempted to live this life style of “whatever happens, happens”. I see photos of fellow college mates all over the world snapping shots of themselves in front of landmarks, using up their favors with friends to help them out while they figure it all out, in other words, it seems like they are in search of home.

It is a tempting lifestyle, one in which I tried myself but I knew I had a destiny to get to, work had to be done and the cost of living to pay. Whatever decision I made, I had to make it fast before I burnt bridges.

As I am working toward my goals, I want to stop half way. I tell myself, “This is good enough.” But I know it won’t be good enough in a few weeks when I become restless again. I must admit, I don’t know specifically where I am going, but as I navigate through each hour I try to be intentional with my decisions. To read instead of watch a movie, to create instead of be entertained, to think instead of zone out, to save instead of spend, which I don’t always make the better choice. It’s the little decisions that matter.

What I appreciated from traveling and school was that it required me to think and gave me time to figure it out. Now that I am in the middle of a full time career, I have to make it a priority, to keep on thinking, looking ahead, and setting new goals. If you ever got in the car and drove with no place to go, you’ll realize it gets you no where. It leaves you lost and with an empty gas tank.

Proverbs 22:3-5
Sensible people foresee trouble and hide from it,but gullible people go ahead and suffer the consequence.
The plans of a hard-working person lead to prosperity,but everyone who is always in a hurry ends up in poverty.

California Road Trip – Santa Cruz

I’ve must have passed Santa Cruz many times while on my way to San Francisco. My Australian friend had went for a visit during her last stay and told me how awesome it was. Gus and I drove up after Santa Barbara and took in the fresh over cast morning at Pleasure Point.

Gus told me about his family growing up in Monterey and suggest we take a drive to enjoy the town the following day. But first I wanted to check out Mission Santa Cruz since we where so close. We went to the church only to discover it was very small, compared to Santa Barbara mission there wasn’t much to see. We enjoyed a walk in the garden and headed towards downtown.

Driving in to the city I noticed the Museum of Art & History, right away I wanted to check it out. I enjoy visiting art museums in new places. I never know what they will focus on and its interesting to see the different exhibits. There was a lot of interactive art displays. I joined in and created a passport about my family history. Gus was impressed at my drawing of myself. I laughed because if there is one thing I know how to draw, is the face I’ve looked at all my life.

Walking downtown was one of my favorite parts of the trip. Looking at all the old buildings and discovering new shops is so fun. We spent some time at the record store looking at all the music past generations enjoyed. I bought two albums for the road trip back but both albums end up sucking, haha. I like taking risk but thank goodness for iTunes preview!

With the last bit of energy we checked out the Boardwalk. Talk about busy! There wasn’t an empty space in the park. Gus and I were so worn out, we spent less than an hour here. I’m sure my 14-year-old self would have loved every bit of it. The rides, the crowds of young people, and all the fatty food!

The next day, we headed over to Santa Cruz Breakwater Lighthouse. My friend had told me about this cute little place to have breakfast called Aldo’s Harbor Restaurant that overlooked the dock and lighthouse.

We got in the car and headed to Monterey to check out Cannery Row and the Fisherman Wharf. We first
took a break at Starbucks which I saw this man and his dog relaxing. He chatted with me about how his dog likes to do his own thing and doesn’t listen. I smiled and laugh at his dog’s little tongue hung out. After we checked our email and social media, we headed to grab some famous clam chowder at the Fisherman Wharf.

Time flew by and back to Santa Cruz we drove. Our vacation time was ending with just a few days left. Two more missions to see on our way home. We stopped by Mission San Juan for a few shots.

We drove to our last mission only to do a drive by. We where worn out and now needed a vacation from our vacation.

I’ve lived in Southern California my whole life and never bothered to visit central California. It was a nice road trip to do with the missions as an excuses to drive and take in the location. It was interesting to visit these historic sites and appropriate a school lesson I kinda slept through in 4th grader. I’m sure Mrs. Luper would be proud!

 

Aging Hipster

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There’s this scene at the end of Angus (1995) where the nerd gets his moment to dance with the poplar girl in school. I remember watching it when I was in middle school and falling in love with the song they danced to. The dance was the climax of the movie with the classic speech and clap at the end. Angus tells off the popular bully! Every high schooler day dream!

After watching Angus in middle school, I was left wondering who the artist to the prom song was. It wasn’t until Napster came on the scene did I finally find it was called, Fade Into You by Mazzy Star.

I was a late arrival to Mazzy Star. By the early 2000’s most people were interested in boy bands. Artist that used real instruments like the acoustic guitar, tambourine, organ and harmonica were going out of style. But I didn’t care, she was new to me. Her albums became my personal alone writing in my journal music.

Last month, out of the blue, rumors of Mazzy’s come back was all over twitter. I was surprised so many other people loved her music. I told my boyfriend I know what I want for Christmas – Concert tickets! I knew this was a dream come true. For one, I finally have a boyfriend to go to a concert with!

When we got to the concert, it was like a reunion of late twenty and thirty somethings! Everyone carried evidence they were from the 90’s- Doc Martin shoes, plaid, leather biker jackets, jean jackets, long hair. I realized I’m apart of the aging hipsters. I saw a post from a kid on Instagram, “Waiting for my parents to get back from their concert.”

The acoustics of every instrument including her voice sound amazing. At one point I stood in the hallway because it reminded me the sound of prom.

Aging can sometimes be hard. We’re told younger is better, immaturity is fun, and you have all the time in the world to figure it out. But being thirty is not as bad as I thought. In fact, it’s pretty awesome. All the hard decisions from my twenties are paying off. The new challenge is to keep focus and diligent towards the goal.

I was motivated by my fellow Mazzy Star fans, to stay confident in being strange, and embrace the different stages of life. Though mostly everyone in that concert hall was now married, had children, and was done day dreaming of their 5th period crush, I witnessed them hold the person they dreamt of when they were younger tight. Part of the prize of getting older is maturing and adding new people in our life to love.

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I asked Gus why do we enjoy concerts so much, it’s just people on a stage? He answered, “We enjoy sharing the experience together, it makes us feel a part of what’s happening on stage.”

I was encouraged to remain hopeful no matter how old I get.. like my favorite band getting back together again.

Enjoy the scene from Angus.

Go get Inspired

There are seasons in life where work feels like that is all we do. When that takes place for me, I usually am in need of a day out. I know when I return home, I have some fresh inspiration. Getting out spending time with people in the real world can bring so much healing to the soul.

Last weekend, I took a day off from work. It was hard to turn off my work brain. I found myself thinking about what was taking place in the office but I had to tell myself my team is doing a great job without me, to enjoy my day out with friends.

When looking for something to eat, we found some food trucks. Next to it, there was this big wall of art. When we moved in closer we realized it was parts of the Berlin Wall. It was hard to believe this is the wall that kept so many people away from their loved ones in Germany.

We made our way to the LACMA to check out some art.  On our drive over we were listening to 90’s music, it was only fitting that we pose for our own 90’s album.

To my luck, the exhibit featured Germany artist and groundbreaking film makers.

It was funny to see everyone on their phones Immediately after. A coffee break was needed, we made our way to Beverly Hills to Urth Coffee.

For dinner we went to one of my favorite Thai restaurants in Los Angeles. Toi. The atmosphere is great and the food and service is amazing.

Before we made out way home I talked everyone in to one more stop…

Amoeba. Here I found some of my favorite albums. Albums I wanted when I was in 7th grade but couldn’t afford. Now they were 3 dollars. haha..

I know I had a good day when I come home full of creative ideas. Now I’m inspired. 🙂

What type of places inspire you?

Dear Social Media

Dear Social Media,

I want my life back. My moments, my relationships and privacy. I no longer want the pressure to brag and show off where I am at, what I am eating and who I am with. I know you mean well, but when I instantly give these precious life moments to share, I lose them as I try to upload, tag, and write a caption.

Thanks for what you do, connecting me with people but I also need to connect with the people in front of me. I’m putting my phone down and forgetting about it when I don’t need it. When I snap a photo, I’ll look at it later. The world can wait and so can I.

Wednesday morning before work I heard an interview with the creators of Instagram. I was pulled in by their witty personalities and big dreams. I listened with closeness as I heard their heart behind Instagram. They spoke about capturing those special moments; children learning how to walk, a mom spending time with their child, graduations, weddings, birthdays and how people can share images as they happen.

I began to think about all the big events in my life to my everyday routine. I thought to myself, “Those are mine, I don’t want to give them away by snapping a photo, writing a caption and uploading it.” I’ve learned through the years about the sacrifice a photo can cost. Live life or take a photo of it? I have to make a decision between enjoy what is taking place or pulling out my camera and capturing it. And now because of instant publishing more time is lost to experience life.

The question is how do I solve this dilemma? If I’m not careful, I can end up experiencing life though a screen, missing out on the beauty that no camera can capture.

This 4th of July weekend I did an experiment. Take a photo and look at it later. I was anxious to share immediately but instead told myself to enjoy my time with the people I love most.

Looking back on the photos, I can appreciate them even more because I got to live them.

The Images of Life

Life can happen so fast, that even a 2,000 camera can miss it. The past few months I’ve been enjoying my camera phone. When I was 8 years old I use to say, “I wish I could take as many photos as I wanted, to have unlimited film!” Now many years later, I am living that reality, minus the film. The camera phone isn’t the best quality to print but I can’t deny the joy of being able to capture the simple moments of life and sharing them right away.

Maybe this is my way of rediscovering my childhood love of photo taking. If anything this will help me see how beautiful life is and be thankful for all I have.

 

Blog: Monica Opener

Growing up I always felt different from my friends. When the show Felicity first aired I was a freshman in high school. Hearing her thoughts and watching her journey through college I knew it was her life that I wanted. She was meeting new people, making new friends and discovering a new city. Her admiration for Ben and friendship with Noel made me dream of a time when I too would be a grown up. She was a girl who had deep thoughts, was honest to the world she lived in and desired to grow as a person.

I often look at my own life as a TV show. I the protagonist desire to reach a goal but am faced with conflict, it is up to me to make the right decisions to achieve a happy ending. What I’ve learned over the past few months is that the ending is just the beginning. A good story takes the main character on a journey they never thought of, a story that is full of surprises and twist, we relate to this because its how life works. We think we know where its going but in a few months we ask our self, how did we get here?

February I left my job to discover something new. I set out on my journey with the blessings of those in my world and set off to find the answer to my question: “Where do I belong?”

Felicity followed a boy to New York and found herself instead. I left my job to answer a question and now I have to trust God more than ever before with that answer. I admit I have no idea where He is taking me. I just know the next season of my life is going to be full of surprise and I’m glad I have such good friends to share it with.

This week, I start a new chapter. Its going to be strange to go back to work but I’m excited for the new challenges ahead.

Felicity Season 1 Opener:

 

Event: Around The World Party

Two of my best friends, who are more like sisters, graduated from college. Brooke graduated from Law School and Bianca with a Marketing degree. To celebrate they threw a costume party. My first reaction was not to dress up but Anabel talked me in to it, “You traveled all around the world, be one of the culture you saw.” I’ve always wanted to pretend to be french.. 🙂
When I arrived the girls all thought my fake cigarette was real, I then pretend to not care. I smiled when I saw everyone’s outfit and broke character. It was nice to see the world getting along.

I later grabbed my SLR. I wanted to test out my fisheye lens with my new flash. A social event is the best place to practice, making mistakes are forgivable, making mistakes are encouraged. For some reason the fisheye lens capture the party perfectly.

It was nice to see world peace, even if it was for a night. 🙂

Blog: Coffee and Great Company

One of my favorite things to do is drink coffee and have a great conversation. Sometimes I have one that is so inspiring I wish I would have recorded it for all to hear. We began to talk about the church and creativity. I shared that it was the Puritan church that shut down the theaters in London in the 16th century, stopping all future play writers and the possibility of more geniuses to develop. When I read this in the current book I am reading, I was disappointed, “It is the church that should be birthing the most creative art, music, movies and books.” I started to share how far along we have come.  Creativity has allowed people like me, who aren’t pastors to have a voice. How powerful that is and how much God wants to use that. As we got deeper in to the conversation I knew this is what Imagine, How Creativity Works was talking about. People meeting in coffee shops and talking about ideas, ideas that will lead to insight which can lead to solutions. Maybe it was the relaxing atmosphere or the great company that allowed this conversation to take place. Either way, it got me thinking about my place on the earth.

Photos: Capturing the Everydays

My favorite pictures to take are of my nephews. I love watching them play and interact with each other. They remind me of life’s greatest joy, having each other. When I arrived at my sister’s house I told David I was there to play and visit with him and Jacob (instead of using the babysitting term.) They welcomed me with open arms and allowed me in their world.

Its amazing when I think about the days when my sisters and I use to play together.  Time passes by so fast, if we don’t take the time to stop and notice, soon, the years would have passed by. Good thing for photos and video, they help us remember what we’ll probably forget. They capture the everydays.

Travel: Rediscovering San Francisco

I’ve always seen you as a busy city but over looked
the smiles that you gave me.
The woman who made my coffee,
The man who answered my question,
made me think of a poem,
“live up north once but move before it makes you too soft.”

As I walked your crowded streets
a man that had nothing to call his own
made eye contact with me and said
“You’re beautiful”.
Maybe he was crazy
or maybe just bold enough
to say what he was thinking.
Either way he made me smile.

Now as I sit waiting for my ferry I think about how I miss judged a place I thought I knew.
I didn’t think a large city like you
Would care for a stranger like me.
But I guess that’s why so people still
migrate to your green parks and call it home.

The last time I visited,
I thought I made new friend but instead lost one.
Two years later, My life is completely different.
What was safe and predictable is now
alive and fully aware of life’s greatest adventure:
love.

Thank you San Francisco for reminding me the beauty of kindness.