I am.

I am a woman.Me

I am a mother of two.

I am a wife, a best friend, and a girlfriend.

I am a shoulder to cry on, a sounding board, an audience.

I am an introvert, a book-worm, a girl unknown.

I am a female trying to keep her individuality in this world of popular opinions.

It has been a long journey to accept me for who I am. And I am still working on it. Through the many awkward years of growing up, I’ve had to constantly ask myself, “Who am I?” Up until high school, I didn’t really pay attention to it. But alas, the dreadful woes of high school broke me. Hormones, popular girls, cute boys – oh ya, it all broke me. And for me, I just did not relate to anyone that much.

photo 4(5)Sure, I had friends. I felt comfortable enough to be around them. But growing up, I didn’t see myself as I saw them. There was a cultural difference, but more than that, my parents just did not raise me the same way. I didn’t have the freedom that others did. It wasn’t bad by any means, it just wasn’t what I thought was the norm.

I found myself getting lost in books. Each library trip brought a new adventure, a new friend, a new person to become. It allowed me to belong to the different world of heroes and misfits, without having to have the social awkwardness that belongs at the playground. Eventually, I also found myself relating to music. Each beat spoke volumes, and each chorus preached a message. There wasn’t a need for that awkward hello, because the music became the conversation.

But through the years, I have found that it is easier to belong than it is to accept who I am. It’s easier to say, “Yes, I am also.” versus “Yes, I am.”

And here I am, in my 30s. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, and so much more. I am comfortable in my skin, of who I am.

And while I am still learning, I know that I am.

Book Hangover.

I’m in a book hangover. To me, a book hangover is when you recently finished a book, and you’ve become so enthralled and emotionally invested in all aspects of it that you cannot think about anything else. Sometimes it happens to me for days.

Has that ever happened to you?

The book in question? The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh.

I read this book in a day. For those of you who know me, know that ever since baby girl was born, I haven’t been able to read a book that quickly. But for The Wrath and the Dawn? You bet I did. My official thoughts won’t be posted until closer to the release date, but to sum up some of my thoughts, here’s a snippet:

The Wrath and the Dawn’s world is exquisitely filled with wonderful and complex characters. You cannot simply love them, nor can you hate them. Instead, you have to invest your time and emotions into them, and allow them to live with you forever. It’s complexity upon mystery upon mystique. Words haunt you and they make you fall in love. Characters make you cheer for the bad and jeer for the good. Everything is skillfully crafted, binding each detail to another, making one large cycle of intricacy and book awesomeness.

PB01112015Doesn’t it make you want to read it? Y/FY?

Well, I’m attempting to read other books, but it might be unfair to some if I go from this to that. Maybe I’ll reread one of my favorites to get out of this drunken stupor.

On another note, last night I went to see Pierce Brown at Mysterious Galaxy for Golden Son. It was a splendid evening and even got my picture taken with him. Mysterious Galaxy always holds great book events, so if you’re in the area, stop by.

For a recap of last night’s events, check out Stacee’s blog. And while you’re there, just stay and read about all the other amazing events that she goes to.

Sunny days.

In Southern California, we don’t have typical seasonal weather. Most of the time we only have two seasons: sunny and not sunny. I think I’ve only felt extremely cold or extremely hot about a week or two at a time. For the most part, its a steady temperature perfect for being laid back and “Californian.” It definitely doesn’t hurt that there are over 100 days of sun in San Diego. Talk about ideal!

For a second, I was starting to become a bear – angry and very irritable. Doesn’t help that I’m still in the newborn parenting stupor and am averaging about 4 hours of sleep a day/night (I don’t really know when I sleep). But standing in the sun? It’s magical. I feel warmth and it instantly brings me happiness.

Today happened to be sunny in San Diego, and it was the perfect weather for a new book.

 

Right now, I’m reading The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. It will be released in May 2015, published by Putnam/Penguin.

I haven’t read that much, but so far? It is AWESOME. Ahdieh writes this story with so much complexity, but with finesse and east. I ADORE the characters and the multi-faceted dimensions that they were built upon. I am enjoying it, them, everything.

 

Taste buds.

6tag_010114-141945     6tag_061013-125642     IMG_20130512_132659 1

It is not a surprise that I love food. There was a time (obviously pre-kids) that my Instagram feed was 90% food. I can’t believe how much time I spent documenting my eating life. And while I occasionally snap what I’m about to eat, I have adapted the mentality to savour it now and share it later. I should probably take that mentality and apply it to other things in my life, but it is just so easy to get caught up in it all. To be my best that people will see, isn’t that what we’ve all been wanting?

Probably, and it is a hard habit to break.

There was a time when I was obsessed with a certain food community. I was a diligent and thought myself bonafide food critic, alerting the masses on what was delicious and what was not. I religiously took photos and made sure to post them online, perfecting the angle for optimal deliciousness. Who was I to slave over one little photo, or a few words, to let someone else enjoy what I should have been?

Not someone who truly enjoyed food. That’s who.

I remember seeing someone who didn’t have a care in the world once food was presented to them. It appeared that their surroundings disappeared, their environment silenced, and all that was left in their life was the dish directly in front of them. And after that first bite? Nirvana. I learned that no one else will enjoy it as much as you can in that moment. So who cares about everything else?

Food is essential to life, so therefore eat it now.

Hello 2015.

Resolutions. Goals. Diets. Etc, etc, etc.

Each year I find myself having one, or wanting to do one. I’m pretty sure a majority of everyone wants to do one. With the lure of social media (I’m looking at you Pinterest!), it’s easy to want to belong to that collective.

Do I have goals? Of course I do. Do I have resolutions? Sure. Do I want to go on a diet? Absolutely. But I won’t tell myself, “This year, we’re doing ________.” More than anything, I’d rather tell myself, “Just be a better you.”

Isn’t that enough?

For me, it’s just easier to eventually come up with excuses. (Motherhood has the perfect scapegoat.) I think the best thing for me is to just take things one step at a time. To just attempt to mimic all the good things that I did the day before.

Actually, one of the two things that I will commit to becoming more involved mom for O and S. Especially since O is getting older, and education is beginning to take a front seat, I want to be hands-on. The other thing is to take more time for myself. I have found that being a wife, mom, daughter, friend, employee… it’s easy to say yes. It turns out that I will tell myself “later” so I can tell whomever “yes” now. I know it won’t be an easy commitment, but I hope to just actively be aware of what’s going on.

Isn’t that enough, 2015?

Kids in the winter.

OS2014I have two children now. O, who will be two at the end of January. And there’s S, who is almost two months old.

Two under two isn’t always easy, and it definitely isn’t easy during the wintertime. (But others may say that it just isn’t easy, period.) I feel that with the holidays and colder weather, there’s so many more variables to make that difficult time even more difficult. Currently, my oldest is sick. He’s been teething with molars, and now he has a fever with sniffles, and etc. etc. etc. . Normally, it isn’t so terrible, except he only wants “mommy.” And that’s where the problem lies. I sadly have to prioritize my youngest, who needs me for other things (like food). The mom guilt is strong, and I know it’s not my fault. It’s just there, you know?

Winter in Southern California is different. It isn’t filled with sunshine, nor is it filled with real winter weather. But lately, the temps have gone down a bit. I just saw on the Weather Channel that there is a low of 34 in my part of the world. The last time I felt something similar to that temperature was during a Mammoth trip with the husband. I better bundle the kids up. That should be fun.

Off topic: I’m currently reading All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, and it is lovely. The blurb for the book is “..beautiful story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.” I’m in love with the characters already.

 

The Reading Challenge – 2015

A friend on Twitter mentioned a 2015 reading challenge from Pop Sugar. The list had a good variety of reading topics, from different eras and genres, instead of a specific book count. I thought this was a great idea and might as well combine it with another challenge: to journal more (more on that later).

Aside from journaling about these to-be-read books, I thought about talking about them online. There’s always recording them on Goodreads, but since I still have this platform, why not, right? It would be fun to look back and see how it goes. But let’s see if I can follow through with everything and finish the list. It’s an ambitious, but very fun list.

Most interesting topics that I’m looking forward to?

  • A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit
  • A book your mom loves
  • A book that takes place in your hometown (Since I’m from a different country, this will be a challenge)
  • A book written by an author with the same initials as I do

Interesting, but fun, right? Full list at Pop Sugar.

Continue reading