tree of life was a very strange and weird movie. i didn’t know exactly what was going on, especially with the back-in-time sequence that made me wonder if the film was spliced and a national geographic short had been inserted in the middle - cause really, there were dinosaurs?
^yeah that was an actual scene from the movie. i did like how many of scenes were shot in texas, especially with jack (sean penn) thinking at his workplace in houston (which is supposed to symbolize emptiness….lol)
and yeah, i really like mr. o’brien’s (brad pitt) glasses in this movie. couldn’t find a better pic…. but you can kinda see it on the movie poster above in the top left
so i haven’t posted in a while….derh. so here are some random thoughts:
heat vs mavs finals - i hope dirk and company redeem themselves. MAVS WHERE IS YOUR BENCH?!
i’ve been working out everyday since i signed up for a 14 day pass at 24 hour fitness. my muscles are soo sore :(
i worked on my bicycle today. it needed LOTS of cleaning… i don’t ever want to clean bicycles again. time for fixed gear!
…which btw leads to full-fledged hipster status. i’ve been rocking a flat cap ever since i tried one out at my church retreat. on the express train to hipster-ness apparently XD
i haven’t been this happy in a long time. everyday is a new adventure and full of fun
i still don’t know what i’m doing this summer. but that’s okay :]
i’m finally getting around to editing my photos. hopefully they’ll be posted on my flickr soon.
OH NOES no moar monies. been eating out wayyyy too much and buying so much stuff. its barely june….how will i survive summer? :/
i have the perfect setup for reading- in the guest bedroom, there’s a rocking chair right by the window along with a lamp and a fan. currently reading Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
i will practice my jazz scales so i can improve my piano improv. maybe brush up on some chopin also? D:
i’ve disappeared for the most part to many people. sorry if i haven’t really talked to you, nothing personal at all. i’m barely talking to anyone
1) j: this time last year, you wrote something similar to this.
it’s been 2 years now. i admit, i haven’t thought a lot about the past. college is full of so much to pay attention to. but 2 years later, we find ourselves - as wongfu would put it - strangers again. i don’t think i’ve ever told you how much i learned, how much i matured, how different my views are today, because of those years. i don’t think i even realized it until way after. you’ve impacted my life more than i ever expected (more than you will ever know). some day we’ll look back with other people and smile wistfully. for now, i guess i can only say thanks here. thank you. no matter what, ill always be there for you, but as a sister now.
in a weird way, this post brings me a lot of joy. i miss you, but as you said, it seems that we’re strangers again as we’re both building deeper relationships and interacting with the people and friends around us. you don’t need to tell me anything - from your demeanor, your attitude, your words, and your actions, i can already see how much you’ve grown and matured. you’ve changed (for the better), and i’ve already noticed it in those transient moments that i’ve been around you this past year.
so last year, I made a list of 100 things that I wanted to happen, whether they were short term or long term. Lately I’ve been feeling like I have too much time on my hands and that I haven’t been using my time well. I’m probably going to make another list soon, but before that, let’s revisit my last list and see how much got accomplished!
Be more diligent and disciplined
Be closer to God
Update my blog more often
Be a better photographer
Be a better son
for Elise and Neil to get into med school (yay for neil!)
For my cousin Kevin to come to know God
For my cousin Bryan to come to know God
For my grandma/family to come to know God
For my friend Steven to come to know God
To not be so judgmental on people, especially b/c of appearance
Work on my temper and get rid of my rage/anger
be awesome at piano (jazz improv)
get better at guitar (finger-picking)
Manage my finances better
To stop procrastinating
Volunteer consistently (Habitat for Humanity)
Get an internship/job (GRAWR NEED TO WORK ON THIS NAO)
For my mom and dad to stop and enjoy life more often
Get good grades (again)
to be more kingdom-minded for God
to be true, real, genuine and transparent
have my heart healed
for Heming to find a spiritual home/church
for Cheng to trust God more
Not get into a relationship
get more camera lenses xD (one extra lens counts, right?)
Learn to cook better/become a master chef
(still in progress though)
Play the cajon/djembe/drums better
Set goals each day
Do quiet times and pray everyday
For LOFT to honor and glorify God more
for IV to be more organized and mission-minded
Stop being apathetic (sigh. this is a huge problem for me =\ )
Work on cardio again
be in the best shape of my life
bench press 200 lbs
for Jacob to have peace
Be a better brother
Be more social and go out more
become a pro at pool (not pro, but i think i’m pretty good where i’m at)
be able to swim better
for God to impact the people attending Urbana
for Jet to find true satisfaction (maybe not true satifaction, but he’s definitely turned his life around)
for Aimee to have more free time
Be a better friend
Do something productive/fun over summer break
Stop being so indecisive
Learn how to use photoshop + lightroom
Get a new computer..lol
Write more letters!
Sleep at more normal times consistently
get better at longboarding (still learning how to dance. next is sliding?)
Find new hobbies
Learn how to knit
eat meals with strangers more often
be more involved with LOFT
Learn how to play bass
To be more thankful/not take things/ppl for granted
Upload my photos more often (HA. still haven’t uploaded pics from freshmen year)
Learn how to use a SLR camera
Stop being so reliant on technology/computers
Watch the sunrise/sunset more often
Improve my singing/vocals
Write a song
Go to a MUSE concert
get these stupid braces off
be a man after God’s heart
Have a pet penguin
Go on a mission-trip
Stop being so stoic/cynical
Be more loving
Listen to more music (yay for indie musics!)
Be more artistic
Find direction in life
Save money for grad school
Stop being so selfish
For Anna’s knee to heal (really amazed and thankful this happened)
For JieJie to change the world for You
for Kelly to get to know her roommate better (she has new roommates now that she know very well. does that count?)
don’t park the car in the garage until you’ve bought the house
a couple weeks ago at IV large group, our speaker linson gave a talk about dating and relationships. linson talked about how fickle our hearts are, the media’s false portrayal of love, and advice on knowing when we’re ready and who we should pursue in a relationship.
now i dont really care for dating anyone right now because i know i’m not ready and because i just dont want to. of course, there’s some lingering feelings of wanting to spend time and share life with, but that’s exactly a problem linson pointed out during our talks. through the help of media, we’ve developed a view and sense that we should satisfy our wants and desires now, without having to make a commitment first. it’s like we expect intimacy first and maybe we’ll commit later, but that’s totally wrong. if there was no need for commitment, then frankly marriage is pointless. we could just have a fling with whoever and whenever because without commitment there’s nothing special about marriage, you know, the whole loving each other til “death do us part”, the idea of faithfulness, and of course marriage being holy and ordained by God. i know for sure that my sense of commitment many things, including important things like education, music, even my own faith, have wavered and sometimes never follow through. I know because of my lack of commitment to important things in my life that I cannot and will not commit to a relationship with someone if i can’t even get my own life in order.
a few thoughts have just now hit me. these past couple of years i’ve wanted to “grow closer to God” and basically have a more intimate and personal relationship with Him, but i really haven’t felt that i have grown closer to Him or know God any better. which leads me then to ask, am I wanting intimacy with God without first committing to Him and His ways?
like many people, i’m impatient and desire and expect instant gratification in life. that’s why i like watching shows where things get renovated and restored and you get to see the before and after pictures. i like cleaning my room or mowing my lawn and see the immediate change in how clean and neat everything becomes. but i’ve learned over the years that you can’t always have instant gratification. in everything that i’ve valued, i’ve had to practice and work hard for it. my skills in piano are the result of a decade of learning and practicing. my endurance in running only came after strenuous practices during my years as a cross-country runner.
but i’ve also come to know that my faith in God and in knowing Him is a long journey. there’s no shortcuts or cheating that path in surrendering yourself and to obey His ways and calling. i didn’t have the close friends i have now until i first spent time with them, got to know them, and slowly earn their trust and love. i have to remind myself that i can’t just expect to suddenly know all about God and always feel His presence in my life all the time if I still haven’t committed myself fully to follow Him.
I feel that God is teaching me a lesson in discipline (which i sorely lack) and commitment- to follow through what i say, to let my yes be yes and my no be no, and take responsibility for my words and actions. and perhaps for my faith, to hold on, persevere, and keep going in the midst of struggles, apathy, dryness, and loneliness.
so this post is a rant of some my thoughts that i’m forcing myself to write down and process. i feel like i haven’t taken the time to really ponder and think on my own life for a long time now…
the first and usually most important thoughts in my mind, whether i realize it or not revolve around God and my faith in Him. these past few months i have been quite apathetic and distant from both fellowship, church, and in my own personal walk. this past fall semester has been a rough one; last semester until now has probably felt like the driest season i have encountered in my faith. at first i felt like the burden of the calling of God was too heavy, too much for me to handle, like a hurdle i knew i could never jump no matter how hard i try. in some ways, that’s true. i know that by my own will and strength i will fail. the mark of sin will always prevent me from walking in righteousness, and i know that apart from Him i can do nothing. this feeling of inadequacy along with lies led to despair, the feeling and knowledge that the world that i live in and my own life is so very broken. the more i really look i see broken relationships, friends and family living lives without any real purpose, trying to find meaning and satisfaction in anything and everything but to no avail.
this heavy feeling of despair and brokenness has recently numbed into an apathy. this apathy is like a disease that has spread into so many parts of my life. school is just a checklist of things i have to do. i’ve lost interest in so many things that i used to hold dear. i’ve lost interest in photography and music. even deep conversations with old friends seem to have lost that sense of belonging and intimacy that was once there. prayers have never felt so empty and shallow, now merely utterances of words rather than thoughts from the heart.
of course these feelings have carried into my role as small group leader for IV. so many thoughts cloud my mind about my partner sgl being asked to step down and on how i’m supposed to lead and manage small group on my own in my current state. how am i supposed to portray the love of God genuinely? lead outreaches? engage in community and conversations? pray and encourage my guys? i know the answer is that God will work and make all these things possible, yet i feel that i am not abiding in Him, which (again) i know apart from Him i can do nothing.
yet i willingly lead small group because of a sense of responsibility and duty to my small group. a whole semester was spent trying to form friendship and bonds, and this semester seems like the one where we’ll grow together and more become more intimate. i willingly lead small group for the sake of my brothers, who i want to know God more and really have fellowship and community. I willingly serve because its what i’m called to do, even though its been so difficult. i want to love them, learn with them, and grow with them. my greatest hope is that God will work through our small group, that a fellowship in Him can turn apathetic hearts to be passionate again and that hearts that don’t know Him can believe and have faith.
this past semester has certainly been a spiritually dry one. it makes me wonder if i should still be on leadership or not. but every step that i’ve taken has reaffirmed my place as a small group leader - talking to IV leadership, staff, and through other messages. so i cant walk way though its difficult. i’ve been told that this is dry spell that every christian goes through, the drought before the rain. God told the prophet elijah to camp at a ravine until he would send rain again. elijah camped in at that ravine until it dried out, only left with dust and left to rely on the provision of God to sustain him. seven years passed until God finally spoke to him to proclaim that He would bring rain again to the land, and afterwards elijah went on to perform great miracles. i feel like i’m elijah, and right now is that time where i need to wait, persevere, and just grind out these dry desert years. I’m hoping for the rain and for greater things to come
i havent been back home since september, but my attitude about home and the friends and family that i have here have changed. ive come to miss and appreciate my parents and extended family very much.
while im excited about food (but not black friday), i was really just looking forward to being with my family this thanksgiving break. helping out around the house actually brings me joy, as i get to be productive and show my appreciation to my parents in that way. i got to talk about interior design with my mom and helped my dad and bro fix bicycles and other stuff. im looking forward to playing some tennis with my cousin, worshiping with my church, and catching up with some old friends. now thats what thanksgiving is all about.
today was an interesting day. highlights include getting froyo, being stuffed in the trunk of a sports car, and trying out purple drank.
apparently it’s supposed to help you relax and make you sleepy, as it ingredients found in cough syrup. yum? i tried it but i couldn’t tell if it actually worked or not since i was already sleepy. i honestly don’t think it had much of an effect since i was able to stay up and blog :x oh well, there goes $3