Monday, March 03, 2014

My own worst critic

Maybe it's contributed to my problem with having low self esteem since I was little. But I feel like I'm always super critical of myself and my efforts. I have always found it difficult to accept compliments. Even when I know the person giving it is completely genuine. I always have this niggling shred of doubt in the back of my mind.

Not the "I'm a perfectionist and it wasn't perfect like I think it should be" kind of way. Usually it's the, "I'm really just mediocre and it really wasn't that great but if you say it is, okay" kind of way. And deep down, "I really hope it's true what you're saying" kind of way. Because in certain aspects, I know that I'm not that good at things but I try really hard at it anyway. Like music. Music does not really come naturally to me. Nor do I really have a head for it. But I really love music.

For example, I play the bass clarinet and have loved playing it since the first time I tried it. But I have very little sense of rhythm and certain black dots on give lines scare me. Really. Think if the song, the battle hymn of the republic. I can't look at the rhythm of the song without sweating and having terrible flashbacks to my junior year. I tend to joke that I play the bass clarinet because I can only handle quarter notes and down beats. Seriously, sixteenth notes gives me the urge to hide under my chair (or inside a tuba). And then there's the whole, I can only read the bass cleft if I'm transposing it while playing. I can't tell you off the top of my head what the note is that is written there. But I can finger it on my instrument and tell you what it is for a B flat or.E flat instrument, just not a C instrument. I like playing I'm a group setting, but put me on the spot and I forget to breathe.

Then there's the whole writing thing, which is as little ironic considering I'm writing this blog. I love to write. I probably found my love of writing somewhere between fifth and seventh grade, not that I wrote anything good during that time. That was the whole, "learning to write, but I didn't know what plagiarism was called" period. A little early introduction to what was slightly fan fiction. I still remember fondly the encouragement I received from my seventh grade teacher's aide, who was my hero too. He came to my rescue a couple times when I got bullied by the kids around me. There was one time he noted that I didn't spend the while period writing in my notebook, like I usually did every day. It was one if those classes where the teacher didn't really teach and had absolutely no control over what happened in the classroom and was oblivious to his surroundings. I had forgotten my pens at home that day. Which proved that even from an early age, I am a pen snob.

It is one of my biggest dreams to one day be a writer. It doesn't even have to be a novelist. I'd be happy being some kind of journalist even. I felt so good my eighth grade year that I was in every publication of our monthly school newspaper when I took journalism that year. We had a really big class and not everyone got an assignment every month. And even when I didn't have an assignment, whatever editorial or piece I wrote, ended up in the paper. Only one paper didn't have my name in the byline. But it was something where I wrote it, but it was something that never had a byline every month anyway.

Still now, I go through phases where I fill pages and pages with my writing. Pages that never see the light of day or any one else's eyes. Why? Because I'm too afraid to show them to anyone else. Like I feel like it's not worth showing to anyone else. No one would want to read it. Because I feel like, "It's not good enough. Because I'm not good enough."

And sadly, sometimes that's how I feel about everything I do. Whether it be crocheting a beanie or something as simple as taking a photo. Even writing this blog, I'm like, "no one is reading this anymore so who cares what I say?"

Sorry, sometimes I feel like I am so negative all the time. Then again, the title probably was a warning that this wasn't going to be a peaches and cream entry anyway.

Saturday, February 08, 2014


Remember when everyone had a blog and posted regularly? I know I dropped off the blogosphere years ago. In light of recent events, and smart phones and a blog app, I may have to jump back into blogging. Like I said once before, I forget how much I enjoy writing. It's one of my dreams to be a writer one day. Not sure what kind of writer and if I have anything worth reading.

I do admit, I go through fads and phases. Some last longer then others. Some are very short. Like I've admitted recently to our new pastor, I am a bit obsessive compulsive.

There was the Newsboys fad. I bought almost all of their albums within a one year span, at the time anyway. The Snoopy and peanuts gang phase, which still lingers. The love stories book series phase. Then I ran out of shelf space. The lakers phase didn't last very long. That was in the early 2000s. There was the lord of the rings phase. Like I said, I went through lots of phases.

And of course, the Dodgers phase. That lasted much longer than I expected. Don't get me wrong, I'm still in it and still a huge fan. But it's definitely reached it's peak for now. The peak was probably 2009 - 2011. I made since great lifelong friends who I consider to be my Dodger family.

Not sure what phase is next. Right now I don't have the time or energy for another phase. We'll just have to wait and see.

three weeks

My mom passed away three weeks ago today from liver disease. Even before she passed away, I was already thinking, she's never gonna see me or my siblings get married, hold any of her grand kids... Like sometime else said, those lost opportunities. There are times when I think I'll never go a day without crying. I miss her everyday. Especially at night. For me, night time is always the hardest. The house is dark and quiet. I'm no longer listening for her to call out if she needs me. And its at night when I realize, I haven't seen her today and I remember she's gone. I know I haven't written I'm two years. That was shortly before I found out the first time my mom had a liver disease. She was managing it until last September when she got sick again. This time, there was no getting better. There were weekly trips, mostly in three middle of the night, to the ER. There were several long hospital stays. And finally, hospice care at home. It was three weeks ago this moment that I came home and was taking care of her when she passed. I don't think I'll ever get that moment out of my head. I wish I had known those were going to be her last moments. Some days, it didn't feel like its been the weeks. Sometimes it feels like it was just last week. Other times, it feels like months and years have passed. Yet the days fly by like seconds. I miss her telling me to drive safe every time I left for work. I miss her scolding me for not taking a jacket when its cold outside. I miss her voice. Even the last few weeks, her voice wasn't the same. The woman I was taking care of wasn't the same woman who took care of me. She was slipping away so quickly. And she did slip away so quick, too quickly that I didn't even know until it was too late. At Christmas time, I couldn't listen to the song "the Christmas shoes" because it was too close to what I was going through. I knew this was going to be the last Christmas with her, even though our family didn't celebrate it. We never celebrated Christmas, not that I can remember. But still, I didn't want to think that she wasn't going to be around for the next one. No one is ever prepared to lose a loved one. That's why its called a loss. Losing is a difficult thing. Its not supposed to be easy. I had a lot of time to think about this. Even if she lived another ten out twenty years, I still wouldn't be ready to lose her. No one ever is ready, no matter the age. Yes, we can be thankful she is no longer suffering. She is no longer in pain. towards the end, she hated getting pricked and stuck with a needle. She was getting so weak. Sure, I would have gladly taken care of her for much longer if that meant more time with her. But, that would've also meant she would've got sicker and suffered so much more. And that wouldn't have been fair to her. I miss her every day. I'll always miss her. There's a piece of my heart that is missing, a piece that only she could fill. A piece that belonged only to her. I go on and hold everything together... And then that moment comes and I fall apart. And its okay. Sometimes I need to fall apart for just a moment, to let the tears flow. Otherwise, it gets bottled up inside for too long. Once that moment passes, I can close my eyes and go to sleep. Then its a new start to a new day. God's mercies are new every morning. Just got to put one foot in front of the other, take a big breath, and get through to the next moment. All I need is God's grace for the moment, each and every moment.