Friday, March 31, 2017

Signs You Know You're Adulting (written at 24.5 years old)

  1. You make weekly grocery lists.
    Articulation: Eating out one meal a day would cost me around $10. Per week, that'd be well over $50. For the month, easily $200. Not to mention, some days we spend more than $10, and other days we eat out for more than 1 meal? Cash flow.
  2. You clean up your mess. Daily.
    Who know when family will make a visit? Also, clean home = clean mind.*
  3. You finally kick started your savings. And it's actually building up.
  4.  
    Starting now is the first step.
  5. You begin to realize the importance of education beyond college. Podcasts. Creative writings. Books written by successful, influential figures. You feed on their ideas. 
  6. You learn to give.
  7. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: It is more blessed to give than to receive.' -Acts 20:35
*The best book ever written on home organization is globally acclaimed author Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Yup, this** life has changed because of it.
**Me

March



Another month has flown by! Here are some things that happened in March.

Pro's:
  • Saw Dia Framton live at the Hotel CafĂ©. Definitely one of my favorite live experiences.
  • Picking up Joanne today for a little slumber party! Excited for our weekend adventures x
  • Learned to snowboard better! I practiced leafing and carving at Big Bear. Lots of next day pain, but it was so worth it.
  • Completed our Step 1 phase for secret project. We need to get the ball rolling again, so that will be a mission for April!
  • Kept last month's promise to meet up with family more often! Met 3 times with my in-laws and once with my family. I guess some months will be more balanced than others.
  • Worked two work events (1 with coworkers, 1 alone) and it was a huge success! I love rallying up at events and seeing fruitful results.
  • Adulting: Learning a lot in my Financial Stewardship class: how to erase debt, how to build savings, how to spend wisely. I'm so glad I'm starting now - already feel much more prepared for the future than I was before.
Con's:
  • Justin broke out in rashes. His pain is getting worse, and it agonizes me to see him so miserable. Hoping he finds healing soon.
  • Still haven't gotten started on my 1 book a month project. (mini pro: I know exactly which one I want to read, tho)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Upward by L.S. Nome

When the surrounding voices simmer down
to a pure whisper
and you are left alone
Do you wish you were elsewhere?

When you're caught in past guilt,
the shame, the regrets
the heartache and the heartbreaks
Do you wish it would all go away?

Still I move onward
To better days, to a better self
And still I move upward
to the heavens that give me hope
And I wish for peace
Just exactly where I am

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg (excerpt)

And I like you because
when I am feeling sad
You don’t always cheer me up right away.
Sometimes it is better to be sad.
You can’t stand the others
being so googly and gaggly every single minute.
You want to think about things.
It takes time.
I like you because if I am mad at you,
Then you are mad at me too.
It’s awful when the other person isn’t.
They are so nice and hoo-hoo
you could just about punch them in the nose.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Current State

(our living room corner, pre-completion)
(the glorious bathroom, which is now filled with Aesop products! courtesy of Anna)
(I was ready for spring, but spring wasn't ready for me. A below-the-knee skirt from Free People, peeping for a glimpse of sun rays with no luck)
(my grab & go jewelry)
(Blue Apron, for the full-time working newly weds)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Beginning

 
(My very first photo-shoot with Anna, 2012)

When I was 13, I subscribed to my first fashion magazine Teen Vogue for only $12 a year. It became my favorite thing to receive in the mail. For every monthly issue, I read vigorously – every single word. I remember analyzing the front cover headers, the photos, the personal articles, and the finale: trending style inspiration. When the pages ran out, I would flip through again to see if I had missed anything. And in desperate moments I would read the index. “Where was this piece borrowed from?” “Who styled and photographed this look?”



Enter hour two, I would be found lying down with Teen Vogue in my nose, cutting up scraps of inspiration. Street style, home renovations, perfume advertisements, new campaign spreads – anything I found inspirational or admirable. These pages were carefully collected and set aside for what would become my first collage & scrapbook.

The actual scrapbook was a yellow, spiral-bound sketch pad I had discovered on the outdoor clearance rack of Borders, a local bookstore that is no longer. I filled the pages with bits and pieces of my inspirations: Mary-Kate Olsen, LANVIN, Kristen Bell, Marc Jacobs, and Chloe. Over the next few months, I finished the 50-page project in the style of what is now known as a ‘dream board.’ I recall showing it to my parents and family, visitors who came over our house, and frankly anyone who might be interested in my small accomplishment. I still go back to this scrapbook once in a while, to remind myself of the impulse and passion that ran in my veins during my teenage years.

---

As I grew older, I found myself lost in direction and muddled deep within a pit of mixed counsels: “You are great at organizing, you should look into Administration.” “You love learning languages, try linguistics.” “Haven’t you always wanted to become a teacher?” “Do business, like your father.” In the midst of this chaos, nothing really stuck with me. I bounced around, from one major to another, only to realize that none of these majors offered at any University of California would satisfy my creative desires: to create, visualize and style outfits, research trends, publish travel diaries, and sit for hours blogging about the future of fashion.

 

Quite frankly, I never wanted to attend university to study art, or anything of the like. I had many friends advising me to study art, or go in the fashion industry - but I think in my mind I took for granted that this part of me would always remain in me. I thought, "I'll always have this passion within me, so why study it?" I never knew passions could fade when it lacked careful nurture. I also neglected to realize that every skill is a tool: if it’s not being sharpened, it’s as good as gone.

---

In my late teens and early twenties, my heart again raced for fashion. I jumped into creating YouTube videos along with my sister, who was already producing content for beauty and makeup. I focused on visual styling and short clips on thrift buying. I indulged in the world of Polyvore and Lookbook, and shot my first blog post look just outside our neighborhood. As my platform grew, I launched an online shop with hand-picked finds at local thrift stores. I spent days rummaging through vintage shops, consignment stores, and local pop-ups to find pieces that reflected my style. It became the most rewarding and my most time-consuming hobby.



(My first shop: Solatido, 2012)

In the summer of 2013, I checked a life box and transferred schools to Santa Barbara, a beach town on the coast with beautiful weather and leisure. I packed all my LA clothes with me, in hopes that I would find new opportunities to share them with others. However, the busyness of life, the infectious cultural apathy, and lack of inspiration led me to move these thoughts and dreams to the back burner of my mind. In my final year at university, I lost all hope and desire to pursue creativity and switched careers to something 'practical.'

For one, it looked good on paper: a stable career with decent pay and a work-life balance. However, deep inside, I was turning away from something monumental in my life. With that decision, I foolishly exchanged my passion for a sense of comfort that everyone seemed to chase. Once I got there, the grass on my field started to look brown. Maybe this isn't what I hoped it to be. I was alive, but I wasn't living.

---

In the winter of 2016, something changed.

I can't pin point what or who influenced me, but I started to see things differently. I don't know if it was my co-worker showing me her sketches for apparel design, hours of honest discussion (about dreams and regrets) with my husband, my eye opening trip to Seoul (capital of street style), my sister who is a dream machine of inspiration and effort, or the growing platforms of online inspiration that keep me in check. All things considered, I knew I had to ignite my soul again and give my dreams another shot.

I entered 2017 with expectant hope that I would make this year a time of pursuit and action.

Fast-forward to today, I am in a much better place of awareness. I still work a 9 to 5 job, but I have an ongoing agenda of creative projects I hope to unravel over the next few years. (In this age, side jobs are the key to creative bliss.) I picked up writing again, I am reading and doing research, and I will soon invest in my first decent camera. (No more crappy digitals!) I no longer plummet myself into a rabbit hole because of my regrets, my doubts, and my fears. Instead, I think: I'm not too late to start something, I'm not "just like every creator out there," and yes, I have my own unique talent to showcase. I believe the same goes for every dreamer out there. We don't have all the answers with us now, but I think that's a great place to start. However my story unfolds, I'll be back to write about it!

Till next time.

 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

World Itinerary

  1. Paris, France
  2. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  3. Brussels, Belgium
  4. Copenhagen, Denmark
  5. Berlin, Germany
  6. London, England
  7. Dublin, Ireland
  8. Glasgow/Edinburgh, Scotland
  9. Zurich, Switzerland
  10. Milan, Florence, Rome, Venice, Italy
  11. Oslo, Norway
  12. Stockholm, Sweden
  13. Prague, Czechia
  14. Vienna, Austria
  15. Budapest, Hungary
  16. Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Spain
  17. Santorini, Athens, Greece
  18. Helsinki, Finland
  19. Moscow, Russia
  20. Jeju, South Korea
  21. Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo, Japan
  22. Anchorage, Alaska
  23. Vancouver, Canada
  24. Melbourne, Sydney, Austrailia
  25. Cape Town, South Africa
Now, where to go first?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

February

PROS:
  • We found an apt and moved to DTLA! Utterly grateful for where we're living, and constantly reminding myself that this is all by the working of God's grace.
  • I got a new job! I'm currently working at my childhood dream company, Compassion. I studied Communication and Global Studies in college in consideration of the future path I wanted to take - which was Nonprofit Management. I had no idea this is where I would end up. I am so grateful, humbled, and excited by the work being done here.
  • Justin and I celebrated our 11 years! I guess we aren't dating anymore, but it still feels nostalgic to celebrate our old anniversary.
  • I took my first flight into Denver, CO and stayed at Colorado Springs, CO for an entire week (Cons will be listed, stay tuned). But overall, I felt overwhelmingly blessed to work for an organization with high integrity and unwavering values.
  • Celebrated a successful surprise birthday party for our best friend Eunice, who absolutely loved the surprise. It is better to give than to receive! Amen.
  • Invited family over for the first time to celebrate my lovely mom's birthday. I've come to treasure family a whole lot more after being married. I wish I could spend more time with them regularly.
  • Had the BEST weekend with my college roommates on the last weekend of February! I love seeing how much we've grown, both together and apart, and coming together to share these joys and sorrows of life. We visited Joanne's hometown, ate a home cooked meal with her family, re-watched La La Land, and ate the most delicious 3-course meal. Cheers to your best year, Jo!
  • Worked my first Compassion Sunday event and had a successful turnout of sponsors. I'm looking forward to the many more scheduled this year.
CONS:
  • I miss my family. It's been tough only seeing them 3-4 times per month. I also wish I could spend more time with Justin's family and his extended family too. Our schedule and the distance makes it difficult, but we'll try harder this month! (Goal: see grandparents at least 1x per month, see family at least 2-3x per month)
  • Colorado people are the greatest people you will ever meet. Living angels. But Colorado altitude is the worst. I made it alive the first few days, but toward day 3, my skin was peeling, I had constant nose bleed, dehydration, nausea, eek.... needless to say I'm glad to be back in LA. I have a newfound love for my city! Ha.
  • This has been the busiest month so far. Life is gearing up in fast mode. I don't know how else to put it! Every weekday night I think I'll have open, I feel like it fills up last minute with catching up with friends, running errands, seeing family, other schedules and classes... These are all so wonderful and necessary, but Justin and I actually had 1 free day to spend alone together. (Wait, I realize that wasn't even in February, it was yesterday, March 1. Le sigh.) I'm trying, but no matter how fast or slow I go, I've still spent the 24 hours each day, and I look back to realize there were so many things I wish I could've done before it ran out. No regrets though! It was an incredible, jam-packed month. Just some hard reflecting and moving forward.
To a better me in March...by God's grace!

x Sola

The xx - I Dare You