My Observations

* Disclaimer *

These are my thoughts; though they may be public domain, please have enough respect and understand that they are mine and are not for the use of your own deviant agenda.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

There are times in a personís life when theyíve moved into a new chapter and itís such a subtle process itís only noticed after a time of reflection. Well I am not sure if Iím more cognizant of my life or if the chapters are just more palpable but I have seen two recent chapter changes in my life over the last several months. One happened in September of last year. September I felt like my life was being turned upside down and everything I cherished was being taken away from me. In a way it was, but I was cherishing them for the wrong reasons. But that is not what this post is about. This post is about the most recent chapter changeÖ the month of March.

The month of March has been full of changeÖ I could actually observe the change as its happening. In the end, the entire month has been the new chapter coming to fruition. There is only a few days left but I am so far from the person I was at the beginning of the month! Itís amazing that you can change so rapidly. A lot of the change has taken place in the outward but I donít believe it would have changed if the inward hadnít been already changed.

I was chatting with my friend Tim the other day and I was struck by something. Let me give you a bit of background. I was in a relationship of sorts with someone and things went south in August. Strangely enough someone new stepped into that role. Not intentionally or by his choice, I placed him there. It wasnít till this month, (March) that I finally let go and accepted the concept that Iím single. This is a hard thing to confess, just because I donít know why I never realized it sooner. I actually havenít had a boyfriend for quite a long time! Long before August of last year! But something in my mentality, my mindset, kept feeling connected and attached to one person or the other.

I think the exciting part about this change is that I have accepted the fact that Iím single. I have embraced it and feel extremely grateful to be so! There has been a massive sense of independence. And in the outward you can say that I have experienced a lot of adventures this month! I donít believe I would have truly *experienced* them if I hadnít changed internally.

Early this month there was a call to change at church. We were asked to come up and ask for prayer for something we felt was holding us back from our fullest potential. I immediately knew what was holding me backÖ an unhealthy need for approval. I went up for prayer; I prayed that God would take this from me and give me the confidence to be who He made me to be. I cried, I was prayed for and I felt different. Itís one of those moments when you feel something inside, you feel different and itís not fake but itís a *real* change.

That was the internal changeÖ That unhealthy need for approval also seemed connected to my need to latch onto a guy. That issue being resolved also helped me let go of the need for the companionship of my certain male friends.

Now for the external changesÖ Where do I begin?! There are a lot and I have pictures to go along with each and this is long enough as it is. I think Iím going to post more at another time.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Bonsai Tree - Well I got my very first bonsai tree in the mail yesterday! Iím so excited! And a bit nervous tooÖ I know they take a lot of care but Iíve wanted to have it as a symbol of what God is doing in my life. Iíll be posting pictures soon!

My Car - So the last time I wrote about my car I believe it was an emotionally driven post about me breaking down on the way home from Irvine in the end of February. Well weeks later, Iím still breaking down on the freeway! Hehe Though these last few times Iíve handled it better emotionally then the original time. Yes, you read that rightÖ few timesÖ plural, meaning itís happened more then once since!

Last night I was enjoying a conversation with my friend Andie. I had just ignored a call from the Honda dealership about the car I test drove a week or so ago. Theyíve been pushing to get me to buy and Iíve been tempted but know financially right now I canít afford it. Well as soon as I ignored the call I see all sorts of water coming from under my hood. I look at my temperature and see that itís fine. So I pull over and check under the hood to see a hose from the radiator to the engine completely split down the middle!

Maybe I should explain what work has already been done to my car. Ok so when I broke down at the end of February what was believed to be the problem was the thermostat. So it was taken out down in Corona and drove like a charm back home. I took the next day off and bought a new thermostat and my dad put it in for me. Things seemed to work well but I kept noticing steam. I was losing a lot of water. So my dad took it again and saw that the radiator had a leak. So I bought a new radiator and my dad put it in. Things seemed to be working ok but I did notice a fluctuation in the temperature and as the week went on it kept getting worse. I was told to try buying a new radiator cap which seemed to do the trick.

Then the hose split last night on my drive home. My dad came to my rescue for the 3rd time. Though itís become so standard it didnít even faze me. I took my Sony Cybershot and took some pics of the traffic and played with the long exposures again. My dad replaced the hose and decided to drive it up the hill. Sadly putting in the new hose didnít seem to fix the problem. It still overheats. So now Iím left with two possibilities. The thermostat I bought wasnít good (crossing fingers and praying hard that this is the case) or itís a head gasket (which would suck hardcore!). Iíll keep you posted! My dad took out the thermostat today and Iím gonna drive it around for about a week. If there are no issues then we can be pretty sure that I got a bad thermostat and can just buy another one to replace it. If I still have issues with it overheating then it means most likely a head gasket issue and at that point I will have to evaluate the best solution.

*Update 3/19/07*

I had this post ready Friday but never posted it. So hereís an updateÖ It looks like my dad realized that it wasnít the thermostat but that it was a problem with the head gasket. He put something in the engine that had to set for 24 hours and itís my last ditch effort to keep my car temporarily running until I can get a newer car. I really wanted a new 2006 honda civic but I donít believe financially itís doable at least not at this time. I am going tonight to check it out. Who knows what will happen.

Well Iím off to go eat my lunchÖ

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

The last couple of days I have felt that Iím living or watching a scene from a movie. Not that itís a fantasy but just the way itís filmed. As I drove out of the Starbucks parking lot with my morning coffee in hand I passed a car with two women laughing: Full, hearty laughs. Itís like my mind snapped a picture of that moment. One bent over in laughter and the other head raised mouth wide open with laughterÖ Genuine laughter. It brought a smile to my face and almost became contagious because I started giggling. Even as I work that moment is still captured in my thoughtsÖ A three dimensional photograph that I can see from all angles. It reminds me of the Matrix where Trinity is getting ready to kick that police officer and they pan around from every angle. My imagination is doing the same thing.

I have enjoyed taking walks with my iPod because it has felt like Iím walking through a scene in a movie and itís the soundtrack to my life. I hadnít noticed it until my memory went back to a moment where I was listening to my iPod walking down Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena and there was a moment, a glance between me and a complete stranger, I remember feeling my eyes brighten in that moment where his eyes met mine. It was a simple moment but the music that I was listening to was perfect for the moment. I couldnít remember what it was exactly but it was lighthearted and uplifting. I kept walking with a huge smile on my face.

Lately Iíve spent a lot of time thinking what I want in life. And a moment keeps coming to the forefront of my mind. Me driving in my 2006 Atomic Blue Honda Civic with the windows down and the music blaring and my camera equipment on my passenger seat. Thinking about that moment puts a huge smile on my face. This shows me a lot about where Iím at in my mindset, and itís a good place.


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Hello All! I think I have some time to actually write an actual update! Things are busy, but most of you know how I thrive on chaos! It keeps me out of troubleÖ most of the time. ;) Uh ohÖ Just reviewed this post and there are a lot of pictures ... I'm sure you won't mind.

So where to begin?

February 18th - I took my best friend Rachel out to dinner and a movie. Our traditional place to go is Red Robin. Weíve done it for years. We went to see "Music and Lyrics", total chick flick but I loved it! Here are some of the pics.

February 19th - I drove down to Pasadena to take my Nikon in to get cleaned. While I was there I just took some pictures up and down Colorado Blvd. with my Sony Cybershot. I was happy with how it turned out and really had a good time taking pictures by myself while listening to my iPod. Below are some of the pics I liked.

February 22nd - Here are some pictures of a dinner with the girlsÖ We are all going to Indio in August so this was a ďplanning meetingĒ. It was fun and a good excuse to get out.

Photography - A few posts back I asked my friends to set up times to take me to unique places in California for one: so I could experience new places/things and two: to take pictures along the way. Well for the first three weekends in March I have/had events planned.

March 3rd - Yesterday I went out with Brandie and Drew to Huntington Library. All three of us are passionate about photography and its always fun to take pictures with people who love it as much as I do! And Iíve missed hanging out with Brandie. We have both been so busy. It was also nice to see Drew againÖ We were acquaintances back in the day and thanks to myspace weíve been reacquainted. Anyways the Huntington Library was beautiful! We only had a couple hours and I ended up with 250+ pics and only a small percentage that I liked and only a handful I loveÖ But thatís how it always is. Below are some of my favorites!

One thing I have to say about the Huntington Library is that they had amazing bonsai trees! I would have loved to have spent more time there but we were kind of in a rush so I could only take some quick shots and admire them later. I will definitely go back when I have more time and just check out every single one of them! It makes me want to go out and pick up my own bonsai tree.

March 10th - Iím going with my friend Russ up Pacific Coast Highway. And for those of you that keep up with my blog, yes, we had that planned for the last weekend in February but circumstances beyond our control made us decide to postpone two weeks. So Iím looking forward to that.

March 16th to 18th - Iím driving up to Vegas to visit my childhood friend Debbie. She lives in Utah but her parents live in Vegas. I originally was going up to Vegas to go to an Evanescence concert with my friend Armando (and I still am), but since I was making my way up there I decided to see if Debbie was up for a weekend trip out to Vegas and she is! Iím really excited! Itíll be the first time we will have to actually hang out since she found me on myspace last year.

Mission Lesotho - The church is planning another mission trip to Lesotho in September and being part of the leadership group I just found out that I will be responsible for the Benefit Dinner. I was a bit overwhelmed with the thought because last time I only had to worry about the invitations and setting up a photo-op. SoÖ I have a planning committee that I put together for Tuesday and weíll go from there. But the last benefit dinner took A LOT of work. And Iím not sure if Iím ready to take on such a task. But I do know that I wonít have to do everything and hopefully I will just be more of the person to keep things moving forward, at least if I play my cards right. Hehe

Iím still not sure if I am supposed to go on this mission trip. I have not felt as strong a calling to go as I did the first time. I know I will go back to Lesotho again but every time Iíve prayed about it I have felt that if this trip happens in 2007 (which it looks to be) then I will not go, but if it gets postponed to 2008 I will be going. My dad has told me there is another mission trip in the works for another part of Africa. It will be interesting to see where God takes me.

Free Hugs Ė We have another free hugs event planned for March 11th. Iím looking forward to getting back out there for that. It was such an awesome feeling and people were so surprised there was no hidden agenda or expectation with it. I am hoping we can take video and do something similar to the original Free Hugs Campaign Video. Speaking of which, I just took a moment to watch it again. Itís such a great inspiration! And even though I posted this video in one of my blogs back in November I am posting it below so you donít have to search for it. Be inspired!

Well I think this is a good enough update for the time being. I hope everyone enjoys the pictures. Let me know what you think of them of course!

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Itís amazing how a simple statement can affect how you view yourself. I have always had this unhealthy need for approval. I realized last night that it doesnít matter whether itís from someone that I care deeply about or not. I could see this issue mostly with people I place high value on. Well last night a fairly new friend said something that made me feel inferior. I say ďmade meĒ but in all reality it was a choice to feel that way. It was a hard feeling to fight. I was hurt and took it more personal then I should have. I blame it on the fact that it was late and I was exhausted from my dayís adventures. But again it goes back to my unhealthy need for approval.

Today, church was amazingÖ Every worship song brought me back to an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and not to worry or feel that my value rests in someone elseís opinion of who I am. The service just reiterated this concept of letting go of this bondage, mine is the bondage of needing others approval to feel accepted. That there are those times Satan puts up this fake wall, this lie, that I believe is so real that I allow it to keep me from moving forward. Well Iím not going to believe that lie and I am not going to depend on seeing through my natural eyes anymore. I am going to give my need for acceptance over to Christ Jesus who made me exactly who I needed to be and Iím not going to allow otherís shortcomings to determine how I view myself!

There is a fear that I will not succeed but I am not going to let myself get caught up in that. I am free to make this a permanent change and I am choosing to do so now!

Well I was going to leave you some of my favorite pictures of my trip to the Huntington Library but looks like I have run out of time! Hopefully tonight