It’s been a whirlwind of a new year so far, I feel like I’m caught in a type of tornado and can’t quite catch my breath. But thankfully, it’s a tornado of positive happenings, so I’m both buoyed and exhausted. I don’t know how that even works but it’s really a thing.
I sincerely hope everyone’s year has begun on a positive note, or at least has the potential to become positive. Back when I was taking psychology courses in college, I remember learning about self-fulfilling prophecy and how we can become the authors of our own fate, and I’ve been on a journey of discovering how that works. The pandemic has really made the entire thing play out in a rather dramatic way, at least in my own personal little world. I spent Christmas in Paris on a solo, self enlightenment journey of sorts, and I’m happy to report that faith really does make things possible. I think for the Christian, the psychological phenomenon of self-fulfilling prophecy is better known as faith, and that all it takes is one tiny little step.
Anyway, I came back home refreshed and with new perspectives and I feel like I’m sprouting new shoots and unfurling new branches that are eagerly stretching towards a life well lived.
I awake this morning feeling nothing out of the ordinary except for the stream of messages pinging on my phone. They are sweet and warm my heart like no other. Birthdays are a way to remind people in your life that they do, indeed, love you. Anyway, here’s a note I wrote in my phone several years ago and still continue to feel this way about December.
What is it about December that makes it such an enchanting time of the year? Perhaps it’s the promise of joy, and snow, and cozy nights by the fire sipping decadent hot chocolate out of your favorite orange mug. Maybe it is the promise of stolen kisses under fragrant boughs of holly, or the excitement of bulging stockings hung in a haphazard row on the fireplace mantle. Whatever the case, December allows for young and old children alike to bring out their inner sparkle and bathe in the golden glow of love, and good, and kindness. Although I must admit that I may be a little biased considering that December also happens to be my birthday month 👸🏻✨🌨🎄🌬✨❄️
I’ve been thinking about this post from the moment Tim nominated me on his blog. It was such a beautiful thing of him to do because I’ve unintentionally been so absent from the blogosphere that I thought for sure everyone forgot about me. But this was a post in the back of my mind that was like a little beacon of light consistently calling me to return. I don’t usually participate in blog awards on my blog because I applaud everyone who is brave enough to take up the pen and write down their most intimate thoughts to share with passersby, but the questions Tim asked intrigue me and I find I am curious to answer them. So without further ado, let’s dive in.
- What is your favorite Star Trek episode? All spin offs, generations and films count.
I feel like the following will be an admission of guilt, but it’s the truth so there’s no getting around it. I’ve never watched Star Trek. Not even a single episode. But in my defense, we didn’t grow up with a TV so you can usually catch me reading something..
- What line from a song makes you say, “I wish I had written that!”, every time you hear it?
To be honest, it’s not a song that comes to mind, but rather, two of my most favorite poets that I happen to know here on WordPress. Rachel and April bring me to tears with their poetry and each time I have to sit back and dream of what it would be like if the enchantment they weave flowed from my pen instead of theirs. Sigh. ErroneousChoices is another WordPress siren whose words ensnared me forever into their depths.
Oscar Wilde is another favorite of mine. I wish I said a lot of whatever he said first.
- If words could only be written a finite number of times, would you write them not knowing if it they could be written again?
Yes. I would. Words deserve to be given life, whether shouted from the rooftops, or whispered in the dark of night. Perhaps the written word would be all the more eloquent if they could never be penned again.
- If you could walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, who’s shoes and why? (any person, any time, any reason)
This one is so difficult to answer because there are so many many people I would love to walk with for a while if I could. But if I were forced to choose, I would choose to walk in the shoes of one of the men on the road to Emmaus.
- If you find yourself standing at the intersection of ‘Right’ and ‘Legal’, which path would you choose?
Right. By the grace of God.
- Dogs… or cats?
Cats. Without question. If you argue with me on this you are wrong. So sit there in your wrongness and be wrong.
- Is is okay to benefit from knowledge, technology or skills that were gained by morally questionable means?
The jury is out on this one. I mean, advances in medicine could not be accomplished without men and women practicing on cadavers or people who were close to death, and in those times, that was very questionable indeed.
- How much better, or worse, is your singing voice than you believe it is?
This is timely 🙂 I was belting along to a country song this morning at the tennis academy and a stranger told me she really liked my voice. I often get complimented on my singing voice but I don’t actually have the talent for it. So my answer is it is worse, and people’s answer is it is better.
- Where do you think all the lost socks went?
They return as tupperware lids. But really, I have absolutely no idea where they go. It frustrates me to pieces.
- “I think, therefore, I am”. I feel, therefor, I _______?
Can enjoy carnal pleasures… yep, my mind went there. Not sorry.
- You have a magic wand, you waved it. What happened?
World order was restored. Coronavirus vanished forever. The stock markets skyrocketed. All the racial injustice stopped, utopia commences…
I know the rules list a few things that I am supposed to do and I’m also supposed to nominate others who I feel are amazing. But to be honest, you are all amazing. So I nominate everyone who comes across this post. Feel free to answer the above questions in the comments section if you are so inclined.
Sometimes I get the most lovely comments directed to my spam and it pains me that I don’t know if they’re real or fake. The commenters are from outside the world of WP. To the ones who left me these comments (if they are genuine), thank you for these incredible compliments ♥️
Also, if you’d like to buy me a coffee (donate), the link is here 😉
My culture is drunk on weddings. It was something that I despised when I became old enough for the matronly mamas at social events to start asking me whether I had managed to snag a potential husband yet. Young ladies were expected to be married off at a very specific age, and the sooner one was able to pull off that feat, the more accolades she could acquire as personal trophies. What one did with those invisible trophies was anyone’s guess because I always had this sneaky suspicion they weren’t keeping anyone warm at night. It was obvious to me that the ring on my finger wouldn’t soothe my upset late at night when I was unhappy if I had only pursued it to prove a point to gossiping busybodies. At some point I started despising the Olympic-style competition for weddings so much that I became averse to the idea of dating at all. There were moments in my life that when a man crossed my imaginary boundaries in pursuit of dating me, I would have severe panic attacks. This also led to toxic relationships that I would only allow because I always subconsciously knew that the relationships would never lead to marriage. It was a self defeating cycle, one that I am genuinely relieved to be able to say I am breaking free from. To this day when in serious conversations about things that break my heart, people mistakenly, albeit with good intentions, slap the ol’ “we need to find you a boyfriend” bandaid on the whole thing. I am always taken aback because in essence they are saying that a love interest will fix all the things have been incredibly grievous to me in my human experience. Sure, I am not averse to love, but I am, and will always be, vehemently opposed to finding love for all the wrong reasons.
Happy New Year, friends! I am spending it soaking away my cold in my bathtub with sea salts, wine, and chocolate. ..milk chocolate. Because my palate never matured beyond juvenile when it comes to chocolate 🤷🏻♀️
Anyway, I hope everyone’s New Year is everything they need it to be this year.
Ukrainians don’t say, “I love you” to each other. We could love someone fiercely and yet still cringe when it comes to verbally expressing that emotion. I remember the first time my mom told me she loved me, I cringed so hard that I kind of just wanted to crawl into a corner somewhere and hide. It made me feel so exposed. “Why are you doing this to me?” I thought to myself. It was something she had picked up from her American client whom she is a caregiver for, and she thought it would be a really nice ‘Americanism’ to incorporate into our inner lifestyle. I dreaded it. Every time I had a phone conversation with her and we were nearing the end of the conversation, I kind of hated that inevitable moment when she would tell me she loves me. So many times I just quickly hung up without saying anything in response. Yet it never deterred her. She would also start out her texts to me (when she finally learned how to text) by bestowing a blessing on me and wishing me all the best that God could possibly give, and that was easier for me to handle because texting “I love you” back wasn’t as hard. I could hide behind my screen, after all.
Over the years, I slowly got used to my mom telling us she loves us when it was time to hang up the phone or when leaving the house. Honestly, it wasn’t until very long ago that I started telling her and my dad that I love them, and it took moving out and living on my own to be able to really respond in kind. Weirdly enough, I am actually happy that we didn’t grow up hearing those three words, “I love you” bandied about because it taught me what it really means to be able to utter those words to someone. Every time you say it, you expose your most vulnerable self—something that does not come easy to a Slavic person. I had to choose to be vulnerable and consciously tell my parents that I love them, and when I say it, I mean it with every particle of my being. Something tells me I wouldn’t mean it as deeply as I do if it was something I had cut my teeth on and took for granted.
It has to be an unwritten law in the universe—the night before an eventful weekend, you just have to break out or get sick. In my case, I was puking and my head was spinning like a wayward top. Lovely.
In any case, I was able to rally enough to get out and join in on the adventures. How do they put it—come hell or high water, right?
Fall in the Pacific Northwest is gorgeous.
We were treated to the most stunning sunset. This photo was taken with an iPhone with no filters or editing applied.
Girls girls girls.
Sunday we attended a concert and got lucky enough to be able to meet (and in my case, hug) the singers!
All in all it was a successful weekend, I think.
I’m not a good person. When I look at all the brilliant, kind, warm, and caring individuals that I have run across on this platform, I realize how much work I still need to do on myself. I do realize that online and in real life, we tend to display a specific persona that we want people to perceive, and it’s more prevalent online, but I feel that there are some genuinely sweet people on here that go way above what I am willing to do. And it makes me envy them. Not in a bad way, because I know that I can continue to persevere and I can get there too, but it doesn’t come natural to me. I have to work at it. I consistently work on kindness and grace because I need so much of that bestowed on me too.
I was not a nice person growing up. It actually wasn’t until I entered into the darkest years of my life that I learned how to be kind to people. If I hadn’t had my heart absolutely shredded and my beliefs challenged to near extinction, I don’t believe I’d ever have changed the way I was. I enjoyed my lifestyle too much and I loved being elitist. What I mean by that is that I was incredibly picky with who I allowed into my most inner circle, and it meant that I had many acquaintances but only a very very few close friends. On top of that, I was incredibly smug about it too—until the people I adored with all of my heart failed me and I was left with no one. Over the years I was forced to learn how to let people in and not keep myself closed off because my status quo to meeting new people was to not like them. By default, you can’t really get far with that kind of attitude.
As for my blog—my interactions to everyone I have met on this platform have all been genuine, so to whoever is reading this, please don’t mistake my past behavior with my current self. Although I am still under construction, I will admit that I’ve come an incredibly long way from where I was. I read a quote once that said, “It is okay to be a masterpiece and a work-in-progress at the same time” and I don’t think it could be said any better than that.