Where I’ve Been

I missed blogging last week—and I almost missed it again this week. I’m so sorry, to those who were waiting for my weekly post.

As you may recall from previous blog posts, I’ve discovered a new hobby, and it’s quickly turned into a major stress reliever. (That’s what hobbies are for, right?) After taking a free art class on Craftsy.com, I discovered the niche world of art journaling—the craft of elaborately decorating journals, planners and notebooks through mixed media. And I’ve been hooked ever since. So much that it has become my go-to after a long, demanding, exhausting day at work. Continue reading

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Lessons Learned from Keeping an Art Journal

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Years ago when I was living alone, I would paint on canvas with acrylics. I loved it. I’d put on a rotation of classical music or dinner party jazz on Spotify, pour myself a glass of red wine and spend hours creating art pieces, some that were eventually trashed but a few that ended up hanging on my walls.

Then I became involved in a serious relationship, and when he moved in, there was no more space for my easel, canvases, and array of paints and brushes. I hated to do it, but I had to give up on my hobby of painting, and it’s been that way for the past three years. Continue reading

Ode to the “Staycation”

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The happiness and relaxation that I felt immediately upon rising today has translated into so many other things, creativity being one of them.

When you take time off from work and the heat index is well over 100 degrees, as it has been here in northern Virginia these days, some people leave town. They go to the beach, retreat into the mountains, or migrate up north to drier, cooler air. I’m not “some people.” I decided to stay home and have a “staycation.” (It also doesn’t hurt that I love where I live and don’t consider being at home a bad thing.) Continue reading

“You’re Not the Only One” – Going to a Concert Solo

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Encore at the James Taylor concert, Washington, DC. July 2017.

Your regrets aren’t what you did, but what you didn’t do. So I take every opportunity.
—Cameron Diaz

American society still makes a big deal out of doing things solo. Table for one? It can be done, but you’ll still get looks. At the movies alone? We’re getting better at accepting this practice, but it’s still strange. Going to a concert by yourself? Hmmm.

My five years spent living overseas taught me how to quickly get over any insecurities about doing things alone. I ate out by myself often. When my friends weren’t available or interested in seeing a particular movie, I’d go by myself. Traveling alone (even if it was on the way to meeting someone somewhere for vacation) also meant doing things solo temporarily. The point being, I got used to it very quickly and brought my comfort in this practice back with me to the United States. Since then, I have gone to weddings alone, movies alone, dinner alone and art galleries alone, but until this weekend, a concert alone was a first. Continue reading

My Perfect Life

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Sunday evening is the best time to daydream about your perfect life, mainly because you know in the back of your head the hell of Monday is just hours away. I’m lucky enough to have the infrastructure for that so-called-perfect life: I have a home I love, and a neighborhood I adore, both which could serve as the foundation from which I’d build my perfect life around, if I were ever able to do so. What I don’t have is the economic freedom to pursue that so-called perfect life, but still, on nights like tonight, it seems to be all I can think about lately. If I could, here is how I would start and end my work week: Continue reading

Random Thoughts of a Morning Person

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Morning calm in Charleston, SC. Taken during a visit to the town a few years ago.

I don’t know when I became a morning person. I just know that I haven’t always been one. For example, in college, I seemed to be the most productive at night. That was when I was able to churn out “A” quality essays and research papers. I would spend my days working, interning, doing reading assignments or conducting research but evening time was when all that day time business came to fruitation because it was the work I did at night that appeared before my professors and earned me my grade—not all that behind-the-scenes activity I did during normal waking hours. Continue reading

Living a Quality Life – #3

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Reunited with my former colleague, Mr. Lee.

Among the many people I had a chance to reconnect with while in Korea was a former co-worker of mine, Mr. Lee. I know Mr. Lee from my days working for the Busan-Jinhae governments where we were both part of the Singapore, New York, and Dubai delegations. It was wonderful to have the chance to catch up with him after all these years. Like me, a lot has happened in his life and career since we last saw one another. Continue reading