Archive for the ‘on growing up’ Category

Recently, a group of us from work decided to put together the soundtracks of our lives. We then posted them on on our shared iTunes network. It was interesting how much one’s taste in music can say about him/her. After listening to some of my co-workers’ soundtracks, I felt like I knew them better.

I put together my shared soundtrack quite hastily one morning, so it probably didn’t capture all I wanted it to. But here’s my revised one. Since it is a life soundtrack, some of the songs are reminiscent of my “youth”. While most others are a reflection of how I get through the day (let alone my entire life!) and also what I try to live by.

I also added a link to song clips on Amazon.com, in case you’re not familiar with the songs and would like to listen to a clip or download the full version. I hope you enjoy!

  • So Young – The Corrs
  • Brown-Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
  • Dreams – The Cranberries
  • Under Pressure – Queen & David Bowie
  • Independent Women – Destiny’s Child
  • Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts
  • Waiting on the World to Change – John Mayer
  • A Natural Woman – Aretha Franklin
  • Unwritten – Natasha Beddingfield
  • Extraordinary – Mandy Moore
  • The Warrior is a Child – Twila Paris
  • How You Live – Point of Grace
  • Voice of Truth – Casting Crowns
  • Redeemer – Nicole C. Mullen
  • Great is Thy Faithfulness – Avalon
  • What’s on your life soundtrack? Do share!


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    “She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.” – Proverbs 31:25


    Today is my Lola‘s birthday. She is 77.

    My Lola (grandmother) is one of the strongest women I know.

    She was widowed when she was in her 30s and raised 7 children on her own.
    And she did it in a place and time where there was no such thing as food stamps or welfare. She buried 2 of her own children (4 if you count the twins she miscarried when my grandfather died).

    She found odd jobs doing laundry and ironing for people. She also tried her hand at several businesses.

    Japanese paper balloons

    Japanese paper balloons

    For a long time she made Japanese paper balloons and sold them in bulk at the market or to people for fiestas and parties. She actually continued making the paper balloons well into my childhood — I remember helping her make the rice glue used to stick the paper pieces together. She said it was a way she made money for herself, even when her children were willing and able to support her.

    When her kids were older, Lola opened up a little canteen that catered to sailors (she and my aunts are fabulous cooks!) It’s actually how my mom met my dad.

    My Lola helped raise Sister and me, along with several other cousins. She lived with us when I was a young child, caring for us like only a grandmother could. And when she returned to live with us during our teenage years, she endured our teen angst.

    I love many things about my grandma. She’s taught me many things, and I am thankful for all she’s done for me.

    But the one thing that I will be forever grateful for is her fervent prayers for me to know and have a relationship with the One True God.

    It was she who gave me Bible stories to read and songs to listen to as a child.
    It was she who encouraged me as a moody teenager to always have faith in the God Who Is Able.
    Even now, it is she who shows me what it is like to truly trust in God for all that we may ever need.

    Happy birthday, Inay.

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    Especially to little 5-year old girls.

    First of all, let me start by putting this disclaimer out there: I don’t ordinarily hang out with little kids. My friends with children live hundreds, if not thousands, of miles from me. So it’s not often that I spend a Saturday morning with tykes around. That said, my sense of humor has evolved so that it’s understood (and appreciated) by mostly those beyond the Barney generation.

    So here’s my story: back in October, my long-time friend, Jo, came up for a visit from southern Cal with her husband and daughter P. Her brother called me and said they were staying with him and he was hosting a small dinner/birthday party for Jo on a Saturday night. Of course, I jumped at the chance to see my friend once again. And it was quite a reunion! We had fun catching up and shooting the breeze as most friends do. The grown-ups were sitting in one area, while the two kids in the party — both cute little girls under the age of 6 — were playing just a few feet from us. I’m not sure what we were talking about, but Jo mentioned that her daughter P loves Hannah Montana! And as any logical, thinking, semi-sane woman in her late 20s (back then) would say, I replied, “Oh! Hannah Montana, she’s my neighbor.” Matter-of-factly. Just like that.

    Now what on God’s good earth possessed me to say that, I don’t know. But I said it. How could I have known that little P has the audio sensors of a bat?! The little darling immediately ran to me and began to interrogate me on Hannah Montana and her house, which in P’s mind was just a few feet from my own front door.

    Now at this point, I could have said, “Oh sorry, honey. I just blurted that out. She’s not really my neighbor.” P’s a very bright young girl. She would have understood. But again, my tongue=out of control. I went on to perpetuate some fabricated story about how I couldn’t call Hannah at home because she was on tour at that moment.

    Well that night ended without me fessing up to my lie. Of course every other friend I’ve told this story to thinks I’m just horrible for telling a little girl this fib. And maybe it was. So last weekend, when I went to visit Jo in L.A., my friends BGP and Mun made me promise to tell P the truth.

    P and me, Los Angeles

    P and me, Los Angeles

    And I did. I told her Hannah Montana wasn’t my neighbor. That she was probably closer to being her neighbor since I was pretty sure Miley Cyrus had a house in Beverly Hills. (Of course, that started a whole session of little P asking Jo to drive around Beverly Hills to find Miley’s house. Hey, I tried.) To be on the safe side, I told her Miley was probably in Nashville most often since her dad was a country singer. (“His name’s Billy Ray Cyrus,” she informed me.)

    So yes. I told the truth. Even though it would’ve been easier to say “Forgetaboutit, she’s just a kid.”

    Oh and yes, we did drive around Beverly Hills the next day in search of a black limo that just might belong to Hannah Montana. We didn’t see any. Although even if we did, it wouldn’t have mattered because little P was sound asleep in the back seat with her head on my lap. Auntie Mel had been forgiven.

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    The answer to May’s Trivia #2 question is astronaut. Congratulations to Jenn for getting this week’s trivia correct, plus the Bonus question too! (Even though it was on her second attempt).

    I wanted to be an astronaut after watching Space Camp, (over and over again, I might add). I vividly recall when my dad took me and Sister to the library shortly after watching the movie. I picked out books on astronauts and space shuttles. I think Dad was kind of amused at my sudden (and very intense) interests in space travel. But to his credit, he checked out my astronaut books without discouraging me from my “dream.”

    The dream was short-lived as perhaps less than 2 weeks later, I wanted to be a doctor again.

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    If you know me, you’ll know that I wanted to be a doctor since I can remember.

    But there was a brief moment in time when I wanted to be something else when I grew up. I was inspired by a movie that came out in 1986. I was so enthralled by this new profession that I even borrowed books from the library all about it. In retrospect, I’m glad it was a brief interest, especially since I’m afraid of heights.

    For an extra point, identify the movie that started it all!

    Take a stab at what you think I wanted to be.

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    It’s official! I got my official looking packet via FedEx yesterday. My roommate, Mun, actually called me at work to tell me that the packet had arrived. They always say in times like these, a packet is always better than a letter: the bigger the packet, the better.

    I gave Mun the go ahead to open it and read the cover letter. And there it was. Official. I will start my part-time MBA Program this Fall.

    I’m so excited. Woo hoo!

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    BGP and I were having one of our deep, philosophical conversations the other night when we both admitted, albeit reluctantly, to being commitment-phobes. I think this was brought on because we actually signed a 2-year lease for the new house we’re renting. Yes, that’s right, a house (we’ve acquired 2 more roommates). It’s not even an apartment or condo anymore. BGP and I have been roommates for almost 5 years now and we’ve never really stayed in one place for more than a year and a half. We’re practically modern-day nomads. Sometimes it hasn’t always been by choice, like the time we had to move because they found mold — something I am severely allergic to, as I found out — inside the walls of our apartment. But I digress.

    You know how completely and utterly terrifying it is for two commitment-phobes to sign a 2-year lease to a house?! For the first couple of days after we signed the lease, I think we were both in a state of shock, including the usual stress-induced stomach ache for me.

    Right. So yeah I’ve been tossing around the notion that I am indeed a commitment-phobe for the last few years now but never really voiced it because I didn’t want it to be true. But I guess there’s no denying it now. 

    But as they say, the truth will set me free. Maybe now I can overcome my commitmentphobia. Maybe I’ll actually join the Project 365 photo group and commit to taking one picture a day for 365 days. Maybe I’ll finally start that short story/novella that’s been floating around in my head since 2000. Or, dare I say, maybe I’ll actually take the giant leap that most c-phobes are afraid to take — be in a committed relationship with a fabulously fine specimen of a man.** Maybe. Just maybe.

    **(Editor’s note: this does not imply that I’ve been in a series of non-committed relationships. Quite the opposite actually.)

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