My Journey Through Postpartum and Life After I Kicked It's A$$!!!

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My Mentality

Love this…

***(I got a new computer so I decided to write again… I don’t have many uploaded pictures yet, so this image will have to do! Bear with me while I navigate through the world of technology and learn how to use this computer the way it should be used!)!!!

I realized I was an addict. I was addicted to people. I was one of those people who didn’t know how to lay off the toxic stuff until it became unbearable and I became intolerant of myself and the things I couldn’t let go of. Yes, you can have a thing called, “people-itis.”

Here’s the thing I discovered in the past year and a half (two years, really), I learned that you need to really, really, really, let go of toxic people, situations, and things in your life in order to feel truly happy and confident with the person you are and aim to be.  You can’t muffle through it or fake the funk.  Or else, you will end up slamming the door in your own face if you do. The hardest part about letting go is being truthful with yourself and your 100% organic thoughts and feelings. It’s hard to bear. Some moments become hard to even remember to take a breath through because it feels so scary and isolating. But let me tell you, in the end, it is so worth it.

I had to let go of people I felt like were the world to me. But I realized I made them the world… when they never were. I knew I was giving them way more than they would ever think to return to me. It was not about tit-for-tat for me. It was about committing their time and energy to me as I would do for them. For whatever reason, needing validation from people who you really shouldn’t crave it from, comes with a huge price. You wanna know what that price is? It is your self-worth, your confidence, and your power. You give it all away when you seek validation from people who you feel is for whatever reason… better than you or more important than you.

If you have “like-me-itis” like I used to … you will never be happy.  Whether it be in romantic relationships, friendships, and/or even with your own offspring… you will never be happy because you will constantly feel worn the f out from jumping over insurmountable hurdles that you have created for yourself. It’s vicious and unwarranted self-abuse.

So take a moment and do an inventory check, are you keeping something or someone around because “one day” something might change and you will decide to wear that pretty dress that’s been hanging in your closet with the price tag still attached? More than likely, you won’t. So give it out, throw it away, donate it… because it just may be a better fit on someone else. It’s hard but that is the truth and the road to freedom I’ve learned.

I realized I was happy when I could let go of these people… like really and truly let go… because I was not relinquishing my power over to them. I said “goodbye” and I wasn’t staring at my phone willing them to call and reach out.  I wasn’t hurt by the lack of communication or contact. I didn’t feel less than because they were no longer in my life. I could wish them well and pray for their safety and happiness and move about with my life… what’s the difference, you ask? My ego no longer gave a shit. That’s when you know.

It’s also because I have accepted that I no longer needed them in my life because they were never meant to stay long. They were here to show me what I didn’t want in my life, so that I could have a greater appreciation and love for those people and things who wanted to be a part of it. I used to push away those people who were so willing to walk along side of me, because I was too busy chasing after shooting stars that left me feeling lost and lonely.

Now, I just look around me and feel so blessed because I am so loved and needed by the people who “dig me” for just the way I am at this moment and the person I aim to be. Letting go of the negativity and toxicities in my life has made me a better mother, friend, and person… I’m still working on the better “daughter”and “sister” part (gotta keep shizz real :)), but I’m happy. I’m still a work in progress and will always be.

There are still monumental ups and downs… but I no longer feel like I allow myself to sit in an abyss of darkness and isolation. Change your thoughts; change your world-Ghandi.


Wow, its 2015!!! I haven’t blogged in some time.  Today, I felt the urge to do so.  I wanted to write just to write.  Just to let my feelings have a place to sit and relax.

Twenty-fourteen proved to be one of the biggest learning experiences of my life and a year where my mind transformed in many ways.  I have to say that God truly worked his magic on my mind and heart.

My dad passed away in November of 2014. I miss him. Some moments steal my breath. The reality of his death still has not settled in. When those moments of realization hit, I let them in slowly. It’s crushing, to say the least. There are moments I allow myself to breakdown and shout out loud, “please, come back!!!!! COME BACK. Where are you???” and I just wail. I JUST WAIL. Ugh, I miss him. I wish i could have one more conversation with him. I’m still so grateful though. I’m so thankful that I got to be there when he passed and that he wasn’t taken away from me abruptly. We, as a family, were granted time and not all people are fortunate enough to be allowed to see their loved ones off like that.  So thank you God.

The Things I’ve Learned:

1. I learned I did not fear death, I feared the grief I’d have to carry and walk through. I also learned how quickly people forget you still grieve and hurt after the funeral is over, because life moves in such high speeds. I learned too that that’s when you need them the most.  Yet, I learned you can become so much stronger than the grief, if you want to and move on through the pain.

2. I learned how to fight fairly. I learned communication is possible with objectivity and opposing views. I learned that hurt people do not need to hurt to be able to feel better.

3. I learned WOMEN are truly capable of having healthy, supportive, and non-competitive relationships. My girls… oh, these women, they are truly my sanity savers.

4. I learned I deserve to be happy and that it’s actually okay to embrace this happiness without fear it will be taken away.

5. I learned that I am not a victim. That my life experiences make me grateful, empathetic, and compassionate to others.

6. I learned I still have a long way to go and may never reach the person I want to become, but that is okay, because I’m conscious.  I’m aware.  I don’t deny I’m imperfect but I’m working on it and that’s enough.

7. I learned I have been blessed in so many ways and that this life is sooooooooooo good.

8. I learned the heart has an infinite amount of room for love even through heartache.  I learned the heart is the most resilient muscle in the body and so it should be taken care of with great care.

9. I learned therapy is worth every penny and the government really needs to incorporate mental health care into insurance policies.

10. I learned my triggers should not be projected onto my daughter or son, because my pain is my own and not theirs.

11. I learned parents are “bullies.” In our attempt to raise socially conscious children, I understand some of us can “fly off the handle” in moments of fatigue and frustration on our children. One day while I was driving, I had the self-realization that I was no better than a bully and its made me more cognizant of the fact that these little “clean slate beings” have not experienced this life as we have, so the world is new, fascinating, and perhaps even frightening to them and it’s my job to guide and teach them how to navigate through this world and cope without shouting and becoming broken in the process.  It isn’t always as easy to do as it is to write, but that’s my wish. Above all, that I’m not the one that breaks the spirit of my daughter or my son.


My friend, Sam, wrote a great post on Facebook. I loved the post. Fell asleep and woke up thinking about it bc I have those off days and sometimes it’s so hard to get out of a funk. Sometimes the dark actually feels so safe and familiar that I end up staying there longer than I should.

God has blessed my life in so many ways and I struggle to accept it sometimes bc it feels so foreign. Like I’ve been a fighter all my life. Not just for me but for my friends, family, justice. Hahahaha. To the point my husb has said for me to stop bc some things aren’t my battle.

Sitting still with happiness is scary for me because I wonder when she’s going to escape me like most things and people have in my life as a child. I keep telling myself, I’m not that abandoned child anymore but old scars don’t heal completely and always leave a trace of remembrance of how the hurt occurred.

I just read that loneliness comes from when you don’t have a purpose. I feel lonely a lot even with kids and a great husband. You cannot get edification through people, I’ve come to learn because when they grow and move in different directions from you… That same underlying loneliness will revisit you again. So what’s my purpose? What’s yours?

As a stay-at-home mother and wife, I’ve kinda given up my personal purpose and invested my purpose into the happiness of my kids and husband… And that there is a lonely and yet rewarding journey because your own purpose feels hidden somewhere. So I hope you find and stay where your happiness is.

This happiness thing to me is like peace… You feel its presence and you know its essence… You know its visited you and you know you’re its home … But sometimes you feel like you put it in such a safe place, you yourself forgot where it is.

Does that make sense?


Image

This is me.  Postbaby 7 weeks.  I haven’t blogged in quite some time, but I had this indelible urge to write again lately.  I know in a short month, I will have to prepare to take on the end of my Master’s program, so I’m voraciously doing some leisure reading and beginning to chronicle my journey as a mom of two.

My daughter loves her brother.  Yet, she has shown signs of normal regression.  Wanting to try all of the babies things.  Needing extra attention.  Oh gosh, the baby talk… cute until it gets annoying.  Hahhahaha.  Yes, I keep it real. 

At the beginning when I got home with the baby from the hospital, nothing about my daughter’s behavior annoyed me.  But set in sleep deprivation, the constant “mommy, mommy, mommy!!! Can I tell you something?” Me: “can you tell me without saying, ‘can I tell you something?'” haha, the annoying sound of the pump machine at night, homework, life, taking care of a newborn… oh, did I mention SLEEP DEPRIVATION??? then my patience becomes nonexistent.  But I am praying and hoping (although I heard from my friend that “hope is not a strategy) that I find that place of reassuring guidance, love, and patience that my daughter needs right now.  I hope I have the fortitude to learn to balance my needs FIRST without feeling GUILT.

This is when I began experiencing empathy for the first child.  I’m the second and the last in my family.  I wish parenting came with instructions or at least pictures to show you which is the right way up or down. 🙂 I say this, because recently, my husband and I have been having warfare with our daughter during homework time.  Mind you, my husband is a great instructor who is energetic and fun, but even he gets worn down when my daughter for the 100th time says “N is a U.”  Yes, they look similar, but that’s no excuse to get it wrong more than 20x in my opinion.  Yes, I can be a bit tough but I have been way too liberal in my child-rearing of her till this point (great she just came in here and found her bike we were supposed to give her on her birthday!!!).  I always allowed for her to just putz around and do things at her own will.  Well now, we are interviewing and testing for private schools, so now the tides are changing. Something in me got triggered.  I realized I can’t be lazy to raise a successful child.  

Right now, I’m trying to analyze what kind of learner my daughter is.  In the process, I have screamed my head off because my expectations are so high.  I keep telling myself in a Finding Nemo like trance, “she’s never seen this… she’s never seen this.” But I can’t use that forever.  SHE HAS SEEN THE ALPHABETS for at least two years now!!! Hahaha. 

But at the end of the day, I come to conclude that none of this has anything to do with my daughter.  It has to do with me. My demons.  I have to disconnect from my past and embrace the woman I am today.  I’m no longer the kid that was average in school because no one encouraged anything in me other than to be pretty.  More than anything, I wanted to be viewed as “smart” like my sister. Actually, I knew I was probably smarter than my sister (I think my parents knew it too… sorry hyung)… but I never tried, because things came easily for me to just pass.  I suppose this is my biggest regret.  I never lived up to my full potential or got to discover what I was good at or even excellent at.  I was a quitter.  I never looked to the end of the road to discover that hard work and effort pays hundreds folds more than quitting.  That discovery only comes with age and wisdom. 

I’m fortunate though.  I’m not my immigrant parents who couldn’t spend the time with their kids even if they wanted to because they were working hard in a foreign land to provide for their children.  I have the ability to provide the opportunities for my children that my parents did not possess.  What my kids do with these opportunities are my responsibility until it becomes time for them to bear the burden of the cross on their shoulders and learn to use what weapons and lessons I’ve given them into their lives on their own accord.

I will write about what I learned about myself during homework time in my next blog.  Thanks for reading.  Happy New Year.

 


"Holiday Cup:

I love it when these cups come out!!! It’s Official… the Holidays are here!!! Now just waiting for KOST 103.5 to turn on holiday music 24/7!!

Look at this picture!!! What a sight!!!  Ahahahahaha.  I know, I’m such a loser.  But I can’t help it.  Who can deny a cute Snowman, right?  My husb sent this to me.  He said it reminded him of me.  Sweet, unusual gesture from him… hehe. It could possibly be reminding him how crazy I am. 🙂

I love it.  It’s official.  The holidays are upon us.  Yahoo.  I know some people do not look forward to the holidays… bad memories maybe?  I don’t know.  But change that.  Make it yours.  Don’t let the past weigh you down.  Build fun memories for yourself.  That’s what I am trying to do for myself.  Who knows… maybe because I drown family and myself in it… O will not enjoy it later on… but that’s something for her to decide.  But while I’m still in charge… I want my memories with her to be festive, fun, and bright.

Last night, we went “Trick-or-Treating.”  (Yep, I write these way in advance!!!).  It was fun.  Hard to coordinate with 6.5 kids and 10 adults, but it was fun.  Hancock Park area goes all out.  I wish the streets were blocked off for better safety, but nonetheless, it was fun.  No hills makes it even better. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a nice group photo of everyone, but trust and believe… all the kids looked amazeballs.

My gf daughter had thee best costume on.  It was Snow White… and she was dressed perfectly to the tee.  Snow White wig and everything.  Perfection.  I loved it.  My other gf, Jenn, made her kids Batman and Robbin costumes.  They looked store bought.  I swear, some of these moms are crazy crafty.  Me… I will let the manufacturers do the work.  Haha.

My daughter made a last minute decision to change her costume from Princess Jasmine to being a Pink Power Ranger Samurai (but I stood my ground and said no… because I knew there was no way to find a costume in a day!!!  Good job, mom!! Patting myself on the back) to being Strawberry Shortcake.  This was the initial costume fitting.  Hilarious.  She was good about wearing the wig for about a minute.  Then started complaining about it being itchy.  Thankfully, she wore it during her school parade.

"Strawberry Shortcake"

Loved that she was a good sport about the wig for the first 10 mins. Haha

These were the costumes from the morning:

"Costume Party"

Bestie and another friend from class…

The girls had a costume parade (a walk around the block), then fun crafts and games afterwards.  It was fun.  Nice and cold too.  I helped at the “Decorate a Pumpkin Scone” table.  I ate a few… I will admit it.  Charmed Scones, you are too yummy. Love Momma Val.  She makes the best scones ever.

"Strawberry Costume!!!"

The Dwarf Costume was handmade and hand drawn by my gf, Crissy

O’s counterpart C… couldn’t stand to wear the same costume twice (ahahahahaha… jk)… so she changed from a Doctor and became the most perfect little Snow White ever.  I wanted O to wear her Princess Jasmine costume so the girls could have a theme… but my stubborn little O said “no.”

The Perfect Snow White

O’s Bestie… as thee most PERFECT SNOW WHITE!!! I love this picture of her little finger in the air and her expression. These two are so cute together.

That’s C.  Isn’t she a doll?  I swear, her costume just made my night.  The best part… I asked her mom, “dude, how’d you get her to keep on the wig?  O refused.”

C’s Momma: “I told her I’d give her $20 bucks!!!”  Ruahahahahahahaha. Later while eating on Larchmont… her dad said, “I’ll buy you a puppy if you sit down.”  Ahahahahaha, they kill me. The things a parent has to do.

How was your Halloween?  Fill me in.  Post pictures.  I don’t have FB anymore, so you can post it onto my O’s Momma FB page or leave a comment here.


"The Cart with the Car"

They need to build this monstrosity better… It was a workout!!!

What once was a leisurely activity of perusing aisle after aisle at my own pace… has now turned into a strategic, goal oriented mission.  Taking a toddler to the grocery store poses many challenges, for me at least.  First and foremost, it’s this cart!!! The one with the car!!! Why???? Why does it have to be at the front of the store????  Why, I ask???  In plain view, so you can’t even lie to your kid saying… “oh no babe, it’s not available today!!! Rats.”  Haha.  I’m a small girl.  It takes brute force to maneuver these bad boys through crowded aisles.

Yesterday was no exception.  Just the sucky part was I was sore as heck from my run.  After literally going through every aisle looking for quinoa… I just wanted to plummet to the floor and weep.  Like a cranky, whiney baby.  I wanted to shake and stomp my legs and just let out a wail.  I was just exhausted.  I wanted to hang my head and just sob.  And sob loudly.

Not only was my body sore, I had my little munchkin spilling things in the car, so I had to bend up and down numerous times.  I had to continuously tell her to keep her head and arms in the car.  I had to stop the cart every time she wanted to “look” at something.  While I love my grocery shopping experiences with her, yesterday was an entirely different experience.

I love the laughs I got from the men in the store.  The comments, “oh that looks like a lot of fun.”  Really?  “Then, why don’t you push this beast while I walk pleasantly next to you without breaking a sweat.” (That of course was my own internal dialogue with my irritable hamster running wild). There are the sweet, understanding people who just give you that look like… “girl, I feel you.  Been there.  Done that.”  A nice, super buff guy was like… “wow, I feel you.  I have to do that with my son.  It’s hard.”  It’s comedy when you think about it, but going through it was agony yesterday. I don’t know how many times I bumped into something.  And the best part… when I got stuck like Austin Powers in the aisle because I put the cart horizontally.  So here I am trying to squeeze past the handle and the shelf while trying to get the cart to turn around!!!  Ahahahahahahaha.

You can tell too… the people with kids and without.  The ones with kids…they smile and move out of the way in sheer empathy and comradery. The ones without… eye roll.  Stand until YOU MOVE.  Wth.

Anyways, all this was for the sake of making a new dish my BFF with four kiddos told me about.  A healthy hamburger steak.  I know.  You hear HAMBURGER and think how can this be healthy.  Well, we put in QUINOA (took me on a mission to find), kale, spinach, shallots, carrots, and celery.  I always use organic meat and the leanest possible.

Here’s the result of all my effort while I maintain an inkling of sanity!!! It was delish!!! The best part… O just gobbled it up without knowing how many veggies were inside.  The white leafy vegetable is white kimchi… made by my mom.  O has now ventured to eat peanut butter sandwiches and white kimchi.  Hooray.  So now, lunches are getting easier to make.

Hamburger Steak Dinner

The picture doesn’t justify how tasty this meal was… It was simple and just so yummy.


"Wedding Dress"

O walking in the sand at the park in her “wedding dress”

I love this picture of O from behind.  We went on an impromptu walk to Rite Aid and then on the way back we went to the park.  What was supposed to be a quick trip turned into a 4.5 hour excursion.  And it was pure bliss.  Even with the scorching hot sun.  I loved it.

Prior to our departure, I asked O what she would like to wear for our walk.  I was thinking shorts and a T-shirt.  But nope.  Girlfriend said (and yes, she’s been copying me using the word “hey girlfriend… dude girlfriend.”  Really, I need to stop talking to her so much… ahahahahahahaha)… “Momma, I need to wear my beautiful, wedding dress for our walk.”

I said, “Boo, we are just going on a quick walk.”

O:  But momma, I NEEEEEEEED to wear my wedding dress.

How do you say no?  You don’t.  Actually, I try not to get too involved in her outfit coordination because it’s a freedom she should own.  So even with the crazy hair pins and what not… I try to let it go.

Exhibit #1:  See this…done exactly as the boss ordered!!!

Freedom of Expression

I allow her to have “Freedom of Expression.”

Her dad, on the other hand, says… “don’t you think she’ll stick out too much?  Draw too much attention and take away from the class?”  Ahahahahahahaha.  I’m sure she does to a certain degree, but I don’t care.  It’s her freedom to express herself.

Wedding day in the Park

I love watching her play and interact with others… she’s a born loner and I love that she can role play by herself.

Anyways, I loved this day.  It reminded me of what childhood is all about.  To explore.  To learn.  To live without fear of scrutiny and judgment.  I loved that she didn’t care if her pretty dress got dirty.  I loved that she let go of her OCD tendencies to not like getting dirty and took her shoes off and ran into the sand.  I loved that she looked exhilarated while throwing sand into the air.  It was a moment of pure joy. And a reminder of innocence and love.  I hope and pray I never forget this feeling.

This kid… she gives me so many gifts daily.  Yes, headaches too.  But I am so immensely thankful she walked into my life.

Side note:  ****And a quick shout out to my sister for stepping up as a Cancer Survivor Mentor!!! Yay.  My sis feels embarrassed when I say she’s a survivor.  But she is.  That’s fact.  She down plays her cancer bout because she thinks she had the easy one.  No one has an easy battle with cancer.  Cancer (that bitch… ) is cancer.  I’m so proud of her for becoming a mentor for a young 36 year old woman who is going through her own battle against this A-hole disease.  It has spread from her thyroid to her lungs and hips due to improper diagnosis… please keep her in your prayers



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