I realize that the one thing I look forward to on weekends especially on Sunday is to go to church. I love going to church.
And what I love more is that I choose to go to church because I want to, not because my parents or anyone else forces me to. I willingly go. In fact, I’ve found myself going to church more often on my own than I have when I was back at home.
I think it shows how much passion I have and how much I dedicate my life to my faith slowly.
Before going to church, I was feeling hateful towards myself, and thinking extremely negatively, and then when I attended mass and served the body of christ, I exchanged genuine smiles to everyone I was serving it to, and it rejuvenated me. I felt that I whole heartedly honored God today and through that I was healed. I felt His grace, I felt love, and I felt alive within the community. It felt powerful and I was surprised. So I thank Him for the gift tonight.
I think going back to Japan this year will be much different.
The last time I went was two years ago, and I think within those two years, I’ve changed a lot.
I think going to Japan with a more spiritual mindset will change the way I see the country, and how I relate with people and family members. Going to buddhist temples with different eyes may change my experience too.
Because two-three years ago I just began my spiritual journey, and I’ve come a long ways since then.
I didn’t know about different gender identities until a few years ago. I thought the only gender identities were binary and very black and white. It was just another reason for me to invalidate myself and why I ignored this side of me. I thought to myself, “well I don’t want to transition into a man, and I’m not a transgender person so I must be cisgender” which was a completely wrong way to look at myself. I also went through the phase of “I’m not butch enough to be classified as queer/gay/etc” so I’m probably not queer. But as I discover more through research and through talking with others who have similar experiences and feelings as me, I’ve learned that there’s all kinds of people. Gays who are masculine or feminine, lesbians who are feminine or masculine, FTM’s who are feminine, men who are feminine, MTF who are masculine, women who are masculine, people who feel in between, people who are agender, or are on all sorts of spectrums on identity, sexuality, expression, etc. Nothing is really black or white. This is nothing new, but realizing, understanding and knowing this makes me feel more free, and more liberated from the box I created for myself. I don’t have to conform to anything if I don’t want to. And if I choose to, then that’s fine too.
Last night was fun. Went to University of Washington to celebrate a friend’s birthday and he was completely surprised! He didn’t expect it at all. We had delicious fudge cake and photography related presents when he arrived. He was super happy I think. :D So I’m glad. Later that night we played with glowsticks in the quad to create light art. :D
Then we got back and all of my friends were laughing hysterically when I was getting ready for bed because they have never seen me with my bangs up and told me they could hardly recognize me. According to them, when my eyebrows are showing, my name is monique. xD My friends are such bullies. XD LOL.
Then all 12 of us passed out in our friend’s spacious dorm. There was some sleep talking going on by a friend which was a little creepy and hilarious. xD
My parents thought I was partying and getting drunk. And they thought I was gonna get raped. But I was surrounded by good friends and straight edge people. So. Yeah.
When it’s late at night, I tend to look through photos. This is from August of 2012 when me and my friends visited our best friend at her buddhist graveyard.
Makes me smile every time. What a memorable day. c:
I can’t wait to visit her again this summer.
I want to go visit a graveyard again.
I never seem to shut up about this, but I really love going to Seattle University. The people I encounter here daily are so incredibly loving with open arms — The kind of love I’ve never felt at any other school even in the high school that I enjoyed very much.
Yeah I’m pretty convinced I will never find someone who loves me or wants to be with me for who I am and how I am and that is sad but I have a lot of close friends who love me no matter what so I can’t really complain but I still cry about it.
When I feel pain and accept it, I become okay with it. You come to terms with the reality of it, telling yourself that you are in pain and accepting it rather than hiding away and avoiding the pain. Instead, I let it sit with me and hold the pain.
Installation art piece that came to mind while thinking about ecological crisis.
Playing with sensory.
I want to create a garden in a room — A very sacred space.
But as you walk further in, the garden is full of industrial items, and technology.
I want a person to walk into this room and experience, smell nature, but are disrupted by the sounds of machines and metals clanking.
I want this garden to have trees, and have the smell right after a downpour of rain.
I want the sound of saws, cutting through trees, and knocking them down penetrate your ears.
I want sound to impact how we see and are in this world.
I want people to feel disturbed.
I want to create a dichotomy within the atmosphere between nature and materialism.
Well, I got elected to be an officer for Japanese Student Association apparently. That’s pretty exciting but also a lot of responsibility. Kind of stressed out over this. xD Regardless I feel honored.
Reflecting on my day:
I still can’t get over social anxiety. Today at my cohort, I was the only one who didn’t speak up during the whole 2 hours. I was just thinking my thoughts all in my head, and not voicing them. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it and by the time I felt I could, it’d be too late. I felt really frustrated with myself, and angry that I let myself be defeated. I discouraged myself too much and it affected my mood this afternoon, going through a short stage of hatred towards myself.
I need to work on speaking up, and being more bold in a humble way.
The smallest acts can have some of the biggest impacts on my life. Little things people say, or give me, energizes my spirit a lot. I realized this once again at the search retreat. How momentary connections I have with people are embedded deeply in my memory, and in the happy part of my mind. Likewise, I can also have a similar impact on people as well. Little things like this make me feel so loved and want to love back even more.
I can honestly say that I feel belonged at the community I have at my University. It’s little movements and moments like this in life that make me feel so alive, enriched, loved and happy to be here in this community. There is an overwhelming amount of love in this community and if it’s once thing I learned at the retreat, it’s that we are all loved, and we all are capable of loving everyone. I am learning to love unconditionally and love people as they are. I am learning to love my friends not because I am their friend, but loving them because they are their own individual being, and loving everyone as a human being regardless of what relationship or connection they have to me.
I feel special, and I know everyone is special and precious in their own ways.
Went to a Life in My Body spoken words performance where students on campus explore how our bodies shape our experiences, about race, gender, and sexuality as well. It was truly incredible.