the umbrellas of cherbourg

There are two movies that I go back to when I'm not feeling well or when its raining outside and I just want to stay in and huddle under the blankets. One of them is The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. I can't say enough good things about this film, its saturated colors and gorgeous cinematography, its storytelling, and its music. Everything about it is beautiful and romantic without being too overly sentimental. Its like a favorite childhood memory, something that makes you smile and feel warm and toasty inside when you think about it. And the ending, oh the ending will surely make your heart stop.

Photos from Movie Screenshots

confession tuesday

This picture was taken last weekend at Fort Baker. I am not quiet sure what I was doing here, I might have been dancing or doing a yoga pose, or simply dorking around, but it makes me happy.

You see, 6 years ago, I don't think this would have been possible. I was (and in some ways, still am) terribly self-conscious and randomly dancing/dorking around in a semi-crowded place would have been too much for me. The only time I was completely free and unmindful of what others think was when I was writing. And even then, it was only until I started this blog that I became more comfortable with other people reading my work.

Looking back, its amazing how much I changed through the years. I'd like to think that everything that had happened -- leaving my country to study and eventually living here, moving to San Francisco, literature and poetry, meeting kindred spirits both in the real and virtual world -- all of this led me to where I am today, closer to finding who I am and who I'm meant to be.

January wrote this post about her authentic self, which in turn inspired me to do the same. Things has been really hectic lately and I barely have time to sit down and write, but today I told myself that I need this, I must do this. So here it is, my personal truth, my authentic self:
  • I want to live in the present moment.
  • I am happiest when I'm writing.
  • I am inspired by people and places.
  • I want to travel and learn many things.
  • I want to make a difference, no matter how small.
  • As much as I need to spend time with the people I love, I also need time to be on my own.
And now for the not-so-good things about me, the things that keep me from being my authentic self:
  • I procrastinate all the time.
  • I have very poor time management skills.
  • I am very indecisive.
  • I tend to make promises that I can't keep.
  • I often worry about what others think of me.
  • I am way too trusting.
One of the best things that someone told me was this: we are a work in progress. And always will be. So its good to give ourselves a pat in the back sometimes, for everything that we've done, for all that we want to be.

all i wanna do

Right now, I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. I had a really rough week. I'll spare you the details but let's just say that for the first time in all 7-something years that I've been in my profession, I actually wondered if its time to switch careers. Or work with a different population at least.

I love working with children, I really do. But they can be very challenging at times. And working with children with special needs is even more challenging. Especially if they start throwing chairs or anything that they can get their hands on. Add lack of sleep to the equation and I was ready to tear my hair out.

And then this morning I did some assessments and met two of the sweetest kids and my heart lightened. Just like that.

So yeah, I'm still tired and overworked. But not so much frustrated anymore. Weekend plans include: sleeping, reading, yoga (I haven't gone in 3 weeks!), watching foreign films, and sleeping more.

P.S. Don't you just love the photo above? I want her purple tights! (by Rebecca Miller via deMode)

P.P.S. I hope you have plans for a relaxing weekend too.

inpiration: these lines

I remembered one summer afternoon, I was laying on grass at the park and staring at the tree above me, looking for the exact words to describe how everything is illuminated but I couldn't find them. And then I read these lines from this book and knew that she was describing that moment exactly as I had experienced it. Isn't that amazing?

I know for a long time I've been shy to say it but I really want to write something like this. That if I could just have one reader feel exactly how I felt when I read these lines - that recognition, that sense of being connected to another, of sharing the same feeling even if your circumstances are completely different - that is the kind of writer that I aspire to be.

There, I said it.

a lovely surprise

A couple of months ago, I was reconnected with a relative of mine who was also our nanny when we were little. She is now living in Arizona and we haven't heard from her in years and all of a sudden, through another relative and through Facebook, we were able to exchange messages and talk on the phone. Don't you just love it when that happens?

Today, she found an old picture of us and scanned it for me. That's her on the left in the vertical stripes and me right beside her with my super straight hair. And that's my mom in the middle, my sister Moira holding a stuffed toy and our neighbor who was hairdresser. Check out our haircuts - oh my.

Looking at this picture brought back so many memories. Like how for a long time I didn't know how to smile for the camera and how nervous/anxious I was. Meanwhile, my sister Moira couldn't care less, always the feisty one, I remember how we used to have a hard time just making her sit still, let alone pose for a photograph, haha. Those were the days.

Thanks for the picture Te Erms.

pure love

My heart nearly stopped beating when I heard the first few chords of this song. What a perfect way to end a most wonderful evening. The stars have aligned, I was in San Diego on the same weekend that he had his free show to end his concert tour, I somehow managed to get tickets online when it was sold out 5 minutes after they were released, and I had the best concert buddies to share it with. It was truly meant to be. I hope you enjoy this video - my favorite Beatles song and my favorite artist.

(Credits to SharkReefMINI via YouTube)

my cousin's wedding

My cousin Wilmer and his wife Jen had the sweetest wedding at the beach in Coronado last evening. It was very intimate and low key, we were even barefoot in the sand during the entire ceremony. I'm so happy to see so many of my relatives that I haven't seen in years.

Here are two of my nieces, Lidia and Julia. Look how they're so much taller than me. How did that happen?

These pictures are my favorite. My 18-month old niece Mikayla dancing along with everyone. She was definitely the star of the show.

catching my breath

Lately my days have been filled with testing students, writing reports, driving from one school to another, attending meetings - just insanely busy. In the midst of all this, while I was at the playground today, something just hit me, like a tap on the shoulder that says 'stop, take a deep breath'. And so I did.

I've been here countless of times, running around with the kids that I work with, watching them play games, but I've never really noticed how beautiful the view is from here. Or how intricate the artworks are on the walls. And just like that, its as if I was seeing them for the first time and everything is saturated with colors. Funny how that goes.

I hope you also found something bright and beautiful today. And thank you so much for your sweet messages regarding my previous post. I am so deeply touched.